WorldWideScience

Sample records for technology-aided approaches improved

  1. Conceptualization of Approaches and Thought Processes Emerging in Validating of Model in Mathematical Modeling in Technology Aided Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hidiroglu, Çaglar Naci; Bukova Güzel, Esra

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the present study is to conceptualize the approaches displayed for validation of model and thought processes provided in mathematical modeling process performed in technology-aided learning environment. The participants of this grounded theory study were nineteen secondary school mathematics student teachers. The data gathered from the…

  2. Graphic Comprehension and Interpretation Skills of Preservice Teachers with Different Learning Approaches in a Technology-Aided Learning Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Çelik, Harun; Pektas, Hüseyin Miraç

    2017-01-01

    A one-group quasi-experimental design and survey methodology were used to investigate the effect of virtual laboratory practices on preservice teachers' (N = 29) graphic comprehension and interpretation skills with different learning approaches. Pretest and posttest data were collected with the Test of Understanding Kinematic Graphs. The Learning…

  3. How Digital Health Technology Aids Physicians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nik Tehrani

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available There is so much health and medical information available today that physicians cannot be expected to know it all. Thus, advances in technology have become a necessity for doctors to track patient information and care, and add to patient databases for reference and to conduct research. It is important to understand the new language of digital health, such as Personal Health Record (PHR, Electronic Medical Record (EMR and Electronic Health Record (EHR, all of which sound similar, but are not interchangeable. The ideal comprehensive IT system would empower patients, advance healthcare delivery and transform patient data into life-saving research (Kaiser, 2015. OmniFluent Health is language translation software that will allow for better patient/practitioner communication and avoid errors. Digital technology employs the use of big data that is shared, accessed, compiled and applied using analytics. However, information transfer, especially as mandated by current ethics of use of technology, has resulted into breach of patient privacy. Improved digital technology is providing the health care field with upgrades that are necessary, electronic files and health records, from mobile apps, and remote monitoring devices.

  4. Improving immunization approaches to cholera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, Amit; Rosewell, Alexander; Hayen, Andrew; MacIntyre, C Raina; Qadri, Firdausi

    2017-03-01

    Cholera's impact is greatest in resource-limited countries. In the last decade several large epidemics have led to a global push to improve and implement the tools for cholera prevention and control. Areas covered: PubMed, Google Scholar and the WHO website were searched to review the literature and summarize the current status of cholera vaccines to make recommendations on improving immunization approaches to cholera. Oral cholera vaccines (OCVs) have demonstrated their effectiveness in endemic, outbreak response and emergency settings, highlighting their potential for wider adoption. While two doses of the currently available OCVs are recommended by manufacturers, a single dose would be easier to implement. Encouragingly, recent studies have shown that cold chain requirements may no longer be essential. The establishment of the global OCV stockpile in 2013 has been a major advance in cholera preparedness. New killed and live-attenuated vaccines are being actively explored as candidate vaccines for endemic settings and/or as a traveller's vaccine. The recent advances in cholera vaccination approaches should be considered in the global cholera control strategy. Expert commentary: The development of affordable cholera vaccines is a major success to improve cholera control. New vaccines and country specific interventions will further reduce the burden of this disease globally.

  5. Approaches for improving cancer radiotherapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalia, Vijay K.

    2013-01-01

    Radiation and cancer are intricately related. Radiotherapy, either alone or in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy, is used for treatment of 60% of cancers. It will continue to be the mainstay for multi-modality treatment protocols unit new molecular therapies can be developed and brought to the stage of clinical trials. It will continue to be relevant thereafter, to compare the efficacy and cost effectiveness of the novel drugs under development. And it could also be useful as an adjuvant therapy, to augment the effects of novel drugs, at optimum dose levels. However, radiation is a well documented carcinogenic agent. Several studies have shown a statistically significant, though small enhancement in the risk of second malignancies, particularly in long-term survivors. The above discussions suggest that it is imperative to carry out preclinical radiobiological research for increasing tumor cell damage, while reducing the effective radiation doses. Development of radiobiological research programs in our institutions of higher learning such as post graduate medical institutions, cancer centers and universities could lead to the generation of a wealth of radiobiological data with potential clinical applications. Radiobiologists could utilize the infra-structure such as expensive radiotherapy equipment as well as clinical materials. For example, tumour biopsies readily available in the medical and cancer centers. However, if these studies have clinically meaningful implications it will be important to facilitate very close interactions between the basic scientists and clinicians. Some of the approaches for improving radiotherapy of cancer will be very briefly reviewed. Our current work about the effects of radiation-drug and drug-drug interactions for increasing cellular damage and death in brain tumor cells will also be presented. (author)

  6. Extending technology-aided leisure and communication programs to persons with spinal cord injury and post-coma multiple disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lancioni, Giulio E; Singh, Nirbhay N; O'Reilly, Mark F; Sigafoos, Jeff; Ricciuti, Riccardo A; Trignani, Roberto; Oliva, Doretta; Signorino, Mario; D'Amico, Fiora; Sasanelli, Giovanni

    2015-01-01

    These two studies extended technology-aided programs to promote leisure and communication opportunities to a man with cervical spinal cord injury and a post-coma man with multiple disabilities. The studies involved the use of ABAB designs, in which A and B represented baseline and intervention phases, respectively. The programs focused on enabling the participants to activate songs, videos, requests, text messages, and telephone calls. These options were presented on a computer screen and activated through a small pressure microswitch by the man with spinal cord injury and a special touch screen by the post-coma man. To help the latter participant, who had no verbal skills, with requests and telephone calls, series of words and phrases were made available that he could activate in those situations. Data showed that both participants were successful in managing the programs arranged for them. The man with spinal cord injury activated mean frequencies of above five options per 10-min session. The post-coma man activated mean frequencies of about 12 options per 20-min session. Technology-aided programs for promoting leisure and communication opportunities might be successfully tailored to persons with spinal cord injury and persons with post-coma multiple disabilities. Implications for Rehabilitation Technology-aided programs may be critical to enable persons with pervasive motor impairment to engage in leisure activities and communication events independently. Persons with spinal cord injury, post-coma extended brain damage, and forms of neurodegenerative disease, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, may benefit from those programs. The programs could be adapted to the participants' characteristics, both in terms of technology and contents, so as to improve their overall impact on the participants' functioning and general mood.

  7. Interpreting the CMMI a process improvement approach

    CERN Document Server

    Kulpa, Margaret K

    2008-01-01

    Written by experienced process improvement professionals who have developed and implemented computer based systems in organizations around the world, Interpreting the CMMI®: A Process Improvement Approach, Second Edition provides you with specific techniques for performing process improvement. Employing everyday language and supported by real world examples, the authors describe the fundamental concepts of the CMMI model, covering goals, practices, architecture, and definitions, and provide a structured approach for implementing the concepts of the CMMI into any organization. They discuss gett

  8. Cultivating collaborative improvement: an action learning approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Middel, H.G.A.; McNichols, Timothy

    2006-01-01

    The process of implementing collaborative initiatives across disparate members of supply networks is fraught with difficulties. One approach designed to tackle the difficulties of organisational change and interorganisational improvement in practice is 'action learning'. This paper examines the

  9. Methodological approach to organizational performance improvement process

    OpenAIRE

    Buble, Marin; Dulčić, Želimir; Pavić, Ivan

    2017-01-01

    Organizational performance improvement is one of the fundamental enterprise tasks. This especially applies to the case when the term “performance improvement” implies efficiency improvement measured by indicators, such as ROI, ROE, ROA, or ROVA/ROI. Such tasks are very complex, requiring implementation by means of project management. In this paper, the authors propose a methodological approach to improving the organizational performance of a large enterprise.

  10. Methodological approach to organizational performance improvement process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marin Buble

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Organizational performance improvement is one of the fundamental enterprise tasks. This especially applies to the case when the term “performance improvement” implies efficiency improvement measured by indicators, such as ROI, ROE, ROA, or ROVA/ROI. Such tasks are very complex, requiring implementation by means of project management. In this paper, the authors propose a methodological approach to improving the organizational performance of a large enterprise.

  11. Practical Approaches to Quality Improvement for Radiologists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Aine Marie; Cronin, Paul

    2015-10-01

    Continuous quality improvement is a fundamental attribute of high-performing health care systems. Quality improvement is an essential component of health care, with the current emphasis on adding value. It is also a regulatory requirement, with reimbursements increasingly being linked to practice performance metrics. Practice quality improvement efforts must be demonstrated for credentialing purposes and for certification of radiologists in practice. Continuous quality improvement must occur for radiologists to remain competitive in an increasingly diverse health care market. This review provides an introduction to the main approaches available to undertake practice quality improvement, which will be useful for busy radiologists. Quality improvement plays multiple roles in radiology services, including ensuring and improving patient safety, providing a framework for implementing and improving processes to increase efficiency and reduce waste, analyzing and depicting performance data, monitoring performance and implementing change, enabling personnel assessment and development through continued education, and optimizing customer service and patient outcomes. The quality improvement approaches and underlying principles overlap, which is not surprising given that they all align with good patient care. The application of these principles to radiology practices not only benefits patients but also enhances practice performance through promotion of teamwork and achievement of goals. © RSNA, 2015.

  12. Interdisciplinary approach for improved esthetic results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G Sriram

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This clinical report describes an interdisciplinary (orthodontic, prosthodontics and operative dentist approach for the coordinated treatment of an adult patient diagnosed with severely mutilated dentition secondary to caries lesion warranting restorative procedures that was facilitated with orthodontic treatment. The patient′s specific esthetic expectation for the anterior teeth and improved smile were successfully met through planned treatment, including orthodontic tooth movement, restoration and porcelain conversion crowns. Such coordinated interdisciplinary evaluations and treatment are necessary for improved esthetics.

  13. Performance improvement integration: a whole systems approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, C K

    1999-02-01

    Performance improvement integration in health care organizations is a challenge for health care leaders. Required for accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (Joint Commission), performance improvement (PI) can be designed as a sustainable model for performance to survive in a turbulent period. Central Baptist Hospital developed a model for PI that focused on strategy established by the leadership team, delineated responsibility through the organizational structure of shared governance, and accountability for outcomes evidenced through the organization's profitability. Such an approach integrated into the culture of the organization can produce positive financial margins, positive customer satisfaction, and commendations from the Joint Commission.

  14. Realistic biological approaches for improving thermoradiotherapy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Horsman, Michael R

    2016-01-01

    components of tumours. Strategies include targeting the radiation DNA repair processes, improving drug delivery using nanoparticles, exploiting immunotherapy mechanisms, reducing tumour pH, or modifying the tumour vascular supply. All of these approaches have been combined with either hyperthermia...... or radiation in preclinical models and clear benefits in tumour response observed. But few of these methods have actually been combined with thermoradiotherapy. Furthermore, very few combinations have been tested in relevant normal tissue studies, despite the fact that it is the normal tissue response...

  15. Activating clinical trials: a process improvement approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Diego A; Tsalatsanis, Athanasios; Yalcin, Ali; Zayas-Castro, José L; Djulbegovic, Benjamin

    2016-02-24

    The administrative process associated with clinical trial activation has been criticized as costly, complex, and time-consuming. Prior research has concentrated on identifying administrative barriers and proposing various solutions to reduce activation time, and consequently associated costs. Here, we expand on previous research by incorporating social network analysis and discrete-event simulation to support process improvement decision-making. We searched for all operational data associated with the administrative process of activating industry-sponsored clinical trials at the Office of Clinical Research of the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. We limited the search to those trials initiated and activated between July 2011 and June 2012. We described the process using value stream mapping, studied the interactions of the various process participants using social network analysis, and modeled potential process modifications using discrete-event simulation. The administrative process comprised 5 sub-processes, 30 activities, 11 decision points, 5 loops, and 8 participants. The mean activation time was 76.6 days. Rate-limiting sub-processes were those of contract and budget development. Key participants during contract and budget development were the Office of Clinical Research, sponsors, and the principal investigator. Simulation results indicate that slight increments on the number of trials, arriving to the Office of Clinical Research, would increase activation time by 11 %. Also, incrementing the efficiency of contract and budget development would reduce the activation time by 28 %. Finally, better synchronization between contract and budget development would reduce time spent on batching documentation; however, no improvements would be attained in total activation time. The presented process improvement analytic framework not only identifies administrative barriers, but also helps to devise and evaluate potential improvement scenarios. The strength

  16. APPROACH FOR IMPROVING THE INTEGRATED SENSOR ORIENTATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Mitishita

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The direct determination of exterior orientation parameters (EOP of aerial images via integration of the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU and GPS is often used in photogrammetric mapping nowadays. The accuracies of the EOP depend on the accurate parameters related to sensors mounting when the job is performed (offsets of the IMU relative to the projection centre and the angles of boresigth misalignment between the IMU and the photogrammetric coordinate system. In principle, when the EOP values do not achieve the required accuracies for the photogrammetric application, the approach, known as Integrated Sensor Orientation (ISO, is used to refine the direct EOP. ISO approach requires accurate Interior Orientation Parameters (IOP and standard deviation of the EOP under flight condition. This paper investigates the feasibility of use the in situ camera calibration to obtain these requirements. The camera calibration uses a small sub block of images, extracted from the entire block. A digital Vexcel UltraCam XP camera connected to APPLANIX POS AVTM system was used to get two small blocks of images that were use in this study. The blocks have different flight heights and opposite flight directions. The proposed methodology improved significantly the vertical and horizontal accuracies of the 3D point intersection. Using a minimum set of control points, the horizontal and vertical accuracies achieved nearly one image pixel of resolution on the ground (GSD. The experimental results are shown and discussed.

  17. A Technology-Aided Program to Support Basic Occupational Engagement and Mobility in Persons with Multiple Disabilities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulio E. Lancioni

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available BackgroundPersons with severe/profound intellectual and multiple disabilities tend to be passive and sedentary. Promoting their occupational engagement and mobility (i.e., indoor walking can help to modify their condition and improve their environmental input, health, and social image.AimThis study assessed whether a technology-aided program was suitable to (a support independent occupation and mobility in eight participants with intellectual and sensory disabilities and (b eventually increase the participants’ heart rates to levels considered beneficial for them.MethodThe program, which involved a computer system regulating the presentation of auditory or visual cues and the delivery of preferred stimulation, was introduced according to a non-concurrent multiple baseline design across participants. The auditory or visual cues guided the participants to collect objects from different desks and to transport them to a final destination (i.e., depositing them into a carton. Preferred stimulation was available to the participants for collecting and for depositing the objects.ResultsDuring the program, all participants had an increase in their independent responses of collecting objects and transporting them to the final destination. Their heart rates also increased to levels reflecting moderate-intensity physical exercise, potentially beneficial for their health.ConclusionA program, such as that used in this study, can promote occupational engagement and mobility in persons with multiple disabilities.

  18. A Technology-Aided Program to Support Basic Occupational Engagement and Mobility in Persons with Multiple Disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lancioni, Giulio E; Singh, Nirbhay N; O'Reilly, Mark F; Sigafoos, Jeff; Alberti, Gloria; Campodonico, Francesca; Perilli, Viviana; Chiariello, Valeria; Zimbaro, Carmen

    2017-01-01

    Persons with severe/profound intellectual and multiple disabilities tend to be passive and sedentary. Promoting their occupational engagement and mobility (i.e., indoor walking) can help to modify their condition and improve their environmental input, health, and social image. This study assessed whether a technology-aided program was suitable to (a) support independent occupation and mobility in eight participants with intellectual and sensory disabilities and (b) eventually increase the participants' heart rates to levels considered beneficial for them. The program, which involved a computer system regulating the presentation of auditory or visual cues and the delivery of preferred stimulation, was introduced according to a non-concurrent multiple baseline design across participants. The auditory or visual cues guided the participants to collect objects from different desks and to transport them to a final destination (i.e., depositing them into a carton). Preferred stimulation was available to the participants for collecting and for depositing the objects. During the program, all participants had an increase in their independent responses of collecting objects and transporting them to the final destination. Their heart rates also increased to levels reflecting moderate-intensity physical exercise, potentially beneficial for their health. A program, such as that used in this study, can promote occupational engagement and mobility in persons with multiple disabilities.

  19. Assisting persons with advanced amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in their leisure engagement and communication needs with a basic technology-aided program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lancioni, Giulio E; Simone, Isabella L; De Caro, Maria F; Singh, Nirbhay N; O'Reilly, Mark F; Sigafoos, Jeff; Ferlisi, Gabriele; Zullo, Valeria; Schirone, Simona; Denitto, Floriana; Zonno, Nadia

    2015-01-01

    Eye-tracking communication devices and brain-computer interfaces are the two resources available to help people with advanced amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) avoid isolation and passivity. This study was aimed at assessing a technology-aided program (i.e., a third possible resource) for five patients with advanced ALS who needed support for communication and leisure activities. The participants were exposed to baseline and intervention conditions. The technology-aided program, which was used during the intervention, (a) included the communication and leisure options that each participant considered important for him or her (e.g., music, videos, statements/requests, and text messaging) and (b) allowed the participant to access those options with minimal responses (e.g., finger movement or eyelid closure) monitored via microswitches. The participants started leisure and communication engagement independently only during the intervention (i.e., when the program was used). The mean percentages of session time spent in those forms of engagement were between about 60 and 80. Preference checks and brief interviews indicated that participants and families liked the program. The program might be viewed as an additional approach/resource for patients with advanced ALS.

  20. Technology-aided leisure and communication: Opportunities for persons with advanced Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lancioni, Giulio; Singh, Nirbhay; O'Reilly, Mark; Sigafoos, Jeff; D'Amico, Fiora; Sasanelli, Giovanni; Denitto, Floriana; Lang, Russell

    2016-12-01

    This study investigated whether simple technology-aided programs could be used to promote leisure and communication engagement in three persons with advanced Parkinson's disease. The programs included music and video options, which were combined with (a) text messaging and telephone calls for the first participant, (b) verbal statements/requests, text messaging, and reading for the second participant, and (c) verbal statements/requests and prayers for the third participant. The participants could activate those options via hand movement or vocal emission and specific microswitches. All three participants were successful in activating the options available. The mean cumulative frequencies of option activations were about five per 15-min session for the first two participants and about four per 10-min session for the third participant. The results were considered encouraging and relevant given the limited amount of evidence available on helping persons with advanced Parkinson's disease with leisure and communication.

  1. Using Data to Improve Instruction: Different Approaches for Different Goals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieman, Rob

    2014-01-01

    What data should teachers use, and how should they use these data to improve their teaching? In this review, a diverse set of literature that addresses this question is categorized according to three distinct approaches: the diagnostic approach, the methods approach, and the teacher approach. Within the diagnostic approach, teachers collect data…

  2. Mentoring approach improves evaluation capacity of ICTD ...

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

    Developing Evaluation Capacity in ICTD (DECI) provides researchers from five IDRC-funded projects in Asia ongoing mentorship to learn and apply the Utilization Focused Evaluation (UFE) approach to their projects. DECI demonstrates the value of mentoring as a training approach, where researchers are coached as they ...

  3. Technology-Aided Pictorial Cues to Support the Performance of Daily Activities by Persons with Moderate Alzheimer's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lancioni, Giulio E.; Perilli, Viviana; Singh, Nirbhay N.; O'Reilly, Mark F.; Sigafoos, Jeff; Cassano, Germana; Pinto, Katia; Minervini, Mauro G.; Oliva, Doretta

    2012-01-01

    We developed a technology-aided intervention strategy relying on pictorial cues alone or in combination with verbal instructions and assessed these two versions of the strategy with three persons with moderate Alzheimer's disease. In Section I of the study, the strategy version with pictorial cues plus verbal instructions was compared with an…

  4. Persons with Multiple Disabilities Use Forehead and Smile Responses to Access or Choose among Technology-Aided Stimulation Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lancioni, Giulio E.; Singh, Nirbhay N.; O'Reilly, Mark F.; Sigafoos, Jeff; Alberti, Gloria; Bellini, Domencio; Oliva, Doretta; Boccasini, Adele; La Martire, Maria L.; Signorino, Mario

    2013-01-01

    A variety of technology-aided programs have been developed to help persons with congenital or acquired multiple disabilities access preferred stimuli or choose among stimulus options. The application of those programs may pose problems when the participants have very limited behavior repertoires and are unable to use conventional responses and…

  5. Occupational Analysis: A Continuous Improvement Approach

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Duffy, Tom

    1998-01-01

    .... In doing so, the Air Force has implemented "Quality Air Force (QAF)" (AF Handbook 90-502). QAF is a leadership commitment that inspires trust, teamwork, and continuous improvement everywhere in the Air Force...

  6. An integrated approach for prioritized process improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanteddu, Gangaraju; McAllister, Charles D

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to propose an integrated framework to simultaneously identify and improve healthcare processes that are important from the healthcare provider's and patient's perspectives. A modified quality function deployment (QFD) chart is introduced to the field of healthcare quality assurance. A healthcare service example is used to demonstrate the utility of the proposed chart. The proposed framework is versatile and can be used in a wide variety of healthcare quality improvement contexts, wherein, two different perspectives are needed to be considered for identifying and improving critical healthcare processes. The modified QFD chart used in conjunction with the stacked Pareto chart will facilitate the identification of key performance metrics from the patient's and the hospital's perspectives. Subsequently, the chief contributory factors at different levels are identified in a very efficient manner. Healthcare quality improvement professionals will be able to use the proposed modified QFD chart in association with stacked Pareto chart for effective quality assurance.

  7. A Measurement Approach for Process Improvement | Woherem ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    engineering project. They do so through planned rearchitecting of their processes to engender higher magnitudes of improvements. However, in almost all the organisations undertaking process re-engineering, they do so blindly without any means ...

  8. An improved Hough transform-based fingerprint alignment approach

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mlambo, CS

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available An improved Hough Transform based fingerprint alignment approach is presented, which improves computing time and memory usage with accurate alignment parameter (rotation and translation) results. This is achieved by studying the strengths...

  9. Approaches for improving thermostability characteristics in cellulases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anbar, Michael; Bayer, Edward A

    2012-01-01

    Many efforts have been invested to reduce the cost of biofuel production to substitute renewable sources of energy for fossil-based fuels. At the forefront of these efforts are the initiatives to convert plant-derived cellulosic material to biofuels. Although significant improvements have been achieved recently in cellulase engineering in both efficiency and cost reduction, complete degradation of lignocellulosic material still requires very long periods of time and high enzyme loads. Thermostable cellulases offer many advantages in the bioconversion process, which include increase in specific activity, higher levels of stability, inhibition of microbial growth, increase in mass transfer rate due to lower fluid viscosity, and greater flexibility in the bioprocess. Besides rational design methods, which require deep understanding of protein structure-function relationship, two of the major methods for improvement in specific cellulase properties are directed evolution and knowledge-based library design based on multiple sequence alignments. In this chapter, we provide protocols for constructing and screening of improved thermostable cellulases. Modifications of these protocols may also be used for screening for other improved properties of cellulases such as pH tolerance, high salt, and more. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Mentoring approach improves evaluation capacity of ICTD ...

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

    2016-06-09

    Jun 9, 2016 ... DECI illustrates that evaluation is an important element in improving project effectiveness. In particular, it highlights several factors to help ensure a useful evaluation: Seeing evaluation as an opportunity for learning rather than as an accountability exercise;; Defining the uses of evaluation, and making sure ...

  11. Informatics Approach to Improving Surgical Skills Training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islam, Gazi

    2013-01-01

    Surgery as a profession requires significant training to improve both clinical decision making and psychomotor proficiency. In the medical knowledge domain, tools have been developed, validated, and accepted for evaluation of surgeons' competencies. However, assessment of the psychomotor skills still relies on the Halstedian model of…

  12. Improving English Pronunciation: An Automated Instructional Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sugata Mitra

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes an experiment in which groups of children attempted to improve their English pronunciation using an English-language learning software, some English films, and a speech-to-text software engine. The experiment was designed to examine two hypotheses. The first is that speech-to-text software, trained in an appropriate voice, can act as an evaluator of accent and clarity of speech as well as help learners acquire a standard way of speaking. The second is that groups of children can operate a computer and improve their pronunciation and clarity of speech, on their own, with no intervention from teachers. The results of the experiment are positive and point to a possible new pedagogy.

  13. AIM: An Integrated Approach to Organizational Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald A. Styron, Jr.

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available This concept paper is based on the new problem-solving model of Blended Leadership called Alloy Improvement Model (AIM. This model consists of an integration of change theory, leadership theory, and democratic principles and practices to form a comprehensive problem-solving strategy for organizational leaders. The utilization of AIM will assist leaders in moving from problems to solutions while engaging stakeholders in a comprehensive, efficient, inclusive, informative, integrated and transparent process.

  14. Multidisciplinary approach to improving pain management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Laura; Kelly, Mary Jo; Roosa, Kristin

    2012-01-01

    On a 30-bed trauma surgical unit in an academic medical center, a best practice group was established. For a first project, we worked on improving the patient's pain experience. The decision was driven by the units Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) pain scores. We had consistently been in the 1st percentile whereas best practice hospital scores were in the 68th percentile for pain. In addition, patients were expressing dissatisfaction with pain care during wound care with physicians. We reviewed the HCAHPS scores and brainstormed possible factors leading to patients' dissatisfaction with their pain care. Staff developed a teaching tool, which included a communication plan for the individual patient's pain plan. Next, we addressed the wound care with the trauma surgeons to develop a better understanding of the problem and identify a solution. The best practice group collaboration meeting became a springboard to address the pain issue for surgical patients through their hospital stays. The nurse manager, educator, pain relief attendant, anesthesia attendant, and 2 trauma surgeons met to discuss how to improve the surgical patient's pain experience. This trauma surgical unit now exceeds the top performers in HCAHPS scores. We have moved from the 1st percentile to the 90th percentile in 5 months.

  15. The quick draw approach to quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, N C

    1999-01-01

    In 1996, the North Heart Center, part of North Memorial Health Care in Robbinsdale, Minn., invested over $30,000 in a quality improvement project. Hospital administration put its support behind the effort when results began to show better outcomes, more efficiency, improved patient and provider satisfaction, and cost reduction in the system. The purpose for North Heart Center was to reduce mortality rates by 50 percent. A team of between eight and 12 people met weekly and kept to a focused and aggressive schedule. A fast-paced, action-oriented schedule helped the team maintain, its momentum throughout the process, allowing a steady stream of smaller accomplishments that moved toward the overall goal. The team found that though there was resistance, people ultimately joined when they saw the process worked. A process-flow diagram helped chart every step of any given process. The team found that people focus better on one or two variables rather than attempting to do too much at one time. Examining results to see what works and what doesn't was the next step, followed by summarizing and then redesigning the cycle to try again. Posting data in appropriate areas proved effective in eliciting support throughout the organization. The team worked hard to cultivate trust for the ideas people brought to the table. Completion of North Heart Center's initial project took several years and focuses now on reducing atrial fibrillation in cardiac surgery patients.

  16. Efficacy of a Template Creation Approach for Performance Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, Paul R.

    2011-01-01

    This article presents the training and performance improvement approach, performance templates (P-T), and provides empirical evidence to support the efficacy of P-T. This approach involves a partnership among managers, trainers, and employees in the creation, use, and improvement of guides to affect the performance of critical tasks in the…

  17. Evaluate to Improve: Useful Approaches to Student Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golding, Clinton; Adam, Lee

    2016-01-01

    Many teachers in higher education use feedback from students to evaluate their teaching, but only some use these evaluations to improve their teaching. One important factor that makes the difference is the teacher's approach to their evaluations. In this article, we identify some useful approaches for improving teaching. We conducted focus groups…

  18. An evaluation approach for alarm processing improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Jung-Taek; Lee, Dong-Young; Hwang, In-Koo; Park, Jae-Chang

    1997-01-01

    In light of the need to improve MMIS of NPPs, the advanced I and C research team of KAERI has embarked on developing an Alarm and Diagnosis-Integrated Operator Support System, called ADIOS, to filter or suppress unnecessary or nuisance alarms and diagnose abnormality of the plant process. ADIOS has been built in an object-oriented AI environment of G-2 expert system software tool, as presented in a companion paper. ADIOS then is evaluated according to the plan in three steps; (1) preliminary tests to refine the knowledge base and inference structure of ADIOS in such a dynamic environment, and also to evaluate the appropriateness of alarm-processing algorithms; (2) to ensure correctness, consistency, and completeness in the knowledge base using COKEP (Checker Of Knowledge base using Extended Petri net); and (3) the cognitive performance evaluation using the Simulation Analyzer with a Cognitive Operator Model (SACOM) in the KAERI's Integrated Test Facility (ITF). (author). 5 figs, 1 tab

  19. Improving Students' Vocabulary Mastery Using Linguistic Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I Ketut Warta

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available It is taken for granted that students' vocabulary can be developed to a certain degree and its development can be done through a number of ways. This study investigated the effectiveness of linguistic approach in developing EFL learners' vocabulary. 50 participants were involved in the study. They were divided into experimental and controlled groups, consisting of 25 students. The experimental group was taught using linguistic method while the controlled was instructed with a conventional method. The experiment was carried out in the classroom setting and lasted for one semester. The two groups were evaluated by means of pre-and post-test. The results show that the experimental group performed better than the controlled. The value of t-test is bigger than the value of t-table, and assessment of student' performance level, by the help of two native speakers, shows significant development; it developed from marginal to modest or between modest and competent, or from basic level to intermediate with the mean difference of 1.76.

  20. Technology-aided programs for post-coma patients emerged from or in a minimally conscious state

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulio E. Lancioni

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Post-coma persons in a minimally conscious state (MCS or emerged/emerging from such state (E-MCS, who are affected by extensive motor impairment and lack of speech, may develop an active role and interact with their environment with the help of technology-aided intervention programs. Although a number of studies have been conducted in this area during the last few years, new evidence about the efficacy of those programs is warranted. These three studies were an effort in that direction. Study I assessed a technology-aided program to enable six MCS participants to access preferred environmental stimulation independently. Studies II and III assessed technology-aided programs to enable six E-MCS participants to make choices. In Study II, three of those participants were led to choose among leisure and social stimuli, and caregiver interventions automatically presented to them. In Study III, the remaining three participants were led to choose (a among general stimulus/intervention options (e.g., songs, video-recordings of family members, and caregiver interventions and then (b among variants of those options. The results of all three studies were largely positive with substantial increases of independent stimulation access for the participants of Study I and independent choice behavior for the participants of Studies II and III. The results were analyzed in relation to previous data and in terms of their implications for daily contexts working with MCS and E-MCS persons affected by multiple disabilities.

  1. Technological aids for the rehabilitation of memory and executive functioning in children and adolescents with acquired brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linden, Mark; Hawley, Carol; Blackwood, Bronagh; Evans, Jonathan; Anderson, Vicki; O'Rourke, Conall

    2016-07-01

    The use of technology in healthcare settings is on the increase and may represent a cost-effective means of delivering rehabilitation. Reductions in treatment time, and delivery in the home, are also thought to be benefits of this approach. Children and adolescents with brain injury often experience deficits in memory and executive functioning that can negatively affect their school work, social lives, and future occupations. Effective interventions that can be delivered at home, without the need for high-cost clinical involvement, could provide a means to address a current lack of provision.We have systematically reviewed studies examining the effects of technology-based interventions for the rehabilitation of deficits in memory and executive functioning in children and adolescents with acquired brain injury. To assess the effects of technology-based interventions compared to placebo intervention, no treatment, or other types of intervention, on the executive functioning and memory of children and adolescents with acquired brain injury. We ran the search on the 30 September 2015. We searched the Cochrane Injuries Group Specialised Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Ovid MEDLINE(R), Ovid MEDLINE(R) In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, Ovid MEDLINE(R) Daily and Ovid OLDMEDLINE(R), EMBASE Classic + EMBASE (OvidSP), ISI Web of Science (SCI-EXPANDED, SSCI, CPCI-S, and CPSI-SSH), CINAHL Plus (EBSCO), two other databases, and clinical trials registers. We also searched the internet, screened reference lists, and contacted authors of included studies. Randomised controlled trials comparing the use of a technological aid for the rehabilitation of children and adolescents with memory or executive-functioning deficits with placebo, no treatment, or another intervention. Two review authors independently reviewed titles and abstracts identified by the search strategy. Following retrieval of full-text manuscripts, two review authors

  2. The Divisional Approach to Achieving Hospital Improvement Goals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortazzo, Arnold D.; Allen, Robert M.

    1971-01-01

    The divisional or horizontal approach, rather than the traditional or vertical model, was employed in improving the major organizations and programatic and service structure of a residential facility for retardates, Sunland Training Center (Miami, Florida). (KW)

  3. Improved particle swarm optimization approach for nonconvex static ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    increases due to the multiple constraints that need to be satisfied. This paper proposes an improved particle swarm optimization approach (IPSO) for solving nonconvex static and dynamic economic dispatch. The classical PSO (CPSO) approach suffers from the problem of premature convergence, particularly for complex ...

  4. Sustaining Operational Resiliency: A Process Improvement Approach to Security Management

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Caralli, Richard A

    2006-01-01

    .... Coordinating these efforts to sustain operational resiliency requires a process-oriented approach that can be defined, measured, and actively managed. This report describes the fundamental elements and benefits of a process approach to security and operational resiliency and provides a notional view of a framework for process improvement.

  5. An Improved Metric Learning Approach for Degraded Face Recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guofeng Zou

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available To solve the matching problem of the elements in different data collections, an improved coupled metric learning approach is proposed. First, we improved the supervised locality preserving projection algorithm and added the within-class and between-class information of the improved algorithm to coupled metric learning, so a novel coupled metric learning method is proposed. Furthermore, we extended this algorithm to nonlinear space, and the kernel coupled metric learning method based on supervised locality preserving projection is proposed. In kernel coupled metric learning approach, two elements of different collections are mapped to the unified high dimensional feature space by kernel function, and then generalized metric learning is performed in this space. Experiments based on Yale and CAS-PEAL-R1 face databases demonstrate that the proposed kernel coupled approach performs better in low-resolution and fuzzy face recognition and can reduce the computing time; it is an effective metric method.

  6. Improving the Earthquake Resilience of Buildings The worst case approach

    CERN Document Server

    Takewaki, Izuru; Fujita, Kohei

    2013-01-01

    Engineers are always interested in the worst-case scenario. One of the most important and challenging missions of structural engineers may be to narrow the range of unexpected incidents in building structural design. Redundancy, robustness and resilience play an important role in such circumstances. Improving the Earthquake Resilience of Buildings: The worst case approach discusses the importance of worst-scenario approach for improved earthquake resilience of buildings and nuclear reactor facilities. Improving the Earthquake Resilience of Buildings: The worst case approach consists of two parts. The first part deals with the characterization and modeling of worst or critical ground motions on inelastic structures and the related worst-case scenario in the structural design of ordinary simple building structures. The second part of the book focuses on investigating the worst-case scenario for passively controlled and base-isolated buildings. This allows for detailed consideration of a range of topics includin...

  7. Crafting a Software Process Improvement Approach - A Retrospective Systematization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kuhrmann, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Structured approaches are beneficial for successful software process improvement (SPI). However, process engineers often struggle with standardized SPI methods, such as capability maturity model integration (CMMI) or International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 15504, and complain about too...... and provide a structured reflection on our experiences from creating and adopting the Artifact-based Software Process Improvement & Management (ArSPI) model. We present the steps of the construction procedure, the validation, and the dissemination of the model. Furthermore, we detail on the applied methods......, the design decisions, and the challenges encountered. By providing a reference procedure and tested methods, we support process engineers with the creation and adoption of SPI approaches....

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijsse, G.J.P.

    2001-01-01

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

  9. Lead farmers approach in disseminating improved tef production ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Lead farmers approach in disseminating improved tef production technologies. ... The results of the analysis showed that eight of the lead farmers were very satisfied with the new variety. High grain yield was obtained at the 10 on-farm sites due to the introduction of new variety. While the grain yields ranged from 0.7 and 2.9 ...

  10. Fabrication approaches for plasmon-improved photovoltaic cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gritti, Claudia; Malureanu, Radu; Kardynal, B.

    During this talk we will present various fabrication approaches to improve the performance of photovoltaic (PV) cells by using metallic nanoparticles in order to generate photocurrent below the bandgap. This effect is possible due to the generation of surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) in optimized...

  11. Making sense of geoscientific concepts using active pedagogy techniques, a technology aided experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huguet, C.; Noè, L. F.; Pearse, J.; Gómez Pérez, M.; Valencia Lopez, D.; Jimenez Heredia, A.; Patiño Avedaño, M.

    2016-12-01

    This work is the result of a teaching innovation project funded by the Conecta-TE unit at Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia and results from the collaborative work of a team of geoscience professors and pedagogic and technical support experts. The need for this innovation stems from the constraints of teaching an applied science subject to a large cohort of approximately 500 students per semester in five sections which makes it impossible to include laboratories or scientific outings. These factors are compounded by the fact this is an introductory core course for Geoscience but also a service course that can be taken by any student on campus whether they have a scientific background or not. Therefore our aim was double: making the basic concepts more understandable for a broad audience, while at the same time maintaining a sufficiently high level to challenge and form a sound basis for students from the Geosciences program. Additionally we wanted to incorporate more active and practical aspects to the subject in order to enhance student learning. This in itself was challenging with groups of over 90 students. Data on student understanding and satisfaction were collected both in classes where the innovation was implemented and others in which it was not. Generally our innovation was positively rated, however the students perceived that it involved more work than the traditional lecture-based classes, but they preferred the continual assessment to traditional homework. The methodology was improved and implemented fully for the second round of teaching by introducing the methodology and objectives more clearly. In the future we expect to reduce the number of activities per class (the ´less-is-more' approach) whilst at the same time increasing the amount of classes which include active learning techniques. The ultimate goal is to extend the experience from the two current sections to all five sections of the course.

  12. Utilizing a disease management approach to improve ESRD patient outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anand, Shaan; Nissenson, Allen R

    2002-01-01

    In this era of processes and systems to improve quality, disease management is one methodology to improve care delivery and outcomes for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). In most disease management systems a senior renal nurse coordinates all aspects of the patient's care and ensures that the prescribed and necessary care is delivered for both CKD-related and comorbid conditions. The nurse also continually monitors outcomes on quality indicators and key performance measures. These outcome data are then aggregated and analyzed, are compared with local and national benchmarks, and drive the continuous quality improvement (CQI) process. Such a system attempts to centralize the currently fragmented care delivery system, continually improve patient outcomes, and conserve scarce economic resources. Early data suggest a disease management approach may improve both the morbidity and mortality of CKD patients.

  13. The standardized surgical approach improves outcome of gallbladder cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igna Dorian

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The objective of this study was to examine the extent of surgical procedures, pathological findings, complications and outcome of patients treated in the last 12 years for gallbladder cancer. Methods The impact of a standardized more aggressive approach compared with historical controls of our center with an individual approach was examined. Of 53 patients, 21 underwent resection for cure and 32 for palliation. Results Overall hospital mortality was 9% and procedure related mortality was 4%. The standardized approach in UICC stage IIa, IIb and III led to a significantly improved outcome compared to patients with an individual approach (Median survival: 14 vs. 7 months, mean+/-SEM: 26+/-7 vs. 17+/-5 months, p = 0.014. The main differences between the standardized and the individual approach were anatomical vs. atypical liver resection, performance of systematic lymph dissection of the hepaticoduodenal ligament and the resection of the common bile duct. Conclusion Anatomical liver resection, proof for bile duct infiltration and, in case of tumor invasion, radical resection and lymph dissection of the hepaticoduodenal ligament are essential to improve outcome of locally advanced gallbladder cancer.

  14. Ergonomics and simulation-based approach in improving facility layout

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abad, Jocelyn D.

    2018-02-01

    The use of the simulation-based technique in facility layout has been a choice in the industry due to its convenience and efficient generation of results. Nevertheless, the solutions generated are not capable of addressing delays due to worker's health and safety which significantly impact overall operational efficiency. It is, therefore, critical to incorporate ergonomics in facility design. In this study, workstation analysis was incorporated into Promodel simulation to improve the facility layout of a garment manufacturing. To test the effectiveness of the method, existing and improved facility designs were measured using comprehensive risk level, efficiency, and productivity. Results indicated that the improved facility layout generated a decrease in comprehensive risk level and rapid upper limb assessment score; an increase of 78% in efficiency and 194% increase in productivity compared to existing design and thus proved that the approach is effective in attaining overall facility design improvement.

  15. A Simple Approach for Boundary Improvement of Euler Diagrams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonetto, Paolo; Archambault, Daniel; Scheidegger, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    General methods for drawing Euler diagrams tend to generate irregular polygons. Yet, empirical evidence indicates that smoother contours make these diagrams easier to read. In this paper, we present a simple method to smooth the boundaries of any Euler diagram drawing. When refining the diagram, the method must ensure that set elements remain inside their appropriate boundaries and that no region is removed or created in the diagram. Our approach uses a force system that improves the diagram while at the same time ensuring its topological structure does not change. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach through case studies and quantitative evaluations.

  16. Partnerships to Improve Oral Hygiene Practices: Two Complementary Approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale, Craig M; Wiechula, Rick; Lewis, Adrienne; McArthur, Alexa; Breen, Helen; Scarborough, Alan; Rose, Louise

    2016-01-01

    The omission of oral care is linked to increased nurse workload and may contribute to serious patient infection and growing healthcare costs. Therefore, ineffective oral care comprises a significant patient safety issue across healthcare settings internationally. As studies have demonstrated a positive relationship between Nurs Leadersh (Tor Ont) and improved patient outcomes, it is imperative that leaders seek effective approaches to facilitate contextual exploration of barriers and facilitators for resolution of oral care delivery problems. One approach to improved processes of oral care is the creative engagement of front-line clinicians in the problems they confront in everyday practice. By drawing upon the role and process of facilitation, we outline two projects, located in Australia and Canada, that engaged front-line nurses, health leaders, and researchers as partners to identify a path to improved oral care delivery. In this paper, we summarize key learnings for nursing leaders about strategies to facilitate delivery of fundamental oral care. We found that facilitation, contextual knowledge and academic-clinician partnerships were essential to the detection and evaluation of oral care delivery problems and the identification of priorities for practice improvement. As collaboration is imperative for sustainable innovation, we summarize strategies of effective leadership for improving oral care delivery. Copyright © 2016 Longwoods Publishing.

  17. Improvement of radiology services based on the process management approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amaral, Creusa Sayuri Tahara; Rozenfeld, Henrique; Costa, Janaina Mascarenhas Hornos; Magon, Maria de Fatima de Andrade; Mascarenhas, Yvone Maria

    2011-01-01

    The health sector requires continuous investments to ensure the improvement of products and services from a technological standpoint, the use of new materials, equipment and tools, and the application of process management methods. Methods associated with the process management approach, such as the development of reference models of business processes, can provide significant innovations in the health sector and respond to the current market trend for modern management in this sector (Gunderman et al. (2008) ). This article proposes a process model for diagnostic medical X-ray imaging, from which it derives a primary reference model and describes how this information leads to gains in quality and improvements.

  18. Improvement of FK506 production by synthetic biology approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Li-Feng; Tao, Yang; Jin, Mei-Ying; Jiang, Hui

    2016-12-01

    Synthetic biology has been applied to direct improvement of valuable metabolite productions. Tacrolimus (FK506), a clinically used immunosuppressive agent isolated from many Streptomyces, is produced by fermentation in industry. Here we chose FK506 as an example to review recent progress in improving FK506 production, including enhancing transcription levels of biosynthetic genes, accelerating post-translational modification levels of biosynthetic enzymes, increasing activities of rate limiting enzymes, and rational supplement of limited precursors. FK506 production was increased from 25 % to sevenfold by these synthetic biology approaches.

  19. Fiber Contraction Approaches for Improving CMC Proportional Limit

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiCarlo, James A.; Yun, Hee Mann

    1997-01-01

    The fact that the service life of ceramic matrix composites (CMC) decreases dramatically for stresses above the CMC proportional limit has triggered a variety of research activities to develop microstructural approaches that can significantly improve this limit. As discussed in a previous report, both local and global approaches exist for hindering the propagation of cracks through the CMC matrix, the physical source for the proportional limit. Local approaches include: (1) minimizing fiber diameter and matrix modulus; (2) maximizing fiber volume fraction, fiber modulus, and matrix toughness; and (3) optimizing fiber-matrix interfacial shear strength; all of which should reduce the stress concentration at the tip of cracks pre existing or created in the matrix during CMC service. Global approaches, as with pre-stressed concrete, center on seeking mechanisms for utilizing the reinforcing fiber to subject the matrix to in-situ compressive stresses which will remain stable during CMC service. Demonstrated CMC examples for the viability of this residual stress approach are based on strain mismatches between the fiber and matrix in their free states, such as, thermal expansion mismatch and creep mismatch. However, these particular mismatch approaches are application limited in that the residual stresses from expansion mismatch are optimum only at low CMC service temperatures and the residual stresses from creep mismatch are typically unidirectional and difficult to implement in complex-shaped CMC.

  20. A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial on the Effects of Technology-aided Testing and Feedback on Physical Activity and Biological Age Among Employees in a Medium-sized Enterprise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liukkonen, Mika; Nygård, Clas-Håkan; Laukkanen, Raija

    2017-12-01

    It has been suggested that engaging technology can empower individuals to be more proactive about their health and reduce their health risks. The aim of the present intervention was to study the effects of technology-aided testing and feedback on physical activity and biological age of employees in a middle-sized enterprise. In all, 121 employees (mean age 42 ± 10 years) participated in the 12-month three-arm cluster randomized trial. The fitness measurement process (Body Age) determined the participants' biological age in years. Physical activity was measured with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire Short Form. Physical activity did not change during the intervention. Biological age (better fitness) improved in all groups statistically significantly ( p  effects. The mean changes (years) in the groups were -2.20 for the controls, -2.83 for the group receiving their biological age and feedback, and -2.31 for the group receiving their biological age, feedback, and a training computer. Technology-aided testing with feedback does not seem to change the amount of physical activity but may enhance physical fitness measured by biological age.

  1. A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial on the Effects of Technology-aided Testing and Feedback on Physical Activity and Biological Age Among Employees in a Medium-sized Enterprise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mika Liukkonen

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: It has been suggested that engaging technology can empower individuals to be more proactive about their health and reduce their health risks. The aim of the present intervention was to study the effects of technology-aided testing and feedback on physical activity and biological age of employees in a middle-sized enterprise. Methods: In all, 121 employees (mean age 42 ± 10 years participated in the 12-month three-arm cluster randomized trial. The fitness measurement process (Body Age determined the participants’ biological age in years. Physical activity was measured with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire Short Form. Results: Physical activity did not change during the intervention. Biological age (better fitness improved in all groups statistically significantly (p < 0.001, but with no interaction effects. The mean changes (years in the groups were −2.20 for the controls, –2.83 for the group receiving their biological age and feedback, and −2.31 for the group receiving their biological age, feedback, and a training computer. Conclusion: Technology-aided testing with feedback does not seem to change the amount of physical activity but may enhance physical fitness measured by biological age.

  2. Persons with multiple disabilities engage in stimulus choice and postural control with the support of a technology-aided program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lancioni, Giulio E; Singh, Nirbhay N; O'Reilly, Mark F; Sigafoos, Jeff; Perilli, Viviana; Campodonico, Francesca; Marchiani, Paola; Lang, Russell

    2015-05-01

    Technology-aided programs have been reported to help persons with disabilities develop adaptive responding and control problem behavior/posture. This study assessed one such program in which choice of stimulus events was used as adaptive responding for three adults with multiple disabilities. A computer system presented the participants stimulus samples. For each sample, they could perform a choice response (gaining access to the related stimulus whose length they could extend) or abstain from responding (making the system proceed to the next sample). Once choice responding had strengthened, the program also targeted the participants' problem posture (i.e., head and trunk forward bending). The stimulus exposure gained with a choice response was interrupted if the problem posture occurred. All three participants successfully (a) managed choice responses and access to preferred stimuli and (b) gained postural control (i.e., reducing the problem posture to very low levels). The practical implications of those results are discussed. © The Author(s) 2015.

  3. Improving Scotland's health: time for a fresh approach?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, D H

    2012-05-01

    Scotland's health remains the worst in the UK. There are several probable reasons for this. Of those that are amenable to change, health improvement policy has been excessively preoccupied with targeting individuals perceived to be 'at risk' rather than adopting a whole population perspective. Environmental as opposed to behavioural approaches to health improvement have been relatively neglected. To meet the challenge of Scotland's poor health more effectively in the future, new strategic thinking is necessary. Three initial steps are required: recognize that current approaches are inadequate and that fresh ideas are needed; identify the principles that should underlie future strategy development; translate these principles into achievable operational objectives. Five principles of a revitalized strategy to improve the health of Scotland in the future are proposed. These are start early and sustain effort; create a healthy and safe environment; reduce geographical as well as social inequalities in health; adopt an evidence-based approach to public health interventions; use epidemiology to assess need, plan interventions and monitor progress. These principles may then be translated into achievable operational policy and practice objectives.

  4. Evaluation of approaches for improving diesel cold flow properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sharafutdinov, Ilshat; Stratiev, Dicho; Dinkov, Rossen [Lukoil Neftochim Bourgas AD, Bourgas (Bulgaria); Bachvarov, Assen [Edinburgh Univ. (United Kingdom); Petkov, Petko [Bourgas Univ. ' ' Assen Zlatarov' ' (Bulgaria)

    2012-06-15

    Four heavy diesel fractions (FBP according to ASTM D-2887 of about 420 C), one lower boilingmiddle distillate fraction (FBP according to ASTM D-2887 of 310 C) and kerosene fraction (FBP according to ASTM D-2887 of 271 C) obtained from the Lukoil Neftochim Burgas (LNB) process units during the processing of Russian Export Crude Blend (REBCO) along with four heavy diesel fractions (FBP according to ASTM D-2887 of about 370 C) obtained by fractionation of four crudes: Oil Blend, REBCO, Siberian Light Crude Oil (SLCO) and CPC (Caspian Consortium Pipeline) were investigated for their cold flow properties. It was found that undercutting diesel improves cloud point (CP) and cold filter plugging point (CFPP) by 4 C/10 C cut point. Blending of kerosene improves CP and CFPP by about 2 C/10% added kerosene. The treatment with CP depressants may improve CP by about 2 C if the proper combination diesel - depressant is selected and the improvement can reach up to 6 C for a definite diesel. The treatment with CFPP depressant is much more efficient achieving an improvement of 18 C. By assuming definite fuel prices (Platts) and by applying the LNB linear programming model using Honeywell's RPMS software it was found that catalytic dewaxing is the most efficient approach for producing diesel with improved cold flowproperties if the diesel yield from the dewaxing process is higher than 90%. (orig.)

  5. The Effects of a Technology-Aided Learning Environment on the Improvement of a Primary Special Education School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karal, Hasan

    2015-01-01

    The changes demanded by technology are reshaping people's expectations of education. These changing demands and expectations have introduced certain concepts, such as individuals who have become skilled at learning and the learning organization. Individuals and schools, as the most basic unit of educational organizations, should demonstrate a…

  6. Some approaches to system reliability improvement in engineering design

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shen, Kecheng.

    1990-01-01

    In this thesis some approaches to system reliability improvement in engineering design are studied. In particular, the thesis aims at developing alternative methodologies for ranking of component importance which are more related to the design practice and which are more useful in system synthesis than the existing ones. It also aims at developing component reliability models by means of stress-strength interference which will enable both component reliability prediction and design for reliability. A new methodology for ranking of component importance is first developed based on the notion of the increase of the expected system yield. This methodology allows for incorporation of different improvement actions at the component level such as parallel redundancy, standby redundancy, burn-in, minimal repair and perfect replacement. For each of these improvement actions, the increase of system reliability is studied and used as the component importance measure. A possible connection between the commonly known models of component lifetimes and the stress-strength interference models is suggested. Under some general conditions the relationship between component failure rate and the stress and strength distribution characteristics is studied. A heuristic approach for obtaining bounds on failure probability through stress-strength interference is also presented. A case study and a worked example are presented, which illustrate and verify the developed importance measures and their applications in the analytical as well as synthetical work of engineering design. (author)

  7. Biotechnological approach in crop improvement by mutation breeding in Indonesia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soeranto, H.; Sobrizal; Sutarto, Ismiyati; Manurung, Simon; Mastrizal [National Nuclear Energy Agency, Center for Research and Development of Isotope and Radiation Technology, Jakarta (Indonesia)

    2002-02-01

    Mutation breeding has become a proven method of improving crop varieties. Most research on plant mutation breeding in Indonesia is carried out at the Center for Research and Development of Isotope and Radiation Technology, National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN). Nowadays, a biotechnological approach has been incorporated in some mutation breeding researches in order to improve crop cultivars. This approach is simply based on cellular totipotency, or the ability to regenerate whole, flowering plants from isolated organs, pieces of tissue, individual cells, and protoplasts. Tissue culture technique has bee extensively used for micro propagation of disease-free plants. Other usage of this technique involves in various steps of the breeding process such as germplasm preservation, clonal propagation, and distant hybridization. Mutation breeding combined with tissue culture technique has made a significant contribution in inducing plant genetic variation, by improving selection technology, and by accelerating breeding time as for that by using anther or pollen culture. In Indonesia, research on mutation breeding combined with tissue culture techniques has been practiced in different crop species including rice, ginger, banana, sorghum etc. Specially in rice, a research on identification of DNA markers linked to blast disease resistance is now still progressing. A compiled report from some research activities is presented in this paper. (author)

  8. Motivational interviewing: a useful approach to improving cardiovascular health?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, David R; Chair, Sek Y; Chan, Sally W; Astin, Felicity; Davidson, Patricia M; Ski, Chantal F

    2011-05-01

    To review and synthesise, systematically, the research findings regarding motivational interviewing and to inform education, research and practice in relation to cardiovascular health. Motivational interviewing is designed to engage ambivalent or resistant clients in the process of health behaviour change, and it has been widely used in different clinical conditions such as substance abuse, dietary adherence and smoking cessation. Motivational interviewing has also been proposed as a method for improving modifiable coronary heart disease risk factors of patients. Systematic review. Eligible studies published in 1999-2009 were identified from the following databases: CINAHL, Medline, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, EBSCO, Web of Science, Embase and British Nursing Index. A manual search was conducted of bibliographies of the identified studies and relevant journals. Two researchers independently reviewed the studies. Four meta-analyses, one systematic review and three literature reviews of motivational interviewing and five primary studies of motivational interviewing pertaining to cardiovascular health were identified. Despite a dearth of primary studies in cardiovascular health settings, there appears to be strong evidence that motivational interviewing is an effective approach focusing on eliciting the person's intrinsic motivation for change of behaviour. Motivational interviewing is an effective approach to changing behaviour. It offers promise in improving cardiovascular health status. This review indicates that motivational interviewing is a useful method to help nurses improve health behaviour in people with coronary risk factors. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  9. An integrated approach to improving noisy speech perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koval, Serguei; Stolbov, Mikhail; Smirnova, Natalia; Khitrov, Mikhail

    2002-05-01

    For a number of practical purposes and tasks, experts have to decode speech recordings of very poor quality. A combination of techniques is proposed to improve intelligibility and quality of distorted speech messages and thus facilitate their comprehension. Along with the application of noise cancellation and speech signal enhancement techniques removing and/or reducing various kinds of distortions and interference (primarily unmasking and normalization in time and frequency fields), the approach incorporates optimal listener expert tactics based on selective listening, nonstandard binaural listening, accounting for short-term and long-term human ear adaptation to noisy speech, as well as some methods of speech signal enhancement to support speech decoding during listening. The approach integrating the suggested techniques ensures high-quality ultimate results and has successfully been applied by Speech Technology Center experts and by numerous other users, mainly forensic institutions, to perform noisy speech records decoding for courts, law enforcement and emergency services, accident investigation bodies, etc.

  10. Improving Polyp Detection Algorithms for CT Colonography: Pareto Front Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Adam; Li, Jiang; Summers, Ronald M; Petrick, Nicholas; Hara, Amy K

    2010-03-21

    We investigated a Pareto front approach to improving polyp detection algorithms for CT colonography (CTC). A dataset of 56 CTC colon surfaces with 87 proven positive detections of 53 polyps sized 4 to 60 mm was used to evaluate the performance of a one-step and a two-step curvature-based region growing algorithm. The algorithmic performance was statistically evaluated and compared based on the Pareto optimal solutions from 20 experiments by evolutionary algorithms. The false positive rate was lower (pPareto optimization process can effectively help in fine-tuning and redesigning polyp detection algorithms.

  11. Using Balanced Scorecard (BSC) approach to improve ergonomics programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Marcelo Vicente Forestieri

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to propose foundations for a theory of using the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) methodology to improve the strategic view of ergonomics inside the organizations. This approach may help to promote a better understanding of investing on an ergonomic program to obtain good results in quality and production, as well as health maintenance. It is explained the basics of balanced scorecard, and how ergonomists could use this to work with strategic enterprises demand. Implications of this viewpoint for the development of a new methodology for ergonomics strategy views are offered.

  12. An intercomparison of approaches for improving operational seasonal streamflow forecasts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. A. Mendoza

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available For much of the last century, forecasting centers around the world have offered seasonal streamflow predictions to support water management. Recent work suggests that the two major avenues to advance seasonal predictability are improvements in the estimation of initial hydrologic conditions (IHCs and the incorporation of climate information. This study investigates the marginal benefits of a variety of methods using IHCs and/or climate information, focusing on seasonal water supply forecasts (WSFs in five case study watersheds located in the US Pacific Northwest region. We specify two benchmark methods that mimic standard operational approaches – statistical regression against IHCs and model-based ensemble streamflow prediction (ESP – and then systematically intercompare WSFs across a range of lead times. Additional methods include (i statistical techniques using climate information either from standard indices or from climate reanalysis variables and (ii several hybrid/hierarchical approaches harnessing both land surface and climate predictability. In basins where atmospheric teleconnection signals are strong, and when watershed predictability is low, climate information alone provides considerable improvements. For those basins showing weak teleconnections, custom predictors from reanalysis fields were more effective in forecast skill than standard climate indices. ESP predictions tended to have high correlation skill but greater bias compared to other methods, and climate predictors failed to substantially improve these deficiencies within a trace weighting framework. Lower complexity techniques were competitive with more complex methods, and the hierarchical expert regression approach introduced here (hierarchical ensemble streamflow prediction – HESP provided a robust alternative for skillful and reliable water supply forecasts at all initialization times. Three key findings from this effort are (1 objective approaches supporting

  13. An intercomparison of approaches for improving operational seasonal streamflow forecasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza, Pablo A.; Wood, Andrew W.; Clark, Elizabeth; Rothwell, Eric; Clark, Martyn P.; Nijssen, Bart; Brekke, Levi D.; Arnold, Jeffrey R.

    2017-07-01

    For much of the last century, forecasting centers around the world have offered seasonal streamflow predictions to support water management. Recent work suggests that the two major avenues to advance seasonal predictability are improvements in the estimation of initial hydrologic conditions (IHCs) and the incorporation of climate information. This study investigates the marginal benefits of a variety of methods using IHCs and/or climate information, focusing on seasonal water supply forecasts (WSFs) in five case study watersheds located in the US Pacific Northwest region. We specify two benchmark methods that mimic standard operational approaches - statistical regression against IHCs and model-based ensemble streamflow prediction (ESP) - and then systematically intercompare WSFs across a range of lead times. Additional methods include (i) statistical techniques using climate information either from standard indices or from climate reanalysis variables and (ii) several hybrid/hierarchical approaches harnessing both land surface and climate predictability. In basins where atmospheric teleconnection signals are strong, and when watershed predictability is low, climate information alone provides considerable improvements. For those basins showing weak teleconnections, custom predictors from reanalysis fields were more effective in forecast skill than standard climate indices. ESP predictions tended to have high correlation skill but greater bias compared to other methods, and climate predictors failed to substantially improve these deficiencies within a trace weighting framework. Lower complexity techniques were competitive with more complex methods, and the hierarchical expert regression approach introduced here (hierarchical ensemble streamflow prediction - HESP) provided a robust alternative for skillful and reliable water supply forecasts at all initialization times. Three key findings from this effort are (1) objective approaches supporting methodologically

  14. A woman-led approach to improving postnatal care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fryer-Croxall, Claire; Bailey, Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    As a large NHS teaching trust we see 6,000 women a year who birth with us. Newly appointed as a modern matron, I noted that poor experience on our postnatal ward has always been a key issue in the complaints we receive and from the feedback that our women give to us. The ImPosE (improving postnatal experience) project was launched in December 2013. This brought together members of the multidisciplinary team who were committed to developing our postnatal ward and improving it for our women and their families. We used a quality management approach, putting 'customer' experience at the core, and implemented a varied package of changes as directed by feedback from service users.

  15. Improvement of radiology services based on the process management approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amaral, Creusa Sayuri Tahara; Rozenfeld, Henrique; Costa, Janaina Mascarenhas Hornos; Magon, Maria de Fátima de Andrade; Mascarenhas, Yvone Maria

    2011-06-01

    The health sector requires continuous investments to ensure the improvement of products and services from a technological standpoint, the use of new materials, equipment and tools, and the application of process management methods. Methods associated with the process management approach, such as the development of reference models of business processes, can provide significant innovations in the health sector and respond to the current market trend for modern management in this sector (Gunderman et al. (2008) [4]). This article proposes a process model for diagnostic medical X-ray imaging, from which it derives a primary reference model and describes how this information leads to gains in quality and improvements. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Productivity improvement with green approach to palm oil factory productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matondang, N.

    2018-02-01

    The palm oil factory (POF) processes fresh fruit bunches into crude palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel oil (PKO) by products in the form of liquid and solid waste. One of the solid wastes produced in POF Tanjung Kasau is empty fruit bunches of palm oil (FBPO) which have been burned completely on incinerator tubes so that potentially produces pollutants that pollute the environment. If FBPO waste is managed properly, it will improve the productivity of the company. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct a study to find out how far the increased productivity of the company can reduce their impact on the environment, if FBPO is used as raw material of liquid smoke. The productivity improvement approach is done by Green Productivity concept, by looking at three aspects: environmental, social and economical. Green Productivity aims to protect the environment simultaneously by increasing the productivity of the company. One way is to turn FBPO waste into liquid smoke product is by pyrolysis process. The results showed that turning FBPO solid waste into liquid smoke will increase productivity by 18.18%. Implementation of Green Productivity can improve productivity through the improvement of FBPO waste treatment process which has been done by perfect combustion by pyrolysis process so that waste can be minimized to create environment industry POF clean and friendly environment.

  17. Technology-Aided Leisure and Communication Opportunities for Two Post-Coma Persons Emerged from a Minimally Conscious State and Affected by Multiple Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lancioni, Giulio E.; O'Reilly, Mark F.; Singh, Nirbhay N.; Sigafoos, Jeff; Buonocunto, Francesca; Sacco, Valentina; Navarro, Jorge; Lanzilotti, Crocifissa; De Tommaso, Marina; Megna, Marisa; Oliva, Doretta

    2013-01-01

    This study assessed technology-aided programs for helping two post-coma persons, who had emerged from a minimally conscious state and were affected by multiple disabilities, to (a) engage with leisure stimuli and request caregiver's procedures, (b) send out and listen to text messages for communication with distant partners, and (c) combine…

  18. An integrated approach to improving the parallel applications development process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rasmussen, Craig E [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Watson, Gregory R [IBM; Tibbitts, Beth R [IBM

    2009-01-01

    The development of parallel applications is becoming increasingly important to a broad range of industries. Traditionally, parallel programming was a niche area that was primarily exploited by scientists trying to model extremely complicated physical phenomenon. It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that continued hardware performance improvements through clock scaling and feature-size reduction are simply not going to be achievable for much longer. The hardware vendor's approach to addressing this issue is to employ parallelism through multi-processor and multi-core technologies. While there is little doubt that this approach produces scaling improvements, there are still many significant hurdles to be overcome before parallelism can be employed as a general replacement to more traditional programming techniques. The Parallel Tools Platform (PTP) Project was created in 2005 in an attempt to provide developers with new tools aimed at addressing some of the parallel development issues. Since then, the introduction of a new generation of peta-scale and multi-core systems has highlighted the need for such a platform. In this paper, we describe some of the challenges facing parallel application developers, present the current state of PTP, and provide a simple case study that demonstrates how PTP can be used to locate a potential deadlock situation in an MPI code.

  19. An integrated sampling and analysis approach for improved biodiversity monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeWan, Amielle A; Zipkin, Elise F

    2010-05-01

    Successful biodiversity conservation requires high quality monitoring data and analyses to ensure scientifically defensible policy, legislation, and management. Although monitoring is a critical component in assessing population status and trends, many governmental and non-governmental organizations struggle to develop and implement effective sampling protocols and statistical analyses because of the magnitude and diversity of species in conservation concern. In this article we describe a practical and sophisticated data collection and analysis framework for developing a comprehensive wildlife monitoring program that includes multi-species inventory techniques and community-level hierarchical modeling. Compared to monitoring many species individually, the multi-species approach allows for improved estimates of individual species occurrences, including rare species, and an increased understanding of the aggregated response of a community to landscape and habitat heterogeneity. We demonstrate the benefits and practicality of this approach to address challenges associated with monitoring in the context of US state agencies that are legislatively required to monitor and protect species in greatest conservation need. We believe this approach will be useful to regional, national, and international organizations interested in assessing the status of both common and rare species.

  20. An integrated sampling and analysis approach for improved biodiversity monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeWan, Amielle A.; Zipkin, Elise F.

    2010-01-01

    Successful biodiversity conservation requires high quality monitoring data and analyses to ensure scientifically defensible policy, legislation, and management. Although monitoring is a critical component in assessing population status and trends, many governmental and non-governmental organizations struggle to develop and implement effective sampling protocols and statistical analyses because of the magnitude and diversity of species in conservation concern. In this article we describe a practical and sophisticated data collection and analysis framework for developing a comprehensive wildlife monitoring program that includes multi-species inventory techniques and community-level hierarchical modeling. Compared to monitoring many species individually, the multi-species approach allows for improved estimates of individual species occurrences, including rare species, and an increased understanding of the aggregated response of a community to landscape and habitat heterogeneity. We demonstrate the benefits and practicality of this approach to address challenges associated with monitoring in the context of US state agencies that are legislatively required to monitor and protect species in greatest conservation need. We believe this approach will be useful to regional, national, and international organizations interested in assessing the status of both common and rare species.

  1. Phylo: a citizen science approach for improving multiple sequence alignment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Kawrykow

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Comparative genomics, or the study of the relationships of genome structure and function across different species, offers a powerful tool for studying evolution, annotating genomes, and understanding the causes of various genetic disorders. However, aligning multiple sequences of DNA, an essential intermediate step for most types of analyses, is a difficult computational task. In parallel, citizen science, an approach that takes advantage of the fact that the human brain is exquisitely tuned to solving specific types of problems, is becoming increasingly popular. There, instances of hard computational problems are dispatched to a crowd of non-expert human game players and solutions are sent back to a central server. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We introduce Phylo, a human-based computing framework applying "crowd sourcing" techniques to solve the Multiple Sequence Alignment (MSA problem. The key idea of Phylo is to convert the MSA problem into a casual game that can be played by ordinary web users with a minimal prior knowledge of the biological context. We applied this strategy to improve the alignment of the promoters of disease-related genes from up to 44 vertebrate species. Since the launch in November 2010, we received more than 350,000 solutions submitted from more than 12,000 registered users. Our results show that solutions submitted contributed to improving the accuracy of up to 70% of the alignment blocks considered. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We demonstrate that, combined with classical algorithms, crowd computing techniques can be successfully used to help improving the accuracy of MSA. More importantly, we show that an NP-hard computational problem can be embedded in casual game that can be easily played by people without significant scientific training. This suggests that citizen science approaches can be used to exploit the billions of "human-brain peta-flops" of computation that are spent every day playing games

  2. An insight into fusion technology aiding efficient recombinant protein production for functional proteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadav, Dinesh K; Yadav, Neelam; Yadav, Sarika; Haque, Shafiul; Tuteja, Narendra

    2016-12-15

    Advancements in peptide fusion technologies to maximize the protein production has taken a big leap to fulfill the demands of post-genomics era targeting elucidation of structure/function of the proteome and its therapeutic applications, by over-expression in heterologous expression systems. Despite being most preferred protein expression system armed with variety of cardinal fusion tags, expression of the functionally active recombinant protein in E. coli remains plagued. The present review critically analyses the aptness of well-characterized fusion tags utilized for over-expression of recombinant proteins with improved solubility and their compatibility with downstream purification procedures. The combinatorial tandem affinity strategies have shown to provide more versatile options. Solubility decreasing fusion tags have proved to facilitate the overproduction of antimicrobial peptides. Efficient removal of fusion tags prior to final usage is of utmost importance and has been summarized discussing the efficiency of various enzymatic and chemical methods of tag removal. Unfortunately, no single fusion tag works as a magic bullet to completely fulfill the requirements of protein expression and purification in active form. The information provided might help in selection and development of a successful protocol for efficient recombinant protein production for functional proteomics. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Managerial process improvement: a lean approach to eliminating medication delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussain, Aftab; Stewart, LaShonda M; Rivers, Patrick A; Munchus, George

    2015-01-01

    Statistical evidence shows that medication errors are a major cause of injuries that concerns all health care oganizations. Despite all the efforts to improve the quality of care, the lack of understanding and inability of management to design a robust system that will strategically target those factors is a major cause of distress. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Achieving optimum organizational performance requires two key variables; work process factors and human performance factors. The approach is that healthcare administrators must take in account both variables in designing a strategy to reduce medication errors. However, strategies that will combat such phenomena require that managers and administrators understand the key factors that are causing medication delivery errors. The authors recommend that healthcare organizations implement the Toyota Production System (TPS) combined with human performance improvement (HPI) methodologies to eliminate medication delivery errors in hospitals. Despite all the efforts to improve the quality of care, there continues to be a lack of understanding and the ability of management to design a robust system that will strategically target those factors associated with medication errors. This paper proposes a solution to an ambiguous workflow process using the TPS combined with the HPI system.

  4. Improvements to Earthquake Location with a Fuzzy Logic Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gökalp, Hüseyin

    2018-01-01

    In this study, improvements to the earthquake location method were investigated using a fuzzy logic approach proposed by Lin and Sanford (Bull Seismol Soc Am 91:82-93, 2001). The method has certain advantages compared to the inverse methods in terms of eliminating the uncertainties of arrival times and reading errors. In this study, adopting this approach, epicentral locations were determined based on the results of a fuzzy logic space concerning the uncertainties in the velocity models. To map the uncertainties in arrival times into the fuzzy logic space, a trapezoidal membership function was constructed by directly using the travel time difference between the two stations for the P- and S-arrival times instead of the P- and S-wave models to eliminate the need for obtaining information concerning the velocity structure of the study area. The results showed that this method worked most effectively when earthquakes occurred away from a network or when the arrival time data contained phase reading errors. In this study, to resolve the problems related to determining the epicentral locations of the events, a forward modeling method like the grid search technique was used by applying different logical operations (i.e., intersection, union, and their combination) with a fuzzy logic approach. The locations of the events were depended on results of fuzzy logic outputs in fuzzy logic space by searching in a gridded region. The process of location determination with the defuzzification of only the grid points with the membership value of 1 obtained by normalizing all the maximum fuzzy output values of the highest values resulted in more reliable epicentral locations for the earthquakes than the other approaches. In addition, throughout the process, the center-of-gravity method was used as a defuzzification operation.

  5. An interdisciplinary approach to improve surgical antimicrobial prophylaxis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conaty, Oisín; Gaughan, Leah; Downey, Colum; Carolan, Noreen; Brophy, Megan Joanne; Kavanagh, Ruth; McNamara, Deborah A A; Smyth, Edmond; Burns, Karen; Fitzpatrick, Fidelma

    2018-03-12

    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to improve surgical antimicrobial prophylaxis (SAP) prescribing in orthopaedic surgery using the model for improvement framework. Design/methodology/approach Orthopaedic patients receiving joint replacements, hip fracture repairs or open-reduction internal-fixation procedures were included. Antimicrobial(s); dose, time of administration and duration of SAP were evaluated for appropriateness based on the local SAP guidelines. After baseline data collection, a driver diagram was constructed with interventions devised for plan-do-study-act cycles. Data were fed back weekly using a point prevalence design (PPD). Interventions included SAP guideline changes, reminders and tools to support key messages. Findings SAP in 168 orthopaedic surgeries from 15 June 2016 to 31 January 2017 was studied. Prescribing appropriateness improved from 20 to 78 per cent. Junior doctor changeover necessitated additional education and reminders. Practical implications Due to constant staff changeover; continuous data collection, communication, education and reminders are essential to ensure continuous compliance with clinical guidance. Patients with hip fractures are difficult to weigh, requiring weight estimation for weight-based antimicrobial dosing. Unintended consequences of interventions included the necessity to change pre-operative workflow to accommodate reconstitution time of additional antimicrobials and inadvertent continuation of new antimicrobials post-operatively. Originality/value Rather than perform the traditional retrospective focused audit, we established a prospective, continuous, interventional quality improvement (QI) project focusing on internal processes within the control of the project team with rapid cyclical changes and interventions. The weekly PPD was pragmatic and enabled the QI project to be sustained with no additional resources.

  6. Persons with Alzheimer's disease engage in leisure and mild physical activity with the support of technology-aided programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lancioni, Giulio E; Singh, Nirbhay N; O'Reilly, Mark F; Sigafoos, Jeff; D'Amico, Fiora; Sasanelli, Giovanni; De Vanna, Floriana; Signorino, Mario

    2015-02-01

    Three studies were conducted to assess technology-aided programs to promote leisure engagement and mild physical activity in persons with Alzheimer's disease. Specifically, Study I assessed a program aimed at enabling three patients with mild or moderate Alzheimer's disease to choose among different music options and activate the preferred ones. Studies II and III were directed at patients in the low moderate or severe stages of the Alzheimer's disease who were no longer capable of ambulating and spent their time generally inactive, sitting in their wheelchairs. In particular, Study II used a program to help three patients exercise an arm-raising movement. Study III used a program to help three patients exercise a leg-foot movement. Each study was carried out according to a nonconcurrent multiple baseline design across patients. Results were very encouraging. The patients of Study I learned to choose and activate their preferred music pieces. The patients of Studies II and III enhanced their performance of the target movements and increased their indices of positive participation (e.g., smiles and verbalizations) during the sessions. The applicability of the programs in daily contexts and their implications for the patients involved are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. People with multiple disabilities learn to engage in occupation and work activities with the support of technology-aided programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lancioni, Giulio E; Singh, Nirbhay N; O'Reilly, Mark F; Sigafoos, Jeff; Alberti, Gloria; Perilli, Viviana; Laporta, Dominga; Campodonico, Francesca; Oliva, Doretta; Groeneweg, Jop

    2014-06-01

    These two studies were aimed at assessing technology-aided programs to help persons with multiple disabilities engage in basic occupation or work activities. Specifically, Study I focused on teaching two participants (an adolescent and an adult) with low vision or total blindness, severe/profound intellectual disabilities, and minimal object interaction to engage in constructive object-manipulation responses. The technology monitored their responses and followed them with brief stimulation periods automatically. Study II focused on teaching three adults with deafness, severe visual impairment, and profound intellectual disabilities to perform a complex activity, that is, to assemble a five-component water pipe. The technology regulated (a) light cues to guide the participants through the workstations containing single pipe components and the carton for completed pipes and (b) stimulation events. The results of both studies were positive. The participants of Study I showed consistent and independent engagement in object-manipulation responses. The participants of Study II showed consistent and independent pipe assembling performance. General implications of the two programs and the related technology packages for intervention with persons with multiple disabilities are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Innovative Approaches to Improve Anti-Infective Vaccine Efficacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeaman, Michael R; Hennessey, John P

    2017-01-06

    Safe and efficacious vaccines are arguably the most successful medical interventions of all time. Yet the ongoing discovery of new pathogens, along with emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens and a burgeoning population at risk of such infections, imposes unprecedented public health challenges. To meet these challenges, innovative strategies to discover and develop new or improved anti-infective vaccines are necessary. These approaches must intersect the most meaningful insights into protective immunity and advanced technologies with capabilities to deliver immunogens for optimal immune protection. This goal is considered through several recent advances in host-pathogen relationships, conceptual strides in vaccinology, and emerging technologies. Given a clear and growing risk of pandemic disease should the threat of infection go unmet, developing vaccines that optimize protective immunity against high-priority and antibiotic-resistant pathogens represents an urgent and unifying imperative.

  9. Integrated approach to improve drought tolerance in maize

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anđelković Violeta

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Drought is one of the most serious a biotic factors limiting crop production worldwide. Prediction of climate change increases the need of better adaptation and breeding for improved drought tolerance in crops. Maize is one of the most sensitive crops to drought, despite of the fact that it is a C4 plant, with high photosynthetic rate and relatively low transpiration rate. In Serbia drought severely decreased maize grain yield, particularly in the last decade. A major task for breeders is to create drought tolerant maize that will successfully cope with negative consequences of global warming are facing scientists today. Enhancing the tolerance of maize has been elusive in terms of conventional plant breeding. Interdisciplinary approaches tried to understand and dissect the mechanism of drought tolerance, but with limited success. Modern genomics and genetics, together with advances in phenotyping and knowledge in physiology and breeding are expected to reveal genes and pathways that confer drought tolerance.

  10. Approaches to improving the nutritional quality of barley seed proteins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shewry, P.R.; Bright, S.W.J.; Burgess, S.R.; Miflin, B.J.

    1984-01-01

    The poor nutritional quality of barley grain is determined by the low level of lysine in the prolamin storage proteins (hordein). These account for between 35 to 50% of the total grain nitrogen, depending on the nutritional status of the plant. There is a reduced proportion of hordein in mutant high lysine lines but these also have reduced synthesis of storage carbohydrates and hence low yields. Three strategies for improvement are discussed. Increases in the lysine content of hordein may be difficult to achieve because of the presence of complex families of structural genes. It would also be necessary to insert a large number of additional lysine residues. Two more promising approaches are to increase the level of expression of genes coding for lysine-rich globulin storage proteins and to increase the pool of free lysine by selecting mutant lines with relaxed feedback regulation of lysine synthesis. (author)

  11. Technological developments and approaches to improving service quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumberg, M R

    1999-01-01

    In summary, major paradigm shifts in the health care industry are altering the way technology is maintained and supported. Service organizations are now responsible for maintaining a broader base of technology within the health care delivery network and must to this on an extremely rapid, efficient, and productive basis. A number of new technologies are coming on-line, which can allow a health care technology service organization to experience significant improvements in profitability, efficiency, and productivity. To realize maximum benefit from these technologies, service organizations may find themselves re-engineering their service processes. The author believes that this is a requirement for many service organizations, regardless of whether new technology is implemented. The traditional approaches to service delivery are ineffective in managing the new structural realities and service requirements of today's health care environment. New strategies and tactics are required for ensuring that these requirements are met. These approaches will no doubt improve the overall quality, productivity, and efficiency of service and are based on best practices utilized by leading OEMs and ISOs in the medical electronics and other high technology service industry such as information technology and telecommunications, where the service organization is responsible for supporting a broad array of the technology over a large geography with a densely populated installed base, not unlike the typical health care delivery service environment. Once operational improvements are made, a service organization can take advantage of the productivity and efficiency gains brought on by new technology. Organizations interested in doing so are urged to thoroughly research the current state-of-the-art and best practices, because there are numerous systems currently available off-the-shelf. The author believes that new technology will be a basic requirement for competing in the health care

  12. PARTICLE FILTER BASED VEHICLE TRACKING APPROACH WITH IMPROVED RESAMPLING STAGE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Leong Khong

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Optical sensors based vehicle tracking can be widely implemented in traffic surveillance and flow control. The vast development of video surveillance infrastructure in recent years has drawn the current research focus towards vehicle tracking using high-end and low cost optical sensors. However, tracking vehicles via such sensors could be challenging due to the high probability of changing vehicle appearance and illumination, besides the occlusion and overlapping incidents. Particle filter has been proven as an approach which can overcome nonlinear and non-Gaussian situations caused by cluttered background and occlusion incidents. Unfortunately, conventional particle filter approach encounters particle degeneracy especially during and after the occlusion. Particle filter with sampling important resampling (SIR is an important step to overcome the drawback of particle filter, but SIR faced the problem of sample impoverishment when heavy particles are statistically selected many times. In this work, genetic algorithm has been proposed to be implemented in the particle filter resampling stage, where the estimated position can converge faster to hit the real position of target vehicle under various occlusion incidents. The experimental results show that the improved particle filter with genetic algorithm resampling method manages to increase the tracking accuracy and meanwhile reduce the particle sample size in the resampling stage.

  13. Team-Based Learning: A New Approach Toward Improving Education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rita Rezaee

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available  Team-based learning is designed to provide students with both conceptual and procedural knowledge, aiming to enhance active learning and critical thinking. In the present study, team-based learning and lecture methods in teaching the “hospital organization and management” course among hospital management students were compared. This quasi-experimental study was conducted on 25 undergraduate students of management. Teaching sessions were divided into two parts. The first part was taught with interactive lectures and the second part with team-based learning method. The students' knowledge was measured before, immediately and two months (late post-test after teaching. Finally, the mean scores of the final exam and students' satisfaction towards the methods of teaching were measured. There was an improvement in test scores of the students after the TBL sessions when compared to the test scores after lecture sessions (P<0.001. Also, TBL group had significantly a higher amount of knowledge retention compared to the lecture group (P<0.001, but no significant relationship was found between the mean scores of the final exam in the TBL and lecture groups (P=0.116. Finally, the majority of the respondents were more satisfied with TBL sessions compared to the ones held through lecture (P=0.037. The results indicated that TBL provides a better outcome for students. We found that the TBL approach allowed us to create an active learning environment that contributed to the improvement of the students’ performances.

  14. Team-Based Learning: A New Approach Toward Improving Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezaee, Rita; Moadeb, Neda; Shokrpour, Nasrin

    2016-10-01

     Team-based learning is designed to provide students with both conceptual and procedural knowledge, aiming to enhance active learning and critical thinking. In the present study, team-based learning and lecture methods in teaching the "hospital organization and management" course among hospital management students were compared. This quasi-experimental study was conducted on 25 undergraduate students of management. Teaching sessions were divided into two parts. The first part was taught with interactive lectures and the second part with team-based learning method. The students' knowledge was measured before, immediately and two months (late post-test) after teaching. Finally, the mean scores of the final exam and students' satisfaction towards the methods of teaching were measured. There was an improvement in test scores of the students after the TBL sessions when compared to the test scores after lecture sessions (Plecture group (Plecture groups (P=0.116). Finally, the majority of the respondents were more satisfied with TBL sessions compared to the ones held through lecture (P=0.037). The results indicated that TBL provides a better outcome for students. We found that the TBL approach allowed us to create an active learning environment that contributed to the improvement of the students' performances.

  15. Implementing a nationwide quality improvement approach in health services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahel, Amina; DeBrouwere, Vincent; Dujardin, Bruno; Kegels, Guy; Belkaab, Nejoua; Alaoui Belghiti, Abdelali

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to present an innovative quality improvement intervention developed in Morocco and discuss its implementation. Until 2004, the Moroccan Ministry of Health (MoH) encouraged pilots of quality improvement approaches but none of them were revealed to be sustainable. Internal assessments pinpointed factors such as lack of recognition of the participating team's efforts and lack of pressure on managers to become more accountable. In 2005, Morocco opted for an intervention called "Quality Contest" (QC) targeting health centres, hospitals and health district offices and combining quality measurement with structures ranking, performance disclosure and reward system. The QC is organized every 18 months. After the self-assessment and external audit step, the participating structures are ranked according to their scores. Their performances are then disseminated and the highest performing structures are rewarded. The results showed an improvement in performance among participating structures, constructive exchange of successful experiences between structures, as well as communication of constraints, needs and expectations between MoH managers at central and local levels; the use of peer-auditors was appreciated as it enabled an exchange of best practices between auditors and audited teams but this was mitigated by the difficulty of ensuring their neutrality; and the recognition of efforts was appreciated but seemed insufficient to ensure a sense of justice and maintain motivation. This intervention is an example of MoH leadership that has succeeded in introducing transparency and accountability mechanisms (ranking and performance disclosure) as leverage to change the management culture of the public health services; setting up a reward system to reinforce motivation and adapting continuously the intervention to enhance its sustainability and acceptability.

  16. [Food based approaches to improve vitamin and mineral nutrition adequacy].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyarzún, M T; Uauy, R; Olivares, S

    2001-03-01

    This paper, using the nutrient density concept and the development of Food-Based Dietary Guidelines (FBDG), explores the nutritional adequacy of food patterns based on the main staples around the world--maize, wheat, rice and potato. The nutritional adequacy of the vitamins A, C, folates and the minerals iron, zinc and calcium in diets composed by these staples is analyzed. Projected diets modified by the addition of foods high in vitamins and minerals, based on food table composition information, are analyzed for changes in nutritional adequacy, in order to cover the nutritional requirements of all family members. This theoretical exercise shows that diets diversified by the addition of relatively small quantities (27-70 g) of foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes and meat improve substantially the nutritional adequacy of the vitamins A, C, folates, iron and zinc. In the case of calcium, the addition of a dairy source becomes essential. From the practical point of view, the implementation of the food based approach requires a national effort in order to support the production of nutrient rich foods and to promote consciousness of nutrient bioavailability, so that people may obtain all nutrient potential from foods. Simultaneously, the need of fortification programs at the national level is recognized. This is the case for critical nutrients, where requirements might be above the potential in available foods. A similar situation occurs in the case of vulnerable groups like pregnant women and infants, who need supplementation to ensure nutritional adequacy of their diets. In conclusion, the use of FBDG is a good alternative for improving the nutritional adequacy of diets based predominantly on staple foods. However, food fortification and supplementation programs directed to vulnerable groups are necessary and complementary practices to the FBDG implementation.

  17. Approaches to improve adherence to pharmacotherapy in patients with schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuler KM

    2014-05-01

    enhanced team-oriented approach to managing patients with schizophrenia improves adherence and supports corresponding reductions in relapse rates, inpatient admissions, and associated costs. Conclusion: Optimization of medication and involvement of caregivers are important to promoting adherence. A multidisciplinary team approach may be invaluable in identifying barriers to adherence and helping schizophrenia patients overcome them. Keywords: medication adherence, schizophrenia, community mental health services, social work, psychiatric

  18. Case Studies of Technology-aided Interventions to Promote Hand Reaching and Standing or Basic Ambulation in Persons with Multiple Disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lancioni, Giulio E; Singh, Nirbhay N; O'Reilly, Mark F; Sigafoos, Jeff; Alberti, Gloria; Campodonico, Francesca

    2016-02-01

    Motor impairments such as lack of standing and/or independent ambulation are common among persons with multiple disabilities. These two studies assessed technology-aided programs for persons with those impairments. Specifically, Study I assessed a program to teach two non-ambulatory adults to hand reach a stimulation-linked object by standing up. Study II assessed a program to teach a child and a man to ambulate while holding a rail or following a corridor wall. Standing increased from below 15% to about or over 80% of the session duration in Study I. The participants of Study II managed to complete brief ambulation trials independent of guidance. These performance achievements were discussed in relation to the technology-aided programs employed in the studies and the programs' applicability in daily contexts. © The Author(s) 2016.

  19. Improving Polyp Detection Algorithms for CT Colonography: Pareto Front Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Adam; Li, Jiang; Summers, Ronald M.; Petrick, Nicholas; Hara, Amy K.

    2010-01-01

    We investigated a Pareto front approach to improving polyp detection algorithms for CT colonography (CTC). A dataset of 56 CTC colon surfaces with 87 proven positive detections of 53 polyps sized 4 to 60 mm was used to evaluate the performance of a one-step and a two-step curvature-based region growing algorithm. The algorithmic performance was statistically evaluated and compared based on the Pareto optimal solutions from 20 experiments by evolutionary algorithms. The false positive rate was lower (palgorithm than by the one-step for 63% of all possible operating points. While operating at a suitable sensitivity level such as 90.8% (79/87) or 88.5% (77/87), the false positive rate was reduced by 24.4% (95% confidence intervals 17.9–31.0%) or 45.8% (95% confidence intervals 40.1–51.0%) respectively. We demonstrated that, with a proper experimental design, the Pareto optimization process can effectively help in fine-tuning and redesigning polyp detection algorithms. PMID:20548966

  20. Nuclear agriculture and biotechnology: integrated approaches for crop improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suprasanna, P.; Venugopalan, V.

    2017-01-01

    Use of radiation and radioisotopes in agriculture is one of the most important fields of peaceful applications of atomic energy for societal benefit. They are used to induce genetic variability in crop plants to develop improved mutant varieties, to manage insect pests, to monitor fate and persistence of pesticides, to study fertilizer use efficiency and plant micronutrient uptake and also to preserve agricultural produce. So far, BARC has developed and released 42 Trombay mutant varieties in oilseeds (groundnut, mustard, soybean, sunflower), pulses (pigeonpea, blackgram, greengram, cowpea), rice and jute for commercial cultivation across the nation. Mutant characterization has been benefitted by genomics approaches and availability of crop genome sequencing. In this regard, studies are underway to utilize mutant germplasm for molecular characterization and understanding trait modification. The nuclear technologies have benefited the farmers, traders and end-users and will continue to play a significant role in addressing food and nutritional security. In this presentation, an overview will be given on the activities of the NABTD in the field of nuclear agriculture and biotechnology

  1. Improvement of child survival in Mexico: the diagonal approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepúlveda, Jaime; Bustreo, Flavia; Tapia, Roberto; Rivera, Juan; Lozano, Rafael; Oláiz, Gustavo; Partida, Virgilio; García-García, Lourdes; Valdespino, José Luis

    2006-12-02

    Public health interventions aimed at children in Mexico have placed the country among the seven countries on track to achieve the goal of child mortality reduction by 2015. We analysed census data, mortality registries, the nominal registry of children, national nutrition surveys, and explored temporal association and biological plausibility to explain the reduction of child, infant, and neonatal mortality rates. During the past 25 years, child mortality rates declined from 64 to 23 per 1000 livebirths. A dramatic decline in diarrhoea mortality rates was recorded. Polio, diphtheria, and measles were eliminated. Nutritional status of children improved significantly for wasting, stunting, and underweight. A selection of highly cost-effective interventions bridging clinics and homes, what we called the diagonal approach, were central to this progress. Although a causal link to the reduction of child mortality was not possible to establish, we saw evidence of temporal association and biological plausibility to the high level of coverage of public health interventions, as well as significant association to the investments in women education, social protection, water, and sanitation. Leadership and continuity of public health policies, along with investments on institutions and human resources strengthening, were also among the reasons for these achievements.

  2. [Improvement of child survival in Mexico: the diagonal approach].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepúlveda, Jaime; Bustreo, Flavia; Tapia, Roberto; Rivera, Juan; Lozano, Rafael; Olaiz, Gustavo; Partida, Virgilio; García-García, Ma de Lourdes; Valdespino, José Luis

    2007-01-01

    Public health interventions aimed at children in Mexico have placed the country among the seven countries on track to achieve the goal of child mortality reduction by 2015. We analysed census data, mortality registries, the nominal registry of children, national nutrition surveys, and explored temporal association and biological plausibility to explain the reduction of child, infant, and neonatal mortality rates. During the past 25 years, child mortality rates declined from 64 to 23 per 1000 livebirths. A dramatic decline in diarrhoea mortality rates was recorded. Polio, diphtheria, and measles were eliminated. Nutritional status of children improved significantly for wasting, stunting, and underweight. A selection of highly cost-effective interventions bridging clinics and homes, what we called the diagonal approach, were central to this progress. Although a causal link to the reduction of child mortality was not possible to establish, we saw evidence of temporal association and biological plausibility to the high level of coverage of public health interventions, as well as significant association to the investments in women education, social protection, water, and sanitation. Leadership and continuity of public health policies, along with investments on institutions and human resources strengthening, were also among the reasons for these achievements.

  3. Improving the explainability of Random Forest classifier - user centered approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petkovic, Dragutin; Altman, Russ; Wong, Mike; Vigil, Arthur

    2018-01-01

    Machine Learning (ML) methods are now influencing major decisions about patient care, new medical methods, drug development and their use and importance are rapidly increasing in all areas. However, these ML methods are inherently complex and often difficult to understand and explain resulting in barriers to their adoption and validation. Our work (RFEX) focuses on enhancing Random Forest (RF) classifier explainability by developing easy to interpret explainability summary reports from trained RF classifiers as a way to improve the explainability for (often non-expert) users. RFEX is implemented and extensively tested on Stanford FEATURE data where RF is tasked with predicting functional sites in 3D molecules based on their electrochemical signatures (features). In developing RFEX method we apply user-centered approach driven by explainability questions and requirements collected by discussions with interested practitioners. We performed formal usability testing with 13 expert and non-expert users to verify RFEX usefulness. Analysis of RFEX explainability report and user feedback indicates its usefulness in significantly increasing explainability and user confidence in RF classification on FEATURE data. Notably, RFEX summary reports easily reveal that one needs very few (from 2-6 depending on a model) top ranked features to achieve 90% or better of the accuracy when all 480 features are used.

  4. An interprofessional approach to improving paediatric medication safety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kennedy Neil

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Safe drug prescribing and administration are essential elements within undergraduate healthcare curricula, but medication errors, especially in paediatric practice, continue to compromise patient safety. In this area of clinical care, collective responsibility, team working and communication between health professionals have been identified as key elements in safe clinical practice. To date, there is limited research evidence as to how best to deliver teaching and learning of these competencies to practitioners of the future. Methods An interprofessional workshop to facilitate learning of knowledge, core competencies, communication and team working skills in paediatric drug prescribing and administration at undergraduate level was developed and evaluated. The practical, ward-based workshop was delivered to 4th year medical and 3rd year nursing students and evaluated using a pre and post workshop questionnaire with open-ended response questions. Results Following the workshop, students reported an increase in their knowledge and awareness of paediatric medication safety and the causes of medication errors (p Conclusion This study has helped bridge the knowledge-skills gap, demonstrating how an interprofessional approach to drug prescribing and administration has the potential to improve quality and safety within healthcare.

  5. Technology-aided recreation and communication opportunities for post-coma persons affected by lack of speech and extensive motor impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lancioni, Giulio E; Singh, Nirbhay N; O'Reilly, Mark F; Sigafoos, Jeff; Buonocunto, Francesca; Sacco, Valentina; Navarro, Jorge; Lanzilotti, Crocifissa; D'Amico, Fiora; Sasanelli, Giovanni; De Tommaso, Marina; Megna, Marisa

    2013-09-01

    This study assessed technology-aided intervention programs for two post-coma men who had re-acquired consciousness, but were unable to engage in personally or socially relevant occupations, given their lack of functional speech and their extensive motor disabilities. The microswitches used for accessing the program contents consisted of (a) a pressure sensor fixed in the palm of the first man's hand that could be activated with a small hand closure movement, and (b) an optic sensor fixed under the chin of the second man that could be activated by mouth opening movements. The programs' content consisted of recreation and communication options, which involved activating music, videos, and basic requests, sending and receiving (listening to) text messages, and placing phone calls. The results showed that the men (a) used the technology-aided programs successfully to manage the recreation and communication options available and (b) showed consistent preference for the sessions with the technology-aided program over other daily events. Family and staff members interviewed about the participants' programs (seven members for each participant) thought that the participants enjoyed the intervention sessions with the programs and that the programs had beneficial effects for them. Implications of the findings are discussed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Improving software product line using an ontological approach

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The presented approach has been explained with the help of an FM derived from the standard case in product line (PL) community. The initial empirical evaluation of the proposed approach analyses 35 FMs with different sizes. The results obtained exhibit that the proposed approach is accurate, effective, scalable up to 200 ...

  7. An improved approach for flow-based cloud point extraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frizzarin, Rejane M; Rocha, Fábio R P

    2014-04-11

    Novel strategies are proposed to circumvent the main drawbacks of flow-based cloud point extraction (CPE). The surfactant-rich phase (SRP) was directly retained into the optical path of the spectrophotometric cell, thus avoiding its dilution previously to the measurement and yielding higher sensitivity. Solenoid micro-pumps were exploited to improve mixing by the pulsed flow and also to modulate the flow-rate for retention and removal of the SRP, thus avoiding the elution step, often carried out with organic solvents. The heat released and the increase of the salt concentration provided by an on-line neutralization reaction were exploited to induce the cloud point without an external heating device. These innovations were demonstrated by the spectrophotometric determination of iron, yielding a linear response from 10 to 200 μg L(-1) with a coefficient of variation of 2.3% (n=7). Detection limit and sampling rate were estimated at 5 μg L(-1) (95% confidence level) and 26 samples per hour, respectively. The enrichment factor was 8.9 and the procedure consumed only 6 μg of TAN and 390 μg of Triton X-114 per determination. At the 95% confidence level, the results obtained for freshwater samples agreed with the reference procedure and those obtained for digests of bovine muscle, rice flour, brown bread and tort lobster agreed with the certified reference values. The proposed procedure thus shows advantages in relation to previously proposed approaches for flow-based CPE, being a fast and environmental friendly alternative for on-line separation and pre-concentration. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  9. Improving software product line using an ontological approach

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    An ontological based approach is proposed following first-order logic (FOL) rules to identify defects namely dead features and false optional features. The classification of cases forthese defects in FMs that represent variability of SPL is defined. The presented approach has been explained with the help of an FM derived ...

  10. A DMAIC approach for process capability improvement an engine crankshaft manufacturing process

    OpenAIRE

    Sharma, G.V.S.S.; Rao, P. Srinivasa

    2014-01-01

    The define-measure-analyze-improve-control (DMAIC) approach is a five-strata approach, namely DMAIC. This approach is the scientific approach for reducing the deviations and improving the capability levels of the manufacturing processes. The present work elaborates on DMAIC approach applied in reducing the process variations of the stub-end-hole boring operation of the manufacture of crankshaft. This statistical process control study starts with selection of the critical-to-quality (CTQ) char...

  11. Improvement noted after a multifaceted approach to diabetes ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Optimal control of diabetes mellitus remains elusive, especially in developing countries. A comprehensive and standardised approach, coupled with intensive patient and clinician education, may provide the solution. Methods: Comprehensive datasheets accompanied by patient education from a ...

  12. An Improved Dynamic Programming Decomposition Approach for Network Revenue Management

    OpenAIRE

    Dan Zhang

    2011-01-01

    We consider a nonlinear nonseparable functional approximation to the value function of a dynamic programming formulation for the network revenue management (RM) problem with customer choice. We propose a simultaneous dynamic programming approach to solve the resulting problem, which is a nonlinear optimization problem with nonlinear constraints. We show that our approximation leads to a tighter upper bound on optimal expected revenue than some known bounds in the literature. Our approach can ...

  13. A resilience approach can improve anadromous fish restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldman, John R.; Wilson, Karen A.; Mather, Martha E.; Snyder, Noah P.

    2016-01-01

    Most anadromous fish populations remain at low levels or are in decline despite substantial investments in restoration. We explore whether a resilience perspective (i.e., a different paradigm for understanding populations, communities, and ecosystems) is a viable alternative framework for anadromous fish restoration. Many life history traits have allowed anadromous fish to thrive in unimpacted ecosystems but have become contemporary curses as anthropogenic effects increase. This contradiction creates a significant conservation challenge but also makes these fish excellent candidates for a resilience approach. A resilience approach recognizes the need to maintain life history, population, and habitat characteristics that increase the ability of a population to withstand and recover from multiple disturbances. To evaluate whether a resilience approach represents a viable strategy for anadromous fish restoration, we review four issues: (1) how resilience theory can inform anadromous fish restoration, (2) how a resilience-based approach is fundamentally different than extant anadromous fish restoration strategies, (3) ecological characteristics that historically benefited anadromous fish persistence, and (4) examples of how human impacts harm anadromous fish and how a resilience approach might produce more successful outcomes. We close by suggesting new research and restoration directions for implementation of a resilience-based approach.

  14. Autoverification process improvement by Six Sigma approach: Clinical chemistry & immunoassay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randell, Edward W; Short, Garry; Lee, Natasha; Beresford, Allison; Spencer, Margaret; Kennell, Marina; Moores, Zoë; Parry, David

    2018-03-05

    This study examines effectiveness of a project to enhance an autoverification (AV) system through application of Six Sigma (DMAIC) process improvement strategies. Similar AV systems set up at three sites underwent examination and modification to produce improved systems while monitoring proportions of samples autoverified, the time required for manual review and verification, sample processing time, and examining characteristics of tests not autoverified. This information was used to identify areas for improvement and monitor the impact of changes. Use of reference range based criteria had the greatest impact on the proportion of tests autoverified. To improve AV process, reference range based criteria was replaced with extreme value limits based on a 99.5% test result interval, delta check criteria were broadened, and new specimen consistency rules were implemented. Decision guidance tools were also developed to assist staff using the AV system. The mean proportion of tests and samples autoverified improved from 90% for samples and >95% for tests across all three sites. The new AV system significantly decreased turn-around time and total sample review time (to about a third), however, time spent for manual review of held samples almost tripled. There was no evidence of compromise to the quality of testing process and process improvement methodology was successfully applied to AV systems resulting in an increase in overall test and sample AV by >90%, improved turn-around time, reduced time for manual verification, and with no obvious compromise to quality or error detection. Copyright © 2018 The Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. The FITS model: an improved Learning by Design approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Drs. Ing. Koen Michels; Prof. Dr. Marc de Vries; MEd Dave van Breukelen; MEd Frank Schure

    2016-01-01

    Learning by Design (LBD) is a project-based inquiry approach for interdisciplinary teaching that uses design contexts to learn skills and conceptual knowledge. Research around the year 2000 showed that LBD students achieved high skill performances but disappointing conceptual learning gains. A

  16. Genetic Approaches to Appearance and Ancestry : Improving Forensic DNA Analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L.C. Chaitanya (Lakshmi)

    2016-01-01

    textabstractTraditionally, routine forensic casework is based on comparative grounds. DNA profiles obtained from crime-scenes are compared with those of potential suspects or DNA profiles deposited in forensic DNA databases. The principal limitation of such comparative approach is that trace

  17. Quality improvement in basic histotechnology: the lean approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, David

    2016-01-01

    Lean is a comprehensive system of management based on the Toyota production system (TPS), encompassing all the activities of an organization. It focuses management activity on creating value for the end-user by continuously improving operational effectiveness and removing waste. Lean management creates a culture of continuous quality improvement with a strong emphasis on developing the problem-solving capability of staff using the scientific method (Deming's Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle). Lean management systems have been adopted by a number of histopathology departments throughout the world to simultaneously improve quality (reducing errors and shortening turnround times) and lower costs (by increasing efficiency). This article describes the key concepts that make up a lean management system, and how these concepts have been adapted from manufacturing industry and applied to histopathology using a case study of lean implementation and evidence from the literature. It discusses the benefits, limitations, and pitfalls encountered when implementing lean management systems.

  18. Improvement Methods in NPP's Radiation Emergency Plan: An Administrative Approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Yoon Wook; Yang, He Sun

    2009-01-01

    The Radiation Emergency Plan (REP) can be divided into a technical and an administrative responses. The domestic NPP's REPs are reviewed from the viewpoint of the administrative response and improvement methods are also suggested in this treatise. The fields of the reviews are the composition of the emergency response organizations, the activation criteria of the organizations, the selection of the staffings and the reasonableness of the REP's volume. In addition, the limitations of the current radiation exercises are reviewed and the improvement method of the exercise is presented. It is expected that the suggested recommendations will be helpful in establishing useful REPs and making practical radiation exercises in Korea

  19. Improvement of buccal delivery of morphine using the prodrug approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christrup, Lona Louring; Jørgensen, A.; Christensen, C.B.

    1997-01-01

    relationship to the lipophilicity of the compounds. In the in vitro studies the optimal permeation was achieved for the prodrug morphine-3-propionate having a log P value of approximately 0.7. In contrast to that optimal in vivo absorption was obtained for the prodrug morphine-3-acetate having a log P value...... Improved by using ester prodrugs with higher lipophilicity than morphine itself. However, the enzymatic stability of the prodrugs in saliva also play an important role for the overall improvement in absorption properties....

  20. Quality Improvement in Virtual Higher Education: A Grounded Theory Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahdiuon, Rouhollah; Masoumi, Davoud; Farasatkhah, Maghsoud

    2017-01-01

    The article aims to explore the attributes of quality and quality improvement including the process and specific actions associated with these attributes--that contribute enhancing quality in Iranian Virtual Higher Education (VHE) institutions. A total of 16 interviews were conducted with experts and key actors in Iranian virtual higher education.…

  1. Ontology-Based Approaches to Improve RDF Triple Store

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albahli, Saleh M.

    2016-01-01

    The World Wide Web enables an easy, instant access to a huge quantity of information. Over the last few decades, a number of improvements have been achieved that helped the web reach its current state. However, the current Internet links documents together without understanding them, and thus, makes the content of web only human-readable rather…

  2. Improving Student Group Marketing Presentations: A Modified Pecha Kucha Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Jason; Kowalczyk, Christine

    2013-01-01

    Student presentations can often seem like a formality rather than a lesson in representing oneself or group in a professional manner. To improve the quality of group presentations, the authors modified the popular presentation style of Pecha Kucha (20 slides, 20 seconds per slide) for marketing courses to help students prepare and deliver…

  3. Improvement of refuse collection in Kitwe: A participatory approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    B. Kazimbaya-Senkwe (Barbara); K.M. Sankwe; J. Frijns (Jos)

    1999-01-01

    textabstractThis project set out to define the refuse collection problem in Kitwe and to propose ways of improving the same. Through a household survey, interviews with relevant institutions and a physical survey of the town, it was established that the Kitwe City Council is not able to provide an

  4. Research improves hospitals' approach to children's pain in Thailand

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

    Learn more about the Global Health Research Initiative. Read more about this project: Improving management of pediatric pain in urban and rural Thailand. Read more about research supported by the Teasdale-Corti Global Health Research Partnership: Addressing the social roots of disease · Listening to the animals in ...

  5. Hypothesis Generation in Quality Improvement Projects: Approaches for Exploratory Studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Mast, J.; Bergman, M.

    2006-01-01

    In quality improvement projects - such as Six Sigma projects - an exploratory phase can be discerned, during which possible causes, influence factors or variation sources are identified. In a subsequent confirmatory phase the effects of these possible causes are experimentally verified. Whereas the

  6. Using Survey Data to Improve Student Learning: A Team Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Darlene

    2009-01-01

    "What did you do in school today?" is about reflecting on thoughtful questions and using data to make improvements. It is a multi-year research and development initiative of the Canadian Education Association (CEA), funded through collaboration with the Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) and a number of Canadian school districts.…

  7. An improved probe noise approach for acoustic feedback cancellation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guo, Meng; Jensen, Søren Holdt; Jensen, Jesper

    2012-01-01

    The perhaps most challenging problem in acoustic feedback cancellation using adaptive filters is the bias problem. It is well-known that a probe noise approach can effectively prevent this problem. However, when the probe noise must be inaudible and the steady-state error of the adaptive filter m...... expressions for its system behavior, and through a simulation experiment in an acoustic feedback cancellation system.......The perhaps most challenging problem in acoustic feedback cancellation using adaptive filters is the bias problem. It is well-known that a probe noise approach can effectively prevent this problem. However, when the probe noise must be inaudible and the steady-state error of the adaptive filter...

  8. A strategic approach to improve sustainability in transportation service procurement

    OpenAIRE

    Jothi Basu, R.; Bai, Ruibin; Palaniappan, PL.K.

    2015-01-01

    This paper focuses on the procurement of full truck-load transportation service with the view to ensuring sustainability in transport logistics. The carrier assignment problem (CAP) involved in truck load contract auction is studied using a complete enumeration method and heuristic approach. Performance of both methods is compared in terms of solution quality and computational time based on the results of sample problems considered. Also, the impact of combinatorial bidding on reducing empty ...

  9. Improving oral health behavior: a social psychological approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherman, David K; Updegraff, John A; Mann, Traci

    2008-10-01

    The authors describe social psychological research that has found consistent beneficial effects of framing health messages to be congruent with personality factors in encouraging preventive oral health behaviors. The authors describe several studies in which they administered health messages to young adults who did not floss and who were classified as predominantly approach-oriented or avoidance-oriented on the basis of a short personality questionnaire. They framed the messages to emphasize the benefits of dental flossing or the costs of not flossing. The authors assessed the effectiveness in terms of flossing efficacy and flossing behavior. When patients received a dental health message that was congruent with their motivational orientation-approach or avoidance-they had a stronger belief that they were capable of flossing, expressed greater intentions to floss and exhibited increased flossing behavior (flossing 50 to 65 percent more often in the following week). Two factors that dental practitioners should consider when delivering information are whether the patient is more approach- or avoidance-oriented and whether to frame the message in terms of gains or losses. Practitioners can use these theory-based findings in dental practice to promote positive oral health behaviors by administering brief personality assessments to patients and by framing the message accordingly.

  10. Short Run Capability Improvement Efforts Through Varied Learning Approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jasmani

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this research was done to upgrade the learning approach through the short run variable on the students grade 3 son SD N Krebet 3 Masaran Sragen 2015/2016 school year. This research is Class action, research was conducted with two-cycle and do the analysis it can be concluded that increased learning outcomes atltetik number of short run through the learning variable approach is characterized by an increase in the value of the average student. The average value of the students on the initial conditions of 60.56 with ketuntasan percentage of 6.67%. The condition has increased the value of the average students in cycle I, i.e. of 62.20 and ketuntasan percentage of 10.00%. However, the increase has still not reached the targets set earlier. Then after continuing to cycle II the average value of the short run capability of the students again experienced an increase of ketuntasan percentage of 74.70 with 80.00%. This indicates that the target set previously already accomplished so research stopped in cycle II. The process of learning the number of short run Athletics through learning approach markedly dynamic and fun takes place and the results of observation of the teacher when learning is also increasing in every meeting.

  11. Gap Analysis Approach for Construction Safety Program Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thanet Aksorn

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available To improve construction site safety, emphasis has been placed on the implementation of safety programs. In order to successfully gain from safety programs, factors that affect their improvement need to be studied. Sixteen critical success factors of safety programs were identified from safety literature, and these were validated by safety experts. This study was undertaken by surveying 70 respondents from medium- and large-scale construction projects. It explored the importance and the actual status of critical success factors (CSFs. Gap analysis was used to examine the differences between the importance of these CSFs and their actual status. This study found that the most critical problems characterized by the largest gaps were management support, appropriate supervision, sufficient resource allocation, teamwork, and effective enforcement. Raising these priority factors to satisfactory levels would lead to successful safety programs, thereby minimizing accidents.

  12. System ergonomics as an approach to improve human reliability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bubb, H.

    1988-01-01

    The application of system technics on ergonomical problems is called system ergonomics. This enables improvements of human reliability by design measures. The precondition for this is the knowledge of how information processing is performed by man and machine. By a separate consideration of sensory processing, cognitive processing, and motory processing it is possible to have a more exact idea of the system element 'man'. The system element 'machine' is well described by differential equations which allow an ergonomical assessment of the manouverability. The knowledge of information processing of man and machine enables a task analysis. This makes appear on one hand the human boundaries depending on the different properties of the task and on the other hand suitable ergonomical solution proposals which improve the reliability of the total system. It is a disadvantage, however, that the change of human reliability by such measures may not be quoted numerically at the moment. (orig.)

  13. Results-driven approach to improving quality and productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    John Dramm

    2000-01-01

    Quality control (QC) programs do not often realize their full potential. Elaborate and expensive QC programs can easily get side tracked by the process of building a program with promises of “Someday, this will all pay off.” Training employees in QC methods is no guarantee that quality will improve. Several documented cases show that such activity-centered efforts...

  14. Improving public information with an interactive lecture approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tkavc, M.

    2003-01-01

    Providing public information is one of the main activities of The Nuclear Training Centre (ICJT) at the Jozef Stefan Institute. Our primary target is students of primary and secondary schools. The lecture they listen to during their visit to our centre was old fashioned since we used classic overhead projector. We have modernized it with an LCD projector and computer-based interactive presentation in order to improve students' comprehension. (author)

  15. Monolithic QCL design approaches for improved reliability and affordability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, K. K.

    2013-12-01

    Many advances have been made recently in mid-wave infrared and long-wave infrared quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) technologies, and there is an increasing demand for these laser sources for ever expanding Naval, DoD and homeland security applications. We will discuss in this paper a portfolio of various Naval Air Warfare Weapons Division's current and future small business innovative research programs and efforts on significantly improving QCLs' performance, affordability, and reliability.

  16. A Multiorganization Approach to Improving Palliative Care in Honduras.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy Sheldon, Lisa; Dahlin, Constance; Maingi, Shail; Sanchez, Jose

    2017-01-01

    Since 2011, oncology nurses and physicians in the United States have been volunteering in Honduras with the International Cancer Corps (ICC), organized by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), in partnership with Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO). In this article, the authors will summarize the work of the ASCO/HVO ICC teams that developed educational programs with local partners to improve cancer and palliative care in Honduras.

  17. Scaling production and improving efficiency in DEA: an interactive approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rödder, Wilhelm; Kleine, Andreas; Dellnitz, Andreas

    2017-10-01

    DEA models help a DMU to detect its (in-)efficiency and to improve activities, if necessary. Efficiency is only one economic aim for a decision-maker; however, up- or downsizing might be a second one. Improving efficiency is the main topic in DEA; the long-term strategy towards the right production size should attract our attention as well. Not always the management of a DMU primarily focuses on technical efficiency but rather is interested in gaining scale effects. In this paper, a formula for returns to scale (RTS) is developed, and this formula is even applicable for interior points of technology. Particularly, technical and scale inefficient DMUs need sophisticated instruments to improve their situation. Considering RTS as well as efficiency, in this paper, we give an advice for each DMU to find an economically reliable path from its actual situation to better activities and finally to most productive scale size (mpss), perhaps. For realizing this path, we propose an interactive algorithm, thus harmonizing the scientific findings and the interests of the management. Small numerical examples illustrate such paths for selected DMUs; an empirical application in theatre management completes the contribution.

  18. A systematic approach to improve oral and maxillofacial surgery education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosén, A; Fors, U; Zary, N; Sejersen, R; Lund, B

    2011-11-01

    To improve teaching quality and student satisfaction, a new curriculum in Oral Surgery was implemented at Karolinska Institutet in 2007. This paper describes the curriculum change as well as the results regarding quality, satisfaction, cost-effectiveness and workload for teachers and staff. To design the new curriculum, all members of the teaching staff participated in a series of group discussions where problems with the previous curriculum were identified and ideas on how to improve the curriculum were discussed. Cost-effectiveness was evaluated by comparing the number of teaching sessions between the new and the old curriculum. A questionnaire was used to investigate the staffs' perceived change in workload and teaching quality. The students' satisfaction and attitudes to learning was screened for by on-line questionnaires. The large amount of passive observational teaching was considered as the main problem with the old curriculum. Half of these sessions were replaced by either clinical seminars or demonstrations performed in an interactive form. Students rated the new curriculum as a clear improvement. Analyses of time and cost-effectiveness showed a decrease in teaching sessions by almost 50%. Generally, the teachers were more positive towards the changes compared to the non-teaching staff. The students rated the new type of learning activities relatively high, whilst the traditional observational teaching was seen as less satisfactory. They preferred to learn in a practical way and few indicated analytic or emotional preferences. The majority of the students reported a good alignment between the new course curriculum and the final exam. 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  19. Approach to improve construction management utilizing information technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Woo Bang; Moon, Jin Yeong

    2003-01-01

    Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) has been managed Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) construction projects including basic project planning, design, procurement, construction and start-up for nearly 30 years, and taken the leading role in the self-reliance program for constructing NPP. To maintain its leading position of construction technology and export it to other countries, it is more likely required to build the strong and competitive business management system to improve internal business efficiency and transparency, and also to respond to the change of external business circumstances such as electricity market opening. KHNP is implementing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System as a business innovation tool to improve business efficiency, which changes the way of performing work from organizational system to process-oriented system in order to optimize the company resources to achieve above goals. This change should be made based on the results of performing Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) to maximize overall business efficiency. For the construction project management area, the establishment of Integrated Construction Information Sharing System based on Information Technology (IT) is the most important part. It makes possible to build collaboration system with 'Win-Win strategy' between the project owner and all related entities and to contribute to secure transparency and cut the project cost down. We would like to introduce our NPP Construction Project Management System, Infrastructure for Information System, Information Sharing System among construction related entities and Implementation Practices in this paper and also include the suggestions on our customary practice and subject that should be improved

  20. Improving enterprise system support - a case-based approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wognum, P.M.; Krabbendam, J.J.; Buhl, Henrik

    2004-01-01

    of a comprehensive reference framework. After this step a tool has been developed to support a consultant in assessing the maturity of a company to start an enterprise system implementation project. The knowledge, used directly in the tool, makes it possible to suggest improvement actions sensitive to the situation...... organisational change. Success and failure factors and do's and don'ts, as can be found in the literature, provide necessary, but not sufficient, preconditions for starting an implementation project. The complexity of such a project makes full anticipation and control of potential problems impossible...

  1. Client Oriented Approach for Assisting Business Improvement Decision Making

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Pitic

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available An important aspect of the corporate responsibility towards the customers is to ensure the correct value transfer, through the quality and price of the product/service. By using customer satisfaction in order to measure value and the quality provided to customers, this paper proposes a methodology of assisting management decisions in improving business processes. The proposed techniques and tools, specific to quality management, are used for determining the processes which need to be improved or innovated in order to increase customer satisfaction. Thus, the methodology contributes to the creation of a decision-making framework for an efficient orientation of the resources for maximising the generated value and minimising the costs. In order to illustrate its application, we present a study based on the responses regarding satisfaction elements of 679 companies, the customers of a distribution chain in the field of interior fittings. The research highlights the practical method of determining the priority processes for increasing customer satisfaction, taking into account the satisfaction targets and the nature of the necessary actions in order to maximize the created value and to minimize the costs of these processes.

  2. A novel approach to improving writing skills: ClimateSnack

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeve, Mathew

    2014-05-01

    Writing is a huge part of any research career. We can think of writing as a research tool we find in any research laboratory. Much like any research tool, we have to understand how to calibrate, adjust and apply it in order to achieve the very best experimental outcomes. We can learn how to use this tool with advice from writing workshops, online writing courses, books and so on. Unfortunately, when it comes to working with this tool, we often have to do it alone. But, like in any laboratory, the most rewarding way to learn and to achieve the best results is to interact with others. Through this interaction, we can improve our writing and remain motivated. ClimateSnack aims to help early career scientists understand how they can use writing as an effective research tool. We encourage the formation of writing groups at different universities and institutes. Members write short popular science articles and read them aloud at group meetings. The group uses knowledge from different learning resources to discuss the articles and give feedback. The author then improves their writing further before publishing on the ClimateSnack website. If early-career scientists can successfully increase their control of writing, they will more likely write memorable high-impact scientific articles, and confidently communicate their science via varied media to varied audiences.

  3. Innovative biological approaches for monitoring and improving water quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanja eAracic

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Water quality is largely influenced by the abundance and diversity of indigenous microbes present within an aquatic environment. Physical, chemical and biological contaminants from anthropogenic activities can accumulate in aquatic systems causing detrimental ecological consequences. Approaches exploiting microbial processes are now being utilized for the detection, and removal or reduction of contaminants. Contaminants can be identified and quantified in situ using microbial whole-cell biosensors, negating the need for water samples to be tested off-site. Similarly, the innate biodegradative processes can be enhanced through manipulation of the composition and/or function of the indigenous microbial communities present within the contaminated environments. Biological contaminants, such as detrimental/pathogenic bacteria, can be specifically targeted and reduced in number using bacteriophages. This mini-review discusses the potential application of whole-cell microbial biosensors for the detection of contaminants, the exploitation of microbial biodegradative processes for environmental restoration and the manipulation of microbial communities using phages.

  4. Innovative biological approaches for monitoring and improving water quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aracic, Sanja; Manna, Sam; Petrovski, Steve; Wiltshire, Jennifer L.; Mann, Gülay; Franks, Ashley E.

    2015-01-01

    Water quality is largely influenced by the abundance and diversity of indigenous microbes present within an aquatic environment. Physical, chemical and biological contaminants from anthropogenic activities can accumulate in aquatic systems causing detrimental ecological consequences. Approaches exploiting microbial processes are now being utilized for the detection, and removal or reduction of contaminants. Contaminants can be identified and quantified in situ using microbial whole-cell biosensors, negating the need for water samples to be tested off-site. Similarly, the innate biodegradative processes can be enhanced through manipulation of the composition and/or function of the indigenous microbial communities present within the contaminated environments. Biological contaminants, such as detrimental/pathogenic bacteria, can be specifically targeted and reduced in number using bacteriophages. This mini-review discusses the potential application of whole-cell microbial biosensors for the detection of contaminants, the exploitation of microbial biodegradative processes for environmental restoration and the manipulation of microbial communities using phages. PMID:26322034

  5. An Improved Approach to the PageRank Problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yue Xie

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We introduce a partition of the web pages particularly suited to the PageRank problems in which the web link graph has a nested block structure. Based on the partition of the web pages, dangling nodes, common nodes, and general nodes, the hyperlink matrix can be reordered to be a more simple block structure. Then based on the parallel computation method, we propose an algorithm for the PageRank problems. In this algorithm, the dimension of the linear system becomes smaller, and the vector for general nodes in each block can be calculated separately in every iteration. Numerical experiments show that this approach speeds up the computation of PageRank.

  6. A modified Continuous Quality Improvement approach to improve culturally and socially inclusive care within rural health services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Olivia; Malatzky, Christina; Bourke, Lisa; Farmer, Jane

    2018-03-23

    The sickest Australians are often those belonging to non-privileged groups, including Indigenous Australians, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, intersex and queer people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, socioeconomically disadvantaged groups, and people with disabilities and low English literacy. These consumers are not always engaged by, or included within, mainstream health services, particularly in rural Australia where health services are limited in number and tend to be generalist in nature. The aim of this study was to present a new approach for improving the sociocultural inclusivity of mainstream, generalist, rural, health care organisations. This approach combines a modified Continuous Quality Improvement framework with Participatory Action Research principles and Foucault's concepts of power, discourse and resistance to develop a change process that deconstructs the power relations that currently exclude marginalised rural health consumers from mainstream health services. It sets up processes for continuous learning and consumer responsiveness. The approach proposed could provide a Continuous Quality Improvement process for creating more inclusive mainstream health institutions and fostering better engagement with many marginalised groups in rural communities to improve their access to health care. The approach to improving cultural inclusion in mainstream rural health services presented in this article builds on existing initiatives. This approach focuses on engaging on-the-ground staff in the need for change and preparing the service for genuine community consultation and responsive change. It is currently being trialled and evaluated. © 2018 National Rural Health Alliance Ltd.

  7. Wind turbine power tracking using an improved multimodel quadratic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khezami, Nadhira; Benhadj Braiek, Naceur; Guillaud, Xavier

    2010-07-01

    In this paper, an improved multimodel optimal quadratic control structure for variable speed, pitch regulated wind turbines (operating at high wind speeds) is proposed in order to integrate high levels of wind power to actively provide a primary reserve for frequency control. On the basis of the nonlinear model of the studied plant, and taking into account the wind speed fluctuations, and the electrical power variation, a multimodel linear description is derived for the wind turbine, and is used for the synthesis of an optimal control law involving a state feedback, an integral action and an output reference model. This new control structure allows a rapid transition of the wind turbine generated power between different desired set values. This electrical power tracking is ensured with a high-performance behavior for all other state variables: turbine and generator rotational speeds and mechanical shaft torque; and smooth and adequate evolution of the control variables. 2010 ISA. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Production layout improvement in emergency services: a participatory approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanatta, Mateus; Amaral, Fernando Gonçalves

    2012-01-01

    Volunteer fire department is a service that responds emergency situations in places where there are no military emergency services. These services need to respond quickly, because time is often responsible for the operation success besides work environment and setup time interfere with the prompt response to these calls and care efficiency. The layout design is one factor that interferes with the quick setup. In this case, the spaces arrangement can result in excessive or unnecessary movements; also the equipment provision may hinder the selection and collection of these or even create movement barriers for the workers. This work created a new layout for the emergency assistance service, considering the human factors related to work through the task analysis and workers participation on the alternatives of improvement. The results showed an alternate layout with corridors and minimization of unusable sites, allowing greater flexibility and new possibilities of requirements.

  9. Managing congenital hyperinsulinism: improving outcomes with a multidisciplinary approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ackermann AM

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Amanda M Ackermann, Andrew A Palladino Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA Abstract: Congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI is the most common cause of persistent hypoglycemia in pediatric patients and is associated with significant risk of hypoglycemic seizures and developmental delays. CHI results from mutations in at least nine genes that play a role in regulating beta-cell insulin secretion. Thus, patients with CHI have dysregulated insulin secretion that is unresponsive to blood glucose level. Each different genetic etiology of CHI is associated with particular clinical characteristics that affect management decisions. Given the broad phenotypic spectrum and relatively rare prevalence of CHI, it is important that patients with CHI be evaluated by clinicians experienced with CHI and the multiple subspecialty services that are necessary for the management of the disorder. In this review, we summarize the pathophysiology and genetic causes of CHI and then focus primarily on the most common genetic cause (mutations in the ATP-gated potassium [KATP] channel for further discussion of diagnosis, medical and surgical management, and potential acute and chronic complications. We provide insight from relevant published studies and reports, in addition to anecdotal information from our center’s clinical experience in caring for over 400 patients with CHI. Careful assessment of each patient’s individual pathophysiology is necessary to determine the appropriate treatment regimen, and continued close follow-up and monitoring of disease- and treatment-related complications are essential. Although significant improvements have been made in the past several years with regard to diagnosis and management, given the continued high morbidity rate in patients with CHI, improved diagnostic techniques and new therapeutic options would be welcomed. Keywords: hypoglycemia, hyperinsulinism, beta

  10. Skin tumor area extraction using an improved dynamic programming approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbas, Qaisar; Celebi, M E; Fondón García, Irene

    2012-05-01

    Border (B) description of melanoma and other pigmented skin lesions is one of the most important tasks for the clinical diagnosis of dermoscopy images using the ABCD rule. For an accurate description of the border, there must be an effective skin tumor area extraction (STAE) method. However, this task is complicated due to uneven illumination, artifacts present in the lesions and smooth areas or fuzzy borders of the desired regions. In this paper, a novel STAE algorithm based on improved dynamic programming (IDP) is presented. The STAE technique consists of the following four steps: color space transform, pre-processing, rough tumor area detection and refinement of the segmented area. The procedure is performed in the CIE L(*) a(*) b(*) color space, which is approximately uniform and is therefore related to dermatologist's perception. After pre-processing the skin lesions to reduce artifacts, the DP algorithm is improved by introducing a local cost function, which is based on color and texture weights. The STAE method is tested on a total of 100 dermoscopic images. In order to compare the performance of STAE with other state-of-the-art algorithms, various statistical measures based on dermatologist-drawn borders are utilized as a ground truth. The proposed method outperforms the others with a sensitivity of 96.64%, a specificity of 98.14% and an error probability of 5.23%. The results demonstrate that this STAE method by IDP is an effective solution when compared with other state-of-the-art segmentation techniques. The proposed method can accurately extract tumor borders in dermoscopy images. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  11. Inductive Learning Approaches for Improving Pilot Awareness of Aircraft Faults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spikovska, Lilly; Iverson, David L.; Poll, Scott; Pryor, anna

    2005-01-01

    Neural network flight controllers are able to accommodate a variety of aircraft control surface faults without detectable degradation of aircraft handling qualities. Under some faults, however, the effective flight envelope is reduced; this can lead to unexpected behavior if a pilot performs an action that exceeds the remaining control authority of the damaged aircraft. The goal of our work is to increase the pilot s situational awareness by informing him of the type of damage and resulting reduction in flight envelope. Our methodology integrates two inductive learning systems with novel visualization techniques. One learning system, the Inductive Monitoring System (IMS), learns to detect when a simulation includes faulty controls, while two others, Inductive Classification System (INCLASS) and multiple binary decision tree system (utilizing C4.5), determine the type of fault. In off-line training using only non-failure data, IMS constructs a characterization of nominal flight control performance based on control signals issued by the neural net flight controller. This characterization can be used to determine the degree of control augmentation required in the pitch, roll, and yaw command channels to counteract control surface failures. This derived information is typically sufficient to distinguish between the various control surface failures and is used to train both INCLASS and C4.5. Using data from failed control surface flight simulations, INCLASS and C4.5 independently discover and amplify features in IMS results that can be used to differentiate each distinct control surface failure situation. In real-time flight simulations, distinguishing features learned during training are used to classify control surface failures. Knowledge about the type of failure can be used by an additional automated system to alter its approach for planning tactical and strategic maneuvers. The knowledge can also be used directly to increase the pilot s situational awareness and

  12. Improving the Held and Karp Approach with Constraint Programming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benchimol, Pascal; Régin, Jean-Charles; Rousseau, Louis-Martin; Rueher, Michel; van Hoeve, Willem-Jan

    Held and Karp have proposed, in the early 1970s, a relaxation for the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) as well as a branch-and-bound procedure that can solve small to modest-size instances to optimality [4, 5]. It has been shown that the Held-Karp relaxation produces very tight bounds in practice, and this relaxation is therefore applied in TSP solvers such as Concorde [1]. In this short paper we show that the Held-Karp approach can benefit from well-known techniques in Constraint Programming (CP) such as domain filtering and constraint propagation. Namely, we show that filtering algorithms developed for the weighted spanning tree constraint [3, 8] can be adapted to the context of the Held and Karp procedure. In addition to the adaptation of existing algorithms, we introduce a special-purpose filtering algorithm based on the underlying mechanisms used in Prim's algorithm [7]. Finally, we explored two different branching schemes to close the integrality gap. Our initial experimental results indicate that the addition of the CP techniques to the Held-Karp method can be very effective.

  13. An approach to improve Romanian geological repository planning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andrei, Veronica [Romanian Association for Nuclear Energy, Bucharest-Magurele (Romania); Prisecaru, Ilie [University Politehnica of Bucharest, Bucharest (Romania)

    2016-04-15

    International standards recommend typical phases to be included within any national program for the development of a geological repository dedicated to disposal of the high level radioactive wastes generated in countries using nuclear power. However, these are not universally applicable and the content of each of these phases may need to be adapted for each national situation and regulatory and institutional framework. Several national geological repository programs have faced failures in schedules and have revised their programs to consider an adapted phased management approach. The authors have observed that in the case of those countries in the early phases of a geological repository program where boundary conditions have not been fully defined, international recommendations for handling delays/failures in the national program might not immediately help. This paper considers a case study of the influences of the national context risks on the current planning schedule of the Romanian national geological repository. It proposes an optimum solution for an integrated response to any significant adverse impact arising from these risks, enabling sustainable program planning.

  14. Evidence-based approach for continuous improvement of occupational health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzoli, Lamberto; Sotgiu, Giovanni; Magnavita, Nicola; Durando, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    It was recognized early on that an Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) approach could be applied to Public Health (PH), including the area of Occupational Health (OH). The aim of Evidence-Based Occupational Health (EBOH) is to ensure safety, health, and well-being in the workplace. Currently, high-quality research is necessary in order to provide arguments and scientific evidence upon which effective, efficient, and sustainable preventive measures and policies are to be developed in the workplace in Western countries. Occupational physicians need to integrate available scientific evidence and existing recommendations with a framework of national employment laws and regulations. This paper addresses the state of the art of scientific evidence available in the field (i.e., efficacy of interventions, usefulness of education and training of workers, and need of a multidisciplinary strategy integrated within the national PH programs) and the main critical issues for their implementation. Promoting good health is a fundamental part of the smart, inclusive growth objectives of Europe 2020 - Europe's growth strategy: keeping people healthy and active for longer has a positive impact on productivity and competitiveness. It appears clear that health quality and safety in the workplace play a key role for smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth in Western countries.

  15. Improving operating room turnover time: a systems based approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatt, Ankeet S; Carlson, Grant W; Deckers, Peter J

    2014-12-01

    Operating room (OR) turnover time (TT) has a broad and significant impact on hospital administrators, providers, staff and patients. Our objective was to identify current problems in TT management and implement a consistent, reproducible process to reduce average TT and process variability. Initial observations of TT were made to document the existing process at a 511 bed, 24 OR, academic medical center. Three control groups, including one consisting of Orthopedic and Vascular Surgery, were used to limit potential confounders such as case acuity/duration and equipment needs. A redesigned process based on observed issues, focusing on a horizontally structured, systems-based approach has three major interventions: developing consistent criteria for OR readiness, utilizing parallel processing for patient and room readiness, and enhancing perioperative communication. Process redesign was implemented in Orthopedics and Vascular Surgery. Comparisons of mean and standard deviation of TT were made using an independent 2-tailed t-test. Using all surgical specialties as controls (n = 237), mean TT (hh:mm:ss) was reduced by 0:20:48 min (95 % CI, 0:10:46-0:30:50), from 0:44:23 to 0:23:25, a 46.9 % reduction. Standard deviation of TT was reduced by 0:10:32 min, from 0:16:24 to 0:05:52 and frequency of TT≥30 min was reduced from 72.5to 11.7 %. P systems-based focus should drive OR TT design.

  16. "Health system approach" for improving immunization program performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chandrakant Lahariya

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Immunization programs are one of the most well-recognized and successful public health programs across the world. The immunization programs have achieved significant successes in a number of countries; however, the coverage with available vaccines remains sub-optimal in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs. This article, based upon extensive review of literature and using universal immunization program (UIP in India as a case study, summarizes the latest developments and initiatives in the area of vaccination and immunization in the last few years. The article analyzes initiatives under UIP in India from the "health system approach" and argues that it is possible to increase coverage with available vaccines and overall program performance by focused attention on various functions of health systems. It also discusses the emerging evidence that health systems could be strengthened prior to the introduction of new interventions (vaccines included and the introduction of new interventions (including vaccines could be planned in a way to strengthen the health systems. It concludes that immunization programs could be one of the entry points for strengthening health systems in the countries and lessons from vaccine introduction could pave pathway for scaling up other health interventions and therefore, could contribute to advancing Universal Health Coverage (UHC.

  17. Improving mobile robot localization: grid-based approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Junchi

    2012-02-01

    Autonomous mobile robots have been widely studied not only as advanced facilities for industrial and daily life automation, but also as a testbed in robotics competitions for extending the frontier of current artificial intelligence. In many of such contests, the robot is supposed to navigate on the ground with a grid layout. Based on this observation, we present a localization error correction method by exploring the geometric feature of the tile patterns. On top of the classical inertia-based positioning, our approach employs three fiber-optic sensors that are assembled under the bottom of the robot, presenting an equilateral triangle layout. The sensor apparatus, together with the proposed supporting algorithm, are designed to detect a line's direction (vertical or horizontal) by monitoring the grid crossing events. As a result, the line coordinate information can be fused to rectify the cumulative localization deviation from inertia positioning. The proposed method is analyzed theoretically in terms of its error bound and also has been implemented and tested on a customary developed two-wheel autonomous mobile robot.

  18. An Approach to Improve Romanian Geological Repository Planning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronica Andrei

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available International standards recommend typical phases to be included within any national program for the development of a geological repository dedicated to disposal of the high level radioactive wastes generated in countries using nuclear power. However, these are not universally applicable and the content of each of these phases may need to be adapted for each national situation and regulatory and institutional framework. Several national geological repository programs have faced failures in schedules and have revised their programs to consider an adapted phased management approach. The authors have observed that in the case of those countries in the early phases of a geological repository program where boundary conditions have not been fully defined, international recommendations for handling delays/failures in the national program might not immediately help. This paper considers a case study of the influences of the national context risks on the current planning schedule of the Romanian national geological repository. It proposes an optimum solution for an integrated response to any significant adverse impact arising from these risks, enabling sustainable program planning.

  19. Progress in Defining Disease: Improved Approaches and Increased Impact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Peter H

    2017-08-01

    In a series of recent papers, I have made three arguments about how to define "disease" and evaluate and apply possible definitions. First, I have argued that definitions should not be seen as traditional conceptual analyses, but instead as proposals about how to define and use the term "disease" in the future. Second, I have pointed out and attempted to address a challenge for dysfunction-requiring accounts of disease that I call the "line-drawing" problem: distinguishing between low-normal functioning and dysfunctioning. Finally, I have used a dysfunction-requiring approach to argue that some extremely prevalent conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and ductal carcinoma in situ, are not diseases, but instead are risk factors. Four of the papers in this issue directly engage my previous work. In this commentary, I applaud the advances these authors make, address points of disagreement, and make suggestions about where the discussion should go next. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy Inc. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. An improved approach for process monitoring in laser material processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    König, Hans-Georg; Pütsch, Oliver; Stollenwerk, Jochen; Loosen, Peter

    2016-04-01

    Process monitoring is used in many different laser material processes due to the demand for reliable and stable processes. Among different methods, on-axis process monitoring offers multiple advantages. To observe a laser material process it is unavoidable to choose a wavelength for observation that is different to the one used for material processing, otherwise the light of the processing laser would outshine the picture of the process. By choosing a different wavelength, lateral chromatic aberration occurs in not chromatically corrected optical systems with optical scanning units and f-Theta lenses. These aberrations lead to a truncated image of the process on the camera or the pyrometer, respectively. This is the reason for adulterated measurements and non-satisfying images of the process. A new approach for solving the problem of field dependent lateral chromatic aberration in process monitoring is presented. Therefore, the scanner-based optical system is reproduced in a simulation environment, to predict the occurring lateral chromatic aberrations. In addition, a second deflecting system is integrated into the system. By using simulation, a predictive control is designed that uses the additional deflecting system to introduce reverse lateral deviations in order to compensate the lateral effect of chromatic aberration. This paper illustrates the concept and the implementation of the predictive control, which is used to eliminate lateral chromatic aberrations in process monitoring, the simulation on which the system is based the optical system as well as the control concept.

  1. Praxis and the Language of Improvement: Inquiry-Based Approaches to Authentic Improvement in Australasian Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groundwater-Smith, Susan; Mitchell, Jane; Mockler, Nicole

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we explore the notion of school improvement through the lens of praxis as it relates to equity, inclusion, and transformation, with a particular focus on inquiry-based school and teacher development. We argue that authentic improvement is a consequence of praxis, and highlight, through examples, key ways that authentic school…

  2. Evaluating the Management System Approach for Industrial Energy Efficiency Improvements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Zobel

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Voluntary environmental management systems (EMS based on the international standard ISO 14001 have become widespread globally in recent years. The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of voluntary management systems on energy efficiency in the Swedish manufacturing industry by means of objective industrial energy data derived from mandatory annual environmental reports. The study focuses on changes in energy efficiency over a period of 12 years and includes both ISO 14001-certified companies and non-certified companies. Consideration is given to energy improvement efforts in the companies before the adoption of ISO 14001. The analysis has been carried out using statistical methods for two different industrial energy parameters: electricity and fossil fuel consumption. The results indicate that ISO 14001 adoption and certification has increased energy efficiency regarding the use of fossil fuel. In contrast, no effect of the management systems has been found concerning the use of electricity. The mixed results of this study are only partly in line with the results of previous studies based on perceptions of company representatives.

  3. An improved game-theoretic approach to uncover overlapping communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Hong-Liang; Ch’Ng, Eugene; Yong, Xi; Garibaldi, Jonathan M.; See, Simon; Chen, Duan-Bing

    How can we uncover overlapping communities from complex networks to understand the inherent structures and functions? Chen et al. firstly proposed a community game (Game) to study this problem, and the overlapping communities have been discovered when the game is convergent. It is based on the assumption that each vertex of the underlying network is a rational game player to maximize its utility. In this paper, we investigate how similar vertices affect the formation of community game. The Adamic-Adar Index (AA Index) has been employed to define the new utility function. This novel method has been evaluated on both synthetic and real-world networks. Experimental study shows that it has significant improvement of accuracy (from 4.8% to 37.6%) compared with the Game on 10 real networks. It is more efficient on Facebook networks (FN) and Amazon co-purchasing networks than on other networks. This result implicates that “friend circles of friends” of Facebook are valuable to understand the overlapping community division.

  4. An improved system approach towards future cochlear implants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawand, N S; Ngamkham, W; Nazarian, G; French, P J; Serdijn, W A; Gaydadjiev, G N; Briaire, J J; Frijns, J H M

    2013-01-01

    Cochlear implants (CIs) have been used for many years to restore hearing for deaf patients. Unfortunately, today's CIs are still bulky devices and uncomfortable to wear. In this paper we present three innovations that ultimately should pave the way to a fully implantable bionic ear. First a microfabrication process used to fabricate the polymer metal microelectrode array for auditory nerve stimulation is discussed. Subsequently, a compact biphasic programmable stimulator chip to be used along with this electrode array is presented. By using a double loop feedback circuit topology, the circuit provides a precise stimulation current while requiring only little voltage headroom. The resulting low power consumption and reduced chip area allow for integration of the electronic circuitry onto the electrode array. Finally, as reliability and data transmission rate are two of the most critical issues in CI devices, we propose a software method to improve both data rate and reliability of transmitting digital data from the external part of the CI to the internal part with negligible power consumption.

  5. New approaches for improving energy efficiency in the Brazilian industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo Henrique de Mello Santana

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The Brazilian government has been promoting energy efficiency measures for industry since the eighties but with very limited returns, as shown in this paper. The governments of some other countries dedicated much more effort and funds for this area and reached excellent results. The institutional arrangements and types of programmes adopted in these countries are briefly evaluated in the paper and provide valuable insights for several proposals put forward here to make more effective the Brazilian government actions directed to overcome market barriers and improve energy efficiency in the local industry. The proposed measures include the creation of Industrial Assessment Centres and an executive agency charged with the coordination of all energy efficiency programmes run by the Federal government. A large share of the Brazilian industry energy consumption comes from energy-intensive industrial branches. According to a recent survey, most of them have substantial energy conservation potentials. To materialize a fair amount of them, voluntary targets concerning energy efficiency gains should start to be negotiated between the Government and associations representing these industrial branches. Credit facilities and tax exemptions for energy-efficient equipment’s should be provided to stimulate the interest of the entrepreneurs and the setting-up of bolder targets.

  6. [Improving the nutritional value of plant foods through transgenic approaches].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yong-Mei; Mao, Xue; Wang, Shu-Jian; Li, Run-Zhi

    2004-07-01

    The most nutrients required in the human diet come from plants. The nutritional quality of plant products affects the human healthy. The advance of molecular cloning and transgenic technology has provided a new way to enhance the nutritional value of plant material. Transgenic modification of plant nutritional value has progressed greatly in the following aspects: improving the quality, composition and levels of protein, starch and fatty acid in different crops; increasing the levels of antioxidants (e.g. carotenoids and flavonoids); breeding the new type of plants with medical value for human. To date, many transgenic plants with nutritional enhancement have been developed. These transgenic plant products could be directly used as human diet or as valued materials in developing the "functional food" with especial nutritional quality and healthy effects after they are approved by a series of evaluations on their safety and nutritional efficiency for human being. We designed new zinc finger transcription factors (ZFP-TFs) that can specifically down-regulate the expression of the endogenous soybean FAD2-1 gene which catalyzes oleic acid to linoleic acid. Seed-specific expression of these ZFP-TFs in transgenic soybean somatic embryos repressed FAD2-1 transcription and increased significantly the levels of oleic acid, indicating that the engineered ZFP-TFs are capable of regulating fatty acid metabolism and modulating the expression of endogenous genes in plants.

  7. Total safety management: An approach to improving safety culture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blush, S.M.

    1993-01-01

    A little over 4 yr ago, Admiral James D. Watkins became Secretary of Energy. President Bush, who had appointed him, informed Watkins that his principal task would be to clean up the nuclear weapons complex and put the US Department of Energy (DOE) back in the business of producing tritium for the nation's nuclear deterrent. Watkins recognized that in order to achieve these objectives, he would have to substantially improve the DOE's safety culture. Safety culture is a relatively new term. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) used it in a 1986 report on the root causes of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. In 1990, the IAEA's International Nuclear Safety Advisory Group issued a document focusing directly on safety culture. It provides guidelines to the international nuclear community for measuring the effectiveness of safety culture in nuclear organizations. Safety culture has two principal aspects: an organizational framework conducive to safety and the necessary organizational and individual attitudes that promote safety. These obviously go hand in hand. An organization must create the right framework to foster the right attitudes, but individuals must have the right attitudes to create the organizational framework that will support a good safety culture. The difficulty in developing such a synergistic relationship suggests that achieving and sustaining a strong safety culture is not easy, particularly in an organization whose safety culture is in serious disrepair

  8. Packaging Evaluation Approach to Improve Cosmetic Product Safety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benedetta Briasco

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In the Regulation 1223/2009, evaluation of packaging has become mandatory to assure cosmetic product safety. In fact, the safety assessment of a cosmetic product can be successfully carried out only if the hazard deriving from the use of the designed packaging for the specific product is correctly evaluated. Despite the law requirement, there is too little information about the chemical-physical characteristics of finished packaging and the possible interactions between formulation and packaging; furthermore, different from food packaging, the cosmetic packaging is not regulated and, to date, appropriate guidelines are still missing. The aim of this work was to propose a practical approach to investigate commercial polymeric containers used in cosmetic field, especially through mechanical properties’ evaluation, from a safety point of view. First of all, it is essential to obtain complete information about raw materials. Subsequently, using an appropriate full factorial experimental design, it is possible to investigate the variables, like polymeric density, treatment, or type of formulation involved in changes to packaging properties or in formulation-packaging interaction. The variation of these properties can greatly affect cosmetic safety. In particular, mechanical properties can be used as an indicator of pack performances and safety. As an example, containers made of two types of polyethylene with different density, low-density polyethylene (LDPE and high-density polyethylene (HDPE, are investigated. Regarding the substances potentially extractable from the packaging, in this work the headspace solid-phase microextraction method (HSSPME was used because this technique was reported in the literature as suitable to detect extractables from the polymeric material here employed.

  9. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: improving care with a multidisciplinary approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hogden A

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Anne Hogden,1 Geraldine Foley,2 Robert D Henderson,3 Natalie James,4 Samar M Aoun5 1Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia; 2Discipline of Occupational Therapy, School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Republic of Ireland; 3Neurology, Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, QLD, 4Motor Neurone Disease (MND Service, Communication and Assistive Technology (CAT Clinic, St Joseph’s Hospital, St Vincent’s Health Network, Sydney, NSW, 5School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia Abstract: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease, leading to death within an average of 2–3 years. A cure is yet to be found, and a single disease-modifying treatment has had a modest effect in slowing disease progression. Specialized multidisciplinary ALS care has been shown to extend survival and improve patients’ quality of life, by providing coordinated interprofessional care that seeks to address the complex needs of this patient group. This review examines the nature of specialized multidisciplinary care in ALS and draws on a broad range of evidence that has shaped current practice. The authors explain how multidisciplinary ALS care is delivered. The existing models of care, the role of palliative care within multidisciplinary ALS care, and the costs of formal and informal care are examined. Critical issues of ALS care are then discussed in the context of the support rendered by multidisciplinary-based care. The authors situate the patient and family as key stakeholders and decision makers in the multidisciplinary care network. Finally, the current challenges to the delivery of coordinated interprofessional care in ALS are explored, and the future of coordinated interprofessional care for people with ALS and their family caregivers is considered. Keywords: quality of life

  10. GENOMIC APPROACHES FOR IMPROVEMENT OF DROUGHT ADAPTATION IN WHEAT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dénes Dudits

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Breeding for yield stability under water limited conditions plays an essential role in the reduction of economic and social consequences of global climate changes. We show that two exotic drought resistant genotypes (Kobomughi and Plainsmann differ in root growth rate, root/shoot ratio, and adaptation to low soil water content. These genotypes exhibit characteristic transcript profiles as shown by barley macroarray studies using 10500 unigenes. Reprogramming of gene expression primarily occurred during the 1-2 weeks of water stress, and 6,1% of tested genes were up-regulated in roots of the more adaptive Plainsmann plants. The time course for expression of gene clusters from Kobomughi genotype revealed a prompt and transient gene activation that can help the survival of plants through function of various defense mechanisms. The aldo-keto reductases (AKRs can detoxify lipid peroxidation products (4-hydroxynon-2-enal and glycolysis-derived reactive aldehydes (metylglyoxal that contribute significantly to cellular damages caused by variety of environmental stresses such as drought, high light intensity, UV-B irradiation, cold. Overproduction of AKRs in transgenic tobacco or wheat plants provides considerable stress tolerance and resistance to methylglyoxal. Several transgenic wheat genotypes have been produced with production of elevated level of AKR enzyme. The drought tolerance of these materials was tested by a complex stress diagnostic system, that integrates imaging of plants and monitoring the leaf temperature and fluorescence induction. Based on these parameters, we can conclude that this transgenic strategy that is based on detoxification of lipid aldehyde can result in improved stress adaptation and reduced yield loss.

  11. Policy directions in urban health in developing countries--the slum improvement approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harpham, T; Stephens, C

    1992-07-01

    The urban development, or housing, sector has a longer experience of addressing the problems of the urban poor in developing countries than the health sector. In recent years the policy of 'slum improvement', which involves both sectors, has attracted the support of international donors. This article documents the development of the slum improvement approach and addresses key issues of the approach which have implications for health planning: covering the poorest dwellers; relocation; land tenure; gentrification; debt burdens and the impact on women. Questions about the approach which still need answering are defined and a summary of the constraints in slum improvement and potential solutions is presented.

  12. A basic technology-aided programme for leisure and communication of persons with advanced amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: performance and social rating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lancioni, Giulio E; Singh, Nirbhay N; O'Reilly, Mark F; Sigafoos, Jeff; D'Amico, Fiora; Ferlisi, Gabriele; Zullo, Valeria; Denitto, Floriana; Lauta, Enrico; Abbinante, Crescenza; Pesce, Caterina V

    2017-02-01

    This study assessed (a) the impact of a technology-aided programme on the leisure and communication engagement of persons with advanced amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and (b) the opinion of rehabilitation and care personnel regarding the programme. The programme's impact was assessed with four participants who were allowed to activate leisure and communication options through basic responses (e.g. knee, finger or lip movements) and microswitches. Forty-two care and health professionals rated the programme after watching video clips of persons with ALS (three of the four involved in this study and three involved in previous studies) during and outside of the programme. The programme was effective with all participants. Their mean percentages of session time with independently initiated leisure and communication engagements were zero during baseline and increased to between nearly 70 and 80 during the intervention. The care and health professionals rated the technology-aided programme as beneficial for the participants' positive engagement and social image, fairly practical for daily contexts and interesting from a personal standpoint. The programme might be viewed as a viable resource for persons with advanced ALS. Implications for Rehabilitation A programme characterised by versatility, simplicity and relatively low cost could be considered practically relevant for persons with ALS and their contexts. A programme that is effective in fostering participants' independent leisure and communication engagement and is positively rated by care and rehabilitation personnel is more likely to be accepted and used with consistency. Any programme directed at persons affected by ALS needs to be adapted to the persons' progressive deterioration, starting from the response and microswitch used for accessing the programme's options.

  13. Using a Competitive Approach to Improve Military Simulation Artificial Intelligence Design

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Stoykov, Sevdalin

    2008-01-01

    ...) design can lead to improvement of the AI solutions used in military simulations. To demonstrate the potential of the competitive approach, ORTS, a real-time strategy game engine, and its competition setup are used...

  14. Robotic Spent Fuel Monitoring – It is time to improve old approaches and old techniques!

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tobin, Stephen Joseph [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Dasari, Venkateswara Rao [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Trellue, Holly Renee [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2016-12-13

    This report describes various approaches and techniques associated with robotic spent fuel monitoring. The purpose of this description is to improve the quality of measured signatures, reduce the inspection burden on the IAEA, and to provide frequent verification.

  15. Recommendations and Improvements for the Evaluation of Integrated Community-Wide Interventions Approaches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Koperen, Tessa M; Renders, Carry M; Spierings, Eline J M; Hendriks, Anna-Marie; Westerman, Marjan J; Seidell, Jacob C; Schuit, Albertine J

    2016-01-01

    Background. Integrated community-wide intervention approaches (ICIAs) are implemented to prevent childhood obesity. Programme evaluation improves these ICIAs, but professionals involved often struggle with performance. Evaluation tools have been developed to support Dutch professionals involved in

  16. Integrated soil improvement and agricultural development: why current policy approaches fail

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koning, N.B.J.; Heerink, N.B.M.; Kauffman, S.

    1997-01-01

    Integrated soil management is an essential condition for agricultural development in West Africa. Such an approach combines improved soil hydraulic measures, organic fertility measures, and inorganic fertilizers and soil amendments. The synergetic effects which result from this combination are

  17. A participatory and integrative approach to improve productivity and ergonomics in assembly

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Looze, M.P. de; Rhijn, J.W. van; Deursen, J. van; Tuinzaad, G.H.; Reijneveld, C.N.

    2003-01-01

    A participatory and integrative approach was applied to improve the productivity and ergonomics of the assembly lines in two factories, producing magnetic stop valves and office furniture, respectively. Main elements of the approach are the active participation of the company and the integration of

  18. Lean methodology: an evidence-based practice approach for healthcare improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Pauline M; Patterson, Claire J; OʼConnell, Mary P

    2013-12-10

    Lean methodology, an evidence-based practice approach adopted from Toyota, is grounded on the pillars of respect for people and continuous improvement. This article describes the use of Lean methodology to improve healthcare outcomes for patients with community-acquired pneumonia. Nurse practitioners and other clinicians should be knowledgeable about this methodology and become leaders in Lean transformation.

  19. A DMAIC approach for process capability improvement an engine crankshaft manufacturing process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, G. V. S. S.; Rao, P. Srinivasa

    2014-05-01

    The define-measure-analyze-improve-control (DMAIC) approach is a five-strata approach, namely DMAIC. This approach is the scientific approach for reducing the deviations and improving the capability levels of the manufacturing processes. The present work elaborates on DMAIC approach applied in reducing the process variations of the stub-end-hole boring operation of the manufacture of crankshaft. This statistical process control study starts with selection of the critical-to-quality (CTQ) characteristic in the define stratum. The next stratum constitutes the collection of dimensional measurement data of the CTQ characteristic identified. This is followed by the analysis and improvement strata where the various quality control tools like Ishikawa diagram, physical mechanism analysis, failure modes effects analysis and analysis of variance are applied. Finally, the process monitoring charts are deployed at the workplace for regular monitoring and control of the concerned CTQ characteristic. By adopting DMAIC approach, standard deviation is reduced from 0.003 to 0.002. The process potential capability index ( C P) values improved from 1.29 to 2.02 and the process performance capability index ( C PK) values improved from 0.32 to 1.45, respectively.

  20. An improved α-cut approach to transforming fuzzy membership function into basic belief assignment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Yi

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available In practical applications, pieces of evidence originated from different sources might be modeled by different uncertainty theories. To implement the evidence combination under the Dempster–Shafer evidence theory (DST framework, transformations from the other type of uncertainty representation into the basic belief assignment are needed. α-Cut is an important approach to transforming a fuzzy membership function into a basic belief assignment, which provides a bridge between the fuzzy set theory and the DST. Some drawbacks of the traditional α-cut approach caused by its normalization step are pointed out in this paper. An improved α-cut approach is proposed, which can counteract the drawbacks of the traditional α-cut approach and has good properties. Illustrative examples, experiments and related analyses are provided to show the rationality of the improved α-cut approach.

  1. An Improved Saliency Detection Approach for Flying Apsaras in the Dunhuang Grotto Murals, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhong Chen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Saliency can be described as the ability of an item to be detected from its background in any particular scene, and it aims to estimate the probable location of the salient objects. Due to the salient map that computed by local contrast features can extract and highlight the edge parts including painting lines of Flying Apsaras, in this paper, we proposed an improved approach based on a frequency-tuned method for visual saliency detection of Flying Apsaras in the Dunhuang Grotto Murals, China. This improved saliency detection approach comprises three important steps: (1 image color and gray channel decomposition; (2 gray feature value computation and color channel convolution; (3 visual saliency definition based on normalization of previous visual saliency and spatial attention function. Unlike existing approaches that rely on many complex image features, this proposed approach only used local contrast and spatial attention information to simulate human’s visual attention stimuli. This improved approach resulted in a much more efficient salient map in the aspect of computing performance. Furthermore, experimental results on the dataset of Flying Apsaras in the Dunhuang Grotto Murals showed that the proposed visual saliency detection approach is very effective when compared with five other state-of-the-art approaches.

  2. Showing the Unsayable: Participatory Visual Approaches and the Constitution of 'Patient Experience' in Healthcare Quality Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papoulias, Constantina

    2018-06-01

    This article considers the strengths and potential contributions of participatory visual methods for healthcare quality improvement research. It argues that such approaches may enable us to expand our understanding of 'patient experience' and of its potential for generating new knowledge for health systems. In particular, they may open up dimensions of people's engagement with services and treatments which exceed both the declarative nature of responses to questionnaires and the narrative sequencing of self reports gathered through qualitative interviewing. I will suggest that working with such methods may necessitate a more reflexive approach to the constitution of evidence in quality improvement work. To this end, the article will first consider the emerging rationale for the use of visual participatory methods in improvement before outlining the implications of two related approaches-photo-elicitation and PhotoVoice-for the constitution of 'experience'. It will then move to a participatory model for healthcare improvement work, Experience Based Co-Design (EBCD). It will argue that EBCD exemplifies both the strengths and the limitations of adequating visual participatory approaches to quality improvement ends. The article will conclude with a critical reflection on a small photographic study, in which the author participated, and which sought to harness service user perspectives for the design of psychiatric facilities, as a way of considering the potential contribution of visual participatory methods for quality improvement.

  3. Ethical oversight in quality improvement and quality improvement research: new approaches to promote a learning health care system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiscella, Kevin; Tobin, Jonathan N; Carroll, Jennifer K; He, Hua; Ogedegbe, Gbenga

    2015-09-17

    Institutional review boards (IRBs) distinguish health care quality improvement (QI) and health care quality improvement research (QIR) based primarily on the rigor of the methods used and the purported generalizability of the knowledge gained. Neither of these criteria holds up upon scrutiny. Rather, this apparently false dichotomy may foster under-protection of participants in QI projects and over-protection of participants within QIR. Minimal risk projects should entail minimal oversight including waivers for informed consent for both QI and QIR projects. Minimizing the burdens of conducting QIR, while ensuring minimal safeguards for QI projects, is needed to restore this imbalance in oversight. Potentially, such ethical oversight could be provided by the integration of Institutional Review Boards and Clinical Ethical Committees, using a more integrated and streamlined approach such as a two-step process involving a screening review, followed by a review by committee trained in QIR. Standards for such ethical review and training in these standards, coupled with rapid review cycles, could facilitate an appropriate level of oversight within the context of creating and sustaining learning health care systems. We argue that QI and QIR are not reliably distinguishable. We advocate for approaches that improve protections for QI participants while minimizing over-protection for participants in QIR through reasonable ethical oversight that aligns risk to participants in both QI and QIR with the needs of a learning health care system.

  4. Node Voltage Improvement by Capacitor Placement in Distribution Network : A Soft Computing Approach

    OpenAIRE

    SHWETA SARKAR,; SANDEEP CHAKRAVORTY

    2010-01-01

    This paper deals with a genetic algorithm based approach for determining the optimum placement location of capacitor in radial distribution system which is obtained after optimum reconfiguration. Reduction of total losses in distribution system is very essential to improve the overall efficiency of power delivery. This can be achieved by placing the optimal value of capacitors at proper ocations in radial distribution systems. The proposed methodologyis a genetic approach based algorithm. Th...

  5. Social and Institutional issues in the Adoption of School-based Technology-aided Sexual Health Education Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musiimenta, Angella

    2013-01-01

    School-based sexual health education interventions can reach young people of diverse backgrounds and equip them with knowledge and skills for protecting themselves against HIV/AIDS, unwanted pregnancies, and live healthy and responsible lives. However, given that school-based sexual health education intervention are health projects implemented in educational settings, variety of social and institutional issues can present challenges. This study aimed to obtain rich insights into the facilitating or inhibiting mediators for the implementation of a school-based sexual health education intervention in Uganda. This study conducted 16 qualitative interviews to investigate the mediators for the implementation of the school-based sexual health education intervention based on experiences of two Ugandan schools: the school which successfully completed the implementation of the intervention, and the school which abandoned the intervention half-way the implementation. Rather than the technological aspects, results indicate that the implementation was strongly influenced by interplay of social and institutional mediators, which were more favourable in the "successful" school than in the "failure school". These mediators were: perceived students' vulnerability to HIV and unwanted pregnancies; teachers' skills and willingness to deliver the intervention, management support; match with routine workflow, social-cultural and religious compatibility, and stakeholder involvement. Rather than focusing exclusively on technological aspects, experiences from this evaluation suggest the urgent need to also create social, institutional, and religious climate which are supportive of school-based computer-assisted sexual health education. Evidence-based recommendations are provided, which can guide potential replications, improvements, and policy formulation in subsequent school-based sexual health education interventions.

  6. Integrated Approach Towards the Application of Horizontal Wells to Improve Waterflooding Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kelkar, Mohan; Liner, Chris; Kerr, Dennis

    1999-10-15

    This final report describes the progress during the six year of the project on ''Integrated Approach Towards the Application of Horizontal Wells to Improve Waterflooding Performance.'' This report is funded under the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Class I program which is targeted towards improving the reservoir performance of mature oil fields located in fluvially-dominated deltaic deposits. The project involves using an integrated approach to characterize the reservoir followed by drilling of horizontal injection wells to improve production performance. The project was divided into two budget periods. In the first budget period, many modern technologies were used to develop a detailed reservoir management plan; whereas, in the second budget period, conventional data was used to develop a reservoir management plan. The idea was to determine the cost effectiveness of various technologies in improving the performance of mature oil fields.

  7. Generic project definitions for improvement of health care delivery: A case-base approach

    OpenAIRE

    Niemeijer, G.C.; Does, R.J.M.M.; de Mast, J.; Trip, A.; van den Heuvel, J.

    2011-01-01

    Background: The purpose of this article is to create actionable knowledge, making the definition of process improvement projects in health care delivery more effective. Methods: This study is a retrospective analysis of process improvement projects in hospitals, facilitating a case-based reasoning approach to project definition. Data sources were project documentation and hospital-performance statistics of 271 Lean Six Sigma health care projects from 2002 to 2009 of general, teaching, and aca...

  8. The Systems Approach to Analysing Supply Chains and Improving their Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Sweeney, Edward

    1999-01-01

    One critical weakness of traditional company-wide business improvement models, which are often based on systems thinking, is that the focus is largely on a company’s internal operations and business processes. As a result of the increasingly complex global supply chains of which companies are part, improving ones own business is no guarantee of success in today’s business environment. This paper describes an extension of traditional systems approaches beyond the operations of an individual ...

  9. Technology-aided Programs to Support Positive Verbal and PhysicalEngagement in Persons with Moderate or Severe Alzheimer’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulio E. Lancioni

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Pilot studies using technology-aided programs to promote verbal reminiscence and mild physical activity (i.e., positive forms of engagement in persons with moderate or severe Alzheimer’s disease have provided promising results (Lancioni et al., 2015a, b. The present two studies were aimed at upgrading and/or extending the assessment of those programs. Specifically, Study 1 upgraded the program for verbal reminiscence and assessed it with eight new participants. The upgraded version automatically monitored the participants’ verbal behavior during the sessions, in which photos and brief videos were used to foster verbal reminiscence. Monitoring allowed computer approval and reminders to be consistent with the participants’ behavior. Study 2 extended the assessment of the program for promoting mild physical activity with 10 new participants for whom arm-raising responses were targeted. The results of Study 1 showed that the participants’ mean percentages of intervals with verbal engagement/reminiscence were below 10 during baseline and control sessions and between above 50 and nearly 80 during the intervention. The results of Study 2 showed that the mean frequencies of arm-raising responses were about or below four and between about 10 and 19 per session during the baseline and the intervention, respectively. The general implications of the aforementioned results and the need for new research in the area were discussed.

  10. Model-driven approach to data collection and reporting for quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curcin, Vasa; Woodcock, Thomas; Poots, Alan J; Majeed, Azeem; Bell, Derek

    2014-12-01

    Continuous data collection and analysis have been shown essential to achieving improvement in healthcare. However, the data required for local improvement initiatives are often not readily available from hospital Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems or not routinely collected. Furthermore, improvement teams are often restricted in time and funding thus requiring inexpensive and rapid tools to support their work. Hence, the informatics challenge in healthcare local improvement initiatives consists of providing a mechanism for rapid modelling of the local domain by non-informatics experts, including performance metric definitions, and grounded in established improvement techniques. We investigate the feasibility of a model-driven software approach to address this challenge, whereby an improvement model designed by a team is used to automatically generate required electronic data collection instruments and reporting tools. To that goal, we have designed a generic Improvement Data Model (IDM) to capture the data items and quality measures relevant to the project, and constructed Web Improvement Support in Healthcare (WISH), a prototype tool that takes user-generated IDM models and creates a data schema, data collection web interfaces, and a set of live reports, based on Statistical Process Control (SPC) for use by improvement teams. The software has been successfully used in over 50 improvement projects, with more than 700 users. We present in detail the experiences of one of those initiatives, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease project in Northwest London hospitals. The specific challenges of improvement in healthcare are analysed and the benefits and limitations of the approach are discussed. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. An Alternative Approach for Improving Performance of Organic Photovoltaics by Light-Enhanced Annealing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    En-Ping Yao

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This work proposes an approach for improving the performance of poly(3-hexylthiophene (P3HT- based organic photovoltaics (OPVs. P3HT-based bulk heterojunction (BHJ film can absorb the energy from 532 nm laser light and be transformed into favorable morphology. A combination of traditional thermal annealing and laser annealing improved device performance, with a slight increase in fill factor and a significant improvement in short-circuit current density. Better crystallization and a higher degree of molecular order in the thermal/laser coannealed P3HT-based BHJ film were observed through X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy.

  12. Reliability improvement in GaN HEMT power device using a field plate approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Wen-Hao; Lin, Yueh-Chin; Chin, Ping-Chieh; Hsu, Chia-Chieh; Lee, Jin-Hwa; Liu, Shih-Chien; Maa, Jer-shen; Iwai, Hiroshi; Chang, Edward Yi; Hsu, Heng-Tung

    2017-07-01

    This study investigates the effect of implementing a field plate on a GaN high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) to improve power device reliability. The results indicate that the field plate structure reduces the peak electrical field and interface traps in the device, resulting in higher breakdown voltage, lower leakage current, smaller current collapse, and better threshold voltage control. Furthermore, after high voltage stress, steady dynamic on-resistance and gate capacitance degradation improvement were observed for the device with the field plate. This demonstrates that GaN device reliability can be improved by using the field plate approach.

  13. Improving repeatability of land seismic data using virtual source approach based on multidimensional deconvolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alexandrov, D.; Van der Neut, J.R.; Bakulin, A.; Kashtan, B.

    2015-01-01

    We present a new redatuming workflow developed for improving the repeatability of seismic data and designed specifically to account for changes in the source signatures or variations in downgoing fields in general. The new approach is based on the virtual source method with the same potential for

  14. A Collaborative Governance Approach to Improving Tertiary Education in Papua New Guinea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eldridge, Kaye; Larry, Lisa; Baird, Jeanette; Kavanamur, David

    2018-01-01

    Tertiary education in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is in a critical state, as the sector struggles to address increased demand for student places with severely curtailed capacity. Recent thinking about improving public services in PNG has emphasized "whole of sector" or collaborative governance. Such an approach in tertiary education has the…

  15. Proposing and Testing an Integrative Approach to Improve EFL Students' Communicative Skill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alhussain, Aisha

    2009-01-01

    An experimental study was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of using an integrative approach to improve EFL students' communicative skill. This was done by comparing the oral performance of the subjects who were taught grammar, listening, reading and speaking integratively to that of the subjects who were taught the same skills…

  16. Improving Readability in an Explicit Genre-Based Approach: The Case of an EFL Workplace Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albino, Gabriel

    2017-01-01

    The present study investigates how learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) improve the readability of their texts in an explicit genre-based approach that is utilized in an oil and gas exploration workplace in Angola. By drawing on the English for Specific Purposes and Systemic Functional Linguistics genre traditions, the study engages 18…

  17. Improving the efficiency of a chemotherapy day unit: Applying a business approach to oncology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Lent, W.A.M.; Goedbloed, N.; van Harten, Willem H.

    2009-01-01

    Aim: To improve the efficiency of a hospital-based chemotherapy day unit (CDU). - Methods: The CDU was benchmarked with two other CDUs to identify their attainable performance levels for efficiency, and causes for differences. Furthermore, an in-depth analysis using a business approach, called lean

  18. A positive deviance approach to understanding key features to improving diabetes care in the medical home

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gabbay, R.A.; Friedberg, M.W.; Miller-Day, M.; Cronholm, P.F.; Adelman, A.; Schneider, E.C.

    2013-01-01

    PURPOSE The medical home has gained national attention as a model to reorganize primary care to improve health outcomes. Pennsylvania has undertaken one of the largest state-based, multipayer medical home pilot projects. We used a positive deviance approach to identify and compare factors driving

  19. Improving teaching assistants' orientation in a school of nursing: a lean approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aaltonen, Pamela M; Foli, Karen J; Kirby, Kristen F; Simpson, Vicki L; Walters, Becky

    2015-01-01

    Newly hired teaching assistants (TAs) come to schools of nursing with varying levels of experience in academic institutions. Therefore, the orientation of TAs becomes important at a micro level (student instruction) and macro level (mission of the organization). We describe a Lean approach to strengthening TA orientation and reducing waste and inconsistency. Developed solutions and tools through the lens of quality improvement are discussed.

  20. Improving Students' Creative Thinking and Achievement through the Implementation of Multiple Intelligence Approach with Mind Mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widiana, I. Wayan; Jampel, I. Nyoman

    2016-01-01

    This classroom action research aimed to improve the students' creative thinking and achievement in learning science. It conducted through the implementation of multiple intelligences with mind mapping approach and describing the students' responses. The subjects of this research were the fifth grade students of SD 8 Tianyar Barat, Kubu, and…

  1. Health care managers' views on and approaches to implementing models for improving care processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreasson, Jörgen; Eriksson, Andrea; Dellve, Lotta

    2016-03-01

    To develop a deeper understanding of health-care managers' views on and approaches to the implementation of models for improving care processes. In health care, there are difficulties in implementing models for improving care processes that have been decided on by upper management. Leadership approaches to this implementation can affect the outcome. In-depth interviews with first- and second-line managers in Swedish hospitals were conducted and analysed using grounded theory. 'Coaching for participation' emerged as a central theme for managers in handling top-down initiated process development. The vertical approach in this coaching addresses how managers attempt to sustain unit integrity through adapting and translating orders from top management. The horizontal approach in the coaching refers to managers' strategies for motivating and engaging their employees in implementation work. Implementation models for improving care processes require a coaching leadership built on close manager-employee interaction, mindfulness regarding the pace of change at the unit level, managers with the competence to share responsibility with their teams and engaged employees with the competence to share responsibility for improving the care processes, and organisational structures that support process-oriented work. Implications for nursing management are the importance of giving nurse managers knowledge of change management. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. A pragmatic approach to measuring, monitoring and evaluating interventions for improved tuberculosis case detection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blok, Lucie; Creswell, Jacob; Stevens, Robert; Brouwer, Miranda; Ramis, Oriol; Weil, Olivier; Klatser, Paul; Sahu, Suvanand; Bakker, Mirjam I.

    2014-01-01

    The inability to detect all individuals with active tuberculosis has led to a growing interest in new approaches to improve case detection. Policy makers and program staff face important challenges measuring effectiveness of newly introduced interventions and reviewing feasibility of scaling-up

  3. A pragmatic approach to measuring, monitoring and evaluating interventions for improved tuberculosis case detection.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blok, L; Creswell, J; Stevens, R.; Brouwer, M; Ramis, O; Weil, O; Klatser, P.R.; Sahu, S; Bakker, M.I.

    2014-01-01

    The inability to detect all individuals with active tuberculosis has led to a growing interest in new approaches to improve case detection. Policy makers and program staff face important challenges measuring effectiveness of newly introduced interventions and reviewing feasibility of scaling-up

  4. Improved Discrimination for Brassica Vegetables Treated with Agricultural Fertilizers Using a Combined Chemometric Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Yuwei; Hu, Guixian; Chen, Tianjin; Zhao, Ming; Zhang, Yongzhi; Li, Yong; Xu, Xiahong; Shao, Shengzhi; Zhu, Jiahong; Wang, Qiang; Rogers, Karyne M

    2016-07-20

    Multielement and stable isotope (δ(13)C, δ(15)N, δ(2)H, δ(18)O, (207)Pb/(206)Pb, and (208)Pb/(206)Pb) analyses were combined to provide a new chemometric approach to improve the discrimination between organic and conventional Brassica vegetable production. Different combinations of organic and conventional fertilizer treatments were used to demonstrate this authentication approach using Brassica chinensis planted in experimental test pots. Stable isotope analyses (δ(15)N and δ(13)C) of B. chinensis using elemental analyzer-isotope ratio mass spectrometry easily distinguished organic and chemical fertilizer treatments. However, for low-level application fertilizer treatments, this dual isotope approach became indistinguishable over time. Using a chemometric approach (combined isotope and elemental approach), organic and chemical fertilizer mixes and low-level applications of synthetic and organic fertilizers were detectable in B. chinensis and their associated soils, improving the detection limit beyond the capacity of individual isotopes or elemental characterization. LDA shows strong promise as an improved method to discriminate genuine organic Brassica vegetables from produce treated with chemical fertilizers and could be used as a robust test for organic produce authentication.

  5. Using the experience-based design approach to improve orthodontic care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Pamela E; Silverton, Sarah

    2014-12-01

    The experience-based design (ebd) approach is a method of measuring patient experience, which deliberately draws out subjective, emotional and personal feelings of the patients using a service. We describe how the experience-based design approach has been used to measure the experiences of teenage patients at orthodontic consultation appointments in a district general hospital. This has allowed us to identify the points in the patient's journey where they experience most anxiety and nervousness and to target service improvements in these areas. We found the ebd approach effective in measuring patient experience in a teenage patient population. We demonstrate how the service improvements implemented have reduced negative feelings during new patient consultations. © 2014 British Orthodontic Society.

  6. A Multiagent Dynamic Assessment Approach for Water Quality Based on Improved Q-Learning Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianjun Ni

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The dynamic water quality assessment is a challenging and critical issue in water resource management systems. To deal with this complex problem, a dynamic water assessment model based on multiagent technology is proposed, and an improved Q-learning algorithm is used in this paper. In the proposed Q-learning algorithm, a fuzzy membership function and a punishment mechanism are introduced to improve the learning speed of Q-learning algorithm. The dynamic water quality assessment for different regions and the prewarning of water pollution are achieved by using an interaction factor in the proposed approach. The proposed approach can deal with various situations, such as static and dynamic water quality assessment. The experimental results show that the water quality assessment based on the proposed approach is more accurate and efficient than the general methods.

  7. Approach to Improve Speed of Sound Calculation within PC-SAFT Framework

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liang, Xiaodong; Maribo-Mogensen, Bjørn; Thomsen, Kaj

    2012-01-01

    An extensive comparison of SRK, CPA and PC-SAFT for speed of sound in normal alkanes has been performed. The results reveal that PC-SAFT captures the curvature of speed of sound better than cubic EoS but the accuracy is not satisfactory. Two approaches have been proposed to improve PC......-SAFT’s accuracy for speed of sound: (i) putting speed of sound data into parameter estimation; (ii) putting speed of sound data into both universal constants regression and parameter estimation. The results have shown that the second approach can significantly improve the speed of sound (3.2%) prediction while...... keeping acceptable accuracy for the primary properties, i.e. vapor pressure (2.1%) and liquid density (1.5%). The two approaches have also been applied to methanol, and both give very good results....

  8. Power-Split Hybrid Electric Vehicle Energy Management Based on Improved Logic Threshold Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhumu Fu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We design an improved logic threshold approach of energy management for a power-split HEV assisted by an integrated starter generator (ISG. By combining the efficiency map and the optimum torque curve of internal combustion engine (ICE with the state of charge (SOC of batteries, the improved logic threshold controller manages the ICE within its peak efficiency region at first. Then the electrical power demand is established based on the ICE energy output. On that premise, a variable logic threshold value K is defined to achieve the power distribution between the ISG and the electric motor/generator (EMG. Finally, simulation models for the power-split HEV with improved logic threshold controller are established in ADVISOR. Compared to the equally power-split HEV with the logic threshold controller, when using the improved logic threshold controller, the battery power consumption, the ICE efficiency, the fuel consumption, and the motor driving system efficiency are improved.

  9. Got (the Right) Milk? How a Blended Quality Improvement Approach Catalyzed Change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luton, Alexandra; Bondurant, Patricia G; Campbell, Amy; Conkin, Claudia; Hernandez, Jae; Hurst, Nancy

    2015-10-01

    The expression, storage, preparation, fortification, and feeding of breast milk are common ongoing activities in many neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) today. Errors in breast milk administration are a serious issue that should be prevented to preserve the health and well-being of NICU babies and their families. This paper describes how a program to improve processes surrounding infant feeding was developed, implemented, and evaluated. The project team used a blended quality improvement approach that included the Model for Improvement, Lean and Six Sigma methodologies, and principles of High Reliability Organizations to identify and drive short-term, medium-term, and long-term improvement strategies. Through its blended quality improvement approach, the team strengthened the entire dispensation system for both human milk and formula and outlined a clear vision and plan for further improvements as well. The NICU reduced feeding errors by 83%. Be systematic in the quality improvement approach, and apply proven methods to improving processes surrounding infant feeding. Involve expert project managers with nonclinical perspective to guide work in a systematic way and provide unbiased feedback. Create multidisciplinary, cross-departmental teams that include a vast array of stakeholders in NICU feeding processes to ensure comprehensive examination of current state, identification of potential risks, and "outside the box" potential solutions. As in the realm of pharmacy, the processes involved in preparing feedings for critically ill infants should be carried out via predictable, reliable means including robust automated verification that integrates seamlessly into existing processes. The use of systems employed in pharmacy for medication preparation should be considered in the human milk and formula preparation setting.

  10. A Memetic Approach for Improving Minimum Cost of Economic Load Dispatch Problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinho Kim

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Economic load dispatch problem is a popular optimization problem in electrical power system field, which has been so far tackled by various mathematical and metaheuristic approaches including Lagrangian relaxation, branch and bound method, genetic algorithm, tabu search, particle swarm optimization, harmony search, and Taguchi method. On top of these techniques, this study proposes a novel memetic algorithm scheme combining metaheuristic algorithm and gradient-based technique to find better solutions for an economic load dispatch problem with valve-point loading. Because metaheuristic algorithms have the strength in global search and gradient-based techniques have the strength in local search, the combination approach obtains better results than those of any single approach. A bench-mark example of 40 generating-unit economic load dispatch problem demonstrates that the memetic approach can further improve the existing best solutions from the literature.

  11. Scientific Approach to Improve Mathematical Problem Solving Skills Students of Grade V

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roheni; Herman, T.; Jupri, A.

    2017-09-01

    This study investigates the skills of elementary school students’ in problem solving through the Scientific Approach. The purpose of this study is to determine mathematical problem solving skills of students by using Scientific Approach is better than mathematical problem solving skills of students by using Direct Instruction. This study is using quasi-experimental method. Subject of this study is students in grade V in one of state elementary school in Cirebon Regency. Instrument that used in this study is mathematical problem solving skills. The result of this study showed that mathematical problem solving skills of students who learn by using Scientific Approach is more significant than using Direct Instruction. Base on result and analysis, the conclusion is that Scientific Approach can improve students’ mathematical problem solving skills.

  12. Management of continual improvement for facilities and activities: A structured approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2006-04-01

    In recent years there has been an upward trend in the safety and operational performance of nuclear installations. Safe, efficient operation is their goal. Continual improvement of the processes of organizations has led to enhanced safety performance and efficiency benefits such as cost reductions and improved cycle times. Many organizations have experienced significant cost improvement largely by or through better financial management and a common drive to reduce costs brought on by commercial pressures. Without the use of a structured methodology to identify and implement improvements, changes to an organization to reduce costs through cutting staff and activities could eventually fail to produce the desired changes and even have a negative effect on safety and overall performance. The following fundamental principles are considered essential to the effective introduction of structured continual improvement: - Long term commitment from senior management throughout the entire organization; - The implementation in the organization of a process management approach such as that advocated by IAEA Safety Standards, ISO 9001, Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award and European Foundation for Quality Management Business Excellence model; - The alignment of the processes with the objectives of the organization through the organization's business plan; - The utilization by Management of the process information as an input to managing the organization; - The employment of the information derived from the process performance to identify and prioritize the processes that require improvement; - The active participation of all staff of the organization to using its processes in order to contribute to continual process improvement (CPI). This publication defines a structured approach for continual improvement and focuses on the way an organization can improve its processes. It is recognized that there are many different approaches and methods available in the marketplace to

  13. Integration of value stream map and strategic layout planning into DMAIC approach to improve carpeting process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nagi, A.; Altarazi, S.

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents an implementation of the Six Sigma DMAIC approach implementing lean tools and facilities layout techniques to reduce the occurrence of different types of nonconformities in the carpeting process. Such carpeting process can be found in several industries such as construction, aviation, and automotive. Design/methodology/approach: The improvement process was built through a sequential implementation of appropriate interconnected tools at each phase of the DMAIC approach. Utilized tools included: Pareto analysis, control charts, Ishikawa chart, 5-whys, failure mode and effect analysis, process capability ratio, value stream mapping, and strategic layout planning. Findings: The carpeting process capability, quality of the product, customer satisfaction, and cost of poor quality were significantly improved. Explicitly, the sigma level was improved from 2.297 to 2.886 and the defects per million opportunities (DPMO) was reduced from 21615 to 3905. Originality/value: This paper has approved the capability of the Six Sigma DMAIC approach to analyze, investigate, and remove the root causes of the carpeting (preparation-installation) process nonconformities.

  14. Integration of value stream map and strategic layout planning into DMAIC approach to improve carpeting process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayman Nagi

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: This paper presents an implementation of the Six Sigma DMAIC approach implementing lean tools and facilities layout techniques to reduce the occurrence of different types of nonconformities in the carpeting process. Such carpeting process can be found in several industries such as construction, aviation, and automotive. Design/methodology/approach: The improvement process was built through a sequential implementation of appropriate interconnected tools at each phase of the DMAIC approach. Utilized tools included: Pareto analysis, control charts, Ishikawa chart, 5-whys, failure mode and effect analysis, process capability ratio, value stream mapping, and strategic layout planning. Findings: The carpeting process capability, quality of the product, customer satisfaction, and cost of poor quality were significantly improved. Explicitly, the sigma level was improved from 2.297 to 2.886 and the defects per million opportunities (DPMO was reduced from 21615 to 3905. Originality/value: This paper has approved the capability of the Six Sigma DMAIC approach to analyze, investigate, and remove the root causes of the carpeting (preparation-installation process nonconformities .

  15. Integration of value stream map and strategic layout planning into DMAIC approach to improve carpeting process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nagi, A.; Altarazi, S.

    2017-07-01

    This paper presents an implementation of the Six Sigma DMAIC approach implementing lean tools and facilities layout techniques to reduce the occurrence of different types of nonconformities in the carpeting process. Such carpeting process can be found in several industries such as construction, aviation, and automotive. Design/methodology/approach: The improvement process was built through a sequential implementation of appropriate interconnected tools at each phase of the DMAIC approach. Utilized tools included: Pareto analysis, control charts, Ishikawa chart, 5-whys, failure mode and effect analysis, process capability ratio, value stream mapping, and strategic layout planning. Findings: The carpeting process capability, quality of the product, customer satisfaction, and cost of poor quality were significantly improved. Explicitly, the sigma level was improved from 2.297 to 2.886 and the defects per million opportunities (DPMO) was reduced from 21615 to 3905. Originality/value: This paper has approved the capability of the Six Sigma DMAIC approach to analyze, investigate, and remove the root causes of the carpeting (preparation-installation) process nonconformities.

  16. Two approaches to improving mental health care: positivist/quantitative versus skill-based/qualitative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luchins, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    The quality improvement model currently used in medicine and mental health was adopted from industry, where it developed out of early 20th-century efforts to apply a positivist/quantitative agenda to improving manufacturing. This article questions the application of this model to mental health care. It argues that (1) developing "operational definitions" for something as value-laden as "quality" risks conflating two realms, what we measure with what we value; (2) when measurements that are tied to individuals are aggregated to establish benchmarks and goals, unwarranted mathematical assumptions are made; (3) choosing clinical outcomes is problematic; (4) there is little relationship between process measures and clinical outcomes; and (5) since changes in quality indices do not relate to improved clinical care, management's reliance on such indices provides an illusory sense of control. An alternative model is the older, skill-based/qualitative approach to knowing, which relies on "implicit/ expert" knowledge. These two approaches offer a series of contrasts: quality versus excellence, competence versus expertise, management versus leadership, extrinsic versus intrinsic rewards. The article concludes that we need not totally dispense with the current quality improvement model, but rather should balance quantitative efforts with the older qualitative approach in a mixed methods model.

  17. A multidisciplinary team care approach improves outcomes in high-risk pediatric neuroblastoma patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Hsiu-Hao; Liu, Yen-Lin; Lu, Meng-Yao; Jou, Shiann-Tarng; Yang, Yung-Li; Lin, Dong-Tsamn; Lin, Kai-Hsin; Tzen, Kai-Yuan; Yen, Ruoh-Fang; Lu, Ching-Chu; Liu, Chia-Ju; Peng, Steven Shinn-Forng; Jeng, Yung-Ming; Huang, Shiu-Feng; Lee, Hsinyu; Juan, Hsueh-Fen; Huang, Min-Chuan; Liao, Yung-Feng; Lee, Ya-Ling; Hsu, Wen-Ming

    2017-01-17

    We assessed the impact of a multidisciplinary team care program on treatment outcomes in neuroblastoma patients. Newly diagnosed neuroblastoma patients received treatment under the Taiwan Pediatric Oncology Group (TPOG) N2002 protocol at the National Taiwan University Hospital beginning in 2002. A multidisciplinary team care approach that included nurse-led case management for patients treated under this protocol began in January 2010. Fifty-eight neuroblastoma patients, including 29 treated between 2002 and 2009 (Group 1) and 29 treated between 2010 and 2014 (Group 2), were enrolled in the study. The 5-year overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) rates for all 58 patients were 59% and 54.7%, respectively. Group 2 patients, who were treated after implementation of the multidisciplinary team care program, had better 3-year EFS (P = 0.046), but not OS (P = 0.16), rates than Group 1 patients. In a multivariate analysis, implementation of the multidisciplinary team approach was the only significant independent prognostic factor for neuroblastoma patients. In further subgroup analyses, the multidisciplinary team approach improved EFS, but not OS, in patients with stage 4 disease, those in the high-risk group, and those with non-MYCN amplified tumors. These data indicate a multidisciplinary team care approach improved survival outcomes in high-risk neuroblastoma patients. However, further investigation will be required to evaluate the long-term effects of this approach over longer follow-up periods.

  18. A Hybrid Analysis Approach to Improve Financial Distress Forecasting: Empirical Evidence from Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shakiba Khademolqorani

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Bankruptcy prediction is an important problem facing financial decision support for stakeholders of firms, including auditors, managers, shareholders, debt-holders, and potential investors, as well as academic researchers. Popular discourse on financial distress forecasting focuses on developing the discrete models to improve the prediction. The aim of this paper is to develop a novel hybrid financial distress model based on combining various statistical and machine learning methods. Then multiple attribute decision making method is exploited to choose the optimized model from the implemented ones. Proposed approaches have also been applied in Iranian companies that performed previous models and it can be consolidated with the help of the hybrid approach.

  19. The basis for improving and reforming long-term care. Part 4: identifying meaningful improvement approaches (segment 1).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levenson, Steven A

    2010-02-01

    While many aspects of nursing home care have improved over time, numerous issues persist. Presently, a potpourri of approaches and a push to "fix" the problem have overshadowed efforts to correctly define the issues and identify their diverse causes. Together, the two segments of this fourth and final article (divided between this month's issue and the next one) in the series identify strategies that should tie reform efforts together. This Segment 1 of Article 4 discusses the need to judge initiatives and proposals by how well they support and/or promote critical elements such as the care delivery process and clinical problem solving and decision making activities. It also covers the need to critically scrutinize and modify the conventional wisdom and to suppress "political correctness" thatcontinues to inhibit vital critical inquiry and dialogue that are needed to define issues correctly and make further progress. Ultimately, relatively uncomplicated and inexpensive strategies have the potential to bring dramatic progress. But there needs to be more willingness to rethink the issues and reconsider current approaches. Copyright 2010 American Medical Directors Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Emergency department overcrowding and long wait times: taking a corporate approach to improving patient flow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bandiera, Glen; Gaunt, Karen; Sinclair, Douglas; Trafford, Anne

    2014-01-01

    Emergency department (ED) overcrowding and long wait times are major concerns in health systems the world over. Many ED-focused innovations--such as revising staff mix, improving internal processes and exploiting decision-support software--have been implemented to address these complex problems, often with limited success. Beginning in 2008, St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, which had some of the most challenging ED overcrowding and longest wait times in Ontario, has charted a different course. By taking an organization-wide corporate approach to the challenge of patient flow throughout the hospital, St. Michael's has significantly improved key ED flow metrics for both its admitted and non-admitted patients.

  1. Analysis of transient heat conduction in a PWR fuel rod by an improved lumped parameter approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dourado, Eneida Regina G. [Comissao Nacional de Energia Nuclear (CNEN), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Cotta, Renato M. [Coordenacao de Pos-Graduacao e Pesquisa de Engenharia (COPPE/UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil). Programa de Engenharia Mecanica; Jian, Su, E-mail: eneidadourado@gmail.com, E-mail: sujian@nuclear.ufrj.br, E-mail: cotta@mecanica.ufrj.br [Coordenacao de Pos-Graduacao e Pesquisa de Engenharia (COPPE/UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil). Programa de Engenharia Nuclear

    2017-07-01

    This paper aims to analyze transient heat conduction in a nuclear fuel rod by an improved lumped parameter approach. One-dimensional transient heat conduction is considered, with the circumferential symmetry assumed and the axial conduction neglected. The thermal conductivity and specific heat in the fuel pellet are considered temperature dependent, while the thermophysical properties of the cladding are considered constant. Hermite approximation for integration is used to obtain the average temperature and heat flux in the radial direction. Significant improvement over the classical lumped parameter formulation has been achieved. The proposed model can be also used in dynamic analysis of PWR and nuclear power plant simulators. (author)

  2. Improving Knowledge Management in the Health Service: Re-Engineering Approach Towards Successful Implementation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gyampoh-Vidogah, Regina; Moreton, Robert

    Changes to business practices involve risks. There has always been an attempt to develop various concepts for successful restructuring of business processes to enable technology adoption. This is due to the fact that the success of any business depends as much on how it is structured, as well as its ability to adopt new technology. As a consequence, the great success stories of the global economy emanate from those organisations most capable of adopting new technology, which invariably includes information technology (IT). This chapter examines how business process re-engineering (BPR) can be used to improve knowledge management (KM) in health services by (i) assessing the effectiveness and usefulness of BPR; (ii) present a critical review of approaches to BPR; and (iii) describe a framework for using BPR for KM based on empirical research. The aim is to provide a sound strategic and tactical management approach for successful implementation of knowledge management systems (KMS) to improve health-care service project administration.

  3. Improving accuracy of rare variant imputation with a two-step imputation approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kreiner-Møller, Eskil; Medina-Gomez, Carolina; Uitterlinden, André G

    2015-01-01

    not being comprehensively scrutinized. Next-generation arrays ensuring sufficient coverage together with new reference panels, as the 1000 Genomes panel, are emerging to facilitate imputation of low frequent single-nucleotide polymorphisms (minor allele frequency (MAF) two-step......, the concordance rate between calls of imputed and true genotypes was found to be significantly higher for heterozygotes (Ptwo-step approach in our setting improves imputation quality compared with traditional direct imputation noteworthy...

  4. Drivers of Dashboard Development (3-D): A Curricular Continuous Quality Improvement Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shroyer, A Laurie; Lu, Wei-Hsin; Chandran, Latha

    2016-04-01

    Undergraduate medical education (UME) programs are seeking systematic ways to monitor and manage their educational performance metrics and document their achievement of external goals (e.g., Liaison Committee on Medical Education [LCME] accreditation requirements) and internal objectives (institution-specific metrics). In other continuous quality improvement (CQI) settings, summary dashboard reports have been used to evaluate and improve performance. The Stony Brook University School of Medicine UME leadership team developed and implemented summary dashboard performance reports in 2009 to document LCME standards/criteria compliance, evaluate medical student performance, and identify progress in attaining institutional curricular goals and objectives. Key performance indicators (KPIs) and benchmarks were established and have been routinely monitored as part of the novel Drivers of Dashboard Development (3-D) approach to curricular CQI. The systematic 3-D approach has had positive CQI impacts. Substantial improvements over time have been documented in KPIs including timeliness of clerkship grades, midclerkship feedback, student mistreatment policy awareness, and student satisfaction. Stakeholder feedback indicates that the dashboards have provided useful information guiding data-driven curricular changes, such as integrating clinician-scientists as lecturers in basic science courses to clarify the clinical relevance of specific topics. Gaining stakeholder acceptance of the 3-D approach required clear communication of preestablished targets and annual meetings with department leaders and course/clerkship directors. The 3-D approach may be considered by UME programs as a template for providing faculty and leadership with a CQI framework to establish shared goals, document compliance, report accomplishments, enrich communications, facilitate decisions, and improve performance.

  5. IMPROVING TRUST THROUGH ETHICAL LEADERSHIP: MOVING BEYOND THE SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY TO A HISTORICAL LEARNING APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omoregie Charles Osifo

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The complex nature of trust and its evolving relative concepts require a more idealistic and simpler review. Ethical leadership is related to trust, honesty, transparency, compassion, empathy, results-orientedness, and many other behavioral attributes. Ethical leadership and good leadership are the same, because they represent practicing what one preaches or showing a way to the accomplishment of set goals. The outcomes and findings of many research papers on trust and ethical leadership report positive correlations between ethical leadership and trust. Improving trust from different rational standpoints requires moving and looking beyond the popular theoretical framework through which most results are derived in order to create a new thinking perspective. Social learning theory strongly emphasizes modelling while the new historical learning approach, proposed by the author, is defined as an approach that creates unique historical awareness among individuals, groups, institutions, societies, and nations to use previous experience(s or occurrence(s as a guide in developing positive opinion(s and framework(s in order to tackle the problems and issues of today and tomorrow. Social learning theory is seen as limited from the perspectives of balancing the equation between leadership and trust, the non-compatibility of the values of different generations at work, and other approaches and methods that support the historical approach. This paper is argumentative, adopts a writer´s perspective, and employs a logical analysis of the literature. The main contention is that a historical learning approach can inform an independent-learning to improve trust and its relatives (e.g. motivation and performance, because independent learning can positively shape the value of integrity, which is an integral part of ethical leadership. Historical learning can positively shape leadership in every perspective, because good leadership can develop based on history and

  6. Improving the physical layer security of wireless communication networks using spread spectrum coding and artificial noise approach

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Adedeji, K

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available in progress on a proposed hybrid spread spectrum coding and artificial noise approach to improving the physical layer security of wireless communication channels. The authors are optimistic that, the proposed method will further improve the physical layer...

  7. Improvement of the Assignment Methodology of the Approach Embankment Design to Highway Structures in Difficult Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chistyy, Y.; Kuzakhmetova, E.; Fazilova, Z.; Tsukanova, O.

    2018-03-01

    Design issues of junction of bridges and overhead road with approach embankment are studied. The reasons for the formation of deformations in the road structure are indicated. Activities to ensure sustainability and acceleration of the shrinkage of a weak subgrade approach embankment are listed. The necessity of taking into account the man-made impact of the approach embankment on the subgrade behavior is proved. Modern stabilizing agents to improve the properties of used soils in the embankment and the subgrade are suggested. Clarified methodology for determining an active zone of compression in the subgrade under load from the weight of the embankment is described. As an additional condition to the existing methodology for establishing the lower bound of the active zone of compression it is offered to accept the accuracy of evaluation of soil compressibility and determine shrinkage.

  8. Novel approach to improve the attitude update rate of a star tracker.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shuo; Xing, Fei; Sun, Ting; You, Zheng; Wei, Minsong

    2018-03-05

    The star tracker is widely used in attitude control systems of spacecraft for attitude measurement. The attitude update rate of a star tracker is important to guarantee the attitude control performance. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to improve the attitude update rate of a star tracker. The electronic Rolling Shutter (RS) imaging mode of the complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor in the star tracker is applied to acquire star images in which the star spots are exposed with row-to-row time offsets, thereby reflecting the rotation of star tracker at different times. The attitude estimation method with a single star spot is developed to realize the multiple attitude updates by a star image, so as to reach a high update rate. The simulation and experiment are performed to verify the proposed approaches. The test results demonstrate that the proposed approach is effective and the attitude update rate of a star tracker is increased significantly.

  9. Sentiment Analysis in Spanish for Improvement of Products and Services: A Deep Learning Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario Andrés Paredes-Valverde

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Sentiment analysis is an important area that allows knowing public opinion of the users about several aspects. This information helps organizations to know customer satisfaction. Social networks such as Twitter are important information channels because information in real time can be obtained and processed from them. In this sense, we propose a deep-learning-based approach that allows companies and organizations to detect opportunities for improving the quality of their products or services through sentiment analysis. This approach is based on convolutional neural network (CNN and word2vec. To determine the effectiveness of this approach for classifying tweets, we conducted experiments with different sizes of a Twitter corpus composed of 100000 tweets. We obtained encouraging results with a precision of 88.7%, a recall of 88.7%, and an F-measure of 88.7% considering the complete dataset.

  10. Some key approaches that could improve learning chemistry in higher education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nazgul Sanakovna Dalabayeva

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available This article considers some key approaches, which could improve learning in chemistry. Some important factors, which aid learning in higher education, are feedback, active learning techniques, developing critical thinking skills and avoiding plagiarism. Students often have to act on feedback and employ critical thinking skills in the laboratories, lectures and seminars in order to develop skills and progress in their discipline. The University of Reading has studied techniques to aid learning throughout the educational process. Roles of an educator and a student are emphasized. Active learning approaches have shown increase in student knowledge and understanding as well as enhanced critical thinking and communication skills. Active learning approaches include solving problems in pairs and small groups, self-study techniques including writing essays, revision and consolidation work, preparing and giving presentations, report writing and carrying out mini projects or investigations. Also, some measures of assessment used in higher education are given in the paper.

  11. An Approach to Improve the Quality of Infrared Images of Vein-Patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chih-Lung Lin

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available This study develops an approach to improve the quality of infrared (IR images of vein-patterns, which usually have noise, low contrast, low brightness and small objects of interest, thus requiring preprocessing to improve their quality. The main characteristics of the proposed approach are that no prior knowledge about the IR image is necessary and no parameters must be preset. Two main goals are sought: impulse noise reduction and adaptive contrast enhancement technologies. In our study, a fast median-based filter (FMBF is developed as a noise reduction method. It is based on an IR imaging mechanism to detect the noisy pixels and on a modified median-based filter to remove the noisy pixels in IR images. FMBF has the advantage of a low computation load. In addition, FMBF can retain reasonably good edges and texture information when the size of the filter window increases. The most important advantage is that the peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR caused by FMBF is higher than the PSNR caused by the median filter. A hybrid cumulative histogram equalization (HCHE is proposed for adaptive contrast enhancement. HCHE can automatically generate a hybrid cumulative histogram (HCH based on two different pieces of information about the image histogram. HCHE can improve the enhancement effect on hot objects rather than background. The experimental results are addressed and demonstrate that the proposed approach is feasible for use as an effective and adaptive process for enhancing the quality of IR vein-pattern images.

  12. An approach to improve the quality of infrared images of vein-patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Chih-Lung

    2011-01-01

    This study develops an approach to improve the quality of infrared (IR) images of vein-patterns, which usually have noise, low contrast, low brightness and small objects of interest, thus requiring preprocessing to improve their quality. The main characteristics of the proposed approach are that no prior knowledge about the IR image is necessary and no parameters must be preset. Two main goals are sought: impulse noise reduction and adaptive contrast enhancement technologies. In our study, a fast median-based filter (FMBF) is developed as a noise reduction method. It is based on an IR imaging mechanism to detect the noisy pixels and on a modified median-based filter to remove the noisy pixels in IR images. FMBF has the advantage of a low computation load. In addition, FMBF can retain reasonably good edges and texture information when the size of the filter window increases. The most important advantage is that the peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR) caused by FMBF is higher than the PSNR caused by the median filter. A hybrid cumulative histogram equalization (HCHE) is proposed for adaptive contrast enhancement. HCHE can automatically generate a hybrid cumulative histogram (HCH) based on two different pieces of information about the image histogram. HCHE can improve the enhancement effect on hot objects rather than background. The experimental results are addressed and demonstrate that the proposed approach is feasible for use as an effective and adaptive process for enhancing the quality of IR vein-pattern images.

  13. An effective approach to improving low-cost GPS positioning accuracy in real-time navigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islam, Md Rashedul; Kim, Jong-Myon

    2014-01-01

    Positioning accuracy is a challenging issue for location-based applications using a low-cost global positioning system (GPS). This paper presents an effective approach to improving the positioning accuracy of a low-cost GPS receiver for real-time navigation. The proposed method precisely estimates position by combining vehicle movement direction, velocity averaging, and distance between waypoints using coordinate data (latitude, longitude, time, and velocity) of the GPS receiver. The previously estimated precious reference point, coordinate translation, and invalid data check also improve accuracy. In order to evaluate the performance of the proposed method, we conducted an experiment using a GARMIN GPS 19xHVS receiver attached to a car and used Google Maps to plot the processed data. The proposed method achieved improvement of 4-10 meters in several experiments. In addition, we compared the proposed approach with two other state-of-the-art methods: recursive averaging and ARMA interpolation. The experimental results show that the proposed approach outperforms other state-of-the-art methods in terms of positioning accuracy.

  14. Improving Wishart Classification of Polarimetric SAR Data Using the Hopfield Neural Network Optimization Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Íñigo Molina

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes the optimization relaxation approach based on the analogue Hopfield Neural Network (HNN for cluster refinement of pre-classified Polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (PolSAR image data. We consider the initial classification provided by the maximum-likelihood classifier based on the complex Wishart distribution, which is then supplied to the HNN optimization approach. The goal is to improve the classification results obtained by the Wishart approach. The classification improvement is verified by computing a cluster separability coefficient and a measure of homogeneity within the clusters. During the HNN optimization process, for each iteration and for each pixel, two consistency coefficients are computed, taking into account two types of relations between the pixel under consideration and its corresponding neighbors. Based on these coefficients and on the information coming from the pixel itself, the pixel under study is re-classified. Different experiments are carried out to verify that the proposed approach outperforms other strategies, achieving the best results in terms of separability and a trade-off with the homogeneity preserving relevant structures in the image. The performance is also measured in terms of computational central processing unit (CPU times.

  15. Software Atom: An approach towards software components structuring to improve reusability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Hussain Mughal

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Diversity of application domain compelled to design sustainable classification scheme for significantly amassing software repository. The atomic reusable software components are articulated to improve the software component reusability in volatile industry.  Numerous approaches of software classification have been proposed over past decades. Each approach has some limitations related to coupling and cohesion. In this paper, we proposed a novel approach by constituting the software based on radical functionalities to improve software reusability. We analyze the element's semantics in Periodic Table used in chemistry to design our classification approach, and present this approach using tree-based classification to curtail software repository search space complexity and further refined based on semantic search techniques. We developed a Global unique Identifier (GUID for indexing the functions and related components. We have exploited the correlation between chemistry element and software elements to simulate one to one mapping between them. Our approach is inspired from sustainability chemical periodic table. We have proposed software periodic table (SPT representing atomic software components extracted from real application software. Based on SPT classified repository tree parsing & extraction to enable the user to program their software by customizing the ingredients of software requirements. The classified repository of software ingredients assist user to exploits their requirements to software engineer and enable requirement engineer to develop a rapid large-scale prototype with great essence. Furthermore, we would predict the usability of the categorized repository based on feedback of users.  The continuous evolution of that proposed repository will be fine-tuned based on utilization and SPT would be gradually optimized by ant colony optimization techniques. Succinctly would provoke automating the software development process.

  16. A New Approach of Modeling an Ultra-Super-Critical Power Plant for Performance Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guolian Hou

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available A suitable model of coordinated control system (CCS with high accuracy and simple structure is essential for the design of advanced controllers which can improve the efficiency of the ultra-super-critical (USC power plant. Therefore, with the demand of plant performance improvement, an improved T-S fuzzy model identification approach is proposed in this paper. Firstly, the improved entropy cluster algorithm is applied to identify the premise parameters which can automatically determine the cluster numbers and initial cluster centers by introducing the concept of a decision-making constant and threshold. Then, the learning algorithm is used to modify the initial cluster center and a new structure of concluding part is discussed, the incremental data around the cluster center is used to identify the local linear model through a weighted recursive least-square algorithm. Finally, the proposed approach is employed to model the CCS of a 1000 MW USC one-through boiler power plant by using on-site measured data. Simulation results show that the T-S fuzzy model built in this paper is accurate enough to reflect the dynamic performance of CCS and can be treated as a foundation model for the overall optimizing control of the USC power plant.

  17. A multidisciplinary three-phase approach to improve the clinical utility of patient safety indicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Najjar, Peter; Kachalia, Allen; Sutherland, Tori; Beloff, Jennifer; David-Kasdan, Jo Ann; Bates, David W; Urman, Richard D

    2015-01-01

    The AHRQ Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs) are used for calculation of risk-adjusted postoperative rates for adverse events. The payers and quality consortiums are increasingly requiring public reporting of hospital performance on these metrics. We discuss processes designed to improve the accuracy and clinical utility of PSI reporting in practice. The study was conducted at a 793-bed tertiary care academic medical center where PSI processes have been aggressively implemented to track patient safety events at discharge. A three-phased approach to improving administrative data quality was implemented. The initiative consisted of clinical review of all PSIs, documentation improvement, and provider outreach including active querying for patient safety events. This multidisciplinary effort to develop a streamlined process for PSI calculation reduced the reporting of miscoded PSIs and increased the clinical utility of PSI monitoring. Over 4 quarters, 4 of 41 (10%) PSI-11 and 9 of 138 (7%) PSI-15 errors were identified on review of clinical documentation and appropriate adjustments were made. A multidisciplinary, phased approach leveraging existing billing infrastructure for robust metric coding, ongoing clinical review, and frontline provider outreach is a novel and effective way to reduce the reporting of false-positive outcomes and improve the clinical utility of PSIs.

  18. A Digital Approach to Improved Overdentures for the Adolescent Oligodontia Patient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Lyndon F; Culp, Lee; Luedin, Nicole

    2016-05-01

    The use of overdentures for treatment of oligodontia in adolescent patients using conventional techniques has described limitations. The aim of the case report is to demonstrate the use of CAD (Computer Aided Design) CAM (Computer Aided Manufacture) technology to produce an esthetic monolithic polymethylmethacrylate prosthesis that is retentive and stable on insertion. Adolescent oligodontia patients are typically not suitable candidates for dental implant therapy. Overdentures provide interim or definitive restorative advantages. Given the important esthetic, psychological, and social functions of the prosthesis, an important therapeutic goal for the overdenture prosthesis is esthetics. A CAD-CAM approach to overdenture manufacture can provide a highly esthetic, strong, and retentive prosthesis. CAD-CAM manufacture of monolithic acrylic overdentures offer several advantages that include (1) improved planning and clinical communication, (2) high fidelity manufacture, (3) improved flexural strength, impact strength, and porosity, (4) improved prosthesis integrity and durability (due to the monolithic design), (5) CNC control of occlusal contacts, (6) high esthetic potential due to quality of bulk material and iterative design, and (7) archival nature of the digital prosthesis. CAD-CAM manufacture of monolithic overdentures is a viable approach to completing high value esthetic management of the adolescent oligodontia patient. This case report identifies a new way to utilize CAD CAM technology to produce an improved overdenture for the oligodontia patient. It will be of interest to many and underscores the fundamental principles of smile design transfer to the digital environment. (J Esthet Restor Dent, 2016). © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Wilms′ tumour in African children: Can an institutional approach improve outcome?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lofty-John Chukwuemeka Anyanwu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: The poor outcome for patients with Wilms′ tumour (WT in developing countries has been predicated on late presentation, poverty and low rate of chemotherapeutic access. This study aims to evaluate the effects of an institutionalised approach to improving outcome for patients managed in a tertiary hospital in Nigeria. Materials and Methods: Oncology records of children diagnosed with WT between 2009 and 2013 were analysed for therapy completion and other prognostic parameters. Ensuing data were then compared with those from other centres in Africa. Results: Compared with results from some local and African studies, the therapy completion rate was higher (60% with a survival rate among this group being between 1 and 4 years. No patient was lost to follow-up because of unavailability or unaffordability of cytotoxic agents. Conclusion: This study shows that an institutionalised approach can help to improve access to anti-cancer drugs, reduce the rate of loss to follow-up and thus improve outcome. There is however need to improve on patient-doctor communication, form support groups and establish a WT registry.

  20. Generic project definitions for improvement of health care delivery: a case-based approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemeijer, Gerard C; Does, Ronald J M M; de Mast, Jeroen; Trip, Albert; van den Heuvel, Jaap

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to create actionable knowledge, making the definition of process improvement projects in health care delivery more effective. This study is a retrospective analysis of process improvement projects in hospitals, facilitating a case-based reasoning approach to project definition. Data sources were project documentation and hospital-performance statistics of 271 Lean Six Sigma health care projects from 2002 to 2009 of general, teaching, and academic hospitals in the Netherlands and Belgium. Objectives and operational definitions of improvement projects in the sample, analyzed and structured in a uniform format and terminology. Extraction of reusable elements of earlier project definitions, presented in the form of 9 templates called generic project definitions. These templates function as exemplars for future process improvement projects, making the selection, definition, and operationalization of similar projects more efficient. Each template includes an explicated rationale, an operationalization in the form of metrics, and a prototypical example. Thus, a process of incremental and sustained learning based on case-based reasoning is facilitated. The quality of project definitions is a crucial success factor in pursuits to improve health care delivery. We offer 9 tried and tested improvement themes related to patient safety, patient satisfaction, and business-economic performance of hospitals.

  1. Improving the quality of radiological examinations: effectiveness of an internal participatory approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamede, Francisco Manuel Batista; Gama, Zenewton André da Silva; Saturno-Hernández, Pedro Jesus

    2017-06-01

    To assess the quality of radiological examinations (REs) and to evaluate the effectiveness of a participatory continuous improvement approach to ensure best practices in a Portuguese hospital imaging department. At baseline, we found 232 (10.2%) non-compliances, mostly related to the criteria image centering and framing in chest radiography (CXR), proper use of radiological protection equipment in other conventional RE (CR) and X-ray beam collimation (CXR/CR). A baseline and three consecutive evaluations of the RE quality were conducted. Each assessment was followed by participatory focused interventions for improvement. For each evaluation, we selected a random sample (n = 60) of cases for four types of examination (total n = 240 for each assessment, and 960 for the whole project). Both the building of quality criteria and the design of interventions for improvement were participatory, involving the radiology technicians. Estimates of criteria compliance were calculated with 95% confidence intervals. The statistical significance of absolute and relative improvements was tested using one-tail z-tests. After the intervention, non-compliances decreased to 48 (2.1%). Compliance estimates improved in 25 of 38 criteria assessed, with statistical significance for 5 criteria in CXR and 3 in CR and digestive examination. The internal participatory approach enabled the identification of existing quality problems and, by focusing on the more frequent quality defects, was effective in improving the quality of RE. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press in association with the International Society for Quality in Health Care. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

  2. The improvement of maintenance service for traction networks equipment on the base of process approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. V. Mironov

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. The new methods development for improving the maintenance service for equipment of traction networks in order to increase its efficiency and quality. Methodology. In world practice of solving problems related to the quality of products and services is usually achieved by introducing quality management system in to the enterprises. The provisions of quality management system were used for solving the problem. The technologies of process engineering were used for describing the main stages of maintenance service. Findings. The development of high-speed movement and growth of its intensity, the use of electric rolling stock of a new generation require the introduction of new methods diagnostics of equipment technical state and improvement of the existing maintenance system and repair of power supply. Developing a model of business-processes, their optimization with using techniques of process engineering and system management is needed for the transition to the management system based on the process approach. From the standpoint of the process approach and in accordance with the requirements of the quality management system (ISO 9001-2009, the operation of the E (Department of electrification and power supply infrastructure sector is represented as a scheme of business-processes in which the guaranteed supply with electricity of railway and third-party consumers is defined as the main business-process of management. Each of the sub-process of power supply for consumers is described in details. The use methods and main stages of process approach for sample management system reorganization were investigated. The methodology and the application method of PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act closed loop to the equipment maintenance system were described. The monitoring process of traction networks maintenance using the process approach was divided into components after investigations. The technical documentation of maintenance service was investigated in

  3. Edutourism Taka Bonerate National Park through Scientific Approach to Improve Student Learning Outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayati, R. S.

    2017-02-01

    This research aim is develop the potential of Taka Bonerate National Park as learning resources through edutourism with scientific approach to improve student learning outcomes. Focus of student learning outcomes are students psychomotor abilities and comprehension on Biodiversity of Marine Biota, Corals Ecosystem, and Conservation topics. The edutourism development products are teacher manual, edutourism worksheet, material booklet, guide’s manual, and Taka Bonerate National Park governor manual. The method to develop edutourism products is ADDIE research and development model that consist of analysis, design, development and production, implementation, and evaluation step. The subjects in the implementation step were given a pretest and posttest and observation sheet to see the effect of edutourism Taka Bonerate National Park through scientific approach to student learning outcomes on Biodiversity of Marine Biota, Corals Ecosystem, and Conservation topics. The data were analyzed qualitative descriptively. The research result is edutourism Taka Bonerate National Park through scientific approach can improve students learning outcomes on Biodiversity of Marine Biota, Corals Ecosystem, and Conservation topics. Edutourism Taka Bonerate National Park can be an alternative of learning method on Biodiversity of Marine Biota, Corals Ecosystem, and Conservation topics.

  4. Improving Students’ Vocabulary Mastery by Using Authentic Materials through Communicative Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Umar Umar

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The research aimed at finding out whether or not using of authentic materials through communicative approach improves the vocabulary of the students. This applied a pre-experimental method. The population of the research was the second grades students of a state high school comprising four classes and one of which chosen as the sample by using purposive sampling. The sample consisted of thirty two. The data were collected by using vocabulary test that consisted 20 items. The proce4 of collecting data was presented in chronological order as pre-test given before treatment and then post-test was giving after treatment as students’ achievement. The data analysis showed that there was significant difference of the students’ vocabulary achievement after giving treatment by using authentic materials through communicative approach. It was proved by the mean score of pre-test was 5.97 and the mean of post-test was 7.82. The data was analyzed by using t-test was higher than t-table value. The value of t-test was 9, while t-table value was 1.695 at the 0.05 level significance. Based on the result above, the writer concludes that the use of authentic material through communicative approach improves the students’ vocabulary mastery.

  5. Value-based benefit design: using a predictive modeling approach to improve compliance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahoney, John J

    2008-07-01

    Increased medication compliance rates have been demonstrated to result in improved clinical outcomes and reduced overall medical expenditures. As such, managed care stakeholders should take the total value approach to benefit design and consider total medical costs beyond the cost of pharmacotherapy alone. To describe the value-based benefit design employed by Pitney Bowes (specifically, the predictive modeling approach), to improve medication compliance, and to report the results of this intervention. Despite significant skepticism surrounding value-based benefit design, there is growing evidence that these plans can be used in conjunction with careful pharmacy management. In fact, value-based design provides a different lever on pharmacy management and allows for the appropriate drug to be channeled to the appropriate person. Studies demonstrating the adverse impact of high coinsurance levels further augment the argument for value-based benefit design. Value-based benefit design was employed at Pitney Bowes, a $6.1-billion global provider of integrated mailstream solutions, with noticeable success. Patients were either placed in a disease management program or in a secondary program promoting preventive care. The company selectively cut copays to achieve that end, and this total value approach translated into significant savings. To develop a successful value-based benefit design, stakeholders cannot simply cut costs or cut copays. Action must be taken as part of a concerted program, coupled with disease management or similar interventions. "Value based" means that positive outcomes are the ultimate goal, and barriers to those positive outcomes must be addressed.

  6. Food control and a citizen science approach for improving teaching of Genetics in universities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borrell, Y J; Muñoz-Colmenero, A M; Dopico, E; Miralles, L; Garcia-Vazquez, E

    2016-09-10

    A Citizen Science approach was implemented in the laboratory practices of Genetics at the University of Oviedo, related with the engaging topic of Food Control. Real samples of food products consumed by students at home (students as samplers) were employed as teaching material in three different courses of Genetics during the academic year 2014-2015: Experimental Methods in Food Production (MBTA) (Master level), and Applied Molecular Biology (BMA) and Conservation Genetics and Breeding (COMGE) (Bachelor/Degree level). Molecular genetics based on PCR amplification of DNA markers was employed for species identification of 22 seafood products in COMGE and MBTA, and for detection of genetically modified (GM) maize from nine products in BMA. In total six seafood products incorrectly labeled (27%), and two undeclared GM maize (22%) were found. A post-Laboratory survey was applied for assessing the efficacy of the approach for improving motivation in the Laboratory Practices of Genetics. Results confirmed that students that worked on their own samples from local markets were significantly more motivated and better evaluated their Genetic laboratory practices than control students (χ(2)  = 12.11 p = 0.033). Our results suggest that citizen science approaches could not be only useful for improving teaching of Genetics in universities but also to incorporate students and citizens as active agents in food control. © 2016 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 44(5):450-462, 2016. © 2016 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  7. Process Improvement in Outpatient Installation RSUD dr. Soediran Mangun Sumarso Using Lean Hospital Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayyida, Ghany; Fahma, Fakhrina; Iftadi, Irwan

    2018-03-01

    RSUD dr. Soediran Mangun Sumarso is a public hospital in Wonogiri district which has an outpatient installation service. However, the waiting time of some services in outpatient installations exceeds the standard time set by the health minister of the Republic of Indonesia. It is known from the data waiting time in the outpatient installation. The purpose of this study is to provide improvements using lean hospital approach. Proposed improvement is done by eliminating waste that occurs in outpatient installation service. The methodology used in this study consists of four stages. The first stage is describing the service system using a cross-functional flowchart. The second stage is identifying waste using value stream mapping, observation and interview. The third stage is to determine critical waste by borda method and pareto diagram. The last stage is to provide recommendation improvement using fishbone diagram and FMEA. The result of this research is proposed improvements. The proposed improvements are adding special register counters, implementing an online reservation system, doctors schedule synchronization, adding doctors in polyclinics, fixing queue numbers, applying visual management concepts, making connecting glass in pharmacies and adding multifunction shelves in polyclinics.

  8. Using the Dynamic Model to develop an evidence-based and theory-driven approach to school improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Creemers, B.P.M.; Kyriakides, L.

    2010-01-01

    This paper refers to a dynamic perspective of educational effectiveness and improvement stressing the importance of using an evidence-based and theory-driven approach. Specifically, an approach to school improvement based on the dynamic model of educational effectiveness is offered. The recommended

  9. 78 FR 10181 - Global Quality Systems-An Integrated Approach To Improving Medical Product Safety; Public Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-13

    ...] Global Quality Systems--An Integrated Approach To Improving Medical Product Safety; Public Workshop... (AFDO), is announcing a public workshop entitled ``Global Quality Systems--An Integrated Approach to Improving Medical Product Safety.'' This 2-day public workshop is intended to provide information about FDA...

  10. Estimating the cost of improving quality in electricity distribution: A parametric distance function approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coelli, Tim J.; Gautier, Axel; Perelman, Sergio; Saplacan-Pop, Roxana

    2013-01-01

    The quality of electricity distribution is being more and more scrutinized by regulatory authorities, with explicit reward and penalty schemes based on quality targets having been introduced in many countries. It is then of prime importance to know the cost of improving the quality for a distribution system operator. In this paper, we focus on one dimension of quality, the continuity of supply, and we estimated the cost of preventing power outages. For that, we make use of the parametric distance function approach, assuming that outages enter in the firm production set as an input, an imperfect substitute for maintenance activities and capital investment. This allows us to identify the sources of technical inefficiency and the underlying trade-off faced by operators between quality and other inputs and costs. For this purpose, we use panel data on 92 electricity distribution units operated by ERDF (Electricité de France - Réseau Distribution) in the 2003–2005 financial years. Assuming a multi-output multi-input translog technology, we estimate that the cost of preventing one interruption is equal to 10.7€ for an average DSO. Furthermore, as one would expect, marginal quality improvements tend to be more expensive as quality itself improves. - Highlights: ► We estimate the implicit cost of outages for the main distribution company in France. ► For this purpose, we make use of a parametric distance function approach. ► Marginal quality improvements tend to be more expensive as quality itself improves. ► The cost of preventing one interruption varies from 1.8 € to 69.2 € (2005 prices). ► We estimate that, in average, it lays 33% above the regulated price of quality.

  11. Improvements to the annunciation and display systems at Gentilly 2 NGS - An integrated approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dufresne, R.; Desaulniers, M.

    1997-01-01

    Since 1990, Gentilly 2 Nuclear Generating Station has revised its overall strategy during upsets and abnormal events and has also completely revised its Emergency Operating Procedures (EOP), its abnormal General Operating Procedures (GOP) and is near completing the revision of its Operating Manuals (OM). This strategy, these new EOPs, abnormal GOPs and the abnormal OMs were validated on our full scale simulator when applicable by a multidisciplinary team composed of authorized staff, technical and safety specialists and also candidates in training for authorization. We have identified significant weakness in the annunciation and display systems impairing the management of these events. To benefit from CANDU Owner's Group (COG) expertise, we met in some occasions the CRNL's research team on CAMLS project (CANDU Annunciation Message List System). In order to have more immediate benefits, we chose to improve the actual annunciation and display systems using, in some cases, ideas and/or principles used in the prototype CAMLS. After a brief history, we will present the global approach used at Gentilly 2 for upset and event management and, we will therefore describe in more detail each of the improvements on annunciation and display systems which contributed to reinforce this global approach. Hereafter are some of these improvements: prioritization via color coding of window alarms, re-prioritization (major/minor) of all CRT alarms, coalescence of multi-channel analog and contact CRT alarms, increase in the amount of trends and bar charts for upset management, special alarm summary functions (contextual) for startup after a trip. We did also identify certain needs which are not yet fulfilled with the actual improved system. Finally we will describe some other proposed improvements to the annunciation and display systems that we foresee in the near future. (author). 3 refs, figs

  12. Improving efficiency and safety in external beam radiation therapy treatment delivery using a Kaizen approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapur, Ajay; Adair, Nilda; O'Brien, Mildred; Naparstek, Nikoleta; Cangelosi, Thomas; Zuvic, Petrina; Joseph, Sherin; Meier, Jason; Bloom, Beatrice; Potters, Louis

    Modern external beam radiation therapy treatment delivery processes potentially increase the number of tasks to be performed by therapists and thus opportunities for errors, yet the need to treat a large number of patients daily requires a balanced allocation of time per treatment slot. The goal of this work was to streamline the underlying workflow in such time-interval constrained processes to enhance both execution efficiency and active safety surveillance using a Kaizen approach. A Kaizen project was initiated by mapping the workflow within each treatment slot for 3 Varian TrueBeam linear accelerators. More than 90 steps were identified, and average execution times for each were measured. The time-consuming steps were stratified into a 2 × 2 matrix arranged by potential workflow improvement versus the level of corrective effort required. A work plan was created to launch initiatives with high potential for workflow improvement but modest effort to implement. Time spent on safety surveillance and average durations of treatment slots were used to assess corresponding workflow improvements. Three initiatives were implemented to mitigate unnecessary therapist motion, overprocessing of data, and wait time for data transfer defects, respectively. A fourth initiative was implemented to make the division of labor by treating therapists as well as peer review more explicit. The average duration of treatment slots reduced by 6.7% in the 9 months following implementation of the initiatives (P = .001). A reduction of 21% in duration of treatment slots was observed on 1 of the machines (P Kaizen approach has the potential to improve operational efficiency and safety with quick turnaround in radiation therapy practice by addressing non-value-adding steps characteristic of individual department workflows. Higher effort opportunities are identified to guide continual downstream quality improvements. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Radiation Oncology. Published by

  13. Action research and millennials: Improving pedagogical approaches to encourage critical thinking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erlam, Gwen; Smythe, Liz; Wright-St Clair, Valerie

    2018-02-01

    This article examines the effects of intergenerational diversity on pedagogical practice in nursing education. While generational cohorts are not entirely homogenous, certain generational features do emerge. These features may require alternative approaches in educational design in order to maximize learning for millennial students. Action research is employed with undergraduate millennial nursing students (n=161) who are co-researchers in that they are asked for changes in current simulation environments which will improve their learning in the areas of knowledge acquisition, skill development, critical thinking, and communication. These changes are put into place and a re-evaluation of the effectiveness of simulation progresses through three action cycles. Millennials, due to a tendency for risk aversion, may gravitate towards more supportive learning environments which allow for free access to educators. This tendency is mitigated by the educator modeling expected behaviors, followed by student opportunity to repeat the behavior. Millennials tend to prefer to work in teams, see tangible improvement, and employ strategies to improve inter-professional communication. This research highlights the need for nurse educators working in simulation to engage in critical discourse regarding the adequacy and effectiveness of current pedagogy informing simulation design. Pedagogical approaches which maximize repetition, modeling, immersive feedback, and effective communication tend to be favored by millennial students. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Farmer preference for improved corn seeds in Chiapas, Mexico: A choice experiment approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blanca I. Sánchez-Toledano

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Appropriate technologies must be developed for adoption of improved seeds based on the farmers’ preferences and needs. Our research identified the farmers’ willingness to pay (WTP as a key determinant for selecting the improved varieties of maize seeds and landraces in Chiapas, Mexico. This work also analyzed the farmers’ observed heterogeneity on the basis of their socio-economic characteristics. Data were collected using a semi-structured questionnaire from 200 farmers. A proportional choice experiment approach was applied using a proportional choice variable, where farmers were asked to state the percentage of preference for different alternative varieties in a choice set. The generalized multinomial logit model in WTP-space approach was used. The results suggest that the improved seed varieties are preferred over the Creole alternatives, thereby ensuring higher yields, resistance to diseases, and larger ear size. For the preference heterogeneity analyses, a latent class model was applied. Three types of farmers were identified: innovators (60.5%, transition farmers (29.4%, and conservative farmers (10%. An understanding of farmers’ preferences is useful in designing agricultural policies and creating pricing and marketing strategies for the dissemination of quality seeds.

  15. Improving advanced cardiovascular life support skills in medical students: simulation-based education approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamidreza Reihani

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: In this trial, we intend to assess the effect of simulation-based education approach on advanced cardiovascular life support skills among medical students. Methods: Through convenient sampling method, 40 interns of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in their emergency medicine rotation (from September to December 2012 participated in this study. Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS workshops with pretest and post-test exams were performed. Workshops and checklists for pretest and post-test exams were designed according to the latest American Heart Association (AHA guidelines. Results: The total score of the students increased significantly after workshops (24.6 out of 100 to 78.6 out of 100. This demonstrates 53.9% improvement in the skills after the simulation-based education (P< 0.001. Also the mean score of each station had a significant improvement (P< 0.001. Conclusion: Pretests showed that interns had poor performance in practical clinical matters while their scientific knowledge, such as ECG interpretation was acceptable. The overall results of the study highlights that Simulation based-education approach is highly effective in Improving ACLS skills among medical students.

  16. IMPROVEMENT OF THE F-PERCEPTORY APPROACH THROUGH MANAGEMENT OF FUZZY COMPLEX GEOGRAPHIC OBJECTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Khalfi

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available In the real world, data is imperfect and in various ways such as imprecision, vagueness, uncertainty, ambiguity and inconsistency. For geographic data, the fuzzy aspect is mainly manifested in time, space and the function of objects and is due to a lack of precision. Therefore, the researchers in the domain emphasize the importance of modeling data structures in GIS but also their lack of adaptation to fuzzy data. The F-Perceptory approachh manages the modeling of imperfect geographic information with UML. This management is essential to maintain faithfulness to reality and to better guide the user in his decision-making. However, this approach does not manage fuzzy complex geographic objects. The latter presents a multiple object with similar or different geographic shapes. So, in this paper, we propose to improve the F-Perceptory approach by proposing to handle fuzzy complex geographic objects modeling. In a second step, we propose its transformation to the UML modeling.

  17. An improved hazard rate twisting approach for the statistic of the sum of subexponential variates

    KAUST Repository

    Rached, Nadhir B.

    2015-01-01

    In this letter, we present an improved hazard rate twisting technique for the estimation of the probability that a sum of independent but not necessarily identically distributed subexponential Random Variables (RVs) exceeds a given threshold. Instead of twisting all the components in the summation, we propose to twist only the RVs which have the biggest impact on the right-tail of the sum distribution and keep the other RVs unchanged. A minmax approach is performed to determine the optimal twisting parameter which leads to an asymptotic optimality criterion. Moreover, we show through some selected simulation results that our proposed approach results in a variance reduction compared to the technique where all the components are twisted.

  18. [Schematherapy in Eating Disorders - An Integrative Approach to Improve the Outcome].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archonti, Christina; de Zwaan, Martina

    2016-07-01

    Despite evidence-based psychotherapeutic treatment approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy and psychodynamic therapy eating disorders still pose a challenge to therapists and patients alike. Eating disorders are associated with a high comorbid prevalence of personality disorders and other psychological axis-I-disorders, show highdrop-out rates and relapse rates and anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate compared to all psychiatric disorders. Even self-motivated patients frequently fail to achieve the treatment goals like developing a normal eating behavior, gaining weight, and changing the underlying dysfunctional behavioral patterns and cognitions. We will present a schematherapeutic approach with experiential methods, integrated in evidence-based CBT, with the intention to improve motivation and therapeutic outcome. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  19. Using a Service Planning Approach to Improve the Impact of Earth Observations in the Developing World

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irwin, D.; Frankel-Reed, J.

    2017-12-01

    SERVIR is joint development initiative of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), working in partnership with leading regional organizations around the world to help developing countries use information provided by Earth observing satellites and geospatial technologies to empower decision-makers with tools, products, and services to better address critical issues related to food security, water resources, natural disasters, and land use. Since its launch in 2005, SERVIR has grown into a global network of four active hubs that are improving awareness, increasing access to information, and supporting analysis to help people in Africa, Hindu Kush Himalaya, and the Lower Mekong regions better manage today's complex environmental challenges. To help improve the impact of SERVIR activities throughout the global network, a Service Planning Approach was developed with three main steps that involve: 1) consultation and needs assessment, 2) service design and 3) service delivery. To successfully accomplish these steps, SERVIR has created a series of capacity building tools that focus on specific activities to better engage stakeholders, design a more successful service, and to conduct end-to-end monitoring, evaluation, and learning. Currently, all four SERVIR hubs in different regions of the world are implementing this Service Planning Approach and helping to improve it by providing feedback based on their implementation. This presentation will describe the SERVIR Service Planning Approach and discuss the various tools, which ultimately can empower remote sensing scientists and application developers to obtain a greater impact from the Earth Observation products they develop.

  20. A combined approach to cartographic displacement for buildings based on skeleton and improved elastic beam algorithm.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuangang Liu

    Full Text Available Scale reduction from source to target maps inevitably leads to conflicts of map symbols in cartography and geographic information systems (GIS. Displacement is one of the most important map generalization operators and it can be used to resolve the problems that arise from conflict among two or more map objects. In this paper, we propose a combined approach based on constraint Delaunay triangulation (CDT skeleton and improved elastic beam algorithm for automated building displacement. In this approach, map data sets are first partitioned. Then the displacement operation is conducted in each partition as a cyclic and iterative process of conflict detection and resolution. In the iteration, the skeleton of the gap spaces is extracted using CDT. It then serves as an enhanced data model to detect conflicts and construct the proximity graph. Then, the proximity graph is adjusted using local grouping information. Under the action of forces derived from the detected conflicts, the proximity graph is deformed using the improved elastic beam algorithm. In this way, buildings are displaced to find an optimal compromise between related cartographic constraints. To validate this approach, two topographic map data sets (i.e., urban and suburban areas were tested. The results were reasonable with respect to each constraint when the density of the map was not extremely high. In summary, the improvements include (1 an automated parameter-setting method for elastic beams, (2 explicit enforcement regarding the positional accuracy constraint, added by introducing drag forces, (3 preservation of local building groups through displacement over an adjusted proximity graph, and (4 an iterative strategy that is more likely to resolve the proximity conflicts than the one used in the existing elastic beam algorithm.

  1. A combined approach to cartographic displacement for buildings based on skeleton and improved elastic beam algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yuangang; Guo, Qingsheng; Sun, Yageng; Ma, Xiaoya

    2014-01-01

    Scale reduction from source to target maps inevitably leads to conflicts of map symbols in cartography and geographic information systems (GIS). Displacement is one of the most important map generalization operators and it can be used to resolve the problems that arise from conflict among two or more map objects. In this paper, we propose a combined approach based on constraint Delaunay triangulation (CDT) skeleton and improved elastic beam algorithm for automated building displacement. In this approach, map data sets are first partitioned. Then the displacement operation is conducted in each partition as a cyclic and iterative process of conflict detection and resolution. In the iteration, the skeleton of the gap spaces is extracted using CDT. It then serves as an enhanced data model to detect conflicts and construct the proximity graph. Then, the proximity graph is adjusted using local grouping information. Under the action of forces derived from the detected conflicts, the proximity graph is deformed using the improved elastic beam algorithm. In this way, buildings are displaced to find an optimal compromise between related cartographic constraints. To validate this approach, two topographic map data sets (i.e., urban and suburban areas) were tested. The results were reasonable with respect to each constraint when the density of the map was not extremely high. In summary, the improvements include (1) an automated parameter-setting method for elastic beams, (2) explicit enforcement regarding the positional accuracy constraint, added by introducing drag forces, (3) preservation of local building groups through displacement over an adjusted proximity graph, and (4) an iterative strategy that is more likely to resolve the proximity conflicts than the one used in the existing elastic beam algorithm.

  2. Improving paediatric and neonatal care in rural district hospitals in the highlands of Papua New Guinea: a quality improvement approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sa'avu, Martin; Duke, Trevor; Matai, Sens

    2014-05-01

    incomplete. Infection control measures were inadequate in most hospitals. Cylinders were the major source of oxygen for the district hospitals, and logistical problems and large indirect costs meant that oxygen was under-utilized. There were multiple electricity interruptions, but hospitals had back-up generators to enable the use of oxygen concentrators. After 6 months in each of the five hospitals, high-dependency care areas were planned, oxygen concentrators installed, staff trained in their use, and a plan was set out for improving neonatal care. If MGD-4 targets for child health are to be met, reducing neonatal mortality and deaths from pneumonia will have to include better quality services in district hospitals. Establishing better oxygen supplies with a systems approach can be a vehicle for addressing other areas of quality and safety in district hospitals.

  3. An Improved Asymptotic Sampling Approach For Stochastic Finite Element Stiffness of a Laterally Loaded Monopile

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vahdatirad, Mohammadjavad; Bayat, Mehdi; Andersen, Lars Vabbersgaard

    2012-01-01

    In this study a stochastic approach is conducted to obtain the horizontal and rotational stiffness of an offshore monopile foundation. A nonlinear stochastic p-y curve is integrated into a finite element scheme for calculation of the monopile response in over-consolidated clay having spatial...... undrained shear strength. The random field is applied to represent the spatial variation of the soil properties. Monte Carlo simulation associate with an improved asymptotic sampling using normal and sobol sampling is utilized to generate the probability distribution of the foundation stiffness. It is shown...

  4. Improving Optoacoustic Image Quality via Geometric Pixel Super-Resolution Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Hailong; Mandal, Subhamoy; Buehler, Andreas; Deán-Ben, X Luís; Razansky, Daniel; Ntziachristos, Vasilis

    2016-03-01

    High fidelity optoacoustic (photoacoustic) tomography requires dense spatial sampling of optoacoustic signals using point acoustic detectors. However, in practice, spatial resolution of the images is often limited by limited sampling either due to coarse multi-element arrays or time in raster scan measurements. Herein, we investigate a method that integrates information from multiple optoacoustic images acquired at sub-diffraction steps into one high resolution image by means of an iterative registration algorithm. Experimental validations performed in target phantoms and ex vivo tissue samples confirm that the suggested approach renders significant improvements in terms of optoacoustic image resolution and quality without introducing significant alterations into the signal acquisition hardware or inversion algorithms.

  5. How can LCA approaches contribute to improve geo-cycles management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carreiras, M.; Ferreira, A. J. D.; Esteves, T. C. J.; Delgado, F.; Andrade, F.; Franco, J.; Pereira, C. D.

    2012-04-01

    Climate change and land use have become a major challenge for mankind and the natural environment. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions released into the atmosphere in ever rapidly growing volumes are most likely to be responsible for this change. Carbon dioxide gas (CO2) is suggested to be the main cause of global warming. Carbon reduction is the key to preventing this, for example, by enhancing energy efficiency and mitigating carbon emissions by means of green energy and adjusting the use of natural resources. Different activities produce distinguish impacts, and each product generates specific impacts on nature. The impact of man activities in the geo-cycles is of paramount importance in what concerns long term sustainability. Nevertheless, the environmental and sustainability impacts of different approaches and techniques of ecosystem management is a difficult question that can be assessed using LCA techniques LCA is a technique to assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product's life from-cradle-to-grave. Based on that, LCA can be effective in supporting the assessment of decision making on complex sustainability issues because it can integrate the diversity of impacts categories guise and it can be adapted to a large variety of contexts. By incorporating quantitative data LCA allows decision makers to include a full range of economic, environmental, social and technical criteria. The integrated framework is configured such that the pros and cons of alternative environmental and energy strategies can be measured in terms of their ability to achieve the overall goals and objectives of the sustainable development, while satisfying the pollution control requirements. Because it is holistic, integrate and dynamic, this approach represents a state of the art tool for enhance the sustainable development of a sector, allowing a more transparent and participated management, a basic instrument for improved competitiveness. This approach may serve

  6. A replicable and customizable approach to improve ambulatory care and research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasson, J H; Jette, A M; Johnson, D J; Mohr, J J; Nelson, E C

    1997-01-01

    Health care is a service industry. A fundamental attribute of many successful service industries is the "small replicable unit (SRU)." There are three essential elements of an SRU: (1) the smallest core unit of activity, (2) micromeasures designed to help manage the core activities, and (3) combinations of the activities and measures to match local customer needs. In this article, we describe a model for geriatric care based on "SRU thinking." We demonstrate how this approach places measurement of patient values, clinical improvement strategies, and research objectives into day-to-day health care delivery.

  7. AN APPROACH TO THE QUALITY IMPROVEMENT OF A MASSIVE INVESTMENT PROJECT BY INTEGRATING ICT AND QMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamara Gvozdenovic

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available This work has presented an approach to the quality improvement of an investment project by the change in the concept of project management. Building time of the investment project is a complex factor which needs a special attention. It is well known that the PERT method has been applied with long-lasting investment projects, where a big time distance brings about significant uncertainty of future situations. Microsoft Project 2002 and Matlab: Neural Network Toolbox are the software tools used for solving the problem of investment project management.

  8. Improving aerosolization of drug powders by reducing powder intrinsic cohesion via a mechanical dry coating approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Qi Tony; Qu, Li; Larson, Ian; Stewart, Peter J; Morton, David A V

    2010-07-15

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of coating on the aerosolization of three model micronized powders. Three model powder materials (salbutamol sulphate, salmeterol xinafoate, triamcinolone acetonide) were chosen not only for their different chemical properties but also for their different physical properties such as shape and size distribution. Each powder was coated with 5% (w/w) magnesium stearate using two different dry mechanofusion approaches. After mechanofusion, both poured and tapped densities for all three model drug powders significantly increased. There were significant improvements in aerosolization behavior from an inhaler device for all model powders after mechanofusion. Such improvements in aerosolization were attributed to the reduction in agglomerate strength caused by decreasing powder intrinsic cohesion via surface modification. The work also indicated that the effect of the coating was dependant on the initial particle properties. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Modular Approach for Continuous Cell-Level Balancing to Improve Performance of Large Battery Packs: Preprint

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muneed ur Rehman, M.; Evzelman, M.; Hathaway, K.; Zane, R.; Plett, G. L.; Smith, K.; Wood, E.; Maksimovic, D.

    2014-10-01

    Energy storage systems require battery cell balancing circuits to avoid divergence of cell state of charge (SOC). A modular approach based on distributed continuous cell-level control is presented that extends the balancing function to higher level pack performance objectives such as improving power capability and increasing pack lifetime. This is achieved by adding DC-DC converters in parallel with cells and using state estimation and control to autonomously bias individual cell SOC and SOC range, forcing healthier cells to be cycled deeper than weaker cells. The result is a pack with improved degradation characteristics and extended lifetime. The modular architecture and control concepts are developed and hardware results are demonstrated for a 91.2-Wh battery pack consisting of four series Li-ion battery cells and four dual active bridge (DAB) bypass DC-DC converters.

  10. Improving the throughput of cognitive radio networks using the broadcast approach

    KAUST Repository

    Sboui, Lokman

    2013-12-01

    We study the impact of adopting a multi layer coding (MLC) strategy, i.e., the so-called broadcast approach (BA) on the throughput of Cognitive Radio (CR) spectrum sharing systems for general fading channels. First, we consider a scenario where the secondary transmitter, a part from the statistics, has no channel state information (CSI) of the cross link and its own link. We show that using BA improves the cognitive achievable rate compared to the outage rate provided by a single layer coding (SLC). In addition, we, also, observe numerically that 2-Layer coding achieves most of the gain. Then, we consider a situation where the secondary transmitter has a partial CSI about its own link through quantized CSI. Again, we compute the secondary achievable rate adopting the BA and highlight the improvement over SLC. Numerical results show that the advantage of MLC decreases as the rate of the feedback link increases. 1 © 2013 IEEE.

  11. A unique approach for reducing specimen labeling errors: combining marketing techniques with performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, J B

    2001-01-01

    Challenged with persistent specimen labeling errors that were resistant to improvement efforts, our organization selected "reducing specimen labeling errors" as an indicator for a hospital-wide error reduction goal. Modeling quality improvement guidelines published in the institute of Medicine's report "To Err is Human, Building a Safer Health System," a multidisciplinary task force "error proofed" processes. The task force created new standards and crafted an implementation plan using an internal marketing strategy to change current practices and reinforce patient safety as a core value within our institution. This unique approach reduced errors by 41% and provided learning opportunities that will be valuable in more challenging patient safety initiatives such as medication error reduction.

  12. Organizational Wellness Program Implementation and Evaluation: A Holistic Approach to Improve the Wellbeing of Middle Managers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, Maria Del Consuelo; Calderon, Angelica; Blunk, Dan I; Mills, Brandy W; Leiner, Marie

    2018-02-15

    : Employee wellness programs can provide benefits to institutions as well as employees and their families. Despite the attempts of some organizations to implement programs that take a holistic approach to improve physical, mental, and social wellness, the most common programs are exclusively comprised of physical and nutritional components. In this study, we implemented a wellness program intervention, including training, directed at middle managers in several multinational organizations. We included control and experimental groups to measure wellness and teamwork with two repeated measures. Our results indicated that employees receiving the intervention had improved measures of wellness and teamwork. A positive relationship was found between wellness and teamwork in the experimental group when compared to the control group. Taken together, the data suggest that implementation of these programs would provide valuable outcomes for both employees and organizations.

  13. Integrated approach towards the application of horizontal wells to improve waterflooding performance. 1995 annual report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kelkar, M.; Liner, C.; Kerr, D.

    1996-06-01

    This annual report describes the progress during the third year of the project on Integrated Approach Towards the Application of Horizontal Wells to Improve Waterflooding Performance. This project is funded under the Department of Energy`s Class I program which is targeted towards improving the reservoir performance of mature oil fields located in fluvially dominated deltaic geological environments. The project involves using an integrated approach to characterize the reservoir followed by proposing an appropriate reservoir management strategy to improve the field performance. In the first stage of the project, the type of data we integrated include cross borehole seismic surveys, geological interpretation based on the logs and the cores, and the engineering information. In contrast, during the second stage of the project, we intend to use only conventional data to construct the reservoir description. This report covers the results of the implementation from the first stage of the project. It also discusses the work accomplished so far for the second stage of the project. The preliminary results look promising from the field implementation. The production from the Self Unit (location of Stage I) has increased by 35 bbls/day with additional increase anticipated with further implementation. Based on our understanding of the first stage, we hope to examine a greater area of the Glenn Pool field for additional increase in production. We have collected available core and log data and have finished the initial geological description. Although not a direct part of this project, we also have initiated a 3-D seismic survey of the area which should help us in improving the reservoir description.

  14. Importance of an Interprofessional Team Approach in Achieving Improved Management of the Dizzy Patient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, Amanda I; Zupancic, Steven; Song, Michael M; Cordero, Joehassin; Nguyen, Tam Q; Seifert, Charles

    2017-03-01

    Because of its multifaceted nature, dizziness is difficult for clinicians to diagnose and manage independently. Current treatment trends suggest that patients are often referred to the otolaryngologist for intervention despite having a nonotologic disorder. Additionally, many individuals with atypical presentations are often misdiagnosed and spend a significant amount of time waiting for consultation by the otolaryngologist. Few studies have alluded that implementation of an interprofessional team approach in the diagnosis and management of the dizzy patient can improve clinical decision-making. However, to the authors' knowledge, there is no information specifically quantifying the outcomes and potential benefits of using an interprofessional balance care team approach. To compare dizziness diagnoses trends and referral practices with and without the use of an interprofessional management approach within a university healthcare system. Over the course of a 3-yr period, a retrospective review of the diagnosis and management of dizziness was performed with and without implementation of an interprofessional team. To observe potential differences, year 3 incorporated the interprofessional management approach while years 1-2 did not. The two periods were then compared to each other. A total of 134 patients referred to a university hearing clinic for a vestibular and balance function evaluation. Diagnoses and management trends were examined with descriptive statistics (percentages and frequencies). Fisher's exact tests, analysis of contingency tables, were conducted to evaluate the influence of interprofessional management on dizziness diagnoses and treatment patterns. Results demonstrated that before implementation of an interprofessional team approach, (1) referring clinicians used unspecific dizziness diagnosis codes (e.g., dizziness and giddiness), (2) a low number of patients with dizziness were referred for balance function testing, (3) diagnoses remained

  15. Improvement of adequate use of warfarin for the elderly using decision tree-based approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, K E; Lo, C-L; Hu, Y-H

    2014-01-01

    Due to the narrow therapeutic range and high drug-to-drug interactions (DDIs), improving the adequate use of warfarin for the elderly is crucial in clinical practice. This study examines whether the effectiveness of using warfarin among elderly inpatients can be improved when machine learning techniques and data from the laboratory information system are incorporated. Having employed 288 validated clinical cases in the DDI group and 89 cases in the non-DDI group, we evaluate the prediction performance of seven classification techniques, with and without an Adaptive Boosting (AdaBoost) algorithm. Measures including accuracy, sensitivity, specificity and area under the curve are used to evaluate model performance. Decision tree-based classifiers outperform other investigated classifiers in all evaluation measures. The classifiers supplemented with AdaBoost can generally improve the performance. In addition, weight, congestive heart failure, and gender are among the top three critical variables affecting prediction accuracy for the non-DDI group, while age, ALT, and warfarin doses are the most influential factors for the DDI group. Medical decision support systems incorporating decision tree-based approaches improve predicting performance and thus may serve as a supplementary tool in clinical practice. Information from laboratory tests and inpatients' history should not be ignored because related variables are shown to be decisive in our prediction models, especially when the DDIs exist.

  16. Quality initiatives: lean approach to improving performance and efficiency in a radiology department.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruskal, Jonathan B; Reedy, Allen; Pascal, Laurie; Rosen, Max P; Boiselle, Phillip M

    2012-01-01

    Many hospital radiology departments are adopting "lean" methods developed in automobile manufacturing to improve operational efficiency, eliminate waste, and optimize the value of their services. The lean approach, which emphasizes process analysis, has particular relevance to radiology departments, which depend on a smooth flow of patients and uninterrupted equipment function for efficient operation. However, the application of lean methods to isolated problems is not likely to improve overall efficiency or to produce a sustained improvement. Instead, the authors recommend a gradual but continuous and comprehensive "lean transformation" of work philosophy and workplace culture. Fundamental principles that must consistently be put into action to achieve such a transformation include equal involvement of and equal respect for all staff members, elimination of waste, standardization of work processes, improvement of flow in all processes, use of visual cues to communicate and inform, and use of specific tools to perform targeted data collection and analysis and to implement and guide change. Many categories of lean tools are available to facilitate these tasks: value stream mapping for visualizing the current state of a process and identifying activities that add no value; root cause analysis for determining the fundamental cause of a problem; team charters for planning, guiding, and communicating about change in a specific process; management dashboards for monitoring real-time developments; and a balanced scorecard for strategic oversight and planning in the areas of finance, customer service, internal operations, and staff development. © RSNA, 2012.

  17. The economic and environmental value of genetic improvements in fattening pigs: An integrated dynamic model approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemi, J K; Sevón-Aimonen, M-L; Stygar, A H; Partanen, K

    2015-08-01

    The selection of animals for improved performance affects the profitability of pig fattening and has environmental consequences. The goal of this paper was to examine how changes in genetic and market parameters impact the biophysical (feeding patterns, timing of slaughter, nitrogen excretion) and economic (return per pig space unit) results describing pig fattening in a Finnish farm. The analysis can be viewed as focusing on terminal line breeding goals. An integrated model using recursive stochastic dynamic programming and a biological pig growth model was used to estimate biophysical results and economic values. Combining these models allowed us to provide more accurate estimates for the value of genetic improvement and, thus, provide better feedback to animal breeding programs than the traditional approach, which is based on fixed management patterns. Besides the benchmark scenario, the results were simulated for 5 other scenarios. In each scenario, genotype was improved regarding daily growth potential, carcass lean meat content, or the parameters of the Gompertz growth curve (maturing rate [], adult weight of protein [α], and adult weight of lipid mass []). The change in each parameter was equal to approximately 1 SD genetic improvement (ceteris paribus). Increasing , , daily growth potential, or carcass lean meat content increased the return on pig space unit by €12.60, €7.60, €4.10, or €2.90 per year, respectively, whereas an increase in decreased the return by €3.10. The genetic improvement in and resulted in the highest decrease in nitrogen excretion calculated in total or per kilogram of carcass gain but only under the optimal feeding pattern. Simulated changes in the Gompertz growth function parameters imply greater changes in ADG and lean meat content than changes in scenarios focusing on improving ADG and lean meat content directly. The economic value of genetic improvements as well as the quantity of nitrogen excreted during the fattening

  18. Using Vision System Technologies to Enable Operational Improvements for Low Visibility Approach and Landing Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, Lynda J.; Ellis, Kyle K. E.; Bailey, Randall E.; Williams, Steven P.; Severance, Kurt; Le Vie, Lisa R.; Comstock, James R.

    2014-01-01

    Flight deck-based vision systems, such as Synthetic and Enhanced Vision System (SEVS) technologies, have the potential to provide additional margins of safety for aircrew performance and enable the implementation of operational improvements for low visibility surface, arrival, and departure operations in the terminal environment with equivalent efficiency to visual operations. To achieve this potential, research is required for effective technology development and implementation based upon human factors design and regulatory guidance. This research supports the introduction and use of Synthetic Vision Systems and Enhanced Flight Vision Systems (SVS/EFVS) as advanced cockpit vision technologies in Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) operations. Twelve air transport-rated crews participated in a motion-base simulation experiment to evaluate the use of SVS/EFVS in NextGen low visibility approach and landing operations. Three monochromatic, collimated head-up display (HUD) concepts (conventional HUD, SVS HUD, and EFVS HUD) and two color head-down primary flight display (PFD) concepts (conventional PFD, SVS PFD) were evaluated in a simulated NextGen Chicago O'Hare terminal environment. Additionally, the instrument approach type (no offset, 3 degree offset, 15 degree offset) was experimentally varied to test the efficacy of the HUD concepts for offset approach operations. The data showed that touchdown landing performance were excellent regardless of SEVS concept or type of offset instrument approach being flown. Subjective assessments of mental workload and situation awareness indicated that making offset approaches in low visibility conditions with an EFVS HUD or SVS HUD may be feasible.

  19. An Improved Artificial Bee Colony-Based Approach for Zoning Protected Ecological Areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing Shao

    Full Text Available China is facing ecological and environmental challenges as its urban growth rate continues to rise, and zoning protected ecological areas is recognized as an effective response measure. Zoning inherently involves both site attributes and aggregation attributes, and the combination of mathematical models and heuristic algorithms have proven advantageous. In this article, an improved artificial bee colony (IABC-based approach is proposed for zoning protected ecological areas at a regional scale. Three main improvements were made: the first is the use of multiple strategies to generate the initial bee population of a specific quality and diversity, the second is an exploitation search procedure to generate neighbor solutions combining "replace" and "alter" operations, and the third is a "swap" strategy to enable a local search for the iterative optimal solution. The IABC algorithm was verified using simulated data. Then it was applied to define an optimum scheme of protected ecological areas of Sanya (in the Hainan province of China, and a reasonable solution was obtained. Finally, a comparison experiment with other methods (agent-based land allocation model, ant colony optimization, and density slicing was conducted and demonstrated that the IABC algorithm was more effective and efficient than the other methods. Through this study, we aimed to provide a scientifically sound, practical approach for zoning procedures.

  20. Qualitative evaluation: A critical and interpretative complementary approach to improve health programs and services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luz MarÍa Tejada Tayabas

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available This short essay aims at commenting on the origin, development, rationale, and main characteristics of qualitative evaluation (QE, emphasizing the value of this methodological tool to evaluate health programs and services. During the past decades, different approaches have come to light proposing complementary alternatives to appraise the performance of public health programs, mainly focusing on the implementation process involved rather than on measuring the impact of such actions. QE is an alternative tool that can be used to illustrate and understand the process faced when executing health programs. It can also lead to useful suggestions to modify its implementation from the stakeholders’ perspectives, as it uses a qualitative approach that considers participants as reflective subjects, generators of meanings. This implies that beneficiaries become involved in an active manner in the evaluated phenomena with the aim of improving the health programs or services that they receive. With this work we want to encourage evaluators in the field of public health to consider the use of QE as a complementary tool for program evaluation to be able to identify areas of opportunity to improve programs’ implementation processes from the perspective of intended beneficiaries.

  1. Quantitative risk-based approach for improving water quality management in mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wenying; Moran, Chris J; Vink, Sue

    2011-09-01

    The potential environmental threats posed by freshwater withdrawal and mine water discharge are some of the main drivers for the mining industry to improve water management. The use of multiple sources of water supply and introducing water reuse into the mine site water system have been part of the operating philosophies employed by the mining industry to realize these improvements. However, a barrier to implementation of such good water management practices is concomitant water quality variation and the resulting impacts on the efficiency of mineral separation processes, and an increased environmental consequence of noncompliant discharge events. There is an increasing appreciation that conservative water management practices, production efficiency, and environmental consequences are intimately linked through the site water system. It is therefore essential to consider water management decisions and their impacts as an integrated system as opposed to dealing with each impact separately. This paper proposes an approach that could assist mine sites to manage water quality issues in a systematic manner at the system level. This approach can quantitatively forecast the risk related with water quality and evaluate the effectiveness of management strategies in mitigating the risk by quantifying implications for production and hence economic viability.

  2. Improvement of pristinamycin I (PI) production inStreptomyces pristinaespiralisby metabolic engineering approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Jiali; Feng, Rongrong; Zheng, Guosong; Ge, Mei; Mast, Yvonne; Wohlleben, Wolfgang; Gao, Jufang; Jiang, Weihong; Lu, Yinhua

    2017-06-01

    Pristinamycin, produced by Streptomyces pristinaespiralis , which is a streptogramin-like antibiotic consisting of two chemically unrelated components: pristinamycin I (PI) and pristinamycin II (PII), shows potent activity against many antibiotic-resistant pathogens. However, so far pristinamycin production titers are still quite low, particularly those of PI. In this study, we constructed a PI single component producing strain by deleting the PII biosynthetic genes ( snaE1 and snaE2 ). Then, two metabolic engineering approaches, including deletion of the repressor gene papR3 and chromosomal integration of an extra copy of the PI biosynthetic gene cluster (BGC), were employed to improve PI production. The final engineered strain ΔPIIΔ papR3 /PI produced a maximum PI level of 132 mg/L, with an approximately 2.4-fold higher than that of the parental strain S. pristinaespiralis HCCB10218. Considering that the PI biosynthetic genes are clustered in two main regions in the 210 kb "supercluster" containing the PI and PII biosynthetic genes as well as a cryptic polyketide BGC, these two regions were cloned separately and then were successfully assembled into the PI BGC by the transformation-associated recombination (TAR) system. Collectively, the metabolic engineering approaches employed is very efficient for strain improvement in order to enhance PI titer.

  3. Warrants for prescription: analytically and empirically based approaches to improving decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipshitz, Raanan; Cohen, Marvin S

    2005-01-01

    Efforts to improve decision making must appeal to some source of warrant - that is, specific criteria or models for guiding and evaluating decision-making performance. We examine and compare the warrants for two approaches to decision aids, decision training, and consulting: analytically based prescription, which obtains warrant from formal models, and empirically based prescription, which obtains warrant from descriptive models of successful performance. We argue that empirically based warrants can provide a meaningful and valid basis for prescriptive intervention without committing the naturalistic fallacy (i.e., confusing what is with what ought to be) and without the use of formal deduction from first principles. We describe points of divergence as well as convergence in the types of warrant appealed to by naturalistic decision making and decision analysis, letting each approach shed light on the other, and explore the application of empirically based prescription to cognitive engineering. Actual or potential applications of this research include the development of training programs to improve various aspects of naturalistic decision making.

  4. Recommendations and Improvements for the Evaluation of Integrated Community-Wide Interventions Approaches

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    Tessa M. van Koperen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Integrated community-wide intervention approaches (ICIAs are implemented to prevent childhood obesity. Programme evaluation improves these ICIAs, but professionals involved often struggle with performance. Evaluation tools have been developed to support Dutch professionals involved in ICIAs. It is unclear how useful these tools are to intended users. We therefore researched the facilitators of and barriers to ICIA programme evaluation as perceived by professionals and their experiences of the evaluation tools. Methods. Focus groups and interviews with 33 public health professionals. Data were analysed using a thematic content approach. Findings. Evaluation is hampered by insufficient time, budget, and experience with ICIAs, lack of leadership, and limited advocacy for evaluation. Epidemiologists are regarded as responsible for evaluation but feel incompetent to perform evaluation or advocate its need in a political environment. Managers did not prioritise process evaluations, involvement of stakeholders, and capacity building. The evaluation tools are perceived as valuable but too comprehensive considering limited resources. Conclusion. Evaluating ICIAs is important but most professionals are unfamiliar with it and management does not prioritise process evaluation nor incentivize professionals to evaluate. To optimise programme evaluation, more resources and coaching are required to improve professionals’ evaluation capabilities and specifically the use of evaluation.

  5. Combined computational and experimental approach to improve the assessment of mitral regurgitation by echocardiography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonntag, Simon J; Li, Wei; Becker, Michael; Kaestner, Wiebke; Büsen, Martin R; Marx, Nikolaus; Merhof, Dorit; Steinseifer, Ulrich

    2014-05-01

    Mitral regurgitation (MR) is one of the most frequent valvular heart diseases. To assess MR severity, color Doppler imaging (CDI) is the clinical standard. However, inadequate reliability, poor reproducibility and heavy user-dependence are known limitations. A novel approach combining computational and experimental methods is currently under development aiming to improve the quantification. A flow chamber for a circulatory flow loop was developed. Three different orifices were used to mimic variations of MR. The flow field was recorded simultaneously by a 2D Doppler ultrasound transducer and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV). Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations were conducted using the same geometry and boundary conditions. The resulting computed velocity field was used to simulate synthetic Doppler signals. Comparison between PIV and CFD shows a high level of agreement. The simulated CDI exhibits the same characteristics as the recorded color Doppler images. The feasibility of the proposed combination of experimental and computational methods for the investigation of MR is shown and the numerical methods are successfully validated against the experiments. Furthermore, it is discussed how the approach can be used in the long run as a platform to improve the assessment of MR quantification.

  6. Gait quality is improved by locomotor training in individuals with SCI regardless of training approach

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    ter Hoeve Nienke

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background While various body weight supported locomotor training (BWSLT approaches are reported in the literature for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI, none have evaluated outcomes in terms of gait quality. The purpose of this study was to compare changes in measures of gait quality associated with four different BWSLT approaches in individuals with chronic motor-incomplete SCI, and to identify how gait parameters differed from those of non-disabled (ND individuals. Methods Data were analyzed from 51 subjects with SCI who had been randomized into one of four BWSLT groups: treadmill with manual assistance (TM, treadmill with electrical stimulation (TS, overground with electrical stimulation (OG, treadmill with locomotor robot (LR. Subjects with SCI performed a 10-meter kinematic walk test before and after 12 weeks of training. Ten ND subjects performed the test under three conditions: walking at preferred speed, at speed comparable to subjects with SCI, and with a walker at comparable speed. Six kinematic gait quality parameters were calculated including: cadence, step length, stride length, symmetry index, intralimb coordination, and timing of knee extension. Results In subjects with SCI, all training approaches were associated with improvements in gait quality. After training, subjects with SCI walked at higher cadence and had longer step and stride lengths. No significant differences were found among training groups, however there was an interaction effect indicating that step and stride length improved least in the LR group. Compared to when walking at preferred speed, gait quality of ND subjects was significantly different when walking at speeds comparable to those of the subjects with SCI (both with and without a walker. Post training, gait quality measures of subjects with SCI were more similar to those of ND subjects. Conclusion BWSLT leads to improvements in gait quality (values closer to ND subjects regardless of

  7. Improving oil classification quality from oil spill fingerprint beyond six sigma approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juahir, Hafizan; Ismail, Azimah; Mohamed, Saiful Bahri; Toriman, Mohd Ekhwan; Kassim, Azlina Md; Zain, Sharifuddin Md; Ahmad, Wan Kamaruzaman Wan; Wah, Wong Kok; Zali, Munirah Abdul; Retnam, Ananthy; Taib, Mohd Zaki Mohd; Mokhtar, Mazlin

    2017-07-15

    This study involves the use of quality engineering in oil spill classification based on oil spill fingerprinting from GC-FID and GC-MS employing the six-sigma approach. The oil spills are recovered from various water areas of Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah (East Malaysia). The study approach used six sigma methodologies that effectively serve as the problem solving in oil classification extracted from the complex mixtures of oil spilled dataset. The analysis of six sigma link with the quality engineering improved the organizational performance to achieve its objectivity of the environmental forensics. The study reveals that oil spills are discriminated into four groups' viz. diesel, hydrocarbon fuel oil (HFO), mixture oil lubricant and fuel oil (MOLFO) and waste oil (WO) according to the similarity of the intrinsic chemical properties. Through the validation, it confirmed that four discriminant component, diesel, hydrocarbon fuel oil (HFO), mixture oil lubricant and fuel oil (MOLFO) and waste oil (WO) dominate the oil types with a total variance of 99.51% with ANOVA giving F stat >F critical at 95% confidence level and a Chi Square goodness test of 74.87. Results obtained from this study reveals that by employing six-sigma approach in a data-driven problem such as in the case of oil spill classification, good decision making can be expedited. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. A multi-criteria optimization and decision-making approach for improvement of food engineering processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alik Abakarov

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to propose a multi-criteria optimization and decision-making technique to solve food engineering problems. This technique was demonstrated using experimental data obtained on osmotic dehydration of carrot cubes in a sodium chloride solution. The Aggregating Functions Approach, the Adaptive Random Search Algorithm, and the Penalty Functions Approach were used in this study to compute the initial set of non-dominated or Pareto-optimal solutions. Multiple non-linear regression analysis was performed on a set of experimental data in order to obtain particular multi-objective functions (responses, namely water loss, solute gain, rehydration ratio, three different colour criteria of rehydrated product, and sensory evaluation (organoleptic quality. Two multi-criteria decision-making approaches, the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP and the Tabular Method (TM, were used simultaneously to choose the best alternative among the set of non-dominated solutions. The multi-criteria optimization and decision-making technique proposed in this study can facilitate the assessment of criteria weights, giving rise to a fairer, more consistent, and adequate final compromised solution or food process. This technique can be useful to food scientists in research and education, as well as to engineers involved in the improvement of a variety of food engineering processes.

  9. Improving Malawian teachers' mental health knowledge and attitudes: an integrated school mental health literacy approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutcher, S; Gilberds, H; Morgan, C; Greene, R; Hamwaka, K; Perkins, K

    2015-01-01

    Mental health literacy is foundational for mental health promotion, prevention, stigma reduction and care. Integrated school mental health literacy interventions may offer an effective and sustainable approach to enhancing mental health literacy for educators and students globally. Through a Grand Challenges Canada funded initiative called 'An Integrated Approach to Addressing the Issue of Youth Depression in Malawi and Tanzania', we culturally adapted a previously demonstrated effective Canadian school mental health curriculum resource (the Guide) for use in Malawi, the African Guide: Malawi version (AGMv), and evaluated its impact on enhancing mental health literacy for educators (teachers and youth club leaders) in 35 schools and 15 out-of-school youth clubs in the central region of Malawi. The pre- and post-test study designs were used to assess mental health literacy - knowledge and attitudes - of 218 educators before and immediately following completion of a 3-day training programme on the use of the AGMv. Results demonstrated a highly significant and substantial improvement in knowledge ( p  mental health literacy in study participants. There were no significant differences in outcomes related to sex or location. These positive results suggest that an approach that integrates mental health literacy into the existing school curriculum may be an effective, significant and sustainable method of enhancing mental health literacy for educators in Malawi. If these results are further found to be sustained over time, and demonstrated to be effective when extended to students, then this model may be a useful and widely applicable method for improving mental health literacy among both educators and students across Africa.

  10. Improved Wetland Classification Using Eight-Band High Resolution Satellite Imagery and a Hybrid Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles R. Lane

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Although remote sensing technology has long been used in wetland inventory and monitoring, the accuracy and detail level of wetland maps derived with moderate resolution imagery and traditional techniques have been limited and often unsatisfactory. We explored and evaluated the utility of a newly launched high-resolution, eight-band satellite system (Worldview-2; WV2 for identifying and classifying freshwater deltaic wetland vegetation and aquatic habitats in the Selenga River Delta of Lake Baikal, Russia, using a hybrid approach and a novel application of Indicator Species Analysis (ISA. We achieved an overall classification accuracy of 86.5% (Kappa coefficient: 0.85 for 22 classes of aquatic and wetland habitats and found that additional metrics, such as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index and image texture, were valuable for improving the overall classification accuracy and particularly for discriminating among certain habitat classes. Our analysis demonstrated that including WV2’s four spectral bands from parts of the spectrum less commonly used in remote sensing analyses, along with the more traditional bandwidths, contributed to the increase in the overall classification accuracy by ~4% overall, but with considerable increases in our ability to discriminate certain communities. The coastal band improved differentiating open water and aquatic (i.e., vegetated habitats, and the yellow, red-edge, and near-infrared 2 bands improved discrimination among different vegetated aquatic and terrestrial habitats. The use of ISA provided statistical rigor in developing associations between spectral classes and field-based data. Our analyses demonstrated the utility of a hybrid approach and the benefit of additional bands and metrics in providing the first spatially explicit mapping of a large and heterogeneous wetland system.

  11. Improved Membership Probability for Moving Groups: Bayesian and Machine Learning Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jinhee; Song, Inseok

    2018-01-01

    Gravitationally unbound loose stellar associations (i.e., young nearby moving groups: moving groups hereafter) have been intensively explored because they are important in planet and disk formation studies, exoplanet imaging, and age calibration. Among the many efforts devoted to the search for moving group members, a Bayesian approach (e.g.,using the code BANYAN) has become popular recently because of the many advantages it offers. However, the resultant membership probability needs to be carefully adopted because of its sensitive dependence on input models. In this study, we have developed an improved membership calculation tool focusing on the beta-Pic moving group. We made three improvements for building models used in BANYAN II: (1) updating a list of accepted members by re-assessing memberships in terms of position, motion, and age, (2) investigating member distribution functions in XYZ, and (3) exploring field star distribution functions in XYZUVW. Our improved tool can change membership probability up to 70%. Membership probability is critical and must be better defined. For example, our code identifies only one third of the candidate members in SIMBAD that are believed to be kinematically associated with beta-Pic moving group.Additionally, we performed cluster analysis of young nearby stars using an unsupervised machine learning approach. As more moving groups and their members are identified, the complexity and ambiguity in moving group configuration has been increased. To clarify this issue, we analyzed ~4,000 X-ray bright young stellar candidates. Here, we present the preliminary results. By re-identifying moving groups with the least human intervention, we expect to understand the composition of the solar neighborhood. Moreover better defined moving group membership will help us understand star formation and evolution in relatively low density environments; especially for the low-mass stars which will be identified in the coming Gaia release.

  12. Using adapted quality-improvement approaches to strengthen community-based health systems and improve care in high HIV-burden sub-Saharan African countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horwood, Christiane M; Youngleson, Michele S; Moses, Edward; Stern, Amy F; Barker, Pierre M

    2015-07-01

    Achieving long-term retention in HIV care is an important challenge for HIV management and achieving elimination of mother-to-child transmission. Sustainable, affordable strategies are required to achieve this, including strengthening of community-based interventions. Deployment of community-based health workers (CHWs) can improve health outcomes but there is a need to identify systems to support and maintain high-quality performance. Quality-improvement strategies have been successfully implemented to improve quality and coverage of healthcare in facilities and could provide a framework to support community-based interventions. Four community-based quality-improvement projects from South Africa, Malawi and Mozambique are described. Community-based improvement teams linked to the facility-based health system participated in learning networks (modified Breakthrough Series), and used quality-improvement methods to improve process performance. Teams were guided by trained quality mentors who used local data to help nurses and CHWs identify gaps in service provision and test solutions. Learning network participants gathered at intervals to share progress and identify successful strategies for improvement. CHWs demonstrated understanding of quality-improvement concepts, tools and methods, and implemented quality-improvement projects successfully. Challenges of using quality-improvement approaches in community settings included adapting processes, particularly data reporting, to the education level and first language of community members. Quality-improvement techniques can be implemented by CHWs to improve outcomes in community settings but these approaches require adaptation and additional mentoring support to be successful. More research is required to establish the effectiveness of this approach on processes and outcomes of care.

  13. New Approaches to Measuring Sticky Molecules: Improvement of Instrumental Response Times Using Active Passivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roscioli, J R; Zahniser, M S; Nelson, D D; Herndon, S C; Kolb, C E

    2016-03-10

    A novel method has been developed to improve sampling system response times for nominally "sticky" molecules such as HNO3 and NH3. The method reported here makes use of active, continuous passivation, where the instrument interfaces are continuously exposed to 0.01-1 ppm of fluorinated acidic or basic surfactants. To reduce HNO3 response times, perfluoroheptanoic acid and perfluorobutanesulfonic acid vapors are evaluated as passivation species. 1H,1H-perfluorooctylamine is used to improve NH3 response times. The resulting time responses using the perfluoroalkanoic acids are on the order of 0.4-0.7 s for a 75% quantitative recovery of HNO3, and 1-5 s for 90% recovery. Similar response time improvements are seen in detection of NH3 using perfluorooctylamine (measurements of highly polar molecules that have historically been hampered by slow response times due to adsorption on sampling system surfaces. The utility of this approach is demonstrated by field measurements of HNO3 eddy covariance fluxes in a central U.S. prairie.

  14. Improving pedagogic competence using an e-learning approach for pre-service mathematics teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Retnowati, E.; Murdiyani, N. M.; Marsigit; Sugiman; Mahmudi, A.

    2018-03-01

    This article reported a classroom action research that was aimed to improve student’s pedagogic competence during a course namely Methods of Mathematics Instruction. An asynchronous e-learning approach was provided as supplementary material to the main lecture. This e-learning consisted of selected references and educational website addresses and also facilitated online discussions about various methods of mathematics instructions. The subject was twenty-six pre-service teachers in the Department of Mathematics Education, Yogyakarta State University, Indonesia, conducted by the researchers. The research completed three cycles, where each cycle consisted of plan-action-reflection. Through observation, documentation, and interview, it was concluded that asynchronous e-learning might be used to improve pedagogic competence when direct instruction is also applied in the classroom. Direct instruction in this study provided review, explanation, scheme, and examples which could be used by students to select relevant resources in the e-learning portal. Moreover, the pedagogic competence improved after students accomplished assignments to identify aspects of pedagogic instruction either from analyzing videos in e-learning course or simulating in the classroom with direct commentaries. Supporting factors were enthusiasm, discipline, and interactions among students and lecturer that were built throughout the lectures.

  15. A comprehensive approach for diagnosing opportunities for improving the performance of a WWTP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, C; Matos, J Saldanha; Rosa, M J

    2016-12-01

    High quality services of wastewater treatment require a continuous assessment and improvement of the technical, environmental and economic performance. This paper demonstrates a comprehensive approach for benchmarking wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), using performance indicators (PIs) and indices (PXs), in a 'plan-do-check-act' cycle routine driven by objectives. The performance objectives herein illustrated were to diagnose the effectiveness and energy performance of an oxidation ditch WWTP. The PI and PX results demonstrated an effective and reliable oxidation ditch (good-excellent performance), and a non-reliable UV disinfection (unsatisfactory-excellent performance) related with influent transmittance and total suspended solids. The energy performance increased with the treated wastewater volume and was unsatisfactory below 50% of plant capacity utilization. The oxidation ditch aeration performed unsatisfactorily and represented 38% of the plant energy consumption. The results allowed diagnosing opportunities for improving the energy and economic performance considering the influent flows, temperature and concentrations, and for levering the WWTP performance to acceptable-good effectiveness, reliability and energy efficiency. Regarding the plant reliability for fecal coliforms, improvement of UV lamp maintenance and optimization of the UV dose applied and microscreen recommissioning were suggested.

  16. Therapeutic Approach in the Improvement of Endothelial Dysfunction: The Current State of the Art

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miroslav Radenković

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The endothelium has a central role in the regulation of blood flow through continuous modulation of vascular tone. This is primarily accomplished by balanced release of endothelial relaxing and contractile factors. The healthy endothelial cells are essential for maintenance of vascular homeostasis involving antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, pro-fibrinolytic, anti-adhesive, or anticoagulant effects. Oppositely, endothelial dysfunction is primarily characterized by impaired regulation of vascular tone as a result of reduced endothelial nitric oxide (NO synthase activity, lack of cofactors for NO synthesis, attenuated NO release, or increased NO degradation. So far, the pharmacological approach in improving/reversal of endothelial dysfunction was shown to be beneficial in clinical trials that have investigated actions of different cardiovascular drugs. The aim of this paper was to summarize some of the latest clinical findings related to therapeutic possibilities for improving endothelial dysfunction in different pathological conditions. In the majority of presented clinical investigations, the assessment of improvement or reversal of endothelial dysfunction was performed through the flow-mediated dilatation measurement, and in some of those endothelial progenitor cells’ count was used for the same purpose. Still, given the fast and continuous development of this field, the evidence acquisition included the MEDLINE data base screening and the selection of articles published between 2010 and 2012.

  17. Repeated scenario simulation to improve competency in critical care: a new approach for nursing education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abe, Yukie; Kawahara, Chikako; Yamashina, Akira; Tsuboi, Ryoji

    2013-01-01

    In Japan, nursing education is being reformed to improve nurses' competency. Interest in use of simulation-based education to increase nurses' competency is increasing. To examine the effectiveness of simulation-based education in improving competency of cardiovascular critical care nurses. A training program that consisted of lectures, training in cardiovascular procedures, and scenario simulations was conducted with 24 Japanese nurses working at a university hospital. Participants were allocated to 4 groups, each of which visited 4 zones and underwent scenario simulations that included debriefings during and after the simulations. In each zone, the scenario simulation was repeated and participants assessed their own technical skills by scoring their performance on a rubric. Before and after the simulations, participants also completed a survey that used the Teamwork Activity Inventory in Nursing Scale (TAINS) to assess their nontechnical skills. All the groups showed increased rubric scores after the second simulation compared with the rubric scores obtained after the first simulation, despite differences in the order in which the scenarios were presented. Furthermore, the survey revealed significant increases in scores on the teamwork scale for the following subscale items: "Attitudes of the superior" (P Job satisfaction" (P = .01), and "Confidence as a team member" (P = .004). Our new educational approach of using repeated scenario simulations and TAINS seemed not only to enhance individual nurses' technical skills in critical care nursing but also to improve their nontechnical skills somewhat.

  18. Analytical Approaches to Improve Accuracy in Solving the Protein Topology Problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al Nasr, Kamal; Yousef, Feras; Jebril, Ruba; Jones, Christopher

    2018-01-23

    To take advantage of recent advances in genomics and proteomics it is critical that the three-dimensional physical structure of biological macromolecules be determined. Cryo-Electron Microscopy (cryo-EM) is a promising and improving method for obtaining this data, however resolution is often not sufficient to directly determine the atomic scale structure. Despite this, information for secondary structure locations is detectable. De novo modeling is a computational approach to modeling these macromolecular structures based on cryo-EM derived data. During de novo modeling a mapping between detected secondary structures and the underlying amino acid sequence must be identified. DP-TOSS ( D ynamic P rogramming for determining the T opology O f S econdary S tructures) is one tool that attempts to automate the creation of this mapping. By treating the correspondence between the detected structures and the structures predicted from sequence data as a constraint graph problem DP-TOSS achieved good accuracy in its original iteration. In this paper, we propose modifications to the scoring methodology of DP-TOSS to improve its accuracy. Three scoring schemes were applied to DP-TOSS and tested: (i) a skeleton-based scoring function; (ii) a geometry-based analytical function; and (iii) a multi-well potential energy-based function. A test of 25 proteins shows that a combination of these schemes can improve the performance of DP-TOSS to solve the topology determination problem for macromolecule proteins.

  19. Improving Quality of Life in Nursing Homes: The Structured Resident Interview Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Howard B. Degenholtz

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The quality of life (QOL of the approximately 1.5 million nursing facility (NF residents in the US is undoubtedly lower than desired by residents, families, providers, and policy makers. Although there have been important advances in defining and measuring QOL for this population, there is a need for interventions that are tied to standardized measurement and quality improvement programs. This paper describes the development and testing of a structured, tailored assessment and care planning process for improving the QOL of nursing home residents. The Quality of Life Structured Resident Interview and Care Plan (QOL.SRI/CP builds on a decade of research on measuring QOL and is designed to be easily implemented in any US nursing home. The approach was developed through extensive and iterative pilot testing and then tested in a randomized controlled trial in three nursing homes. Residents were randomly assigned to receive the assessment alone or both the assessment and an individualized QOL care plan task. The results show that residents assigned to the intervention group experienced improved QOL at 90- and 180-day follow-up, while QOL of residents in the control group was unchanged.

  20. The Business Change Initiative: A Novel Approach to Improved Cost and Schedule Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinn, Stephen A.; Bryson, Jonathan; Klein, Gerald; Lunz-Ruark, Val; Majerowicz, Walt; McKeever, J.; Nair, Param

    2016-01-01

    Goddard Space Flight Center's Flight Projects Directorate employed a Business Change Initiative (BCI) to infuse a series of activities coordinated to drive improved cost and schedule performance across Goddard's missions. This sustaining change framework provides a platform to manage and implement cost and schedule control techniques throughout the project portfolio. The BCI concluded in December 2014, deploying over 100 cost and schedule management changes including best practices, tools, methods, training, and knowledge sharing. The new business approach has driven the portfolio to improved programmatic performance. The last eight launched GSFC missions have optimized cost, schedule, and technical performance on a sustained basis to deliver on time and within budget, returning funds in many cases. While not every future mission will boast such strong performance, improved cost and schedule tools, management practices, and ongoing comprehensive evaluations of program planning and control methods to refine and implement best practices will continue to provide a framework for sustained performance. This paper will describe the tools, techniques, and processes developed during the BCI and the utilization of collaborative content management tools to disseminate project planning and control techniques to ensure continuous collaboration and optimization of cost and schedule management in the future.

  1. Improvements on a non-invasive, parameter-free approach to inverse form finding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landkammer, P.; Caspari, M.; Steinmann, P.

    2017-08-01

    Our objective is to determine the optimal undeformed workpiece geometry (material configuration) within forming processes when the prescribed deformed geometry (spatial configuration) is given. For solving the resulting shape optimization problem—also denoted as inverse form finding—we use a novel parameter-free approach, which relocates in each iteration the material nodal positions as design variables. The spatial nodal positions computed by an elasto-plastic finite element (FE) forming simulation are compared with their prescribed values. The objective function expresses a least-squares summation of the differences between the computed and the prescribed nodal positions. Here, a recently developed shape optimization approach (Landkammer and Steinmann in Comput Mech 57(2):169-191, 2016) is investigated with a view to enhance its stability and efficiency. Motivated by nonlinear optimization theory a detailed justification of the algorithm is given. Furthermore, a classification according to shape changing design, fixed and controlled nodal coordinates is introduced. Two examples with large elasto-plastic strains demonstrate that using a superconvergent patch recovery technique instead of a least-squares (L2 )-smoothing improves the efficiency. Updating the interior discretization nodes by solving a fictitious elastic problem also reduces the number of required FE iterations and avoids severe mesh distortions. Furthermore, the impact of the inclusion of the second deformation gradient in the Hessian of the Quasi-Newton approach is analyzed. Inverse form finding is a crucial issue in metal forming applications. As a special feature, the approach is designed to be coupled in a non-invasive fashion to arbitrary FE software.

  2. A multi-objective approach to improve SWAT model calibration in alpine catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuo, Ye; Marcolini, Giorgia; Disse, Markus; Chiogna, Gabriele

    2018-04-01

    Multi-objective hydrological model calibration can represent a valuable solution to reduce model equifinality and parameter uncertainty. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model is widely applied to investigate water quality and water management issues in alpine catchments. However, the model calibration is generally based on discharge records only, and most of the previous studies have defined a unique set of snow parameters for an entire basin. Only a few studies have considered snow observations to validate model results or have taken into account the possible variability of snow parameters for different subbasins. This work presents and compares three possible calibration approaches. The first two procedures are single-objective calibration procedures, for which all parameters of the SWAT model were calibrated according to river discharge alone. Procedures I and II differ from each other by the assumption used to define snow parameters: The first approach assigned a unique set of snow parameters to the entire basin, whereas the second approach assigned different subbasin-specific sets of snow parameters to each subbasin. The third procedure is a multi-objective calibration, in which we considered snow water equivalent (SWE) information at two different spatial scales (i.e. subbasin and elevation band), in addition to discharge measurements. We tested these approaches in the Upper Adige river basin where a dense network of snow depth measurement stations is available. Only the set of parameters obtained with this multi-objective procedure provided an acceptable prediction of both river discharge and SWE. These findings offer the large community of SWAT users a strategy to improve SWAT modeling in alpine catchments.

  3. A multicriteria decision making approach applied to improving maintenance policies in healthcare organizations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carnero, María Carmen; Gómez, Andrés

    2016-04-23

    decision-making group. This approach is better suited to actual health care organization practice and depending on the subsystem analysed, improvements are introduced that are not included in normal maintenance policies; in this way, not only have different maintenance policies been suggested, but also alternatives that, in each case and according to viability, provide a more complete decision tool for the maintenance manager.

  4. Pilot Investigation of 2 Nondiet Approaches to Improve Weight and Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webber, Kelly H; Mellin, Laurel; Mayes, Lindsey; Mitrovic, Igor; Saulnier, Matt

    2018-01-01

    Context • Weight loss and maintenance are associated with many health benefits, but long-term maintenance of weight loss remains elusive for many people. Overweight individuals are at higher risk than normal-weight individuals for stress-induced overeating. The use of stress-management tools in a weight loss program might decrease the physiological stress that fuels overeating and improve posttreatment maintenance of weight loss Objective • The study intended to compare the differences in outcomes between 2 approaches to achieving weight loss and changes in health-stress reduction and intuitive eating (IE)-during a 14-wk period. Design • The research team designed a small, randomized, controlled pilot study. Setting • The study took place at the University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY, USA). Participants • Men and women, aged 25 to 65 y, with a body mass index ≥30 but ≤40 kg/m2, were recruited through various outlets on a large college campus, and 33 enrolled in the study. Intervention • Participants were randomly assigned either to an IE or to a stress-reduction program (EBT) for a 7 wk intervention and a 7-wk follow-up period. Outcome Measures • Weight, blood pressure, stress, depression, and eating behaviors were measured at baseline, postintervention at week 7, and postintervention at week 14. Results • Participants were 69.7% female and 93.9% Caucasian. An intent-to-treat analysis was conducted on the main outcome of weight. At 14 wk, the EBT group had lost 4.4 ± 6.7 lb (1.99 ± 3.04 kg), and the IE group had lost 1.03 ± 6.10 lb (0.48 ± 2.77 kg). A repeated measures analysis of variance did not find any significant difference between groups for weight change (P = .36). Completers in the EBT group significantly improved blood pressure, perceived stress, and food addiction symptoms from baseline to 7 wk (P stress reduction approach may be viable as an approach to weight loss and improvements in health-related outcomes in the short term. A

  5. Replicating effective pedagogical approaches from introductory physics to improve student learning of quantum mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayer, Ryan Thomas

    Upper-level undergraduate students entering a quantum mechanics (QM) course are in many ways similar to students entering an introductory physics course. Numerous studies have investigated the difficulties that novices face in introductory physics as well as the pedagogical approaches that are effective in helping them overcome those difficulties. My research focuses on replicating effective approaches and instructional strategies used in introductory physics courses to help advanced students in an upper-level QM course. I have investigated the use of Just-in-time Teaching (JiTT) and peer discussion involving clicker questions in an upper-level quantum mechanics course. The JiTT approach including peer discussions was effective in helping students overcome their difficulties and improve their understanding of QM concepts. Learning tools, such as a Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT) based on the Doubleslit Experiment (DSE) which I helped develop, have been successful in helping upper-level undergraduate students improve their understanding of QM. Many students have also demonstrated the ability to transfer knowledge from a QuILT based on the Mach-Zehnder interferometer while working on the DSE QuILT. In addition, I have been involved in implementing research-based activities during our semester-long professional development course for teaching assistants (TAs). In one intervention, TAs were asked to grade student solutions to introductory physics problems first using their choice of method, then again using a rubric designed to promote effective problem-solving approaches, then once more at the end of the semester using their choice of method. This intervention found that many TAs have ingrained beliefs about the purposes of grading which include placing the burden of proof on the instructor as well as a belief that grading cannot serve as a formative assessment. I also compared TAs grading practices and considerations when grading student solutions to QM

  6. Improving economics and safety of water cooled reactors. Proven means and new approaches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2002-05-01

    Nuclear power plants (NPPs) with water cooled reactors [either light water reactors (LWRs) or heavy water reactors (HWRs)] constitute the large majority of the currently operating plants. Water cooled reactors can make a significant contribution to meeting future energy needs, to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and to energy security if they can compete economically with fossil alternatives, while continuing to achieve a very high level of safety. It is generally agreed that the largest commercial barrier to the addition of new nuclear power capacity is the high capital cost of nuclear plants relative to other electricity generating alternatives. If nuclear plants are to form part of the future generating mix in competitive electricity markets, capital cost reduction through simplified designs must be an important focus. Reductions in operating, maintenance and fuel costs should also be pursued. The Department of Nuclear Energy of the IAEA is examining the competitiveness of nuclear power and the means for improving its economics. The objective of this TECDOC is to emphasize the need, and to identify approaches, for new nuclear plants with water cooled reactors to achieve competitiveness while maintaining high levels of safety. The cost reduction methods discussed herein can be implemented into plant designs that are currently under development as well as into designs that may be developed in the longer term. Many of the approaches discussed also generally apply to other reactor types (e.g. gas cooled and liquid metal cooled reactors). To achieve the largest possible cost reductions, proven means for reducing costs must be fully implemented, and new approaches described in this document should be developed and implemented. These new approaches include development of advanced technologies, increased use of risk-informed methods for evaluating the safety benefit of design features, and international consensus regarding commonly acceptable safety requirements that

  7. Assessment of Clinical Risk Management System in Hospitals: An Approach for Quality Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farokhzadian, Jamileh; Dehghan Nayeri, Nahid; Borhani, Fariba

    2015-03-18

    Clinical risks have created major problems in healthcare system such as serious adverse effects on patient safety and enhancing the financial burden for the healthcare. Thus, clinical risk management (CRM) system has been introduced for improving the quality and safety of services to health care. The aim of this study was to assess the status of CRM in the hospitals. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 200 nursing staff from three teaching hospitals affiliated with the Kerman University of Medical Sciences in southeast of Iran. Data were collected from the participants using questionnaire and observational checklist in quality improvement offices and selected wards. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 20. Almost, 57% of persons participated in at least one of training sessions on CRM. The status of CRM system was rated from weak to moderate (2.93±0.72- 3.18±0.66). Among the six domains of CRM system, the highest mean belonged to domain the monitoring of analysis, evaluation and risk control (3.18±0.72); the lowest mean belonged to domain the staff's knowledge, recognition and understanding of CRM (2.93±0.66). There were no integrated electronic systems for recording and analyzing clinical risks and incidents in the hospitals. Attempts have been made to establish CRM through improvement quality approach such as clinical governance and accreditation, but not enough, however, health care should move toward quality improvement and safe practice through the effective integration of CRM in organizational process.

  8. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff approaches to improving the integration of regulatory guidance documents and prelicensing reviews

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, R.L.

    1994-01-01

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff is conducting numerous activities to improve the integration of its regulatory guidance documents (i.e., License Application Review Plan (LARP) and open-quotes Format and Content for the License Application for the High-Level Waste repositoryclose quotes (FCRG)) and pre-license application (LA) reviews. Those activities related to the regulatory guidance documents consist of: (1) developing an hierarchy of example evaluation findings for LARP; (2) identifying LARP review plan interfaces; (3) conducting an integration review of LARP review strategies; (4) correlating LARP to the ongoing technical program; and (5) revising the FCRG. Some of the more important strategies the staff is using to improve the integration of pre-LA reviews with the LA review include: (1) use of the draft LARP to guide the staff's pre-LA reviews; (2) focus detailed pre-LA reviews on key technical uncertainties; (3) identify and track concerns with DOE's program; and (4) use results of pre-LA reviews in LA reviews. The purpose of this paper is to describe these ongoing activities and strategies and discuss some of the new work that is planned to be included in LARP Revision 1 and the final FCRG, which are scheduled to be issued in late 1994. These activities reflect both the importance the staff has placed on integration and the staff's approach to improving integration in these areas. The staff anticipates that the results of these activities, when incorporated in the FCRG, LARP, and pre-LA reviews, will improve its guidance for DOE's ongoing site characterization program and LA annotated outline development

  9. Approaches to improve the quality of maternal and newborn health care: an overview of the evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, Anne; Langer, Ana; Salam, Rehana A; Lassi, Zohra S; Das, Jai K; Bhutta, Zulfiqar A

    2014-09-04

    Despite progress in recent years, an estimated 273,500 women died as a result of maternal causes in 2010. The burden of these deaths is disproportionately bourne by women who reside in low income countries or belong to the poorest sectors of the population of middle or high income ones, and it is particularly acute in regions where access to and utilization of facility-based services for childbirth and newborn care is lowest. Evidence has shown that poor quality of facility-based care for these women and newborns is one of the major contributing factors for their elevated rates of morbidity and mortality. In addition, women who perceive the quality of facilty-based care to be poor,may choose to avoid facility-based deliveries, where life-saving interventions could be availble. In this context, understanding the underlying factors that impact the quality of facility-based services and assessing the effectiveness of interventions to improve the quality of care represent critical inputs for the improvement of maternal and newborn health. This series of five papers assesses and summarizes information from relevant systematic reviews on the impact of various approaches to improve the quality of care for women and newborns. The first paper outlines the conceptual framework that guided this study and the methodology used for selecting the reviews and for the analysis. The results are described in the following three papers, which highlight the evidence of interventions to improve the quality of maternal and newborn care at the community, district, and facility level. In the fifth and final paper of the series, the overall findings of the review are discussed, research gaps are identified, and recommendations proposed to impove the quality of maternal and newborn health care in resource-poor settings.

  10. Improving the accuracy of admitted subacute clinical costing: an action research approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hakkennes, Sharon; Arblaster, Ross; Lim, Kim

    2017-08-01

    Objective The aim of the present study was to determine whether action research could be used to improve the breadth and accuracy of clinical costing data in an admitted subacute setting Methods The setting was a 100-bed in-patient rehabilitation centre. Using a pre-post study design all admitted subacute separations during the 2011-12 financial year were eligible for inclusion. An action research framework aimed at improving clinical costing methodology was developed and implemented. Results In all, 1499 separations were included in the study. A medical record audit of a random selection of 80 separations demonstrated that the use of an action research framework was effective in improving the breadth and accuracy of the costing data. This was evidenced by a significant increase in the average number of activities costed, a reduction in the average number of activities incorrectly costed and a reduction in the average number of activities missing from the costing, per episode of care. Conclusions Engaging clinicians and cost centre managers was effective in facilitating the development of robust clinical costing data in an admitted subacute setting. Further investigation into the value of this approach across other care types and healthcare services is warranted. What is known about this topic? Accurate clinical costing data is essential for informing price models used in activity-based funding. In Australia, there is currently a lack of robust admitted subacute cost data to inform the price model for this care type. What does this paper add? The action research framework presented in this study was effective in improving the breadth and accuracy of clinical costing data in an admitted subacute setting. What are the implications for practitioners? To improve clinical costing practices, health services should consider engaging key stakeholders, including clinicians and cost centre managers, in reviewing clinical costing methodology. Robust clinical costing data has

  11. Innovative Method in Improving Communication Issues by Applying Interdisciplinary Approach. Psycholinguistic Perspective to Mitigate Communication Troubles During Cislunar Travel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anikushina, V.; Taratukhin, V.; Stutterheim, C. v.; Gushin, V.

    2018-02-01

    A new psycholinguistic view on the crew communication, combined with biochemical and psychological data, contributes to noninvasive methods for stress appraisal and proposes alternative approaches to improve in-group communication and cohesion.

  12. Improving nitrogen use efficiency in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) through the cisgenic approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kichey, Thomas; Holme, Inger; Møller, Inge Skrumsager

    2009-01-01

    Barley is one of the major crops cultivated worldwide and constitutes an important basis for animal feed. However, the production is facing a number of challenges that will be accentuated in the years to come, in particular restrictions on the use of nitrogen (N) fertilizer. In order to improve...... the N use efficiency in barley, we are developing a new generation of genetically modified plants based on the concept of cisgenesis. In this approach, plants are transformed only with their own genetic material. The genes encoding the cytosolic isoform of the glutamine synthetase (GS1...... into the pGreenII binary vector. The genes have been inserted into barley by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation using the hygromycin phosphotransferase gene for selection of transformed lines on hygromycin. In this system, the resistance gene is placed on the helper plasmid pSoup allowing for separate...

  13. Improving the variational path integral approach to the quantum double-well potential

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bao Jingdong; Wang Hongyu

    2002-01-01

    An improved variational path integral approach is developed and applied to the quantum double-well potential, in which part of the quartic term of the potential is included in the trial action. The expression of the effective classical potential (ECP) under a non-Gaussian expectation is obtained. Here the frequency and fourth-order derivative of the potential are treated as two variational parameters, determined by the minimization of the ECP at each point. We calculate the ECP, the free energy and the level splitting of a symmetrical double-well potential. It is shown that the present results are better than those of the Feynman-Kleinert Gaussian variational method. (author)

  14. IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise): A new approach for the improvement of digital communication in healthcare

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wein, B.B.

    2003-01-01

    Parallel to the introduction of diagnosis related groups (DRGs) for the reimbursement of hospitals, a marked reduction of financial means within the healthcare system is taking place. Healthcare enterprise information systems will play an increasing role to accommodate the new working conditions by developing reliable and efficient workflow solutions. Interfacing the systems currently in use can meet considerable obstacles. By offering high connectivity, IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise), which was initiated by concerted actions of users and vendors, ensures improved health care delivery and, furthermore, assists in acquiring new information systems in the future. IHE is not a standard but makes extensive use of existing international standards, such as HL7 and DICOM. National IHE demonstrations confirmed the power of this approach and presented its mission to large groups of users and vendors. The concept continues to grow and for the first time provides groups of various interests cooperative solutions to the problems encountered in collecting and distributing information. (orig.) [de

  15. Improving South African third graders’ reading skills: Lessons learnt from the use of Guided Reading approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohlanhledi P. Makumbila

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This professional development project, known as Literacy Leadership Project, enabled four Foundation Phase teachers in South Africa to implement the Guided Reading approach. Developed by American researchers Fountas and Pinnell (1996, Guided Reading helps elementary students strengthen their phonemic awareness, vocabulary, reading comprehension and fluency in small group activities. Over an 8-month period, lessons learnt came from data collected from this professional development included workshop activities, classroom observations, teachers’ group discussions and students’ artefacts. Results indicated improvement in students’ literacy engagement and motivation because of the use of levelled books, oral reading and group activities Keywords:  Guided Reading programme; foundation phase; childhood literacy; teacher professional development; literacy leadership; South Africa

  16. Human gene therapy: novel approaches to improve the current gene delivery systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cucchiarini, Magali

    2016-06-01

    Even though gene therapy made its way through the clinics to treat a number of human pathologies since the early years of experimental research and despite the recent approval of the first gene-based product (Glybera) in Europe, the safe and effective use of gene transfer vectors remains a challenge in human gene therapy due to the existence of barriers in the host organism. While work is under active investigation to improve the gene transfer systems themselves, the use of controlled release approaches may offer alternative, convenient tools of vector delivery to achieve a performant gene transfer in vivo while overcoming the various physiological barriers that preclude its wide use in patients. This article provides an overview of the most significant contributions showing how the principles of controlled release strategies may be adapted for human gene therapy.

  17. [Organizational and methodological approaches to improving the microbiological diagnosis of tuberculosis in Russia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golyshevskaia, V I; Shul'gina, M V; Sevast'ianova, E V; Martynova, L P

    2002-01-01

    The practice of the researchers of the Central Research Institute of Tuberculosis in Russia's experimental areas yielded approaches to improving the microbiological diagnosis of tuberculosis in both specialized and general health care facilities. A decisive role in enhancing the efficiency of microbiological identification of patients with tuberculosis is played by the following factors: laboratory staff training, provision of laboratories with qualitative equipment and reagents, introduction of unified methods and those approved by the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, regular supervision of jurisdictional laboratories, and outside test quality control. The efficiency of microbiological diagnosis of bacillary patients primarily depends on the expediency of formation of groups of patients under study, the observance of the frequency of examinations, and the assurance of the quality of collected materials. With this, the centralization of microbiological tests for tuberculosis at the most trained, certified, and licensed large laboratories that exercise a centralized control over the quality of microbiological tests.

  18. A methodological approach to improve estimates of nutrient gains by partially myco-heterotrophic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preiss, Katja; Gebauer, Gerhard

    2008-12-01

    The stable isotopes (15)N and (13)C can be used to investigate the nutritional mode of terrestrial orchids and pyroloids (Monotropoideae, Ericaceae). Some of these plants are putatively autotrophic but meet their nitrogen and carbon demands by gaining organic compounds (e.g. amino acids) from mycorrhizal fungi. This so-called partially myco-heterotrophic nutrition is reflected by their isotope signature. The application of a two-source linear mixing model on delta values of such plants allows calculating the percentage of N and C derived from their associated mycorrhizal fungi. Here we present an approach to improve estimates of the plants' degree of myco-heterotrophy. Due to the presented conversion of delta values into enrichment factors (epsilon), results obtain a better resolution and data from various studies become normalised which facilitates combined representations and meta-analyses.

  19. Improved Approach for Utilization of FPGA Technology into DAQ, DSP, and Computing Applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Isenhower, Larry Donald

    2009-01-28

    Innovation Partners proposed and successfully demonstrated in this SBIR Phase I grant a software/hardware co-design approach to reduce both the difficulty and time to implement Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) solutions to data acquisition and specialized computational applications. FPGAs can require excessive time for programming and require specialized knowledge that will be greatly reduced by the company's solution. Not only are FPGAs ideal for DAQ and embedded solutions, they can also be the best solution to specialized signal processing to replace Digital Signal Processors (DSPs). By allowing FPGA programming to be done in C with the equivalent of a simple compilation, algorithm changes and improvements can be implemented decreasing the life-cycle costs and allow subsitution of new FPGA designs staying above the technological details.

  20. Japan's experience in the application of IAEA safeguards. An approach geared to their improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kawasaki, M.; Matsuzawa, S.; Hirose, K.

    1983-01-01

    In accordance with the Japan/IAEA Safeguards Agreement which entered into force on 2 December 1977, and under relevant national laws and regulations, the IAEA and the national safeguards systems have been applied to all nuclear material at all facilities in Japan. In this context the national safeguards system plays important roles in facilitating the implementation of the IAEA safeguards and ensuring the fulfillment of the non-proliferation obligations provided under bilateral agreements between Japan and all countries concerned. This paper illustrates the experience of safeguards activities to date including R and D activities, and the effects of the IAEA and national safeguards on Japanese nuclear activities, and presents considerations on possible approaches from improving IAEA safeguards. (author)

  1. Rational approaches to improving the isolation of endophytic actinobacteria from Australian native trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaewkla, Onuma; Franco, Christopher M M

    2013-02-01

    In recent years, new actinobacterial species have been isolated as endophytes of plants and shrubs and are sought after both for their role as potential producers of new drug candidates for the pharmaceutical industry and as biocontrol inoculants for sustainable agriculture. Molecular-based approaches to the study of microbial ecology generally reveal a broader microbial diversity than can be obtained by cultivation methods. This study aimed to improve the success of isolating individual members of the actinobacterial population as pure cultures as well as improving the ability to characterise the large numbers obtained in pure culture. To achieve this objective, our study successfully employed rational and holistic approaches including the use of isolation media with low concentrations of nutrients normally available to the microorganism in the plant, plating larger quantities of plant sample, incubating isolation plates for up to 16 weeks, excising colonies when they are visible and choosing Australian endemic trees as the source of the actinobacteria. A hierarchy of polyphasic methods based on culture morphology, amplified 16S rRNA gene restriction analysis and limited sequencing was used to classify all 576 actinobacterial isolates from leaf, stem and root samples of two eucalypts: a Grey Box and Red Gum, a native apricot tree and a native pine tree. The classification revealed that, in addition to 413 Streptomyces spp., isolates belonged to 16 other actinobacterial genera: Actinomadura (two strains), Actinomycetospora (six), Actinopolymorpha (two), Amycolatopsis (six), Gordonia (one), Kribbella (25), Micromonospora (six), Nocardia (ten), Nocardioides (11), Nocardiopsis (one), Nonomuraea (one), Polymorphospora (two), Promicromonospora (51), Pseudonocardia (36), Williamsia (two) and a novel genus Flindersiella (one). In order to prove novelty, 12 strains were characterised fully to the species level based on polyphasic taxonomy. One strain represented a novel

  2. BAUM: Improving genome assembly by adaptive unique mapping and local overlap-layout-consensus approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Anqi; Wang, Zhanyu; Li, Zheng; Li, Lei M

    2018-01-15

    It is highly desirable to assemble genomes of high continuity and consistency at low cost. The current bottleneck of draft genome continuity using the Second Generation Sequencing (SGS) reads is primarily caused by uncertainty among repetitive sequences. Even though the Single-Molecule Real-Time sequencing technology is very promising to overcome the uncertainty issue, its relatively high cost and error rate add burden on budget or computation. Many long-read assemblers take the overlap-layout-consensus (OLC) paradigm, which is less sensitive to sequencing errors, heterozygosity and variability of coverage. However, current assemblers of SGS data do not sufficiently take advantage of the OLC approach. Aiming at minimizing uncertainty, the proposed method BAUM, breaks the whole genome into regions by adaptive unique mapping; then the local OLC is used to assemble each region in parallel. BAUM can: (1) perform reference-assisted assembly based on the genome of a close species; (2) or improve the results of existing assemblies that are obtained based on short or long sequencing reads. The tests on two eukaryote genomes, a wild rice Oryza longistaminata and a parrot Melopsittacus undulatus, show that BAUM achieved substantial improvement on genome size and continuity. Besides, BAUM reconstructed a considerable amount of repetitive regions that failed to be assembled by existing short read assemblers. We also propose statistical approaches to control the uncertainty in different steps of BAUM. http://www.zhanyuwang.xin/wordpress/index.php/2017/07/21/baum. lilei@amss.ac.cn. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author (2018). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com

  3. Improvement of the First Training for Baccalaureate Nursing Students –A Mutual Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asadizaker, Marziyeh; Abedsaeedi, Zhila; Abedi, Heidarali; Alijanirenani, Hooshang; Moradi, Mehrnaz; Jahani, Simin

    2015-01-01

    Background: Examination of problems and application of strategies appropriate for clinical education and learning, especially nursing clinical principles and skills internship can improve educational process and satisfaction of nursing students. The aim of the current study was to revise the current status of the fundamentals of nursing course and implement an improvement plan (2012-2014). Participants & Methods: The present study reports the three rounds of a participatory action-research study with a mutual cooperation approach and focus group discussion, with participation of 104 stakeholders. Content analysis approach was used to analyze the data obtained in focus discussion interviews. In addition, evaluation and reflection were done during the operating rounds, with the participation of all members, including students, were involved. This research program was approved by Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran-capital of Iran, at the Research Deputy of Nursing and Midwifery School and ethics committee of the university. Results: The findings of qualitative study detected Lack of consistency in planning and implementation of curriculum, inadequate intra/extra-organizational communication management, inadequate student understanding of situation, improper control of restrictors and improper use of facilitators in teaching and in clinical setting, were among major challenges in clinical skills and principles internship process in the context of this study. Educational decision-making authorities of the School developed an operational program within national curriculum framework through cooperation and reflection in clinical skills and principles training program. Conclusion: Planning Fundamentals of Nursing training in partnership with all those involved in practice and education, together with students involved can be effective in reducing educational failures, gap between theory and practice, and in students’ accountability and satisfaction

  4. Implementation of Health Action Process Approach to Improve Dietary Adherence in Type 2 Diabetic Patient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kusnanto Kusnanto

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Type 2 diabetic patients usually unsuccessful to follow the diet recommendation due to lack of motivation, memory and intention. This study attempts to increase the motivation and also to improve intention in dietary adherence through the implementation of Health Action Process Approach (HAPA. Method: This study was a quasy-experiment. The population were type 2 diabetic patients in Puskesmas Krian Sidoarjo in March-April 2015. Respondents were only 16 and had been divided into experiment and control group. The independent variable was the implementation of HAPA. The dependent variable were self-efficacy, dietary adherence and blood sugar levels. The instruments in this study were questionnaires and blood sugar monitoring devices. Data were analyzed using statistical wilcoxon sign rank test and mann whitney u  test with significance level α ≤ 0.05. Result: Wilcoxon sign rank test showed there were differences between pre and post test significantly on self-efficacy (p=0.014, dietary adherence  (p=0.025, blood sugar levels (p=0.009 in  experiment group, while no significant differences in control group. Mann Witney U test showed that there was significant difference on dietary adherence (p=0.002 between two groups. Discussion: In conclusion, the implementation of HAPA can improve dietary adherence in type 2 diabetic patient. Further, following studies are expected with large number respondents and identify the whole variables in the HAPA theory. Keywords: Health Action Process Approach (HAPA, self efficacy, dietary adherence, blood glucose, Diabetes Mellitus (DM

  5. A holistic approach to improving indoor environmental quality: A case study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Milam, J.A.; Kinser, D.E.

    1993-01-01

    One of the big six accounting firms recently consolidated several offices into a regional headquarters located in a southern metropolitan city. This regional headquarters involved seven floors totalling 187,000 square feet of tenant space in a new high rise building. The accounting firm realized that improving their employees' work environment would provide significant savings from increased worker productivity and reduced absenteeism. Therefore, the firm retained Environmental Design International (EDI) to provide consulting services to create and maintain an environmentally healthy office space. The creation of a healthy, productive and safe indoor environment involves a total, holistic approach to the various elements that affect indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in a building. A holistic approach requires detailed evaluation of all areas that impact indoor environmental quality and not just the more common review of HVAC systems. This case study shows that the optimization of a healthy indoor environment is an endless, all inclusive process: beginning with the initial construction material selections and environmental systems design; continuing through the construction and commissioning phases; and progressing to pro-active monitoring of IEQ parameters to protect the tenant's investment in a healthy, productive and safe indoor environment

  6. Improving outcomes in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: the role of the interprofessional approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amalakuhan B

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Bravein Amalakuhan,1,2 Sandra G Adams1,2 1Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary Diseases/Critical Care Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 2South Texas Veterans Health Care System, Audie L. Murphy Division, San Antonio, TX, USA Abstract: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD is associated with significant morbidity, places substantial time and cost burden on the health care system, and is now the third leading cause of death in the US. Many interventions are available to appropriately manage patients with COPD; however, fully implementing these strategies to help improve outcomes may be difficult. Collaboration between an interprofessional team of health care professionals (which includes physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, dietitians, pharmacists, and many others and COPD patients and caregivers is necessary to optimally manage these patients and to truly impact outcomes in this devastating disease. Prescribing evidence-based non-pharmacological and pharmacological therapies is an important start, but a true team-based approach is critical to successfully implement comprehensive care in patients with COPD. The goal of this review is to employ a case-based approach to provide practical information regarding the roles of the interprofessional team in implementing strategies to optimally manage COPD patients. Keywords: optimal care, shared decision-making, co-morbidities

  7. A novel approach for improving the yield of Bacillus subtilis transglutaminase in heterologous strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yihan; Lin, Song; Zhang, Xiqing; Liu, Xiaoguang; Wang, Jianling; Lu, Fuping

    2014-08-01

    The transglutaminase (BTG) from Bacillus subtilis is considered to be a new type of transglutaminase for the food industry. Given that the BTG gene only encodes a mature peptide, the expression of BTG in heterologous microbial hosts could affect their normal growth due to BTG's typical transglutaminase activity which can catalyze cross-linking of proteins in the cells. Therefore, we developed a novel approach to suppress BTG activity and reduce the toxicity on microbial hosts, thus improving BTG yield. Genes encoding the respective regions of transglutaminase propeptide from seven species of Streptomyces were fused to the N-terminal of the BTG gene to produce fusion proteins. We found that all the fused propeptides could suppress BTG activity. Importantly, BTG activity could be completely restored after the removal of the propeptides by proteolytic cleavage. Of the seven propeptides tested, the propeptide proD from Streptomyces caniferus had the strongest suppressive effect on BTG activity (70 % of the activity suppressed). Moreover, fusion protein proD-BTG (containing proD) also exhibited the highest yield which was more than twofold of the expression level of BTG in an active form in Escherichia coli. Secretion expression of BTG and proD-BTG in Corynebacterium glutamicum further showed that our novel approach was suitable for the efficient BTG expression, thus providing a valuable platform for further optimization of large-scale BTG production.

  8. Improvement of railway ballast maintenance approach, incorporating ballast geometry and fouling conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadeghi, J.; Motieyan-Najar, M. E.; Zakeri, J. A.; Yousefi, B.; Mollazadeh, M.

    2018-04-01

    Ballast plays an important role in the stability of railway track systems. The effectiveness of the ballast in maintaining the track stability is very much dependent on its mechanical conditions. The available ballast maintenance approaches are mainly based on only track geometry conditions (such as track profile) which do not sufficiently reflect the ballast mechanical behaviors. That is, the ballast potential of degradation (i.e., ballast long term behaviors) has been omitted. This makes the effectiveness of the current ballast maintenance approach questionable, indicating a need for a more comprehensive and effective ballast conditions assessment technique. In response to this need, two ballast condition indices based on ballast geometry degradation (BGI) and the level of ballast fouling (BFI) as the main indicators of ballast mechanical behavior were developed. The BGI is a function of the standard deviations of track alignment, unevenness and twist. The BFI was developed based on the data obtained from the ground penetration radar (GPR). Making use of the new indices, a more reliable maintenance algorithm was developed. Through illustrations of the applicability of the new maintenance algorithm in a railway line, it was shown that the new algorithm causes a considerable improvement in the maintenance effectiveness and an increase in the life cycle of railway tracks by making more effective allocation of resources and more accurate maintenance planning.

  9. Improved Sensor Fault Detection, Isolation, and Mitigation Using Multiple Observers Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zheng; Anand, D. M.; Moyne, J.; Tilbury, D. M.

    2017-01-01

    Traditional Fault Detection and Isolation (FDI) methods analyze a residual signal to detect and isolate sensor faults. The residual signal is the difference between the sensor measurements and the estimated outputs of the system based on an observer. The traditional residual-based FDI methods, however, have some limitations. First, they require that the observer has reached its steady state. In addition, residual-based methods may not detect some sensor faults, such as faults on critical sensors that result in an unobservable system. Furthermore, the system may be in jeopardy if actions required for mitigating the impact of the faulty sensors are not taken before the faulty sensors are identified. The contribution of this paper is to propose three new methods to address these limitations. Faults that occur during the observers' transient state can be detected by analyzing the convergence rate of the estimation error. Open-loop observers, which do not rely on sensor information, are used to detect faults on critical sensors. By switching among different observers, we can potentially mitigate the impact of the faulty sensor during the FDI process. These three methods are systematically integrated with a previously developed residual-based method to provide an improved FDI and mitigation capability framework. The overall approach is validated mathematically, and the effectiveness of the overall approach is demonstrated through simulation on a 5-state suspension system. PMID:28924303

  10. Improving the dictionary lookup approach for disease normalization using enhanced dictionary and query expansion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonnagaddala, Jitendra; Jue, Toni Rose; Chang, Nai-Wen; Dai, Hong-Jie

    2016-01-01

    The rapidly increasing biomedical literature calls for the need of an automatic approach in the recognition and normalization of disease mentions in order to increase the precision and effectivity of disease based information retrieval. A variety of methods have been proposed to deal with the problem of disease named entity recognition and normalization. Among all the proposed methods, conditional random fields (CRFs) and dictionary lookup method are widely used for named entity recognition and normalization respectively. We herein developed a CRF-based model to allow automated recognition of disease mentions, and studied the effect of various techniques in improving the normalization results based on the dictionary lookup approach. The dataset from the BioCreative V CDR track was used to report the performance of the developed normalization methods and compare with other existing dictionary lookup based normalization methods. The best configuration achieved an F-measure of 0.77 for the disease normalization, which outperformed the best dictionary lookup based baseline method studied in this work by an F-measure of 0.13.Database URL: https://github.com/TCRNBioinformatics/DiseaseExtract. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.

  11. An Improved Ant Colony Optimization Approach for Optimization of Process Planning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JinFeng Wang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Computer-aided process planning (CAPP is an important interface between computer-aided design (CAD and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM in computer-integrated manufacturing environments (CIMs. In this paper, process planning problem is described based on a weighted graph, and an ant colony optimization (ACO approach is improved to deal with it effectively. The weighted graph consists of nodes, directed arcs, and undirected arcs, which denote operations, precedence constraints among operation, and the possible visited path among operations, respectively. Ant colony goes through the necessary nodes on the graph to achieve the optimal solution with the objective of minimizing total production costs (TPCs. A pheromone updating strategy proposed in this paper is incorporated in the standard ACO, which includes Global Update Rule and Local Update Rule. A simple method by controlling the repeated number of the same process plans is designed to avoid the local convergence. A case has been carried out to study the influence of various parameters of ACO on the system performance. Extensive comparative experiments have been carried out to validate the feasibility and efficiency of the proposed approach.

  12. A participative management approach for improving direct-care staff performance in an institutional setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgio, L D; Whitman, T L; Reid, D H

    1983-01-01

    The present study evaluated a participative management approach for increasing the frequency of interactions between institutional staff and severely/profoundly retarded residents. The participative management approach involved teaching staff how to use self-monitoring, standard setting, self-evaluation, and self-reinforcement procedures. These procedures were then used by staff with minimal involvement of supervisory personnel. Although supervisors provided feedback and praise to staff for using these self-management behaviors, feedback and praise were never dispensed contingent on staff interactions with residents. Results indicated that during the participative management program there was an increase in staff interactions that were contingent on appropriate resident behavior. The increase in this type of staff interaction was accompanied by an increase in appropriate resident behavior. Follow-up data on both staff and resident behaviors, although showing moderating trends, suggested generally good maintenance of the initial behavior changes. Acceptability data suggested that staff were quite receptive to the program. The advantages of participative management procedures for improving staff performance in residential settings are discussed. PMID:6833168

  13. A reduction approach to improve the quantification of linked fault trees through binary decision diagrams

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ibanez-Llano, Cristina, E-mail: cristina.ibanez@iit.upcomillas.e [Instituto de Investigacion Tecnologica (IIT), Escuela Tecnica Superior de Ingenieria ICAI, Universidad Pontificia Comillas, C/Santa Cruz de Marcenado 26, 28015 Madrid (Spain); Rauzy, Antoine, E-mail: Antoine.RAUZY@3ds.co [Dassault Systemes, 10 rue Marcel Dassault CS 40501, 78946 Velizy Villacoublay, Cedex (France); Melendez, Enrique, E-mail: ema@csn.e [Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear (CSN), C/Justo Dorado 11, 28040 Madrid (Spain); Nieto, Francisco, E-mail: nieto@iit.upcomillas.e [Instituto de Investigacion Tecnologica (IIT), Escuela Tecnica Superior de Ingenieria ICAI, Universidad Pontificia Comillas, C/Santa Cruz de Marcenado 26, 28015 Madrid (Spain)

    2010-12-15

    Over the last two decades binary decision diagrams have been applied successfully to improve Boolean reliability models. Conversely to the classical approach based on the computation of the MCS, the BDD approach involves no approximation in the quantification of the model and is able to handle correctly negative logic. However, when models are sufficiently large and complex, as for example the ones coming from the PSA studies of the nuclear industry, it begins to be unfeasible to compute the BDD within a reasonable amount of time and computer memory. Therefore, simplification or reduction of the full model has to be considered in some way to adapt the application of the BDD technology to the assessment of such models in practice. This paper proposes a reduction process based on using information provided by the set of the most relevant minimal cutsets of the model in order to perform the reduction directly on it. This allows controlling the degree of reduction and therefore the impact of such simplification on the final quantification results. This reduction is integrated in an incremental procedure that is compatible with the dynamic generation of the event trees and therefore adaptable to the recent dynamic developments and extensions of the PSA studies. The proposed method has been applied to a real case study, and the results obtained confirm that the reduction enables the BDD computation while maintaining accuracy.

  14. Evaluating an approach to improving the adoption rate of wireless drug library updates for smart pumps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poppe, Lindsey B; Eckel, Stephen F

    2011-01-15

    An academic medical center's approach to improving the adoption rate of wireless drug library updates for smart pumps was evaluated. A multidisciplinary team composed of pharmacy, nursing, medical engineering, materials management, and patient equipment personnel at an academic medical center collaborated to update the drug libraries of more than 1800 smart pumps via a wireless control system. Two pilot tests were completed to identify and resolve issues before the live wireless update was attempted. The second pilot test, a passive approach, produced an adoption rate of 42% of 1804 pumps at the end of one week and a rate of 56% on day 10. The goal of 80% was not achieved until day 22. The change to an active multidisciplinary process three months later produced an adoption rate of 80% for 1869 pumps on day 10, resulting in a 45.4% increase in the adoption rate between the two trials on day 10 (p libraries reduced the amount of time required to reach a goal adoption rate of 80%.

  15. A Link-Based Cluster Ensemble Approach For Improved Gene Expression Data Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.Balaji

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract It is difficult from possibilities to select a most suitable effective way of clustering algorithm and its dataset for a defined set of gene expression data because we have a huge number of ways and huge number of gene expressions. At present many researchers are preferring to use hierarchical clustering in different forms this is no more totally optimal. Cluster ensemble research can solve this type of problem by automatically merging multiple data partitions from a wide range of different clusterings of any dimensions to improve both the quality and robustness of the clustering result. But we have many existing ensemble approaches using an association matrix to condense sample-cluster and co-occurrence statistics and relations within the ensemble are encapsulated only at raw level while the existing among clusters are totally discriminated. Finding these missing associations can greatly expand the capability of those ensemble methodologies for microarray data clustering. We propose general K-means cluster ensemble approach for the clustering of general categorical data into required number of partitions.

  16. Click chemistry approach to conventional vegetable tanning process: accelerated method with improved organoleptic properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnamoorthy, Ganesan; Ramamurthy, Govindaswamy; Sadulla, Sayeed; Sastry, Thotapalli Parvathaleswara; Mandal, Asit Baran

    2014-09-01

    Click chemistry approaches are tailored to generate molecular building blocks quickly and reliably by joining small units together selectively and covalently, stably and irreversibly. The vegetable tannins such as hydrolyzable and condensed tannins are capable to produce rather stable radicals or inhibit the progress of radicals and are prone to oxidations such as photo and auto-oxidation, and their anti-oxidant nature is well known. A lot remains to be done to understand the extent of the variation of leather stability, color variation (lightening and darkening reaction of leather), and poor resistance to water uptake for prolonged periods. In the present study, we have reported click chemistry approaches to accelerated vegetable tanning processes based on periodates catalyzed formation of oxidized hydrolysable and condensed tannins for high exhaustion with improved properties. The distribution of oxidized vegetable tannin, the thermal stability such as shrinkage temperature (T s) and denaturation temperature (T d), resistance to collagenolytic activities, and organoleptic properties of tanned leather as well as the evaluations of eco-friendly characteristics were investigated. Scanning electron microscopic analysis indicates the cross section of tightness of the leather. Differential scanning calorimetric analysis shows that the T d of leather is more than that of vegetable tanned or equal to aldehyde tanned one. The leathers exhibited fullness, softness, good color, and general appearance when compared to non-oxidized vegetable tannin. The developed process benefits from significant reduction in total solids and better biodegradability in the effluent, compared to non-oxidized vegetable tannins.

  17. Do Energy Efficiency Standards Improve Quality? Evidence from a Revealed Preference Approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Houde, Sebastien [Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States); Spurlock, C. Anna [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)

    2015-06-01

    Minimum energy efficiency standards have occupied a central role in U.S. energy policy for more than three decades, but little is known about their welfare effects. In this paper, we employ a revealed preference approach to quantify the impact of past revisions in energy efficiency standards on product quality. The micro-foundation of our approach is a discrete choice model that allows us to compute a price-adjusted index of vertical quality. Focusing on the appliance market, we show that several standard revisions during the period 2001-2011 have led to an increase in quality. We also show that these standards have had a modest effect on prices, and in some cases they even led to decreases in prices. For revision events where overall quality increases and prices decrease, the consumer welfare effect of tightening the standards is unambiguously positive. Finally, we show that after controlling for the effect of improvement in energy efficiency, standards have induced an expansion of quality in the non-energy dimension. We discuss how imperfect competition can rationalize these results.

  18. Steady-State Creep of Rock Salt: Improved Approaches for Lab Determination and Modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Günther, R.-M.; Salzer, K.; Popp, T.; Lüdeling, C.

    2015-11-01

    Actual problems in geotechnical design, e.g., of underground openings for radioactive waste repositories or high-pressure gas storages, require sophisticated constitutive models and consistent parameters for rock salt that facilitate reliable prognosis of stress-dependent deformation and associated damage. Predictions have to comprise the active mining phase with open excavations as well as the long-term development of the backfilled mine or repository. While convergence-induced damage occurs mostly in the vicinity of openings, the long-term behaviour of the backfilled system is dominated by the damage-free steady-state creep. However, because in experiments the time necessary to reach truly stationary creep rates can range from few days to years, depending mainly on temperature and stress, an innovative but simple creep testing approach is suggested to obtain more reliable results: A series of multi-step tests with loading and unloading cycles allows a more reliable estimate of stationary creep rate in a reasonable time. For modelling, we use the advanced strain-hardening approach of Günther-Salzer, which comprehensively describes all relevant deformation properties of rock salt such as creep and damage-induced rock failure within the scope of an unified creep ansatz. The capability of the combination of improved creep testing procedures and accompanied modelling is demonstrated by recalculating multi-step creep tests at different loading and temperature conditions. Thus reliable extrapolations relevant to in-situ creep rates (10^{-9} to 10^{-13} s^{-1}) become possible.

  19. Proposition of novel classification approach and features for improved real-time arrhythmia monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yoon Jae; Heo, Jeong; Park, Kwang Suk; Kim, Sungwan

    2016-08-01

    Arrhythmia refers to a group of conditions in which the heartbeat is irregular, fast, or slow due to abnormal electrical activity in the heart. Some types of arrhythmia such as ventricular fibrillation may result in cardiac arrest or death. Thus, arrhythmia detection becomes an important issue, and various studies have been conducted. Additionally, an arrhythmia detection algorithm for portable devices such as mobile phones has recently been developed because of increasing interest in e-health care. This paper proposes a novel classification approach and features, which are validated for improved real-time arrhythmia monitoring. The classification approach that was employed for arrhythmia detection is based on the concept of ensemble learning and the Taguchi method and has the advantage of being accurate and computationally efficient. The electrocardiography (ECG) data for arrhythmia detection was obtained from the MIT-BIH Arrhythmia Database (n=48). A novel feature, namely the heart rate variability calculated from 5s segments of ECG, which was not considered previously, was used. The novel classification approach and feature demonstrated arrhythmia detection accuracy of 89.13%. When the same data was classified using the conventional support vector machine (SVM), the obtained accuracy was 91.69%, 88.14%, and 88.74% for Gaussian, linear, and polynomial kernels, respectively. In terms of computation time, the proposed classifier was 5821.7 times faster than conventional SVM. In conclusion, the proposed classifier and feature showed performance comparable to those of previous studies, while the computational complexity and update interval were highly reduced. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Three Nontraditional Approaches to Improving the Capacity, Accessibility, and Quality of Mental Health Services: An Overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Kiran L; Simmons, Magenta Bender; Davey, Christopher G

    2018-01-16

    To provide evidence for wider use of peer workers and other nonprofessionals, the authors examined three approaches to mental health service provision-peer support worker (PSW) programs, task shifting, and mental health first-aid and community advocacy organizations-summarizing their effectiveness, identifying similarities and differences, and highlighting opportunities for integration. Relevant articles obtained from PubMed, MEDLINE, and Google Scholar searches are discussed. Studies indicate that PSWs can achieve outcomes equal to or better than those achieved by nonpeer mental health professionals. PSWs can be particularly effective in reducing hospital admissions and inpatient days and engaging severely ill patients. When certain care tasks are given to individuals with less training than professionals (task shifting), these staff members can provide psychoeducation, engage service users in treatment, and help them achieve symptom reduction and manage risk of relapse. Mental health first-aid and community organizations can reduce stigma, increase awareness of mental health issues, and encourage help seeking. Most PSW programs have reported implementation challenges, whereas such challenges are fewer in task-shifting programs and minimal in mental health first-aid. Despite challenges in scaling and integrating these approaches into larger systems, they hold promise for improving access to and quality of care. Research is needed on how these approaches can be combined to expand a community's capacity to provide care. Because of the serious shortage of mental health providers globally and the rising prevalence of mental illness, utilizing nontraditional providers may be the only solution in both low- and high-resource settings, at least in the short term.

  1. IMPROVING THE POSITIONING ACCURACY OF TRAIN ON THE APPROACH SECTION TO THE RAILWAY CROSSING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. I. Havryliuk

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. In the paper it is necessary to analyze possibility of improving the positioning accuracy of train on the approach section to crossing for traffic safety control at railway crossings. Methodology. Researches were performed using developed mathematical model, describing dependence of the input impedance of the coded and audio frequency track circuits on a train coordinate at various values of ballast isolation resistances and for all usable frequencies. Findings. The paper presents the developed mathematical model, describing dependence of the input impedance of the coded and audio-frequency track circuits on the train coordinate at various values of ballast isolation resistances and for all frequencies used in track circuits. The relative error determination of train coordinate by input impedance caused by variation of the ballast isolation resistance for the coded track circuits was investigated. The values of relative error determination of train coordinate can achieve up to 40-50 % and these facts do not allow using this method directly for coded track circuits. For short audio frequency track circuits on frequencies of continuous cab signaling (25, 50 Hz the relative error does not exceed acceptable values, this allow using the examined method for determination of train location on the approach section to railway crossing. Originality. The developed mathematical model allowed determination of the error dependence of train coordinate by using input impedance of the track circuit for coded and audio-frequency track circuits at various frequencies of the signal current and at different ballast isolation resistances. Practical value. The authors proposethe method for train location determination on approach section to the crossing, equipped with audio-frequency track circuits, which is a combination of discrete and continuous monitoring of the train location.

  2. Contextual approach using VBA learning media to improve students’ mathematical displacement and disposition ability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chotimah, Siti; Bernard, M.; Wulandari, S. M.

    2018-01-01

    The main problems of the research were the lack of reasoning ability and mathematical disposition of students to the learning of mathematics in high school students in Cimahi - West Java. The lack of mathematical reasoning ability in students was caused by the process of learning. The teachers did not train the students to do the problems of reasoning ability. The students still depended on each other. Sometimes, one of patience teacher was still guiding his students. In addition, the basic ability aspects of students also affected the ability the mathematics skill. Furthermore, the learning process with contextual approach aided by VBA Learning Media (Visual Basic Application for Excel) gave the positive influence to the students’ mathematical disposition. The students are directly involved in learning process. The population of the study was all of the high school students in Cimahi. The samples were the students of SMA Negeri 4 Cimahi class XIA and XIB. There were both of tested and non-tested instruments. The test instrument was a description test of mathematical reasoning ability. The non-test instruments were questionnaire-scale attitudes about students’ mathematical dispositions. This instrument was used to obtain data about students’ mathematical reasoning and disposition of mathematics learning with contextual approach supported by VBA (Visual Basic Application for Excel) and by conventional learning. The data processed in this study was from the post-test score. These scores appeared from both of the experimental class group and the control class group. Then, performing data was processed by using SPSS 22 and Microsoft Excel. The data was analyzed using t-test statistic. The final result of this study concluded the achievement and improvement of reasoning ability and mathematical disposition of students whose learning with contextual approach supported by learning media of VBA (Visual Basic Application for Excel) was better than students who got

  3. The SCHHS hip fracture clinical network experience-Improving care and outcomes through an interprofessional approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puckeridge, Gillian; Terblanche, Morné; Massey, Debbie

    2017-08-01

    Hip fractures are a major global health care issue, with the 1.26 million estimated cases in 1990 predicted to increase to 4.5 million by 2050. Varying models of care have been developed to improve outcomes following fragility hip fractures. Most of these care models embrace an interprofessional approach to care. Specialist orthopedic nurses play an important role in the management of fragility hip fracture patients and their contribution to the interprofessional health care team is an important predictor of patient outcomes. The Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS) is compromised of four hospitals in South East Queensland, Australia however only one large regional hospital provides specialist hip fracture services. Approximately, 350 older hip fracture patients present to the Sunshine Coast Hospital & Health Service (SCHHS) each year. We used Hospital Health round table (HHRT) data to identify and assess key performance care and management of hip fracture patient and outcomes at SCHHS. The HHRT is a nonprofit membership organisation of health services across Australia and New Zealand that aims to provide opportunity for Health Services to achieve best practice, collect analyse and publish information, identify ways to improve and promote collaboration and networking. Exemplars of best practice are also identified in the data so that organizations can adopt similar models of care. HHRT data identified underperformance in management of hip fracture patients in a number of quality indicators at the study site, including length of stay (LOS), time to surgery and relative stay index (RSI). Following review of HHRT data key stakeholders undertook a quality improvement project and formed the Hip Fracture Clinical Network Group (HFCNG). This was established in 2013 with the aim of improving outcomes and achieving key performance indicators for all elderly patients who sustain a hip fracture through active collaboration and regular communication between a

  4. Epidemic surveillance using an electronic medical record: an empiric approach to performance improvement.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongzhang Zheng

    Full Text Available Electronic medical records (EMR form a rich repository of information that could benefit public health. We asked how structured and free-text narrative EMR data should be combined to improve epidemic surveillance for acute respiratory infections (ARI.Eight previously characterized ARI case detection algorithms (CDA were applied to historical EMR entries to create authentic time series of daily ARI case counts (background. An epidemic model simulated influenza cases (injection. From the time of the injection, cluster-detection statistics were applied daily on paired background+injection (combined and background-only time series. This cycle was then repeated with the injection shifted to each week of the evaluation year. We computed: a the time from injection to the first statistical alarm uniquely found in the combined dataset (Detection Delay; b how often alarms originated in the background-only dataset (false-alarm rate, or FAR; and c the number of cases found within these false alarms (Caseload. For each CDA, we plotted the Detection Delay as a function of FAR or Caseload, over a broad range of alarm thresholds.CDAs that combined text analyses seeking ARI symptoms in clinical notes with provider-assigned diagnostic codes in order to maximize the precision rather than the sensitivity of case-detection lowered Detection Delay at any given FAR or Caseload.An empiric approach can guide the integration of EMR data into case-detection methods that improve both the timeliness and efficiency of epidemic detection.

  5. VA announces aggressive new approach to produce rapid improvements in VA medical centers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated at 150 words. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA announced steps that it is taking as part of an aggressive new approach to produce rapid improvements at VA’s low-performing medical facilities nationwide (1. VA defines its low-performing facilities as those medical centers that receive the lowest score in its Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning (SAIL star rating system, or a one-star rating out of five. The SAIL star rating was initiated in 2016 and uses a variety of measures including mortality, length of hospital stay, readmission rates, hospital complications, physician productivity and efficiency. A complete listing of the VA facilities, their star ratings and the metrics used to determine the ratings is available through the end of fiscal year 2017 (2. Based on the latest ratings, the VA currently has 15 one-star facilities including Denver, Loma Linda, and Phoenix in the Southwest (Table 1. Table 1. VA facilities with one-star ratings …

  6. Approach to improve the axial power distribution for the application of a core protection system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koo, Bon Seung; Cho, Jin Young; Song, Jae Seung; Lee, Chung Chan

    2008-01-01

    A Core Protection Calculator System (CPCS) is a digital computer based on a safety system for generating trip signals based on a calculation of the Departure from Nucleate Boiling Ratio (DNBR) and the Local Power Density (LPD) by using several on-line measured system parameters including 3-level ex-core detector signals. A few approaches to improve the axial power distribution for the application of a core protection system were performed. For the Yonggwang unit 3 (cycle 1), axial power distributions were synthesized by applying the cubic spline method and compared with the neutronics code results. Several new cubic spline function sets were generated for the drastically distorted axial shapes for a 3-level ex-core detector system. In addition, synthesized axial shapes with a 5-level ex-core detector signals were compared with the conventional 3-level detector results. It demonstrates that the newly generated function sets appear to be better than that of the conventional CPC from the aspect of an axial power synthesis, particularly for the heavily distorted shapes. Moreover, synthesis of an axial power distribution using 5-level ex-core detector signals appears to be better than that of the 3-level ex-core detector signals. From the above results, improvement of the thermal margin is expected because of an uncertainty decreasing a core protection system. (authors)

  7. Implementation of Authentic Learning and Assessment through STEM Education Approach to Improve Students’ Metacognitive Skills

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilman Anwari

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The important aspects of improving metacognitive skills are knowledge, intelligence, experience, and practice. STEM education is considered to be one of the most influential approaches to encouraging students to be self-regulated learners. In STEM education lessons, students are provided many opportunities to develop their thinking skills (metacognitive skills, critical and creative thinking. The goals of this study were to identify the effects of STEM education in the improvement of metacognitive skills, and to investigate metacognitive activities in STEM education. The participants were middle school students in the third year. The research instrument was the Metacognitive Activities Inventory (MCAI, used to identify changes in metacognitive skills before and after the lessons. Furthermore, portfolios were used to record students’ learning processes and help them reflect on their thinking and the tasks. The results show no significant changes in metacognitive skills. However, STEM education engages students in metacognitive activities. Therefore, implementation of STEM education in the classroom provides opportunities to students for understanding the importance of the integration of different disciplines and its applications. In addition, STEM education can increase students’ interest in science lessons.

  8. An improved multi-exposure approach for high quality holographic femtosecond laser patterning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Chenchu; Hu, Yanlei; Li, Jiawen; Lao, Zhaoxin; Ni, Jincheng; Chu, Jiaru; Huang, Wenhao; Wu, Dong

    2014-01-01

    High efficiency two photon polymerization through single exposure via spatial light modulator (SLM) has been used to decrease the fabrication time and rapidly realize various micro/nanostructures, but the surface quality remains a big problem due to the speckle noise of optical intensity distribution at the defocused plane. Here, a multi-exposure approach which used tens of computer generate holograms successively loaded on SLM is presented to significantly improve the optical uniformity without losing efficiency. By applying multi-exposure, we found that the uniformity at the defocused plane was increased from ∼0.02 to ∼0.6 according to our simulation. The fabricated two series of letters “HELLO” and “USTC” under single-and multi-exposure in our experiment also verified that the surface quality was greatly improved. Moreover, by this method, several kinds of beam splitters with high quality, e.g., 2 × 2, 5 × 5 Daman, and complex nonseperate 5 × 5, gratings were fabricated with both of high quality and short time (<1 min, 95% time-saving). This multi-exposure SLM-two-photon polymerization method showed the promising prospect in rapidly fabricating and integrating various binary optical devices and their systems

  9. An improved hyperspectral image classification approach based on ISODATA and SKR method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Pu; Ye, Xiao-feng; Yu, Hui; Zhang, Zhi-jie; Cai, Yu-fei; Tang, Xin; Tang, Wei; Wang, Chensheng

    2016-11-01

    Hyper-spectral images can not only provide spatial information but also a wealth of spectral information. A short list of applications includes environmental mapping, global change research, geological research, wetlands mapping, assessment of trafficability, plant and mineral identification and abundance estimation, crop analysis, and bathymetry. A crucial aspect of hyperspectral image analysis is the identification of materials present in an object or scene being imaged. Classification of a hyperspectral image sequence amounts to identifying which pixels contain various spectrally distinct materials that have been specified by the user. Several techniques for classification of multi-hyperspectral pixels have been used from minimum distance and maximum likelihood classifiers to correlation matched filter-based approaches such as spectral signature matching and the spectral angle mapper. In this paper, an improved hyperspectral images classification algorithm is proposed. In the proposed method, an improved similarity measurement method is applied, in which both the spectrum similarity and space similarity are considered. We use two different weighted matrix to estimate the spectrum similarity and space similarity between two pixels, respectively. And then whether these two pixels represent the same material can be determined. In order to reduce the computational cost the wavelet transform is also applied prior to extract the spectral and space features. The proposed method is tested using hyperspectral imagery collected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Experimental results the efficiency of this new method on hyperspectral images associated with space object material identification.

  10. Improving Baseline Model Assumptions: Evaluating the Impacts of Typical Methodological Approaches in Watershed Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muenich, R. L.; Kalcic, M. M.; Teshager, A. D.; Long, C. M.; Wang, Y. C.; Scavia, D.

    2017-12-01

    Thanks to the availability of open-source software, online tutorials, and advanced software capabilities, watershed modeling has expanded its user-base and applications significantly in the past thirty years. Even complicated models like the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) are being used and documented in hundreds of peer-reviewed publications each year, and likely more applied in practice. These models can help improve our understanding of present, past, and future conditions, or analyze important "what-if" management scenarios. However, baseline data and methods are often adopted and applied without rigorous testing. In multiple collaborative projects, we have evaluated the influence of some of these common approaches on model results. Specifically, we examined impacts of baseline data and assumptions involved in manure application, combined sewer overflows, and climate data incorporation across multiple watersheds in the Western Lake Erie Basin. In these efforts, we seek to understand the impact of using typical modeling data and assumptions, versus using improved data and enhanced assumptions on model outcomes and thus ultimately, study conclusions. We provide guidance for modelers as they adopt and apply data and models for their specific study region. While it is difficult to quantitatively assess the full uncertainty surrounding model input data and assumptions, recognizing the impacts of model input choices is important when considering actions at the both the field and watershed scales.

  11. A New Approach for Improving Reliability of Personal Navigation Devices under Harsh GNSS Signal Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gérard Lachapelle

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available In natural and urban canyon environments, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS signals suffer from various challenges such as signal multipath, limited or lack of signal availability and poor geometry. Inertial sensors are often employed to improve the solution continuity under poor GNSS signal quality and availability conditions. Various fault detection schemes have been proposed in the literature to detect and remove biased GNSS measurements to obtain a more reliable navigation solution. However, many of these methods are found to be sub-optimal and often lead to unavailability of reliability measures, mostly because of the improper characterization of the measurement errors. A robust filtering architecture is thus proposed which assumes a heavy-tailed distribution for the measurement errors. Moreover, the proposed filter is capable of adapting to the changing GNSS signal conditions such as when moving from open sky conditions to deep canyons. Results obtained by processing data collected in various GNSS challenged environments show that the proposed scheme provides a robust navigation solution without having to excessively reject usable measurements. The tests reported herein show improvements of nearly 15% and 80% for position accuracy and reliability, respectively, when applying the above approach.

  12. Cold homes, fuel poverty and energy efficiency improvements: A longitudinal focus group approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grey, Charlotte N B; Schmieder-Gaite, Tina; Jiang, Shiyu; Nascimento, Christina; Poortinga, Wouter

    2017-08-01

    Cold homes and fuel poverty have been identified as factors in health and social inequalities that could be alleviated through energy efficiency interventions. Research on fuel poverty and the health impacts of affordable warmth initiatives have to date primarily been conducted using quantitative and statistical methods, limiting the way how fuel poverty is understood. This study took a longitudinal focus group approach that allowed exploration of lived experiences of fuel poverty before and after an energy efficiency intervention. Focus group discussions were held with residents from three low-income communities before (n = 28) and after (n = 22) they received energy efficiency measures funded through a government-led scheme. The results show that improving the energy efficiency of homes at risk of fuel poverty has a profound impact on wellbeing and quality of life, financial stress, thermal comfort, social interactions and indoor space use. However, the process of receiving the intervention was experienced by some as stressful. There is a need for better community engagement and communication to improve the benefits delivered by fuel poverty programmes, as well as further qualitative exploration to better understand the wider impacts of fuel poverty and policy-led intervention schemes.

  13. Six Sigma Approach to Improve Stripping Quality of Automotive Electronics Component – a case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razali, Noraini Mohd; Murni Mohamad Kadri, Siti; Con Ee, Toh

    2018-03-01

    Lacking of problem solving skill techniques and cooperation between support groups are the two obstacles that always been faced in actual production line. Inadequate detail analysis and inappropriate technique in solving the problem may cause the repeating issues which may give impact to the organization performance. This study utilizes a well-structured six sigma DMAIC with combination of other problem solving tools to solve product quality problem in manufacturing of automotive electronics component. The study is concentrated at the stripping process, a critical process steps with highest rejection rate that contribute to the scrap and rework performance. The detail analysis is conducted in the analysis phase to identify the actual root cause of the problem. Then several improvement activities are implemented and the results show that the rejection rate due to stripping defect decrease tremendously and the process capability index improved from 0.75 to 1.67. This results prove that the six sigma approach used to tackle the quality problem is substantially effective.

  14. A Fast Color Image Segmentation Approach Using GDF with Improved Region-Level Ncut

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying Li

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Color image segmentation is fundamental in image processing and computer vision. A novel approach, GDF-Ncut, is proposed to segment color images by integrating generalized data field (GDF and improved normalized cuts (Ncut. To start with, the hierarchy-grid structure is constructed in the color feature space of an image in an attempt to reduce the time complexity but preserve the quality of image segmentation. Then a fast hierarchy-grid clustering is performed under GDF potential estimation and therefore image pixels are merged into disjoint oversegmented but meaningful initial regions. Finally, these regions are presented as a weighted undirected graph, upon which Ncut algorithm merges homogenous initial regions to achieve final image segmentation. The use of the fast clustering improves the effectiveness of Ncut because regions-based graph is constructed instead of pixel-based graph. Meanwhile, during the processes of Ncut matrix computation, oversegmented regions are grouped into homogeneous parts for greatly ameliorating the intermediate problems from GDF and accordingly decreasing the sensitivity to noise. Experimental results on a variety of color images demonstrate that the proposed method significantly reduces the time complexity while partitioning image into meaningful and physically connected regions. The method is potentially beneficial to serve object extraction and pattern recognition.

  15. A new approach for improving reliability of personal navigation devices under harsh GNSS signal conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhital, Anup; Bancroft, Jared B; Lachapelle, Gérard

    2013-11-07

    In natural and urban canyon environments, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals suffer from various challenges such as signal multipath, limited or lack of signal availability and poor geometry. Inertial sensors are often employed to improve the solution continuity under poor GNSS signal quality and availability conditions. Various fault detection schemes have been proposed in the literature to detect and remove biased GNSS measurements to obtain a more reliable navigation solution. However, many of these methods are found to be sub-optimal and often lead to unavailability of reliability measures, mostly because of the improper characterization of the measurement errors. A robust filtering architecture is thus proposed which assumes a heavy-tailed distribution for the measurement errors. Moreover, the proposed filter is capable of adapting to the changing GNSS signal conditions such as when moving from open sky conditions to deep canyons. Results obtained by processing data collected in various GNSS challenged environments show that the proposed scheme provides a robust navigation solution without having to excessively reject usable measurements. The tests reported herein show improvements of nearly 15% and 80% for position accuracy and reliability, respectively, when applying the above approach.

  16. Could the clinical interpretability of subgroups detected using clustering methods be improved by using a novel two-stage approach?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kent, Peter; Stochkendahl, Mette Jensen; Wulff Christensen, Henrik

    2015-01-01

    Background Recognition of homogeneous subgroups of patients can usefully improve prediction of their outcomes and the targeting of treatment. There are a number of research approaches that have been used to recognise homogeneity in such subgroups and to test their implications. One approach is to...

  17. Overcoming synecdoche: why practice development and quality improvement approaches should be better integrated

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Manley

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available We are pleased to be provided with an opportunity to comment on the thoughtful article by Gavin Lavery about the relationship between practice development and quality improvement, published in 2016 in the IPDJ. We also respect and value the opportunity to bring different perspectives together – something alluded to in Lavery’s article when discussing the relationship between service improvement and quality improvement. We acknowledge Lavery’s humility and openness to different perspectives as demonstrated by his willingness to participate in a foundation practice development school. We also accept that there are many different ways of achieving the same outcomes, by using a range of tools flexibly based on shared and common principles, as well as knowing the people you work with and being clear about purpose. At a time of scant resources in healthcare, it is vital that we avoid duplication and integrate approaches if service users are to experience the continuity and seamlessness of a person-centred approach to meeting the health and social care needs of individuals and communities. Lavery makes reference to ‘systems and processes’. It is important when discussing systems that we have a sense of shared meaning, as systems comprise structures, processes and patterns of behaviour. It is often the latter that are most challenging to address when trying to develop practice and improve quality (McCormack et al., 2008. Patterns of behaviours are an important focus when engaging staff in learning and reflection. Helping practitioners to become self-aware about the consequences of their actions on others (enlightenment, particularly in relation to being person-centred, has a strong history in practice development, linked to using the workplace as the main resource for active learning (Dewing, 2008. While these insights have relevance for both practice development and quality improvement, it is the former, through its theoretical development

  18. An ensemble classification approach for improved Land use/cover change detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chellasamy, M.; Ferré, T. P. A.; Humlekrog Greve, M.; Larsen, R.; Chinnasamy, U.

    2014-11-01

    Change Detection (CD) methods based on post-classification comparison approaches are claimed to provide potentially reliable results. They are considered to be most obvious quantitative method in the analysis of Land Use Land Cover (LULC) changes which provides from - to change information. But, the performance of post-classification comparison approaches highly depends on the accuracy of classification of individual images used for comparison. Hence, we present a classification approach that produce accurate classified results which aids to obtain improved change detection results. Machine learning is a part of broader framework in change detection, where neural networks have drawn much attention. Neural network algorithms adaptively estimate continuous functions from input data without mathematical representation of output dependence on input. A common practice for classification is to use Multi-Layer-Perceptron (MLP) neural network with backpropogation learning algorithm for prediction. To increase the ability of learning and prediction, multiple inputs (spectral, texture, topography, and multi-temporal information) are generally stacked to incorporate diversity of information. On the other hand literatures claims backpropagation algorithm to exhibit weak and unstable learning in use of multiple inputs, while dealing with complex datasets characterized by mixed uncertainty levels. To address the problem of learning complex information, we propose an ensemble classification technique that incorporates multiple inputs for classification unlike traditional stacking of multiple input data. In this paper, we present an Endorsement Theory based ensemble classification that integrates multiple information, in terms of prediction probabilities, to produce final classification results. Three different input datasets are used in this study: spectral, texture and indices, from SPOT-4 multispectral imagery captured on 1998 and 2003. Each SPOT image is classified

  19. Multi-approach model for improving agrochemical safety among rice farmers in Pathumthani, Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siriwong W

    2012-07-01

    safety precautions and the use of faulty protective gear. After 6 months, the intervention program showed significant improvements in the overall scores on knowledge, beliefs, behaviors, and home pesticide safety in the study group (P < 0.05. Therefore, this intervention model is effective in improving agrochemical safety behaviors among Khlong Seven Community rice farmers. These findings demonstrate that a multi-approach model for improving agrochemical safety behaviors can lead to sustainable prevention of agrochemical hazards for farmers.Keywords: rice farmer, agrochemical safety, community-based intervention, model

  20. A Lean Six Sigma approach to the improvement of the selenium analysis method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bronwyn C. Cloete

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Reliable results represent the pinnacle assessment of quality of an analytical laboratory, and therefore variability is considered to be a critical quality problem associated with the selenium analysis method executed at Western Cape Provincial Veterinary Laboratory (WCPVL. The elimination and control of variability is undoubtedly of significant importance because of the narrow margin of safety between toxic and deficient doses of the trace element for good animal health. A quality methodology known as Lean Six Sigma was believed to present the most feasible solution for overcoming the adverse effect of variation, through steps towards analytical process improvement. Lean Six Sigma represents a form of scientific method type, which is empirical, inductive and deductive, and systematic, which relies on data, and is fact-based. The Lean Six Sigma methodology comprises five macro-phases, namely Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control (DMAIC. Both qualitative and quantitative laboratory data were collected in terms of these phases. Qualitative data were collected by using quality-tools, namely an Ishikawa diagram, a Pareto chart, Kaizen analysis and a Failure Mode Effect analysis tool. Quantitative laboratory data, based on the analytical chemistry test method, were collected through a controlled experiment. The controlled experiment entailed 13 replicated runs of the selenium test method, whereby 11 samples were repetitively analysed, whilst Certified Reference Material (CRM was also included in 6 of the runs. Laboratory results obtained from the controlled experiment was analysed by using statistical methods, commonly associated with quality validation of chemistry procedures. Analysis of both sets of data yielded an improved selenium analysis method, believed to provide greater reliability of results, in addition to a greatly reduced cycle time and superior control features. Lean Six Sigma may therefore be regarded as a valuable tool in any

  1. A Lean Six Sigma approach to the improvement of the selenium analysis method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloete, Bronwyn C; Bester, André

    2012-11-02

    Reliable results represent the pinnacle assessment of quality of an analytical laboratory, and therefore variability is considered to be a critical quality problem associated with the selenium analysis method executed at Western Cape Provincial Veterinary Laboratory (WCPVL). The elimination and control of variability is undoubtedly of significant importance because of the narrow margin of safety between toxic and deficient doses of the trace element for good animal health. A quality methodology known as Lean Six Sigma was believed to present the most feasible solution for overcoming the adverse effect of variation, through steps towards analytical process improvement. Lean Six Sigma represents a form of scientific method type, which is empirical, inductive and deductive, and systematic, which relies on data, and is fact-based. The Lean Six Sigma methodology comprises five macro-phases, namely Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control (DMAIC). Both qualitative and quantitative laboratory data were collected in terms of these phases. Qualitative data were collected by using quality-tools, namely an Ishikawa diagram, a Pareto chart, Kaizen analysis and a Failure Mode Effect analysis tool. Quantitative laboratory data, based on the analytical chemistry test method, were collected through a controlled experiment. The controlled experiment entailed 13 replicated runs of the selenium test method, whereby 11 samples were repetitively analysed, whilst Certified Reference Material (CRM) was also included in 6 of the runs. Laboratory results obtained from the controlled experiment was analysed by using statistical methods, commonly associated with quality validation of chemistry procedures. Analysis of both sets of data yielded an improved selenium analysis method, believed to provide greater reliability of results, in addition to a greatly reduced cycle time and superior control features. Lean Six Sigma may therefore be regarded as a valuable tool in any laboratory, and

  2. A Lean Six Sigma approach to the improvement of the selenium analysis method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bronwyn C. Cloete

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Reliable results represent the pinnacle assessment of quality of an analytical laboratory, and therefore variability is considered to be a critical quality problem associated with the selenium analysis method executed at Western Cape Provincial Veterinary Laboratory (WCPVL. The elimination and control of variability is undoubtedly of significant importance because of the narrow margin of safety between toxic and deficient doses of the trace element for good animal health. A quality methodology known as Lean Six Sigma was believed to present the most feasible solution for overcoming the adverse effect of variation, through steps towards analytical process improvement. Lean Six Sigma represents a form of scientific method type, which is empirical, inductive and deductive, and systematic, which relies on data, and is fact-based. The Lean Six Sigma methodology comprises five macro-phases, namely Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control (DMAIC. Both qualitative and quantitative laboratory data were collected in terms of these phases. Qualitative data were collected by using quality-tools, namely an Ishikawa diagram, a Pareto chart, Kaizen analysis and a Failure Mode Effect analysis tool. Quantitative laboratory data, based on the analytical chemistry test method, were collected through a controlled experiment. The controlled experiment entailed 13 replicated runs of the selenium test method, whereby 11 samples were repetitively analysed, whilst Certified Reference Material (CRM was also included in 6 of the runs. Laboratory results obtained from the controlled experiment was analysed by using statistical methods, commonly associated with quality validation of chemistry procedures. Analysis of both sets of data yielded an improved selenium analysis method, believed to provide greater reliability of results, in addition to a greatly reduced cycle time and superior control features. Lean Six Sigma may therefore be regarded as a valuable tool in any

  3. Improving Hospital Reporting of Patient Race and Ethnicity--Approaches to Data Auditing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zingmond, David S; Parikh, Punam; Louie, Rachel; Lichtensztajn, Daphne Y; Ponce, Ninez; Hasnain-Wynia, Romana; Gomez, Scarlett Lin

    2015-08-01

    To investigate new metrics to improve the reporting of patient race and ethnicity (R/E) by hospitals. California Patient Discharge Database (PDD) and birth registry, 2008-2009, Healthcare and Cost Utilization Project's State Inpatient Database, 2008-2011, cancer registry 2000-2008, and 2010 US Census Summary File 2. We examined agreement between hospital reported R/E versus self-report among mothers delivering babies and a cancer cohort in California. Metrics were created to measure root mean squared differences (RMSD) by hospital between reported R/E distribution and R/E estimates using R/E distribution within each patient's zip code of residence. RMSD comparisons were made to corresponding "gold standard" facility-level measures within the maternal cohort for California and six comparison states. Maternal birth hospitalization (linked to the state birth registry) and cancer cohort records linked to preceding and subsequent hospitalizations. Hospital discharges were linked to the corresponding Census zip code tabulation area using patient zip code. Overall agreement between the PDD and the gold standard for the maternal cohort was 86 percent for the combined R/E measure and 71 percent for race alone. The RMSD measure is modestly correlated with the summary level gold standard measure for R/E (r = 0.44). The RMSD metric revealed general improvement in data agreement and completeness across states. "Other" and "unknown" categories were inconsistently applied within inpatient databases. Comparison between reported R/E and R/E estimates using zip code level data may be a reasonable first approach to evaluate and track hospital R/E reporting. Further work should focus on using more granular geocoded data for estimates and tracking data to improve hospital collection of R/E data. © Health Research and Educational Trust.

  4. IMPROVEMENT EVALUATION ON CERAMIC ROOF EXTRACTION USING WORLDVIEW-2 IMAGERY AND GEOGRAPHIC DATA MINING APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. S. Brum-Bastos

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Advances in geotechnologies and in remote sensing have improved analysis of urban environments. The new sensors are increasingly suited to urban studies, due to the enhancement in spatial, spectral and radiometric resolutions. Urban environments present high heterogeneity, which cannot be tackled using pixel–based approaches on high resolution images. Geographic Object–Based Image Analysis (GEOBIA has been consolidated as a methodology for urban land use and cover monitoring; however, classification of high resolution images is still troublesome. This study aims to assess the improvement on ceramic roof classification using WorldView-2 images due to the increase of 4 new bands besides the standard “Blue-Green-Red-Near Infrared” bands. Our methodology combines GEOBIA, C4.5 classification tree algorithm, Monte Carlo simulation and statistical tests for classification accuracy. Two samples groups were considered: 1 eight multispectral and panchromatic bands, and 2 four multispectral and panchromatic bands, representing previous high-resolution sensors. The C4.5 algorithm generates a decision tree that can be used for classification; smaller decision trees are closer to the semantic networks produced by experts on GEOBIA, while bigger trees, are not straightforward to implement manually, but are more accurate. The choice for a big or small tree relies on the user’s skills to implement it. This study aims to determine for what kind of user the addition of the 4 new bands might be beneficial: 1 the common user (smaller trees or 2 a more skilled user with coding and/or data mining abilities (bigger trees. In overall the classification was improved by the addition of the four new bands for both types of users.

  5. Improvement Evaluation on Ceramic Roof Extraction Using WORLDVIEW-2 Imagery and Geographic Data Mining Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brum-Bastos, V. S.; Ribeiro, B. M. G.; Pinho, C. M. D.; Korting, T. S.; Fonseca, L. M. G.

    2016-06-01

    Advances in geotechnologies and in remote sensing have improved analysis of urban environments. The new sensors are increasingly suited to urban studies, due to the enhancement in spatial, spectral and radiometric resolutions. Urban environments present high heterogeneity, which cannot be tackled using pixel-based approaches on high resolution images. Geographic Object-Based Image Analysis (GEOBIA) has been consolidated as a methodology for urban land use and cover monitoring; however, classification of high resolution images is still troublesome. This study aims to assess the improvement on ceramic roof classification using WorldView-2 images due to the increase of 4 new bands besides the standard "Blue-Green-Red-Near Infrared" bands. Our methodology combines GEOBIA, C4.5 classification tree algorithm, Monte Carlo simulation and statistical tests for classification accuracy. Two samples groups were considered: 1) eight multispectral and panchromatic bands, and 2) four multispectral and panchromatic bands, representing previous high-resolution sensors. The C4.5 algorithm generates a decision tree that can be used for classification; smaller decision trees are closer to the semantic networks produced by experts on GEOBIA, while bigger trees, are not straightforward to implement manually, but are more accurate. The choice for a big or small tree relies on the user's skills to implement it. This study aims to determine for what kind of user the addition of the 4 new bands might be beneficial: 1) the common user (smaller trees) or 2) a more skilled user with coding and/or data mining abilities (bigger trees). In overall the classification was improved by the addition of the four new bands for both types of users.

  6. Intellectual property rights, benefit-sharing and development of "improved traditional medicines": A new approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willcox, Merlin; Diallo, Drissa; Sanogo, Rokia; Giani, Sergio; Graz, Bertrand; Falquet, Jacques; Bodeker, Gerard

    2015-12-24

    Protection of intellectual property rights and benefit-sharing are key issues for all ethnopharmacological research. The International Society of Ethnobiology has produced helpful guidelines on access and benefit-sharing which are widely viewed as a "gold standard" but the question remains how best to apply these guidelines in practice. Difficult questions include ownership of traditional knowledge, making appropriate agreements, and how appropriately to share benefits. We present the case study of the development of an "improved traditional medicine" for malaria in Mali and we report how benefit-sharing was applied in this case. The knowledge about the selected plant came independently from several families and traditional healers. The IPR approach was to recognise that this traditional knowledge belongs to the people of Mali and was used for their benefit in developing a new "improved traditional medicine" (ITM). The traditional healer whose method of preparation was used, and who collaborated in clinical trials, did not request any financial reward but asked for the ITM to be named after him. The most sustainable benefit for the community was sharing the results of which preparation of which medicinal plant seemed to be the most effective for treating malaria. Attempts at providing a health centre and training a health worker for the village did not prove to be sustainable. Respect for intellectual property rights and benefit-sharing are possible even in a context where the knowledge is not owned by a clearly identified person or group of people. The most sustainable benefits are intangible rather than material: namely recognition, improved knowledge about which traditional treatment is the best and how to prepare and take it. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Using total quality management approach to improve patient safety by preventing medication error incidences*.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yousef, Nadin; Yousef, Farah

    2017-09-04

    Whereas one of the predominant causes of medication errors is a drug administration error, a previous study related to our investigations and reviews estimated that the incidences of medication errors constituted 6.7 out of 100 administrated medication doses. Therefore, we aimed by using six sigma approach to propose a way that reduces these errors to become less than 1 out of 100 administrated medication doses by improving healthcare professional education and clearer handwritten prescriptions. The study was held in a General Government Hospital. First, we systematically studied the current medication use process. Second, we used six sigma approach by utilizing the five-step DMAIC process (Define, Measure, Analyze, Implement, Control) to find out the real reasons behind such errors. This was to figure out a useful solution to avoid medication error incidences in daily healthcare professional practice. Data sheet was used in Data tool and Pareto diagrams were used in Analyzing tool. In our investigation, we reached out the real cause behind administrated medication errors. As Pareto diagrams used in our study showed that the fault percentage in administrated phase was 24.8%, while the percentage of errors related to prescribing phase was 42.8%, 1.7 folds. This means that the mistakes in prescribing phase, especially because of the poor handwritten prescriptions whose percentage in this phase was 17.6%, are responsible for the consequent) mistakes in this treatment process later on. Therefore, we proposed in this study an effective low cost strategy based on the behavior of healthcare workers as Guideline Recommendations to be followed by the physicians. This method can be a prior caution to decrease errors in prescribing phase which may lead to decrease the administrated medication error incidences to less than 1%. This improvement way of behavior can be efficient to improve hand written prescriptions and decrease the consequent errors related to administrated

  8. Comparing the implementation of team approaches for improving diabetes care in community health centers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van der Wees, Philip J; Friedberg, Mark W; Guzman, Elena Alcala; Ayanian, John Z; Rodriguez, Hector P

    2014-12-03

    Patient panel management and community-based care management may be viable strategies for community health centers to improve the quality of diabetes care for vulnerable patient populations. The objective of our study was to clarify implementation processes and experiences of integrating office-based medical assistant (MA) panel management and community health worker (CHW) community-based management into routine care for diabetic patients. Mixed methods study with interviews and surveys of clinicians and staff participating in a study comparing the effectiveness of MA and CHW health coaching for improving diabetes care. Participants included 24 key informants in five role categories and 249 clinicians and staff survey respondents from 14 participating practices. We conducted thematic analyses of key informant interview transcripts to clarify implementation processes and describe barriers to integrating the new roles into practice. We surveyed clinicians and staff to assess differences in practice culture among intervention and control groups. We triangulated findings to identify concordant and disparate results across data sources. Implementation processes and experiences varied considerably among the practices implementing CHW and MA team-based approaches, resulting in differences in the organization of health coaching and self-management support activities. Importantly, CHW and MA responsibilities converged over time to focus on health coaching of diabetic patients. MA health coaches experienced difficulty in allocating dedicated time due to other MA responsibilities that often crowded out time for diabetic patient health coaching. Time constraints also limited the personal introduction of patients to health coaches by clinicians. Participants highlighted the importance of a supportive team climate and proactive leadership as important enablers for MAs and CHWs to implement their health coaching responsibilities and also promoted professional growth

  9. Ethical oversight in quality improvement and quality improvement research: new approaches to promote a learning health care system

    OpenAIRE

    Fiscella, Kevin; Tobin, Jonathan N.; Carroll, Jennifer K.; He, Hua; Ogedegbe, Gbenga

    2015-01-01

    Background Institutional review boards (IRBs) distinguish health care quality improvement (QI) and health care quality improvement research (QIR) based primarily on the rigor of the methods used and the purported generalizability of the knowledge gained. Neither of these criteria holds up upon scrutiny. Rather, this apparently false dichotomy may foster under-protection of participants in QI projects and over-protection of participants within QIR. Discussion Minimal risk projects should entai...

  10. Improving Science Pedagogic Quality in Elementary School Using Process Skill Approach Can Motivate Student to Be Active in Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sukiniarti

    2016-01-01

    On global era todays, as the professional teacher should be improving their pedagogic competency, including to improve their science pedagogy quality. This study is aimed to identify: (1) Process skill approach which has been used by Elementary School Teacher in science learning; (2) Teacher's opinion that process skill can motivate the student to…

  11. Whole-system approaches to improving the health and wellbeing of healthcare workers: A systematic review.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah L Brand

    Full Text Available Healthcare professionals throughout the developed world report higher levels of sickness absence, dissatisfaction, distress, and "burnout" at work than staff in other sectors. There is a growing call for the 'triple aim' of healthcare delivery (improving patient experience and outcomes and reducing costs; to include a fourth aim: improving healthcare staff experience of healthcare delivery. A systematic review commissioned by the United Kingdom's (UK Department of Health reviewed a large number of international healthy workplace interventions and recommended five whole-system changes to improve healthcare staff health and wellbeing: identification and response to local need, engagement of staff at all levels, and the involvement, visible leadership from, and up-skilling of, management and board-level staff.This systematic review aims to identify whole-system healthy workplace interventions in healthcare settings that incorporate (combinations of these recommendations and determine whether they improve staff health and wellbeing.A comprehensive and systematic search of medical, education, exercise science, and social science databases was undertaken. Studies were included if they reported the results of interventions that included all healthcare staff within a healthcare setting (e.g. whole hospital; whole unit, e.g. ward in collective activities to improve physical or mental health or promote healthy behaviours.Eleven studies were identified which incorporated at least one of the whole-system recommendations. Interventions that incorporated recommendations to address local need and engage the whole workforce fell in to four broad types: 1 pre-determined (one-size-fits-all and no choice of activities (two studies; or 2 pre-determined and some choice of activities (one study; 3 A wide choice of a range of activities and some adaptation to local needs (five studies; or, 3 a participatory approach to creating programmes responsive and adaptive to

  12. Whole-system approaches to improving the health and wellbeing of healthcare workers: A systematic review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brand, Sarah L.; Thompson Coon, Jo; Fleming, Lora E.; Carroll, Lauren; Bethel, Alison; Wyatt, Katrina

    2017-01-01

    Background Healthcare professionals throughout the developed world report higher levels of sickness absence, dissatisfaction, distress, and “burnout” at work than staff in other sectors. There is a growing call for the ‘triple aim’ of healthcare delivery (improving patient experience and outcomes and reducing costs; to include a fourth aim: improving healthcare staff experience of healthcare delivery. A systematic review commissioned by the United Kingdom’s (UK) Department of Health reviewed a large number of international healthy workplace interventions and recommended five whole-system changes to improve healthcare staff health and wellbeing: identification and response to local need, engagement of staff at all levels, and the involvement, visible leadership from, and up-skilling of, management and board-level staff. Objectives This systematic review aims to identify whole-system healthy workplace interventions in healthcare settings that incorporate (combinations of) these recommendations and determine whether they improve staff health and wellbeing. Methods A comprehensive and systematic search of medical, education, exercise science, and social science databases was undertaken. Studies were included if they reported the results of interventions that included all healthcare staff within a healthcare setting (e.g. whole hospital; whole unit, e.g. ward) in collective activities to improve physical or mental health or promote healthy behaviours. Results Eleven studies were identified which incorporated at least one of the whole-system recommendations. Interventions that incorporated recommendations to address local need and engage the whole workforce fell in to four broad types: 1) pre-determined (one-size-fits-all) and no choice of activities (two studies); or 2) pre-determined and some choice of activities (one study); 3) A wide choice of a range of activities and some adaptation to local needs (five studies); or, 3) a participatory approach to

  13. A Novel Approach for Shearer Cutting Load Identification through Integration of Improved Particle Swarm Optimization and Wavelet Neural Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhongbin Wang

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available In order to accurately identify the change of shearer cutting load, a novel approach was proposed through integration of improved particle swarm optimization and wavelet neural network. An improved updating strategy for inertia weight was presented to avoid falling into the local optimum. Moreover, immune mechanism was applied in the proposed approach to enhance the population diversity and improve the quality of solution, and the flowchart of the proposed approach was designed. Furthermore, a simulation example was carried out and comparison results indicated that the proposed approach was feasible, efficient, and outperforming others. Finally, an industrial application example of coal mining face was demonstrated to specify the effect of the proposed system.

  14. The "flipped classroom" approach: Stimulating positive learning attitudes and improving mastery of histology among medical students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Xin; Ka Ho Lee, Kenneth; Chang, Eric Y; Yang, Xuesong

    2017-07-01

    Traditional medical education methodologies have been dramatically impacted by the introduction of new teaching approaches over the past few decades. In particular, the "flipped classroom" format has drawn a great deal of attention. However, evidence regarding the effectiveness of the flipped model remains limited due to a lack of outcome-based studies. In the present study, a pilot histology curriculum of the organ systems was implemented among 24 Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) students in a flipped classroom format at Jinan University. As a control, another 87 TCM students followed a conventional histology curriculum. The academic performance of the two groups was compared. In addition, a questionnaire was administered to the flipped classroom group. The test scores for the flipped classroom participants were found to be significantly higher compared to non-participants in the control group. These results suggest that students may benefit from using the flipped classroom format. Follow-up questionnaires also revealed that most of the flipped classroom participants undertook relatively more earnest preparations before class and were actively involved in classroom learning activities. The teachers were also found to have more class time for leading discussions and delivering quizzes rather than repeating rote didactics. Consequently, the increased teaching and learning activities contributed to a better performance among the flipped classroom group. This pilot study suggests that a flipped classroom approach can be used to improve histology education among medical students. However, future studies employing randomization, larger numbers of students, and more precise tracking methods are needed before definitive conclusions can be drawn. Anat Sci Educ 10: 317-327. © 2016 American Association of Anatomists. © 2016 American Association of Anatomists.

  15. Passive-ocean radial basis function approach to improve temporal gravity recovery from GRACE observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Fan; Kusche, Jürgen; Forootan, Ehsan; Rietbroek, Roelof

    2017-08-01

    We present a state-of-the-art approach of passive-ocean modified radial basis functions (MRBFs) that improves the recovery of time-variable gravity fields from Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE). As is well known, spherical harmonics (SHs), which are commonly used to recover gravity fields, are orthogonal basis functions with global coverage. However, the chosen SH truncation involves a global compromise between data coverage and obtainable resolution, and strong localized signals may not be fully captured. Radial basis functions (RBFs) provide another representation, which has been proposed in earlier works to be better suited to retrieve regional gravity signals. In this paper, we propose a MRBF approach by embedding the known coastal geometries in the RBF parameterization and imposing global mass conservation and equilibrium behavior of the oceans. Our hypothesis is that with this physically justified constraint, the GRACE-derived gravity signals can be more realistically partitioned into the land and ocean contributions along the coastlines. We test this new technique to invert monthly gravity fields from GRACE level-1b observations covering 2005-2010, for which the numerical results indicate that (1) MRBF-based solutions reduce the number of parameters by approximately 10% and allow for more flexible regularization when compared to ordinary RBF solutions and (2) the MRBF-derived mass flux is better confined along coastal areas. The latter is particularly tested in the southern Greenland, and our results indicate that the trend of mass loss from the MRBF solutions is approximately 11% larger than that from the SH solutions and approximately 4%-6% larger than that of RBF solutions.

  16. Information Technology Service Management with Cloud Computing Approach to Improve Administration System and Online Learning Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilianto Wilianto

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available This work discusses the development of information technology service management using cloud computing approach to improve the performance of administration system and online learning at STMIK IBBI Medan, Indonesia. The network topology is modeled and simulated for system administration and online learning. The same network topology is developed in cloud computing using Amazon AWS architecture. The model is designed and modeled using Riverbed Academic Edition Modeler to obtain values of the parameters: delay, load, CPU utilization, and throughput. The simu- lation results are the following. For network topology 1, without cloud computing, the average delay is 54  ms, load 110 000 bits/s, CPU utilization 1.1%, and throughput 440  bits/s.  With  cloud  computing,  the  average  delay  is 45 ms,  load  2 800  bits/s,  CPU  utilization  0.03%,  and throughput 540 bits/s. For network topology 2, without cloud computing, the average delay is 39  ms, load 3 500 bits/s, CPU utilization 0.02%, and throughput database server 1 400 bits/s. With cloud computing, the average delay is 26 ms, load 5 400 bits/s, CPU utilization email server 0.0001%, FTP server 0.001%, HTTP server 0.0002%, throughput email server 85 bits/s, FTP    server 100 bits/sec, and HTTP server 95  bits/s.  Thus,  the  delay, the load, and the CPU utilization decrease; but,  the throughput increases. Information technology service management with cloud computing approach has better performance.

  17. PREFACE: Mini EURO Conference on Improving Healthcare: new challenges, new approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-01

    The XXXI Euro Mini Conference on Improving Healthcare: new challenges, new approaches took place in Coimbra, Portugal, from the 30th March to the 1st April 2015. This volume contains 17 contributed papers, presented during the Conference. Recent advances in medicine allow us to live longer and healthier lives. These advances have been made possible through the joint contribution of very different scientific fields. Healthcare is nowadays better understood as a multidisciplinary field, with increasing number of challenges that can be better tackled by joint collaboration of researchers with different scientific backgrounds. The challenges that Healthcare is facing have not only to do with the ability of providing better services to all (treatments, preventive medicine, better diagnosis tools), with an increased focus on improved personalized treatment options, but also with the need to tackle an increased pressure felt by Healthcare systems: increased number of patients, some of them requiring expensive treatments, with a consequent increase in the workload for health institutions that most of the times have to deal with important budget restrictions. The Conference provided a forum in which researchers coming from different scientific disciplines discussed and shared their experience regarding methodological approaches to tackle different healthcare challenges. The Conference welcomed contributions from operational research, industrial engineering, medicine, medical physics, management, computational biology, bioinformatics and health economics, among others. The Conference had 93 enrolled participants, from 22 different nationalities: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States of America. These participants had very different academic backgrounds: operations research

  18. Understanding and Improving Recruitment to Randomised Controlled Trials: Qualitative Research Approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Daisy; Husbands, Samantha; Hamdy, Freddie C; Holmberg, Lars; Donovan, Jenny L

    2017-11-01

    The importance of evidence from randomised trials is now widely recognised, although recruitment is often difficult. Qualitative research has shown promise in identifying the key barriers to recruitment, and interventions have been developed to reduce organisational difficulties and support clinicians undertaking recruitment. This article provides an introduction to qualitative research techniques and explains how this approach can be used to understand-and subsequently improve-recruitment and informed consent within a range of clinical trials. A literature search was performed using Medline, Embase, and CINAHL. All studies with qualitative research methods that focused on the recruitment activity of clinicians were included in the review. The majority of studies reported that organisational difficulties and lack of time for clinical staff were key barriers to recruitment. However, a synthesis of qualitative studies highlighted the intellectual and emotional challenges that arise when combining research with clinical roles, particularly in relation to equipoise and patient eligibility. To support recruiters to become more comfortable with the design and principles of randomised controlled trials, interventions have been developed, including the QuinteT Recruitment Intervention, which comprises in-depth investigation of recruitment obstacles in real time, followed by implementation of tailored strategies to address these challenges as the trial proceeds. Qualitative research can provide important insights into the complexities of recruitment to trials and inform the development of interventions, and provide support and training initiatives as required. Investigators should consider implementing such methods in trials expected to be challenging or recruiting below target. Qualitative research is a term used to describe a range of methods that can be implemented to understand participants' perspectives and behaviours. Data are gathered from interviews, focus groups

  19. ECONOMIC APPROACHES TO IMPROVE THE COMPETITIVENESS OF UKRAINIAN TRANSPORT ENTERPRISES ( THE EXAMPLE OF CIVIL AVIATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. T. Baran

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of reforming the air transport in Ukraine is the implementation of market economic transformations in economic and financial methods of the management of civil aviation operational firms, which were still formed on the basis of Soviet plan-army management principles. The author suggests the mechanism of formation of financial supply paradigm for reformed air transport firm because these reformations are to be carried out when the elaborated optimal economic-legal, investment-innovation, and (what is the most important organizational-financial complex unified methodical principles of the interaction of air transport (АТ subjects are absent (which becomes clear in the course of re-structuring them. Vital problems of formation of investment-innovation re-structuring mechanism for functioning the air transport firms are described in this article. New results of subsequent scientific research concerning financial scheme development of enterprising and commercial activities of airlines in today’s economic stabilization and growth, formation of new paradigm of economic theory and reformation of managing practice are suggested to the participants of the Conference in the course of prolonging the author’s discussion; a possible approach to the solution of financing problems for their re-structuring by means of creating new aviationtransport consortia is also suggested. The aim of creating a new consortium is to improve the economic efficiency of activity of airlines, their competitiveness in internal markets of transport services as well as to reform the system of air transport subjects in Ukraine. This is one of the complex trends for solving the problems of creating national air carrier, the organization of optimal forms and methods of financial schemes formation for measures aimed at improving the competitiveness.

  20. SafeCare: An Innovative Approach for Improving Quality Through Standards, Benchmarking, and Improvement in Low- and Middle- Income Countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Michael C; Schellekens, Onno; Stewart, Jacqui; van Ostenberg, Paul; de Wit, Tobias Rinke; Spieker, Nicole

    2016-08-01

    In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), patients often have limited access to high-quality care because of a shortage of facilities and human resources, inefficiency of resource allocation, and limited health insurance. SafeCare was developed to provide innovative health care standards; surveyor training; a grading system for quality of care; a quality improvement process that is broken down into achievable, measurable steps to facilitate incremental improvement; and a private sector-supported health financing model. Three organizations-PharmAccess Foundation, Joint Commission International, and the Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa-launched SafeCare in 2011 as a formal partnership. Five SafeCare levels of improvement are allocated on the basis of an algorithm that incorporates both the overall score and weighted criteria, so that certain high-risk criteria need to be in place before a facility can move to the next SafeCare certification level. A customized quality improvement plan based on the SafeCare assessment results lists the specific, measurable activities that should be undertaken to address gaps in quality found during the initial assessment and to meet the nextlevel SafeCare certificate. The standards have been implemented in more than 800 primary and secondary facilities by qualified local surveyors, in partnership with various local public and private partner organizations, in six sub-Saharan African countries (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Namibia, Tanzania, and Zambia). Expanding access to care and improving health care quality in LMICs will require a coordinated effort between institutions and other stakeholders. SafeCare's standards and assessment methodology can help build trust between stakeholders and lay the foundation for country-led quality monitoring systems.

  1. A team approach to improving colorectal cancer services using administrative health data

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    Porter Geoffrey

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Colorectal cancer (CRC is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada and accounts for 11.9% of all cancer-related mortality. Fortunately, previous studies have provided evidence of improved outcomes from access to timely and appropriate health services along the disease trajectory in CRC. As a result, the CIHR/CCNS Team in Access to Colorectal Cancer Services in Nova Scotia (Team ACCESS was created to build colorectal cancer (CRC research capacity in Nova Scotia (NS and to study access to and quality of CRC services along the entire continuum of cancer care. Objectives The objectives of this paper are to: 1 provide a detailed description of the methodologies employed across the various studies being conducted by Team ACCESS; 2 demonstrate how administrative health data can be used to evaluate access and quality in CRC services; and 3 provide an example of an interdisciplinary team approach to addressing health service delivery issues. Methods All patients diagnosed with CRC in NS between 2001 and 2005 were identified through the Nova Scotia Cancer Registry (NSCR and staged using the Collaborative Stage Data Collection System. Using administrative databases that were linked at the patient level, Team ACCESS created a retrospective longitudinal cohort with comprehensive demographic, clinical, and healthcare utilization data. These data were used to examine access to and quality of CRC services in NS, as well as factors affecting access to and quality of care, at various transition points along the continuum of care. Team ACCESS has also implemented integrated knowledge translation strategies targeting policy- and decision- makers. Discussion The development of Team ACCESS represents a unique approach to CRC research. We anticipate that the skills, tools, and knowledge generated from our work will also advance the study of other cancer disease sites in NS. Given the increasing prevalence of cancer, and with national and

  2. Approaches to studying and manipulating the enteric microbiome to improve autism symptoms

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    Richard E. Frye

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available There is a growing body of scientific evidence that the health of the microbiome (the trillions of microbes that inhabit the human host plays an important role in maintaining the health of the host and that disruptions in the microbiome may play a role in certain disease processes. An increasing number of research studies have provided evidence that the composition of the gut (enteric microbiome (GM in at least a subset of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD deviates from what is usually observed in typically developing individuals. There are several lines of research that suggest that specific changes in the GM could be causative or highly associated with driving core and associated ASD symptoms, pathology, and comorbidities which include gastrointestinal symptoms, although it is also a possibility that these changes, in whole or in part, could be a consequence of underlying pathophysiological features associated with ASD. However, if the GM truly plays a causative role in ASD, then the manipulation of the GM could potentially be leveraged as a therapeutic approach to improve ASD symptoms and/or comorbidities, including gastrointestinal symptoms. One approach to investigating this possibility in greater detail includes a highly controlled clinical trial in which the GM is systematically manipulated to determine its significance in individuals with ASD. To outline the important issues that would be required to design such a study, a group of clinicians, research scientists, and parents of children with ASD participated in an interdisciplinary daylong workshop as an extension of the 1st International Symposium on the Microbiome in Health and Disease with a Special Focus on Autism (www.microbiome-autism.com. The group considered several aspects of designing clinical studies, including clinical trial design, treatments that could potentially be used in a clinical trial, appropriate ASD participants for the clinical trial, behavioral and

  3. The Limitations of Existing Approaches in Improving MicroRNA Target Prediction Accuracy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loganantharaj, Rasiah; Randall, Thomas A

    2017-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small (18-24 nt) endogenous RNAs found across diverse phyla involved in posttranscriptional regulation, primarily downregulation of mRNAs. Experimentally determining miRNA-mRNA interactions can be expensive and time-consuming, making the accurate computational prediction of miRNA targets a high priority. Since miRNA-mRNA base pairing in mammals is not perfectly complementary and only a fraction of the identified motifs are real binding sites, accurately predicting miRNA targets remains challenging. The limitations and bottlenecks of existing algorithms and approaches are discussed in this chapter.A new miRNA-mRNA interaction algorithm was implemented in Python (TargetFind) to capture three different modes of association and to maximize detection sensitivity to around 95% for mouse (mm9) and human (hg19) reference data. For human (hg19) data, the prediction accuracy with any one feature among evolutionarily conserved score, multiple targets in a UTR or changes in free energy varied within a close range from 63.5% to 66%. When the results of these features are combined with majority voting, the expected prediction accuracy increases to 69.5%. When all three features are used together, the average best prediction accuracy with tenfold cross validation from the classifiers naïve Bayes, support vector machine, artificial neural network, and decision tree were, respectively, 66.5%, 67.1%, 69%, and 68.4%. The results reveal the advantages and limitations of these approaches.When comparing different sets of features on their strength in predicting true hg19 targets, evolutionarily conserved score slightly outperformed all other features based on thermostability, and target multiplicity. The sophisticated supervised learning algorithms did not improve the prediction accuracy significantly compared to a simple threshold based approach on conservation score or combining the results of each feature with majority agreements. The targets from randomly

  4. Using Computational Approaches to Improve Risk-Stratified Patient Management: Rationale and Methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Gang; Stone, Bryan L; Sakaguchi, Farrant; Sheng, Xiaoming; Murtaugh, Maureen A

    2015-10-26

    Chronic diseases affect 52% of Americans and consume 86% of health care costs. A small portion of patients consume most health care resources and costs. More intensive patient management strategies, such as case management, are usually more effective at improving health outcomes, but are also more expensive. To use limited resources efficiently, risk stratification is commonly used in managing patients with chronic diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, and heart disease. Patients are stratified based on predicted risk with patients at higher risk given more intensive care. The current risk-stratified patient management approach has 3 limitations resulting in many patients not receiving the most appropriate care, unnecessarily increased costs, and suboptimal health outcomes. First, using predictive models for health outcomes and costs is currently the best method for forecasting individual patient's risk. Yet, accuracy of predictive models remains poor causing many patients to be misstratified. If an existing model were used to identify candidate patients for case management, enrollment would miss more than half of those who would benefit most, but include others unlikely to benefit, wasting limited resources. Existing models have been developed under the assumption that patient characteristics primarily influence outcomes and costs, leaving physician characteristics out of the models. In reality, both characteristics have an impact. Second, existing models usually give neither an explanation why a particular patient is predicted to be at high risk nor suggestions on interventions tailored to the patient's specific case. As a result, many high-risk patients miss some suitable interventions. Third, thresholds for risk strata are suboptimal and determined heuristically with no quality guarantee. The purpose of this study is to improve risk-stratified patient management so that more patients will receive the most appropriate care

  5. Using Computational Approaches to Improve Risk-Stratified Patient Management: Rationale and Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, Bryan L; Sakaguchi, Farrant; Sheng, Xiaoming; Murtaugh, Maureen A

    2015-01-01

    Background Chronic diseases affect 52% of Americans and consume 86% of health care costs. A small portion of patients consume most health care resources and costs. More intensive patient management strategies, such as case management, are usually more effective at improving health outcomes, but are also more expensive. To use limited resources efficiently, risk stratification is commonly used in managing patients with chronic diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, and heart disease. Patients are stratified based on predicted risk with patients at higher risk given more intensive care. The current risk-stratified patient management approach has 3 limitations resulting in many patients not receiving the most appropriate care, unnecessarily increased costs, and suboptimal health outcomes. First, using predictive models for health outcomes and costs is currently the best method for forecasting individual patient’s risk. Yet, accuracy of predictive models remains poor causing many patients to be misstratified. If an existing model were used to identify candidate patients for case management, enrollment would miss more than half of those who would benefit most, but include others unlikely to benefit, wasting limited resources. Existing models have been developed under the assumption that patient characteristics primarily influence outcomes and costs, leaving physician characteristics out of the models. In reality, both characteristics have an impact. Second, existing models usually give neither an explanation why a particular patient is predicted to be at high risk nor suggestions on interventions tailored to the patient’s specific case. As a result, many high-risk patients miss some suitable interventions. Third, thresholds for risk strata are suboptimal and determined heuristically with no quality guarantee. Objective The purpose of this study is to improve risk-stratified patient management so that more patients will receive the

  6. HANDBOOK OF SOCCER MATCH ANALYSIS: A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH TO IMPROVING PERFORMANCE

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    Christopher Carling

    2006-03-01

    Analysis Tells Us about Successful Strategy and Tactics in Soccer, 8. From Technical and Tactical Performance Analysis to Training Drills, 9. The Future of Soccer Match Analysis. ASSESSMENT The authors have assembled an essential reading for all who are interested in understanding and doing better coaching and improving the performance in soccer. To this purpose, there is a strong practical approach in the book by giving plenty of examples along with a satisfactory scientific analysis of the subject area. It is concise and well organized in its presentation, creating an effective textbook. I believe, therefore, the book will serve as a first-rate teaching tool and reference for coaches, athletes and professionals in the human performance sciences.

  7. Attitude Modeling Using Kalman Filter Approach for Improving the Geometric Accuracy of Cartosat-1 Data Products

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nita H. SHAH

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with the rigorous photogrammetric solution to model the uncertainty in the orientation parameters of Indian Remote Sensing Satellite IRS-P5 (Cartosat-1. Cartosat-1 is a three axis stabilized spacecraft launched into polar sun-synchronous circular orbit at an altitude of 618 km. The satellite has two panchromatic (PAN cameras with nominal resolution of ~2.5 m. The camera looking ahead is called FORE mounted with +26 deg angle and the other looking near nadir is called AFT mounted with -5 deg, in along track direction. Data Product Generation Software (DPGS system uses the rigorous photogrammetric Collinearity model in order to utilize the full system information, together with payload geometry & control points, for estimating the uncertainty in attitude parameters. The initial orbit, attitude knowledge is obtained from GPS bound orbit measurement, star tracker and gyros. The variations in satellite attitude with time are modelled using simple linear polynomial model. Also, based on this model, Kalman filter approach is studied and applied to improve the uncertainty in the orientation of spacecraft with high quality ground control points (GCPs. The sequential estimator (Kalman filter is used in an iterative process which corrects the parameters at each time of observation rather than at epoch time. Results are presented for three stereo data sets. The accuracy of model depends on the accuracy of the control points.

  8. Improving energy productivity of sunflower production using data envelopment analysis (DEA) approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avval, Seyed Hashem Mousavi; Rafiee, Shahin; Jafari, Ali; Mohammadi, Ali

    2011-08-15

    Efficient use of energy in agriculture is one of the conditions for sustainable agricultural production. This study applies the data envelopment analysis (DEA) approach to the data of 95 randomly selected farms to investigate the technical and scale efficiencies of farmers with respect to energy use for sunflower production in Golestan province, Iran. The study also helps to identify the wasteful usage and the optimum level of energy from different inputs. According to the results of DEA models, about 36% of farmers were found to be technically efficient and the mean efficiency of sunflower producers was found to be 0.87 and 0.96 under the constant and variable returns to scale assumptions respectively. The optimum energy requirement was calculated as 8448.3 MJ ha⁻¹; accordingly, a potential reduction of 10.8% (1020.3 MJ ha⁻¹) in total energy input could be achieved by raising the performance of farmers to the highest level. Applying a better machinery management technique and conservation tillage methods, application of fertilisers by performance monitoring and utilisation of alternative sources of energy such as compost and chopped residues may be the pathways for improving energy productivity and reducing the environmental footprint. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.

  9. A hospital-centered approach to improve emergency obstetric care in South Sudan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groppi, Lavinia; Somigliana, Edgardo; Pisani, Vincenzo; Ika, Michelina; Mabor, Joseph L; Akec, Henry N; Nhial, John A; Mading, Michel S; Scanagatta, Chiara; Manenti, Fabio; Putoto, Giovanni

    2015-01-01

    To assess provision of emergency obstetric care (EmOC) in Greater Yirol, South Sudan, after implementation of a hospital-centered intervention with an ambulance referral system. In a descriptive study, data were prospectively recorded for all women referred to Yirol County Hospital for delivery in 2012. An ambulance referral system had been implemented in October 2011. Access to the hospital and ambulance use were free of charge. The number of deliveries at Yirol County Hospital increased in 2012 to 1089, corresponding to 13.3% of the 8213 deliveries expected to have occurred in the catchment area. Cesareans were performed for 53 (4.9%) deliveries, corresponding to 0.6% of the expected number of deliveries in the catchment area. Among 950 women who delivered a newborn weighing at least 2500 g at the hospital, 6 (0.6%) intrapartum or very early neonatal deaths occurred. Of 1232 women expected to have major obstetric complications in 2012 in the catchment area, 472 (38.3%) received EmOC at the hospital. Of 115 expected absolute obstetric indications, 114 (99.1%) were treated in the hospital. A hospital-centered approach with an ambulance referral system effectively improves the availability of EmOC in underprivileged remote settings. Copyright © 2014 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. An improved discriminative filter bank selection approach for motor imagery EEG signal classification using mutual information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Shiu; Sharma, Alok; Tsunoda, Tatsuhiko

    2017-12-28

    Common spatial pattern (CSP) has been an effective technique for feature extraction in electroencephalography (EEG) based brain computer interfaces (BCIs). However, motor imagery EEG signal feature extraction using CSP generally depends on the selection of the frequency bands to a great extent. In this study, we propose a mutual information based frequency band selection approach. The idea of the proposed method is to utilize the information from all the available channels for effectively selecting the most discriminative filter banks. CSP features are extracted from multiple overlapping sub-bands. An additional sub-band has been introduced that cover the wide frequency band (7-30 Hz) and two different types of features are extracted using CSP and common spatio-spectral pattern techniques, respectively. Mutual information is then computed from the extracted features of each of these bands and the top filter banks are selected for further processing. Linear discriminant analysis is applied to the features extracted from each of the filter banks. The scores are fused together, and classification is done using support vector machine. The proposed method is evaluated using BCI Competition III dataset IVa, BCI Competition IV dataset I and BCI Competition IV dataset IIb, and it outperformed all other competing methods achieving the lowest misclassification rate and the highest kappa coefficient on all three datasets. Introducing a wide sub-band and using mutual information for selecting the most discriminative sub-bands, the proposed method shows improvement in motor imagery EEG signal classification.

  11. An Improved Manufacturing Approach for Discrete Silicon Microneedle Arrays with Tunable Height-Pitch Ratio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renxin Wang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Silicon microneedle arrays (MNAs have been widely studied due to their potential in various transdermal applications. However, discrete MNAs, as a preferred choice to fabricate flexible penetrating devices that could adapt curved and elastic tissue, are rarely reported. Furthermore, the reported discrete MNAs have disadvantages lying in uniformity and height-pitch ratio. Therefore, an improved technique is developed to manufacture discrete MNA with tunable height-pitch ratio, which involves KOH-dicing-KOH process. The detailed process is sketched and simulated to illustrate the formation of microneedles. Furthermore, the undercutting of convex mask in two KOH etching steps are mathematically analyzed, in order to reveal the relationship between etching depth and mask dimension. Subsequently, fabrication results demonstrate KOH-dicing-KOH process. {321} facet is figured out as the surface of octagonal pyramid microneedle. MNAs with diverse height and pitch are also presented to identify the versatility of this approach. At last, the metallization is realized via successive electroplating.

  12. An Improved Approach for Estimating Daily Net Radiation over the Heihe River Basin

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    Bingfang Wu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Net radiation plays an essential role in determining the thermal conditions of the Earth’s surface and is an important parameter for the study of land-surface processes and global climate change. In this paper, an improved satellite-based approach to estimate the daily net radiation is presented, in which sunshine duration were derived from the geostationary meteorological satellite (FY-2D cloud classification product, the monthly empirical as and bs Angstrom coefficients for net shortwave radiation were calibrated by spatial fitting of the ground data from 1997 to 2006, and the daily net longwave radiation was calibrated with ground data from 2007 to 2010 over the Heihe River Basin in China. The estimated daily net radiation values were validated against ground data for 12 months in 2008 at four stations with different underlying surface types. The average coefficient of determination (R2 was 0.8489, and the averaged Nash-Sutcliffe equation (NSE was 0.8356. The close agreement between the estimated daily net radiation and observations indicates that the proposed method is promising, especially given the comparison between the spatial distribution and the interpolation of sunshine duration. Potential applications include climate research, energy balance studies and the estimation of global evapotranspiration.

  13. An Improved Approach for Estimating Daily Net Radiation over the Heihe River Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Bingfang; Liu, Shufu; Zhu, Weiwei; Yan, Nana; Xing, Qiang; Tan, Shen

    2017-01-04

    Net radiation plays an essential role in determining the thermal conditions of the Earth's surface and is an important parameter for the study of land-surface processes and global climate change. In this paper, an improved satellite-based approach to estimate the daily net radiation is presented, in which sunshine duration were derived from the geostationary meteorological satellite (FY-2D) cloud classification product, the monthly empirical a s and b s Angstrom coefficients for net shortwave radiation were calibrated by spatial fitting of the ground data from 1997 to 2006, and the daily net longwave radiation was calibrated with ground data from 2007 to 2010 over the Heihe River Basin in China. The estimated daily net radiation values were validated against ground data for 12 months in 2008 at four stations with different underlying surface types. The average coefficient of determination ( R ²) was 0.8489, and the averaged Nash-Sutcliffe equation ( NSE ) was 0.8356. The close agreement between the estimated daily net radiation and observations indicates that the proposed method is promising, especially given the comparison between the spatial distribution and the interpolation of sunshine duration. Potential applications include climate research, energy balance studies and the estimation of global evapotranspiration.

  14. Training Inference Making Skills Using a Situation Model Approach Improves Reading Comprehension

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    Lisanne eBos

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to enhance third and fourth graders’ text comprehension at the situation model level. Therefore, we tested a reading strategy training developed to target inference making skills, which are widely considered to be pivotal to situation model construction. The training was grounded in contemporary literature on situation model-based inference making and addressed the source (text-based versus knowledge-based, type (necessary versus unnecessary for (re-establishing coherence, and depth of an inference (making single lexical inferences versus combining multiple lexical inferences, as well as the type of searching strategy (forward versus backward. Results indicated that, compared to a control group (n = 51, children who followed the experimental training (n = 67 improved their inference making skills supportive to situation model construction. Importantly, our training also resulted in increased levels of general reading comprehension and motivation. In sum, this study showed that a ‘level of text representation’-approach can provide a useful framework to teach inference making skills to third and fourth graders.

  15. An Improved Evidential-IOWA Sensor Data Fusion Approach in Fault Diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Yongchuan; Zhou, Deyun; Zhuang, Miaoyan; Fang, Xueyi; Xie, Chunhe

    2017-09-18

    As an important tool of information fusion, Dempster-Shafer evidence theory is widely applied in handling the uncertain information in fault diagnosis. However, an incorrect result may be obtained if the combined evidence is highly conflicting, which may leads to failure in locating the fault. To deal with the problem, an improved evidential-Induced Ordered Weighted Averaging (IOWA) sensor data fusion approach is proposed in the frame of Dempster-Shafer evidence theory. In the new method, the IOWA operator is used to determine the weight of different sensor data source, while determining the parameter of the IOWA, both the distance of evidence and the belief entropy are taken into consideration. First, based on the global distance of evidence and the global belief entropy, the α value of IOWA is obtained. Simultaneously, a weight vector is given based on the maximum entropy method model. Then, according to IOWA operator, the evidence are modified before applying the Dempster's combination rule. The proposed method has a better performance in conflict management and fault diagnosis due to the fact that the information volume of each evidence is taken into consideration. A numerical example and a case study in fault diagnosis are presented to show the rationality and efficiency of the proposed method.

  16. The evolution of a quality of care approach for improving emergency obstetric care in rural hospitals in Nepal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clapham, S; Basnet, I; Pathak, L R; McCall, M

    2004-07-01

    We describe the iterative process of developing a locally-appropriate quality of care approach and its role in emergency obstetric care (EmOC) programming in Nepal. We describe the context of maternal health issues in Nepal, the rationale for developing a quality of care approach within a model to improve EmOC, and outline the outcomes and catalytic effects of the process. The lessons learned during the development of this approach are detailed. The program developed and implemented a quality of care approach at three district hospitals in Nepal. This resulted in improvements in the structure, process and outcomes of EmOC in these institutions. The process also resulted in improved understanding of quality of care approaches on both local and national levels and the creation of a Nepalese quality of care evaluation framework for maternity services. While the theoretical concept of quality of care is difficult to translate into a concrete approach, we used a process in rural hospitals in Nepal that created highly motivated teams and improved the overall functioning of these hospitals.

  17. Improving physiotherapy services to Indigenous children with physical disability: Are client perspectives missed in the continuous quality improvement approach?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenstein, Caroline; Lowell, Anne; Thomas, David Piers

    2016-06-01

    To compare the outcomes of two cycles of continuous quality improvement (CQI) at a paediatric physiotherapy service with findings from interviews with clients and their carers using the service. Case study based at one paediatric physiotherapy service Community-based paediatric allied health service in Northern Australia. Forty-nine clinical records and four staff at physiotherapy service, five Indigenous children with physical disability aged 8-21 years, and nine carers of Indigenous children aged 0-21 years (current or previous clients). The CQI process based on the Audit and Best Practice for Chronic Disease involved a clinical audit; a workshop where clinicians assessed their health care systems, identified weaknesses and strengths, and developed goals and strategies for improvement; and reassessment through a second audit and workshop. Twelve open-ended, in-depth interviews were conducted with previous or current clients selected through purposive and theoretical sampling. CQI and interview results were then compared. Comparison of findings from the two studies Both CQI and interview results highlighted service delivery flexibility and therapists' knowledge, support and advocacy as service strengths, and lack of resources and a child-friendly office environment as weaknesses. However, the CQI results reported better communication and client input into the service than the interview results. The CQI process, while demonstrating improvements in clinical and organisational aspects of the service, did not always reflect or address the primary concerns of Indigenous clients and underlined the importance of including clients in the CQI process. © 2015 National Rural Health Alliance Inc.

  18. Validation of the Three-Step Strategic Approach for Improving Urban Water Management and Water Resource Quality Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Galvis

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The impact on water resources caused by municipal wastewater discharges has become a critical and ever-growing environmental and public health concern. So far, interventions have been positioned largely ‘at the end of the pipe’, via the introduction of high-tech and innovative wastewater treatment technologies. This approach is incomplete, inefficient and expensive, and will not be able to address the rapidly growing global wastewater challenge. In order to be able to efficiently address this problem, it is important to adopt an integrated approach such as the three-step strategic approach (3-SSA consisting of (1 minimization and prevention, (2 treatment for reuse and (3 stimulated natural self-purification. In this study, the 3-SSA was validated by applying it to the Upper Cauca river basin, in Colombia and comparing it to a conventional strategy. The pollutant load removed was 64,805 kg/d Biochemical Oxygen Demand BOD5 (46% for the conventional strategy and 69,402 kg/d BOD5 (50% for the unconventional strategy. Cost benefit analysis results clearly favoured the 3-SSA (unconventional strategy: NPV for the conventional strategy = −276,318 × 103 Euros, and NPV for the unconventional strategy (3-SSA = +338,266 × 103 Euros. The application of the 3-SSA resulted in avoided costs for initial investments and operation and maintenance (O&M, especially for groundwater wells and associated pumps for sugar cane irrigation. Furthermore, costs were avoided by optimization of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs, tariffs and by replacement of fertilizers.

  19. GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM APPROACH FOR PLAY PORTFOLIOS TO IMPROVE OIL PRODUCTION IN THE ILLINOIS BASIN

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beverly Seyler; John Grube

    2004-12-10

    Oil and gas have been commercially produced in Illinois for over 100 years. Existing commercial production is from more than fifty-two named pay horizons in Paleozoic rocks ranging in age from Middle Ordovician to Pennsylvanian. Over 3.2 billion barrels of oil have been produced. Recent calculations indicate that remaining mobile resources in the Illinois Basin may be on the order of several billion barrels. Thus, large quantities of oil, potentially recoverable using current technology, remain in Illinois oil fields despite a century of development. Many opportunities for increased production may have been missed due to complex development histories, multiple stacked pays, and commingled production which makes thorough exploitation of pays and the application of secondary or improved/enhanced recovery strategies difficult. Access to data, and the techniques required to evaluate and manage large amounts of diverse data are major barriers to increased production of critical reserves in the Illinois Basin. These constraints are being alleviated by the development of a database access system using a Geographic Information System (GIS) approach for evaluation and identification of underdeveloped pays. The Illinois State Geological Survey has developed a methodology that is being used by industry to identify underdeveloped areas (UDAs) in and around petroleum reservoirs in Illinois using a GIS approach. This project utilizes a statewide oil and gas Oracle{reg_sign} database to develop a series of Oil and Gas Base Maps with well location symbols that are color-coded by producing horizon. Producing horizons are displayed as layers and can be selected as separate or combined layers that can be turned on and off. Map views can be customized to serve individual needs and page size maps can be printed. A core analysis database with over 168,000 entries has been compiled and assimilated into the ISGS Enterprise Oracle database. Maps of wells with core data have been generated

  20. Improving predictive power of physically based rainfall-induced shallow landslide models: a probablistic approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raia, S.; Alvioli, M.; Rossi, M.; Baum, R.L.; Godt, J.W.; Guzzetti, F.

    2013-01-01

    Distributed models to forecast the spatial and temporal occurrence of rainfall-induced shallow landslides are deterministic. These models extend spatially the static stability models adopted in geotechnical engineering and adopt an infinite-slope geometry to balance the resisting and the driving forces acting on the sliding mass. An infiltration model is used to determine how rainfall changes pore-water conditions, modulating the local stability/instability conditions. A problem with the existing models is the difficulty in obtaining accurate values for the several variables that describe the material properties of the slopes. The problem is particularly severe when the models are applied over large areas, for which sufficient information on the geotechnical and hydrological conditions of the slopes is not generally available. To help solve the problem, we propose a probabilistic Monte Carlo approach to the distributed modeling of shallow rainfall-induced landslides. For the purpose, we have modified the Transient Rainfall Infiltration and Grid-Based Regional Slope-Stability Analysis (TRIGRS) code. The new code (TRIGRS-P) adopts a stochastic approach to compute, on a cell-by-cell basis, transient pore-pressure changes and related changes in the factor of safety due to rainfall infiltration. Infiltration is modeled using analytical solutions of partial differential equations describing one-dimensional vertical flow in isotropic, homogeneous materials. Both saturated and unsaturated soil conditions can be considered. TRIGRS-P copes with the natural variability inherent to the mechanical and hydrological properties of the slope materials by allowing values of the TRIGRS model input parameters to be sampled randomly from a given probability distribution. The range of variation and the mean value of the parameters can be determined by the usual methods used for preparing the TRIGRS input parameters. The outputs of several model runs obtained varying the input parameters

  1. Improving predictive power of physically based rainfall-induced shallow landslide models: a probabilistic approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Raia

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Distributed models to forecast the spatial and temporal occurrence of rainfall-induced shallow landslides are based on deterministic laws. These models extend spatially the static stability models adopted in geotechnical engineering, and adopt an infinite-slope geometry to balance the resisting and the driving forces acting on the sliding mass. An infiltration model is used to determine how rainfall changes pore-water conditions, modulating the local stability/instability conditions. A problem with the operation of the existing models lays in the difficulty in obtaining accurate values for the several variables that describe the material properties of the slopes. The problem is particularly severe when the models are applied over large areas, for which sufficient information on the geotechnical and hydrological conditions of the slopes is not generally available. To help solve the problem, we propose a probabilistic Monte Carlo approach to the distributed modeling of rainfall-induced shallow landslides. For this purpose, we have modified the transient rainfall infiltration and grid-based regional slope-stability analysis (TRIGRS code. The new code (TRIGRS-P adopts a probabilistic approach to compute, on a cell-by-cell basis, transient pore-pressure changes and related changes in the factor of safety due to rainfall infiltration. Infiltration is modeled using analytical solutions of partial differential equations describing one-dimensional vertical flow in isotropic, homogeneous materials. Both saturated and unsaturated soil conditions can be considered. TRIGRS-P copes with the natural variability inherent to the mechanical and hydrological properties of the slope materials by allowing values of the TRIGRS model input parameters to be sampled randomly from a given probability distribution. The range of variation and the mean value of the parameters can be determined by the usual methods used for preparing the TRIGRS input parameters. The outputs

  2. Improvement of the indoor air quality. An integral approach; Verbetering van de luchtkwaliteit. Een integrale benadering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bluyssen, Ph. M. [TNO Bouw en Ondergrond, Delft (Netherlands)

    2009-10-15

    There seems to be a discrepancy between current Indoor Air Quality standards and end-users wishes and demands. Indoor air quality can be approached from three points of view: (1) the human, (2) the indoor air of the space and (3) the sources contributing to indoor air pollution. Standards currently in use mainly address the indoor air of the space. Other or additional recommendations and guidelines are required to improve indoor air quality. Even though we do not fully understand the mechanisms behind the physical, chemical, physiological and psychological processes, it is still possible to identify the different ways to be taken: regulatory, political and social (awareness), technical (process and product) and scientific. Besides the fact that there is an urgent need to involve medicine and neuropsychology in research to investigate the mechanisms behind dose-response, health effects and interactions between and with the other factors and parameters of the indoor environment and the human body and mind, a holistic approach is required including the sources, the air and last but not least the human beings (occupants) themselves. This paper mainly focuses on the European situation. [Dutch] Er lijkt een discrepantie te bestaan tussen de huidige richtlijnen voor binnenluchtkwaliteit en de wensen en eisen van eindgebruikers. Binnenluchtkwaliteit kan op drie manieren worden benaderd: vanuit de mens, de binnenlucht in de ruimte en vanuit de bronnen die aan de binnenluchtverontreiniging bijdragen. Huidige richtlijnen adresseren vooral de binnenlucht in een ruimte. Andere of extra aanbevelingen en richtlijnen zijn nodig om de binnenluchtkwaliteit te verbeteren. Ondanks dat we de mechanismen achter de fysieke, chemische, fysiologische en psychologische processen niet volledig begrijpen, is het toch mogelijk, om de verschillende wegen (regelgeving, politiek-sociale (besef/bewustzijn), technisch (proces en product) en wetenschappelijk), die bewandeld kunnen worden uit te

  3. Managing boundaries in primary care service improvement: a developmental approach to communities of practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kislov, Roman; Walshe, Kieran; Harvey, Gill

    2012-10-15

    organisational identification. Manipulated emergence of multi-organisational CoPs in the context of primary care may thus be problematic. In cases when manipulated emergence of new CoPs is problematic, boundary issues could be addressed by adopting a developmental perspective on CoPs, which provides an alternative to the analytical and instrumental perspectives previously described in the CoP literature. This perspective implies a pragmatic, situational approach to mapping existing CoPs and their characteristics and potentially modifying them in the process of service improvement through the combination of internal and external facilitation.

  4. Managing boundaries in primary care service improvement: A developmental approach to communities of practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kislov Roman

    2012-10-01

    due to historical factors, competition and strong organisational identification. Manipulated emergence of multi-organisational CoPs in the context of primary care may thus be problematic. Conclusions In cases when manipulated emergence of new CoPs is problematic, boundary issues could be addressed by adopting a developmental perspective on CoPs, which provides an alternative to the analytical and instrumental perspectives previously described in the CoP literature. This perspective implies a pragmatic, situational approach to mapping existing CoPs and their characteristics and potentially modifying them in the process of service improvement through the combination of internal and external facilitation.

  5. Soil ecology and agricultural technology; An integrated approach towards improved soil management for sustainable farming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulleman, Mirjam; Pérès, Guénola; Crittenden, Stephen; Heddadj, Djilali; Sukkel, Wijnand

    2014-05-01

    Intensive arable food production systems are in need of smart solutions that combine ecological knowledge and farm technology to maximize yields while protecting natural resources. The huge diversity of soil organisms and their interactions is of crucial importance for soil functions and ecosystem services, such as organic matter incorporation and break down, nutrient mineralization, soil structure formation, water regulation and disease and pest control. Soil management decisions that take into account the soil biodiversity and associated functions are thus essential to (i) maintain soil productivity in the long term, (ii) reduce the dependency on external inputs and non-renewables such as fossil fuels, and (iii) make agroecosystems more resilient against biotic and abiotic stresses. Organic farming systems and reduced tillage systems are two approaches that aim to increase soil biodiversity and general soil quality, through improved management of organic matter but differ in their emphasis on the use of chemical inputs for crop protection or soil disturbance, respectively. In North-western Europe experience with and knowledge of reduced tillage systems is still scarce, both in conventional and organic farming. Our study targeted both conventional and organic farming and aimed at 1) documenting reduced tillage practices within different agroecological contexts in NW Europe; 2) evaluating the effects of reduced tillage systems on soil biodiversity and soil ecosystem services; 3) increase understanding of agroecological factors that determine trade-offs between different ecosystem services. Earthworm species and nematode taxa were selected as indicator organisms to be studied for their known response to soil management and effects on soil functions. Additionally, soil organic matter, physical soil parameters and processes, and crop yields have been measured across multiple sites. Data have been collected over several cropping seasons in long term field experiments

  6. User Modeling Approaches towards Adaptation of Users’ Roles to Improve Group Interaction in Collaborative 3D Games

    OpenAIRE

    OCTAVIA, Johanna; BEZNOSYK, Anastasiia; CONINX, Karin; QUAX, Peter; LUYTEN, Kris

    2011-01-01

    This paper focuses on how adaptation of users' roles based on a collaborative user model can improve group interaction in collaborative 3D games. We aim to provide adaptation for users based on their individual performance and preferences while collaborating in a 3D puzzle game. Four different user modeling approaches are considered to build collaborative user models. Through an experiment, we present the validation of these approaches for two different cases: co-located collaboration and rem...

  7. Facilitating open global data use in earthquake source modelling to improve geodetic and seismological approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudhaus, Henriette; Heimann, Sebastian; Steinberg, Andreas; Isken, Marius; Vasyura-Bathke, Hannes

    2017-04-01

    In the last few years impressive achievements have been made in improving inferences about earthquake sources by using InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) data. Several factors aided these developments. The open data basis of earthquake observations has expanded vastly with the two powerful Sentinel-1 SAR sensors up in space. Increasing computer power allows processing of large data sets for more detailed source models. Moreover, data inversion approaches for earthquake source inferences are becoming more advanced. By now data error propagation is widely implemented and the estimation of model uncertainties is a regular feature of reported optimum earthquake source models. Also, more regularly InSAR-derived surface displacements and seismological waveforms are combined, which requires finite rupture models instead of point-source approximations and layered medium models instead of homogeneous half-spaces. In other words the disciplinary differences in geodetic and seismological earthquake source modelling shrink towards common source-medium descriptions and a source near-field/far-field data point of view. We explore and facilitate the combination of InSAR-derived near-field static surface displacement maps and dynamic far-field seismological waveform data for global earthquake source inferences. We join in the community efforts with the particular goal to improve crustal earthquake source inferences in generally not well instrumented areas, where often only the global backbone observations of earthquakes are available provided by seismological broadband sensor networks and, since recently, by Sentinel-1 SAR acquisitions. We present our work on modelling standards for the combination of static and dynamic surface displacements in the source's near-field and far-field, e.g. on data and prediction error estimations as well as model uncertainty estimation. Rectangular dislocations and moment-tensor point sources are exchanged by simple planar finite

  8. Innovative Approaches Using Lichen Enriched Media to Improve Isolation and Culturability of Lichen Associated Bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biosca, Elena G.; Flores, Raquel; Santander, Ricardo D.; Díez-Gil, José Luis; Barreno, Eva

    2016-01-01

    Lichens, self-supporting mutualistic associations between a fungal partner and one or more photosynthetic partners, also harbor non-photosynthetic bacteria. The diversity and contribution of these bacteria to the functioning of lichen symbiosis have recently begun to be studied, often by culture-independent techniques due to difficulties in their isolation and culture. However, culturing as yet unculturable lichenic bacteria is critical to unravel their potential functional roles in lichen symbiogenesis, to explore and exploit their biotechnological potential and for the description of new taxa. Our objective was to improve the recovery of lichen associated bacteria by developing novel isolation and culture approaches, initially using the lichen Pseudevernia furfuracea. We evaluated the effect of newly developed media enriched with novel lichen extracts, as well as the influence of thalli washing time and different disinfection and processing protocols of thalli. The developed methodology included: i) the use of lichen enriched media to mimic lichen nutrients, supplemented with the fungicide natamycin; ii) an extended washing of thalli to increase the recovery of ectolichenic bacteria, thus allowing the disinfection of thalli to be discarded, hence enhancing endolichenic bacteria recovery; and iii) the use of an antioxidant buffer to prevent or reduce oxidative stress during thalli disruption. The optimized methodology allowed significant increases in the number and diversity of culturable bacteria associated with P. furfuracea, and it was also successfully applied to the lichens Ramalina farinacea and Parmotrema pseudotinctorum. Furthermore, we provide, for the first time, data on the abundance of culturable ecto- and endolichenic bacteria that naturally colonize P. furfuracea, R. farinacea and P. pseudotinctorum, some of which were only able to grow on lichen enriched media. This innovative methodology is also applicable to other microorganisms inhabiting these

  9. Sensitivity analysis of thermodynamic properties of liquid water: a general approach to improve empirical potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iordanov, Tzvetelin D; Schenter, Gregory K; Garrett, Bruce C

    2006-01-19

    for modification of the potentials to improve predictions of thermodynamic properties and we demonstrate this general approach for modifying potentials for one of the potentials.

  10. Highly curved image sensors: a practical approach for improved optical performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guenter, Brian; Joshi, Neel; Stoakley, Richard; Keefe, Andrew; Geary, Kevin; Freeman, Ryan; Hundley, Jake; Patterson, Pamela; Hammon, David; Herrera, Guillermo; Sherman, Elena; Nowak, Andrew; Schubert, Randall; Brewer, Peter; Yang, Louis; Mott, Russell; McKnight, Geoff

    2017-06-12

    The significant optical and size benefits of using a curved focal surface for imaging systems have been well studied yet never brought to market for lack of a high-quality, mass-producible, curved image sensor. In this work we demonstrate that commercial silicon CMOS image sensors can be thinned and formed into accurate, highly curved optical surfaces with undiminished functionality. Our key development is a pneumatic forming process that avoids rigid mechanical constraints and suppresses wrinkling instabilities. A combination of forming-mold design, pressure membrane elastic properties, and controlled friction forces enables us to gradually contact the die at the corners and smoothly press the sensor into a spherical shape. Allowing the die to slide into the concave target shape enables a threefold increase in the spherical curvature over prior approaches having mechanical constraints that resist deformation, and create a high-stress, stretch-dominated state. Our process creates a bridge between the high precision and low-cost but planar CMOS process, and ideal non-planar component shapes such as spherical imagers for improved optical systems. We demonstrate these curved sensors in prototype cameras with custom lenses, measuring exceptional resolution of 3220 line-widths per picture height at an aperture of f/1.2 and nearly 100% relative illumination across the field. Though we use a 1/2.3" format image sensor in this report, we also show this process is generally compatible with many state of the art imaging sensor formats. By example, we report photogrammetry test data for an APS-C sized silicon die formed to a 30° subtended spherical angle. These gains in sharpness and relative illumination enable a new generation of ultra-high performance, manufacturable, digital imaging systems for scientific, industrial, and artistic use.

  11. Innovative Approaches Using Lichen Enriched Media to Improve Isolation and Culturability of Lichen Associated Bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biosca, Elena G; Flores, Raquel; Santander, Ricardo D; Díez-Gil, José Luis; Barreno, Eva

    2016-01-01

    Lichens, self-supporting mutualistic associations between a fungal partner and one or more photosynthetic partners, also harbor non-photosynthetic bacteria. The diversity and contribution of these bacteria to the functioning of lichen symbiosis have recently begun to be studied, often by culture-independent techniques due to difficulties in their isolation and culture. However, culturing as yet unculturable lichenic bacteria is critical to unravel their potential functional roles in lichen symbiogenesis, to explore and exploit their biotechnological potential and for the description of new taxa. Our objective was to improve the recovery of lichen associated bacteria by developing novel isolation and culture approaches, initially using the lichen Pseudevernia furfuracea. We evaluated the effect of newly developed media enriched with novel lichen extracts, as well as the influence of thalli washing time and different disinfection and processing protocols of thalli. The developed methodology included: i) the use of lichen enriched media to mimic lichen nutrients, supplemented with the fungicide natamycin; ii) an extended washing of thalli to increase the recovery of ectolichenic bacteria, thus allowing the disinfection of thalli to be discarded, hence enhancing endolichenic bacteria recovery; and iii) the use of an antioxidant buffer to prevent or reduce oxidative stress during thalli disruption. The optimized methodology allowed significant increases in the number and diversity of culturable bacteria associated with P. furfuracea, and it was also successfully applied to the lichens Ramalina farinacea and Parmotrema pseudotinctorum. Furthermore, we provide, for the first time, data on the abundance of culturable ecto- and endolichenic bacteria that naturally colonize P. furfuracea, R. farinacea and P. pseudotinctorum, some of which were only able to grow on lichen enriched media. This innovative methodology is also applicable to other microorganisms inhabiting these

  12. Stabilizing Dog Populations and Improving Animal and Public Health Through a Participatory Approach in Indigenous Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schurer, J M; Phipps, K; Okemow, C; Beatch, H; Jenkins, E

    2015-09-01

    Free-roaming dog populations are a global concern for animal and human health including transmission of infectious disease (e.g. rabies, distemper and parasites), dog bite injuries/mortalities, animal welfare and adverse effects on wildlife. In Saskatchewan (SK), Canada, veterinary care is difficult to access in the remote and sparsely inhabited northern half of the province, where the population is predominately Indigenous. Even where veterinary clinics are readily available, there are important barriers such as cost, lack of transportation, unique cultural perspectives on dog husbandry and perceived need for veterinary care. We report the effects of introducing a community action plan designed to improve animal and human health, increase animal health literacy and benefit community well-being in two Indigenous communities where a dog-related child fatality recently occurred. Initial door-to-door dog demographic surveys indicated that most dogs were sexually intact (92% of 382 dogs), and few had ever been vaccinated (6%) or dewormed (6%). Approximately three animal-related injuries requiring medical care were reported in the communities per 1000 persons per year (95% CL: 1.6-6.6), and approximately 86% of 145 environmentally collected dog faecal samples contained parasites, far above levels reported in other urban or rural settings in SK. Following two subsidized spay/neuter clinics and active rehoming of dogs, parasite levels in dog faeces decreased significantly (P dog demographic profile. This project demonstrates the importance of engaging people using familiar, local resources and taking a community specific approach. As well, it highlights the value of integrated, cross-jurisdictional cooperation, utilizing the resources of university researchers, veterinary personnel, public health, environmental health and community-based advocates to work together to solve complex issues in One Health. On-going surveillance on dog bites, parasite levels and dog

  13. Improved EDELWEISS-III sensitivity for low-mass WIMPs using a profile likelihood approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hehn, L. [Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie, Institut fuer Kernphysik, Karlsruhe (Germany); Armengaud, E.; Boissiere, T. de; Gros, M.; Navick, X.F.; Nones, C.; Paul, B. [CEA Saclay, DSM/IRFU, Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex (France); Arnaud, Q. [Univ Lyon, Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1, CNRS/IN2P3, Institut de Physique Nucleaire de Lyon, Lyon (France); Queen' s University, Kingston (Canada); Augier, C.; Billard, J.; Cazes, A.; Charlieux, F.; Jesus, M. de; Gascon, J.; Juillard, A.; Queguiner, E.; Sanglard, V.; Vagneron, L. [Univ Lyon, Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1, CNRS/IN2P3, Institut de Physique Nucleaire de Lyon, Lyon (France); Benoit, A.; Camus, P. [Institut Neel, CNRS/UJF, Grenoble (France); Berge, L.; Chapellier, M.; Dumoulin, L.; Giuliani, A.; Le-Sueur, H.; Marnieros, S.; Olivieri, E.; Poda, D. [CSNSM, Univ. Paris-Sud, CNRS/IN2P3, Universite Paris-Saclay, Orsay (France); Bluemer, J. [Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie, Institut fuer Kernphysik, Karlsruhe (Germany); Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie, Institut fuer Experimentelle Kernphysik, Karlsruhe (Germany); Broniatowski, A. [CSNSM, Univ. Paris-Sud, CNRS/IN2P3, Universite Paris-Saclay, Orsay (France); Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie, Institut fuer Experimentelle Kernphysik, Karlsruhe (Germany); Eitel, K.; Kozlov, V.; Siebenborn, B. [Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie, Institut fuer Kernphysik, Karlsruhe (Germany); Foerster, N.; Heuermann, G.; Scorza, S. [Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie, Institut fuer Experimentelle Kernphysik, Karlsruhe (Germany); Jin, Y. [Laboratoire de Photonique et de Nanostructures, CNRS, Route de Nozay, Marcoussis (France); Kefelian, C. [Univ Lyon, Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1, CNRS/IN2P3, Institut de Physique Nucleaire de Lyon, Lyon (France); Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie, Institut fuer Experimentelle Kernphysik, Karlsruhe (Germany); Kleifges, M.; Tcherniakhovski, D.; Weber, M. [Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie, Institut fuer Prozessdatenverarbeitung und Elektronik, Karlsruhe (Germany); Kraus, H. [University of Oxford, Department of Physics, Oxford (United Kingdom); Kudryavtsev, V.A. [University of Sheffield, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Sheffield (United Kingdom); Pari, P. [CEA Saclay, DSM/IRAMIS, Gif-sur-Yvette (France); Piro, M.C. [CSNSM, Univ. Paris-Sud, CNRS/IN2P3, Universite Paris-Saclay, Orsay (France); Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY (United States); Rozov, S.; Yakushev, E. [JINR, Laboratory of Nuclear Problems, Dubna, Moscow Region (Russian Federation); Schmidt, B. [Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie, Institut fuer Kernphysik, Karlsruhe (Germany); Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    2016-10-15

    We report on a dark matter search for a Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP) in the mass range m{sub χ} element of [4, 30] GeV/c{sup 2} with the EDELWEISS-III experiment. A 2D profile likelihood analysis is performed on data from eight selected detectors with the lowest energy thresholds leading to a combined fiducial exposure of 496 kg-days. External backgrounds from γ- and β-radiation, recoils from {sup 206}Pb and neutrons as well as detector intrinsic backgrounds were modelled from data outside the region of interest and constrained in the analysis. The basic data selection and most of the background models are the same as those used in a previously published analysis based on boosted decision trees (BDT) [1]. For the likelihood approach applied in the analysis presented here, a larger signal efficiency and a subtraction of the expected background lead to a higher sensitivity, especially for the lowest WIMP masses probed. No statistically significant signal was found and upper limits on the spin-independent WIMP-nucleon scattering cross section can be set with a hypothesis test based on the profile likelihood test statistics. The 90 % C.L. exclusion limit set for WIMPs with m{sub χ} = 4 GeV/c{sup 2} is 1.6 x 10{sup -39} cm{sup 2}, which is an improvement of a factor of seven with respect to the BDT-based analysis. For WIMP masses above 15 GeV/c{sup 2} the exclusion limits found with both analyses are in good agreement. (orig.)

  14. Water-sanitation-hygiene mapping: an improved approach for data collection at local level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giné-Garriga, Ricard; de Palencia, Alejandro Jiménez-Fernández; Pérez-Foguet, Agustí

    2013-10-01

    Strategic planning and appropriate development and management of water and sanitation services are strongly supported by accurate and accessible data. If adequately exploited, these data might assist water managers with performance monitoring, benchmarking comparisons, policy progress evaluation, resources allocation, and decision making. A variety of tools and techniques are in place to collect such information. However, some methodological weaknesses arise when developing an instrument for routine data collection, particularly at local level: i) comparability problems due to heterogeneity of indicators, ii) poor reliability of collected data, iii) inadequate combination of different information sources, and iv) statistical validity of produced estimates when disaggregated into small geographic subareas. This study proposes an improved approach for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) data collection at decentralised level in low income settings, as an attempt to overcome previous shortcomings. The ultimate aim is to provide local policymakers with strong evidences to inform their planning decisions. The survey design takes the Water Point Mapping (WPM) as a starting point to record all available water sources at a particular location. This information is then linked to data produced by a household survey. Different survey instruments are implemented to collect reliable data by employing a variety of techniques, such as structured questionnaires, direct observation and water quality testing. The collected data is finally validated through simple statistical analysis, which in turn produces valuable outputs that might feed into the decision-making process. In order to demonstrate the applicability of the method, outcomes produced from three different case studies (Homa Bay District-Kenya-; Kibondo District-Tanzania-; and Municipality of Manhiça-Mozambique-) are presented. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Implementation of Statistics Textbook Support with ICT and Portfolio Assessment Approach to Improve Students Teacher Mathematical Connection Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendikawati, P.; Dewi, N. R.

    2017-04-01

    Statistics needed for use in the data analysis process and had a comprehensive implementation in daily life so that students must master the well statistical material. The use of Statistics textbook support with ICT and portfolio assessment approach was expected to help the students to improve mathematical connection skills. The subject of this research was 30 student teachers who take Statistics courses. The results of this research are the use of Statistics textbook support with ICT and portfolio assessment approach can improve students mathematical connection skills.

  16. Feasibility of a novel participatory multi-sector continuous improvement approach to enhance food security in remote Indigenous Australian communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brimblecombe, J; Bailie, R; van den Boogaard, C; Wood, B; Liberato, S C; Ferguson, M; Coveney, J; Jaenke, R; Ritchie, J

    2017-12-01

    Food insecurity underlies and compounds many of the development issues faced by remote Indigenous communities in Australia. Multi-sector approaches offer promise to improve food security. We assessed the feasibility of a novel multi-sector approach to enhance community food security in remote Indigenous Australia. A longitudinal comparative multi-site case study, the Good Food Systems Good Food for All Project, was conducted (2009-2013) with four Aboriginal communities. Continuous improvement meetings were held in each community. Data from project documents and store sales were used to assess feasibility according to engagement, uptake and sustainability of action, and impact on community diet, as well as identifying conditions facilitating or hindering these. Engagement was established where: the community perceived a need for the approach; where trust was developed between the community and facilitators; where there was community stability; and where flexibility was applied in the timing of meetings. The approach enabled stakeholders in each community to collectively appraise the community food system and plan action. Actions that could be directly implemented within available resources resulted from developing collaborative capacity. Actions requiring advocacy, multi-sectoral involvement, commitment or further resources were less frequently used. Positive shifts in community diet were associated with key areas where actions were implemented. A multi-sector participatory approach seeking continuous improvement engaged committed Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal stakeholders and was shown to have potential to shift community diet. Provision of clear mechanisms to link this approach with higher level policy and decision-making structures, clarity of roles and responsibilities, and processes to prioritise and communicate actions across sectors should further strengthen capacity for food security improvement. Integrating this approach enabling local decision-making into

  17. Children with speech sound disorder: Comparing a non-linguistic auditory approach with a phonological intervention approach to improve phonological skills

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina eMurphy

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to compare the effects of a non-linguistic auditory intervention approach with a phonological intervention approach on the phonological skills of children with speech sound disorder. A total of 17 children, aged 7-12 years, with speech sound disorder were randomly allocated to either the non-linguistic auditory temporal intervention group (n = 10, average age 7.7 ± 1.2 or phonological intervention group (n = 7, average age 8.6 ± 1.2. The intervention outcomes included auditory-sensory measures (auditory temporal processing skills and cognitive measures (attention, short-term memory, speech production and phonological awareness skills. The auditory approach focused on non-linguistic auditory training (eg. backward masking and frequency discrimination, whereas the phonological approach focused on speech sound training (eg. phonological organisation and awareness. Both interventions consisted of twelve 45-minute sessions delivered twice per week, for a total of nine hours. Intra-group analysis demonstrated that the auditory intervention group showed significant gains in both auditory and cognitive measures, whereas no significant gain was observed in the phonological intervention group. No significant improvement on phonological skills was observed in any of the groups. Inter-group analysis demonstrated significant differences between the improvement following training for both groups, with a more pronounced gain for the non-linguistic auditory temporal intervention in one of the visual attention measures and both auditory measures. Therefore, both analyses suggest that although the non-linguistic auditory intervention approach appeared to be the most effective intervention approach, it was not sufficient to promote the enhancement of phonological skills.

  18. Cross border Classical Swine Fever control: Improving Dutch and German crisis management systems by an integrated public-private approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Breuer, O.; Saatkamp, H.W.; Schütz, V.; Brinkmann, D.; Petersen, B.

    2008-01-01

    The objective of this research approach is to analyse in which ways crisis management measures against Classical Swine Fever (CSF) can be improved by a public private cross border model. A core activity contains the analysis of information and communication systems: In a case study it has been

  19. Improvement of magnetic hardness at finite temperatures: Ab initio disordered local-moment approach for YCo5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsumoto, Munehisa; Banerjee, Rudra; Staunton, Julie B.

    2014-08-01

    Temperature dependence of the magnetocrystalline anisotropy energy and magnetization of the prototypical rare-earth magnet YCo5 is calculated from first principles, utilizing the relativistic disordered local-moment approach. We discuss a strategy to enhance the finite-temperature anisotropy field by hole doping, paving the way for an improvement of the coercivity near room temperature or higher.

  20. Statistically optimal estimation of Greenland Ice Sheet mass variations from GRACE monthly solutions using an improved mascon approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ran, J.; Ditmar, P.G.; Klees, R.; Farahani, H.

    2017-01-01

    We present an improved mascon approach to transform monthly spherical harmonic solutions based on GRACE satellite data into mass anomaly estimates in Greenland. The GRACE-based spherical harmonic coefficients are used to synthesize gravity anomalies at satellite altitude, which are then inverted

  1. Improving 10th Graders' English Communicative Competence through the Implementation of the Task-Based Learning Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buitrago Campo, Ana Carolina

    2016-01-01

    This article reports the results of an action-research project focused on improving students' communicative competence in English through the task-based learning approach. This study was conducted in a co-educational public school in Medellín (Colombia) with thirty-four tenth graders. Actions implemented include the development of a series of…

  2. Improving Sustainability in Global Supply Chains with Private Certification Standards: Testing An Approach for Assessing Their Performance and Impact Potential

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermeulen, Walter; Metselaar, Janneke

    Sustainable supply chain governance approaches aim for improvement of environmental and community living conditions at the developing country's side of the global supply chains. Impact evaluation in remote and multiple sourcing countries is hardly done in practice because of its complexity and

  3. Supporting Self-Improvement in Teaching, Literacy, Language and Numeracy. Tools for Staff Development. Module 4: Teaching and Learning Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basic Skills Agency, 2007

    2007-01-01

    This module provides teachers with practical tools to improve the quality of teaching and learning activities and enable learners to achieve their objectives in literacy, language and numeracy. Unit 1 explores approaches that are particularly appropriate to adult learners, developing thinking skills and involving them in decision making and…

  4. Training self-assessment and task-selection skills: A cognitive approach to improving self-regulated learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kostons, Danny; Van Gog, Tamara; Paas, Fred

    2012-01-01

    Kostons, D., Van Gog, T., & Paas, F. (2012). Training self-assessment and task-selection skills: A cognitive approach to improving self-regulated learning. Learning and Instruction, 22(2), 121-132. doi:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2011.08.004

  5. Approaches to Improve the Performances of the Sea Launch System Performances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatarevs'kyy, K.

    2002-01-01

    The paper dwells on the outlines of the techniques of on-line pre-launch analysis on possibility of safe and reliable LV launch off floating launch system, when actual launch conditions (weather, launcher motion parameters) are beyond design limitations. The technique guarantees to follow the take-off LV trajectory limitations (the shock-free launch) and allows the improvement of the operat- ing characteristics of the floating launch systems at the expense of possibility to authorize the launch even if a number of weather and launcher motion parameters restrictions are exceeded. This paper ideas are applied for LV of Zenit-type launches off tilting launch platform, operative within Sea Launch. The importance, novelty and urgency of the approach under consideration is explained by the fact that the application during floating launch systems operation allows the bringing down of the num- ber of weather-conditioned launch abort cases. And this, in its part, increases the trustworthiness of the mission fulfillment on specific spacecraft injection, since, in the long run, the launch abort may cause the crossing of allowable wait threshold and accordingly the mission abort. All previous launch kinds for these LV did not require the development of the special technique of pre-launch analysis on launch possibility, since weather limitations for stationary launcher condi- tions are basically reduced to the wind velocity limitations. This parameter is reliably monitored and is sure to influence the launch dynamics. So the measured wind velocity allows the thorough picture on the possibility of the launch off the ground-based launcher. Since the floating launch systems commit complex and continuous movements under the exposure of the wind and the waves, the number of parameters is increased and, combined differently, they do not always make the issue on shockless launch critical. The proposed technique of the pre-launch analysis of the forthcoming launch dynamics with the

  6. Improving the oral health of older people: the approach of the WHO Global Oral Health Programme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Poul Erik; Yamamoto, Tatsuo

    2005-04-01

    The proportion of older people continues to grow worldwide, especially in developing countries. Non-communicable diseases are fast becoming the leading causes of disability and mortality, and in coming decades health and social policy-makers will face tremendous challenges posed by the rapidly changing burden of chronic diseases in old age. Chronic disease and most oral diseases share common risk factors. Globally, poor oral health amongst older people has been particularly evident in high levels of tooth loss, dental caries experience, and the prevalence rates of periodontal disease, xerostomia and oral precancer/cancer. The negative impact of poor oral conditions on the quality of life of older adults is an important public health issue, which must be addressed by policy-makers. The means for strengthening oral health programme implementation are available; the major challenge is therefore to translate knowledge into action programmes for the oral health of older people. The World Health Organization recommends that countries adopt certain strategies for improving the oral health of the elderly. National health authorities should develop policies and measurable goals and targets for oral health. National public health programmes should incorporate oral health promotion and disease prevention based on the common risk factors approach. Control of oral disease and illness in older adults should be strengthened through organization of affordable oral health services, which meet their needs. The needs for care are highest among disadvantaged, vulnerable groups in both developed and developing countries. In developing countries the challenges to provision of primary oral health care are particularly high because of a shortage of dental manpower. In developed countries reorientation of oral health services towards prevention should consider oral care needs of older people. Education and continuous training must ensure that oral health care providers have skills in and a

  7. Clustering approaches to improve the performance of low cost air pollution sensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Katie R; Edwards, Peter M; Evans, Mathew J; Lee, James D; Shaw, Marvin D; Squires, Freya; Wilde, Shona; Lewis, Alastair C

    2017-08-24

    Low cost air pollution sensors have substantial potential for atmospheric research and for the applied control of pollution in the urban environment, including more localized warnings to the public. The current generation of single-chemical gas sensors experience degrees of interference from other co-pollutants and have sensitivity to environmental factors such as temperature, wind speed and supply voltage. There are uncertainties introduced also because of sensor-to-sensor response variability, although this is less well reported. The sensitivity of Metal Oxide Sensors (MOS) to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) changed with relative humidity (RH) by up to a factor of five over the range of 19-90% RH and with an uncertainty in the correction of a factor of two at any given RH. The short-term (second to minute) stabilities of MOS and electrochemical CO sensor responses were reasonable. During more extended use, inter-sensor quantitative comparability was degraded due to unpredictable variability in individual sensor responses (to either measurand or interference or both) drifting over timescales of several hours to days. For timescales longer than a week identical sensors showed slow, often downwards, drifts in their responses which diverged across six CO sensors by up to 30% after two weeks. The measurement derived from the median sensor within clusters of 6, 8 and up to 21 sensors was evaluated against individual sensor performance and external reference values. The clustered approach maintained the cost competitiveness of a sensor device, but the median concentration from the ensemble of sensor signals largely eliminated the randomised hour-to-day response drift seen in individual sensors and excluded the effects of small numbers of poorly performing sensors that drifted significantly over longer time periods. The results demonstrate that for individual sensors to be optimally comparable to one another, and to reference instruments, they would likely require

  8. A Modelling Approach for Improved Implementation of Information Technology in Manufacturing Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Langer, Gilad; Larsen, Michael Holm; Kirkby, Lars Phillip

    1997-01-01

    The paper presents a modelling approach which is based on the multiple view perspective of Soft Systems Methodology and an encapsulation of these perspectives into an object orientated model. The approach provide a structured procedure for putting theoretical abstractions of a new production conc...

  9. An improved SWOT evidential reasoning based approach for strategy evaluation under uncertainty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Ramooshjan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Formulation and evaluation of strategy play important role in the strategy management. Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats (SWOT is a famous approach to formulate strategy planning, which relies on external and internal factors. Identifying these factors precisely is very critical for any organization and manager. This study aims at providing a quantitative basis to analytically determine the ranking of the factors in SWOT analysis via Evidential Reasoning (ER approach. This paper applies SWOT and Richard Rumelt's criteria to evaluate strategies in Evidential Reasoning approach. The ER approach has been developed to support MADA under uncertainty. It is based on Dempster’s rule for evidence combination and uses belief functions for dealing with probabilistic uncertainty and ignorance. This research is the first study in the ranking the factors of SWOT and Richard Rumelt approach. An illustrative example is also presented to show the efficiency of our model.

  10. Therapeutic Improvement of Scarring: Mechanisms of Scarless and Scar-Forming Healing and Approaches to the Discovery of New Treatments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nick L. Occleston

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Scarring in the skin after trauma, surgery, burn or sports injury is a major medical problem, often resulting in loss of function, restriction of tissue movement and adverse psychological effects. Whilst various studies have utilised a range of model systems that have increased our understanding of the pathways and processes underlying scar formation, they have typically not translated to the development of effective therapeutic approaches for scar management. Existing treatments are unreliable and unpredictable and there are no prescription drugs for the prevention or treatment of dermal scarring. As a consequence, scar improvement still remains an area of clear medical need. Here we describe the basic science of scar-free and scar-forming healing, the utility of pre-clinical model systems, their translation to humans, and our pioneering approach to the discovery and development of therapeutic approaches for the prophylactic improvement of scarring in man

  11. An evaluation of approaches used to teach quality improvement to pre-registration healthcare professionals: An integrative review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Lorraine; Shepherd, Ashley; Harris, Fiona

    2017-08-01

    Improving the quality of healthcare remains central to UK and international policy, practice and research. In 2003, The Institute of Medicine's 'Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality', advocated quality improvement as a core competency for all healthcare professionals. As a result, developing capacity and capability of those applying improvement methodologies in the pre-registration population has risen, yet, little is known about the teaching approaches employed for this purpose. To describe and analyse educational approaches used to teach quality improvement to pre-registration healthcare professionals and identify enabling and impeding factors. Integrative review. CINAHL, PsychINFO, MEDLINE, ERIC, ASSIA, SCOPUS and Google Scholar were accessed for papers published between 2000 and 2016. Publications where quality improvement education was delivered to pre-registration healthcare professionals were eligible. One author independently screened papers, extracted data using a modified version of the Reporting of Primary Studies in Education Guideline and evaluated methodological quality using the Weight of Evidence Framework. The Kirkpatrick Education Evaluation Model was used to explore the impact of teaching approaches. Enabling and impeding factors were thematically analysed. A narrative synthesis of findings is presented. Ten papers were included, representing nursing, pharmacy and medicine from UK, Norway and USA. Studies comprised four quantitative, four mixed method, one qualitative and one cluster randomised trial, all allocated medium Weight of Evidence. Teaching approaches included experiential learning cited in all studies, didactics in seven, group work in four, seminars in three, self-directed learning in three and simulation in one. Most studies measured Level 1 of the Kirkpatrick Model (reaction), all but one measured Level 2 (skills, knowledge or attitudes), none measured Level 3 (behaviour) and one measured Level 4 (patient outcomes

  12. A novel approach to improving the radiation hardness of SiC Power Devices, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Silicon Carbide Technology for power semiconductors offers a significant improvement in capability that will allow systems to operate at higher voltages and...

  13. A Modelling Approach for Improved Implementation of Information Technology in Manufacturing Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Langer, Gilad; Larsen, Michael Holm; Kirkby, Lars Phillip

    1997-01-01

    The paper presents a modelling approach which is based on the multiple view perspective of Soft Systems Methodology and an encapsulation of these perspectives into an object orientated model. The approach provide a structured procedure for putting theoretical abstractions of a new production...... concept into practice. The paper demonstrates the use of the approach in a practical case. The case involves modelling of the shop floor activities and control system at the aluminium parts production at a Danish manufacturer of state-of-the-art audio-video equipment and telephones....

  14. A modelling approach for improved implementation of information technology in manufacturing systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Michael Holm; Langer, Gilad; Kirkby, Lars Phillip

    2000-01-01

    concept into practice. The paper demonstrates the use of the approach in a practical case, which involves modelling of the shop floor activities and control system at the aluminium parts production at a Danish manufacturer of state-of-the-art audio-video equipment and telephones.......The paper presents a modelling approach, which is based on the multiple view perspective of Soft Systems Methodology and an encapsulation of these perspectives into an object orientated model. The approach provides a structured procedure for putting theoretical abstractions of a new production...

  15. Generic project definitions for improvement of health care delivery: A case-base approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Niemeijer, G.C.; Does, R.J.M.M.; de Mast, J.; Trip, A.; van den Heuvel, J.

    2011-01-01

    Background: The purpose of this article is to create actionable knowledge, making the definition of process improvement projects in health care delivery more effective. Methods: This study is a retrospective analysis of process improvement projects in hospitals, facilitating a case-based reasoning

  16. An Urban School Leader's Approach to School Improvement: Toward Contextually Responsive Leadership

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Latish C.; Swaminathan, Raji

    2016-01-01

    This case study examines the leadership practices and actions of an urban high school principal who faced many challenges, but worked diligently to improve student achievement and school climate over a 3-year period. Significant improvements were made by using elements of Distributed Leadership, Professional Learning Communities, and Social…

  17. Accounting for health and health care: approaches to measuring the sources and costs of their improvement

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Panel to Advance a Research Program on the Design of National Health Accounts; National Research Council; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; National Research Council

    .... Accounting for Health and Health Care addresses both these issues. The government agencies responsible for measuring unit prices for medical services have taken steps in recent years that have greatly improved the accuracy of those measures. Nonetheless, this book has several recommendations aimed at further improving the price indices.

  18. A Systems Thinking Approach To The Sustainability Of Quality Improvement Programmes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Dyk, Dirk Johannes

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The challenge for organisations to continually provide the best return on investment for their shareholders has become increasingly difficult through globalisation of the market place. There are many responses a company could make to these challenges for example, new product development, increased market capitalisation, cost reduction initiatives, and quality management. This last response focuses on, but is not restricted to, customer satisfaction, continuous improvement, and environmental impact. Continuous improvement addresses waste in the business design and manufacturing processes, which could lead to improved profit margins. The sustainability of quality improvement programmes remains a challenge. Causality can be studied, using Six Sigma tools, to relate cause and effect. But these tools do not always allow the user to study and understand feedback from other factors, such as soft human issues, in the improvement process system, typically referred to as feedback causality. System dynamics may improve this understanding. Quality improvement programmes in the heavy engineering manufacturing environment are not researched to the same degree as those in the automotive manufacturing environment. The purpose of this paper is to share results from research into the sustainability of quality improvement programmes, and the development of an appropriate system dynamics model, using qualitative case study data gathered and coded in a heavy engineering manufacturing environment.

  19. An Approach to Improve the Match-on-Card ngerprint Authentication System Security

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Nair, Kishor Krishnan

    2016-08-18

    Full Text Available difference between the conventional FAS authentication process and FAS using smart card process is all about the authentication location. FAS authentication using smart card token is possible through four authentication approaches. They are the Template...

  20. Improving Malawian teachers' mental health knowledge and attitudes: an integrated school mental health literacy approach

    OpenAIRE

    Kutcher, S.; Gilberds, H.; Morgan, C.; Greene, R.; Hamwaka, K.; Perkins, K.

    2015-01-01

    Background. Mental health literacy is foundational for mental health promotion, prevention, stigma reduction and care. Integrated school mental health literacy interventions may offer an effective and sustainable approach to enhancing mental health literacy for educators and students globally. Methods. Through a Grand Challenges Canada funded initiative called ?An Integrated Approach to Addressing the Issue of Youth Depression in Malawi and Tanzania?, we culturally adapted a previously demons...

  1. Improving Information Flow in Small Scale Application : Selected Approaches and Concepts

    OpenAIRE

    Lundqvist, Magnus

    2004-01-01

    Many problems regarding information supply within enterprises can be solved with either traditional Information Retrieval or Knowledge Management technologies or with an Information Logistic approach, where a demand-driven approach to information supply is pursued with the aim to take into account such aspects as time and location. However, to build the right kind of solutions based on any of these technologies, providing higher quality of information supply could be utilized if the informati...

  2. Toward Finding an Approach for Improving Rhetorical Organization of EFL Learners’ Argumentative Writing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toktam Miri

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed at examining the probable impact of three distinct approaches to teaching writing, namely Process, Process-product and Product approaches on the rhetorical organization of EFL learners’ argumentative essays. To fulfill this aim, after ensuring the homogeneity of the 45 participants of the study through Oxford Placement Test (OPT the learners who were all at the intermediate level of English proficiency were divided into three groups comprising of 15 learners, each receiving instruction for 6 sessions based on the aforementioned approaches. After teaching the basic structure of an argumentative essay, the students in each group were required to write an essay in each session. In the last session they were asked to produce an essay which was considered as their post-test. The rhetorical organization of their writings was analyzed using a rubric adopted from the study of Tsai (2006. Using SPSS 16, the results of One-way ANOVA at the alpha level of .05 revealed that there was a significant difference between those who wrote based on process approach and also process-product approach and those who were taught on the basis of product approach to writing. The pedagogical implications of the study are further discussed throughout the paper.

  3. Radiation safety infrastructure in developing countries: a proactive approach for integrated and continuous improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mrabit, Khammar

    2008-01-01

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (the Agency) is authorized, by its statute, to establish or adopt safety standards for the protection of health and minimization of danger to life and property, and to provide for their application to its own operations as well as to operations under its control or supervision. The Agency has been assisting, since the mid 1960 's, its Member States through mainly its Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) to improve their national radiation safety infrastructures. However up to the early nineties, assistance was specific and mostly ad hoc and did not systematically utilize an integrated and harmonized approach to achieving effective and sustainable national radiation safety infrastructures in Member States. An unprecedented and integrated international cooperative effort was launched by the Agency in 1994 to establish and/or upgrade the national radiation safety infrastructure in more than 90 countries within the framework of its TCP through the so-called Model project on upgrading radiation protection infrastructure. In this project proactive co-operation with Member States was used in striving towards achieving an effective and sustainable radiation safety infrastructure, compatible with the International basic safety standards for protection against ionizing radiation and for the safety of radiation sources (the BSS) and related standards. Extension to include compatibility with the guidance of the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources occurred towards the end of the Model Project in December 2004, and with the more recent ensuing follow up projects that started in 2005. The Model Project started with 5 countries in 1994 and finished with 91 countries in 2004. Up to the end of 2007 more than one hundred Member States had been participating in follow up projects covering six themes - namely: legislative and regulatory infrastructure; occupational radiation protection; radiation protection in

  4. A Collaborative Learning Network Approach to Improvement: The CUSP Learning Network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, Sallie J; Lofthus, Jennifer; Sawyer, Melinda; Greer, Lee; Opett, Kristin; Reynolds, Catherine; Wyskiel, Rhonda; Peditto, Stephanie; Pronovost, Peter J

    2015-04-01

    Collaborative improvement networks draw on the science of collaborative organizational learning and communities of practice to facilitate peer-to-peer learning, coaching, and local adaption. Although significant improvements in patient safety and quality have been achieved through collaborative methods, insight regarding how collaborative networks are used by members is needed. Improvement Strategy: The Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) Learning Network is a multi-institutional collaborative network that is designed to facilitate peer-to-peer learning and coaching specifically related to CUSP. Member organizations implement all or part of the CUSP methodology to improve organizational safety culture, patient safety, and care quality. Qualitative case studies developed by participating members examine the impact of network participation across three levels of analysis (unit, hospital, health system). In addition, results of a satisfaction survey designed to evaluate member experiences were collected to inform network development. Common themes across case studies suggest that members found value in collaborative learning and sharing strategies across organizational boundaries related to a specific improvement strategy. The CUSP Learning Network is an example of network-based collaborative learning in action. Although this learning network focuses on a particular improvement methodology-CUSP-there is clear potential for member-driven learning networks to grow around other methods or topic areas. Such collaborative learning networks may offer a way to develop an infrastructure for longer-term support of improvement efforts and to more quickly diffuse creative sustainment strategies.

  5. Biphenylthiazole antibiotics with an oxadiazole linker: An approach to improve physicochemical properties and oral bioavailability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagras, Mohamed; Hegazy, Youssef A; Elkabbany, Amr H; Mohammad, Haroon; Ghiaty, Adel; Abdelghany, Tamer M; Seleem, Mohamed N; Mayhoub, Abdelrahman S

    2018-01-01

    A new series of oxadiazolylbiphenylthiazoles was prepared with the objective of improving the limited solubility of first-generation derivatives while maintaining antibacterial activity against drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Studying the structure-activity relationship at the cationic part provided the piperazine-1-carboximidamide derivative 27 with a MIC (MRSA) value of 1.1 μg/mL, bactericidal mode of action, and a 50-fold improvement in aqueous solubility. Additionally, 27 exhibited a wider safety margin against mammalian cells, and most importantly, a significant improvement in oral bioavailability. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  6. An approach to improving marketing campaign effectiveness and customer experience using geospatial analytics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brink, Michael Philippus

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available This article discusses a case study in which a South African furniture and household goods retailer wishes to improve its marketing campaigns by employing location-based marketing insights, and also to prioritise customer satisfaction. This paper presents two methods used in an exploratory exercise with the aim of improving the retailer’s business in these ways. The methods of customer profiling and identifying geographical customer clusters summarise how the retailer’s strategic marketing strategies and customer experience can be improved. The methods presented in this article rely on the use of spatial data to solve the business problems.

  7. The development of a consensus definition for healthcare improvement science (HIS) in seven European countries: A consensus methods approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skela-Savič, Brigita; Macrae, Rhoda; Lillo-Crespo, Manuel; Rooney, Kevin D

    2017-06-01

    There is a limited body of research in the field of healthcare improvement science (HIS). Quality improvement and 'change making' should become an intrinsic part of everyone's job, every day in all parts of the healthcare system. The lack of theoretical grounding may partly explain the minimal transfer of health research into health policy. This article seeks to present the development of the definition for healthcare improvement science. A consensus method approach was adopted with a two-stage Delphi process, expert panel and consensus group techniques. A total of 18 participants were involved in the expert panel and consensus group, and 153 answers were analysed as a part of the Delphi survey. Participants were researchers, educators and healthcare professionals from Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, Italy, England, Poland, and Romania. A high level of consensus was achieved for the broad definition in the 2nd Delphi iteration (86%). The final definition was agreed on by the consensus group: 'Healthcare improvement science is the generation of knowledge to cultivate change and deliver person-centred care that is safe, effective, efficient, equitable and timely. It improves patient outcomes, health system performance and population health.' The process of developing a consensus definition revealed different understandings of healthcare improvement science between the participants. Having a shared consensus definition of healthcare improvement science is an important step forward, bringing about a common understanding in order to advance the professional education and practice of healthcare improvement science.

  8. Minimally invasive surgical approaches offer earlier time to adjuvant chemotherapy but not improved survival in resected pancreatic cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirkin, Katelin A; Greenleaf, Erin K; Hollenbeak, Christopher S; Wong, Joyce

    2018-05-01

    Pancreatic surgery encompasses complex operations with significant potential morbidity. Greater experience in minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has allowed resections to be performed laparoscopically and robotically. This study evaluates the impact of surgical approach in resected pancreatic cancer. The National Cancer Data Base (2010-2012) was reviewed for patients with stages 1-3 resected pancreatic carcinoma. Open approaches were compared to MIS. A sub-analysis was then performed comparing robotic and laparoscopic approaches. Of the 9047 patients evaluated, surgical approach was open in 7511 (83%), laparoscopic in 992 (11%), and robotic in 131 (1%). The laparoscopic and robotic conversion rate to open was 28% (n = 387) and 17% (n = 26), respectively. Compared to open, MIS was associated with more distal resections (13.5, 24.3%, respectively, p offered significantly shorter LOS in all types. Multivariate analysis demonstrated no survival benefit for any MIS approach relative to open (all, p > 0.05). When adjusted for patient, disease, and treatment characteristics, TTC was not an independent prognostic factor (HR 1.09, p = 0.084). MIS appears to offer comparable surgical oncologic benefit with improved LOS and shorter TTC. This effect, however, was not associated with improved survival.

  9. Business Process Improvement in Commercial Ship Division of PT. X: A Theory of Constraints Thinking Process Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Utario Esna Putra

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available PT. X as one of the biggest shipyard is facing a great challenge to keep its existence. One of its division which has the largest production capacity and expected contribution, is Commercial Ship Division. At 2011 it only fulfilled 23,1% of its target, which brought a huge loss to the corporate. That condition presses Commercial Ship Division to manage a continuous improvement in business process. Facing a constrained resources, all effort must be effectively and efficiently carried on. In this research, solution in business process improvement is approached using Theory of Constraints Thinking Process. From Current Reality Tree (CRT diagram, the model of problem is acquired. Future Reality Tree (FRT diagram is used to depict how injection influence the improvement. Transition Tree (TT is assembled to arrange the necessary step for improvement or a road map.

  10. A probabilistic scenario approach for developing improved Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+ baselines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malika Virah-Sawmy

    2015-07-01

    By generating robust probabilistic baseline scenarios, exponential smoothing models can facilitate the effectiveness of REDD+ payments, support a more efficient allocation of scarce conservation resources, and improve our understanding of effective forest conservation investments, also beyond REDD+.

  11. A profile-aware microtasking approach for improving task assignment in crowdsourcing services

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mtsweni, Jabu

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available research methodology was adopted to build the proposed artefact, which was evaluated for relevance using comparative analysis and crowdsourcing metrics. The results suggest that exploiting micro workers' profiles could improve task design, assignment...

  12. A Process for Making On-Going Improvements for Dispensing Medication: Using a TQM Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-06-01

    to Total Quality Management, Chapter 14, "Getting on With It: A Plan for Implementation," pp. 153-178, 1990. 27. Shingo , Shigeo , Zero Quality Contrcl...errors that pass through the various stages of the drug order filling process, the pharmacy can achieve the kind of standards expected from them. Shigeo ... Shingo , a composer of some very popular models for making process improvements was once called "Doctor Improvement." Mr. Shingo was described as an

  13. Analog Circuit Fault Diagnosis Approach Based on Improved Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming-Fang WANG

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The basic thought of particle swarm optimization is introduced firstly, then particle swarm optimization algorithm model is established. The application of the improved particle swarm optimization algorithm to power supply system fault diagnosis is analyzed in accordance with problem of the algorithm, and migration strategy is added to particle swarm optimization algorithm. Finally the parameters of the wide area damping controller are adjusted by the improved particle swarm optimization algorithm.

  14. An improved approach to exchange non-rectangular departments in CRAFT algorithm

    OpenAIRE

    Esmaeili Aliabadi, Danial; Pourghannad, Behrooz

    2012-01-01

    In this Paper, an algorithm which improves CRAFT algorithm’s efficacy is developed. CRAFT is an algorithm widely used to solve facility layout problems. Our proposed method, named Plasma, can be used to improve CRAFT results. In this note, Plasma algorithm is tested in several sample problems. The comparison between Plasma and classic CRAFT and also Micro-CRAFT indicates that Plasma is successful in cost reduction in comparison with CRAFT and Micro-CRAFT.

  15. [Improvement of healthy lifestyle habits in university students through a gamification approach].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez López, Isaac José; Rivera García, Enrique; Delgado-Fernández, Manuel

    2017-07-28

    Health education is one of the primary tools for health promotion, especially for those that will be responsible for educating on healthy habits in the future. To improve healthy lifestyle habits in university students through an educational intervention based on gamification. A cuasiexperimental design of two groups (i.e., experimental groups and control group) with pretest and postest measurements was carried out. A 4-month intervention was implemented in 148 students from the Physical Activity and Sport Sciences university degree. Habits related to diet and physical activity were evaluated using a questionnaire (scaled from -40 a +50) and the teaching-learning process through a qualitative analysis. At the end of the intervention, a very significant improvement was found in the global value of the healthy lifestyle habits of the experimental group (+13,5), highlighting the improvement obtained in its higher level of compliance in the breakfast (53,4%), in the number of diary meals (31,5%), in the reduction of the consumption of soft-drinks (19,2%) and in the increase of physical activity level, with an improvement of 12,3% of participants with respect to the baseline levels. On the other hand, no significant improvements were found in the control group. An educational intervention based on gamification improves healthy lifestyle habits of the students.

  16. The improvement of approaches to assessment of the financial condition of economic entities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Senko A.E.

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available according to the author, the lack of unified approaches to the calculation of financial indicators, the multiple interpretations of their meanings ​​and the imperfection of information support of financial analysis hamper the effectiveness of economic entities operating under market principles. The existing approach to determining the financial condition of an enterprise does not always give the required qualitative result of an evaluation of its financial and economic activities. While analyzing the financial status of economic entities, it would be useful to take into account their industry particularities, size and organizational structure, development strategy and competitiveness in the market for goods and services.

  17. Improved installation approach for variable spring setting on a pipe yet to be insulated

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shah, H.H.; Chitnis, S.S.; Rencher, D.

    1993-01-01

    This paper provides an approach in setting of variable spring supports for noninsulated or partially insulated piping systems so that resetting these supports is not required when the insulation is fully installed. This approach shows a method of deriving the spring coldload setting tolerance values that can be readily utilized by craft personnel. This method is based on the percentage of the weight of the insulation compared to the total weight of the pipe and the applicable tolerance. Use of these setting tolerances eliminates reverification of the original cold-load settings, for the majority of variable springs when the insulation is fully installed

  18. Delivering beneficial impacts in Assistive Technology: Improving government's approach to innovation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Joseph P

    2015-01-01

    Society typically relies on the industrial sector to supply product and service innovations through the free market system. In some areas of free market failure deemed important to society - such as Assistive Technology - governments intervene by applying alternative innovation systems. This paper contends that governments consistently and inappropriately support an exploratory grant approach led by academia which generates knowledge in conceptual and prototype states, and instead should shift to a procurement contract approach led by industry which designs, tests and deploys commercial products and services.

  19. Comparison of Effectiveness of Adeli Suit Therapy and Bobath Approach on Gross Motor Function Improvement in Children with Cerebral Palsy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Khayat-Zadeh-Mahani

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of Adeli Suit Therapy (AST and Bobath approach on improvement of gross motor function in children with cerebral palsy aged 4 to 11 years of old. Materials & Methods: In this experimental and randomized clinical trial study, 24 children with cerebral palsy were selected simply according to inclusive and exclusive criteria from patients referred to ValieAsr rehabilitation center and then assigned into two Adeli Suit Thrapy and Bobath groups by simple random method. Period of therapeutic intervention was 36 sessions, 3 times per week for both groups. Assessment tool was Gross Motor Function Measure test (GMFM–66. Data was analyzed by Kolmogroff Smirnoff, Independent T-test and ANOVA for repeated measurements. Results: After intervention, the gross motor function improved significantly in both groups (P<0.001. Follow up study revealed significant improvement of functions in Adeli Suit group (P=0.007 and significant regression of functions in Bobath group (P=0.004. There was no significant difference, just after the intervention, between two groups (P=0.598, but there was significant difference between two groups at follow up assessments (P=0.002. Conclusion: Both Adeli Suit and Bobath approaches are effective in improvement of gross motor functions in children with cerebral palsy during the therapeutic sessions. At follow up study, the Adeli Suit group, were still improving their function whereas the Bobath group regressed.

  20. Improving the Quality of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision through Use of the Continuous Quality Improvement Approach: A Pilot in 30 PEPFAR-Supported Sites in Uganda.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Byabagambi

    improvement approach.

  1. Improving the Quality of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision through Use of the Continuous Quality Improvement Approach: A Pilot in 30 PEPFAR-Supported Sites in Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byabagambi, John; Marks, Pamela; Megere, Humphrey; Karamagi, Esther; Byakika, Sarah; Opio, Alex; Calnan, Jacqueline; Njeuhmeli, Emmanuel

    2015-01-01

    Uganda adopted voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) (also called Safe Male Circumcision in Uganda), as part of its HIV prevention strategy in 2010. Since then, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has implemented VMMC mostly with support from the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through its partners. In 2012, two PEPFAR-led external quality assessments evaluated compliance of service delivery sites with minimum quality standards. Quality gaps were identified, including lack of standardized forms or registers, lack of documentation of client consent, poor preparedness for emergencies and use of untrained service providers. In response, PEPFAR, through a USAID-supported technical assistance project, provided support in quality improvement to the MOH and implementing partners to improve quality and safety in VMMC services and build capacity of MOH staff to continuously improve VMMC service quality. Sites were supported to identify barriers in achieving national standards, identify possible solutions to overcome the barriers and carry out improvement plans to test these changes, while collecting performance data to objectively measure whether they had bridged gaps. A 53-indicator quality assessment tool was used by teams as a management tool to measure progress; teams also measured client-level indicators through self-assessment of client records. At baseline (February-March 2013), less than 20 percent of sites scored in the "good" range (>80%) for supplies and equipment, patient counseling and surgical procedure; by November 2013, the proportion of sites scoring "good" rose to 67 percent, 93 percent and 90 percent, respectively. Significant improvement was noted in post-operative follow-up at 48 hours, sexually transmitted infection assessment, informed consent and use of local anesthesia but not rate of adverse events. Public sector providers can be engaged to address the quality of VMMC using a continuous quality improvement approach.

  2. Communicative Approach: An Alternative Method Used in Improving Students' Academic Reading Achievement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irmawati, Noer Doddy

    2012-01-01

    Academic reading is a difficult subject to be mastered. It is needed because most of books or references are written in English. The emphasis is on academic reading which becomes a compulsory subject that must be taught and understood in Faculty of Letters UAD Yogyakarta. Communicative approach is used and applied as an alternative method in the…

  3. 2nd Skin approach to zero energy rental properties : Occupancy patterns to improve energy simulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guerra Santin, O.; Silvester, S.; Konstantinou, T.

    2015-01-01

    A number of second skin solutions have been developed in recent years to solve the problem of large scale renovation of housing. The 2ndSkin approach presented in this paper is currently under development by a consortium of academic and industry partners in the Netherlands. The objective of the

  4. An Approach to Semantic Interoperability for Improved Capability Exchanges in Federations of Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moschoglou, Georgios

    2013-01-01

    This study seeks an affirmative answer to the question whether a knowledge-based approach to system of systems interoperation using semantic web standards and technologies can provide the centralized control of the capability for exchanging data and services lacking in a federation of systems. Given the need to collect and share real-time…

  5. Approaches to improvement of treatment results of malignant tumors in adolescents and young adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. G. Rumyantsev

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This article provides an overview of clinical and biological features of most common malignant tumors in adolescents and young adults. The most effective pediatric and oncological treatment approaches to described diseases based on own experience are summarized.

  6. Students' Game Performance Improvements during a Hybrid Sport Education-Step-Game-Approach Volleyball Unit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araújo, Rui; Mesquita, Isabel; Hastie, Peter; Pereira, Cristiana

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine a hybrid combination of sport education and the step-game-approach (SGA) on students' gameplay performance in volleyball, taking into account their sex and skill-level. Seventeen seventh-grade students (seven girls, 10 boys, average age 11.8) participated in a 25-lesson volleyball season, in which the…

  7. Improving Student Achievement and Satisfaction by Adopting a Blended Learning Approach to Inorganic Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Neil A.; Bland, Will; Christie, Gillian

    2008-01-01

    A blended learning approach to the teaching of a level 2 inorganic chemistry module is presented. Lectures were replaced by study packs, which were supported by formative on-line assessment delivered via Blackboard and a programme of 20 workshops. Learning activities written using the Lockwood format were included in the study pack to facilitate…

  8. Food Control and a Citizen Science Approach for Improving Teaching of Genetics in Universities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borrell, Y. J.; Muñoz-Colmenero, A. M.; Dopico, E.; Miralles, L.; Garcia-Vazquez, E.

    2016-01-01

    A Citizen Science approach was implemented in the laboratory practices of Genetics at the University of Oviedo, related with the engaging topic of Food Control. Real samples of food products consumed by students at home ("students as samplers") were employed as teaching material in three different courses of Genetics during the academic…

  9. The "Flipped Classroom" Approach: Stimulating Positive Learning Attitudes and Improving Mastery of Histology among Medical Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Xin; Ka Ho Lee, Kenneth; Chang, Eric Y.; Yang, Xuesong

    2017-01-01

    Traditional medical education methodologies have been dramatically impacted by the introduction of new teaching approaches over the past few decades. In particular, the "flipped classroom" format has drawn a great deal of attention. However, evidence regarding the effectiveness of the flipped model remains limited due to a lack of…

  10. Project-Based Learning: A Promising Approach to Improving Student Outcomes. Issue Focus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quint, Janet; Condliffe, Barbara

    2018-01-01

    The concept of project-based learning (PBL) has garnered wide support among a number of K-12 education policy advocates and funders. PBL is viewed as an approach that enables students to develop the "21st century competencies"--cognitive and socioemotional skills--needed for success in college and careers. This issue focus, pulling from…

  11. Improving Students' Chemical Literacy Levels on Thermochemical and Thermodynamics Concepts through a Context-Based Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cigdemoglu, Ceyhan; Geban, Omer

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to delve into the effect of context-based approach (CBA) over traditional instruction (TI) on students' chemical literacy level related to thermochemical and thermodynamics concepts. Four eleventh-grade classes with 118 students in total taught by two teachers from a public high school in 2012 fall semester were enrolled…

  12. Improving Argumentative Writing: Effects of a Blended Learning Approach and Gamification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Yau Wai; Hew, Khe Foon; Chiu, Kin Fung

    2018-01-01

    This study investigated the effectiveness of a blended learning approach--involving the thesis, analysis, and synthesis key (TASK) procedural strategy; online Edmodo discussions; online message labels; and writing models--on student argumentative writing in a Hong Kong secondary school. It also examined whether the application of digital game…

  13. An approach for functional safety improvement of an existing automotive system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Khabbaz Saberi, A.; Luo, Y.; Pawel Cichosz, F.; Brand, M. van den; Jansen, S.T.H.

    2015-01-01

    Safety of automotive systems is becoming more involved, specially for the case of autonomous vehicles. The ISO 26262 standard offers a systematic approach for designing a safe road vehicle (or subsystems of a car) from design phase through its production. However, providing functional safety

  14. Helping families improve: an evaluation of two primary care approaches to parenting support in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Graaf, I.M. de; Onrust, S.A.; Haverman, M.C.C.; Janssens, J.M.A.M.

    2009-01-01

    The present study evaluated two primary care parenting interventions. First, we evaluated the most widely used Dutch practices for primary care parenting support. Second, we assessed the applicability of the Primary Care Triple P approach, which is now being utilized in a wide variety of primary

  15. Improving low health literacy and patient engagement: A social ecological approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormack, Lauren; Thomas, Veronica; Lewis, Megan A; Rudd, Rima

    2017-01-01

    This article posits four principal objectives related to the overarching goal of broadening the conceptualization of health literacy. We propose a social ecological approach to health literacy and patient engagement by illustrating how this multilevel approach offers an array of strategic options for interventions. A social ecological approach supports a broader understanding of health literacy that aligns with increased patient engagement. The ecological model highlights the importance of context, demonstrates how health literacy and patient engagement are inextricably connected, and gives rise to strategies to enhance them both. We illustrate the five multilevel intervention strategies for addressing low health literacy and promoting patient engagement: accumulation, amplification, facilitation, cascade, and convergence strategies. In addition, we provide a theoretical foundation to facilitate the development of interventions to enhance health literacy and ultimately increase patient engagement. The practice implications of adopting a broader social ecological perspective to address low health literacy shifts the field from thinking about individual educational interventions to how individual interventions may be augmented or supported by interventions at additional levels of influence. The potential benefit of adopting a multilevel intervention approach is that combining interventions could produce synergies that are greater than interventions that only utilize one level of influence. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. IMPROVING GLYCEMIC CONTROL SAFELY IN CRITICAL CARE PATIENTS: A COLLABORATIVE SYSTEMS APPROACH IN NINE HOSPITALS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maynard, Gregory A; Holdych, Janet; Kendall, Heather; Harrison, Karen; Montgomery, Patricia A; Kulasa, Kristen

    2017-05-01

    Safely improve glycemic control in the critical care units of nine hospitals. Critical care adult inpatients from nine hospitals with ≥4 point-of-care blood glucose (BG) readings over ≥2 days were targeted by collaborative improvement efforts to reduce hyper- and hypoglycemia. Balanced glucometric goals for each hospital were set targeting improvement from baseline or goals deemed desirable from Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) benchmarking data. Collaborative interventions included standardized insulin infusion protocols, hypoglycemia prevention bundles, audit and feedback, education, and measure-vention (coupling measurement of patients "off protocol" with concurrent interventions to correct suboptimal care). All sites improved glycemic control. Six reached prespecified levels of improvement of the day-weighted mean BG. The day-weighted mean BG for the cohort decreased by 7.7 mg/dL (95% confidence interval [CI], 7.0 mg/dL to 8.4 mg/dL) to 151.3 mg/dL. Six of nine sites showed improvement in the percent intensive care unit (ICU) days with severe hyperglycemia (any BG >299 mg/dL). ICU severe hyperglycemic days declined from 8.6 to 7.2% for the cohort (relative risk, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.80 to 0.88). Patient days with any BG <70 mg/dL were reduced by 0.4% (95% CI, 0.06% to 0.6%), from 4.5 to 4.1%, for a small but statistically significant reduction in hypoglycemia. Seven of nine sites showed improvement. Multihospital improvements in ICU glycemic control, severe hyperglycemia, and hypoglycemia are feasible. Balanced goals for glycemic control and hypoglycemia in the ICU using SHM benchmarks and metrics enhanced successful improvement efforts with good staff acceptance and sustainability. BG = blood glucose CMI = case-mix index CY = calendar year DKA = diabetic ketoacidosis EMR = electronic medical record GBMF = Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation ICU = intensive care unit IIP = insulin infusion protocol SHM = Society of z Hospital Medicine.

  17. A motivational counseling approach to improving heart failure self-care: mechanisms of effectiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riegel, Barbara; Dickson, Victoria V; Hoke, Linda; McMahon, Janet P; Reis, Brendali F; Sayers, Steven

    2006-01-01

    Self-care is an integral component of successful heart failure (HF) management. Engaging patients in self-care can be challenging. Fifteen patients with HF enrolled during hospitalization received a motivational intervention designed to improve HF self-care. A mixed method, pretest posttest design was used to evaluate the proportion of patients in whom the intervention was beneficial and the mechanism of effectiveness. Participants received, on average, 3.0 +/- 1.5 home visits (median 3, mode 3, range 1-6) over a three-month period from an advanced practice nurse trained in motivational interviewing and family counseling. Quantitative and qualitative data were used to judge individual patients in whom the intervention produced a clinically significant improvement in HF self-care. Audiotaped intervention sessions were analyzed using qualitative methods to assess the mechanism of intervention effectiveness. Congruence between quantitative and qualitative judgments of improved self-care revealed that 71.4% of participants improved in self-care after receiving the intervention. Analysis of transcribed intervention sessions revealed themes of 1) communication (reflective listening, empathy); 2) making it fit (acknowledging cultural beliefs, overcoming barriers and constraints, negotiating an action plan); and, 3) bridging the transition from hospital to home (providing information, building skills, activating support resources). An intervention that incorporates the core elements of motivational interviewing may be effective in improving HF self-care, but further research is needed.

  18. Improving 10th Graders’ English Communicative Competence Through the Implementation of the Task-Based Learning Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Carolina Buitrago Campo

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available This article reports the results of an action-research project focused on improving students’ communicative competence in English through the task-based learning approach. This study was conducted in a co-educational public school in Medellín (Colombia with thirty-four tenth graders. Actions implemented include the development of a series of tasks and the definition of four thematic units consistent with the syllabus and students’ interests and needs. The results evidence students’ significant improvements in their communicative competence in English. Findings also show that implementation of the task-based approach was affected by factors related to the teachers’ role and others related to students’ performance.

  19. Improving credibility and transparency of conservation impact evaluations through the partial identification approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McConnachie, Matthew M; Romero, Claudia; Ferraro, Paul J; van Wilgen, Brian W

    2016-04-01

    The fundamental challenge of evaluating the impact of conservation interventions is that researchers must estimate the difference between the outcome after an intervention occurred and what the outcome would have been without it (counterfactual). Because the counterfactual is unobservable, researchers must make an untestable assumption that some units (e.g., organisms or sites) that were not exposed to the intervention can be used as a surrogate for the counterfactual (control). The conventional approach is to make a point estimate (i.e., single number along with a confidence interval) of impact, using, for example, regression. Point estimates provide powerful conclusions, but in nonexperimental contexts they depend on strong assumptions about the counterfactual that often lack transparency and credibility. An alternative approach, called partial identification (PI), is to first estimate what the counterfactual bounds would be if the weakest possible assumptions were made. Then, one narrows the bounds by using stronger but credible assumptions based on an understanding of why units were selected for the intervention and how they might respond to it. We applied this approach and compared it with conventional approaches by estimating the impact of a conservation program that removed invasive trees in part of the Cape Floristic Region. Even when we used our largest PI impact estimate, the program's control costs were 1.4 times higher than previously estimated. PI holds promise for applications in conservation science because it encourages researchers to better understand and account for treatment selection biases; can offer insights into the plausibility of conventional point-estimate approaches; could reduce the problem of advocacy in science; might be easier for stakeholders to agree on a bounded estimate than a point estimate where impacts are contentious; and requires only basic arithmetic skills. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  20. Improving energy efficiency of an Olefin plant – A new approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tahouni, Nassim; Bagheri, Narges; Towfighi, Jafar; Hassan Panjeshahi, M.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: • The retrofit of an Olefin plant is studied to improve the overall energy efficiency. • Three levels of retrofit and optimization of this process are suggested. • A simultaneous method is presented to optimize low-temperature separation processes. - Abstract: Low-temperature gas separation processes are the most important gas separation routes. There is a complex interaction between core process (separation columns), associated heat exchanger network and refrigeration cycles in sub ambient processes. The aim of this paper is performing a comprehensive retrofit study of an Olefin plant (as an industrial example) to improve the overall energy efficiency. In this regard, the effect of improving column operating parameters and refrigeration cycles are first evaluated separately. Then, column operating parameters and refrigeration cycles as well as heat exchanger network are optimized simultaneously using genetic algorithm or simulated annealing. Having compared all results, one can conclude that simultaneous optimization leads to higher efficiency of the overall system

  1. Improving interunit transitions of care between emergency physicians and hospital medicine physicians: a conceptual approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beach, Christopher; Cheung, Dickson S; Apker, Julie; Horwitz, Leora I; Howell, Eric E; O'Leary, Kevin J; Patterson, Emily S; Schuur, Jeremiah D; Wears, Robert; Williams, Mark

    2012-10-01

    Patient care transitions across specialties involve more complexity than those within the same specialty, yet the unique social and technical features remain underexplored. Further, little consensus exists among researchers and practitioners about strategies to improve interspecialty communication. This concept article addresses these gaps by focusing on the hand-off process between emergency and hospital medicine physicians. Sensitivity to cultural and operational differences and a common set of expectations pertaining to hand-off content will more effectively prepare the next provider to act safely and efficiently when caring for the patient. Through a consensus decision-making process of experienced and published authorities in health care transitions, including physicians in both specialties as well as in communication studies, the authors propose content and style principles clinicians may use to improve transition communication. With representation from both community and academic settings, similarities and differences between emergency medicine and internal medicine are highlighted to heighten appreciation of the values, attitudes, and goals of each specialty, particularly pertaining to communication. The authors also examine different communication media, social and cultural behaviors, and tools that practitioners use to share patient care information. Quality measures are proposed within the structure, process, and outcome framework for institutions seeking to evaluate and monitor improvement strategies in hand-off performance. Validation studies to determine if these suggested improvements in transition communication will result in improved patient outcomes will be necessary. By exploring the dynamics of transition communication between specialties and suggesting best practices, the authors hope to strengthen hand-off skills and contribute to improved continuity of care. © 2012 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.

  2. Comparison of Effectiveness of Adeli Suit Therapy and Bobath Approach on Gross Motor Function Improvement in Children with Cerebral Palsy

    OpenAIRE

    Mohammad Khayat-Zadeh-Mahani; Masood Karimlou

    2010-01-01

    Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of Adeli Suit Therapy (AST) and Bobath approach on improvement of gross motor function in children with cerebral palsy aged 4 to 11 years of old. Materials & Methods: In this experimental and randomized clinical trial study, 24 children with cerebral palsy were selected simply according to inclusive and exclusive criteria from patients referred to ValieAsr rehabilitation center and then assigned into two Adeli Suit Thrapy...

  3. Scientific Inquiry: A Problem-Based Approach for Improving Teaching and Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheldon, Peter; Schimmoeller, Peggy; Toteva, Tatiana

    2009-03-01

    We describe a research project that had two goals: (1) to design and develop a content specific science inquiry institute to improve teachers' instructional practices in the sciences and thus students' achievement in science; and (2) to investigate students' perception of scientists as a measure of their attitude toward science, and to see whether an inquiry science curriculum can improve attitudes. We report that certain stereotypical images of scientists are prevalent among students. Teacher participants increased content knowledge and familiarity with using inquiry and hands-on methods in the classroom.

  4. Improving Work Functioning and Mental Health of Health Care Employees Using an E-Mental Health Approach to Workers' Health Surveillance: Pretest–Posttest Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah M. Ketelaar

    2014-12-01

    Conclusion: The EMH approach to WHS improves the work functioning and mental health of nurses and allied health professionals. However, because we found small effects and participation in the offered EMH interventions was low, there is ample room for improvement.

  5. An approach to improving transporting velocity in the long-range ultrasonic transportation of micro-particles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meng, Jianxin; Mei, Deqing; Yang, Keji; Fan, Zongwei

    2014-01-01

    In existing ultrasonic transportation methods, the long-range transportation of micro-particles is always realized in step-by-step way. Due to the substantial decrease of the driving force in each step, the transportation is lower-speed and stair-stepping. To improve the transporting velocity, a non-stepping ultrasonic transportation approach is proposed. By quantitatively analyzing the acoustic potential well, an optimal region is defined as the position, where the largest driving force is provided under the condition that the driving force is simultaneously the major component of an acoustic radiation force. To keep the micro-particle trapped in the optimal region during the whole transportation process, an approach of optimizing the phase-shifting velocity and phase-shifting step is adopted. Due to the stable and large driving force, the displacement of the micro-particle is an approximately linear function of time, instead of a stair-stepping function of time as in the existing step-by-step methods. An experimental setup is also developed to validate this approach. Long-range ultrasonic transportations of zirconium beads with high transporting velocity were realized. The experimental results demonstrated that this approach is an effective way to improve transporting velocity in the long-range ultrasonic transportation of micro-particles

  6. A Plan-Do-Study-Act Approach to Improving Bowel Preparation Quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderwood, Audrey H; Mahoney, Elaine M; Jacobson, Brian C

    Up to 20% of patients presenting for colonoscopy have inadequate bowel cleanliness. In this study, the Plan-Do-Study-Act quality improvement process was used to improve bowel cleanliness among outpatients undergoing screening colonoscopy at Boston Medical Center. Rates of inadequate bowel cleanliness were assessed at baseline (April 2010 to September 2012), during several rapid-cycle experiments (October 2012 to September 2013), and through an observation phase (October 2013 to September 2015). The baseline rate of inadequate cleanliness was 9% with a target of 5%. Gap analysis identified 3 areas amenable to specific interventions: contacting patients, commitment to the procedure, and complexity and variation in instructions. Rates of inadequate cleanliness decreased to 4% at the end of the last intervention, but began rising for new reasons. Standardizing instructions and the use of navigators improved preparation quality. Bowel cleanliness is the end result of a multistep process with areas for improvement at many levels. Long-term monitoring is required to ensure ongoing success.

  7. Improving Diabetes Outcomes Using a Web-Based Registry and Interactive Education: A Multisite Collaborative Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrow, Robert W.; Fletcher, Jason; Kelly, Kim F.; Shea, Laura A.; Spence, Maureen M.; Sullivan, Janet N.; Cerniglia, Joan R.; Yang, YoonJung

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: To support the adoption of guideline concordant care by primary care practices, the New York Diabetes Coalition (NYDC) promoted use of an electronic diabetes registry and developed an interactive educational module on using the registry and improving patient communication. The NYDC hypothesized that use of a registry with immediate…

  8. Opening the black box of quality improvement collaboratives: An Actor-Network theory approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    T. Broer (Tineke); A.P. Nieboer (Anna); R.A. Bal (Roland)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractBackground. Quality improvement collaboratives are often labeled as black boxes because effect studies usually do not describe exactly how the results were obtained. In this article we propose a way of opening such a black box, by taking up a dynamic perspective based on Actor-Network

  9. [An approach to care indicators benchmarking. Learning to improve patient safety].

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Andrés Gimeno, B; Salazar de la Guerra, R M; Ferrer Arnedo, C; Revuelta Zamorano, M; Ayuso Murillo, D; González Soria, J

    2014-01-01

    Improvements in clinical safety can be achieved by promoting a safety culture, professional training, and learning through benchmarking. The aim of this study was to identify areas for improvement after analysing the safety indicators in two public Hospitals in North-West Madrid Region. Descriptive study performed during 2011 in Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro Majadahonda (HUPHM) and Hospital de Guadarrama (HG). The variables under study were 40 indicators on nursing care related to patient safety. Nineteen of them were defined in the SENECA project as care quality standards in order to improve patient safety in the hospitals. The data collected were clinical history, Madrid Health Service assessment reports, care procedures, and direct observation Within the 40 indicators: 22 of them were structured (procedures), HUPHM had 86%, and HG 95% 14 process indicators (training and protocols compliance) with similar results in both hospitals, apart from the care continuity reports and training in hand hygiene. The 4 results indicators (pressure ulcer, falls and pain) showed different results. The analysis of the indicators allowed the following actions to be taken: to identify improvements to be made in each hospital, to develop joint safety recommendations in nursing care protocols in prevention and treatment of chronic wound, to establish systematic pain assessments, and to prepare continuity care reports on all patients transferred from HUPHM to HG. Copyright © 2013 SECA. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  10. Improving Schools through Networks: A New Approach to Urban School Reform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wohlstetter, Priscilla; Malloy, Courtney L.; Chau, Derrick; Polhemus, Jennifer L.

    2003-01-01

    Data from an evaluation of the Annenberg Challenge in Los Angeles, a reform effort that experimented with school networks as a vehicle for improving schools, revealed that when school networks created structures that decentralized power and distributed organizational resources throughout the network, they also enhanced school capacity for reform.…

  11. Improving computer usage for students with physical disabilities through a collaborative approach: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgestig, Maria; Falkmer, Torbjörn; Hemmingsson, Helena

    2013-11-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of an assistive technology (AT) intervention to improve the use of available computers as assistive technology in educational tasks for students with physical disabilities during an ongoing school year. Fifteen students (aged 12-18) with physical disabilities, included in mainstream classrooms in Sweden, and their teachers took part in the intervention. Pre-, post-, and follow-up data were collected with Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS), a computer usage diary, and with the Psychosocial Impact of Assistive Devices Scale (PIADS). Teachers' opinions of goal setting were collected at follow-up. The intervention improved the goal-related computer usage in educational tasks and teachers reported they would use goal setting again when appropriate. At baseline, students reported a positive impact from computer usage with no differences over time regarding the PIADS subscales independence, adaptability, or self-esteem. The AT intervention showed a positive effect on computer usage as AT in mainstream schools. Some additional support to teachers is recommended as not all students improved in all goal-related computer usage. A clinical implication is that students' computer usage can be improved and collaboratively established computer-based strategies can be carried out by teachers in mainstream schools.

  12. A Multi-Frame Post-Processing Approach to Improved Decoding of H.264/AVC Video

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huang, Xin; Li, Huiying; Forchhammer, Søren

    2007-01-01

    Video compression techniques may yield visually annoying artifacts for limited bitrate coding. In order to improve video quality, a multi-frame based motion compensated filtering algorithm is reported based on combining multiple pictures to form a single super-resolution picture and decimation...

  13. Statewide improvement approach to clinician burnout: Findings from the baseline year

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather R. Britt

    2017-12-01

    We propose a socio-ecological framework for acting on burnout, using a data-driven quality improvement paradigm enabled by a statewide coalition, to ensure that continued efforts do not rest solely at the feet of individuals or systems. Despite high burnout levels, engagement and satisfaction with work are also high, suggesting there is still hope for stemming the tide of burnout.

  14. Opening the black box of quality improvement collaboratives: an Actor-Network theory approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Broer Tineke

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Quality improvement collaboratives are often labeled as black boxes because effect studies usually do not describe exactly how the results were obtained. In this article we propose a way of opening such a black box, by taking up a dynamic perspective based on Actor-Network Theory. We thereby analyze how the problematisation process and the measurement practices are constructed. Findings from this analysis may have consequences for future evaluation studies of collaboratives. Methods In an ethnographic design we probed two projects within a larger quality improvement collaborative on long term mental health care and care for the intellectually disabled. Ethnographic observations were made at nine national conferences. Furthermore we conducted six case studies involving participating teams. Additionally, we interviewed the two program leaders of the overall projects. Results In one project the problematisation seemed to undergo a shift of focus away from the one suggested by the project leaders. In the other we observed multiple roles of the measurement instrument used. The instrument did not only measure effects of the improvement actions but also changed these actions and affected the actors involved. Conclusions Effectiveness statistics ideally should be complemented with an analysis of the construction of the collaborative and the improvement practices. Effect studies of collaboratives could benefit from a mixed methods research design that combines quantitative and qualitative methods.

  15. A Practical Approach To Identify and Solve Problems: Continuous Improvement Strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgess, Michael; And Others

    The current pressures of reduced government funding, lower enrollments, and greater scrutiny by governing boards require institutions of higher education to redesign processes and systems to survive. Despite resistance to Total Quality Management (TQM) in academia, it can provide the tools to implement systemic change and quality improvement.…

  16. A systematic review of hand hygiene improvement strategies: a behavioural approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huis, A.; Achterberg, van T.; Bruin, de M.; Grol, R.; Schoonhoven, L.; Hulscher, M.

    2012-01-01

    Background: Many strategies have been designed and evaluated to address the problem of low hand hygiene (HH) compliance. Which of these strategies are most effective and how they work is still unclear. Here we describe frequently used improvement strategies and related determinants of behaviour

  17. A systematic review of hand hygiene improvement strategies: a behavioural approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huis, A.; van Achterberg, T.; de Bruin, M.; Grol, R.; Schoonhoven, L.; Hulscher, M.

    2012-01-01

    Background Many strategies have been designed and evaluated to address the problem of low hand hygiene (HH) compliance. Which of these strategies are most effective and how they work is still unclear. Here we describe frequently used improvement strategies and related determinants of behaviour

  18. A systematic review of hand hygiene improvement strategies: a behavioural approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huis, A.M.P.; van Achterberg, T.; de Bruin, M.; Grol, R.P.T.M.; Schoonhoven, L.; Hulscher, M.E.J.L.

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Many strategies have been designed and evaluated to address the problem of low hand hygiene (HH) compliance. Which of these strategies are most effective and how they work is still unclear. Here we describe frequently used improvement strategies and related determinants of

  19. Financing Secondary Education in Kenya: Exploring Strategic Management Approach for Improving Quality of Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itegi, Florence M.

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to explore the influence of strategic planning in improving the quality of education. The quality of education is directly linked to the effort expended in making arrangements or preparations of educational objectives and determining the requisite resources to facilitate the training, instruction or study that leads to the…

  20. Continuous improvement in managing R&D: A TQM approach at SkogForsk, Sweden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnus Larsson

    1999-01-01

    Continuous improvement is an imperative process for any organization) even in the R&D field) who wants to stay competitive and alive. Our experience is that the most important ingredients in this process are engagement and participation by everybody) shared visions) and a holistic view of the organization. Structural changes and quick fixes cannot accomplish this....