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. Robotic technological aids in esophageal surgery

    OpenAIRE

    Rebecchi, Fabrizio; Allaix, Marco E.; Morino, Mario

    2017-01-01

    Robotic technology is an emerging technology that has been developed in order to overcome some limitations of the standard laparoscopic approach, offering a stereoscopic three-dimensional visualization of the surgical field, increased maneuverability of the surgical tools with consequent increased movement accuracy and precision and improved ergonomics. It has been used for the surgical treatment of most benign esophageal disorders. More recently, it has been proposed also for patients with o...

  3. The Conceptualization of the Mathematical Modelling Process in Technology-Aided Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hidiroglu, Çaglar Naci; Güzel, Esra Bukova

    2017-01-01

    The aim of the study is to conceptualize the technology-aided mathematical modelling process in the frame of cognitive modelling perspective. The grounded theory approach was adopted in the study. The research was conducted with seven groups consisting of nineteen prospective mathematics teachers. The data were collected from the video records of…

  4. Robotic technological aids in esophageal surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebecchi, Fabrizio; Allaix, Marco E; Morino, Mario

    2017-01-01

    Robotic technology is an emerging technology that has been developed in order to overcome some limitations of the standard laparoscopic approach, offering a stereoscopic three-dimensional visualization of the surgical field, increased maneuverability of the surgical tools with consequent increased movement accuracy and precision and improved ergonomics. It has been used for the surgical treatment of most benign esophageal disorders. More recently, it has been proposed also for patients with operable esophageal cancer. The current evidence shows that there are no real benefits of the robotic technology over conventional laparoscopy in patients undergoing a fundoplication for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), hiatal closure for giant hiatal hernia, or Heller myotomy for achalasia. A few small studies suggest potential advantages in patients undergoing redo surgery for failed fundoplication or Heller myotomy, but large comparative studies are needed to better clarify the role of the robotic technology in these patients. Robot-assisted esophagectomy seems to be safe and effective in selected patients; however, there are no data showing superiority of this approach over both conventional laparoscopic and open surgery. The short-term and long-term oncologic results of ongoing randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are awaited to validate this approach for the treatment of esophageal cancer.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Margin improvement initiatives: realistic approaches

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chan, P.K.; Paquette, S. [Royal Military College of Canada, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Dept., Kingston, ON (Canada); Cunning, T.A. [Department of National Defence, Ottawa, ON (Canada); French, C.; Bonin, H.W. [Royal Military College of Canada, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Dept., Kingston, ON (Canada); Pandey, M. [Univ. of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON (Canada); Murchie, M. [Cameco Fuel Manufacturing, Port Hope, ON (Canada)

    2014-07-01

    With reactor core aging, safety margins are particularly tight. Two realistic and practical approaches are proposed here to recover margins. The first project is related to the use of a small amount of neutron absorbers in CANDU Natural Uranium (NU) fuel bundles. Preliminary results indicate that the fuelling transient and subsequent reactivity peak can be lowered to improve the reactor's operating margins, with minimal impact on burnup when less than 1000 mg of absorbers is added to a fuel bundle. The second project involves the statistical analysis of fuel manufacturing data to demonstrate safety margins. Probability distributions are fitted to actual fuel manufacturing datasets provided by Cameco Fuel Manufacturing, Inc. They are used to generate input for ELESTRES and ELOCA. It is found that the fuel response distributions are far below industrial failure limits, implying that margin exists in the current fuel design. (author)

  8. Improving supervision: a team approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-01-01

    This issue of "The Family Planning Manager" outlines an interactive team supervision strategy as a means of improving family planning service quality and enabling staff to perform to their maximum potential. Such an approach to supervision requires a shift from a monitoring to a facilitative role. Because supervisory visits to the field are infrequent, the regional supervisor, clinic manager, and staff should form a team to share ongoing supervisory responsibilities. The team approach removes individual blame and builds consensus. An effective team is characterized by shared leadership roles, concrete work problems, mutual accountability, an emphasis on achieving team objectives, and problem resolution within the group. The team supervision process includes the following steps: prepare a visit plan and schedule; meet with the clinic manager and staff to explain how the visit will be conducted; supervise key activity areas (clinical, management, and personnel); conduct a problem-solving team meeting; conduct a debriefing meeting with the clinic manager; and prepare a report on the visit, including recommendations and follow-up plans. In Guatemala's Family Planning Unit, teams identify problem areas on the basis of agreement that a problem exists, belief that the problem can be solved with available resources, and individual willingness to accept responsibility for the specific actions identified to correct the problem.

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Realistic biological approaches for improving thermoradiotherapy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Horsman, Michael R

    2016-01-01

    There is now definitive clinical evidence that hyperthermia can successfully improve the response of certain human tumour types to radiation therapy, but, there is still the need for improvement. From a biological standpoint this can be achieved by either targeting the cellular or vascular...... 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...... that controls the maximal heat or radiation treatment that can be applied. Here we review the most clinically relevant biological approaches that have been shown to enhance thermoradiotherapy, or have the potential to be applied in this context, and suggest how these should be moved forward into the clinic....

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Alternative approaches to improve site investigations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beach, R.B.; Silka, L.R.

    1992-01-01

    Common complaints about standard investigations at hazardous waste sites include high costs and long time frames. Investigations at military bases as part of the installation restoration program or base closures suffer additionally from nonuniformity of approach and results and redundancy of work effort conducted by multiple environmental contractors. The problems of high costs and long time frames can be minimized by the consistent use of alternative sampling methods (such as soil gas surveys) and the utilization of analytical screening procedures at both on-site and off-site laboratories. Acceptable data quality is maintained by several procedures. Incorporation of quality control measures (10 % frequency), such as matrix spikes and duplicates, into the alternative analytical techniques allows assessment of the data quality relative to predetermined data quality objectives (DQOs). Confirmation of the screening results (10% frequency) using standard US EPA methods, such as the contract laboratory program (CLP) statement of work (SOW), allows an additional evaluation of the data accuracy. Depending on the investigative objectives, knowledge based computer systems (expert systems,) could be used to improve uniformity of site evaluations. Several case histories will be presented demonstrating how soil gas surveys, screening analyses and standard analyses can be utilized to give increased site information in a reduced time frame and at a cost savings of 30 to 40%. One case history illustrates a screening technique developed by the author for polynuclear aromatics (semi-volatile organic compounds) that can be conducted at a cost savings of 90% relative to a standard US EPA method. A comparison of the phased investigative approach to one using an integrated field team is presented for fuel spill or UST areas

  1. 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.

  2. A Systems Approach to Rapid School Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCauley, Carlas

    2018-01-01

    To support systemic thinking about school improvement, the Center on School Turnaround at WestEd developed a framework to assist states, districts, and schools in leading and managing rapid improvement efforts. The framework, which is presented in this article, has four domains that have proved central to rapid, significant improvement: (1)…

  3. 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 ...

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

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

    2016-06-09

    Jun 9, 2016 ... ... initiative is improving evaluation capacities of researchers studying Information and ... Capacity in ICTD (DECI) provides researchers from five IDRC-funded projects in ... Using technology to deliver quality education in Asia.

  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. 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 ...

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  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. New approaches for improving cardiovascular risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paredes, Simão; Rocha, Teresa; Mendes, Diana; Carvalho, Paulo; Henriques, Jorge; Morais, João; Ferreira, Jorge; Mendes, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Clinical guidelines recommend the use of cardiovascular risk assessment tools (risk scores) to predict the risk of events such as cardiovascular death, since these scores can aid clinical decision-making and thereby reduce the social and economic costs of cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, despite their importance, risk scores present important weaknesses that can diminish their reliability in clinical contexts. This study presents a new framework, based on current risk assessment tools, that aims to minimize these limitations. Appropriate application and combination of existing knowledge is the main focus of this work. Two different methodologies are applied: (i) a combination scheme that enables data to be extracted and processed from various sources of information, including current risk assessment tools and the contributions of the physician; and (ii) a personalization scheme based on the creation of patient groups with the purpose of identifying the most suitable risk assessment tool to assess the risk of a specific patient. Validation was performed based on a real patient dataset of 460 patients at Santa Cruz Hospital, Lisbon, Portugal, diagnosed with non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome. Promising results were obtained with both approaches, which achieved sensitivity, specificity and geometric mean of 78.79%, 73.07% and 75.87%, and 75.69%, 69.79% and 72.71%, respectively. The proposed approaches present better performances than current CVD risk scores; however, additional datasets are required to back up these findings. Copyright © 2015 Sociedade Portuguesa de Cardiologia. Published by Elsevier España. All rights reserved.

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. Composite Dry Structure Cost Improvement Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nettles, Alan; Nettles, Mindy

    2015-01-01

    This effort demonstrates that by focusing only on properties of relevance, composite interstage and shroud structures can be placed on the Space Launch System vehicle that simultaneously reduces cost, improves reliability, and maximizes performance, thus providing the Advanced Development Group with a new methodology of how to utilize composites to reduce weight for composite structures on launch vehicles. Interstage and shroud structures were chosen since both of these structures are simple in configuration and do not experience extreme environments (such as cryogenic or hot gas temperatures) and should represent a good starting point for flying composites on a 'man-rated' vehicle. They are used as an example only. The project involves using polymer matrix composites for launch vehicle structures, and the logic and rationale behind the proposed new methodology.

  19. 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)

  20. 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.

  1. Improving resource capacity planning in hospitals with business approaches.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Lent, Wineke Agnes Marieke; van Lent, W.A.M.

    2011-01-01

    This dissertation contributed to the knowledge on the translation of approaches from businesses and services to improve the resource capacity planning on tactical and operational level in (oncologic) hospital care. The following studies were presented: * Chapter 2 surveyed the business approaches

  2. 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

  3. A Dynamic Approach to School Improvement : Main Features and Impact

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Creemers, Bert; Kyriakides, L.; Antoniou, P.

    2013-01-01

    This paper refers to the dynamic approach to school improvement (DASI) which attempts to contribute to the merging of educational effectiveness research and school improvement. The main underlying assumptions and the implementation phases of DASI are discussed. Moreover, a study aiming to compare

  4. Student laboratory reports: an approach to improving feedback and quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellingsen, Pål Gunnar; Støvneng, Jon Andreas

    2018-05-01

    We present an ongoing effort in improving the quality of laboratory reports written by first and second year physics students. The effort involves a new approach where students are given the opportunity to submit reports at intermediate deadlines, receive feedback, and then resubmit for the final deadline. In combination with a differential grading system, instead of pass/fail, the improved feedback results in higher quality reports. Improvement in the quality of the reports is visible through the grade statistics.

  5. 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...

  6. Improvement of physicochemical parameters of acyclovir using cocrystallization approach

    OpenAIRE

    Savjani,Jignasa Ketan; Pathak,Chirag

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Acyclovir is an antiviral drug having potent activity against the virus of herpes family and varicella zoster. Unfortunately, drug suffers very poor oral bioavailability (15-30%). The main objective of present study was to develop acyclovir cocrystals with improved solubility which may result in improvement of bioavailability. Hansen solubility approach was used as a tool to predict the cocrystal formation of a drug with selected coformer. Cocrystals of acyclovir with various coforme...

  7. Improving content marketing processes with the approaches by artificial intelligence

    OpenAIRE

    Kose, Utku; Sert, Selcuk

    2017-01-01

    Content marketing is todays one of the most remarkable approaches in the context of marketing processes of companies. Value of this kind of marketing has improved in time, thanks to the latest developments regarding to computer and communication technologies. Nowadays, especially social media based platforms have a great importance on enabling companies to design multimedia oriented, interactive content. But on the other hand, there is still something more to do for improved content marketing...

  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. Improving Listening Comprehension through a Whole-Schema Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellermeyer, Deborah

    1993-01-01

    Examines the development of the schema, or cognitive structure, theory of reading comprehension. Advances a model for improving listening comprehension within the classroom through a teacher-facilitated approach which leads students to selecting and utilizing existing schema within a whole-language environment. (MDM)

  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. 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...... generic or voluminous approaches or methods that are alien to the organizations in which SPI is conducted. Therefore, process engineers need to customize existing SPI models or develop new approaches for company-specific SPI programs. While conducting SPI in the context of the German V-Modell XT, we faced...

  12. On analyzing colour constancy approach for improving SURF detector performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zulkiey, Mohd Asyraf; Zaki, Wan Mimi Diyana Wan; Hussain, Aini; Mustafa, Mohd. Marzuki

    2012-04-01

    Robust key point detector plays a crucial role in obtaining a good tracking feature. The main challenge in outdoor tracking is the illumination change due to various reasons such as weather fluctuation and occlusion. This paper approaches the illumination change problem by transforming the input image through colour constancy algorithm before applying the SURF detector. Masked grey world approach is chosen because of its ability to perform well under local as well as global illumination change. Every image is transformed to imitate the canonical illuminant and Gaussian distribution is used to model the global change. The simulation results show that the average number of detected key points have increased by 69.92%. Moreover, the average of improved performance cases far out weight the degradation case where the former is improved by 215.23%. The approach is suitable for tracking implementation where sudden illumination occurs frequently and robust key point detection is needed.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. The Prodrug Approach: A Successful Tool for Improving Drug Solubility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Hartmann Jornada

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Prodrug design is a widely known molecular modification strategy that aims to optimize the physicochemical and pharmacological properties of drugs to improve their solubility and pharmacokinetic features and decrease their toxicity. A lack of solubility is one of the main obstacles to drug development. This review aims to describe recent advances in the improvement of solubility via the prodrug approach. The main chemical carriers and examples of successful strategies will be discussed, highlighting the advances of this field in the last ten years.

  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. 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.

  19. 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.)

  20. 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)

  1. 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)

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Therapeutic Enzymes: Applications and Approaches to Pharmacological Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yari, Maryam; Ghoshoon, Mohammad B; Vakili, Bahareh; Ghasemi, Younes

    2017-01-01

    Among therapeutic proteins, enzymes represent small and of course profitable market. They can be used to treat important, rare, and deadly diseases. Enzyme therapy is the only available treatment for certain disorders. Here, pharmaceutical enzymes are reviewed. They are categorized in four main groups, enzymes in replacement therapy, enzymes in cancer treatment, enzymes for fibrinolysis, and finally enzymes that are used topically for various treatments. Furthermore, enzyme gene therapy and future perspective of therapeutic enzymes are mentioned in brief. There are many important approved enzymes in pharmaceutical market. Several approaches such as point mutation, fusion protein designing, glycoengineering, and PEGylation were used to achieve improved enzymes. Although sometimes enzymes were engineered to facilitate production and purification process, appropriate delivery to target sites, extending half-life, and reducing immunogenicity are among the main goals of engineering approaches. Overall, enzymes play a critical role in treatment of common and rare diseases. Evaluation of new enzymes as well as improvement of approved enzymes are of the most important challenges in biotechnology. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  10. Approaches to Improve Mixing in Compression Ignition Engines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boot, M.D.

    2010-04-20

    This thesis presents three approaches to suppress soot emissions in compression ignition (CI) engines. First, a fuel chemistry approach is proposed. A particular class of fuels - cyclic oxygenates - is identified which is capable of significantly reducing engine-out soot emissions. By means of experiments in 'closed' and optical engines, as well as on an industrial burner, two possible mechanisms are identified that could account for the observed reduction in soot: a) an extended ignition delay (ID) and b) a longer flame lift-length (FLoL). Further analysis of the available data suggests that both mechanisms are related to the inherently low reactivity of the fuel class in question. These findings are largely in line with data found in literature. In the second approach, it is attempted to reduce soot by adopting an alternative combustion concept: early direct injection premixed charge compression ignition (EDI PCCI). In this concept, fuel is injected relatively early in the compression stroke instead of conventional, close to top-dead-center (TDC), injection schemes. While the goal of soot reduction can indeed be achieved via this approach, an important drawback must be addressed before this concept can be considered practically viable. Due to the fact that combustion chamber temperature and pressure is relatively low early in the compression stroke, fuel impingement against the cylinder liner (wall-wetting) often occurs. Consequently, high levels of unburned hydrocarbons (UHC), oil dilution and poor efficiency are observed. Several strategies, combining a limited engine modification with dedicated air management and fueling settings, are investigated to tackle this drawback. All of these strategies, and especially their combination, resulted in significantly lower UHC emissions and improved fuel economy. Although UHC emissions are typically a tell-tale sign of wall-wetting, as mentioned earlier, the relation between these two has long been hypothetical

  11. 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.

  12. A Novel Approach to Improving Utilization of Laboratory Testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yaolin; Procop, Gary W; Riley, Jacquelyn D

    2018-02-01

    - The incorporation of best practice guidelines into one's institution is a challenging goal of utilization management, and the successful adoption of such guidelines depends on institutional context. Laboratorians who have access to key clinical data are well positioned to understand existing local practices and promote more appropriate laboratory testing. - To apply a novel approach to utilization management by reviewing international clinical guidelines and current institutional practices to create a reliable mechanism to improve detection and reduce unnecessary tests in our patient population. - We targeted a frequently ordered genetic test for HFE-related hereditary hemochromatosis, a disorder of low penetrance. After reviewing international practice guidelines, we evaluated 918 HFE tests and found that all patients with new diagnoses had transferrin saturation levels that were significantly higher than those of patients with nonrisk genotypes (72% versus 42%; P < .001). - Our "one-button" order that restricts HFE genetic tests to patients with transferrin saturation greater than 45% is consistent with published practice guidelines and detected 100% of new patients with HFE-related hereditary hemochromatosis. - Our proposed algorithm differs from previously published approaches in that it incorporates both clinical practice guidelines and local physician practices, yet requires no additional hands-on effort from pathologists or clinicians. This novel approach to utilization management embraces the role of pathologists as leaders in promoting high-quality patient care in local health care systems.

  13. Multicriteria approach for the improvement of energy systems design

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Giannantoni, C.; Lazzaretto, A.; Macor, A.; Mirandola, A.; Stoppato, A.; Tonon, S.; Ulgiati, S.

    2005-01-01

    An iterative procedure is suggested to evaluate and improve the energy system design. The procedure considers the information deriving from complementary evaluation approaches, each applied within its appropriate time-space window of interest: (a) Process-related, local-scale methods (Energy, Exergy and Thermoeconomic analyses); (b) Environmental assessment methods (Impact Assessment, Emergy Synthesis); (c) Economic methods (Micro- and Macro-Economic and Externality Evaluations). Process-related methods are applied first, in order to provide local-scale performance indicators able to suggest optimization procedures from a user-side point of view. Environmental evaluation approaches are then used to judge the overall environmental quality of the design, in the largest regional and biosphere scales. Finally, micro- and macro-economic evaluation approaches are applied in order to ascertain the soundness of the proposed solution as far as the economic return on the investment as well as global benefits to the Society are concerned. New choices for the design configuration and parameters may be suggested by implementing the iterative procedure. A cogeneration system working in a town of Northern Italy is used as a case study: starting from the present configuration of the plant, modifications are suggested and evaluated, thus identifying the way for improving the performance under various viewpoints. A proposal for plant transformation from Steam Cycle to Combined Cycle is suggested, capable of increasing the plant electric power from 136 to 332 MWe, increasing the energy efficiency from 60 to 63%, increasing the exergy efficiency from 37 to 49%, and decreasing the overall demand for environmental support (transformity) from 1.84x10 5 to 1.27x10 5 seJ/J. The paper points out several benefits and bottlenecks of the existing plant and of the proposed solutions

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. A quality improvement approach to reducing use of meperidine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, D B; Jones, H D; Goshman, L M; Foley, D K; Bland, S E

    2000-12-01

    In 1991 the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics formed a pain management QI team whose goal was to improve pain management through education, outcome monitoring, and the development of programs intended to improve clinical practice. Longitudinal monitoring mechanisms were established to audit medical records and survey patients to examine both staff practice patterns and patient outcomes. The QI team targeted use of meperidine, one of the most widely used opioid analgesics for the treatment of moderate to severe pain, which is now discouraged as a first-line agent for most painful conditions. A QI process was implemented using a traditional plan-do-check-act (PDCA) model, resulting in a successful and sustained reduction of inappropriate meperidine use. A cause-and-effect diagram helped highlight the multiple factors contributing to the drug's overuse and was used to prioritize targets for action. A flow chart helped to uncover some of the interrelationships between the myths about meperidine and the resultant customary prescribing and administration practices. While most of the strategies were implemented in 1996 (formulary guideline release, change in stock supply and physician orders, staff education and feedback), a significant impact in practice was not seen until late 1997. Ongoing tracking and feedback loops were established to ensure continued low use of meperidine. Use of a QI approach in pain management has been shown to affect the visibility of pain as a clinical priority, enhance interdisciplinary collaboration, facilitate the implementation of clinical guidelines at the bedside, and improve the quality of care for patients.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. An effective and efficient approach for manually improving geocoded data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Knoblock Craig A

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The process of geocoding produces output coordinates of varying degrees of quality. Previous studies have revealed that simply excluding records with low-quality geocodes from analysis can introduce significant bias, but depending on the number and severity of the inaccuracies, their inclusion may also lead to bias. Little quantitative research has been presented on the cost and/or effectiveness of correcting geocodes through manual interactive processes, so the most cost effective methods for improving geocoded data are unclear. The present work investigates the time and effort required to correct geocodes contained in five health-related datasets that represent examples of data commonly used in Health GIS. Results Geocode correction was attempted on five health-related datasets containing a total of 22,317 records. The complete processing of these data took 11.4 weeks (427 hours, averaging 69 seconds of processing time per record. Overall, the geocodes associated with 12,280 (55% of records were successfully improved, taking 95 seconds of processing time per corrected record on average across all five datasets. Geocode correction improved the overall match rate (the number of successful matches out of the total attempted from 79.3 to 95%. The spatial shift between the location of original successfully matched geocodes and their corrected improved counterparts averaged 9.9 km per corrected record. After geocode correction the number of city and USPS ZIP code accuracy geocodes were reduced from 10,959 and 1,031 to 6,284 and 200, respectively, while the number of building centroid accuracy geocodes increased from 0 to 2,261. Conclusion The results indicate that manual geocode correction using a web-based interactive approach is a feasible and cost effective method for improving the quality of geocoded data. The level of effort required varies depending on the type of data geocoded. These results can be used to choose between

  1. 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)

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Towards an integrative approach of improving indoor air quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bluyssen, Philomena M. [TNO Built Environment and Geosciences, P.O. Box 49, 2600 AA Delft (Netherlands)

    2009-09-15

    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: the human, the indoor air of the space and 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, politically-socially (awareness), technically (process and product) and scientifically. Besides the fact that there is an urgent need to involve medicine and neuro-psychology 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. (author)

  5. A value-based taxonomy of improvement approaches in healthcare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colldén, Christian; Gremyr, Ida; Hellström, Andreas; Sporraeus, Daniella

    2017-06-19

    Purpose The concept of value is becoming increasingly fashionable in healthcare and various improvement approaches (IAs) have been introduced with the aim of increasing value. The purpose of this paper is to construct a taxonomy that supports the management of parallel IAs in healthcare. Design/methodology/approach Based on previous research, this paper proposes a taxonomy that includes the dimensions of view on value and organizational focus; three contemporary IAs - lean, value-based healthcare, and patient-centered care - are related to the taxonomy. An illustrative qualitative case study in the context of psychiatric (psychosis) care is then presented that contains data from 23 interviews and focuses on the value concept, IAs, and the proposed taxonomy. Findings Respondents recognized the dimensions of the proposed taxonomy and indicated its usefulness as support for choosing and combining different IAs into a coherent management model, and for facilitating dialog about IAs. The findings also suggested that the view of value as "health outcomes" is widespread, but healthcare professionals are less likely than managers to also view value as a process. Originality/value The conceptual contribution of this paper is to delineate some important characteristics of IAs in relation to the emerging "value era". It also highlights the coexistence of different IAs in healthcare management practice. A taxonomy is proposed that can help managers choose, adapt, and combine IAs in local management models.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shuler, Kimberly M

    2014-01-01

    In patients with schizophrenia, nonadherence to prescribed medications increases the risk of patient relapse and hospitalization, key contributors to the costs associated with treatment. The objectives of this review were to evaluate the impact of nonadherence to pharmacotherapy in patients with schizophrenia as it relates to health care professionals, particularly social workers, and to identify effective team approaches to supporting patients based on studies assessing implementation of assertive community treatment teams. A systematic review of the medical literature was conducted by searching the Scopus database to identify articles associated with treatment adherence in patients with schizophrenia. Articles included were published from January 1, 2003, through July 15, 2013, were written in English, and reported findings concerning any and all aspects of nonadherence to prescribed treatment in patients with schizophrenia. Of 92 unique articles identified and formally screened, 47 met the inclusion criteria for the systematic review. The burden of nonadherence in schizophrenia is significant. Factors with the potential to affect adherence include antipsychotic drug class and formulation, patient-specific factors, and family/social support system. There is inconclusive evidence suggesting superior adherence with an atypical versus typical antipsychotic or with a long-acting injectable versus an oral formulation. Patient-specific factors that contribute to adherence include awareness/denial of illness, cognitive issues, stigma associated with taking medication, substance abuse, access to health care, employment/poverty, and insurance status. Lack of social or family support may adversely affect adherence, necessitating the assistance of health care professionals, such as social workers. Evidence supports the concept that an enhanced team-oriented approach to managing patients with schizophrenia improves adherence and supports corresponding reductions in relapse

  7. Improvement of physicochemical parameters of acyclovir using cocrystallization approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jignasa Ketan Savjani

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Acyclovir is an antiviral drug having potent activity against the virus of herpes family and varicella zoster. Unfortunately, drug suffers very poor oral bioavailability (15-30%. The main objective of present study was to develop acyclovir cocrystals with improved solubility which may result in improvement of bioavailability. Hansen solubility approach was used as a tool to predict the cocrystal formation of a drug with selected coformer. Cocrystals of acyclovir with various coformers were screened in order to enhance their water solubility. Cocrystals of the drug were prepared using various methods like solvent evaporation, wet grinding, and antisolvent addition. Formation of cocrystals by solvent evaporation method was found to be better method amongst all. Optimization of cocrystal formation was carried out by employing different solvents as well as the stoichiometric ratio of acyclovir with that of coformer. Synthesis of cocrystals was optimized using water as a solvent system resulted in good agreements. The potential cocrystal formation of acyclovir was characterized by IR, PXRD and DSC techniques. An in-vitro dissolution study was performed to determine the dissolution rate of cocrystals. The results suggest that acyclovir forms cocrystals with tartaric acid and the initial dissolution rate of synthesized cocrystals were considerably faster as compared to pure acyclovir.

  8. 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  physical activity but may enhance physical fitness measured by biological age.

  9. 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.

  10. How to improve patient satisfaction when patients are already satisfied: a continuous process-improvement approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friesner, Dan; Neufelder, Donna; Raisor, Janet; Bozman, Carl S

    2009-01-01

    The authors present a methodology that measures improvement in customer satisfaction scores when those scores are already high and the production process is slow and thus does not generate a large amount of useful data in any given time period. The authors used these techniques with data from a midsized rehabilitation institute affiliated with a regional, nonprofit medical center. Thus, this article functions as a case study, the findings of which may be applicable to a large number of other healthcare providers that share both the mission and challenges faced by this facility. The methodology focused on 2 factors: use of the unique characteristics of panel data to overcome the paucity of observations and a dynamic benchmarking approach to track process variability over time. By focusing on these factors, the authors identify some additional areas for process improvement despite the institute's past operational success.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. [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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. A Robust Optimization Approach for Improving Service Quality

    OpenAIRE

    Andreas C. Soteriou; Richard B. Chase

    2000-01-01

    Delivering high quality service during the service encounter is central to competitive advantage in service organizations. However, achieving such high quality while controlling for costs is a major challenge for service managers. The purpose of this paper is to present an approach for addressing this challenge. The approach entails developing a model linking service process operational variables to service quality metrics to provide guidelines for service resource allocation. The approach en...

  19. 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 ...

  20. Improving School Board Effectiveness: A Balanced Governance Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alsbury, Thomas L., Ed.; Gore, Phil, Ed.

    2015-01-01

    "Improving School Board Effectiveness" offers a clarifying and essential look at the evolving role of school boards and how they contribute to efforts to improve student learning. It examines how board members can establish effective district priorities, and it explores those board policies and actions that result in shared, districtwide…

  1. Improving the key biodiversity areas approach for effective conservation planning

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Knight, AT

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available The key biodiversity areas (KBA) approach aims to identify globally important areas for species conservation. Although a similar methodology has been used successfully to identify important Bird Areas, the authors have identified five limitations...

  2. 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 ...

  3. A Learning Collaborative Approach to Improve Primary Care STI Screening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, M Diane; Alderman, Elizabeth; York, Deborah V; Blank, Arthur E; Briggs, Rahil D; Hoidal, Kelsey E S; Kus, Christopher; Lechuga, Claudia; Mann, Marie; Meissner, Paul; Patel, Nisha; Racine, Andrew D

    2017-10-01

    The Bronx Ongoing Pediatric Screening (BOPS) project sought to improve screening for sexual activity and sexually transmitted infections (gonorrhea and chlamydia [GCC] and HIV) in a primary care network, employing a modified learning collaborative, real-time clinical data feedback to practices, improvement coaching, and a pay-for-quality monetary incentive. Outcomes are compared for 11 BOPS-participating sites and 10 non-participating sites. The quarterly median rate for documenting sexual activity status increased from 55% to 88% (BOPS sites) and from 13% to 74% (non-BOPS sites). GCC screening of sexually active youth increased at BOPS and non-BOPS sites. Screening at non-health care maintenance visits improved more at BOPS than non-BOPS sites. Data from nonparticipating sites suggests that introduction of an adolescent EMR template or other factors improved screening rates regardless of BOPS participation; BOPS activities appear to promote additional improvement of screening during non-health maintenance visits.

  4. Approaching the Practice Quality Improvement Project in Interventional Radiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reis, Stephen P; White, Benjamin; Sutphin, Patrick D; Pillai, Anil K; Kalva, Sanjeeva P; Toomay, Seth M

    2015-12-01

    An important component of maintenance of certification and quality improvement in radiology is the practice quality improvement (PQI) project. In this article, the authors describe several methodologies for initiating and completing PQI projects. Furthermore, the authors illustrate several tools that are vital in compiling, analyzing, and presenting data in an easily understandable and reproducible manner. Last, they describe two PQI projects performed in an interventional radiology division that have successfully improved the quality of care for patients. Using the DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) quality improvement framework, interventional radiology throughput has been increased, to lessen mediport wait times from 43 to 8 days, and mediport infection rates have decreased from more than 2% to less than 0.4%. Copyright © 2015 American College of Radiology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    2018-05-01

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Improving hospital weekend handover: a user-centered, standardised approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehra, Avi; Henein, Christin

    2014-01-01

    Clinical Handover remains one of the most perilous procedures in medicine (1). Weekend handover has emerged as a key area of concern with high variability in handover processes across hospitals (1,2,4, 5-10). Studying weekend handover processes within medicine at an acute teaching hospital revealed huge variability in documented content and structure. A total of 12 different pro formas were in use by the medical day-team to handover to the weekend team on-call. A Likert-survey of doctors revealed 93% felt the current handover system needed improvement with 71% stating that it did not ensure patient safety (Chi-squared, p-value RCP) guidelines (2), with direct end-user input. Results following implementation revealed a considerable improvement in documented ceiling of care, urgency of task and team member assignment with 100% uptake of the new proforma at both 4-week and 6-month post-implementation analyses. 88% of doctors surveyed perceived that the new proforma improved patient safety (p<0.01, n=25), with 62% highlighting that it allowed doctors to work more efficiently. Results also revealed that 44% felt further improvements were needed and highlighted electronic solutions and handover training as main priorities. Handover briefing was subsequently incorporated into junior doctor induction and education modules delivered, with good feedback. Following collaboration with key stakeholders and with end-user input, integrated electronic handover software was designed and funding secured. The software is currently under final development. Introducing a standardized handover proforma can be an effective initial step in improving weekend handover. Handover education and end-user involvement are key in improving the process. Electronic handover solutions have been shown to significantly increase the quality of handover and are worth considering (9, 10).

  12. 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

  13. Improving product development practice: An action-research based approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harmsen, Hanne

    In studies of new product development it has often been concluded that to a large extent new product suc-cess is tunder the influence of companies and long lists of direct norma-tive guide-lines have been formulated. Nevertheless descriptive studi that deve-lopment practice is still far from...... studies both purely descriptive and studies identifying success and failure factors, but almost no studies of how companies actually undertake improve-ments, which problems they encounter,, and how/whether they overcome these problems. Action research is proposed as a suitable method for studying...

  14. 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....

  15. 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…

  16. Creating Shared Instructional Products: An Alternative Approach to Improving Teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Anne K.; Hiebert, James

    2011-01-01

    To solve two enduring problems in education--unacceptably large variation in learning opportunities for students across classrooms and little continuing improvement in the quality of instruction--the authors propose a system that centers on the creation of shared instructional products that guide classroom teaching. By examining systems outside…

  17. 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.…

  18. 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...... expressions for its system behavior, and through a simulation experiment in an acoustic feedback cancellation system....

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

    OpenAIRE

    Michels, Koen; Vries, de, Marc; Breukelen, van, Dave; Schure, Frank

    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 series of exploratory studies, previous to the study in this paper, indicated how to enhance concept learning. Small-scale tested modifications, based on explicit teaching and scaffolding, were promisin...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.)

  2. 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)

  3. 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...

  4. A systems approach to improving rural care in Ethiopia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth H Bradley

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Multiple interventions have been launched to improve the quality, access, and utilization of primary health care in rural, low-income settings; however, the success of these interventions varies substantially, even within single studies where the measured impact of interventions differs across sites, centers, and regions. Accordingly, we sought to examine the variation in impact of a health systems strengthening intervention and understand factors that might explain the variation in impact across primary health care units. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted a mixed methods positive deviance study of 20 Primary Health Care Units (PHCUs in rural Ethiopia. Using longitudinal data from the Ethiopia Millennium Rural Initiative (EMRI, we identified PHCUs with consistently higher performance (n = 2, most improved performance (n = 3, or consistently lower performance (n = 2 in the provision of antenatal care, HIV testing in antenatal care, and skilled birth attendance rates. Using data from site visits and in-depth interviews (n = 51, we applied the constant comparative method of qualitative data analysis to identify key themes that distinguished PHCUs with different performance trajectories. Key themes that distinguished PHCUs were 1 managerial problem solving capacity, 2 relationship with the woreda (district health office, and 3 community engagement. In higher performing PHCUs and those with the greatest improvement after the EMRI intervention, health center and health post staff were more able to solve day-to-day problems, staff had better relationships with the woreda health official, and PHCU communities' leadership, particularly religious leadership, were strongly engaged with the health improvement effort. Distance from the nearest city, quality of roads and transportation, and cultural norms did not differ substantially among PHCUs. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Effective health strengthening efforts may require intensive

  5. Improving adherence to hand hygiene practice: a multidisciplinary approach.

    OpenAIRE

    Pittet, D.

    2001-01-01

    Hand hygiene prevents cross-infection in hospitals, but health-care workers' adherence to guidelines is poor. Easy, timely access to both hand hygiene and skin protection is necessary for satisfactory hand hygiene behavior. Alcohol- based hand rubs may be better than traditional handwashing as they require less time, act faster, are less irritating, and contribute to sustained improvement in compliance associated with decreased infection rates. This article reviews barriers to appropriate han...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. A systems approach to improving rural care in Ethiopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, Elizabeth H; Byam, Patrick; Alpern, Rachelle; Thompson, Jennifer W; Zerihun, Abraham; Abebe, Yigeremu; Abeb, Yigeremu; Curry, Leslie A

    2012-01-01

    Multiple interventions have been launched to improve the quality, access, and utilization of primary health care in rural, low-income settings; however, the success of these interventions varies substantially, even within single studies where the measured impact of interventions differs across sites, centers, and regions. Accordingly, we sought to examine the variation in impact of a health systems strengthening intervention and understand factors that might explain the variation in impact across primary health care units. We conducted a mixed methods positive deviance study of 20 Primary Health Care Units (PHCUs) in rural Ethiopia. Using longitudinal data from the Ethiopia Millennium Rural Initiative (EMRI), we identified PHCUs with consistently higher performance (n = 2), most improved performance (n = 3), or consistently lower performance (n = 2) in the provision of antenatal care, HIV testing in antenatal care, and skilled birth attendance rates. Using data from site visits and in-depth interviews (n = 51), we applied the constant comparative method of qualitative data analysis to identify key themes that distinguished PHCUs with different performance trajectories. Key themes that distinguished PHCUs were 1) managerial problem solving capacity, 2) relationship with the woreda (district) health office, and 3) community engagement. In higher performing PHCUs and those with the greatest improvement after the EMRI intervention, health center and health post staff were more able to solve day-to-day problems, staff had better relationships with the woreda health official, and PHCU communities' leadership, particularly religious leadership, were strongly engaged with the health improvement effort. Distance from the nearest city, quality of roads and transportation, and cultural norms did not differ substantially among PHCUs. Effective health strengthening efforts may require intensive development of managerial problem solving skills, strong relationships with

  9. 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.

  10. A lean six sigma approach to improve municipal service processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Engelbert Zefaj

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available This research aims to identify the current state of process management for municipal subsidies and is proposing to improve the process by reducing motion, deadlines and excessive actions and to eliminate duplication of processes and overproduction. Time spent and process effi ciency is the subject tackled in this research. Several areas of action that affect the overall process as departments, regulations, time, experts, movements, materials and procedures have been explored. Lean six sigma/DMAIC model is used as an adequate mechanism for the implementation of this project which aims to improve the quality of service. The result of the research is not limited to only one specific process, the applied model in this study can be used to improve many processes in municipalities. Currently, in order to receive a fi nal response from municipal authorities for subsidies allocation, 41hr of process time, 160 hr of calendar time and 232 hr of wait time are needed. The process effi ciency is only 10%.

  11. Integrated approach to improving local CD uniformity in EUV patterning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Andrew; Hermans, Jan; Tran, Timothy; Viatkina, Katja; Liang, Chen-Wei; Ward, Brandon; Chuang, Steven; Yu, Jengyi; Harm, Greg; Vandereyken, Jelle; Rio, David; Kubis, Michael; Tan, Samantha; Dusa, Mircea; Singhal, Akhil; van Schravendijk, Bart; Dixit, Girish; Shamma, Nader

    2017-03-01

    Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is crucial to enabling technology scaling in pitch and critical dimension (CD). Currently, one of the key challenges of introducing EUV lithography to high volume manufacturing (HVM) is throughput, which requires high source power and high sensitivity chemically amplified photoresists. Important limiters of high sensitivity chemically amplified resists (CAR) are the effects of photon shot noise and resist blur on the number of photons received and of photoacids generated per feature, especially at the pitches required for 7 nm and 5 nm advanced technology nodes. These stochastic effects are reflected in via structures as hole-to-hole CD variation or local CD uniformity (LCDU). Here, we demonstrate a synergy of film stack deposition, EUV lithography, and plasma etch techniques to improve LCDU, which allows the use of high sensitivity resists required for the introduction of EUV HVM. Thus, to improve LCDU to a level required by 5 nm node and beyond, film stack deposition, EUV lithography, and plasma etch processes were combined and co-optimized to enhance LCDU reduction from synergies. Test wafers were created by depositing a pattern transfer stack on a substrate representative of a 5 nm node target layer. The pattern transfer stack consisted of an atomically smooth adhesion layer and two hardmasks and was deposited using the Lam VECTOR PECVD product family. These layers were designed to mitigate hole roughness, absorb out-of-band radiation, and provide additional outlets for etch to improve LCDU and control hole CD. These wafers were then exposed through an ASML NXE3350B EUV scanner using a variety of advanced positive tone EUV CAR. They were finally etched to the target substrate using Lam Flex dielectric etch and Kiyo conductor etch systems. Metrology methodologies to assess dimensional metrics as well as chip performance and defectivity were investigated to enable repeatable patterning process development. Illumination

  12. Current and evolving approaches for improving the oral permeability of BCS Class III or analogous molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dave, Vivek S; Gupta, Deepak; Yu, Monica; Nguyen, Phuong; Varghese Gupta, Sheeba

    2017-02-01

    The Biopharmaceutics Classification System (BCS) classifies pharmaceutical compounds based on their aqueous solubility and intestinal permeability. The BCS Class III compounds are hydrophilic molecules (high aqueous solubility) with low permeability across the biological membranes. While these compounds are pharmacologically effective, poor absorption due to low permeability becomes the rate-limiting step in achieving adequate bioavailability. Several approaches have been explored and utilized for improving the permeability profiles of these compounds. The approaches include traditional methods such as prodrugs, permeation enhancers, ion-pairing, etc., as well as relatively modern approaches such as nanoencapsulation and nanosizing. The most recent approaches include a combination/hybridization of one or more traditional approaches to improve drug permeability. While some of these approaches have been extremely successful, i.e. drug products utilizing the approach have progressed through the USFDA approval for marketing; others require further investigation to be applicable. This article discusses the commonly studied approaches for improving the permeability of BCS Class III compounds.

  13. 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

  14. Improving operational anodising process performance using simulation approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liong, Choong-Yeun; Ghazali, Syarah Syahidah

    2015-01-01

    The use of aluminium is very widespread, especially in transportation, electrical and electronics, architectural, automotive and engineering applications sectors. Therefore, the anodizing process is an important process for aluminium in order to make the aluminium durable, attractive and weather resistant. This research is focused on the anodizing process operations in manufacturing and supplying of aluminium extrusion. The data required for the development of the model is collected from the observations and interviews conducted in the study. To study the current system, the processes involved in the anodizing process are modeled by using Arena 14.5 simulation software. Those processes consist of five main processes, namely the degreasing process, the etching process, the desmut process, the anodizing process, the sealing process and 16 other processes. The results obtained were analyzed to identify the problems or bottlenecks that occurred and to propose improvement methods that can be implemented on the original model. Based on the comparisons that have been done between the improvement methods, the productivity could be increased by reallocating the workers and reducing loading time

  15. 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.

  16. Improving operational anodising process performance using simulation approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liong, Choong-Yeun, E-mail: lg@ukm.edu.my; Ghazali, Syarah Syahidah, E-mail: syarah@gapps.kptm.edu.my [School of Mathematical Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor DE (Malaysia)

    2015-10-22

    The use of aluminium is very widespread, especially in transportation, electrical and electronics, architectural, automotive and engineering applications sectors. Therefore, the anodizing process is an important process for aluminium in order to make the aluminium durable, attractive and weather resistant. This research is focused on the anodizing process operations in manufacturing and supplying of aluminium extrusion. The data required for the development of the model is collected from the observations and interviews conducted in the study. To study the current system, the processes involved in the anodizing process are modeled by using Arena 14.5 simulation software. Those processes consist of five main processes, namely the degreasing process, the etching process, the desmut process, the anodizing process, the sealing process and 16 other processes. The results obtained were analyzed to identify the problems or bottlenecks that occurred and to propose improvement methods that can be implemented on the original model. Based on the comparisons that have been done between the improvement methods, the productivity could be increased by reallocating the workers and reducing loading time.

  17. Improving operational anodising process performance using simulation approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liong, Choong-Yeun; Ghazali, Syarah Syahidah

    2015-10-01

    The use of aluminium is very widespread, especially in transportation, electrical and electronics, architectural, automotive and engineering applications sectors. Therefore, the anodizing process is an important process for aluminium in order to make the aluminium durable, attractive and weather resistant. This research is focused on the anodizing process operations in manufacturing and supplying of aluminium extrusion. The data required for the development of the model is collected from the observations and interviews conducted in the study. To study the current system, the processes involved in the anodizing process are modeled by using Arena 14.5 simulation software. Those processes consist of five main processes, namely the degreasing process, the etching process, the desmut process, the anodizing process, the sealing process and 16 other processes. The results obtained were analyzed to identify the problems or bottlenecks that occurred and to propose improvement methods that can be implemented on the original model. Based on the comparisons that have been done between the improvement methods, the productivity could be increased by reallocating the workers and reducing loading time.

  18. Approaches for improving image quality in magnetic induction tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maimaitijiang, Y; Roula, M A; Kahlert, J

    2010-01-01

    Magnetic induction tomography (MIT) is a contactless and non-invasive method for imaging the passive electrical properties of objects. Measuring the weak signal produced by eddy currents within biological soft tissues can be challenging in the presence of noise and the large signals resulting from the direct excitation–detection coil coupling. To detect haemorrhagic stroke in the brain, for instance, high measurement accuracy is required to enable images with enough contrast to differentiate between normal and haemorrhaged brain tissues. The reconstructed images are often very sensitive to inevitable measurement noise from the environment, system instabilities and patient-related artefacts such as movement and sweating. We propose methods for mitigating signal noise and improving image reconstruction. We evaluated and compared the use of a range wavelet transforms for signal denoising. Adaptive regularization methods including L-curve, generalized cross validation (GCV) and noise estimation were also compared. We evaluated all these described methods with measurements of in vitro tissues resembling a peripheral haemorrhagic cerebral stroke created by placing a bio-membrane package filled with 10 ml blood in a swine brain of 100 ml. We show that wavelet packet denoising combined with adaptive regularization can improve the quality of reconstructed images

  19. Improving information extraction using a probability-based approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kim, S.; Ahmed, Saeema; Wallace, K.

    2007-01-01

    Information plays a crucial role during the entire life-cycle of a product. It has been shown that engineers frequently consult colleagues to obtain the information they require to solve problems. However, the industrial world is now more transient and key personnel move to other companies...... or retire. It is becoming essential to retrieve vital information from archived product documents, if it is available. There is, therefore, great interest in ways of extracting relevant and sharable information from documents. A keyword-based search is commonly used, but studies have shown...... the recall, while maintaining the high precision, a learning approach that makes identification decisions based on a probability model, rather than simply looking up the presence of the pre-defined variations, looks promising. This paper presents the results of developing such a probability-based entity...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Enhanced electrocoagulation: New approaches to improve the electrochemical process (Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos E. Barrera-Díaz

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Electrocoagulation is a promising technology for the removal of colloids from different types of wastewater and it has also demonstrated good efficiencies for the breaking-up of emulsions. It consists of the dissolution ofaluminum or iron anodes, promoting the formation of coagulant reagents in wastewater that helps to coagulate pollutants and the formation of bubbles that favors the mixing (electroflocculation and the removal of suspended solids by flotation (electroflotation. During the recent years, the combination of this technology with other treatment technologies has become a hot topic looking for a synergistic improvement in the efficiencies. This work aims to review some of the more recent works regarding this topic, in particular the combination of electrocoagulation withozonation, adsorption and ultrasound irradiation.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Approaches to improve angiogenesis in tissue-engineered skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahota, Parbinder S; Burn, J Lance; Brown, Nicola J; MacNeil, Sheila

    2004-01-01

    A problem with tissue-engineered skin is clinical failure due to delays in vascularization. The aim of this study was to explore a number of simple strategies to improve angiogenesis/vascularization using a tissue-engineered model of skin to which small vessel human dermal microvascular endothelial cells were added. For the majority of these studies, a modified Guirguis chamber was used, which allowed the investigation of several variables within the same experiment using the same human dermis; cell type, angiogenic growth factors, the influence of keratinocytes and fibroblasts, mechanical penetration of the human dermis, the site of endothelial cell addition, and the influence of hypoxia were all examined. A qualitative scoring system was used to assess the impact of these factors on the penetration of endothelial cells throughout the dermis. Similar results were achieved using freshly isolated small vessel human dermal microvascular endothelial cells or an endothelial cell line and a minimum cell seeding density was identified. Cell penetration was not influenced by the addition of angiogenic growth factors (vascular endothelial growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor); similarly, including epidermal keratinocytes or dermal fibroblasts did not encourage endothelial cell entry, and neither did mechanical introduction of holes throughout the dermis. Two factors were identified that significantly enhanced endothelial cell penetration into the dermis: hypoxia and the site of endothelial cell addition. Endothelial cells added from the papillary surface entered into the dermis much more effectively than when cells were added to the reticular surface of the dermis. We conclude that this model is valuable in improving our understanding of how to enhance vascularization of tissue-engineered grafts.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. An approach to improve Romanian geological repository planning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andrei, Veronica; Prisecaru, Ilie

    2016-01-01

    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. 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.

  15. Transgenic approach to improve wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) nutritional quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamás, Cecília; Kisgyörgy, Boglárka N; Rakszegi, Mariann; Wilkinson, Mark D; Yang, Moon-Sik; Láng, László; Tamás, László; Bedo, Zoltán

    2009-07-01

    An amaranth (Amaranthus hypochondriacus) albumin gene, encoding the 35-kDa AmA1 protein of the seed, with a high content of essential amino acids, was used in the biolistic transformation of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) variety Cadenza. The transformation cassette carried the ama1 gene under the control of a powerful wheat endosperm-specific promoter (1Bx17 HMW-GS). Southern-blot analysis of T(1) lines confirmed the integration of the foreign gene, while RT-PCR and Western-blot analyses of the samples confirmed the transcription and translation of the transgene. The effects of the extra albumin protein on the properties of flour, produced from bulked T(2) seeds, were calculated using total protein and essential amino acid content analysis, polymeric/monomeric protein and HMW/LMW glutenin subunit ratio measurements. The results indicated that not only can essential amino acid content be increased, but some parameters associated with functional quality may also be improved because of the expression of the AmA1 protein.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Nonnegative least-squares image deblurring: improved gradient projection approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benvenuto, F.; Zanella, R.; Zanni, L.; Bertero, M.

    2010-02-01

    The least-squares approach to image deblurring leads to an ill-posed problem. The addition of the nonnegativity constraint, when appropriate, does not provide regularization, even if, as far as we know, a thorough investigation of the ill-posedness of the resulting constrained least-squares problem has still to be done. Iterative methods, converging to nonnegative least-squares solutions, have been proposed. Some of them have the 'semi-convergence' property, i.e. early stopping of the iteration provides 'regularized' solutions. In this paper we consider two of these methods: the projected Landweber (PL) method and the iterative image space reconstruction algorithm (ISRA). Even if they work well in many instances, they are not frequently used in practice because, in general, they require a large number of iterations before providing a sensible solution. Therefore, the main purpose of this paper is to refresh these methods by increasing their efficiency. Starting from the remark that PL and ISRA require only the computation of the gradient of the functional, we propose the application to these algorithms of special acceleration techniques that have been recently developed in the area of the gradient methods. In particular, we propose the application of efficient step-length selection rules and line-search strategies. Moreover, remarking that ISRA is a scaled gradient algorithm, we evaluate its behaviour in comparison with a recent scaled gradient projection (SGP) method for image deblurring. Numerical experiments demonstrate that the accelerated methods still exhibit the semi-convergence property, with a considerable gain both in the number of iterations and in the computational time; in particular, SGP appears definitely the most efficient one.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Improving hand hygiene in a paediatric hospital: a multimodal quality improvement approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jamal, Ahmed; O'Grady, G; Harnett, E; Dalton, D; Andresen, D

    2012-02-01

    Effective hand hygiene has long been recognised as an important way to reduce the transmission of bacterial and viral pathogens in healthcare settings. However, many studies have shown that adherence to hand hygiene remains low, and improvement efforts have often not delivered sustainable results. The Children's Hospital at Westmead is the largest tertiary paediatric hospital in Sydney, Australia. The hospital participated in a state-wide 'Clean hands save lives' campaign which was initiated in 2006. Strong leadership, good stakeholder engagement, readily accessible alcohol-based hand rub at the point of patient care, a multifaceted education programme, monitoring of staff, adherence to recommended hand hygiene practices and contemporaneous feedback of performance data have significantly improved and maintained compliance with hand hygiene. Hand hygiene compliance has increased from 23% in 2006 to 87% in 2011 (phand hygiene has been evident in the last 4 years. A decline in a set of hospital-acquired infections (including rotavirus, multiresistant organism transmission, and nosocomial bacteraemia) has also been noted as hand hygiene rates have improved. Monthly usage of alcohol-based hand rub has increased from 16 litres/1000 bed days to 51 litres/1000 bed days during this same period. This project has delivered sustained improvement in hand hygiene compliance by establishing a framework of multimodal evidence-based strategies.

  3. Improving Employees' Safety Awareness in Healthcare Organizations Using the DMAIC Quality Improvement Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Momani, Amer; Hirzallah, Muʼath; Mumani, Ahmad

    Occupational injuries and illnesses in healthcare can cause great human suffering, incur high cost, and have an adverse impact on the quality of patient care. One of the most effective solutions for addressing health and safety issues and improving decisions at the point of care rests in raising employees' safety awareness to recognize, avoid, or respond to potential problems before they arise. In this article, the DMAIC Six Sigma model (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) is used as a systematic program to measure, improve, and sustain employees' safety awareness in healthcare organizations. We report on a case study using the model, which was implemented and validated at a local hospital. First, the occupational health and safety knowledge that each job requires was identified. Next, the degree of competence of jobholders to meet these requirements was assessed. Based on the assessment, different awareness-raising efforts were proposed and implemented. The results showed significant improvement in the overall safety awareness compliance assessed: from 74.2% to 84.4% (p < .001) after the intervention. The proposed model ensures that the organization's awareness-raising efforts serve its actual needs and produce optimized and sustained results that eventually lead to safer healthcare service.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. Improvement of risk assessment by integrating toxicological and epidemiological approaches: the case of isoflavones

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Islam, M.A.

    2015-01-01

    Improvement of risk assessment by integrating toxicological and epidemiological approaches: the case of isoflavones

    PhD-thesis Mohammed Ariful Islam

    This thesis describes the results of a research project that aimed at the improvement of

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. A discussion of approaches to transforming care: contemporary strategies to improve patient safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burston, Sarah; Chaboyer, Wendy; Wallis, Marianne; Stanfield, Jane

    2011-11-01

    This article presents a discussion of three contemporary approaches to transforming care: Transforming Care at the Bedside, Releasing Time to Care: the Productive Ward and the work of the Studer Group(®). International studies of adverse events in hospitals have highlighted the need to focus on patient safety. The case for transformational change was identified and recently several approaches have been developed to effect this change. Despite limited evaluation, these approaches have spread and have been adopted outside their country of origin and contextual settings. Medline and CINAHL databases were searched for the years 1999-2009. Search terms included derivatives of 'transformation' combined with 'care', 'nursing', 'patient safety', 'Transforming Care at the Bedside', 'the Productive Ward' and 'Studer Group'. A comparison of the three approaches revealed similarities including: the foci of the approaches; interventions employed; and the outcomes measured. Key differences identified are the implementation models used, spread strategies and sustainability of the approaches. The approaches appear to be complementary and a hybrid of the approaches such as a blend of a top-down and bottom-up leadership strategy may offer more sustainable behavioural change. These approaches transform the way nurses do their work, how they work with others and how they view the care they provide to promote patient safety. All the approaches involve the implementation of multiple interventions occurring simultaneously to affect improvements in patient safety. The approaches are complementary and a hybrid approach may offer more sustainable outcomes. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. [Improvement approaches in the hospital setting: From total quality management to Lean].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curatolo, N; Lamouri, S; Huet, J-C; Rieutord, A

    2015-07-01

    Hospitals have to deal strong with economic constraints and increasing requirements in terms of quality and safety of care. To address these constraints, one solution could be the adoption of approaches from the industry sector. Following the decree of April 6, 2011 on the quality management of the medication use process, some of these approaches, such as risk management, are now part of the everyday work of healthcare professionals. However, other approaches, such as business process improvement, are still poorly developed in the hospital setting. In this general review, we discuss the main approaches of business process improvements that have been used in hospitals by focusing specifically on one of the newest and most currently used: Lean. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.

  14. 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.

  15. Performance improvement of shunt active power filter based on non-linear least-square approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Terriche, Yacine

    2018-01-01

    . This paper proposes an improved open loop strategy which is unconditionally stable and flexible. The proposed method which is based on non-linear least square (NLS) approach can extract the fundamental voltage and estimates its phase within only half cycle, even in the presence of odd harmonics and dc offset......). The synchronous reference frame (SRF) approach is widely used for generating the RCC due to its simplicity and computation efficiency. However, the SRF approach needs precise information of the voltage phase which becomes a challenge under adverse grid conditions. A typical solution to answer this need...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Quality improvement collaborative: A novel approach to improve infection prevention and control. Perceptions of lead infection prevention nurses who participated.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Debra; Hine, Victoria; Bucior, Helen; Foster, Wendy; Mukombe, Nyarayi; Ryan, Jane; Smirthwaite, Sandra; Winfield, Jodie

    2018-03-01

    In response to the ongoing infection prevention (IP) challenges in England, a 90-day quality improvement (QI) collaborative programme was developed. The paper discusses the approach, benefits, challenges and evaluation of the programme. The objective of the collaborative was to develop new approaches to enable sustainable and effective IP. Six trusts in the region participated in the collaborative. Each defined their bespoke IP focus. There was no expectation that statistically significant measurable improvements would be identified during the short time frame. The experiences of the participants were sought both during the programme to facilitate its constant review and at the end of the programme to evaluate its effectiveness. The feedback focused on achievements, barriers to change and benefits of participating in a QI collaborative. To measure the potential success of the projects, participants completed the Model for Understanding Success in Quality framework. (MUSIQ; Kaplan et al., 2012). Since each trusts IP focus was bespoke commonalities of success were not evaluated. Participants identified a positive outcome from their QI interventions. The MUSIQ score identified the projects had the potential for success. The feedback from the participants demonstrated that it is worthy of further development.

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  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. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. Improving "At-Action" Decision-Making in Team Sports through a Holistic Coaching Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Light, Richard L.; Harvey, Stephen; Mouchet, Alain

    2014-01-01

    This article draws on Game Sense pedagogy and complex learning theory (CLT) to make suggestions for improving decision-making ability in team sports by adopting a holistic approach to coaching with a focus on decision-making "at-action". It emphasizes the complexity of decision-making and the need to focus on the game as a whole entity,…

  7. An Improved Heaviside Approach to Partial Fraction Expansion and Its Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Man, Yiu-Kwong

    2009-01-01

    In this note, we present an improved Heaviside approach to compute the partial fraction expansions of proper rational functions. This method uses synthetic divisions to determine the unknown partial fraction coefficients successively, without the need to use differentiation or to solve a system of linear equations. Examples of its applications in…

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. The scientific learning approach using multimedia-based maze game to improve learning outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Setiawan, Wawan; Hafitriani, Sarah; Prabawa, Harsa Wara

    2016-02-01

    The objective of curriculum 2013 is to improve the quality of education in Indonesia, which leads to improving the quality of learning. The scientific approach and supported empowerment media is one approach as massaged of curriculum 2013. This research aims to design a labyrinth game based multimedia and apply in the scientific learning approach. This study was conducted in one of the Vocational School in Subjects of Computer Network on 2 (two) classes of experimental and control. The method used Mix Method Research (MMR) which combines qualitative in multimedia design, and quantitative in the study of learning impact. The results of a survey showed that the general of vocational students like of network topology material (68%), like multimedia (74%), and in particular, like interactive multimedia games and flash (84%). Multimediabased maze game developed good eligibility based on media and material aspects of each value 840% and 82%. Student learning outcomes as a result of using a scientific approach to learning with a multimediabased labyrinth game increase with an average of gain index about (58%) and higher than conventional multimedia with index average gain of 0.41 (41%). Based on these results the scientific approach to learning by using multimediabased labyrinth game can improve the quality of learning and increase understanding of students. Multimedia of learning based labyrinth game, which developed, got a positive response from the students with a good qualification level (75%).

  11. 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.

  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

    2018-06-01

    : 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 using a holistic approach to improve the wellbeing of 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 with the control group. Taken together, the data suggest that implementation of these programs would provide valuable outcomes for both employees and organizations.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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 .

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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 accu...... 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.......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...

  19. Improving coverage of postnatal care in rural Ethiopia using a community-based, collaborative quality improvement approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesfaye, Solomon; Barry, Danika; Gobezayehu, Abebe Gebremariam; Frew, Aynalem Hailemichael; Stover, Kim Ethier; Tessema, Hana; Alamineh, Lamesgin; Sibley, Lynn M

    2014-01-01

    Ethiopia has high maternal and neonatal mortality and low use of skilled maternity care. The Maternal and Newborn Health in Ethiopia Partnership (MaNHEP), a 3.5-year learning project, used a community collaborative quality improvement approach to improve maternal and newborn health care during the birth-to-48-hour period. This study examines how the promotion of community maternal and newborn health (CMNH) family meetings and labor and birth notification contributed to increased postnatal care within 48 hours by skilled providers or health extension workers. Baseline and endline surveys, monthly quality improvement data, and MaNHEP's CMNH change package, a compendium of the most effective changes developed and tested by communities, were reviewed. Logistic regression assessed factors associated with postnatal care receipt. Monthly postnatal care receipt was plotted with control charts. The baseline (n = 1027) and endline (n = 1019) surveys showed significant increases in postnatal care, from 5% to 51% and from 15% to 47% in the Amhara and Oromiya regions, respectively (both P care. Women with any antenatal care were 1.7 times more likely to have had a postnatal care visit (odds ratio [OR], 1.67; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.10-2.54; P care (OR, 4.86; 95% CI, 2.67-8.86; P care far exceeds the 7% postnatal care coverage rate reported in the 2011 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS). This result was linked to ideas generated by community quality improvement teams for labor and birth notification and cooperation with community-level health workers to promote antenatal care and CMNH family meetings. © 2014 by the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

  20. A Practice Improvement Education Program Using a Mentored Approach to Improve Nursing Facility Depression Care-Preliminary Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chodosh, Joshua; Price, Rachel M; Cadogan, Mary P; Damron-Rodriguez, JoAnn; Osterweil, Dan; Czerwinski, Alfredo; Tan, Zaldy S; Merkin, Sharon S; Gans, Daphna; Frank, Janet C

    2015-11-01

    Depression is common in nursing facility residents. Depression data obtained using the Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0 offer opportunities for improving diagnostic accuracy and care quality. How best to integrate MDS 3.0 and other data into quality improvement (QI) activity is untested. The objective was to increase nursing home (NH) capability in using QI processes and to improve depression assessment and management through focused mentorship and team building. This was a 6-month intervention with five components: facilitated collection of MDS 3.0 nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and medication data for diagnostic interpretation; education and modeling on QI approaches, team building, and nonpharmacological depression care; mentored team meetings; educational webinars; and technical assistance. PHQ-9 and medication data were collected at baseline and 6 and 9 months. Progress was measured using team participation measures, attitude and care process self-appraisal, mentor assessments, and resident depression outcomes. Five NHs established interprofessional teams that included nursing (44.1%), social work (20.6%), physicians (8.8%), and other disciplines (26.5%). Members participated in 61% of eight offered educational meetings (three onsite mentored team meetings and five webinars). Competency self-ratings improved on four depression care measures (P = .05 to depression scores did not change while medication use declined, from 37.2% of residents at baseline to 31.0% at 9 months (P care processes, achieved medication reductions, and was well received. Application to other NH-prevalent syndromes is possible. © 2015, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2015, The American Geriatrics Society.

  1. 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.

  2. Integrated approach towards the application of horizontal wells to improve waterflooding performance. Annual report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-05-01

    This annual report describes the progress during the second 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 fluvial-dominated deltaic deposits. The project involves an integrated approach to characterize the reservoir followed by the drilling of horizontal injection wells to improve production performance. The type of data we have integrated include cross bore hole seismic surveys, geological interpretation based on logs and cores, and engineering information. This report covers the second phase of the project which includes a detailed reservoir description of the field by integrating all the available information, followed by flow simulation of the Self Unit under various operating conditions. Based on an examination of the various operating parameters, we observed that the best possible solution to improve the Self Unit performance is to recomplete and stimulate most of the wells followed by an increase in the water injection rate. Drilling of horizontal injection well, although helpful in improving the performance, was not found to be economically feasible. The proposed reservoir management plan will be implemented shortly.

  3. 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)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dourado, Eneida Regina G.; Cotta, Renato M.; Jian, Su

    2017-01-01

    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)

  5. ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING APPROACHES IN IMPROVING LEARNING OUTCOMES IN ACID-BASE SUBJECT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachmat Sahputra

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Learning in the understanding of acid-base chemistry in schools needs to be improved so research to determine differences in learning outcomes between students taught using environmental approaches and methods lectures in class XI SMA on acid-base subject needs to be done. In this study, using a quasi-experimental method using a data collection tool achievement test essay form. The test statistic results of the post-test learning has been obtained Asymp value. Sig (2-tailed 0,026 that showed the differences between students' learning outcomes with a control experimental class with effect size of 0.63 or much influence difference with the percentage 23.57% which indicated that the learning environment approach can improve learning outcomes of high school students.

  6. Improving the efficiency of a chemotherapy day unit: applying a business approach to oncology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Lent, Wineke A M; Goedbloed, N; van Harten, W H

    2009-03-01

    To improve the efficiency of a hospital-based chemotherapy day unit (CDU). 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 thinking, was performed. An integrated set of interventions was implemented, among them a new planning system. The results were evaluated using pre- and post-measurements. We observed 24% growth of treatments and bed utilisation, a 12% increase of staff member productivity and an 81% reduction of overtime. The used method improved process design and led to increased efficiency and a more timely delivery of care. Thus, the business approaches, which were adapted for healthcare, were successfully applied. The method may serve as an example for other oncology settings with problems concerning waiting times, patient flow or lack of beds.

  7. A Knowledge Management Approach to Support Software Process Improvement Implementation Initiatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montoni, Mariano Angel; Cerdeiral, Cristina; Zanetti, David; Cavalcanti da Rocha, Ana Regina

    The success of software process improvement (SPI) implementation initiatives depends fundamentally of the strategies adopted to support the execution of such initiatives. Therefore, it is essential to define adequate SPI implementation strategies aiming to facilitate the achievement of organizational business goals and to increase the benefits of process improvements. The objective of this work is to present an approach to support the execution of SPI implementation initiatives. We also describe a methodology applied to capture knowledge related to critical success factors that influence SPI initiatives. This knowledge was used to define effective SPI strategies aiming to increase the success of SPI initiatives coordinated by a specific SPI consultancy organization. This work also presents the functionalities of a set of tools integrated in a process-centered knowledge management environment, named CORE-KM, customized to support the presented approach.

  8. 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.

  9. Implementation of the systems approach to improve a pharmacist-managed vancomycin dosing service.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gagnon, David J; Roberts, Russel; Sylvia, Lynne

    2014-12-01

    Quality improvements achieved by applying the systems approach to assess the clinical effectiveness, operational efficiency, and financial feasibility of a pharmacist-managed vancomycin dosing service are described. Faced with increased patient volumes and resource demands, the pharmacy department at Tufts Medical Center conducted an evaluation of its adult inpatient vancomycin dosing service using the systems approach, which emphasizes multidisciplinary assessment of system inputs, processes, and outcomes and consensus-building methods to identify needed changes and recommended action steps. A multidisciplinary committee composed of representatives of the medical center's pharmacy, internal medicine, infectious diseases, nursing, phlebotomy, and clinical laboratory services was assembled; in a series of three moderated monthly sessions, committee members deliberated and ultimately reached consensus on a list of action items. Relative to a concurrent intradepartmental assessment of the vancomycin dosing service based solely on pharmacist feedback, the systems approach identified a greater number and wider array of needed improvements in key program areas. Quality improvements implemented as a direct result of the systems-based analysis included a policy change authorizing pharmacists to order serum vancomycin determinations without physician cosignature and inclusion of a vancomycin dosing algorithm in the institutional antibiotic dosing guide. Future changes based on deliverable action items will result in a structured process to help direct program resources toward the patients most in need of pharmacist-managed vancomycin dosing services. The systems approach allowed for a comprehensive multidisciplinary evaluation of the service, as indicated by the identification of process improvements not identified by the department of pharmacy alone. Copyright © 2014 by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Improving family and community health in eastern Europe--the lifecycle approach at WHO

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lazarus, Jeff; Bjørk, Christina; Ostergren, Mikael

    2006-01-01

    There are great differences in the health status of young children in the European Region. Central Asia and the Caucasus are the worst-off areas. After reviewing under-five mortality in the eight countries of this part of Eastern Europe, a new WHO strategy to improve child survival is presented. ....... Adopted in late 2005, the strategy has four main principles: a lifecycle approach, youth participation, equity and intersectoral collaboration....

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Forecasting and analyzing high O3 time series in educational area through an improved chaotic approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamid, Nor Zila Abd; Adenan, Nur Hamiza; Noorani, Mohd Salmi Md

    2017-08-01

    Forecasting and analyzing the ozone (O3) concentration time series is important because the pollutant is harmful to health. This study is a pilot study for forecasting and analyzing the O3 time series in one of Malaysian educational area namely Shah Alam using chaotic approach. Through this approach, the observed hourly scalar time series is reconstructed into a multi-dimensional phase space, which is then used to forecast the future time series through the local linear approximation method. The main purpose is to forecast the high O3 concentrations. The original method performed poorly but the improved method addressed the weakness thereby enabling the high concentrations to be successfully forecast. The correlation coefficient between the observed and forecasted time series through the improved method is 0.9159 and both the mean absolute error and root mean squared error are low. Thus, the improved method is advantageous. The time series analysis by means of the phase space plot and Cao method identified the presence of low-dimensional chaotic dynamics in the observed O3 time series. Results showed that at least seven factors affect the studied O3 time series, which is consistent with the listed factors from the diurnal variations investigation and the sensitivity analysis from past studies. In conclusion, chaotic approach has been successfully forecast and analyzes the O3 time series in educational area of Shah Alam. These findings are expected to help stakeholders such as Ministry of Education and Department of Environment in having a better air pollution management.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. The combination of two training approaches to improve older adults' driving safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bédard, Michel; Porter, Michelle M; Marshall, Shawn; Isherwood, Ivy; Riendeau, Julie; Weaver, Bruce; Tuokko, Holly; Molnar, Frank; Miller-Polgar, Jan

    2008-03-01

    An increasing number of older adults rely on the automobile for transportation. Educational approaches based on the specific needs of older drivers may help to optimize safe driving. We examined if the combination of an in-class education program with on-road education would lead to improvements in older drivers' knowledge of safe driving practices and on-road driving evaluations. We used a multisite, randomized controlled trial approach. Participants in the intervention group received the in-class and on-road education; those in the control group waited and were offered the education afterwards. We measured knowledge of safe driving practices before and after the in-class component of the program and on-road driving skills before and after the whole program. Participants' knowledge improved from 61% of correct answers before the in-class education component to 81% after (p < .001). The on-road evaluation results suggested improvements on some aspects of safe driving (e.g., moving in roadway, p < .05) but not on others. The results of this study demonstrate that education programs focused on the needs of older drivers may help improve their knowledge of safe driving practices and actual driving performance. Further research is required to determine if these changes will affect other variables such as driver confidence and crash rates.

  19. Signal Amplification Technique (SAT): an approach for improving resolution and reducing image noise in computed tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Phelps, M.E.; Huang, S.C.; Hoffman, E.J.; Plummer, D.; Carson, R.

    1981-01-01

    Spatial resolution improvements in computed tomography (CT) have been limited by the large and unique error propagation properties of this technique. The desire to provide maximum image resolution has resulted in the use of reconstruction filter functions designed to produce tomographic images with resolution as close as possible to the intrinsic detector resolution. Thus, many CT systems produce images with excessive noise with the system resolution determined by the detector resolution rather than the reconstruction algorithm. CT is a rigorous mathematical technique which applies an increasing amplification to increasing spatial frequencies in the measured data. This mathematical approach to spatial frequency amplification cannot distinguish between signal and noise and therefore both are amplified equally. We report here a method in which tomographic resolution is improved by using very small detectors to selectively amplify the signal and not noise. Thus, this approach is referred to as the signal amplification technique (SAT). SAT can provide dramatic improvements in image resolution without increases in statistical noise or dose because increases in the cutoff frequency of the reconstruction algorithm are not required to improve image resolution. Alternatively, in cases where image counts are low, such as in rapid dynamic or receptor studies, statistical noise can be reduced by lowering the cutoff frequency while still maintaining the best possible image resolution. A possible system design for a positron CT system with SAT is described

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Deep Learning-Based Noise Reduction Approach to Improve Speech Intelligibility for Cochlear Implant Recipients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Ying-Hui; Tsao, Yu; Lu, Xugang; Chen, Fei; Su, Yu-Ting; Chen, Kuang-Chao; Chen, Yu-Hsuan; Chen, Li-Ching; Po-Hung Li, Lieber; Lee, Chin-Hui

    2018-01-20

    for the key speech envelope information, thus, improving speech recognition more effectively for Mandarin CI recipients. The results suggest that the proposed deep learning-based NR approach can potentially be integrated into existing CI signal processors to overcome the degradation of speech perception caused by noise.

  5. 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

  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. Does an outcome-based approach to continuing medical education improve physicians' competences in rational prescribing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esmaily, Hamideh M; Savage, Carl; Vahidi, Rezagoli; Amini, Abolghasem; Dastgiri, Saeed; Hult, Hakan; Dahlgren, Lars Owe; Wahlstrom, Rolf

    2009-11-01

    Continuing medical education (CME) is compulsory in Iran, and traditionally it is lecture-based, which is mostly not successful. Outcome-based education has been proposed for CME programs. To evaluate the effectiveness of an outcome-based educational intervention with a new approach based on outcomes and aligned teaching methods, on knowledge and skills of general physicians (GPs) working in primary care compared with a concurrent CME program in the field of "Rational prescribing". The method used was cluster randomized controlled design. All GPs working in six cities in one province in Iran were invited to participate. The cities were matched and randomly divided into an intervention arm for education on rational prescribing with an outcome-based approach, and a control arm for a traditional program on the same topic. Knowledge and skills were assessed using a pre- and post-test, including case scenarios. In total, 112 GPs participated. There were significant improvements in knowledge and prescribing skills after the training in the intervention arm as well as in comparison with the changes in the control arm. The overall intervention effect was 26 percentage units. The introduction of an outcome-based approach in CME appears to be effective when creating programs to improve GPs' knowledge and skills.

  8. 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.

  9. Developing Instructional Mathematical Physics Book Based on Inquiry Approach to Improve Students’ Mathematical Problem Solving Ability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Syarifah Fadillah

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The problem in this research is to know how the process of developing mathematics physics instructional book based on inquiry approach and its supporting documents to improve students' mathematical problem-solving ability. The purpose of this research is to provide mathematical physics instruction based on inquiry approach and its supporting documents (semester learning activity plan, lesson plan and mathematical problem-solving test to improve students' mathematical problem-solving ability. The development of textbook refers to the ADDIE model, including analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation. The validation result from the expert team shows that the textbook and its supporting documents are valid. The test results of the mathematical problem-solving skills show that all test questions are valid and reliable. The result of the incorporation of the textbook in teaching and learning process revealed that students' mathematical problem-solving ability using mathematical physics instruction based on inquiry approach book was better than the students who use the regular book.

  10. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dufresne, R; Desaulniers, M [Central Nucleaire Gentilly, PQ (Canada)

    1997-09-01

    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. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sánchez-Toledano, Blanca I.; Kallas, Zein; Gil-Roig, José M.

    2017-01-01

    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 creati

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Novel approach to parental permission and child assent for research: improving comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Lonergan, Theresa A; Forster-Harwood, Jeri E

    2011-05-01

    The aim of this research was to test a multimedia permission/assent (P/A) process. The overall hypothesis was that children and their parents exposed to a multimedia P/A process would have better comprehension compared with those exposed to a text-based process. Traditional and multimedia P/A processes were created by using an innovative learning-objective approach. A total of 194 parent-child dyads (children aged 11-14 years) were enrolled: 24 dyads in a prestudy testing P/A components for preference and effect on comprehension and 170 dyads in a randomized trial of a multimedia or paper P/A process for a hypothetical study. Participants were predominantly white and were from a metropolitan area served by a tertiary care pediatric hospital and outpatient facility. Comprehension of 8 essential elements of the P/A process was assessed. The majority of prestudy subjects preferred the video version of the dual-energy radiograph absorptiometry description over the animated and paper versions combined (41 of 48 [85%]; P better overall comprehension compared with the paper P/A process (P = .0009), and there were highly significant differences in understanding of study procedures (P = .0002) and risks (P multimedia group had significantly better overall comprehension (P = .03). Multimedia approaches to the research P/A process may improve overall understanding of research participation for children and parents. Improved understanding of study-specific research components (rather than research rights) may improve overall comprehension.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sánchez-Toledano, Blanca I.; Kallas, Zein; Gil-Roig, José M.

    2017-07-01

    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 creati.

  1. 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.

  2. Knowledge management as a tool for improving business processes: an action research approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aurora Martínez-Martínez

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: The aim of this study is to investigate the importance of Knowledge Management as a tool for improving business processes in a different context from the industrial organizations, as an archaeological museum. Design/methodology/approach: Using data collected from the National Museum of the Sultanate of Oman in Muscat, a methodology for analysis and improvement of processes (the Business Cycle Management Process, CMP is designed and validated. This application is described as an eight phases process based on Six Sigma DMAIC. The model has a characteristic "P" shape. Findings: As the results obtained by the process improvement initiative show, we highlight the relevance of the improvement in all aspects regarding the security in showcases in that context. Research limitations/implications: The complexity of implementing indicators and the partial vision of the project as data were only obtained from a part of one of the companies involved in the construction of the museum. An important implication of this paper is in order to present a methodology to improve the museum processes focusing on the reduction of errors and also adding value for the visitors. Practical implications: The relevance to intervene on certain relevant variables at different levels of management performance is verified. Social implications: Improving the quality of leisure services in order to the identification of certain challenges regarding the nature and competitiveness of cultural services. Originality/value: The current work has served as a repository of knowledge applicable to new similar projects, in which to take into account the peculiarities of each case and in particular the level of quality demanded by the client in a cultural context. It is important to take into account the degree of avoidable dissatisfaction (number of solvable problems that would lead to dissatisfaction, the opportunity for improvement, the reduction of operational waste and the need

  3. Innovative approaches for improving maternal and newborn health--A landscape analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunze, Karsten; Higgins-Steele, Ariel; Simen-Kapeu, Aline; Vesel, Linda; Kim, Julia; Dickson, Kim

    2015-12-17

    Essential interventions can improve maternal and newborn health (MNH) outcomes in low- and middle-income countries, but their implementation has been challenging. Innovative MNH approaches have the potential to accelerate progress and to lead to better health outcomes for women and newborns, but their added value to health systems remains incompletely understood. This study's aim was to analyze the landscape of innovative MNH approaches and related published evidence. Systematic literature review and descriptive analysis based on the MNH continuum of care framework and the World Health Organization health system building blocks, analyzing the range and nature of currently published MNH approaches that are considered innovative. We used 11 databases (MedLine, Web of Science, CINAHL, Cochrane, Popline, BLDS, ELDIS, 3ie, CAB direct, WHO Global Health Library and WHOLIS) as data source and extracted data according to our study protocol. Most innovative approaches in MNH are iterations of existing interventions, modified for contexts in which they had not been applied previously. Many aim at the direct organization and delivery of maternal and newborn health services or are primarily health workforce interventions. Innovative approaches also include health technologies, interventions based on community ownership and participation, and novel models of financing and policy making. Rigorous randomized trials to assess innovative MNH approaches are rare; most evaluations are smaller pilot studies. Few studies assessed intervention effects on health outcomes or focused on equity in health care delivery. Future implementation and evaluation efforts need to assess innovations' effects on health outcomes and provide evidence on potential for scale-up, considering cost, feasibility, appropriateness, and acceptability. Measuring equity is an important aspect to identify and target population groups at risk of service inequity. Innovative MNH interventions will need innovative

  4. How to improve retromandibular transmasseteric anteroparotid approach for mandibular condylar fractures: our clinical experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salgarelli, A C; Anesi, A; Bellini, P; Pollastri, G; Tanza, D; Barberini, S; Chiarini, L

    2013-04-01

    Fractures of the mandibular condyle are common and account for 25-35% of all mandibular fractures reported in the literature. Even with the development of a consensus on the preference for open reduction and internal fixation of these fractures, the clinician is still faced with a dilemma concerning the optimal approach to the ramus-condyle unit. Limited access and injury to the facial nerve are the most common problems. The most commonly used extraoral approaches are the submandibular, retromandibular and preauricular methods. In this study, we propose a modified cosmetic preauricular incision with a short end in the neck, to improve the transmasseteric anteroparotid (TMAP) approach previously described by Wilson et al. in 2005. We retrospectively analysed 13 patients treated in our department for mandibular condylar fractures. Post-operative complications, occlusal status, interincisal opening and joint tenderness were evaluated at 3 months after surgery. The wider skin incision described here provides a convenient approach for open reduction and rigid internal fixation, and good results were obtained. The follow-up ranged from 6 to 40 months. Copyright © 2013 International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Rached, Nadhir B.; Kammoun, Abla; Alouini, Mohamed-Slim; Tempone, Raul

    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.

  7. The urban harvest approach as framework and planning tool for improved water and resource cycles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leusbrock, I; Nanninga, T A; Lieberg, K; Agudelo-Vera, C M; Keesman, K J; Zeeman, G; Rijnaarts, H H M

    2015-01-01

    Water and resource availability in sufficient quantity and quality for anthropogenic needs represents one of the main challenges in the coming decades. To prepare for upcoming challenges such as increased urbanization and climate change related consequences, innovative and improved resource management concepts are indispensable. In recent years we have developed and applied the urban harvest approach (UHA). The UHA aims to model and quantify the urban water cycle on different temporal and spatial scales. This approach allowed us to quantify the impact of the implementation of water saving measures and new water treatment concepts in cities. In this paper we will introduce the UHA and its application for urban water cycles. Furthermore, we will show first results for an extension to energy cycles and highlight future research items (e.g. nutrients, water-energy-nexus).

  8. 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. PMID:25470727

  9. A whole-of-curriculum approach to improving nursing students' applied numeracy skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Mortel, Thea F; Whitehair, Leeann P; Irwin, Pauletta M

    2014-03-01

    Nursing students often perform poorly on numeracy tests. Whilst one-off interventions have been trialled with limited success, a whole-of-curriculum approach may provide a better means of improving applied numeracy skills. The objective of the study is to assess the efficacy of a whole-of-curriculum approach in improving nursing students' applied numeracy skills. Two cycles of assessment, implementation and evaluation of strategies were conducted following a high fail rate in the final applied numeracy examination in a Bachelor of Nursing (BN) programme. Strategies included an early diagnostic assessment followed by referral to remediation, setting the pass mark at 100% for each of six applied numeracy examinations across the programme, and employing a specialist mathematics teacher to provide consistent numeracy teaching. The setting of the study is one Australian university. 1035 second and third year nursing students enrolled in four clinical nursing courses (CNC III, CNC IV, CNC V and CNC VI) were included. Data on the percentage of students who obtained 100% in their applied numeracy examination in up to two attempts were collected from CNCs III, IV, V and VI between 2008 and 2011. A four by two χ(2) contingency table was used to determine if the differences in the proportion of students achieving 100% across two examination attempts in each CNC were significantly different between 2008 and 2011. The percentage of students who obtained 100% correct answers on the applied numeracy examinations was significantly higher in 2011 than in 2008 in CNC III (χ(2)=272, 3; p<0.001), IV (χ(2)=94.7, 3; p<0.001) and VI (χ(2)=76.3, 3; p<0.001). A whole-of-curriculum approach to developing applied numeracy skills in BN students resulted in a substantial improvement in these skills over four years. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Sectional anatomy aid for improvement of decompression surgery approach to vertical segment of facial nerve.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Yan; Zhang, Yi Qun; Liu, Min; Jin, Limin; Huangfu, Mingmei; Liu, Zhenyu; Hua, Peiyan; Liu, Yulong; Hou, Ruida; Sun, Yu; Li, You Qiong; Wang, Yu Fa; Feng, Jia Chun

    2012-05-01

    The aim of this study was to find a surgical approach to a vertical segment of the facial nerve (VFN) with a relatively wide visual field and small lesion by studying the location and structure of VFN with cross-sectional anatomy. High-resolution spiral computed tomographic multiplane reformation was used to reform images that were parallel to the Frankfort horizontal plane. To locate the VFN, we measured the distances as follows: from the VFN to the paries posterior bony external acoustic meatus on 5 typical multiplane reformation images, to the promontorium tympani and the root of the tympanic ring on 2 typical images. The mean distances from the VFN to the paries posterior bony external acoustic meatus are as follows: 4.47 mm on images showing the top of the external acoustic meatus, 4.20 mm on images with the best view of the window niche, 3.35 mm on images that show the widest external acoustic meatus, 4.22 mm on images with the inferior margin of the sulcus tympanicus, and 5.49 mm on images that show the bottom of the external acoustic meatus. The VFN is approximately 4.20 mm lateral to the promontorium tympani on images with the best view of the window niche and 4.12 mm lateral to the root of the tympanic ring on images with the inferior margin of the sulcus tympanicus. The other results indicate that the area and depth of the surgical wound from the improved approach would be much smaller than that from the typical approach. The surgical approach to the horizontal segment of the facial nerve through the external acoustic meatus and the tympanic cavity could be improved by grinding off the external acoustic meatus to show the VFN. The VFN can be found by taking the promontorium tympani and tympanic ring as references. This improvement is of high potential to expand the visual field to the facial nerve, remarkably without significant injury to the patients compared with the typical approach through the mastoid process.

  15. Precursor models construction at preschool education: an approach to improve scientific education in the classroom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SABRINA PATRICIA CANEDO- IBARRA

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to explore young children scientific precursor models construction and how the designed teaching strategy was successful for improving science learning at preschool in a social context. We describe how 6 years old children built a precursor model of flotation based on density. The exploratory study used a qualitative data collection and analysis following a pre-interview, instructional process and post-interview design. On analyzing children’s answers after the instructional period, we realized that several children were led to both the construction of a precursor model and a general qualitative upgrade in reasoning. We conclude that learning activities were effective and that the approach used in this study may help expand and improve teaching and learning of scientific concepts in preschool education

  16. Improving High-Throughput Sequencing Approaches for Reconstructing the Evolutionary Dynamics of Upper Paleolithic Human Groups

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seguin-Orlando, Andaine

    the development and testing of innovative molecular approaches aiming at improving the amount of informative HTS data one can recover from ancient DNA extracts. We have characterized important ligation and amplification biases in the sequencing library building and enrichment steps, which can impede further...... been mainly driven by the development of High-Throughput DNA Sequencing (HTS) technologies but also by the implementation of novel molecular tools tailored to the manipulation of ultra short and damaged DNA molecules. Our ability to retrieve traces of genetic material has tremendously improved, pushing......, that impact on the overall efficacy of the method. In a second part, we implemented some of these molecular tools to the processing of five Upper Paleolithic human samples from the Kostenki and Sunghir sites in Western Eurasia, in order to reconstruct the deep genomic history of European populations...

  17. 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.

  18. A Model Predictive Control Approach for Fuel Economy Improvement of a Series Hydraulic Hybrid Vehicle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tri-Vien Vu

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available This study applied a model predictive control (MPC framework to solve the cruising control problem of a series hydraulic hybrid vehicle (SHHV. The controller not only regulates vehicle velocity, but also engine torque, engine speed, and accumulator pressure to their corresponding reference values. At each time step, a quadratic programming problem is solved within a predictive horizon to obtain the optimal control inputs. The objective is to minimize the output error. This approach ensures that the components operate at high efficiency thereby improving the total efficiency of the system. The proposed SHHV control system was evaluated under urban and highway driving conditions. By handling constraints and input-output interactions, the MPC-based control system ensures that the system operates safely and efficiently. The fuel economy of the proposed control scheme shows a noticeable improvement in comparison with the PID-based system, in which three Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID controllers are used for cruising control.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Participatory approach to improving safety, health and working conditions in informal economy workplaces in Cambodia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawakami, Tsuyoshi; Tong, Leng; Kannitha, Yi; Sophorn, Tun

    2011-01-01

    The present study aimed to improve safety and health in informal economy workplaces such as home workplaces, small construction sites, and rural farms in Cambodia by using "participatory" approach. The government, workers' and employers' organizations and NGOs jointly assisted informal economy workers in improving safety and health by using participatory training methodologies. The steps taken were: (1) to collect existing good practices in safety and health in Cambodia; (2) to develop new participatory training programmes for home workers and small construction sites referring to ILO's WISE training programme, and (3) to train government officers, workers, employers and NGOs as safety and health trainers. The participatory training programmes developed consisted of action-checklists associated with illustrations, good example photo sheets, and texts explaining practical, low-cost improvement measures. The established safety and health trainers reached many informal economy workers through their human networks, and trained them by using the developed participatory training programmes. More than 3,000 informal economy workers were trained and they implemented improvements by using low-cost methods. Participatory training methodologies and active cooperation between the government, workers, employers and NGOs made it possible to provide practical training for those involved in the informal economy workplaces.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. An experimental approach to improve the basin type solar still using an integrated natural circulation loop

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rahmani, Ahmed; Boutriaa, Abdelouahab; Hadef, Amar

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • A new experimental approach to improve the conventional solar still performances is proposed. • A passive natural circulation loop is integrated to the conventional solar still. • Natural circulation of humid-air in a closed loop is studied by the present study. • Natural circulation capability in driving air convection in the still was demonstrated. • Air convection created inside the still increase the evaporation heat and mass transfer. - Abstract: In this paper, a new experimental approach is proposed to enhance the performances of the conventional solar still using the natural circulation effect inside the still. The idea consists in generating air flow by a rectangular natural circulation loop appended to the rear side of the still. The proposed still was tested during summer period and the experimental data presented in this paper concerns four typical days. The convective heat transfer coefficient is evaluated and compared with Dunkle’s model. The comparison shows that convective heat transfer is considerably improved by the air convection created inside the still. The natural circulation phenomenon in the still is studied and a good agreement between the experimental data and Vijajan’s laminar correlation is found. Therefore, natural circulation phenomenon is found to have a good effect on the still performances where the still daily productivity is of 3.72 kg/m 2 and the maximum efficiency is of 45.15%

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. Natural science modules with SETS approach to improve students’ critical thinking ability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budi, A. P. S.; Sunarno, W.; Sugiyarto

    2018-05-01

    SETS (Science, Environment, Technology and Society) approach for learning is important to be developed for middle school, since it can improve students’ critical thinking ability. This research aimed to determine feasibility and the effectiveness of Natural Science Module with SETS approach to increase their critical thinking ability. The module development was done by invitation, exploration, explanation, concept fortifying, and assessment. Questionnaire and test performed including pretest and posttest with control group design were used as data collection technique in this research. Two classes were selected randomly as samples and consisted of 32 students in each group. Descriptive data analysis was used to analyze the module feasibility and t-test was used to analyze their critical thinking ability. The results showed that the feasibility of the module development has a very good results based on assessment of the experts, practitioners and peers. Based on the t-test results, there was significant difference between control class and experiment class (0.004), with n-gain score of control and the experiment class respectively 0.270 (low) and 0.470 (medium). It showed that the module was more effective than the textbook. It was able to improve students’ critical thinking ability and appropriate to be used in learning process.

  8. A novel approach for the improvement of ethanol fermentation by Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hou, L.; Cao, X.; Wang, C. [Tianjin Univ. of Science and Technology, Tianjin (China). Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety

    2010-06-15

    The partial substitution of fossil fuels with bioethanol has become an important strategy for the use of renewable energy. Ethanol production is generally achieved through fermentation of starch or sugar-based feedstock by Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In order to meet the growing demand for ethanol, there is a need for new yeast strains that can produce ethanol more efficiently and cost effectively. This paper presented a new genome engineering approach that was developed to improve ethanol production by S. cerevisiae. In this study, the aneuploid strain constructed on the base of tetraploid cells was shown to have favourable metabolic traits in very high gravity (VHG) fermentation with 300 g/L glucose as the carbon source. The tetraploid strain was constructed using the plasmid YCplac33-GHK, which comprised the HO gene encoding the site-specific HO endonucleases. The aneuploid strain, WT4-M, was chosen and screened once the tetraploid cells were treated with methyl benzimidazole-2-yl-carbamate to induce loss of mitotic chromosomes. The aneuploid strain WT4-M increased ethanol production as well as osmotic and thermal tolerance. The sugar to ethanol conversion rate also improved. It was concluded that this new approach is valuable for creating yeast strains with better fermentation characteristics. 25 refs., 3 figs.

  9. Reliability of infarct volumetry: Its relevance and the improvement by a software-assisted approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedländer, Felix; Bohmann, Ferdinand; Brunkhorst, Max; Chae, Ju-Hee; Devraj, Kavi; Köhler, Yvette; Kraft, Peter; Kuhn, Hannah; Lucaciu, Alexandra; Luger, Sebastian; Pfeilschifter, Waltraud; Sadler, Rebecca; Liesz, Arthur; Scholtyschik, Karolina; Stolz, Leonie; Vutukuri, Rajkumar; Brunkhorst, Robert

    2017-08-01

    Despite the efficacy of neuroprotective approaches in animal models of stroke, their translation has so far failed from bench to bedside. One reason is presumed to be a low quality of preclinical study design, leading to bias and a low a priori power. In this study, we propose that the key read-out of experimental stroke studies, the volume of the ischemic damage as commonly measured by free-handed planimetry of TTC-stained brain sections, is subject to an unrecognized low inter-rater and test-retest reliability with strong implications for statistical power and bias. As an alternative approach, we suggest a simple, open-source, software-assisted method, taking advantage of automatic-thresholding techniques. The validity and the improvement of reliability by an automated method to tMCAO infarct volumetry are demonstrated. In addition, we show the probable consequences of increased reliability for precision, p-values, effect inflation, and power calculation, exemplified by a systematic analysis of experimental stroke studies published in the year 2015. Our study reveals an underappreciated quality problem in translational stroke research and suggests that software-assisted infarct volumetry might help to improve reproducibility and therefore the robustness of bench to bedside translation.

  10. 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.

  11. Hybrid modeling approach to improve the forecasting capability for the gaseous radionuclide in a nuclear site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeong, Hyojoon; Hwang, Wontae; Kim, Eunhan; Han, Moonhee

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► This study is to improve the reliability of air dispersion modeling. ► Tracer experiments assumed gaseous radionuclides were conducted at a nuclear site. ► The performance of a hybrid modeling combined ISC with ANFIS was investigated.. ► Hybrid modeling approach shows better performance rather than a single ISC model. - Abstract: Predicted air concentrations of radioactive materials are important for an environmental impact assessment for the public health. In this study, the performance of a hybrid modeling combined with the industrial source complex (ISC) model and an adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) for predicting tracer concentrations was investigated. Tracer dispersion experiments were performed to produce the field data assuming the accidental release of radioactive material. ANFIS was trained in order that the outputs of the ISC model are similar to the measured data. Judging from the higher correlation coefficients between the measured and the calculated ones, the hybrid modeling approach could be an appropriate technique for an improvement of the modeling capability to predict the air concentrations for radioactive materials.

  12. 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.

  13. Health-promoting schools: evidence for a holistic approach to promoting health and improving health literacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Albert

    2009-01-01

    Chronic diseases are now the major causes of death and disability worldwide, and non-communicable diseases (NCD) account for the majority of the global health burden. About half of premature deaths are related to health-risking behaviours that are often established during youth and extend to adulthood. While these diseases might not be curable, they are preventable. Prevention is possible when sustained actions are directed at individuals and families, as well as at the broader social, economic and cultural determinants of NCD. A 'life-course' approach to promoting healthy behaviour should begin early in life. The aim of this article is to discuss the impact of the 'health-promoting school' (HPS) on improvements in youth health. HPS can be described as a holistic, whole-school approach in which a broad health education curriculum is supported by the environment and ethos of the school. HPS moves beyond individual behavioural change to consider organizational and policy change such as improving the physical and social environment of the school, as well as its curricula and teaching and learning methods. A positive culture for health would facilitate higher levels of health literacy by helping individuals tackle the determinants of health better as they build the personal, cognitive and social skills for maintaining good health. There is reasonable evidence to demonstrate that the whole-school approach using the HPS framework is effective in improving health, ranging from physical activities and healthy eating to emotional health. Schools adopting the HPS framework have demonstrated changes in culture and organizational practice to become more conducive to health improvement. These schools were reported to have better school health policies, higher degrees of community participation, and a more hygienic environment than non-HPS schools, and students in these schools had a more positive health behaviour profile. Health promotion and disease prevention is essential to

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. EMUDRA: Ensemble of Multiple Drug Repositioning Approaches to Improve Prediction Accuracy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xianxiao; Wang, Minghui; Katsyv, Igor; Irie, Hanna; Zhang, Bin

    2018-04-24

    Availability of large-scale genomic, epigenetic and proteomic data in complex diseases makes it possible to objectively and comprehensively identify therapeutic targets that can lead to new therapies. The Connectivity Map has been widely used to explore novel indications of existing drugs. However, the prediction accuracy of the existing methods, such as Kolmogorov-Smirnov statistic remains low. Here we present a novel high-performance drug repositioning approach that improves over the state-of-the-art methods. We first designed an expression weighted cosine method (EWCos) to minimize the influence of the uninformative expression changes and then developed an ensemble approach termed EMUDRA (Ensemble of Multiple Drug Repositioning Approaches) to integrate EWCos and three existing state-of-the-art methods. EMUDRA significantly outperformed individual drug repositioning methods when applied to simulated and independent evaluation datasets. We predicted using EMUDRA and experimentally validated an antibiotic rifabutin as an inhibitor of cell growth in triple negative breast cancer. EMUDRA can identify drugs that more effectively target disease gene signatures and will thus be a useful tool for identifying novel therapies for complex diseases and predicting new indications for existing drugs. The EMUDRA R package is available at doi:10.7303/syn11510888. bin.zhang@mssm.edu or zhangb@hotmail.com. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

  17. Sparsity-based shrinkage approach for practicability improvement of H-LBP-based edge extraction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhao, Chenyi [School of Physics, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024 (China); Qiao, Shuang, E-mail: qiaos810@nenu.edu.cn [School of Physics, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024 (China); Sun, Jianing, E-mail: sunjn118@nenu.edu.cn [School of Mathematics and Statistics, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024 (China); Zhao, Ruikun; Wu, Wei [Jilin Cancer Hospital, Changchun 130021 (China)

    2016-07-21

    The local binary pattern with H function (H-LBP) technique enables fast and efficient edge extraction in digital radiography. In this paper, we reformulate the model of H-LBP and propose a novel sparsity-based shrinkage approach, in which the threshold can be adapted to the data sparsity. Using this model, we upgrade fast H-LBP framework and apply it to real digital radiography. The experiments show that the method improved using the new shrinkage approach can avoid elaborately artificial modulation of parameters and possess greater robustness in edge extraction compared with the other current methods without increasing processing time. - Highlights: • An novel sparsity-based shrinkage approach for edge extraction on digital radiography is proposed. • The threshold of SS-LBP can be adaptive to the data sparsity. • SS-LBP is the development of AH-LBP and H-LBP. • Without boosting processing time and losing processing efficiency, SS-LBP can avoid elaborately artificial modulation of parameters provides. • SS-LBP has more robust performance in edge extraction compared with the existing methods.

  18. Performance improvement of shunt active power filter based on non-linear least-square approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Terriche, Yacine

    2018-01-01

    Nowadays, the shunt active power filters (SAPFs) have become a popular solution for power quality issues. A crucial issue in controlling the SAPFs which is highly correlated with their accuracy, flexibility and dynamic behavior, is generating the reference compensating current (RCC). The synchron......Nowadays, the shunt active power filters (SAPFs) have become a popular solution for power quality issues. A crucial issue in controlling the SAPFs which is highly correlated with their accuracy, flexibility and dynamic behavior, is generating the reference compensating current (RCC......). The synchronous reference frame (SRF) approach is widely used for generating the RCC due to its simplicity and computation efficiency. However, the SRF approach needs precise information of the voltage phase which becomes a challenge under adverse grid conditions. A typical solution to answer this need....... This paper proposes an improved open loop strategy which is unconditionally stable and flexible. The proposed method which is based on non-linear least square (NLS) approach can extract the fundamental voltage and estimates its phase within only half cycle, even in the presence of odd harmonics and dc offset...

  19. An Improved Incremental Learning Approach for KPI Prognosis of Dynamic Fuel Cell System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Shen; Xie, Xiaochen; Lam, James; Cheung, Kie Chung; Gao, Huijun

    2016-12-01

    The key performance indicator (KPI) has an important practical value with respect to the product quality and economic benefits for modern industry. To cope with the KPI prognosis issue under nonlinear conditions, this paper presents an improved incremental learning approach based on available process measurements. The proposed approach takes advantage of the algorithm overlapping of locally weighted projection regression (LWPR) and partial least squares (PLS), implementing the PLS-based prognosis in each locally linear model produced by the incremental learning process of LWPR. The global prognosis results including KPI prediction and process monitoring are obtained from the corresponding normalized weighted means of all the local models. The statistical indicators for prognosis are enhanced as well by the design of novel KPI-related and KPI-unrelated statistics with suitable control limits for non-Gaussian data. For application-oriented purpose, the process measurements from real datasets of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell system are employed to demonstrate the effectiveness of KPI prognosis. The proposed approach is finally extended to a long-term voltage prediction for potential reference of further fuel cell applications.

  20. Water and coffee: a systems approach to improving coffee harvesting work in Nicaragua.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverstein, Barbara A; Bao, Stephen S; Russell, Steven; Stewart, Kate

    2012-12-01

    The aim of this study was to reduce the physical load on coffee-harvesting workers while maintaining productivity. Coffee is second to oil in commodity trading. Water is becoming scarce worldwide. The global virtual water footprint for one cup of coffee is 140 liters. Shade-grown coffee is one approach to reducing the water footprint. A participatory ergonomics approach was used during two Nicaraguan shade-grown coffee harvesting seasons to reduce the physical load on harvesters with the use of a newly designed bag instead of a basket strapped around the waist. Productivity in the mountainous, shade-grown coffee farms was maintained while physical load on the worker was improved somewhat.Among basket users, 84.2% reported pain in at least one body area compared with 78.9% of bag users (ns). Nonetheless, 74% of participants liked the bag "much better" than the basket. Workers identified ways the bag could be improved further with the use of local materials.These suggestions included (a) reducing the horizontal distance of the bag to reduce reach and (b) having waterproof material on the bag between the worker and the bag to reduce moisture and damage to the berries.There was no difference in productivity between using the bag and using the small basket. Workers are extending this participatory approach to how to get the harvested coffee cherries down the mountain other than carrying 40-kg bags on their backs. The ultimate goal is to make the coffee-harvesting bag design available to harvesters around the world.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Improving classroom quality with the RULER Approach to Social and Emotional Learning: proximal and distal outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagelskamp, Carolin; Brackett, Marc A; Rivers, Susan E; Salovey, Peter

    2013-06-01

    The RULER Approach to Social and Emotional Learning ("RULER") is designed to improve the quality of classroom interactions through professional development and classroom curricula that infuse emotional literacy instruction into teaching-learning interactions. Its theory of change specifies that RULER first shifts the emotional qualities of classrooms, which are then followed, over time, by improvements in classroom organization and instructional support. A 2-year, cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted to test hypotheses derived from this theory. Sixty-two urban schools either integrated RULER into fifth- and sixth-grade English language arts (ELA) classrooms or served as comparison schools, using their standard ELA curriculum only. Results from multilevel modeling with baseline adjustments and structural equation modeling support RULER's theory of change. Compared to classrooms in comparison schools, classrooms in RULER schools exhibited greater emotional support, better classroom organization, and more instructional support at the end of the second year of program delivery. Improvements in classroom organization and instructional support at the end of Year 2 were partially explained by RULER's impacts on classroom emotional support at the end of Year 1. These findings highlight the important contribution of emotional literacy training and development in creating engaging, empowering, and productive learning environments.

  5. Improving Inhibitory Control Abilities (ImpulsE)-A Promising Approach to Treat Impulsive Eating?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preuss, Hanna; Pinnow, Marlies; Schnicker, Katja; Legenbauer, Tanja

    2017-11-01

    Although there is preliminary evidence that inhibitory control training improves impulsive eating, less is known about the effects on eating behaviour and weight loss in clinical samples. Sixty-nine treatment-seeking adults with obesity (binge-eating disorder 33.3%; other specific feeding and eating disorders 40.6%) were randomly blockwise allocated to ImpulsE, an intervention to improve inhibitory control and emotion regulation abilities or a guideline-appropriate cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)-based treatment as usual. Self-reported and performance-based impulsivity, eating disorder pathology and BMI were compared at baseline (T1), post-treatment (T2) and 1- or 3-month follow-up. ImpulsE led to better food-specific inhibition performance (p = .004), but groups did not differ regarding improvements in global Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) score at T2. At 3-month follow-up, binge eaters benefited most from ImpulsE (p = .028) and completers of ImpulsE demonstrated a significantly greater weight reduction (p = .030). The current findings propose ImpulsE as a promising approach to treat obesity, illustrating acceptability and additional benefits for course of weight. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.

  6. Molecular approaches to improvement of Jatropha curcas Linn. as a sustainable energy crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudhakar Johnson, T; Eswaran, Nalini; Sujatha, M

    2011-09-01

    With the increase in crude oil prices, climate change concerns and limited reserves of fossil fuel, attention has been diverted to alternate renewable energy sources such as biofuel and biomass. Among the potential biofuel crops, Jatropha curcas L, a non-domesticated shrub, has been gaining importance as the most promising oilseed, as it does not compete with the edible oil supplies. Economic relevance of J. curcas for biodiesel production has promoted world-wide prospecting of its germplasm for crop improvement and breeding. However, lack of adequate genetic variation and non-availability of improved varieties limited its prospects of being a successful energy crop. In this review, we present the progress made in molecular breeding approaches with particular reference to tissue culture and genetic transformation, genetic diversity assessment using molecular markers, large-scale transcriptome and proteome studies, identification of candidate genes for trait improvement, whole genome sequencing and the current interest by various public and private sector companies in commercial-scale cultivation, which highlights the revival of Jatropha as a sustainable energy crop. The information generated from molecular markers, transcriptome profiling and whole genome sequencing could accelerate the genetic upgradation of J. curcas through molecular breeding.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. A Holistic Quality Evaluation, Selection and Improvement Approach driven by Multilevel Goals and Strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Belen Rivera

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Organizations should establish business goals and check for their achievement in a systematic and disciplined way. In order to know if a business goal is achieved, it should be necessary to consider information need goals that also can require satisfying measurement and evaluation goals at operational level. Furthermore, if measurement and evaluation goals are not aligned with top-level business goals such as tactical or strategic level goals, the organization could waste its effort and resources. Usually, the different goals established in an organization are operationalized through projects. For a given project, strategies should be used in order to help in the goal achievement. A strategy defines a set of activities and methods to be followed for a specific goal purpose. Ultimately, to engineering all these issues in a systematic way, organizations should adopt a holistic evaluation approach supported by a set of integrated strategies. By means of a systematic literature review as research method, we have observed that very few approaches support integrated strategies and multilevel goals. To bridge this gap, we have developed a holistic quality multilevel and multipurpose evaluation approach that ties together multilevel goals, projects and integrated strategies. As contributions, this paper discusses an enhanced conceptual base (specified by ontologies for linking business and information need goal concepts with project, strategy and nonfunctional requirements concepts. Then, it defines the step by step of our holistic quality evaluation approach, by listing the necessary activities to establish goals and projects at different organizational levels. Lastly, it specifies and illustrates evaluation scenarios for business/information need goal purposes such as understanding, improving, monitoring and controlling, comparing and selecting entities, which are supported by strategies and strategy patterns.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

    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.

  13. Improving outcomes following reconstruction of pressure sores in spinal injury patients: A multidisciplinary approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tadiparthi, S; Hartley, A; Alzweri, L; Mecci, M; Siddiqui, H

    2016-07-01

    Pressure sore treatment in spinal injury patients is challenging. A multidisciplinary approach with joint management by the plastic surgery and spinal injury teams was initiated at our institution in 2005 to improve patient care and surgical outcomes following reconstruction. This study assessed the surgical outcomes following reconstruction using the team approach and to compare inpatient stay and readmissions for complications before and after the multidisciplinary protocol was introduced. A retrospective review of consecutive patients in the multidisciplinary pressure sore clinic was performed. Data were collected on patient demographics, reconstructive techniques, surgical outcomes and readmission for any complications. In total, 45 patients with 60 pressure sores (grade 3 or 4) were reviewed in the joint clinic between 2005 and 2011. The majority of patients were paraplegic (78%), while the remaining 22% were tetraplegic. Ischial sores were the most common (45%) followed by trochanteric (23%) and sacral (20%) sores. Multiple sores were noted in 44% of patients. Flap reconstruction was required in 32 patients (71%); after a mean follow-up time of 33 months (range 25-72 months), there were three (9%) major complications (two recurrences of pressure sores and one sinus) and seven (22%) minor complications. After introduction of patient care pathways through the multidisciplinary approach, the rate of readmission for complications decreased from 14% to 5.5% and inpatient stay upon readmission reduced from 65 to 45 days. Implementation of a multidisciplinary approach was key to optimising surgical outcomes, achieving a low recurrence rate (6%) and reducing readmissions. Copyright © 2016 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Improved Genetic Profiling of Anthropometric Traits Using a Big Data Approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oriol Canela-Xandri

    Full Text Available Genome-wide association studies (GWAS promised to translate their findings into clinically beneficial improvements of patient management by tailoring disease management to the individual through the prediction of disease risk. However, the ability to translate genetic findings from GWAS into predictive tools that are of clinical utility and which may inform clinical practice has, so far, been encouraging but limited. Here we propose to use a more powerful statistical approach, the use of which has traditionally been limited due to computational requirements and lack of sufficiently large individual level genotyped cohorts, but which improve the prediction of multiple medically relevant phenotypes using the same panel of SNPs. As a proof of principle, we used a shared panel of 319,038 common SNPs with MAF > 0.05 to train the prediction models in 114,264 unrelated White-British individuals for height and four obesity related traits (body mass index, basal metabolic rate, body fat percentage, and waist-to-hip ratio. We obtained prediction accuracies that ranged between 46% and 75% of the maximum achievable given the captured heritable component. For height, this represents an improvement in prediction accuracy of up to 68% (184% more phenotypic variance explained over SNPs reported to be robustly associated with height in a previous GWAS meta-analysis of similar size. Across-population predictions in White non-British individuals were similar to those in White-British whilst those in Asian and Black individuals were informative but less accurate. We estimate that the genotyping of circa 500,000 unrelated individuals will yield predictions between 66% and 82% of the SNP-heritability captured by common variants in our array. Prediction accuracies did not improve when including rarer SNPs or when fitting multiple traits jointly in multivariate models.

  1. 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

  2. Emotional and Spiritual Quotient Approach Improve Biology Education Students’ Acceptance of Evolution Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darussyamsu, R.; Fadilah, M.; Putri, D. H.

    2018-04-01

    Emotional and spiritual aspect is one of main factors that influence students’ acceptance of a theory. This study aim to measure university students’ acceptance of evolution by learns evolution using emotional and spiritual quotient (ESQ) approach. This is a quasi-experimental research using one shot case study design with the subject 36 biology educational students at Biology Department, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science, Universitas Negeri Padang. Data collected using the MATE instrument by Rutledge and Warden (2000) after the students learn evolution for eight meetings since January until March 2017. The result showed that by learning evolution theory combine with ESQ aspects increase students acceptance from very low become moderate acceptance. It concluded that ESQ aspects can improve students’ acceptance of evolution. Any criteria depend on it are discussed.

  3. [IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise): a new approach for the improvement of digital communication in healthcare].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wein, B B

    2003-02-01

    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.

  4. Improved Flexible Transparent Conductive Electrodes based on Silver Nanowire Networks by a Simple Sunlight Illumination Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kou, Pengfei; Yang, Liu; Chang, Cheng; He, Sailing

    2017-01-01

    Silver nanowire (Ag NW) networks have attracted wide attention as transparent electrodes for emerging flexible optoelectronics. However, the sheet resistance is greatly limited by large wire-to-wire contact resistances. Here, we propose a simple sunlight illumination approach to remarkably improve their electrical conductivity without any significant degradation of the light transmittance. Because the power density is extremely low (0.1 W/cm2, 1-Sun), only slight welding between Ag NWs has been observed. Despite this, a sheet resistance of solar concentrations. Due to the reduced resistance, high-performance transparent film heaters as well as efficient defrosters have been demonstrated, which are superior to the previously-reported Ag NW based film heaters. Since the sunlight is environmentally friendly and easily available, sophisticated or expensive facilities are not necessary. Our findings are particularly meaningful and show enormous potential for outdoor applications. PMID:28169343

  5. A Hybrid Approach for Improving Image Segmentation: Application to Phenotyping of Wheat Leaves.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua Chopin

    Full Text Available In this article we propose a novel tool that takes an initial segmented image and returns a more accurate segmentation that accurately captures sharp features such as leaf tips, twists and axils. Our algorithm utilizes basic a-priori information about the shape of plant leaves and local image orientations to fit active contour models to important plant features that have been missed during the initial segmentation. We compare the performance of our approach with three state-of-the-art segmentation techniques, using three error metrics. The results show that leaf tips are detected with roughly one half of the original error, segmentation accuracy is almost always improved and more than half of the leaf breakages are corrected.

  6. 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

  7. Analysing improvements to on-street public transport systems: a mesoscopic model approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ingvardson, Jesper Bláfoss; Kornerup Jensen, Jonas; Nielsen, Otto Anker

    2017-01-01

    and other advanced public transport systems (APTS), the attractiveness of such systems depends heavily on their implementation. In the early planning stage it is advantageous to deploy simple and transparent models to evaluate possible ways of implementation. For this purpose, the present study develops...... headway time regularity and running time variability, i.e. taking into account waiting time and in-vehicle time. The approach was applied on a case study by assessing the effects of implementing segregated infrastructure and APTS elements, individually and in combination. The results showed...... that the reliability of on-street public transport operations mainly depends on APTS elements, and especially holding strategies, whereas pure infrastructure improvements induced travel time reductions. The results further suggested that synergy effects can be obtained by planning on-street public transport coherently...

  8. 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.

  9. Nuclear and allied approaches in improvement of wheat for disease and pest resistance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sawhney, R N

    1987-09-01

    The paper attempts to review information on the role of physical and chemical mutagens used directly and indirectly in the improvement of wheat for disease and pest resistance. The illustrations relate to transfer of many useful genes for resistance to rusts and pest from alien sources to Triticum aestivum. Popular wheats have been rectified for resistance to rusts mostly without any negative effects on yield potential. The mutation approach has also been successful in the development of multilines. Multiline constituting mutant components conferring simultaneous resistance to more than one rust pathogen has an additional value. The use of induced mutagenesis in breaking linkage between the genes conferring resistance and other genes for undesirable characters has been described. New disease resistant mutant variations with additional changes of positive effect have been obtained for practical utilization with widening the genetic base of future breeding programmes. (author). 56 refs.

  10. Branch-pipe-routing approach for ships using improved genetic algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sui, Haiteng; Niu, Wentie

    2016-09-01

    Branch-pipe routing plays fundamental and critical roles in ship-pipe design. The branch-pipe-routing problem is a complex combinatorial optimization problem and is thus difficult to solve when depending only on human experts. A modified genetic-algorithm-based approach is proposed in this paper to solve this problem. The simplified layout space is first divided into threedimensional (3D) grids to build its mathematical model. Branch pipes in layout space are regarded as a combination of several two-point pipes, and the pipe route between two connection points is generated using an improved maze algorithm. The coding of branch pipes is then defined, and the genetic operators are devised, especially the complete crossover strategy that greatly accelerates the convergence speed. Finally, simulation tests demonstrate the performance of proposed method.

  11. An Integrated Approach to Thermal Management of International Space Station Logistics Flights, Improving the Efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holladay, Jon; Day, Greg; Roberts, Barry; Leahy, Frank

    2003-01-01

    The efficiency of re-useable aerospace systems requires a focus on the total operations process rather than just orbital performance. For the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module this activity included special attention to terrestrial conditions both pre-launch and post-landing and how they inter-relate to the mission profile. Several of the efficiencies implemented for the MPLM Mission Engineering were NASA firsts and all served to improve the overall operations activities. This paper will provide an explanation of how various issues were addressed and the resulting solutions. Topics range from statistical analysis of over 30 years of atmospheric data at the launch and landing site to a new approach for operations with the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. In each situation the goal was to "tune" the thermal management of the overall flight system for minimizing requirement risk while optimizing power and energy performance.

  12. 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

  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. 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.

  15. Has Stewart approach improved our ability to diagnose acid-base disorders in critically ill patients?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masevicius, Fabio D; Dubin, Arnaldo

    2015-02-04

    conventional methods. Although the introduction of the Stewart approach was a new insight into acid-base physiology, the method has not significantly improved our ability to understand, diagnose, and treat acid-base alterations in critically ill patients.

  16. 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

  17. 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

    2015-03-26

    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). 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. 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. 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.

  18. An improved hindcast approach for evaluation and diagnosis of physical processes in global climate models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, H.-Y.; Chuang, C. C.; Klein, S. A.; Lo, M.-H.; Zhang, Y.; Xie, S.; Zheng, X.; Ma, P.-L.; Zhang, Y.; Phillips, T. J.

    2015-12-01

    We present an improved procedure of generating initial conditions (ICs) for climate model hindcast experiments with specified sea surface temperature and sea ice. The motivation is to minimize errors in the ICs and lead to a better evaluation of atmospheric parameterizations' performance in the hindcast mode. We apply state variables (horizontal velocities, temperature, and specific humidity) from the operational analysis/reanalysis for the atmospheric initial states. Without a data assimilation system, we apply a two-step process to obtain other necessary variables to initialize both the atmospheric (e.g., aerosols and clouds) and land models (e.g., soil moisture). First, we nudge only the model horizontal velocities toward operational analysis/reanalysis values, given a 6 h relaxation time scale, to obtain all necessary variables. Compared to the original strategy in which horizontal velocities, temperature, and specific humidity are nudged, the revised approach produces a better representation of initial aerosols and cloud fields which are more consistent and closer to observations and model's preferred climatology. Second, we obtain land ICs from an off-line land model simulation forced with observed precipitation, winds, and surface fluxes. This approach produces more realistic soil moisture in the land ICs. With this refined procedure, the simulated precipitation, clouds, radiation, and surface air temperature over land are improved in the Day 2 mean hindcasts. Following this procedure, we propose a "Core" integration suite which provides an easily repeatable test allowing model developers to rapidly assess the impacts of various parameterization changes on the fidelity of modeled cloud-associated processes relative to observations.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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 PMID:27504009

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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%.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ibanez-Llano, Cristina; Rauzy, Antoine; Melendez, Enrique; Nieto, Francisco

    2010-01-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Improving the interpersonal competences of head nurses through Peplau's theoretical active learning approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suhariyanto; Hariyati, Rr Tutik Sri; Ungsianik, Titin

    2018-02-01

    Effective interpersonal skills are essential for head nurses in governing and managing their work units. Therefore, an active learning strategy could be the key to enhance the interpersonal competences of head nurses. This study aimed to investigate the effects of Peplau's theoretical approach of active learning on the improvement of head nurses' interpersonal skills. This study used a pre-experimental design with one group having pretests and posttests, without control group. A total sample of 25 head nurses from inpatient units of a wellknown private hospital in Jakarta was involved in the study. Data were analyzed using the paired t-test. The results showed a significant increase in head nurses' knowledge following the training to strengthen their interpersonal roles (P=.003). The results also revealed significant increases in the head nurses' skills in playing the roles of leader (P=.006), guardian (P=.014), and teacher/speaker (P=.015). Nonetheless, the results showed no significant increases in the head nurses' skills in playing the roles of counselor (P=.092) and stranger (P=.182). Training in strengthening the interpersonal roles of head nurses significantly increased the head nurses' knowledge and skills. The results of the study suggested the continuation of active learning strategies to improve the interpersonal abilities of head nurses. Furthermore, these strategies could be used to build the abilities of head nurses in other managerial fields. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. 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)

  17. Liver Transplantation for Hepatocellular Carcinoma beyond Milan Criteria: Multidisciplinary Approach to Improve Outcome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kornberg, A.

    2014-01-01

    The implementation of the Milan criteria (MC) in 1996 has dramatically improved prognosis after liver transplantation (LT) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Liver transplantation has, thereby, become the standard therapy for patients with “early-stage” HCC on liver cirrhosis. The MC were consequently adopted by United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) and Eurotransplant for prioritization of patients with HCC. Recent advancements in the knowledge about tumor biology, radiographic imaging techniques, locoregional interventional treatments, and immunosuppressive medications have raised a critical discussion, if the MC might be too restrictive and unjustified keeping away many patients from potentially curative LT. Numerous transplant groups have, therefore, increasingly focussed on a stepwise expansion of selection criteria, mainly based on tumor macromorphology, such as size and number of HCC nodules. Against the background of a dramatic shortage of donor organs, however, simple expansion of tumor macromorphology may not be appropriate to create a safe extended criteria system. In contrast, rather the implementation of reliable prognostic parameters of tumor biology into selection process prior to LT is mandatory. Furthermore, a multidisciplinary approach of pre-, peri-, and posttransplant modulating of the tumor and/or the patient has to be established for improving prognosis in this special subset of patients. PMID:27335840

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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 …

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Chenchu; Hu, Yanlei, E-mail: huyl@ustc.edu.cn, E-mail: jwl@ustc.edu.cn; Li, Jiawen, E-mail: huyl@ustc.edu.cn, E-mail: jwl@ustc.edu.cn; Lao, Zhaoxin; Ni, Jincheng; Chu, Jiaru; Huang, Wenhao; Wu, Dong [Department of Precision Machinery and Precision Instrumentation, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026 (China)

    2014-12-01

    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.

  5. Improving PERSIANN-CCS rain estimation using probabilistic approach and multi-sensors information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karbalaee, N.; Hsu, K. L.; Sorooshian, S.; Kirstetter, P.; Hong, Y.

    2016-12-01

    This presentation discusses the recent implemented approaches to improve the rainfall estimation from Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Network-Cloud Classification System (PERSIANN-CCS). PERSIANN-CCS is an infrared (IR) based algorithm being integrated in the IMERG (Integrated Multi-Satellite Retrievals for the Global Precipitation Mission GPM) to create a precipitation product in 0.1x0.1degree resolution over the chosen domain 50N to 50S every 30 minutes. Although PERSIANN-CCS has a high spatial and temporal resolution, it overestimates or underestimates due to some limitations.PERSIANN-CCS can estimate rainfall based on the extracted information from IR channels at three different temperature threshold levels (220, 235, and 253k). This algorithm relies only on infrared data to estimate rainfall indirectly from this channel which cause missing the rainfall from warm clouds and false estimation for no precipitating cold clouds. In this research the effectiveness of using other channels of GOES satellites such as visible and water vapors has been investigated. By using multi-sensors the precipitation can be estimated based on the extracted information from multiple channels. Also, instead of using the exponential function for estimating rainfall from cloud top temperature, the probabilistic method has been used. Using probability distributions of precipitation rates instead of deterministic values has improved the rainfall estimation for different type of clouds.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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... topics concerning FDA requirements related to the production and marketing of drugs and/or devices...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Multidisciplinary team approach to traumatic spinal cord injuries: a single institution's quality improvement project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alizo, Georgina; Sciarretta, Jason D; Gibson, Stefanie; Muertos, Keely; Holmes, Sharon; Denittis, Felicia; Cheatle, Joseph; Davis, John; Pepe, Antonio

    2018-04-01

    A stepwise multidisciplinary team (MDT) approach to the injured trauma patient has been reported to have an overall benefit, with reduction in mortality and improved morbidity. Based on clinical experience, we hypothesized that implementation of a dedicated Spinal Cord Injury Service (SCIS) would impact outcomes of a patient specific population on the trauma service. The trauma center registry was retrospectively queried, from January 2011 through December 2015, for patients presenting with a spinal cord injury. In 2013, a twice weekly rounding SCIS MDT was initiated. This new multidisciplinary service, the post-SCIS, was compared to the 2011-2012 pre-SCIS. The two groups were compared across patient demographics, mechanism of injury, surgical procedures, and disposition at discharge. The primary outcome was mortality. Secondary endpoints also included the incidence of complications, hospital length of stay (HLOS), ICU LOS, ventilator free days, and all hospital-acquired infectious complications. Logistic regression and Student's t test were used to analyze data. Ninety-five patients were identified. Of these patients, 41 (43%) pre-SCIS and 54 (57%) post-SCIS patients were compared. Mean age was 46.9 years and 79% male. Overall, adjusted mortality rate between the two groups was significant with the implementation of the post-SCIS (p = 0.033). In comparison, the post-SCIS revealed shorter HLOS (23 vs 34.8 days, p = 0.004), increased ventilator free days (20.2 vs 63.3 days, p < 0.001), and less nosocomial infections (1.8 vs 22%, p = 0.002). While the post-SCIS mean ICU LOS was shorter (12 vs 17.9 days, p = 0.089), this relationship was not significant. The application of an SCIS team in addition to the trauma service suggests that a structured coordinated approach can have an expected improvement in hospital outcomes and shorter length of stays. We believe that this clinical collaboration provides distinct specialist perspectives and, therefore

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. Improving the Grade Point Average of Our At-Risk Students: A Collaborative Group Action Research Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saurino, Dan R.; Hinson, Kenneth; Bouma, Amy

    This paper focuses on the use of a group action research approach to help student teachers develop strategies to improve the grade point average of at-risk students. Teaching interventions such as group work and group and individual tutoring were compared to teaching strategies already used in the field. Results indicated an improvement in the…

  19. Feasibility of a novel participatory multi-sector continuous improvement approach to enhance food security in remote Indigenous Australian communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Brimblecombe

    2017-12-01

    Conclusion: 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 community governance structures with adequate resourcing is an imperative.

  20. An educational approach to improve outcomes in acute kidney injury (AKI): report of a quality improvement project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Gang; Baines, Richard; Westacott, Rachel; Selby, Nick; Carr, Susan

    2014-03-20

    To assess the impact of a quality improvement project that used a multifaceted educational intervention on how to improve clinician's knowledge, confidence and awareness of acute kidney injury (AKI). 2 large acute teaching hospitals in England, serving a combined population of over 1.5 million people. All secondary care clinicians working in the clinical areas were targeted, with a specific focus on clinicians working in acute admission areas. A multifaceted educational intervention consisting of traditional didactic lectures, case-based teaching in small groups and an interactive web-based learning resource. We assessed clinicians' knowledge of AKI and their self-reported clinical behaviour using an interactive questionnaire before and after the educational intervention. Secondary outcome measures included clinical audit of patient notes before and after the intervention. 26% of clinicians reported that they were aware of local AKI guidelines in the preintervention questionnaire compared to 64% in the follow-up questionnaire (χ²=60.2, pquality improvement project utilising a multifaceted educational intervention improved awareness of AKI as demonstrated by changes in the clinician's self-reported management of patients with AKI. Elements of the project have been sustained beyond the project period, and demonstrate the power of quality improvement projects to help initiate changes in practice. Our findings are limited by confounding factors and highlight the need to carry out formal randomised studies to determine the impact of educational initiatives in the clinical setting.

  1. 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

  2. Exploring the potential of a multi-level approach to improve capability for continuous organizational improvement and learning in a Swedish healthcare region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyström, M E; Höög, E; Garvare, R; Andersson Bäck, M; Terris, D D; Hansson, J

    2018-05-24

    Eldercare and care of people with functional impairments is organized by the municipalities in Sweden. Improving care in these areas is complex, with multiple stakeholders and organizations. Appropriate strategies to develop capability for continuing organizational improvement and learning (COIL) are needed. The purpose of our study was to develop and pilot-test a flexible, multilevel approach for COIL capability building and to identify what it takes to achieve changes in key actors' approaches to COIL. The approach, named "Sustainable Improvement and Development through Strategic and Systematic Approaches" (SIDSSA), was applied through an action-research and action-learning intervention. The SIDSSA approach was tested in a regional research and development (R&D) unit, and in two municipalities handling care of the elderly and people with functional impairments. Our approach included a multilevel strategy, development loops of five flexible phases, and an action-learning loop. The approach was designed to support systems understanding, strategic focus, methodological practices, and change process knowledge - all of which required double-loop learning. Multiple qualitative methods, i.e., repeated interviews, process diaries, and documents, provided data for conventional content analyses. The new approach was successfully tested on all cases and adopted and sustained by the R&D unit. Participants reported new insights and skills. The development loop facilitated a sense of coherence and control during uncertainty, improved planning and problem analysis, enhanced mapping of context and conditions, and supported problem-solving at both the individual and unit levels. The systems-level view and structured approach helped participants to explain, motivate, and implement change initiatives, especially after working more systematically with mapping, analyses, and goal setting. An easily understood and generalizable model internalized by key organizational actors is an

  3. Investigating the organisational impacts of quality improvement: a protocol for a realist evaluation of improvement approaches drawing on the Resource Based View of the Firm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, Christopher R; Rycroft Malone, Jo; Robert, Glenn; Willson, Alan; Hopkins, Angela

    2014-07-31

    Little is understood about the role of quality improvement in enabling health organisations to survive and thrive in the contemporary context of financial and economic challenges. We will draw on the theoretical foundations of the 'Resource Based View of the Firm' (RBV) to develop insights into why health organisations engage in improvement work, how impacts are conceptualised, and 'what works' in delivering these impacts. Specifically, RBV theorises that the mix and use of resources across different organisations may explain differences in performance. Whether improvement work influences these resources is unclear. Case study research will be conducted across health organisations participating in four approaches to improvement, including: a national improvement programme; a multiorganisational partnership around implementation; an organisational strategy for quality improvement; and a coproduction project designed to enhance the experience of a clinical service from the perspective of patients. Data will comprise in-depth interviews with key informants, observation of key events and documents; analysed within and then across cases. Adopting a realist perspective, the core tenets of RBV will be evaluated as a programme theory, focusing on the interplay between organisational conditions and behavioural or resource responses that are reported through engagement in improvement. The study has been approved by Bangor University Ethics Committee. The investigation will not judge the relative merits of different approaches to healthcare quality improvement. Rather, we will develop unique insights into the organisational consequences, and dependencies of quality improvement, providing an opportunity to add to the explanatory potential of RBV in this and other contexts. In addition to scientific and lay reports of the study findings, research outputs will include a framework for constructing the economic impacts of quality improvement and practical guidance for health

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. CRYPTO-STEG: A Hybrid Cryptology - Steganography Approach for Improved Data Security

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atif Bin Mansoor

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Internet is a widely used medium for transfer of information due to its reach and ease of availability. However, internet is an insecure medium and any information might be easily intercepted and viewed during its transfer. Different mechanisms like cryptology and steganography are adopted to secure the data communication over an inherently insecure medium like internet. Cryptology scrambles the information in a manner that an unintended recipient cannot easily extract the information, while steganography hides the information in a cover object so that it is transferred unnoticed in the cover. Encrypted data may not be extracted easily but causes a direct suspicion to any observer, while data hidden using steganographic techniques go inconspicuous. Cryptanalysis is the process of attacking the encrypted text to extract the information, while steganalysis is the process of detecting the disguised messages. In literature, both cryptology and steganography are treated separately. In this paper, we present our research on an improved data security paradigm, where data is first encrypted using AES (Advanced Encryption Standard and DES (Data Encryption Standard cryptology algorithms. Both plain and encrypted data is hidden in the images using Model Based and F5 steganographic techniques. Features are extracted in DWT (Discrete Wavelet Transform and DCT (Discrete Cosine Transform domains using higher order statistics for steganalysis, and subsequently used to train a FLD (Fisher Linear Discriminant classifier which is employed to categorize a separate set of images as clean or stego (containing hidden messages. Experimental results demonstrate improved data security using proposed CRYPTO-STEG approach compared to plain text steganography. Results also demonstrate that the Model Based steganography is more secure than the F5 steganography.

  9. Human-carnivore conflict in China: a review of current approaches with recommendations for improved management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pettigrew, Melissa; Xie, Yan; Kang, Aili; Rao, Madhu; Goodrich, John; Liu, Tong; Berger, Joshua

    2012-06-01

    Human-wildlife conflict (HWC) is a conservation concern that increasingly threatens the continued existence of some of the world's most endangered species. With an increase in human population, urban sprawl and subsequent encroachment on wild land, human and wildlife interaction has become inevitable. In the majority of cases, this interaction results in a negative outcome for humans, wildlife or both. In China, these key elements, along with a decrease in wild prey species, have resulted in the expansion of HWC encounters, and the need for alleviating this conflict has become a conservation priority. Loss of human life, livestock and/or crops is most often the catalysts that fuel HWC. Techniques to alleviate conflict around the world have included preventative measures and mitigation techniques, such as financial compensation and other incentive programs. Both types of measures have had variable success. We review the current status of human-carnivore conflict management in China, and, drawing lessons from around the globe, we make recommendations for improving conservation management in China. For example, an increase in law enforcement in nature reserves is vital to reducing human disturbance in prime carnivore habitat, thereby reducing conflict encounters. Also, modifications to current wildlife compensation programs, so that they are linked with preventative measures, will ensure that moral hazards are avoided. Furthermore, investigating the potential for a community self-financed insurance scheme to fund compensation and increasing efforts to restore wild prey populations will improve the outcome for wildlife conservation. Ultimately, HWC management in China will greatly benefit from an integrative approach. © 2012 ISZS, Blackwell Publishing and IOZ/CAS.

  10. Prevention of venous thromboembolism in cancer patients: current approaches and opportunities for improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alpesh N. Amin

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Venous thromboembolism (VTE, a common complication in patients with cancer, is associated with increased risk of morbidity, mortality, and recurrent VTE. Risk factors for VTE in cancer patients include the type and stage of cancer, comorbidities, age, major surgery, and active chemotherapy. Evidence-based guidelines for thromboprophylaxis in cancer patients have been published: the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and American Society for Clinical Oncology guidelines recommend thromboprophylaxis for hospitalized cancer patients, while the American College of Chest Physician guidelines recommend thromboprophylaxis for surgical patients with cancer and bedridden cancer patients with an acute medical illness. Guidelines do not generally recommend routine thromboprophylaxis in ambulatory patients during chemotherapy, but there is evidence that some of these patients are at risk of VTE; some may be at higher risk while on active chemotherapy. Approaches are needed to identify those patients most likely to benefit from thromboprophylaxis, and, to this end, a risk assessment model has been developed and validated. Despite the benefits, many at-risk patients do not receive any thromboprophylaxis, or receive prophylaxis that is not compliant with guideline recommendations. Quality improvement initiatives have been developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, National Quality Forum, and Joint Commission to encourage closure of the gap between guideline recommendations and clinical practice for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of VTE in hospitalized patients. Health-care institutions and providers need to take seriously the burden of VTE, improve prophylaxis rates in patients with cancer, and address the need for prophylaxis across the patient continuum.

  11. 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

  12. A team approach to improving colorectal cancer services using administrative health data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, Geoffrey; Urquhart, Robin; Bu, Jingyu; Kendell, Cynthia; Macintyre, Maureen; Dewar, Ron; Kephart, George; Asada, Yukiko; Grunfeld, Eva

    2012-01-31

    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. 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. 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. 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 provincial funding agencies promoting collaborative research

  13. Approaches to studying and manipulating the enteric microbiome to improve autism symptoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  14. HANDBOOK OF SOCCER MATCH ANALYSIS: A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH TO IMPROVING PERFORMANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. A Game-Theoretical Approach for Spectrum Efficiency Improvement in Cloud-RAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhuofu Zhou

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available As tremendous mobile devices access to the Internet in the future, the cells which can provide high data rate and more capacity are expected to be deployed. Specifically, in the next generation of mobile communication 5G, cloud computing is supposed to be applied to radio access network. In cloud radio access network (Cloud-RAN, the traditional base station is divided into two parts, that is, remote radio heads (RRHs and base band units (BBUs. RRHs are geographically distributed and densely deployed, so as to achieve high data rate and low latency. However, the ultradense deployment inevitably deteriorates spectrum efficiency due to the severer intercell interference among RRHs. In this paper, the downlink spectrum efficiency can be improved through the cooperative transmission based on forming the coalitions of RRHs. We formulate the problem as a coalition formation game in partition form. In the process of coalition formation, each RRH can join or leave one coalition to maximize its own individual utility while taking into account the coalition utility at the same time. Moreover, the convergence and stability of the resulting coalition structure are studied. The numeric simulation result demonstrates that the proposed approach based on coalition formation game is superior to the noncooperative method in terms of the aggregate coalition utility.

  18. Improved approach to quantitative cardiac volumetrics using automatic thresholding and manual trimming: a cardiovascular MRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rayarao, Geetha; Biederman, Robert W W; Williams, Ronald B; Yamrozik, June A; Lombardi, Richard; Doyle, Mark

    2018-01-01

    To establish the clinical validity and accuracy of automatic thresholding and manual trimming (ATMT) by comparing the method with the conventional contouring method for in vivo cardiac volume measurements. CMR was performed on 40 subjects (30 patients and 10 controls) using steady-state free precession cine sequences with slices oriented in the short-axis and acquired contiguously from base to apex. Left ventricular (LV) volumes, end-diastolic volume, end-systolic volume, and stroke volume (SV) were obtained with ATMT and with the conventional contouring method. Additionally, SV was measured independently using CMR phase velocity mapping (PVM) of the aorta for validation. Three methods of calculating SV were compared by applying Bland-Altman analysis. The Bland-Altman standard deviation of variation (SD) and offset bias for LV SV for the three sets of data were: ATMT-PVM (7.65, [Formula: see text]), ATMT-contours (7.85, [Formula: see text]), and contour-PVM (11.01, 4.97), respectively. Equating the observed range to the error contribution of each approach, the error magnitude of ATMT:PVM:contours was in the ratio 1:2.4:2.5. Use of ATMT for measuring ventricular volumes accommodates trabeculae and papillary structures more intuitively than contemporary contouring methods. This results in lower variation when analyzing cardiac structure and function and consequently improved accuracy in assessing chamber volumes.

  19. Development of a Customizable Programme for Improving Interprofessional Team Meetings: An Action Research Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dongen, Jerôme Jean Jacques; van Bokhoven, Marloes Amantia; Goossens, Wilhelmus Nicolaas Marie; Daniëls, Ramon; van der Weijden, Trudy; Beurskens, Anna

    2018-01-25

    Interprofessional teamwork is increasingly necessary in primary care to meet the needs of people with complex care demands. Needs assessment shows that this requires efficient interprofessional team meetings, focusing on patients' personal goals. The aim of this study was to develop a programme to improve the efficiency and patient-centredness of such meetings. Action research approach: a first draft of the programme was developed, and iteratively used and evaluated by three primary care teams. Data were collected using observations, interviews and a focus group, and analysed using directed content analysis. The final programme comprises a framework to reflect on team functioning, and training activities supplemented by a toolbox. Training is intended for the chairperson and a co-chair, and aims at organizing and structuring meetings, and enhancing patient-centredness. Our findings emphasize the essential role of the team's chairperson, who, in addition to technically structuring meetings, should act as a change agent guiding team development. Findings show that the programme should be customizable to each individual team's context and participants' learning objectives. Becoming acquainted with new structures can be considered a growth process, in which teams have to find their way, with the chairperson as change agent.

  20. 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.

  1. Novel Approaches to Improve the Combined Geometric and Dosimetric Performance of Existing IG-IMRT Systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaffray, D A; Sharpe, M; Rink, A; Letourneau, D

    2010-01-01

    The development of image-guidance technologies offer increased precision and accuracy in the placement of radiation therapy dose distributions in the human body. Kilovoltage and megavoltage systems now offer sub-mm accuracy and precision in localizing the treatment and planned isocenters. While this represents a significant improvement in our ability to target lesions, the performance of these systems in terms of their precise and accurate placement of field edges, including individual multi-leaves, is not performing at the same level. The development of dosimeters with small, imageable regions of response will allow these new systems to be evaluated with a much higher level of precision and accuracy. Furthermore, the development of completely automated systems that exploit the robotic nature of the imaging and delivery subsystems should permit the true performance of current IG-IMRT systems to be realized, quantified, and monitored. This includes adjustments to the treatment machines operating parameters, as well as, refinements of the planning system's beam model. Specifically, investigations into novel approaches of employing these detectors, automating their use to maximize system performance, and, the development of novel detectors for compatibility in MR-based systems will be discussed.

  2. 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.

  3. Remote sensing-based measurement of Living Environment Deprivation: Improving classical approaches with machine learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Arribas-Bel

    Full Text Available This paper provides evidence on the usefulness of very high spatial resolution (VHR imagery in gathering socioeconomic information in urban settlements. We use land cover, spectral, structure and texture features extracted from a Google Earth image of Liverpool (UK to evaluate their potential to predict Living Environment Deprivation at a small statistical area level. We also contribute to the methodological literature on the estimation of socioeconomic indices with remote-sensing data by introducing elements from modern machine learning. In addition to classical approaches such as Ordinary Least Squares (OLS regression and a spatial lag model, we explore the potential of the Gradient Boost Regressor and Random Forests to improve predictive performance and accuracy. In addition to novel predicting methods, we also introduce tools for model interpretation and evaluation such as feature importance and partial dependence plots, or cross-validation. Our results show that Random Forest proved to be the best model with an R2 of around 0.54, followed by Gradient Boost Regressor with 0.5. Both the spatial lag model and the OLS fall behind with significantly lower performances of 0.43 and 0.3, respectively.

  4. Improving the Health of Cambodian Americans: Grassroots Approaches and Root Causes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Juliet P; Kirkpatrick, Sean; Rojas-Cheatham, Ann; Sin, Talaya; Moore, Roland S; Tan, Sotheavy; Godoy, Shadia; Ercia, Angelo

    2016-01-01

    Cambodian Americans experience great disparities in health compared to other Americans, yet may be underserved by conventional healthcare systems. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a means to engage underserved communities in health research and programming. We describe results of our efforts to engage the Cambodian grassroots members as well as formal leaders in Oakland, California. In addition to a community advisory group, we convened a Community Work Group (CWG), composed of 10 grassroots community women of varying ages and backgrounds. The project aimed to leverage the lived experiences of these women and their understandings of health and wellness in identifying specific health issues and developing culturally resonant strategies. The CWG met weekly with staff facilitators using methods for collective analysis including theater, body mapping, and other expressive arts. The approach proved logistically challenging, but resulted in novel analyses and strategies. The group identified trauma, along with poor access to education, unemployment and underemployment, social isolation, and generation gap, together with community violence, as root causes of key behavioral health issues, namely, alcohol abuse, gambling, prescription drug misuse, and domestic violence. Strategies proposed and implemented by the group and project staff were a community garden, Cambodian New Year's celebrations, and a museum exhibit on the Cambodian refugee experiences. Grassroots community engagement can support projects in identifying social determinants of health and developing the capacities of community members to conduct research and actions to improve health.

  5. 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.

  6. A socially situated approach to inform ways to improve health and wellbeing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horrocks, Christine; Johnson, Sally

    2014-02-01

    Mainstream health psychology supports neoliberal notions of health promotion in which self-management is central. The emphasis is on models that explain behaviour as individually driven and cognitively motivated, with health beliefs framed as the favoured mechanisms to target in order to bring about change to improve health. Utilising understandings exemplified in critical health psychology, we take a more socially situated approach, focusing on practicing health, the rhetoric of modernisation in UK health care and moves toward democratisation. While recognising that within these new ways of working there are opportunities for empowerment and user-led health care, there are other implications. How these changes link to simplistic cognitive behavioural ideologies of health promotion and rational decision-making is explored. Utilising two different empirical studies, this article highlights how self-management and expected compliance with governmental authority in relation to health practices position not only communities that experience multiple disadvantage but also more seemingly privileged social actors. The article presents a challenge to self-management and informed choice, in which the importance of navigational networks is evident. Because health care can become remote and inaccessible to certain sections of the community, yet pervasive and deterministic for others, we need multiple levels of analysis and different forms of action. © 2014 The Authors. Sociology of Health & Illness © 2014 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness/John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Using Combinatorial Approach to Improve Students' Learning of the Distributive Law and Multiplicative Identities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Yu-Ling; Chang, Ching-Kuch

    2009-01-01

    This article reports an alternative approach, called the combinatorial model, to learning multiplicative identities, and investigates the effects of implementing results for this alternative approach. Based on realistic mathematics education theory, the new instructional materials or modules of the new approach were developed by the authors. From…

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Groundwater data improve modelling of headwater stream CO2 outgassing with a stable DIC isotope approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Marx

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available A large portion of terrestrially derived carbon outgasses as carbon dioxide (CO2 from streams and rivers to the atmosphere. Particularly, the amount of CO2 outgassing from small headwater streams is highly uncertain. Conservative estimates suggest that they contribute 36 % (i.e. 0.93 petagrams (Pg C yr−1 of total CO2 outgassing from all fluvial ecosystems on the globe. In this study, stream pCO2, dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC, and δ13CDIC data were used to determine CO2 outgassing from an acidic headwater stream in the Uhlířská catchment (Czech Republic. This stream drains a catchment with silicate bedrock. The applied stable isotope model is based on the principle that the 13C ∕ 12C ratio of its sources and the intensity of CO2 outgassing control the isotope ratio of DIC in stream water. It avoids the use of the gas transfer velocity parameter (k, which is highly variable and mostly difficult to constrain. Model results indicate that CO2 outgassing contributed more than 80 % to the annual stream inorganic carbon loss in the Uhlířská catchment. This translated to a CO2 outgassing rate from the stream of 34.9 kg C m−2 yr−1 when normalised to the stream surface area. Large temporal variations with maximum values shortly before spring snowmelt and in summer emphasise the need for investigations at higher temporal resolution. We improved the model uncertainty by incorporating groundwater data to better constrain the isotope compositions of initial DIC. Due to the large global abundance of acidic, humic-rich headwaters, we underline the importance of this integral approach for global applications.

  18. 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.)

  19. 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.

  20. Groundwater data improve modelling of headwater stream CO2 outgassing with a stable DIC isotope approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marx, Anne; Conrad, Marcus; Aizinger, Vadym; Prechtel, Alexander; van Geldern, Robert; Barth, Johannes A. C.

    2018-05-01

    A large portion of terrestrially derived carbon outgasses as carbon dioxide (CO2) from streams and rivers to the atmosphere. Particularly, the amount of CO2 outgassing from small headwater streams is highly uncertain. Conservative estimates suggest that they contribute 36 % (i.e. 0.93 petagrams (Pg) C yr-1) of total CO2 outgassing from all fluvial ecosystems on the globe. In this study, stream pCO2, dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), and δ13CDIC data were used to determine CO2 outgassing from an acidic headwater stream in the Uhlířská catchment (Czech Republic). This stream drains a catchment with silicate bedrock. The applied stable isotope model is based on the principle that the 13C / 12C ratio of its sources and the intensity of CO2 outgassing control the isotope ratio of DIC in stream water. It avoids the use of the gas transfer velocity parameter (k), which is highly variable and mostly difficult to constrain. Model results indicate that CO2 outgassing contributed more than 80 % to the annual stream inorganic carbon loss in the Uhlířská catchment. This translated to a CO2 outgassing rate from the stream of 34.9 kg C m-2 yr-1 when normalised to the stream surface area. Large temporal variations with maximum values shortly before spring snowmelt and in summer emphasise the need for investigations at higher temporal resolution. We improved the model uncertainty by incorporating groundwater data to better constrain the isotope compositions of initial DIC. Due to the large global abundance of acidic, humic-rich headwaters, we underline the importance of this integral approach for global applications.

  1. Text messaging approach improves weight loss in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: A randomized study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Axley, Page; Kodali, Sudha; Kuo, Yong-Fang; Ravi, Sujan; Seay, Toni; Parikh, Nina M; Singal, Ashwani K

    2018-05-01

    Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is emerging as the most common liver disease. The only effective treatment is 7%-10% weight loss. Mobile technology is increasingly used in weight management. This study was performed to evaluate the effects of text messaging intervention on weight loss in patients with NAFLD. Thirty well-defined NAFLD patients (mean age 52 years, 67% females, mean BMI 38) were randomized 1:1 to control group: counselling on healthy diet and exercise, or intervention group: text messages in addition to healthy life style counselling. NAFLD text messaging program sent weekly messages for 22 weeks on healthy life style education. Primary outcome was change in weight. Secondary outcomes were changes in liver enzymes and lipid profile. Intervention group lost an average of 6.9 lbs. (P = .03) compared to gain of 1.8 lbs. in the control group (P = .45). Intervention group also showed a decrease in ALT level (-12.5 IU/L, P = .035) and improvement in serum triglycerides (-28 mg/dL, P = .048). There were no changes in the control group on serum ALT level (-6.1 IU/L, P = .46) and on serum triglycerides (-20.3 mg/dL P = .27). Using one-way analysis of variance, change in outcomes in intervention group compared to control group was significant for weight (P = .02) and BMI (P = .02). Text messaging on healthy life style is associated with reduction in weight in NAFLD patients. Larger studies are suggested to examine benefits on liver histology, and assess long-term impact of this approach in patients with NAFLD. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Differential Learning as a Key Training Approach to Improve Creative and Tactical Behavior in Soccer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Sara; Coutinho, Diogo; Gonçalves, Bruno; Schöllhorn, Wolfgang; Sampaio, Jaime; Leite, Nuno

    2018-03-01

    The aim of this study was to identify the effects of a differential-learning program, embedded in small-sided games, on the creative and tactical behavior of youth soccer players. Forty players from under-13 (U13) and under-15 (U15) were allocated into control and experimental groups and were tested using a randomized pretest to posttest design using small-sided games situations. The experimental group participated in a 5-month differential-learning program embodied in small-sided games situations, while the control group participated in a typical small-sided games training program. In-game creativity was assessed through notational analyses of the creative components, and the players' positional data were used to compute tactical-derived variables. The findings suggested that differential learning facilitated the development of creative components, mainly concerning attempts (U13, small; U15, small), versatility (U13, moderate; U15, small), and originality (U13, unclear; U15, small) of players' actions. Likewise, the differential-learning approach provided a decrease in fails during the game in both experimental groups (moderate). Moreover, differential learning seemed to favor regularity in pitch-positioning behavior for the distance between players' dyads (U13, small; U15, small), the distance to the team target (U13, moderate; U15, small), and the distance to the opponent target (U13, moderate; U15, small). The differential-learning program stressed creative and positional behavior in both age groups with a distinct magnitude of effects, with the U13 players demonstrating higher improvements over the U15 players. Overall, these findings confirmed that the technical variability promoted by differential learning nurtures regularity of positioning behavior.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. A training approach to improve stepping automaticity while dual-tasking in Parkinson's disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chomiak, Taylor; Watts, Alexander; Meyer, Nicole; Pereira, Fernando V.; Hu, Bin

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Background: Deficits in motor movement automaticity in Parkinson's disease (PD), especially during multitasking, are early and consistent hallmarks of cognitive function decline, which increases fall risk and reduces quality of life. This study aimed to test the feasibility and potential efficacy of a wearable sensor-enabled technological platform designed for an in-home music-contingent stepping-in-place (SIP) training program to improve step automaticity during dual-tasking (DT). Methods: This was a 4-week prospective intervention pilot study. The intervention uses a sensor system and algorithm that runs off the iPod Touch which calculates step height (SH) in real-time. These measurements were then used to trigger auditory (treatment group, music; control group, radio podcast) playback in real-time through wireless headphones upon maintenance of repeated large amplitude stepping. With small steps or shuffling, auditory playback stops, thus allowing participants to use anticipatory motor control to regain positive feedback. Eleven participants were recruited from an ongoing trial (Trial Number: ISRCTN06023392). Fear of falling (FES-I), general cognitive functioning (MoCA), self-reported freezing of gait (FOG-Q), and DT step automaticity were evaluated. Results: While we found no significant effect of training on FES-I, MoCA, or FOG-Q, we did observe a significant group (music vs podcast) by training interaction in DT step automaticity (Ptraining to increase motor automaticity for people living with PD. The training approach described here can be implemented at home to meet the growing demand for self-management of symptoms by patients. PMID:28151878

  6. 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.

  7. Improved harmonic balance approach to periodic solutions of non-linear jerk equations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, B.S.; Lim, C.W.; Sun, W.P.

    2006-01-01

    An analytical approximate approach for determining periodic solutions of non-linear jerk equations involving third-order time-derivative is presented. This approach incorporates salient features of both Newton's method and the method of harmonic balance. By appropriately imposing the method of harmonic balance to the linearized equation, the approach requires only one or two iterations to predict very accurate analytical approximate solutions for a large range of initial velocity amplitude. One typical example is used to verify and illustrate the usefulness and effectiveness of the proposed approach

  8. 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

  9. Case Study: Clinical Governance as an Approach to Improve Maternal and Newborn Health in 22 Hospitals in Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amelia, Dwirani; Suhowatsky, Stephanie; Baharuddin, Mohammad; Tholandi, Maya; Hyre, Anne; Sethi, Reena

    Clinical governance is a concept used to improve management, accountability and the provision of quality healthcare. An approach to strengthen clinical governance as a means to improve the quality of maternal and newborn care in Indonesia was developed by the Expanding Maternal and Neonatal Survival (EMAS) Program. This case study presents findings and lessons learned from EMAS program experience in 22 hospitals where peer-to-peer mentoring supported staff in strengthening clinical governance from 2012-2015. Efforts resulted in improved hospital preparedness and significantly increased the odds of facility-level coverage for three evidence-based maternal and newborn healthcare interventions.

  10. 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 important changes were observed in the 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

  11. 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

  12. Improved modified energy ratio method using a multi-window approach for accurate arrival picking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Minho; Byun, Joongmoo; Kim, Dowan; Choi, Jihun; Kim, Myungsun

    2017-04-01

    To identify accurately the location of microseismic events generated during hydraulic fracture stimulation, it is necessary to detect the first break of the P- and S-wave arrival times recorded at multiple receivers. These microseismic data often contain high-amplitude noise, which makes it difficult to identify the P- and S-wave arrival times. The short-term-average to long-term-average (STA/LTA) and modified energy ratio (MER) methods are based on the differences in the energy densities of the noise and signal, and are widely used to identify the P-wave arrival times. The MER method yields more consistent results than the STA/LTA method for data with a low signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio. However, although the MER method shows good results regardless of the delay of the signal wavelet for signals with a high S/N ratio, it may yield poor results if the signal is contaminated by high-amplitude noise and does not have the minimum delay. Here we describe an improved MER (IMER) method, whereby we apply a multiple-windowing approach to overcome the limitations of the MER method. The IMER method contains calculations of an additional MER value using a third window (in addition to the original MER window), as well as the application of a moving average filter to each MER data point to eliminate high-frequency fluctuations in the original MER distributions. The resulting distribution makes it easier to apply thresholding. The proposed IMER method was applied to synthetic and real datasets with various S/N ratios and mixed-delay wavelets. The results show that the IMER method yields a high accuracy rate of around 80% within five sample errors for the synthetic datasets. Likewise, in the case of real datasets, 94.56% of the P-wave picking results obtained by the IMER method had a deviation of less than 0.5 ms (corresponding to 2 samples) from the manual picks.

  13. A Personalized Recommendation-Based Mobile Learning Approach to Improving the Reading Performance of EFL Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Ching-Kun; Hwang, Gwo-Jen; Chang, Chih-Kai

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, a personalized recommendation-based mobile language learning approach is proposed. A mobile learning system has been developed based on the approach by providing a reading material recommendation mechanism for guiding EFL (English as Foreign Language) students to read articles that match their preferences and knowledge levels, and a…

  14. A Knowledge Engineering Approach to Developing Educational Computer Games for Improving Students' Differentiating Knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Gwo-Jen; Sung, Han-Yu; Hung, Chun-Ming; Yang, Li-Hsueh; Huang, Iwen

    2013-01-01

    Educational computer games have been recognized as being a promising approach for motivating students to learn. Nevertheless, previous studies have shown that without proper learning strategies or supportive models, the learning achievement of students might not be as good as expected. In this study, a knowledge engineering approach is proposed…

  15. 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...

  16. Self-improvement and cooperation: How exchange relationships promote mastery-approach driven individuals’ job outcomes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poortvliet, P.M.; Giebels, E.

    2012-01-01

    In the present research we argue that mastery-approach goals may be beneficial in social achievement contexts because these goals lead to constructive exchange relationship building. An examination of three methodologically complementary studies revealed that mastery-approach goals lead to more

  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. Introducing the Improved Heaviside Approach to Partial Fraction Decomposition to Undergraduate Students: Results and Implications from a Pilot Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Man, Yiu-Kwong

    2012-01-01

    Partial fraction decomposition is a useful technique often taught at senior secondary or undergraduate levels to handle integrations, inverse Laplace transforms or linear ordinary differential equations, etc. In recent years, an improved Heaviside's approach to partial fraction decomposition was introduced and developed by the author. An important…

  19. 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

  20. Fellowship Program in Health System Improvement: A novel approach integrating leadership development and patient-centred health system transformation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philippon, Donald J; Montesanti, Stephanie; Stafinski, Tania

    2018-03-01

    This article highlights a novel approach to professional development, integrating leadership, development and patient-centred health system transformation in the new Fellowship Program in Health System Improvement offered by the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. Early assessment of the program is also provided.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. A standards-based approach to quality improvement for HIV services at Zambia Defence Force facilities: results and lessons learned.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kols, Adrienne; Kim, Young-Mi; Bazant, Eva; Necochea, Edgar; Banda, Joseph; Stender, Stacie

    2015-07-01

    The Zambia Defence Force adopted the Standards-Based Management and Recognition approach to improve the quality of the HIV-related services at its health facilities. This quality improvement intervention relies on comprehensive, detailed assessment tools to communicate and verify adherence to national standards of care, and to test and implement changes to improve performance. A quasi-experimental evaluation of the intervention was conducted at eight Zambia Defence Force primary health facilities (four facilities implemented the intervention and four did not). Data from three previous analyses are combined to assess the effect of Standards-Based Management and Recognition on three domains: facility readiness to provide services; observed provider performance during antiretroviral therapy (ART) and antenatal care consultations; and provider perceptions of the work environment. Facility readiness scores for ART improved on four of the eight standards at intervention sites, and one standard at comparison sites. Facility readiness scores for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV increased by 15 percentage points at intervention sites and 7 percentage points at comparison sites. Provider performance improved significantly at intervention sites for both ART services (from 58 to 84%; P improved at intervention sites and declined at comparison sites; differences in trends between study groups were significant for eight items. A standards-based approach to quality improvement proved effective in supporting healthcare managers and providers to deliver ART and PMTCT services in accordance with evidence-based standards in a health system suffering from staff shortages.

  5. Thermodynamic approach to improving solubility prediction of co-crystals in comparison with individual poorly soluble components

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perlovich, German L.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Thermodynamic approach for solubility improvement of co-crystal was developed. • The graphical technique for estimation of co-crystal solubility was elaborated. • Hydration enthalpies of some drugs and amino acids were calculated. • Applicability/operability of the approach was exemplified by some drugs and amino acids. - Abstract: A novel thermodynamic approach to compare poorly soluble components (active pharmaceutical ingredient (API)) both in co-crystals and individual compounds was developed. An algorithm of choosing potential co-crystals with improved solubility characteristics on the basis of the known solvation/hydration API and co-former enthalpies is described. The applicability and operability of the algorithm were tested exemplified by some drugs and amino acids

  6. Medical approaches to suffering are limited, so why critique Improving Access to Psychological Therapies from the same ideology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binnie, James

    2018-04-01

    Although the article by Scott rightly questions the dynamics of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies system and re-examines the recovery rates, finding quite shocking results, his recommendations are ultimately flawed. There is a strong critique of the diagnostic procedures in Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services, but the answer is not to diagnose more rigorously and to adhere more strictly to a manualised approach to psychotherapy. The opposite may be required. Alternatives to the medical model of distress offer a less stigmatising and more human approach to helping people with their problems. Perhaps psychological therapists and the people they work alongside would be better served by a psychological approach rather than a psychiatric one.

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. Molecular approaches for genetic improvement of seed quality and characterization of genetic diversity in soybean: a critical review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripathi, Niraj; Khare, Dhirendra

    2016-10-01

    Soybean is an economically important leguminous crop. Genetic improvements of soybeans have focused on enhancement of seed and oil yield, development of varieties suited to different cropping systems, and breeding resistant/tolerant varieties for various biotic and abiotic stresses. Plant breeders have used conventional breeding techniques for the improvement of these traits in soybean. The conventional breeding process can be greatly accelerated through the application of molecular and genomic approaches. Molecular markers have proved to be a new tool in soybean breeding by enhancing selection efficiency in a rapid and time-bound manner. An overview of molecular approaches for the genetic improvement of soybean seed quality parameters, considering recent applications of marker-assisted selection and 'omics' research, is provided in this article.

  10. A rule induction approach to improve Monte Carlo system reliability assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rocco S, Claudio M.

    2003-01-01

    A Decision Tree (DT) approach to build empirical models for use in Monte Carlo reliability evaluation is presented. The main idea is to develop an estimation algorithm, by training a model on a restricted data set, and replacing the Evaluation Function (EF) by a simpler calculation, which provides reasonably accurate model outputs. The proposed approach is illustrated with two systems of different size, represented by their equivalent networks. The robustness of the DT approach as an approximated method to replace the EF is also analysed. Excellent system reliability results are obtained by training a DT with a small amount of information

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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

    .... 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.

  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. Combined PEST and Trial-Error approach to improve APEX calibration

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Agricultural Policy Environmental eXtender (APEX), a physically-based hydrologic model that simulates management impacts on the environment for small watersheds, requires improved understanding of the input parameters for improved simulations. However, most previously published studies used the ...

  17. Efficiency improvement for a sustainable agriculture : the integration of agronomic and farm economics approaches

    OpenAIRE

    Koeijer, de, T.J.

    2002-01-01

    Keywords: Sustainable farming systems, Agronomic efficiency, Economic efficiency, Environmental efficiency, Sustainability index, Interdisciplinary analysis.

    The objective of the research described in this thesis was to determine what role improved agronomic efficiency can play in the transition towards more sustainable production systems. Agronomic efficiency measures the technical performance. If it could be improved, environmental damage could be reduced while, at the sam...

  18. is the child-to-child approach useful in improving uptake of eye care ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    International Centre for Eye Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London. 3. ... Using the child-to-parent approach and Snellens 6/60 illiterate E-chart, participants .... criteria but who had visual, hearing or mental disability.

  19. Vehicle safety performance improvements using a performance-based standards approach: four case studies

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Nordengen, Paul A

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available programme is to gain practical experience in the PBS approach and to quantify and evaluate the potential infrastructure preservation, safety and productivity benefits for road freight transport. The Smart Truck demonstration vehicles have been designed...

  20. From paper to digital documents : Challenging and improving the SGML approach

    OpenAIRE

    Sandahl, Tone Irene

    1999-01-01

    This research has been initiated on the basis of practical experiences in developing a relatively large SGML system at the University of Oslo. This thesis contributes to the field of information systems, with a particular focus on document systems. The aim of this work is to inform the design of document systems by considering the transformation from paper to digital documents in organizations. The Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML, ISO 8879) approach is emphasized. The SGML approach...

  1. Improving Problem Solving Skill and Self Regulated Learning of Senior High School Students through Scientific Approach using Quantum Learning strategy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Sudirman

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This research is quasi experiment with control group pretest-postest design. The sampel in this research using the techique of purposive sampling so the samples used were two classes of the 11th grade students of SMAN 14 Bandung in the academic year 2017/2018. The experiment group uses saintific approach using Quantum Learning strategy and control group uses saintific approach. In collecting the data the researcher will use the test of problem solving ability and self regulated learning as the instrument. The aims of this research are to:1find out the improvement of students mathematical problem solving through scientific approach using Quantum Learning study, 2 find out students self regulated learning through scientific approach using Quantum Learning.

  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. Can coverage of schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminthiasis control programmes targeting school-aged children be improved? New approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massa, K; Olsen, A; Sheshe, A; Ntakamulenga, R; Ndawi, B; Magnussen, P

    2009-11-01

    Control programmes generally use a school-based strategy of mass drug administration to reduce morbidity of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) in school-aged populations. The success of school-based programmes depends on treatment coverage. The community-directed treatment (ComDT) approach has been implemented in the control of onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis in Africa and improves treatment coverage. This study compared the treatment coverage between the ComDT approach and the school-based treatment approach, where non-enrolled school-aged children were invited for treatment, in the control of schistosomiasis and STH among enrolled and non-enrolled school-aged children. Coverage during the first treatment round among enrolled children was similar for the two approaches (ComDT: 80.3% versus school: 82.1%, P=0.072). However, for the non-enrolled children the ComDT approach achieved a significantly higher coverage than the school-based approach (80.0 versus 59.2%, P<0.001). Similar treatment coverage levels were attained at the second treatment round. Again, equal levels of treatment coverage were found between the two approaches for the enrolled school-aged children, while the ComDT approach achieved a significantly higher coverage in the non-enrolled children. The results of this study showed that the ComDT approach can obtain significantly higher treatment coverage among the non-enrolled school-aged children compared to the school-based treatment approach for the control of schistosomiasis and STH.

  6. Human ergology that promotes participatory approach to improving safety, health and working conditions at grassroots workplaces: achievements and actions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawakami, Tsuyoshi

    2011-12-01

    Participatory approaches are increasingly applied to improve safety, health and working conditions of grassroots workplaces in Asia. The core concepts and methods in human ergology research such as promoting real work life studies, relying on positive efforts of local people (daily life-technology), promoting active participation of local people to identify practical solutions, and learning from local human networks to reach grassroots workplaces, have provided useful viewpoints to devise such participatory training programmes. This study was aimed to study and analyze how human ergology approaches were applied in the actual development and application of three typical participatory training programmes: WISH (Work Improvement for Safe Home) with home workers in Cambodia, WISCON (Work Improvement in Small Construction Sites) with construction workers in Thailand, and WARM (Work Adjustment for Recycling and Managing Waste) with waste collectors in Fiji. The results revealed that all the three programmes, in the course of their developments, commonly applied direct observation methods of the work of target workers before devising the training programmes, learned from existing local good examples and efforts, and emphasized local human networks for cooperation. These methods and approaches were repeatedly applied in grassroots workplaces by taking advantage of their the sustainability and impacts. It was concluded that human ergology approaches largely contributed to the developments and expansion of participatory training programmes and could continue to support the self-help initiatives of local people for promoting human-centred work.

  7. Improved regional-scale Brazilian cropping systems' mapping based on a semi-automatic object-based clustering approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellón, Beatriz; Bégué, Agnès; Lo Seen, Danny; Lebourgeois, Valentine; Evangelista, Balbino Antônio; Simões, Margareth; Demonte Ferraz, Rodrigo Peçanha

    2018-06-01

    Cropping systems' maps at fine scale over large areas provide key information for further agricultural production and environmental impact assessments, and thus represent a valuable tool for effective land-use planning. There is, therefore, a growing interest in mapping cropping systems in an operational manner over large areas, and remote sensing approaches based on vegetation index time series analysis have proven to be an efficient tool. However, supervised pixel-based approaches are commonly adopted, requiring resource consuming field campaigns to gather training data. In this paper, we present a new object-based unsupervised classification approach tested on an annual MODIS 16-day composite Normalized Difference Vegetation Index time series and a Landsat 8 mosaic of the State of Tocantins, Brazil, for the 2014-2015 growing season. Two variants of the approach are compared: an hyperclustering approach, and a landscape-clustering approach involving a previous stratification of the study area into landscape units on which the clustering is then performed. The main cropping systems of Tocantins, characterized by the crop types and cropping patterns, were efficiently mapped with the landscape-clustering approach. Results show that stratification prior to clustering significantly improves the classification accuracies for underrepresented and sparsely distributed cropping systems. This study illustrates the potential of unsupervised classification for large area cropping systems' mapping and contributes to the development of generic tools for supporting large-scale agricultural monitoring across regions.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Posterior subscapular dissection: An improved approach to the brachial plexus for human anatomy students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hager, Shaun; Backus, Timothy Charles; Futterman, Bennett; Solounias, Nikos; Mihlbachler, Matthew C

    2014-05-01

    Students of human anatomy are required to understand the brachial plexus, from the proximal roots extending from spinal nerves C5 through T1, to the distal-most branches that innervate the shoulder and upper limb. However, in human cadaver dissection labs, students are often instructed to dissect the brachial plexus using an antero-axillary approach that incompletely exposes the brachial plexus. This approach readily exposes the distal segments of the brachial plexus but exposure of proximal and posterior segments require extensive dissection of neck and shoulder structures. Therefore, the proximal and posterior segments of the brachial plexus, including the roots, trunks, divisions, posterior cord and proximally branching peripheral nerves often remain unobserved during study of the cadaveric shoulder and brachial plexus. Here we introduce a subscapular approach that exposes the entire brachial plexus, with minimal amount of dissection or destruction of surrounding structures. Lateral retraction of the scapula reveals the entire length of the brachial plexus in the subscapular space, exposing the brachial plexus roots and other proximal segments. Combining the subscapular approach with the traditional antero-axillary approach allows students to observe the cadaveric brachial plexus in its entirety. Exposure of the brachial dissection in the subscapular space requires little time and is easily incorporated into a preexisting anatomy lab curriculum without scheduling additional time for dissection. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  12. A frequency-domain approach to improve ANNs generalization quality via proper initialization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaari, Majdi; Fekih, Afef; Seibi, Abdennour C; Hmida, Jalel Ben

    2018-08-01

    The ability to train a network without memorizing the input/output data, thereby allowing a good predictive performance when applied to unseen data, is paramount in ANN applications. In this paper, we propose a frequency-domain approach to evaluate the network initialization in terms of quality of training, i.e., generalization capabilities. As an alternative to the conventional time-domain methods, the proposed approach eliminates the approximate nature of network validation using an excess of unseen data. The benefits of the proposed approach are demonstrated using two numerical examples, where two trained networks performed similarly on the training and the validation data sets, yet they revealed a significant difference in prediction accuracy when tested using a different data set. This observation is of utmost importance in modeling applications requiring a high degree of accuracy. The efficiency of the proposed approach is further demonstrated on a real-world problem, where unlike other initialization methods, a more conclusive assessment of generalization is achieved. On the practical front, subtle methodological and implementational facets are addressed to ensure reproducibility and pinpoint the limitations of the proposed approach. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Approaches towards improving the quality of maternal and newborn health services in South Asia: challenges and opportunities for healthcare systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mian, Naeem Uddin; Alvi, Muhammad Adeel; Malik, Mariam Zahid; Iqbal, Sarosh; Zakar, Rubeena; Zakar, Muhammad Zakria; Awan, Shehzad Hussain; Shahid, Faryal; Chaudhry, Muhammad Ashraf; Fischer, Florian

    2018-02-06

    South Asia is experiencing a dismal state of maternal and newborn health (MNH) as the region has been falling behind in reducing the levels of maternal and neonatal mortality. Most of the efforts are focused on enhancing coverage of MNH services; however, quality remains a serious concern if the region is to achieve expected outcomes in terms of standardised MNH services within healthcare delivery systems. This research consists of a review of South Asian quality improvement (QI) approaches/interventions, specifically implemented for MNH improvement. A literature review of QI approaches/interventions was conducted using the PRISMA guidelines. Online databases, including PubMed, the Cochrane Library and Google Scholar, were searched. Primary studies published between 1998 and 2013 were considered. Studies were initially screened and selected based upon the selection criteria for data extraction. A thematic synthesis/analysis was performed to organise, group and interpret the key findings according to prominent themes. Thirty studies from six South Asian countries were included in the review. Findings from these selected studies were grouped under eight broad, cross-cutting themes, which emerged from a deductive approach, representing the most commonly employed QI approaches for improving MNH services within different geographical settings. These consist of capacity building of healthcare providers on clinical quality, clinical audits and feedback, financial incentives to beneficiaries, pay-for-performance, supportive supervision, community engagement, collaborative efforts and multidimensional interventions. Employing and documenting QI approaches is essential in order to measure the potential of an intervention, considering its cost-effectiveness, feasibility and acceptability to communities. This research concluded that QI approaches are very diverse and cross-cutting, because they are subject to the varied requirements of regional health systems. This high level

  14. 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+.

  15. the use of integrated soil fertility approach in the improvement of soil

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sammy

    improvement of soil texture and structure, thus boosters food production in the ecological region. ... the farm (Strainer 1984, Nicholaida et al 1985, Juo 1987, Renand et al 1997, ... degraded each year, due principally to water and wind erosion.

  16. The urban harvest approach as framework and planning tool for improved water and resource cycles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leusbrock, I.; Nanninga, T.A.; Lieberg, K.; Agudelo, C.; Keesman, K.J.; Zeeman, G.; Rijnaarts, H.

    2015-01-01

    Water and resource availability in sufficient quantity and quality for anthropogenic needs represents one of the main challenges in the coming decades. To prepare for upcoming challenges such as increased urbanization and climate change related consequences, innovative and improved resource

  17. Efficiency improvement for a sustainable agriculture : the integration of agronomic and farm economics approaches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koeijer, de T.J.

    2002-01-01

    Keywords: Sustainable farming systems, Agronomic efficiency, Economic efficiency, Environmental efficiency, Sustainability index, Interdisciplinary analysis.

    The objective of the research described in this thesis was to determine what role improved agronomic efficiency can play in

  18. 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.

  19. Improved signal processing approaches in an offline simulation of a hybrid brain–computer interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunner, Clemens; Allison, Brendan Z.; Krusienski, Dean J.; Kaiser, Vera; Müller-Putz, Gernot R.; Pfurtscheller, Gert; Neuper, Christa

    2012-01-01

    In a conventional brain–computer interface (BCI) system, users perform mental tasks that yield specific patterns of brain activity. A pattern recognition system determines which brain activity pattern a user is producing and thereby infers the user’s mental task, allowing users to send messages or commands through brain activity alone. Unfortunately, despite extensive research to improve classification accuracy, BCIs almost always exhibit errors, which are sometimes so severe that effective communication is impossible. We recently introduced a new idea to improve accuracy, especially for users with poor performance. In an offline simulation of a “hybrid” BCI, subjects performed two mental tasks independently and then simultaneously. This hybrid BCI could use two different types of brain signals common in BCIs – event-related desynchronization (ERD) and steady-state evoked potentials (SSEPs). This study suggested that such a hybrid BCI is feasible. Here, we re-analyzed the data from our initial study. We explored eight different signal processing methods that aimed to improve classification and further assess both the causes and the extent of the benefits of the hybrid condition. Most analyses showed that the improved methods described here yielded a statistically significant improvement over our initial study. Some of these improvements could be relevant to conventional BCIs as well. Moreover, the number of illiterates could be reduced with the hybrid condition. Results are also discussed in terms of dual task interference and relevance to protocol design in hybrid BCIs. PMID:20153371

  20. [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.

  1. A Multifaceted Approach to Improving Outcomes in the NICU: The Pediatrix 100 000 Babies Campaign.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellsbury, Dan L; Clark, Reese H; Ursprung, Robert; Handler, Darren L; Dodd, Elizabeth D; Spitzer, Alan R

    2016-04-01

    Despite advances in neonatal medicine, infants requiring neonatal intensive care continue to experience substantial morbidity and mortality. The purpose of this initiative was to generate large-scale simultaneous improvements in multiple domains of care in a large neonatal network through a program called the "100,000 Babies Campaign." Key drivers of neonatal morbidity and mortality were identified. A system for retrospective morbidity and mortality review was used to identify problem areas for project prioritization. NICU system analysis and staff surveys were used to facilitate reengineering of NICU systems in 5 key driver areas. Electronic health record-based automated data collection and reporting were used. A quality improvement infrastructure using the Kotter organizational change model was developed to support the program. From 2007 to 2013, data on 422 877 infants, including a subset with birth weight of 501 to 1500 g (n = 58 555) were analyzed. Key driver processes (human milk feeding, medication use, ventilator days, admission temperature) all improved (P < .0001). Mortality, necrotizing enterocolitis, retinopathy of prematurity, bacteremia after 3 days of life, and catheter-associated infection decreased. Survival without significant morbidity (necrotizing enterocolitis, severe intraventricular hemorrhage, severe retinopathy of prematurity, oxygen use at 36 weeks' gestation) improved. Implementation of a multifaceted quality improvement program that incorporated organizational change theory and automated electronic health record-based data collection and reporting program resulted in major simultaneous improvements in key neonatal processes and outcomes. Copyright © 2016 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  2. Improving accuracy for identifying related PubMed queries by an integrated approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Zhiyong; Wilbur, W John

    2009-10-01

    PubMed is the most widely used tool for searching biomedical literature online. As with many other online search tools, a user often types a series of multiple related queries before retrieving satisfactory results to fulfill a single information need. Meanwhile, it is also a common phenomenon to see a user type queries on unrelated topics in a single session. In order to study PubMed users' search strategies, it is necessary to be able to automatically separate unrelated queries and group together related queries. Here, we report a novel approach combining both lexical and contextual analyses for segmenting PubMed query sessions and identifying related queries and compare its performance with the previous approach based solely on concept mapping. We experimented with our integrated approach on sample data consisting of 1539 pairs of consecutive user queries in 351 user sessions. The prediction results of 1396 pairs agreed with the gold-standard annotations, achieving an overall accuracy of 90.7%. This demonstrates that our approach is significantly better than the previously published method. By applying this approach to a one day query log of PubMed, we found that a significant proportion of information needs involved more than one PubMed query, and that most of the consecutive queries for the same information need are lexically related. Finally, the proposed PubMed distance is shown to be an accurate and meaningful measure for determining the contextual similarity between biological terms. The integrated approach can play a critical role in handling real-world PubMed query log data as is demonstrated in our experiments.

  3. 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.

  4. An improved advertising CTR prediction approach based on the fuzzy deep neural network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Zilong; Gao, Shu; Li, Mingjiang

    2018-01-01

    Combining a deep neural network with fuzzy theory, this paper proposes an advertising click-through rate (CTR) prediction approach based on a fuzzy deep neural network (FDNN). In this approach, fuzzy Gaussian-Bernoulli restricted Boltzmann machine (FGBRBM) is first applied to input raw data from advertising datasets. Next, fuzzy restricted Boltzmann machine (FRBM) is used to construct the fuzzy deep belief network (FDBN) with the unsupervised method layer by layer. Finally, fuzzy logistic regression (FLR) is utilized for modeling the CTR. The experimental results show that the proposed FDNN model outperforms several baseline models in terms of both data representation capability and robustness in advertising click log datasets with noise.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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)

    Opio, Alex; Calnan, Jacqueline; Njeuhmeli, Emmanuel

    2015-01-01

    VMMC using a continuous quality improvement approach. PMID:26207986

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. An approach to improve the match-on-card fingerprint authentication system security

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Nair, Kishor Krishnan

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available -on-Card (TOC), Match-on- Card (MOC), Work-Sharing On-Card (WSOC), and System-on-Card (SOC). Out of these four approaches, the SOC is considered as the most secure and expensive, whereas the TOC is considered as the least secure and least expensive. The MOC...

  14. 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 -on-Card (TOC), Match-on-Card (MOC), Work-Sharing On-Card (WSOC), and System-on-Card (SOC). Out of these four approaches, the SOC is considered as the most secure and expensive, whereas the TOC is considered as the least secure and least expensive. The MOC...

  15. 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…

  16. 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...

  17. Prospective Health: Duke's Approach to Improving Employee Health and Managing Health Care Costs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, H. Clint, Jr.

    2004-01-01

    If developing a healthy workforce is critical to reining in the skyrocketing cost of health care, then why have so many attempts at preventive health or disease management fallen short? How can employers connect with employees to engage them in changing unhealthy habits or lifestyles? Duke University has launched an innovative new approach called…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nooijen, C.F.J.; ter Hoeve, N.; Field-Fote, E.C.

    2009-01-01

    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

  19. An Interpersonal Approach to Classroom Management: Strategies for Improving Student Engagement. Classroom Insights from Educational Psychology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Heather A.; Summers, Jessica J.; Miller, Lauren M.

    2012-01-01

    Like having a hidden camera in other teachers' classrooms, An Interpersonal Approach to Classroom Management engages you from the start by contrasting how two teachers respond differently to common situations. The authors expertly bridge the gap between educational psychology and peer and student-teacher management from the perspectives of student…

  20. Fostering the Capacity for Distributed Leadership: A Post-Heroic Approach to Leading School Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klar, Hans W.; Huggins, Kristin Shawn; Hammonds, Hattie L.; Buskey, Frederick C.

    2016-01-01

    Principals are being encouraged to distribute leadership to increase schools' organizational capacities, and enhance student growth and learning. Extant research on distributed leadership practices provides an emerging basis for adopting such approaches. Yet, relatively less attention has been paid to examining the principal's role in fostering…

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Sboui, Lokman; Rezki, Zouheir; Alouini, Mohamed-Slim

    2013-01-01

    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

  5. 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…

  6. The Quality Improvement Management Approach as Implemented in a Middle School.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayless, David L.; And Others

    1992-01-01

    The Total Quality Management Theory of W. E. Deming can be adapted within an educational organization to build structures that support educators' beliefs. A case study of the implementation of Deming principles at the LeRoy Martin Middle School in Raleigh (North Carolina) illustrates the effectiveness of this management approach. (SLD)

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. An interdisciplinary review of current and future approaches to improving human-predator relations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pooley, S; Barua, M; Beinart, W; Dickman, A; Holmes, G; Lorimer, J; Loveridge, A J; Macdonald, D W; Marvin, G; Redpath, S; Sillero-Zubiri, C; Zimmermann, A; Milner-Gulland, E J

    2017-06-01

    In a world of shrinking habitats and increasing competition for natural resources, potentially dangerous predators bring the challenges of coexisting with wildlife sharply into focus. Through interdisciplinary collaboration among authors trained in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, we reviewed current approaches to mitigating adverse human-predator encounters and devised a vision for future approaches to understanding and mitigating such encounters. Limitations to current approaches to mitigation include too much focus on negative impacts; oversimplified equating of levels of damage with levels of conflict; and unsuccessful technical fixes resulting from failure to engage locals, address hidden costs, or understand cultural (nonscientific) explanations of the causality of attacks. An emerging interdisciplinary literature suggests that to better frame and successfully mitigate negative human-predator relations conservation professionals need to consider dispensing with conflict as the dominant framework for thinking about human-predator encounters; work out what conflicts are really about (they may be human-human conflicts); unravel the historical contexts of particular conflicts; and explore different cultural ways of thinking about animals. The idea of cosmopolitan natures may help conservation professionals think more clearly about human-predator relations in both local and global context. These new perspectives for future research practice include a recommendation for focused interdisciplinary research and the use of new approaches, including human-animal geography, multispecies ethnography, and approaches from the environmental humanities notably environmental history. Managers should think carefully about how they engage with local cultural beliefs about wildlife, work with all parties to agree on what constitutes good evidence, develop processes and methods to mitigate conflicts, and decide how to monitor and evaluate these. Demand for

  12. 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.

  13. The Implementation of Discovery Learning Model with Scientific Learning Approach to Improve Students’ Critical Thinking in Learning History

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edi Nurcahyo

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Historical learning has not reached optimal in the learning process. It is caused by the history teachers’ learning model has not used the innovative learning models. Furthermore, it supported by the perception of students to the history subject because it does not become final exam (UN subject so it makes less improvement and builds less critical thinking in students’ daily learning. This is due to the lack of awareness of historical events and the availability of history books for students and teachers in the library are still lacking. Discovery learning with scientific approach encourages students to solve problems actively and able to improve students' critical thinking skills with scientific approach so student can build scientific thinking include observing, asking, reasoning, trying, and networking   Keywords: discovery learning, scientific, critical thinking

  14. Improving health visitor emollient prescribing using a CQUIN-based approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Christina; Khatau, Tejas

    2015-12-01

    Prescribing is an essential element of health visiting practice. This initiative used the payment framework of Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) to develop health visiting practice across a large health visiting workforce in the East Midlands. A focus on emollient prescribing practice was agreed and a guidance booklet regarding preferred emollient products was produced, based on the local formulary Each health visitor benefitted from receiving additional training and was given a guidance booklet to inform their practice. Targets were set for each quarter to demonstrate an improved prescribing adherence to the preferred product list.The targets were achieved for each quarter. Prescribing rates and confidence improved across the service. Therefore, it was demonstrated that specific guidance and ongoing support can improve prescribing practice within the health visiting service.

  15. 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

  16. An approach of point cloud denoising based on improved bilateral filtering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Zeling; Jia, Songmin; Zhang, Guoliang; Li, Xiuzhi; Zhang, Xiangyin

    2018-04-01

    An omnidirectional mobile platform is designed for building point cloud based on an improved filtering algorithm which is employed to handle the depth image. First, the mobile platform can move flexibly and the control interface is convenient to control. Then, because the traditional bilateral filtering algorithm is time-consuming and inefficient, a novel method is proposed which called local bilateral filtering (LBF). LBF is applied to process depth image obtained by the Kinect sensor. The results show that the effect of removing noise is improved comparing with the bilateral filtering. In the condition of off-line, the color images and processed images are used to build point clouds. Finally, experimental results demonstrate that our method improves the speed of processing time of depth image and the effect of point cloud which has been built.

  17. An integrated approach to hospital strategic planning, quality assurance, and continuous quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, G; Gardner, S; Herba, C

    1995-01-01

    Like many other healthcare organizations today, the authors' facility, a 306-bed acute care community hospital in Michigan, strives to visualize and make a transition from traditional quality assurance to continuous quality improvement. The Juran Trilogy provided the insight that strategic planning, measurement, and continuous improvement must exist side by side. At the authors' facility, this realization resulted in the hospital quality plan, which treats each of these components as part of the foundation for quality. The authors explain this model and the reporting and communication mechanisms that support it.

  18. A Three Pronged Approach for Improved Data Understanding: 3-D Visualization, Use of Gaming Techniques, and Intelligent Advisory Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-10-01

    Pronged Approach for Improved Data Understanding: 3-D Visualization, Use of Gaming Techniques, and Intelligent Advisory Agents. In Visualising Network...University at the start of each fall semester, when numerous new students arrive on campus and begin downloading extensive amounts of audio and...SIGGRAPH ’92 • C. Cruz-Neira, D.J. Sandin, T.A. DeFanti, R.V. Kenyon and J.C. Hart, "The CAVE: Audio Visual Experience Automatic Virtual Environment

  19. A comparison of trans-cranial and trans-sphenoidal approaches for vision improvement due to pitutary adenomas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fakhr Tabatabai SA

    1997-07-01

    Full Text Available To improve visual disturbance, optic nerve decompression can be performed via transcranial or tran-sphenoidal approaches. Although the surgical exposure in transcranial approach is favourable, yet the optic nerve's presence in the field may make it vulnerable to damage. Of fighty patients with different types of pituitary adenomas, 35 cases with medium-sized (1-3 cm tumors have been studied in a randomized clinical trial during a three year period, to compare the applicability of these approaches. While short hospital stay with better visual outcome was observed in fifteen trans-sphenoidal cases, in comparison to 20 trans-cranial cases, however the preoperative visual status and underlying disorders were similar in both groups. Decompressing the optic apparatus, trans-sphenoidally, seems beneficial, where there are no contraindications for the procedure in medium-sized pituitary adenomas

  20. Improving the efficiency of hierarchical equations of motion approach and application to coherent dynamics in Aharonov–Bohm interferometers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hou, Dong; Xu, RuiXue; Zheng, Xiao; Wang, Shikuan; Wang, Rulin; Ye, LvZhou; Yan, YiJing

    2015-01-01

    Several recent advancements for the hierarchical equations of motion (HEOM) approach are reported. First, we propose an a priori estimate for the optimal number of basis functions for the reservoir memory decomposition. Second, we make use of the sparsity of auxiliary density operators (ADOs) and propose two ansatzs to screen out all the intrinsic zero ADO elements. Third, we propose a new truncation scheme by utilizing the time derivatives of higher-tier ADOs. These novel techniques greatly reduce the memory cost of the HEOM approach, and thus enhance its efficiency and applicability. The improved HEOM approach is applied to simulate the coherent dynamics of Aharonov–Bohm double quantum dot interferometers. Quantitatively accurate dynamics is obtained for both noninteracting and interacting quantum dots. The crucial role of the quantum phase for the magnitude of quantum coherence and quantum entanglement is revealed