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Sample records for significantly reduce costs

  1. Next-generation nozzle check valve significantly reduces operating costs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roorda, O. [SMX International, Toronto, ON (Canada)

    2009-01-15

    Check valves perform an important function in preventing reverse flow and protecting plant and mechanical equipment. However, the variety of different types of valves and extreme differences in performance even within one type can change maintenance requirements and life cycle costs, amounting to millions of dollars over the typical 15-year design life of piping components. A next-generation non-slam nozzle check valve which prevents return flow has greatly reduced operating costs by protecting the mechanical equipment in a piping system. This article described the check valve varieties such as the swing check valve, a dual-plate check valve, and nozzle check valves. Advancements in optimized design of a non-slam nozzle check valve were also discussed, with particular reference to computer flow modelling such as computational fluid dynamics; computer stress modelling such as finite element analysis; and flow testing (using rapid prototype development and flow loop testing), both to improve dynamic performance and reduce hydraulic losses. The benefits of maximized dynamic performance and minimized pressure loss from the new designed valve were also outlined. It was concluded that this latest non-slam nozzle check valve design has potential applications in natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and oil pipelines, including subsea applications, as well as refineries, and petrochemical plants among others, and is suitable for horizontal and vertical installation. The result of this next-generation nozzle check valve design is not only superior performance, and effective protection of mechanical equipment but also minimized life cycle costs. 1 fig.

  2. Secukinumab Significantly Reduces Psoriasis-Related Work Impairment and Indirect Costs Compared With Ustekinumab and Etanercept in the United Kingdom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, R B; Halliday, A; Graham, C N; Gilloteau, I; Miles, L; McBride, D

    2018-05-30

    Psoriasis causes work productivity impairment that increases with disease severity. Whether differential treatment efficacy translates into differential indirect cost savings is unknown. To assess work hours lost and indirect costs associated with secukinumab versus ustekinumab and etanercept in the United Kingdom (UK). This was a post hoc analysis of work impairment data collected in the CLEAR study (secukinumab vs. ustekinumab) and applied to the FIXTURE study (secukinumab vs. etanercept). Weighted weekly and annual average indirect costs per patient per treatment were calculated from (1) overall work impairment derived from Work Productivity and Activity Impairment data collected in CLEAR at 16 and 52 weeks by Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) response level; (2) weekly/annual work productivity loss by PASI response level; (3) weekly and annual indirect costs by PASI response level, based on hours of work productivity loss; and (4) weighted average indirect costs for each treatment. In the primary analysis, work impairment data for employed patients in CLEAR at Week 16 were used to compare secukinumab and ustekinumab. Secondary analyses were conducted at different timepoints and with patient cohorts, including FIXTURE. In CLEAR, 452 patients (67%) were employed at baseline. At Week 16, percentages of weekly work impairment/mean hours lost decreased with higher PASI: PASI hours; PASI 50-74: 13.3%/4.45 hours; PASI 75-89: 6.4%/2.14 hours; PASI ≥90: 4.9%/1.65 hours. Weighted mean weekly/annual work hours lost were significantly lower for secukinumab than ustekinumab (1.96/102.51 vs. 2.40/125.12; P=0.0006). Results were consistent for secukinumab versus etanercept (2.29/119.67 vs. 3.59/187.17; Ρreduced work impairment and associated indirect costs of psoriasis compared with ustekinumab and etanercept at Week 16 through 52 in the UK. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  3. Reducing costs by reducing size

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hayns, M.R.; Shepherd, J.

    1991-01-01

    The present paper discusses briefly the many factors, including capital cost, which have to be taken into account in determining whether a series of power stations based on a small nuclear plant can be competitive with a series based on traditional large unit sizes giving the guaranteed level of supply. The 320 MWe UK/US Safe Integral Reactor is described as a good example of how the factors discussed can be beneficially incorporated into a design using proven technology. Finally it goes on to illustrate how the overall costs of a generating system can indeed by reduced by use of the 320 MWe Safe Integral Reactor rather than conventional units of around 1200 MWe. (author). 9 figs

  4. Reduced cost of ownership

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wyse, W.H.; Newton, J.C.

    1995-01-01

    There is common drive throughout industry towards reduced costs of ownership of plant and equipment. Rolls-Royce and Associates Ltd. has developed the systems and expertise necessary to achieve these objectives. This Paper outlines the methods being used on existing facilities, and describes a new all embracing process called Planned Lifetime Management. This process, based on the military standard Integrated Logistic Support, ensures that all aspects of support are clearly identified at the design stage and that support is monitored to allow through-life support costs to be optimized. (author)

  5. Reducing maintenance costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zaiss, W.; Reuschle, K.; Baier, B.

    2002-01-01

    The increasingly more expensive maintenance measures, cuts in the cost budget, and the loss of know-how on the part of vendors all require a change of policy with respect to maintenance concepts of the part of operators. This also applies to the existing valve concepts, the drives included. Under these aspects, the current drive, which is self-actuated and actuated by outside media, for a parallel-plate valve of a nomial width of 700 was reconsidered. The effort served to reduce maintenance costs and, at the same time, simplify the drive concept as well as cut back on the number of in-service inspections. Moreover, the number of active components were to be minimized and installation conditions in the plant were to be improved. When the boundary conditions to be observed with respect to process technology had been laid down, the competent technical department developed a concept of modification of the drive. A major constituent part was the demonstration of the functioning capability of the new drive under accident conditions. It was achieved mainly by an analytical approach. In the resultant drive concept, the same control valves are employed to actuate a driving cylinder by means of self-actuation or by an outside medium as a function of pressure. (orig.) [de

  6. Metaldyne: Plant-Wide Assessment at Royal Oak Finds Opportunities to Improve Manufacturing Efficiency, Reduce Energy Use, and Achieve Significant Cost Savings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2005-05-01

    This case study prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy's Industrial Technologies Program describes a plant-wide energy assessment conducted at the Metaldyne, Inc., forging plant in Royal Oak, Michigan. The assessment focused on reducing the plant's operating costs, inventory, and energy use. If the company were to implement all the recommendations that came out of the assessment, its total annual energy savings for electricity would be about 11.5 million kWh and annual cost savings would be $12.6 million.

  7. Sucralfate significantly reduces ciprofloxacin concentrations in serum.

    OpenAIRE

    Garrelts, J C; Godley, P J; Peterie, J D; Gerlach, E H; Yakshe, C C

    1990-01-01

    The effect of sucralfate on the bioavailability of ciprofloxacin was evaluated in eight healthy subjects utilizing a randomized, crossover design. The area under the concentration-time curve from 0 to 12 h was reduced from 8.8 to 1.1 micrograms.h/ml by sucralfate (P less than 0.005). Similarly, the maximum concentration of ciprofloxacin in serum was reduced from 2.0 to 0.2 micrograms/ml (P less than 0.005). We conclude that concurrent ingestion of sucralfate significantly reduces the concentr...

  8. The ITER reduced cost design

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aymar, R.

    2000-01-01

    Six years of joint work under the international thermonuclear experimental reactor (ITER) EDA agreement yielded a mature design for ITER which met the objectives set for it (ITER final design report (FDR)), together with a corpus of scientific and technological data, large/full scale models or prototypes of key components/systems and progress in understanding which both validated the specific design and are generally applicable to a next step, reactor-oriented tokamak on the road to the development of fusion as an energy source. In response to requests from the parties to explore the scope for addressing ITER's programmatic objective at reduced cost, the study of options for cost reduction has been the main feature of ITER work since summer 1998, using the advances in physics and technology databases, understandings, and tools arising out of the ITER collaboration to date. A joint concept improvement task force drawn from the joint central team and home teams has overseen and co-ordinated studies of the key issues in physics and technology which control the possibility of reducing the overall investment and simultaneously achieving the required objectives. The aim of this task force is to achieve common understandings of these issues and their consequences so as to inform and to influence the best cost-benefit choice, which will attract consensus between the ITER partners. A report to be submitted to the parties by the end of 1999 will present key elements of a specific design of minimum capital investment, with a target cost saving of about 50% the cost of the ITER FDR design, and a restricted number of design variants. Outline conclusions from the work of the task force are presented in terms of physics, operations, and design of the main tokamak systems. Possible implications for the way forward are discussed

  9. Leveraging Technology to Reduce Patient Transaction Costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edlow, Richard C

    2015-01-01

    Medical practices are under significant pressure to provide superior customer service in an environment of declining or flat reimbursement. The solution for many practices involves the integration of a variety of third-party technologies that conveniently interface with one's electronic practice management and medical records systems. Typically, the applications allow the practice to reduce the cost of each patient interaction. Drilling down to quantify the cost of each individual patient interaction helps to determine the practicality of implementation.

  10. Incorrect predictions reduce switch costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinsorge, Thomas; Scheil, Juliane

    2015-07-01

    In three experiments, we combined two sources of conflict within a modified task-switching procedure. The first source of conflict was the one inherent in any task switching situation, namely the conflict between a task set activated by the recent performance of another task and the task set needed to perform the actually relevant task. The second source of conflict was induced by requiring participants to guess aspects of the upcoming task (Exps. 1 & 2: task identity; Exp. 3: position of task precue). In case of an incorrect guess, a conflict accrues between the representation of the guessed task and the actually relevant task. In Experiments 1 and 2, incorrect guesses led to an overall increase of reaction times and error rates, but they reduced task switch costs compared to conditions in which participants predicted the correct task. In Experiment 3, incorrect guesses resulted in faster performance overall and to a selective decrease of reaction times in task switch trials when the cue-target interval was long. We interpret these findings in terms of an enhanced level of controlled processing induced by a combination of two sources of conflict converging upon the same target of cognitive control. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Quilting after mastectomy significantly reduces seroma formation

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    reduce or prevent seroma formation among mastectomy patients ... of this prospective study is to evaluate the effect of surgical quilting ... Seroma was more common in smokers (p=0.003) and was not decreased by the .... explain its aetiology.

  12. Cost reducing code implementation strategies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kurtz, Randall L.; Griswold, Michael E.; Jones, Gary C.; Daley, Thomas J.

    1995-01-01

    Sargent and Lundy's Code consulting experience reveals a wide variety of approaches toward implementing the requirements of various nuclear Codes Standards. This paper will describe various Code implementation strategies which assure that Code requirements are fully met in a practical and cost-effective manner. Applications to be discussed includes the following: new construction; repair, replacement and modifications; assessments and life extensions. Lessons learned and illustrative examples will be included. Preferred strategies and specific recommendations will also be addressed. Sargent and Lundy appreciates the opportunity provided by the Korea Atomic Industrial Forum and Korean Nuclear Society to share our ideas and enhance global cooperation through the exchange of information and views on relevant topics

  13. Reduced cost mission design using surrogate models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldhacker, Juliana D.; Jones, Brandon A.; Doostan, Alireza; Hampton, Jerrad

    2016-01-01

    This paper uses surrogate models to reduce the computational cost associated with spacecraft mission design in three-body dynamical systems. Sampling-based least squares regression is used to project the system response onto a set of orthogonal bases, providing a representation of the ΔV required for rendezvous as a reduced-order surrogate model. Models are presented for mid-field rendezvous of spacecraft in orbits in the Earth-Moon circular restricted three-body problem, including a halo orbit about the Earth-Moon L2 libration point (EML-2) and a distant retrograde orbit (DRO) about the Moon. In each case, the initial position of the spacecraft, the time of flight, and the separation between the chaser and the target vehicles are all considered as design inputs. The results show that sample sizes on the order of 102 are sufficient to produce accurate surrogates, with RMS errors reaching 0.2 m/s for the halo orbit and falling below 0.01 m/s for the DRO. A single function call to the resulting surrogate is up to two orders of magnitude faster than computing the same solution using full fidelity propagators. The expansion coefficients solved for in the surrogates are then used to conduct a global sensitivity analysis of the ΔV on each of the input parameters, which identifies the separation between the spacecraft as the primary contributor to the ΔV cost. Finally, the models are demonstrated to be useful for cheap evaluation of the cost function in constrained optimization problems seeking to minimize the ΔV required for rendezvous. These surrogate models show significant advantages for mission design in three-body systems, in terms of both computational cost and capabilities, over traditional Monte Carlo methods.

  14. Reducing operational costs through MIPS management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kwiatkowski, L.M.; Verhoef, C.

    2015-01-01

    We focus on an approach to reducing the costs of running applications. MIPS, which is a traditional acronym for millions of instructions per second, have evolved to become a measurement of processing power and CPU resource consumption. The need for controlling MIPS attributed costs is indispensable

  15. Reducing the cost of administrative justice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tourtellotte, J.R.

    1982-01-01

    In virtually every sector of government regulation, the complaint has been lodged that the costs of administrative justice are too high. These costs in time, money, resources, and productivity can have a profound effect on the individual consumer. When applied to an energy technology such as nuclear power, costs of administrative justice can transcent time and money to have even more profound and pervasive soeietal effects. Societal costs can be expressed in terms of their impact on important national concerns, that is, the standard of living, technological superiority, and the national energy equation. Some views are presented on the interests involved in the regulation of nuclear power and what can be done to bring those interests into better balance so as to reduce the cost of administrative justice

  16. Autonomous Droop Scheme With Reduced Generation Cost

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nutkani, Inam Ullah; Loh, Poh Chiang; Wang, Peng

    2014-01-01

    ) of the microgrid. To reduce this TGC without relying on fast communication links, an autonomous droop scheme is proposed here, whose resulting power sharing is decided by the individual DG generation costs. Comparing it with the traditional scheme, the proposed scheme retains its simplicity and it is hence more....... This objective might, however, not suit microgrids well since DGs are usually of different types, unlike synchronous generators. Other factors like cost, efficiency, and emission penalty of each DG at different loading must be considered since they contribute directly to the total generation cost (TGC...

  17. Cost reducing investments and spatial competition

    OpenAIRE

    Domenico Scalera; Alberto Zazzaro

    2005-01-01

    In this paper we analyze the relationship between competition and cost reducing investments in the context of a location model. In particular, we derive the symmetric subgame-perfect equilibrium of a three-stage circular city model with closed-loop strategies, and study the effects of changes in competition fundamentals under both a given number of firms and free entry

  18. Costs of emission-reducing manure application

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huijsmans, J.F.M.; Verwijs, B.; Rodhe, L.; Smith, K.

    2004-01-01

    Favourable economics of handling and application of manure are of fundamental importance to encourage the implementation of emission-reducing application techniques. The economics of manure application depend on the costs of the equipment and the time to carry out the field operation. In this study

  19. Costs of reducing nutrient losses in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Brian H.; Abildtrup, Jens; Jensen, Jørgen Dejgård

    to the eastern part of Denmark. The final plan for the Aquatic Environment III from 2004 included a 13% reduction of N-leaching until 2015 based on cost effective administrative measures like wetlands and catch crops. Also a tax on mineral phosphorus in feedstuffs was included in order to half the phosphorus......The economic calculations carried out prior to the Plan for the Aquatic Environment III included a comparison of regulation systems aimed at reducing nitrogen leaching, analyses of measures for reducing phosphorus losses and estimation of administrative costs. The conclusions were that taxation...... surplus. The measures in the Plan will have to be supplemented by more measures to meet the targets in the EU's Water Framework Directive....

  20. Reducing biosolids disposal costs using land application in forested areas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huffines, R.L.

    1995-01-01

    Switching biosolids land application from a reclamation site to a forested site significantly reduced the cost of biosolids disposal at the Savannah River Site. Previous beneficial reuse programs focused on reclamation of existing borrow pits. While extremely beneficial, this program became very costly due to the regulatory requirements for groundwater monitoring, soil monitoring and frequent biosolids analyses. A new program was developed to reuse biosolids in forested areas where the biosolids could be used as a soil conditioner and fertilizer to enhance timber yield. The forested land application site was designed so that groundwater monitoring and soil monitoring could be eliminated while biosolids monitoring and site maintenance were minimized. Monitoring costs alone were reduced by 80%. Capital costs for site preparation were also significantly reduced since there was no longer a need for expensive groundwater monitoring wells

  1. Methods Reduce Cost, Enhance Quality of Nanotubes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    For all the challenges posed by the microgravity conditions of space, weight is actually one of the more significant problems NASA faces in the development of the next generation of U.S. space vehicles. For the Agency s Constellation Program, engineers at NASA centers are designing and testing new vessels as safe, practical, and cost-effective means of space travel following the eventual retirement of the space shuttle. Program components like the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, intended to carry astronauts to the International Space Station and the Moon, must be designed to specific weight requirements to manage fuel consumption and match launch rocket capabilities; Orion s gross liftoff weight target is about 63,789 pounds. Future space vehicles will require even greater attention to lightweight construction to help conserve fuel for long-range missions to Mars and beyond. In order to reduce spacecraft weight without sacrificing structural integrity, NASA is pursuing the development of materials that promise to revolutionize not only spacecraft construction, but also a host of potential applications on Earth. Single-walled carbon nanotubes are one material of particular interest. These tubular, single-layer carbon molecules - 100,000 of them braided together would be no thicker than a human hair - display a range of remarkable characteristics. Possessing greater tensile strength than steel at a fraction of the weight, the nanotubes are efficient heat conductors with metallic or semiconductor electrical properties depending on their diameter and chirality (the pattern of each nanotube s hexagonal lattice structure). All of these properties make the nanotubes an appealing material for spacecraft construction, with the potential for nanotube composites to reduce spacecraft weight by 50 percent or more. The nanotubes may also feature in a number of other space exploration applications, including life support, energy storage, and sensor technologies. NASA s various

  2. New transmission interconnection reduces consumer costs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anon.

    2008-09-15

    The Central American electric interconnection system (SIEPAC) project will involve the construction of a 1830 km 230 kV transmission system that will link Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama. The system is expected to alleviate the region's power shortages and reduce electricity costs for consumers. Costs for the SIEPAC project have been estimated at $370 million. The system will serve approximately 37 million customers, and will include 15 substations. The contract for building the electrical equipment has been awarded to Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) who plan to manufacture components at a plant in Mexico. The equipment will include high speed line protection, automation, and control systems. Line current differential systems and satellite-synchronized clocks will also be used. The new transmission system is expected to be fully operational by 2009. 1 fig.

  3. SIR (Safe Integral Reactor) - reducing size can reduce cost

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hayns, M.R.

    1991-01-01

    Traditional engineering economics have favoured the advantages of larger size as a means of reducing specific capital costs and hence unit generating costs. For large and small plants utilising the same concept, e.g. a small four-loop PWR vs a large four-loop PWR with the same number of components, economies of scale are well established. If, however, a smaller plant is sized to take advantage of features which are only feasible at smaller outputs, is of simpler design, with the advantage taken of the simplified design to produce the most cost-effective layout, and incorporates fewer, more easily replaceable components with minimal assembly on site, it is possible to produce a plant which is competitive with larger plant of more traditional design. When 'system' effects, such as better matching of installed capacity to the growth in demand and the fact that a smaller total capacity will be needed to meet a given demand with a specified level of confidence, are taken into account, it can be shown that a utility's overall cash-flow position can be improved with lower associated absolute financial risks. The UK/US Safe Integral Reactor (SIR) is an integral pressurized water reactor in the 300-400 MW(e) range which utilises conventional water reactor technology in a way not feasible at the very large, sizes of recent years. The SIR concept is briefly explained and its technical and economic advantages in terms of simplicity, construction, maintenance, availability, decommissioning, safety and siting described. The results of system analyses which demonstrate the overall financial advantages to a utility are presented. (author)

  4. Can automation in radiotherapy reduce costs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massaccesi, Mariangela; Corti, Michele; Azario, Luigi; Balducci, Mario; Ferro, Milena; Mantini, Giovanna; Mattiucci, Gian Carlo; Valentini, Vincenzo

    2015-01-01

    Computerized automation is likely to play an increasingly important role in radiotherapy. The objective of this study was to report the results of the first part of a program to implement a model for economical evaluation based on micro-costing method. To test the efficacy of the model, the financial impact of the introduction of an automation tool was estimated. A single- and multi-center validation of the model by a prospective collection of data is planned as the second step of the program. The model was implemented by using an interactive spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel, 2010). The variables to be included were identified across three components: productivity, staff, and equipment. To calculate staff requirements, the workflow of Gemelli ART center was mapped out and relevant workload measures were defined. Profit and loss, productivity and staffing were identified as significant outcomes. Results were presented in terms of earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT). Three different scenarios were hypothesized: baseline situation at Gemelli ART (scenario 1); reduction by 2 minutes of the average duration of treatment fractions (scenario 2); and increased incidence of advanced treatment modalities (scenario 3). By using the model, predicted EBIT values for each scenario were calculated across a period of eight years (from 2015 to 2022). For both scenarios 2 and 3 costs are expected to slightly increase as compared to baseline situation that is particularly due to a little increase in clinical personnel costs. However, in both cases EBIT values are more favorable than baseline situation (EBIT values: scenario 1, 27%, scenario 2, 30%, scenario 3, 28% of revenues). A model based on a micro-costing method was able to estimate the financial consequences of the introduction of an automation tool in our radiotherapy department. A prospective collection of data at Gemelli ART and in a consortium of centers is currently under way to prospectively validate the model.

  5. Operating Costs Reducing in MDF Manufacturing Industries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Augusto Coeve Florino

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The sustained efforts by electric motors when subjected to cutting, trimming or finishing are directly related to the material being machined and the angle of attack of the tool. Choosing the right tool for this operation depends on an expected result. So the engines behave differently to each operation. The optimization between strength, speed, power, material and type of operation, can be found to reduce operational costs of production, besides determining the exact time to make the set-up of worn tool. The reduction in operating costs is an item of sustainability that outlines the strategic positioning on companies to become competitive in the global marketplace. With the great technological development present today, this issue goes away with the very latest products on the market for professionals who productivity will be dealt with in these modern maintenance equipment such as power quality analyzer, Imager, profile projector and microscope for research. The result of this work is the optimization of the cutting operation and energy consumption thereby demonstrating an optimum point of operation in a case study presented in this work.

  6. Reducing patient drug acquisition costs can lower diabetes health claims.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahoney, John J

    2005-08-01

    Concerned about rising prevalence and costs of diabetes among its employees, Pitney Bowes Inc recently revamped its drug benefit design to synergize with ongoing efforts in its disease management and patient education programs. Specifically, based on a predictive model showing that low medication adherence was linked to subsequent increases in healthcare costs in patients with diabetes, the company shifted all diabetes drugs and devices from tier 2 or 3 formulary status to tier 1. The rationale was that reducing patient out-of-pocket costs would eliminate financial barriers to preventive care, and thereby increase adherence, reduce costly complications, and slow the overall rate of rising healthcare costs. This single change in pharmaceutical benefit design immediately made critical brand-name drugs available to most Pitney Bowes employees and their covered dependents for 10% coinsurance, the same coinsurance level as for generic drugs, versus the previous cost share of 25% to 50%. After 2 to 3 years, preliminary results in plan participants with diabetes indicate that medication possession rates have increased significantly, use of fixed-combination drugs has increased (possibly related to easier adherence), average total pharmacy costs have decreased by 7%, and emergency department visits have decreased by 26%. Hospital admission rates, although increasing slightly, remain below the demographically adjusted Medstat benchmark. Overall direct healthcare costs per plan participant with diabetes decreased by 6%. In addition, the rate of increase in overall per-plan-participant health costs at Pitney Bowes has slowed markedly, with net per-plan-participant costs in 2003 at about 4000 dollars per year versus 6500 dollars for the industry benchmark. This recent moderation in overall corporate health costs may be related to these strategic changes in drug benefit design for diabetes, asthma, and hypertension and also to ongoing enhancements in the company's disease

  7. States reducing solar's soft costs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meehan, Chris

    2012-07-01

    In 2012 the costs of modules will drop below the balance of system costs or 'soft costs' of solar in the US. Federal policy that nationalizes permitting processes could reduce some of the soft costs, but is unlikely. That's why states like California, Colorado, Connecticut and Vermont passed own laws to reduce soft costs by speeding solar permitting and reducing fees. (orig.)

  8. Device interactions in reducing the cost of tidal stream energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vazquez, A.; Iglesias, G.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Numerical modelling is used to estimate the levelised cost of tidal stream energy. • As a case study, a model of Lynmouth (UK) is implemented and successfully validated. • The resolution of the model allows the demarcation of individual devices on the model grid. • Device interactions reduce the available tidal resource and the cost increases significantly. - Abstract: The levelised cost of energy takes into account the lifetime generated energy and the costs associated with a project. The objective of this work is to investigate the effects of device interactions on the energy output and, therefore, on the levelised cost of energy of a tidal stream project, by means of numerical modelling. For this purpose, a case study is considered: Lynmouth (North Devon, UK), an area in the Bristol Channel in which the first tidal stream turbine was installed − a testimony of its potential as a tidal energy site. A state-of-the-art hydrodynamics model is implemented on a high-resolution computational grid, which allows the demarcation of the individual devices. The modification to the energy output resulting from interaction between turbines within the tidal farm is thus resolved for each individual turbine. The results indicate that significant changes in the levelised cost of energy values, of up to £0.221 kW h −1 , occur due to the aforementioned modifications, which should not be disregarded if the cost of tidal stream energy is to be minimised

  9. Transforming Wartime Contracting: Controlling Costs, Reducing Risks

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-01

    conceptual ambiguity lies nestled in the meaning ascribed to “inherent.” The language of the Instruction also serves as an illustration that...other factors to the composite rate to present a fuller accounting of the cost of military personnel. It adds costs for recruitment and advertising ...Defense Adds to above: Costs for recruitment and advertising , training, subsidized groceries (commissaries), education assistance, child-development

  10. Reduced cost and improved figure of sapphire optical components

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walters, Mark; Bartlett, Kevin; Brophy, Matthew R.; DeGroote Nelson, Jessica; Medicus, Kate

    2015-10-01

    Sapphire presents many challenges to optical manufacturers due to its high hardness and anisotropic properties. Long lead times and high prices are the typical result of such challenges. The cost of even a simple 'grind and shine' process can be prohibitive. The high precision surfaces required by optical sensor applications further exacerbate the challenge of processing sapphire thereby increasing cost further. Optimax has demonstrated a production process for such windows that delivers over 50% time reduction as compared to traditional manufacturing processes for sapphire, while producing windows with less than 1/5 wave rms figure error. Optimax's sapphire production process achieves significant improvement in cost by implementation of a controlled grinding process to present the best possible surface to the polishing equipment. Following the grinding process is a polishing process taking advantage of chemical interactions between slurry and substrate to deliver excellent removal rates and surface finish. Through experiments, the mechanics of the polishing process were also optimized to produce excellent optical figure. In addition to reducing the cost of producing large sapphire sensor windows, the grinding and polishing technology Optimax has developed aids in producing spherical sapphire components to better figure quality. In addition to reducing the cost of producing large sapphire sensor windows, the grinding and polishing technology Optimax has developed aids in producing spherical sapphire components to better figure quality. Through specially developed polishing slurries, the peak-to-valley figure error of spherical sapphire parts is reduced by over 80%.

  11. Energy-efficient induction motors designing with application of a modified criterion of reduced costs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V.S. Petrushin

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The paper introduces a modified criterion of reduced costs that employs coefficients of operation significance and priority of ohmic loss accounting to allow matching maximum efficiency with minimum reduced costs. Impact of the inflation factor on the criterion of reduced costs is analyzed.

  12. Manual for Reducing Educational Unit Costs in Latin American Countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Centro Multinacional de Investigacion Educativa, San Jose (Costa Rica).

    Designed for educational administrators, this manual provides suggestions for reducing educational unit costs in Latin America without reducing the quality of the education. Chapter one defines unit cost concepts and compares the costs of the Latin American countries. Chapter two deals with the different policies which could affect the principal…

  13. Strategies Used by Adults to Reduce Their Prescription Drug Costs

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... data from the 2011 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Keywords: National Health Interview Survey, alternative therapies, medication ... to cost ( 9 ) that are not measured in NHIS. Definitions Strategies for reducing prescription drug costs : Based ...

  14. Reducing health care costs - potential and limitations of local ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Reducing health care costs - potential and limitations of local authority health services. ... both the quality and the cost-effectiveness of health care would be improved. ... LAs offer an appropriate structure for effective community control over the ...

  15. Autonomous droop scheme with reduced generation cost

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nutkani, Inam Ullah; Loh, Poh Chiang; Blaabjerg, Frede

    2013-01-01

    Droop scheme has been widely applied to the control of Distributed Generators (DGs) in microgrids for proportional power sharing based on their ratings. For standalone microgrid, where centralized management system is not viable, the proportional power sharing based droop might not suit well since...... DGs are usually of different types unlike synchronous generators. This paper presents an autonomous droop scheme that takes into consideration the operating cost, efficiency and emission penalty of each DG since all these factors directly or indirectly contributes to the Total Generation Cost (TGC......) of the overall microgrid. Comparing it with the traditional scheme, the proposed scheme has retained its simplicity, which certainly is a feature preferred by the industry. The overall performance of the proposed scheme has been verified through simulation and experiment....

  16. Improving performance and reducing costs of cooling towers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bartz, J.A.

    1992-01-01

    Cooling towers represent a significant capital investment at a steam electric power station. In addition, deficiencies in thermal performance can result in major operating penalties of fuel cost, replacement energy, and capacity addition. This paper summarizes two recent EPRI research projects aimed at reducing thermal performance deficiencies and decreasing installed costs of evaporative cooling towers. First, EPRI Research Project 2113, Cooling Tower Performance Prediction and Improvement, is summarized. This project has resulted in published data sets on the measured thermal performance characteristics of a variety of cooling tower packings, computer codes to predict tower performance, and computer code validation through large-scale tower performance measurements. Principal results are contained in an EPRIGEMS software module, Cooling Tower Advisor. This PC- based software contains a tutorial plus codes to predict tower thermal performance, arranged in a user-friendly format. The second EPRI effort, Research Project 2819-10/11, Fabric Structures for Power Plant Applications, has resulted in designs and costs of large structures with shells constructed of recently-developed fabrics. Primary power plant applications for such structures are the shells of natural draft cooling towers and coal-pile covers. Fabric structures offer low initial cost, acceptable life, and seismic superiority, among other advantages. Detailed conceptual designs and installed cost data are reviewed. 8 refs., 9 figs., 3 tabs

  17. The significance of sensory appeal for reduced meat consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Corrina A

    2014-10-01

    Reducing meat (over-)consumption as a way to help address environmental deterioration will require a range of strategies, and any such strategies will benefit from understanding how individuals might respond to various meat consumption practices. To investigate how New Zealanders perceive such a range of practices, in this instance in vitro meat, eating nose-to-tail, entomophagy and reducing meat consumption, focus groups involving a total of 69 participants were held around the country. While it is the damaging environmental implications of intensive farming practices and the projected continuation of increasing global consumer demand for meat products that has propelled this research, when asked to consider variations on the conventional meat-centric diet common to many New Zealanders, it was the sensory appeal of the areas considered that was deemed most problematic. While an ecological rationale for considering these 'meat' alternatives was recognised and considered important by most, transforming this value into action looks far less promising given the recurrent sensory objections to consuming different protein-based foods or of reducing meat consumption. This article considers the responses of focus group participants in relation to each of the dietary practices outlined, and offers suggestions on ways to encourage a more environmentally viable diet. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Reducing Development and Operations Costs using NASA's "GMSEC" Systems Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Dan; Bristow, John; Crouse, Patrick

    2007-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the role of Goddard Mission Services Evolution Center (GMSEC) in reducing development and operation costs in handling the massive data from NASA missions. The goals of GMSEC systems architecture development are to (1) Simplify integration and development, (2)Facilitate technology infusion over time, (3) Support evolving operational concepts, and (4) All for mix of heritage, COTS and new components. First 3 missions (i.e., Tropical Rainforest Measuring Mission (TRMM), Small Explorer (SMEX) missions - SWAS, TRACE, SAMPEX, and ST5 3-Satellite Constellation System) each selected a different telemetry and command system. These results show that GMSEC's message-bus component-based framework architecture is well proven and provides significant benefits over traditional flight and ground data system designs. The missions benefit through increased set of product options, enhanced automation, lower cost and new mission-enabling operations concept options .

  19. Lean Manufacturing Implementation: an Approach to Reduce Production Cost

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iraswari

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: Lean Manufacturing Implementation: An Approach To Reduce Production Cost. Opportunities to improve production processes and reduce production cost through the implementation of lean manufacturing in small medium garment manufacturing are presented in this research. This research shows that there is a possibility of decrease in production cost and increase in return on sales. Lean manufacturing implementation can eliminate waste in the production process. This is a set of techniques for identification and elimination of waste gathered from The Ford Production, Statistical Process Control and other techniques. Improvement of quality could be carried out while time and cost of production are being reduced.

  20. PA positioning significantly reduces testicular dose during sacroiliac joint radiography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mekis, Nejc [Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia); Mc Entee, Mark F., E-mail: mark.mcentee@ucd.i [School of Medicine and Medical Science, University College Dublin 4 (Ireland); Stegnar, Peter [Jozef Stefan International Postgraduate School, Ljubljana (Slovenia)

    2010-11-15

    Radiation dose to the testes in the antero-posterior (AP) and postero-anterior (PA) projection of the sacroiliac joint (SIJ) was measured with and without a scrotal shield. Entrance surface dose, the dose received by the testicles and the dose area product (DAP) was used. DAP measurements revealed the dose received by the phantom in the PA position is 12.6% lower than the AP (p {<=} 0.009) with no statistically significant reduction in image quality (p {<=} 0.483). The dose received by the testes in the PA projection in SIJ imaging is 93.1% lower than the AP projection when not using protection (p {<=} 0.020) and 94.9% lower with protection (p {<=} 0.019). The dose received by the testicles was not changed by the use of a scrotal shield in the AP position (p {<=} 0.559); but was lowered by its use in the PA (p {<=} 0.058). Use of the PA projection in SIJ imaging significantly lowers, the dose received by the testes compared to the AP projection without significant loss of image quality.

  1. PA positioning significantly reduces testicular dose during sacroiliac joint radiography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mekis, Nejc; Mc Entee, Mark F.; Stegnar, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Radiation dose to the testes in the antero-posterior (AP) and postero-anterior (PA) projection of the sacroiliac joint (SIJ) was measured with and without a scrotal shield. Entrance surface dose, the dose received by the testicles and the dose area product (DAP) was used. DAP measurements revealed the dose received by the phantom in the PA position is 12.6% lower than the AP (p ≤ 0.009) with no statistically significant reduction in image quality (p ≤ 0.483). The dose received by the testes in the PA projection in SIJ imaging is 93.1% lower than the AP projection when not using protection (p ≤ 0.020) and 94.9% lower with protection (p ≤ 0.019). The dose received by the testicles was not changed by the use of a scrotal shield in the AP position (p ≤ 0.559); but was lowered by its use in the PA (p ≤ 0.058). Use of the PA projection in SIJ imaging significantly lowers, the dose received by the testes compared to the AP projection without significant loss of image quality.

  2. Multifaceted intervention including education, rounding checklist implementation, cost feedback, and financial incentives reduces inpatient laboratory costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yarbrough, Peter M; Kukhareva, Polina V; Horton, Devin; Edholm, Karli; Kawamoto, Kensaku

    2016-05-01

    Inappropriate laboratory testing is a contributor to waste in healthcare. To evaluate the impact of a multifaceted laboratory reduction intervention on laboratory costs. A retrospective, controlled, interrupted time series (ITS) study. University of Utah Health Care, a 500-bed academic medical center in Salt Lake City, Utah. All patients 18 years or older admitted to the hospital to a service other than obstetrics, rehabilitation, or psychiatry. Multifaceted quality-improvement initiative in a hospitalist service including education, process change, cost feedback, and financial incentive. Primary outcomes of lab cost per day and per visit. Secondary outcomes of number of basic metabolic panel (BMP), comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP), complete blood count (CBC), and prothrombin time/international normalized ratio tests per day; length of stay (LOS); and 30-day readmissions. A total of 6310 hospitalist patient visits (intervention group) were compared to 25,586 nonhospitalist visits (control group). Among the intervention group, the unadjusted mean cost per day was reduced from $138 before the intervention to $123 after the intervention (P analysis showed significant reductions in cost per day, cost per visit, and the number of BMP, CMP, and CBC tests per day (P = 0.034, 0.02, <0.001, 0.004, and <0.001). LOS was unchanged and 30-day readmissions decreased in the intervention group. A multifaceted approach to laboratory reduction demonstrated a significant reduction in laboratory cost per day and per visit, as well as common tests per day at a major academic medical center. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2016;11:348-354. © 2016 Society of Hospital Medicine. © 2016 Society of Hospital Medicine.

  3. A Summary of: 25 Ways to Reduce the Cost of College

    Science.gov (United States)

    Center for College Affordability and Productivity (NJ1), 2010

    2010-01-01

    Almost everyone agrees that colleges have become costly to attend and are a growing burden on society to finance. Rising tuition costs threaten the ability and desire of students to attend college. Are there things that can be done to significantly reduce the cost of college? The answer is an emphatic "yes." The Center for College Affordability…

  4. Reducing the Cost of Grid Extension for Rural Electrification

    OpenAIRE

    NRECA International, Ltd.

    2000-01-01

    This study first reviews the cost of grid extension in a number of countries. It then identifies ways to reduce costs by examining how they are affected by a variety of factors. An electricity supply system may be divided into two discrete components: the grid extension and the low-voltage distribution system. This study will focus on the first of these two components, the cost of grid ext...

  5. DEMAND ILLUSION AS A WAY TO REDUCE COSTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirill N. Sosnovskij

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Article devoted to a technique that reduces costs to retailers, as well as increase the speed of discounted products. This article deals with the laws of visual merchandising that have a significant impact on the implementation of the company’s products. The analysis of the first law, with the subsequent introduction into it of a new additional method. Consider the effect of «Illusion of deficit» arising from the application of the proposed method. The article also defines the basic hypothesis of the existence of methods and effect, and the conditions for their effective implementation. To confirm the effectiveness of the developed method, quantitative surveys are conducted for different age groups creating situational model, which allows respondents to feel as a consumer.

  6. Reducing Design Cycle Time and Cost Through Process Resequencing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, James L.

    2004-01-01

    In today's competitive environment, companies are under enormous pressure to reduce the time and cost of their design cycle. One method for reducing both time and cost is to develop an understanding of the flow of the design processes and the effects of the iterative subcycles that are found in complex design projects. Once these aspects are understood, the design manager can make decisions that take advantage of decomposition, concurrent engineering, and parallel processing techniques to reduce the total time and the total cost of the design cycle. One software tool that can aid in this decision-making process is the Design Manager's Aid for Intelligent Decomposition (DeMAID). The DeMAID software minimizes the feedback couplings that create iterative subcycles, groups processes into iterative subcycles, and decomposes the subcycles into a hierarchical structure. The real benefits of producing the best design in the least time and at a minimum cost are obtained from sequencing the processes in the subcycles.

  7. Concepts for reducing nuclear utility inventory carrying costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Graybill, R.E.; DiCola, F.E.; Solanas, C.H.

    1985-01-01

    Nuclear utilities are under pressure to reduce their operating and maintenance expenses such that the total cost of generating electricity through nuclear power remains an economically attractive option. One area in which expenses may be reduced is total inventory carrying cost. The total inventory carrying cost consists of financing an inventory, managing the inventory, assuring quality, engineering of acceptable parts specifications, and procuring initial and replenishment stock. Concepts and methodology must be developed to reduce the remaining expenses of a utility's total inventory carrying cost. Currently, two concepts exist: pooled inventory management system (PIMS), originally established by General Electric Company and a group of boiling water reactor owners, and Nuclear Parts Associates' (NUPA) shared inventory management program (SIMP). Both concepts share or pool parts and components among utilities. The SIMP program objectives and technical activities are summarized

  8. Green roofs: roof system reducing heating and cooling costs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konasova, Sarka

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Green roofs are among the passive building systems that contribute to the thermal stability of the rooms under the roof in both summer and winter. Green roofs can provide a significant contribution to the thermal balance of the protected space. Over the past ten years, many studies have been carried out to investigate the energy benefits of green roofs in terms of the energy performance of buildings. These studies show that the installation of vegetated cover can achieve energy savings for both winter heating and summer cooling. The green roof, as a thermal insulation, reduces the amount of building operating energy costs and reduces heat losses. This article summarizes current literature and points to situations in which green roofs can play an important role in saving energy for heating and cooling due to improved thermal insulating function of the roof, in case of extensive vegetation coverage without significant overloading of the roof structure and associated over-dimensioning. It is important to note that these energy savings always depend on the particular climate, the type of building and the availability and the type of roof structure.

  9. Reducing Interaction Costs for Self-interested Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yunqi; Larson, Kate

    In many multiagent systems, agents are not able to freely interact with each other or with a centralized mechanism. They may be limited in their interactions by cost or by the inherent structure of the system. Using a combinatorial auction application as motivation, we study the impact of interaction costs and structure on the strategic behaviour of self-interested agents. We present a particular model of costly agent-interaction, and argue that self-interested agents may wish to coordinate their actions with their neighbours so as to reduce their individual costs. We highlight the issues that arise in such a setting, propose a cost-sharing mechanism that agents can use, and discuss group coordination procedures. Experimental work validates our model.

  10. Using preventive home monitoring to reduce hospital admission rates and reduce costs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dinesen, Birthe Irene; Haesum, Lisa K E; Soerensen, Natascha

    2012-01-01

    We studied whether preventive home monitoring of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) could reduce the frequency of hospital admissions and lower the cost of hospitalization. Patients were recruited from a health centre, general practitioner (GP) or the pulmonary hospital ward....... They were randomized to usual care or tele-rehabilitation with a telehealth monitoring device installed in their home for four months. A total of 111 patients were suitable for inclusion and consented to be randomized: 60 patients were allocated to intervention and three were lost to follow...... of admissions was €3461 per patient in the intervention group and €4576 in the control group; this difference was not significant. The Kaplan-Meier estimates for time to hospital admission were longer for the intervention group than the controls, but the difference was not significant. Future work requires...

  11. Reduced Cost Composite Hot Structures with Oxidation Protection, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Innovative, low cost high performance technologies are critical to the affordability of future space missions. Carbon/carbon (C/C) composites have significant...

  12. Reducing Operating Costs and Energy Consumption at Water Utilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Due to their unique combination of high energy usage and potential for significant savings, utilities are turning to energy-efficient technologies to help save money. Learn about cost and energy saving technologies from this brochure.

  13. Reducing Operating Room Costs Through Real-Time Cost Information Feedback: A Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabib, Christian H; Bahler, Clinton D; Hardacker, Thomas J; Ball, Kevin M; Sundaram, Chandru P

    2015-08-01

    To create a protocol for providing real-time operating room (OR) cost feedback to surgeons. We hypothesize that this protocol will reduce costs in a responsible way without sacrificing quality of care. All OR costs were obtained and recorded for robot-assisted partial nephrectomy and laparoscopic donor nephrectomy. Before the beginning of this project, costs pertaining to the 20 most recent cases were analyzed. Items were identified from previous cases as modifiable for replacement or omission. Timely feedback of total OR costs and cost of each item used was provided to the surgeon after each case, and costs were analyzed. A cost analysis of the robot-assisted partial nephrectomy before the washout period indicates expenditures of $5243.04 per case. Ten recommended modifiable items were found to have an average per case cost of $1229.33 representing 23.4% of the total cost. A postwashout period cost analysis found the total OR cost decreased by $899.67 (17.2%) because of changes directly related to the modifiable items. Therefore, 73.2% of the possible identified savings was realized. The same stepwise approach was applied to laparoscopic donor nephrectomies. The average total cost per case before the washout period was $3530.05 with $457.54 attributed to modifiable items. After the washout period, modifiable items costs were reduced by $289.73 (8.0%). No complications occurred in the donor nephrectomy cases while one postoperative complication occurred in the partial nephrectomy group. Providing surgeons with feedback related to OR costs may lead to a change in surgeon behavior and decreased overall costs. Further studies are needed to show equivalence in patient outcomes.

  14. Use of commercial grade item dedication to reduce procurement costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosch, F.

    1995-01-01

    In the mid-1980s, the Nuclear Regulatory Industry (NRC) began inspecting utility practices of procuring and dedicating commercial grade items intended for plant safety-related applications. As a result of the industry efforts to address NRC concerns, nuclear utilities have enhanced existing programs and procedures for dedication of commercial grade items. Though these programs were originally enhanced to meet NRC concerns, utilities have discovered that the dedication of commercial grade items can also reduce overall procurement costs. This paper will discuss the enhancement of utility dedication programs and demonstrates how utilities have utilized them to reduce procurement costs

  15. Design meeting on reduced technical objectives/reduced cost ITER options

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spears, W.

    1999-01-01

    At this meeting, which took place at Garching, Germany in January 1999, means of reducing the overall cost for ITER to 50% where discussed. It was felt that a smaller plasma of high elongation and high triangularity was a step in the right direction. Further steps would include cheaper magnetic field coils, cheaper in-vessel components and also costly buildings

  16. Rightsizing HVAC Systems to Reduce Capital Costs and Save Energy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sebesta, James

    2010-01-01

    Nearly every institution is faced with the situation of having to reduce the cost of a construction project from time to time through a process generally referred to as "value engineering." Just the mention of those words, however, gives rise to all types of connotations, thoughts, and memories (usually negative) for those in the…

  17. Valuing patents on cost-reducing technology: A case study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Triest, S.P.; van de Vis, Wim

    2007-01-01

    We present an approach for valuing patents on production process improvements. Specifically, we focus on valuing a patent on cost-reducing process improvements from the viewpoint of the patent holding firm. We do this by considering the relevant cash flows that result from owning the patent. The

  18. CANDU 9 - reducing capital costs through advanced construction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hedges, K.; Yu, S.; Hopwood, J.

    1996-01-01

    Reducing costs is a clear priority in nuclear markets where capital reaches billions and financing is hard-won. To address that priority, AECL introduced the use of advanced construction techniques. This has been one of the key thrusts behind its development of CANDU 9. (author)

  19. Wellness Programs: Preventive Medicine to Reduce Health Care Costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martini, Gilbert R., Jr.

    1991-01-01

    A wellness program is a formalized approach to preventive health care that can positively affect employee lifestyle and reduce future health-care costs. Describes programs for health education, smoking cessation, early detection, employee assistance, and fitness, citing industry success figures. (eight references) (MLF)

  20. Cost effectiveness of reducing radon exposure in Spanish dwellings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Colgan, P.A.; Gutierrez, J.

    1996-01-01

    Published information on the distribution of radon levels in Spanish single family dwellings is used to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of three different intervention scenarios: remediation of existing dwellings, radon proofing of all future dwellings and the targetting of areas with higher than average indoor radon concentrations. Analysis is carried out on the basis of a Reference Level of 400 Bq m -3 for the existing housing stock and 200 Bq m -3 for new dwellings. Certain assumptions are made about the effectiveness and durability of the measures applied and annualised costs are used to calculate the costs per lung cancer death averted. The results reveal that targetting future housing is a more cost-effective option than remediation of existing dwellings with radon concentrations above the Reference Level -the costs per lung cancer death averted are typically $145000. In high-risk areas, these costs can be considerably less, depending on the percentage of dwellings expected to exceed the Reference Level and the average savings in exposure as a result of the intervention. The costs of intervention to reduce lung cancer deaths following exposure to radon compare favourably with those of other health programmes in other countries. (Author)

  1. Reducing healthcare costs facilitated by surgical auditing: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Govaert, Johannes Arthuur; van Bommel, Anne Charlotte Madeline; van Dijk, Wouter Antonie; van Leersum, Nicoline Johanneke; Tollenaar, Robertus Alexandre Eduard Mattheus; Wouters, Michael Wilhemus Jacobus Maria

    2015-07-01

    Surgical auditing has been developed in order to benchmark and to facilitate quality improvement. The aim of this review is to determine if auditing combined with systematic feedback of information on process and outcomes of care results in lower costs of surgical care. A systematic search of published literature before 21-08-2013 was conducted in Pubmed, Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library. Articles were selected if they met the inclusion criteria of describing a surgical audit with cost-evaluation. The systematic search resulted in 3608 papers. Six studies were identified as relevant, all showing a positive effect of surgical auditing on quality of healthcare and therefore cost savings was reported. Cost reductions ranging from $16 to $356 per patient were seen in audits evaluating general or vascular procedures. The highest potential cost reduction was described in a colorectal surgical audit (up to $1,986 per patient). All six identified articles in this review describe a reduction in complications and thereby a reduction in costs due to surgical auditing. Surgical auditing may be of greater value when high-risk procedures are evaluated, since prevention of adverse events in these procedures might be of greater clinical and therefore of greater financial impact. This systematic review shows that surgical auditing can function as a quality instrument and therefore as a tool to reduce costs. Since evidence is scarce so far, further studies should be performed to investigate if surgical auditing has positive effects to turn the rising healthcare costs around. In the future, incorporating (actual) cost analyses and patient-related outcome measures would increase the audits' value and provide a complete overview of the value of healthcare.

  2. Standardized ultrasound templates for diagnosing appendicitis reduce annual imaging costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordin, Andrew B; Sales, Stephen; Nielsen, Jason W; Adler, Brent; Bates, David Gregory; Kenney, Brian

    2018-01-01

    Ultrasound is preferred over computed tomography (CT) for diagnosing appendicitis in children to avoid undue radiation exposure. We previously reported our experience in instituting a standardized appendicitis ultrasound template, which decreased CT rates by 67.3%. In this analysis, we demonstrate the ongoing cost savings associated with using this template. Retrospective chart review for the time period preceding template implementation (June 2012-September 2012) was combined with prospective review through December 2015 for all patients in the emergency department receiving diagnostic imaging for appendicitis. The type of imaging was recorded, and imaging rates and ultrasound test statistics were calculated. Estimated annual imaging costs based on pretemplate ultrasound and CT utilization rates were compared with post-template annual costs to calculate annual and cumulative savings. In the pretemplate period, ultrasound and CT rates were 80.2% and 44.3%, respectively, resulting in a combined annual cost of $300,527.70. Similar calculations were performed for each succeeding year, accounting for changes in patient volume. Using pretemplate rates, our projected 2015 imaging cost was $371,402.86; however, our ultrasound rate had increased to 98.3%, whereas the CT rate declined to 9.6%, yielding an annual estimated cost of $224,853.00 and a savings of $146,549.86. Since implementation, annual savings have steadily increased for a cumulative cost savings of $336,683.83. Standardizing ultrasound reports for appendicitis not only reduces the use of CT scans and the associated radiation exposure but also decreases annual imaging costs despite increased numbers of imaging studies. Continued cost reduction may be possible by using diagnostic algorithms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Autonomous exoskeleton reduces metabolic cost of human walking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Luke M; Rouse, Elliott J; Herr, Hugh M

    2014-11-03

    Passive exoskeletons that assist with human locomotion are often lightweight and compact, but are unable to provide net mechanical power to the exoskeletal wearer. In contrast, powered exoskeletons often provide biologically appropriate levels of mechanical power, but the size and mass of their actuator/power source designs often lead to heavy and unwieldy devices. In this study, we extend the design and evaluation of a lightweight and powerful autonomous exoskeleton evaluated for loaded walking in (J Neuroeng Rehab 11:80, 2014) to the case of unloaded walking conditions. The metabolic energy consumption of seven study participants (85 ± 12 kg body mass) was measured while walking on a level treadmill at 1.4 m/s. Testing conditions included not wearing the exoskeleton and wearing the exoskeleton, in both powered and unpowered modes. When averaged across the gait cycle, the autonomous exoskeleton applied a mean positive mechanical power of 26 ± 1 W (13 W per ankle) with 2.12 kg of added exoskeletal foot-shank mass (1.06 kg per leg). Use of the leg exoskeleton significantly reduced the metabolic cost of walking by 35 ± 13 W, which was an improvement of 10 ± 3% (p = 0.023) relative to the control condition of not wearing the exoskeleton. The results of this study highlight the advantages of developing lightweight and powerful exoskeletons that can comfortably assist the body during walking.

  4. Cost-effectiveness of pharmacotherapy to reduce obesity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Lennert Veerman

    Full Text Available AIMS: Obesity causes a high disease burden in Australia and across the world. We aimed to analyse the cost-effectiveness of weight reduction with pharmacotherapy in Australia, and to assess its potential to reduce the disease burden due to excess body weight. METHODS: We constructed a multi-state life-table based Markov model in Excel in which body weight influences the incidence of stroke, ischemic heart disease, hypertensive heart disease, diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis, post-menopausal breast cancer, colon cancer, endometrial cancer and kidney cancer. We use data on effectiveness identified from PubMed searches, on mortality from Australian Bureau of Statistics, on disease costs from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, and on drug costs from the Department of Health and Ageing. We evaluate 1-year pharmacological interventions with sibutramine and orlistat targeting obese Australian adults free of obesity-related disease. We use a lifetime horizon for costs and health outcomes and a health sector perspective for costs. Incremental Cost-Effectiveness Ratios (ICERs below A$50 000 per Disability Adjusted Life Year (DALY averted are considered good value for money. RESULTS: The ICERs are A$130 000/DALY (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 93 000-180 000 for sibutramine and A$230 000/DALY (170 000-340 000 for orlistat. The interventions reduce the body weight-related disease burden at the population level by 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively. Modest weight loss during the interventions, rapid post-intervention weight regain and low adherence limit the health benefits. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with sibutramine or orlistat is not cost-effective from an Australian health sector perspective and has a negligible impact on the total body weight-related disease burden.

  5. Consolidating staff augmentation contracts improves teamwork and reduces costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Townsend, J.; Sibilla, L.; Gregovich, J.W.

    1991-01-01

    Nuclear power plants have traditionally used multiple contracting firms to provide temporary staff augmentation personnel primarily because of two perceptions: (1) managers believe they have greater access to a higher quality, readily available pool of applicants. (2) using multiple contractors inherently keeps costs down as a result of several competitors submitting resumes for the same position. This paper provides information, based on the experiences of a leading nuclear power plant, that disproves these perceptions. It explains why consolidating several contracts for professional and technical classifications (excluding craft labor and refueling personnel) and competitively bidding and awarding the contract to a single contracting firm promotes teamwork and reduces costs

  6. Small Habitat Commonality Reduces Cost for Human Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Brand N.; Lepsch, Roger; Martin, John; Howard, Robert; Rucker, Michelle; Zapata, Edgar; McCleskey, Carey; Howe, Scott; Mary, Natalie; Nerren, Philip (Inventor)

    2015-01-01

    Most view the Apollo Program as expensive. It was. But, a human mission to Mars will be orders of magnitude more difficult and costly. Recently, NASA's Evolvable Mars Campaign (EMC) mapped out a step-wise approach for exploring Mars and the Mars-moon system. It is early in the planning process but because approximately 80% of the total life cycle cost is committed during preliminary design, there is an effort to emphasize cost reduction methods up front. Amongst the options, commonality across small habitat elements shows promise for consolidating the high bow-wave costs of Design, Development, Test and Evaluation (DDT&E) while still accommodating each end-item's functionality. In addition to DDT&E, there are other cost and operations benefits to commonality such as reduced logistics, simplified infrastructure integration and with inter-operability, improved safety and simplified training. These benefits are not without a cost. Some habitats are sub-optimized giving up unique attributes for the benefit of the overall architecture and because the first item sets the course for those to follow, rapidly developing technology may be excluded. The small habitats within the EMC include the pressurized crew cabins for the ascent vehicle,

  7. Reducing Reforestation Costs in Lebanon: Adaptive Field Trials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garabet (Garo Haroutunian

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Lebanon’s Ministry of Environment initiated a project in 2009 to determine low-cost reforestation techniques for stone pine (Pinus pinea and Lebanon cedar (Cedrus libani for large-scale land rehabilitation activities in the arid Middle East. Irrigation (several techniques vs. no water, planting (8- to 18-month-old seedlings, seeding, and soil preparation methods were evaluated in three sets of adaptive management field trials. The aim was to reduce reforestation costs while still achieving sufficient regeneration. A key result for management was that non-irrigated seed planting of stone pine and possibly of Lebanon cedar showed promise for cost-effective reforestation and could be competitive with seedlings, given correct seed source and planting conditions. Stone pine seeds collected from nearby mother trees and planted without irrigation on sandy soil showed 35% survival for <600 USD/ha; seedlings planted without irrigation cost about 2500 USD/ha and achieved 50–70% survival (costs based on 800 seedlings/ha. Water supplements increased establishment costs over 2 years without concomitant improvements to survival. Future studies should evaluate how soil texture and soil preparation interact with other factors to affect seed germination and survival for each species.

  8. Offshore windfarm proposal to reduce costs of foundations and installations.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2007-09-04

    The principle aim of this project is to develop innovative pile insertion, installation vessel pile handling and pile transfer systems that reduce the installed cost per kW of offshore wind turbine foundation installation. The project was to accomplish this by first developing a novel method of handling foundation piles without the use of craneage thereby allowing long piles of 5-6m diameter to be lifted safely in shallow water. This would extend the operating envelope by allowing work to continue without the weather constraints associated with lifting heavy loads by crane. The method would eventually reduce the size of the pile installation barge resulting in reduced installation costs. This part of the project has been satisfactorily completed, resulting in an innovative pile handling technique. Secondly a nonpercussive pile insertion method would be developed suitable for large diameter piles. The targeted aims of this method are as follows: To reduce or negate the need to handle and dispose of large amounts of spoil. To eliminate the need for piling hammers large enough to drive 6m diameter piles. These would be too heavy for the present generation of offshore cranes to lift, and the rental costs exorbitant. The advantages of these aims are: A reduction in the noise pollution produced by all percussive methods of pile driving and in particular large hammers. These noise levels are unacceptable to present and future environmental constraints. Because of the reduced drill spoil being handled compared to an industry standard full face drill, the energy consumption and therefore cost, is also reduced. Owing to the high cost and risk associated with mobilising and operating the equipment necessary for field trials in a marine environment (the cost for mobilising and operating a construction jack-up barge, all backup marine support craft, pile driving hammers and test piles can be several times the available grant funding), it was decided and agreed at an early stage

  9. Cost Analysis of the STONE Randomized Trial: Can Health Care Costs be Reduced One Test at a Time?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melnikow, Joy; Xing, Guibo; Cox, Ginger; Leigh, Paul; Mills, Lisa; Miglioretti, Diana L; Moghadassi, Michelle; Smith-Bindman, Rebecca

    2016-04-01

    Decreasing the use of high-cost tests may reduce health care costs. To compare costs of care for patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with suspected kidney stones randomized to 1 of 3 initial imaging tests. Patients were randomized to point-of-care ultrasound (POC US, least costly), radiology ultrasound (RAD US), or computed tomography (CT, most costly). Subsequent testing and treatment were the choice of the treating physician. A total of 2759 patients at 15 EDs were randomized to POC US (n=908), RAD US, (n=893), or CT (n=958). Mean age was 40.4 years; 51.8% were male. All medical care documented in the trial database in the 7 days following enrollment was abstracted and coded to estimate costs using national average 2012 Medicare reimbursements. Costs for initial ED care and total 7-day costs were compared using nonparametric bootstrap to account for clustering of patients within medical centers. Initial ED visit costs were modestly lower for patients assigned to RAD US: $423 ($411, $434) compared with patients assigned to CT: $448 ($438, $459) (Pcosts were not significantly different between groups: $1014 ($912, $1129) for POC US, $970 ($878, $1078) for RAD US, and $959 ($870, $1044) for CT. Hospital admissions contributed over 50% of total costs, though only 11% of patients were admitted. Mean total costs (and admission rates) varied substantially by site from $749 to $1239. Assignment to a less costly test had no impact on overall health care costs for ED patients. System-level interventions addressing variation in admission rates from the ED might have greater impact on costs.

  10. Reducing the cost of back-contact module technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bennett, I.J.; Eerenstein, W.; Rosca, V. [ECN Solar Energy, P.O. Box 1, 1755 ZG Petten (Netherlands)

    2013-07-01

    Back-contact modules made using a conductive back-sheet foil have a number of advantages over standard H-pattern modules including a higher power output, compatibility with very thin cells and high throughput, high yield manufacturing. For a conductive back-sheet based module the most cost critical components are the conductive back-sheet and the conductive adhesives used to make the contact between the cells and the conductive back-sheet. In this paper a number of methods for reducing the module materials cost will be presented. Climate chamber testing of low cost foils without isolation coating and without silver contacts demonstrated that this type of foil is reliable in damp-heat, reaching 2000 hours at 85%RH and 85{sup o}C with a loss in fill-factor of less than 2%.

  11. Subsea industry implements NORSOK: Happy marriages reduce costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heggelund, N.

    1995-01-01

    Cost reduction by implementing NORSOK standards and cooperation between subsea suppliers to the Norwegian continental shelf, are discussed in this article. The aim of NORSOK, which is based on US standards, is to achieve standardization of technical requirements for drilling and production facilities, to identify and develop common requirements for equipment and installations, based on functional specifications, interfaces and limited variety for equipment and design, and to take into consideration existing industry standards and use these where possible. The offspring of cooperation is notable cost reductions. Subsea costs at Saga's Vigdis field have been reduced by 50% in two years. More subsea projects could come up soon. Norsk Hydro has short-listed a semi PDQ (Processing, Drilling and living Quarters), a ship or Gullfaks tie-in as runner-up concepts for the Viksund project. 1 fig

  12. Does SDDS Subscription Reduce Borrowing Costs for Emerging Market Economies?

    OpenAIRE

    John Cady

    2005-01-01

    Does macroeconomic data transparency-as signaled by subscription to the IMF's Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS)-help reduce borrowing costs in international capital markets? This question is examined using data on new issues of sovereign foreign-currency-denominated (U.S. dollar, yen, and euro) bonds for several emerging market economies. Panel econometric estimates indicate that spreads on new bond issues declined on average by close to 20 percent, or by an average of about 55 basis...

  13. A minimal cost micropropagation protocol for Dianthus caryophyllus L.-- a commercially significant venture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pant, Manu

    2016-03-01

    In tissue culture, high production cost of the products restricts their reach. Though tissue culture is a major strength in floriculture it is marred by pricing issues. Hence, we developed a complete regeneration low cost micropropagation protocol for an economically important floriculture crop, carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L.). Successful regeneration of carnation from nodal explants on cost-efficient medium indicates that psyllium husk, sugar and RO water can effectively replace the conventional medium comprising agar, sucrose and distilled water. The protocol can contribute to increased carnation production at comparatively reduced cost, and there by encourage wide scale adoption by the common growers.

  14. Reducing electrocoagulation harvesting costs for practical microalgal biodiesel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dassey, Adam J; Theegala, Chandra S

    2014-01-01

    Electrocoagulation has shown potential to be a primary microalgae harvesting technique for biodiesel production. However, methods to reduce energy and electrode costs are still necessary for practical application. Electrocoagulation tests were conducted on Nannochloris sp. and Dunaliella sp. using perforated aluminium and iron electrodes under various charge densities. Aluminium electrodes were shown to be more efficient than iron electrodes when harvesting both algal species. Despite the lower harvesting efficiency, however, the iron electrodes were more energy and cost efficient. Operational costs of less than $0.03/L oil were achieved when harvesting Nannochloris sp. with iron electrodes at 35% harvest efficiency, whereas aluminium electrodes cost $0.75/L oil with 42% harvesting efficiency. Increasing the harvesting efficiencies for both aluminium and iron electrodes also increased the overall cost per litre of oil, therefore lower harvesting efficiencies with lower energy inputs was recommended. Also, increasing the culturing salinity to 2 ppt sodium chloride for freshwater Nannochloris sp. was determined practical to improve the electrocoagulation energy efficiency despite a 25% reduction in cell growth.

  15. Cost benchmarking of railway projects in Europe – can it help to reduce costs?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Trabo, Inara; Landex, Alex; Nielsen, Otto Anker

    a certain overview of the range of costs in various budget disciplines. The Copenhagen-Ringsted project is shown to be right in the middle of the range in terms of total costs per kilometre, and its values in the discipline comparisons do not significantly differ from the values of the less expensive...... projects. Deeper analysis of project unit costs is still continuing, but the preliminary results show that the cost values for projects located in the same geographical zone are similar. For example, this can be explained by their use of the same construction companies. However, unit prices in southern...

  16. Costs reduced by innovative plastic distribution pipe use

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maxwell, F.W.

    1995-01-01

    As part of a strategic corporate cost-reduction initiative, Pacific Gas and Electric Company's Gas Distribution Group has achieved some quick but significant cash savings. System design, construction, and the purchasing function were areas that produced some fast paybacks while maintaining reliability and safety. The primary savings were made by optimizing pipe specifications to match system operating parameters. This allowed the use of smaller diameter pipes and/or thinner wall pipes which conserved the materials cost of the pipeline. Other realized savings in the form of coiled pipe, purchasing changes, and backfilling specifications are also described

  17. Healthcare technology: physician collaboration in reducing the surgical cost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Steven A; Obremskey, William T; Bozic, Kevin J

    2013-06-01

    The increasing cost of providing health care is a national concern. Healthcare spending related to providing hospital care is one of the primary drivers of healthcare spending in the United States. Adoption of advanced medical technologies accounts for the largest percentage of growth in healthcare spending in the United States when compared with other developed countries. Within the specialty of orthopaedic surgery, a variety of implants can result in similar outcomes for patients in several areas of clinical care. However, surgeons often do not know the cost of implants used in a specific procedure or how the use of an implant or technology affects the overall cost of the episode of care. The purposes of this study were (1) to describe physician-led processes for introduction of new surgical products and technologies; and (2) to inform physicians of potential cost savings of physician-led product contract negotiations and approval of new technology. We performed a detailed review of the steps taken by two centers that have implemented surgeon-led programs to demonstrate responsibility in technology acquisition and product procurement decision-making. Each program has developed a physician peer review process in technology and new product acquisition that has resulted in a substantial reduction in spending for the respective hospitals in regard to surgical implants. Implant costs have decreased between 3% and 38% using different negotiating strategies. At the same time, new product requests by physicians have been approved in greater than 90% of instances. Hospitals need physicians to be engaged and informed in discussions concerning current and new technology and products. Surgeons can provide leadership for these efforts to reduce the cost of high-quality care.

  18. Does a renewable fuel standard for biofuels reduce climate costs?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Greaker, Mads; Hoel, Michael; Rosendahl, Knut Einar

    2012-07-01

    Recent contributions have questioned whether biofuels policies actually lead to emissions reductions, and thus lower climate costs. In this paper we make two contributions to the literature. First, we study the market effects of a renewable fuel standard. Opposed to most previous studies we model the supply of fossil fuels taking into account that fossil fuels is a non-renewable resource. Second, we model emissions from land use change explicitly when we evaluate the climate effects of the renewable fuel standard. We find that extraction of fossil fuels most likely will decline initially as a consequence of the standard. Thus, if emissions from biofuels are sufficiently low, the standard will have beneficial climate effects. Furthermore, we find that the standard tends to reduce total fuel (i.e., oil plus biofuels) consumption initially. Hence, even if emissions from biofuels are substantial, climate costs may be reduced. Finally, if only a subset of countries introduce a renewable fuel standard, there will be carbon leakage to the rest of the world. However, climate costs may decline as global extraction of fossil fuels is postponed.(Author)

  19. Predictive models reduce talent development costs in female gymnastics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pion, Johan; Hohmann, Andreas; Liu, Tianbiao; Lenoir, Matthieu; Segers, Veerle

    2017-04-01

    This retrospective study focuses on the comparison of different predictive models based on the results of a talent identification test battery for female gymnasts. We studied to what extent these models have the potential to optimise selection procedures, and at the same time reduce talent development costs in female artistic gymnastics. The dropout rate of 243 female elite gymnasts was investigated, 5 years past talent selection, using linear (discriminant analysis) and non-linear predictive models (Kohonen feature maps and multilayer perceptron). The coaches classified 51.9% of the participants correct. Discriminant analysis improved the correct classification to 71.6% while the non-linear technique of Kohonen feature maps reached 73.7% correctness. Application of the multilayer perceptron even classified 79.8% of the gymnasts correctly. The combination of different predictive models for talent selection can avoid deselection of high-potential female gymnasts. The selection procedure based upon the different statistical analyses results in decrease of 33.3% of cost because the pool of selected athletes can be reduced to 92 instead of 138 gymnasts (as selected by the coaches). Reduction of the costs allows the limited resources to be fully invested in the high-potential athletes.

  20. Cost-effectiveness of motivational intervention with significant others for patients with alcohol misuse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepard, Donald S; Lwin, Aung K; Barnett, Nancy P; Mastroleo, Nadine; Colby, Suzanne M; Gwaltney, Chad; Monti, Peter M

    2016-05-01

    To estimate the incremental cost, cost-effectiveness and benefit-cost ratio of incorporating a significant other (SO) into motivational intervention for alcohol misuse. We obtained economic data from the one year with the intervention in full operation for patients in a recent randomized trial. The underlying trial took place at a major urban hospital in the United States. The trial randomized 406 (68.7% male) eligible hazardous drinkers (196 during the economic study) admitted to the emergency department or trauma unit. The motivational interview condition consisted of one in-person session featuring personalized normative feedback. The significant other motivational interview condition comprised one joint session with the participant and SO in which the SO's perspective and support were elicited. We ascertained activities across 445 representative time segments through work sampling (including staff idle time), calculated the incremental cost in per patient of incorporating an SO, expressed the results in 2014 US$, incorporated quality and mortality effects from a closely related trial and derived the cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained. From a health system perspective, the incremental cost per patient of adding an SO was $341.09 [95% confidence interval (CI) = $244.44-437.74]. The incremental cost per year per hazardous drinker averted was $3623 (CI = $1777-22,709), the cost per QALY gained $32,200 (CI = $15,800-201,700), and the benefit-cost ratio was 4.73 (95% CI = 0.7-9.66). If adding an SO into the intervention strategy were concentrated during the hours with highest risk or in a trauma unit, it would become even more cost-beneficial. Using criteria established by the World Health Organization (cost-effectiveness below the country's gross domestic product per capita), incorporating a significant other into a patient's motivational intervention for alcohol misuse is highly cost-effective. © 2015 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  1. Intraoperative costs of video-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy can be dramatically reduced without compromising outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Michael T; Backhus, Leah M; Berry, Mark F; Vail, Daniel G; Ayers, Kelsey C; Benson, Jalen A; Bhandari, Prasha; Teymourtash, Mehran; Shrager, Joseph B

    2018-03-01

    To determine whether surgeon selection of instrumentation and other supplies during video-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy (VATSL) can safely reduce intraoperative costs. In this retrospective, cost-focused review of all video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery anatomic lung resections performed by 2 surgeons at a single institution between 2010 and 2014, we compared VATSL hospital costs and perioperative outcomes between the surgeons, as well as costs of VATSL compared with thoracotomy lobectomy (THORL). A total of 100 VATSLs were performed by surgeon A, and 70 were performed by surgeon B. The preoperative risk factors did not differ significantly between the 2 groups of surgeries. Mean VATSL total hospital costs per case were 24% percent greater for surgeon A compared with surgeon B (P = .0026). Intraoperative supply costs accounted for most of this cost difference and were 85% greater for surgeon A compared with surgeon B (P costs, accounting for 55% of the difference in intraoperative supply costs between the surgeons. Operative time was 25% longer for surgeon A compared with surgeon B (P accounted for only 11% of the difference in total cost. Surgeon A's overall VATSL costs per case were similar to those of THORLs (n = 100) performed over the same time period, whereas surgeon B's VATSL costs per case were 24% less than those of THORLs. On adjusted analysis, there was no difference in VATSL perioperative outcomes between the 2 surgeons. The costs of VATSL differ substantially among surgeons and are heavily influenced by the use of disposable equipment/devices. Surgeons can substantially reduce the costs of VATSL to far lower than those of THORL without compromising surgical outcomes through prudent use of costly instruments and technologies. Copyright © 2017 The American Association for Thoracic Surgery. All rights reserved.

  2. Reducing Wildlife Damage with Cost-Effective Management Programmes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheryl R Krull

    Full Text Available Limiting the impact of wildlife damage in a cost effective manner requires an understanding of how control inputs change the occurrence of damage through their effect on animal density. Despite this, there are few studies linking wildlife management (control, with changes in animal abundance and prevailing levels of wildlife damage. We use the impact and management of wild pigs as a case study to demonstrate this linkage. Ground disturbance by wild pigs has become a conservation issue of global concern because of its potential effects on successional changes in vegetation structure and composition, habitat for other species, and functional soil properties. In this study, we used a 3-year pig control programme (ground hunting undertaken in a temperate rainforest area of northern New Zealand to evaluate effects on pig abundance, and patterns and rates of ground disturbance and ground disturbance recovery and the cost effectiveness of differing control strategies. Control reduced pig densities by over a third of the estimated carrying capacity, but more than halved average prevailing ground disturbance. Rates of new ground disturbance accelerated with increasing pig density, while rates of ground disturbance recovery were not related to prevailing pig density. Stochastic simulation models based on the measured relationships between control, pig density and rate of ground disturbance and recovery indicated that control could reduce ground disturbance substantially. However, the rate at which prevailing ground disturbance was reduced diminished rapidly as more intense, and hence expensive, pig control regimes were simulated. The model produced in this study provides a framework that links conservation of indigenous ecological communities to control inputs through the reduction of wildlife damage and suggests that managers should consider carefully the marginal cost of higher investment in wildlife damage control, relative to its marginal conservation

  3. Lean Six Sigma for reduced cycle costs and improved readiness

    OpenAIRE

    Apte, Uday; Kang, Keebom

    2006-01-01

    Sponsored Report (for Acquisition Research Program) In general, during the lifecycle of a weapon system a significantly larger amount of money gets spent in operating and maintaining the system than acquiring it. Hence, efficient logistics systems, including transportation, inventory management, modifications and maintenance activities, are critically important for containing the lifecycle costs of weapon systems and for maintaining the highest level of military readiness given the extant ...

  4. Early appendectomy reduces costs in children with perforated appendicitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Church, Joseph T; Klein, Edwin J; Carr, Benjamin D; Bruch, Steven W

    2017-12-01

    Perforated appendicitis can be managed with early appendectomy, or nonoperative management followed by interval appendectomy. We aimed to identify the strategy with the lowest health care utilization and cost. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of all children ≤18 years old with perforated appendicitis admitted to a single institution between January 2009 and March 2016. After excluding immunosuppressed patients and transfers from outside hospitals, we grouped the remaining patients by early or interval appendectomy. Cost accounting data were obtained from our institutional database. The primary outcome was total hospital cost over 2 y from initial admission for appendicitis. Other outcomes analyzed included initial admission costs, number of admissions, emergency room and clinic visits, percutaneous procedures, cross-sectional and overall imaging studies, and length of stay. A total of 203 children with perforated appendicitis were identified. After exclusion of immunosuppressed patients and outside hospital transfers, 94 patients were included in the study. Thirty-nine underwent early appendectomy and 55 initial nonoperative management; of these, 54 underwent elective interval appendectomy. Five of 55 patients (9%) failed initial nonoperative management and required earlier-than-planned appendectomy. Total cost over 2 y was significantly lower with early appendectomy than initial nonoperative management ($19,300 ± 14,300 versus $26,000 ± 17,500; P = 0.05). Early appendectomy resulted in fewer hospital admissions, clinic visits, invasive procedures, and imaging studies. Early appendectomy results in lower hospital costs and less health care utilization compared with initial nonoperative management with elective interval appendectomy. A prospective study will shed more light on this question and can assess the role of nonoperative management without interval appendectomy in children with perforated appendicitis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier

  5. Managing concrete bridges: Methods for reducing costs and user inconveniences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Goltermann, Per

    2005-01-01

    The paper presents experiences from modern bridge maintenance management, which has been forced to develop new and cost-efficient approaches in order to cope with the increase in overall deterioration of the aging bridge stock, the growing requirements to accessibility and the decreasing budgets...... situations often postpone or reduce the repair and rehabilitation activities required in critical parts of the structure. The paper will present some cases, where these approaches have been used on existing concrete bridges and explain how these experiences can be applied on other types of structures...

  6. Advanced transfer chute reduces dust at lower cost

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blazek, C. [Benetech Inc. (United States)

    2005-10-01

    Dominion Resources' Kincaid Generating Station in Illinois is recognized as a leader in handling and burning PRB coal. Since being named the Powder Plant of the Year in 2001 and 2004 by the PRB Coal Users' Group, Kincaid has improved its coal handling by installing an InteliFlo controlled-flow transfer chute from Benetech. The InteliFlo design eliminates the need for skirt boards, conveyor discharge hoods, and complex load bed designs, and reduces O & M costs. 4 figs.

  7. REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT AND COST OF PRODUCTION FOR DRYING FRUITS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murad Erol

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available To reduce the production costs for heat used in drying fruit plants was studied using of local biomass from tree branch pruning. The average annual get 3 t / ha biomass whit energy potential of 37 GJ/ha at a cost of up to 60 €/t. biomass at 10 - 50 mm chopped and dried below 20% can be gasefied with TLUD process characterized by high energy conversion efficiency, stability and safety in operation, emissions of CO and PM very low. TLUD process produces on average and 15% biochar that can be used as fuel or as agricultural amendment to increase fertility and for atmospheric carbon sequestration. There have been experiments simulated by model of USCMER 30/60MGB dryer equipped with two thermal modules TLUD FORTE-40 for apple slices drying heat of the apple prinings. Biomass used and biochar resulting chemical and energy were defined as micro-gasification process TLUD. That can dry 205 kg of apple slices in 6 hours with 74 kg of dry biomass to 10% of that remains and 12.2 kg biochar, biochar with or without 52 kg biomass, which costs € 8.55 or € 5.97, ie 4.3 or 6.1 times cheaper than diesel. On dry ton of sliced apple it can produce 59.6 kg biochar with soil seize -174.8 kg. CO2.

  8. Using collaborative work groups to reduce O ampersand M costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Francoeur, R.; Jones, J.N.

    1995-01-01

    Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) entered the nineties burdened with external distractions from its core business of power generation. Its unresolved 1987 rate case continued to face intervention in the courts. Some of its largest industrial and municipal customers were exploring more economical alternatives. The new convention facility in Chicago actually engaged an independent energy supplier. Retail wheeling was the hot topic, and internal problems were present. Operations and Maintenance (O ampersand M) costs were steadily increasing. Two of their six nuclear stations were on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Watch List. Immediate changes had to occur if ComEd was to ensure its future competitiveness. At ComEd Braidwood Nuclear Power Station some untraditional work methodologies were embarked upon to help the parent company reduce its O ampersand M costs. Various types of collaborative work groups were formed, and have succeeded in lowering O ampersand M costs through shorter refueling outages and the use of fewer contracted personnel. These collaborative work groups are listed below and are described in detail in the remainder of this paper: (1) A core group of Maintenance Modification Contractor (MMC) supervision integrated into the Owner's Maintenance Staff, (2) A Corporate Outage Support Group of supervisory personnel which supplements the site's Maintenance Staff, (3) The Integrated Outage and Turbine Overhaul Contractor using a mixture of its own and Maintenance Staff supervisory personnel during outages with the Owner supplementing craft support using a third-party, (4) Six nuclear stations sharing key MMC personnel to insure experienced individuals are used effectively, and (5) Composite teams of maintenance personnel working across defined disciplines Braidwood Station has capitalized on the strategy of positive collaboration to become one of the lowest cost producers of nuclear power. Its use has enabled the Station to successfully complete the

  9. Fixed-point image orthorectification algorithms for reduced computational cost

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Joseph Clinton

    Imaging systems have been applied to many new applications in recent years. With the advent of low-cost, low-power focal planes and more powerful, lower cost computers, remote sensing applications have become more wide spread. Many of these applications require some form of geolocation, especially when relative distances are desired. However, when greater global positional accuracy is needed, orthorectification becomes necessary. Orthorectification is the process of projecting an image onto a Digital Elevation Map (DEM), which removes terrain distortions and corrects the perspective distortion by changing the viewing angle to be perpendicular to the projection plane. Orthorectification is used in disaster tracking, landscape management, wildlife monitoring and many other applications. However, orthorectification is a computationally expensive process due to floating point operations and divisions in the algorithm. To reduce the computational cost of on-board processing, two novel algorithm modifications are proposed. One modification is projection utilizing fixed-point arithmetic. Fixed point arithmetic removes the floating point operations and reduces the processing time by operating only on integers. The second modification is replacement of the division inherent in projection with a multiplication of the inverse. The inverse must operate iteratively. Therefore, the inverse is replaced with a linear approximation. As a result of these modifications, the processing time of projection is reduced by a factor of 1.3x with an average pixel position error of 0.2% of a pixel size for 128-bit integer processing and over 4x with an average pixel position error of less than 13% of a pixel size for a 64-bit integer processing. A secondary inverse function approximation is also developed that replaces the linear approximation with a quadratic. The quadratic approximation produces a more accurate approximation of the inverse, allowing for an integer multiplication calculation

  10. The Significance of Storage in the “Cost of Risk” of Digital Preservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Wright

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 As storage costs drop, storage is becoming the lowest cost in a digital repository – and the biggest risk. We examine current modelling of costs and risks in digital preservation, concentrating on the Total Cost of Risk when using digital storage systems for preserving audiovisual material. We review the vital role of storage and show how planning for long-term preservation of data should consider the risks involved in using digital storage technology. Gaps in information necessary for accurate modelling – and planning – are presented. We call for new functionality to support recovery of files with errors, to eliminate the all-or-nothing approach of current IT systems, which in turn reduces the impact of failures of digital storage technology and mitigates against loss of digital data.

  11. Reducing the energy penalty costs of postcombustion CCS systems with amine-storage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patiño-Echeverri, Dalia; Hoppock, David C

    2012-01-17

    Carbon capture and storage (CCS) can significantly reduce the amount of CO(2) emitted from coal-fired power plants but its operation significantly reduces the plant's net electrical output and decreases profits, especially during times of high electricity prices. An amine-based CCS system can be modified adding amine-storage to allow postponing 92% of all its energy consumption to times of lower electricity prices, and in this way has the potential to effectively reduce the cost of CO(2) capture by reducing the costs of the forgone electricity sales. However adding amine-storage to a CCS system implies a significant capital cost that will be outweighed by the price-arbitrage revenue only if the difference between low and high electricity prices is substantial. In this paper we find a threshold for the variability in electricity prices that make the benefits from electricity price arbitrage outweigh the capital costs of amine-storage. We then look at wholesale electricity markets in the Eastern Interconnect of the United States to determine profitability of amine-storage systems in this region. Using hourly electricity price data from years 2007 and 2008 we find that amine storage may be cost-effective in areas with high price variability.

  12. Optimizing power plant cycling operations while reducing generating plant damage and costs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lefton, S.A.; Besuner, P.H.; Grimsrud, P. [Aptech Engineering Services, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA (United States); Bissel, A. [Electric Supply Board, Dublin (Ireland)

    1998-12-31

    This presentation describes a method for analyzing, quantifying, and minimizing the total cost of fossil, combined cycle, and pumped hydro power plant cycling operation. The method has been developed, refined, and applied during engineering studies at some 160 units in the United States and 8 units at the Irish Electric Supply Board (ESB) generating system. The basic premise of these studies was that utilities are underestimating the cost of cycling operation. The studies showed that the cost of cycling conventional boiler/turbine fossil power plants can range from between $2,500 and $500,000 per start-stop cycle. It was found that utilities typically estimate these costs by factors of 3 to 30 below actual costs and, thus, often significantly underestimate their true cycling costs. Knowledge of the actual, or total, cost of cycling will reduce power production costs by enabling utilities to more accurately dispatch their units to manage unit life expectancies, maintenance strategies and reliability. Utility management responses to these costs are presented and utility cost savings have been demonstrated. (orig.) 7 refs.

  13. Optimizing power plant cycling operations while reducing generating plant damage and costs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lefton, S A; Besuner, P H; Grimsrud, P [Aptech Engineering Services, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA (United States); Bissel, A [Electric Supply Board, Dublin (Ireland)

    1999-12-31

    This presentation describes a method for analyzing, quantifying, and minimizing the total cost of fossil, combined cycle, and pumped hydro power plant cycling operation. The method has been developed, refined, and applied during engineering studies at some 160 units in the United States and 8 units at the Irish Electric Supply Board (ESB) generating system. The basic premise of these studies was that utilities are underestimating the cost of cycling operation. The studies showed that the cost of cycling conventional boiler/turbine fossil power plants can range from between $2,500 and $500,000 per start-stop cycle. It was found that utilities typically estimate these costs by factors of 3 to 30 below actual costs and, thus, often significantly underestimate their true cycling costs. Knowledge of the actual, or total, cost of cycling will reduce power production costs by enabling utilities to more accurately dispatch their units to manage unit life expectancies, maintenance strategies and reliability. Utility management responses to these costs are presented and utility cost savings have been demonstrated. (orig.) 7 refs.

  14. Advanced technology heavy water monitors offering reduced implementation costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalechstein, W.; Hippola, K.B.

    1984-10-01

    The development of second generation heavy water monitors for use at CANDU power stations and heavy water plants has been completed and the instruments brought to the stage of commercial availability. Applications of advanced technology and reduced utilization of custom manufactured components have together resulted in instruments that are less expensive to produce than the original monitors and do not require costly station services. The design has been tested on two prototypes and fully documented, including the inspection and test procedures required for manufacture to the CSA Z299.3 quality verfication program standard. Production of the new monitors by a commercial vendor (Barringer Research Ltd.) has begun and the first instrument is scheduled for delivery to CRNL's NRU reactor in late 1984

  15. Reduced Multivariate Polynomial Model for Manufacturing Costs Estimation of Piping Elements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nibaldo Rodriguez

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper discusses the development and evaluation of an estimation model of manufacturing costs of piping elements through the application of a Reduced Multivariate Polynomial (RMP. The model allows obtaining accurate estimations, even when enough and adequate information is not available. This situation typically occurs in the early stages of the design process of industrial products. The experimental evaluations show that the approach is capable, with a low complexity, of reducing uncertainties and to predict costs with significant precision. Comparisons with a neural network showed also that the RMP performs better considering a set of classical performance measures with the corresponding lower complexity and higher accuracy.

  16. Using performance indicators to reduce cost uncertainty of China's CO2 mitigation goals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu, Yuan

    2013-01-01

    Goals on absolute emissions and intensity play key roles in CO 2 mitigation. However, like cap-and-trade policies with price uncertainty, they suffer from significant uncertainty in abatement costs. This article examines whether an indicator could be established to complement CO 2 mitigation goals and help reduce cost uncertainty with a particular focus on China. Performance indicators on CO 2 emissions per unit of energy consumption could satisfy three criteria: compared with the mitigation goals, (i) they are more closely associated with active mitigation efforts and (ii) their baselines have more stable projections from historical trajectories. (iii) Their abatement costs are generally higher than other mitigation methods, particularly energy efficiency and conservation. Performance indicators could be used in the following way: if a CO 2 goal on absolute emissions or intensity is attained, the performance indicator should still reach a lower threshold as a cost floor. If the goal cannot be attained, an upper performance threshold should be achieved as a cost ceiling. The narrower cost uncertainty may encourage wider and greater mitigation efforts. - Highlights: ► CO 2 emissions per unit of energy consumption could act as performance indicators. ► Performance indicators are more closely related to active mitigation activities. ► Performance indicators have more stable historical trajectories. ► Abatement costs are higher for performance indicators than for other activities. ► Performance thresholds could reduce the cost uncertainty of CO 2 mitigation goals.

  17. Corruption Significantly Increases the Capital Cost of Power Plants in Developing Contexts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumar Biswajit Debnath

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Emerging economies with rapidly growing population and energy demand, own some of the most expensive power plants in the world. We hypothesized that corruption has a relationship with the capital cost of power plants in developing countries such as Bangladesh. For this study, we analyzed the capital cost of 61 operational and planned power plants in Bangladesh. Initial comparison study revealed that the mean capital cost of a power plant in Bangladesh is twice than that of the global average. Then, the statistical analysis revealed a significant correlation between corruption and the cost of power plants, indicating that higher corruption leads to greater capital cost. The high up-front cost can be a significant burden on the economy, at present and in the future, as most are financed through international loans with extended repayment terms. There is, therefore, an urgent need for the review of the procurement and due diligence process of establishing power plants, and for the implementation of a more transparent system to mitigate adverse effects of corruption on megaprojects.

  18. Reducing the length of postnatal hospital stay: implications for cost and quality of care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, John; Cheyne, Helen

    2016-01-15

    UK health services are under pressure to make cost savings while maintaining quality of care. Typically reducing the length of time patients stay in hospital and increasing bed occupancy are advocated to achieve service efficiency. Around 800,000 women give birth in the UK each year making maternity care a high volume, high cost service. Although average length of stay on the postnatal ward has fallen substantially over the years there is pressure to make still further reductions. This paper explores and discusses the possible cost savings of further reductions in length of stay, the consequences for postnatal services in the community, and the impact on quality of care. We draw on a range of pre-existing data sources including, national level routinely collected data, workforce planning data and data from national surveys of women's experience. Simulation and a financial model were used to estimate excess demand, work intensity and bed occupancy to explore the quantitative, organisational consequences of reducing the length of stay. These data are discussed in relation to findings of national surveys to draw inferences about potential impacts on cost and quality of care. Reducing the length of time women spend in hospital after birth implies that staff and bed numbers can be reduced. However, the cost savings may be reduced if quality and access to services are maintained. Admission and discharge procedures are relatively fixed and involve high cost, trained staff time. Furthermore, it is important to retain a sufficient bed contingency capacity to ensure a reasonable level of service. If quality of care is maintained, staffing and bed capacity cannot be simply reduced proportionately: reducing average length of stay on a typical postnatal ward by six hours or 17% would reduce costs by just 8%. This might still be a significant saving over a high volume service however, earlier discharge results in more women and babies with significant care needs at home. Quality

  19. Ventilation cost impact of reduced radon-daughter working levels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bates, R.C.

    1981-01-01

    Published information on costs of radon-daughter control in uranium mines was analyzed to develop estimates of the cost per ton for any level of radiation exposure control. All data were converted to 1967 cost of living index to provide a common analysis base. Results of the analysis show that the cost per ton increases exponentially as the radiation level is lowered. A linear relationship with the cost of living index is assumed, and equations and graphs are provided to estimate control cost per ton for any exposure control level and cost of living index

  20. Misinterpretation of the strategic significance of cost driver analysis: evidence from management accounting theory and practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henry T Palowski

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper traces the development of cost driver theory in the Strategy literature and reflects on misinterpretations of the strategic significance of the theory in related academic disciplines, notably Management Accounting. Management Accounting has largely been responsible for informing costing practice in a wide range of organizational settings. The paper considers one such application- i.e. the case of the Higher Education Funding Council’s (HEFC costing and pricing initiative for UK universities. The project was completed just under five years ago, although details of implementation are still ongoing, to a degree. The systems in place incorporate most of the theoretical flaws outlined in this paper. Rather than providing cost driver analysis to aid the strategic management process in universities, the system appears to represent little more than a compliance and reporting framework between university central administrations and the funding provider, HEFC.

  1. Cyclosporine/ketoconazole reduces treatment costs for nephrotic syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Iyengar

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Cyclosporine A (CyA is an effective agent for the treatment of glucocorticoid-dependent idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (GCDNS, but costs are prohibitive in resource-poor societies. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the efficacy and safety of reducing the dose of CyA by co-administering ketoconazole. A prospective study targeting children 2-18 years of age with GCDNS in remission with CyA monotherapy was conducted. CyA dose was reduced by 50% and ketoconazole was added at 25% of the recommended therapeutic dose, and the drug levels and therapeutic and adverse effects (AE were monitored. Continued combined therapy after completion of the 4-week trial period was offered. Ten patients (median age 9.5 years, range 3.0-16.0 years were enrolled in the study. At week 4, the CyA dose was 2.2 ± 0.7 mg/kg/day compared with 5.6 ± 0.9 mg/kg/day at enrolment ( P 50% without increased adverse events or drug monitoring needs. This intervention demonstrates how access of patients with limited resources to needed drugs can be improved by interference with physiological drug elimination.

  2. The costs, benefits, and cost-effectiveness of interventions to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality in Mexico.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delphine Hu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In Mexico, the lifetime risk of dying from maternal causes is 1 in 370 compared to 1 in 2,500 in the U.S. Although national efforts have been made to improve maternal services in the last decade, it is unclear if Millennium Development Goal 5--to reduce maternal mortality by three-quarters by 2015--will be met. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We developed an empirically calibrated model that simulates the natural history of pregnancy and pregnancy-related complications in a cohort of 15-year-old women followed over their lifetime. After synthesizing national and sub-national trends in maternal mortality, the model was calibrated to current intervention-specific coverage levels and validated by comparing model-projected life expectancy, total fertility rate, crude birth rate and maternal mortality ratio with Mexico-specific data. Using both published and primary data, we assessed the comparative health and economic outcomes of alternative strategies to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality. A dual approach that increased coverage of family planning by 15%, and assured access to safe abortion for all women desiring elective termination of pregnancy, reduced mortality by 43% and was cost saving compared to current practice. The most effective strategy added a third component, enhanced access to comprehensive emergency obstetric care for at least 90% of women requiring referral. At a national level, this strategy reduced mortality by 75%, cost less than current practice, and had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $300 per DALY relative to the next best strategy. Analyses conducted at the state level yielded similar results. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Increasing the provision of family planning and assuring access to safe abortion are feasible, complementary and cost-effective strategies that would provide the greatest benefit within a short-time frame. Incremental improvements in access to high-quality intrapartum and emergency

  3. A Simple Exoskeleton That Assists Plantarflexion Can Reduce the Metabolic Cost of Human Walking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malcolm, Philippe; Derave, Wim; Galle, Samuel; De Clercq, Dirk

    2013-01-01

    Background Even though walking can be sustained for great distances, considerable energy is required for plantarflexion around the instant of opposite leg heel contact. Different groups attempted to reduce metabolic cost with exoskeletons but none could achieve a reduction beyond the level of walking without exoskeleton, possibly because there is no consensus on the optimal actuation timing. The main research question of our study was whether it is possible to obtain a higher reduction in metabolic cost by tuning the actuation timing. Methodology/Principal Findings We measured metabolic cost by means of respiratory gas analysis. Test subjects walked with a simple pneumatic exoskeleton that assists plantarflexion with different actuation timings. We found that the exoskeleton can reduce metabolic cost by 0.18±0.06 W kg−1 or 6±2% (standard error of the mean) (p = 0.019) below the cost of walking without exoskeleton if actuation starts just before opposite leg heel contact. Conclusions/Significance The optimum timing that we found concurs with the prediction from a mathematical model of walking. While the present exoskeleton was not ambulant, measurements of joint kinetics reveal that the required power could be recycled from knee extension deceleration work that occurs naturally during walking. This demonstrates that it is theoretically possible to build future ambulant exoskeletons that reduce metabolic cost, without power supply restrictions. PMID:23418524

  4. Cost Minimization Analysis of Different Strategies of Management of Clinically Significant Scorpion Envenomation Among Pediatric Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinha, Madhumita; Quan, Dan; McDonald, Fred W; Valdez, André

    2016-12-01

    Scorpion antivenom was recently approved for use in patients with clinically significant scorpion envenomation in the United States; no formal economic analysis on its impact on cost of management has been performed. Three different strategies of management of scorpion envenomation with systemic neurotoxic symptoms in children were compared for cost minimization from a societal perspective. In strategy I, patients were managed with supportive care only without antivenom. In strategy II, an aggressive strategy of full-dose antivenom (initial dose of 3 vials with the use of additional vials administered 1 vial at a time) was considered. In strategy III, a single-vial serial antivenom dosing strategy titrated to clinical response was considered. Clinical probabilities for the different strategies were obtained from retrospective review of medical records of patients with scorpion envenomation over a 10-year period at our institution. Baseline cost values were obtained from patient reimbursement data from our institution. In baseline analysis, strategy I of supportive care only with no antivenom was least costly at US $3466.50/patient. Strategy III of single-vial serial dosing was intermediate but less expensive than strategy II of full-dose antivenom, with an incremental cost of US $3171.08 per patient. In a 1-way sensitivity analysis, at a threshold antivenom cost of US $1577.87, strategy III of single-vial serial dosing became the least costly strategy. For children with scorpion envenomation, use of a management strategy based on serial dosing of antivenom titrated to clinical response is less costly than a strategy of initial use of full-dose antivenom.

  5. Making renewable energy competitive in India: Reducing financing costs via a government-sponsored hedging facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Farooquee, Arsalan Ali; Shrimali, Gireesh

    2016-01-01

    In India, a significant barrier to market-competitiveness of renewable energy is a shortage of attractive debt. Domestic debt has high cost, short tenors, and variable interest rates, adding 30% to the cost of renewable energy compared to renewable energy projects elsewhere. Foreign debt is as expensive as domestic debt because it requires costly market-based currency hedging solutions. We investigate a government-sponsored foreign exchange facility as an alternative to reducing hedging costs. Using the geometric Brownian motion (GBM) as a representative stochastic model of the INR–USD foreign exchange rate, we find that the expected cost of providing a currency hedge via this facility is 3.5 percentage points, 50% lower than market. This leads to an up to 9% reduction in the per unit cost of renewable energy. However, this requires the government to manage the risks related to unexpected currency movements appropriately. One option to manage these risks is via a capital buffer; for the facility to obtain India's sovereign rating, the capital buffer would need to be almost 30% of the underlying loan. Our findings have significant policy implications given that the Indian government can use this facility to make renewable energy more competitive and, therefore, hasten its deployment. - Highlights: • We analyze a government-sponsored foreign exchange facility in India. •We use geometric Brownian motion to represent the INR–USD exchange rate. •This facility can reduce the currency hedging costs by 50%. •This facility can reduce the levelized cost of renewable energy by 9%. •The capital buffer to reach India's sovereign rating is 30% of the original loan.

  6. Contracting and project strategy to reduce the costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moum, I.O.; Mosbergvik, O.A.

    1995-01-01

    The Norwegian oil industry has developed and grown to a significant size from the 1970's through the 80's, and numerous large fields were developed under a business environment with high oil prices. The technological challenges were significant, but the expectation of high volumes of produced oil and increasing oil prices, secured the funding for development of these large fields. Today this situation is dramatically changed, and the low oil price alone would make it uneconomic to develop the new fields. In addition to low oil prices, people are now also facing smaller reservoirs, deeper water and more sever environmental conditions. The general competitiveness of the Norwegian Continental Shelf is challenged. Many initiatives have been launched in Norway to support the necessary improvements in business performance. The Norwegian oil and gas industry together with the authorities have through 1994 worked together in the NORSOK initiative to identify means to save 40--50% in cost and time for development of new fields. The industry has developed new technology. The authorities have been addressing the fiscal conditions and general framework for the oil companies, and several areas of improvement have been identified and to some degree implemented by the operators. The most important improvements are probably those that are directly implemented in actual development projects, and Statoil/Kvaerner have together some joint experiences that can illustrate how such ideas successfully can be implemented

  7. Sodium-Reduced Meat and Poultry Products Contain a Significant Amount of Potassium from Food Additives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parpia, Arti Sharma; Goldstein, Marc B; Arcand, JoAnne; Cho, France; L'Abbé, Mary R; Darling, Pauline B

    2018-05-01

    counterparts (mean difference [95% CI]: 486 [334-638]; Padditives appearing on the product label ingredient list, did not significantly differ between the two groups. Potassium additives are frequently added to sodium-reduced MPPs in amounts that significantly contribute to the potassium load for patients with impaired renal handling of potassium caused by chronic kidney disease and certain medications. Patients requiring potassium restriction should be counseled to be cautious regarding the potassium content of sodium-reduced MPPs and encouraged to make food choices accordingly. Copyright © 2018 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Environmental tipping points significantly affect the cost-benefit assessment of climate policies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Yongyang; Judd, Kenneth L; Lenton, Timothy M; Lontzek, Thomas S; Narita, Daiju

    2015-04-14

    Most current cost-benefit analyses of climate change policies suggest an optimal global climate policy that is significantly less stringent than the level required to meet the internationally agreed 2 °C target. This is partly because the sum of estimated economic damage of climate change across various sectors, such as energy use and changes in agricultural production, results in only a small economic loss or even a small economic gain in the gross world product under predicted levels of climate change. However, those cost-benefit analyses rarely take account of environmental tipping points leading to abrupt and irreversible impacts on market and nonmarket goods and services, including those provided by the climate and by ecosystems. Here we show that including environmental tipping point impacts in a stochastic dynamic integrated assessment model profoundly alters cost-benefit assessment of global climate policy. The risk of a tipping point, even if it only has nonmarket impacts, could substantially increase the present optimal carbon tax. For example, a risk of only 5% loss in nonmarket goods that occurs with a 5% annual probability at 4 °C increase of the global surface temperature causes an immediate two-thirds increase in optimal carbon tax. If the tipping point also has a 5% impact on market goods, the optimal carbon tax increases by more than a factor of 3. Hence existing cost-benefit assessments of global climate policy may be significantly underestimating the needs for controlling climate change.

  9. Increasing Air Compressor Productivity While Reducing Maintenance and Repair Costs

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Foss, R. S

    1993-01-01

    .... When this vital utility is put into this perspective we can start to deal with the considerations of systems engineering, planning, performance evaluation, cost control and preventive maintenance...

  10. Lean Six Sigma for Reduced Cycle Costs and Improved Readiness

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Apte, Uday; Kang, Keebom

    2006-01-01

    ... it. Hence, efficient logistics systems, including transportation, inventory management, modifications and maintenance activities, are critically important for containing the lifecycle costs of weapon...

  11. A cost-reducing extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) program model: a single institution experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavarocchi, N C; Wallace, S; Hong, E Y; Tropea, A; Byrne, J; Pitcher, H T; Hirose, H

    2015-03-01

    The worldwide demand for ECMO support has grown. Its provision remains limited due to several factors (high cost, complicated technology, lack of expertise) that increase healthcare cost. Our goal was to assess if an intensive care unit (ICU)-run ECMO model without continuous bedside perfusionists would decrease costs while maintaining patient safety and outcomes. A new ECMO program was implemented in 2010, consisting of dedicated ICU multidisciplinary providers (ICU-registered nurses, mid-level providers and intensivists). In year one, we introduced an education platform, new technology and dedicated space. In year two, continuous bedside monitoring by perfusionists was removed and new management algorithms designating multidisciplinary providers as first responders were established. The patient safety and cost benefit from the removal of the continuous bedside monitoring of the perfusionists of this new ECMO program was retrospectively reviewed and compared. During the study period, 74 patients (28 patients in year 1 and 46 patients in year 2) were placed on ECMO (mean days: 8 ± 5.7). The total annual hospital expenditure for the ECMO program was significantly reduced in the new model ($234,000 in year 2 vs. $600,264 in year 1), showing a 61% decrease in cost. This cost decrease was attributed to a decreased utilization of perfusion services and the introduction of longer lasting and more efficient ECMO technology. We did not find any significant changes in registered nurse ratios or any differences in outcomes related to ICU safety events. We demonstrated that the ICU-run ECMO model managed to lower hospital cost by reducing the cost of continuous bedside perfusion support without a change in outcomes. © The Author(s) 2014.

  12. Optimum value engineering and integrated design methods for reducing the cost of R-2000 houses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Proskiw, G. [Proskiw Engineering Ltd., Winnipeg, MB (Canada); Parekh, A. [Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    Opportunities exist to reduce the incremental cost of R-2000 construction by using optimum value engineering (OVE) and integrated design (ID) techniques. OVE is a construction philosophy in which components and systems are designed to meet their intended purposes without excessive or unnecessary use of resources. This paper summarized a study that was designed to identify opportunities for reducing the costs of R-2000 houses while improving their performance. These included detailed energy and cost analysis of various OVE/ID options which were then applied to a sample of 18 representative new home designs from British Columbia, Manitoba, and New Brunswick. The paper described the OVE/ID measures studied, cost analysis, measure utilization and energy analysis. It also included a detailed discussion of individual OVE/ID measures. Examples of some of these measures were the elimination of floor system cross-bridging; support of non-load bearing partition walls; engineered wood beams; drywall clips at corners; and non-load bearing partition walls. It was concluded that significant opportunities exist to reduce the incremental cost of R-2000 houses through careful application of OVE and ID practices. 5 refs., 4 tabs., 1 fig.

  13. A cost sensitive inpatient bed reservation approach to reduce emergency department boarding times.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Shanshan; Chinnam, Ratna Babu; Murat, Alper; Batarse, Bassam; Neemuchwala, Hakimuddin; Jordan, Will

    2015-03-01

    Emergency departments (ED) in hospitals are experiencing severe crowding and prolonged patient waiting times. A significant contributing factor is boarding delays where admitted patients are held in ED (occupying critical resources) until an inpatient bed is identified and readied in the admit wards. Recent research has suggested that if the hospital admissions of ED patients can be predicted during triage or soon after, then bed requests and preparations can be triggered early on to reduce patient boarding time. We propose a cost sensitive bed reservation policy that recommends optimal bed reservation times for patients. The policy relies on a classifier that estimates the probability that the ED patient will be admitted using the patient information collected and readily available at triage or right after. The policy is cost sensitive in that it accounts for costs associated with patient admission prediction misclassification as well as costs associated with incorrectly selecting the reservation time. Results from testing the proposed bed reservation policy using data from a VA Medical Center are very promising and suggest significant cost saving opportunities and reduced patient boarding times.

  14. Reducing the Requirements and Cost of Astronomical Telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, W. Scott; Whitakter, Ann F. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Limits on astronomical telescope apertures are being rapidly approached. These limits result from logistics, increasing complexity, and finally budgetary constraints. In an historical perspective, great strides have been made in the area of aperture, adaptive optics, wavefront sensors, detectors, stellar interferometers and image reconstruction. What will be the next advances? Emerging data analysis techniques based on communication theory holds the promise of yielding more information from observational data based on significant computer post-processing. This paper explores some of the current telescope limitations and ponders the possibilities increasing the yield of scientific data based on the migration computer post-processing techniques to higher dimensions. Some of these processes hold the promise of reducing the requirements on the basic telescope hardware making the next generation of instruments more affordable.

  15. The role of information technology (IT) in reducing offshore operating costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stern, M.J.

    1993-01-01

    The rapid changes in information technology (IT) and its application have helped to improve efficiency and reduce operating costs offshore. Developments in IT itself, in terms of technology, organization and standards together with cultural change have created new opportunities. In the application of IT, the most significant impact on operations costs and effectiveness has come from the use of information throughout the life cycle, and improved telecommunications. This paper describes recent developments in IT and its application, and cites examples where oil companies have derived major benefits

  16. Soil Segregation Methods for Reducing Transportation and Disposal Costs - 13544

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frothingham, David; Andrews, Shawn; Barker, Michelle; Boyle, James; Buechi, Stephen; Graham, Marc; Houston, Linda; Polek, Michael; Simmington, Robert; Spector, Harold [U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District, 1776 Niagara St., Buffalo, NY 14207 (United States); Elliott, Robert ' Dan' [U.S. Army Reserve, 812A Franklin St.,Worcester, MA 01604 (United States); Durham, Lisa [Argonne National Laboratory, Environmental Science Division, 9700 S. Cass Ave., Argonne, IL 60439 (United States)

    2013-07-01

    At Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) sites where the selected alternative for contaminated soil is excavation and off-site disposal, the most significant budget items of the remedial action are the costs for transportation and disposal of soil at an off-site facility. At these sites, the objective is to excavate and dispose of only those soils that exceed derived concentration guideline levels. In situ soil segregation using gross gamma detectors to guide the excavation is often challenging at sites where the soil contamination is overlain by clean soil or where the contaminated soil is located in isolated, subsurface pockets. In addition, data gaps are often identified during the alternative evaluation and selection process, resulting in increased uncertainty in the extent of subsurface contamination. In response, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District is implementing ex situ soil segregation methods. At the remediated Painesville Site, soils were excavated and fed through a conveyor-belt system, which automatically segregated them into above- and below-cleanup criteria discharge piles utilizing gamma spectroscopy. At the Linde Site and the Shallow Land Disposal Area (SLDA) Site, which are both in the remediation phase, soils are initially segregated during the excavation process using gross gamma detectors and then transported to a pad for confirmatory manual surveying and sampling. At the Linde Site, the ex situ soils are analyzed on the basis of a site-specific method, to establish compliance with beneficial reuse criteria that were developed for the Linde remediation. At the SLDA Site, the ex situ soils are surveyed and sampled based on Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual (MARSSIM) final status survey guidance to demonstrate compliance with the derived concentration guideline levels. At all three sites, the ex situ soils that meet the site- specific DCGLs are retained on-site and used as backfill

  17. Soil Segregation Methods for Reducing Transportation and Disposal Costs - 13544

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frothingham, David; Andrews, Shawn; Barker, Michelle; Boyle, James; Buechi, Stephen; Graham, Marc; Houston, Linda; Polek, Michael; Simmington, Robert; Spector, Harold; Elliott, Robert 'Dan'; Durham, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    At Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) sites where the selected alternative for contaminated soil is excavation and off-site disposal, the most significant budget items of the remedial action are the costs for transportation and disposal of soil at an off-site facility. At these sites, the objective is to excavate and dispose of only those soils that exceed derived concentration guideline levels. In situ soil segregation using gross gamma detectors to guide the excavation is often challenging at sites where the soil contamination is overlain by clean soil or where the contaminated soil is located in isolated, subsurface pockets. In addition, data gaps are often identified during the alternative evaluation and selection process, resulting in increased uncertainty in the extent of subsurface contamination. In response, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District is implementing ex situ soil segregation methods. At the remediated Painesville Site, soils were excavated and fed through a conveyor-belt system, which automatically segregated them into above- and below-cleanup criteria discharge piles utilizing gamma spectroscopy. At the Linde Site and the Shallow Land Disposal Area (SLDA) Site, which are both in the remediation phase, soils are initially segregated during the excavation process using gross gamma detectors and then transported to a pad for confirmatory manual surveying and sampling. At the Linde Site, the ex situ soils are analyzed on the basis of a site-specific method, to establish compliance with beneficial reuse criteria that were developed for the Linde remediation. At the SLDA Site, the ex situ soils are surveyed and sampled based on Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual (MARSSIM) final status survey guidance to demonstrate compliance with the derived concentration guideline levels. At all three sites, the ex situ soils that meet the site- specific DCGLs are retained on-site and used as backfill

  18. Reducing costs while maintaining quality in endovascular neurosurgical procedures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kashlan, Osama N; Wilson, Thomas J; Chaudhary, Neeraj; Gemmete, Joseph J; Stetler, William R; Dunnick, N Reed; Thompson, B Gregory; Pandey, Aditya S

    2014-11-01

    As medical costs continue to rise during a time of increasing medical resource utilization, both hospitals and physicians must attempt to limit superfluous health care expenses. Neurointerventional treatment has been shown to be costly, but it is often the best treatment available for certain neuropathologies. The authors studied the effects of 3 policy changes designed to limit the costs of performing neurointerventional procedures at the University of Michigan. The authors retrospectively analyzed the costs of performing neurointerventional procedures during the 6-month periods before and after the implementation of 3 cost-saving policies: 1) the use of an alternative, more economical contrast agent, 2) standardization of coil prices through negotiation with industry representatives to receive economies of scale, and 3) institution of a feedback method to show practitioners the costs of unused products per patient procedure. The costs during the 6-month time intervals before and after implementation were also compared with costs during the most recent 6-month time period. The policy requiring use of a more economical contrast agent led to a decrease in the cost of contrast usage of $42.79 per procedure for the first 6 months after implementation, and $137.09 per procedure for the most current 6-month period, resulting in an estimated total savings of $62,924.31 for the most recent 6-month period. The standardized coil pricing system led to savings of $159.21 per coil after the policy change, and $188.07 per coil in the most recent 6-month period. This yielded total estimated savings of $76,732.56 during the most recent 6-month period. The feedback system for unused items decreased the cost of wasted products by approximately $44.36 per procedure in the 6 months directly after the policy change and by $48.20 per procedure in the most recent 6-month period, leading to total estimated savings of $22,123.80 during the most recent 6-month period. According to

  19. An assessment of monitoring requirements and costs of 'Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation'

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McCallum Ian

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Negotiations on a future climate policy framework addressing Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD are ongoing. Regardless of how such a framework will be designed, many technical solutions of estimating forest cover and forest carbon stock change exist to support policy in monitoring and accounting. These technologies typically combine remotely sensed data with ground-based inventories. In this article we assess the costs of monitoring REDD based on available technologies and requirements associated with key elements of REDD policy. Results We find that the design of a REDD policy framework (and specifically its rules can have a significant impact on monitoring costs. Costs may vary from 0.5 to 550 US$ per square kilometre depending on the required precision of carbon stock and area change detection. Moreover, they follow economies of scale, i.e. single country or project solutions will face relatively higher monitoring costs. Conclusion Although monitoring costs are relatively small compared to other cost items within a REDD system, they should be shared not only among countries but also among sectors, because an integrated monitoring system would have multiple benefits for non-REDD management. Overcoming initialization costs and unequal access to monitoring technologies is crucial for implementation of an integrated monitoring system, and demands for international cooperation.

  20. A pilot weight reduction program over one year significantly reduced DNA strand breaks in obese subjects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karl-Heinz Wagner

    2015-05-01

    Conclusion: A sustainable lifestyle change under supervision including physical activity and diet quality over a period of one year was not only responsible to reduce body weight and BMI but also led to significant reduction in all parameters of the comet assay. These results underline the importance of body weight reduction and highlight the positive changes in DNA stability.

  1. Cost-effectiveness of newborn circumcision in reducing lifetime HIV risk among U.S. males.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie L Sansom

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: HIV incidence was substantially lower among circumcised versus uncircumcised heterosexual African men in three clinical trials. Based on those findings, we modeled the potential effect of newborn male circumcision on a U.S. male's lifetime risk of HIV, including associated costs and quality-adjusted life-years saved. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Given published estimates of U.S. males' lifetime HIV risk, we calculated the fraction of lifetime risk attributable to heterosexual behavior from 2005-2006 HIV surveillance data. We assumed 60% efficacy of circumcision in reducing heterosexually-acquired HIV over a lifetime, and varied efficacy in sensitivity analyses. We calculated differences in lifetime HIV risk, expected HIV treatment costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs among circumcised versus uncircumcised males. The main outcome measure was cost per HIV-related QALY saved. Circumcision reduced the lifetime HIV risk among all males by 15.7% in the base case analysis, ranging from 7.9% for white males to 20.9% for black males. Newborn circumcision was a cost-saving HIV prevention intervention for all, black and Hispanic males. The net cost of newborn circumcision per QALY saved was $87,792 for white males. Results were most sensitive to the discount rate, and circumcision efficacy and cost. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Newborn circumcision resulted in lower expected HIV-related treatment costs and a slight increase in QALYs. It reduced the 1.87% lifetime risk of HIV among all males by about 16%. The effect varied substantially by race and ethnicity. Racial and ethnic groups who could benefit the most from circumcision may have least access to it due to insurance coverage and state Medicaid policies, and these financial barriers should be addressed. More data on the long-term protective effect of circumcision on heterosexual males as well as on its efficacy in preventing HIV among MSM would be useful.

  2. Fitness costs of animal medication: antiparasitic plant chemicals reduce fitness of monarch butterfly hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Leiling; Hoang, Kevin M; Hunter, Mark D; de Roode, Jacobus C

    2016-09-01

    The emerging field of ecological immunology demonstrates that allocation by hosts to immune defence against parasites is constrained by the costs of those defences. However, the costs of non-immunological defences, which are important alternatives to canonical immune systems, are less well characterized. Estimating such costs is essential for our understanding of the ecology and evolution of alternative host defence strategies. Many animals have evolved medication behaviours, whereby they use antiparasitic compounds from their environment to protect themselves or their kin from parasitism. Documenting the costs of medication behaviours is complicated by natural variation in the medicinal components of diets and their covariance with other dietary components, such as macronutrients. In the current study, we explore the costs of the usage of antiparasitic compounds in monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus), using natural variation in concentrations of antiparasitic compounds among plants. Upon infection by their specialist protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, monarch butterflies can selectively oviposit on milkweed with high foliar concentrations of cardenolides, secondary chemicals that reduce parasite growth. Here, we show that these antiparasitic cardenolides can also impose significant costs on both uninfected and infected butterflies. Among eight milkweed species that vary substantially in their foliar cardenolide concentration and composition, we observed the opposing effects of cardenolides on monarch fitness traits. While high foliar cardenolide concentrations increased the tolerance of monarch butterflies to infection, they reduced the survival rate of caterpillars to adulthood. Additionally, although non-polar cardenolide compounds decreased the spore load of infected butterflies, they also reduced the life span of uninfected butterflies, resulting in a hump-shaped curve between cardenolide non-polarity and the life span of infected butterflies

  3. Sound stabilizes locomotor-respiratory coupling and reduces energy cost.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles P Hoffmann

    Full Text Available A natural synchronization between locomotor and respiratory systems is known to exist for various species and various forms of locomotion. This Locomotor-Respiratory Coupling (LRC is fundamental for the energy transfer between the two subsystems during long duration exercise and originates from mechanical and neurological interactions. Different methodologies have been used to compute LRC, giving rise to various and often diverging results in terms of synchronization, (de-stabilization via information, and associated energy cost. In this article, the theory of nonlinear-coupled oscillators was adopted to characterize LRC, through the model of the sine circle map, and tested it in the context of cycling. Our specific focus was the sound-induced stabilization of LRC and its associated change in energy consumption. In our experimental study, participants were instructed during a cycling exercise to synchronize either their respiration or their pedaling rate with an external auditory stimulus whose rhythm corresponded to their individual preferential breathing or cycling frequencies. Results showed a significant reduction in energy expenditure with auditory stimulation, accompanied by a stabilization of LRC. The sound-induced effect was asymmetrical, with a better stabilizing influence of the metronome on the locomotor system than on the respiratory system. A modification of the respiratory frequency was indeed observed when participants cycled in synchrony with the tone, leading to a transition toward more stable frequency ratios as predicted by the sine circle map. In addition to the classical mechanical and neurological origins of LRC, here we demonstrated using the sine circle map model that information plays an important modulatory role of the synchronization, and has global energetic consequences.

  4. Reducing Operating Costs by Optimizing Space in Facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-01

    Design: Mapping the High Performance Workscape. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco. Berkman, Elliot. (2012). A Conceptual Guide to Statistics using SPSS. Sage ...Cleaning: Includes labor costs for in-house and contract service, payroll , taxes and fringe benefits, plus salaried supervisors and managers, as well as...Labor costs include payroll , taxes and fringe benefits for employees and contracted workers. Personnel include operating engineers, general

  5. Reducing Inventory System Costs by Using Robust Demand Estimators

    OpenAIRE

    Raymond A. Jacobs; Harvey M. Wagner

    1989-01-01

    Applications of inventory theory typically use historical data to estimate demand distribution parameters. Imprecise knowledge of the demand distribution adds to the usual replenishment costs associated with stochastic demands. Only limited research has been directed at the problem of choosing cost effective statistical procedures for estimating these parameters. Available theoretical findings on estimating the demand parameters for (s, S) inventory replenishment policies are limited by their...

  6. The significance of reduced respiratory chain enzyme activities: clinical, biochemical and radiological associations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mordekar, S R; Guthrie, P; Bonham, J R; Olpin, S E; Hargreaves, I; Baxter, P S

    2006-03-01

    Mitochondrial diseases are an important group of neurometabolic disorders in children with varied clinical presentations and diagnosis that can be difficult to confirm. To report the significance of reduced respiratory chain enzyme (RCE) activity in muscle biopsy samples from children. Retrospective odds ratio was used to compare clinical and biochemical features, DNA studies, neuroimaging, and muscle biopsies in 18 children with and 48 without reduced RCE activity. Children with reduced RCE activity were significantly more likely to have consanguineous parents, to present with acute encephalopathy and lactic acidaemia and/or within the first year of life; to have an axonal neuropathy, CSF lactate >4 mmol/l; and/or to have signal change in the basal ganglia. There were positive associations with a maternal family history of possible mitochondrial cytopathy; a presentation with failure to thrive and lactic acidaemia, ragged red fibres, reduced fibroblast fatty acid oxidation and with an abnormal allopurinol loading test. There was no association with ophthalmic abnormalities, deafness, epilepsy or myopathy. The association of these clinical, biochemical and radiological features with reduced RCE activity suggests a possible causative link.

  7. IFMIF (International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility) conceptual design activity reduced cost report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2000-02-01

    This report describes the results of a preliminary reevaluation of the design and cost of the International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility (IFMIF) Project in response to the request from the 28th FPCC meeting in January 1999. Two major ideas have been considered: 1) reduction of the total construction cost through elimination of the previously planned facility upgrade and 2) a facility deployment in 3 stages with capabilities for limited experiments in the first stage. As a result, the size and complexity of the facility could be significantly reduced, leading to substantial cost savings. In addition to these two ideas, this study also included a critical review of the original CDA specification with the objective of elimination of nonessential items. For example, the number of lithium targets was reduced from two to one. As a result of these changes in addition to the elimination of the upgrade, the total cost estimate was very substantially reduced from 797.2 MICF to 487.8 MICF, where 1 MICF = 1 Million of the IFMIF Conversion Units (approximately $1M US January, 1996). (author)

  8. Case drilling - an innovative approach to reducing drilling costs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Madell, G.; Tessari, R. M. [Tesco Corp., Calgary, AB (Canada); Warren, T. [Tesco Drilling Technology, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    1999-11-01

    Casing drilling is introduced as a new drilling technique that uses standard oil field casing to simultaneously drill and case the well. The technology includes both rig and downhole equipment, customized to function effectively as an integrated drilling system. This paper describes the testing program designed to identify and overcome technical challenges. Although not fully optimized, it appears that the system is functional. Test results indicate the need for improvements in the pump down cement float equipment and the tools and procedures for drilling up the cement plugs. The pump down latch and retrieval system also needs to be further developed and tested for high angle directional applications. Cost savings in the range of 10 to 15 per cent are expected for trouble-free wells. By eliminating the cost of unscheduled events encountered in troublesome wells, cost savings may reach as high as 30 per cent. 3 refs., 7 figs.

  9. Reducing carbon transaction costs in community based forest management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Skutsch, Margaret

    The paper considers the potential for community based forest management (of existing forests) in developing countries, as a future CDM strategy, to sequester carbon and claim credits in future commitment periods. This kind of forestry is cost effective, and should bring many more benefits to local

  10. Management Science/Industrial Engineering Techniques to Reduce Food Costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenberg, Murray

    This paper examines the contributions of Industrial Engineering and Management Science toward reduction in the cost of production and distribution of food. Food processing firms were requested to respond to a questionnaire which asked for examples of their use of various operations research tools and information on the number of operations…

  11. Target Context Specification Can Reduce Costs in Nonfocal Prospective Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lourenço, Joana S.; White, Katherine; Maylor, Elizabeth A.

    2013-01-01

    Performing a nonfocal prospective memory (PM) task results in a cost to ongoing task processing, but the precise nature of the monitoring processes involved remains unclear. We investigated whether target context specification (i.e., explicitly associating the PM target with a subset of ongoing stimuli) can trigger trial-by-trial changes in task…

  12. Reducing Building HVAC Costs with Site-Recovery Energy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pargeter, Stephen J.

    2012-01-01

    Building owners are caught between two powerful forces--the need to lower energy costs and the need to meet or exceed outdoor air ventilation regulations for occupant health and comfort. Large amounts of energy are wasted each day from commercial, institutional, and government building sites as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC)…

  13. EOS Operations Systems: EDOS Implemented Changes to Reduce Operations Costs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordier, Guy R.; Gomez-Rosa, Carlos; McLemore, Bruce D.

    2007-01-01

    The authors describe in this paper the progress achieved to-date with the reengineering of the Earth Observing System (EOS) Data and Operations System (EDOS), the experience gained in the process and the ensuing reduction of ground systems operations costs. The reengineering effort included a major methodology change, applying to an existing schedule driven system, a data-driven system approach.

  14. Low polymer hydraulic fracturing applications in Reconcavo basin wells can reduce cost and improve conductivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suzart, Joao Walter Pereira; Araujo, Paulo Fernando de

    2000-01-01

    Gels used for hydraulic-fracturing treatments generally contain high concentrations of polymer. The polymer helps the fracturing fluid achieve the level of viscosity necessary for transporting proppant through the rock matrix. However, high-polymer gels leave greater amounts of residue in the formation and can therefore cause formation damage. This paper describes how low polymer (L P) gels can be used for hydraulic-fracturing operations to reduce job costs and increase conductivity by reducing formation damage while maintaining the characteristics of a high-polymer gel. The L P fluid system has a low p H and contains an appropriate breaker concentration. Operators have achieved positive results with this system, which allows them to measure robust gel breaks and reduces the necessity for well cleaning. Consequently, formation damage can be significantly reduced. (author)

  15. Proven Innovations and New Initiatives in Ground System Development: Reducing Costs in the Ground System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunn, Jody M.

    2006-01-01

    The state-of-the-practice for engineering and development of Ground Systems has evolved significantly over the past half decade. Missions that challenge ground system developers with significantly reduced budgets in spite of requirements for greater and previously unimagined functionality are now the norm. Making the right trades early in the mission lifecycle is one of the key factors to minimizing ground system costs. The Mission Operations Strategic Leadership Team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has spent the last year collecting and working through successes and failures in ground systems for application to future missions.

  16. Strategies and costs for reducing CO2 emissions in Finland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lehtilae, A.; Pirilae, P.

    1993-01-01

    In this study cost-efficient measures for the abatement of energy-related CO 2 emissions in Finland are analyzed, and the direct costs of such measures are estimated. The time frame considered is the period up to the year 2010. Furthermore, the probable impacts of an energy/CO 2 -tax on the Finnish energy system are worked out, and an attempt is made to assess the effectiveness of a tax scheme as an economic instrument for achieving CO 2 emission targets. The primary methodological tool in the analyses has been the model of the Finnish energy system developed at the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) within the project. The model facilitates the search for cost-efficient emission control strategies over a period of several decades. Structural and technological changes in the energy system, e.g. fuel and technology substitution, new technologies, efficiency improvements, and energy-saving measures have been allowed for in the model. The results of the analyses show that achieving the target of returning the CO 2 emissions to the 1990 level by the year 2000 would be very difficult and costly in Finland. In the case of a nuclear moratorium it would be reasonable to delay the target by ten years. Even in the delayed cases achieving the target would require extensive structural changes and substantial energy-saving measures in the absence of additional nuclear energy. Coal use would have to be severely restricted, whereas the use of biomass and natural gas should be more than doubled compared to the 1990 levels. According to the results, a CO 2 tax would clearly be a more efficient instrument than a tax based on the energy content of a fuel

  17. Does Prescription Drug Adherence Reduce Hospitalizations and Costs?

    OpenAIRE

    William Encinosa; Didem Bernard; Avi Dor

    2010-01-01

    We estimate the impact of diabetic drug adherence on hospitalizations, ER visits, and hospital costs, using insurance claims from MarketScan® employer data. However, it is often difficult to measure the impact of drug adherence on hospitalizations since both adherence and hospitalizations may be correlated with unobservable patient severity. We control for such unobservables using propensity score methods and instrumental variables for adherence such as drug coinsurance levels and direct-to- ...

  18. Male circumcision significantly reduces prevalence and load of genital anaerobic bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Cindy M; Hungate, Bruce A; Tobian, Aaron A R; Serwadda, David; Ravel, Jacques; Lester, Richard; Kigozi, Godfrey; Aziz, Maliha; Galiwango, Ronald M; Nalugoda, Fred; Contente-Cuomo, Tania L; Wawer, Maria J; Keim, Paul; Gray, Ronald H; Price, Lance B

    2013-04-16

    Male circumcision reduces female-to-male HIV transmission. Hypothesized mechanisms for this protective effect include decreased HIV target cell recruitment and activation due to changes in the penis microbiome. We compared the coronal sulcus microbiota of men from a group of uncircumcised controls (n = 77) and from a circumcised intervention group (n = 79) at enrollment and year 1 follow-up in a randomized circumcision trial in Rakai, Uganda. We characterized microbiota using16S rRNA gene-based quantitative PCR (qPCR) and pyrosequencing, log response ratio (LRR), Bayesian classification, nonmetric multidimensional scaling (nMDS), and permutational multivariate analysis of variance (PerMANOVA). At baseline, men in both study arms had comparable coronal sulcus microbiota; however, by year 1, circumcision decreased the total bacterial load and reduced microbiota biodiversity. Specifically, the prevalence and absolute abundance of 12 anaerobic bacterial taxa decreased significantly in the circumcised men. While aerobic bacterial taxa also increased postcircumcision, these gains were minor. The reduction in anaerobes may partly account for the effects of circumcision on reduced HIV acquisition. The bacterial changes identified in this study may play an important role in the HIV risk reduction conferred by male circumcision. Decreasing the load of specific anaerobes could reduce HIV target cell recruitment to the foreskin. Understanding the mechanisms that underlie the benefits of male circumcision could help to identify new intervention strategies for decreasing HIV transmission, applicable to populations with high HIV prevalence where male circumcision is culturally less acceptable.

  19. A chimpanzee recognizes synthetic speech with significantly reduced acoustic cues to phonetic content.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heimbauer, Lisa A; Beran, Michael J; Owren, Michael J

    2011-07-26

    A long-standing debate concerns whether humans are specialized for speech perception, which some researchers argue is demonstrated by the ability to understand synthetic speech with significantly reduced acoustic cues to phonetic content. We tested a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) that recognizes 128 spoken words, asking whether she could understand such speech. Three experiments presented 48 individual words, with the animal selecting a corresponding visuographic symbol from among four alternatives. Experiment 1 tested spectrally reduced, noise-vocoded (NV) synthesis, originally developed to simulate input received by human cochlear-implant users. Experiment 2 tested "impossibly unspeechlike" sine-wave (SW) synthesis, which reduces speech to just three moving tones. Although receiving only intermittent and noncontingent reward, the chimpanzee performed well above chance level, including when hearing synthetic versions for the first time. Recognition of SW words was least accurate but improved in experiment 3 when natural words in the same session were rewarded. The chimpanzee was more accurate with NV than SW versions, as were 32 human participants hearing these items. The chimpanzee's ability to spontaneously recognize acoustically reduced synthetic words suggests that experience rather than specialization is critical for speech-perception capabilities that some have suggested are uniquely human. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Transgenic Anopheles gambiae expressing an antimalarial peptide suffer no significant fitness cost.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare C McArthur

    Full Text Available Mosquito-borne diseases present some of the greatest health challenges faced by the world today. In many cases, existing control measures are compromised by insecticide resistance, pathogen tolerance to drugs and the lack of effective vaccines. In light of these difficulties, new genetic tools for disease control programmes, based on the deployment of genetically modified mosquitoes, are seen as having great promise. Transgenic strains may be used to control disease transmission either by suppressing vector populations or by replacing susceptible with refractory genotypes. In practice, the fitness of the transgenic strain relative to natural mosquitoes will be a critical determinant of success. We previously described a transgenic strain of Anopheles gambiae expressing the Vida3 peptide into the female midgut following a blood-meal, which exhibited significant protection against malaria parasites. Here, we investigated the fitness of this strain relative to non-transgenic controls through comparisons of various life history traits. Experiments were designed, as far as possible, to equalize genetic backgrounds and heterogeneity such that fitness comparisons focussed on the presence and expression of the transgene cassette. We also employed reciprocal crosses to identify any fitness disturbance associated with inheritance of the transgene from either the male or female parent. We found no evidence that the presence or expression of the effector transgene or associated fluorescence markers caused any significant fitness cost in relation to larval mortality, pupal sex ratio, fecundity, hatch rate or longevity of blood-fed females. In fact, fecundity was increased in transgenic strains. We did, however, observe some fitness disturbances associated with the route of inheritance of the transgene. Maternal inheritance delayed male pupation whilst paternal inheritance increased adult longevity for both males and unfed females. Overall, in comparison to

  1. Cost and cost effectiveness of vaginal progesterone gel in reducing preterm birth: an economic analysis of the PREGNANT trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pizzi, Laura T; Seligman, Neil S; Baxter, Jason K; Jutkowitz, Eric; Berghella, Vincenzo

    2014-05-01

    Preterm birth (PTB) is a costly public health problem in the USA. The PREGNANT trial tested the efficacy of vaginal progesterone (VP) 8 % gel in reducing the likelihood of PTB among women with a short cervix. We calculated the costs and cost effectiveness of VP gel versus placebo using decision analytic models informed by PREGNANT patient-level data. PREGNANT enrolled 459 pregnant women with a cervical length of 10-20 mm and randomized them to either VP 8 % gel or placebo. We used a cost model to estimate the total cost of treatment per mother and a cost-effectiveness model to estimate the cost per PTB averted with VP gel versus placebo. Patient-level trial data informed model inputs and included PTB rates in low- and high-risk women in each study group at <28 weeks gestation, 28-31, 32-36, and ≥37 weeks. Cost assumptions were based on 2010 US healthcare services reimbursements. The cost model was validated against patient-level data. Sensitivity analyses were used to test the robustness of the cost-effectiveness model. The estimated cost per mother was $US23,079 for VP gel and $US36,436 for placebo. The cost-effectiveness model showed savings of $US24,071 per PTB averted with VP gel. VP gel realized cost savings and cost effectiveness in 79 % of simulations. Based on findings from PREGNANT, VP gel was associated with cost savings and cost effectiveness compared with placebo. Future trials designed to include cost metrics are needed to better understand the value of VP.

  2. Defibrillator charging before rhythm analysis significantly reduces hands-off time during resuscitation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, L. K.; Folkestad, L.; Brabrand, M.

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Our objective was to reduce hands-off time during cardiopulmonary resuscitation as increased hands-off time leads to higher mortality. METHODS: The European Resuscitation Council (ERC) 2005 and ERC 2010 guidelines were compared with an alternative sequence (ALT). Pulseless ventricular...... physicians were included. All had prior experience in advanced life support. Chest compressions were shorter interrupted using ALT (mean, 6.7 vs 13.0 seconds). Analyzing data for ventricular tachycardia scenarios only, hands-off time was shorter using ALT (mean, 7.1 vs 18.2 seconds). In ERC 2010 vs ALT, 12...... physicians were included. Two physicians had not prior experience in advanced life support. Hands-off time was reduced using ALT (mean, 3.9 vs 5.6 seconds). Looking solely at ventricular tachycardia scenarios, hands-off time was shortened using ALT (mean, 4.5 vs 7.6 seconds). No significant reduction...

  3. Estimating the marginal cost of reducing global fossil fuel CO2 emissions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edmonds, J.; Barns, D.W.; McDonald, S.

    1992-01-01

    This paper estimates the marginal, total, and average cost and effectiveness of carbon taxes applied either by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) members alone, or as part of a global cooperative strategy, to reduce potential future emissions and their direct implications for employment in the US coal industry. Two sets of cases are examined, one set in which OECD members acts alone, and another set in which the world acts in concert. In each case set taxes are examined which achieve four alternative levels of emissions reduction: halve the rate of emissions growth, no emissions growth, 20% reduction from 1988 levels, and 50% reduction from 1988 levels. For the global cooperation case, carbon tax rates of $32, $113, $161, and $517 per metric ton of carbon (mtC) were needed in the year 2025 to achieve the objectives. Total costs were respectively $40, $178, $253, and $848 billions of 1990 US dollars per year in the year 2025. Average costs were $32, $55, $59, and $135 per mtC. Costs were significantly higher in the cases in which the OECD members states acted alone. OECD member states, acting alone, could not reduce global emissions by 50% or 20% relative to 1988, given reference case assumptions regarding developing and recently planned nations economic growth

  4. Ablation - breakthrough technology to reduce uranium mining cost and increase resources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scriven, D.

    2014-01-01

    Ablation Technologies, LLC has developed and patented a revolutionary mining technology termed “ablation”. Ablation is a process using only mechanical forces to upgrade sandstone uranium ores. Uranium bearing sandstone orebodies are formed from a uranium enriched solution flowing through an aquifer until it reached some type of a “red/ox” zone forcing the uranium and other heavy metals to come out of solution. The precipitate forms a thin coating on the sand grains and fills the interstitial space between the sand grains but does no penetrate the sand grains. The ablation process knocks the precipitate off the sand grains using the forces of abrasion, elastic compression and rebounding, much like a mud coated tennis ball will sheds the mud when bounced off the ground, and to some extent, sonic waves. This produces a product which collectively is exactly the same as the ore going in but with all the individual components separated. This allows for disgressionary separation, the most important of which is screening. The uranium and heavy metals report to the finer fractions of the material, typically less than 250 mesh. The larger fractions contain less than five percent of the uranium but 90 to 95 percent of the mass. The advantages of making an enriched ore are numerous: • Reduce haulage costs from 90 to 95 percent. • Reduce milling costs by reducing material handling costs, acid consumption and tailings disposal costs. • In addition to reducing overall mining and milling costs, the overall recovery of the recourse is increased because the ablation process is so inexpensive, if the material has to be mined it will be ablated and screened. This basically means ore control is significantly reduced, cutoff grade goes to practically zero and overall resource recovery is significantly increased. • Environmentally, the two major advantages are reduced tailings requirements at the mill site and cleaner waste dumps at the mine site. This paper will show

  5. Reduced content of chloroatranol and atranol in oak moss absolute significantly reduces the elicitation potential of this fragrance material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Flemming; Andersen, Kirsten H; Bernois, Armand; Brault, Christophe; Bruze, Magnus; Eudes, Hervé; Gadras, Catherine; Signoret, Anne-Cécile J; Mose, Kristian F; Müller, Boris P; Toulemonde, Bernard; Andersen, Klaus Ejner

    2015-02-01

    Oak moss absolute, an extract from the lichen Evernia prunastri, is a valued perfume ingredient but contains extreme allergens. To compare the elicitation properties of two preparations of oak moss absolute: 'classic oak moss', the historically used preparation, and 'new oak moss', with reduced contents of the major allergens atranol and chloroatranol. The two preparations were compared in randomized double-blinded repeated open application tests and serial dilution patch tests in 30 oak moss-sensitive volunteers and 30 non-allergic control subjects. In both test models, new oak moss elicited significantly less allergic contact dermatitis in oak moss-sensitive subjects than classic oak moss. The control subjects did not react to either of the preparations. New oak moss is still a fragrance allergen, but elicits less allergic contact dermatitis in previously oak moss-sensitized individuals, suggesting that new oak moss is less allergenic to non-sensitized individuals. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Effect of reducing cost sharing for outpatient care on children's inpatient services in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, Hirotaka; Goto, Rei

    2017-08-15

    Assessing the impact of cost sharing on healthcare utilization is a critical issue in health economics and health policy. It may affect the utilization of different services, but is yet to be well understood. This paper investigates the effects of reducing cost sharing for outpatient services on hospital admissions by exploring a subsidy policy for children's outpatient services in Japan. Data were extracted from the Japanese Diagnosis Procedure Combination database for 2012 and 2013. A total of 366,566 inpatients from 1390 municipalities were identified. The impact of expanding outpatient care subsidy on the volume of inpatient care for 1390 Japanese municipalities was investigated using the generalized linear model with fixed effects. A decrease in cost sharing for outpatient care has no significant effect on overall hospital admissions, although this effect varies by region. The subsidy reduces the number of overall admissions in low-income areas, but increases it in high-income areas. In addition, the results for admissions by type show that admissions for diagnosis increase particularly in high-income areas, but emergency admissions and ambulatory-care-sensitive-condition admissions decrease in low-income areas. These results suggest that outpatient and inpatient services are substitutes in low-income areas but complements in high-income ones. Although the subsidy for children's healthcare would increase medical costs, it would not improve the health status in high-income areas. Nevertheless, it could lead to some health improvements in low-income areas and, to some extent, offset costs by reducing admissions in these regions.

  7. Timely Referral to Outpatient Nephrology Care Slows Progression and Reduces Treatment Costs of Chronic Kidney Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerhard Lonnemann

    2017-03-01

    Discussion: Timely referral to outpatient nephrology care is associated with slowed disease progression, less hospital admissions, reduced total treatment costs, and improved survival in patients with CKD.

  8. A long pulse modulator for reduced size and cost

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pfeffer, H.; Bartelson, L.; Bourkland, K.; Jensen, C.; Kerns, Q.; Prieto, P.; Saewert, G.; Wolff, D.

    1994-07-01

    A novel modulator has been designed, built and tested for the TESLA test facility. This e + e - accelerator concept uses superconducting RF cavities and requires 2ms of RF power at 10 pps. As the final accelerator will require several hundred modulators, a cost effective, space saving and high efficiency design is desired. This modulator used a modest size switched capacitor bank that droops approximately 20% during the pulse. This large droop is compensated for by the use of a resonant LC circuit. The capacitor bank is connected to the high side of a pulse transformer primary using a series GTO switch. The resonant circuit is connected to the low side of the pulse transformer primary. The output pulse is flat to within 1% for 1.9 ms during a 2.3 ms base pulse width. Measured efficiency, from breaker to klystron and including energy lost in the rise time, is approximately 85%

  9. Water quality audits can improve availability and reduce costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dvorin, R.S.; Schlesinger, H.A.

    1984-01-01

    The Water Quality Audit (WQA) is an independent, detailed review and thorough analysis of an operating plant's water technology control systems and operator education (as distinguished from operator training). The need for such an audit and its role in improving the reliability and availability of both nuclear and fossil-fueled power plants is discussed. Instances of how the failure of either system hardware or operational control has caused injection of seawater, acid, caustic, or ion exchange resin into the condensate-feedwater system and steam generator are revealed. The systems to be audited are described, and the stage-wise nature of the audit explained. The potential savings of an audit are outlined and the timing and range of costs of a WQA are given

  10. Streamlining: Reducing costs and increasing STS operations effectiveness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersburg, R. K.

    1985-01-01

    The development of streamlining as a concept, its inclusion in the space transportation system engineering and operations support (STSEOS) contract, and how it serves as an incentive to management and technical support personnel is discussed. The mechanics of encouraging and processing streamlining suggestions, reviews, feedback to submitters, recognition, and how individual employee performance evaluations are used to motivation are discussed. Several items that were implemented are mentioned. Information reported and the methodology of determining estimated dollar savings are outlined. The overall effect of this activity on the ability of the McDonnell Douglas flight preparation and mission operations team to support a rapidly increasing flight rate without a proportional increase in cost is illustrated.

  11. Four-phonon scattering significantly reduces intrinsic thermal conductivity of solids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Tianli; Lindsay, Lucas; Ruan, Xiulin

    2017-10-01

    For decades, the three-phonon scattering process has been considered to govern thermal transport in solids, while the role of higher-order four-phonon scattering has been persistently unclear and so ignored. However, recent quantitative calculations of three-phonon scattering have often shown a significant overestimation of thermal conductivity as compared to experimental values. In this Rapid Communication we show that four-phonon scattering is generally important in solids and can remedy such discrepancies. For silicon and diamond, the predicted thermal conductivity is reduced by 30% at 1000 K after including four-phonon scattering, bringing predictions in excellent agreement with measurements. For the projected ultrahigh-thermal conductivity material, zinc-blende BAs, a competitor of diamond as a heat sink material, four-phonon scattering is found to be strikingly strong as three-phonon processes have an extremely limited phase space for scattering. The four-phonon scattering reduces the predicted thermal conductivity from 2200 to 1400 W/m K at room temperature. The reduction at 1000 K is 60%. We also find that optical phonon scattering rates are largely affected, being important in applications such as phonon bottlenecks in equilibrating electronic excitations. Recognizing that four-phonon scattering is expensive to calculate, in the end we provide some guidelines on how to quickly assess the significance of four-phonon scattering, based on energy surface anharmonicity and the scattering phase space. Our work clears the decades-long fundamental question of the significance of higher-order scattering, and points out ways to improve thermoelectrics, thermal barrier coatings, nuclear materials, and radiative heat transfer.

  12. Can delivery systems use cost-effectiveness analysis to reduce healthcare costs and improve value?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savitz, Lucy A; Savitz, Samuel T

    2016-01-01

    Understanding costs and ensuring that we demonstrate value in healthcare is a foundational presumption as we transform the way we deliver and pay for healthcare in the U.S. With a focus on population health and payment reforms underway, there is increased pressure to examine cost-effectiveness in healthcare delivery. Cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) is a type of economic analysis comparing the costs and effects (i.e. health outcomes) of two or more treatment options. The result is expressed as a ratio where the denominator is the gain in health from a measure (e.g. years of life or quality-adjusted years of life) and the numerator is the incremental cost associated with that health gain. For higher cost interventions, the lower the ratio of costs to effects, the higher the value. While CEA is not new, the approach continues to be refined with enhanced statistical techniques and standardized methods. This article describes the CEA approach and also contrasts it to optional approaches, in order for readers to fully appreciate caveats and concerns. CEA as an economic evaluation tool can be easily misused owing to inappropriate assumptions, over reliance, and misapplication. Twelve issues to be considered in using CEA results to drive healthcare delivery decision-making are summarized. Appropriately recognizing both the strengths and the limitations of CEA is necessary for informed resource allocation in achieving the maximum value for healthcare services provided.

  13. Nisin Production Utilizing Skimmed Milk Aiming to Reduce Process Cost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jozala, Angela Faustino; de Andrade, Maura Sayuri; de Arauz, Luciana Juncioni; Pessoa, Adalberto; Penna, Thereza Christina Vessoni

    Nisin is a natural additive for conservation of food, pharmaceutical, and dental products and can be used as a therapeutic agent. Nisin inhibits the outgrowth of spores, the growth of a variety of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. This study was performed to optimize large-scale nisin production in skimmed milk and subproducts aiming at low-costs process and stimulating its utilization. Lactococcus lactis American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) 11454 was developed in a rotary shaker (30°C/36 h/100 rpm) in diluted skimmed milk and nisin activity, growth parameters, and media components were also studied. Nisin activity in growth media was expressed in arbitrary units (AU/mL) and converted to standard nisin concentration (Nisaplin®, 25 mg of pure nisin is 1.0×106 AU/mL). Nisin activity in skimmed milk 2.27 gtotal solids was up to threefold higher than transfers in skimmed milk 4.54 gtotal solids and was up to 85-fold higher than transfers in skimmed milk 1.14 gtotal solids. L. lactis was assayed in a New Brunswick fermentor with 1.5 L of diluted skimmed milk (2.27 gtotal solids) and airflow of 1.5 mL/min (30°C/36/200 rpm), without pH control. In this condition nisin activity was observed after 4 h (45.07 AU/mL) and in the end of 36 h process (3312.07 AU/mL). This work shows the utilization of a low-cost growth medium (diluted skimmed milk) to nisin production with wide applications. Furthermore, milk subproducts (milk whey) can be exploited in nisin production, because in Brazil 50% of milk whey is disposed with no treatment in rivers and because of high organic matter concentrations it is considered an important pollutant. In this particular case an optimized production of an antimicrobial would be lined up with industrial disposal recycling.

  14. Comparing surgical trays with redundant instruments with trays with reduced instruments: a cost analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    John-Baptiste, A; Sowerby, L J; Chin, C J; Martin, J; Rotenberg, B W

    2016-01-01

    When prearranged standard surgical trays contain instruments that are repeatedly unused, the redundancy can result in unnecessary health care costs. Our objective was to estimate potential savings by performing an economic evaluation comparing the cost of surgical trays with redundant instruments with surgical trays with reduced instruments ("reduced trays"). We performed a cost-analysis from the hospital perspective over a 1-year period. Using a mathematical model, we compared the direct costs of trays containing redundant instruments to reduced trays for 5 otolaryngology procedures. We incorporated data from several sources including local hospital data on surgical volume, the number of instruments on redundant and reduced trays, wages of personnel and time required to pack instruments. From the literature, we incorporated instrument depreciation costs and the time required to decontaminate an instrument. We performed 1-way sensitivity analyses on all variables, including surgical volume. Costs were estimated in 2013 Canadian dollars. The cost of redundant trays was $21 806 and the cost of reduced trays was $8803, for a 1-year cost saving of $13 003. In sensitivity analyses, cost savings ranged from $3262 to $21 395, based on the surgical volume at the institution. Variation in surgical volume resulted in a wider range of estimates, with a minimum of $3253 for low-volume to a maximum of $52 012 for high-volume institutions. Our study suggests moderate savings may be achieved by reducing surgical tray redundancy and, if applied to other surgical specialties, may result in savings to Canadian health care systems.

  15. 43 CFR 429.26 - When may Reclamation reduce or waive costs or fees?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... Reductions or Waivers of Application Fees, Administrative Costs, and Use Fees § 429.26 When may Reclamation reduce or waive costs or fees? (a) As determined appropriate and approved and documented by the applicable Regional Director, the application fees may be waived, and charges for administrative costs or use...

  16. Preliminary analysis about reducing production costs in uranium mining and metallurgy at Fuzhou uranium mine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu Sanmao

    1999-01-01

    The production costs in uranium ming and metallurgy have been analyzed quantitatively term by term according to present production situation for The Uranium Mining and Metallurgy Corp, which is part of Fuzhou Uranium Mine. The principal factors influencing on the production costs and the main means reducing the production costs have been found

  17. Incorporation of catalytic dehydrogenation into fischer-tropsch synthesis to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huffman, Gerald P.

    2012-11-13

    A new method of producing liquid transportation fuels from coal and other hydrocarbons that significantly reduces carbon dioxide emissions by combining Fischer-Tropsch synthesis with catalytic dehydrogenation is claimed. Catalytic dehydrogenation (CDH) of the gaseous products (C1-C4) of Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) can produce large quantities of hydrogen while converting the carbon to multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT). Incorporation of CDH into a FTS-CDH plant converting coal to liquid fuels can eliminate all or most of the CO.sub.2 emissions from the water-gas shift (WGS) reaction that is currently used to elevate the H.sub.2 level of coal-derived syngas for FTS. Additionally, the FTS-CDH process saves large amounts of water used by the WGS reaction and produces a valuable by-product, MWCNT.

  18. Nano-CL-20/HMX Cocrystal Explosive for Significantly Reduced Mechanical Sensitivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chongwei An

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Spray drying method was used to prepare cocrystals of hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane (CL-20 and cyclotetramethylene tetranitramine (HMX. Raw materials and cocrystals were characterized using scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry, Raman spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Impact and friction sensitivity of cocrystals were tested and analyzed. Results show that, after preparation by spray drying method, microparticles were spherical in shape and 0.5–5 µm in size. Particles formed aggregates of numerous tiny plate-like cocrystals, whereas CL-20/HMX cocrystals had thicknesses of below 100 nm. Cocrystals were formed by C–H⋯O bonding between –NO2 (CL-20 and –CH2– (HMX. Nanococrystal explosives exhibited drop height of 47.3 cm, and friction demonstrated explosion probability of 64%. Compared with raw HMX, cocrystals displayed significantly reduced mechanical sensitivity.

  19. New roller cone bits with unique nozzle designs reduce drilling costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moffitt, S.R.; Pearce, D.E.; Ivie, C.R.

    1992-01-01

    This paper reports that selection of the optimum rock bit design to achieve the lowest drilling cost in a given application is often difficult due to a large number of rock bit performance considerations. However, in a majority of applications increased penetration rate is the key consideration in reducing drilling costs. Discovery of a new bit design concept has led to the development of roller cone bits that achieve significant penetration rate increases using superior hydraulic nozzle designs. Prototype designs have achieved 20 to 40% increases in penetration rate with comparable footage drilled when tested in 6 1/2, 8 1/2, 8-3/4, 9-7/8 and 12 1/4 IADC 437, 517 and 537 type bits in the U.S., North Sea, Italy, and Oman. Second-generation designs tested in a full-scale drilling laboratory have delivered 70% increases in penetration rates

  20. Reducing capital and operating costs in gas processing, liquefaction, and storage

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krusen, III, L C [Phillips Petroleum Co., Bartlesville, OK (United States). Research Div.

    1997-06-01

    The LNG industry is unanimous that capital costs must be reduced throughout the chain, and especially at the liquefaction facility including associated gas processing and LNG storage. The Ken ai LNG plant provides an example of how both reduced capital and operating costs were attained. This paper will cover cost production strategies that can be applied to liquefaction processes in general, and will than focus on their realization in the Phillips Optimized Cascade LNG process. The paper concludes that reduced LNG plant costs are attainable. (Author).

  1. Reducing capital and operating costs in gas processing, liquefaction, and storage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krusen, L.C. III

    1997-01-01

    The LNG industry is unanimous that capital costs must be reduced throughout the chain, and especially at the liquefaction facility including associated gas processing and LNG storage. The Ken ai LNG plant provides an example of how both reduced capital and operating costs were attained. This paper will cover cost production strategies that can be applied to liquefaction processes in general, and will than focus on their realization in the Phillips Optimized Cascade LNG process. The paper concludes that reduced LNG plant costs are attainable. (Author)

  2. Implementation of standardized follow-up care significantly reduces peritonitis in children on chronic peritoneal dialysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neu, Alicia M; Richardson, Troy; Lawlor, John; Stuart, Jayne; Newland, Jason; McAfee, Nancy; Warady, Bradley A

    2016-06-01

    The Standardizing Care to improve Outcomes in Pediatric End stage renal disease (SCOPE) Collaborative aims to reduce peritonitis rates in pediatric chronic peritoneal dialysis patients by increasing implementation of standardized care practices. To assess this, monthly care bundle compliance and annualized monthly peritonitis rates were evaluated from 24 SCOPE centers that were participating at collaborative launch and that provided peritonitis rates for the 13 months prior to launch. Changes in bundle compliance were assessed using either a logistic regression model or a generalized linear mixed model. Changes in average annualized peritonitis rates over time were illustrated using the latter model. In the first 36 months of the collaborative, 644 patients with 7977 follow-up encounters were included. The likelihood of compliance with follow-up care practices increased significantly (odds ratio 1.15, 95% confidence interval 1.10, 1.19). Mean monthly peritonitis rates significantly decreased from 0.63 episodes per patient year (95% confidence interval 0.43, 0.92) prelaunch to 0.42 (95% confidence interval 0.31, 0.57) at 36 months postlaunch. A sensitivity analysis confirmed that as mean follow-up compliance increased, peritonitis rates decreased, reaching statistical significance at 80% at which point the prelaunch rate was 42% higher than the rate in the months following achievement of 80% compliance. In its first 3 years, the SCOPE Collaborative has increased the implementation of standardized follow-up care and demonstrated a significant reduction in average monthly peritonitis rates. Copyright © 2016 International Society of Nephrology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Increase plant safety and reduce cost by implementing risk-informed in-service inspection programs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Billington, A.; Monette, P.

    2001-01-01

    The idea behind the program is that it is possible to 'inspect less, but inspect better'. In other words, the risk-informed In-Service Inspection (ISI) process is used to improve the effectiveness of examination of piping components, i.e. concentrate inspection resources and enhance inspection strategies on high safety significant locations, and reduce inspection requirements on others. The Westinghouse Owners Group (WOG) risk-informed ISI process has already been applied for full scope (Millstone 3, Surry 1) and limited scope (Beznau, Ringhals 4, Asco, Turkey Point 3). By examining the high safety significant piping segments for the different fluid piping systems, the total piping core damage frequency is reduced. In addition, more than 80% of the risk associated with potential pressure boundary failures is addressed with the WOG risk-informed ISI process, while typically less that 50% of this same risk is addressed by the current inspection programs. The risk-informed ISI processes are used to improve the effectiveness of inspecting safety-significant piping components, to reduce inspection requirements on other piping components, to evaluate improvements to plant availability and enhanced safety measures, including reduction of personnel radiation exposure, and to reduce overall Operation and Maintenance (O and M) costs while maintaining regulatory compliance. A description of the process as well as benefits from past projects is presented, since the methodology is applicable for WWER plant design. (author)

  4. Increase plant safety and reduce cost by implementing risk-informed In-Service Inspection programs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Billington, A.; Monette, P.; Doumont, C.

    2000-01-01

    The idea behind the program is that it is possible to 'inspect less, but inspect better'. In other words, the risk-informed In-Service Inspection (ISI) process is used to improve the effectiveness of examination of piping components, i.e. concentrate inspection resources and enhance inspection strategies on high safety significant locations, and reduce inspection requirements on others. The Westinghouse Owners Group (WOG) risk-informed ISI process has already been applied for full scope (Millstone 3, Surry 1) and limited scope (Beznau, Ringhals 4, Asco, Turkey Point 3). By examining the high safety significant piping segments for the different fluid piping systems, the total piping core damage frequency is reduced. In addition, more than 80% of the risk associated with potential pressure boundary failures is addressed with the WOG risk-informed ISI process, while typically less than 50% of this same risk is addressed by the current inspection programs. The risk-informed ISI processes are used: to improve the effectiveness of inspecting safety-significant piping components; to reduce inspection requirements on other piping components; to evaluate improvements to plant availability and enhanced safety measures, including reduction of personnel radiation exposure; and to reduce overall Operation and Maintenance (O and M) costs while maintaining regulatory compliance. A description of the process as well as benefits of past projects is presented, since the methodology is applicable for VVER plant design. (author)

  5. Costs of reducing water use of concentrating solar power to sustainable levels: Scenarios for North Africa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Damerau, Kerstin; Williges, Keith; Patt, Anthony G.; Gauche, Paul

    2011-01-01

    Concentrating solar power (CSP) has the potential to become a leading sustainable energy technology for the European electricity system. In order to reach a substantial share in the energy mix, European investment in CSP appears most profitable in North Africa, where solar potential is significantly higher than in southern Europe. As well as sufficient solar irradiance, however, the majority of today's CSP plants also require a considerable amount of water, primarily for cooling purposes. In this paper we examine water usage associated with CSP in North Africa, and the cost penalties associated with technologies that could reduce those needs. We inspect four representative sites to compare the ecological and economical drawbacks from conventional and alternative cooling systems, depending on the local environment, and including an outlook with climate change to the mid-century. Scaling our results up to a regional level indicates that the use of wet cooling technologies would likely be unsustainable. Dry cooling systems, as well as sourcing of alternative water supplies, would allow for sustainable operation. Their cost penalty would be minor compared to the variance in CSP costs due to different average solar irradiance values. - Highlights: → Scaling up CSP with wet cooling from ground water will be unsustainable in North Africa. → Desalination and alternative cooling systems can assure a sustainable water supply. → On large-scale, the cost penalties of alternative cooling technologies appear minor.

  6. Intensity-modulated radiotherapy significantly reduces xerostomia compared with conventional radiotherapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Braam, Petra M.; Terhaard, Chris H.J. M.D.; Roesink, Judith M.; Raaijmakers, Cornelis P.J.

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: Xerostomia is a severe complication after radiotherapy for oropharyngeal cancer, as the salivary glands are in close proximity with the primary tumor. Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) offers theoretical advantages for normal tissue sparing. A Phase II study was conducted to determine the value of IMRT for salivary output preservation compared with conventional radiotherapy (CRT). Methods and Materials: A total of 56 patients with oropharyngeal cancer were prospectively evaluated. Of these, 30 patients were treated with IMRT and 26 with CRT. Stimulated parotid salivary flow was measured before, 6 weeks, and 6 months after treatment. A complication was defined as a stimulated parotid flow rate <25% of the preradiotherapy flow rate. Results: The mean dose to the parotid glands was 48.1 Gy (SD 14 Gy) for CRT and 33.7 Gy (SD 10 Gy) for IMRT (p < 0.005). The mean parotid flow ratio 6 weeks and 6 months after treatment was respectively 41% and 64% for IMRT and respectively 11% and 18% for CRT. As a result, 6 weeks after treatment, the number of parotid flow complications was significantly lower after IMRT (55%) than after CRT (87%) (p = 0.002). The number of complications 6 months after treatment was 56% for IMRT and 81% for CRT (p = 0.04). Conclusions: IMRT significantly reduces the number of parotid flow complications for patients with oropharyngeal cancer

  7. Induction-heating MOCVD reactor with significantly improved heating efficiency and reduced harmful magnetic coupling

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Kuang-Hui; Alotaibi, Hamad S.; Sun, Haiding; Lin, Ronghui; Guo, Wenzhe; Torres-Castanedo, Carlos G.; Liu, Kaikai; Galan, Sergio V.; Li, Xiaohang

    2018-01-01

    In a conventional induction-heating III-nitride metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactor, the induction coil is outside the chamber. Therefore, the magnetic field does not couple with the susceptor well, leading to compromised heating efficiency and harmful coupling with the gas inlet and thus possible overheating. Hence, the gas inlet has to be at a minimum distance away from the susceptor. Because of the elongated flow path, premature reactions can be more severe, particularly between Al- and B-containing precursors and NH3. Here, we propose a structure that can significantly improve the heating efficiency and allow the gas inlet to be closer to the susceptor. Specifically, the induction coil is designed to surround the vertical cylinder of a T-shaped susceptor comprising the cylinder and a top horizontal plate holding the wafer substrate within the reactor. Therefore, the cylinder coupled most magnetic field to serve as the thermal source for the plate. Furthermore, the plate can block and thus significantly reduce the uncoupled magnetic field above the susceptor, thereby allowing the gas inlet to be closer. The results show approximately 140% and 2.6 times increase in the heating and susceptor coupling efficiencies, respectively, as well as a 90% reduction in the harmful magnetic flux on the gas inlet.

  8. Induction-heating MOCVD reactor with significantly improved heating efficiency and reduced harmful magnetic coupling

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Kuang-Hui

    2018-02-23

    In a conventional induction-heating III-nitride metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactor, the induction coil is outside the chamber. Therefore, the magnetic field does not couple with the susceptor well, leading to compromised heating efficiency and harmful coupling with the gas inlet and thus possible overheating. Hence, the gas inlet has to be at a minimum distance away from the susceptor. Because of the elongated flow path, premature reactions can be more severe, particularly between Al- and B-containing precursors and NH3. Here, we propose a structure that can significantly improve the heating efficiency and allow the gas inlet to be closer to the susceptor. Specifically, the induction coil is designed to surround the vertical cylinder of a T-shaped susceptor comprising the cylinder and a top horizontal plate holding the wafer substrate within the reactor. Therefore, the cylinder coupled most magnetic field to serve as the thermal source for the plate. Furthermore, the plate can block and thus significantly reduce the uncoupled magnetic field above the susceptor, thereby allowing the gas inlet to be closer. The results show approximately 140% and 2.6 times increase in the heating and susceptor coupling efficiencies, respectively, as well as a 90% reduction in the harmful magnetic flux on the gas inlet.

  9. Reducing Anesthesia and Health Care Cost Through Utilization of Child Life Specialists in Pediatric Radiation Oncology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scott, Michael T. [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, Florida (United States); Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Jacksonville, Florida (United States); Todd, Kimberly E.; Oakley, Heather; Bradley, Julie A.; Rotondo, Ronny L.; Morris, Christopher G.; Klein, Stuart; Mendenhall, Nancy P. [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Jacksonville, Florida (United States); Indelicato, Daniel J., E-mail: dindelicato@floridaproton.org [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Jacksonville, Florida (United States)

    2016-10-01

    therapy, where N equals the number of children aged 3 to 12 years treated in 1 year. This formula assumes that the payer subsidizes the cost for the employment of a CCLS, although our institution absorbed this expense for this data cohort. The predicted annualized health care system cost savings from reducing the frequency of anesthesia with radiation therapy when treating 100 children aged 3 to 12 years per year could exceed $775,000. Conclusions: These data suggest that a CCLS significantly reduces the frequency of daily anesthesia for children treated with radiation therapy. Health care system payers may achieve significant cost savings by financially supporting the employment of a CCLS in high-volume pediatric radiation therapy centers.

  10. Reducing Anesthesia and Health Care Cost Through Utilization of Child Life Specialists in Pediatric Radiation Oncology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Michael T; Todd, Kimberly E; Oakley, Heather; Bradley, Julie A; Rotondo, Ronny L; Morris, Christopher G; Klein, Stuart; Mendenhall, Nancy P; Indelicato, Daniel J

    2016-10-01

    years treated in 1 year. This formula assumes that the payer subsidizes the cost for the employment of a CCLS, although our institution absorbed this expense for this data cohort. The predicted annualized health care system cost savings from reducing the frequency of anesthesia with radiation therapy when treating 100 children aged 3 to 12 years per year could exceed $775,000. These data suggest that a CCLS significantly reduces the frequency of daily anesthesia for children treated with radiation therapy. Health care system payers may achieve significant cost savings by financially supporting the employment of a CCLS in high-volume pediatric radiation therapy centers. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Reducing Anesthesia and Health Care Cost Through Utilization of Child Life Specialists in Pediatric Radiation Oncology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scott, Michael T.; Todd, Kimberly E.; Oakley, Heather; Bradley, Julie A.; Rotondo, Ronny L.; Morris, Christopher G.; Klein, Stuart; Mendenhall, Nancy P.; Indelicato, Daniel J.

    2016-01-01

    equals the number of children aged 3 to 12 years treated in 1 year. This formula assumes that the payer subsidizes the cost for the employment of a CCLS, although our institution absorbed this expense for this data cohort. The predicted annualized health care system cost savings from reducing the frequency of anesthesia with radiation therapy when treating 100 children aged 3 to 12 years per year could exceed $775,000. Conclusions: These data suggest that a CCLS significantly reduces the frequency of daily anesthesia for children treated with radiation therapy. Health care system payers may achieve significant cost savings by financially supporting the employment of a CCLS in high-volume pediatric radiation therapy centers.

  12. Do Statins Reduce the Health and Health Care Costs of Obesity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudette, Étienne; Goldman, Dana P; Messali, Andrew; Sood, Neeraj

    2015-07-01

    Obesity impacts both individual health and, given its high prevalence, total health care spending. However, as medical technology evolves, health outcomes for a number of obesity-related illnesses improve. This article examines whether medical innovation can mitigate the adverse health and spending associated with obesity, using statins as a case study. Because of the relationship between obesity and hypercholesterolaemia, statins play an important role in the medical management of obese individuals and the prevention of costly obesity-related sequelae. Using well-recognized estimates of the health impact of statins and the Future Elderly Model (FEM)-an established dynamic microsimulation model of the health of Americans aged over 50 years-we estimate the changes in life expectancy, functional status and health care costs of obesity due to the introduction and widespread use of statins. Life expectancy gains of statins are estimated to be 5-6 % greater for obese individuals than for healthy-weight individuals, but most of these additional gains are associated with some level of disability. Considering both medical spending and the value of quality-adjusted life-years, statins do not significantly alter the costs of class 1 and 2 obesity (body mass index [BMI] ≥30 and ≥35 kg/m(2), respectively) and they increase the costs of class 3 obesity (BMI ≥40 kg/m(2)) by 1.2 %. Although statins are very effective medications for lowering the risk of obesity-associated illnesses, they do not significantly reduce the costs of obesity.

  13. Numerical Feynman integrals with physically inspired interpolation: Faster convergence and significant reduction of computational cost

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikesh S. Dattani

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available One of the most successful methods for calculating reduced density operator dynamics in open quantum systems, that can give numerically exact results, uses Feynman integrals. However, when simulating the dynamics for a given amount of time, the number of time steps that can realistically be used with this method is always limited, therefore one often obtains an approximation of the reduced density operator at a sparse grid of points in time. Instead of relying only on ad hoc interpolation methods (such as splines to estimate the system density operator in between these points, I propose a method that uses physical information to assist with this interpolation. This method is tested on a physically significant system, on which its use allows important qualitative features of the density operator dynamics to be captured with as little as two time steps in the Feynman integral. This method allows for an enormous reduction in the amount of memory and CPU time required for approximating density operator dynamics within a desired accuracy. Since this method does not change the way the Feynman integral itself is calculated, the value of the density operator approximation at the points in time used to discretize the Feynamn integral will be the same whether or not this method is used, but its approximation in between these points in time is considerably improved by this method. A list of ways in which this proposed method can be further improved is presented in the last section of the article.

  14. Bulk additive system reduces mud costs and waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wisnie, A.P.

    1994-01-01

    Today, personnel safety and environmental acceptability are high priorities in oil and gas operations. Many advances have been made, but packaging and handling of drilling mud has not changed in 35 years. In most cases, bulk barite is available, however, drilling muds are typically built from chemicals contained in 50 to 100-lb sacks or 5-gal buckets. Materials must be physically opened by rig personnel and mixed into drilling mud. Chemical exposure liability, and lifting or housekeeping related injuries associated with large quantities of packaging pose serious occupational safety risk. Figures from OSHA (1986) indicate that of 1,492 serious injury cases in Louisiana oil and gas operations, 42% were to back and lower extremities, 3% were eye injuries and 1% were chemical burns. Although exact figures are not available, experience suggests that a significant number of injuries are related to mud product physical handling. Another problem with current mud packaging is generated waste. Mud material lost because of broken sacks, inefficient transfer and as residue is unacceptable. Most mud engineers agree that 5 to 15% of mud products are lost or damaged on typical offshore jobs, depending on weather. When material that is spilled or left in packages, probably 2 to 3%, is added, the total is significant. Reusable containers for drilling mud products and manifold system design effectively eliminate these problems

  15. Using lytic bacteriophages to eliminate or significantly reduce contamination of food by foodborne bacterial pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulakvelidze, Alexander

    2013-10-01

    Bacteriophages (also called 'phages') are viruses that kill bacteria. They are arguably the oldest (3 billion years old, by some estimates) and most ubiquitous (total number estimated to be 10(30) -10(32) ) known organisms on Earth. Phages play a key role in maintaining microbial balance in every ecosystem where bacteria exist, and they are part of the normal microflora of all fresh, unprocessed foods. Interest in various practical applications of bacteriophages has been gaining momentum recently, with perhaps the most attention focused on using them to improve food safety. That approach, called 'phage biocontrol', typically includes three main types of applications: (i) using phages to treat domesticated livestock in order to reduce their intestinal colonization with, and shedding of, specific bacterial pathogens; (ii) treatments for decontaminating inanimate surfaces in food-processing facilities and other food establishments, so that foods processed on those surfaces are not cross-contaminated with the targeted pathogens; and (iii) post-harvest treatments involving direct applications of phages onto the harvested foods. This mini-review primarily focuses on the last type of intervention, which has been gaining the most momentum recently. Indeed, the results of recent studies dealing with improving food safety, and several recent regulatory approvals of various commercial phage preparations developed for post-harvest food safety applications, strongly support the idea that lytic phages may provide a safe, environmentally-friendly, and effective approach for significantly reducing contamination of various foods with foodborne bacterial pathogens. However, some important technical and nontechnical problems may need to be addressed before phage biocontrol protocols can become an integral part of routine food safety intervention strategies implemented by food industries in the USA. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.

  16. Pharmacological kynurenine 3-monooxygenase enzyme inhibition significantly reduces neuropathic pain in a rat model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rojewska, Ewelina; Piotrowska, Anna; Makuch, Wioletta; Przewlocka, Barbara; Mika, Joanna

    2016-03-01

    Recent studies have highlighted the involvement of the kynurenine pathway in the pathology of neurodegenerative diseases, but the role of this system in neuropathic pain requires further extensive research. Therefore, the aim of our study was to examine the role of kynurenine 3-monooxygenase (Kmo), an enzyme that is important in this pathway, in a rat model of neuropathy after chronic constriction injury (CCI) to the sciatic nerve. For the first time, we demonstrated that the injury-induced increase in the Kmo mRNA levels in the spinal cord and the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) was reduced by chronic administration of the microglial inhibitor minocycline and that this effect paralleled a decrease in the intensity of neuropathy. Further, minocycline administration alleviated the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced upregulation of Kmo mRNA expression in microglial cell cultures. Moreover, we demonstrated that not only indirect inhibition of Kmo using minocycline but also direct inhibition using Kmo inhibitors (Ro61-6048 and JM6) decreased neuropathic pain intensity on the third and the seventh days after CCI. Chronic Ro61-6048 administration diminished the protein levels of IBA-1, IL-6, IL-1beta and NOS2 in the spinal cord and/or the DRG. Both Kmo inhibitors potentiated the analgesic properties of morphine. In summary, our data suggest that in neuropathic pain model, inhibiting Kmo function significantly reduces pain symptoms and enhances the effectiveness of morphine. The results of our studies show that the kynurenine pathway is an important mediator of neuropathic pain pathology and indicate that Kmo represents a novel pharmacological target for the treatment of neuropathy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Are the Costs of Reducing Greenhouse Gases from Passenger Vehicles Negative?

    OpenAIRE

    Parry, Ian W.H.

    2006-01-01

    Energy models suggest that the cost of reducing carbon emissions from the transportation sector is high relative to other sectors, such as electricity generation. However, this paper shows that taxes to reduce passenger vehicle emissions produce large net benefits, rather than costs, when account is taken of (a) their impact on reducing non-carbon externalities from passenger vehicle use, and (b) interactions with the broader fiscal system. Both of these considerations also strengthen the cas...

  18. Effects of worksite health interventions involving reduced work hours and physical exercise on sickness absence costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Thiele Schwarz, Ulrica; Hasson, Henna

    2012-05-01

    To investigate the effects of physical exercise during work hours (PE) and reduced work hours (RWH) on direct and indirect costs associated with sickness absence (SA). Sickness absence and related costs at six workplaces, matched and randomized to three conditions (PE, RWH, and referents), were retrieved from company records and/or estimated using salary conversion methods or value-added equations on the basis of interview data. Although SA days decreased in all conditions (PE, 11.4%; RWH, 4.9%; referents, 15.9%), costs were reduced in the PE (22.2%) and RWH (4.9%) conditions but not among referents (10.2% increase). Worksite health interventions may generate savings in SA costs. Costs may not be linear to changes in SA days. Combing the friction method with indirect cost estimates on the basis of value-added productivity may help illuminate both direct and indirect SA costs.

  19. Intriguing model significantly reduces boarding of psychiatric patients, need for inpatient hospitalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    As new approaches to the care of psychiatric emergencies emerge, one solution is gaining particular traction. Under the Alameda model, which has been put into practice in Alameda County, CA, patients who are brought to regional EDs with emergency psychiatric issues are quickly transferred to a designated emergency psychiatric facility as soon as they are medically stabilized. This alleviates boarding problems in area EDs while also quickly connecting patients with specialized care. With data in hand on the model's effectiveness, developers believe the approach could alleviate boarding problems in other communities as well. The model is funded by through a billing code established by California's Medicaid program for crisis stabilization services. Currently, only 22% of the patients brought to the emergency psychiatric facility ultimately need to be hospitalized; the other 78% are able to go home or to an alternative situation. In a 30-day study of the model, involving five community hospitals in Alameda County, CA, researchers found that ED boarding times were as much as 80% lower than comparable ED averages, and that patients were stabilized at least 75% of the time, significantly reducing the need for inpatient hospitalization.

  20. Significantly reduced hypoxemic events in morbidly obese patients undergoing gastrointestinal endoscopy: Predictors and practice effect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Basavana Gouda Goudra

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Providing anesthesia for gastrointestinal (GI endoscopy procedures in morbidly obese patients is a challenge for a variety of reasons. The negative impact of obesity on the respiratory system combined with a need to share the upper airway and necessity to preserve the spontaneous ventilation, together add to difficulties. Materials and Methods: This retrospective cohort study included patients with a body mass index (BMI >40 kg/m 2 that underwent out-patient GI endoscopy between September 2010 and February 2011. Patient data was analyzed for procedure, airway management technique as well as hypoxemic and cardiovascular events. Results: A total of 119 patients met the inclusion criteria. Our innovative airway management technique resulted in a lower rate of intraoperative hypoxemic events compared with any published data available. Frequency of desaturation episodes showed statistically significant relation to previous history of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA. These desaturation episodes were found to be statistically independent of increasing BMI of patients. Conclusion: Pre-operative history of OSA irrespective of associated BMI values can be potentially used as a predictor of intra-procedural desaturation. With suitable modification of anesthesia technique, it is possible to reduce the incidence of adverse respiratory events in morbidly obese patients undergoing GI endoscopy procedures, thereby avoiding the need for endotracheal intubation.

  1. Significantly reduced hypoxemic events in morbidly obese patients undergoing gastrointestinal endoscopy: Predictors and practice effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goudra, Basavana Gouda; Singh, Preet Mohinder; Penugonda, Lakshmi C; Speck, Rebecca M; Sinha, Ashish C

    2014-01-01

    Providing anesthesia for gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy procedures in morbidly obese patients is a challenge for a variety of reasons. The negative impact of obesity on the respiratory system combined with a need to share the upper airway and necessity to preserve the spontaneous ventilation, together add to difficulties. This retrospective cohort study included patients with a body mass index (BMI) >40 kg/m(2) that underwent out-patient GI endoscopy between September 2010 and February 2011. Patient data was analyzed for procedure, airway management technique as well as hypoxemic and cardiovascular events. A total of 119 patients met the inclusion criteria. Our innovative airway management technique resulted in a lower rate of intraoperative hypoxemic events compared with any published data available. Frequency of desaturation episodes showed statistically significant relation to previous history of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). These desaturation episodes were found to be statistically independent of increasing BMI of patients. Pre-operative history of OSA irrespective of associated BMI values can be potentially used as a predictor of intra-procedural desaturation. With suitable modification of anesthesia technique, it is possible to reduce the incidence of adverse respiratory events in morbidly obese patients undergoing GI endoscopy procedures, thereby avoiding the need for endotracheal intubation.

  2. Building Commissioning: A Golden Opportunity for Reducing Energy Costs and Greenhouse-gas Emissions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mills, Evan

    2009-07-16

    data are available revealed over 10,000 energy-related problems, resulting in 16% median whole-building energy savings in existing buildings and 13% in new construction, with payback time of 1.1 years and 4.2 years, respectively. In terms of other cost-benefit indicators, median benefit-cost ratios of 4.5 and 1.1, and cash-on-cash returns of 91% and 23% were attained for existing and new buildings, respectively. High-tech buildings were particularly cost-effective, and saved higher amounts of energy due to their energy-intensiveness. Projects with a comprehensive approach to commissioning attained nearly twice the overall median level of savings and five-times the savings of the least-thorough projects. It is noteworthy that virtually all existing building projects were cost-effective by each metric (0.4 years for the upper quartile and 2.4 years for the lower quartile), as were the majority of new-construction projects (1.5 years and 10.8 years, respectively). We also found high cost-effectiveness for each specific measure for which we have data. Contrary to a common perception, cost-effectiveness is often achieved even in smaller buildings. Thanks to energy savings valued more than the cost of the commissioning process, associated reductions in greenhouse gas emissions come at 'negative' cost. In fact, the median cost of conserved carbon is negative - -$110 per tonne for existing buildings and -$25/tonne for new construction - as compared with market prices for carbon trading and offsets in the +$10 to +$30/tonne range. Further enhancing the value of commissioning, its non-energy benefits surpass those of most other energy-management practices. Significant first-cost savings (e.g., through right-sizing of heating and cooling equipment) routinely offset at least a portion of commissioning costs - fully in some cases. When accounting for these benefits, the net median commissioning project cost was reduced by 49% on average, while in many cases they exceeded

  3. Cost-effectiveness analysis of repeat fine-needle aspiration for thyroid biopsies read as atypia of undetermined significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, Michael; Zanocco, Kyle; Zydowicz, Sara; Elaraj, Dina; Nayar, Ritu; Sturgeon, Cord

    2012-09-01

    The 2007 National Cancer Institute (NCI) conference on Thyroid Fine-Needle Aspiration (FNA) introduced the category atypia of undetermined significance (AUS) or follicular lesion of undetermined significance (FLUS). Repeat FNA in 3 to 6 months was recommended for low-risk patients. Compliance with these recommendations has been suboptimal. We hypothesized that repeat FNA would be more effective than diagnostic lobectomy, with decreased costs and improved rates of cancer detection. Cost-effectiveness analysis was performed in which we compared diagnostic lobectomy with repeat FNA. A Markov model was developed. Outcomes and probabilities were identified from literature review. Third-party payer costs were estimated in 2010 US dollars. Outcomes were weighted by use of the quality-of-life utility factors, yielding quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). Monte Carlo simulation and sensitivity analysis were used to examine the uncertainty of probability, cost, and utility estimates. The diagnostic lobectomy strategy cost $8,057 and produced 23.99 QALYs. Repeat FNA cost $2,462 and produced 24.05 QALYs. Repeat FNA was dominant until the cost of FNA increased to $6,091. Dominance of the repeat FNA strategy was not sensitive to the cost of operation or the complication rate. The NCI recommendations for repeat FNA regarding follow-up of AUS/FLUS results are cost-effective. Improving compliance with these guidelines should lead to less overall costs, greater quality of life, and fewer unnecessary operations. Copyright © 2012 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. A way for reducing drug supply chain cost for a hospital district: A case study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Postacchini, L.; Ciarapica, F.E.; Bevilacqua, M.; Mazzuto, G.; Paciarotti, C.

    2016-07-01

    This work aims at providing insights to optimise healthcare logistic of the drug management, in order to deal with the healthcare expenditure cut. In this paper the effects of different drug supply chain configurations, on the resulting average stock, service level and Bullwhip effect, of the studied supply chain, is quantitatively assessed. A case study of an Italian district has been studied, taking into account three echelons: suppliers, central stock, and hospitals. A model of the various supply chain configurations has been created with the use of the simulation. Specifically, 24 supply chain configurations have been examined, stemming from the combination of several supply chain design parameters, namely: transshipment policies (Emergency Lateral Transshipment or Total Inventory Equalization); re-order and inventory management policies (Economic Order Quantity or Economic Order Interval); required service levels (90% or 95%); the number of available vans (one or two). For each configuration, hospital average stock, service level and a “Bullwhip effect” analysis are computed. To know which input variables are statistically significant, a DoE (Design of Experiments) analysis has been executed. The output of this paper provides useful insights and suggestions to optimize the healthcare logistic and drug supply chain. According to the developed DoE analysis, it can be stated that the introduction of transshipment policies provides important improvement in terms of service and stock levels. To reduce the Bullwhip effect, which results in a service level decreasing, and in a managing stock costs increasing, it is worth to adopt an EOQ re-order policy. This research gives practical recommendations to the studied system, in order to reduce costs and maintain a very satisfactory service level. This paper fulfils an identified need to study which combination of transshipment policies, re-order/inventory management policies and required service levels, can be the

  5. Environmental program with operational cases to reduce risk to the marine environment significantly

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cline, J.T.; Forde, R.

    1991-01-01

    In this paper Amoco Norway Oil Company's environmental program is detailed, followed by example operational programs and achievements aimed to minimize environmental risks to the marine environment at Valhall platform. With a corporate goal to be a leader in protecting the environment, the appropriate strategies and policies that form the basis of the environmental management system are incorporated in the quality assurance programs. Also, included in the program are necessary organizational structures, responsibilities of environmental affairs and line organization personnel, compliance procedures and a waste task force obliged to implement operations improvements. An internal environmental audit system has been initiated, in addition to corporate level audits, which, when communicated to the line organization closes the environmental management loop through experience feed back. Environmental projects underway are significantly decreasing the extent and/or risk of pollution from offshore activities. The cradle to grave responsibility is assumed with waste separated offshore and onshore followed by disposal in audited sites. A $5 MM program is underway to control produced oily solids and reduce oil in produced water aiming to less than 20 ppm. When oil-based mud is used in deeper hole sections, drill solids disposed at sea average less than 60 g oil/kg dry cuttings using appropriate shaker screens, and a washing/centrifuge system to remove fines. Certain oily liquid wastes are being injected down hole whereas previously they were burned using a mud burner. Finally, a program is underway with a goal to eliminate sea discharge of oil on cuttings through injection disposal of oily wastes, drilling with alternative muds such as a cationic water base mud, and/or proper onshore disposal of oily wastes

  6. Simultaneous bilateral stereotactic procedure for deep brain stimulation implants: a significant step for reducing operation time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonoff, Erich Talamoni; Azevedo, Angelo; Angelos, Jairo Silva Dos; Martinez, Raquel Chacon Ruiz; Navarro, Jessie; Reis, Paul Rodrigo; Sepulveda, Miguel Ernesto San Martin; Cury, Rubens Gisbert; Ghilardi, Maria Gabriela Dos Santos; Teixeira, Manoel Jacobsen; Lopez, William Omar Contreras

    2016-07-01

    OBJECT Currently, bilateral procedures involve 2 sequential implants in each of the hemispheres. The present report demonstrates the feasibility of simultaneous bilateral procedures during the implantation of deep brain stimulation (DBS) leads. METHODS Fifty-seven patients with movement disorders underwent bilateral DBS implantation in the same study period. The authors compared the time required for the surgical implantation of deep brain electrodes in 2 randomly assigned groups. One group of 28 patients underwent traditional sequential electrode implantation, and the other 29 patients underwent simultaneous bilateral implantation. Clinical outcomes of the patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) who had undergone DBS implantation of the subthalamic nucleus using either of the 2 techniques were compared. RESULTS Overall, a reduction of 38.51% in total operating time for the simultaneous bilateral group (136.4 ± 20.93 minutes) as compared with that for the traditional consecutive approach (220.3 ± 27.58 minutes) was observed. Regarding clinical outcomes in the PD patients who underwent subthalamic nucleus DBS implantation, comparing the preoperative off-medication condition with the off-medication/on-stimulation condition 1 year after the surgery in both procedure groups, there was a mean 47.8% ± 9.5% improvement in the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale Part III (UPDRS-III) score in the simultaneous group, while the sequential group experienced 47.5% ± 15.8% improvement (p = 0.96). Moreover, a marked reduction in the levodopa-equivalent dose from preoperatively to postoperatively was similar in these 2 groups. The simultaneous bilateral procedure presented major advantages over the traditional sequential approach, with a shorter total operating time. CONCLUSIONS A simultaneous stereotactic approach significantly reduces the operation time in bilateral DBS procedures, resulting in decreased microrecording time, contributing to the optimization of functional

  7. The System 80+ standard plant design reduces operations and maintenance costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chari, D.R.; Robertson, J.E.

    1998-01-01

    To be cost-competitive, nuclear power plants must maximize plant availability and minimize operations and maintenance (O and M) costs. A plant whose design supports these goals will generate more power at less cost and thereby have a lower unit generating cost. The ABB Combustion Engineering Nuclear Systems (ABB-CE) System 80+ Standard Nuclear Power Plant, rated at 1400 megawatts electric (MWe), is designed for high availability at reduced cost. To demonstrate that the duration of refueling outages, the major contributor to plant unavailability, can be shortened, ABB-CE developed a detailed plan that shows a System 80+ plant can safely perform a refueling and maintenance outage in 18 days. This is a significant reduction from the average current U.S. plant outages of 45 days, and is possible due to a two-part outage strategy: use System 80+ advanced system design features and relaxed technical specification (TS) time limits to shift some maintenance from outages to operating periods: and, use System 80+ structural, system, and component features, such as the larger operating floor, permanent pool seal, integral reactor head area cable tray system and missile shield, and longer life reactor coolant pump seals, to reduce the scope and duration of outage maintenance activities. Plant staffing level is the major variable, or controllable contributor to operations costs. ABB-CE worked with the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) to perform detailed staffing analyses that show a System 80+ plant can be operated reliably with 30 percent less staff than currently operating nuclear plants of similar size. Safety was not sacrificed when ABB-CE developed the System 80+ refueling outage plan and staffing level. The outage plan was developed utilizing a defense-in-depth concept for shutdown safety. The defense in-depth concept is implemented via systematic control of outage risk evaluation (SCORE) cards. The SCORE cards identify primary and alternate means of

  8. Defense Inventory Management: Expanding Use of Best Practices for Hardware Items Can Reduce Logistics Costs

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    1998-01-01

    ...) logistics practices with those of the private sector. We are continuously examining DOD'S inventory management practices to identify areas where costs can be reduced and problems can be avoided by using leading private sector practices...

  9. Main means for reducing the production costs in process of leaching uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jiang Lang

    2000-01-01

    The production costs in process of leaching uranium have been reduced by controlling mixture ratio of crudes, milling particle size, liquid/solid mass ratio of leaching pulp, potential and residue acidity, and improving power equipment

  10. Navy Ordnance Analysis of Business Area Efforts to Streamline Operations and Reduce Costs

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    1997-01-01

    .... The Navy reorganized this business area in 1993 in order to reduce costs and address various deficiencies in ordnance logistics management that were identified during Desert Shield/Desert Storm...

  11. Competitive investments in cost reducing process improvement : The role of managerial incentives and spillover learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veldman, Jasper; Gaalman, Gerard J.c.

    2015-01-01

    We study the rivalry between two firms and consider the effect of spillovers when the firms' operations and technology managers are given bonuses for cost reduction. We model a game in which the firm owners independently offer their manager a bonus to stimulate cost reducing process improvement

  12. A reduced-cost iterated local search heuristic for the fixed-charge transportation problem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buson, Erika; Roberti, Roberto; Toth, Paolo

    2014-01-01

    The fixed-charge transportation problem (FCTP) is a generalization of the transportation problem where an additional fixed cost is paid for sending a flow from an origin to a destination. We propose an iterated local search heuristic based on the utilization of reduced costs for guiding the restart

  13. Soil nitrate reducing processes drivers, mechanisms for spatial variation, and significance for nitrous oxide production

    OpenAIRE

    Giles, M.; Morley, N.; Baggs, E.M.; Daniell, T.J.

    2012-01-01

    The microbial processes of denitrification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium\\ud (DNRA) are two important nitrate reducing mechanisms in soil, which are responsible for\\ud the loss of nitrate (NO−\\ud 3 ) and production of the potent greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide (N2O).\\ud A number of factors are known to control these processes, including O2 concentrations and\\ud moisture content, N, C, pH, and the size and community structure of nitrate reducing organisms\\ud responsible for the ...

  14. Pegasus project. DLC coating and low viscosity oil reduce energy losses significantly

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Doerwald, Dave; Jacobs, Ruud [Hauzer Techno Coating (Netherlands). Tribological Coatings

    2012-03-15

    Pegasus, the flying horse from Greek mythology, is a suitable name for the research project initiated by a German automotive OEM with participation of Hauzer Techno Coating and several automotive suppliers. It will enable future automotive vehicles to reduce fuel consumption without losing power. The project described in this article focuses on the rear differential, because reducing friction here can contribute considerably to efficiency improvement of the whole vehicle. Surfaces, coating and oil viscosity have been investigated and interesting conclusions have been reached. (orig.)

  15. Mindfulness significantly reduces self-reported levels of anxiety and depression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Würtzen, Hanne; Dalton, Susanne Oksbjerg; Elsass, Peter

    2013-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: As the incidence of and survival from breast cancer continue to raise, interventions to reduce anxiety and depression before, during and after treatment are needed. Previous studies have reported positive effects of a structured 8-week group mindfulness-based stress reduction program...

  16. Soil nitrate reducing processes – drivers, mechanisms for spatial variation, and significance for nitrous oxide production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giles, Madeline; Morley, Nicholas; Baggs, Elizabeth M.; Daniell, Tim J.

    2012-01-01

    The microbial processes of denitrification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) are two important nitrate reducing mechanisms in soil, which are responsible for the loss of nitrate (NO3−) and production of the potent greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide (N2O). A number of factors are known to control these processes, including O2 concentrations and moisture content, N, C, pH, and the size and community structure of nitrate reducing organisms responsible for the processes. There is an increasing understanding associated with many of these controls on flux through the nitrogen cycle in soil systems. However, there remains uncertainty about how the nitrate reducing communities are linked to environmental variables and the flux of products from these processes. The high spatial variability of environmental controls and microbial communities across small sub centimeter areas of soil may prove to be critical in determining why an understanding of the links between biotic and abiotic controls has proved elusive. This spatial effect is often overlooked as a driver of nitrate reducing processes. An increased knowledge of the effects of spatial heterogeneity in soil on nitrate reduction processes will be fundamental in understanding the drivers, location, and potential for N2O production from soils. PMID:23264770

  17. Soil nitrate reducing processes – drivers, mechanisms for spatial variation and significance for nitrous oxide production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madeline Eleanore Giles

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The microbial processes of denitrification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA are two important nitrate reducing mechanisms in soil, which are responsible for the loss of nitrate (NO3-¬ and production of the potent greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide (N2O. A number of factors are known to control these processes, including O2 concentrations and moisture content, N, C, pH and the size and community structure of nitrate reducing organisms responsible for the processes. There is an increasing understanding associated with many of these controls on flux through the nitrogen cycle in soil systems. However, there remains uncertainty about how the nitrate reducing communities are linked to environmental variables and the flux of products from these processes. The high spatial variability of environmental controls and microbial communities across small sub cm areas of soil may prove to be critical in determining why an understanding of the links between biotic and abiotic controls has proved elusive. This spatial effect is often overlooked as a driver of nitrate reducing processes. An increased knowledge of the effects of spatial heterogeneity in soil on nitrate reduction processes will be fundamental in understanding the drivers, location and potential for N2O production from soils.

  18. Soil nitrate reducing processes - drivers, mechanisms for spatial variation, and significance for nitrous oxide production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giles, Madeline; Morley, Nicholas; Baggs, Elizabeth M; Daniell, Tim J

    2012-01-01

    The microbial processes of denitrification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) are two important nitrate reducing mechanisms in soil, which are responsible for the loss of nitrate ([Formula: see text]) and production of the potent greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide (N(2)O). A number of factors are known to control these processes, including O(2) concentrations and moisture content, N, C, pH, and the size and community structure of nitrate reducing organisms responsible for the processes. There is an increasing understanding associated with many of these controls on flux through the nitrogen cycle in soil systems. However, there remains uncertainty about how the nitrate reducing communities are linked to environmental variables and the flux of products from these processes. The high spatial variability of environmental controls and microbial communities across small sub centimeter areas of soil may prove to be critical in determining why an understanding of the links between biotic and abiotic controls has proved elusive. This spatial effect is often overlooked as a driver of nitrate reducing processes. An increased knowledge of the effects of spatial heterogeneity in soil on nitrate reduction processes will be fundamental in understanding the drivers, location, and potential for N(2)O production from soils.

  19. Does Eco-efficency Reduce the Cost of Equity Capital? Empirical Evidence From Indonesia

    OpenAIRE

    Alviani, Lisa; Sholihin, Mahfud

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study is to examine the effect of eco-efficiency on the cost of equity capital. The study hypothesizes that the implementation of eco-efficiency reduces the cost of equity capital. Using manufacturing companies listed on the Indonesian Stock Exchange for the period 2010-2012 as data, and controlling for beta, company size, Book to Market ratio, and leverage; the study finds that the implementation of eco-efficiency may reduce the cost of equity capital. The findings sugg...

  20. DOES ECO-EFFICENCY REDUCE THE COST OF EQUITY CAPITAL? EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE FROM INDONESIA

    OpenAIRE

    Lisa Alviani; Mahfud Sholihin

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study is to examine the effect of eco-efficiency on the cost of equity capital. The study hypothesizes that the implementation of eco-efficiency reduces the cost of equity capital. Using manufacturing companies listed on the Indonesian Stock Exchange for the period 2010-2012 as data, and controlling for beta, company size, Book to Market ratio, and leverage; the study finds that the implementation of eco-efficiency may reduce the cost of equity capital. The findings sugg...

  1. DOES ECO-EFFICENCY REDUCE THE COST OF EQUITY CAPITAL? EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE FROM INDONESIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa Alviani

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study is to examine the effect of eco-efficiency on the cost of equity capital. The study hypothesizes that the implementation of eco-efficiency reduces the cost of equity capital. Using manufacturing companies listed on the Indonesian Stock Exchange for the period 2010-2012 as data, and controlling for beta, company size, Book to Market ratio, and leverage; the study finds that the implementation of eco-efficiency may reduce the cost of equity capital. The findings suggest that companies should implement eco-efficency.

  2. Cost effectiveness of a screen-and-treat program for asymptomatic vaginal infections in pregnancy: towards a significant reduction in the costs of prematurity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiss, H; Pichler, Eva; Petricevic, L; Husslein, P

    2006-08-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to determine the cost-saving potential of a simple screen-and-treat program for vaginal infection, which has previously been shown to lead to a reduction of 50% in the rate of preterm births. To determine the potential cost savings, we compared the direct costs of preterm delivery of infants with a birth weight below 1900g with the costs of the screen-and-treat program. We used a cut-off birth weight of 1900g because, in our population, all infants with a birth weight below 1900g were transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit. The direct costs associated with preterm delivery were defined to include the costs of the initial hospitalization of both mother and infant and the costs of outpatient follow-up throughout the first 6 years of life of the former preterm infant. The costs of the screen-and-treat program were defined to include the costs of the screening examination and the resulting costs of antimicrobial treatment and follow-up. All calculations were based on health-economic data obtained in the metropolitan area of Vienna, Austria. The number of preterm infants with a birth weight below 1900g was 12 (0.5%) in the intervention group (N=2058) and 29 (1.3%) in the control group (N=2097). The direct costs per preterm birth were found to amount to EUR (euro) 60262. Overall, the expected total savings in direct costs achieved by the screen-and-treat program and the ensuing 50% reduction in the number preterm births with a birth weight below 1900g amounted to more than euro 11 million. The costs of screening and treatment were found to amount to merely 7% of the direct costs saved as a result of the screen-and-treat program. A simple preterm prevention program, consisting of screening and antimicrobial treatment and follow-up of women with asymptomatic vaginal infection, leads not only to a significant reduction in the rate of preterm births but also to substantial savings in the direct costs associated with prematurity.

  3. The cost-effectiveness of methanol for reducing motor vehicle emissions and urban ozone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krupnick, A.J.; Walls, M.A.

    1992-01-01

    This article analyzes the costs and emissions characteristics of methanol vehicles. The cost-effectiveness of methanol - the cost per ton of reactive hydrocarbon emissions reduced - is calculated and compared to the cost-effectiveness of other hydrocarbon reduction strategies. Methanol is found to cost from $33,000 to nearly $60,000 per ton, while several other options are available for under $10,000 per ton. The cost per part-per-million reduction in peak ambient ozone levels is also computed for two cities, Houston and Philadelphia. Despite the greater improvement in ozone in Philadelphia than Houston, methanol is found to be more cost-effective in Houston. This result occurs because Houston's distribution and marketing costs are lower than Philadelphia's. The costs in both cities, however, are far higher than estimates of the benefits from acute health improvements. Finally, the reduction in ozone exposure in Los Angeles is estimated and the costs of the reduction compared with an estimate of acute health benefits. Again, the benefits fall far short of the costs. 51 refs., 5 tabs

  4. Reducing dysfunctional beliefs about sleep does not significantly improve insomnia in cognitive behavioral therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okajima, Isa; Nakajima, Shun; Ochi, Moeko; Inoue, Yuichi

    2014-01-01

    The present study examined to examine whether improvement of insomnia is mediated by a reduction in sleep-related dysfunctional beliefs through cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. In total, 64 patients with chronic insomnia received cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia consisting of 6 biweekly individual treatment sessions of 50 minutes in length. Participants were asked to complete the Athens Insomnia Scale and the Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes about Sleep scale both at the baseline and at the end of treatment. The results showed that although cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia greatly reduced individuals' scores on both scales, the decrease in dysfunctional beliefs and attitudes about sleep with treatment did not seem to mediate improvement in insomnia. The findings suggest that sleep-related dysfunctional beliefs endorsed by patients with chronic insomnia may be attenuated by cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, but changes in such beliefs are not likely to play a crucial role in reducing the severity of insomnia.

  5. Paying our way: thinking strategically to offset the cost of reducing fire hazard in western forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhonda Mazza

    2008-01-01

    The fire hazard in many western forests is unacceptably high, posing risks to human health and property, wildlife habitat, and air and water quality. Cost is an inhibiting factor for reducing hazardous fuel, given the amount of acreage needing treatment. Thinning overly dense forests is one way to reduce fuel loads. Much of the product removed during these treatments...

  6. Basking hamsters reduce resting metabolism, body temperature and energy costs during rewarming from torpor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geiser, Fritz; Gasch, Kristina; Bieber, Claudia; Stalder, Gabrielle L; Gerritsmann, Hanno; Ruf, Thomas

    2016-07-15

    Basking can substantially reduce thermoregulatory energy expenditure of mammals. We tested the hypothesis that the largely white winter fur of hamsters (Phodopus sungorus), originating from Asian steppes, may be related to camouflage to permit sun basking on or near snow. Winter-acclimated hamsters in our study were largely white and had a high proclivity to bask when resting and torpid. Resting hamsters reduced metabolic rate (MR) significantly (>30%) when basking at ambient temperatures (Ta) of ∼15 and 0°C. Interestingly, body temperature (Tb) also was significantly reduced from 34.7±0.6°C (Ta 15°C, not basking) to 30.4±2.0°C (Ta 0°C, basking), which resulted in an extremely low (thermal conductance. Induced torpor (food withheld) during respirometry at Ta 15°C occurred on 83.3±36.0% of days and the minimum torpor MR was 36% of basal MR at an average Tb of 22.0±2.6°C; movement to the basking lamp occurred at Tb50%) during radiant heat-assisted rewarming; however, radiant heat per se without an endogenous contribution by animals did not strongly affect metabolism and Tb during torpor. Our data show that basking substantially modifies thermal energetics in hamsters, with a drop of resting Tb and MR not previously observed and a reduction of rewarming costs. The energy savings afforded by basking in hamsters suggest that this behaviour is of energetic significance not only for mammals living in deserts, where basking is common, but also for P. sungorus and probably other cold-climate mammals. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  7. Strategies for reducing implant costs in the revision total knee arthroplasty episode of care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elbuluk, Ameer M; Old, Andrew B; Bosco, Joseph A; Schwarzkopf, Ran; Iorio, Richard

    2017-12-01

    Implant price has been identified as a significant contributing factor to high costs associated with revision total knee arthroplasty (rTKA). The goal of this study is to analyze the cost of implants used in rTKAs and to compare this pricing with 2 alternative pricing models. Using our institutional database, we identified 52 patients from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. Average cost of components for each case was calculated and compared to the total hospital cost for that admission. Costs for an all-component revision were then compared to a proposed "direct to hospital" (DTH) standardized pricing model and a fixed price revision option. Potential savings were calculated from these figures. On average, 28% of the total hospital cost was spent on implants for rTKA. The average cost for revision of all components was $13,640 and ranged from $3000 to $28,000. On average, this represented 32.7% of the total hospital cost. Direct to hospital implant pricing could potentially save approximately $7000 per rTKA, and the fixed pricing model could provide a further $1000 reduction per rTKA-potentially saving $8000 per case on implants alone. Alternative implant pricing models could help lower the total cost of rTKA, which would allow hospitals to achieve significant cost containment.

  8. The Evolution of Polymer Composition during PHA Accumulation: The Significance of Reducing Equivalents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liliana Montano-Herrera

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a systematic investigation into monomer development during mixed culture Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA accumulation involving concurrent active biomass growth and polymer storage. A series of mixed culture PHA accumulation experiments, using several different substrate-feeding strategies, was carried out. The feedstock comprised volatile fatty acids, which were applied as single carbon sources, as mixtures, or in series, using a fed-batch feed-on-demand controlled bioprocess. A dynamic trend in active biomass growth as well as polymer composition was observed. The observations were consistent over replicate accumulations. Metabolic flux analysis (MFA was used to investigate metabolic activity through time. It was concluded that carbon flux, and consequently copolymer composition, could be linked with how reducing equivalents are generated.

  9. Significantly reduced c-axis thermal diffusivity of graphene-based papers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Meng; Xie, Yangsu; Liu, Jing; Zhang, Jingchao; Wang, Xinwei

    2018-06-01

    Owing to their very high thermal conductivity as well as large surface-to-volume ratio, graphene-based films/papers have been proposed as promising candidates of lightweight thermal interface materials and lateral heat spreaders. In this work, we study the cross-plane (c-axis) thermal conductivity (k c ) and diffusivity (α c ) of two typical graphene-based papers, which are partially reduced graphene paper (PRGP) and graphene oxide paper (GOP), and compare their thermal properties with highly-reduced graphene paper and graphite. The determined α c of PRGP varies from (1.02 ± 0.09) × 10‑7 m2 s‑1 at 295 K to (2.31 ± 0.18) × 10‑7 m2 s‑1 at 12 K. This low α c is mainly attributed to the strong phonon scattering at the grain boundaries and defect centers due to the small grain sizes and high-level defects. For GOP, α c varies from (1.52 ± 0.05) × 10‑7 m2 s‑1 at 295 K to (2.28 ± 0.08) × 10‑7 m2 s‑1 at 12.5 K. The cross-plane thermal transport of GOP is attributed to the high density of functional groups between carbon layers which provide weak thermal transport tunnels across the layers in the absence of direct energy coupling among layers. This work sheds light on the understanding and optimizing of nanostructure of graphene-based paper-like materials for desired thermal performance.

  10. A way for reducing drug supply chain cost for a hospital district: A case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Postacchini

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: This work aims at providing insights to optimise healthcare logistic of the drug management, in order to deal with the healthcare expenditure cut. In this paper the effects of different drug supply chain configurations, on the resulting average stock, service level and Bullwhip effect, of the studied supply chain, is quantitatively assessed. Design/methodology/approach: A case study of an Italian district has been studied, taking into account three echelons: suppliers, central stock, and hospitals. A model of the various supply chain configurations has been created with the use of the simulation. Specifically, 24 supply chain configurations have been examined, stemming from the combination of several supply chain design parameters, namely: transshipment policies (Emergency Lateral Transshipment or Total Inventory Equalization; re-order and inventory management policies (Economic Order Quantity or Economic Order Interval; required service levels (90% or 95%; the number of available vans (one or two. For each configuration, hospital average stock, service level and a “Bullwhip effect” analysis are computed. To know which input variables are statistically significant, a DoE (Design of Experiments analysis has been executed. Findings: The output of this paper provides useful insights and suggestions to optimize the healthcare logistic and drug supply chain. According to the developed DoE analysis, it can be stated that the introduction of transshipment policies provides important improvement in terms of service and stock levels. To reduce the Bullwhip effect, which results in a service level decreasing, and in a managing stock costs increasing, it is worth to adopt an EOQ re-order policy. Practical implications: This research gives practical recommendations to the studied system, in order to reduce costs and maintain a very satisfactory service level. Originality/value: This paper fulfils an identified need to study which combination of

  11. Cost implications of reduced work hours and workloads for resident physicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuckols, Teryl K; Bhattacharya, Jay; Wolman, Dianne Miller; Ulmer, Cheryl; Escarce, José J

    2009-05-21

    Although the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) limits the work hours of residents, concerns about fatigue persist. A new Institute of Medicine (IOM) report recommends, among other changes, improved adherence to the 2003 ACGME limits, naps during extended shifts, a 16-hour limit for shifts without naps, and reduced workloads. We used published data to estimate labor costs associated with transferring excess work from residents to substitute providers, and we examined the effects of our assumptions in sensitivity analyses. Next, using a probability model to represent labor costs as well as mortality and costs associated with preventable adverse events, we determined the net costs to major teaching hospitals and cost-effectiveness across a range of hypothetical changes in the rate of preventable adverse events. Annual labor costs from implementing the IOM recommendations were estimated to be $1.6 billion (in 2006 U.S. dollars) across all ACGME-accredited programs ($1.1 billion to $2.5 billion in sensitivity analyses). From a 10% decrease to a 10% increase in preventable adverse events, net costs per admission ranged from $99 to $183 for major teaching hospitals and from $17 to $266 for society. With 2.5% to 11.3% decreases in preventable adverse events, costs to society per averted death ranged from $3.4 million to $0. Implementing the four IOM recommendations would be costly, and their effectiveness is unknown. If highly effective, they could prevent patient harm at reduced or no cost from the societal perspective. However, net costs to teaching hospitals would remain high. 2009 Massachusetts Medical Society

  12. Autonomous exoskeleton reduces metabolic cost of human walking during load carriage

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Many soldiers are expected to carry heavy loads over extended distances, often resulting in physical and mental fatigue. In this study, the design and testing of an autonomous leg exoskeleton is presented. The aim of the device is to reduce the energetic cost of loaded walking. In addition, we present the Augmentation Factor, a general framework of exoskeletal performance that unifies our results with the varying abilities of previously developed exoskeletons. Methods We developed an autonomous battery powered exoskeleton that is capable of providing substantial levels of positive mechanical power to the ankle during the push-off region of stance phase. We measured the metabolic energy consumption of seven subjects walking on a level treadmill at 1.5 m/s, while wearing a 23 kg vest. Results During the push-off portion of the stance phase, the exoskeleton applied positive mechanical power with an average across the gait cycle equal to 23 ± 2 W (11.5 W per ankle). Use of the autonomous leg exoskeleton significantly reduced the metabolic cost of walking by 36 ± 12 W, which was an improvement of 8 ± 3% (p = 0.025) relative to the control condition of not wearing the exoskeleton. Conclusions In the design of leg exoskeletons, the results of this study highlight the importance of minimizing exoskeletal power dissipation and added limb mass, while providing substantial positive power during the walking gait cycle. PMID:24885527

  13. Reducing Nitrogen Pollution while Decreasing Farmers' Costs and Increasing Fertilizer Industry Profits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanter, David R; Zhang, Xin; Mauzerall, Denise L

    2015-03-01

    Nitrogen (N) pollution is emerging as one of the most important environmental issues of the 21st Century, contributing to air and water pollution, climate change, and stratospheric ozone depletion. With agriculture being the dominant source, we tested whether it is possible to reduce agricultural N pollution in a way that benefits the environment, reduces farmers' costs, and increases fertilizer industry profitability, thereby creating a "sweet spot" for decision-makers that could significantly increase the viability of improved N management initiatives. Although studies of the economic impacts of improved N management have begun to take into account farmers and the environment, this is the first study to consider the fertilizer industry. Our "sweet spot" hypothesis is evaluated via a cost-benefit analysis of moderate and ambitious N use efficiency targets in U.S. and China corn sectors over the period 2015-2035. We use a blend of publicly available crop and energy price projections, original time-series modeling, and expert elicitation. The results present a mixed picture: although the potential for a "sweet spot" exists in both countries, it is more likely that one occurs in China due to the currently extensive overapplication of fertilizer, which creates a greater potential for farmers and the fertilizer industry to gain economically from improved N management. Nevertheless, the environmental benefits of improving N management consistently dwarf the economic impacts on farmers and the fertilizer industry in both countries, suggesting that viable policy options could include incentives to farmers and the fertilizer industry to increase their support for N management policies. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  14. Technological significances to reduce the material problems. Feasibility of heat flux reduction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamazaki, Seiichiro; Shimada, Michiya.

    1994-01-01

    For a divertor plate in a fusion power reactor, a high temperature coolant must be used for heat removal to keep thermal efficiency high. It makes the temperature and thermal stress of wall materials higher than the design limits. Issues of the coolant itself, e.g. burnout of high temperature water, will also become a serious problem. Sputtering erosion of the surface material will be a great concern of its lifetime. Therefore, it is necessary to reduce the heat and particle loads to the divertor plate technologically. The feasibility of some technological methods of heat reduction, such as separatrix sweeping, is discussed. As one of the most promising ideas, the methods of radiative cooling of the divertor plasma are summarized based on the recent results of large tokamaks. The feasibility of remote radiative cooling and gas divertor is discussed. The ideas are considered in recent design studies of tokamak power reactors and experimental reactors. By way of example, conceptual designs of divertor plate for the steady state tokamak power reactor are described. (author)

  15. Spatial analyses of cost efficient measures to reduce N-leaching

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Brian H.; Abildtrup, Jens; Ørum, Jens Erik

    (WFD). The analysis shows that the geographical position of the measures are very important in order to achieve the expected nutrient reduction. The current income varies a lot in the River basin and this might influence the choice of cost effective measures to reduce nutrient load. Furthermore a close......The Nitrate Directive has only been implemented satisfactorily in a few EU countries. The Commission have accepted the Danish implementation of the directive based on the Plan for the Aquatic Environment II. The costs of this plan has been calculated to 70 million € or 2,0 € per kg N in reduced...... leaching. The farmers have paid 60% of the costs. The paper then describes an example of a regional analysis covering the River Basin of Ringkøbing Fjord in Denmark, which indicates the type of calculations needed to find the measures and costs in order to comply with parts of the Water Framework Directive...

  16. Waste Minimization Improvements Achieved Through Six Sigma Analysis Result In Significant Cost Savings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mousseau, Jeffrey D.; Jansen, John R.; Janke, David H.; Plowman, Catherine M.

    2003-01-01

    Improved waste minimization practices at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) are leading to a 15% reduction in the generation of hazardous and radioactive waste. Bechtel, BWXT Idaho, LLC (BBWI), the prime management and operations contractor at the INEEL, applied the Six Sigma improvement process to the INEEL Waste Minimization Program to review existing processes and define opportunities for improvement. Our Six Sigma analysis team: composed of an executive champion, process owner, a black belt and yellow belt, and technical and business team members used this statistical based process approach to analyze work processes and produced ten recommendations for improvement. Recommendations ranged from waste generator financial accountability for newly generated waste to enhanced employee recognition programs for waste minimization efforts. These improvements have now been implemented to reduce waste generation rates and are producing positive results

  17. Can E-Filing Reduce Tax Compliance Costs in Developing Countries?

    OpenAIRE

    Yilmaz, Fatih; Coolidge, Jacqueline

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to investigate the association between electronic filing (e-filing) and the total tax compliance costs incurred by small and medium size businesses in developing countries, based on survey data from South Africa, Ukraine, and Nepal. A priori, most observers expect that use of e-filing should reduce tax compliance costs, but this analysis suggests that the assum...

  18. Multi-faceted case management: reducing compensation costs of musculoskeletal work injuries in Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iles, Ross Anthony; Wyatt, M; Pransky, G

    2012-12-01

    This study aimed to determine whether a multi-faceted model of management of work related musculoskeletal disorders reduced compensation claim costs and days of compensation for injured workers. An intervention including early reporting, employee centred case management and removal of barriers to return to work was instituted in 16 selected companies with a combined remuneration over $337 million. Outcomes were evaluated by an administrative dataset from the Victorian WorkCover Authority database. A 'quasi experimental' pre-post design was employed with 492 matched companies without the intervention used as a control group and an average of 21 months of post-intervention follow-up. Primary outcomes were average number of days of compensation and average cost of claims. Secondary outcomes were total medical costs and weekly benefits paid. Information on 3,312 claims was analysed. In companies where the intervention was introduced the average cost of claims was reduced from $6,019 to $3,913 (estimated difference $2,329, 95 % CI $1,318-$3,340) and the number of days of compensation decreased from 33.5 to 14.1 (HR 0.77, 95 % CI 0.67-0.88). Medical costs and weekly benefits costs were also lower after the intervention (p costs were noted across industry types, injury location and most employer sizes. The model of claims management investigated was effective in reducing the number of days of compensation, total claim costs, total medical costs and the amount paid in weekly benefits. Further research should investigate whether the intervention improves non-financial outcomes in the return to work process.

  19. Cost-effectiveness of diet and exercise interventions to reduce overweight and obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forster, M; Veerman, J L; Barendregt, J J; Vos, T

    2011-08-01

    To analyze whether two dietary weight loss interventions--the dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) program and a low-fat diet program--would be cost-effective in Australia, and to assess their potential to reduce the disease burden related to excess body weight. We constructed a multi-state life-table-based Markov model in which the distribution of body weight influences the incidence of stroke, ischemic heart disease, hypertensive heart disease, diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis, post-menopausal breast cancer, colon cancer, endometrial cancer and kidney cancer. The target population was the overweight and obese adult population in Australia in 2003. We used a lifetime horizon for health effects and costs, and a health sector perspective for costs. We populated the model with data identified from Medline and Cochrane searches, Australian Bureau of Statistics published catalogues, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, and Department of Health and Ageing. Disability adjusted life years (DALYs) averted, incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) and proportions of disease burden avoided. ICERs under AUS$50,000 per DALY are considered cost-effective. The DASH and low-fat diet programs have ICERs of AUS$12,000 per DALY (95% uncertainty range: Cost-saving- 68,000) and AUS$13,000 per DALY (Cost-saving--130,000), respectively. Neither intervention reduced the body weight-related disease burden at population level by more than 0.1%. The sensitivity analysis showed that when participants' costs for time and travel are included, the ICERs increase to AUS$75,000 per DALY for DASH and AUS$49,000 per DALY for the low-fat diet. Modest weight loss during the interventions, post-intervention weight regain and low participation limit the health benefits. Diet and exercise interventions to reduce obesity are potentially cost-effective but have a negligible impact on the total body weight-related disease burden.

  20. Investing in CenteringPregnancy™ Group Prenatal Care Reduces Newborn Hospitalization Costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crockett, Amy; Heberlein, Emily C; Glasscock, Leah; Covington-Kolb, Sarah; Shea, Karen; Khan, Imtiaz A

    CenteringPregnancy™ group prenatal care is an innovative model with promising evidence of reducing preterm birth. The outpatient costs of offering CenteringPregnancy pose barriers to model adoption. Enhanced provider reimbursement for group prenatal care may improve birth outcomes and generate newborn hospitalization cost savings for insurers. To investigate potential cost savings for investment in CenteringPregnancy, we evaluated the impact on newborn hospital admission costs of a pilot incentive project, where BlueChoice Health Plan South Carolina Medicaid managed care organization paid an obstetric practice offering CenteringPregnancy $175 for each patient who participated in at least five group prenatal care sessions. Using a one to many case-control matching without replacement, each CenteringPregnancy participant was matched retrospectively on propensity score, age, race, and clinical risk factors with five individual care participants. We estimated the odds of newborn hospital admission type (neonatal intensive care unit [NICU] or well-baby admission) for matched CenteringPregnancy and individual care cohorts with four or more visits using multivariate logistic regression. Cost savings were calculated using mean costs per admission type at the delivery hospital. Of the CenteringPregnancy newborns, 3.5% had a NICU admission compared with 12.0% of individual care newborns (p Investing in CenteringPregnancy for 85 patients ($14,875) led to an estimated net savings for the managed care organization of $67,293 in NICU costs. CenteringPregnancy may reduce costs through fewer NICU admissions. Enhanced reimbursement from payers to obstetric practices supporting CenteringPregnancy sustainability may improve birth outcomes and reduce associated NICU costs. Copyright © 2016 Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Thrombolysis significantly reduces transient myocardial ischaemia following first acute myocardial infarction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mickley, H; Pless, P; Nielsen, J R

    1992-01-01

    In order to investigate whether thrombolysis affects residual myocardial ischaemia, we prospectively performed a predischarge maximal exercise test and early out-of-hospital ambulatory ST segment monitoring in 123 consecutive men surviving a first acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Seventy......-four patients fulfilled our criteria for thrombolysis, but only the last 35 patients included received thrombolytic therapy. As thrombolysis was not available in our Department at the start of the study, the first 39 patients included were conservatively treated (controls). No significant differences...... in baseline clinical characteristics were found between the two groups. In-hospital atrial fibrillation and digoxin therapy was more prevalent in controls (P less than 0.05). During exercise, thrombolysed patients reached a higher maximal work capacity compared with controls: 160 +/- 41 vs 139 +/- 34 W (P...

  2. Selenium Supplementation Significantly Reduces Thyroid Autoantibody Levels in Patients with Chronic Autoimmune Thyroiditis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wichman, Johanna Eva Märta; Winther, Kristian Hillert; Bonnema, Steen Joop

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Selenium supplementation may decrease circulating thyroid autoantibodies in patients with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT), but the available trials are heterogenous. This study expands and critically reappraises the knowledge on this topic. METHODS: A literature search identified...... 3366 records. Controlled trials in adults (≥18 years of age) with AIT, comparing selenium with or without levothyroxine (LT4), versus placebo and/or LT4, were eligible. Assessed outcomes were serum thyroid peroxidase (TPOAb) and thyroglobulin (TgAb) autoantibody levels, and immunomodulatory effects...... and LT4-untreated. Heterogeneity was estimated using I(2), and quality of evidence was assessed per outcome, using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) guidelines. RESULTS: In LT4-treated populations, the selenium group had significantly lower TPOAb levels after...

  3. A case of gastric endocrine cell carcinoma which was significantly reduced in size by radiotherapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Azakami, Kiyoshi; Nishida, Kouji; Tanikawa, Ken

    2016-01-01

    In 2010, the World Health Organization classified gastric neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) into three types: NET grade (G) 1, NET G2 and neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC). NECs are associated with a very poor prognosis. The patient was an 84-year-old female who was initially diagnosed by gastrointestinal endoscope with type 3 advanced gastric cancer with stenosis of the gastric cardia. Her overall status and performance status did not allow for operations or intensive chemotherapy. Palliative radiotherapy was performed and resulted in a significant reduction in the size of the tumor as well as the improvement of the obstructive symptoms. She died 9 months after radiotherapy. An autopsy provided a definitive diagnosis of gastric endocrine cell carcinoma, and the effectiveness of radiotherapy was pathologically-confirmed. Palliative radiotherapy may be a useful treatment option for providing symptom relief, especially for old patients with unresectable advanced gastric neuroendocrine carcinoma. (author)

  4. Ad libitum Mediterranean and Low Fat Diets both Significantly Reduce Hepatic Steatosis: a Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Properzi, Catherine; O'Sullivan, Therese A; Sherriff, Jill L; Ching, Helena L; Jeffrey, Garry P; Buckley, Rachel F; Tibballs, Jonathan; MacQuillan, Gerry C; Garas, George; Adams, Leon A

    2018-05-05

    Although diet induced weight loss is first-line treatment for patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), long-term maintenance is difficult. The optimal diet for either improvement in NAFLD or associated cardio-metabolic risk factors regardless of weight loss, is unknown. We examined the effect of two ad libitum isocaloric diets [Mediterranean (MD) or Low Fat (LF)] on hepatic steatosis and cardio-metabolic risk factors. Subjects with NAFLD were randomized to a 12-week blinded dietary intervention (MD vs LF). Hepatic steatosis was determined via magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). From a total of 56 subjects enrolled, 49 subjects completed the intervention and 48 were included for analysis. During the intervention, subjects on the MD had significantly higher total and monounsaturated fat but lower carbohydrate and sodium intakes compared to LF subjects (pfat reduction between the groups (p=0.32), with mean (SD) relative reductions of 25.0% (±25.3%) in LF and 32.4% (±25.5%) in MD. Liver enzymes also improved significantly in both groups. Weight loss was minimal and not different between groups [-1.6 (±2.1)kg in LF vs -2.1 (±2.5)kg in MD, (p=0.52)]. Within-group improvements in the Framingham risk score, total cholesterol, serum triglyceride, and HbA1c were observed in the MD (all pvs. 64%, p=0.048). Ad libitum low fat and Mediterranean diets both improve hepatic steatosis to a similar degree. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2018 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

  5. Costs of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions: A Case Study of India’s Power Generation Sector

    OpenAIRE

    Manish Gupta

    2006-01-01

    If India were to participate in any international effort towards mitigating CO2 emissions, the power sector which is one of the largest emitters of CO2 in the country would be required to play a major role. In this context the study estimates the marginal abatement costs, which correspond to the costs incurred by the power plants to reduce one unit of CO2 from the current level. The study uses an output distance function approach and its duality with the revenue function to derive these costs...

  6. Alternative strategies to reduce cost and waste volume in HEPA filtration using metallic filter media - 59348

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chadwick, Chris

    2012-01-01

    Document available in abstract form only. Full text of publication follows: The disposal costs of contaminated HEPA and THE filter elements have been proved to be disproportionately high compared with the cost of the elements themselves. Work published elsewhere (Moore, et el 1992; Bergman et al 1997) suggests that the cost of use of traditional, panel type, glass fibre HEPA filtration trains to the DOE was, during that period, $29.5 million, based on a five year life cycle, and including installation, testing, removal and disposal life cycle costs being based on estimates dating from 1987-1990. Within that cost estimate, $300 was the value given to the filter and $4, 450 was given to the peripheral activity. Clearly, if the $4, 450 component could be reduced, tremendous saving could ensue, in addition to the reduction of the legacy burden of waste volume. This issue exists for operators in both the US and in Europe. If HEPA filters could be cleaned to a condition where they could either be re-used or decontaminated to the extent that they could be stored as a lower cost wasteform or if HEPA/THE filter elements were available without any organic content likely to give rise to flammable or explosive decomposition gases during long term storage this would also reduce the costs and monitoring necessary in storage. (author)

  7. Social networking strategies that aim to reduce obesity have achieved significant although modest results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashrafian, Hutan; Toma, Tania; Harling, Leanne; Kerr, Karen; Athanasiou, Thanos; Darzi, Ara

    2014-09-01

    The global epidemic of obesity continues to escalate. Obesity accounts for an increasing proportion of the international socioeconomic burden of noncommunicable disease. Online social networking services provide an effective medium through which information may be exchanged between obese and overweight patients and their health care providers, potentially contributing to superior weight-loss outcomes. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the role of these services in modifying body mass index (BMI). Our analysis of twelve studies found that interventions using social networking services produced a modest but significant 0.64 percent reduction in BMI from baseline for the 941 people who participated in the studies' interventions. We recommend that social networking services that target obesity should be the subject of further clinical trials. Additionally, we recommend that policy makers adopt reforms that promote the use of anti-obesity social networking services, facilitate multistakeholder partnerships in such services, and create a supportive environment to confront obesity and its associated noncommunicable diseases. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

  8. Targeting Heparin to Collagen within Extracellular Matrix Significantly Reduces Thrombogenicity and Improves Endothelialization of Decellularized Tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Bin; Suen, Rachel; Wertheim, Jason A; Ameer, Guillermo A

    2016-12-12

    Thrombosis within small-diameter vascular grafts limits the development of bioartificial, engineered vascular conduits, especially those derived from extracellular matrix (ECM). Here we describe an easy-to-implement strategy to chemically modify vascular ECM by covalently linking a collagen binding peptide (CBP) to heparin to form a heparin derivative (CBP-heparin) that selectively binds a subset of collagens. Modification of ECM with CBP-heparin leads to increased deposition of functional heparin (by ∼7.2-fold measured by glycosaminoglycan composition) and a corresponding reduction in platelet binding (>70%) and whole blood clotting (>80%) onto the ECM. Furthermore, addition of CBP-heparin to the ECM stabilizes long-term endothelial cell attachment to the lumen of ECM-derived vascular conduits, potentially through recruitment of heparin-binding growth factors that ultimately improve the durability of endothelialization in vitro. Overall, our findings provide a simple yet effective method to increase deposition of functional heparin on the surface of ECM-based vascular grafts and thereby minimize thrombogenicity of decellularized tissue, overcoming a significant challenge in tissue engineering of bioartificial vessels and vascularized organs.

  9. What Are the Most Significant Cost and Value Drivers for Pancreatic Resection in an Integrated Healthcare System?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuong, Brooke; Dehal, Ahmed; Uppal, Abhineet; Stern, Stacey L; Mejia, Juan; Weerasinghe, Roshanthi; Kapoor, Vandana; Ong, Evan; Hansen, Paul D; Bilchik, Anton J

    2018-03-23

    An initiative was established to improve value-based care for pancreatic surgery in a large nonprofit health system. Cost data were presented bimonthly to a hepatobiliary clinical performance group via videoconference. The direct costs were calculated for all patients undergoing distal pancreatectomy (DP) and pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) between January 2014 and July 2017. Median length of stay, 30-day and 90-day mortality rates, readmission rate, and costs were stratified by surgeon volume using 2 published criteria: "volume pledge" criteria (≥5 PDs/year) and Leapfrog criteria (≥11 PDs/year). There were 270 DPs and 526 PDs performed in 14 hospitals spanning 4 states. Median PD costs were lower for high-volume surgeons (≥5 PDs/year), $21,026 vs $24,706 (p = 0.005). High-volume surgeons had a shorter length of stay (9 days vs 11 days; p definition of high volume. The sharing of detailed financial data with HPB surgeons on a regular basis provides an opportunity to evaluate practice patterns and thereby reduce direct costs. Copyright © 2018 American College of Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. A structured blood conservation programme reduces transfusions and costs in cardiac surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ternström, Lisa; Hyllner, Monica; Backlund, Erika; Schersten, Henrik; Jeppsson, Anders

    2014-11-01

    Transfusions of blood products can be lifesaving, but they are also associated with considerable risks and adverse effects, including immune response and infections. In cardiac surgery, transfusions have also been associated with increased mortality. We prospectively studied the effects of a structured programme to reduce transfusions and transfusion-associated costs in cardiac surgery. The programme included: (i) education of all staff about the risks and benefits of blood transfusions; (ii) revised guidelines for transfusions; and (iii) a transfusion log where indication for transfusion, status of the patient and prescribing physician were registered. Transfusion prevalence, complications and costs for blood products were registered for all acute and elective cardiac operations during a 12-month period before (n = 1128) and after (n = 1034) the programme was started. The two time periods were compared. In addition, the prevalence of transfusions was registered for 2 more years after the programme was initiated. The first year after the programme was initiated the proportion of patients transfused with red blood cell concentrate decreased by 21.8% (from 58.2 to 45.5%, P platelets by 21.0% (from 20.5 to 16.2%, P = 0.010). Reoperations for bleeding (5.8 vs 5.0%), early complication rate and 30-day mortality (2.5 vs 2.6%) were not significantly different before and after the start date. Based on the 2009 institutional prices for red blood cell concentrate (102 €/unit), plasma (35 €/unit) and platelets (290 €/unit), the savings on blood products were €161,623 during the first 12 months after the programme was launched. The proportion of patients transfused with any blood product was 60.9% before the programme was started and 48.3, 54.0 and 50.7% 1-3 years after its start (all P conservation programme reduces transfusions and costs for blood products in cardiac surgery, without any signs of compromised medical safety. The effects of introducing such a programme

  11. Thyroid function appears to be significantly reduced in Space-borne MDS mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saverio Ambesi-Impiombato, Francesco; Curcio, Francesco; Fontanini, Elisabetta; Perrella, Giuseppina; Spelat, Renza; Zambito, Anna Maria; Damaskopoulou, Eleni; Peverini, Manola; Albi, Elisabetta

    It is known that prolonged space flights induced changes in human cardiovascular, muscu-loskeletal and nervous systems whose function is regulated by the thyroid gland but, until now, no data were reported about thyroid damage during space missions. We have demonstrated in vitro that, during space missions (Italian Soyuz Mission "ENEIDE" in 2005, Shuttle STS-120 "ESPERIA" in 2007), thyroid in vitro cultured cells did not respond to thyroid stimulating hor-mone (TSH) treatment; they appeared healthy and alive, despite their being in a pro-apopotic state characterised by a variation of sphingomyelin metabolism and consequent increase in ce-ramide content. The insensitivity to TSH was largely due to a rearrangement of specific cell membrane microdomains, acting as platforms for TSH-receptor (TEXUS-44 mission in 2008). To study if these effects were present also in vivo, as part of the Mouse Drawer System (MDS) Tissue Sharing Program, we performed experiments in mice maintained onboard the Interna-tional Space Station during the long-duration (90 days) exploration mission STS-129. After return to earth, the thyroids isolated from the 3 animals were in part immediately frozen to study the morphological modification in space and in part immediately used to study the effect of TSH treatment. For this purpose small fragments of tissue were treated with 10-7 or 10-8 M TSH for 1 hour by using untreated fragments as controls. Then the fragments were fixed with absolute ethanol for 10 min at room temperature and centrifuged for 20 min. at 3000 x g. The supernatants were used for cAMP analysis whereas the pellet were used for protein amount determination and for immunoblotting analysis of TSH-receptor, sphingomyelinase and sphingomyelin-synthase. The results showed a modification of the thyroid structure and also the values of cAMP production after treatment with 10-7 M TSH for 1 hour were significantly lower than those obtained in Earth's gravity. The treatment with TSH

  12. Concepts of increasing productivity and reducing the processing cost of machine parts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    О. С. Кленов

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The basic conditions to reduce the cost of processing technology and improve productivity through the use of modern cutting tools produced by leading foreign firms producing tools have been appraised from theory in the work. Theoretically, it has been found that an increase in the cost of processing varies according to extremum dependence, passing the minimum point. It is possible to reduce the minimum processing cost due to the increase of productivity using cutting edge tools, characterized by a high capacity for work in high cutting temperatures. The criterion showing the technological price cost minimum is the ratio of the expenditures on workers’ wages to the expenditures on the cutting tools, it being quite specific for various processing conditions. To analyze the possibilities of practical use of the proposed criterion, a complex of experimental researches of the technological prime cost and productivity of the processing with hard alloy cutting tools with wear-resistant coatings produced by the company «Iscar» has been carried out. It has been established that their use makes it possible by more than one half to reduce the labour consumption and overall costs as compared to the hard alloy cutting tools traditionally used in home industry. It has been shown that this effect is achieved by increasing the cutting speed and feed due to increased wear resistance and heat resistance of the «Iscar» company tools. It was established that it is much more possible to achieve low processing cost at milling than at turning. It was stated with regard to all major expenditures including the workers' wages, the cost of the cutting tools, equipment and other costs, allowing more correctly estimate the cost-effectiveness of mechanical processing. Experiments confirmed that the main condition for reducing the processing cost to its minimum value is to increase the processing performance through the use of a heat-resistant and wear-resistant cutting

  13. Cost-Effectiveness of Sacubitril-Valsartan in Patients With Heart Failure With Reduced Ejection Fraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandhu, Alexander T; Ollendorf, Daniel A; Chapman, Richard H; Pearson, Steven D; Heidenreich, Paul A

    2016-11-15

    Sacubitril-valsartan therapy reduces cardiovascular mortality compared with enalapril therapy in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of sacubitril-valsartan versus angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor therapy in patients with chronic heart failure. Markov decision model. Clinical trials, observational analyses, reimbursement data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, drug pricing databases, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention life tables. Patients at an average age of 64 years, New York Heart Association (NYHA) class II to IV heart failure, and left ventricular ejection fraction of 0.40 or less. Lifetime. Societal. Treatment with sacubitril-valsartan or lisinopril. Life-years, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), costs, heart failure hospitalizations, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios. The sacubitril-valsartan group experienced 0.08 fewer heart failure hospitalization, 0.69 additional life-year, 0.62 additional QALY, and $29 203 in incremental costs, equating to a cost per QALY gained of $47 053. The cost per QALY gained was $44 531 in patients with NYHA class II heart failure and $58 194 in those with class III or IV heart failure. Sacubitril-valsartan treatment was most sensitive to the duration of improved outcomes, with a cost per QALY gained of $120 623 if the duration was limited to the length of the trial (median, 27 months). No variations in other parameters caused the cost to exceed $100 000 per QALY gained. The benefit of sacubitril-valsartan is based on a single clinical trial. Treatment with sacubitril-valsartan provides reasonable value in reducing cardiovascular mortality and morbidity in patients with NYHA class II to IV heart failure. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Institute for Clinical and Economic Review.

  14. Cost-effective way to reduce stimulant-abuse among gay/bisexual men and transgender women: a randomized clinical trial with a cost comparison.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, S X; Shoptaw, S; Reback, C J; Yadav, K; Nyamathi, A M

    2018-01-01

    A randomized controlled study was conducted with 422 homeless, stimulant-using gay/bisexual (G/B) men and 29 transgender women (n = 451) to assess two community-based interventions to reduce substance abuse and improve health: (a) a nurse case-managed program combined with contingency management (NCM + CM) versus (b) standard education plus contingency management (SE + CM). Hypotheses tested included: a) completion of hepatitis A/B vaccination series; b) reduction in stimulant use; and c) reduction in number of sexual partners. A deconstructive cost analysis approach was utilized to capture direct costs associated with the delivery of both interventions. Based on an analysis of activity logs and staff interviews, specific activities and the time required to complete each were analyzed as follows: a) NCM + CM only; b) SE + CM only; c) time to administer/record vaccines; and d) time to receive and record CM visits. Cost comparison of the interventions included only staffing costs and direct cash expenditures. The study outcomes showed significant over time reductions in all measures of drug use and multiple sex partners, compared to baseline, although no significant between-group differences were detected. Cost analysis favored the simpler SE + CM intervention over the more labor-intensive NCM + CM approach. Because of the high levels of staffing required for the NCM relative to SE, costs associated with it were significantly higher. Findings suggest that while both intervention strategies were equally effective in achieving desired health outcomes, the brief SE + CM appeared less expensive to deliver. Copyright © 2017 The Royal Society for Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Patient education after stoma creation may reduce health-care costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danielsen, Anne Kjærgaard; Rosenberg, Jacob

    2014-04-01

    Researchers are urged to include health-economic assessments when exploring the benefits and drawbacks of a new treatment. The aim of the study was to assess the costs associated with the establishment of a new patient education programme for patients with a stoma. Following a previous case-control study that explored the effect of patient education for stoma patients, we set out to examine the costs related to such a patient education programme. The primary outcome was disease-specific health-related quality of life measured with the Ostomy Adjustment Scale six months after surgery. The secondary outcome was generic health-related quality of life measured with Short Form (SF)-36. In this secondary analysis, we calculated direct health-care costs for the first six months post-operatively from the perspective of the health-care system, including costs related to the hospital as well as primary health care. The overall cost related to establishing a patient education programme showed no significant increase in the overall average costs. However, we found a significant reduction in costs related to unplanned readmissions (p = 0.01) as well as a reduction in visits to the general practitioner (p = 0.05). Establishing a patient education programme - which increased quality of life - will probably not increase the overall costs associated with the patient course. The study received financial support from Søster Inge Marie Dahlgaards Fond, Diakonissestiftelsen, Denmark, and from Aase and Ejnar Danielsens Foundation, Denmark. NCT01154725.

  16. The Dynamics of Bertrand Price Competition with Cost-Reducing Investments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Iskhakov, Fedor; Rust, John; Schjerning, Bertel

    We present a dynamic extension of the classic static model of Bertrand price competition that allows competing duopolists to undertake cost-reducing investments in an attempt to “leapfrog” their rival to attain low-cost leadership – at least temporarily. We show that leapfrogging occurs in equili......We present a dynamic extension of the classic static model of Bertrand price competition that allows competing duopolists to undertake cost-reducing investments in an attempt to “leapfrog” their rival to attain low-cost leadership – at least temporarily. We show that leapfrogging occurs...... in equilibrium, resolving the Bertrand investment paradox., i.e. leapfrogging explains why firms have an ex ante incentive to undertake cost-reducing investments even though they realize that simultaneous investments to acquire the state of the art production technology would result in Bertrand price competition...... leader. We show that the equilibrium involves investment preemption only when the firms invest in a deterministically alternating fashion and technological progress is deterministic. We prove that when technological progress is deterministic and firms move in an alternating fashion, the game has a unique...

  17. One Improvement Method of Reducing Duration Directly to Solve Time-Cost Tradeoff Problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jian-xun, Qi; Dedong, Sun

    Time and cost are two of the most important factors for project plan and schedule management, and specially, time-cost tradeoff problem is one classical problem in project scheduling, which is also a difficult problem. Methods of solving the problem mainly contain method of network flow and method of mending the minimal cost. Thereinto, for the method of mending the minimal cost is intuitionistic, convenient and lesser computation, these advantages make the method being used widely in practice. But disadvantage of the method is that the result of each step is optimal but the terminal result maybe not optimal. In this paper, firstly, method of confirming the maximal effective quantity of reducing duration is designed; secondly, on the basis of above method and the method of mending the minimal cost, the main method of reducing duration directly is designed to solve time-cost tradeoff problem, and by analyzing validity of the method, the method could obtain more optimal result for the problem.

  18. Reducing the cesarean delivery rates for breech presentations: administration of spinal anesthesia facilitates manipulation to cephalic presentation, but is it cost saving?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background External cephalic version (ECV) is infrequently performed and 98% of breech presenting fetuses are delivered surgically. Neuraxial analgesia can increase the success rate of ECV significantly, potentially reducing cesarean delivery rates for breech presentation. The current study aims to determine whether the additional cost to the hospital of spinal anesthesia for ECV is offset by cost savings generated by reduced cesarean delivery. Methods In our tertiary hospital, three variables manpower, disposables, and fixed costs were calculated for ECV, ECV plus anesthetic doses of spinal block, vaginal delivery and cesarean delivery. Total procedure costs were compared for possible delivery pathways. Manpower data were obtained from management payroll, fixed costs by calculating cost/lifetime usage rate and disposables were micro-costed in 2008, expressed in 2013 NIS. Results Cesarean delivery is the most expensive option, 11670.54 NIS and vaginal delivery following successful ECV under spinal block costs 5497.2 NIS. ECV alone costs 960.21 NIS, ECV plus spinal anesthesia costs 1386.97 NIS. The highest individual cost items for vaginal, cesarean delivery and ECV were for manpower. Expensive fixed costs for cesarean delivery included operating room trays and postnatal hospitalization (minimum 3 days). ECV with spinal block is cheaper due to lower expected cesarean delivery rate and its lower associated costs. Conclusions The additional cost of the spinal anesthesia is offset by increased success rates for the ECV procedure resulting in reduction in the cesarean delivery rate. PMID:24564984

  19. An Active Learning Classifier for Further Reducing Diabetic Retinopathy Screening System Cost

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yinan Zhang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Diabetic retinopathy (DR screening system raises a financial problem. For further reducing DR screening cost, an active learning classifier is proposed in this paper. Our approach identifies retinal images based on features extracted by anatomical part recognition and lesion detection algorithms. Kernel extreme learning machine (KELM is a rapid classifier for solving classification problems in high dimensional space. Both active learning and ensemble technique elevate performance of KELM when using small training dataset. The committee only proposes necessary manual work to doctor for saving cost. On the publicly available Messidor database, our classifier is trained with 20%–35% of labeled retinal images and comparative classifiers are trained with 80% of labeled retinal images. Results show that our classifier can achieve better classification accuracy than Classification and Regression Tree, radial basis function SVM, Multilayer Perceptron SVM, Linear SVM, and K Nearest Neighbor. Empirical experiments suggest that our active learning classifier is efficient for further reducing DR screening cost.

  20. Cost-effectiveness of universal rotavirus vaccination in reducing rotavirus gastroenteritis in Ireland.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Tilson, L

    2011-10-06

    We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of universal infant rotavirus (RV) vaccination compared to current standard of care of "no vaccination". Two RV vaccines are currently licensed in Ireland: Rotarix and RotaTeq. A cohort model used in several European countries was adapted using Irish epidemiological, resource utilisation and cost data. The base case model considers the impact of Rotarix vaccination on health-related quality of life of children under five years old from a healthcare payer perspective. Other scenarios explored the use of RotaTeq, impact on one caregiver, on societal costs and on cases that do not seek medical attention. Cost was varied between the vaccine list price (€100\\/course) in the base case and an assumed tender price (€70\\/course). One-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were conducted. Implementing universal RV vaccination may prevent around 1970 GP visits, 3280 A&E attendances and 2490 hospitalisations. A vaccination programme was estimated to cost approximately €6.54 million per year but €4.65 million of this would be offset by reducing healthcare resource use. The baseline ICER was €112,048\\/QALY and €72,736\\/QALY from the healthcare payer and societal perspective, respectively, falling to €68,896 and €43,916\\/QALY, respectively, if the impact on one caregiver was considered. If the price fell to €70 per course, universal RV vaccination would be cost saving under all scenarios. Results were sensitive to vaccination costs, incidence of RV infection and direct medical costs. Universal RV vaccination would not be cost-effective under base case assumptions. However, it could be cost-effective at a lower vaccine price or from a wider societal perspective.

  1. Development of Advanced Technologies to Reduce Design, Fabrication and Construction Costs for Future Nuclear Power Plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    DiNunzio, Camillo A.; Gupta, Abhinav; Golay, Michael; Luk, Vincent; Turk, Rich; Morrow, Charles; Geum-Taek Jin

    2002-01-01

    OAK-B135 This report presents a summation of the third and final year of a three-year investigation into methods and technologies for substantially reducing the capital costs and total schedule for future nuclear plants. In addition, this is the final technical report for the three-year period of studies

  2. Development of Advanced Technologies to Reduce Design, Fabrication and Construction Costs for Future Nuclear Power Plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DiNunzio, Camillo A. [Framatome ANP DE& S, Marlborough, MA (United States); Gupta, Abhinav [Univ. of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC (United States); Golay, Michael [Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States); Luk, Vincent [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Turk, Rich [Westinghouse Electric Company Nuclear Systems, Windsor, CT (United States); Morrow, Charles [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Jin, Geum-Taek [Korea Power Engineering Company Inc., Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do (Korea, Republic of)

    2002-11-30

    This report presents a summation of the third and final year of a three-year investigation into methods and technologies for substantially reducing the capital costs and total schedule for future nuclear plants. In addition, this is the final technical report for the three-year period of studies.

  3. How to save costs by reducing unnecessary testing: Lean thinking in clinical practice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vegting, I.L.; van Beneden, M.; Kramer, M.H.H.; Thijs, A.; Kostense, P.J.; Nanayakkara, P.W.B.

    2012-01-01

    Background: The burden of health care expenditure on national budgets has increased dramatically over the past decade. A pilot study in our hospital demonstrated that many unnecessary diagnostic tests were performed routinely. The aim of this study was to reduce the costs of unnecessary diagnostic

  4. Reducing the costs of landscape restoration by using invasive alien plant biomass for bioenergy

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Stafford, William HL

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available reviews the extent of IAPs as well as efforts to eradicate them, and identifies value-adding opportunities to use the cleared IAP biomass for reducing the costs of landscape restoration. Since bioenergy is suited to a large portion of the biomass...

  5. Cost-effectiveness of feeding strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from dairy farming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Middelaar, van C.E.; Dijkstra, J.; Berentsen, P.B.M.; Boer, de I.J.M.

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this paper was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of 3 feeding strategies to reduce enteric CH4 production in dairy cows by calculating the effect on labor income at the farm level and on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the chain level (i.e., from production of farm inputs to the

  6. Radically Reducing the Costs of Panel Critical Reviews According to ISO 14040

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weidema, Bo Pedersen; Christiansen, Kim; Wernet, Gregor

    2013-01-01

    We suggest a procedure that radically reduces the critical review costs without compromising their thoroughness and overall quality. This procedure has 3 elements: A fixed panel for all reviews, an already critically reviewed background database, and a software-supported review procedure. The pre....... The presentation discusses these elements in the light of the upcoming ISO 14071 on critical review....

  7. [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!

  8. The role of technology in reducing health care costs. Phase II and phase III.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cilke, John F.; Parks, Raymond C.; Funkhouser, Donald Ray; Tebo, Michael A.; Murphy, Martin D.; Hightower, Marion Michael; Gallagher, Linda K.; Craft, Richard Layne, II; Garcia, Rudy John

    2004-04-01

    In Phase I of this project, reported in SAND97-1922, Sandia National Laboratories applied a systems approach to identifying innovative biomedical technologies with the potential to reduce U.S. health care delivery costs while maintaining care quality. The effort provided roadmaps for the development and integration of technology to meet perceived care delivery requirements and an economic analysis model for development of care pathway costs for two conditions: coronary artery disease (CAD) and benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). Phases II and III of this project, which are presented in this report, were directed at detailing the parameters of telemedicine that influence care delivery costs and quality. These results were used to identify and field test the communication, interoperability, and security capabilities needed for cost-effective, secure, and reliable health care via telemedicine.

  9. Reduce operational cost and extend the life of pipeline infrastructure by automating remote cathodic protection systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rosado, Elroy [Freewave Technologies, Inc., Boulder, CO (United States). Latin America

    2009-07-01

    Energy and Pipeline Companies wrestle to control operating costs largely affected by new government regulations, ageing buried metal assets, rising steel prices, expanding pipeline operations, new interference points, HCA encroachment, restrictive land use policies, heightened network security, and an ageing soon-to-retire work force. With operating costs on the rise, seemingly out of control, many CP and Operations Professionals look to past best practices in cost containment through automation. Many companies achieve solid business results through deployment of telemetry and SCADA automation of remote assets and now hope to expand this success to further optimize operations by automating remote cathodic protection systems. This presentation will provide examples of how new remote cathodic protection systems are helping energy and pipeline companies address the growing issue of the aging pipeline infrastructure and reduce their costs while optimizing their operations. (author)

  10. SunShot solar power reduces costs and uncertainty in future low-carbon electricity systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mileva, Ana; Nelson, James H; Johnston, Josiah; Kammen, Daniel M

    2013-08-20

    The United States Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative has set cost-reduction targets of $1/watt for central-station solar technologies. We use SWITCH, a high-resolution electricity system planning model, to study the implications of achieving these targets for technology deployment and electricity costs in western North America, focusing on scenarios limiting carbon emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. We find that achieving the SunShot target for solar photovoltaics would allow this technology to provide more than a third of electric power in the region, displacing natural gas in the medium term and reducing the need for nuclear and carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies, which face technological and cost uncertainties, by 2050. We demonstrate that a diverse portfolio of technological options can help integrate high levels of solar generation successfully and cost-effectively. The deployment of GW-scale storage plays a central role in facilitating solar deployment and the availability of flexible loads could increase the solar penetration level further. In the scenarios investigated, achieving the SunShot target can substantially mitigate the cost of implementing a carbon cap, decreasing power costs by up to 14% and saving up to $20 billion ($2010) annually by 2050 relative to scenarios with Reference solar costs.

  11. Spring-like Ankle Foot Orthoses reduce the energy cost of walking by taking over ankle work.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bregman, D J J; Harlaar, J; Meskers, C G M; de Groot, V

    2012-01-01

    In patients with central neurological disorders, gait is often limited by a reduced ability to push off with the ankle. To overcome this reduced ankle push-off, energy-storing, spring-like carbon-composite Ankle Foot Orthoses (AFO) can be prescribed. It is expected that the energy returned by the AFO in late stance will support ankle push-off, and reduce the energy cost of walking. In 10 patients with multiple sclerosis and stroke the energy cost of walking, 3D kinematics, joint power, and joint work were measured during gait, with and without the AFO. The mechanical characteristics of the AFO were measured separately, and used to calculate the contribution of the AFO to the ankle kinetics. We found a significant decrease of 9.8% in energy cost of walking when walking with the AFO. With the AFO, the range of motion of the ankle was reduced by 12.3°, and the net work around the ankle was reduced by 29%. The total net work in the affected leg remained unchanged. The AFO accounted for 60% of the positive ankle work, which reduced the total amount of work performed by the leg by 11.1% when walking with the AFO. The decrease in energy cost when walking with a spring-like energy-storing AFO in central neurological patients is not induced by an augmented net ankle push-off, but by the AFO partially taking over ankle work. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Improving the delivery of care and reducing healthcare costs with the digitization of information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noffsinger, R; Chin, S

    2000-01-01

    In the coming years, the digitization of information and the Internet will be extremely powerful in reducing healthcare costs while assisting providers in the delivery of care. One example of healthcare inefficiency that can be managed through information digitization is the process of prescription writing. Due to the handwritten and verbal communication surrounding prescription writing, as well as the multiple tiers of authorizations, the prescription drug process causes extensive financial waste as well as medical errors, lost time, and even fatal accidents. Electronic prescription management systems are being designed to address these inefficiencies. By utilizing new electronic prescription systems, physicians not only prescribe more accurately, but also improve formulary compliance thereby reducing pharmacy utilization. These systems expand patient care by presenting proactive alternatives at the point of prescription while reducing costs and providing additional benefits for consumers and healthcare providers.

  13. The AskIT Service Desk: A Model for Improving Productivity and Reducing Costs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ashcraft, Phillip Lynn [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Fogle, Blythe G. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Cummings, Susan M. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Lopez, Leon [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2016-07-29

    This was prepared for the business process improvement presentation to the Department of Energy. Los Alamos National Laboratory provides a single point of contact, the AskIT Service Desk, to address issues that impact customer productivity. At the most basic level, what customers want is for their calls to be received, to get a response from a knowledgeable analyst, and to have their issues resolved and their requests fulfilled. Providing a centralized, single point of contact service desk makes initiating technical or business support simple for the customer and improves the odds of immediately resolving the issue or correctly escalating the request to the next support level when necessary. Fulfilling customer requests through automated workflow also improves customer productivity and reduces costs. Finally, customers should be provided the option to solve their own problems through easy access to self-help resources such as frequently asked questions (FAQs) and how-to guides. To accomplish this, everyone who provides and supports services must understand how these processes and functions work together. Service providers and those who support services must “speak the same language” and share common objectives. The Associate Directorate for Business Innovation (ADBI) began the journey to improve services by selecting a known service delivery framework (Information Technology Infrastructure Library, or ITIL). From this framework, components that contribute significant business value were selected.

  14. Reducing BWR O and M costs through on-line performance monitoring

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jonas, T.; Gross, R.; Logback, F.; Josyula, R.

    1995-01-01

    Competition in the electric power industry has placed significant emphasis on reducing operating and maintenance (O and M) costs at nuclear facilities. Therefore, on-line performance monitoring to locate power losses for boiling water reactor (BWR) plants is creating tremendous interest. In addition, the ability to automate activities such as data collection, analysis, and reporting increases the efficiency of plant engineers and gives them more time to concentrate on solving plant efficiency problems. This capability is now available with a unique software product called GEBOPS. GE Nuclear Energy, in conjunction with Joint Venture partner Black and Veatch, has undertaken development of the General Electric/Black and Veatch On-line Performance System (GEBOPS), an on-line performance monitoring system for BWR plants. The experience and expertise of GE Nuclear Energy with BWR plants, coupled with the proven on-line monitoring software development experience and capability of Black and Veatch, provide the foundation for a unique product which addresses the needs of today's BWR plants

  15. Mechanism and capacities of reducing ecological cost through rice-duck cultivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Pan; Huang, Huang; Liao, Xiaolan; Fu, Zhiqiang; Zheng, Huabin; Chen, Aiwu; Chen, Can

    2013-09-01

    Rice-duck cultivation is the essence of Chinese traditional agriculture. A scientific assessment of the mechanism and its capacity is of theoretical significance and practical value in improving modern agricultural technology. The duck's secretions, excreta and their treading, pecking and predation decrease the occurrence of plant diseases, pests and weeds, enrich species diversity and improve the field environment. The rice-duck intergrowth system effectively prevents rice planthoppers and rice leafhoppers. The control effects can be up to 98.47% and 100% respectively; it also has effects on the control of Chilo suppressalis, Tryporyza incertulas and the rice leafrollers. Notable control results are found on sheath blight, while the effects on other diseases are about 50%. Harm from weeds is placed under primary control; prevention of weeds is sequenced by broadleaf weeds > sedge weeds > Gramineae weeds. Contents of soil organic matter, N, P and K are improved by the system; nutrient utilization is accelerated, resulting in decreased fertilizer application. Greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 1-2% and duck fodder is saved in this system. There is also an obvious economic benefit. Compared to conventional rice cultivation, rice-duck cultivation shows great benefits to ecologic cost and economic income. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.

  16. Economic feasibility of invesment alternatives for reducing torula yeast' production cost

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torres Fernández, Alfredo; Díaz de los Ríos, Manuel; Saura Laria, Gustavo

    2016-01-01

    The prices of ammonium salts which are used in the torula yeast production technology are very high nowadays. In the other hand, this technology has very high energy costs which are consumed by blowers in fermentation, separators machines and in the concentration and drying of yeast. In this paper, different technical alternatives are analyzed for reducing the production cost of torula yeast, through changes in production inputs, electric motors and the replacement of a portion of the fuel used for drying by biogas. Then, the economic feasibility in both currencies is evaluated for practical application. (author)

  17. ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY OF INVESMENT ALTERNATIVES FOR REDUCING TORULA YEAST' PRODUCTION COST

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfredo Torres Fernández

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The prices of ammonium salts which are used in the torula yeast production technology are very high nowadays. In the other hand, this technology has very high energy costs which are consumed by blowers in fermentation, separators machines and in the concentration and drying of yeast. In this paper, different technical alternatives are analyzed for reducing the production cost of torula yeast, through changes in production inputs, electric motors and the replacement of a portion of the fuel used for drying by biogas. Then, the economic feasibility in both currencies is evaluated for practical application.

  18. The effective cost of tritium for tokamak fusion power reactors with reduced tritium production systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gilligan, J.G.; Evans, K.

    1983-01-01

    If sufficient tritium cannot be produced and processed in tokamak blankets then at least two alternatives are possible. Tritium can be purchased; or reactors with reduced tritium (RT) content in the plasma can be designed. The latter choice may require development of magnet technology etc., but the authors show that the impact on the cost-of-electricity may be mild. Cost tradeoffs are compared to the market value of tritium. Adequate tritium production in fusion blankets is preferred, but the authors show there is some flexibility in the deployment of fusion if this is not possible

  19. Installation, Operation, and Maintenance Strategies to Reduce the Cost of Offshore Wind Energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maples, B. [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Saur, G. [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Hand, M. [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); van de Pietermen, R. [Energy Research Center of the Netherlands (Netherlands); Obdam, T. [Energy Research Center of the Netherlands (Netherlands)

    2013-07-01

    Currently, installation, operation, and maintenance (IO&M) costs contribute approximately 30% to the LCOE of offshore wind plants. To reduce LCOE while ensuring safety, this paper identifies principal cost drivers associated with IO&M and quantifies their impacts on LCOE. The paper identifies technology improvement opportunities and provides a basis for evaluating innovative engineering and scientific concepts developed subsequently to the study. Through the completion of a case study, an optimum IO&M strategy for a hypothetical offshore wind project is identified.

  20. Template-Directed Instrumentation Reduces Cost and Improves Efficiency for Total Knee Arthroplasty: An Economic Decision Analysis and Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLawhorn, Alexander S; Carroll, Kaitlin M; Blevins, Jason L; DeNegre, Scott T; Mayman, David J; Jerabek, Seth A

    2015-10-01

    Template-directed instrumentation (TDI) for total knee arthroplasty (TKA) may streamline operating room (OR) workflow and reduce costs by preselecting implants and minimizing instrument tray burden. A decision model simulated the economics of TDI. Sensitivity analyses determined thresholds for model variables to ensure TDI success. A clinical pilot was reviewed. The accuracy of preoperative templates was validated, and 20 consecutive primary TKAs were performed using TDI. The model determined that preoperative component size estimation should be accurate to ±1 implant size for 50% of TKAs to implement TDI. The pilot showed that preoperative template accuracy exceeded 97%. There were statistically significant improvements in OR turnover time and in-room time for TDI compared to an historical cohort of TKAs. TDI reduces costs and improves OR efficiency. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Validated Feasibility Study of Integrally Stiffened Metallic Fuselage Panels for Reducing Manufacturing Costs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pettit, R. G.; Wang, J. J.; Toh, C.

    2000-01-01

    The continual need to reduce airframe cost and the emergence of high speed machining and other manufacturing technologies has brought about a renewed interest in large-scale integral structures for aircraft applications. Applications have been inhibited, however, because of the need to demonstrate damage tolerance, and by cost and manufacturing risks associated with the size and complexity of the parts. The Integral Airframe Structures (IAS) Program identified a feasible integrally stiffened fuselage concept and evaluated performance and manufacturing cost compared to conventional designs. An integral skin/stiffener concept was produced both by plate hog-out and near-net extrusion. Alloys evaluated included 7050-T7451 plate, 7050-T74511 extrusion, 6013-T6511 extrusion, and 7475-T7351 plate. Mechanical properties, structural details, and joint performance were evaluated as well as repair, static compression, and two-bay crack residual strength panels. Crack turning behavior was characterized through panel tests and improved methods for predicting crack turning were developed. Manufacturing cost was evaluated using COSTRAN. A hybrid design, made from high-speed machined extruded frames that are mechanically fastened to high-speed machined plate skin/stringer panels, was identified as the most cost-effective manufacturing solution. Recurring labor and material costs of the hybrid design are up to 61 percent less than the current technology baseline.

  2. Dynamic Cost-Contingency Management: A Method for Reducing Project Costs While Increasing the Probability of Success

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kujawski, Edouard

    2007-01-01

    In the real world, "Money Allocated is Money Spent" (MAIMS). As a consequence, cost underruns are rarely available to protect against cost overruns, while task overruns are passed on to the total project cost...

  3. Income Tax Returns: Reducing Compliance Costs for Personal Income Taxpayers in Slovenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maja Klun

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Simplifying procedures and improving legislation generally lead to a reduction in the compliance costs. The introduction of pre-filled tax returns clearly simplifies the tax compliance procedure. Before the introduction of pre-filled tax returns for personal income taxpayers in Slovenia, tax legislation was also modified. This paper presents the results of research into the compliance costs for personal income taxpayers before and after the simplification of the compliance procedure in Slovenia, irrespective of tax legislation itself not being simplified. The results indicate that pre-filled tax returns reduce compliance costs for personal income taxpayers by around 73%. Nevertheless, this is only a tentative estimate, since several assumptions are taken into account.

  4. Reducing Health Cost: Health Informatics and Knowledge Management as a Business and Communication Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gyampoh-Vidogah, Regina; Moreton, Robert; Sallah, David

    Health informatics has the potential to improve the quality and provision of care while reducing the cost of health care delivery. However, health informatics is often falsely regarded as synonymous with information management (IM). This chapter (i) provides a clear definition and characteristic benefits of health informatics and information management in the context of health care delivery, (ii) identifies and explains the difference between health informatics (HI) and managing knowledge (KM) in relation to informatics business strategy and (iii) elaborates the role of information communication technology (ICT) KM environment. This Chapter further examines how KM can be used to improve health service informatics costs, and identifies the factors that could affect its implementation and explains some of the reasons driving the development of electronic health record systems. This will assist in avoiding higher costs and errors, while promoting the continued industrialisation of KM delivery across health care communities.

  5. Reduced prosthetic stiffness lowers the metabolic cost of running for athletes with bilateral transtibial amputations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Owen N; Taboga, Paolo; Grabowski, Alena M

    2017-04-01

    Inspired by the springlike action of biological legs, running-specific prostheses are designed to enable athletes with lower-limb amputations to run. However, manufacturer's recommendations for prosthetic stiffness and height may not optimize running performance. Therefore, we investigated the effects of using different prosthetic configurations on the metabolic cost and biomechanics of running. Five athletes with bilateral transtibial amputations each performed 15 trials on a force-measuring treadmill at 2.5 or 3.0 m/s. Athletes ran using each of 3 different prosthetic models (Freedom Innovations Catapult FX6, Össur Flex-Run, and Ottobock 1E90 Sprinter) with 5 combinations of stiffness categories (manufacturer's recommended and ± 1) and heights (International Paralympic Committee's maximum competition height and ± 2 cm) while we measured metabolic rates and ground reaction forces. Overall, prosthetic stiffness [fixed effect (β) = 0.036; P = 0.008] but not height ( P ≥ 0.089) affected the net metabolic cost of transport; less stiff prostheses reduced metabolic cost. While controlling for prosthetic stiffness (in kilonewtons per meter), using the Flex-Run (β = -0.139; P = 0.044) and 1E90 Sprinter prostheses (β = -0.176; P = 0.009) reduced net metabolic costs by 4.3-4.9% compared with using the Catapult prostheses. The metabolic cost of running improved when athletes used prosthetic configurations that decreased peak horizontal braking ground reaction forces (β = 2.786; P = 0.001), stride frequencies (β = 0.911; P < 0.001), and leg stiffness values (β = 0.053; P = 0.009). Remarkably, athletes did not maintain overall leg stiffness across prosthetic stiffness conditions. Rather, the in-series prosthetic stiffness governed overall leg stiffness. The metabolic cost of running in athletes with bilateral transtibial amputations is influenced by prosthetic model and stiffness but not height. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We measured the

  6. Cost Analysis of Physician Assistant Home Visit Program to Reduce Readmissions After Cardiac Surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabagiez, John P; Shariff, Masood A; Molloy, William J; Demissie, Seleshi; McGinn, Joseph T

    2016-09-01

    A physician assistant home care (PAHC) program providing house calls was initiated to reduce hospital readmissions after adult cardiac surgery. The purpose of our study was to compare 30-day PAHC and pre-PAHC readmission rate, length of stay, and cost. Patients who underwent adult cardiac surgery in the 48 months from September 2008 through August 2012 were retrospectively reviewed using pre-PAHC patients as the control group. Readmission rate, length of stay, and health care cost, as measured by hospital billing, were compared between groups matched with propensity score. Of the 1,185 patients who were discharged directly home, 155 (13%) were readmitted. Total readmissions for the control group (n = 648) was 101 patients (16%) compared with the PAHC group (n = 537) total readmissions of 54 (10%), a 38% reduction in the rate of readmission (p = 0.0049). Propensity score matched groups showed a rate reduction of 41% with 17% (62 of 363) for the control compared with 10% (37 of 363) for the PAHC group (p = 0.0061). The average hospital bill per readmission was $39,100 for the control group and $56,600 for the PAHC group (p = 0.0547). The cost of providing home visits was $25,300 for 363 propensity score matched patients. The PAHC program reduced the 30-day readmission rate by 41% for propensity score matched patients. Analysis demonstrated a savings of $977,500 at a cost of $25,300 over 2 years, or $39 in health care saved, in terms of hospital billing, for every $1 spent. Therefore, a home visit by a cardiac surgical physician assistant is a cost-effective strategy to reduce readmissions after cardiac surgery. Copyright © 2016 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Methodology for reducing energy and resource costs in construction of trenchless crossover of pipelines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toropov, V. S.

    2018-05-01

    The paper suggests a set of measures to select the equipment and its components in order to reduce energy costs in the process of pulling the pipeline into the well in the constructing the trenchless pipeline crossings of various materials using horizontal directional drilling technology. A methodology for reducing energy costs has been developed by regulating the operation modes of equipment during the process of pulling the working pipeline into a drilled and pre-expanded well. Since the power of the drilling rig is the most important criterion in the selection of equipment for the construction of a trenchless crossover, an algorithm is proposed for calculating the required capacity of the rig when operating in different modes in the process of pulling the pipeline into the well.

  8. Reduced computational cost in the calculation of worst case response time for real time systems

    OpenAIRE

    Urriza, José M.; Schorb, Lucas; Orozco, Javier D.; Cayssials, Ricardo

    2009-01-01

    Modern Real Time Operating Systems require reducing computational costs even though the microprocessors become more powerful each day. It is usual that Real Time Operating Systems for embedded systems have advance features to administrate the resources of the applications that they support. In order to guarantee either the schedulability of the system or the schedulability of a new task in a dynamic Real Time System, it is necessary to know the Worst Case Response Time of the Real Time tasks ...

  9. ENHANCING VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE BY REDUCING COMPLIANCE COSTS: A TAXPAYER SERVICE APPROACH

    OpenAIRE

    Glenn Jenkins; EDWIN FORLEMU

    1993-01-01

    In this paper an overview is made of the determinants of voluntary tax compliance. Unlike previous treatments of this subject, the cost of taxpayer compliance is considered as an important determinant of overall level of voluntary compliance in a country. A number of ways that tax authorities reduce compliance are discussed, and the most common uses of information technology in providing taxpayer service is described. Finally, the paper considers some of the ways that such activities might be...

  10. Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of policies and programmes to reduce the harm caused by alcohol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Peter; Chisholm, Dan; Fuhr, Daniela C

    2009-06-27

    This paper reviews the evidence for the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of policies and programmes to reduce the harm caused by alcohol, in the areas of education and information, the health sector, community action, driving while under the influence of alcohol (drink-driving), availability, marketing, pricing, harm reduction, and illegally and informally produced alcohol. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses show that policies regulating the environment in which alcohol is marketed (particularly its price and availability) are effective in reducing alcohol-related harm. Enforced legislative measures to reduce drink-driving and individually directed interventions to already at-risk drinkers are also effective. However, school-based education does not reduce alcohol-related harm, although public information and education-type programmes have a role in providing information and in increasing attention and acceptance of alcohol on political and public agendas. Making alcohol more expensive and less available, and banning alcohol advertising, are highly cost-effective strategies to reduce harm. In settings with high amounts of unrecorded production and consumption, increasing the proportion of alcohol that is taxed could be a more effective pricing policy than a simple increase in tax.

  11. The production of reduced graphene oxide by a low-cost vacuum system for supercapacitors applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cardoso, Q.A.; Sakata, S.K.; Faria, R.N. [Instituto de Pesquisas Energéticas e Nucleares (IPEN/CNEN-SP), São Paulo, SP (Brazil); Silva, F.M.; Vieira, L.S.; Casini, J.C.S., E-mail: julio.casini@ifro.edu.br [Instituto Federal de Ciencia e Tecnologia de Rondonia (IFRO), RO (Brazil)

    2016-07-01

    Graphene (G) has attracted great interest for its excellent electrical properties. However, the large-scale production of graphene is still currently under investigations. Graphene oxide (GO) can be partially reduced to graphene-like sheets by removing the oxygen-containing groups with the recovery of a conjugated structure. It can be produced using inexpensive graphite as raw material by cost-effective chemical methods. High vacuum and temperature (10{sup -7}mbar/1100 deg C) is well established as an effective route for reduced powder preparation on a laboratory scale. However, a high vacuum reduction system, which can be routinely operated at 10{sup -7} mbar, has a considerable capital, operational and maintenance cost to be used in a large scale. In the present work, a low-cost route aiming large scale reduction of graphene oxide has been investigated. A stainless steel vessel has been evacuated to backing-pump pressure (10{sup -2} mbar) to process graphene oxide at low and high temperatures. Attempts of reducing GO powder using low vacuum pressures have been carried out and investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The experimental results of processing graphene oxide powder at various temperatures (200-1000°C) at relatively low pressures have been reported. The microstructures of the processed material have been investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and chemical microanalyses employing energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX). (author)

  12. The production of reduced graphene oxide by a low-cost vacuum system for supercapacitors applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cardoso, Q.A.; Sakata, S.K.; Faria, R.N.; Silva, F.M.; Vieira, L.S.; Casini, J.C.S.

    2016-01-01

    Graphene (G) has attracted great interest for its excellent electrical properties. However, the large-scale production of graphene is still currently under investigations. Graphene oxide (GO) can be partially reduced to graphene-like sheets by removing the oxygen-containing groups with the recovery of a conjugated structure. It can be produced using inexpensive graphite as raw material by cost-effective chemical methods. High vacuum and temperature (10 -7 mbar/1100 deg C) is well established as an effective route for reduced powder preparation on a laboratory scale. However, a high vacuum reduction system, which can be routinely operated at 10 -7 mbar, has a considerable capital, operational and maintenance cost to be used in a large scale. In the present work, a low-cost route aiming large scale reduction of graphene oxide has been investigated. A stainless steel vessel has been evacuated to backing-pump pressure (10 -2 mbar) to process graphene oxide at low and high temperatures. Attempts of reducing GO powder using low vacuum pressures have been carried out and investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The experimental results of processing graphene oxide powder at various temperatures (200-1000°C) at relatively low pressures have been reported. The microstructures of the processed material have been investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and chemical microanalyses employing energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX). (author)

  13. Societal value of generic medicines beyond cost-saving through reduced prices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dylst, Pieter; Vulto, Arnold; Simoens, Steven

    2015-01-01

    This paper aims to provide an overview of the added societal value of generic medicines beyond their cost-saving potential through reduced prices. In addition, an observational case study will document the impact of generic entry on access to pharmacotherapy in The Netherlands and an illustrative exercise was carried out to highlight the budget impact of generic entry. A narrative literature review was carried out to explore the impact of generic medicines on access to pharmacotherapy, innovation and medication adherence. Data from the Medicines and Medical Devices Information Project database in The Netherlands were used for the case study in which the impact of generic medicine entrance on the budget and the number of users was calculated as an illustrative exercise. Generic medicines have an additional societal value beyond their cost-saving potential through reduced prices. Generic medicines increase access to pharmacotherapy, provide a stimulus for innovation by both originator companies and generic companies and, under the right circumstances, have a positive impact on medication adherence. Generic medicines offer more to society than just their cost-saving potential through reduced prices. As such, governments must not focus only on the prices of generic medicines as this will threaten their long-term sustainability. Governments must therefore act appropriately and implement a coherent set of policies to increase the use of generic medicines.

  14. Reusable single-port access device shortens operative time and reduces operative costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shussman, Noam; Kedar, Asaf; Elazary, Ram; Abu Gazala, Mahmoud; Rivkind, Avraham I; Mintz, Yoav

    2014-06-01

    In recent years, single-port laparoscopy (SPL) has become an attractive approach for performing surgical procedures. The pitfalls of this approach are technical and financial. Financial concerns are due to the increased cost of dedicated devices and prolonged operating room time. Our aim was to calculate the cost of SPL using a reusable port and instruments in order to evaluate the cost difference between this approach to SPL using the available disposable ports and standard laparoscopy. We performed 22 laparoscopic procedures via the SPL approach using a reusable single-port access system and reusable laparoscopic instruments. These included 17 cholecystectomies and five other procedures. Operative time, postoperative length of stay (LOS) and complications were prospectively recorded and were compared with similar data from our SPL database. Student's t test was used for statistical analysis. SPL was successfully performed in all cases. Mean operative time for cholecystectomy was 72 min (range 40-116). Postoperative LOS was not changed from our standard protocols and was 1.1 days for cholecystectomy. The postoperative course was within normal limits for all patients and perioperative morbidity was recorded. Both operative time and length of hospital stay were shorter for the 17 patients who underwent cholecystectomy using a reusable port than for the matched previous 17 SPL cholecystectomies we performed (p cost difference. Operating with a reusable port ended up with an average cost savings of US$388 compared with using disposable ports, and US$240 compared with standard laparoscopy. Single-port laparoscopic surgery is a technically challenging and expensive surgical approach. Financial concerns among others have been advocated against this approach; however, we demonstrate herein that using a reusable port and instruments reduces operative time and overall operative costs, even beyond the cost of standard laparoscopy.

  15. The application of an integrated approach to design, procurement and construction in reducing overall nuclear power plant costs. Annex 19

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Didsbury, R.; Shalaby, B.A.; Torgerson, D.F.

    2002-01-01

    As part of its on-going efforts to reduce the cost of CANDU nuclear power plants, AECL has embarked on an integrated approach to design, procurement and construction activities associated with new CANDU 6 and CANDU 9 projects. The approach is predicated on the fact there is a vast quantity of information that needs to be managed and controlled over the life of a nuclear power plant project. Therefore, ensuring the completeness and correctness of all the information needed by all project participants, facilitating sharing of this information amongst the project's participants, and automating the various deliverable production processes offers significant potential not only for overall project cost (and schedule) savings but also for reducing operations and maintenance costs once the plant enters service. Facilitating and indeed of key importance to this approach is the use of a suite of integrated information technology-based engineering, procurement and project control tools used throughout the design, engineering, procurement and construction phases of the project. A unique and important feature of these tools is their high degree of integration both from a work process and a data perspective. Use of these tools is well underway on AECL's Qinshan Project which is realizing significant benefits in cost and schedule. This paper will describe the approach AECL is taking, along with the tools it has both put in place, and those additional items planned for the future along with the cost, schedule and quality benefits that arise from their use. Progress to date on the Qinshan project also will be discussed as well as the expected application to the plant once it has gone into service will also be discussed. (author)

  16. Development of Production PVD-AIN Buffer Layer System and Processes to Reduce Epitaxy Costs and Increase LED Efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cerio, Frank

    2013-09-14

    The DOE has set aggressive goals for solid state lighting (SSL) adoption, which require manufacturing and quality improvements for virtually all process steps leading to an LED luminaire product. The goals pertinent to this proposed project are to reduce the cost and improve the quality of the epitaxial growth processes used to build LED structures. The objectives outlined in this proposal focus on achieving cost reduction and performance improvements over state-of-the-art, using technologies that are low in cost and amenable to high efficiency manufacturing. The objectives of the outlined proposal focus on cost reductions in epitaxial growth by reducing epitaxy layer thickness and hetero-epitaxial strain, and by enabling the use of larger, less expensive silicon substrates and would be accomplished through the introduction of a high productivity reactive sputtering system and an effective sputtered aluminum-nitride (AlN) buffer/nucleation layer process. Success of the proposed project could enable efficient adoption of GaN on-silicon (GaN/Si) epitaxial technology on 150mm silicon substrates. The reduction in epitaxy cost per cm{sup 2} using 150mm GaN-on-Si technology derives from (1) a reduction in cost of ownership and increase in throughput for the buffer deposition process via the elimination of MOCVD buffer layers and other throughput and CoO enhancements, (2) improvement in brightness through reductions in defect density, (3) reduction in substrate cost through the replacement of sapphire with silicon, and (4) reduction in non-ESD yield loss through reductions in wafer bow and temperature variation. The adoption of 150mm GaN/Si processing will also facilitate significant cost reductions in subsequent wafer fabrication manufacturing costs. There were three phases to this project. These three phases overlap in order to aggressively facilitate a commercially available production GaN/Si capability. In Phase I of the project, the repeatability of the performance

  17. Do workplace wellness programs reduce medical costs? Evidence from a Fortune 500 company.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hangsheng; Mattke, Soeren; Harris, Katherine M; Weinberger, Sarah; Serxner, Seth; Caloyeras, John P; Exum, Ellen

    2013-05-01

    The recent passage of the Affordable Care Act has heightened the importance of workplace wellness programs. This paper used administrative data from 2002 to 2007 for PepsiCo's self-insured plan members to evaluate the effect of its wellness program on medical costs and utilization. We used propensity score matching to identify a comparison group who were eligible for the program but did not participate. No significant changes were observed in inpatient admissions, emergency room visits, or per-member per-month (PMPM) costs. The discrepancy between our findings and those of prior studies may be due to the difference in intervention intensity or program implementation.

  18. Simulation at the point of care: reduced-cost, in situ training via a mobile cart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinstock, Peter H; Kappus, Liana J; Garden, Alexander; Burns, Jeffrey P

    2009-03-01

    The rapid growth of simulation in health care has challenged traditional paradigms of hospital-based education and training. Simulation addresses patient safety through deliberative practice of high-risk low-frequency events within a safe, structured environment. Despite its inherent appeal, widespread adoption of simulation is prohibited by high cost, limited space, interruptions to clinical duties, and the inability to replicate important nuances of clinical environments. We therefore sought to develop a reduced-cost low-space mobile cart to provide realistic simulation experiences to a range of providers within the clinical environment and to serve as a model for transportable, cost-effective, widespread simulation-based training of bona-fide workplace teams. Descriptive study. A tertiary care pediatric teaching hospital. A self-contained mobile simulation cart was constructed at a cost of $8054 (mannequin not included). The cart is compatible with any mannequin and contains all equipment needed to produce a high quality simulation experience equivalent to that of our on-site center--including didactics and debriefing with videotaped recordings complete with vital sign overlay. Over a 3-year period the cart delivered 57 courses to 425 participants from five pediatric departments. All individuals were trained among their native teams and within their own clinical environment. By bringing all pedagogical elements to the actual clinical environment, a mobile cart can provide simulation to hospital teams that might not otherwise benefit from the educational tool. By reducing the setup cost and the need for dedicated space, the mobile approach provides a mechanism to increase the number of institutions capable of harnessing the power of simulation-based education internationally.

  19. Interaction between FOXO1A-209 Genotype and Tea Drinking is Significantly Associated with Reduced Mortality at Advanced Ages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zeng, Yi; Chen, Huashuai; Ni, Ting

    2016-01-01

    Based on the genotypic/phenotypic data from Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS) and Cox proportional hazard model, the present study demonstrates that interactions between carrying FOXO1A-209 genotypes and tea drinking are significantly associated with lower risk of mortality...... at advanced ages. Such significant association is replicated in two independent Han Chinese CLHLS cohorts (p =0.028-0.048 in the discovery and replication cohorts, and p =0.003-0.016 in the combined dataset). We found the associations between tea drinking and reduced mortality are much stronger among carriers...... of the FOXO1A-209 genotype compared to non-carriers, and drinking tea is associated with a reversal of the negative effects of carrying FOXO1A-209 minor alleles, that is, from a substantially increased mortality risk to substantially reduced mortality risk at advanced ages. The impacts are considerably...

  20. A New Remote Communications Link to Reduce Residential PV Solar Costs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    King, Randy [Operant Solar Corporation,CA (United States); Sugiyama, Rod [Operant Solar Corporation,CA (United States)

    2017-12-11

    Monitoring of PV/DER site production is expensive to install and unreliable. Among third party systems providers, lost communications links are a growing concern. Nearly 20% of links are failing, provisioning is complex, recovery is expensive, production data is lost, and access is fragmented. FleetLink is a new concept in DER system communications, purpose built for lowering the cost of maintaining active contact with residential end user sites and ensuring that production data is reliably available to third party systems providers. Systems providers require accurate, secure system monitoring and reporting of production data and system faults while driving down overall costs to compete effectively. This plug and play, independently operating communications solution lowers the cost of fleet contact from typically .08 dollars-$.12/W down to .02 dollars -.03/W including installation and maintenance expenses. FleetLink establishes a breakthrough in simplicity that facilitates rapid expansion of residential solar by reducing initial capital outlay and lowering installation labor time and skill levels. The solution also facilitates higher DER installation growth rates by driving down maintenance costs and eliminating communications trouble calls. This is accomplished by the FleetLink’s unique network technology that enables dynamic network configuration for fast changes, and active, self-healing DER site contact for uptime assurance. Using an open source network framework with proprietary, application specific enhancements, FleetLink independently manages connectivity, security, recovery, grid control communications, and fleet expansion while presenting a compliant SunSpec interface to the third party operations centers. The net system cost savings of at least .05 dollars/W supports the SunShot cost goals and the flexibility and scalability of the solution accelerates the velocity and ubiquitous adoption of solar.

  1. Cost-effectiveness of reducing emissions from tropical deforestation, 2016-2050

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, Jonah; Engelmann, Jens

    2017-12-01

    Reducing tropical deforestation is potentially a large-scale and low-cost strategy for mitigating climate change. Yet previous efforts to project the cost-effectiveness of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from future deforestation across the tropics were hampered by crude available data on historical forest loss. Here we use recently available satellite-based maps of annual forest loss between 2001-2012, along with information on topography, accessibility, protected status, potential agricultural revenue, and an observed inverted-U-shaped relationship between forest cover loss and forest cover, to project tropical deforestation from 2016-2050 under alternative policy scenarios and to construct new marginal abatement cost curves for reducing emissions from tropical deforestation. We project that without new forest conservation policies 289 million hectares of tropical forest will be cleared from 2016-2050, releasing 169 GtCO2. A carbon price of US20/tCO2 (50/tCO2) across tropical countries would avoid 41 GtCO2 (77 GtCO2) from 2016-2050. By comparison, we estimate that Brazil’s restrictive policies in the Amazon between 2004-2012 successfully decoupled potential agricultural revenue from deforestation and reduced deforestation by 47% below what would have otherwise occurred, preventing the emission of 5.2 GtCO2. All tropical countries enacting restrictive anti-deforestation policies as effective as those in the Brazilian Amazon between 2004-2012 would avoid 58 GtCO2 from 2016-2050.

  2. Implementation of Continuous Video-Electroencephalography at a Community Hospital Enhances Care and Reduces Costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolls, Brad J; Mace, Brian E; Dombrowski, Keith E

    2017-10-24

    Despite data indicating the importance of continuous video-electroencephalography (cvEEG) monitoring, adoption has been slow outside major academic centers. Barriers to adoption include the need for technologists, equipment, and cvEEG readers. Advancements in lower-cost lead placement templates and commercial systems with remote review may reduce barriers to allow community centers to implement cvEEG. Here, we report our experience, lessons learned, and financial impact of implementing a community hospital cvEEG-monitoring program. We implemented an adult cvEEG service at Duke Regional Hospital (DRH), a community hospital affiliate, in June of 2012. Lead placement templates were used in the implementation to reduce the impact on technologists by using other bedside providers for EEG initiation. Utilization of the service, study quality, and patient outcomes were tracked over a 3-year period following initiation of service. Service was implemented at essentially no cost. Utilization varied from a number of factors: intensive care unit (ICU) attending awareness, limited willingness of bedside providers to perform lead placement, and variation in practice of the consulting neurologists. A total of 92 studies were performed on 88 patients in the first 3 years of the program, 24 in year one, 27 in year two, and 38 in year three, showing progressive adoption. Seizures were seen in 25 patients (27%), 19 were in status, of which 18 were successfully treated. Transfers to the main hospital, Duke University Medical Center, were prevented for 53 patients, producing an estimated cost savings of $145,750. The retained patients produced a direct contribution margin of about $75,000, and the margin was just over $100,000 for the entire monitored cohort. ICU cvEEG service is feasible and practical to implement at the community hospital level. Service was initiated at little to no cost and clearly enhanced care, increased breadth of care, increased ICU census, and reduced

  3. Comparing climate and cost impacts of reference levels for reducing emissions from deforestation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Busch, Jonah [Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, Conservation International, 2011 Crystal Drive, Suite 500, Arlington, VA (United States); Strassburg, Bernardo [Center for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ (United Kingdom); Cattaneo, Andrea [Woods Hole Research Center, 149 Woods Hole Road, Falmouth, MA 02540-1644 (United States); Lubowski, Ruben [Environmental Defense Fund, 1875 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC (United States); Bruner, Aaron; Rice, Richard; Boltz, Frederick [Conservation International, 2011 Crystal Drive, Suite 500, Arlington, VA (United States); Creed, Anna; Ashton, Ralph, E-mail: jbusch@conservation.or [Terrestrial Carbon Group, 900 17th Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC (United States)

    2009-10-15

    The climate benefit and economic cost of an international mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) will depend on the design of reference levels for crediting emission reductions. We compare the impacts of six proposed reference level designs on emission reduction levels and on cost per emission reduction using a stylized partial equilibrium model (the open source impacts of REDD incentives spreadsheet; OSIRIS). The model explicitly incorporates national incentives to participate in an international REDD mechanism as well as international leakage of deforestation emissions. Our results show that a REDD mechanism can provide cost-efficient climate change mitigation benefits under a broad range of reference level designs. We find that the most effective reference level designs balance incentives to reduce historically high deforestation emissions with incentives to maintain historically low deforestation emissions. Estimates of emission reductions under REDD depend critically on the degree to which demand for tropical frontier agriculture generates leakage. This underscores the potential importance to REDD of complementary strategies to supply agricultural needs outside of the forest frontier.

  4. Comparing climate and cost impacts of reference levels for reducing emissions from deforestation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Busch, Jonah; Strassburg, Bernardo; Cattaneo, Andrea; Lubowski, Ruben; Bruner, Aaron; Rice, Richard; Boltz, Frederick; Creed, Anna; Ashton, Ralph

    2009-01-01

    The climate benefit and economic cost of an international mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) will depend on the design of reference levels for crediting emission reductions. We compare the impacts of six proposed reference level designs on emission reduction levels and on cost per emission reduction using a stylized partial equilibrium model (the open source impacts of REDD incentives spreadsheet; OSIRIS). The model explicitly incorporates national incentives to participate in an international REDD mechanism as well as international leakage of deforestation emissions. Our results show that a REDD mechanism can provide cost-efficient climate change mitigation benefits under a broad range of reference level designs. We find that the most effective reference level designs balance incentives to reduce historically high deforestation emissions with incentives to maintain historically low deforestation emissions. Estimates of emission reductions under REDD depend critically on the degree to which demand for tropical frontier agriculture generates leakage. This underscores the potential importance to REDD of complementary strategies to supply agricultural needs outside of the forest frontier.

  5. Innovation in product design as a factor for reducing logistic and production costs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana Fighera Marzall

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Innovation has been considered of fundamental importance for organizations competing in dynamic environments, which along with cost management has been shown as an organizational strategy that allows the company to measure its results and implement measures that impact on the organization's performance as a whole. This paper, carried out in a metal mechanical industry of a telecommunications engineering branch, aims to analyse cost reduction in logistics raw materials areas through innovation in the product design, which are antennas and towers for telephone networks. In terms of methodology, this study presents itself as a qualitative and quantitative research-action, which from the link between theory and practice allows for intervention in the middle of the researchers studied. As a result, an innovative project was developed, which allowed for the reduction costs of production by 68% and logistics by 32%. Despite the significant decrease in costs, the quality of manufactured products not declined and customer needs were met, thus making the company more competitive against competitors. Not widespread in the literature, this analysis of the impact on logistics and production costs due to improvements in the project is the main contribution theoretical of this paper.

  6. Reduced metabolic cost of locomotion in Svalbard rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta hyperborea during winter.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Lees

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available The Svalbard rock ptarmigan, Lagopus muta hyperborea experiences extreme photoperiodic and climatic conditions on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. This species, however, is highly adapted to live in this harsh environment. One of the most striking adaptations found in these birds is the deposition, prior to onset of winter, of fat stores which may comprise up to 32% of body mass and are located primarily around the sternum and abdominal region. This fat, while crucial to the birds' survival, also presents a challenge in that the bird must maintain normal physiological function with this additional mass. In particular these stores are likely to constrain the respiratory system, as the sternum and pelvic region must be moved during ventilation and carrying this extra load may also impact upon the energetic cost of locomotion. Here we demonstrate that winter birds have a reduced cost of locomotion when compared to summer birds. A remarkable finding given that during winter these birds have almost twice the body mass of those in summer. These results suggest that Svalbard ptarmigan are able to carry the additional winter fat without incurring any energetic cost. As energy conservation is paramount to these birds, minimising the costs of moving around when resources are limited would appear to be a key adaptation crucial for their survival in the barren Arctic environment.

  7. 78 FR 41857 - Simplified Cost Accounting and Other Actions To Reduce Paperwork in the Summer Food Service...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-12

    ... CFR Parts 210 and 225 RIN 0584-AD84 Simplified Cost Accounting and Other Actions To Reduce Paperwork... Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008. The changes extend simplified cost accounting and reporting procedures... nondiscretionary simplified cost accounting and reporting procedures established in the Consolidated Appropriations...

  8. Cost-effectiveness of feeding strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from dairy farming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Middelaar, C E; Dijkstra, J; Berentsen, P B M; De Boer, I J M

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this paper was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of 3 feeding strategies to reduce enteric CH4 production in dairy cows by calculating the effect on labor income at the farm level and on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the chain level (i.e., from production of farm inputs to the farm gate). Strategies included were (1) dietary supplementation of an extruded linseed product (56% linseed; 1kg/cow per day in summer and 2kg/cow per day in winter), (2) dietary supplementation of a nitrate source (75% nitrate; 1% of dry matter intake), and (3) reducing the maturity stage of grass and grass silage (grazing at 1,400 instead of 1,700kg of dry matter/ha and harvesting at 3,000 instead of 3,500kg of dry matter/ha). A dairy farm linear programing model was used to define an average Dutch dairy farm on sandy soil without a predefined feeding strategy (reference situation). Subsequently, 1 of the 3 feeding strategies was implemented and the model was optimized again to determine the new economically optimal farm situation. Enteric CH4 production in the reference situation and after implementing the strategies was calculated based on a mechanistic model for enteric CH4 and empirical formulas explaining the effect of fat and nitrate supplementation on enteric CH4 production. Other GHG emissions along the chain were calculated using life cycle assessment. Total GHG emissions in the reference situation added up to 840kg of CO2 equivalents (CO2e) per t of fat- and protein-corrected milk (FPCM) and yearly labor income of €42,605. Supplementation of the extruded linseed product reduced emissions by 9kg of CO2e/t of FPCM and labor income by €16,041; supplementation of the dietary nitrate source reduced emissions by 32kg of CO2e/t of FPCM and labor income by €5,463; reducing the maturity stage of grass and grass silage reduced emissions by 11kg of CO2e/t of FPCM and labor income by €463. Of the 3 strategies, reducing grass maturity was the most cost

  9. Use of configuration management to reduce development costs in metal parts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalsoom, T.; Ahmad, S.

    2005-01-01

    In development and manufacturing phases of metal parts, design efforts are converted in set of engineering data pack under the given guidelines of Configuration Management (CM). These engineering documents define Configuration Management of metal parts production in a local industry. The development phase is normally less structured and open to Engineering Change Proposals. In our local engineering organizations most of the work done is normally not well documented for future revisions and modernization. This leads to delays in development and increase in production costs of metal parts. This becomes more pronounced if any member of the design team disassociates and leaves the organization. The Configuration Management helps to reduce development costs by providing infrastructure for product identification, documentation, change control, interface control and technical reviews and product audits. Automated or Computer-Assisted CM activities can also be used to shorten response time and increase accuracy and reliability of the produced metal components. (author)

  10. Facility Management as a Way of Reducing Costs in Transport Companies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matusova, Dominika; Gogolova, Martina

    2017-10-01

    For facility management exists a several interpretations. These interpretations emerged progressively. At the time of the notion of facility management was designed to manage an administrative building, in the United States (US). They can ensure their operation and maintenance. From the US, this trend is further moved to Europe and now it start becoming a current and actual topic also in Slovakia. Facility management is contractually agreed scheme of services, semantically recalls traditional building management. There by finally pushed for activities related to real estates. For facility management is fundamental - certification and certification systems. Therefore, is essential to know, the cost structure of certification. The most commonly occurring austerity measures include: heat pumps, use of renewable energy, solar panels and water savings. These measures can reduce the cost.

  11. The relative cost of bent-hip bent-knee walking is reduced in water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuliukas, Algis V; Milne, Nick; Fournier, Paul

    2009-01-01

    The debate about how early hominids walked may be characterised as two competing hypotheses: They moved with a fully upright (FU) gait, like modern humans, or with a bent-hip, bent-knee (BK) gait, like apes. Both have assumed that this bipedalism was almost exclusively on land, in trees or a combination of the two. Recent findings favoured the FU hypothesis by showing that the BK gait is 50-60% more energetically costly than a FU human gait on land. We confirm these findings but show that in water this cost differential is markedly reduced, especially in deeper water, at slower speeds and with greater knee flexion. These data suggest that the controversy about australopithecine locomotion may be eased if it is assumed that wading was a component of their locomotor repertoire and supports the idea that shallow water might have been an environment favourable to the evolution of early forms of "non-optimal" hominid bipedalism.

  12. Great hammerhead sharks swim on their side to reduce transport costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, Nicholas L; Iosilevskii, Gil; Barnett, Adam; Fischer, Chris; Graham, Rachel T; Gleiss, Adrian C; Watanabe, Yuuki Y

    2016-07-26

    Animals exhibit various physiological and behavioural strategies for minimizing travel costs. Fins of aquatic animals play key roles in efficient travel and, for sharks, the functions of dorsal and pectoral fins are considered well divided: the former assists propulsion and generates lateral hydrodynamic forces during turns and the latter generates vertical forces that offset sharks' negative buoyancy. Here we show that great hammerhead sharks drastically reconfigure the function of these structures, using an exaggerated dorsal fin to generate lift by swimming rolled on their side. Tagged wild sharks spend up to 90% of time swimming at roll angles between 50° and 75°, and hydrodynamic modelling shows that doing so reduces drag-and in turn, the cost of transport-by around 10% compared with traditional upright swimming. Employment of such a strongly selected feature for such a unique purpose raises interesting questions about evolutionary pathways to hydrodynamic adaptations, and our perception of form and function.

  13. The role of technology in reducing health care costs. Final project report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sill, A.E.; Warren, S.; Dillinger, J.D.; Cloer, B.K.

    1997-08-01

    Sandia National Laboratories applied a systems approach to identifying innovative biomedical technologies with the potential to reduce U.S. health care delivery costs while maintaining care quality. This study was conducted by implementing both top-down and bottom-up strategies. The top-down approach used prosperity gaming methodology to identify future health care delivery needs. This effort provided roadmaps for the development and integration of technology to meet perceived care delivery requirements. The bottom-up approach identified and ranked interventional therapies employed in existing care delivery systems for a host of health-related conditions. Economic analysis formed the basis for development of care pathway interaction models for two of the most pervasive, chronic disease/disability conditions: coronary artery disease (CAD) and benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). Societal cost-benefit relationships based on these analyses were used to evaluate the effect of emerging technology in these treatment areas. 17 figs., 48 tabs.

  14. THE ROLE OF TIPPING IN REDUCING LABOUR COSTS: CASE OF SECTOR RETAIL PETROLEUM PRODUCTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrej Raspor

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper was to determine whether tipping could reduce labour costs in the petroleum products retail sector. The research we present was designed on the basis of survey results gathered from Slovenian petrol stations in 2009 and 2010. We have identified the following factors in the tipping process: job satisfaction, flexibility, service quality, satisfaction, motivation and the factor of receiving tips. The analysis showed correlation between methods used to increase the value of tips and better service quality, increased financial and numerical flexibility, motivation, satisfaction upon receipt of tips and the method used to increase the value of tips. In order to decrease labour costs we propose that the management take control of tipping and integrates tips into the reward system. Also, the employees should be made aware about how tipping improves service and increases their income.

  15. Highly reusable space transportation: Approaches for reducing ETO launch costs to $100 - $200 per pound of payload

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olds, John R.

    1995-01-01

    The Commercial Space Transportation Study (CSTS) suggests that considerable market expansion in earth-to-orbit transportation would take place if current launch prices could be reduced to around $400 per pound of payload. If these low prices can be achieved, annual payload delivered to low earth orbit (LEO) is predicted to reach 6.7 million pounds. The primary market growth will occur in communications, government missions, and civil transportation. By establishing a cost target of $100-$200 per pound of payload for a new launch system, the Highly Reusable Space Transportation (HRST) program has clearly set its sights on removing the current restriction on market growth imposed by today's high launch costs. In particular, achieving the goal of $100-$200 per pound of payload will require significant coordinated efforts in (1) marketing strategy development, (2) business planning, (3) system operational strategy, (4) vehicle technical design, and (5) vehicle maintenance strategy.

  16. Cost and cost-effectiveness analysis of a community mobilisation intervention to reduce intimate partner violence in Kampala, Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaels-Igbokwe, Christine; Abramsky, Tanya; Devries, Karen; Michau, Lori; Musuya, Tina; Watts, Charlotte

    2016-02-29

    Intimate partner violence (IPV) poses a major public health concern. To date there are few rigorous economic evaluations of interventions aimed at preventing IPV in low-income settings. This study provides a cost and cost effectiveness analysis of SASA!, a community mobilisation intervention to change social norms and prevent IPV. An economic evaluation alongside a cluster randomised controlled trial. Both financial and economic costs were collected retrospectively from the provider's perspective to generate total and unit cost estimates over four years of intervention programming. Univariate sensitivity analysis is conducted to estimate the impact of uncertainty in cost and outcome measures on results. The total cost of developing the SASA! Activist Kit is estimated as US$138,598. Total intervention costs over four years are estimated as US$553,252. The annual cost of supporting 351 activists to conduct SASA! activities was approximately US$389 per activist and the average cost per person reached in intervention communities was US$21 over the full course of the intervention, or US$5 annually. The primary trial outcome was past year experience of physical IPV with an estimated 1201 cases averted (90% CI: 97-2307 cases averted). The estimated cost per case of past year IPV averted was US$460. This study provides the first economic evaluation of a community mobilisation intervention aimed at preventing IPV. SASA! unit costs compare favourably with gender transformative interventions and support services for survivors of IPV. ClinicalTrials.gov # NCT00790959.

  17. Effectiveness and cost of failure mode and effects analysis methodology to reduce neurosurgical site infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hover, Alexander R; Sistrunk, William W; Cavagnol, Robert M; Scarrow, Alan; Finley, Phillip J; Kroencke, Audrey D; Walker, Judith L

    2014-01-01

    Mercy Hospital Springfield is a tertiary care facility with 32 000 discharges and 15 000 inpatient surgeries in 2011. From June 2009 through January 2011, a stable inpatient elective neurosurgery infection rate of 2.15% was observed. The failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) methodology to reduce inpatient neurosurgery infections was utilized. Following FMEA implementation, overall elective neurosurgery infection rates were reduced to 1.51% and sustained through May 2012. Compared with baseline, the post-FMEA deep-space and organ infection rate was reduced by 41% (P = .052). Overall hospital inpatient clean surgery infection rates for the same time frame did not decrease to the same extent, suggesting a specific effect of the FMEA. The study team believes that the FMEA interventions resulted in 14 fewer expected infections, $270 270 in savings, a 168-day reduction in expected length of stay, and 22 fewer readmissions. Given the serious morbidity and cost of health care-associated infections, the study team concludes that FMEA implementation was clinically cost-effective. © 2013 by the American College of Medical Quality.

  18. Waste Management Strategy for Dismantling Waste to Reduce Costs for Power Plant Decommissioning - 13543

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Larsson, Arne; Lidar, Per [Studsvik Nuclear AB, SE-611 82 Nykoeping (Sweden); Bergh, Niklas; Hedin, Gunnar [Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB, Fredholmsgatan 2, SE-721 63, Vaesteraas (Sweden)

    2013-07-01

    interruptions. Bottle-necks in the process causes increased space requirements and will have negative impact on the project schedule, which increases not only the cost but also the dose exposure to personnel. For these reasons it is critical to create a process that transfers material into conditioned waste ready for disposal as quickly as possible. To a certain extent the decommissioning program should be led by the waste management process. With the objective to reduce time for handling of dismantled material at site and to efficiently and environmental-friendly use waste management methods (clearance for re-use followed by clearance for recycling), the costs for the plant decommissioning could be reduced as well as time needed for performing the decommissioning project. Also, risks for delays would be reduced with a well-defined handling scheme which limits surprises. Delays are a major cost driver for decommissioning projects. (authors)

  19. Waste Management Strategy for Dismantling Waste to Reduce Costs for Power Plant Decommissioning - 13543

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Larsson, Arne; Lidar, Per; Bergh, Niklas; Hedin, Gunnar

    2013-01-01

    -necks in the process causes increased space requirements and will have negative impact on the project schedule, which increases not only the cost but also the dose exposure to personnel. For these reasons it is critical to create a process that transfers material into conditioned waste ready for disposal as quickly as possible. To a certain extent the decommissioning program should be led by the waste management process. With the objective to reduce time for handling of dismantled material at site and to efficiently and environmental-friendly use waste management methods (clearance for re-use followed by clearance for recycling), the costs for the plant decommissioning could be reduced as well as time needed for performing the decommissioning project. Also, risks for delays would be reduced with a well-defined handling scheme which limits surprises. Delays are a major cost driver for decommissioning projects. (authors)

  20. A Recombinant Multi-Stage Vaccine against Paratuberculosis Significantly Reduces Bacterial Level in Tissues without Interference in Diagnostics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jungersen, Gregers; Thakur, Aneesh; Aagaard, C.

    , PPDj-specific IFN-γ responses or positive PPDa or PPDb skin tests developed in vaccinees. Antibodies and cell-mediated immune responses were developed against FET11 antigens, however. At necropsy 8 or 12 months of age, relative Map burden was determined in a number of gut tissues by quantitative IS900...... PCR and revealed significantly reduced levels of Map and reduced histopathology. Diagnostic tests for antibody responses and cell-mediated immune responses, used as surrogates of infection, corroborated the observed vaccine efficacy: Five of seven non‐vaccinated calves seroconverted in ID Screen......-γ assay responses from 40 to 52 weeks compared to non-vaccinated calves. These results indicate the FET11 vaccine can be used to accelerate eradication of paratuberculosis while surveillance or test-and-manage control programs for tuberculosis and Johne’s disease remain in place. Funded by EMIDA ERA...

  1. Reducing the metabolic cost of walking with an ankle exoskeleton: interaction between actuation timing and power.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galle, Samuel; Malcolm, Philippe; Collins, Steven Hartley; De Clercq, Dirk

    2017-04-27

    Powered ankle-foot exoskeletons can reduce the metabolic cost of human walking to below normal levels, but optimal assistance properties remain unclear. The purpose of this study was to test the effects of different assistance timing and power characteristics in an experiment with a tethered ankle-foot exoskeleton. Ten healthy female subjects walked on a treadmill with bilateral ankle-foot exoskeletons in 10 different assistance conditions. Artificial pneumatic muscles assisted plantarflexion during ankle push-off using one of four actuation onset timings (36, 42, 48 and 54% of the stride) and three power levels (average positive exoskeleton power over a stride, summed for both legs, of 0.2, 0.4 and 0.5 W∙kg -1 ). We compared metabolic rate, kinematics and electromyography (EMG) between conditions. Optimal assistance was achieved with an onset of 42% stride and average power of 0.4 W∙kg -1 , leading to 21% reduction in metabolic cost compared to walking with the exoskeleton deactivated and 12% reduction compared to normal walking without the exoskeleton. With suboptimal timing or power, the exoskeleton still reduced metabolic cost, but substantially less so. The relationship between timing, power and metabolic rate was well-characterized by a two-dimensional quadratic function. The assistive mechanisms leading to these improvements included reducing muscular activity in the ankle plantarflexors and assisting leg swing initiation. These results emphasize the importance of optimizing exoskeleton actuation properties when assisting or augmenting human locomotion. Our optimal assistance onset timing and average power levels could be used for other exoskeletons to improve assistance and resulting benefits.

  2. Cost of reproduction in a long-lived bird: incubation effort reduces immune function and future reproduction

    OpenAIRE

    Hanssen, S A; Hasselquist, Dennis; Folstad, I; Erikstad, K E

    2005-01-01

    Life-history theory predicts that increased current reproductive effort should lead to a fitness cost. This cost of reproduction may be observed as reduced survival or future reproduction, and may be caused by temporal suppression of immune function in stressed or hard-working individuals. In birds, consideration of the costs of incubating eggs has largely been neglected in favour of the costs of brood rearing. We manipulated incubation demand in two breeding seasons (2000 and 2001) in female...

  3. Quality improvement in hospitals: how much does it reduce healthcare costs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, S B

    1995-01-01

    The philosophy of W.E. Deming suggests that continuous quality improvement efforts, when properly applied, ultimately will lead to financial dividends and will help ensure business longevity. Reducing hospital charges can be exciting for the participants and can provide an impetus for expanding quality improvement efforts. Americans, however, tend to demand almost instant gratification and have limited patience for longer-term results. This factor, coupled with minimal knowledge of actual operational costs and inaccurate charge accounting systems, may lead hospital managers to misinterpret the potential net long-term effects of their quality improvement efforts. In the approaching environment of capitated reimbursement, such mistakes may have serious consequences.

  4. Enrichment: CRISLA [chemical reaction by isotope selective activation] aims to reduce costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eerkens, J.W.

    1989-01-01

    Every year, more than $3 billion is spent on enriching uranium. CRISLA (Chemical Reaction by Isotope Selective Activation) uses a laser-catalyzed chemical reaction which, its proponents claim, could substantially reduce these costs. In CRISLA, an infrared CO laser illuminates the intracavity reaction cell (IC) at a frequency tuned to excite primarily UF 6 . When UF 6 and co-reactant RX are passed through the IC, the tuned laser photons preferentially enhance the reaction of UF 6 with RX ten-thousand-fold over the thermal reaction rate. Thus the laser serves as an activator and the chemical energy for separation is largely chemical. (author)

  5. Reducing costs of wind power with a gearless permanent-magnet generator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vihriaelae, H.; Peraelae, R.; Soederlund, L.; Eriksson, J.T.

    1995-01-01

    This article examines a disc-type axial-field permanent magnet generator (PMG) utilizing the latest generation of permanent magnet material, namely Nd 15 B 8 Fe 77 . A frequency converter (FC) is needed to keep the system synchronized with the grid. It also offers a possibility to use variable speed. The main advantages of this novel system compared to the conventional one are a higher overall efficiency, better reliability, reduced weight and diminished need for maintenance, all contributing to the cost-reduction of wind power. (author)

  6. Reducing costs of wind power with a gearless permanent-magnet generator

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vihriaelae, H; Peraelae, R; Soederlund, L; Eriksson, J T [Tampere Univ. of Technology (Finland). Lab. of Electricity and Magnetism

    1996-12-31

    This article examines a disc-type axial-field permanent magnet generator (PMG) utilizing the latest generation of permanent magnet material, namely Nd{sub 15}B{sub 8}Fe{sub 77}. A frequency converter (FC) is needed to keep the system synchronized with the grid. It also offers a possibility to use variable speed. The main advantages of this novel system compared to the conventional one are a higher overall efficiency, better reliability, reduced weight and diminished need for maintenance, all contributing to the cost-reduction of wind power. (author)

  7. Reducing costs of wind power with a gearless permanent-magnet generator

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vihriaelae, H.; Peraelae, R.; Soederlund, L.; Eriksson, J.T. [Tampere Univ. of Technology (Finland). Lab. of Electricity and Magnetism

    1995-12-31

    This article examines a disc-type axial-field permanent magnet generator (PMG) utilizing the latest generation of permanent magnet material, namely Nd{sub 15}B{sub 8}Fe{sub 77}. A frequency converter (FC) is needed to keep the system synchronized with the grid. It also offers a possibility to use variable speed. The main advantages of this novel system compared to the conventional one are a higher overall efficiency, better reliability, reduced weight and diminished need for maintenance, all contributing to the cost-reduction of wind power. (author)

  8. Shifting the Paradigm for Long Term Monitoring at Legacy Sites to Improve Performance while Reducing Cost

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eddy-Dilek, Carol A.; Looney, Brian B.; Seaman, John; Kmetz, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    A major issue facing many government and private industry sites that were previously contaminated with radioactive and chemical wastes is that often the sites cannot be cleaned up enough to permit unrestricted human access. These sites will require long-term management, in some cases indefinitely, leaving site owners with the challenge of protecting human health and environmental quality in a cost effective manner. Long-term monitoring of groundwater contamination is one of the largest projected costs in the life cycle of environmental management at the Savannah River Site (SRS), the larger DOE complex, and many large federal and private sites. Currently, most monitoring strategies are focused on laboratory measurements of contaminants measured in groundwater samples collected from wells. This approach is expensive, and provides limited and lagging information about the effectiveness of cleanup activities and the behavior of the residual contamination. Over the last twenty years, DOE and other federal agencies have made significant investments in the development of various types of sensors and strategies that would allow for remote analysis of contaminants in groundwater, but these approaches do not promise significant reductions in risk or cost. Scientists at SRS have developed a new paradigm to simultaneously improve the performance of long term monitoring systems while lowering the overall cost of monitoring. This alternative approach incorporates traditional point measurements of contaminant concentration with measurements of controlling variables including boundary conditions, master variables, and traditional plume/contaminant variables. Boundary conditions are the overall driving forces that control plume movement and therefore provide leading indication to changes in plume stability. These variables include metrics associated with meteorology, hydrology, hydrogeology, and land use. Master variables are the key variables that control the chemistry of the

  9. Use of hypofractionated post-mastectomy radiotherapy reduces health costs by over $2000 per patient: An Australian perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortimer, Joshua W; McLachlan, Craig S; Hansen, Carmen J; Assareh, Hassan; Last, Andrew; McKay, Michael J; Shakespeare, Thomas P

    2016-02-01

    The most recent clinical practice guidelines released by Cancer Australia draw attention to unanswered questions concerning the health economic considerations associated with hypofractionated radiotherapy. This study aimed to quantify and compare the healthcare costs at a regional Australian radiotherapy institute with respect to conventionally fractionated post-mastectomy radiotherapy (Cf-PMRT) versus hypofractionated post-mastectomy radiotherapy (Hf-PMRT) administration. Medical records of 196 patients treated with post-mastectomy radiotherapy at the NSW North Coast Cancer Institute from February 2008 to June 2014 were retrospectively reviewed. Australian Medicare item numbers billed for patients receiving either Cf-PMRT of 50 Gy in 25 daily fractions or Hf-PMRT of 40.05 Gy in 15 daily fractions were calculated. Decision tree analysis was used to model costs. Independent-samples t-tests and Mann-Whitney U-tests were used to compare crude average costs for Cf-PMRT and Hf-PMRT and determine which treatment components accounted for any differences. Hf-PMRT, with or without irradiation to the regional lymph nodes, was associated with significantly reduced Medicare costs ($5613 AUD per patient for Hf-PMRT vs $8272 AUD per patient for Cf-PMRT; P < 0.001). Savings associated with Hf-PMRT ranged from $1353 (22.1%) for patients receiving no regional irradiation to $2898 (32.0%) for patients receiving both axillary and supraclavicular therapy. Hf-PMRT results in a significant reduction in the financial costs associated with treating breast cancer patients in a regional Australian setting when compared with Cf-PMRT. © 2015 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.

  10. Costs and cost-effectiveness of training traditional birth attendants to reduce neonatal mortality in the Lufwanyama Neonatal Survival study (LUNESP).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabin, Lora L; Knapp, Anna B; MacLeod, William B; Phiri-Mazala, Grace; Kasimba, Joshua; Hamer, Davidson H; Gill, Christopher J

    2012-01-01

    The Lufwanyama Neonatal Survival Project ("LUNESP") was a cluster randomized, controlled trial that showed that training traditional birth attendants (TBAs) to perform interventions targeting birth asphyxia, hypothermia, and neonatal sepsis reduced all-cause neonatal mortality by 45%. This companion analysis was undertaken to analyze intervention costs and cost-effectiveness, and factors that might improve cost-effectiveness. We calculated LUNESP's financial and economic costs and the economic cost of implementation for a forecasted ten-year program (2011-2020). In each case, we calculated the incremental cost per death avoided and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) averted in real 2011 US dollars. The forecasted 10-year program analysis included a base case as well as 'conservative' and 'optimistic' scenarios. Uncertainty was characterized using one-way sensitivity analyses and a multivariate probabilistic sensitivity analysis. The estimated financial and economic costs of LUNESP were $118,574 and $127,756, respectively, or $49,469 and $53,550 per year. Fixed costs accounted for nearly 90% of total costs. For the 10-year program, discounted total and annual program costs were $256,455 and $26,834 respectively; for the base case, optimistic, and conservative scenarios, the estimated cost per death avoided was $1,866, $591, and $3,024, and cost per DALY averted was $74, $24, and $120, respectively. Outcomes were robust to variations in local costs, but sensitive to variations in intervention effect size, number of births attended by TBAs, and the extent of foreign consultants' participation. Based on established guidelines, the strategy of using trained TBAs to reduce neonatal mortality was 'highly cost effective'. We strongly recommend consideration of this approach for other remote rural populations with limited access to health care.

  11. Costs and cost-effectiveness of training traditional birth attendants to reduce neonatal mortality in the Lufwanyama Neonatal Survival study (LUNESP.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lora L Sabin

    Full Text Available The Lufwanyama Neonatal Survival Project ("LUNESP" was a cluster randomized, controlled trial that showed that training traditional birth attendants (TBAs to perform interventions targeting birth asphyxia, hypothermia, and neonatal sepsis reduced all-cause neonatal mortality by 45%. This companion analysis was undertaken to analyze intervention costs and cost-effectiveness, and factors that might improve cost-effectiveness.We calculated LUNESP's financial and economic costs and the economic cost of implementation for a forecasted ten-year program (2011-2020. In each case, we calculated the incremental cost per death avoided and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs averted in real 2011 US dollars. The forecasted 10-year program analysis included a base case as well as 'conservative' and 'optimistic' scenarios. Uncertainty was characterized using one-way sensitivity analyses and a multivariate probabilistic sensitivity analysis. The estimated financial and economic costs of LUNESP were $118,574 and $127,756, respectively, or $49,469 and $53,550 per year. Fixed costs accounted for nearly 90% of total costs. For the 10-year program, discounted total and annual program costs were $256,455 and $26,834 respectively; for the base case, optimistic, and conservative scenarios, the estimated cost per death avoided was $1,866, $591, and $3,024, and cost per DALY averted was $74, $24, and $120, respectively. Outcomes were robust to variations in local costs, but sensitive to variations in intervention effect size, number of births attended by TBAs, and the extent of foreign consultants' participation.Based on established guidelines, the strategy of using trained TBAs to reduce neonatal mortality was 'highly cost effective'. We strongly recommend consideration of this approach for other remote rural populations with limited access to health care.

  12. What Strategies Do Physicians and Patients Discuss to Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs? Analysis of Cost-Saving Strategies in 1,755 Outpatient Clinic Visits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Wynn G; Zhang, Cecilia Z; Hesson, Ashley; Davis, J Kelly; Kirby, Christine; Williamson, Lillie D; Barnett, Jamison A; Ubel, Peter A

    2016-10-01

    More than 1 in 4 Americans report difficulty paying medical bills. Cost-reducing strategies discussed during outpatient physician visits remain poorly characterized. We sought to determine how often patients and physicians discuss health care costs during outpatient visits and what strategies, if any, they discussed to lower patient out-of-pocket costs. Retrospective analysis of dialogue from 1,755 outpatient visits in community-based practices nationwide from 2010 to 2014. The study population included 677 patients with breast cancer, 422 with depression, and 656 with rheumatoid arthritis visiting 56 oncologists, 36 psychiatrists, and 26 rheumatologists, respectively. Thirty percent of visits contained cost conversations (95% confidence interval [CI], 28 to 32). Forty-four percent of cost conversations involved discussion of cost-saving strategies (95% CI, 40 to 48; median duration, 68 s). We identified 4 strategies to lower costs without changing the care plan. They were, in order of overall frequency: 1) changing logistics of care, 2) facilitating co-pay assistance, 3) providing free samples, and 4) changing/adding insurance plans. We also identified 4 strategies to reduce costs by changing the care plan: 1) switching to lower-cost alternative therapy/diagnostic, 2) switching from brand name to generic, 3) changing dosage/frequency, and 4) stopping/withholding interventions. Strategies were relatively consistent across health conditions, except for switching to a lower-cost alternative (more common in breast oncology) and providing free samples (more common in depression). Focus on 3 conditions with potentially high out-of-pocket costs. Despite price opacity, physicians and patients discuss a variety of out-of-pocket cost reduction strategies during clinic visits. Almost half of cost discussions mention 1 or more cost-saving strategies, with more frequent mention of those not requiring care-plan changes. © The Author(s) 2016.

  13. Options for cost-effectively reducing atmospheric methane concentrations from anthropogenic biomass sources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roos, K.F.; Jacobs, C.; Orlic, M.

    1993-01-01

    Methane is a major greenhouse gas, second only to carbon dioxide in its contribution to future global warming. Methane concentrations have more than doubled over the last two centuries and continue to rise annually. These increases are largely correlated with increasing human populations. Methane emissions from human related activities currently account for about 70 percent of annual emissions. Of these human related emissions, biomass sources account for about 75 percent and non-biomass sources about 25 percent. Because methane has a shorter lifetime than other major greenhouse gases, efforts to reduce methane emissions may fairly quickly be translated into lower atmospheric concentrations of methane and lower levels of radiative forcing. This fairly quick response would have the benefit of slowing the rate of climate change and hence allow natural ecosystems more time to adapt. Importantly, methane may be cost-effectively reduced from a number of biomass and non-biomass sources in the United States and worldwide. Methane is a valuable fuel, not just a waste by-product, and often systems may be reconfigured to reap the fuel value of the methane and more than justify the necessary expenditures. Such options for reducing methane emission from biomass sources exist for landfills, livestock manures, and ruminant livestock, and have been implemented to varying degrees in countries around the world. However, there are a number of barriers that hinder the more widespread use of technologies, including institutional, financial, regulatory, informational, and other barriers. This paper describes an array of available options that may be cost-effectively implemented to reduce methane emissions from biomass sources. This paper also discusses a number of programs that have been developed in the United States and internationally to promote the implementation of these methane reduction options and overcome existing barriers

  14. Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) reduce costs in the management of isolated splenic injuries at pediatric trauma centers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez, Ivan M; Zurakowski, David; Chen, Qiaoli; Mooney, David P

    2013-02-01

    The American Pediatric Surgical Association Trauma Committee proposed the use of a clinical practice guideline (CPG) for the non-operative management of isolated splenic injuries in 1998. An analysis was conducted to determine the financial impact of CPGs on the management of these injuries. The Pediatric Health Information System database, which contains data from 44 children's hospitals, was used to identify children who sustained a graded isolated splenic injury between June 2005 and June 2010. Demographics, length of stay (LOS), readmission rates, and laboratory, imaging, procedural, and total cost data were determined for all hospitals verified as a pediatric trauma center by the American College of Surgeons and/or designated by their local authority. Comparisons were made between facilities self-identifying as having a splenic injury management CPG and those without a CPG. Children (1,154) with isolated splenic injuries (grades 1-4) were cared for in 26 pediatric trauma centers: 20 with a CPG and 6 without (non-CPG). Median costs were significantly lower at CPG than non-CPG centers for imaging (US $163 vs. US $641, P splenic injuries at a pediatric trauma center results in significantly reduced imaging, laboratory, and total hospital costs independent of patient age, gender, grade, and LOS.

  15. Lime and Phosphate Amendment Can Significantly Reduce Uptake of Cd and Pb by Field-Grown Rice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rongbo Xiao

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural soils are suffering from increasing heavy metal pollution, among which, paddy soil polluted by heavy metals is frequently reported and has elicited great public concern. In this study, we carried out field experiments on paddy soil around a Pb-Zn mine to study amelioration effects of four soil amendments on uptake of Cd and Pb by rice, and to make recommendations for paddy soil heavy metal remediation, particularly for combined pollution of Cd and Pb. The results showed that all the four treatments can significantly reduce the Cd and Pb content in the late rice grain compared with the early rice, among which, the combination amendment of lime and phosphate had the best remediation effects where rice grain Cd content was reduced by 85% and 61%, respectively, for the late rice and the early rice, and by 30% in the late rice grain for Pb. The high reduction effects under the Ca + P treatment might be attributed to increase of soil pH from 5.5 to 6.7. We also found that influence of the Ca + P treatment on rice production was insignificant, while the available Cd and Pb content in soil was reduced by 16.5% and 11.7%, respectively.

  16. Increasing coal-fired power generation efficiency to reduce electric cost and environmental emissions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torrens, I.M.; Stenzel, W.C.

    1997-01-01

    New generating capacity required globally between 1993 and 2010 is estimated to be around 1500 GW, of which some two-thirds will be outside the OECD, and some 40 % in the Asian non-OECD countries. Coal is likely to account for a substantial fraction of this new generation. Today's state-of-the-art supercritical coal-fired power plant has a conversion efficiency of some 42-45 %. The capital cost increase associated with the supercritical or ultra-supercritical pulverized coal power plant compared to a conventional subcritical plant is small to negligible. The increased efficiency associated with the supercritical plant leads to an actual reduction in the total cost of electricity generated in cents/kWh, relative to a conventional plant. Despite this, the power sector continues to build subcritical plants and has no near term plans to increase the efficiency of power plants in the projects it is developing. Advanced clean coal technologies such as integrated gasification combined cycle and pressurized fluidized bed combustion will be selected for independent power projects only in very specific circumstances. Advanced clean coal plants can be operated reliably and with superior performance, and specifically that their present estimated capital costs can be reduced substantially to a point where they are competitive with state-of-the-art pulverized coal technologies. (R.P.)

  17. Reducing the Cost and Time to Perform a Human Factors Engineering Evaluation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geary, L.C. Dr.

    2003-01-01

    The Westinghouse Savannah River Company, a contractor to the Department of Energy, has developed a new software tool for automating the Human Factors Engineering design review, analysis, and evaluation processes. The set of design guidelines, used in the tool, was obtained from the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission Nuclear Regulatory Guide, NUREG- 0700 - Human System Interface Design Review Guideline. This tool has been described at a previous IEEE Conference on Human Factors and Power Plants. The original software tool in NUREG- 0700 was used to evaluate a facility and a separate independent evaluation was performed using the new tool for the same facility. A comparison was made between the two different tools; both in results obtained and cost and time to complete the evaluation. The results demonstrate a five to ten fold reduction in time and cost to complete the evaluation using the newly developed tool while maintaining consistent evaluation results. The time to per form the review was measured in weeks using the new software tool rather than months using the existing NUREG-0700 tool. The new tool has been so successful that it was applied to two additional facilities with the same reduced time and cost savings. Plans have been made to use the new tool at other facilities in order to provide the same savings

  18. Reducing operating costs: A collaborative approach between industry and electric utilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tyers, B.; Sibbald, L.

    1993-01-01

    The unit cost of electricity to industrial consumers is expected to increase at a rate of 5% annually in the 1990s. The partnership that has been created between Amoco Canada Petroleum Company and TransAlta Utilities to control the cost of electricity is described. To allow the company to receive lower rates for interruptible power, a number of measures have been taken. The Amoco Whitecourt plant has standby generators in reserve that can be used when utility power is not available. A Pembina compressor can be turned off for up to 12 hours, at 30 minutes notice, without affecting field pressure. At the East Crossfield plant sales gas can be compressed using electricity or a gas-driven engine. Spot market energy is used in a number of plants allowing electric drive alternatives to plant operators and offering short term energy markets. TransAlta invests in electrical equipment such as switchgear as well as transmission lines and transformers. New rate alternatives offered by TransAlta Utilities include review of the need for a demand ratchet, additional time of use rates, unbundling of rates allowing power purchase from alternative sources, rates that follow product costs, reduced rates for conversion of gas to electric drives certain circumstances, energy audits, and power factor credits. 5 figs

  19. Reduced bone mineral density is not associated with significantly reduced bone quality in men and women practicing long-term calorie restriction with adequate nutrition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villareal, Dennis T; Kotyk, John J; Armamento-Villareal, Reina C; Kenguva, Venkata; Seaman, Pamela; Shahar, Allon; Wald, Michael J; Kleerekoper, Michael; Fontana, Luigi

    2011-02-01

    Calorie restriction (CR) reduces bone quantity but not bone quality in rodents. Nothing is known regarding the long-term effects of CR with adequate intake of vitamin and minerals on bone quantity and quality in middle-aged lean individuals. In this study, we evaluated body composition, bone mineral density (BMD), and serum markers of bone turnover and inflammation in 32 volunteers who had been eating a CR diet (approximately 35% less calories than controls) for an average of 6.8 ± 5.2 years (mean age 52.7 ± 10.3 years) and 32 age- and sex-matched sedentary controls eating Western diets (WD). In a subgroup of 10 CR and 10 WD volunteers, we also measured trabecular bone (TB) microarchitecture of the distal radius using high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging. We found that the CR volunteers had significantly lower body mass index than the WD volunteers (18.9 ± 1.2 vs. 26.5 ± 2.2 kg m(-2) ; P = 0.0001). BMD of the lumbar spine (0.870 ± 0.11 vs. 1.138 ± 0.12 g cm(-2) , P = 0.0001) and hip (0.806 ± 0.12 vs. 1.047 ± 0.12 g cm(-2) , P = 0.0001) was also lower in the CR than in the WD group. Serum C-terminal telopeptide and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase concentration were similar between groups, while serum C-reactive protein (0.19 ± 0.26 vs. 1.46 ± 1.56 mg L(-1) , P = 0.0001) was lower in the CR group. Trabecular bone microarchitecture parameters such as the erosion index (0.916 ± 0.087 vs. 0.877 ± 0.088; P = 0.739) and surface-to-curve ratio (10.3 ± 1.4 vs. 12.1 ± 2.1, P = 0.440) were not significantly different between groups. These findings suggest that markedly reduced BMD is not associated with significantly reduced bone quality in middle-aged men and women practicing long-term calorie restriction with adequate nutrition.

  20. Reducing Length of Stay, Direct Cost, and Readmissions in Total Joint Arthroplasty Patients With an Outcomes Manager-Led Interprofessional Team.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arana, Melissa; Harper, Licia; Qin, Huanying; Mabrey, Jay

    The purpose of this quality improvement project was to determine whether an outcomes manager-led interprofessional team could reduce length of stay and direct cost without increasing 30-day readmission rates in the total joint arthroplasty patient population. The goal was to promote interprofessional relationships combined with collaborative practice to promote coordinated care with improved outcomes. Results from this project showed that length of stay (total hip arthroplasty [THA] reduced by 0.4 days and total knee arthroplasty [TKA] reduced by 0.6 days) and direct cost (THA reduced by $1,020 per case and TKA reduced by $539 per case) were significantly decreased whereas 30-day readmission rates of both populations were not significantly increased.

  1. Reduced cost design of liquid lithium target for international fusion material irradiation facility (IFMIF)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nakamura, Hiroo; Ida, Mizuho; Sugimoto, Masayoshi; Takeuchi, Hiroshi; Yutani, Toshiaki

    2001-01-01

    The International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility (IFMIF) is being jointly planned to provide an accelerator-based D-Li neutron source to produce intense high energy neutrons (2 MW/m 2 ) up to 200 dpa and a sufficient irradiation volume (500 cm 3 ) for testing the candidate materials and components up to about a full lifetime of their anticipated use in ITER and DEMO. To realize such a condition, 40 MeV deuteron beam with a current of 250 mA is injected into high speed liquid lithium flow with a speed of 20 m/s. Following Conceptual Design Activity (1995-1998), a design study with focus on cost reduction without changing its original mission has been done in 1999. The following major changes to the CAD target design have been considered in the study and included in the new design: i) number of the Li target has been changed from 2 to 1, ii) spare of impurity traps of the Li loop was removed although the spare will be stored in a laboratory for quick exchange, iii) building volume was reduced via design changes in lithium loop length. This paper describes the reduced cost design of the lithium target system and recent status of Key Element Technology activities. (author)

  2. Cost-benefit analysis of the Swiss national policy on reducing micropollutants in treated wastewater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Logar, Ivana; Brouwer, Roy; Maurer, Max; Ort, Christoph

    2014-11-04

    Contamination of freshwater with micropollutants (MPs) is a growing concern worldwide. Even at very low concentrations, MPs can have adverse effects on aquatic ecosystems and possibly also on human health. Switzerland is one of the first countries to start implementing a national policy to reduce MPs in the effluents of municipal sewage treatment plants (STPs). This paper estimates the benefits of upgrading STPs based on public's stated preferences. To assess public demand for the reduction of the environmental and health risks of MPs, we conducted a choice experiment in a national online survey. The results indicate that the average willingness to pay per household is CHF 100 (US$ 73) annually for reducing the potential environmental risk of MPs to a low level. These benefits, aggregated over households in the catchment of the STPs to be upgraded, generate a total annual economic value of CHF 155 million (US$ 113 million). This compares with estimated annual costs for upgrading 123 STPs of CHF 133 million (US$ 97 million) or CHF 86 (US$ 63) per household connected to these STPs. Hence, a cost-benefit analysis justifies the investment decision from an economic point of view and supports the implementation of the national policy in the ongoing political discussion.

  3. The Bottom supported fast breeder reactor vessel - an alternative approach to seismic accommodation and reduced cost

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nakagawa, H.; Golan, S.; Petrozelli, J.; Kumaoka, Y.; Kawamura, Y.

    1988-01-01

    Most FBR vessels are supported by hanging from their top portions. A disadvantage of such a top supported reactor vessel (TSRV) structural configuration is that it may generate high reactor core accelerations. This is due to the long path the seismic vibrations must travel from the basemat up through the building and then down through the RV block to the core. To compensate for this disadvantage, TSRV blocks are often strengthened beyond what is required for other considerations, such as pressure, to satisfy seismic response criteria, thus increasing weights and costs. In addition to long load paths, TSRVs also have common load paths. For example, in a TSRV (with the core supported from the bottom of the RV) the sodium and core loads both travel along the RV pressure boundary. Therefore, one of these loads will likely control the RV thickness leaving excess margin for the other loads. It is the premise of this paper that the revision of a large pool FBR from a TSRV configuration to a specific bottom supported reactor vessel (BSRV) configuration can resolve the above TSRV disadvantages related to load path length and diversity, thereby improving seismic performance and simultaneously reducing RV block costs by reducing weights. This paper demonstrates this premise by comparing a reference TSRV block with a specific BSRV block design

  4. Effective information channels for reducing costs of environmentally- friendly technologies: evidence from residential PV markets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rai, Varun; Robinson, Scott A

    2013-01-01

    Realizing the environmental benefits of solar photovoltaics (PV) will require reducing costs associated with perception, informational gaps and technological uncertainties. To identify opportunities to decrease costs associated with residential PV adoption, in this letter we use multivariate regression models to analyze a unique, household-level dataset of PV adopters in Texas (USA) to systematically quantify the effect of different information channels on aspiring PV adopters’ decision-making. We find that the length of the decision period depends on the business model, such as whether the system was bought or leased, and on special opportunities to learn, such as the influence of other PV owners in the neighborhood. This influence accrues passively through merely witnessing PV systems in the neighborhood, increasing confidence and motivation, as well as actively through peer-to-peer communications. Using these insights we propose a new framework to provide public information on PV that could drastically reduce barriers to PV adoption, thereby accelerating its market penetration and environmental benefits. This framework could also serve as a model for other distributed generation technologies. (letter)

  5. Effective information channels for reducing costs of environmentally- friendly technologies: evidence from residential PV markets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rai, Varun; Robinson, Scott A.

    2013-03-01

    Realizing the environmental benefits of solar photovoltaics (PV) will require reducing costs associated with perception, informational gaps and technological uncertainties. To identify opportunities to decrease costs associated with residential PV adoption, in this letter we use multivariate regression models to analyze a unique, household-level dataset of PV adopters in Texas (USA) to systematically quantify the effect of different information channels on aspiring PV adopters’ decision-making. We find that the length of the decision period depends on the business model, such as whether the system was bought or leased, and on special opportunities to learn, such as the influence of other PV owners in the neighborhood. This influence accrues passively through merely witnessing PV systems in the neighborhood, increasing confidence and motivation, as well as actively through peer-to-peer communications. Using these insights we propose a new framework to provide public information on PV that could drastically reduce barriers to PV adoption, thereby accelerating its market penetration and environmental benefits. This framework could also serve as a model for other distributed generation technologies.

  6. Smoking cessation programmes in radon affected areas: can they make a significant contribution to reducing radon-induced lung cancers?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Denman, A.R.; Groves-Kirkby, C.J.; Timson, K.; Shield, G.; Rogers, S.; Phillips, P.S.

    2008-01-01

    Domestic radon levels in parts of the UK are sufficiently high to increase the risk of lung cancer in the occupants. Public health campaigns in Northamptonshire, a designated radon affected area with 6.3% of homes having average radon levels over the UK action level of 200 Bq m -3 , have encouraged householders to test for radon and then to carry out remediation in their homes, but have been only partially successful. Only 40% of Northamptonshire houses have been tested, and only 15% of householders finding raised levels proceed to remediate. Of those who did remediate, only 9% smoked, compared to a countywide average of 28.8%. This is unfortunate, since radon and smoking combine to place the individual at higher risk by a factor of around 4, and suggests that current strategies to reduce domestic radon exposure are not reaching those most at risk. During 2004-5, the NHS Stop Smoking Services in Northamptonshire assisted 2,808 smokers to quit to the 4-week stage, with some 30% of 4-week quitters remaining quitters at 1 year. We consider whether smoking cessation campaigns make significant contributions to radon risk reduction on their own, by assessing individual occupants' risk of developing lung cancer from knowledge of their age, gender, and smoking habits, together with he radon level in their house. The results demonstrate that smoking cessation programmes have significant added value in radon affected areas, and contribute a greater health benefit than reducing radon levels in the smokers' homes, whilst they remain smokers. Additionally, results are presented from a questionnaire-based survey of quitters, addressing their reasons for seeking help in quitting smoking, and whether knowledge of radon risks influenced this decision. The impact of these findings on future public health campaigns to reduce the impact of radon and smoking are discussed. (author)

  7. Lipid Replacement Therapy Drink Containing a Glycophospholipid Formulation Rapidly and Significantly Reduces Fatigue While Improving Energy and Mental Clarity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Settineri

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Fatigue is the most common complaint of patients seeking general medical care and is often treated with stimulants. It is also important in various physical activities of relatively healthy men and women, such as sports performance. Recent clinical trials using patients with chronic fatigue have shown the benefit of Lipid Replacement Therapy in restoring mitochondrial electron transport function and reducing moderate to severe chronic fatigue. Methods: Lipid Replacement Therapy was administered for the first time as an all-natural functional food drink (60 ml containing polyunsaturated glycophospholipids but devoid of stimulants or herbs to reduce fatigue. This preliminary study used the Piper Fatigue Survey instrument as well as a supplemental questionnaire to assess the effects of the glycophospholipid drink on fatigue and the acceptability of the test drink in adult men and women. A volunteer group of 29 subjects of mean age 56.2±4.5 years with various fatigue levels were randomly recruited in a clinical health fair setting to participate in an afternoon open label trial on the effects of the test drink. Results: Using the Piper Fatigue instrument overall fatigue among participants was reduced within the 3-hour seminar by a mean of 39.6% (p<0.0001. All of the subcategories of fatigue showed significant reductions. Some subjects responded within 15 minutes, and the majority responded within one hour with increased energy and activity and perceived improvements in cognitive function, mental clarity and focus. The test drink was determined to be quite acceptable in terms of taste and appearance. There were no adverse events from the energy drink during the study.Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2011; 8:245-254Conclusions: The Lipid Replacement Therapy functional food drink appeared to be a safe, acceptable and potentially useful new method to reduce fatigue, sustain energy and improve perceptions of mental function.

  8. Older adults learn less, but still reduce metabolic cost, during motor adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Helen J.

    2013-01-01

    The ability to learn new movements and dynamics is important for maintaining independence with advancing age. Age-related sensorimotor changes and increased muscle coactivation likely alter the trial-and-error-based process of adapting to new movement demands (motor adaptation). Here, we asked, to what extent is motor adaptation to novel dynamics maintained in older adults (≥65 yr)? We hypothesized that older adults would adapt to the novel dynamics less well than young adults. Because older adults often use muscle coactivation, we expected older adults to use greater muscle coactivation during motor adaptation than young adults. Nevertheless, we predicted that older adults would reduce muscle activity and metabolic cost with motor adaptation, similar to young adults. Seated older (n = 11, 73.8 ± 5.6 yr) and young (n = 15, 23.8 ± 4.7 yr) adults made targeted reaching movements while grasping a robotic arm. We measured their metabolic rate continuously via expired gas analysis. A force field was used to add novel dynamics. Older adults had greater movement deviations and compensated for just 65% of the novel dynamics compared with 84% in young adults. As expected, older adults used greater muscle coactivation than young adults. Last, older adults reduced muscle activity with motor adaptation and had consistent reductions in metabolic cost later during motor adaptation, similar to young adults. These results suggest that despite increased muscle coactivation, older adults can adapt to the novel dynamics, albeit less accurately. These results also suggest that reductions in metabolic cost may be a fundamental feature of motor adaptation. PMID:24133222

  9. The costs of reducing loss to follow-up in South African cervical cancer screening

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuhn Louise

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background This study was designed to quantify the resources used in reestablishing contact with women who missed their scheduled cervical cancer screening visits and to assess the success of this effort in reducing loss to follow-up in a developing country setting. Methods Women were enrolled in this Cape Town, South Africa-based screening study between 2000 and 2003, and all had scheduled follow-up visits in 2003. Community health worker (CHW time, vehicle use, maintenance, and depreciation were estimated from weekly logs and cost accounting systems. The percentage of women who attended their scheduled visit, those who attended after CHW contact(s, and those who never returned despite attempted contact(s were determined. The number of CHW visits per woman was also estimated. Results 3,711 visits were scheduled in 2003. Of these, 2,321 (62.5% occurred without CHW contact, 918 (24.8% occurred after contact(s, and 472 (12.7% did not occur despite contact(s. Loss to follow-up was reduced from 21% to 6%, 39% to 10%, and 50% to 24% for 6, 12, and 24-month visits. CHWs attempted 3,200 contacts in 530 trips. On average, 3 CHWs attempted to contact 6 participants over each 111 minute trip. The per-person cost (2003 Rand for these activities was 12.75, 24.92, and 40.50 for 6, 12, and 24-month visits. Conclusion CHW contact with women who missed scheduled visits increased their return rate. Cost-effectiveness analyses aimed at policy decisions about cervical cancer screening in developing countries should incorporate these findings.

  10. The benefits and costs of reducing emissions from the electricity sector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Karen; Burtraw, Dallas; Shih, Jhih-Shyang

    2007-04-01

    Recent federal policy proposals to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO(2)), nitrogen oxides (NO(x)), and mercury from the US electricity sector promise important improvements in air quality and reductions in acid deposition. The cost of achieving these reductions depends on the form and stringency of the regulation. In this research, we analyze the economic benefits and costs of the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) as characterized in the supplemental rule proposed in June 2004, and the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) as proposed in February 2004. The assessment integrates a model of the electricity sector, two models of atmospheric transport of air pollutants, and a model of environmental and public health endpoints affected by pollution. We model explicitly the emissions of SO(2), NO(x), mercury and carbon dioxide (CO(2)) and the effects of changes in emissions of SO(2) and NO(x) on environmental and public health. The manner in which mercury emissions are regulated will have important implications not only for the cost of the regulation, but also for emission levels for SO(2) and NO(x) and where those emissions are located. We find the economic benefits of CAIR and CAMR are far greater than the costs. Recent estimates of benefits of reductions in mercury and acidification indicate that our model captures the lion's share of quantifiable benefits. We also find that the EPA would have been justified on economic grounds in pursuing additional SO(2) emissions reductions beyond the requirements of CAIR.

  11. Origin of how steam rockets can reduce space transport cost by orders of magnitude

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zuppero, A.; Larson, T.K.; Schnitzler, B.G.; Rice, J.W.; Hill, T.J.; Richins, W.D.; Parlier, L.; Werner, J.E.

    1999-01-01

    A brief sketch shows the origin of why and how thermal rocket propulsion has the unique potential to dramatically reduce the cost of space transportation for most inner solar system missions of interest. Orders of magnitude reduction in cost are apparently possible when compared to all processes requiring electrolysis for the production of rocket fuels or propellants and to all electric propulsion systems. An order of magnitude advantage can be attributed to rocket propellant tank factors associated with storing water propellant, compared to cryogenic liquids. An order of magnitude can also be attributed to the simplicity of the extraction and processing of ice on the lunar surface, into an easily stored, non-cryogenic rocket propellant (water). A nuclear heated thermal rocket can deliver thousands of times its mass to Low Earth Orbit from the Lunar surface, providing the equivalent to orders of magnitude drop in launch cost for mass in Earth orbit. Mass includes water ice. These cost reductions depend (exponentially) on the mission delta-v requirements being less than about 6 km/s, or about 3 times the specific velocity of steam rockets (2 km/s, from Isp 200 sec). Such missions include: from the lunar surface to Low Lunar Orbit, (LLO), from LLO to lunar escape, from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO), from LEO to Earth Escape, from LEO to Mars Transfer Orbit, from LLO to GEO, missions returning payloads from about 10% of the periodic comets using propulsive capture to orbits around Earth itself, and fast, 100 day missions from Lunar Escape to Mars. All the assertions depend entirely and completely on the existence of abundant, nearly pure ice at the permanently dark North and South Poles of the Moon. copyright 1999 American Institute of Physics

  12. Significant Association between Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria and Uranium-Reducing Microbial Communities as Revealed by a Combined Massively Parallel Sequencing-Indicator Species Approach▿ †

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardenas, Erick; Wu, Wei-Min; Leigh, Mary Beth; Carley, Jack; Carroll, Sue; Gentry, Terry; Luo, Jian; Watson, David; Gu, Baohua; Ginder-Vogel, Matthew; Kitanidis, Peter K.; Jardine, Philip M.; Zhou, Jizhong; Criddle, Craig S.; Marsh, Terence L.; Tiedje, James M.

    2010-01-01

    Massively parallel sequencing has provided a more affordable and high-throughput method to study microbial communities, although it has mostly been used in an exploratory fashion. We combined pyrosequencing with a strict indicator species statistical analysis to test if bacteria specifically responded to ethanol injection that successfully promoted dissimilatory uranium(VI) reduction in the subsurface of a uranium contamination plume at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center in Tennessee. Remediation was achieved with a hydraulic flow control consisting of an inner loop, where ethanol was injected, and an outer loop for flow-field protection. This strategy reduced uranium concentrations in groundwater to levels below 0.126 μM and created geochemical gradients in electron donors from the inner-loop injection well toward the outer loop and downgradient flow path. Our analysis with 15 sediment samples from the entire test area found significant indicator species that showed a high degree of adaptation to the three different hydrochemical-created conditions. Castellaniella and Rhodanobacter characterized areas with low pH, heavy metals, and low bioactivity, while sulfate-, Fe(III)-, and U(VI)-reducing bacteria (Desulfovibrio, Anaeromyxobacter, and Desulfosporosinus) were indicators of areas where U(VI) reduction occurred. The abundance of these bacteria, as well as the Fe(III) and U(VI) reducer Geobacter, correlated with the hydraulic connectivity to the substrate injection site, suggesting that the selected populations were a direct response to electron donor addition by the groundwater flow path. A false-discovery-rate approach was implemented to discard false-positive results by chance, given the large amount of data compared. PMID:20729318

  13. Significant association between sulfate-reducing bacteria and uranium-reducing microbial communities as revealed by a combined massively parallel sequencing-indicator species approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardenas, Erick; Wu, Wei-Min; Leigh, Mary Beth; Carley, Jack; Carroll, Sue; Gentry, Terry; Luo, Jian; Watson, David; Gu, Baohua; Ginder-Vogel, Matthew; Kitanidis, Peter K; Jardine, Philip M; Zhou, Jizhong; Criddle, Craig S; Marsh, Terence L; Tiedje, James M

    2010-10-01

    Massively parallel sequencing has provided a more affordable and high-throughput method to study microbial communities, although it has mostly been used in an exploratory fashion. We combined pyrosequencing with a strict indicator species statistical analysis to test if bacteria specifically responded to ethanol injection that successfully promoted dissimilatory uranium(VI) reduction in the subsurface of a uranium contamination plume at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center in Tennessee. Remediation was achieved with a hydraulic flow control consisting of an inner loop, where ethanol was injected, and an outer loop for flow-field protection. This strategy reduced uranium concentrations in groundwater to levels below 0.126 μM and created geochemical gradients in electron donors from the inner-loop injection well toward the outer loop and downgradient flow path. Our analysis with 15 sediment samples from the entire test area found significant indicator species that showed a high degree of adaptation to the three different hydrochemical-created conditions. Castellaniella and Rhodanobacter characterized areas with low pH, heavy metals, and low bioactivity, while sulfate-, Fe(III)-, and U(VI)-reducing bacteria (Desulfovibrio, Anaeromyxobacter, and Desulfosporosinus) were indicators of areas where U(VI) reduction occurred. The abundance of these bacteria, as well as the Fe(III) and U(VI) reducer Geobacter, correlated with the hydraulic connectivity to the substrate injection site, suggesting that the selected populations were a direct response to electron donor addition by the groundwater flow path. A false-discovery-rate approach was implemented to discard false-positive results by chance, given the large amount of data compared.

  14. Reducing Eating Disorder Onset in a Very High Risk Sample with Significant Comorbid Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, C. Barr; Kass, Andrea E.; Trockel, Mickey; Cunning, Darby; Weisman, Hannah; Bailey, Jakki; Sinton, Meghan; Aspen, Vandana; Schecthman, Kenneth; Jacobi, Corinna; Wilfley, Denise E.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Eating disorders (EDs) are serious problems among college-age women and may be preventable. An indicated on-line eating disorder (ED) intervention, designed to reduce ED and comorbid pathology, was evaluated. Method 206 women (M age = 20 ± 1.8 years; 51% White/Caucasian, 11% African American, 10% Hispanic, 21% Asian/Asian American, 7% other) at very high risk for ED onset (i.e., with high weight/shape concerns plus a history of being teased, current or lifetime depression, and/or non-clinical levels of compensatory behaviors) were randomized to a 10-week, Internet-based, cognitive-behavioral intervention or wait-list control. Assessments included the Eating Disorder Examination (EDE to assess ED onset), EDE-Questionnaire, Structured Clinical Interview for DSM Disorders, and Beck Depression Inventory-II. Results ED attitudes and behaviors improved more in the intervention than control group (p = 0.02, d = 0.31); although ED onset rate was 27% lower, this difference was not significant (p = 0.28, NNT = 15). In the subgroup with highest shape concerns, ED onset rate was significantly lower in the intervention than control group (20% versus 42%, p = 0.025, NNT = 5). For the 27 individuals with depression at baseline, depressive symptomatology improved more in the intervention than control group (p = 0.016, d = 0.96); although ED onset rate was lower in the intervention than control group, this difference was not significant (25% versus 57%, NNT = 4). Conclusions An inexpensive, easily disseminated intervention might reduce ED onset among those at highest risk. Low adoption rates need to be addressed in future research. PMID:26795936

  15. Reducing eating disorder onset in a very high risk sample with significant comorbid depression: A randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, C Barr; Kass, Andrea E; Trockel, Mickey; Cunning, Darby; Weisman, Hannah; Bailey, Jakki; Sinton, Meghan; Aspen, Vandana; Schecthman, Kenneth; Jacobi, Corinna; Wilfley, Denise E

    2016-05-01

    Eating disorders (EDs) are serious problems among college-age women and may be preventable. An indicated online eating disorder (ED) intervention, designed to reduce ED and comorbid pathology, was evaluated. 206 women (M age = 20 ± 1.8 years; 51% White/Caucasian, 11% African American, 10% Hispanic, 21% Asian/Asian American, 7% other) at very high risk for ED onset (i.e., with high weight/shape concerns plus a history of being teased, current or lifetime depression, and/or nonclinical levels of compensatory behaviors) were randomized to a 10-week, Internet-based, cognitive-behavioral intervention or waitlist control. Assessments included the Eating Disorder Examination (EDE, to assess ED onset), EDE-Questionnaire, Structured Clinical Interview for DSM Disorders, and Beck Depression Inventory-II. ED attitudes and behaviors improved more in the intervention than control group (p = .02, d = 0.31); although ED onset rate was 27% lower, this difference was not significant (p = .28, NNT = 15). In the subgroup with highest shape concerns, ED onset rate was significantly lower in the intervention than control group (20% vs. 42%, p = .025, NNT = 5). For the 27 individuals with depression at baseline, depressive symptomatology improved more in the intervention than control group (p = .016, d = 0.96); although ED onset rate was lower in the intervention than control group, this difference was not significant (25% vs. 57%, NNT = 4). An inexpensive, easily disseminated intervention might reduce ED onset among those at highest risk. Low adoption rates need to be addressed in future research. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  16. Cost savings from reduced catheter-related bloodstream infection after simulation-based education for residents in a medical intensive care unit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Elaine R; Feinglass, Joe; Barsuk, Jeffrey H; Barnard, Cynthia; O'Donnell, Anna; McGaghie, William C; Wayne, Diane B

    2010-04-01

    Interventions to reduce preventable complications such as catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSI) can also decrease hospital costs. However, little is known about the cost-effectiveness of simulation-based education. The aim of this study was to estimate hospital cost savings related to a reduction in CRBSI after simulation training for residents. This was an intervention evaluation study estimating cost savings related to a simulation-based intervention in central venous catheter (CVC) insertion in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) at an urban teaching hospital. After residents completed a simulation-based mastery learning program in CVC insertion, CRBSI rates declined sharply. Case-control and regression analysis methods were used to estimate savings by comparing CRBSI rates in the year before and after the intervention. Annual savings from reduced CRBSIs were compared with the annual cost of simulation training. Approximately 9.95 CRBSIs were prevented among MICU patients with CVCs in the year after the intervention. Incremental costs attributed to each CRBSI were approximately $82,000 in 2008 dollars and 14 additional hospital days (including 12 MICU days). The annual cost of the simulation-based education was approximately $112,000. Net annual savings were thus greater than $700,000, a 7 to 1 rate of return on the simulation training intervention. A simulation-based educational intervention in CVC insertion was highly cost-effective. These results suggest that investment in simulation training can produce significant medical care cost savings.

  17. A cost effectiveness analysis of salt reduction policies to reduce coronary heart disease in four Eastern Mediterranean countries.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen Mason

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Coronary Heart Disease (CHD is rising in middle income countries. Population based strategies to reduce specific CHD risk factors have an important role to play in reducing overall CHD mortality. Reducing dietary salt consumption is a potentially cost-effective way to reduce CHD events. This paper presents an economic evaluation of population based salt reduction policies in Tunisia, Syria, Palestine and Turkey. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Three policies to reduce dietary salt intake were evaluated: a health promotion campaign, labelling of food packaging and mandatory reformulation of salt content in processed food. These were evaluated separately and in combination. Estimates of the effectiveness of salt reduction on blood pressure were based on a literature review. The reduction in mortality was estimated using the IMPACT CHD model specific to that country. Cumulative population health effects were quantified as life years gained (LYG over a 10 year time frame. The costs of each policy were estimated using evidence from comparable policies and expert opinion including public sector costs and costs to the food industry. Health care costs associated with CHDs were estimated using standardized unit costs. The total cost of implementing each policy was compared against the current baseline (no policy. All costs were calculated using 2010 PPP exchange rates. In all four countries most policies were cost saving compared with the baseline. The combination of all three policies (reducing salt consumption by 30% resulted in estimated cost savings of $235,000,000 and 6455 LYG in Tunisia; $39,000,000 and 31674 LYG in Syria; $6,000,000 and 2682 LYG in Palestine and $1,3000,000,000 and 378439 LYG in Turkey. CONCLUSION: Decreasing dietary salt intake will reduce coronary heart disease deaths in the four countries. A comprehensive strategy of health education and food industry actions to label and reduce salt content would save both money and lives.

  18. A Cost Effectiveness Analysis of Salt Reduction Policies to Reduce Coronary Heart Disease in Four Eastern Mediterranean Countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Helen; Shoaibi, Azza; Ghandour, Rula; O'Flaherty, Martin; Capewell, Simon; Khatib, Rana; Jabr, Samer; Unal, Belgin; Sözmen, Kaan; Arfa, Chokri; Aissi, Wafa; Romdhane, Habiba Ben; Fouad, Fouad; Al-Ali, Radwan; Husseini, Abdullatif

    2014-01-01

    Background Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is rising in middle income countries. Population based strategies to reduce specific CHD risk factors have an important role to play in reducing overall CHD mortality. Reducing dietary salt consumption is a potentially cost-effective way to reduce CHD events. This paper presents an economic evaluation of population based salt reduction policies in Tunisia, Syria, Palestine and Turkey. Methods and Findings Three policies to reduce dietary salt intake were evaluated: a health promotion campaign, labelling of food packaging and mandatory reformulation of salt content in processed food. These were evaluated separately and in combination. Estimates of the effectiveness of salt reduction on blood pressure were based on a literature review. The reduction in mortality was estimated using the IMPACT CHD model specific to that country. Cumulative population health effects were quantified as life years gained (LYG) over a 10 year time frame. The costs of each policy were estimated using evidence from comparable policies and expert opinion including public sector costs and costs to the food industry. Health care costs associated with CHDs were estimated using standardized unit costs. The total cost of implementing each policy was compared against the current baseline (no policy). All costs were calculated using 2010 PPP exchange rates. In all four countries most policies were cost saving compared with the baseline. The combination of all three policies (reducing salt consumption by 30%) resulted in estimated cost savings of $235,000,000 and 6455 LYG in Tunisia; $39,000,000 and 31674 LYG in Syria; $6,000,000 and 2682 LYG in Palestine and $1,3000,000,000 and 378439 LYG in Turkey. Conclusion Decreasing dietary salt intake will reduce coronary heart disease deaths in the four countries. A comprehensive strategy of health education and food industry actions to label and reduce salt content would save both money and lives. PMID:24409297

  19. Anti-Mullerian hormone-tailored stimulation protocols improve outcomes whilst reducing adverse effects and costs of IVF.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, A P; Rustamov, O; Roberts, S A; Lim, H Y N; Pemberton, P W; Smith, A; Nardo, L G

    2011-09-01

    Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) is increasingly used to quantify ovarian reserve, but it has not yet realized its full clinical potential in assisted reproduction technology. We investigated the possible benefits of using novel, stratified ovarian hyperstimulation protocols, tailored to individual AMH levels, compared with conventional stimulation. Retrospective data were collected from 769 women (first cycle of IVF, using fresh embryos), in a UK tertiary care unit: 346 women using conventional stimulation protocols; 423 women treated under new AMH-tailored protocols. Embryo transfer rates increased significantly (79-87%: P= 0.002) after the introduction of AMH-tailored stimulation protocols. Pregnancy rate per cycle started and live birth rate also increased significantly compared with conventionally treated women (17.9-27.7%, P= 0.002 and 15.9-23.9%, P = 0.007, respectively). Moreover, in the AMH group, the incidence of the ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) fell significantly (6.9-2.3%, P = 0.002) and failed fertilization fell from 7.8 to 4.5%. The cost of fertility drug treatment fell by 29% per patient and the overall cost of clinical management of OHSS fell by 43% in the AMH group. GnRH antagonist protocols, introduced as part of AMH-tailored treatment, may have contributed to the observed improvements: however, within the AMH-tailored group, the live birth rate was not significantly different between agonist and antagonist-treated groups. Although large, prospective, multicentre studies are indicated, we have clearly demonstrated that individualized, AMH-guided, controlled ovarian hyperstimulation protocols significantly improved positive clinical outcomes, reduced the incidence of complications and reduced the financial burden associated with assisted reproduction.

  20. A conceptual framework for the evaluation of cost-effectiveness of projects to reduce GHG emissions and sequester carbon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sathaye, J.; Norgaard, R.; Makundi, W.

    1993-07-01

    This paper proposes a conceptual framework for evaluating the cost of projects to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs). The evaluation of cost-effectiveness should account for both the timing of carbon emissions and the damage caused by the atmospheric stock of carbon. We develop a conceptual basis to estimate the cost-effectiveness of projects in terms of the cost of reducing atmospheric carbon (CRAC) and other GHGs. CRAC accounts for the economic discount rate, alternative functional forms of the shadow price, the residence period of carbon in the atmosphere, and the multiple monetary benefits of projects. The last item is of particular importance to the developing countries

  1. Trade in the US and Mexico helps reduce environmental costs of agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Melendez, Luz A.; Bennett, Elena M.

    2016-05-01

    Increasing international crop trade has enlarged global shares of cropland, water and fertilizers used to grow crops for export. Crop trade can reduce the environmental burden on importing countries, which benefit from embedded environmental resources in imported crops, and from avoided environmental impacts of production in their territory. International trade can also reduce the universal environmental impact of food production if crops are grown where they are produced in the most environmentally efficient way. We compared production efficiencies for the same crops in the US and Mexico to determine whether current crop trade between these two countries provides an overall benefit to the environment. Our economic and environmental accounting for the key traded crops from 2010 to 2014 shows that exports to Mexico are just 3% (∼16 thousand Gg) of the total production of these crops in the US, and exports to US represent roughly 0.13% (∼46 Gg) of Mexican total production of the same crops. Yields were higher in US than Mexico for all crops except wheat. Use of nitrogen fertilizer was higher in US than in Mexico for all crops except corn. Current trade reduces some, but not all, environmental costs of agriculture. A counterfactual trade scenario showed that an overall annual reduction in cultivated land (∼371 thousand ha), water use (∼923 million m3), fertilizer use (∼122 Gg; ∼68 Gg nitrogen) and pollution (∼681 tonnes of N2O emissions to the atmosphere and ∼511 tonnes of leached nitrogen) can be achieved by changing the composition of food products traded. In this case, corn, soybeans and rice should be grown in the US, while wheat, sorghum and barley should be grown in Mexico. Assigning greater economic weight to the environmental costs of agriculture might improve the balance of trade to be more universally beneficial, environmentally.

  2. Alternative Strategies to Reduce Maternal Mortality in India: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldie, Sue J.; Sweet, Steve; Carvalho, Natalie; Natchu, Uma Chandra Mouli; Hu, Delphine

    2010-01-01

    Background Approximately one-quarter of all pregnancy- and delivery-related maternal deaths worldwide occur in India. Taking into account the costs, feasibility, and operational complexity of alternative interventions, we estimate the clinical and population-level benefits associated with strategies to improve the safety of pregnancy and childbirth in India. Methods and Findings Country- and region-specific data were synthesized using a computer-based model that simulates the natural history of pregnancy (both planned and unintended) and pregnancy- and childbirth-associated complications in individual women; and considers delivery location, attendant, and facility level. Model outcomes included clinical events, population measures, costs, and cost-effectiveness ratios. Separate models were adapted to urban and rural India using survey-based data (e.g., unmet need for birth spacing/limiting, facility births, skilled birth attendants). Model validation compared projected maternal indicators with empiric data. Strategies consisted of improving coverage of effective interventions that could be provided individually or packaged as integrated services, could reduce the incidence of a complication or its case fatality rate, and could include improved logistics such as reliable transport to an appropriate referral facility as well as recognition of referral need and quality of care. Increasing family planning was the most effective individual intervention to reduce pregnancy-related mortality. If over the next 5 y the unmet need for spacing and limiting births was met, more than 150,000 maternal deaths would be prevented; more than US$1 billion saved; and at least one of every two abortion-related deaths averted. Still, reductions in maternal mortality reached a threshold (∼23%–35%) without including strategies that ensured reliable access to intrapartum and emergency obstetrical care (EmOC). An integrated and stepwise approach was identified that would ultimately

  3. Alternative strategies to reduce maternal mortality in India: a cost-effectiveness analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sue J Goldie

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Approximately one-quarter of all pregnancy- and delivery-related maternal deaths worldwide occur in India. Taking into account the costs, feasibility, and operational complexity of alternative interventions, we estimate the clinical and population-level benefits associated with strategies to improve the safety of pregnancy and childbirth in India. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Country- and region-specific data were synthesized using a computer-based model that simulates the natural history of pregnancy (both planned and unintended and pregnancy- and childbirth-associated complications in individual women; and considers delivery location, attendant, and facility level. Model outcomes included clinical events, population measures, costs, and cost-effectiveness ratios. Separate models were adapted to urban and rural India using survey-based data (e.g., unmet need for birth spacing/limiting, facility births, skilled birth attendants. Model validation compared projected maternal indicators with empiric data. Strategies consisted of improving coverage of effective interventions that could be provided individually or packaged as integrated services, could reduce the incidence of a complication or its case fatality rate, and could include improved logistics such as reliable transport to an appropriate referral facility as well as recognition of referral need and quality of care. Increasing family planning was the most effective individual intervention to reduce pregnancy-related mortality. If over the next 5 y the unmet need for spacing and limiting births was met, more than 150,000 maternal deaths would be prevented; more than US$1 billion saved; and at least one of every two abortion-related deaths averted. Still, reductions in maternal mortality reached a threshold ( approximately 23%-35% without including strategies that ensured reliable access to intrapartum and emergency obstetrical care (EmOC. An integrated and stepwise approach was

  4. Alternative strategies to reduce maternal mortality in India: a cost-effectiveness analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldie, Sue J; Sweet, Steve; Carvalho, Natalie; Natchu, Uma Chandra Mouli; Hu, Delphine

    2010-04-20

    Approximately one-quarter of all pregnancy- and delivery-related maternal deaths worldwide occur in India. Taking into account the costs, feasibility, and operational complexity of alternative interventions, we estimate the clinical and population-level benefits associated with strategies to improve the safety of pregnancy and childbirth in India. Country- and region-specific data were synthesized using a computer-based model that simulates the natural history of pregnancy (both planned and unintended) and pregnancy- and childbirth-associated complications in individual women; and considers delivery location, attendant, and facility level. Model outcomes included clinical events, population measures, costs, and cost-effectiveness ratios. Separate models were adapted to urban and rural India using survey-based data (e.g., unmet need for birth spacing/limiting, facility births, skilled birth attendants). Model validation compared projected maternal indicators with empiric data. Strategies consisted of improving coverage of effective interventions that could be provided individually or packaged as integrated services, could reduce the incidence of a complication or its case fatality rate, and could include improved logistics such as reliable transport to an appropriate referral facility as well as recognition of referral need and quality of care. Increasing family planning was the most effective individual intervention to reduce pregnancy-related mortality. If over the next 5 y the unmet need for spacing and limiting births was met, more than 150,000 maternal deaths would be prevented; more than US$1 billion saved; and at least one of every two abortion-related deaths averted. Still, reductions in maternal mortality reached a threshold ( approximately 23%-35%) without including strategies that ensured reliable access to intrapartum and emergency obstetrical care (EmOC). An integrated and stepwise approach was identified that would ultimately prevent four of five

  5. Potent corticosteroid cream (mometasone furoate) significantly reduces acute radiation dermatitis: results from a double-blind, randomized study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bostroem, Aasa; Lindman, Henrik; Swartling, Carl; Berne, Berit; Bergh, Jonas

    2001-01-01

    Purpose: Radiation-induced dermatitis is a very common side effect of radiation therapy, and may necessitate interruption of the therapy. There is a substantial lack of evidence-based treatments for this condition. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of mometasone furoate cream (MMF) on radiation dermatitis in a prospective, double-blind, randomized study. Material and methods: The study comprised 49 patients with node-negative breast cancer. They were operated on with sector resection and scheduled for postoperative radiotherapy using photons with identical radiation qualities and dosage to the breast parenchyma. The patients were randomized to receive either MMF or emollient cream. The cream was applied on the irradiated skin twice a week from the start of radiotherapy until the 12th fraction (24 Gy) and thereafter once daily until 3 weeks after completion of radiation. Both groups additionally received non-blinded emollient cream daily. The intensity of the acute radiation dermatitis was evaluated on a weekly basis regarding erythema and pigmentation, using a reflectance spectrophotometer together with visual scoring of the skin reactions. Results: MMF in combination with emollient cream treatment significantly decreased acute radiation dermatitis (P=0.0033) compared with emollient cream alone. There was no significant difference in pigmentation between the two groups. Conclusions: Adding MMF, a potent topical corticosteroid, to an emollient cream is statistically significantly more effective than emollient cream alone in reducing acute radiation dermatitis

  6. Modelling the cost-effectiveness of mass screening and treatment for reducing Plasmodium falciparum malaria burden

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Crowell Valerie

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Past experience and modelling suggest that, in most cases, mass treatment strategies are not likely to succeed in interrupting Plasmodium falciparum malaria transmission. However, this does not preclude their use to reduce disease burden. Mass screening and treatment (MSAT is preferred to mass drug administration (MDA, as the latter involves massive over-use of drugs. This paper reports simulations of the incremental cost-effectiveness of well-conducted MSAT campaigns as a strategy for P. falciparum malaria disease-burden reduction in settings with varying receptivity (ability of the combined vector population in a setting to transmit disease and access to case management. Methods MSAT incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs were estimated in different sub-Saharan African settings using simulation models of the dynamics of malaria and a literature-based MSAT cost estimate. Imported infections were simulated at a rate of two per 1,000 population per annum. These estimates were compared to the ICERs of scaling up case management or insecticide-treated net (ITN coverage in each baseline health system, in the absence of MSAT. Results MSAT averted most episodes, and resulted in the lowest ICERs, in settings with a moderate level of disease burden. At a low pre-intervention entomological inoculation rate (EIR of two infectious bites per adult per annum (IBPAPA MSAT was never more cost-effective than scaling up ITNs or case management coverage. However, at pre-intervention entomological inoculation rates (EIRs of 20 and 50 IBPAPA and ITN coverage levels of 40 or 60%, respectively, the ICER of MSAT was similar to that of scaling up ITN coverage further. Conclusions In all the transmission settings considered, achieving a minimal level of ITN coverage is a “best buy”. At low transmission, MSAT probably is not worth considering. Instead, MSAT may be suitable at medium to high levels of transmission and at moderate ITN coverage

  7. Reduced frontal and occipital lobe asymmetry on the CT-scans of schizophrenic patients. Its specificity and clinical significance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Falkai, P.; Schneider, T.; Greve, B.; Klieser, E.; Bogerts, B.

    1995-01-01

    Frontal and occipital lobe widths were determined in the computed tomographic (CT) scans of 135 schizophrenic patients, 158 neuro psychiatrically healthy and 102 psychiatric control subjects, including patients with affective psychosis, neurosis and schizoaffective psychosis. Most healthy right-handed subjects demonstrate a relative enlargement of the right frontal as well as left occipital lobe compared to the opposite hemisphere. These normal frontal and occipital lobe asymmetries were selectively reduced in schizophrenics (f.: 5%, p < .0005; o.: 3%, p < .05), irrespective of the pathophysiological subgroup. Schizophrenic neuroleptic non-responders revealed a significant reduction of frontal lobe asymmetry (3%, p < .05), while no correlation between BPRS-sub scores and disturbed cerebral laterality could be detected. In sum the present study demonstrates the disturbed cerebral lateralisation in schizophrenic patients supporting the hypothesis of interrupted early brain development in schizophrenia. (author)

  8. Wide Variability in Emergency Physician Admission Rates: A Target to Reduce Costs Without Compromising Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey J. Guterman

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Attending physician judgment is the traditional standard of care for emergency department (ED admission decisions. The extent to which variability in admission decisions affect cost and quality is not well understood. We sought to determine the impact of variability in admission decisions on cost and quality. Methods: We performed a retrospective observational study of patients presenting to a university-affiliated, urban ED from October 1, 2007, through September 30, 2008. The main outcome measures were admission rate, fiscal indicators (Medicaid-denied payment days, and quality indicators (15- and 30-day ED returns; delayed hospital admissions. We asked each Attending to estimate their inpatient admission rate and correlated their personal assessment with actual admission rates. Results: Admission rates, even after adjusting for known confounders, were highly variable (15.2%-32.0% and correlated with Medicaid denied-payment day rates (p=0.038. There was no correlation with quality outcome measures (30-day ED return or delayed hospital admission. There was no significant correlation between actual and self-described admission rate; the range of mis-estimation was 0% to 117%. Conclusion: Emergency medicine attending admission rates at this institution are highly variable, unexplained by known confounding variables, and unrelated to quality of care, as measured by 30-day ED return or delayed hospital admission. Admission optimization represents an important untapped potential for cost reduction through avoidable hospitalizations, with no apparent adverse effects on quality.

  9. Does the national health insurance scheme in Ghana reduce household cost of treating malaria in the Kassena-Nankana districts?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maxwell Ayindenaba Dalaba

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: The Government of Ghana introduced the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS in 2003 to replace out-of-pocket (OOP payment for health services with the inherent aim of reducing the direct cost of treating illness to households. Objective: To assess the effects of the NHIS in reducing cost of treating malaria to households in the Kassena-Nankana districts of northern Ghana. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey between October 2009 and October 2011 in the Kassena-Nankana districts. A sample of 4,226 households was randomly drawn from the Navrongo Health and Demographic Surveillance System household database and administered a structured interview. The costs of malaria treatment were collected from the patient perspective. Results: Of the 4,226 households visited, a total of 1,324 (31% household members reported fever and 51% (675 reported treatment for malaria and provided information on where they sought care. Most respondents sought malaria treatment from formal health facilities 63% (424, with the remainder either self-medicating with drugs from chemical shops 32% (217 or with leftover drugs or herbs 5% (34. Most of those who sought care from formal health facilities were insured 79% (334. The average direct medical cost of treating malaria was GH¢3.2 (US$2.1 per case with the insured spending less (GH¢2.6/US$1.7 per case than the uninsured (GH¢3.2/US$2.1. The overall average cost (direct and indirect incurred by households per malaria treatment was GH¢20.9 (US$13.9. Though the insured accounted for a larger proportion of admissions at health facilities 76% (31 than the uninsured 24% (10, the average amount households spent on the insured was less (GH¢4/US$2.7 than their uninsured counterparts (GH¢6.4/US$4.3. The difference was not statistically significant (p=0.2330. Conclusion: Even though some insured individuals made OOP payments for direct medical care, there is evidence that the NHIS has a protective effect

  10. Evaluation of ways and procedures to reduce construction cost and increase competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    Construction cost inflation is affecting many state highway agencies including the Texas Department of : Transportation While some of this increase can be attributed to factors such as soaring cost of energy, : reports of large variations in cost of ...

  11. ePrescribing: Reducing Costs through In-Class Therapeutic Interchange.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenner, Shane P; Chakravarthy, Rohini; Johnson, Kevin B; Miller, William L; Olson, Julie; Wickizer, Marleen; Johnson, Nate N; Ohmer, Rick; Uskavitch, David R; Bernard, Gordon R; Neal, Erin B; Lehmann, Christoph U

    2016-12-14

    Spending on pharmaceuticals in the US reached $373.9 billion in 2014. Therapeutic interchange offers potential medication cost savings by replacing a prescribed drug for an equally efficacious therapeutic alternative. Hard-stop therapeutic interchange recommendation alerts were developed for four medication classes (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, serotonin receptor agonists, intranasal steroid sprays, and proton-pump inhibitors) in an electronic prescription-writing tool for outpatient prescriptions. Using prescription data from January 2012 to June 2015, the Compliance Ratio (CR) was calculated by dividing the number of prescriptions with recommended therapeutic interchange medications by the number of prescriptions with non-recommended medications to measure effectiveness. To explore potential cost savings, prescription data and medication costs were analyzed for the 45,000 Vanderbilt Employee Health Plan members. For all medication classes, significant improvements were demonstrated - the CR improved (proton-pump inhibitors 2.8 to 5.32, nasal steroids 2.44 to 8.16, statins 2.06 to 5.51, and serotonin receptor agonists 0.8 to 1.52). Quarterly savings through the four therapeutic interchange interventions combined exceeded $200,000 with an estimated annual savings for the health plan of $800,000, or more than $17 per member. A therapeutic interchange clinical decision support tool at the point of prescribing resulted in increased compliance with recommendations for outpatient prescriptions while producing substantial cost savings to the Vanderbilt Employee Health Plan - $17.77 per member per year. Therapeutic interchange rules require rational targeting, appropriate governance, and vigilant content updates.

  12. Integration of EEG lead placement templates into traditional technologist-based staffing models reduces costs in continuous video-EEG monitoring service.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolls, Brad J; Lai, Amy H; Srinivas, Anang A; Reid, Robert R

    2014-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the relative cost reductions within different staffing models for continuous video-electroencephalography (cvEEG) service by introducing a template system for 10/20 lead application. We compared six staffing models using decision tree modeling based on historical service line utilization data from the cvEEG service at our center. Templates were integrated into technologist-based service lines in six different ways. The six models studied were templates for all studies, templates for intensive care unit (ICU) studies, templates for on-call studies, templates for studies of ≤ 24-hour duration, technologists for on-call studies, and technologists for all studies. Cost was linearly related to the study volume for all models with the "templates for all" model incurring the lowest cost. The "technologists for all" model carried the greatest cost. Direct cost comparison shows that any introduction of templates results in cost savings, with the templates being used for patients located in the ICU being the second most cost efficient and the most practical of the combined models to implement. Cost difference between the highest and lowest cost models under the base case produced an annual estimated savings of $267,574. Implementation of the ICU template model at our institution under base case conditions would result in a $205,230 savings over our current "technologist for all" model. Any implementation of templates into a technologist-based cvEEG service line results in cost savings, with the most significant annual savings coming from using the templates for all studies, but the most practical implementation approach with the second highest cost reduction being the template used in the ICU. The lowered costs determined in this work suggest that a template-based cvEEG service could be supported at smaller centers with significantly reduced costs and could allow for broader use of cvEEG patient monitoring.

  13. Process Evaluation and Costing of a Multifaceted Population-Wide Intervention to Reduce Salt Consumption in Fiji.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Jacqui; Pillay, Arti; Suku, Arleen; Gohil, Paayal; Santos, Joseph Alvin; Schultz, Jimaima; Wate, Jillian; Trieu, Kathy; Hope, Silvia; Snowdon, Wendy; Moodie, Marj; Jan, Stephen; Bell, Colin

    2018-01-30

    This paper reports the process evaluation and costing of a national salt reduction intervention in Fiji. The population-wide intervention included engaging food industry to reduce salt in foods, strategic health communication and a hospital program. The evaluation showed a 1.4 g/day drop in salt intake from the 11.7 g/day at baseline; however, this was not statistically significant. To better understand intervention implementation, we collated data to assess intervention fidelity, reach, context and costs. Government and management changes affected intervention implementation, meaning fidelity was relatively low. There was no active mechanism for ensuring food companies adhered to the voluntary salt reduction targets. Communication activities had wide reach but most activities were one-off, meaning the overall dose was low and impact on behavior limited. Intervention costs were moderate (FJD $277,410 or $0.31 per person) but the strategy relied on multi-sector action which was not fully operationalised. The cyclone also delayed monitoring and likely impacted the results. However, 73% of people surveyed had heard about the campaign and salt reduction policies have been mainstreamed into government programs. Longer-term monitoring of salt intake is planned through future surveys and lessons from this process evaluation will be used to inform future strategies in the Pacific Islands and globally.

  14. Process Evaluation and Costing of a Multifaceted Population-Wide Intervention to Reduce Salt Consumption in Fiji

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacqui Webster

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports the process evaluation and costing of a national salt reduction intervention in Fiji. The population-wide intervention included engaging food industry to reduce salt in foods, strategic health communication and a hospital program. The evaluation showed a 1.4 g/day drop in salt intake from the 11.7 g/day at baseline; however, this was not statistically significant. To better understand intervention implementation, we collated data to assess intervention fidelity, reach, context and costs. Government and management changes affected intervention implementation, meaning fidelity was relatively low. There was no active mechanism for ensuring food companies adhered to the voluntary salt reduction targets. Communication activities had wide reach but most activities were one-off, meaning the overall dose was low and impact on behavior limited. Intervention costs were moderate (FJD $277,410 or $0.31 per person but the strategy relied on multi-sector action which was not fully operationalised. The cyclone also delayed monitoring and likely impacted the results. However, 73% of people surveyed had heard about the campaign and salt reduction policies have been mainstreamed into government programs. Longer-term monitoring of salt intake is planned through future surveys and lessons from this process evaluation will be used to inform future strategies in the Pacific Islands and globally.

  15. Rectal culture-directed antibiotic prophylaxis before transrectal prostate biopsy: Reduced infectious complications and healthcare costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldissera-Aradas, J V; Rodríguez-Villamil, L; Blanco-Fernández, R; Pérez-García, C; Viejo de la Guerra, G; González-Rodríguez, I; Mosquera-Madera, J

    2018-01-10

    Transrectal ultrasound-guided prostate biopsy (TUPB) is associated with infectious complications (ICs), which are related to a greater prevalence of ciprofloxacin-resistant bacteria (CRB) in rectal flora. We examined the ICs that occurred in 2 groups: A guided antibiotic prophylaxis (GP) group and an empiric prophylaxis (EP) group. We assessed the financial impact of GP. The GP group was studied prospectively (June 2013 to July 2014). We collected rectal cultures (RCs) before the TUPB, which were seeded on selective media with ciprofloxacin to determine the presence of CRB. The patients with sensitive bacteria were administered ciprofloxacin. Patients with resistant bacteria were administered GP according to the RC antibiogram. The EP group was studied retrospectively (January 2011 to June 2009). RCs were not performed, and all patients were treated with ciprofloxacin as prophylaxis. The ICs in both groups were recorded during a period no longer than 30 days following TUPB (electronic medical history). Three hundred patients underwent TUPB, 145 underwent GP, and 155 underwent EP. In the GP group, 23 patients (15.86%) presented CRB in the RCs. Only one patient (0.7%) experienced a UTI. In the EP group, 26 patients (16.8%) experienced multiple ICs (including 2 cases of sepsis) (P<.005). The estimated total cost, including the management of the ICs, was €57,076 with EP versus €4802.33 with GP. The average cost per patient with EP was €368.23 versus €33.11 with GP. GP achieved an estimated total savings of €52,273.67. Six patients had to undergo GP to prevent an IC. GP is associated with a marked decrease in the incidence of ICs caused by CRB and reduced healthcare costs. Copyright © 2017 AEU. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  16. Reducing Cost of Rabies Post Exposure Prophylaxis: Experience of a Tertiary Care Hospital in Pakistan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naseem Salahuddin

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Rabies is a uniformly fatal disease, but preventable by timely and correct use of post exposure prophylaxis (PEP. Unfortunately, many health care facilities in Pakistan do not carry modern life-saving vaccines and rabies immunoglobulin (RIG, assuming them to be prohibitively expensive and unsafe. Consequently, Emergency Department (ED health care professionals remain untrained in its application and refer patients out to other hospitals. The conventional Essen regimen requires five vials of cell culture vaccine (CCV per patient, whereas Thai Red Cross intradermal (TRC-id regimen requires only one vial per patient, and gives equal seroconversion as compared with Essen regimen.This study documents the cost savings in using the Thai Red Cross intradermal regimen with cell culture vaccine instead of the customary 5-dose Essen intramuscular regimen for eligible bite victims. All patients presenting to the Indus Hospital ED between July 2013 to June 2014 with animal bites received WHO recommended PEP. WHO Category 2 bites received intradermal vaccine alone, while Category 3 victims received vaccine plus wound infiltration with Equine RIG. Patients were counseled, and subsequent doses of the vaccine administered on days 3, 7 and 28. Throughput of cases, consumption utilization of vaccine and ERIG and the cost per patient were recorded.Government hospitals in Pakistan are generally underfinanced and cannot afford treatment of the enormous burden of dog bite victims. Hence, patients are either not treated at all, or asked to purchase their own vaccine, which most cannot afford, resulting in neglect and high incidence of rabies deaths. TRC-id regimen reduced the cost of vaccine to 1/5th of Essen regimen and is strongly recommended for institutions with large throughput. Training ED staff would save lives through a safe, effective and affordable technique.

  17. Walking with a four wheeled walker (rollator) significantly reduces EMG lower-limb muscle activity in healthy subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suica, Zorica; Romkes, Jacqueline; Tal, Amir; Maguire, Clare

    2016-01-01

    To investigate the immediate effect of four-wheeled- walker(rollator)walking on lower-limb muscle activity and trunk-sway in healthy subjects. In this cross-sectional design electromyographic (EMG) data was collected in six lower-limb muscle groups and trunk-sway was measured as peak-to-peak angular displacement of the centre-of-mass (level L2/3) in the sagittal and frontal-planes using the SwayStar balance system. 19 subjects walked at self-selected speed firstly without a rollator then in randomised order 1. with rollator 2. with rollator with increased weight-bearing. Rollator-walking caused statistically significant reductions in EMG activity in lower-limb muscle groups and effect-sizes were medium to large. Increased weight-bearing increased the effect. Trunk-sway in the sagittal and frontal-planes showed no statistically significant difference between conditions. Rollator-walking reduces lower-limb muscle activity but trunk-sway remains unchanged as stability is likely gained through forces generated by the upper-limbs. Short-term stability is gained but the long-term effect is unclear and requires investigation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Low cost concepts to reduce the voltage ripple of the DC power supply

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cheng, Y.; Liu, K.B.

    1993-01-01

    If the gain of current feedback is low, the short term stability of magnet power supply will be affected by a soft power line. Typically, the step-charge and the imbalance of the three phase power line cause the most serious voltage ripple. Usually, the voltage feedback with a coupling transformer is considered to reduce the voltage ripple. However, for the high current power supply, the space and cooling problem of the coupling transformer become inconvenient. In this paper, the authors suggest to use the toroidal core with the compensation winding, working like a DCCT, as the coupling transformer. Then, a high speed detector of the AC line level is developed. It restricts the voltage ripple passing to the coupling transformer. These methods have the advantage of small size, low power consumption and low cost

  19. Enhanced methods for operating refueling station tube-trailers to reduce refueling cost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elgowainy, Amgad; Reddi, Krishna

    2017-08-22

    A method and apparatus are provided for operating a refueling station including source tube-trailers and at least one compressor to reduce refueling cost. The refueling station includes a gaseous fuel supply source including a plurality of tanks on a tube trailer coupled to a first control unit, and high pressure buffer storage having predefined capacity coupled to a second control unit and the first tanks by a pressure control valve and the first control unit, and at least one compressor. The refueling station is operated at different modes depending on a state of the refueling station at the beginning of each operational mode. The refueling system is assessed at the end of each operational mode to identify the state of the system and select a next mode of operation. The operational modes include consolidating hydrogen, or any gaseous fuel, within the tubes mounted on the trailer.

  20. Successful pilot of thermosyphon process heater reduces GHG emissions and operating costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arnold, W.A.; Neulander, J.I.

    1999-01-01

    A joint pilot study was conducted by Hudson Products Corporation and PanCanadian Petroleum Ltd. to test the feasibility of using a thermosyphon as a part of a thermal recovery process for cold heavy oil reservoir exploitation in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. A thermosyphon process heater can transfer heat from an external combustion chamber to a liquid inside a tank. This paper described the pilot project in which such a heater was successfully tested in a heavy oil field production tank. The field trial was conducted at the Marwayne Field in northeastern Alberta. The results of the pilot study demonstrated that the thermosyphon not only improved process efficiency, but also reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, lowered operating costs and improved safety. 5 refs., 3 tabs., 1 fig., 3 appendices

  1. Recycling Flight Hardware Components and Systems to Reduce Next Generation Research Costs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Wlat

    2011-01-01

    With the recent 'new direction' put forth by President Obama identifying NASA's new focus in research rather than continuing on a path to return to the Moon and Mars, the focus of work at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) may be changing dramatically. Research opportunities within the micro-gravity community potentially stands at the threshold of resurgence when the new direction of the agency takes hold for the next generation of experimenters. This presentation defines a strategy for recycling flight experiment components or part numbers, in order to reduce research project costs, not just in component selection and fabrication, but in expediting qualification of hardware for flight. A key component of the strategy is effective communication of relevant flight hardware information and available flight hardware components to researchers, with the goal of 'short circuiting' the design process for flight experiments

  2. Cesarean Delivery Rates Vary 10-Fold Among US Hospitals; Reducing Variation May Address Quality, Cost Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozhimannil, Katy Backes; Law, Michael R.; Virnig, Beth A.

    2013-01-01

    Cesarean delivery is the most commonly performed surgical procedure in the United States, and cesarean rates are increasing. Working with 2009 data from 593 US hospitals nationwide, we found that cesarean rates varied tenfold across hospitals, from 7.1 percent to 69.9 percent. Even for women with lower-risk pregnancies, in which more limited variation might be expected, cesarean rates varied fifteen-fold, from 2.4 percent to 36.5 percent. Thus, vast differences in practice patterns are likely to be driving the costly overuse of cesarean delivery in many US hospitals. Because Medicaid pays for nearly half of US births, government efforts to decrease variation are warranted. We focus on four promising directions for reducing these variations, including better coordination of maternity care, more data collection and measurement, tying Medicaid payment to quality improvement, and enhancing patient-centered decision making through public reporting. PMID:23459732

  3. Feasibility studies to improve plant availability and reduce total installed cost in IGCC plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sullivan, Kevin [General Electric Company, Houston, TX (United States); Anasti, William [General Electric Company, Houston, TX (United States); Fang, Yichuan [General Electric Company, Houston, TX (United States); Subramanyan, Karthik [General Electric Company, Houston, TX (United States); Leininger, Tom [General Electric Company, Houston, TX (United States); Zemsky, Christine [General Electric Company, Houston, TX (United States)

    2015-03-30

    The main purpose of this project is to look at technologies and philosophies that would help reduce the costs of an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plant, increase its availability or do both. GE’s approach to this problem is to consider options in three different areas: 1) technology evaluations and development; 2) constructability approaches; and 3) design and operation methodologies. Five separate tasks were identified that fall under the three areas: Task 2 – Integrated Operations Philosophy; Task 3 – Slip Forming of IGCC Components; Task 4 – Modularization of IGCC Components; Task 5 – Fouling Removal; and Task 6 – Improved Slag Handling. Overall, this project produced results on many fronts. Some of the ideas could be utilized immediately by those seeking to build an IGCC plant in the near future. These include the considerations from the Integrated Operations Philosophy task and the different construction techniques of Slip Forming and Modularization (especially if the proposed site is in a remote location or has a lack of a skilled workforce). Other results include ideas for promising technologies that require further development and testing to realize their full potential and be available for commercial operation. In both areas GE considers this project to be a success in identifying areas outside the core IGCC plant systems that are ripe for cost reduction and ity improvement opportunities.

  4. Back to Back: A Focus on Reducing the Logistics Costs and Tax

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogério João Lunkes

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The objective is to identify the main aspects related to the operation of Back to Back set out in international trade, which enables reduction of logistics costs and taxes. The operation of Back to Back is an excellent opportunity to increase foreign exchange gain and offer greater flexibility to commercial operations that the business requires. The methodology used in preparing this study was qualitative research according to the characteristics and nature of the problem. From the use of descriptive research study aims to demonstrate the main theoretical aspects underlying the subject in reference. This study aimed to identify the main aspects related to the operation of Back to Back set out in international trade and tax effects in an organization and logistics of industrial electronics segment of the State of Santa Catarina. The study demonstrated that the benefits of the operation of Back to Back is of paramount importance for companies having a positive impact in financial terms by reducing the need for tax payments and logistics costs which affect the processes of import and export. The results presented showed that the company studied the operation of Back to Back is essential for international negotiations.

  5. Tracking unnecessary negative urinalyses to reduce healthcare costs: a transversal study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malmartel, A; Dutron, M; Ghasarossian, C

    2017-09-01

    About 7 million urinalyses are reimbursed yearly by the French public healthcare system, but the results of most of these tests are normal. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of negative urinalyses in ambulatory care, identify the associated factors and assess the relevance of prescriptions by general practitioners (GPs) according to French guidelines. A cross-sectional study was conducted in patients over 18 coming for urinalyses in two French ambulatory laboratories. Patients received a questionnaire on their symptoms, the reason for performing urinalysis and the use of urinary dipsticks. GP who prescribed urinalyses received a questionnaire assessing their practice. A total of 510 patients were included, and 71% of urinalyses were negative. Urinalyses were prescribed to 283 patients by GPs. Compared to those of specialists, GP prescriptions were associated with fewer negative urinalyses (59 vs 86%; p GPs, the reasons of prescription were as follows: suspected urinary tract infection (UTI) (42.7%), control of bacteriological cure after UTI (24%), fever or abdominal pain (13%) and routine test (7%). About 35% of urinalyses were not indicated according to guidelines. Only 12% of patients used dipsticks before performing urinalysis although 87% of GPs were favourable to their use if they were provided by healthcare services. The annual cost of non-indicated urinalyses is estimated at 13 million euro. A systematic use of dipsticks provided by healthcare services could help to reduce health costs and the unnecessary use of antibiotics.

  6. Modest hypoxia significantly reduces triglyceride content and lipid droplet size in 3T3-L1 adipocytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hashimoto, Takeshi, E-mail: thashimo@fc.ritsumei.ac.jp [Faculty of Sport and Health Science, Ritsumeikan University, 1-1-1 Nojihigashi, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-8577 (Japan); Yokokawa, Takumi; Endo, Yuriko [Faculty of Sport and Health Science, Ritsumeikan University, 1-1-1 Nojihigashi, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-8577 (Japan); Iwanaka, Nobumasa [Ritsumeikan Global Innovation Research Organization, Ritsumeikan University, 1-1-1 Nojihigashi, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-8577 (Japan); Higashida, Kazuhiko [Faculty of Sport and Health Science, Ritsumeikan University, 1-1-1 Nojihigashi, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-8577 (Japan); Faculty of Sport Science, Waseda University, 2-579-15 Mikajima, Tokorozawa, Saitama 359-1192 (Japan); Taguchi, Sadayoshi [Faculty of Sport and Health Science, Ritsumeikan University, 1-1-1 Nojihigashi, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-8577 (Japan)

    2013-10-11

    Highlights: •Long-term hypoxia decreased the size of LDs and lipid storage in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. •Long-term hypoxia increased basal lipolysis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. •Hypoxia decreased lipid-associated proteins in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. •Hypoxia decreased basal glucose uptake and lipogenic proteins in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. •Hypoxia-mediated lipogenesis may be an attractive therapeutic target against obesity. -- Abstract: Background: A previous study has demonstrated that endurance training under hypoxia results in a greater reduction in body fat mass compared to exercise under normoxia. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie this hypoxia-mediated reduction in fat mass remain uncertain. Here, we examine the effects of modest hypoxia on adipocyte function. Methods: Differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes were incubated at 5% O{sub 2} for 1 week (long-term hypoxia, HL) or one day (short-term hypoxia, HS) and compared with a normoxia control (NC). Results: HL, but not HS, resulted in a significant reduction in lipid droplet size and triglyceride content (by 50%) compared to NC (p < 0.01). As estimated by glycerol release, isoproterenol-induced lipolysis was significantly lowered by hypoxia, whereas the release of free fatty acids under the basal condition was prominently enhanced with HL compared to NC or HS (p < 0.01). Lipolysis-associated proteins, such as perilipin 1 and hormone-sensitive lipase, were unchanged, whereas adipose triglyceride lipase and its activator protein CGI-58 were decreased with HL in comparison to NC. Interestingly, such lipogenic proteins as fatty acid synthase, lipin-1, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma were decreased. Furthermore, the uptake of glucose, the major precursor of 3-glycerol phosphate for triglyceride synthesis, was significantly reduced in HL compared to NC or HS (p < 0.01). Conclusion: We conclude that hypoxia has a direct impact on reducing the triglyceride content and lipid droplet size via

  7. Modest hypoxia significantly reduces triglyceride content and lipid droplet size in 3T3-L1 adipocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hashimoto, Takeshi; Yokokawa, Takumi; Endo, Yuriko; Iwanaka, Nobumasa; Higashida, Kazuhiko; Taguchi, Sadayoshi

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: •Long-term hypoxia decreased the size of LDs and lipid storage in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. •Long-term hypoxia increased basal lipolysis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. •Hypoxia decreased lipid-associated proteins in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. •Hypoxia decreased basal glucose uptake and lipogenic proteins in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. •Hypoxia-mediated lipogenesis may be an attractive therapeutic target against obesity. -- Abstract: Background: A previous study has demonstrated that endurance training under hypoxia results in a greater reduction in body fat mass compared to exercise under normoxia. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie this hypoxia-mediated reduction in fat mass remain uncertain. Here, we examine the effects of modest hypoxia on adipocyte function. Methods: Differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes were incubated at 5% O 2 for 1 week (long-term hypoxia, HL) or one day (short-term hypoxia, HS) and compared with a normoxia control (NC). Results: HL, but not HS, resulted in a significant reduction in lipid droplet size and triglyceride content (by 50%) compared to NC (p < 0.01). As estimated by glycerol release, isoproterenol-induced lipolysis was significantly lowered by hypoxia, whereas the release of free fatty acids under the basal condition was prominently enhanced with HL compared to NC or HS (p < 0.01). Lipolysis-associated proteins, such as perilipin 1 and hormone-sensitive lipase, were unchanged, whereas adipose triglyceride lipase and its activator protein CGI-58 were decreased with HL in comparison to NC. Interestingly, such lipogenic proteins as fatty acid synthase, lipin-1, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma were decreased. Furthermore, the uptake of glucose, the major precursor of 3-glycerol phosphate for triglyceride synthesis, was significantly reduced in HL compared to NC or HS (p < 0.01). Conclusion: We conclude that hypoxia has a direct impact on reducing the triglyceride content and lipid droplet size via

  8. Human Responding on Random-Interval Schedules of Response-Cost Punishment: The Role of Reduced Reinforcement Density

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pietras, Cynthia J.; Brandt, Andrew E.; Searcy, Gabriel D.

    2010-01-01

    An experiment with adult humans investigated the effects of response-contingent money loss (response-cost punishment) on monetary-reinforced responding. A yoked-control procedure was used to separate the effects on responding of the response-cost contingency from the effects of reduced reinforcement density. Eight adults pressed buttons for money…

  9. A pilot study: Horticulture-related activities significantly reduce stress levels and salivary cortisol concentration of maladjusted elementary school children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Min Jung; Oh, Wook; Jang, Ja Soon; Lee, Ju Young

    2018-04-01

    The effects of three horticulture-related activities (HRAs), including floral arranging, planting, and flower pressing were compared to see if they influenced changes on a stress scale and on salivary cortisol concentrations (SCC) in maladjusted elementary school children. Twenty maladjusted elementary school children were randomly assigned either to an experimental or control group. The control group carried out individual favorite indoor activities under the supervision of a teacher. Simultaneously, the ten children in the experimental group participated in a HRA program consisting of flower arrangement (FA), planting (P), and flower pressing (PF) activities, in which the other ten children in the control group did not take part. During nine sessions, the activities were completed as follows: FA-FA-FA, P-P-P, and PF-PF-PF; each session lasted 40 min and took place once a week. For the quantitative analysis of salivary cortisol, saliva was collected from the experimental group one week before the HRAs and immediately after the activities for 9 consecutive weeks at the same time each session. In the experimental group, stress scores of interpersonal relationship, school life, personal problems, and home life decreased after the HRAs by 1.3, 1.8, 4.2, and 1.3 points, respectively. In particular, the stress score of school life was significantly reduced (P < 0.01). In addition, from the investigation of the SCCs for the children before and after repeating HRAs three times, it was found that flower arrangement, planting, and flower pressing activities reduced the SCCs by ≥37% compared to the SCCs prior to taking part in the HRAs. These results indicate that HRAs are associated with a reduction in the stress levels of maladjusted elementary school children. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. Profiling mild steel welding processes to reduce fume emissions and costs in the workplace.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keane, Michael J; Siert, Arlen; Chen, Bean T; Stone, Samuel G

    2014-05-01

    To provide quantitative information to choose the best welding processes for minimizing workplace emissions, nine gas metal arc welding (GMAW) processes for mild steel were assessed for fume generation rates, normalized fume generation rates (milligram fume per gram of electrode consumed), and normalized generation rates for elemental manganese, nickel, and iron. Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) and flux-cored arc-welding (FCAW) processes were also profiled. The fumes were collected quantitatively in an American Welding Society-type fume chamber and weighed, recovered, homogenized, and analyzed by inductively coupled atomic emission spectroscopy for total metals. The processes included GMAW with short circuit, globular transfer, axial spray, pulsed spray, Surface Tension Transfer™, Regulated Metal Deposition™, and Cold Metal Transfer™ (CMT) modes. Flux-cored welding was gas shielded, and SMAW was a single rod type. Results indicate a wide range of fume emission factors for the process variations studied. Fume emission rates per gram of electrode consumed were highest for SMAW (~13 mg fume g(-1) electrode) and lowest for GMAW processes such as pulsed spray (~1.5mg g(-1)) and CMT (~1mg g(-1)). Manganese emission rates per gram of electrode consumed ranged from 0.45 mg g(-1) (SMAW) to 0.08 mg g(-1) (CMT). Nickel emission rates were generally low and ranged from ~0.09 (GMAW short circuit) to 0.004 mg g(-1) (CMT). Iron emission rates ranged from 3.7 (spray-mode GMAW) to 0.49 mg g(-1) (CMT). The processes studied have significantly different costs, and cost factors are presented based on a case study to allow comparisons between processes in specific cost categories. Costs per linear meter of weld were $31.07 (SMAW), $12.37 (GMAW short circuit), and $10.89 (FCAW). Although no single process is the best for minimizing fume emissions and costs while satisfying the weld requirements, there are several processes that can minimize emissions. This study provides

  11. Utilizing an Energy Management System with Distributed Resources to Manage Critical Loads and Reduce Energy Costs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-01

    significant impact that energy usage has on their operations and their ability to conduct sustained expeditionary operations. In austere environments...efficiency and reduce environmental impact is to power the fuel cell using hydrogen obtained by electrolysis of water from a renewable energy source...look at other DR. Using microturbines and other natural gas cogeneration ( energy and heat) power generation systems is a more affordable way of

  12. Cerebral Embolic Protection During Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Significantly Reduces Death and Stroke Compared With Unprotected Procedures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seeger, Julia; Gonska, Birgid; Otto, Markus; Rottbauer, Wolfgang; Wöhrle, Jochen

    2017-11-27

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of cerebral embolic protection on stroke-free survival in patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). Imaging data on cerebral embolic protection devices have demonstrated a significant reduction in number and volume of cerebral lesions. A total of 802 consecutive patients were enrolled. The Sentinel cerebral embolic protection device (Claret Medical Inc., Santa Rosa, California) was used in 34.9% (n = 280) of consecutive patients. In 65.1% (n = 522) of patients TAVR was performed in the identical setting except without cerebral embolic protection. Neurological follow-up was done within 7 days post-procedure. The primary endpoint was a composite of all-cause mortality or all-stroke according to Valve Academic Research Consortium-2 criteria within 7 days. Propensity score matching was performed to account for possible confounders. Both filters of the device were successfully positioned in 280 of 305 (91.8%) consecutive patients. With use of cerebral embolic protection rate of disabling and nondisabling stroke was significantly reduced from 4.6% to 1.4% (p = 0.03; odds ratio: 0.29, 95% confidence interval: 0.10 to 0.93) in the propensity-matched population (n = 560). The primary endpoint occurred significantly less frequently, with 2.1% (n = 6 of 280) in the protected group compared with 6.8% (n = 19 of 280) in the control group (p = 0.01; odds ratio: 0.30; 95% confidence interval: 0.12 to 0.77). In multivariable analysis Society of Thoracic Surgeons score for mortality (p = 0.02) and TAVR without protection (p = 0.02) were independent predictors for the primary endpoint. In patients undergoing TAVR use of a cerebral embolic protection device demonstrated a significant higher rate of stroke-free survival compared with unprotected TAVR. Copyright © 2017 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. The "basic" approach: a single-centre experience with a cost-reducing model for paediatric cardiac extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padalino, Massimo A; Tessari, Chiara; Guariento, Alvise; Frigo, Anna C; Vida, Vladimiro L; Marcolongo, Andrea; Zanella, Fabio; Harvey, Michael J; Thiagarajan, Ravi R; Stellin, Giovanni

    2017-04-01

    Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a lifesaving but expensive therapy in terms of financial, technical and human resources. We report our experience with a 'basic' ECMO support model, consisting of ECMO initiated and managed without the constant presence of a bedside specialist, to assess safety, clinical outcomes and financial impact on our health system. We did a retrospective single-centre study of paediatric cardiac ECMO between January 2001 and March 2014. Outcomes included postimplant complications and survival at weaning and at discharge. We used activity based costing to compare the costs of current basic ECMO with those of a 'full optional' dedicated ECMO team (hypothesis 1); ECMO with a bedside nurse and perfusionist (hypothesis 2), and ECMO with a bedside perfusionist (hypothesis 3). Basic cardiac ECMO was required for 121 patients (median age 75 days, median weight 4.4 kg). A total of 107 patients (88%) had congenital heart disease; 37 had univentricular physiology. The median duration of ECMO was 7 days (interquartile range [IQR], 4-15 days). Overall survival at weaning and at 30 days in the neonatal and paediatric age groups was 58.6% and 30.6%, respectively; these results were not significantly different from Extracorporeal Life Support Organization data. Cost analysis revealed a saving of €30 366, €22 144 and €13 837 for each patient on basic ECMO for hypotheses 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Despite reduced human, technical and economical resources, a basic ECMO model without a bedside specialist was associated with satisfactory survival and lower costs. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. All rights reserved.

  14. G-CSF in solid tumor chemotherapy: a tailored regimen reduces febrile neutropenia, treatment delays and direct costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsavaris, Nicolas; Kosmas, Christos; Gouveris, Panagiotis; Vadiak, Maria; Dimitrakopoulos, Antonis; Karadima, Dimitra; Pagouni, Efterpi; Panagiotakopoulos, George; Tzima, Evanthia; Ispoglou, Sevasti; Sakelariou, Dimitris; Koufos, Christos

    2004-02-01

    Current guidelines do not recommend G-CSF for patients with risk factors for neutropenia. One-hundred patients undergoing chemotherapy were randomized to treatment with G-CSF at 5 Kg/kg for established febrile neutropenia (ANC <1000/microl) (Group A) or G-CSF at 263 Kg/day if ANC was 1500/microl or less on the day of the expected nadir, with the duration of treatment determined by the severity of neutropenia (Group B). The number of doses of G-CSF was similar in the two groups. There were 34 cases of febrile neutropenia in Group A, but none in Group B (p=0.0001). Hospital admission for febrile neutropenia, antibiotic use and delays in chemotherapy were all significantly more common in Group A. Total direct costs were estimated to be 66, 646 for Group A and 47, 119 for Group B. Tailoring treatment does not increase G-CSF use, but significantly reduces febrile neutropenia and treatment delays and lowers direct costs.

  15. Dermal application of nitric oxide releasing acidified nitrite-containing liniments significantly reduces blood pressure in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opländer, Christian; Volkmar, Christine M; Paunel-Görgülü, Adnana; Fritsch, Thomas; van Faassen, Ernst E; Mürtz, Manfred; Grieb, Gerrit; Bozkurt, Ahmet; Hemmrich, Karsten; Windolf, Joachim; Suschek, Christoph V

    2012-02-15

    Vascular ischemic diseases, hypertension, and other systemic hemodynamic and vascular disorders may be the result of impaired bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO). NO but also its active derivates like nitrite or nitroso compounds are important effector and signal molecules with vasodilating properties. Our previous findings point to a therapeutical potential of cutaneous administration of NO in the treatment of systemic hemodynamic disorders. Unfortunately, no reliable data are available on the mechanisms, kinetics and biological responses of dermal application of nitric oxide in humans in vivo. The aim of the study was to close this gap and to explore the therapeutical potential of dermal nitric oxide application. We characterized with human skin in vitro and in vivo the capacity of NO, applied in a NO-releasing acidified form of nitrite-containing liniments, to penetrate the epidermis and to influence local as well as systemic hemodynamic parameters. We found that dermal application of NO led to a very rapid and significant transepidermal translocation of NO into the underlying tissue. Depending on the size of treated skin area, this translocation manifests itself through a significant systemic increase of the NO derivates nitrite and nitroso compounds, respectively. In parallel, this translocation was accompanied by an increased systemic vasodilatation and blood flow as well as reduced blood pressure. We here give evidence that in humans dermal application of NO has a therapeutic potential for systemic hemodynamic disorders that might arise from local or systemic insufficient availability of NO or its bio-active NO derivates, respectively. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Significant change of local atomic configurations at surface of reduced activation Eurofer steels induced by hydrogenation treatments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Greculeasa, S.G.; Palade, P.; Schinteie, G. [National Institute for Materials Physics, P.O. Box MG-7, 77125, Bucharest-Magurele (Romania); Kuncser, A.; Stanciu, A. [National Institute for Materials Physics, P.O. Box MG-7, 77125, Bucharest-Magurele (Romania); University of Bucharest, Faculty of Physics, 77125, Bucharest-Magurele (Romania); Lungu, G.A. [National Institute for Materials Physics, P.O. Box MG-7, 77125, Bucharest-Magurele (Romania); Porosnicu, C.; Lungu, C.P. [National Institute for Laser, Plasma and Radiation Physics, 77125, Bucharest-Magurele (Romania); Kuncser, V., E-mail: kuncser@infim.ro [National Institute for Materials Physics, P.O. Box MG-7, 77125, Bucharest-Magurele (Romania)

    2017-04-30

    Highlights: • Engineering of Eurofer slab properties by hydrogenation treatments. • Hydrogenation modifies significantly the local atomic configurations at the surface. • Hydrogenation increases the expulsion of the Cr atoms toward the very surface. • Approaching binomial atomic distribution by hydrogenation in the next surface 100 nm. - Abstract: Reduced-activation steels such as Eurofer alloys are candidates for supporting plasma facing components in tokamak-like nuclear fusion reactors. In order to investigate the impact of hydrogen/deuterium insertion in their crystalline lattice, annealing treatments in hydrogen atmosphere have been applied on Eurofer slabs. The resulting samples have been analyzed with respect to local structure and atomic configuration both before and after successive annealing treatments, by X-ray diffractometry (XRD), scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and conversion electron Mössbauer spectroscopy (CEMS). The corroborated data point out for a bcc type structure of the non-hydrogenated alloy, with an average alloy composition approaching Fe{sub 0.9}Cr{sub 0.1} along a depth of about 100 nm. EDS elemental maps do not indicate surface inhomogeneities in concentration whereas the Mössbauer spectra prove significant deviations from a homogeneous alloying. The hydrogenation increases the expulsion of the Cr atoms toward the surface layer and decreases their oxidation, with considerable influence on the surface properties of the steel. The hydrogenation treatment is therefore proposed as a potential alternative for a convenient engineering of the surface of different Fe-Cr based alloys.

  17. Optical trapping of nanoparticles with significantly reduced laser powers by using counter-propagating beams (Presentation Recording)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Chenglong; LeBrun, Thomas W.

    2015-08-01

    Gold nanoparticles (GNP) have wide applications ranging from nanoscale heating to cancer therapy and biological sensing. Optical trapping of GNPs as small as 18 nm has been successfully achieved with laser power as high as 855 mW, but such high powers can damage trapped particles (particularly biological systems) as well heat the fluid, thereby destabilizing the trap. In this article, we show that counter propagating beams (CPB) can successfully trap GNP with laser powers reduced by a factor of 50 compared to that with a single beam. The trapping position of a GNP inside a counter-propagating trap can be easily modulated by either changing the relative power or position of the two beams. Furthermore, we find that under our conditions while a single-beam most stably traps a single particle, the counter-propagating beam can more easily trap multiple particles. This (CPB) trap is compatible with the feedback control system we recently demonstrated to increase the trapping lifetimes of nanoparticles by more than an order of magnitude. Thus, we believe that the future development of advanced trapping techniques combining counter-propagating traps together with control systems should significantly extend the capabilities of optical manipulation of nanoparticles for prototyping and testing 3D nanodevices and bio-sensing.

  18. Cost of reproduction in a long-lived bird: incubation effort reduces immune function and future reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanssen, Sveinn Are; Hasselquist, Dennis; Folstad, Ivar; Erikstad, Kjell Einar

    2005-05-22

    Life-history theory predicts that increased current reproductive effort should lead to a fitness cost. This cost of reproduction may be observed as reduced survival or future reproduction, and may be caused by temporal suppression of immune function in stressed or hard-working individuals. In birds, consideration of the costs of incubating eggs has largely been neglected in favour of the costs of brood rearing. We manipulated incubation demand in two breeding seasons (2000 and 2001) in female common eiders (Somateria mollissima) by creating clutches of three and six eggs (natural range 3-6 eggs). The common eider is a long-lived sea-duck where females do not eat during the incubation period. Mass loss increased and immune function (lymphocyte levels and specific antibody response to the non-pathogenic antigens diphtheria and tetanus toxoid) was reduced in females incubating large clutches. The increased incubation effort among females assigned to large incubation demand did not lead to adverse effects on current reproduction or return rate in the next breeding season. However, large incubation demand resulted in long-term fitness costs through reduced fecundity the year after manipulation. Our data show that in eiders, a long-lived species, the cost of high incubation demand is paid in the currency of reduced future fecundity, possibly mediated by reduced immune function.

  19. New scanning technique using Adaptive Statistical lterative Reconstruction (ASIR) significantly reduced the radiation dose of cardiac CT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tumur, Odgerel; Soon, Kean; Brown, Fraser; Mykytowycz, Marcus

    2013-01-01

    The aims of our study were to evaluate the effect of application of Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction (ASIR) algorithm on the radiation dose of coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) and its effects on image quality of CCTA and to evaluate the effects of various patient and CT scanning factors on the radiation dose of CCTA. This was a retrospective study that included 347 consecutive patients who underwent CCTA at a tertiary university teaching hospital between 1 July 2009 and 20 September 2011. Analysis was performed comparing patient demographics, scan characteristics, radiation dose and image quality in two groups of patients in whom conventional Filtered Back Projection (FBP) or ASIR was used for image reconstruction. There were 238 patients in the FBP group and 109 patients in the ASIR group. There was no difference between the groups in the use of prospective gating, scan length or tube voltage. In ASIR group, significantly lower tube current was used compared with FBP group, 550mA (450–600) vs. 650mA (500–711.25) (median (interquartile range)), respectively, P<0.001. There was 27% effective radiation dose reduction in the ASIR group compared with FBP group, 4.29mSv (2.84–6.02) vs. 5.84mSv (3.88–8.39) (median (interquartile range)), respectively, P<0.001. Although ASIR was associated with increased image noise compared with FBP (39.93±10.22 vs. 37.63±18.79 (mean ±standard deviation), respectively, P<001), it did not affect the signal intensity, signal-to-noise ratio, contrast-to-noise ratio or the diagnostic quality of CCTA. Application of ASIR reduces the radiation dose of CCTA without affecting the image quality.

  20. New scanning technique using Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction (ASIR) significantly reduced the radiation dose of cardiac CT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tumur, Odgerel; Soon, Kean; Brown, Fraser; Mykytowycz, Marcus

    2013-06-01

    The aims of our study were to evaluate the effect of application of Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction (ASIR) algorithm on the radiation dose of coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) and its effects on image quality of CCTA and to evaluate the effects of various patient and CT scanning factors on the radiation dose of CCTA. This was a retrospective study that included 347 consecutive patients who underwent CCTA at a tertiary university teaching hospital between 1 July 2009 and 20 September 2011. Analysis was performed comparing patient demographics, scan characteristics, radiation dose and image quality in two groups of patients in whom conventional Filtered Back Projection (FBP) or ASIR was used for image reconstruction. There were 238 patients in the FBP group and 109 patients in the ASIR group. There was no difference between the groups in the use of prospective gating, scan length or tube voltage. In ASIR group, significantly lower tube current was used compared with FBP group, 550 mA (450-600) vs. 650 mA (500-711.25) (median (interquartile range)), respectively, P ASIR group compared with FBP group, 4.29 mSv (2.84-6.02) vs. 5.84 mSv (3.88-8.39) (median (interquartile range)), respectively, P ASIR was associated with increased image noise compared with FBP (39.93 ± 10.22 vs. 37.63 ± 18.79 (mean ± standard deviation), respectively, P ASIR reduces the radiation dose of CCTA without affecting the image quality. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology © 2013 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.

  1. Changes in Federal Water Project Repayment Policies Can Reduce Federal Costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-08-07

    a reimburs - able purpose, the users should share in cost recovery. RECOMMENDATIONS To provide for equitable cost reimbursement on underutilized...Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation that do not ensure fair and timely recovery of water projects’ reimbursable costs. We made this...such costs for reimbursable project purposes and considering them in future water price determinations, agencies often reas- signed them to

  2. Capsiate supplementation reduces oxidative cost of contraction in exercising mouse skeletal muscle in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yashiro, Kazuya; Tonson, Anne; Pecchi, Émilie; Vilmen, Christophe; Le Fur, Yann; Bernard, Monique; Bendahan, David; Giannesini, Benoît

    2015-01-01

    Chronic administration of capsiate is known to accelerate whole-body basal energy metabolism, but the consequences in exercising skeletal muscle remain very poorly documented. In order to clarify this issue, the effect of 2-week daily administration of either vehicle (control) or purified capsiate (at 10- or 100-mg/kg body weight) on skeletal muscle function and energetics were investigated throughout a multidisciplinary approach combining in vivo and in vitro measurements in mice. Mechanical performance and energy metabolism were assessed strictly non-invasively in contracting gastrocnemius muscle using magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and 31-phosphorus MR spectroscopy (31P-MRS). Regardless of the dose, capsiate treatments markedly disturbed basal bioenergetics in vivo including intracellular pH alkalosis and decreased phosphocreatine content. Besides, capsiate administration did affect neither mitochondrial uncoupling protein-3 gene expression nor both basal and maximal oxygen consumption in isolated saponin-permeabilized fibers, but decreased by about twofold the Km of mitochondrial respiration for ADP. During a standardized in vivo fatiguing protocol (6-min of repeated maximal isometric contractions electrically induced at a frequency of 1.7 Hz), both capsiate treatments reduced oxidative cost of contraction by 30-40%, whereas force-generating capacity and fatigability were not changed. Moreover, the rate of phosphocreatine resynthesis during the post-electrostimulation recovery period remained unaffected by capsiate. Both capsiate treatments further promoted muscle mass gain, and the higher dose also reduced body weight gain and abdominal fat content. These findings demonstrate that, in addition to its anti-obesity effect, capsiate supplementation improves oxidative metabolism in exercising muscle, which strengthen this compound as a natural compound for improving health.

  3. Does NGAL reduce costs? A cost analysis of urine NGAL (uNGAL) & serum creatinine (sCr) for acute kidney injury (AKI) diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parikh, Amay; Rizzo, John A; Canetta, Pietro; Forster, Catherine; Sise, Meghan; Maarouf, Omar; Singer, Eugenia; Elger, Antje; Elitok, Saban; Schmidt-Ott, Kai; Barasch, Jonathon; Nickolas, Thomas L

    2017-01-01

    Urine neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (uNGAL) is a sensitive and specific diagnostic test for acute kidney injury (AKI) in the Emergency Department (ED), but its economic impact has not been investigated. We hypothesized that uNGAL used in combination with serum creatinine (sCr) would reduce costs in the management of AKI in patients presenting to the ED in comparison to using sCr alone. A cost simulation model was developed for clinical algorithms to diagnose AKI based on sCr alone vs. uNGAL plus sCr (uNGAL+sCr). A cost minimization analysis was performed to determine total expected costs for patients with AKI. uNGAL test characteristics were validated with eight-hundred forty-nine patients with sCr ≥1.5 from a completed study of 1635 patients recruited from EDs at two U.S. hospitals from 2007-8. Biomarker test, AKI work-up, and diagnostic imaging costs were incorporated. For a hypothetical cohort of 10,000 patients, the model predicted that the expected costs were $900 per patient (pp) in the sCr arm and $950 in the uNGAL+sCr arm. uNGAL+sCr resulted in 1,578 fewer patients with delayed diagnosis and treatment than sCr alone (2,013 vs. 436 pts) at center 1 and 1,973 fewer patients with delayed diagnosis and treatment than sCr alone at center 2 (2,227 vs. 254 patients). Although initial evaluation costs at each center were $50 pp higher in with uNGAL+sCr, total costs declined by $408 pp at Center 1 and by $522 pp at Center 2 due to expected reduced delays in diagnosis and treatment. Sensitivity analyses confirmed savings with uNGAL + sCr for a range of cost inputs. Using uNGAL with sCr as a clinical diagnostic test for AKI may improve patient management and reduce expected costs. Any cost savings would likely result from avoiding delays in diagnosis and treatment and from avoidance of unnecessary testing in patients given a false positive AKI diagnosis by use of sCr alone.

  4. Does NGAL reduce costs? A cost analysis of urine NGAL (uNGAL & serum creatinine (sCr for acute kidney injury (AKI diagnosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amay Parikh

    Full Text Available Urine neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (uNGAL is a sensitive and specific diagnostic test for acute kidney injury (AKI in the Emergency Department (ED, but its economic impact has not been investigated. We hypothesized that uNGAL used in combination with serum creatinine (sCr would reduce costs in the management of AKI in patients presenting to the ED in comparison to using sCr alone.A cost simulation model was developed for clinical algorithms to diagnose AKI based on sCr alone vs. uNGAL plus sCr (uNGAL+sCr. A cost minimization analysis was performed to determine total expected costs for patients with AKI. uNGAL test characteristics were validated with eight-hundred forty-nine patients with sCr ≥1.5 from a completed study of 1635 patients recruited from EDs at two U.S. hospitals from 2007-8. Biomarker test, AKI work-up, and diagnostic imaging costs were incorporated.For a hypothetical cohort of 10,000 patients, the model predicted that the expected costs were $900 per patient (pp in the sCr arm and $950 in the uNGAL+sCr arm. uNGAL+sCr resulted in 1,578 fewer patients with delayed diagnosis and treatment than sCr alone (2,013 vs. 436 pts at center 1 and 1,973 fewer patients with delayed diagnosis and treatment than sCr alone at center 2 (2,227 vs. 254 patients. Although initial evaluation costs at each center were $50 pp higher in with uNGAL+sCr, total costs declined by $408 pp at Center 1 and by $522 pp at Center 2 due to expected reduced delays in diagnosis and treatment. Sensitivity analyses confirmed savings with uNGAL + sCr for a range of cost inputs.Using uNGAL with sCr as a clinical diagnostic test for AKI may improve patient management and reduce expected costs. Any cost savings would likely result from avoiding delays in diagnosis and treatment and from avoidance of unnecessary testing in patients given a false positive AKI diagnosis by use of sCr alone.

  5. Spacecraft Software Maintenance: An Effective Approach to Reducing Costs and Increasing Science Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shell, Elaine M.; Lue, Yvonne; Chu, Martha I.

    1999-01-01

    Flight software is a mission critical element of spacecraft functionality and performance. When ground operations personnel interface to a spacecraft, they are typically dealing almost entirely with the capabilities of onboard software. This software, even more than critical ground/flight communications systems, is expected to perform perfectly during all phases of spacecraft life. Due to the fact that it can be reprogrammed on-orbit to accommodate degradations or failures in flight hardware, new insights into spacecraft characteristics, new control options which permit enhanced science options, etc., the on- orbit flight software maintenance team is usually significantly responsible for the long term success of a science mission. Failure of flight software to perform as needed can result in very expensive operations work-around costs and lost science opportunities. There are three basic approaches to maintaining spacecraft software--namely using the original developers, using the mission operations personnel, or assembling a center of excellence for multi-spacecraft software maintenance. Not planning properly for flight software maintenance can lead to unnecessarily high on-orbit costs and/or unacceptably long delays, or errors, in patch installations. A common approach for flight software maintenance is to access the original development staff. The argument for utilizing the development staff is that the people who developed the software will be the best people to modify the software on-orbit. However, it can quickly becomes a challenge to obtain the services of these key people. They may no longer be available to the organization. They may have a more urgent job to perform, quite likely on another project under different project management. If they havn't worked on the software for a long time, they may need precious time for refamiliarization to the software, testbeds and tools. Further, a lack of insight into issues related to flight software in its on

  6. Real-time motion analytics during brain MRI improve data quality and reduce costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dosenbach, Nico U F; Koller, Jonathan M; Earl, Eric A; Miranda-Dominguez, Oscar; Klein, Rachel L; Van, Andrew N; Snyder, Abraham Z; Nagel, Bonnie J; Nigg, Joel T; Nguyen, Annie L; Wesevich, Victoria; Greene, Deanna J; Fair, Damien A

    2017-11-01

    Head motion systematically distorts clinical and research MRI data. Motion artifacts have biased findings from many structural and functional brain MRI studies. An effective way to remove motion artifacts is to exclude MRI data frames affected by head motion. However, such post-hoc frame censoring can lead to data loss rates of 50% or more in our pediatric patient cohorts. Hence, many scanner operators collect additional 'buffer data', an expensive practice that, by itself, does not guarantee sufficient high-quality MRI data for a given participant. Therefore, we developed an easy-to-setup, easy-to-use Framewise Integrated Real-time MRI Monitoring (FIRMM) software suite that provides scanner operators with head motion analytics in real-time, allowing them to scan each subject until the desired amount of low-movement data has been collected. Our analyses show that using FIRMM to identify the ideal scan time for each person can reduce total brain MRI scan times and associated costs by 50% or more. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. New tube fitting range can slash assembly time, reduce tube material costs and eliminate hot work

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anon.

    2008-09-15

    Parker Instrumentation has developed a permanent tube connection technology known as Phastite for use in high pressure applications such as in the offshore oil and gas sector. The Phastite push-fit connector offers major savings over traditional permanent and higher pressure connection techniques such as welded or cone-and-thread tube fittings. It also reduces assembly times by 20-fold or more and eliminates the need for hot work permits. The fittings are designed to withstand working pressures up to 1,379 bar. Phastite tube fittings can be used on offshore platforms, as well as on support vessels,, subsea equipment and ROVs such as hydraulic systems for wellhead control, emergency shut down, chemical injection, pumping packages, gas booster systems and test equipment. The connectors offer considerable savings in material cost and weight because they do not need to be used with more expensive tubing with extra thickness to accommodate a thread. Phastite is also resistant to vibration and does not need any anti-vibration accessories. A joint can be made in a matter of seconds with a simple handheld hydraulic tool that makes the push-fit connection. A sealing mechanism based on a series of defined internal ridges creates a secure seal by radial compression. The ridges grip in a way that retains all of the tubing's strength. An additional characteristic is the maintenance free nature of the Phastite connection. 1 fig.

  8. Short-term strategies for Dutch wind power producers to reduce imbalance costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chaves-Ávila, José Pablo; Hakvoort, Rudi A.; Ramos, Andrés

    2013-01-01

    The paper assesses bidding strategies for a wind power producer in the Netherlands. To this end, a three-stage stochastic optimization framework is used, maximizing wind power producer's profit using the day-ahead and cross-border intraday market, taking into account available interconnection capacity. Results show that the wind power producer can increase its profits by trading on the intraday market and – under certain imbalance prices – by intentionally creating imbalances. It has been considered uncertainties about prices, power forecast and interconnection capacity at the day-ahead and intraday timeframes. - Highlights: ► A cross-border bidding strategy model for wind power producers has been developed. ► The model was applied to a real case study of a Dutch offshore wind power producer. ► Under certain imbalance prices, it is not profitable to deliver all possible power. ► Intraday markets give the possibility to reduce imbalance costs. ► Integration of intraday markets will increase liquidity.

  9. Patient engagement: four case studies that highlight the potential for improved health outcomes and reduced costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurance, Jeremy; Henderson, Sarah; Howitt, Peter J; Matar, Mariam; Al Kuwari, Hanan; Edgman-Levitan, Susan; Darzi, Ara

    2014-09-01

    The energy of patients and members of the public worldwide who care about improving health is a huge, but still largely unrecognized and untapped, resource. The aim of patient engagement is to shift the clinical paradigm from determining "what is the matter?" to discovering "what matters to you?" This article presents four case studies from around the world that highlight the proven and potential abilities of increased patient engagement to improve health outcomes and reduce costs, while extending the reach of treatment and diagnostic programs into the community. The cases are an online mental health community in the United Kingdom, a genetic screening program in the United Arab Emirates, a World Health Organization checklist for new mothers, and a hospital-based patient engagement initiative in the United States. Evidence from these and similar endeavors suggests that closer collaboration on the part of patients, families, health care providers, health care systems, and policy makers at multiple levels could help diverse nations provide more effective and population-appropriate health care with fewer resources. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

  10. Cost-effectiveness analysis of salt reduction policies to reduce coronary heart disease in Syria, 2010-2020.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, Meredith L; Mason, Helen; Fouad, Fouad M; Rastam, Samer; al Ali, Radwan; Page, Timothy F; Capewell, Simon; O'Flaherty, Martin; Maziak, Wasim

    2015-01-01

    This study presents a cost-effectiveness analysis of salt reduction policies to lower coronary heart disease in Syria. Costs and benefits of a health promotion campaign about salt reduction (HP); labeling of salt content on packaged foods (L); reformulation of salt content within packaged foods (R); and combinations of the three were estimated over a 10-year time frame. Policies were deemed cost-effective if their cost-effectiveness ratios were below the region's established threshold of $38,997 purchasing power parity (PPP). Sensitivity analysis was conducted to account for the uncertainty in the reduction of salt intake. HP, L, and R+HP+L were cost-saving using the best estimates. The remaining policies were cost-effective (CERs: R=$5,453 PPP/LYG; R+HP=$2,201 PPP/LYG; R+L=$2,125 PPP/LYG). R+HP+L provided the largest benefit with net savings using the best and maximum estimates, while R+L was cost-effective with the lowest marginal cost using the minimum estimates. This study demonstrated that all policies were cost-saving or cost effective, with the combination of reformulation plus labeling and a comprehensive policy involving all three approaches being the most promising salt reduction strategies to reduce CHD mortality in Syria.

  11. Mission possible: creating a technology infrastructure to help reduce administrative costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alper, Michael

    2003-01-01

    Controlling administrative costs associated with managed care benefits has traditionally been considered a "mission impossible" in healthcare, with the unreasonably high cost of paperwork and administration pushing past the $420 billion mark. Why administrative costs remain a critical problem in healthcare while other industries have alleviated their administrative burdens must be carefully examined. This article looks at the key factors contributing to high administrative costs and how these costs can be controlled in the future with "mission possible" tools, including business process outsourcing, IT outsourcing, technology that helps to bring "consumerism" to managed care, and an IT infrastructure that improves quality and outcomes.

  12. Lowering the UK domestic radon action level to reduce radiation-induced lung cancer in general population: when and where is it cost effective?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Denman, A.R.; Phillips, P.S.

    2008-01-01

    Case studies have shown that radon gas can be present within domestic properties at sufficiently high levels that it can significantly increase the risk of lung cancer in occupants. Recently, Darby et al. (2006) have shown that this risk exists at radon concentrations as low as 100 Bq·m -3 , which is below the UK domestic Action Level of 200 Bq·m -3 . As a result, there have been suggestions that national domestic Action Levels should be reduced. This paper considers the benefits and costs of the domestic radon remediation programmes in the UK, when a range of Action Levels from 125 Bq·m -3 to 600 Bq·m -3 are applied. The variations of total cost, cost-effectiveness, dose reduction and lung cancers saved for each proposed action level, and the proportion of houses over the proposed action level, were estimated. The study shows that, for an Action Level above 200 Bq·m -3 , a completed domestic radon remediation programme in Northamptonshire, where 6.3% of existing houses have initial radon levels over 200 Bq·m -3 , will cost less and will target those most at risk, but will be less cost effective. In addition, a higher Action Level leaves a higher residual dose and greater risk of cancer in the population living in unremediated homes. Reducing the Action Level below 200 Bq·m -3 will prevent more cancers, but at significantly higher cost. It will be less cost-effective, because a significant number of houses with moderate radon levels will be remediated with modest health benefit to occupants. The study suggests that a completed radon remediation programme is most cost-effective with an action level of around 250 to 300 Bq·m -3 . The finding appears to be independent of the percentage of houses over the Action Level. This has clear implications for future health policy. (author)

  13. Opportunities for Low Cost Titanium in Reduced Fuel Consumption, Improved Emissions, and Enhanced Durability Heavy Duty Vehicles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kraft, E.H.

    2002-07-22

    The purpose of this study was to determine which components of heavy-duty highway vehicles are candidates for the substitution of titanium materials for current materials if the cost of those Ti components is very significantly reduced from current levels. The processes which could be used to produce those low cost components were also investigated. Heavy-duty highway vehicles are defined as all trucks and busses included in Classes 2C through 8. These include heavy pickups and vans above 8,500 lbs. GVWR, through highway tractor trailers. Class 8 is characterized as being a very cyclic market, with ''normal'' year volume, such as in 2000, of approximately 240,000 new vehicles. Classes 3-7 are less cyclic, with ''normal'' i.e., year 2000, volume totaling approximately 325,000 new vehicles. Classes 3-8 are powered about 88.5% by diesel engines, and Class 2C at very roughly 83% diesel. The engine portion of the study therefore focused on diesels. Vehicle production volumes were used in estimates of the market size for candidate components.

  14. How uncertainty analysis of streamflow data can reduce costs and promote robust decisions in water management applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMillan, Hilary; Seibert, Jan; Petersen-Overleir, Asgeir; Lang, Michel; White, Paul; Snelder, Ton; Rutherford, Kit; Krueger, Tobias; Mason, Robert; Kiang, Julie

    2017-07-01

    Streamflow data are used for important environmental and economic decisions, such as specifying and regulating minimum flows, managing water supplies, and planning for flood hazards. Despite significant uncertainty in most flow data, the flow series for these applications are often communicated and used without uncertainty information. In this commentary, we argue that proper analysis of uncertainty in river flow data can reduce costs and promote robust conclusions in water management applications. We substantiate our argument by providing case studies from Norway and New Zealand where streamflow uncertainty analysis has uncovered economic costs in the hydropower industry, improved public acceptance of a controversial water management policy, and tested the accuracy of water quality trends. We discuss the need for practical uncertainty assessment tools that generate multiple flow series realizations rather than simple error bounds. Although examples of such tools are in development, considerable barriers for uncertainty analysis and communication still exist for practitioners, and future research must aim to provide easier access and usability of uncertainty estimates. We conclude that flow uncertainty analysis is critical for good water management decisions.

  15. The real cost of desalted water and how to reduce it further

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nisan, S.; Blank, J.E.; Tusel, G.F.

    2007-01-01

    Freshwater scarcity on a worldwide level is now a burning problem, widely discussed in media inter-views and in major newspapers. In this context, the majority of the media are underlining the importance of seawater desalination as an attractive and logical alternative source to fight the freshwater scarcity. Unfortunately the majority of all these discussions are providing a totally wrong picture of the real cost of freshwater production from seawater. Figures for desalted water costs from below 0.25 Euro/m 3 to over 0.6 Euro/m 3 for large-scale realisation are frequently quoted. In some media, however, the costs given for desalted water production are too prohibitive for large-scale applications. Many so-called experts are enhancing the confusion with incorrect or in incomplete statements. Even simple considerations, such as water cost ex desalination plant vs. water cost at consumer tap, are neglected. Yet another neglected point is that freshwater of any kind is either highly subsidized or overpriced to finance costs which are not water-related costs. Even in the EU Commission the real cost of seawater desalination is sometimes incorrectly perceived. In principle, the calculation of specific freshwater cost is simple and based on a few clear parameters such as investment cost for a given desalting capacity, energy cost, cost for distribution, amortization period and concept, financing cost, inflation rate, operation and maintenance cost and, last but not least, plant availability and lifetime. A typical example to illustrate the reigning confusion is the primary energy cost. Today, the barrel of crude oil costs in the world market approximately 70 US dollars or more. However, many tenders or BOT projects compare the water and energy cost on a 5 US dollars/barrel level. With this energy cost level and other unrealistic conditions even old-fashioned, low-GOR MSF plant can produce freshwater for a nominal cost of 0.60 Euro/m 3 . With today's world-market prices

  16. Intra- and Trans-Generational Costs of Reduced Female Body Size Caused by Food Limitation Early in Life in Mites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walzer, Andreas; Schausberger, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Background Food limitation early in life may be compensated for by developmental plasticity resulting in accelerated development enhancing survival at the expense of small adult body size. However and especially for females in non-matching maternal and offspring environments, being smaller than the standard may incur considerable intra- and trans-generational costs. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we evaluated the costs of small female body size induced by food limitation early in life in the sexually size-dimorphic predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis. Females are larger than males. These predators are adapted to exploit ephemeral spider mite prey patches. The intra- and trans-generational effects of small maternal body size manifested in lower maternal survival probabilities, decreased attractiveness for males, and a reduced number and size of eggs compared to standard-sized females. The trans-generational effects of small maternal body size were sex-specific with small mothers producing small daughters but standard-sized sons. Conclusions/Significance Small female body size apparently intensified the well-known costs of sexual activity because mortality of small but not standard-sized females mainly occurred shortly after mating. The disadvantages of small females in mating and egg production may be generally explained by size-associated morphological and physiological constraints. Additionally, size-assortative mate preferences of standard-sized mates may have rendered small females disproportionally unattractive mating partners. We argue that the sex-specific trans-generational effects were due to sexual size dimorphism – females are the larger sex and thus more strongly affected by maternal stress than the smaller males – and to sexually selected lower plasticity of male body size. PMID:24265745

  17. Oxidation of naturally reduced uranium in aquifer sediments by dissolved oxygen and its potential significance to uranium plume persistence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, J. A.; Smith, R. L.; Bohlke, J. K.; Jemison, N.; Xiang, H.; Repert, D. A.; Yuan, X.; Williams, K. H.

    2015-12-01

    The occurrence of naturally reduced zones is common in alluvial aquifers in the western U.S.A. due to the burial of woody debris in flood plains. Such reduced zones are usually heterogeneously dispersed in these aquifers and characterized by high concentrations of organic carbon, reduced mineral phases, and reduced forms of metals, including uranium(IV). The persistence of high concentrations of dissolved uranium(VI) at uranium-contaminated aquifers on the Colorado Plateau has been attributed to slow oxidation of insoluble uranium(IV) mineral phases found in association with these reducing zones, although there is little understanding of the relative importance of various potential oxidants. Four field experiments were conducted within an alluvial aquifer adjacent to the Colorado River near Rifle, CO, wherein groundwater associated with the naturally reduced zones was pumped into a gas-impermeable tank, mixed with a conservative tracer (Br-), bubbled with a gas phase composed of 97% O2 and 3% CO2, and then returned to the subsurface in the same well from which it was withdrawn. Within minutes of re-injection of the oxygenated groundwater, dissolved uranium(VI) concentrations increased from less than 1 μM to greater than 2.5 μM, demonstrating that oxygen can be an important oxidant for uranium in such field systems if supplied to the naturally reduced zones. Dissolved Fe(II) concentrations decreased to the detection limit, but increases in sulfate could not be detected due to high background concentrations. Changes in nitrogen species concentrations were variable. The results contrast with other laboratory and field results in which oxygen was introduced to systems containing high concentrations of mackinawite (FeS), rather than the more crystalline iron sulfides found in aged, naturally reduced zones. The flux of oxygen to the naturally reduced zones in the alluvial aquifers occurs mainly through interactions between groundwater and gas phases at the water table

  18. Evaluation of a New Strategy for Attending Takeoffs and Landings to Reduce Aircraft Operating Costs and Passenger Delays at the Mexico City International Airport

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Herrera-García Alfonso

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this research was to evaluate a strategy for attending the takeoffs and landings at a congested airport, in order to reduce aircraft operating costs and passenger delay times. The continuous growth of air transport activity has created congestion at major airports worldwide, this situation produces increases in the aircraft operating costs and passenger discomfort. In the strategy evaluated the traditional rule for attending to aircraft, on a first-come-first-served basis, was substituted with a sequence that reduces operating costs and passenger delays. In order to perform this evaluation a discrete-event simulation model was developed for the Mexico City International Airport. Results showed that it is possible to obtain significant benefits if the proposed strategy is applied, an annual benefit of around 28.6 million pesos could be achieved.

  19. Potential cost-effectiveness of schistosomiasis treatment for reducing HIV transmission in Africa--the case of Zimbabwean women.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martial L Ndeffo Mbah

    Full Text Available Epidemiological data from Zimbabwe suggests that genital infection with Schistosoma haematobium may increase the risk of HIV infection in young women. Therefore, the treatment of Schistosoma haematobium with praziquantel could be a potential strategy for reducing HIV infection. Here we assess the potential cost-effectiveness of praziquantel as a novel intervention strategy against HIV infection.We developed a mathematical model of female genital schistosomiasis (FGS and HIV infections in Zimbabwe that we fitted to cross-sectional data of FGS and HIV prevalence of 1999. We validated our epidemic projections using antenatal clinic data on HIV prevalence. We simulated annual praziquantel administration to school-age children. We then used these model predictions to perform a cost-effectiveness analysis of annual administration of praziquantel as a potential measure to reduce the burden of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.We showed that for a variation of efficacy between 30-70% of mass praziquantel administration for reducing the enhanced risk of HIV transmission per sexual act due to FGS, annual administration of praziquantel to school-age children in Zimbabwe could result in net savings of US$16-101 million compared with no mass treatment of schistosomiasis over a ten-year period. For a variation in efficacy between 30-70% of mass praziquantel administration for reducing the acquisition of FGS, annual administration of praziquantel to school-age children could result in net savings of US$36-92 million over a ten-year period.In addition to reducing schistosomiasis burden, mass praziquantel administration may be a highly cost-effective way of reducing HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa. Program costs per case of HIV averted are similar to, and under some conditions much better than, other interventions that are currently implemented in Africa to reduce HIV transmission. As a cost-saving strategy, mass praziquantel administration should be prioritized

  20. Longitudinal Recovery and Reduced Costs After 120 Sessions of Locomotor Training for Motor Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Sarah A; Lorenz, Douglas; Eskay, Carol P; Forrest, Gail F; Basso, D Michele

    2018-03-01

    To determine the impact of long-term, body weight-supported locomotor training after chronic, incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI), and to estimate the health care costs related to lost recovery potential and preventable secondary complications that may have occurred because of visit limits imposed by insurers. Prospective observational cohort with longitudinal follow-up. Eight outpatient rehabilitation centers that participate in the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation NeuroRecovery Network (NRN). Individuals with motor incomplete chronic SCI (American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale C or D; N=69; 0.1-45y after SCI) who completed at least 120 NRN physical therapy sessions. Manually assisted locomotor training (LT) in a body weight-supported treadmill environment, overground standing and stepping activities, and community integration tasks. International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury motor and sensory scores, orthostatic hypotension, bowel/bladder/sexual function, Spinal Cord Injury Functional Ambulation Inventory (SCI-FAI), Berg Balance Scale, Modified Functional Reach, 10-m walk test, and 6-minute walk test. Longitudinal outcome measure collection occurred every 20 treatments and at 6- to 12-month follow-up after discharge from therapy. Significant improvement occurred for upper and lower motor strength, functional activities, psychological arousal, sensation of bowel movement, and SCI-FAI community ambulation. Extended training enabled minimal detectable changes at 60, 80, 100, and 120 sessions. After detectable change occurred, it was sustained through 120 sessions and continued 6 to 12 months after treatment. Delivering at least 120 sessions of LT improves recovery from incomplete chronic SCI. Because walking reduces rehospitalization, LT delivered beyond the average 20-session insurance limit can reduce rehospitalizations and long-term health costs. Copyright © 2018 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine

  1. Early HIV Diagnosis Leads to Significantly Decreased Costs in the First 2 Years of HIV Care in an Urban Charity Hospital in New Orleans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halperin, Jason; Katz, Morgan; Pathmanathan, Ishani; Myers, Leann; Van Sickels, Nicholas; Seal, Paula Sereebutra; Richey, Lauren E

    We undertook a retrospective cohort study of patients with a positive HIV test in the emergency department who were then linked to care. Inpatient, outpatient, and emergency costs were collected for the first 2 years after HIV diagnosis. Fifty-six patients met the inclusion criteria; they were predominantly uninsured (73%) and African American (89%). The median total cost for a newly diagnosed patient over the first 2 years was US$36 808, driven predominantly by outpatient costs of US$17 512. Median inpatient and total costs were significantly different between the lowest (499 cells/mm 3 ) CD4 count categories (US$21 878 vs US$6607, P <.05; US$61 378 vs US$18 837, P <.05, respectively). Total costs were significantly different between viral load categories <100 000 HIV-RNA copies/mL and ≥100 000 HIV-RNA copies/mL (US$28 219 vs US$49 482, P <.05). Costs were significantly lower among patients diagnosed earlier in their disease. Decreased cost is another factor supporting early diagnosis and linkage to care for patients with HIV.

  2. Cost-effectiveness of preventive interventions to reduce alcohol consumption in Denmark.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Astrid Ledgaard Holm

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of many diseases and injuries, and the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study estimated that 6% of the burden of disease in Denmark is due to alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption thus places a considerable economic burden on society. METHODS: We analysed the cost-effectiveness of six interventions aimed at preventing alcohol abuse in the adult Danish population: 30% increased taxation, increased minimum legal drinking age, advertisement bans, limited hours of retail sales, and brief and longer individual interventions. Potential health effects were evaluated as changes in incidence, prevalence and mortality of alcohol-related diseases and injuries. Net costs were calculated as the sum of intervention costs and cost offsets related to treatment of alcohol-related outcomes, based on health care costs from Danish national registers. Cost-effectiveness was evaluated by calculating incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs for each intervention. We also created an intervention pathway to determine the optimal sequence of interventions and their combined effects. RESULTS: Three of the analysed interventions (advertising bans, limited hours of retail sales and taxation were cost-saving, and the remaining three interventions were all cost-effective. Net costs varied from € -17 million per year for advertisement ban to € 8 million for longer individual intervention. Effectiveness varied from 115 disability-adjusted life years (DALY per year for minimum legal drinking age to 2,900 DALY for advertisement ban. The total annual effect if all interventions were implemented would be 7,300 DALY, with a net cost of € -30 million. CONCLUSION: Our results show that interventions targeting the whole population were more effective than individual-focused interventions. A ban on alcohol advertising, limited hours of retail sale and increased taxation had the highest probability of being cost

  3. Cost-effectiveness of preventive interventions to reduce alcohol consumption in Denmark.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Astrid Ledgaard; Veerman, Lennert; Cobiac, Linda; Ekholm, Ola; Diderichsen, Finn

    2014-01-01

    Excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of many diseases and injuries, and the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study estimated that 6% of the burden of disease in Denmark is due to alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption thus places a considerable economic burden on society. We analysed the cost-effectiveness of six interventions aimed at preventing alcohol abuse in the adult Danish population: 30% increased taxation, increased minimum legal drinking age, advertisement bans, limited hours of retail sales, and brief and longer individual interventions. Potential health effects were evaluated as changes in incidence, prevalence and mortality of alcohol-related diseases and injuries. Net costs were calculated as the sum of intervention costs and cost offsets related to treatment of alcohol-related outcomes, based on health care costs from Danish national registers. Cost-effectiveness was evaluated by calculating incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) for each intervention. We also created an intervention pathway to determine the optimal sequence of interventions and their combined effects. Three of the analysed interventions (advertising bans, limited hours of retail sales and taxation) were cost-saving, and the remaining three interventions were all cost-effective. Net costs varied from € -17 million per year for advertisement ban to € 8 million for longer individual intervention. Effectiveness varied from 115 disability-adjusted life years (DALY) per year for minimum legal drinking age to 2,900 DALY for advertisement ban. The total annual effect if all interventions were implemented would be 7,300 DALY, with a net cost of € -30 million. Our results show that interventions targeting the whole population were more effective than individual-focused interventions. A ban on alcohol advertising, limited hours of retail sale and increased taxation had the highest probability of being cost-saving and should thus be first priority for implementation.

  4. Potential of remote multiplexing systems in reducing cabling cost and complexity in nuclear power stations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stirling, A.J.; L'Archeveque, J.V.R.

    1977-03-01

    Control and instrumentation cabling accounts for nearly 1% of the capital cost of a CANDU generating station. This study of cabling requirements, methods and costs for nuclear reactors, shows that efficient design and scale economies make CANDU wiring costs (per field point) among the lowest for comparable applications. Although attractive in other reactors, commercially available remote multiplexing systems are not, as yet, cost effective for general use in CANDU stations. The report, with its comprehensive tabulation of remote multiplexing equipment, and analysis of cabling procedures describes an approach for re-evaluating the tradeoff between remote multiplexing and conventional wiring as conditions change. (author)

  5. An optimized OPC and MDP flow for reducing mask write time and mask cost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ellyn; Li, Cheng He; Park, Se Jin; Zhu, Yu; Guo, Eric

    2010-09-01

    In the process of optical proximity correction, layout edge or fragment is migrating to proper position in order to minimize edge placement error (EPE). During this fragment migration, several factors other than EPE can be also taken into account as a part of cost function for optimal fragment displacement. Several factors are devised in favor of OPC stability, which can accommodate room for high mask error enhancement factor (MEEF), lack of process window, catastrophic pattern failure such as pinch/bridge and improper fragmentation. As technology node becomes finer, there happens conflict between OPC accuracy and stability. Especially for metal layers, OPC has focused on the stability by loss of accurate OPC results. On this purpose, several techniques have been introduced, which are target smoothing, process window aware OPC, model-based retargeting and adaptive OPC. By utilizing those techniques, OPC enables more stabilized patterning, instead of realizing design target exactly on wafer. Inevitably, post-OPC layouts become more complicated because those techniques invoke additional edge, or fragments prior to correction or during OPC iteration. As a result, jogs of post OPC layer can be dramatically increased, which results in huge number of shot count after data fracturing. In other words, there is trade-off relationship between data complexity and various methods for OPC stability. In this paper, those relationships have been investigated with respect to several technology nodes. The mask shot count reduction is achieved by reducing the number of jogs with which EPE difference are within pre-specified value. The effect of jog smoothing on OPC output - in view of OPC performance and mask data preparation - was studied quantitatively for respective technology nodes.

  6. Vaccination of pigs two weeks before infection significantly reduces transmission of foot-and-mouth disease virus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eble, P.L.; Bouma, A.; Bruin, de M.G.M.; Hemert-Kluitenberg, van F.; Oirschot, van J.T.; Dekker, A.

    2004-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate whether and at what time interval could vaccination reduce transmission of foot-and-Mouth disease virus (FMDV) among pigs. Reduction of virus transmission by vaccination was determined experimentally. Transmission of FMDV was studied in three groups of

  7. Reduced-cost second-order algebraic-diagrammatic construction method for excitation energies and transition moments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mester, Dávid; Nagy, Péter R.; Kállay, Mihály

    2018-03-01

    A reduced-cost implementation of the second-order algebraic-diagrammatic construction [ADC(2)] method is presented. We introduce approximations by restricting virtual natural orbitals and natural auxiliary functions, which results, on average, in more than an order of magnitude speedup compared to conventional, density-fitting ADC(2) algorithms. The present scheme is the successor of our previous approach [D. Mester, P. R. Nagy, and M. Kállay, J. Chem. Phys. 146, 194102 (2017)], which has been successfully applied to obtain singlet excitation energies with the linear-response second-order coupled-cluster singles and doubles model. Here we report further methodological improvements and the extension of the method to compute singlet and triplet ADC(2) excitation energies and transition moments. The various approximations are carefully benchmarked, and conservative truncation thresholds are selected which guarantee errors much smaller than the intrinsic error of the ADC(2) method. Using the canonical values as reference, we find that the mean absolute error for both singlet and triplet ADC(2) excitation energies is 0.02 eV, while that for oscillator strengths is 0.001 a.u. The rigorous cutoff parameters together with the significantly reduced operation count and storage requirements allow us to obtain accurate ADC(2) excitation energies and transition properties using triple-ζ basis sets for systems of up to one hundred atoms.

  8. The price of information: Increased inspection costs reduce the confirmation bias in visual search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajsic, Jason; Wilson, Daryl E; Pratt, Jay

    2018-04-01

    In visual search, there is a confirmation bias such that attention is biased towards stimuli that match a target template, which has been attributed to covert costs of updating the templates that guide search [Rajsic, Wilson, & Pratt, 2015. Confirmation bias in visual search. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. Advance online publication. doi:10.1037/xhp0000090]. In order to provide direct evidence for this speculation, the present study increased the cost of inspections in search by using gaze- and mouse-contingent searches, which restrict the manner in which information in search displays can be accrued, and incur additional motor costs (in the case of mouse-contingent searches). In a fourth experiment, we rhythmically mask elements in the search display to induce temporal inspection costs. Our results indicated that confirmation bias is indeed attenuated when inspection costs are increased. We conclude that confirmation bias results from the low-cost strategy of matching information to a single, concrete visual template, and that more sophisticated guidance strategies will be used when sufficiently beneficial. This demonstrates that search guidance itself comes at a cost, and that the form of guidance adopted in a given search depends on a comparison between guidance costs and the expected benefits of their implementation.

  9. Costs of solar and wind power variability for reducing CO2 emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lueken, Colleen; Cohen, Gilbert E; Apt, Jay

    2012-09-04

    We compare the power output from a year of electricity generation data from one solar thermal plant, two solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays, and twenty Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) wind farms. The analysis shows that solar PV electricity generation is approximately one hundred times more variable at frequencies on the order of 10(-3) Hz than solar thermal electricity generation, and the variability of wind generation lies between that of solar PV and solar thermal. We calculate the cost of variability of the different solar power sources and wind by using the costs of ancillary services and the energy required to compensate for its variability and intermittency, and the cost of variability per unit of displaced CO(2) emissions. We show the costs of variability are highly dependent on both technology type and capacity factor. California emissions data were used to calculate the cost of variability per unit of displaced CO(2) emissions. Variability cost is greatest for solar PV generation at $8-11 per MWh. The cost of variability for solar thermal generation is $5 per MWh, while that of wind generation in ERCOT was found to be on average $4 per MWh. Variability adds ~$15/tonne CO(2) to the cost of abatement for solar thermal power, $25 for wind, and $33-$40 for PV.

  10. To the calculation of reduced cost capital component for power objects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andryushchenko, A.I.; Larin, E.A.

    1990-01-01

    The method for calculating capitalized cost component enabling comparison of alternative arrangement variants of power plant, is suggested. It is shown that in order to realize the technical-economical estimates in power industry for determination of capitalized cost component it is necessary to take into account capital construction expenditures as well as deductions for the plant dismountling and elimination of potential accidents

  11. Estimating the costs of reducing CO2 emission via avoided deforestation with integrated assessment modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Overmars, K.P.; Tabeau, A.A.; Stehfest, E.; Meijl, van J.C.M.

    2012-01-01

    Estimates for deforestation and forest degradation were shown to account for about 17% of greenhouse gas emissions. The implementation of REDD is suggested to provide substantial emission reductions at low costs. Proper calculation of such a costs requires integrated modeling approach involving

  12. Routes to increasing efficiency and reducing the cost of thin-film solar panels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deelen, J. van; Barink, M.; Klerk, L.; Voorthuijzen, P.; Hovestad, A.

    2015-01-01

    Most development work in the laboratory is dedicated to efficiency enhancements at the cell level; improvements in efficiency can lead to higher cost-competitiveness of PV. However, the cost of panel manufacturing is an important aspect as well. For CIGS panels the deposition of the active layer is

  13. ClusterSignificance: A bioconductor package facilitating statistical analysis of class cluster separations in dimensionality reduced data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Serviss, Jason T.; Gådin, Jesper R.; Eriksson, Per

    2017-01-01

    , e.g. genes in a specific pathway, alone can separate samples into these established classes. Despite this, the evaluation of class separations is often subjective and performed via visualization. Here we present the ClusterSignificance package; a set of tools designed to assess the statistical...... significance of class separations downstream of dimensionality reduction algorithms. In addition, we demonstrate the design and utility of the ClusterSignificance package and utilize it to determine the importance of long non-coding RNA expression in the identity of multiple hematological malignancies....

  14. Cost-utility of medication withdrawal in older fallers: results from the improving medication prescribing to reduce risk of FALLs (IMPROveFALL trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzanne Polinder

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The use of Fall-Risk-Increasing-Drugs (FRIDs has been associated with increased risk of falls and associated injuries. This study investigates the effect of withdrawal of FRIDs versus ‘care as usual’ on health-related quality of life (HRQoL, costs, and cost-utility in community-dwelling older fallers. Methods In a prospective multicenter randomized controlled trial FRIDs assessment combined with FRIDs-withdrawal or modification was compared with ‘care as usual’ in older persons, who visited the emergency department after experiencing a fall. For the calculation of costs the direct medical costs (intramural and extramural and indirect costs (travel costs were collected for a 12 month period. HRQoL was measured at baseline and at 12 months follow-up using the EuroQol-5D and Short Form-12 version 2. The change in EuroQol-5D and Short Form-12 scores over 12 months follow-up within the control and intervention groups was compared using the Wilcoxon Signed Rank test for continuous variables and the McNemar test for dichotomous variables. The change in scores between the control and intervention groups were compared using a two-way analysis of variance. Results We included 612 older persons who visited an emergency department because of a fall. The mean cost of the FRIDs intervention was €120 per patient. The total fall-related healthcare costs (without the intervention costs did not differ significantly between the intervention group and the control group (€2204 versus €2285. However, the withdrawal of FRIDs reduced medication costs with a mean of €38 per participant. Furthermore, the control group had a greater decline in EuroQol-5D utility score during the 12-months follow-up than the intervention group (p = 0.02. The change in the Short Form-12 Physical Component Summary and Mental Component Summary scores did not differ significantly between the two groups. Conclusions Withdrawal of FRID’s in older

  15. Cost-utility of medication withdrawal in older fallers: results from the improving medication prescribing to reduce risk of FALLs (IMPROveFALL) trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polinder, Suzanne; Boyé, Nicole D A; Mattace-Raso, Francesco U S; Van der Velde, Nathalie; Hartholt, Klaas A; De Vries, Oscar J; Lips, Paul; Van der Cammen, Tischa J M; Patka, Peter; Van Beeck, Ed F; Van Lieshout, Esther M M

    2016-11-04

    The use of Fall-Risk-Increasing-Drugs (FRIDs) has been associated with increased risk of falls and associated injuries. This study investigates the effect of withdrawal of FRIDs versus 'care as usual' on health-related quality of life (HRQoL), costs, and cost-utility in community-dwelling older fallers. In a prospective multicenter randomized controlled trial FRIDs assessment combined with FRIDs-withdrawal or modification was compared with 'care as usual' in older persons, who visited the emergency department after experiencing a fall. For the calculation of costs the direct medical costs (intramural and extramural) and indirect costs (travel costs) were collected for a 12 month period. HRQoL was measured at baseline and at 12 months follow-up using the EuroQol-5D and Short Form-12 version 2. The change in EuroQol-5D and Short Form-12 scores over 12 months follow-up within the control and intervention groups was compared using the Wilcoxon Signed Rank test for continuous variables and the McNemar test for dichotomous variables. The change in scores between the control and intervention groups were compared using a two-way analysis of variance. We included 612 older persons who visited an emergency department because of a fall. The mean cost of the FRIDs intervention was €120 per patient. The total fall-related healthcare costs (without the intervention costs) did not differ significantly between the intervention group and the control group (€2204 versus €2285). However, the withdrawal of FRIDs reduced medication costs with a mean of €38 per participant. Furthermore, the control group had a greater decline in EuroQol-5D utility score during the 12-months follow-up than the intervention group (p = 0.02). The change in the Short Form-12 Physical Component Summary and Mental Component Summary scores did not differ significantly between the two groups. Withdrawal of FRID's in older persons who visited an emergency department due to a fall, did not lead to

  16. Home modification to reduce falls at a health district level: Modeling health gain, health inequalities and health costs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nick Wilson

    Full Text Available There is some evidence that home safety assessment and modification (HSAM is effective in reducing falls in older people. But there are various knowledge gaps, including around cost-effectiveness and also the impacts at a health district-level.A previously established Markov macro-simulation model built for the whole New Zealand (NZ population (Pega et al 2016, Injury Prevention was enhanced and adapted to a health district level. This district was Counties Manukau District Health Board, which hosts 42,000 people aged 65+ years. A health system perspective was taken and a discount rate of 3% was used for both health gain and costs. Intervention effectiveness estimates came from a systematic review, and NZ-specific intervention costs were extracted from a randomized controlled trial. In the 65+ age-group in this health district, the HSAM program was estimated to achieve health gains of 2800 quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs; 95% uncertainty interval [UI]: 547 to 5280. The net health system cost was estimated at NZ$8.44 million (95% UI: $663 to $14.3 million. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER was estimated at NZ$5480 suggesting HSAM is cost-effective (95%UI: cost saving to NZ$15,300 [equivalent to US$10,300]. Targeting HSAM only to people age 65+ or 75+ with previous injurious falls was estimated to be particularly cost-effective (ICERs: $700 and $832, respectively with the latter intervention being cost-saving. There was no evidence for differential cost-effectiveness by sex or by ethnicity: Māori (Indigenous population vs non-Māori.This modeling study suggests that a HSAM program could produce considerable health gain and be cost-effective for older people at a health district level. Nevertheless, comparisons may be desirable with other falls prevention interventions such as group exercise programs, which also provide social contact and may prevent various chronic diseases.

  17. Cost-effectiveness of treatments reducing coronary heart disease mortality in Ireland, 2000 to 2010.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Bennett, Kathleen

    2009-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Coronary heart disease (CHD) is associated with a large burden of disease in Ireland and is responsible for more than 6000 deaths annually. This study examined the cost-effectiveness of specific CHD treatments in Ireland. METHODS: Irish epidemiological data on patient numbers and median survival in specific groups, plus the uptake, effectiveness, and costs of specific interventions, all stratified by age and sex, were incorporated into a previously validated CHD mortality model, the IMPACT model. This model calculates the number of life-years gained (LYGs) by specific cardiology interventions to generate incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) per LYG for each intervention. RESULTS: In 2000, medical and surgical treatments together prevented or postponed approximately 1885 CHD deaths in patients aged 25 to 84 years, and thus generated approximately 14,505 extra life-years (minimum 7270, maximum 22,475). In general, all the cardiac interventions investigated were highly cost-effective in the Irish setting. Aspirin, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, spironolactone, and warfarin for specific conditions were the most cost-effective interventions (< euro 3000\\/LYG), followed by the statins for secondary prevention (< euro 6500\\/LYG). Revascularization for chronic angina and primary angioplasty for myocardial infarction, although still cost-effective, had the highest ICER (between euro 12,000 and euro 20,000\\/LYG). CONCLUSIONS: Using a comprehensive standardized methodology, cost-effectiveness ratios in this study clearly favored simple medical treatments for myocardial infarction, secondary prevention, angina, and heart failure.

  18. Cost-effectiveness Analysis of Sacubitril/Valsartan vs Enalapril in Patients With Heart Failure and Reduced Ejection Fraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaziano, Thomas A; Fonarow, Gregg C; Claggett, Brian; Chan, Wing W; Deschaseaux-Voinet, Celine; Turner, Stuart J; Rouleau, Jean L; Zile, Michael R; McMurray, John J V; Solomon, Scott D

    2016-09-01

    The angiotensin receptor neprilysin inhibitor sacubitril/valsartan was associated with a reduction in cardiovascular mortality, all-cause mortality, and hospitalizations compared with enalapril. Sacubitril/valsartan has been approved for use in heart failure (HF) with reduced ejection fraction in the United States and cost has been suggested as 1 factor that will influence the use of this agent. To estimate the cost-effectiveness of sacubitril/valsartan vs enalapril in the United States. Data from US adults (mean [SD] age, 63.8 [11.5] years) with HF with reduced ejection fraction and characteristics similar to those in the PARADIGM-HF trial were used as inputs for a 2-state Markov model simulated HF. Risks of all-cause mortality and hospitalization from HF or other reasons were estimated with a 30-year time horizon. Quality of life was based on trial EQ-5D scores. Hospital costs combined Medicare and private insurance reimbursement rates; medication costs included the wholesale acquisition cost for sacubitril/valsartan and enalapril. A discount rate of 3% was used. Sensitivity analyses were performed on key inputs including: hospital costs, mortality benefit, hazard ratio for hospitalization reduction, drug costs, and quality-of-life estimates. Hospitalizations, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), costs, and incremental costs per QALY gained. The 2-state Markov model of US adult patients (mean age, 63.8 years) calculated that there would be 220 fewer hospital admissions per 1000 patients with HF treated with sacubitril/valsartan vs enalapril over 30 years. The incremental costs and QALYs gained with sacubitril/valsartan treatment were estimated at $35 512 and 0.78, respectively, compared with enalapril, equating to an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of $45 017 per QALY for the base-case. Sensitivity analyses demonstrated ICERs ranging from $35 357 to $75 301 per QALY. For eligible patients with HF with reduced ejection fraction, the Markov

  19. DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF MEASURES TO REDUCE COSTS OF REGIONAL LOANS SERVICING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel Arkadyevitch Galanskiy

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The paper discusses major problems of current concern connected with controlling direct obligations of Russian regions (the model of debt servicing cost parameter optimization has been worked out, and their key solutions. The methods offered to analyze debts and manage them are applicable to any Russian Federation regions characterized by budget deficit and forced to cover it using borrowed funds. The important leverage found and their impacts on sub-federal debt servicing cost are also treated in the article.Objective: to identify the direction and impact degree of various parameters on the cost of sub-federal loans.Methodology: there were used general scientific methods: analysis and synthesis, comparison, generalization, systematic approach.Results: main parameters that influence the cost of sub-federal loans servicing and allow its most effective reduction have been identified.

  20. Saving Blood and Reducing Costs: Updating Blood Transfusion Practice in Lower Limb Arthroplasty

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Fenelon, C

    2018-04-01

    Our aim was to quantify blood transfusion rates in lower limb arthroplasty following the introduction of a multimodal enhanced recovery programme (ERP). We then sought to update the maximum surgical blood ordering schedule (MSBOS) and calculate cost savings achieved.

  1. Lean Six Sigma to Reduce Intensive Care Unit Length of Stay and Costs in Prolonged Mechanical Ventilation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trzeciak, Stephen; Mercincavage, Michael; Angelini, Cory; Cogliano, William; Damuth, Emily; Roberts, Brian W; Zanotti, Sergio; Mazzarelli, Anthony J

    Patients with prolonged mechanical ventilation (PMV) represent important "outliers" of hospital length of stay (LOS) and costs (∼$26 billion annually in the United States). We tested the hypothesis that a Lean Six Sigma (LSS) approach for process improvement could reduce hospital LOS and the associated costs of care for patients with PMV. Before-and-after cohort study. Multidisciplinary intensive care unit (ICU) in an academic medical center. Adult patients admitted to the ICU and treated with PMV, as defined by diagnosis-related group (DRG). We implemented a clinical redesign intervention based on LSS principles. We identified eight distinct processes in preparing patients with PMV for post-acute care. Our clinical redesign included reengineering daily patient care rounds ("Lean ICU rounds") to reduce variation and waste in these processes. We compared hospital LOS and direct cost per case in patients with PMV before (2013) and after (2014) our LSS intervention. Among 259 patients with PMV (131 preintervention; 128 postintervention), median hospital LOS decreased by 24% during the intervention period (29 vs. 22 days, p < .001). Accordingly, median hospital direct cost per case decreased by 27% ($66,335 vs. $48,370, p < .001). We found that a LSS-based clinical redesign reduced hospital LOS and the costs of care for patients with PMV.

  2. Use of predefined biochemical admission profiles does not reduce the number of tests or total cost

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pareek, Manan; Haidl, Felix; Folkestad, Lars

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this pilot study was to evaluate whether the use of predefined biochemical profiles as an alternative to individually ordered blood tests by the treating physicians resulted in fewer tests or a lower total cost.......The objective of this pilot study was to evaluate whether the use of predefined biochemical profiles as an alternative to individually ordered blood tests by the treating physicians resulted in fewer tests or a lower total cost....

  3. Forecasting the Number of Soil Samples Required to Reduce Remediation Cost Uncertainty

    OpenAIRE

    Demougeot-Renard, Hélène; de Fouquet, Chantal; Renard, Philippe

    2008-01-01

    Sampling scheme design is an important step in the management of polluted sites. It largely controls the accuracy of remediation cost estimates. In practice, however, sampling is seldom designed to comply with a given level of remediation cost uncertainty. In this paper, we present a new technique that allows one to estimate of the number of samples that should be taken at a given stage of investigation to reach a forecasted level of accuracy. The uncertainty is expressed both in terms of vol...

  4. Solution of resource allocation problem for identification of cost-effective measures to reduce nuclear proliferation risks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andrianov, A.; Kuptsov, I.

    2013-01-01

    This report presents a methodology of selection of cost-effective measures to reduce nuclear proliferation risks. The methodology relies on a graded security model used in practice in different applications. The method is based on the controlled finite Markov chain approach set in combination with discrete dynamic programming and MCDM (Multi Criteria Decision Making) techniques that enables the expert to select the cost-effective measures to reduce nuclear proliferation risks depending on availability of resources. The analysis performed with different number of possible measures confirms the conclusions that the implementation of extra-large costs may not produce the required effect, and the increase in resources above a certain level does not appear sensitive. Diversification in improving the effectiveness of other measures seems more rational and efficient for the whole system than the unlimited improvement of the effectiveness of only one measure

  5. Solution of resource allocation problem for identification of cost-effective measures to reduce nuclear proliferation risks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-07-01

    This report presents a methodology of selection of cost-effective measures to reduce nuclear proliferation risks. The methodology relies on a graded security model used in practice in different applications. The method is based on the controlled finite Markov chain approach set in combination with discrete dynamic programming and MCDM (Multi Criteria Decision Making) techniques that enables the expert to select the cost-effective measures to reduce nuclear proliferation risks depending on availability of resources. The analysis performed with different number of possible measures confirms the conclusions that the implementation of extra-large costs may not produce the required effect, and the increase in resources above a certain level does not appear sensitive. Diversification in improving the effectiveness of other measures seems more rational and efficient for the whole system than the unlimited improvement of the effectiveness of only one measure.

  6. A Case Report: Cornerstone Health Care Reduced the Total Cost of Care Through Population Segmentation and Care Model Redesign.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Dale E; Hamory, Bruce H; Terrell, Grace E; O'Connell, Jasmine

    2017-08-01

    Over the course of a single year, Cornerstone Health Care, a multispecialty group practice in North Carolina, redesigned the underlying care models for 5 of its highest-risk populations-late-stage congestive heart failure, oncology, Medicare-Medicaid dual eligibles, those with 5 or more chronic conditions, and the most complex patients with multiple late-stage chronic conditions. At the 1-year mark, the results of the program were analyzed. Overall costs for the patients studied were reduced by 12.7% compared to the year before enrollment. All fully implemented programs delivered between 10% and 16% cost savings. The key area for savings factor was hospitalization, which was reduced by 30% across all programs. The greatest area of cost increase was "other," a category that consisted in large part of hospice services. Full implementation was key; 2 primary care sites that reverted to more traditional models failed to show the same pattern of savings.

  7. Cost-effectiveness of sacubitril/valsartan in chronic heart-failure patients with reduced ejection fraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ademi, Zanfina; Pfeil, Alena M; Hancock, Elizabeth; Trueman, David; Haroun, Rola Haroun; Deschaseaux, Celine; Schwenkglenks, Matthias

    2017-11-29

    We aimed to assess the cost effectiveness of sacubitril/valsartan compared to angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) for the treatment of individuals with chronic heart failure and reduced-ejection fraction (HFrEF) from the perspective of the Swiss health care system. The cost-effectiveness analysis was implemented as a lifelong regression-based cohort model. We compared sacubitril/valsartan with enalapril in chronic heart failure patients with HFrEF and New York-Heart Association Functional Classification II-IV symptoms. Regression models based on the randomised clinical phase III PARADIGM-HF trials were used to predict events (all-cause mortality, hospitalisations, adverse events and quality of life) for each treatment strategy modelled over the lifetime horizon, with adjustments for patient characteristics. Unit costs were obtained from Swiss public sources for the year 2014, and costs and effects were discounted by 3%. The main outcome of interest was the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER), expressed as cost per quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained. Deterministic sensitivity analysis (DSA) and scenario and probabilistic sensitivity analysis (PSA) were performed. In the base-case analysis, the sacubitril/valsartan strategy showed a decrease in the number of hospitalisations (6.0% per year absolute reduction) and lifetime hospital costs by 8.0% (discounted) when compared with enalapril. Sacubitril/valsartan was predicted to improve overall and quality-adjusted survival by 0.50 years and 0.42 QALYs, respectively. Additional net-total costs were CHF 10 926. This led to an ICER of CHF 25 684. In PSA, the probability of sacubitril/valsartan being cost-effective at thresholds of CHF 50 000 was 99.0%. The treatment of HFrEF patients with sacubitril/valsartan versus enalapril is cost effective, if a willingness-to-pay threshold of CHF 50 000 per QALY gained ratio is assumed.

  8. 12-Step participation reduces medical use costs among adolescents with a history of alcohol and other drug treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mundt, Marlon P; Parthasarathy, Sujaya; Chi, Felicia W; Sterling, Stacy; Campbell, Cynthia I

    2012-11-01

    Adolescents who attend 12-step groups following alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment are more likely to remain abstinent and to avoid relapse post-treatment. We examined whether 12-step attendance is also associated with a corresponding reduction in health care use and costs. We used difference-in-difference analysis to compare changes in seven-year follow-up health care use and costs by changes in 12-step participation. Four Kaiser Permanente Northern California AOD treatment programs enrolled 403 adolescents, 13-18-years old, into a longitudinal cohort study upon AOD treatment entry. Participants self-reported 12-step meeting attendance at six-month, one-year, three-year, and five-year follow-up. Outcomes included counts of hospital inpatient days, emergency room (ER) visits, primary care visits, psychiatric visits, AOD treatment costs and total medical care costs. Each additional 12-step meeting attended was associated with an incremental medical cost reduction of 4.7% during seven-year follow-up. The medical cost offset was largely due to reductions in hospital inpatient days, psychiatric visits, and AOD treatment costs. We estimate total medical use cost savings at $145 per year (in 2010 U.S. dollars) per additional 12-step meeting attended. The findings suggest that 12-step participation conveys medical cost offsets for youth who undergo AOD treatment. Reduced costs may be related to improved AOD outcomes due to 12-step participation, improved general health due to changes in social network following 12-step participation, or better compliance to both AOD treatment and 12-step meetings. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. How School Facilities Managers and Business Officials Are Reducing Operating Costs and Saving Money. Energy-Smart Building Choices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Department of Energy, Washington, DC.

    This guide addresses contributions that school facility administrators and business officials can make in an effort to reduce operating costs and free up money for capital improvements. The guide explores opportunities available to utilize energy-saving strategies at any stage in a building's life, from its initial design phase through renovation.…

  10. Mitigation options for reducing nutrient emissions from agriculture : a study amongst European member states of Cost action 869

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schoumans, O.F.; Chardon, W.J.; Bechmann, M.; Gascuel-Odoux, C.; Hofman, G.; Kronvang, B.; Litaor, I.; Porto, Lo A.; Newell, P.; Rubaek, G.H.

    2011-01-01

    The Water Framework Directive (WFD) requires improvement to the quality of surface water and groundwater. In the past many measures have been implemented to reduce the contribution of point sources, and as a result diffuse pollution from agricultural became more important. The main objective of COST

  11. Reducing Idle Power Consumption in Office Spaces Saves U.S. Navy in Energy Costs (Fact Sheet)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None, None

    2014-04-01

    As part of a two-year project to demonstrate energy efficiency measures, renewable energy generation, and energy systems integration, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has identified advanced plug load controls as a promising technology for reducing energy use and related costs in the U.S. Navy's Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) office spaces.

  12. Dietary nitrate does not reduce oxygen cost of exercise or improve muscle mitochondrial function in patients with mitochondrial myopathy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nabben, M.; Schmitz, J.P.J.; Ciapaite, J.; le Clercq, C.M.P.; van Riel, N.A.; Haak, H.R.; Nicolay, K.; de Coo, I.F.M.; Smeets, H.; Praet, S.F.; van Loon, L.J.; Prompers, J.J.

    2017-01-01

    Muscle weakness and exercise intol erance negatively affect the quality of life of patients with mitochondrial myopathy. Short-term dietary nitrate supplementation has been shown to improve exercise performance and reduce oxygen cost of exercise in healthy humans and trained athletes. We

  13. Reducing the risk of injury from table saw use: the potential benefits and costs of automatic protection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, John D; Chang, Joice

    2015-02-01

    The use of table saws in the United States is associated with approximately 28,000 emergency department (ED) visits and 2,000 cases of finger amputation per year. This article provides a quantitative estimate of the economic benefits of automatic protection systems that could be designed into new table saw products. Benefits are defined as reduced health-care costs, enhanced production at work, and diminished pain and suffering. The present value of the benefits of automatic protection over the life of the table saw are interpreted as the switch-point cost value, the maximum investment in automatic protection that can be justified by benefit-cost comparison. Using two alternative methods for monetizing pain and suffering, the study finds switch-point cost values of $753 and $561 per saw. These point estimates are sensitive to the values of inputs, especially the average cost of injury. The various switch-point cost values are substantially higher than rough estimates of the incremental cost of automatic protection systems. Uncertainties and future research needs are discussed. © 2014 Society for Risk Analysis.

  14. South Korean energy scenarios show how nuclear power can reduce future energy and environmental costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hong, Sanghyun; Bradshaw, Corey J.A.; Brook, Barry W.

    2014-01-01

    South Korea is an important case study for understanding the future role of nuclear power in countries with on-going economic growth, and limited renewable energy resources. We compared quantitatively the sustainability of two ‘future-mapping’ exercises (the ‘Governmental’ scenario, which relies on fossil fuels, and the Greenpeace scenario, which emphasises renewable energy and excludes nuclear power). The comparison was based on a range of environmental and technological perspectives, and contrasted against two additional nuclear scenarios that instead envisage a dominant role for nuclear energy. Sustainability metrics included energy costs, external costs (greenhouse-gas emissions, air pollutants, land transformation, water consumption and discharge, and safety) and additional costs. The nuclear-centred scenarios yielded the lowest total cost per unit of final energy consumption by 2050 ($14.37 GJ −1 ), whereas the Greenpeace scenario has the highest ($25.36 GJ −1 ). We used probabilistic simulations based on multi-factor distributional sampling of impact and cost metrics to estimate the overlapping likelihoods among scenarios to understand the effect of parameter uncertainty on the integrated recommendations. Our simulation modelling implies that, despite inherent uncertainties, pursuing a large-scale expansion of nuclear-power capacity offers the most sustainable pathway for South Korea, and that adopting a nuclear-free pathway will be more costly and produce more greenhouse-gas emissions. - Highlights: • Nuclear power has a key role to play in mitigating greenhouse-gas emissions. • The Greenpeace scenario has higher total external cost than the nuclear scenarios. • The nuclear-centred scenarios offer the most sustainable option for South Korea. • The similar conclusions are likely to apply to other Asian countries

  15. A novel multi-stage subunit vaccine against paratuberculosis induces significant immunity and reduces bacterial burden in tissues (P4304)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thakur, Aneesh; Aagaard, Claus; Riber, Ulla

    2013-01-01

    Effective control of paratuberculosis is hindered by lack of a vaccine preventing infection, transmission and without diagnostic interference with tuberculosis. We have developed a novel multi-stage recombinant subunit vaccine in which a fusion of four early expressed MAP antigens is combined...... characterized by a significant containment of bacterial burden in gut tissues compared to non-vaccinated animals. There was no cross-reaction with bovine tuberculosis in vaccinated animals. This novel multi-stage vaccine has the potential to become a marker vaccine for paratuberculosis....

  16. The Feasibility of a Land Ferry System to Reduce Highway Maintenance Cost and Associated Externalities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steve J. Merrill

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This study provides an economic evaluation for a Land Ferry, which is a rail system capable of carrying trucks and all other types of vehicles, passengers, and cargo. The Land Ferry system involves a sliding loading system to roll heavy loads onto a flatbed; as a result, loading and unloading of all vehicles and cargo could be accomplished simultaneously. The evaluation for this system included (1 the design of a new track alignment over which the Land Ferry system would run, (2 evaluation of various sources of power, (3 estimation of how many local jobs the Land Ferry would generate, and (4 a benefit-cost analysis. It was estimated that the Land Ferry would create over 45,788 temporary jobs in Nevada during the three-year construction period and 318 permanent jobs during operation. The majority of the benefits were attributed to savings in travel time ($356.4 M, vehicle operating costs ($1000.4 M, reduction of accidents ($544.6 M, and pavement maintenance ($503.2 M. These benefits would be a consequence of the shift of trucks from the highway, thus resulting in higher speeds, decrease fuel consumption, and decrease vehicle maintenance costs. The overall benefit-cost ratio of 1.7 implies a cost-effective project.

  17. Higher threat avoidance costs reduce avoidance behaviour which in turn promotes fear extinction in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rattel, Julina A; Miedl, Stephan F; Blechert, Jens; Wilhelm, Frank H

    2017-09-01

    Theoretical models specifying the underlying mechanisms of the development and maintenance of anxiety and related disorders state that fear responses acquired through classical Pavlovian conditioning are maintained by repeated avoidance behaviour; thus, it is assumed that avoidance prevents fear extinction. The present study investigated behavioural avoidance decisions as a function of avoidance costs in a naturalistic fear conditioning paradigm. Ecologically valid avoidance costs - manipulated between participant groups - were represented via time-delays during a detour in a gamified computer task. After differential acquisitions of shock-expectancy to a predictive conditioned stimulus (CS+), participants underwent extinction where they could either take a risky shortcut, while anticipating shock signaled by the CS+, or choose a costly avoidance option (lengthy detour); thus, they were faced with an approach-avoidance conflict. Groups with higher avoidance costs (longer detours) showed lower proportions of avoiders. Avoiders gave heightened shock-expectancy ratings post-extinction, demonstrating 'protecting from extinction', i.e. failure to extinguish. Moreover, there was an indirect effect of avoidance costs on protection from extinction through avoidance behaviour. No moderating role of trait-anxiety was found. Theoretical implications of avoidance behaviour are discussed, considering the involvement of instrumental learning in the maintenance of fear responses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Near-linear cost increase to reduce climate-change risk

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaeffer, M. [Environmental Systems Analysis Group, Wageningen University and Research Centre, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen (Netherlands); Kram, T.; Van Vuuren, D.P. [Climate and Global Sustainability Group, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, P.O. Box 303, 3720 AH Bilthoven (Netherlands); Meinshausen, M.; Hare, W.L. [Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, P.O. Box 60 12 03, 14412 Potsdam (Germany); Schneider, S.H. (ed.) [Stanford University, Stanford, CA (United States)

    2008-12-30

    One approach in climate-change policy is to set normative long-term targets first and then infer the implied emissions pathways. An important example of a normative target is to limit the global-mean temperature change to a certain maximum. In general, reported cost estimates for limiting global warming often rise rapidly, even exponentially, as the scale of emission reductions from a reference level increases. This rapid rise may suggest that more ambitious policies may be prohibitively expensive. Here, we propose a probabilistic perspective, focused on the relationship between mitigation costs and the likelihood of achieving a climate target. We investigate the qualitative, functional relationship between the likelihood of achieving a normative target and the costs of climate-change mitigation. In contrast to the example of exponentially rising costs for lowering concentration levels, we show that the mitigation costs rise proportionally to the likelihood of meeting a temperature target, across a range of concentration levels. In economic terms investing in climate mitigation to increase the probability of achieving climate targets yields 'constant returns to scale', because of a counterbalancing rapid rise in the probabilities of meeting a temperature target as concentration is lowered.

  19. Design Options to Reduce Development Cost of First Generation Surface Reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Poston, David I.; Marcille, Thomas F.

    2006-01-01

    Low-power surface reactors have the potential to have the lowest development cost of any space reactor application, primarily because system alpha (mass/kg) is not of utmost importance and mission lifetimes do not have to be a decade or more. Even then, the development cost of a surface reactor can vary substantially depending on the performance requirements (e.g. mass, power, lifetime, reliability) and technical development risk deemed acceptable by the end-user. It is important for potential users to be aware of these relationships before they determine their future architecture (i.e. decide what they need). Generally, the greatest potential costs of a space reactor program are a nuclear-powered ground test and extensive material development campaigns, so it is important to consider options that can minimize the need for or complexity of such tasks. The intended goal of this paper is to inform potential surface reactor users of the potential sensitivities of surface reactor development cost to design requirements, and areas where technical risk can be traded with development cost

  20. Reduced expression of circRNA hsa_circ_0003159 in gastric cancer and its clinical significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Mengqian; Chen, Ruoyu; Li, Tianwen; Xiao, Bingxiu

    2018-03-01

    Circular RNAs (circRNAs) play a crucial role in the occurrence of several diseases including cancers. However, little is known about circRNAs' diagnostic values for gastric cancer, one of the worldwide most common diseases of mortality. The hsa_circ_0003159 levels in 108 paired gastric cancer tissues and adjacent non-tumorous tissues from surgical patients with gastric cancer were first detected by real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Then, the relationships between hsa_circ_0003159 expression levels in gastric cancer tissues and the clinicopathological factors of patients with gastric cancer were analyzed. Finally, its diagnostic value was evaluated through the receiver operating characteristic curve. Compared with paired adjacent non-tumorous tissues, hsa_circ_0003159 expression was significantly down-regulated in gastric cancer tissues. What is more, we found that hsa_circ_0003159 expression levels were significantly negatively associated with gender, distal metastasis, and tumor-node-metastasis stage. All of the results suggest that hsa_circ_0003159 may be a potential cancer marker of patients with gastric cancer. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. β-Hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation and resistance exercise significantly reduce abdominal adiposity in healthy elderly men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stout, Jeffrey R; Fukuda, David H; Kendall, Kristina L; Smith-Ryan, Abbie E; Moon, Jordan R; Hoffman, Jay R

    2015-04-01

    The effects of 12-weeks of HMB ingestion and resistance training (RT) on abdominal adiposity were examined in 48 men (66-78 yrs). All participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups: no-training placebo (NT-PL), HMB only (NT-HMB), RT with PL (RT-PL), or HMB with RT (RT-HMB). DXA was used to estimate abdominal fat mass (AFM) by placing the region of interest over the L1-L4 region of the spine. Outcomes were assessed by ANCOVA, with Bonferroni-corrected pairwise comparisons. Baseline AFM values were used as the covariate. The ANCOVA indicated a significant difference (p = 0.013) between group means for the adjusted posttest AFM values (mean (kg) ± SE: NT-PL = 2.59 ± 0.06; NT-HMB = 2.59 ± 0.61; RT-PL = 2.59 ± 0.62; RT-HMB = 2.34 ± 0.61). The pairwise comparisons indicated that AFM following the intervention period in the RT-HMB group was significantly less than NT-PL (p = 0.013), NT-HMB (p = 0.011), and RT-PL (p = 0.010). These data suggested that HMB in combination with 12 weeks of RT decreased AFM in elderly men. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  2. Optimal distributed energy resources and the cost of reduced greenhouse gas emissions in a large retail shopping centre

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Braslavsky, Julio H.; Wall, Josh R.; Reedman, Luke J.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Optimal options for distributed energy resources are analysed for a shopping centre. • A multiobjective optimisation model is formulated and solved using DER-CAM. • Cost and emission trade-offs are compared in four key optimal investment scenarios. • Moderate investment in DER technologies lowers emissions by 29.6% and costs by 8.5%. • Larger investment in DER technologies lowers emissions by 72% at 47% higher costs. - Abstract: This paper presents a case study on optimal options for distributed energy resource (DER) technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a large retail shopping centre located in Sydney, Australia. Large retail shopping centres take the largest share of energy consumed by all commercial buildings, and present a strong case for adoption of DER technologies to reduce energy costs and emissions. However, the complexity of optimally designing and operating DER systems has hindered their widespread adoption in practice. This paper examines and demonstrates the value of DER in reducing the carbon footprint of the shopping centre by formulating and solving a multiobjective optimisation problem using the Distributed Energy Resources Customer Adoption Model (DER-CAM) tool. An economic model of the shopping centre is developed in DER-CAM using on-site-specific demand, tariffs, and performance data for each DER technology option available. Four key optimal DER technology investment scenarios are then analysed by comparing: (1) solution trade-offs of costs and emissions, (2) the cost of reduced emissions attained in each investment scenario, and (3) investment benefits with respect to the business-as-usual scenario. The analysis shows that a moderate investment in combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) technology alone can reduce annual energy costs by 8.5% and carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions by 29.6%. A larger investment in CCHP technology, in conjunction with on-site solar photovoltaic (PV) generation, can deliver

  3. Reducing the cost of MWT module technology based on conductive back-sheet foils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bennett, I.J.; Goris, M.J.A.A.; Eerenstein, W. [ECN Solar Energy, P.O. Box 1, 1755 ZG Petten (Netherlands)

    2013-10-15

    MWT cell and module technology has shown to result in modules with a higher power output than H-pattern modules and to be suitable for use with thin and fragile cells. In this work, the use of low-cost module materials and their effect on module performance and reliability has been assessed. These materials include a conductive back-sheet patterned by milling with no silver plating at the contacts on the foil and no isolation coating on the copper and a low-silver content conductive adhesive. The sensitivity of module performance for the anti-corrosion coating on the copper of the conductive back-sheet is measured, as is the reliability in climate chamber testing of mini-modules made with these materials. The results show that these low cost materials can be used to manufacture module with good performance and reliability. Options are given for further cost reduction.

  4. Reducing IT costs and ensuring safe operation with application of the portfolio management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Livia Alice Mozsar Kovacsne

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Large companies need to give focus on their cost components related to their information technology. Business growths is supported by their IT and hundreds or thousands of applications worldwide. Top level management needs to focus more on their information strategy and the applications they need to manage. A structured and transparent application landscape supports not only the current business but it also enables faster business growth for the future as well. Structuring and organizing the applications related to the various risks supports secure business and information operations within a company. Capturing the applications gives the companies an overview of their information costs and provides the possibility of measurement and control of their IT costs elements. Application portfolio management and information security management are important elements of the corporate strategies.

  5. Wind Erosion Caused by Land Use Changes Significantly Reduces Ecosystem Carbon Storage and Carbon Sequestration Potentials in Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, P.; Chi, Y. G.; Wang, J.; Liu, L.

    2017-12-01

    Wind erosion exerts a fundamental influence on the biotic and abiotic processes associated with ecosystem carbon (C) cycle. However, how wind erosion under different land use scenarios will affect ecosystem C balance and its capacity for future C sequestration are poorly quantified. Here, we established an experiment in a temperate steppe in Inner Mongolia, and simulated different intensity of land uses: control, 50% of aboveground vegetation removal (50R), 100% vegetation removal (100R) and tillage (TI). We monitored lateral and vertical carbon flux components and soil characteristics from 2013 to 2016. Our study reveals three key findings relating to the driving factors, the magnitude and consequence of wind erosion on ecosystem C balance: (1) Frequency of heavy wind exerts a fundamental control over the severity of soil erosion, and its interaction with precipitation and vegetation characteristics explained 69% variation in erosion intensity. (2) With increases in land use intensity, the lateral C flux induced by wind erosion increased rapidly, equivalent to 33%, 86%, 111% and 183% of the net ecosystem exchange of the control site under control, 50R, 100R and TI sites, respectively. (3) After three years' treatment, erosion induced decrease in fine fractions led to 31%, 43%, 85% of permanent loss of C sequestration potential in the surface 5cm soil for 50R, 100R and TI sites. Overall, our study demonstrates that lateral C flux associated with wind erosion is too large to be ignored. The loss of C-enriched fine particles not only reduces current ecosystem C content, but also results in irreversible loss of future soil C sequestration potential. The dynamic soil characteristics need be considered when projecting future ecosystem C balance in aeolian landscape. We also propose that to maintain the sustainability of grassland ecosystems, land managers should focus on implementing appropriate land use rather than rely on subsequent managements on degraded soils.

  6. Potential and cost-effectiveness of CO{sub 2}-reducing measures in the pulp and paper industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moellersten, K.; Westermark, M.; Yan, J. [Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm (Sweden). Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Technology/Energy Processes

    2001-07-01

    Using the two criteria of potential CO{sub 2} reduction and cost of CO{sub 2} reduction several technical options in the pulp and paper industry are investigated. Principal CO{sub 2} reducing measures include: decreasing fuel consumption through improved heat exchanging or new processes with lower heat demand, decreasing electricity consumption, substituting fossil fuels with biofuels, exporting refined biofuels for external use, increasing CO{sub 2} neutral electricity generation, improving waste heat utilization and decreasing specific raw material consumption. The results show that electricity conservation and improvement of existing steam power cycles are the most cost-effective options that have a large potential to reduce CO{sub 2} emissions. Outsourcing of industrial energy operations to utilities may enable CO{sub 2} reducing measures that would not be carried out by industry due to differences in demands for profit on spent capita. 21 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  7. Postoperative Stiffness Requiring Manipulation Under Anesthesia Is Significantly Reduced After Simultaneous Versus Staged Bilateral Total Knee Arthroplasty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meehan, John P; Monazzam, Shafagh; Miles, Troy; Danielsen, Beate; White, Richard H

    2017-12-20

    adjust for relevant risk factors, the 90-day odds ratio (OR) of undergoing manipulation after simultaneous bilateral TKA was significantly lower than that for unilateral TKA (OR = 0.70; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.57 to 0.86) and staged bilateral TKA (OR = 0.71; 95% CI, 0.57 to 0.90). Similarly, at 180 days, the odds of undergoing manipulation were significantly lower after simultaneous bilateral TKA than after both unilateral TKA (OR = 0.71; 95% CI, 0.59 to 0.84) and staged bilateral TKA (OR = 0.76; 95% CI, 0.63 to 0.93). The frequency of manipulation was significantly associated with younger age, fewer comorbidities, black race, and the absence of obesity. Although the ORs were small (close to 1), simultaneous bilateral TKA had a significantly decreased rate of stiffness requiring manipulation under anesthesia at 90 days and 180 days after knee replacement compared with that after staged bilateral TKA and unilateral TKA. Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

  8. Significance of surface functionalization of Gold Nanorods for reduced effect on IgG stability and minimization of cytotoxicity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alex, Sruthi Ann; Rajiv, Sundaramoorthy [Centre for Nanobiotechnology, VIT University, Vellore (India); Chakravarty, Sujay [UGC-DAE CSR, Kalpakkam, Node, Kokilamedu (India); Chandrasekaran, N. [Centre for Nanobiotechnology, VIT University, Vellore (India); Mukherjee, Amitava, E-mail: amit.mookerjea@gmail.com [Centre for Nanobiotechnology, VIT University, Vellore (India)

    2017-02-01

    side effect of AuNRs by modifying capping. • Polymer-coated AuNRs safe for in vitro assays, but hamper protein functioning. • PEG-AuNRs reduced toxicity to lymphocyte cells and lesser effect on IgG. • Highlights importance of neutral PEGylated particles for theranostic applications.

  9. Significance of surface functionalization of Gold Nanorods for reduced effect on IgG stability and minimization of cytotoxicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alex, Sruthi Ann; Rajiv, Sundaramoorthy; Chakravarty, Sujay; Chandrasekaran, N.; Mukherjee, Amitava

    2017-01-01

    side effect of AuNRs by modifying capping. • Polymer-coated AuNRs safe for in vitro assays, but hamper protein functioning. • PEG-AuNRs reduced toxicity to lymphocyte cells and lesser effect on IgG. • Highlights importance of neutral PEGylated particles for theranostic applications.

  10. Multiplex PCR from Menstrual Blood: A Non-Invasive Cost-Effective Approach to Reduce Diagnostic Dilemma for Genital Tuberculosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paine, Suman K; Basu, Analabha; Choudhury, Rajib Gon; Bhattacharya, Basudev; Chatterjee, Sidhartha; Bhattacharya, Chandra

    2018-03-16

    Genital tuberculosis (GTB) is a potent contributor to irreversible damage to the reproductive system and infertility in females. As no gold standard diagnostic tool is yet available, clinical suspicion and relatively insensitive approaches such as histopathology, laparoscopy and hysterosalpingogram are currently critical determinants in the diagnosis of GTB. Although a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay using endometrial tissue seems promising, sampling does require an invasive procedure. We hypothesized that menstrual blood may provide an alternate non-invasive source of samples for PCR-based GTB diagnosis. We enrolled 195 women with primary infertility in whom GTB was suspected. We obtained ethics committee approval from our institution and written informed consent from subjects. Endometrial tissue and menstrual blood was collected from the subjects and culture, histopathology, and multiplex PCR with both sample type was performed for each subject. The sensitivity and specificity of multiplex PCR was, respectively, 90.2 and 86.1% for menstrual blood, 95.8 and 84.3% for endometrial tissue, and 64.8 and 93.2% for histopathology staining. A strong clinical suspicion aided with multiplex PCR using menstrual blood may significantly reduce the diagnostic dilemma for GTB diagnosis in a non-invasive, sensitive, rapid, and cost-effective manner.

  11. Cost consequences due to reduced ulcer healing times - analyses based on the Swedish Registry of Ulcer Treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Öien, Rut F; Forssell, Henrik; Ragnarson Tennvall, Gunnel

    2016-10-01

    Resource use and costs for topical treatment of hard-to-heal ulcers based on data from the Swedish Registry of Ulcer Treatment (RUT) were analysed in patients recorded in RUT as having healed between 2009 and 2012, in order to estimate potential cost savings from reductions in frequency of dressing changes and healing times. RUT is used to capture areas of improvement in ulcer care and to enable structured wound management by registering patients with hard-to-heal leg, foot and pressure ulcers. Patients included in the registry are treated in primary care, community care, private care, and inpatient hospital care. Cost calculations were based on resource use data on healing time and frequency of dressing changes in Swedish patients with hard-to-heal ulcers who healed between 2009 and 2012. Per-patient treatment costs decreased from SEK38 223 in 2009 to SEK20 496 in 2012, mainly because of shorter healing times. Frequency of dressing changes was essentially the same during these years, varying from 1·4 to 1·6 per week. The total healing time was reduced by 38%. Treatment costs for the management of hard-to-heal ulcers can be reduced with well-developed treatment strategies resulting in shortened healing times as shown in RUT. © 2015 Medicalhelplines.com Inc and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. [Intra-Articular Application of Tranexamic Acid Significantly Reduces Blood Loss and Transfusion Requirement in Primary Total Knee Arthroplasty].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lošťák, J; Gallo, J; Špička, J; Langová, K

    2016-01-01

    PURPOSE OF THE STUDY The aim of this prospective study was to investigate the effect of topical application of tranexamic acid (TXA, Exacyl) on the amount of post-operative blood loss, and blood transfusion requirement in patients undergoing primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Attention was paid to early complications potentially associated with TXA administration, such as haematoma, wound exudate, or knee swelling. In addition, the economic benefit of TXA treatment was also taken into account. MATERIAL AND METHODS The study included 238 patients (85 men and 153 women) who underwent primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA) at our department between January 2013 and November 2015. A group of 119 patients (41 men and 78 women) received intraarticular TXA injections according to the treatment protocol (TXA group). A control group matched in basic characteristics to the TXA group also consisted of 119 patients. The average age in the TXA group was 69.8 years, and the most frequent indication for TKA surgery was primary knee osteoarthritis (81.5%). In each patient, post-operative volume of blood lost from drains and total blood loss including hidden blood loss were recorded, as well as post-operative haemoglobin and haematocrit levels. On discharge of each patient from hospital, the size and site of a haematoma; wound exudate, if present after post-operative day 4; joint swelling; range of motion and early revision surgery, if performed, were evaluated. Requirements of analgesic drugs after surgery were also recorded. RESULTS In the TXA group, blood losses from drains were significantly lower than in the control group (456.7 ± 270.8 vs 640.5 ±448.2; p = 0.004). The median value for blood losses from drains was lower by 22% and the average value for total blood loss, including hidden losses, was also lower than in the control group (762.4 ± 345.2 ml vs 995.5 ± 457.3 ml). The difference in the total amount of blood loss between the two groups was significant (p = 0

  13. Weight loss significantly reduces serum lipocalin-2 levels in overweight and obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koiou, Ekaterini; Tziomalos, Konstantinos; Katsikis, Ilias; Kandaraki, Eleni A; Kalaitzakis, Emmanuil; Delkos, Dimitrios; Vosnakis, Christos; Panidis, Dimitrios

    2012-01-01

    Serum lipocalin-2 levels are elevated in obese patients. We assessed serum lipocalin-2 levels in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and the effects of weight loss or metformin on these levels. Forty-seven overweight/obese patients with PCOS [body mass index (BMI) >27 kg/m(2)] were instructed to follow a low-calorie diet, to exercise and were given orlistat or sibutramine for 6 months. Twenty-five normal weight patients with PCOS (BMI weight and 25 overweight/obese healthy female volunteers comprised the control groups. Serum lipocalin-2 levels did not differ between overweight/obese patients with PCOS and overweight/obese controls (p = 0.258), or between normal weight patients with PCOS and normal weight controls (p = 0.878). Lipocalin-2 levels were higher in overweight/obese patients with PCOS than in normal weight patients with PCOS (p weight loss resulted in a fall in lipocalin-2 levels (p weight patients with PCOS, treatment with metformin did not affect lipocalin-2 levels (p = 0.484). In conclusion, PCOS per se is not associated with elevated lipocalin-2 levels. Weight loss induces a significant reduction in lipocalin-2 levels in overweight/obese patients with PCOS.

  14. Possibility of reducing costs of mining operations - economic aspects of workplace accidents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duda, Adam

    2017-11-01

    The article presents methods of calculating costs of workplace accidents incurred by an employer, and the influence of the number and severity of accidents on changes in the amount of accident insurance contribution paid by an employer within the framework of the social security system.

  15. Reducing health care costs - potential and limitations of local, a1 ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1990-08-04

    Aug 4, 1990 ... ambulatory and hospital curative care, both the quality and the cost-effectiveness of .... home-nursing in South Mrica. This activity could either ... has perverted the axiom that 'prevention is cheaper than cure'. This axiom is not ...

  16. Near-linear cost increase to reduce climate-change risk

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaeffer, M.; Kram, T.; Meinshausen, M.; Vuuren, van D.P.; Hare, W.L.

    2008-01-01

    One approach in climate-change policy is to set normative long-term targets first and then infer the implied emissions pathways. An important example of a normative target is to limit the global-mean temperature change to a certain maximum. In general, reported cost estimates for limiting global

  17. Reducing contaminated soil rehabilitation costs - review of portable XRF performance on Australian soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bowden-Smith, J.

    2001-01-01

    Mine owners and managers are often shocked by the financial costs involved in remediating metal contaminated soils, especially those associated with the closure of base metal mines. Lack of due consideration during planning, inappropriate operational controls for water and dust emissions, little monitoring data and new contaminated land legislation coupled with traditional owners seeking mining leases to be remediated to low (even background) levels are reasons for multi-million dollar cost blow-outs. At some base metal operations, emissions have travelled outside the mine lease impacting on neighbouring pastoral land and in some cases contaminating near-by communities. Traditional sampling and laboratory analysis costs have restricted the collection of data to adequately define the problem resulting in poor management of metal-contaminated soil. A portable analytical tool that provides on-site geochemistry could assist in identifying issues early, allowing for improved management practices and lower overall clean-up costs. This paper reviews independent evaluation studies for soil contaminated by heavy metal with XRF, using a new portable technology developed in the USA by the NITON Corporation

  18. Cost-effectiveness analysis of scalp cooling to reduce chemotherapy-induced alopecia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Hurk, C.J.; van den Akker-van Marle, E.M.; Breed, W.P.M.; van de Poll-Franse, L.V.; Nortier, J.; Coebergh, J.W.W.

    2014-01-01

    Background. Alopecia is a frequently occurring side effect of chemotherapy that often can be prevented by cooling the scalp during the infusion. This study compared effects and costs of scalp cooling with usual general oncological care, i.e. purchasing a wig or head cover. Material and methods.

  19. Reducing Customers’ Total Cost of Ownership Within a Software Supply Network

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slinger, S.R.L.; Rijsemus, W.

    2006-01-01

    This paper describes how the company Cordys avoids the ERP problems from the last 15 years by improving the software release, delivery, deployment, and maintenance processes. These ERP problems, such as costly ERP migrations and highly complex maintenance procedures, are circumvented by the

  20. Does bank competition reduce cost of credit? Cross-country evidence from Europe

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fungáčová, Z.; Shamshur, Anastasiya; Weill, L.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 83, October (2017), s. 104-120 ISSN 0378-4266 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-31783S Institutional support: RVO:67985998 Keywords : bank competition * bank concentration * cost of credit Subject RIV: AH - Economics OBOR OECD: Finance Impact factor: 1.776, year: 2016

  1. Patient education after stoma creation may reduce health-care costs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Danielsen, Anne Kjærgaard; Rosenberg, Jacob

    2014-01-01

    AND METHODS: Following a previous case-control study that explored the effect of patient education for stoma patients, we set out to examine the costs related to such a patient education programme. The primary outcome was disease-specific health-related quality of life measured with the Ostomy Adjustment...

  2. Examining the Effects of a Low-Cost Prompt to Reduce Retail Theft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafacz, Sharlet D.; Boyce, Thomas E.; Williams, W. Larry

    2011-01-01

    The present study evaluated the extent to which a low-cost, antitheft intervention impacted theft and sales in a multiple baseline design across two grocery stores. Previous research has measured the impact on theft of items that have a sign indicating their high theft rate and stickers next to or on the items. In contrast, this study tracked four…

  3. The Dynamics of Bertrand Price Competition with Cost-Reducing Investments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Iskhakov, Fedor; Rust, John; Schjerning, Bertel

    2018-01-01

    We extend the classic Bertrand duopoly model of price competition to a dynamic setting where competing duopolists invest in a stochastically improving production technology to “leapfrog” their rival and attain temporary low cost leadership. We find a huge multiplicity of Markov perfect equilibria...

  4. Profiling stainless steel welding processes to reduce fume emissions, hexavalent chromium emissions and operating costs in the workplace.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keane, Michael; Siert, Arlen; Stone, Samuel; Chen, Bean T

    2016-01-01

    Nine gas metal arc welding (GMAW) processes for stainless steel were assessed for fume generation rates, fume generation rates per g of electrode consumed, and emission rates for hexavalent chromium (Cr(6+)). Elemental manganese, nickel, chromium, iron emissions per unit length of weld, and labor plus consumables costs were similarly measured. Flux-cored arc welding and shielded metal arc (SMAW) processes were also studied. The objective was to identify the best welding processes for reducing workplace exposures, and estimate costs for all processes. Using a conical chamber, fumes were collected, weighed, recovered, and analyzed by inductively coupled atomic emission spectroscopy for metals, and by ion chromatography for Cr(6+). GMAW processes used were Surface Tension Transfer, Regulated Metal Deposition, Cold Metal Transfer, short-circuit, axial spray, and pulsed spray modes. Flux-cored welding used gas shielding; SMAW used E308 rods. Costs were estimated as dollars per m length of a ¼ in (6.3 mm) thick horizontal butt weld; equipment costs were estimated as ratios of new equipment costs to a 250 ampere capacity SMAW welding machine. Results indicate a broad range of fume emission factors for the processes studied. Fume emission rates per g of electrode were lowest for GMAW processes such as pulsed-spray mode (0.2 mg/g), and highest for SMAW (8 mg fume/g electrode). Emission rates of Cr(6+) ranged from 50-7800 µg/min, and Cr(6+) generation rates per g electrode ranged from 1-270 µg/g. Elemental Cr generation rates spanned 13-330 µg/g. Manganese emission rates ranged from 50-300 µg/g. Nickel emission rates ranged from 4-140 µg/g. Labor and consumables costs ranged from $3.15 (GMAW pulsed spray) to $7.40 (SMAW) per meter of finished weld, and were measured or estimated for all 11 processes tested. Equipment costs for some processes may be as much as five times the cost of a typical SMAW welding machine. The results show that all of the GMAW processes in this

  5. An Analysis of Alternatives for Reducing Outpatient Military Health Care Costs for Active Duty Members and their Families: Implementing a Recommended Savings Strategy Using Defense Acquisition Principles

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jaime, Richardo; Rupert, Joshua W

    2007-01-01

    .... In efforts to reduce or contain the costs of the military health care system, this project will propose two cost savings alternatives for providing outpatient care to active duty personnel and their dependents...

  6. Toward a new spacecraft optimal design lifetime? Impact of marginal cost of durability and reduced launch price

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snelgrove, Kailah B.; Saleh, Joseph Homer

    2016-10-01

    The average design lifetime of satellites continues to increase, in part due to the expectation that the satellite cost per operational day decreases monotonically with increased design lifetime. In this work, we challenge this expectation by revisiting the durability choice problem for spacecraft in the face of reduced launch price and under various cost of durability models. We first provide a brief overview of the economic thought on durability and highlight its limitations as they pertain to our problem (e.g., the assumption of zero marginal cost of durability). We then investigate the merging influence of spacecraft cost of durability and launch price, and we identify conditions that give rise cost-optimal design lifetimes that are shorter than the longest lifetime technically achievable. For example, we find that high costs of durability favor short design lifetimes, and that under these conditions the optimal choice is relatively robust to reduction in launch prices. By contrast, lower costs of durability favor longer design lifetimes, and the optimal choice is highly sensitive to reduction in launch price. In both cases, reduction in launch prices translates into reduction of the optimal design lifetime. Our results identify a number of situations for which satellite operators would be better served by spacecraft with shorter design lifetimes. Beyond cost issues and repeat purchases, other implications of long design lifetime include the increased risk of technological slowdown given the lower frequency of purchases and technology refresh, and the increased risk for satellite operators that the spacecraft will be technologically obsolete before the end of its life (with the corollary of loss of value and competitive advantage). We conclude with the recommendation that, should pressure to extend spacecraft design lifetime continue, satellite manufacturers should explore opportunities to lease their spacecraft to operators, or to take a stake in the ownership

  7. Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Interventions to Reduce Risk of Aspiration in Elderly Cancer Survivors Residing in Skilled Nursing Facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantravadi, S

    2017-04-01

    Aspiration can occur in patients of any age group, but it can be prevented. The primary population at risk is made up of survivors of cancer because of their increased risk of mucositis, mucosal atrophy, and dysphagia associated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and the disease process itself. The rate of incidence of aspiration cannot be quantified, because minor cases of aspiration often go unreported. Sequelae ensuing from aspirations can include pneumonia, end-stage kidney disease, dialysis, and death. Analyses of cost, decision-tree modeling, and cost effectiveness were performed to compare a hypothetical, interventional model based on best practices with usual (standard) care. A societal perspective was used as the economic view point. Direct costs, caregiver time, and market values for wages were estimated for the 2 interventions. Effectiveness values for the cost-effectiveness and decision-tree analyses were obtained from the literature. The incremental-cost-effectiveness ratio was calculated and used to compare the intervention with usual care. The interventional method was more costly but more effective than usual care. A sensitivity analysis considered the uncertainty of event probability (aspiration vs no aspiration). The interventional protocol for aspiration reduction continued to be more cost effective than usual care. Aspiration takes a financial toll on all facets of health care, including on nurses, skilled nursing facilities, patients, their families, and insurers, among others. Implementing guidelines that describe best practices for aspiration appears to be a cost-effective strategy for reducing aspirations among cancer survivors - especially elderly patients - who live in skilled nursing facilities.

  8. The impact of reducing intensive care unit length of stay on hospital costs: evidence from a tertiary care hospital in Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Jessica; Kobewka, Daniel; Thavorn, Kednapa; D'Egidio, Gianni; Rosenberg, Erin; Kyeremanteng, Kwadwo

    2018-02-23

    To use theoretical modelling exercises to determine the effect of reduced intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay (LOS) on total hospital costs at a Canadian centre. We conducted a retrospective cost analysis from the perspective of one tertiary teaching hospital in Canada. Cost, demographic, clinical, and LOS data were retrieved through case-costing, patient registry, and hospital abstract systems of The Ottawa Hospital Data Warehouse for all new in-patient ward (30,483) and ICU (2,239) encounters between April 2012 and March 2013. Aggregate mean daily variable direct (VD) costs for ICU vs ward encounters were summarized by admission day number, LOS, and cost centre. The mean daily VD cost per ICU patient was $2,472 (CAD), accounting for 67.0% of total daily ICU costs per patient and $717 for patients admitted to the ward. Variable direct cost is greatest on the first day of ICU admission ($3,708), and then decreases by 39.8% to plateau by the fifth day of admission. Reducing LOS among patients with ICU stays ≥ four days could potentially result in an annual hospital cost saving of $852,146 which represents 0.3% of total in-patient hospital costs and 1.2% of ICU costs. Reducing ICU LOS has limited cost-saving potential given that ICU costs are greatest early in the course of admission, and this study does not support the notion of reducing ICU LOS as a sole cost-saving strategy.

  9. Reducing transport costs and improving sustainability simultaneously through horizontal logistics collaboration: a case study

    OpenAIRE

    Van Lier, Tom; Macharis, Cathy; Caris, An; Vrenken, Huub

    2010-01-01

    In this paper the potential of a more systematic bundling of the outbound freight flows out of three neighboring distribution centers (DCs) of the same company, each specialized in a specific product category and each using a separate planning system, is investigated. Most of the outbound flows are currently still transported by truck, so one way to simultaneously achieve lower transport costs and more sustainable logistics is through supply chain collaboration in outbound logistics. This pap...

  10. Implementation of Distance Support (DS) to Reduce Total Ownership Cost (R-TOC)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-01

    Policy of 22 Mar 2007, states that DS combines people, processes and technology into a collaborative infrastructure regardless of geographic location...Tech Assist Data for Submarine Enterprise 120 FTA Events Performed 164 MH Via On-Si te Support Average Cost Per Event (Based on $60.00 Per Hour...CFFC/Command Policy) 16% Success Rate Overa l l On Al l FTA Events 37% Success Rate On Out-Of-Area Events Average MHs Per Event 19 MH Via DS

  11. Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of a Navigation Program for Colorectal Cancer Screening to Reduce Social Health Inequalities: A French Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Mil, Rémy; Guillaume, Elodie; Guittet, Lydia; Dejardin, Olivier; Bouvier, Véronique; Pornet, Carole; Christophe, Véronique; Notari, Annick; Delattre-Massy, Hélène; De Seze, Chantal; Peng, Jérôme; Launoy, Guy; Berchi, Célia

    2018-06-01

    Patient navigation programs to increase colorectal cancer (CRC) screening adherence have become widespread in recent years, especially among deprived populations. To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the first patient navigation program in France. A total of 16,250 participants were randomized to either the usual screening group (n = 8145) or the navigation group (n = 8105). Navigation consisted of personalized support provided by social workers. A cost-effectiveness analysis of navigation versus usual screening was conducted from the payer perspective in the Picardy region of northern France. We considered nonmedical direct costs in the analysis. Navigation was associated with a significant increase of 3.3% (24.4% vs. 21.1%; P = 0.003) in participation. The increase in participation was higher among affluent participants (+4.1%; P = 0.01) than among deprived ones (+2.6%; P = 0.07). The cost per additional individual screened by navigation compared with usual screening (incremental cost-effectiveness ratio) was €1212 globally and €1527 among deprived participants. Results were sensitive to navigator wages and to the intervention effectiveness whose variations had the greatest impact on the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio. Patient navigation aiming at increasing CRC screening participation is more efficient among affluent individuals. Nevertheless, when the intervention is implemented for the entire population, social inequalities in CRC screening adherence increase. To reduce social inequalities, patient navigation should therefore be restricted to deprived populations, despite not being the most cost-effective strategy, and accepted to bear a higher extra cost per additional individual screened. Copyright © 2018 International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Reducing heliostat field costs by direct measurement and control of the mirror orientation

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Donker, P.; Rosinga, G.; van Voorthuysen, E. du Marchie

    2016-05-01

    The first commercial CSP Central Receiver System has been in operation since 2007. The technology required for such a central receiver system is quite new. The determining factor of the price of electricity is the capital investment in the heliostat field. The cost level per square meter of the heliostat field is rather high. Sun2point is questioning the market development, which is trying to get the cost level down by aiming at large heliostats. Sun2Point aims at mass manufacturing small heliostats to achieve low prices. Mass manufacturing off-site and transport over long distances is possible for small heliostats only. Calibration on the spot is a labour-intensive activity. Autonomous, factory calibrated and wireless controlled heliostats are the solution to lower installation cost. A new measurement method that directly reports the orientation of the heliostat in relation to the earth and the sun can solve the calibration problem when the heliostats are installed. The application of small heliostats will be much cheaper as a result of this measurement method. In this paper several methods for such a measurement are described briefly. The new Sun2Point method has successfully been tested. In this paper Sun2Point challenges the CSP community to investigate this approach. A brief survey is presented of many aspects that lead to a low price.

  13. Reducing the Cost of Thermal Energy Storage for Parabolic Trough Solar Power Plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gawlik, Keith

    2013-06-25

    Thermal energy storage systems using phase change materials were evaluated for trough systems that use oil, steam, and high temperature salts as heat transfer fluids. A variety of eutectic salts and metal alloys were considered as phase change materials in a cascaded arrangement. Literature values of specific heat, latent heat, density, and other thermophysical properties were used in initial analyses. Testing laboratories were contracted to measure properties for candidate materials for comparison to the literature and for updating the models. A TRNSYS model from Phase 1 was further developed for optimizing the system, including a novel control algorithm. A concept for increasing the bulk thermal conductivity of the phase change system was developed using expanded metal sheets. Outside companies were contracted to design and cost systems using platecoil heat exchangers immersed in the phase change material. Laboratory evaluations of the one-dimensional and three-dimensional behavior of expanded metal sheets in a low conductivity medium were used to optimize the amount of thermal conductivity enhancement. The thermal energy storage systems were compared to baseline conventional systems. The best phase change system found in this project, which was for the high temperature plant, had a projected cost of $25.2 per kWhth, The best system also had a cost that was similar to the base case, a direct two-tank molten salt system.

  14. Numeracy: Open-Access Publishing to Reduce the Cost of Scholarly Journals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Todd Chavez

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Each fiscal year, as academic librarians throughout the United States prepare materials budgets, a national “groan” ensues. Regardless of their format (i.e. print or digital, serial subscription costs are escalating, in the process impacting the role of the library in advancing scholarly communication . This paper examines some of the economic issues concerning open-access (OA journal publishing. The importance of quantitative literacy is suggested for librarians and academics seeking a better understanding of alternatives to traditional journal subscription models and to anyone considering ventures into OA publishing. Quantitative literacy is essential for managing alternatives to the rising cost of scholarly communication.The OA movement is gaining traction at the national level, following mandates from the National Institutes of Health and at some large research universities that host institutional repositories. Science faculty has been engaged in scholarly communication OA models since the 1970s. More broadly, discussions in academe have focused on OA and its impact on peer review, promotion and tenure, intellectual property rights, and measures of institutional and faculty productivity. Studies concerning the OA movement’s economics are most commonly reported in academic librarianship literature, a trend that may serve as a barrier to a broader understanding of OA’s role in scholarly communication. This paper provides background information on the crisis in serials costs and suggests that metrics favor OA models publishing models. A concluding proposal concerning library-funded OA serial collections is offered as a catalyst for further discussions.

  15. Maize feedstocks with improved digestibility reduce the costs and environmental impacts of biomass pretreatment and saccharification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Torres Salvador, A.F.; Slegers, Ellen; Noordam-Boot, C.M.M.; Dolstra, O.; Vlaswinkel, L.; Boxtel, van A.J.B.; Visser, R.G.F.; Trindade, L.M.

    2016-01-01

    Background - Despite the recognition that feedstock composition influences biomass conversion efficiency, limited information exists as to how bioenergy crops with reduced recalcitrance can improve the economics and sustainability of cellulosic fuel conversion platforms. We have compared the

  16. Estimating the opportunity costs of reducing carbon dioxide emissions via avoided deforestation, using integrated assessment modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Overmars, K.P.; Stehfest, E.; Tabeau, A.A.; Meijl, van J.C.M.; Beltran, A.M.; Kram, T.

    2014-01-01

    Estimates show that, in recent years, deforestation and forest degradation accounted for about 17% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The implementation of REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries) is suggested to provide substantial emission

  17. Cost-effectiveness of sacubitril/valsartan versus enalapril in patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Lin; Bin-Chia Wu, David; Aziz, Mohamed Ismail Abdul; Wong, Raymond; Sim, David; Leong, Kui Toh Gerard; Wei, Yong Quek; Tan, Doreen; Ng, Kwong

    2018-02-01

    Sacubitril/valsartan reduces cardiovascular death and hospitalizations for heart failure (HF). However, decision-makers need to determine whether its benefits are worth the additional costs, given the low-cost generic status of traditional standard of care. To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of sacubitril/valsartan compared to enalapril in patients with HF and reduced ejection fraction, from the Singapore healthcare payer perspective. A Markov model was developed to project clinical and economic outcomes of sacubitril/valsartan vs enalapril for 66-year-old patients with HF over 10 years. Key health states included New York Heart Association classes I-IV and deaths; patients in each state incurred a monthly risk of hospitalization for HF and cardiovascular death. Sacubitril/valsartan benefits were modeled by applying the hazard ratios (HRs) in PARADIGM-HF trial to baseline probabilities. Primary model outcomes were total and incremental costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) for sacubitril/valsartan relative to enalapril Results: Compared to enalapril, sacubitril/valsartan was associated with an ICER of SGD 74,592 (USD 55,198) per QALY gained. A major driver of cost-effectiveness was the cardiovascular mortality benefit of sacubitril/valsartan. The uncertainty of this treatment benefit in the Asian sub-group was tested in sensitivity analyses using a HR of 1 as an upper limit, where the ICERs ranged from SGD 41,019 (USD 30,354) to SGD 1,447,103 (USD 1,070,856) per QALY gained. Probabilistic sensitivity analyses showed the probability of sacubitril/valsartan being cost-effective was below 1%, 12%, and 71% at SGD 20,000, SGD 50,000, and SGD 100,000 per QALY gained, respectively. At the current daily price sacubitril/valsartan may not represent good value for limited healthcare dollars compared to enalapril in reducing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in HF in the Singapore healthcare setting. This study

  18. The cost-effectiveness of household photovoltaic systems in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Australia: Linking subsidies with emission reductions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burtt, D.; Dargusch, P.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Payback period for Australian household PV fell to four years in 2011 and 2012. • PV became attractive due to high feed-in tariffs and declining PV costs. • Cost was AU$200/t CO 2 e in 2010, expected to be AU$65 to AU$100/t CO 2 e by 2020. • PV resulted in greenhouse gas emissions reducing by 3.7 million t CO 2 e in 2013. • PV expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8 million t CO 2 e in 2020. - Abstract: This paper examines the cost-effectiveness of subsidies (feed-in tariffs and renewable energy credits) paid for by electricity consumers to support the uptake of roof top photovoltaic (PV) systems by households in Australia. We estimate annual payback periods, and then regress these against the actual uptake of household PV and associated emission reductions, creating a relationship not apparent in other research. Sensitivity analysis reveals that the declining cost of PV panels had most impact on PV uptake followed by feed-in tariffs, renewable energy credits and the increasing cost of household electricity tariffs. Our modelling shows that feed-in tariffs were higher than necessary to achieve the resultant levels of PV uptake and that the low cost of PV panels and comparatively high electricity tariffs are likely to result in a continuing strong uptake of household PV in Australia. Our modelling shows that subsidies peaked in 2011 and 2012, with payback periods of three to four years, having since increased to five to six years. Emission reduction costs are expected to reduce from over AU$200 per t CO 2 e in 2013 to between AU$65 and AU$100 per t CO 2 e in 2020. Household PV reduced Australia’s emissions by 3.7 million t CO 2 e in 2013 (1.7% of Australia’s total emissions) and is expected to reach eight million tonnes (3.7% of Australia’s total emissions) by 2020

  19. EU Think Tank Fora as Transaction Cost Reducers: A Study of Informal Interest Intermediation in the EU

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marybel Perez

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available By examining the organisational structure of EU think tank fora (seminars, workshops and conferences, this article proposes that fora can play the role of transaction cost reducers in EU policymaking. I argue that certain aspects of EU policymaking, including i controlled processes of consultation, ii diminishing costs of management, and iii the risk of state capture, incentivise EU institutions to outsource part of the consultation activity to policy actors that can help EU institutions fulfil their informational and legitimacy needs. I argue that think tanks are able to play this role because they i reduce information asymmetries by connecting a wide variety of policy actors and ii act as intermediaries that mitigate opportunistic behaviour. The empirical assessment reveals that the dimensions characterising transactions are present in EU think tank fora. It shows that policy actors that do not usually participate in formal consultation processes frequently attend fora where they meet representatives of EU institutions, particularly Parliament and Commission representatives.

  20. Decommissioning Programme Management: reducing risk and cost while accelerating schedules through improved planning, Earned Value Management and safe work execution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hansen, S.E.

    2008-01-01

    CH2M HILL experience includes more than two decades of managing nuclear facilities and providing clean-up and operations support for commercial and government facilities worldwide. Our expertise ranges from decommissioning and defence sector businesses to nuclear technology development and innovation. Our approach places top priority on the safe execution of work while reducing both risk and cost. Our nuclear services include: programme management, nuclear safety analysis, radiological protection, radioactive waste management, nuclear remediation, nuclear materials and waste transportation management, nuclear safeguards and security services, and nuclear decontamination and decommissioning. This paper will discuss our approach which has resulted in a strong track record of accelerating schedules and reducing costs of major nuclear programmes, including Rocky Flats, Idaho, and our work at UKAEA sites. (author)

  1. Does increasing community and liquor licensees' awareness, police activity, and feedback reduce alcohol-related violent crime? A benefit-cost analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Héctor José; Shakeshaft, Anthony; Doran, Christopher M; Petrie, Dennis J

    2013-10-28

    Approximately half of all alcohol-related crime is violent crime associated with heavy episodic drinking. Multi-component interventions are highly acceptable to communities and may be effective in reducing alcohol-related crime generally, but their impact on alcohol-related violent crime has not been examined. This study evaluated the impact and benefit-cost of a multi-component intervention (increasing community and liquor licensees' awareness, police activity, and feedback) on crimes typically associated with alcohol-related violence. The intervention was tailored to weekends identified as historically problematic in 10 experimental communities in NSW, Australia, relative to 10 control ones. There was no effect on alcohol-related assaults and a small, but statistically significant and cost-beneficial, effect on alcohol-related sexual assaults: a 64% reduction in in the experimental relative to control communities, equivalent to five fewer alcohol-related sexual assaults, with a net social benefit estimated as AUD$3,938,218. The positive benefit-cost ratio was primarily a function of the value that communities placed on reducing alcohol-related harm: the intervention would need to be more than twice as effective for its economic benefits to be comparable to its costs. It is most likely that greater reductions in crimes associated with alcohol-related violence would be achieved by a combination of complementary legislative and community-based interventions.

  2. Does Increasing Community and Liquor Licensees’ Awareness, Police Activity, and Feedback Reduce Alcohol-Related Violent Crime? A Benefit-Cost Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Héctor José; Shakeshaft, Anthony; Doran, Christopher M.; Petrie, Dennis J.

    2013-01-01

    Approximately half of all alcohol-related crime is violent crime associated with heavy episodic drinking. Multi-component interventions are highly acceptable to communities and may be effective in reducing alcohol-related crime generally, but their impact on alcohol-related violent crime has not been examined. This study evaluated the impact and benefit-cost of a multi-component intervention (increasing community and liquor licensees’ awareness, police activity, and feedback) on crimes typically associated with alcohol-related violence. The intervention was tailored to weekends identified as historically problematic in 10 experimental communities in NSW, Australia, relative to 10 control ones. There was no effect on alcohol-related assaults and a small, but statistically significant and cost-beneficial, effect on alcohol-related sexual assaults: a 64% reduction in in the experimental relative to control communities, equivalent to five fewer alcohol-related sexual assaults, with a net social benefit estimated as AUD$3,938,218. The positive benefit-cost ratio was primarily a function of the value that communities placed on reducing alcohol-related harm: the intervention would need to be more than twice as effective for its economic benefits to be comparable to its costs. It is most likely that greater reductions in crimes associated with alcohol-related violence would be achieved by a combination of complementary legislative and community-based interventions. PMID:24169411

  3. Does Increasing Community and Liquor Licensees’ Awareness, Police Activity, and Feedback Reduce Alcohol-Related Violent Crime? A Benefit-Cost Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis J. Petrie

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Approximately half of all alcohol-related crime is violent crime associated with heavy episodic drinking. Multi-component interventions are highly acceptable to communities and may be effective in reducing alcohol-related crime generally, but their impact on alcohol-related violent crime has not been examined. This study evaluated the impact and benefit-cost of a multi-component intervention (increasing community and liquor licensees’ awareness, police activity, and feedback on crimes typically associated with alcohol-related violence. The intervention was tailored to weekends identified as historically problematic in 10 experimental communities in NSW, Australia, relative to 10 control ones. There was no effect on alcohol-related assaults and a small, but statistically significant and cost-beneficial, effect on alcohol-related sexual assaults: a 64% reduction in in the experimental relative to control communities, equivalent to five fewer alcohol-related sexual assaults, with a net social benefit estimated as AUD$3,938,218. The positive benefit-cost ratio was primarily a function of the value that communities placed on reducing alcohol-related harm: the intervention would need to be more than twice as effective for its economic benefits to be comparable to its costs. It is most likely that greater reductions in crimes associated with alcohol-related violence would be achieved by a combination of complementary legislative and community-based interventions.

  4. The Logistics Management Decision Support System (LMDSS) : an effective tool to reduce life cycle support costs of aviation systems

    OpenAIRE

    Moore, Ellen E.; Snyder, Carolynn M.

    1998-01-01

    Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited This thesis assesses the capability of the Logistics Management Decision Support System (LMDSS) to meet the information needs of Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) logistics managers based on surveys of logistics managers and interviews with LMDSS program representatives. The LMDSS is being introduced as a tool to facilitate action by NAVAIR logistics managers to reduce the life cycle support costs of aviation systems while protecting ...

  5. Cost/benefit tradeoffs for reducing the energy consumption of the commercial air transportation system. Volume 1: Technical analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraus, E. F.

    1976-01-01

    The effectiveness and associated costs of operational and technical options for reduced fuel consumption by Douglas aircraft in the domestic airline fleet are assessed. Areas explored include alternative procedures for airline and flight operations, advanced and state of the art technology, modification and derivative configurations, new near-term aircraft, turboprop configuration studies, and optimum aircraft geometry. Data for each aircraft studied is presented in tables and graphs.

  6. REDUCING COSTS OF TAX COMPLIANCE AND INVESTMENTS IN PUBLIC SYSTEM OF DIGITAL BOOKKEEPING – SPED – IN BRAZIL

    OpenAIRE

    Edson Sampaio de Lima; Napoleão Verardi Galegale; Carlos Hideo Arima; Pedro Luiz Côrtes

    2016-01-01

    The Public System of Digital Bookkeeping – SPED was developed with the intention of further integration between the tax administrations themselves, then between them and the taxpayers, through the use of technology and, consequently, socioeconomic data standard, in a single environment, raising the tax collection efficiency and reducing the costs of administration and compliance. This article intends to contribute to the analysis of public investments directed to the establishment and mainten...

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