WorldWideScience

Sample records for tools improve access

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  2. Tools for healthy tribes: improving access to healthy foods in Indian country.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleischhacker, Sheila; Byrd, Randi R; Ramachandran, Gowri; Vu, Maihan; Ries, Amy; Bell, Ronny A; Evenson, Kelly R

    2012-09-01

    There is growing recognition that policymakers can promote access to healthy, affordable foods within neighborhoods, schools, childcare centers, and workplaces. Despite the disproportionate risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes among American Indian children and adults, comparatively little attention has been focused on the opportunities tribal policymakers have to implement policies or resolutions to promote access to healthy, affordable foods. This paper presents an approach for integrating formative research into an action-oriented strategy of developing and disseminating tribally led environmental and policy strategies to promote access to and consumption of healthy, affordable foods. This paper explains how the American Indian Healthy Eating Project evolved through five phases and discusses each phase's essential steps involved, outcomes derived, and lessons learned. Using community-based participatory research and informed by the Social Cognitive Theory and ecologic frameworks, the American Indian Healthy Eating Project was started in fall 2008 and has evolved through five phases: (1) starting the conversation; (2) conducting multidisciplinary formative research; (3) strengthening partnerships and tailoring policy options; (4) disseminating community-generated ideas; and (5) accelerating action while fostering sustainability. Collectively, these phases helped develop and disseminate Tools for Healthy Tribes-a toolkit used to raise awareness among participating tribal policymakers of their opportunities to improve access to healthy, affordable foods. Formal and informal strategies can engage tribal leaders in the development of culturally appropriate and tribe-specific sustainable strategies to improve such access, as well as empower tribal leaders to leverage their authority toward raising a healthier generation of American Indian children. Copyright © 2012 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-01

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

  4. Artificial intelligence, neural network, and Internet tool integration in a pathology workstation to improve information access

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sargis, J. C.; Gray, W. A.

    1999-03-01

    The APWS allows user friendly access to several legacy systems which would normally each demand domain expertise for proper utilization. The generalized model, including objects, classes, strategies and patterns is presented. The core components of the APWS are the Microsoft Windows 95 Operating System, Oracle, Oracle Power Objects, Artificial Intelligence tools, a medical hyperlibrary and a web site. The paper includes a discussion of how could be automated by taking advantage of the expert system, object oriented programming and intelligent relational database tools within the APWS.

  5. Improving usability and accessibility of cheminformatics tools for chemists through cyberinfrastructure and education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guha, Rajarshi; Wiggins, Gary D; Wild, David J; Baik, Mu-Hyun; Pierce And, Marlon E; Fox, Geoffrey C

    Some of the latest trends in cheminformatics, computation, and the world wide web are reviewed with predictions of how these are likely to impact the field of cheminformatics in the next five years. The vision and some of the work of the Chemical Informatics and Cyberinfrastructure Collaboratory at Indiana University are described, which we base around the core concepts of e-Science and cyberinfrastructure that have proven successful in other fields. Our chemical informatics cyberinfrastructure is realized by building a flexible, generic infrastructure for cheminformatics tools and databases, exporting "best of breed" methods as easily-accessible web APIs for cheminformaticians, scientists, and researchers in other disciplines, and hosting a unique chemical informatics education program aimed at scientists and cheminformatics practitioners in academia and industry.

  6. Improving e-book access via a library-developed full-text search tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foust, Jill E; Bergen, Phillip; Maxeiner, Gretchen L; Pawlowski, Peter N

    2007-01-01

    This paper reports on the development of a tool for searching the contents of licensed full-text electronic book (e-book) collections. The Health Sciences Library System (HSLS) provides services to the University of Pittsburgh's medical programs and large academic health system. The HSLS has developed an innovative tool for federated searching of its e-book collections. Built using the XML-based Vivísimo development environment, the tool enables a user to perform a full-text search of over 2,500 titles from the library's seven most highly used e-book collections. From a single "Google-style" query, results are returned as an integrated set of links pointing directly to relevant sections of the full text. Results are also grouped into categories that enable more precise retrieval without reformulation of the search. A heuristic evaluation demonstrated the usability of the tool and a web server log analysis indicated an acceptable level of usage. Based on its success, there are plans to increase the number of online book collections searched. This library's first foray into federated searching has produced an effective tool for searching across large collections of full-text e-books and has provided a good foundation for the development of other library-based federated searching products.

  7. Improving e-book access via a library-developed full-text search tool*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foust, Jill E.; Bergen, Phillip; Maxeiner, Gretchen L.; Pawlowski, Peter N.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: This paper reports on the development of a tool for searching the contents of licensed full-text electronic book (e-book) collections. Setting: The Health Sciences Library System (HSLS) provides services to the University of Pittsburgh's medical programs and large academic health system. Brief Description: The HSLS has developed an innovative tool for federated searching of its e-book collections. Built using the XML-based Vivísimo development environment, the tool enables a user to perform a full-text search of over 2,500 titles from the library's seven most highly used e-book collections. From a single “Google-style” query, results are returned as an integrated set of links pointing directly to relevant sections of the full text. Results are also grouped into categories that enable more precise retrieval without reformulation of the search. Results/Evaluation: A heuristic evaluation demonstrated the usability of the tool and a web server log analysis indicated an acceptable level of usage. Based on its success, there are plans to increase the number of online book collections searched. Conclusion: This library's first foray into federated searching has produced an effective tool for searching across large collections of full-text e-books and has provided a good foundation for the development of other library-based federated searching products. PMID:17252065

  8. Chemical Data Access Tool

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — This tool is intended to aid individuals interested in learning more about chemicals that are manufactured or imported into the United States. Health and safety...

  9. Improved tool grinding machine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dial, C.E. Sr.

    The present invention relates to an improved tool grinding mechanism for grinding single point diamond cutting tools to precise roundness and radius specifications. The present invention utilizes a tool holder which is longitudinally displaced with respect to the remainder of the grinding system due to contact of the tool with the grinding surface with this displacement being monitored so that any variation in the grinding of the cutting surface such as caused by crystal orientation or tool thicknesses may be compensated for during the grinding operation to assure the attainment of the desired cutting tool face specifications.

  10. Implementation and impact of an online tool used in primary care to improve access to financial benefits for patients: a study protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aery, Anjana; Rucchetto, Anne; Singer, Alexander; Halas, Gayle; Bloch, Gary; Goel, Ritika; Raza, Danyaal; Upshur, Ross E G; Bellaire, Jackie; Katz, Alan; Pinto, Andrew David

    2017-10-22

    Addressing the social determinants of health has been identified as crucial to reducing health inequities. However, few evidence-based interventions exist. This study emerges from an ongoing collaboration between physicians, researchers and a financial literacy organisation. Our study will answer the following: Is an online tool that improves access to financial benefits feasible and acceptable? Can such a tool be integrated into clinical workflow? What are patient perspectives on the tool and what is the short-term impact on access to benefits? An advisory group made up of patients living on low incomes and representatives from community agencies supports this study. We will recruit three primary care sites in Toronto, Ontario and three in Winnipeg, Manitoba that serve low-income communities. We will introduce clinicians to screening for poverty and how benefits can increase income. Health providers will be encouraged to use the tool with any patient seen. The health provider and patient will complete the online tool together, generating a tailored list of benefits and resources to assist with obtaining these benefits. A brief survey on this experience will be administered to patients after they complete the tool, as well as a request to contact them in 1 month. Those who agree to be contacted will be interviewed on whether the intervention improved access to financial benefits. We will also administer an online survey to providers and conduct focus groups at each site. Key ethical concerns include that patients may feel discomfort when being asked about their financial situation, may feel obliged to complete the tool and may have their expectations falsely raised about receiving benefits. Providers will be trained to address each of these concerns. We will share our findings with providers and policy-makers interested in addressing the social determinants of health within healthcare settings. Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT02959866. Registered 7 November 2016

  11. Lightweight methodology to improve web accessibility

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Greeff, M

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available to improve score. Colour Contrast Fujitsu ColorSelector [9] Each colour combination has to be selected manually. Didn’t identify colour contrast problems that were highlighted by the other two tools. JuicyStudio Colour Contrast Analyser Firefox..., but this is not tested by AccessKeys AccessColor. However, AccessKeys AccessColor provides a link to the specific line in the code where the problem occurs. This is not provided by JuicyStudio Colour Contrast Analyser. According to these two tools, many colour...

  12. IMPROVING ACCESS TO DRUGS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Max Joseph Herman

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Although essentially not all therapies need drug intervention, drugs is still an important components in health sector, either in preventive, curative, rehabilitative or promotion efforts. Hence the access to drugs is a main problem, either in international or national scale even to the smallest unit. The problem on access to drugs is very complicated and cannot be separated especially from pharmacy management problems; moreover in general from the overall lack of policy development and effective of health policy, and also the implementation process. With the policy development and effective health policy, rational drug uses, sufficient health service budget so a country can overcome the health problems. Besides infrastructures, regulations, distribution and cultural influences; the main obstacles for drug access is drugs affordability if the price of drugs is an important part and determined by many factors, especially the drug status whether is still patent orgenerics that significantly decrease cost of health cares and enhance the drugs affordability. The determination of essential drug prices in developing countries should based on equity principal so that poor people pay cheaper and could afford the essential drugs. WHO predicts two third of world population can not afford the essential drugs in which in developing countries, some are because of in efficient budget allocation in consequence of drug distribution management, including incorrect selection and allocation and also irrational uses. In part these could be overcome by enhancing performances on the allocation pharmacy needs, including the management of information system, inventory management, stock management and the distribution. Key words: access, drugs, essential drugs, generic drugs

  13. Enabling Web-Based GIS Tools for Internet and Mobile Devices To Improve and Expand NASA Data Accessibility and Analysis Functionality for the Renewable Energy and Agricultural Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, A.; Stackhouse, P. W.; Tisdale, B.; Tisdale, M.; Chandler, W.; Hoell, J. M., Jr.; Kusterer, J.

    2014-12-01

    The NASA Langley Research Center Science Directorate and Atmospheric Science Data Center have initiated a pilot program to utilize Geographic Information System (GIS) tools that enable, generate and store climatological averages using spatial queries and calculations in a spatial database resulting in greater accessibility of data for government agencies, industry and private sector individuals. The major objectives of this effort include the 1) Processing and reformulation of current data to be consistent with ESRI and openGIS tools, 2) Develop functions to improve capability and analysis that produce "on-the-fly" data products, extending these past the single location to regional and global scales. 3) Update the current web sites to enable both web-based and mobile application displays for optimization on mobile platforms, 4) Interact with user communities in government and industry to test formats and usage of optimization, and 5) develop a series of metrics that allow for monitoring of progressive performance. Significant project results will include the the development of Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) compliant web services (WMS, WCS, WFS, WPS) that serve renewable energy and agricultural application products to users using GIS software and tools. Each data product and OGC service will be registered within ECHO, the Common Metadata Repository, the Geospatial Platform, and Data.gov to ensure the data are easily discoverable and provide data users with enhanced access to SSE data, parameters, services, and applications. This effort supports cross agency, cross organization, and interoperability of SSE data products and services by collaborating with DOI, NRCan, NREL, NCAR, and HOMER for requirements vetting and test bed users before making available to the wider public.

  14. Tools for educational access to seismic data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taber, J. J.; Welti, R.; Bravo, T. K.; Hubenthal, M.; Frechette, K.

    2017-12-01

    Student engagement can be increased both by providing easy access to real data, and by addressing newsworthy events such as recent large earthquakes. IRIS EPO has a suite of access and visualization tools that can be used for such engagement, including a set of three tools that allow students to explore global seismicity, use seismic data to determine Earth structure, and view and analyze near-real-time ground motion data in the classroom. These tools are linked to online lessons that are designed for use in middle school through introductory undergraduate classes. The IRIS Earthquake Browser allows discovery of key aspects of plate tectonics, earthquake locations (in pseudo 3D) and seismicity rates and patterns. IEB quickly displays up to 20,000 seismic events over up to 30 years, making it one of the most responsive, practical ways to visualize historical seismicity in a browser. Maps are bookmarkable and preserve state, meaning IEB map links can be shared or worked into a lesson plan. The Global Seismogram Plotter automatically creates visually clear seismic record sections from selected large earthquakes that are tablet-friendly and can also to be printed for use in a classroom without computers. The plots are designed to be appropriate for use with no parameters to set, but users can also modify the plots, such as including a recording station near a chosen location. A guided exercise is provided where students use the record section to discover the diameter of Earth's outer core. Students can pick and compare phase arrival times onscreen which is key to performing the exercise. A companion station map shows station locations and further information and is linked to the record section. jAmaSeis displays seismic data in real-time from either a local instrument and/or from remote seismic stations that stream data using standard seismic data protocols, and can be used in the classroom or as a public display. Users can filter data, fit a seismogram to travel time

  15. Making accessibility analyses accessible: A tool to facilitate the public review of the effects of regional transportation plans on accessibility

    OpenAIRE

    Golub, Aaron; Robinson, Glenn; Brendan Nee, Brendan Nee

    2013-01-01

    The regional transportation planning process in the United States has not been easily opened to public oversight even after strengthened requirements for public participation and civil rights considerations. In the effort to improve the public review of regional transportation plans, this paper describes the construction of a proof-of concept web-based tool designed to analyze the effects of regional transportation plans on accessibility to jobs and other essential destinations. The tool allo...

  16. Metadata Access Tool for Climate and Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trtanji, J.

    2012-12-01

    The need for health information resources to support climate change adaptation and mitigation decisions is growing, both in the United States and around the world, as the manifestations of climate change become more evident and widespread. In many instances, these information resources are not specific to a changing climate, but have either been developed or are highly relevant for addressing health issues related to existing climate variability and weather extremes. To help address the need for more integrated data, the Interagency Cross-Cutting Group on Climate Change and Human Health, a working group of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, has developed the Metadata Access Tool for Climate and Health (MATCH). MATCH is a gateway to relevant information that can be used to solve problems at the nexus of climate science and public health by facilitating research, enabling scientific collaborations in a One Health approach, and promoting data stewardship that will enhance the quality and application of climate and health research. MATCH is a searchable clearinghouse of publicly available Federal metadata including monitoring and surveillance data sets, early warning systems, and tools for characterizing the health impacts of global climate change. Examples of relevant databases include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Environmental Public Health Tracking System and NOAA's National Climate Data Center's national and state temperature and precipitation data. This presentation will introduce the audience to this new web-based geoportal and demonstrate its features and potential applications.

  17. Quality improvement tools and processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Catherine Y

    2015-04-01

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

  18. Tools for Local and Distributed Climate Data Access

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schweitzer, R.; O'Brien, K.; Burger, E. F.; Smith, K. M.; Manke, A. B.; Radhakrishnan, A.; Balaji, V.

    2017-12-01

    Last year we reported on our efforts to adapt existing tools to facilitate model development. During the lifecycle of a Climate Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP), data must be quality controlled before it can be published and studied. Like previous efforts, the next CMIP6 will produce an unprecedented volume of data. For an institution, modelling group or modeller the volume of data is unmanageable without tools that organize and automate as many processes as possible. Even if a modelling group has tools for data and metadata management, it often falls on individuals to do the initial quality assessment for a model run with bespoke tools. Using individually crafted tools can lead to interruptions when project personnel change and may result in inconsistencies and duplication of effort across groups. This talk will expand on our experiences using available tools (Ferret/PyFerret, the Live Access Server, the GFDL Curator, the GFDL Model Development Database Interface and the THREDDS Data Server) to seamlessly automate the data assembly process to give users "one-click" access to a rich suite of Web-based analysis and comparison tools. On the surface, it appears that this collection of tools is well suited to the task, but our experience of the last year taught us that the data volume and distributed storage adds a number of challenges in adapting the tools for this task. Quality control and initial evaluation add their own set of challenges. We will discuss how we addressed the needs of QC researchers by expanding standard tools to include specialized plots and leveraged the configurability of the tools to add specific user defined analysis operations so they are available to everyone using the system. We also report on our efforts to overcome some of the technical barriers for wide adoption of the tools by providing pre-built containers that are easily deployed in virtual machine and cloud environments. Finally, we will offer some suggestions for added features

  19. Improving access to transport in developing countries

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Savill, T

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available Improving access and mobility of people with disabilities is an essential component of the alleviation of poverty in developing countries. Disabled people are among the most socially excluded members of society and poorly designed and inaccessible...

  20. Access Agent Improving The Performance Of Access Control Lists

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thelis R. S.

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The main focus of the proposed research is maintaining the security of a network. Extranet is a popular network among most of the organizations where network access is provided to a selected group of outliers. Limiting access to an extranet can be carried out using Access Control Lists ACLs method. However handling the workload of ACLs is an onerous task for the router. The purpose of the proposed research is to improve the performance and to solidify the security of the ACLs used in a small organization. Using a high performance computer as a dedicated device to share and handle the router workload is suggested in order to increase the performance of the router when handling ACLs. Methods of detecting and directing sensitive data is also discussed in this paper. A framework is provided to help increase the efficiency of the ACLs in an organization network using the above mentioned procedures thus helping the organizations ACLs performance to be improved to be more secure and the system to perform faster. Inbuilt methods of Windows platform or Software for open source platforms can be used to make a computer function as a router. Extended ACL features allow the determining of the type of packets flowing through the router. Combining these mechanisms allows the ACLs to be improved and perform in a more efficient manner.

  1. Improving Health Care Accessibility: Strategies and Recommendations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almorsy, Lamia; Khalifa, Mohamed

    2016-01-01

    Access time refers to the interval between requesting and actual outpatient appointment. It reflects healthcare accessibility and has a great influence on patient treatment and satisfaction. King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia studied the accessibility to outpatient services in order to develop useful strategies and recommendations for improvement. Utilized, unutilized and no-show appointments were analyzed. It is crucial to manage no-shows and short notice appointment cancellations by preparing a waiting list for those patients who can be called in to an appointment on the same day using an open access policy. An overlapping appointment scheduling model can be useful to minimize patient waiting time and doctor idle time in addition to the sensible use of appointment overbooking that can significantly improve productivity.

  2. An improved financial tool to replace BHT

    CERN Multimedia

    2002-01-01

    In November, the BHT tool used to control financial data will be replaced by an improved and more powerful system, called CET for CERN Expenditure Tracking. The team in charge of CET. From left to right, sitting, Martyn Rankin, David McGlashan, standing, Per Gunnar Jonsson, James Purvis and Mikael Angberg. After 10 years of BHT at CERN, in order to face the challenges of the LHC era, and following the recommendations of the External Review Committee, the BHT application will be replaced by an improved and more powerful expenditure tracking tool called CET for CERN Expenditure Tracking. For those who are not familiar with it, the BHT, Budget Holders Toolkit, is a utility that provides a way to view CERN financial data. It is available for users who have access to at least one budget code. The new CET represents a tool that not only allows powerful analysis of the past, but also assists in forecasting the future. CET will offer significantly more functionality than BHT, including extended contract analysis, ...

  3. Improving Open Access through Prior Learning Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Shuangxu; Kawachi, Paul

    2013-01-01

    This paper explores and presents new data on how to improve open access in distance education through using prior learning assessments. Broadly there are three types of prior learning assessment (PLAR): Type-1 for prospective students to be allowed to register for a course; Type-2 for current students to avoid duplicating work-load to gain…

  4. User Collaboration for Improving Access to Historical Texts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clemens Neudecker

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available The paper will describe how web-based collaboration tools can engage users in the building of historical printed text resources created by mass digitisation projects. The drivers for developing such tools will be presented, identifying the benefits that can be derived for both the user community and cultural heritage institutions. The perceived risks, such as new errors introduced by the users, and the limitations of engaging with users in this way will be set out with the lessons that can be learned from existing activities, such as the National Library of Australia's newspaper website which supports collaborative correction of Optical Character Recognition (OCR output. The paper will present the work of the IMPACT (Improving Access to Text project, a large-scale integrating project funded by the European Commission as part of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7. One of the aims of the project is to develop tools that help improve OCR results for historical printed texts, specifically those works published before the industrial production of books from the middle of the 19th century. Technological improvements to image processing and OCR engine technology are vital to improving access to historic text, but engaging the user community also has an important role to play. Utilising the intended user can help achieve the levels of accuracy currently found in born-digital materials. Improving OCR results will allow for better resource discovery and enhance performance by text mining and accessibility tools. The IMPACT project will specifically develop a tool that supports collaborative correction and validation of OCR results and a tool to allow user involvement in building historical dictionaries which can be used to validate word recognition. The technologies use the characteristics of human perception as a basis for error detection.

  5. Improved guide tube bulge tool

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vaill, R.E.; Phillips, W.D.

    1979-01-01

    A guide tube bulge tool for securing control rod guide tubes to a fuel assembly grid, includes a cylinder having several flexible tines each of which is equipped with a semispherical radially outwardly extending projection. A tapered ram fits into the cylinder so as to force the tines outwardly when the ram is pulled into the cylinder while supporting the other tines. (UK)

  6. Improvement of the severe accident practice tool

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kawasaki, Ikuo; Takahashi, Shunsuke

    2016-01-01

    We developed the severe accident (SA) practice tool based on lessons learned in the accident at the Tokyo Electric Power Company Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. We utilized the developed SA practice tool and carried out the SA training for some employees of Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. Afterwards, we examined the opinions given by trainees attending the training lecture and improved the SA practice tool to achieve a better educational effect. The main changes we made were improvement of the practice scenario for EAL judgments and addition of functions to the practice tool such as the EAL explanation document indication. As a result of having carried out the SA education using this practice tool, we determined the tool users could make the right EAL judgment and report the communication vote. Finally, we confirmed that the knowledge necessary for SA correspondence could be given satisfactorily by this practice tool. (author)

  7. Multi-tool accessibility assessment of government department websites:a case-study with JKGAD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ismail, Abid; Kuppusamy, K S; Nengroo, Ab Shakoor

    2017-08-02

    Nature of being accessible to all categories of users is one of the primary factors for enabling the wider reach of the resources published through World Wide Web. The accessibility of websites has been analyzed through W3C guidelines with the help of various tools. This paper presents a multi-tool accessibility assessment of government department websites belonging to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. A comparative analysis of six accessibility tools is also presented with 14 different parameters. The accessibility analysis tools used in this study for analysis are aChecker, Cynthia Says, Tenon, wave, Mauve, and Hera. These tools provide us the results of selected websites accessibility status on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0 and 2.0. It was found that there are variations in accessibility analysis results when using different accessibility metrics to measure the accessibility of websites. In addition to this, we have identified the guidelines which have frequently been violated. It was observed that there is a need for incorporating the accessibility component features among the selected websites. This paper presents a set of suggestions to improve the accessibility status of these sites so that the information and services provided by these sites shall reach a wider spectrum of audience without any barrier. Implications for rehabilitation The following points indicates that this case study of JKGAD websites comes under Rehabilitation focused on Visually Impaired users. Due to the universal nature of web, it should be accessible to all according to WCAG guidelines framed by World Wide Web Consortium. In this paper we have identified multiple accessibility barriers for persons with visual impairment while browsing the Jammu and Kashmir Government websites. Multi-tool analysis has been done to pin-point the potential barriers for persons with visually Impaired. Usability analysis has been performed to check whether these websites are suitable

  8. Improving Tools in Artificial Intelligence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angel Garrido

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The historical origin of the Artificial Intelligence (AI is usually established in the Dartmouth Conference, of 1956. But we can find many more arcane origins [1]. Also, we can consider, in more recent times, very great thinkers, as Janos Neumann (then, John von Neumann, arrived in USA, Norbert Wiener, Alan Mathison Turing, or Lofti Zadeh, for instance [12, 14]. Frequently AI requires Logic. But its Classical version shows too many insufficiencies. So, it was necessary to introduce more sophisticated tools, as Fuzzy Logic, Modal Logic, Non-Monotonic Logic and so on [1, 2]. Among the things that AI needs to represent are categories, objects, properties, relations between objects, situations, states, time, events, causes and effects, knowledge about knowledge, and so on. The problems in AI can be classified in two general types [3, 5], search problems and representation problems. On this last "peak", there exist different ways to reach their summit. So, we have [4] Logics, Rules, Frames, Associative Nets, Scripts, and so on, many times connected among them. We attempt, in this paper, a panoramic vision of the scope of application of such representation methods in AI. The two more disputable questions of both modern philosophy of mind and AI will be perhaps the Turing Test and the Chinese Room Argument. To elucidate these very difficult questions, see our final note.

  9. A Flexible Visualization Tool for Rapid Access to EFIT Results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Ruirui; Xiao Bingjia; Luo Zhengping

    2014-01-01

    This paper introduces the design and implementation of an interactive tool, the EASTViewer, for the visualization of plasma equilibrium reconstruction results for EAST (the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak). Aimed at the operating system independently, Python, when combined with the PyGTK toolkit, is used as the programming language. Using modular design, the EASTViewer provides a unified interface with great flexibility. It is easy to access numerous data sources either from local data files or an MDSplus tree, and with the pre-defined configuration files, it can be extended to other tokamaks. The EASTViewer has been used as the major tool to visualize equilibrium data since the second EAST campaign in 2008, and it has been verified that the EASTViewer features a user-friendly interface, and has easy access to numerous data sources and cross-platforms. (fusion engineering)

  10. Index of Access: a new innovative and dynamic tool for rural health service and workforce planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGrail, Matthew R; Russell, Deborah J; Humphreys, John S

    2017-10-01

    Objective Improving access to primary health care (PHC) remains a key issue for rural residents and health service planners. This study aims to show that how access to PHC services is measured has important implications for rural health service and workforce planning. Methods A more sophisticated tool to measure access to PHC services is proposed, which can help health service planners overcome the shortcomings of existing measures and long-standing access barriers to PHC. Critically, the proposed Index of Access captures key components of access and uses a floating catchment approach to better define service areas and population accessibility levels. Moreover, as demonstrated through a case study, the Index of Access enables modelling of the effects of workforce supply variations. Results Hypothetical increases in supply are modelled for a range of regional centres, medium and small rural towns, with resulting changes of access scores valuable to informing health service and workforce planning decisions. Conclusions The availability and application of a specific 'fit-for-purpose' access measure enables a more accurate empirical basis for service planning and allocation of health resources. This measure has great potential for improved identification of PHC access inequities and guiding redistribution of PHC services to correct such inequities. What is known about the topic? Resource allocation and health service planning decisions for rural and remote health settings are currently based on either simple measures of access (e.g. provider-to-population ratios) or proxy measures of access (e.g. standard geographical classifications). Both approaches have substantial limitations for informing rural health service planning and decision making. What does this paper add? The adoption of a new improved tool to measure access to PHC services, the Index of Access, is proposed to assist health service and workforce planning. Its usefulness for health service planning is

  11. Strategies to improve smallholders' market access

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tilburg, van A.; Schalkwyk, van H.D.

    2011-01-01

    Smallholders, especially in less developed countries, have encountered several challenges in gaining access to markets. Market access includes the ability to obtain necessary farm inputs and farm services, and the ability to deliver farm products to buyers. Market access was less of a problem in the

  12. Data access and decision tools for coastal water resources ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    US EPA has supported the development of numerous models and tools to support implementation of environmental regulations. However, transfer of knowledge and methods from detailed technical models to support practical problem solving by local communities and watershed or coastal management organizations remains a challenge. We have developed the Estuary Data Mapper (EDM) to facilitate data discovery, visualization and access to support environmental problem solving for coastal watersheds and estuaries. EDM is a stand-alone application based on open-source software which requires only internet access for operation. Initially, development of EDM focused on delivery of raw data streams from distributed web services, ranging from atmospheric deposition to hydrologic, tidal, and water quality time series, estuarine habitat characteristics, and remote sensing products. We have transitioned to include access to value-added products which provide end-users with results of future scenario analysis, facilitate extension of models across geographic regions, and/or promote model interoperability. Here we present three examples: 1) the delivery of input data for the development of seagrass models across estuaries, 2) scenarios illustrating the implications of riparian buffer management (loss or restoration) for stream thermal regimes and fish communities, and 3) access to hydrology model outputs to foster connections across models at different scales, ultimately feeding

  13. Data Basin: Expanding Access to Conservation Data, Tools, and People

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comendant, T.; Strittholt, J.; Frost, P.; Ward, B. C.; Bachelet, D. M.; Osborne-Gowey, J.

    2009-12-01

    Mapping and spatial analysis are a fundamental part of problem solving in conservation science, yet spatial data are widely scattered, difficult to locate, and often unavailable. Valuable time and resources are wasted locating and gaining access to important biological, cultural, and economic datasets, scientific analysis, and experts. As conservation problems become more serious and the demand to solve them grows more urgent, a new way to connect science and practice is needed. To meet this need, an open-access, web tool called Data Basin (www.databasin.org) has been created by the Conservation Biology Institute in partnership with ESRI and the Wilburforce Foundation. Users of Data Basin can gain quick access to datasets, experts, groups, and tools to help solve real-world problems. Individuals and organizations can perform essential tasks such as exploring and downloading from a vast library of conservation datasets, uploading existing datasets, connecting to other external data sources, create groups, and produce customized maps that can be easily shared. Data Basin encourages sharing and publishing, but also provides privacy and security for sensitive information when needed. Users can publish projects within Data Basin to tell more complete and rich stories of discovery and solutions. Projects are an ideal way to publish collections of datasets, maps and other information on the internet to reach wider audiences. Data Basin also houses individual centers that provide direct access to data, maps, and experts focused on specific geographic areas or conservation topics. Current centers being developed include the Boreal Information Centre, the Data Basin Climate Center, and proposed Aquatic and Forest Conservation Centers.

  14. Use of Process Improvement Tools in Radiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rawson, James V; Kannan, Amogha; Furman, Melissa

    2016-01-01

    Process improvement techniques are common in manufacturing and industry. Over the past few decades these principles have been slowly introduced in select health care settings. This article reviews the Plan, Do, Study, and Act cycle, Six Sigma, the System of Profound Knowledge, Lean, and the theory of constraints. Specific process improvement tools in health care and radiology are presented in the order the radiologist is likely to encounter them in an improvement project. Copyright © 2015 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. New Tools to Convert PDF Math Contents into Accessible e-Books Efficiently.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Masakazu; Terada, Yugo; Kanahori, Toshihiro; Yamaguchi, Katsuhito

    2015-01-01

    New features in our math-OCR software to convert PDF math contents into accessible e-books are shown. A method for recognizing PDF is thoroughly improved. In addition, contents in any selected area including math formulas in a PDF file can be cut and pasted into a document in various accessible formats, which is automatically recognized and converted into texts and accessible math formulas through this process. Combining it with our authoring tool for a technical document, one can easily produce accessible e-books in various formats such as DAISY, accessible EPUB3, DAISY-like HTML5, Microsoft Word with math objects and so on. Those contents are useful for various print-disabled students ranging from the blind to the dyslexic.

  16. Interactive, open source, travel time scenario modelling: tools to facilitate participation in health service access analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Rohan; Lassa, Jonatan

    2017-04-18

    Modelling travel time to services has become a common public health tool for planning service provision but the usefulness of these analyses is constrained by the availability of accurate input data and limitations inherent in the assumptions and parameterisation. This is particularly an issue in the developing world where access to basic data is limited and travel is often complex and multi-modal. Improving the accuracy and relevance in this context requires greater accessibility to, and flexibility in, travel time modelling tools to facilitate the incorporation of local knowledge and the rapid exploration of multiple travel scenarios. The aim of this work was to develop simple open source, adaptable, interactive travel time modelling tools to allow greater access to and participation in service access analysis. Described are three interconnected applications designed to reduce some of the barriers to the more wide-spread use of GIS analysis of service access and allow for complex spatial and temporal variations in service availability. These applications are an open source GIS tool-kit and two geo-simulation models. The development of these tools was guided by health service issues from a developing world context but they present a general approach to enabling greater access to and flexibility in health access modelling. The tools demonstrate a method that substantially simplifies the process for conducting travel time assessments and demonstrate a dynamic, interactive approach in an open source GIS format. In addition this paper provides examples from empirical experience where these tools have informed better policy and planning. Travel and health service access is complex and cannot be reduced to a few static modeled outputs. The approaches described in this paper use a unique set of tools to explore this complexity, promote discussion and build understanding with the goal of producing better planning outcomes. The accessible, flexible, interactive and

  17. Access improvement to aircraft passengers' hand luggage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alberda, W; Kampinga, O; Kassels, R; van Kester, R; Noriega, J; Vink, P

    2015-01-01

    Efficient use of space and passenger comfort in aircraft interiors are major issues. There is not much research available about the flying experience regarding passengers' personal belongings. The objective of this study is to explore concepts within the current aircraft seats which improve the passenger experience related to their personal belongings like wallets, mobile phones and laptops. Through on-site observations, interviews and online questionnaires, data regarding the number of personal belongings taken into the airplane and opinions about access to hand luggage were gathered. These data were used to develop different concepts to optimize the aircraft interior, which were evaluated by passengers. Almost every passenger carries a phone (88%), wallet (94%), travel documents (98%) and keys (76%) with them and they like to have these stored close by. Passengers rate the concept that provides integrated storage in the tray table of the aircraft seat the best. Extra storage possibility in the table-tray seems a promising solution according to the passengers.

  18. A prospective international cooperative information technology platform built using open-source tools for improving the access to and safety of bone marrow transplantation in low- and middle-income countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Rajat Kumar; Sedai, Amit; Dhimal, Sunil; Ankita, Kumari; Clemente, Luigi; Siddique, Sulman; Yaqub, Naila; Khalid, Sadaf; Itrat, Fatima; Khan, Anwar; Gilani, Sarah Khan; Marwah, Priya; Soni, Rajpreet; Missiry, Mohamed El; Hussain, Mohamed Hamed; Uderzo, Cornelio; Faulkner, Lawrence

    2014-01-01

    Jagriti Innovations developed a collaboration tool in partnership with the Cure2Children Foundation that has been used by health professionals in Italy, Pakistan, and India for the collaborative management of patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation (BMT) for thalassemia major since August 2008. This online open-access database covers data recording, analyzing, and reporting besides enabling knowledge exchange, telemedicine, capacity building, and quality assurance. As of February 2014, over 2400 patients have been registered and 112 BMTs have been performed with outcomes comparable to international standards, but at a fraction of the cost. This approach avoids medical emigration and contributes to local healthcare strengthening and competitiveness. This paper presents the experience and clinical outcomes associated with the use of this platform built using open-source tools and focusing on a locally pertinent tertiary care procedure-BMT. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  19. DNA fingerprinting and new tools for fine-scale discrimination of Arabidopsis thaliana accessions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Matthieu; Simon, Adeline; Martins, Fréderic; Botran, Lucy; Tisné, Sébastien; Granier, Fabienne; Loudet, Olivier; Camilleri, Christine

    2012-03-01

    One of the main strengths of Arabidopsis thaliana as a model species is the impressive number of public resources available to the scientific community. Exploring species genetic diversity--and therefore adaptation--relies on collections of individuals from natural populations taken from diverse environments. Nevertheless, due to a few mislabeling events or genotype mixtures, some variants available in stock centers have been misidentified, causing inconsistencies and limiting the potential of genetic analyses. To improve the identification of natural accessions, we genotyped 1311 seed stocks from our Versailles Arabidopsis Stock Center and from other collections to determine their molecular profiles at 341 single nucleotide polymorphism markers. These profiles were used to compare genotypes at both the intra- and inter-accession levels. We confirmed previously described inconsistencies and revealed new ones, and suggest likely identities for accessions whose lineage had been lost. We also developed two new tools: a minimal fingerprint computation to quickly verify the identity of an accession, and an optimized marker set to assist in the identification of unknown or mixed accessions. These tools are available on a dedicated web interface called ANATool (https://www.versailles.inra.fr/ijpb/crb/anatool) that provides a simple and efficient means to verify or determine the identity of A. thaliana accessions in any laboratory, without the need for any specific or expensive technology. © 2011 The Authors. The Plant Journal © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Improving Access Using Simulations of Community Resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germann, Clark; Broida, Jane Kaufman; Broida, Jeffrey M.; Thompson, Kimberly

    The Community Access Through Technology Project (CATT) is developing and implementing virtual reality software that persons with disabilities can use to experience a physical location prior to visiting it in person. A virtual scenario of one physical location has been developed, implemented, and tested, and work is underway on two others. Using a…

  1. Positioning hospitals for improved access to capital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponton, Kevin T; Sandrick, Karen M

    2002-11-01

    Hospitals need to actively position themselves in the next 18 to 24 months to ensure continued access to financing. Hospitals need to shift their focus from investment income to operations. Hospitals should recognize the importance of balance-sheet liquidity to institutional investors. Not-for-profit hospitals should focus on both sides of the balance sheet. Healthcare executives need to develop effective leadership and investor-relations skills.

  2. Improved molecular tools for sugar cane biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinkema, Mark; Geijskes, Jason; Delucca, Paulo; Palupe, Anthony; Shand, Kylie; Coleman, Heather D; Brinin, Anthony; Williams, Brett; Sainz, Manuel; Dale, James L

    2014-03-01

    Sugar cane is a major source of food and fuel worldwide. Biotechnology has the potential to improve economically-important traits in sugar cane as well as diversify sugar cane beyond traditional applications such as sucrose production. High levels of transgene expression are key to the success of improving crops through biotechnology. Here we describe new molecular tools that both expand and improve gene expression capabilities in sugar cane. We have identified promoters that can be used to drive high levels of gene expression in the leaf and stem of transgenic sugar cane. One of these promoters, derived from the Cestrum yellow leaf curling virus, drives levels of constitutive transgene expression that are significantly higher than those achieved by the historical benchmark maize polyubiquitin-1 (Zm-Ubi1) promoter. A second promoter, the maize phosphonenolpyruvate carboxylate promoter, was found to be a strong, leaf-preferred promoter that enables levels of expression comparable to Zm-Ubi1 in this organ. Transgene expression was increased approximately 50-fold by gene modification, which included optimising the codon usage of the coding sequence to better suit sugar cane. We also describe a novel dual transcriptional enhancer that increased gene expression from different promoters, boosting expression from Zm-Ubi1 over eightfold. These molecular tools will be extremely valuable for the improvement of sugar cane through biotechnology.

  3. A Reassessment of Complementary Access Tools for Chemical Indicators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Siskind, Barry

    2016-01-01

    -evaluation of the technologies considered under Phase 2, we provide a preliminary re-ranking of the suggested tools for detection of chemical indicators during complementary access.

  4. A Reassessment of Complementary Access Tools for Chemical Indicators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Siskind, Barry [Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States). Nonproliferation and National Security Dept.; Stern, Warren [Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States). Nonproliferation and National Security Dept.; Henzl, Vladimir [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2016-04-01

    technologies considered under Phase 2, we provide a preliminary re-ranking of the suggested tools for detection of chemical indicators during complementary access.

  5. Remote access tools for optimization of hardware and workmanship resources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bartnig, Roberto; Diniz, Luciano; Ribeiro, Joao Luiz; Salcedo, Fernando

    2000-01-01

    Campos basin, during its 23 years, went by several different generations concerning industrial automation, always looking for operational improvement and reduction of risks, as well as larger reliability and precision in the process controls. The ECOS (Central Operational and Supervision Station) is a human-machine interface developed by PETROBRAS using graphic stations for supervision and control of 16 offshore production units, which nowadays are responsible for about 77 % of oil production of Campos basin (730,000 barrels/day). Through the use of software tools developed by the personnel of the support to the industrial automation it was possible to optimize the resources of specialized labor and to take advantage of the periods of smaller use of the net. Those tools monitor disk free space and fragmentation, onshore/offshore communication links, local network traffic and errors, backup of process historical data and applications, in order to guarantee the operation of the net, the historical of process data, the integrity of the production applications, improving safety and operational continuity. (author)

  6. Toward Improved Market Access for ASEAN Agricultural Commodities

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

    ... technical report, November 2009 - May 2013. Études. Towards improved market access for ASEAN agricultural commodities : donor partnerships strategy and plan. Rapports. Towards improved market access for ASEAN agricultural commodities : project inception meeting report, Palm Garden Hotel, Putrajaya, Malaysia, ...

  7. Improving access to emergency contraceptive pills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-09-01

    This article focuses on the accessibility of emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs). The ECPs are safe, simple, and effective contraceptive agent that can reduce a woman's chance of becoming pregnant by 75%. It works by preventing or delaying ovulation, interfering with fertilization, or blocking implantation of a fertilized egg, depending on when in the menstrual cycle the pills are taken. The Population Council takes a multifaceted approach to expanding access to and knowledge on emergency contraception. Studies on innovations in service delivery are being conducted. In Mexico, one-tenth of women aged 13-55 who reported being raped during the 9-month study were counseled about ECPs. Results showed that pregnancies from reported rapes declined from 9.8% to 7.4% during the study. In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, practitioners approved of the use of emergency contraception and desired more accurate knowledge so that they could provide it effectively. Moreover, in Zambia, researchers found out that giving women packages of ECPs in advance greatly reduced the length of time between having unprotected intercourse and beginning ECP treatment. Council researchers have also addressed the safety of offering ECPs without prescription. They have collaborated with leaders in the health care industry to increase method availability.

  8. Improving Access to Transit Through Crowdsourced Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-11-01

    The purpose of this research was to facilitate the ongoing collection of information from the public about potential areas of multimodal service and infrastructure improvements and easily share these problems with transit agencies, departments of tra...

  9. Using remote participation tools to improve collaborations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Balme, S.; How, J.; Theis, J.M.; Utzel, N.

    2005-01-01

    Research on fusion requires effective collaboration between members who are not co-located in time and space. In order that distance should not restrict collaboration, this paper gives ideas and solutions to encourage and improve remote participation. This includes techniques for:1.'On-line' discussions with internet via instant messaging (IM). 2.Sharing a publication space, using a collaborative web workspace. 3.Equipping dedicated meeting rooms with flexible communication and collaboration tools, hardware and software for multi-standard videoconferences. 4.Sharing presentations and supervision screens. 5.Participating remotely to experiments

  10. Proteomics: A Biotechnology Tool for Crop Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moustafa eEldakak

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available A sharp decline in the availability of arable land and sufficient supply of irrigation water along with a continuous steep increase in food demands have exerted a pressure on farmers to produce more with fewer resources. A viable solution to release this pressure is to speed up the plant breeding process by employing biotechnology in breeding programs. The majority of biotechnological applications rely on information generated from various -omic technologies. The latest outstanding improvements in proteomic platforms and many other but related advances in plant biotechnology techniques offer various new ways to encourage the usage of these technologies by plant scientists for crop improvement programs. A combinatorial approach of accelerated gene discovery through genomics, proteomics, and other associated -omic branches of biotechnology, as an applied approach, is proving to be an effective way to speed up the crop improvement programs worldwide. In the near future, swift improvements in -omic databases are becoming critical and demand immediate attention for the effective utilization of these techniques to produce next-generation crops for the progressive farmers. Here, we have reviewed the recent advances in proteomics, as tools of biotechnology, which are offering great promise and leading the path towards crop improvement for sustainable agriculture.

  11. Auditing as a Tool for Improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fazila Said; Nurhanisah Adnan

    2016-01-01

    Quality audit in Nuclear Malaysia is monitored by Research Management Centre (RIMC) that manages and monitors the internal and external audit are performed effectively. Therefore auditing for Quality Management System (QMS) is a tool that helps Nuclear Malaysia to enhance the quality performance beside to sustain the certificate. QMS is a platform for processes and laboratories to make continual improvement such as the need to close the Audit Findings to tackle nonconformance (nc) clauses and opportunity for improvement (ofi) that focus on customers and suppliers. This study will discuss the percentage of non-conforming and conforming of processes and laboratories and to identify the trend for the year 2012, 2013 and 2014. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data by using SPSS version 20 and excel software. The finding of this study found that there are some trends of total numbers of non-conforming items for internal and external audit for the year 2012 to 2014. The improvement plans from RMC are also have been discussed according to four factors; internal audit quality, organizational setting, management support and auditee attributes. (author)

  12. Measuring and monitoring energy access: Decision-support tools for policymakers in Africa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hailu, Yohannes G.

    2012-01-01

    A significant number of African States have adapted energy access targets. In evaluating progress towards these goals, measuring and monitoring energy access becomes relevant. This paper reviews energy access indicators and identifies their utility and challenges in their application. By focusing on Africa, a broader framework for energy access measurement and monitoring is discussed, along with implementation barriers and potential solutions. To demonstrate the utility of energy access decision-support tool in Africa, a scenario analysis in five regional energy pools is conducted using the Energy Spending Model tool. Institutionalizing monitoring and decision-support tools can provide valuable feedback to policymakers aiming to design and implement effective energy access programs serving a growing population in Africa. - Highlights: ► Most African countries have adapted energy access targets. ► To monitor and evaluate performance, monitoring and decision-support tools are required. ► Framework for tool development should consider data, cost, political and other factors. ► Implementation constraints include technical, data, resource and urban/rural issues. ► Electricity Spending Needs model is one decision support tool that ties access targets to investment needs. ► Monitoring tools provide crucial feedback on Africa's energy access progress.

  13. A Management Tool for Improvement (Improving) IMS Stations Performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohammad, D.; Pantin, A.; Quintana, E.

    2011-01-01

    IMS-Maintenance is a software under development by the personnel of ARN-CTBT office, intended for the technical management of IMS stations under ARN's responsibility. This software integrates the whole control of the equipment in an IMS station, including the management of consumables used in daily or periodic operation. It permits an easy retrieval (access) of the technical features, suppliers, etc. of each item of the equipment, as well as its maintenance history and scheduled task. Although this project is still in a starting phase, a preliminary version of this software is being used in radionuclide station RN01 (Buenos Aires), having already demonstrated its usefulness and potential for the improvement of IMS station management. (authors)

  14. Globalization and information access tools: the way forward for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PROMOTING ACCESS TO AFRICAN RESEARCH ... Globalization is a process of interaction and integration among people, ... face the new challenges so as to render more effective services to library clientele in the globalized environment.

  15. ASAView: Database and tool for solvent accessibility representation in proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fawareh Hamed

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Accessible surface area (ASA or solvent accessibility of amino acids in a protein has important implications. Knowledge of surface residues helps in locating potential candidates of active sites. Therefore, a method to quickly see the surface residues in a two dimensional model would help to immediately understand the population of amino acid residues on the surface and in the inner core of the proteins. Results ASAView is an algorithm, an application and a database of schematic representations of solvent accessibility of amino acid residues within proteins. A characteristic two-dimensional spiral plot of solvent accessibility provides a convenient graphical view of residues in terms of their exposed surface areas. In addition, sequential plots in the form of bar charts are also provided. Online plots of the proteins included in the entire Protein Data Bank (PDB, are provided for the entire protein as well as their chains separately. Conclusions These graphical plots of solvent accessibility are likely to provide a quick view of the overall topological distribution of residues in proteins. Chain-wise computation of solvent accessibility is also provided.

  16. Improving Seismic Data Accessibility and Performance Using HDF Containers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, B. J. K.; Wang, J.; Yang, R.

    2017-12-01

    The performance of computational geophysical data processing and forward modelling relies on both computational and data. Significant efforts on developing new data formats and libraries have been made the community, such as IRIS/PASSCAL and ASDF in data, and programs and utilities such as ObsPy and SPECFEM. The National Computational Infrastructure hosts a national significant geophysical data collection that is co-located with a high performance computing facility and provides an opportunity to investigate how to improve the data formats from both a data management and a performance point of view. This paper investigates how to enhance the data usability in several perspectives: 1) propose a convention for the seismic (both active and passive) community to improve the data accessibility and interoperability; 2) recommend the convention used in the HDF container when data is made available in PH5 or ASDF formats; 3) provide tools to convert between various seismic data formats; 4) provide performance benchmark cases using ObsPy library and SPECFEM3D to demonstrate how different data organization in terms of chunking size and compression impact on the performance by comparing new data formats, such as PH5 and ASDF to traditional formats such as SEGY, SEED, SAC, etc. In this work we apply our knowledge and experience on data standards and conventions, such as CF and ACDD from the climate community to the seismology community. The generic global attributes widely used in climate community are combined with the existing convention in the seismology community, such as CMT and QuakeML, StationXML, SEGY header convention. We also extend such convention by including the provenance and benchmarking records so that the r user can learn the footprint of the data together with its baseline performance. In practise we convert the example wide angle reflection seismic data from SEGY to PH5 or ASDF by using ObsPy and pyasdf libraries. It quantitatively demonstrates how the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Sophie Yahui

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Improving outpatient access and patient experiences in academic ambulatory care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neill, Sarah; Calderon, Sherry; Casella, Joanne; Wood, Elizabeth; Carvelli-Sheehan, Jayne; Zeidel, Mark L

    2012-02-01

    Effective scheduling of and ready access to doctor appointments affect ambulatory patient care quality, but these are often sacrificed by patients seeking care from physicians at academic medical centers. At one center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the authors developed interventions to improve the scheduling of appointments and to reduce the access time between telephone call and first offered appointment. Improvements to scheduling included no redirection to voicemail, prompt telephone pickup, courteous service, complete registration, and effective scheduling. Reduced access time meant being offered an appointment with a physician in the appropriate specialty within three working days of the telephone call. Scheduling and access were assessed using monthly "mystery shopper" calls. Mystery shoppers collected data using standardized forms, rated the quality of service, and transcribed their interactions with schedulers. Monthly results were tabulated and discussed with clinical leaders; leaders and frontline staff then developed solutions to detected problems. Eighteen months after the beginning of the intervention (in June 2007), which is ongoing, schedulers had gone from using 60% of their registration skills to over 90%, customer service scores had risen from 2.6 to 4.9 (on a 5-point scale), and average access time had fallen from 12 days to 6 days. The program costs $50,000 per year and has been associated with a 35% increase in ambulatory volume across three years. The authors conclude that academic medical centers can markedly improve the scheduling process and access to care and that these improvements may result in increased ambulatory care volume.

  19. Improving access to screening for people with learning disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marriott, Anna; Turner, Sue; Giraud-Saunders, Alison

    2014-11-04

    People with learning disabilities have poorer health than their non-disabled peers, and are less likely to access screening services than the general population. The National Development Team for Inclusion and the Norah Fry Research Centre developed a toolkit and guidance to improve uptake of five national (English) screening programmes (one of which is delivered through local programmes), based on work to improve access by people with learning disabilities in the south west peninsula of the UK. This article describes the findings in relation to the five English screening programmes and suggests ways to improve uptake of cancer screening by people with learning disabilities.

  20. Effects of Improved Access to Transportation on Emergency obstetric ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Reduction in maternal mortality has not been appreciable in most low-income countries. Improved access to transport for mothers is one way to improve maternal health. This study evaluated a free-of-charge 24-hour ambulance and communication services intervention in Oyam district using 'Caesarean section rate' (CSR) ...

  1. Data access and decision tools for coastal water resources management

    Science.gov (United States)

    US EPA has supported the development of numerous models and tools to support implementation of environmental regulations. However, transfer of knowledge and methods from detailed technical models to support practical problem solving by local communities and watershed or coastal ...

  2. Moving towards tangible decision-making tools for policy makers: Measuring and monitoring energy access provision

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhanot, Jaya; Jha, Vivek

    2012-01-01

    Access to energy services has been recognised as central to achieving economic growth and sustainable development. However, almost 1.3 billion people in the world still lack access to electricity and 2.7 billion lack access to clean cooking facilities. In this backdrop, the issue of energy access is receiving more interest than ever before and this has brought to the fore, the need for a robust decision support tool for policy makers to measure the progress of energy access provision and also to provide direction for future policy making. The paper studies existing definitions of energy access and identifies the key requirements for an appropriate decision-making tool to measure and monitor energy access provision. In this context the paper assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the metrics currently being used to measure energy access in policy, as well as of contemporary monitoring and evaluation frameworks being used in other sectors. Based on these insights, a dashboard of indicators is proposed as an alternate decision support tool for policy makers to measure energy access. The paper concludes with a discussion on what is needed to operationalise this proposed framework. - Highlights: ► No one indicator or metric can successfully capture progress on energy access. ► A service oriented approach is necessary to measure energy access. ► Socio-economic and political contexts influence success of energy access policies.

  3. Using Operational Analysis to Improve Access to Pulmonary Function Testing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ada Ip

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Timely pulmonary function testing is crucial to improving diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary diseases. Perceptions of poor access at an academic pulmonary function laboratory prompted analysis of system demand and capacity to identify factors contributing to poor access. Methods. Surveys and interviews identified stakeholder perspectives on operational processes and access challenges. Retrospective data on testing demand and resource capacity was analyzed to understand utilization of testing resources. Results. Qualitative analysis demonstrated that stakeholder groups had discrepant views on access and capacity in the laboratory. Mean daily resource utilization was 0.64 (SD 0.15, with monthly average utilization consistently less than 0.75. Reserved testing slots for subspecialty clinics were poorly utilized, leaving many testing slots unfilled. When subspecialty demand exceeded number of reserved slots, there was sufficient capacity in the pulmonary function schedule to accommodate added demand. Findings were shared with stakeholders and influenced scheduling process improvements. Conclusion. This study highlights the importance of operational data to identify causes of poor access, guide system decision-making, and determine effects of improvement initiatives in a variety of healthcare settings. Importantly, simple operational analysis can help to improve efficiency of health systems with little or no added financial investment.

  4. Cognitive bias test as a tool for accessing fish welfare

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krzysztof Wojtas

    2015-12-01

    Difference in behaviour during the cognitive bias test suggests that fish cognitive bias can be affected by living conditions. Therefore this type of test should be taken to consideration as a tool in further fish welfare studies. It can be especially useful in studies concerning influence of living conditions that cannot be examined in direct way for example by preference test.

  5. The Use of an Improved Access Structure in Dictionaries*

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    rbr

    Page 1 ... that a frame structure and an improved use of outer texts can enhance access to the lexicographic data. Different macrostructural ordering procedures are discussed and it is suggested that the lexicographers of ..... ~-landing, maanlanding; ~less, donker(maan), sonder maan; a ~less night, donkermaan, 'n donker ...

  6. ROLE OF ICTS IN IMPROVING FOOD ACCESSIBILITY OF IRAN'S ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    BARTH EKWUEME

    2009-09-22

    Sep 22, 2009 ... point of view, the situation of food accessibility in Iran's rural households was ... oriented programs and content of old technologies were determined to account for 69% of the variance of food ... all people, at all times, have physical and economic ... market communication, improving market profitability,.

  7. Designing the OPAC User Interface to Improve Access and Retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basista, Thomas; And Others

    1991-01-01

    Discussion of problems with retrieval of records in library online public access catalogs (OPACs) focuses on an ongoing research project at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) that has been trying to improve subject retrieval vocabulary control using natural and thesaural language and on the design of a good graphical user interface.…

  8. Planetary data in education: tool development for access to the Planetary Data System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, C. H.; Andres, P. M.; Liggett, P. K.; Lowes, L. L.; Sword, B. J.

    2003-01-01

    In this session we will describe and demonstrate the interface to the PDS access tools and functions developed for the scientific community, and discuss the potential for its utilization in K-14 formal and informal settings.

  9. Tools for Measuring and Improving Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jurow, Susan

    1993-01-01

    Explains the need for meaningful performance measures in libraries and the Total Quality Management (TQM) approach to data collection. Five tools representing different stages of a TQM inquiry are covered (i.e., the Shewhart Cycle, flowcharts, cause-and-effect diagrams, Pareto charts, and control charts), and benchmarking is addressed. (Contains…

  10. Accessibility improvement interventions realised in Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki, Greece

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aristotelis Naniopoulos

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Purpose – Access to culture is a fundamental right of people with disabilities and a significant aspect in the development of accessible tourism. A visit to a monument provides an authentic experience which cannot be substituted by any representation. However, any interventions to improve accessibility should be made carefully, so as not to alter the monument�s character, or damage it visually or structurally. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – A theoretical approach model was defined in the PROSPELASIS project for the improvement of accessibility in monuments which was applied in Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki. This approach contains the following steps: evaluation of existing accessibility level; definition of alternative solutions; creation of final studies, approval by archaeological authorities and implementation of interventions. Findings – In six major Byzantine monuments significant improvements were realized which include: installation of two lifts and creation of a new staircase at Acheiropoietos; creation of a metal bridge, a new staircase and installation of a lift at Rotunda; opening of the secondary gate and creation of a ramp at the Heptapyrgion fortress; creation of an accessible toilet at the Saint Demetrios church; installation in the six monuments of a WiFi system providing text and audible information as well as information in Greek and International Sign Language; creation of two tactile models; creation of a �cultural route� connecting three major Byzantine monuments. Originality/value – For the first time, to the knowledge, a set of interventions has been realized in Byzantine monuments focusing on various categories of people with disabilities, i.e. motor, visual, hearing and cognitive.

  11. Building Accessible Educational Web Sites: The Law, Standards, Guidelines, Tools, and Lessons Learned

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ye; Palmer, Bart; Recker, Mimi

    2004-01-01

    Professional education is increasingly facing accessibility challenges with the emergence of webbased learning. This paper summarizes related U.S. legislation, standards, guidelines, and validation tools to make web-based learning accessible for all potential learners. We also present lessons learned during the implementation of web accessibility…

  12. Access Denied: School Librarians' Responses to School District Policies on the Use of Social Media Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiScala, Jeffrey; Weeks, Ann Carlson

    2013-01-01

    Public school districts often block access to online social media tools. While considered a preventive measure to ensure student safety and limit district liability, this policy strips school librarians and their collaborating teachers of opportunities to instruct students in using social media tools creatively and responsibly. Using one school…

  13. Building collaboration tools and access to on-line facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agarwal, D.; Sachs, S.

    1996-11-01

    Network-based facilities will allow researchers at different locations to collaborate on experiments as if they all were together in the same laboratory. The expected value of these geographically distributed environments includes substantially increased effectiveness in doing science, and an enabling capability for analytical and high-value production use by industry. The Distributed, Collaboratory Experiment Environments (DCEE) Program consists of four projects that were established to build prototype remote experiment and collaborative environments. The work undertaken in this project represents some of the research and development of the mechanisms and infrastructure required to make collaboratories a reality. Some of these mechanisms have already been developed. Several other mechanisms, such as data dissemination, resource management for the sharing of experiment control, safety and security, electronic notebooks, elements of telepresence, and integrated user interfaces need further research and development. The pilot application for these collaborative tools is the Advanced Light Source (ALS) Beamline 7.0 at the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. The ALS is a particle accelerator and is a source of very high brilliance soft X-ray beams. One experimental facility is the Spectro-Microscopy Facility Beamline 7.0. Through this project, the Spectro-Microscopy Facility will be opened up to users from a wide range of organizations. The goal is to build software that will not only put the ALS Beamline 7.0 on-line, but will also serve as building blocks for future collaboratory development

  14. HIV/AIDS programmes should focus on improved access.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manning, A

    2000-10-14

    This paper discusses the need for HIV/AIDS programs in sub-Saharan countries to focus more on improved access to information to empower poor people living in remote areas. It is noted that despite Glaxo Wellcome's move to reduce the cost of antiretroviral therapy, it is unlikely to have an impact on most of those infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS, since concerns regarding lack of sustainability, bureaucratic administration, and communication difficulties predominate in the country. In this regard, it is therefore recommended that national HIV/AIDS programs be balanced with the needs of both the community and the individual and in prevention and care. Health workers should be explicit in confronting traditional beliefs, such as those about gender roles and traditional medicine, in prevention campaigns. Moreover, there is also an urgent need to improve access to condoms; strengthen health programs such as directly observed treatment short-term (DOTS) courses for tuberculosis and the syndromic approach to sexually transmitted disease treatment; and improve practical support to communities caring for those who are sick and the orphans. Lastly, all partners working with prevention programs should use the more positive community attitudes towards HIV/AIDS issues seen in many sub-Saharan countries to develop evidence-based programs that focus more on improved access and less on sustainability.

  15. Examination of CRISPR/Cas9 design tools and the effect of target site accessibility on Cas9 activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ciaran M; Davis, Timothy H; Bao, Gang

    2018-04-01

    What is the topic of this review? In this review, we analyse the performance of recently described tools for CRISPR/Cas9 guide RNA design, in particular, design tools that predict CRISPR/Cas9 activity. What advances does it highlight? Recently, many tools designed to predict CRISPR/Cas9 activity have been reported. However, the majority of these tools lack experimental validation. Our analyses indicate that these tools have poor predictive power. Our preliminary results suggest that target site accessibility should be considered in order to develop better guide RNA design tools with improved predictive power. The recent adaptation of the clustered regulatory interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) system for targeted genome engineering has led to its widespread application in many fields worldwide. In order to gain a better understanding of the design rules of CRISPR/Cas9 systems, several groups have carried out large library-based screens leading to some insight into sequence preferences among highly active target sites. To facilitate CRISPR/Cas9 design, these studies have spawned a plethora of guide RNA (gRNA) design tools with algorithms based solely on direct or indirect sequence features. Here, we demonstrate that the predictive power of these tools is poor, suggesting that sequence features alone cannot accurately inform the cutting efficiency of a particular CRISPR/Cas9 gRNA design. Furthermore, we demonstrate that DNA target site accessibility influences the activity of CRISPR/Cas9. With further optimization, we hypothesize that it will be possible to increase the predictive power of gRNA design tools by including both sequence and target site accessibility metrics. © 2017 The Authors. Experimental Physiology © 2017 The Physiological Society.

  16. Public access management as an adaptive wildlife management tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouren, Douglas S.; Watts, Raymond D.

    2005-01-01

    Wildlife populations across the United States are benefiting from improved wildlife management techniques. However, these benefits also create new challenges including overpopulation, disease, increased winter kill, and forage degradation. These issues have become the challenges for natural resource managers and landowners. Specifically, elk (Cervus elaphus) populations in the Gunnison River Valley of Colorado are growing and causing increased resource damage on public and private lands. On public lands elk threaten sage grouse habitat and compete with domestic livestock for available forage; on private lands they diminish available livestock forage. Management of elk and elk habitat in this area is a shared responsibility of the NPS (Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area), BLM (Uncompahgre Field Office), USFS (Gunnison National Forest), and the CDOW (Colorado Division of Wildlife). All of these agencies participate in this research and adaptive management project.

  17. Building partnership to improve migrants’ access to healthcare in Mumbai

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nilesh Chandrakant Gawde

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: An intervention to improve migrants’ access to healthcare was piloted in Mumbai with purpose of informing health policy and planning. This paper aims to describe the process of building partnership for improving migrants’ access to healthcare of the pilot intervention including the role played by different stakeholders and the contextual factors affecting the intervention. Methods: The process evaluation was based upon Baranowski and Stables’ framework. their Observations in community and conversations with stakeholders as recorded in daily diaries, minutes of pre-intervention workshops and stakeholder meetings served as data sources. Data were coded using the framework and descriptive summaries of evaluation components were prepared.Results: Recruitment of stakeholders was easier than sustaining their interest. Community representatives led the intervention assisted by government officials. They planned community level interventions to improve access to healthcare which involved predominantly information, education and communication activities for which pre-existing formal and informal social networks and community events were used. Although the intervention reached migrants living with families, single male migrants neither participated nor did the intervention reach them consistently. Contextual factors such as culture differences between migrants and native population and illegality in the nature of the settlement resulting in the exclusion from services were the barriers. Conclusion: Inclusive multi-stakeholder partnership including migrants themselves and using both formal and informal networks in community is a feasible strategy for health education and has potential to improve the migrants’ access to healthcare. However, there are challenges to the partnership process and new strategies to overcome these challenges need to be tested such as peer-led models for involvement of single male migrants. For sustaining such

  18. Building Partnership to Improve Migrants' Access to Healthcare in Mumbai.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gawde, Nilesh Chandrakant; Sivakami, Muthusamy; Babu, Bontha V

    2015-01-01

    An intervention to improve migrants' access to healthcare was piloted in Mumbai with purpose of informing health policy and planning. This paper aims to describe the process of building partnership for improving migrants' access to healthcare of the pilot intervention, including the role played by different stakeholders and the contextual factors affecting the intervention. The process evaluation was based on Baranowski and Stables' framework. Observations in community and conversations with stakeholders as recorded in daily diaries, minutes of pre-intervention workshops, and stakeholder meetings served as data sources. Data were coded using the framework and descriptive summaries of evaluation components were prepared. Recruitment of stakeholders was easier than sustaining their interest. Community representatives led the intervention assisted by government officials. They planned community-level interventions to improve access to healthcare that involved predominantly information, education, and communication activities for which pre-existing formal and informal social networks and community events were used. Although the intervention reached migrants living with families, single male migrants neither participated nor did the intervention reach them consistently. Contextual factors such as culture differences between migrants and native population and illegality in the nature of the settlement, resulting in the exclusion from services, were the barriers. Inclusive multi-stakeholder partnership, including migrants themselves and using both formal and informal networks in community is a feasible strategy for health education and has potential to improve the migrants' access to healthcare. However, there are challenges to the partnership process and new strategies to overcome these challenges need to be tested such as peer-led models for involvement of single male migrants. For sustaining such efforts and mainstreaming migrants, addressing contextual factors and

  19. Improving Global Precipitation Product Access at the GES DISC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Z.; Vollmer, B.; Savtchenko, A.; Ostrenga, D.; DeShong, B.; Fang, F.; Albayrak, R,; Sherman, E.; Greene, M.; Li, A.; hide

    2018-01-01

    The NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) has been actively and continually engaged in improving the access to and use of Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM), Tropical Precipitation Measuring Mission (TRMM), and other precipitation data, including the following new services and Ongoing development activities: Updates on GPM products and data services, New features in Giovanni, Ongoing development activities; and Precipitation product and service outreach activities.

  20. Medication abortion: Potential for improved patient access through pharmacies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raifman, Sarah; Orlando, Megan; Rafie, Sally; Grossman, Daniel

    2018-05-08

    To discuss the potential for improving access to early abortion care through pharmacies in the United States. Despite the growing use of medications to induce termination of early pregnancy, pharmacist involvement in abortion care is currently limited. The Food and Drug Administration's Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for Mifeprex® (mifepristone 200 mg), the principal drug used in early medication abortion, prohibits the dispensing of the drug by prescription at pharmacies. This commentary reviews the pharmacology of medication abortion with the use of mifepristone and misoprostol, as well as aspects of service delivery and data on safety, efficacy, and acceptability. Given its safety record, mifepristone no longer fits the profile of a drug that requires an REMS. The recent implementation of pharmacy dispensing of mifepristone in community pharmacies in Australia and some provinces of Canada has improved access to medication abortion by increasing the number of medication abortion providers, particularly in rural areas. Provision of mifepristone in pharmacies, which involves dispensing and patient counseling, would likely improve access to early abortion in the United States without increasing risks to women. Copyright © 2018 American Pharmacists Association®. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Improving antivenom availability and accessibility: science, technology, and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez, José María

    2012-09-15

    Snakebite envenomings constitute a serious and neglected public health problem. Despite the fact that effective treatment exists, i.e. administration of animal-derived antivenoms, the availability and accessibility of these life-saving immunobiologicals is deficitary in various parts of the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and some regions of Asia. This article discusses some of the problems that need to be circumvented in order to improve the availability and accessibility of antivenoms. The conglomerate of antivenom manufacturers is highly heterogeneous in terms of technological base, qualification of staff, implementation of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), and volume of production. Therefore, improvements in antivenom quality and availability should be based on strategies tailored to the situation of each region or country; in this context, three different scenarios are discussed. Accessibility of antivenoms demands concerted efforts at multiple levels, including raising the awareness of public health authorities on the relevance of the problem, implementing innovative antivenom purchasing schemes, strengthening national distribution channels on the basis of robust epidemiological information, improving the cold chain and the provision of health services in remote rural settings, supporting the correct use of antivenoms, and promoting the involvement of local community organizations in various aspects of prevention and management. These tasks should be envisaged in terms of synergistic, interprogrammatic and intersectorial interventions, with the participation of many players. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. USING A PEDAGOGICAL TOOL TO IMPROVE LEARNING:

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bagger, Bettan; Taylor Kelly, Hélène; Hørdam, Britta

    at University College Zealand of nursing students’ bachelor projects highlighted students’ difficulties when categorizing and evaluating research literature. Students relied upon introductory textbooks as a major source of information and used proportionately few researched based resources. In 2011 a pilot......Abstract Content: Nurses work in complex organizations and solve multifaceted problems in an ever changing society when meeting patient needs. Therefore there is a need to develop students´ skills in the use of evidence based literature in clinical decision making. A retrospective study...... project aimed at raising students’ awareness with respect to the choice and assessment of literature was initiated and students were introduced to a new pedagogical tool. Effects of the educational intervention were measured via quantitative and qualitative data and a follow-up clinical intervention...

  3. Improving the Formatting Tools of CDS Invenio

    CERN Document Server

    Caffaro, J; Pu Faltings, Pearl

    2006-01-01

    CDS Invenio is the web-based integrated digital library system developed at CERN. It is a strategical tool that supports the archival and open dissemination of documents produced by CERN researchers. This paper reports on my Master’s thesis work done on BibFormat, a module in CDS Invenio, which formats documents metadata. The goal of this project was to implement a completely new formatting module for CDS Invenio. In this report a strong emphasis is put on the user-centered design of the new BibFormat. The bibliographic formatting process and its requirements are discussed. The task analysis and its resulting interaction model are detailed. The document also shows the implemented user interface of BibFormat and gives the results of the user evaluation of this interface. Finally the results of a small usability study of the formats included in CDS Invenio are discussed.

  4. Proteomics: a biotechnology tool for crop improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Eldakak, Moustafa; Milad, Sanaa I. M.; Nawar, Ali I.; Rohila, Jai S.

    2013-01-01

    A sharp decline in the availability of arable land and sufficient supply of irrigation water along with a continuous steep increase in food demands have exerted a pressure on farmers to produce more with fewer resources. A viable solution to release this pressure is to speed up the plant breeding process by employing biotechnology in breeding programs. The majority of biotechnological applications rely on information generated from various -omic technologies. The latest outstanding improve...

  5. IMPROVING NEAREST NEIGHBOUR SEARCH IN 3D SPATIAL ACCESS METHOD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Suhaibaha

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Nearest Neighbour (NN is one of the important queries and analyses for spatial application. In normal practice, spatial access method structure is used during the Nearest Neighbour query execution to retrieve information from the database. However, most of the spatial access method structures are still facing with unresolved issues such as overlapping among nodes and repetitive data entry. This situation will perform an excessive Input/Output (IO operation which is inefficient for data retrieval. The situation will become more crucial while dealing with 3D data. The size of 3D data is usually large due to its detail geometry and other attached information. In this research, a clustered 3D hierarchical structure is introduced as a 3D spatial access method structure. The structure is expected to improve the retrieval of Nearest Neighbour information for 3D objects. Several tests are performed in answering Single Nearest Neighbour search and k Nearest Neighbour (kNN search. The tests indicate that clustered hierarchical structure is efficient in handling Nearest Neighbour query compared to its competitor. From the results, clustered hierarchical structure reduced the repetitive data entry and the accessed page. The proposed structure also produced minimal Input/Output operation. The query response time is also outperformed compared to the other competitor. For future outlook of this research several possible applications are discussed and summarized.

  6. Improving the Authentication Scheme and Access Control Protocol for VANETs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei-Chen Wu

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Privacy and security are very important in vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs. VANETs are negatively affected by any malicious user’s behaviors, such as bogus information and replay attacks on the disseminated messages. Among various security threats, privacy preservation is one of the new challenges of protecting users’ private information. Existing authentication protocols to secure VANETs raise challenges, such as certificate distribution and reduction of the strong reliance on tamper-proof devices. In 2011, Yeh et al. proposed a PAACP: a portable privacy-preserving authentication and access control protocol in vehicular ad hoc networks. However, PAACP in the authorization phase is breakable and cannot maintain privacy in VANETs. In this paper, we present a cryptanalysis of an attachable blind signature and demonstrate that the PAACP’s authorized credential (AC is not secure and private, even if the AC is secretly stored in a tamper-proof device. An eavesdropper can construct an AC from an intercepted blind document. Any eavesdropper can determine who has which access privileges to access which service. For this reason, this paper copes with these challenges and proposes an efficient scheme. We conclude that an improving authentication scheme and access control protocol for VANETs not only resolves the problems that have appeared, but also is more secure and efficient.

  7. Improving children's access to health care: the role of decategorization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, D C; Halfon, N; Brindis, C D; Newacheck, P W

    1996-01-01

    Far too many children in this country are unable to obtain the health care they need because of barriers that prohibit easy access. Among the most significant obstacles are financial barriers, including lack of adequate health insurance and inadequate funding of programs for low-income children and those with special health-care needs. Another set of "non-financial" barriers are related to the categorical nature of addressing children's health-care needs, which impedes access by increasing the complexity and burden of seeking care and discourages providers from providing care. Decategorization represents an appealing partial remedy to these problems because it can lead to fundamental and lasting changes in financing and delivering health services. The greatest appeal of decategorization is its potential to improve access to care with the expenditure of little or no new funds. Decategorization also holds considerable risk. Depending on how it is designed and implemented, decategorization may lead to diminished access to care by serving as a foil for budget cuts or by undermining essential standards of care. However, these risks do not negate the value of exploring decategorization as an approach that can be taken today to better organize services and ensure that existing resources adequately meet children's needs. In this report we examine the role of decategorization as a mechanism for removing the barriers to care that are created by categorical funding of health programs.

  8. Improving access to adequate pain management in Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholten, Willem

    2015-06-01

    There is a global crisis in access to pain management in the world. WHO estimates that 4.65 billion people live in countries where medical opioid consumption is near to zero. For 2010, WHO considered a per capita consumption of 216.7 mg morphine equivalents adequate, while Taiwan had a per capita consumption of 0.05 mg morphine equivalents in 2007. In Asia, the use of opioids is sensitive because of the Opium Wars in the 19th century and for this reason, the focus of controlled substances policies has been on the prevention of diversion and dependence. However, an optimal public health outcome requires that also the beneficial aspects of these substances are acknowledged. Therefore, WHO recommends a policy based on the Principle of Balance: ensuring access for medical and scientific purposes while preventing diversion, harmful use and dependence. Furthermore, international law requires that countries ensure access to opioid analgesics for medical and scientific purposes. There is evidence that opioid analgesics for chronic pain are not associated with a major risk for developing dependence. Barriers for access can be classified in the categories of overly restrictive laws and regulations; insufficient medical training on pain management and problems related to assessment of medical needs; attitudes like an excessive fear for dependence or diversion; and economic and logistical problems. The GOPI project found many examples of such barriers in Asia. Access to opioid medicines in Taiwan can be improved by analysing the national situation and drafting a plan. The WHO policy guidelines Ensuring Balance in National Policies on Controlled Substances can be helpful for achieving this purpose, as well as international guidelines for pain treatment. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  9. Motivational tools to improve probationer treatment outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taxman, Faye S; Walters, Scott T; Sloas, Lincoln B; Lerch, Jennifer; Rodriguez, Mayra

    2015-07-01

    Motivational interviewing (MI) is a promising practice to increase motivation, treatment retention, and reducing recidivism among offender populations. Computer-delivered interventions have grown in popularity as a way to change behaviors associated with drug and alcohol use. Motivational Assistance Program to Initiate Treatment (MAPIT) is a three arm, multisite, randomized controlled trial, which examines the impact of Motivational interviewing (MI), a motivational computer program (MC), and supervision as usual (SAU) on addiction treatment initiation, engagement, and retention. Secondary outcomes include drug/alcohol use, probation progress, recidivism (i.e., criminal behavior) and HIV/AIDS testing and treatment among probationers. Participant characteristics are measured at baseline, 2, and 6 months after assignment. The entire study will include 600 offenders, with each site recruiting 300 offenders (Baltimore City, Maryland and Dallas, Texas). All participants will go through standard intake procedures for probation and participate in probation requirements as usual. After standard intake, participants will be recruited and screened for eligibility. The results of this clinical trial will fill a gap in knowledge about ways to motivate probationers to participate in addiction treatment and HIV care. This randomized clinical trial is innovative in the way it examines the use of in-person vs. technological approaches to improve probationer success. NCT01891656. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  10. Automating testbed documentation and database access using World Wide Web (WWW) tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ames, Charles; Auernheimer, Brent; Lee, Young H.

    1994-01-01

    A method for providing uniform transparent access to disparate distributed information systems was demonstrated. A prototype testing interface was developed to access documentation and information using publicly available hypermedia tools. The prototype gives testers a uniform, platform-independent user interface to on-line documentation, user manuals, and mission-specific test and operations data. Mosaic was the common user interface, and HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) provided hypertext capability.

  11. Improving the Accessibility of Mobile OCR Apps Via Interactive Modalities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutter, Michael; Manduchi, Roberto

    2017-10-01

    Mobile optical character recognition (OCR) apps have come of age. Many blind individuals use them on a daily basis. The usability of such tools, however, is limited by the requirement that a good picture of the text to be read must be taken, something that is difficult to do without sight. Some mobile OCR apps already implement auto-shot and guidance mechanisms to facilitate this task. In this paper, we describe two experiments with blind participants, who tested these two interactive mechanisms on a customized iPhone implementation. These experiments bring to light a number of interesting aspects of accessing a printed document without sight, and enable a comparative analysis of the available interaction modalities.

  12. Tools for Inspecting and Sampling Waste in Underground Radioactive Storage Tanks with Small Access Riser Openings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nance, T.A.

    1998-01-01

    Underground storage tanks with 2 inches to 3 inches diameter access ports at the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site have been used to store radioactive solvents and sludge. In order to close these tanks, the contents of the tanks need to first be quantified in terms of volume and chemical and radioactive characteristics. To provide information on the volume of waste contained within the tanks, a small remote inspection system was needed. This inspection system was designed to provide lighting and provide pan and tilt capabilities in an inexpensive package with zoom abilities and color video. This system also needed to be utilized inside of a plastic tent built over the access port to contain any contamination exiting from the port. This system had to be build to travel into the small port opening, through the riser pipe, into the tank evacuated space, and out of the riser pipe and access port with no possibility of being caught and blocking the access riser. Long thin plates were found in many access riser pipes that blocked the inspection system from penetrating into the tank interiors. Retrieval tools to clear the plates from the tanks using developed sampling devices while providing safe containment for the samples. This paper will discuss the inspection systems, tools for clearing access pipes, and solvent sampling tools developed to evaluate the tank contents of the underground solvent storage tanks

  13. Applying human rights to improve access to reproductive health services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Dorothy; Cook, Rebecca J

    2012-10-01

    Universal access to reproductive health is a target of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5B, and along with MDG 5A to reduce maternal mortality by three-quarters, progress is currently too slow for most countries to achieve these targets by 2015. Critical to success are increased and sustainable numbers of skilled healthcare workers and financing of essential medicines by governments, who have made political commitments in United Nations forums to renew their efforts to reduce maternal mortality. National essential medicine lists are not reflective of medicines available free or at cost in facilities or in the community. The WHO Essential Medicines List indicates medicines required for maternal and newborn health including the full range of contraceptives and emergency contraception, but there is no consistent monitoring of implementation of national lists through procurement and supply even for basic essential drugs. Health advocates are using human rights mechanisms to ensure governments honor their legal commitments to ensure access to services essential for reproductive health. Maternal mortality is recognized as a human rights violation by the United Nations and constitutional and human rights are being used, and could be used more effectively, to improve maternity services and to ensure access to drugs essential for reproductive health. Copyright © 2012 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. TEL4Health – Mobile tools to improve patient safety

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Drachsler, Hendrik; Kalz, Marco; Specht, Marcus

    2013-01-01

    Drachsler, H., Kalz, M., & Specht, M. (2013, 10 October). TEL4Health – Mobile tools to improve patient safety. Presentation given at the blended learning platform of the Netherlands Organisation for Hospitals (Nederlandse Vereniging van Ziekenhuizen), Utrecht, The Netherlands.

  15. Effective Tool to Improve Knowledge, Attitude and Behavior ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    hanumantp

    Mass Counseling: Effective Tool to Improve Knowledge,. Attitude and Behavior ... of mobile counseling units by blood banks may help to create a voluntary blood donor. Changes in ..... How to cite this article: Kulkarni PY, Kulkarni AD.

  16. Mass Counseling: Effective Tool to Improve Knowledge, Attitude and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mass Counseling: Effective Tool to Improve Knowledge, Attitude and Behavior Regarding Blood Donation. ... PY Kulkarni, AD Kulkarni ... Establishment of mobile counseling units by blood banks may help to create a voluntary blood donor.

  17. Improving the Accessibility and Use of NASA Earth Science Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tisdale, Matthew; Tisdale, Brian

    2015-01-01

    Many of the NASA Langley Atmospheric Science Data Center (ASDC) Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) multidimensional tropospheric and atmospheric chemistry data products are stored in HDF4, HDF5 or NetCDF format, which traditionally have been difficult to analyze and visualize with geospatial tools. With the rising demand from the diverse end-user communities for geospatial tools to handle multidimensional products, several applications, such as ArcGIS, have refined their software. Many geospatial applications now have new functionalities that enable the end user to: Store, serve, and perform analysis on each individual variable, its time dimension, and vertical dimension. Use NetCDF, GRIB, and HDF raster data formats across applications directly. Publish output within REST image services or WMS for time and space enabled web application development. During this webinar, participants will learn how to leverage geospatial applications such as ArcGIS, OPeNDAP and ncWMS in the production of Earth science information, and in increasing data accessibility and usability.

  18. Improving access to urologists through an electronic consultation service

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witherspoon, Luke; Liddy, Clare; Afkham, Amir; Keely, Erin; Mahoney, John

    2017-01-01

    Introduction Access to specialist services is limited by wait times and geographic availability. Champlain Building Access to Specialist Advice (BASE) has been implemented in our service region to facilitate access to specialists by primary care providers (PCPs). Through a secure web-based system, PCPs are able to send eConsults instead of requesting a formal in-office consultation. Methods Urology eConsults completed through the Champlain BASE service from March 2013 to January 2015 were analyzed. Each consult was characterized in regard to the type of question asked by the referring physician and the clinical content of the referral. Using the mandatory close-out surveys, we analyzed rates of referral avoidance, physician satisfaction, and overall impact on patient care. Results Of 190 eConsultations, 70% were completed in less than 10 minutes. The most common clinical questions related to the interpretation of imaging reports (16%) and tests to choose for investigating a condition (15%). The most common diagnoses were hematuria (13%) and renal mass (8%). In 35% of cases, referral to a urologist had originally been contemplated and was avoided. In 8% of cases, a PCP did not believe a consultation was initially needed, but a referral was ultimately initiated after the eConsultation. Conclusions Our study shows that although certain clinical presentations still require a formal in-person urological consultation, eConsultations can potentially reduce unnecessary clinic visits while identifying patients who may benefit from early urological consultation. Through both these mechanisms, we may improve timely access to urologists. PMID:28798830

  19. Persistent Identifiers for Improved Accessibility for Linked Data Querying

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, A.; Chandler, C. L.; Arko, R. A.; Fils, D.; Jones, M. B.; Krisnadhi, A.; Mecum, B.

    2016-12-01

    The adoption of linked open data principles within the geosciences has increased the amount of accessible information available on the Web. However, this data is difficult to consume for those who are unfamiliar with Semantic Web technologies such as Web Ontology Language (OWL), Resource Description Framework (RDF) and SPARQL - the RDF query language. Consumers would need to understand the structure of the data and how to efficiently query it. Furthermore, understanding how to query doesn't solve problems of poor precision and recall in search results. For consumers unfamiliar with the data, full-text searches are most accessible, but not ideal as they arrest the advantages of data disambiguation and co-reference resolution efforts. Conversely, URI searches across linked data can deliver improved search results, but knowledge of these exact URIs may remain difficult to obtain. The increased adoption of Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) can lead to improved linked data querying by a wide variety of consumers. Because PIDs resolve to a single entity, they are an excellent data point for disambiguating content. At the same time, PIDs are more accessible and prominent than a single data provider's linked data URI. When present in linked open datasets, PIDs provide balance between the technical and social hurdles of linked data querying as evidenced by the NSF EarthCube GeoLink project. The GeoLink project, funded by NSF's EarthCube initiative, have brought together data repositories include content from field expeditions, laboratory analyses, journal publications, conference presentations, theses/reports, and funding awards that span scientific studies from marine geology to marine ecosystems and biogeochemistry to paleoclimatology.

  20. Improving awareness, accountability, and access through health coaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liddy, Clare; Johnston, Sharon; Irving, Hannah; Nash, Kate; Ward, Natalie

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Objective To assess patients’ experiences with and perceptions of health coaching as part of their ongoing care. Design A qualitative research design using semistructured interviews that were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Setting Ottawa, Ont. Participants Eleven patients (> 18 years of age) enrolled in a health coaching pilot program who were at risk of or diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Methods Patients’ perspectives were assessed with semistructured interviews. Interviews were conducted with 11 patients at the end of the pilot program, using a stratified sampling approach to ensure maximum variation. Main findings All patients found the overall experience with the health coaching program to be positive. Patients believed the health coaching program was effective in increasing awareness of how diabetes affected their bodies and health, in building accountability for their health-related actions, and in improving access to care and other health resources. Conclusion Patients perceive one-on-one health coaching as an acceptable intervention in their ongoing care. Patients enrolled in the health coaching pilot program believed that there was an improvement in access to care, health literacy, and accountability, all factors considered to be precursors to behavioural change. PMID:25932483

  1. The Role of Social Media Tools: Accessible Tourism for Disabled Citizens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altinay, Zehra; Saner, Tulen; Bahçelerli, Nesrin M.; Altinay, Fahriye

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge sharing becomes important to accomplish digital citizenship. Social media tools become popular to share and diffuse the knowledge in the digitalization. This social media learning and knowledge sharing platforms provides accessibility to the services within societies especially for disabled citizens. This research study aims to evaluate…

  2. BODIPY-phosphane as a versatile tool for easy access to new metal-based theranostics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tasan, Semra; Zava, Olivier; Bertrand, Benoit; Bernhard, Claire; Goze, Christine; Picquet, Michel; Le Gendre, Pierre; Harvey, Pierre; Denat, Franck; Casini, Angela; Bodio, Ewen

    2013-01-01

    A new BODIPY-phosphane was synthesized and proved to be a versatile tool for imaging organometallic complexes. It also led to easy access to a new family of theranostics, featuring gold, ruthenium and osmium complexes. The compounds' cytotoxicity was tested on cancer cells, and their cell uptake was

  3. The ATS Web Page Provides "Tool Boxes" for: Access Opportunities, Performance, Interfaces, Volume, Environments, "Wish List" Entry and Educational Outreach

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation gives an overview of the Access to Space website, including information on the 'tool boxes' available on the website for access opportunities, performance, interfaces, volume, environments, 'wish list' entry, and educational outreach.

  4. ValeAS: an ICT tool to assess accessibility and safety of the built environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luigi Biocca

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available ValeAS (Assessment of Accessibility and Safety is a software developed by the Construction Technologies Institute, Rome Unit, of the National Research Council (ITC-CNR, with the aim of giving an ICT tool for assessing the accessibility level of egress ways in the build environment for people with disabilities. The software takes into account the action sequence a person normally performs when involved in an emergency situation, from when he/she perceives the alarm until he/she reaches a safe place or meeting point, thus resulting into the dynamical insertion of the design elements along the path. Once completed the path elements composition, the program generates a result with the assessment of each parameter. The main purpose of ValeAS is to introduce a tool responding to the requirements of accessibility of the built environment, in order to allow relevant professionals and stakeholders to plan new design or adjustment interventions.

  5. AIR Tools II: algebraic iterative reconstruction methods, improved implementation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Per Christian; Jørgensen, Jakob Sauer

    2017-01-01

    with algebraic iterative methods and their convergence properties. The present software is a much expanded and improved version of the package AIR Tools from 2012, based on a new modular design. In addition to improved performance and memory use, we provide more flexible iterative methods, a column-action method...

  6. Quality and Efficiency Improvement Tools for Every Radiologist.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudla, Alexei U; Brook, Olga R

    2018-03-20

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

  7. Ways to Improve the Access to Finance of Romanian SME

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentin Mihai Leoveanu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The present study intends to highlight the principal aspects concerning SME’s financing in Romania by analyzing the European Union context of SME’s financing, the research done by World Bank, OECD and NBR specialists regarding the actual framework of SME’s financing and the surveys realized by some Romanian market researchers and the National Council of Romanian SMEs. The starting point is a theoretical approach about SME’s financing that underline the role and the importance of SME for the economy and the main issues concerning access of SME to finance. The author tries to emphasize some particularities for SME’s financing by European Union in order to better approach the framework for Romania. In this respect, the research undertaken on Romania materializes into a SWOT analysis that encapsulate the internal and external constraints of SME’s financing and also factors favoring it in order that entrepreneurs and policy makers take better actions to improve the SME access to finance.

  8. Accessing the SEED genome databases via Web services API: tools for programmers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Disz, Terry; Akhter, Sajia; Cuevas, Daniel; Olson, Robert; Overbeek, Ross; Vonstein, Veronika; Stevens, Rick; Edwards, Robert A

    2010-06-14

    The SEED integrates many publicly available genome sequences into a single resource. The database contains accurate and up-to-date annotations based on the subsystems concept that leverages clustering between genomes and other clues to accurately and efficiently annotate microbial genomes. The backend is used as the foundation for many genome annotation tools, such as the Rapid Annotation using Subsystems Technology (RAST) server for whole genome annotation, the metagenomics RAST server for random community genome annotations, and the annotation clearinghouse for exchanging annotations from different resources. In addition to a web user interface, the SEED also provides Web services based API for programmatic access to the data in the SEED, allowing the development of third-party tools and mash-ups. The currently exposed Web services encompass over forty different methods for accessing data related to microbial genome annotations. The Web services provide comprehensive access to the database back end, allowing any programmer access to the most consistent and accurate genome annotations available. The Web services are deployed using a platform independent service-oriented approach that allows the user to choose the most suitable programming platform for their application. Example code demonstrate that Web services can be used to access the SEED using common bioinformatics programming languages such as Perl, Python, and Java. We present a novel approach to access the SEED database. Using Web services, a robust API for access to genomics data is provided, without requiring large volume downloads all at once. The API ensures timely access to the most current datasets available, including the new genomes as soon as they come online.

  9. A Retrofit Tool for Improving Energy Efficiency of Commercial Buildings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Levine, Mark; Feng, Wei; Ke, Jing; Hong, Tianzhen; Zhou, Nan

    2013-06-06

    Existing buildings will dominate energy use in commercial buildings in the United States for three decades or longer and even in China for the about two decades. Retrofitting these buildings to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy use is thus critical to achieving the target of reducing energy use in the buildings sector. However there are few evaluation tools that can quickly identify and evaluate energy savings and cost effectiveness of energy conservation measures (ECMs) for retrofits, especially for buildings in China. This paper discusses methods used to develop such a tool and demonstrates an application of the tool for a retrofit analysis. The tool builds on a building performance database with pre-calculated energy consumption of ECMs for selected commercial prototype buildings using the EnergyPlus program. The tool allows users to evaluate individual ECMs or a package of ECMs. It covers building envelope, lighting and daylighting, HVAC, plug loads, service hot water, and renewable energy. The prototype building can be customized to represent an actual building with some limitations. Energy consumption from utility bills can be entered into the tool to compare and calibrate the energy use of the prototype building. The tool currently can evaluate energy savings and payback of ECMs for shopping malls in China. We have used the tool to assess energy and cost savings for retrofit of the prototype shopping mall in Shanghai. Future work on the tool will simplify its use and expand it to cover other commercial building types and other countries.

  10. Communication Styles of Interactive Tools for Self-Improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Niess, Jasmin; Diefenbach, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    Background Interactive products for self-improvement (e.g., online trainings to reduce stress, fitness gadgets) have become increasingly popular among consumers and healthcare providers. In line with the idea of positive computing, these tools aim to support their users on their way to improved well-being and human flourishing. As an interdisciplinary domain, the design of self-improvement technologies requires psychological, technological, and design expertise. One needs to know how to suppo...

  11. Development of an improved low profile hub seal refurbishment tool

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wagg, L.

    1997-01-01

    The hub seal area of a fuel channel feeder coupling can be exposed to oxygen in the atmosphere if protective measures are not taken during maintenance outages. Exposure to oxygen can lead to pitting of the hub seal area. Although this is a rare occurrence, the resulting possibility of the feeder coupling leakage led to the development of a feeder hub refurbishment tool. To reduce time and man-rem exposure during feeder hub seal refurbishment, an improved low profile hub seat refurbishing tool has been developed. The improved tool design will allow for quick and controlled removal of material, and the restoration of a roll-burnished finish equivalent to the original requirements. The new tool can be used in maintenance operations, with the end fitting present, as well as under retube-type circumstances, with the end fitting removed. (author)

  12. The use of Reference Management tools to improve Citation

    OpenAIRE

    Ebrahim, Nader Ale

    2016-01-01

    Reference Management tools offer an easy way of finding relevant literature, collecting references, organizing them in a database, and insert citations works in a manuscript with proper citation style. Most of the new Reference Management tools provide facility to connect with other researchers that you can’t find on other platforms. A Web-based reference management provide easier collaboration and use across multiple devices and assist you to improve publication visibility.

  13. Improving patient access to an interventional US clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, Joseph R; Clarke, Ryan K; Terrell, John A; Brightmon, Tonya R

    2014-01-01

    A continuous quality improvement project was conducted to increase patient access to a neurointerventional ultrasonography (US) clinic. The clinic was experiencing major scheduling delays because of an increasing patient volume. A multidisciplinary team was formed that included schedulers, medical assistants, nurses, technologists, and physicians. The team created an Ishikawa diagram of the possible causes of the long wait time to the next available appointment and developed a flowchart of the steps involved in scheduling and completing a diagnostic US examination and biopsy. The team then implemented a staged intervention that included adjustments to staffing and room use (stage 1); new procedures for scheduling same-day add-on appointments (stage 2); and a lead technician rotation to optimize patient flow, staffing, and workflow (stage 3). Six months after initiation of the intervention, the mean time to the next available appointment had decreased from 25 days at baseline to 1 day, and the number of available daily appointments had increased from 38 to 55. These improvements resulted from a coordinated provider effort and had a net present value of more than $275,000. This project demonstrates that structural changes in staffing, workflow, and room use can substantially reduce scheduling delays for critical imaging procedures. © RSNA, 2014.

  14. Communication Styles of Interactive Tools for Self-Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niess, Jasmin; Diefenbach, Sarah

    Interactive products for self-improvement (e.g., online trainings to reduce stress, fitness gadgets) have become increasingly popular among consumers and healthcare providers. In line with the idea of positive computing, these tools aim to support their users on their way to improved well-being and human flourishing. As an interdisciplinary domain, the design of self-improvement technologies requires psychological, technological, and design expertise. One needs to know how to support people in behavior change, and one needs to find ways to do this through technology design. However, as recent reviews show, the interlocking relationship between these disciplines is still improvable. Many existing technologies for self-improvement neglect psychological theory on behavior change, especially motivational factors are not sufficiently considered. To counteract this, we suggest a focus on the dialog and emerging communication between product and user, considering the self-improvement tool as an interactive coach and advisor. The present qualitative interview study (N = 18) explored the user experience of self-improvement technologies. A special focus was on the perceived dialog between tool and user, which we analyzed in terms of models from communication psychology. Our findings show that users are sensible to the way the product "speaks to them" and consider this as essential for their experience and successful change. Analysis revealed different communication styles of self-improvement tools (e.g., helpful-cooperative, rational-distanced, critical-aggressive), each linked to specific emotional consequences. These findings form one starting point for a more psychologically founded design of self-improvement technology. On a more general level, our approach aims to contribute to a better integration of psychological and technological knowledge, and in consequence, supporting users on their way to enhanced well-being.

  15. Understanding and improving access to prompt and effective malaria treatment and care in rural Tanzania: the ACCESS Programme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hetzel, Manuel W; Iteba, Nelly; Makemba, Ahmed; Mshana, Christopher; Lengeler, Christian; Obrist, Brigit; Schulze, Alexander; Nathan, Rose; Dillip, Angel; Alba, Sandra; Mayumana, Iddy; Khatib, Rashid A; Njau, Joseph D; Mshinda, Hassan

    2007-06-29

    Prompt access to effective treatment is central in the fight against malaria. However, a variety of interlinked factors at household and health system level influence access to timely and appropriate treatment and care. Furthermore, access may be influenced by global and national health policies. As a consequence, many malaria episodes in highly endemic countries are not treated appropriately. The ACCESS Programme aims at understanding and improving access to prompt and effective malaria treatment and care in a rural Tanzanian setting. The programme's strategy is based on a set of integrated interventions, including social marketing for improved care seeking at community level as well as strengthening of quality of care at health facilities. This is complemented by a project that aims to improve the performance of drug stores. The interventions are accompanied by a comprehensive set of monitoring and evaluation activities measuring the programme's performance and (health) impact. Baseline data demonstrated heterogeneity in the availability of malaria treatment, unavailability of medicines and treatment providers in certain areas as well as quality problems with regard to drugs and services. The ACCESS Programme is a combination of multiple complementary interventions with a strong evaluation component. With this approach, ACCESS aims to contribute to the development of a more comprehensive access framework and to inform and support public health professionals and policy-makers in the delivery of improved health services.

  16. Understanding and improving access to prompt and effective malaria treatment and care in rural Tanzania: the ACCESS Programme

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alba Sandra

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Prompt access to effective treatment is central in the fight against malaria. However, a variety of interlinked factors at household and health system level influence access to timely and appropriate treatment and care. Furthermore, access may be influenced by global and national health policies. As a consequence, many malaria episodes in highly endemic countries are not treated appropriately. Project The ACCESS Programme aims at understanding and improving access to prompt and effective malaria treatment and care in a rural Tanzanian setting. The programme's strategy is based on a set of integrated interventions, including social marketing for improved care seeking at community level as well as strengthening of quality of care at health facilities. This is complemented by a project that aims to improve the performance of drug stores. The interventions are accompanied by a comprehensive set of monitoring and evaluation activities measuring the programme's performance and (health impact. Baseline data demonstrated heterogeneity in the availability of malaria treatment, unavailability of medicines and treatment providers in certain areas as well as quality problems with regard to drugs and services. Conclusion The ACCESS Programme is a combination of multiple complementary interventions with a strong evaluation component. With this approach, ACCESS aims to contribute to the development of a more comprehensive access framework and to inform and support public health professionals and policy-makers in the delivery of improved health services.

  17. Tools for improving the diagnosis of atherosclerotic plaque using ultrasound

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jespersen, Søren Kragh

    1997-01-01

    topics have been investigated: an ultrasound pulse-echo simulation tool and a new compound imaging technique for improving visualization of atherosclerotic disease.A tool for simulation of the received electrical signal in a pulse-echo ultrasound system, due to a reflector surface of arbitrary geometry......, has been developed. The method is denoted the Diffraction Response Interpolation Method (DRIM) and is based on the pulse-echo diffraction impulse response method. The DRIM is a computationally efficient tool for calculating the integral of the spatially varying pulse-echo diffraction impulse response...... definition of the interfaces in the cases where one or more of the beams had near-normal incidence on the interface, i.e. an improved visualization over an angular range of interface orientations roughly corresponding to the range of beam angles used. The speckle statistics and the speckle reduction have...

  18. Coaching as a Performance Improvement Tool at School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yirci, Ramazan; Karakose, Turgut; Kocabas, Ibrahim

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine the current literature and have an insight about coaching as a performance improvement tool at school. In today's world, schools have to survive and keep their organizational success in the highest level because of the high expectations from school stakeholders. Taking place in such a fierce competitive…

  19. A tool for safety evaluations of road improvements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peltola, Harri; Rajamäki, Riikka; Luoma, Juha

    2013-11-01

    Road safety impact assessments are requested in general, and the directive on road infrastructure safety management makes them compulsory for Member States of the European Union. However, there is no widely used, science-based safety evaluation tool available. We demonstrate a safety evaluation tool called TARVA. It uses EB safety predictions as the basis for selecting locations for implementing road-safety improvements and provides estimates of safety benefits of selected improvements. Comparing different road accident prediction methods, we demonstrate that the most accurate estimates are produced by EB models, followed by simple accident prediction models, the same average number of accidents for every entity and accident record only. Consequently, advanced model-based estimates should be used. Furthermore, we demonstrate regional comparisons that benefit substantially from such tools. Comparisons between districts have revealed significant differences. However, comparisons like these produce useful improvement ideas only after taking into account the differences in road characteristics between areas. Estimates on crash modification factors can be transferred from other countries but their benefit is greatly limited if the number of target accidents is not properly predicted. Our experience suggests that making predictions and evaluations using the same principle and tools will remarkably improve the quality and comparability of safety estimations. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Improving open access to the results of USGS research (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bristol, S.

    2013-12-01

    Since its establishment under the Organic Act of March 3, 1879, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been committed to classifying and characterizing 'the geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the national domain.' Over time, the pursuit of this mission and understanding the products of the national domain has involved a broad scientific pursuit to understand complex Earth system processes and includes topographic, geologic, biogeographic, and other types of mapping; chemical, physical, hydrological, and biological research; and the application of computer and data science. As science and technology have evolved, classification and characterization of the Nation's natural resources has come to be embodied in digital data of various structure and form. Fundamentally, scientific publications and data produced through research and monitoring form the core of the USGS mission. They are an organizational and national treasure held and provided in trust for the American people and for the global scientific community. The recent memo from the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on 'Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research' is part of an overall initiative toward open digital government that dovetails well with the USGS mission. The objectives outlined in the memo correspond directly to goals and objectives of the 2007 USGS Science Strategy ('Facing Tomorrow's Challenges--U.S. Geological Survey Science in the Decade 2007-2017') and the recently released Science Strategy Plans across all USGS Mission Areas. The USGS response to the OSTP memo involves reinforcing aspects of the USGS commitment to open and free access to scholarly publications and data along with improvements to some of the underlying technological systems that facilitate search and discovery. These actions also align with the USGS response to the Executive Order on May 9, 2013, entitled 'Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

  2. AR4VI: AR as an Accessibility Tool for People with Visual Impairments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coughlan, James M; Miele, Joshua

    2017-10-01

    Although AR technology has been largely dominated by visual media, a number of AR tools using both visual and auditory feedback have been developed specifically to assist people with low vision or blindness - an application domain that we term Augmented Reality for Visual Impairment (AR4VI). We describe two AR4VI tools developed at Smith-Kettlewell, as well as a number of pre-existing examples. We emphasize that AR4VI is a powerful tool with the potential to remove or significantly reduce a range of accessibility barriers. Rather than being restricted to use by people with visual impairments, AR4VI is a compelling universal design approach offering benefits for mainstream applications as well.

  3. Improvement of Selected Logistics Processes Using Quality Engineering Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zasadzień, Michał; Žarnovský, Jozef

    2018-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millar, Ross

    2013-01-01

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

  6. From theoretical concept to organizational tool for public sector improvement:

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ernst, Jette; Hindhede, Anette Lykke; Andersen, Vibeke

    2018-01-01

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine, first, how social capital was crafted and transformed from a theoretical concept to an organizational tool for public sector improvement that was adopted by a Danish region and implemented in all regional hospitals. Second, the paper examines...... produce a pressure on the department management and the nurses. Originality/value – The explanatory critical framework combined with the ethnographic approach is a useful approach for theorizing and understanding social capital as an example of the emergence and consequences of new managerial tools...

  7. Improving vascular access outcomes: attributes of arteriovenous fistula cannulation success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harwood, Lori E.; Wilson, Barbara M.; Oudshoorn, Abe

    2016-01-01

    Background Arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) are the preferred access for hemodialysis (HD) yet they are underutilized. Cannulation of the fistula is a procedure requiring significant skill development and refinement and if not done well can have negative consequences for patients. The nurses' approach, attitude and skill with cannulation impacts greatly on the patient experience. Complications from miscannulation or an inability to needle fistulas can result in the increased use of central venous catheters. Some nurses remain in a state of a ‘perpetual novice’ resulting in a viscous cycle of negative patient consequences (bruising, pain), further influencing patients' decisions not to pursue a fistula or abandon cannulation. Method This qualitative study used organizational development theory (appreciative inquiry) and research method to determine what attributes/activities contribute to successful cannulation. This can be applied to interventions to promote change and skill development in staff members who have not advanced their proficiency. Eighteen HD nurses who self-identified with performing successful cannulation participated in audio-recorded interviews. The recordings were transcribed verbatim. The data were analyzed using content analysis. Results Four common themes, including patient-centered care, teamwork, opportunity and skill and nurse self-awareness, represented successful fistula cannulation. Successful cannulation is more than a learned technique to correctly insert a needle, but rather represents contextual influences and interplay between the practice environment and personal attributes. Conclusions Practice changes based on these results may improve cannulation, decrease complications and result in better outcomes for patients. Efforts to nurture positive patient experiences around cannulation may influence patient decision-making regarding fistula use. PMID:26985384

  8. U.S. Geological Survey community for data integration: data upload, registry, and access tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    ,

    2012-01-01

    As a leading science and information agency and in fulfillment of its mission to provide reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) ensures that all scientific data are effectively hosted, adequately described, and appropriately accessible to scientists, collaborators, and the general public. To succeed in this task, the USGS established the Community for Data Integration (CDI) to address data and information management issues affecting the proficiency of earth science research. Through the CDI, the USGS is providing data and metadata management tools, cyber infrastructure, collaboration tools, and training in support of scientists and technology specialists throughout the project life cycle. One of the significant tools recently created to contribute to this mission is the Uploader tool. This tool allows scientists with limited data management resources to address many of the key aspects of the data life cycle: the ability to protect, preserve, publish and share data. By implementing this application inside ScienceBase, scientists also can take advantage of other collaboration capabilities provided by the ScienceBase platform.

  9. Research improves secure access to nutritious food | IDRC ...

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

    2014-10-07

    Oct 7, 2014 ... ... to increase access to sufficient, safe, nutritious, and affordable food. ... made farming practices more efficient, preserved environments, and brought ... professor Nagib Nassar, whose early work was funded by IDRC.

  10. Log files as a tool for improving Internet dictionaries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henning, Bergenholtz.; Johnsen, Mia

    2005-01-01

    are not related to concrete examples of dictionary use. The surveys, which have always been concerned with printed dictionaries, have therefore not contributed to substantial improvements of dictionary conception. In the case of internet dictionaries, on the other hand, technical possibilities enable...... in the dictionary. Furthermore, log files allow lexicographers to see the types of information which have not, or not yet, been searched for. All in all, log files may thus be used as a tool for improving internet dictionaries - and perhaps also printed dictionaries - quite considerably....

  11. Performance indicators: A tool for continuous quality improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nidhi M Bhatnagar

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  14. Anesthesia report card - a customizable tool for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peccora, Christian D; Gimlich, Robert; Cornell, Richard P; Vacanti, Charles A; Ehrenfeld, Jesse M; Urman, Richard D

    2014-09-01

    Measuring and providing performance feedback to physicians has gained momentum not only as a way to comply with regulatory requirements, but also as a way to improve patient care. Measurement of structural, process, and outcome metrics in a reliable, evidence-based, specialty-specific manner maximizes the probability of improving physician performance. The manner in which feedback is provided influences whether the measurement tool will be successful in changing behavior. We created an innovative reporting tool template for anesthesiology practitioners designed to provide detailed, continuous feedback covering many aspects of clinical practice. The literature regarding quality metric measurement and feedback strategies was examined to design a reporting tool that could provide high quality information and result in improved performance of clinical and academic tasks. A committee of department leaders and information technology professionals was tasked with determining the measurement criteria and infrastructure needed to generate these reports. Data was collected in a systematic, unbiased manner, and reports were populated with information from multiple databases and software systems. Feedback would be based on frequently updated information and allow for analysis of historical performance as well as comparison amongst peers. A template for an anesthesia report card was created. Categories included compliance, credentialing and qualifications, education, clinical and operating room responsibilities, and academic achievements. Physicians were able to choose to be evaluated in some of the categories and had to meet a minimum number of criteria within each category. This allowed for customization to each practitioner's practice. Criteria were derived from the measures of academic and clinical proficiency, as well as quality metrics. Criteria were objective measures and data gathering was often automated. Reports could be generated that were updated daily and provided

  15. City without barriers, ICT tools for the universal accessibility: study cases in Barcelona

    OpenAIRE

    Biere Arenas, Rolando Mauricio; Arellano Ramos, Blanca; Roca Cladera, Josep

    2016-01-01

    Financed in the framework of the Call 2013, of the Program RecerCaixa (RecerCaixa and ACUP) This paper is the presentation of the results and developed tasks in the framework of the research project titled City without barriers. Tool for the evaluation and visualization of the accessibility into public space, using TLS, GIS and GPS Technologies,1 developed during 2014 and 2015 by the authors and others researchers and technicians in the Centre of Land Policy and Valuations (CPSV) and the V...

  16. Enriching Traditional Cataloging for Improved Access to Information:Library of Congress Tables of Contents Projects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John D. Byrum Jr.

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Traditionally, standard catalog records have provided bibliographic data that mostly address the basic features of library resources. At the same time, catalogs have offered access to these records through a limited array of names, titles, series, subject headings, class numbers, and a relatively small number of keywords contained within descriptions. Today’s catalog users expect access to information well beyond what can be offered by traditional approaches to bibliographic description and access. By pursuing a suite of projects, the Library of Congress (LC has responded to the challenge of enticing patrons to continue to include the online catalog among the tools they use for information retrieval. Drawing extensively on the power of automation, staff of LC’s Bibliographic Enrichment Advisory Team (BEAT have created and implemented a variety of initiatives to link researchers, catalogs, and Web resources; increase the content of the catalog record; and link the catalog to electronic resources. BEAT’s ongoing work demonstrates how, in the electronic era, it is possible to provide new and improved ways to capitalize on traditional services in the digital age. This paper will illustrate these points by focusing on BEAT’s tables of contents projects to demonstrate how library automation can make significant bibliographic enhancement efforts quick, easy, and affordable to achieve.

  17. EPUB as publication format in Open Access journals: Tools and workflow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trude Eikebrokk

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available In this article, we present a case study of how the main publishing format of an Open Access journal was changed from PDF to EPUB by designing a new workflow using JATS as the basic XML source format. We state the reasons and discuss advantages for doing this, how we did it, and the costs of changing an established Microsoft Word workflow. As an example, we use one typical sociology article with tables, illustrations and references. We then follow the article from JATS markup through different transformations resulting in XHTML, EPUB and MOBI versions. In the end, we put everything together in an automated XProc pipeline. The process has been developed on free and open source tools, and we describe and evaluate these tools in the article. The workflow is suitable for non-professional publishers, and all code is attached and free for reuse by others.

  18. Amail : design and evaluation of an accessible email tool for persons with Aphasia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mahmud, Al A.; Martens, J.B.O.S.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we describe the iterative design and exploratory evaluation of 'Amail', an email tool designed for persons with aphasia. It is inspired by interviews with persons with aphasia and their partners and has been improved through discussions with experienced speech therapists. Our user

  19. RESEARCH Improving access and quality of care in a TB control ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    or treatment. Improving access and quality of care in a. TB control programme. Vera Scott, Virginia Azevedo, Judy Caldwell. Objectives. To use a quality improvement approach to improve access to and quality of tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis and care in. Cape Town. Methods. Five HIV/AIDS/sexually transmitted infections/TB.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  1. Improving Access to Justice and Basic Services in the Informal ...

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

    Cartels often control basic services in these informal settlements, charging ... It will generate practical knowledge on how formal and informal land tenure, ... Researchers will also assess how these tools and planning processes can be used to ...

  2. Using Technology to Improve Access to Mental Health Services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortelyou-Ward, Kendall; Rotarius, Timothy; Honrado, Jed C

    Mental ill-health is a public health threat that is prevalent throughout the United States. Tens of millions of Americans have been diagnosed along the continuum of mental ill-health, and many more millions of family members and friends are indirectly affected by the pervasiveness of mental ill-health. Issues such as access and the societal stigma related to mental health issues serve as deterrents to patients receiving their necessary care. However, technological advances have shown the potential to increase access to mental health services for many patients.

  3. The PEcAn Project: Accessible Tools for On-demand Ecosystem Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowdery, E.; Kooper, R.; LeBauer, D.; Desai, A. R.; Mantooth, J.; Dietze, M.

    2014-12-01

    Ecosystem models play a critical role in understanding the terrestrial biosphere and forecasting changes in the carbon cycle, however current forecasts have considerable uncertainty. The amount of data being collected and produced is increasing on daily basis as we enter the "big data" era, but only a fraction of this data is being used to constrain models. Until we can improve the problems of model accessibility and model-data communication, none of these resources can be used to their full potential. The Predictive Ecosystem Analyzer (PEcAn) is an ecoinformatics toolbox and a set of workflows that wrap around an ecosystem model and manage the flow of information in and out of regional-scale TBMs. Here we present new modules developed in PEcAn to manage the processing of meteorological data, one of the primary driver dependencies for ecosystem models. The module downloads, reads, extracts, and converts meteorological observations to Unidata Climate Forecast (CF) NetCDF community standard, a convention used for most climate forecast and weather models. The module also automates the conversion from NetCDF to model specific formats, including basic merging, gap-filling, and downscaling procedures. PEcAn currently supports tower-based micrometeorological observations at Ameriflux and FluxNET sites, site-level CSV-formatted data, and regional and global reanalysis products such as the North American Regional Reanalysis and CRU-NCEP. The workflow is easily extensible to additional products and processing algorithms.These meteorological workflows have been coupled with the PEcAn web interface and now allow anyone to run multiple ecosystem models for any location on the Earth by simply clicking on an intuitive Google-map based interface. This will allow users to more readily compare models to observations at those sites, leading to better calibration and validation. Current work is extending these workflows to also process field, remotely-sensed, and historical

  4. Improving web site performance using commercially available analytical tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogle, James A

    2010-10-01

    It is easy to accurately measure web site usage and to quantify key parameters such as page views, site visits, and more complex variables using commercially available tools that analyze web site log files and search engine use. This information can be used strategically to guide the design or redesign of a web site (templates, look-and-feel, and navigation infrastructure) to improve overall usability. The data can also be used tactically to assess the popularity and use of new pages and modules that are added and to rectify problems that surface. This paper describes software tools used to: (1) inventory search terms that lead to available content; (2) propose synonyms for commonly used search terms; (3) evaluate the effectiveness of calls to action; (4) conduct path analyses to targeted content. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) uses SurfRay's Behavior Tracking software (Santa Clara CA, USA, and Copenhagen, Denmark) to capture and archive the search terms that have been entered into the site's Google Mini search engine. The AAOS also uses Unica's NetInsight program to analyze its web site log files. These tools provide the AAOS with information that quantifies how well its web sites are operating and insights for making improvements to them. Although it is easy to quantify many aspects of an association's web presence, it also takes human involvement to analyze the results and then recommend changes. Without a dedicated resource to do this, the work often is accomplished only sporadically and on an ad hoc basis.

  5. Improving information access by relevance and topical feedback

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaptein, R.; Kamps, J.; Hopfgartner, F.

    2008-01-01

    One of the main bottle-necks in providing more effective information access is the poverty of the query end. With an average query length of about two terms, users provide only a highly ambiguous statement of the, often complex, underlying information need. Implicit and explicit feedback can provide

  6. Improving Governance through Access to Information in Africa ...

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

    Environmental justice advocates have, for example, used constitutional provisions, environmental and natural resource laws, regional declarations, international accords, and other instruments to access information. Such sectoral efforts have contributed to a groundswell of demand for a comprehensive ATI law and other ...

  7. Improving governance, voice and access to justice in Ghana's ...

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

    In Ghana, many urban residents have yet to reap the benefit of the country's democratic stability and recent economic growth. About 40% of the urban population is trapped in poorly planned, overcrowded informal settlements with unsanitary conditions and low access to basic services. Rapid population growth and ...

  8. A service concept and tools to improve maternal and newborn health in Nigeria and Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salgado, Mariana; Wendland, Melanie; Rodriguez, Damaris; Bohren, Meghan A; Oladapo, Olufemi T; Ojelade, Olubunmi A; Mugerwa, Kidza; Fawole, Bukola

    2017-12-01

    The "Better Outcomes in Labor Difficulty" (BOLD) project used a service design process to design a set of tools to improve quality of care during childbirth by strengthening linkages between communities and health facilities in Nigeria and Uganda. This paper describes the Passport to Safer Birth concept and the tools developed as a result. Service design methods were used to identify facilitators and barriers to quality care, and to develop human-centered solutions. The service design process had three phases: Research for Design, Concept Design, and Detail Design, undertaken in eight hospitals and catchment communities. The service concept "Better Beginnings" comprises three tools. The "Pregnancy Purse" provides educational information to women throughout pregnancy. The "Birth Board" is a visual communication tool that presents the labor and childbirth process. The "Family Pass" is a set of wearable passes for the woman and her supporter to facilitate communication of care preferences. The Better Beginnings service concept and tools form the basis for the promotion of access to information and knowledge acquisition, and could improve communication between the healthcare provider, the woman, and her family during childbirth. © 2017 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics. The World Health Organization retains copyright and all other rights in the manuscript of this article as submitted for publication.

  9. Demonstrating High-Accuracy Orbital Access Using Open-Source Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbertson, Christian; Welch, Bryan

    2017-01-01

    Orbit propagation is fundamental to almost every space-based analysis. Currently, many system analysts use commercial software to predict the future positions of orbiting satellites. This is one of many capabilities that can replicated, with great accuracy, without using expensive, proprietary software. NASAs SCaN (Space Communication and Navigation) Center for Engineering, Networks, Integration, and Communications (SCENIC) project plans to provide its analysis capabilities using a combination of internal and open-source software, allowing for a much greater measure of customization and flexibility, while reducing recurring software license costs. MATLAB and the open-source Orbit Determination Toolbox created by Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) were utilized to develop tools with the capability to propagate orbits, perform line-of-sight (LOS) availability analyses, and visualize the results. The developed programs are modular and can be applied for mission planning and viability analysis in a variety of Solar System applications. The tools can perform 2 and N-body orbit propagation, find inter-satellite and satellite to ground station LOS access (accounting for intermediate oblate spheroid body blocking, geometric restrictions of the antenna field-of-view (FOV), and relativistic corrections), and create animations of planetary movement, satellite orbits, and LOS accesses. The code is the basis for SCENICs broad analysis capabilities including dynamic link analysis, dilution-of-precision navigation analysis, and orbital availability calculations.

  10. Risk management: A tool for improving nuclear power plant performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2001-04-01

    This technical document on risk management as a tool for improving nuclear power plant (NPP) operations is part of an ongoing project on management of NPP operations in a competitive environment. The overall objective of this project is to assist the management of operating organizations and NPPs in identifying and implementing appropriate measures to remain competitive in a rapidly changing business environment. Other reports developed through this project have identified overall strategies and techniques that NPP operating organization managers can use to succeed in more competitive energy markets. For example, in IAEA-TECDOC-1123, Strategies for Competitive Nuclear Power Plants, one of the most important strategies identified was integrated risk management. This publication provides a recommended structure for risk management along with examples of how NPP operating organizations are using this tool to help them integrate safety, operational and economic related risks in a changing business environment

  11. Improving the effectiveness of ecological site descriptions: General state-and-transition models and the Ecosystem Dynamics Interpretive Tool (EDIT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bestelmeyer, Brandon T.; Williamson, Jeb C.; Talbot, Curtis J.; Cates, Greg W.; Duniway, Michael C.; Brown, Joel R.

    2016-01-01

    State-and-transition models (STMs) are useful tools for management, but they can be difficult to use and have limited content.STMs created for groups of related ecological sites could simplify and improve their utility. The amount of information linked to models can be increased using tables that communicate management interpretations and important within-group variability.We created a new web-based information system (the Ecosystem Dynamics Interpretive Tool) to house STMs, associated tabular information, and other ecological site data and descriptors.Fewer, more informative, better organized, and easily accessible STMs should increase the accessibility of science information.

  12. Special issue on enabling open and interoperable access to Planetary Science and Heliophysics databases and tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

    The large amount of data generated by modern space missions calls for a change of organization of data distribution and access procedures. Although long term archives exist for telescopic and space-borne observations, high-level functions need to be developed on top of these repositories to make Planetary Science and Heliophysics data more accessible and to favor interoperability. Results of simulations and reference laboratory data also need to be integrated to support and interpret the observations. Interoperable software and interfaces have recently been developed in many scientific domains. The Virtual Observatory (VO) interoperable standards developed for Astronomy by the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) can be adapted to Planetary Sciences, as demonstrated by the VESPA (Virtual European Solar and Planetary Access) team within the Europlanet-H2020-RI project. Other communities have developed their own standards: GIS (Geographic Information System) for Earth and planetary surfaces tools, SPASE (Space Physics Archive Search and Extract) for space plasma, PDS4 (NASA Planetary Data System, version 4) and IPDA (International Planetary Data Alliance) for planetary mission archives, etc, and an effort to make them interoperable altogether is starting, including automated workflows to process related data from different sources.

  13. Outage preparation milestones - A tool to improve planned outage performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laplatney, Jere; Hwang, Euiyoub

    2006-01-01

    Sustainable development of Nuclear Energy depends heavily on excellent performance of the existing fleet which in turn depend heavily on the performance of planned outages. Nuclear Power Plants who have successfully undertaken outage optimization projects have demonstrated than an effective Outage Preparation Milestone program is a key component of their improvement programs. This paper will provide background into the field of 'Outage Optimization' including the philosophy, general approach, and results obtained in the U. S. industry. The significant safety improvements afforded by properly implementing outage improvement programs will be explained. Some specific examples of outage improvements will be given including the adoption of a strong Outage Preparation Milestone Program. The paper will then describe the attributes of an effective Outage Preparation Milestone Program and list a set of specific key milestones. The key milestones are defined and the reasons for each are explained. Suggested due dates for each key milestone relative to the outage start date are provided. Successful implementation of an Outage Preparation Milestone program depends heavily upon the management tools and methods used to assure that the organization meets the milestones on time and in a quality fashion. These include methods to handle cases where milestones are not met - either partially or fully. KHNP is investigating implementing an improved Outage Preparation Milestone program for its fleet of reactors as part of its overall program to improve its performance of planned outages

  14. When action is not enough: tool-use reveals tactile-dependent access to Body Schema.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardinali, L; Brozzoli, C; Urquizar, C; Salemme, R; Roy, A C; Farnè, A

    2011-11-01

    Proper motor control of our own body implies a reliable representation of body parts. This information is supposed to be stored in the Body Schema (BS), a body representation that appears separate from a more perceptual body representation, the Body Image (BI). The dissociation between BS for action and BI for perception, originally based on neuropsychological evidence, has recently become the focus of behavioural studies in physiological conditions. By inducing the rubber hand illusion in healthy participants, Kammers et al. (2009) showed perceptual changes attributable to the BI to which the BS, as indexed via motor tasks, was immune. To more definitively support the existence of dissociable body representations in physiological conditions, here we tested for the opposite dissociation, namely, whether a tool-use paradigm would induce a functional update of the BS (via a motor localization task) without affecting the BI (via a perceptual localization task). Healthy subjects were required to localize three anatomical landmarks on their right arm, before and after using the same arm to control a tool. In addition to this classical task-dependency approach, we assessed whether preferential access to the BS could also depend upon the way positional information about forearm targets is provided, to subsequently execute the same task. To this aim, participants performed either verbally or tactually driven versions of the motor and perceptual localization tasks. Results showed that both the motor and perceptual tasks were sensitive to the update of the forearm representation, but only when the localization task (perceptual or motor) was driven by a tactile input. This pattern reveals that the motor output is not sufficient per se, but has to be coupled with tactually mediated information to guarantee access to the BS. These findings shade a new light on the action-perception models of body representations and underlie how functional plasticity may be a useful tool to

  15. Process Improvement Through Tool Integration in Aero-Mechanical Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs, Clark

    2010-01-01

    Emerging capabilities in commercial design tools promise to significantly improve the multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary design and analysis coverage for aerospace mechanical engineers. This paper explores the analysis process for two example problems of a wing and flap mechanical drive system and an aircraft landing gear door panel. The examples begin with the design solid models and include various analysis disciplines such as structural stress and aerodynamic loads. Analytical methods include CFD, multi-body dynamics with flexible bodies and structural analysis. Elements of analysis data management, data visualization and collaboration are also included.

  16. New tools and improvements in the Exoplanet Transit Database

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pejcha O.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Comprehensive collection of the available light curves, prediction possibilities and the online model fitting procedure, that are available via Exoplanet Transit Database became very popular in the community. In this paper we summarized the changes, that we made in the ETD during last year (including the Kepler candidates into the prediction section, modeling of an unknown planet in the model-fit section and some other small improvements. All this new tools cannot be found in the main ETD paper.

  17. Informatics and Society: The Challenge of Improving IT Accessibility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruce Diamond

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Information technology (IT is an important part of society and has assumed an increasing role in education, medicine, commercial, leisure, and sociopolitical applications. However, while progress in developing IT hardware and software has advanced, our understanding of user needs and how these needs can be translated into more accessible and effective system design lags behind. The challenge that we face is rooted in the fact that many individuals across this planet who are differently-abled due to aging, developmental or neurologic conditions or to individual differences in learning, face obstacles in using and accessing IT. The central thesis of this paper is that the effective delivery of IT to the differently-abled is contingent on deriving enough information about user populations to allow for the development and use of personalized interfaces and customized content. To this end, it is proposed that a combination of adaptive hypermedia and cognitive adaptive strategies integrating metadata architecture for representing the results of cognitive and functional assessments be designed and implemented. Keywords: Information technology, accessibility, differently-abled, adaptive hypermedia, informatics

  18. Improved H-mode access in connected DND in MAST

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meyer, H; Carolan, P G; Conway, N J; Counsell, G F; Cunningham, G; Field, A R; Kirk, A; McClements, K G; Price, M; Taylor, D

    2005-01-01

    In the Mega-Amp Spherical Tokamak, MAST, the formation of the edge transport barrier leading to the high-confinement (H-mode) regime is greatly facilitated by operating in a double null diverted (DND) configuration where both X-points are practically on the same flux surface. Ohmic H-modes are presently only obtained in these connected double null diverted (CDND) configurations. The ease of H-mode access is lost if the two flux surfaces passing through the X-points are radially separated by more than one ion Larmor radius (ρ i ∼ 6 mm) at the low-field-side mid-plane. The change of the magnetic configuration from disconnected to CDND is accompanied by a change in the radial electric field of about ΔE ψ ∼ -1 kV m -1 and a reduction of the electron temperature decay length in the high-field-side scrape-off-layer. Other parameters at the plasma edge, in particular those affecting the H-mode access criteria of common L/H transition theories, are not affected by the slight changes to the magnetic configuration. It is believed that the observed change in E ψ , which may result from differences in ion orbit losses, leads to a higher initial E x B flow shear in CDND configurations which could lead to the easier H-mode access

  19. Improving access for patients – a practice manager questionnaire

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brown James S

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The administrative and professional consequences of access targets for general practices, as detailed in the new GMS contract, are unknown. This study researched the effect of implementing the access targets of the new GP contract on general practice appointment systems, and practice manager satisfaction in a UK primary health care setting. Methods A four-part postal questionnaire was administered. The questionnaire was modified from previously validated questionnaires and the findings compared with data obtained from the Western Health and Social Services Board (WHSSB in N Ireland. Practice managers from the 59 general practices in the WHSSB responded to the questionnaire. Results There was a 94.9% response rate. Practice managers were generally satisfied with the introduction of access targets for patients. Some 57.1% of responding practices, most in deprived areas (Odds ratio 3.13 -95% CI 1.01 – 9.80, p = 0.0256 had modified their appointment systems. Less booking flexibility was reported among group practices (p = 0.006, urban practices (p Conclusion The findings demonstrated the ability of general practices within the WHSSB to adjust to a demanding component of the new GP contract. Issues relating to the flexibility of patient appointment booking systems, receptionists' training and the development of the primary care nursing role were highlighted by the study.

  20. The adaptation of cities to climate change: appropriating the tools and accessing financing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Depoues, Vivian; Leseur, Alexia

    2015-12-01

    Cities and urban areas are particularly affected because of their geographical location and the large share of the population and economic activities they bring together. This Climate Report provides a synthetic and problematized review of the literature on climate change adaptation at the urban scale, the tools and resources available to cities to implement strategies and adaptation actions. It is primarily intended for local officials in French-speaking cities. It provides a checkpoint of current dynamics, questions the real ownership of these resources by local stakeholders and identifies the openings for: - monitoring and evaluation adaptation to climate change; - Understand and use economic analysis as a help to the decision; - Access to funding to implement adaptation actions. This overview of the literature provides elements to understand how cities take ownership of the tools to design, select, monitor and evaluate adaptation projects. It highlights a mismatch between the maturity of the tools inventory and of the guidance available and the actual demand of cities. Except in a few well documented pioneers cases, the process of appropriation of adaptation issues is still at a relatively upstream stage

  1. Teledermatology as a means to improve access to inpatient dermatology care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Priyank; Kovarik, Carrie L; Lipoff, Jules B

    2016-07-01

    Many hospitals have limited inpatient dermatology consultation access. Most dermatologists are outpatient-based and may find the distance and time to complete inpatient consultations prohibitive. Teledermatology may improve access to inpatient dermatology care by reducing barriers of distance and time. We conducted a prospective two-phase pilot study at two academic hospitals comparing time needed to complete inpatient consultations after resident dermatologists initially evaluated patients, called average handling time (AHT), and time needed to respond to the primary team, called time to response (TTR), with and without teledermatology with surveys to capture changes in dermatologist opinion on teledermatology. Teledermatology was only used in the study phase, and patients were seen in-person in both study phases. Teledermatology alone sufficiently answered consultations in 10 of 25 study consultations. The mean AHT in the study phase (sAHT) was 26.9 min compared to the baseline phase (bAHT) of 43.5 min, a 16.6 min reduction (p = 0.004). The 10 study cases where teledermatology alone was sufficient had mean study TTR (sTTR) of 273.3 min compared to a baseline TTR (bTTR) of 405.7 min, a 132.4 min reduction (p = 0.032). Teledermatology reduces the time required for an attending dermatologist to respond and the time required for a primary team to receive a response for an inpatient dermatology consultation in a subset of cases. These findings suggest teledermatology can be used as a tool to improve access to inpatient dermatology care. © The Author(s) 2015.

  2. Energy efficiency improvement of medical electric tools and devices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meshkov Aleksandr S.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available With the ever-increasing volume of applications of various kinds of electric drives in all spheres of human activity, the issues in improving the efficiency of the electromechanical converters of electric energy, one of the most important components of the electric drive (ED, are becoming increasingly important. Such issues include reducing their weight and size, improving the functional characteristics of these devices to increase their operational life and reducing the cost of manufacture. Taking full advantage of these opportunities relates to the AC and DC single-phase commutator motor (SCM, which is widely used in regulated and high-speed motor drives in medical electric hand tools. The SCM is used in machinery where the load torque has a hyperbolic dependence on the rotational speed and the need to work with a large motor overload due to the “soft” mechanical characteristics of such motors.

  3. SOAP2: an improved ultrafast tool for short read alignment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Ruiqiang; Yu, Chang; Li, Yingrui

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY: SOAP2 is a significantly improved version of the short oligonucleotide alignment program that both reduces computer memory usage and increases alignment speed at an unprecedented rate. We used a Burrows Wheeler Transformation (BWT) compression index to substitute the seed strategy...... for indexing the reference sequence in the main memory. We tested it on the whole human genome and found that this new algorithm reduced memory usage from 14.7 to 5.4 GB and improved alignment speed by 20-30 times. SOAP2 is compatible with both single- and paired-end reads. Additionally, this tool now supports...... multiple text and compressed file formats. A consensus builder has also been developed for consensus assembly and SNP detection from alignment of short reads on a reference genome. AVAILABILITY: http://soap.genomics.org.cn....

  4. Genomic-based-breeding tools for tropical maize improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakradhar, Thammineni; Hindu, Vemuri; Reddy, Palakolanu Sudhakar

    2017-12-01

    Maize has traditionally been the main staple diet in the Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa and widely grown by millions of resource poor small scale farmers. Approximately, 35.4 million hectares are sown to tropical maize, constituting around 59% of the developing worlds. Tropical maize encounters tremendous challenges besides poor agro-climatic situations with average yields recorded <3 tones/hectare that is far less than the average of developed countries. On the contrary to poor yields, the demand for maize as food, feed, and fuel is continuously increasing in these regions. Heterosis breeding introduced in early 90 s improved maize yields significantly, but genetic gains is still a mirage, particularly for crop growing under marginal environments. Application of molecular markers has accelerated the pace of maize breeding to some extent. The availability of array of sequencing and genotyping technologies offers unrivalled service to improve precision in maize-breeding programs through modern approaches such as genomic selection, genome-wide association studies, bulk segregant analysis-based sequencing approaches, etc. Superior alleles underlying complex traits can easily be identified and introgressed efficiently using these sequence-based approaches. Integration of genomic tools and techniques with advanced genetic resources such as nested association mapping and backcross nested association mapping could certainly address the genetic issues in maize improvement programs in developing countries. Huge diversity in tropical maize and its inherent capacity for doubled haploid technology offers advantage to apply the next generation genomic tools for accelerating production in marginal environments of tropical and subtropical world. Precision in phenotyping is the key for success of any molecular-breeding approach. This article reviews genomic technologies and their application to improve agronomic traits in tropical maize breeding has been reviewed in

  5. Improvements in Spectrum's fit to program data tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahiane, Severin G; Marsh, Kimberly; Grantham, Kelsey; Crichlow, Shawna; Caceres, Karen; Stover, John

    2017-04-01

    The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS-supported Spectrum software package (Glastonbury, Connecticut, USA) is used by most countries worldwide to monitor the HIV epidemic. In Spectrum, HIV incidence trends among adults (aged 15-49 years) are derived by either fitting to seroprevalence surveillance and survey data or generating curves consistent with program and vital registration data, such as historical trends in the number of newly diagnosed infections or people living with HIV and AIDS related deaths. This article describes development and application of the fit to program data (FPD) tool in Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS' 2016 estimates round. In the FPD tool, HIV incidence trends are described as a simple or double logistic function. Function parameters are estimated from historical program data on newly reported HIV cases, people living with HIV or AIDS-related deaths. Inputs can be adjusted for proportions undiagnosed or misclassified deaths. Maximum likelihood estimation or minimum chi-squared distance methods are used to identify the best fitting curve. Asymptotic properties of the estimators from these fits are used to estimate uncertainty. The FPD tool was used to fit incidence for 62 countries in 2016. Maximum likelihood and minimum chi-squared distance methods gave similar results. A double logistic curve adequately described observed trends in all but four countries where a simple logistic curve performed better. Robust HIV-related program and vital registration data are routinely available in many middle-income and high-income countries, whereas HIV seroprevalence surveillance and survey data may be scarce. In these countries, the FPD tool offers a simpler, improved approach to estimating HIV incidence trends.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sigerud, K.; Baggiolini, V.

    2012-01-01

    The Applications section of the CERN accelerator controls group has decided to apply a systematic approach to quality assurance (QA), the 'Software Improvement Process' - SIP. This process focuses on three areas: the development process itself, suitable QA tools, and how to practically encourage developers to do QA. For each stage of the development process we have agreed on the recommended activities and deliverables, and identified tools to automate and support the task. For example we do more code reviews. As peer reviews are resource intensive, we only do them for complex parts of a product. As a complement, we are using static code checking tools, like FindBugs and Checkstyle. We also encourage unit testing and have agreed on a minimum level of test coverage recommended for all products, measured using Clover. Each of these tools is well integrated with our IDE (Eclipse) and give instant feedback to the developer about the quality of their code. The major challenges of SIP have been to 1) agree on common standards and configurations, for example common code formatting and Javadoc documentation guidelines, and 2) how to encourage the developers to do QA. To address the second point, we have successfully implemented 'SIP days', i.e. one day dedicated to QA work to which the whole group of developers participates, and 'Top/Flop' lists, clearly indicating the best and worst products with regards to SIP guidelines and standards, for example test coverage. This paper presents the SIP initiative in more detail, summarizing our experience since two years and our future plans. (authors)

  7. Improving Nearest Neighbour Search in 3D Spatial Access Method

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Suhaibah, A.; Rahman, A. A.; Uznir, U.

    2016-01-01

    are still facing with unresolved issues such as overlapping among nodes and repetitive data entry. This situation will perform an excessive Input/Output (IO) operation which is inefficient for data retrieval. The situation will become more crucial while dealing with 3D data. The size of 3D data is usually...... and the accessed page. The proposed structure also produced minimal Input/Output operation. The query response time is also outperformed compared to the other competitor. For future outlook of this research several possible applications are discussed and summarized....

  8. Assessing the Library Homepages of COPLAC Institutions for Section 508 Accessibility Errors: Who's Accessible, Who's Not, and How the Online WebXACT Assessment Tool Can Help

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huprich, Julia; Green, Ravonne

    2007-01-01

    The Council on Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) libraries websites were assessed for Section 508 errors using the online WebXACT tool. Only three of the twenty-one institutions (14%) had zero accessibility errors. Eighty-six percent of the COPLAC institutions had an average of 1.24 errors. Section 508 compliance is required for institutions…

  9. OpenTopography: Enabling Online Access to High-Resolution Lidar Topography Data and Processing Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crosby, Christopher; Nandigam, Viswanath; Baru, Chaitan; Arrowsmith, J. Ramon

    2013-04-01

    High-resolution topography data acquired with lidar (light detection and ranging) technology are revolutionizing the way we study the Earth's surface and overlying vegetation. These data, collected from airborne, tripod, or mobile-mounted scanners have emerged as a fundamental tool for research on topics ranging from earthquake hazards to hillslope processes. Lidar data provide a digital representation of the earth's surface at a resolution sufficient to appropriately capture the processes that contribute to landscape evolution. The U.S. National Science Foundation-funded OpenTopography Facility (http://www.opentopography.org) is a web-based system designed to democratize access to earth science-oriented lidar topography data. OpenTopography provides free, online access to lidar data in a number of forms, including the raw point cloud and associated geospatial-processing tools for customized analysis. The point cloud data are co-located with on-demand processing tools to generate digital elevation models, and derived products and visualizations which allow users to quickly access data in a format appropriate for their scientific application. The OpenTopography system is built using a service-oriented architecture (SOA) that leverages cyberinfrastructure resources at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California San Diego to allow users, regardless of expertise level, to access these massive lidar datasets and derived products for use in research and teaching. OpenTopography hosts over 500 billion lidar returns covering 85,000 km2. These data are all in the public domain and are provided by a variety of partners under joint agreements and memoranda of understanding with OpenTopography. Partners include national facilities such as the NSF-funded National Center for Airborne Lidar Mapping (NCALM), as well as non-governmental organizations and local, state, and federal agencies. OpenTopography has become a hub for high-resolution topography

  10. Do Access to Improved Water Source and Sanitation Facility Accelerate Economic Growth in Bangladesh?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandip SARKER

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines the relationship among access to improved water, sanitation and economic growth in Bangladesh through co-integration and vector error correction model (VECM over the period 1991 to 2014. Bangladesh has registered remarkable progress in achieving major Millennium Development Goals (MDG. Today nearly 87% of our total population has access to improved water sources and 60% have access to improved sanitation facilities which is contributing significantly towards human development in Bangladesh. Therefore we want to test whether access to improved water and sanitation accelerates economic growth in Bangladesh through a time series analysis. The Johansen co-integration tests indicate that there is long run association among the variables. The vector error correction model indicates that there is a long run causality running from improved sanitation facilities (% of population with access and improved water source (% of population with access to gross domestic product in Bangladesh. Similarly in the short run a causal relationship has been found among the variables as well. Further impulse response function and variance decomposition results say that improved sanitation facilities (% of population with access and improved water source (% of population with access can explain the major variations in our economic growth. The implication of our findings is that in Bangladesh an increase in improved access to water and sanitation is likely to positively affect our economic growth in the long run. Keeping in mind about Sustainable Development Goals (SDG, policymakers in Bangladesh need to pay special attention to ensure greater access to improved water and sanitation to boost our economic growth & development.

  11. e-Health Tools for Targeting and Improving Melanoma Screening: A Review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tyagi, A.; Miller, K.; Cockburn, M.

    2012-01-01

    The key to improved prognosis for melanoma is early detection and diagnosis, achieved by skin surveillance and secondary prevention (screening). However, adherence to screening guidelines is low, with population-based estimates of approximately 26% for physician-based skin cancer screening and 20-25% for skin self-examination. The recent proliferation of melanoma detection "e-Health"tools, digital resources that facilitate screening in patients often outside of the clinical setting, may offer new strategies to promote adherence and expand the proportion and range of individuals performing skin self-examination. The purpose of this paper is to catalog and categorize melanoma screening e-Health tools to aid in the determination of their efficacy and potential for adoption. The availability and accessibility of such tools, their costs, target audience, and, where possible, information on their efficacy, will be discussed with potential benefits and limitations considered. While e-Health tools targeting melanoma screening are widely available, little has been done to formally evaluate their efficacy and ability to aid in overcoming screening barriers. Future research needs to formally evaluate the potential role of e-Health tools in melanoma prevention.

  12. Locating stations of public transportation vehicles for improving transit accessibility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Ziari

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Since transportation is one of the most complicated and the basic problem of urban life in developing countries at the present time and in various dimensions, so it is necessary to view it more scientifically-practically. Reducing travelling time is one way to reduce its cost. In public transportation system, it is important to determine proper travelling costs. There are various methods to determine the distances between stations. One of these methods used in England is based on logical and calculative relations in mathematics. In this paper, in addition to studying this method some changes have been made in order to reduce and modify required variables for calculation of those relations. A numerical example is designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the method and thus developed to optimize the public transportation stop location problem. The sensitivity of the total travel time, access, speed and the effect of the parameters on the optimum stop location are analyzed and discussed.

  13. Effects of Job Accessibility Improved by Public Transport System: Natural Experimental Evidence from the Copenhagen Metro

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pons Rotger, Gabriel Angel; Nielsen, Thomas Alexander Sick

    2015-01-01

    This study examines the effect of accessibility to urban jobs via a public transport system on individual earnings and commuting behaviour. The effect of improved public transport based accessibility on these outcomes is determined by exploiting the exogenous variation in access to a public rail ...... with a change in commuting patterns as the improved access to public transport facilitates a shift from employment within the township to better paid jobs in the city centre, as well as in other suburbs of the Copenhagen Metropolitan area...

  14. BioSPICE: access to the most current computational tools for biologists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garvey, Thomas D; Lincoln, Patrick; Pedersen, Charles John; Martin, David; Johnson, Mark

    2003-01-01

    The goal of the BioSPICE program is to create a framework that provides biologists access to the most current computational tools. At the program midpoint, the BioSPICE member community has produced a software system that comprises contributions from approximately 20 participating laboratories integrated under the BioSPICE Dashboard and a methodology for continued software integration. These contributed software modules are the BioSPICE Dashboard, a graphical environment that combines Open Agent Architecture and NetBeans software technologies in a coherent, biologist-friendly user interface. The current Dashboard permits data sources, models, simulation engines, and output displays provided by different investigators and running on different machines to work together across a distributed, heterogeneous network. Among several other features, the Dashboard enables users to create graphical workflows by configuring and connecting available BioSPICE components. Anticipated future enhancements to BioSPICE include a notebook capability that will permit researchers to browse and compile data to support model building, a biological model repository, and tools to support the development, control, and data reduction of wet-lab experiments. In addition to the BioSPICE software products, a project website supports information exchange and community building.

  15. Optimal Design of Multitype Groundwater Monitoring Networks Using Easily Accessible Tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wöhling, Thomas; Geiges, Andreas; Nowak, Wolfgang

    2016-11-01

    Monitoring networks are expensive to establish and to maintain. In this paper, we extend an existing data-worth estimation method from the suite of PEST utilities with a global optimization method for optimal sensor placement (called optimal design) in groundwater monitoring networks. Design optimization can include multiple simultaneous sensor locations and multiple sensor types. Both location and sensor type are treated simultaneously as decision variables. Our method combines linear uncertainty quantification and a modified genetic algorithm for discrete multilocation, multitype search. The efficiency of the global optimization is enhanced by an archive of past samples and parallel computing. We demonstrate our methodology for a groundwater monitoring network at the Steinlach experimental site, south-western Germany, which has been established to monitor river-groundwater exchange processes. The target of optimization is the best possible exploration for minimum variance in predicting the mean travel time of the hyporheic exchange. Our results demonstrate that the information gain of monitoring network designs can be explored efficiently and with easily accessible tools prior to taking new field measurements or installing additional measurement points. The proposed methods proved to be efficient and can be applied for model-based optimal design of any type of monitoring network in approximately linear systems. Our key contributions are (1) the use of easy-to-implement tools for an otherwise complex task and (2) yet to consider data-worth interdependencies in simultaneous optimization of multiple sensor locations and sensor types. © 2016, National Ground Water Association.

  16. Online Classrooms: Powerful Tools for Rapid-Iteration Pedagogical Improvements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horodyskyj, L.; Semken, S.; Anbar, A.; Buxner, S.

    2015-11-01

    Online education offers the opportunity to reach a variety of students including non-traditional and geographically diverse students. Research has shown that online courses modeled after traditional lecture-exam courses are ineffective. Over the past three years, Arizona State University developed and offered Habitable Worlds, an online-only astrobiology lab course featuring active learning tools. The course is offered in an intelligent tutoring system (ITS) that records a wealth of student data. In analyzing data from the Fall 2013 offering of the course, we were able to identify pre-post quiz results that were suboptimal and where in the lesson and how precisely students were missing concepts. The problem areas were redesigned, and the improved lessons were deployed a few months later. We saw significant improvements in our pre-post quiz results due to the implemented changes. This demonstrates the effectiveness of using robust ITS not only to present content online, but to provide instantaneous data for rapid iteration and improvement of existing content.

  17. Analytical Tools to Improve Optimization Procedures for Lateral Flow Assays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen V. Hsieh

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Immunochromatographic or lateral flow assays (LFAs are inexpensive, easy to use, point-of-care medical diagnostic tests that are found in arenas ranging from a doctor’s office in Manhattan to a rural medical clinic in low resource settings. The simplicity in the LFA itself belies the complex task of optimization required to make the test sensitive, rapid and easy to use. Currently, the manufacturers develop LFAs by empirical optimization of material components (e.g., analytical membranes, conjugate pads and sample pads, biological reagents (e.g., antibodies, blocking reagents and buffers and the design of delivery geometry. In this paper, we will review conventional optimization and then focus on the latter and outline analytical tools, such as dynamic light scattering and optical biosensors, as well as methods, such as microfluidic flow design and mechanistic models. We are applying these tools to find non-obvious optima of lateral flow assays for improved sensitivity, specificity and manufacturing robustness.

  18. Improve Problem Solving Skills through Adapting Programming Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaykhian, Linda H.; Shaykhian, Gholam Ali

    2007-01-01

    There are numerous ways for engineers and students to become better problem-solvers. The use of command line and visual programming tools can help to model a problem and formulate a solution through visualization. The analysis of problem attributes and constraints provide insight into the scope and complexity of the problem. The visualization aspect of the problem-solving approach tends to make students and engineers more systematic in their thought process and help them catch errors before proceeding too far in the wrong direction. The problem-solver identifies and defines important terms, variables, rules, and procedures required for solving a problem. Every step required to construct the problem solution can be defined in program commands that produce intermediate output. This paper advocates improved problem solving skills through using a programming tool. MatLab created by MathWorks, is an interactive numerical computing environment and programming language. It is a matrix-based system that easily lends itself to matrix manipulation, and plotting of functions and data. MatLab can be used as an interactive command line or a sequence of commands that can be saved in a file as a script or named functions. Prior programming experience is not required to use MatLab commands. The GNU Octave, part of the GNU project, a free computer program for performing numerical computations, is comparable to MatLab. MatLab visual and command programming are presented here.

  19. Novel combined patient instruction and discharge summary tool improves timeliness of documentation and outpatient provider satisfaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meredith Gilliam

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Incomplete or delayed access to discharge information by outpatient providers and patients contributes to discontinuity of care and poor outcomes. Objective: To evaluate the effect of a new electronic discharge summary tool on the timeliness of documentation and communication with outpatient providers. Methods: In June 2012, we implemented an electronic discharge summary tool at our 145-bed university-affiliated Veterans Affairs hospital. The tool facilitates completion of a comprehensive discharge summary note that is available for patients and outpatient medical providers at the time of hospital discharge. Discharge summary note availability, outpatient provider satisfaction, and time between the decision to discharge a patient and discharge note completion were all evaluated before and after implementation of the tool. Results: The percentage of discharge summary notes completed by the time of first post-discharge clinical contact improved from 43% in February 2012 to 100% in September 2012 and was maintained at 100% in 2014. A survey of 22 outpatient providers showed that 90% preferred the new summary and 86% found it comprehensive. Despite increasing required documentation, the time required to discharge a patient, from physician decision to discharge note completion, improved from 5.6 h in 2010 to 4.1 h in 2012 (p = 0.04, and to 2.8 h in 2015 (p < 0.001. Conclusion: The implementation of a novel discharge summary tool improved the timeliness and comprehensiveness of discharge information as needed for the delivery of appropriate, high-quality follow-up care, without adversely affecting the efficiency of the discharge process.

  20. Improvements in diagnostic tools for early detection of psoriatic arthritis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Angelo, Salvatore; Palazzi, Carlo; Gilio, Michele; Leccese, Pietro; Padula, Angela; Olivieri, Ignazio

    2016-11-01

    Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a heterogeneous chronic inflammatory disease characterized by a wide clinical spectrum. The early diagnosis of PsA is currently a challenging topic. Areas covered: The literature was extensively reviewed for studies addressing the topic area "diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis". This review will summarize improvements in diagnostic tools, especially referral to the rheumatologist, the role of patient history and clinical examination, laboratory tests, and imaging techniques in getting an early and correct diagnosis of PsA. Expert commentary: Due to the heterogeneity of its expression, PsA may be easily either overdiagnosed or underdiagnosed. A diagnosis of PsA should be taken into account every time a patient with psoriasis or a family history of psoriasis shows peripheral arthritis, especially if oligoarticular or involving the distal interphalangeal joints, enthesitis or dactylitis. Magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasonography are useful for diagnosing PsA early, particularly when isolated enthesitis or inflammatory spinal pain occur.

  1. Improving diet quality through food affordability and accessibility in ...

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

    This project proposes to improve understanding of the factors that affect food purchasing, ... analysis and consumption demand modelling), statistical analyses (tracking relative ... for municipal and national-level actions that would support healthier diets. ... The Impact of Price, Tax, and Advertising Policies on Alcohol Use in ...

  2. Improving patient access to novel medical technologies in Europe.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Kearney, Peter

    2012-02-03

    The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) organized a one-day workshop with clinicians, health economic experts, and health technology appraisal experts to discuss the equity of patient access to novel medical technologies in Europe. Two index technologies were considered: implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) and drug-eluting stents (DES). The use of ICDs range from 35 implants\\/million population in Portugal to 166 implants\\/million population in Germany, whereas for implants of DES (as percentage of total stents) it is lowest in Germany at 14% and high in Portugal at 65%. These differences can in part be explained by a lack of structured implementation of guidelines, the direct cost in relation to the overall healthcare budget, and to differences in procedures and models applied by Health Technology Assessment (HTA) agencies in Europe. The workshop participants concluded that physicians need to be involved in a more structured way in HTA and need to become better acquainted with its methods and terminology. Clinical guidelines should be systematically translated, explained, disseminated, updated, and adopted by cardiologists in Europe. Clinically appropriate, consistent and transparent health economic models need to be developed and high-quality international outcome and cost data should be used. A process for funding of a technology should be developed after a positive recommendation from HTA agencies. Both the ESC and the national cardiac societies should build-up health economic expertise and engage more actively in discussions with stakeholders involved in the provision of healthcare.

  3. Ensemble Streamflow Forecast Improvements in NYC's Operations Support Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

    Like most other water supply utilities, New York City's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has operational challenges associated with drought and wet weather events. During drought conditions, DEP must maintain water supply reliability to 9 million customers as well as meet environmental release requirements downstream of its reservoirs. During and after wet weather events, DEP must maintain turbidity compliance in its unfiltered Catskill and Delaware reservoir systems and minimize spills to mitigate downstream flooding. Proactive reservoir management - such as release restrictions to prepare for a drought or preventative drawdown in advance of a large storm - can alleviate negative impacts associated with extreme events. It is important for water managers to understand the risks associated with proactive operations so unintended consequences such as endangering water supply reliability with excessive drawdown prior to a storm event are minimized. Probabilistic hydrologic forecasts are a critical tool in quantifying these risks and allow water managers to make more informed operational decisions. DEP has recently completed development of an Operations Support Tool (OST) that integrates ensemble streamflow forecasts, real-time observations, and a reservoir system operations model into a user-friendly graphical interface that allows its water managers to take robust and defensible proactive measures in the face of challenging system conditions. Since initial development of OST was first presented at the 2011 AGU Fall Meeting, significant improvements have been made to the forecast system. First, the monthly AR1 forecasts ('Hirsch method') were upgraded with a generalized linear model (GLM) utilizing historical daily correlations ('Extended Hirsch method' or 'eHirsch'). The development of eHirsch forecasts improved predictive skill over the Hirsch method in the first week to a month from the forecast date and produced more realistic hydrographs on the tail

  4. SOIL Geo-Wiki: A tool for improving soil information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skalský, Rastislav; Balkovic, Juraj; Fritz, Steffen; See, Linda; van der Velde, Marijn; Obersteiner, Michael

    2014-05-01

    Crowdsourcing is increasingly being used as a way of collecting data for scientific research, e.g. species identification, classification of galaxies and unravelling of protein structures. The WorldSoilProfiles.org database at ISRIC is a global collection of soil profiles, which have been 'crowdsourced' from experts. This system, however, requires contributors to have a priori knowledge about soils. Yet many soil parameters can be observed in the field without specific knowledge or equipment such as stone content, soil depth or color. By crowdsourcing this information over thousands of locations, the uncertainty in current soil datasets could be radically reduced, particularly in areas currently without information or where multiple interpretations are possible from different existing soil maps. Improved information on soils could benefit many research fields and applications. Better soil data could enhance assessments of soil ecosystem services (e.g. soil carbon storage) and facilitate improved process-based ecosystem modeling from local to global scales. Geo-Wiki is a crowdsourcing tool that was developed at IIASA for land cover validation using satellite imagery. Several branches are now available focused on specific aspects of land cover validation, e.g. validating cropland extent or urbanized areas. Geo-Wiki Pictures is a smart phone application for collecting land cover related information on the ground. The extension of Geo-Wiki to a mobile environment provides a tool for experts in land cover validation but is also a way of reaching the general public in the validation of land cover. Here we propose a Soil Geo-Wiki tool that builds on the existing functionality of the Geo-Wiki application, which will be largely designed for the collection and sharing of soil information. Two distinct applications are envisaged: an expert-oriented application mainly for scientific purposes, which will use soil science related language (e.g. WRB or any other global reference

  5. Adolescent health care: improving access by school-based service.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzales, C; Mulligan, D; Kaufman, A; Davis, S; Hunt, K; Kalishman, N; Wallerstein, N

    1985-10-01

    Participants in this discussion of the potential of school-based health care services for adolescents included family medicine physicians, school health coordinators, a school nurse, and a community worker. It was noted that health care for adolescents tends to be either inaccessible or underutilized, largely because of a lack of sensitivity to adolescent culture and values. An ideal service for adolescents would offer immediate services for crises, strict confidentiality, ready access to prescribed medications, a sliding-scale scheme, and a staff that is tolerant of divergent values and life-styles. School-based pilot adolescent clinics have been established by the University of New Mexico's Department of Family, Community, and Emergency Medicine to test the community-oriented health care model. On-site clinics provide urgent medical care, family planning, pregnancy testing, psychological counseling, alcohol and drug counseling, and classroom health education. Experience with these programs has demonstrated the necessity for an alliance among the health team and the school administration, parents, and students. Financial, ethical, and political factors can serve as constraints to school-based programs. In some cases, school administrators have been resistant to the provision of contraception to students on school grounds and parents have been unwilling to accept the adolescent's right to confidentiality. These problems in part stem from having 2 separate systems, each with its own values, orientation, and responsibilities, housed in 1 facility. In addition, there have been problems generating awareness of the school-based clinic among students. Health education theater groups, peer counseling, and student-run community services have been effective, however, in increasing student participation. It has been helpful to mold clinic services to meet the needs identified by teenagers themselves. There is an interest not only in curative services, but in services focused

  6. New features and improved uncertainty analysis in the NEA nuclear data sensitivity tool (NDaST)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyrda, J.; Soppera, N.; Hill, I.; Bossant, M.; Gulliford, J.

    2017-09-01

    Following the release and initial testing period of the NEA's Nuclear Data Sensitivity Tool [1], new features have been designed and implemented in order to expand its uncertainty analysis capabilities. The aim is to provide a free online tool for integral benchmark testing, that is both efficient and comprehensive, meeting the needs of the nuclear data and benchmark testing communities. New features include access to P1 sensitivities for neutron scattering angular distribution [2] and constrained Chi sensitivities for the prompt fission neutron energy sampling. Both of these are compatible with covariance data accessed via the JANIS nuclear data software, enabling propagation of the resultant uncertainties in keff to a large series of integral experiment benchmarks. These capabilities are available using a number of different covariance libraries e.g., ENDF/B, JEFF, JENDL and TENDL, allowing comparison of the broad range of results it is possible to obtain. The IRPhE database of reactor physics measurements is now also accessible within the tool in addition to the criticality benchmarks from ICSBEP. Other improvements include the ability to determine and visualise the energy dependence of a given calculated result in order to better identify specific regions of importance or high uncertainty contribution. Sorting and statistical analysis of the selected benchmark suite is now also provided. Examples of the plots generated by the software are included to illustrate such capabilities. Finally, a number of analytical expressions, for example Maxwellian and Watt fission spectra will be included. This will allow the analyst to determine the impact of varying such distributions within the data evaluation, either through adjustment of parameters within the expressions, or by comparison to a more general probability distribution fitted to measured data. The impact of such changes is verified through calculations which are compared to a `direct' measurement found by

  7. A fast track path improves access to palliative care for people with learning disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitington, Jane; Ma, Peng

    People with learning disabilities often experience inequalities in accessing general health services. This group, their families and carers need access to effective palliative care when facing a life limiting illness. This article describes the development and implementation of a fast track referral pathway for people with learning disabilities at St Francis Hospice in Essex. Our aim is to share this pathway so others can replicate the collaborative working to improve access to palliative care services for this group.

  8. Accessibility

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brooks, Anthony Lewis

    2017-01-01

    This contribution is timely as it addresses accessibility in regards system hardware and software aligned with introduction of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) and adjoined game industry waiver that comes into force January 2017. This is an act created...... by the USA Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to increase the access of persons with disabilities to modern communications, and for other purposes. The act impacts advanced communications services and products including text messaging; e-mail; instant messaging; video communications; browsers; game...... platforms; and games software. However, the CVAA has no legal status in the EU. This text succinctly introduces and questions implications, impact, and wider adoption. By presenting the full CVAA and game industry waiver the text targets to motivate discussions and further publications on the subject...

  9. Performance improvement tool for Thai make–to–order manufacturing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Apichat Sopadang

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a framework to improve a performance of shop floor control for Thai make-to-order (MTO smalland medium enterprises (SMEs. Integrated definition for function modeling is exploited to explore activities and relate ofcomponents. In-depth interview with experts and practitioners in the case study is provided useful information. The empiricalstudy is evaluated to suit for using the finalized SHEN model as a benchmark. Factor analysis is performed to find simplifiedinformation from variables. The data are collected from experience respondents by using a designed questionnaire. Eachobserved variable is assigned to test validity and reliability by factor loading and Cronbach’s alpha, respectively. The resultsshow that finalized SHEN can use as a performance improvement tool for Thai MTO SMEs. For example principle 11 is tested.Each observed variable has covariance value between 0.380-0.873. The value of reliability Cronbach’s alpha for this factoris shown 0.869. Based on the scree plot, it is asserted that 5 observed variables are correctly formed in the same principle.

  10. Escape Excel: A tool for preventing gene symbol and accession conversion errors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welsh, Eric A; Stewart, Paul A; Kuenzi, Brent M; Eschrich, James A

    2017-01-01

    Microsoft Excel automatically converts certain gene symbols, database accessions, and other alphanumeric text into dates, scientific notation, and other numerical representations. These conversions lead to subsequent, irreversible, corruption of the imported text. A recent survey of popular genomic literature estimates that one-fifth of all papers with supplementary gene lists suffer from this issue. Here, we present an open-source tool, Escape Excel, which prevents these erroneous conversions by generating an escaped text file that can be safely imported into Excel. Escape Excel is implemented in a variety of formats (http://www.github.com/pstew/escape_excel), including a command line based Perl script, a Windows-only Excel Add-In, an OS X drag-and-drop application, a simple web-server, and as a Galaxy web environment interface. Test server implementations are accessible as a Galaxy interface (http://apostl.moffitt.org) and simple non-Galaxy web server (http://apostl.moffitt.org:8000/). Escape Excel detects and escapes a wide variety of problematic text strings so that they are not erroneously converted into other representations upon importation into Excel. Examples of problematic strings include date-like strings, time-like strings, leading zeroes in front of numbers, and long numeric and alphanumeric identifiers that should not be automatically converted into scientific notation. It is hoped that greater awareness of these potential data corruption issues, together with diligent escaping of text files prior to importation into Excel, will help to reduce the amount of Excel-corrupted data in scientific analyses and publications.

  11. Subsetting Tools for Enabling Easy Access to International Airborne Chemistry Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Northup, E. A.; Chen, G.; Quam, B. M.; Beach, A. L., III; Silverman, M. L.; Early, A. B.

    2017-12-01

    In response to the Research Opportunities in Earth and Space Science (ROSES) 2015 release announcement for Advancing Collaborative Connections for Earth System Science (ACCESS), researchers at NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) proposed to extend the capabilities of the existing Toolsets for Airborne Data (TAD) to include subsetting functionality to allow for easier access to international airborne field campaign data. Airborne field studies are commonly used to gain a detailed understanding of atmospheric processes for scientific research on international climate change and air quality issues. To accommodate the rigorous process for manipulating airborne field study chemistry data, and to lessen barriers for researchers, TAD was created with the ability to geolocate data from various sources measured on different time scales from a single flight. The analysis of airborne chemistry data typically requires data subsetting, which can be challenging and resource-intensive for end users. In an effort to streamline this process, new data subsetting features and updates to the current database model will be added to the TAD toolset. These will include two subsetters: temporal and spatial, and vertical profile. The temporal and spatial subsetter will allow users to both focus on data from a specific location and/or time period. The vertical profile subsetter will retrieve data collected during an individual aircraft ascent or descent spiral. These new web-based tools will allow for automation of the typically labor-intensive manual data subsetting process, which will provide users with data tailored to their specific research interests. The system has been designed to allow for new in-situ airborne missions to be added as they become available, with only minor pre-processing required. The development of these enhancements will be discussed in this presentation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-09

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

  13. Making interdisciplinary solid Earth modeling and analysis tools accessible in a diverse undergraduate and graduate classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, T. W.

    2011-12-01

    I present results from ongoing, NSF-CAREER funded educational and research efforts that center around making numerical tools in seismology and geodynamics more accessible to a broader audience. The goal is not only to train students in quantitative, interdisciplinary research, but also to make methods more easily accessible to practitioners across disciplines. I describe the two main efforts that were funded, the Solid Earth Research and Teaching Environment (SEATREE, geosys.usc.edu/projects/seatree/), and a new Numerical Methods class. SEATREE is a modular and user-friendly software framework to facilitate using solid Earth research tools in the undergraduate and graduate classroom and for interdisciplinary, scientific collaboration. We use only open-source software, and most programming is done in the Python computer language. We strive to make use of modern software design and development concepts while remaining compatible with traditional scientific coding and existing, legacy software. Our goals are to provide a fully contained, yet transparent package that lets users operate in an easy, graphically supported "black box" mode, while also allowing to look under the hood, for example to conduct numerous forward models to explore parameter space. SEATREE currently has several implemented modules, including on global mantle flow, 2D phase velocity tomography, and 2D mantle convection and was used at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and at a 2010 CIDER summer school tutorial. SEATREE was developed in collaboration with engineering and computer science undergraduate students, some of which have gone on to work in Earth Science projects. In the long run, we envision SEATREE to contribute to new ways of sharing scientific research, and making (numerical) experiments truly reproducible again. The other project is a set of lecture notes and Matlab exercises on Numerical Methods in solid Earth, focusing on finite difference and element methods. The

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-08-30

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

  15. Objective breast symmetry analysis with the breast analyzing tool (BAT): improved tool for clinical trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krois, Wilfried; Romar, Alexander Ken; Wild, Thomas; Dubsky, Peter; Exner, Ruth; Panhofer, Peter; Jakesz, Raimund; Gnant, Michael; Fitzal, Florian

    2017-07-01

    Objective cosmetic analysis is important to evaluate the cosmetic outcome after breast surgery or breast radiotherapy. For this purpose, we aimed to improve our recently developed objective scoring software, the Breast Analyzing Tool (BAT ® ). A questionnaire about important factors for breast symmetry was handed out to ten experts (surgeons) and eight non-experts (students). Using these factors, the first-generation BAT ® software formula has been modified and the breast symmetry index (BSI) from 129 women after breast surgery has been calculated by the first author with this new BAT ® formula. The resulting BSI values of these 129 breast cancer patients were then correlated with subjective symmetry scores from the 18 observers using the Harris scale. The BSI of ten images was also calculated from five observers different from the first author to calculate inter-rater reliability. In a second phase, the new BAT ® formula was validated and correlated with subjective scores of additional 50 women after breast surgery. The inter-rater reliability analysis of the objective evaluation by the BAT ® from five individuals showed an ICC of 0.992 with almost no difference between different observers. All subjective scores of 50 patients correlated with the modified BSI score with a high Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.909 (p BAT ® software improves the correlation between subjective and objective BSI values, and may be a new standard for trials evaluating breast symmetry.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-18

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

  17. Improving molecular tools for global surveillance of measles virus⋆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bankamp, Bettina; Byrd-Leotis, Lauren A.; Lopareva, Elena N.; Woo, Gibson K.S.; Liu, Chunyu; Jee, Youngmee; Ahmed, Hinda; Lim, Wilina W.; Ramamurty, Nalini; Mulders, Mick N.; Featherstone, David; Bellini, William J.; Rota, Paul A.

    2017-01-01

    Background The genetic characterization of wild-type measles viruses plays an important role in the description of viral transmission pathways and the verification of measles elimination. The 450 nucleotides that encode the carboxyl-terminus of the nucleoprotein (N-450) are routinely sequenced for genotype analysis. Objectives The objectives of this study were to develop improved primers and controls for RT-PCR reactions used for genotyping of measles samples and to develop a method to provide a convenient, safe, and inexpensive means to distribute measles RNA for RT-PCR assays and practice panels. Study design A newly designed, genetically defined synthetic RNA and RNA isolated from cells infected with currently circulating genotypes were used to compare the sensitivity of primer pairs in RT-PCR and nested PCR. FTA® cards loaded with lysates of measles infected cells were tested for their ability to preserve viral RNA and destroy virus infectivity. Results A new primer pair, MeV216/MeV214, was able to amplify N-450 from viruses representing 10 currently circulating genotypes and a genotype A vaccine strain and demonstrated 100-fold increased sensitivity compared to the previously used primer set. A nested PCR assay further increased the sensitivity of detection from patient samples. A synthetic positive control RNA was developed that produced PCR products that are distinguishable by size from PCR products amplified from clinical samples. FTA® cards completely inactivated measles virus and stabilized RNA for at least six months. Conclusions These improved molecular tools will advance molecular characterization of circulating measles viruses globally and provide enhanced quality control measures. PMID:23806666

  18. Improving molecular tools for global surveillance of measles virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bankamp, Bettina; Byrd-Leotis, Lauren A; Lopareva, Elena N; Woo, Gibson K S; Liu, Chunyu; Jee, Youngmee; Ahmed, Hinda; Lim, Wilina W; Ramamurty, Nalini; Mulders, Mick N; Featherstone, David; Bellini, William J; Rota, Paul A

    2013-09-01

    The genetic characterization of wild-type measles viruses plays an important role in the description of viral transmission pathways and the verification of measles elimination. The 450 nucleotides that encode the carboxyl-terminus of the nucleoprotein (N-450) are routinely sequenced for genotype analysis. The objectives of this study were to develop improved primers and controls for RT-PCR reactions used for genotyping of measles samples and to develop a method to provide a convenient, safe, and inexpensive means to distribute measles RNA for RT-PCR assays and practice panels. A newly designed, genetically defined synthetic RNA and RNA isolated from cells infected with currently circulating genotypes were used to compare the sensitivity of primer pairs in RT-PCR and nested PCR. FTA® cards loaded with lysates of measles infected cells were tested for their ability to preserve viral RNA and destroy virus infectivity. A new primer pair, MeV216/MeV214, was able to amplify N-450 from viruses representing 10 currently circulating genotypes and a genotype A vaccine strain and demonstrated 100-fold increased sensitivity compared to the previously used primer set. A nested PCR assay further increased the sensitivity of detection from patient samples. A synthetic positive control RNA was developed that produced PCR products that are distinguishable by size from PCR products amplified from clinical samples. FTA® cards completely inactivated measles virus and stabilized RNA for at least six months. These improved molecular tools will advance molecular characterization of circulating measles viruses globally and provide enhanced quality control measures. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  19. Cisgenesis and Intragenesis: New tools For Improving Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C Espinoza

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO could be the answer for many relevant problems affecting crops. However, improving crops through GMO is also often associated with safety concerns, environmental risks and health issues due to the presence of foreign DNA. These limitations have prompted the development of alternative technologies. Recently, cisgenesis and intragenesis have been developed as new tools aimed to modify crops. While cisgenesis involves genetic modification using a complete copy of natural genes with their regulatory elements that belong exclusively to sexually compatible plants, intragenesis refers to the transference of new combinations of genes and regulatory sequences belonging to that particular species. So far, application of cisgenesis and intragenesis as alternatives to conventional transgenesis are limited to a few species, mainly due to the lack of knowledge of the regulatory sequences required. The grape is one of the most cultivated crops worldwide and is the most economically relevant crop in Chile. Its genomic sequence has been completed, making available new sources of information to improve grape traits by genetic manipulation. This review is focused on the current alternatives to transgenesis in plants, including new approaches to develop marker-free crops, their application to economically relevant crops and future perspectives in the area. Also, the identification of grapevine promoters with a wide range of expression profiles is shown. The expression pattern of these genes was analyzed in different tissues and developmental stages, as well as under several stresses and stimuli, giving a broad range of expression patterns, including genes expressed exclusively during ripening, in response to sugars, senescence and biotic stress, among others. Genes with strong and constitutive expression were also identified. Functional analysis using reporter genes has been conducted in order to confirm the promoter

  20. Effects of Job Accessibility Improved by Public Transport System: Natural Experimental Evidence from the Copenhagen Metro

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pons Rotger, Gabriel Angel; Nielsen, Thomas Alexander Sick

    2015-01-01

    This study examines the effect of accessibility to urban jobs via a public transport system on individual earnings and commuting behaviour. The effect of improved public transport based accessibility on these outcomes is determined by exploiting the exogenous variation in access to a public rail...... and Metro system resulting from the construction of a new terminal Metro station connecting southern townships to Copenhagen city centre. The results show that public transport based job accessibility has a positive and permanent effect on individual earnings. The increase in earnings is associated...... with a change in commuting patterns as the improved access to public transport facilitates a shift from employment within the township to better paid jobs in the city centre, as well as in other suburbs of the Copenhagen Metropolitan area...

  1. Mobile task management tool that improves workflow of an acute general surgical service.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foo, Elizabeth; McDonald, Rod; Savage, Earle; Floyd, Richard; Butler, Anthony; Rumball-Smith, Alistair; Connor, Saxon

    2015-10-01

    Understanding and being able to measure constraints within a health system is crucial if outcomes are to be improved. Current systems lack the ability to capture decision making with regard to tasks performed within a patient journey. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of a mobile task management tool on clinical workflow within an acute general surgical service by analysing data capture and usability of the application tool. The Cortex iOS application was developed to digitize patient flow and provide real-time visibility over clinical decision making and task performance. Study outcomes measured were workflow data capture for patient and staff events. Usability was assessed using an electronic survey. There were 449 unique patient journeys tracked with a total of 3072 patient events recorded. The results repository was accessed 7792 times. The participants reported that the application sped up decision making, reduced redundancy of work and improved team communication. The mode of the estimated time the application saved participants was 5-9 min/h of work. Of the 14 respondents, nine discarded their analogue methods of tracking tasks by the end of the study period. The introduction of a mobile task management system improved the working efficiency of junior clinical staff. The application allowed capture of data not previously available to hospital systems. In the future, such data will contribute to the accurate mapping of patient journeys through the health system. © 2015 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

  2. Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) - The Need for Radical Reform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Michael J

    2018-02-01

    Improving Access to Psychological Therapies is a UK government-funded initiative to widen access to the psychological treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. The author has had the opportunity to independently assess 90 Improving Access to Psychological Therapies clients, using a standardised semi-structured interview, the Structured Clinical Diagnostic Interview for DSM Disorders (SCID) and to listen to their account of interaction with the service. The results suggest that only the tip of the iceberg fully recovers from their disorder (9.2%) whether or not they were treated before or after a personal injury claim. There is a pressing need to re-examine the modus operandi of the service.

  3. Improving access to care through the patient-centered medical home.

    Science.gov (United States)

    North, Stephen W; McElligot, James; Douglas, Gaye; Martin, Amanda

    2014-02-01

    School-based health centers (SBHCs) serve an essential role in providing access to high-quality, comprehensive care to underserved children and adolescents in more than 2,000 schools across the United States. SBHCs are an essential component of the health care safety net, and their role in the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) continues to evolve as both collaborating partners and, when fully functioning, independent PCMHs. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports the use of SBHCs, citing the proven benefits and exciting potential as justification, but also offers caution and recommends a focus on communication within the community. Traditional "brick and mortar" SBHCs are more likely to be located in urban communities (54.2% urban versus 18.0% rural) and be in schools with more students, allowing for a greater return on investment. Current SBHCs are located in schools with an average population of 997 students. The need for a large school population to help an SBHC approach financial viability excludes children in rural communities who are more likely to attend a school with fewer than 500 students, be poor, and have difficulty accessing health care.2 The expansion of telehealth technologies allows the creation of solutions to decrease geographic barriers that have limited the growth of SBHCs in rural communities. Telehealth school-based health centers (tSBHCs) that exclusively provide services through telemedicine are operating and developing in communities where geographic barriers and financial challenges have prevented the establishment of brick and mortar SBHCs. TSBHCs are beginning to increase the number and variety of services they provide through the use of telehealth to include behavioral health, nutrition services, and pediatric specialists. Understanding the role of tSBHCs in the growth of the PCMH model is critical for using these tools to continue to improve child and adolescent health. Copyright 2014, SLACK Incorporated.

  4. Improving access to medicines in low and middle income countries: corporate responsibilities in context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leisinger, Klaus Michael; Garabedian, Laura Faden; Wagner, Anita Katharina

    2012-12-01

    More than two billion people in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) lack adequate access to essential medicines. In this paper, we make strong public health, human rights and economic arguments for improving access to medicines in LMIC and discuss the different roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders, including national governments, the international community, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). We then establish a framework of pharmaceutical firms' corporate responsibilities - the "must," the "ought to," and the "can" dimensions - and make recommendations for actionable business strategies for improving access to medicines. We discuss controversial topics, such as pharmaceutical profits and patents, with the goal of building consensus around facts and working towards a solution. We conclude that partnerships and collaboration among multiple stakeholders are urgently needed to improve equitable access to medicines in LMIC.

  5. Improving Tools and Processes in Mechanical Design Collaboration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs, Clark

    2009-01-01

    Cooperative product development projects in the aerospace and defense industry are held hostage to high cost and risk due to poor alignment of collaborative design tools and processes. This impasse can be broken if companies will jointly develop implementation approaches and practices in support of high value working arrangements. The current tools can be used to better advantage in many situations and there is reason for optimism that tool vendors will provide significant support.

  6. Access, Use and Perceptions of Teachers and Students towards Mobile Phones as a Tool for Teaching and Learning in Tanzania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kafyulilo, Ayoub

    2014-01-01

    This study explored the access, use and perceptions of teachers and students towards mobile phones as a tool for facilitating teaching and learning beyond the classroom walls. A total of 29 pre-service teachers and four college instructors from Dar es salaam University College of Education (DUCE) as well as 12 in-service teachers and 40 students…

  7. The Use of Ultrasound to Improve Axillary Vein Access and Minimize Complications during Pacemaker Implantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esmaiel, Abdullah; Hassan, Jeremy; Blenkhorn, Fay; Mardigyan, Vartan

    2016-05-01

    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in the United States recommends the use of ultrasound (US) for central venous access to improve patient outcomes. However, in a recent publication, US is still underutilized for axillary vein access during pacemaker implantation. We sought to describe a technique for US-guided axillary vein access during pacemaker implantation and to report complication rates and success rate. Retrospective data collection included success rate and complications on all pacemaker implants by one operator since implementing the systematic use of US at our institution, from November 2012 to January 2015. For the last 59 cases, data were collected prospectively to include time of venous access and number of attempts. A total of 403 consecutive patients were included in the analysis. Two leads were implanted in 255 cases and one lead was implanted in 148 cases. The rate of successful US-guided access was 99.25%. There were no access-related complications. The average number of venipuncture attempts was 1.18 per patient. The average time to obtain venous access was 2.24 minutes including the time to apply the sterile US sleeve. The described technique has the potential to improve the success rate of axillary vein access and minimize complications during pacemaker implantation. ©2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. WOVOdat: A New Tool for Managing and Accessing Data of Worldwide Volcanic Unrest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venezky, D. Y.; Malone, S. D.; Newhall, C. G.

    2002-12-01

    WOVOdat (World Organization of Volcano Observatories database of volcanic unrest) will for the first time bring together data of worldwide volcanic seismicity, ground deformation, fumarolic activity, and other changes within or adjacent to a volcanic system. Although a large body of data and experience has been built over the past century, currently, we have no means of accessing that collective experience for use during crises and for research. WOVOdat will be the central resource of a data management system; other components will include utilities for data input and archiving, structured data retrieval, and data mining; educational modules; and links to institutional databases such as IRIS (global seismicity), UNAVCO (global GPS coordinates and strain vectors), and Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program (historical eruptions). Data will be geospatially and time-referenced, to provide four dimensional images of how volcanic systems respond to magma intrusion, regional strain, and other disturbances prior to and during eruption. As part of the design phase, a small WOVOdat team is currently collecting information from observatories about their data types, formats, and local data management. The database schema is being designed such that responses to common, yet complex, queries are rapid (e.g., where else has similar unrest occurred and what was the outcome?) while also allowing for more detailed research analysis of relationships between various parameters (e.g., what do temporal relations between long-period earthquakes, transient deformation, and spikes in gas emission tell us about the geometry and physical properties of magma and a volcanic edifice?). We are excited by the potential of WOVOdat, and we invite participation in its design and development. Next steps involve formalizing and testing the design, and, developing utilities for translating data of various formats into common formats. The large job of populating the database will follow, and eventually

  9. Data Basin Aquatic Center: expanding access to aquatic conservation data, analysis tools, people and practical answers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osborne-Gowey, J.; Strittholt, J.; Bergquist, J.; Ward, B. C.; Sheehan, T.; Comendant, T.; Bachelet, D. M.

    2009-12-01

    The world’s aquatic resources are experiencing anthropogenic pressures on an unprecedented scale and aquatic organisms are experiencing widespread population changes and ecosystem-scale habitat alterations. Climate change is likely to exacerbate these threats, in some cases reducing the range of native North American fishes by 20-100% (depending on the location of the population and the model assumptions). Scientists around the globe are generating large volumes of data that vary in quality, format, supporting documentation, and accessibility. Moreover, diverse models are being run at various temporal and spatial scales as scientists attempt to understand previous (and project future) human impacts to aquatic species and their habitats. Conservation scientists often struggle to synthesize this wealth of information for developing practical on-the-ground management strategies. As a result, the best available science is often not utilized in the decision-making and adaptive management processes. As aquatic conservation problems around the globe become more serious and the demand to solve them grows more urgent, scientists and land-use managers need a new way to bring strategic, science-based, and action-oriented approaches to aquatic conservation. The Conservation Biology Institute (CBI), with partners such as ESRI, is developing an Aquatic Center as part of a dynamic, web-based resource (Data Basin; http: databasin.org) that centralizes usable aquatic datasets and provides analytical tools to visualize, analyze, and communicate findings for practical applications. To illustrate its utility, we present example datasets of varying spatial scales and synthesize multiple studies to arrive at novel solutions to aquatic threats.

  10. Improving irrigation efficiency : the need for a relevant sequence of the management tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fayolle, Y.

    2009-04-01

    With 70 % of worldwide withdrawals, irrigation efficiency is a key issue in the overall problem of water resources. Management of water dedicated to agriculture should be improved to secure food production and save water to deal with increasing domestic and industrial demands. This paper is based on the results of a collaborative research project conducted in India with a local NGO (the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, AKRSP(I)) during which GIS were tested. It is aimed at analyzing the efficiency of water usage in a water development programme conducted by the partner NGO in the semi-arid margins of Gujarat state. The analysis raises the question of the articulation of legal, institutional, economical, and technical tools to improve water efficiency. The NGO supervises the construction of surface water harvesting structures for irrigation purposes. Following a participatory approach, it creates and trains user groups to which the management of dams would then be devolved. User group membership depends on financial contribution to the building costs. A legal vacuum regarding surface water management combined with unequal investment capacities favor the concentration of water resources in the hands of a limited number of farmers. This causes low water use efficiency, irrigation choices being mostly oriented to high water consumptive crops and recipient farmers showing no interest in investing in water saving techniques. Our observations favor equality of access and paying more attention to the sequence in which management tools are articulated. On a national scale, as a prerequisite, water user rights as well as NGO's intervention legal framework should be clarified. On a project scale, before construction, information systems could help to identify all potential beneficiaries and optimize equality of access. It aims at reducing the volume of water per farmer to encourage them to irrigate low water consumptive crops and invest in water saving techniques. Depending

  11. Coordination mechanisms for quality improvement and market access in Ethiopian potato value chains

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abebe, G.K.

    2013-01-01

    Market access for smallholders in developing countries often requires the improvement of product quality. As products are traded in value chains, quality improvement entails the coordination of activities and decisions by all actors in the chain. Thus, enhancing smallholders’

  12. Instant messaging: The way to improve access for young people to their school nurse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuller, Lynne; Thaker, Kelly

    2015-12-01

    Children and young people require ease of access to their school nurse. Alongside this, school nurses are charged with the need to work smarter, being cost-effective and timely in response. School nursing teams across the country provide access through text messaging, however, there is presently no access provided to young people to have a consultation as a web-based chat facility. Using digital media, Doncaster school nurses have worked closely with young people to redesign and launch a totally interactive web- based clinic facility. This allows for improved access, reduction in travel costs and consultations to take place outside of the traditional times for accessing school nurses. This paper discusses a pilot project around the establishment of an e-clinic connecting young people and school nurses. It outlines the journey towards providing this innovative service in an attempt to provide cost-effective, timely services while reducing the barriers for service users.

  13. Mars, accessing the third dimension: a software tool to exploit Mars ground penetrating radars data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantini, Federico; Ivanov, Anton B.

    2016-04-01

    The Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS), on board the ESA's Mars Express and the SHAllow RADar (SHARAD), on board the NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are two ground penetrating radars (GPRs) aimed to probe the crust of Mars to explore the subsurface structure of the planet. By now they are collecting data since about 10 years covering a large fraction of the Mars surface. On the Earth GPRs collect data by sending electromagnetic (EM) pulses toward the surface and listening to the return echoes occurring at the dielectric discontinuities on the planet's surface and subsurface. The wavelengths used allow MARSIS EM pulses to penetrate the crust for several kilometers. The data products (Radargrams) are matrices where the x-axis spans different sampling points on the planet surface and the y-axis is the power of the echoes over time in the listening window. No standard way to manage this kind of data is established in the planetary science community and data analysis and interpretation require very often some knowledge of radar signal processing. Our software tool is aimed to ease the access to this data in particular to scientists without a specific background in signal processing. MARSIS and SHARAD geometrical data such as probing point latitude and longitude and spacecraft altitude, are stored, together with relevant acquisition metadata, in a geo-enabled relational database implemented using PostgreSQL and PostGIS. Data are extracted from official ESA and NASA released data using self-developed python classes and scripts and inserted in the database using OGR utilities. This software is also aimed to be the core of a collection of classes and script to implement more complex GPR data analysis. Geometrical data and metadata are exposed as WFS layers using a QGIS server, which can be further integrated with other data, such as imaging, spectroscopy and topography. Radar geometry data will be available as a part of the iMars Web

  14. Phases and Steps in the Access to Data in Information Tools

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bergenholtz, Henning; Bothma, Theo; Gouws, Rufus

    2015-01-01

    route and access time, but not access structure. This term is not only ill defined – it is less relevant, because each user has different access routes, and also the same user makes use of different routes in different cases. We describe four experiments in a case study with one test person how...... the different access processes in different user situations take place. This test person is trying to solve different accounting information needs in different user situations. The aim of this paper is to compare and contrast the access process terminology of lexicography and information science, to systematize...... the terms in a logical structure and to show how these disciplines complement one another by providing clearer definitions to describe the different access processes....

  15. pClone: Synthetic Biology Tool Makes Promoter Research Accessible to Beginning Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckdahl, Todd; Cronk, Brian; Andresen, Corinne; Frederick, Paul; Huckuntod, Samantha; Shinneman, Claire; Wacker, Annie; Yuan, Jason

    2014-01-01

    The Vision and Change report recommended genuine research experiences for undergraduate biology students. Authentic research improves science education, increases the number of scientifically literate citizens, and encourages students to pursue research. Synthetic biology is well suited for undergraduate research and is a growing area of science. We developed a laboratory module called pClone that empowers students to use advances in molecular cloning methods to discover new promoters for use by synthetic biologists. Our educational goals are consistent with Vision and Change and emphasize core concepts and competencies. pClone is a family of three plasmids that students use to clone a new transcriptional promoter or mutate a canonical promoter and measure promoter activity in Escherichia coli. We also developed the Registry of Functional Promoters, an open-access database of student promoter research results. Using pre- and posttests, we measured significant learning gains among students using pClone in introductory biology and genetics classes. Student posttest scores were significantly better than scores of students who did not use pClone. pClone is an easy and affordable mechanism for large-enrollment labs to meet the high standards of Vision and Change. PMID:26086659

  16. The World Stress Map - A Freely Accessible Tool For Geohazard Assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mueller, Birgit; Heidbach, Oliver; Tingay, Mark

    2006-01-01

    The World Stress Map (WSM) database contains over 16,000 indicators on contemporary crustal tectonic stress and provides an essential parameter for geohazard assessment. This paper focuses on the importance of database accessibility for geohazard assessment and presents the basic concepts and availability of the WSM. The WSM can be applied to several key aspects of geohazard assessment, in particular the mapping of stress patterns and places of stress concentration for improved delineation of zones of seismic hazard. Furthermore, contemporary tectonic stresses can be used in combination with numerical modeling to identify faults or sections of fault systems with high failure potential and can help to predict the likely type of fault reactivation. This approach is especially valuable for assessing the likelihood of strong and rare seismic events for which probabilistic hazard assessment will fail and physically based methodologies are required. Herein, we use the Caspian-Caucasian region as an example to apply WSM data for geohazard assessment. The Caspian-Caucasian area is characterized by the occurrence of a number of stress related geohazards on different spatial scales, in particular crustal earthquakes, seismically triggered landslides and mud volcanism

  17. Industrial Engineering Tool Use in Quality Improvement Projects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-10-30

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

  18. System Sketch: A Visualization Tool to Improve Community Decision Making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Making decisions in coastal and estuarine management requires a comprehensive understanding of the linkages between environmental, social, and economic systems. SystemSketch is a web-based scoping tool designed to assist resource managers in characterizing their systems, explorin...

  19. Improving Access to Behavioral Health Care for Remote Service Members and Their Families

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    video conferencing can help remote service members and dependents access needed care. These two promising avenues for improving access to care can...Corporation ISBN 978-0-8330-8872-7 www.rand.org Limited Print and Electronic Distribution Rights This document and trademark(s) contained herein are...RAND Corporation View document details Support RAND Browse Reports & Bookstore Make a charitable contribution Limited Electronic Distribution Rights

  20. Improving design processes through structured reflection : a prototype software tool

    OpenAIRE

    Reymen, I.M.M.J.; Melby, E.

    2001-01-01

    A prototype software tool facilitating the use of a design method supporting structured reflection on design processes is presented. The prototype, called Echo, has been developed to explore the benefits of using a software system to facilitate the use of the design method. Both the prototype software tool and the design method are developed as part of the Ph.D. project of Isabelle Reymen. The goal of the design method is supporting designers with reflection on design processes in a systemati...

  1. Critical Access Hospitals (CAH)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... for Success Am I Rural? Evidence-based Toolkits Economic Impact Analysis Tool Community Health Gateway Sustainability Planning ... hospitals and improve access to healthcare by keeping essential services in rural communities. To accomplish this goal, ...

  2. A coherent environment of software improvement tools for CMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eulisse, G.; Muzaffar, S.; Osborne, I.; Taylor, L.; Tuura, L.A.

    2004-01-01

    CMS has developed approximately one million lines of C++ code and uses many more from HEP, Grid and public domain projects. We describe a suite of tools which help to manage this complexity by measuring software dependencies, quality metrics, and CPU and memory performance. This coherent environment integrates and extends existing open-source tools where possible and provides new in-house components where a suitable solution does not already exist. This is a freely available environment with graphical user interface which can be run on any software without the need to recompile or instrument it. We have developed ignominy which performs software dependency analysis of source code, binary products and external software. CPU profiling is provided based on oprofile, with added features such as profile snapshots, distributed profiling and aggregate profiles for farm systems including server-side tools for collecting profile data. Finally, we have developed a low-overhead performance and memory profiling tool, MemProf, which can perform (gprof-style) hierarchical performance profiling, in a way that works with multiple threads and dynamically loaded libraries (unlike gprof). It also gathers exact memory allocation profiles including which code allocates most, in what sizes of chunks, for how long, where the memory is getting freed and where it is getting leaked. We describe this tool suite and how it has been used to enhance the quality of CMS software

  3. Knickpoint finder: A software tool that improves neotectonic analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Queiroz, G. L.; Salamuni, E.; Nascimento, E. R.

    2015-03-01

    This work presents a new software tool for morphometric analysis of drainage networks based on the methods of Hack (1973) and Etchebehere et al. (2004). This tool is applicable to studies of morphotectonics and neotectonics. The software used a digital elevation model (DEM) to identify the relief breakpoints along drainage profiles (knickpoints). The program was coded in Python for use on the ArcGIS platform and is called Knickpoint Finder. A study area was selected to test and evaluate the software's ability to analyze and identify neotectonic morphostructures based on the morphology of the terrain. For an assessment of its validity, we chose an area of the James River basin, which covers most of the Piedmont area of Virginia (USA), which is an area of constant intraplate seismicity and non-orogenic active tectonics and exhibits a relatively homogeneous geodesic surface currently being altered by the seismogenic features of the region. After using the tool in the chosen area, we found that the knickpoint locations are associated with the geologic structures, epicenters of recent earthquakes, and drainages with rectilinear anomalies. The regional analysis demanded the use of a spatial representation of the data after processing using Knickpoint Finder. The results were satisfactory in terms of the correlation of dense areas of knickpoints with active lineaments and the rapidity of the identification of deformed areas. Therefore, this software tool may be considered useful in neotectonic analyses of large areas and may be applied to any area where there is DEM coverage.

  4. Improving design processes through structured reflection : a prototype software tool

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reymen, I.M.M.J.; Melby, E.

    2001-01-01

    A prototype software tool facilitating the use of a design method supporting structured reflection on design processes is presented. The prototype, called Echo, has been developed to explore the benefits of using a software system to facilitate the use of the design method. Both the prototype

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-08-31

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

  6. Information as a Strategic Tool to Improve Industrial Competitiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalseth, Karl; And Others

    1989-01-01

    Eight papers from the FID/II Pre-Conference Seminar (Espoo, Finland, August 24-25, 1988) discuss issues related to the use of information as a tool in the context of business information services, strategic information management, business intelligence systems, information resources management, and the role of information and documentation in…

  7. Improving Critical Thinking with Interactive Mobile Tools and Apps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Lin; Widdall, Chris; Ward, Laurie

    2014-01-01

    In this article, the authors describe how integrating interactive mobile tools into elementary pedagogy can generate enthusiasm and critical thinking among students as they learn about the world. The activities described took place over the course of six one-hour periods spanning six days. These activities address three major social studies…

  8. Using Online Compound Interest Tools to Improve Financial Literacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbard, Edward; Matthews, Percival; Samek, Anya

    2016-01-01

    The widespread use of personal computing presents the opportunity to design educational materials that can be delivered online, potentially addressing low financial literacy. The authors developed and evaluated three different educational tools focusing on interest compounding. In the authors' laboratory experiment, individuals were randomized to…

  9. Improving Tools for JavaScript Programmers (Position Paper)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andreasen, Esben; Feldthaus, Asger; Jensen, Simon Holm

    We present an overview of three research projects that all aim to provide better tools for JavaScript web application programmers1: TAJS, which infers static type information for JavaScript applications using dataflow analysis; JSRefac- tor, which enables sound code refactorings; and Artemis, which...... provides high-coverage automated testing....

  10. Book4All: A Tool to Make an e-Book More Accessible to Students with Vision/Visual-Impairments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calabrò, Antonello; Contini, Elia; Leporini, Barbara

    Empowering people who are blind or otherwise visually impaired includes ensuring that products and electronic materials incorporate a broad range of accessibility features and work well with screen readers and other assistive technology devices. This is particularly important for students with vision impairments. Unfortunately, authors and publishers often do not include specific criteria when preparing the contents. Consequently, e-books can be inadequate for blind and low vision users, especially for students. In this paper we describe a semi-automatic tool developed to support operators who adapt e-documents for visually impaired students. The proposed tool can be used to convert a PDF e-book into a more suitable accessible and usable format readable on desktop computer or on mobile devices.

  11. International cooperation to improve access to and sustain effectiveness of antimicrobials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Årdal, Christine; Outterson, Kevin; Hoffman, Steven J; Ghafur, Abdul; Sharland, Mike; Ranganathan, Nisha; Smith, Richard; Zorzet, Anna; Cohn, Jennifer; Pittet, Didier; Daulaire, Nils; Morel, Chantal; Rizvi, Zain; Balasegaram, Manica; Dar, Osman A; Heymann, David L; Holmes, Alison H; Moore, Luke S P; Laxminarayan, Ramanan; Mendelson, Marc; Røttingen, John-Arne

    2016-01-16

    Securing access to effective antimicrobials is one of the greatest challenges today. Until now, efforts to address this issue have been isolated and uncoordinated, with little focus on sustainable and international solutions. Global collective action is necessary to improve access to life-saving antimicrobials, conserving them, and ensuring continued innovation. Access, conservation, and innovation are beneficial when achieved independently, but much more effective and sustainable if implemented in concert within and across countries. WHO alone will not be able to drive these actions. It will require a multisector response (including the health, agriculture, and veterinary sectors), global coordination, and financing mechanisms with sufficient mandates, authority, resources, and power. Fortunately, securing access to effective antimicrobials has finally gained a place on the global political agenda, and we call on policy makers to develop, endorse, and finance new global institutional arrangements that can ensure robust implementation and bold collective action. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. MbT-Tool: An open-access tool based on Thermodynamic Electron Equivalents Model to obtain microbial-metabolic reactions to be used in biotechnological process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araujo, Pablo Granda; Gras, Anna; Ginovart, Marta

    2016-01-01

    Modelling cellular metabolism is a strategic factor in investigating microbial behaviour and interactions, especially for bio-technological processes. A key factor for modelling microbial activity is the calculation of nutrient amounts and products generated as a result of the microbial metabolism. Representing metabolic pathways through balanced reactions is a complex and time-consuming task for biologists, ecologists, modellers and engineers. A new computational tool to represent microbial pathways through microbial metabolic reactions (MMRs) using the approach of the Thermodynamic Electron Equivalents Model has been designed and implemented in the open-access framework NetLogo. This computational tool, called MbT-Tool (Metabolism based on Thermodynamics) can write MMRs for different microbial functional groups, such as aerobic heterotrophs, nitrifiers, denitrifiers, methanogens, sulphate reducers, sulphide oxidizers and fermenters. The MbT-Tool's code contains eighteen organic and twenty inorganic reduction-half-reactions, four N-sources (NH4 (+), NO3 (-), NO2 (-), N2) to biomass synthesis and twenty-four microbial empirical formulas, one of which can be determined by the user (CnHaObNc). MbT-Tool is an open-source program capable of writing MMRs based on thermodynamic concepts, which are applicable in a wide range of academic research interested in designing, optimizing and modelling microbial activity without any extensive chemical, microbiological and programing experience.

  13. MbT-Tool: An open-access tool based on Thermodynamic Electron Equivalents Model to obtain microbial-metabolic reactions to be used in biotechnological process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Araujo Granda

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Modelling cellular metabolism is a strategic factor in investigating microbial behaviour and interactions, especially for bio-technological processes. A key factor for modelling microbial activity is the calculation of nutrient amounts and products generated as a result of the microbial metabolism. Representing metabolic pathways through balanced reactions is a complex and time-consuming task for biologists, ecologists, modellers and engineers. A new computational tool to represent microbial pathways through microbial metabolic reactions (MMRs using the approach of the Thermodynamic Electron Equivalents Model has been designed and implemented in the open-access framework NetLogo. This computational tool, called MbT-Tool (Metabolism based on Thermodynamics can write MMRs for different microbial functional groups, such as aerobic heterotrophs, nitrifiers, denitrifiers, methanogens, sulphate reducers, sulphide oxidizers and fermenters. The MbT-Tool's code contains eighteen organic and twenty inorganic reduction-half-reactions, four N-sources (NH4+, NO3−, NO2−, N2 to biomass synthesis and twenty-four microbial empirical formulas, one of which can be determined by the user (CnHaObNc. MbT-Tool is an open-source program capable of writing MMRs based on thermodynamic concepts, which are applicable in a wide range of academic research interested in designing, optimizing and modelling microbial activity without any extensive chemical, microbiological and programing experience.

  14. A tool for facilitating access to documents’; Una herramienta para facilitar el acceso a la documentación

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Farriols Solá, Antoni

    2016-07-01

    Goal: Having the highest number of electronically stored documents in a safe and accessible environment and for this, automate the load selected in the Document Management System relevant documentation. Engineering groups should select documents to migrate to a Document Management System and associate them with their metadata in a comfortable template so you can connect to the loading tool developed. Result: Sharing of knowledge and technical information between departments and projects, has benefited from the launch of the system.

  15. Improving the performance of the actinic inspection tool with an optimized alignment procedure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mochi, I.; Goldberg, K.A.; Naulleau, P.; Huh, Sungmin

    2009-01-01

    Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) microscopy is an important tool for the investigation of the performance of EUV masks, for detecting the presence and the characteristics of defects, and for evaluating the effectiveness of defect repair techniques. Aerial image measurement bypasses the difficulties inherent to photoresist imaging and enables high data collection speed and flexibility. It provides reliable and quick feedback for the development of masks and lithography system modeling methods. We operate the SEMATECH Berkeley Actinic Inspection Tool (AIT), a EUV microscope installed at the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The AIT is equipped with several high-magnification Fresnel zoneplate lenses, with various numerical aperture values, that enable it image the reflective mask surface with various resolution and magnification settings. Although the AIT has undergone significant recent improvements in terms of imaging resolution and illumination uniformity, there is still room for improvement. In the AIT, an off-axis zoneplate lens collects the light coming from the sample and an image of the sample is projected onto an EUV-sensitive CCD camera. The simplicity of the optical system is particularly helpful considering that the AIT alignment has to be performed every time that a sample or a zoneplate is replaced. The alignment is sensitive to several parameters such as the lens position and orientation, the illumination direction and the sample characteristics. Since the AIT works in high vacuum, there is no direct access to the optics or to the sample during the alignment and the measurements. For all these reasons the alignment procedures and feedback can be complex, and in some cases can reduce the overall data throughput of the system. In this paper we review the main strategies and procedures that have been developed for quick and reliable alignments, and we describe the performance improvements we have achieved, in terms of aberration

  16. Improving the performance of the actinic inspection tool with an optimized alignment procedure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mochi, I.; Goldberg, K.A.; Naulleau, P.; Huh, Sungmin

    2009-03-04

    Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) microscopy is an important tool for the investigation of the performance of EUV masks, for detecting the presence and the characteristics of defects, and for evaluating the effectiveness of defect repair techniques. Aerial image measurement bypasses the difficulties inherent to photoresist imaging and enables high data collection speed and flexibility. It provides reliable and quick feedback for the development of masks and lithography system modeling methods. We operate the SEMATECH Berkeley Actinic Inspection Tool (AIT), a EUV microscope installed at the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The AIT is equipped with several high-magnification Fresnel zoneplate lenses, with various numerical aperture values, that enable it image the reflective mask surface with various resolution and magnification settings. Although the AIT has undergone significant recent improvements in terms of imaging resolution and illumination uniformity, there is still room for improvement. In the AIT, an off-axis zoneplate lens collects the light coming from the sample and an image of the sample is projected onto an EUV-sensitive CCD camera. The simplicity of the optical system is particularly helpful considering that the AIT alignment has to be performed every time that a sample or a zoneplate is replaced. The alignment is sensitive to several parameters such as the lens position and orientation, the illumination direction and the sample characteristics. Since the AIT works in high vacuum, there is no direct access to the optics or to the sample during the alignment and the measurements. For all these reasons the alignment procedures and feedback can be complex, and in some cases can reduce the overall data throughput of the system. In this paper we review the main strategies and procedures that have been developed for quick and reliable alignments, and we describe the performance improvements we have achieved, in terms of aberration

  17. Does open access improve the process and outcome of podiatric care?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrobel, James S; Davies, Michael L; Robbins, Jeffrey M

    2011-05-19

    Open access to clinics is a management strategy to improve healthcare delivery. Providers are sometimes hesitant to adopt open access because of fear of increased visits for potentially trivial complaints. We hypothesized open access clinics would result in decreased wait times, increased number of podiatry visits, fewer no shows, higher rates of acute care visits, and lower minor amputation rates over control clinics without open access. This study was a national retrospective case-control study of VHA (Veterans Hospital Administration) podiatry clinics in 2008. Eight case facilities reported to have open podiatry clinic access for at least one year were identified from an email survey. Sixteen control facilities with similar structural features (e.g., full time podiatrists, health tech, residency program, reconstructive foot surgery, vascular, and orthopedic surgery) were identified in the same geographic region as the case facilities. Twenty-two percent of facilities responded to the survey. Fifty-four percent reported open access and 46% did not. There were no differences in facility or podiatry panel size, podiatry visits, or visit frequency between the cases and controls. Podiatry visits trended higher for control facilities but didn't reach statistical significance. Case facilities had more new consults seen within 30 days (96%, 89%; P = 0.050) and lower minor amputation rates (0.62/1,000, 1.0/1,000; P = 0.041). The VHA is the worlds largest managed care organization and it relies on clinical efficiencies as one mechanism to improve the quality of care. Open access clinics had more timely access for new patients and lower rates of minor amputations.

  18. Open access to high-level data and analysis tools in the CMS experiment at the LHC

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Calderon, A; Rodriguez-Marrero, A; Colling, D; Huffman, A; Lassila-Perini, K; McCauley, T; Rao, A; Sexton-Kennedy, E

    2015-01-01

    The CMS experiment, in recognition of its commitment to data preservation and open access as well as to education and outreach, has made its first public release of high-level data under the CC0 waiver: up to half of the proton-proton collision data (by volume) at 7 TeV from 2010 in CMS Analysis Object Data format. CMS has prepared, in collaboration with CERN and the other LHC experiments, an open-data web portal based on Invenio. The portal provides access to CMS public data as well as to analysis tools and documentation for the public. The tools include an event display and histogram application that run in the browser. In addition a virtual machine containing a CMS software environment along with XRootD access to the data is available. Within the virtual machine the public can analyse CMS data; example code is provided. We describe the accompanying tools and documentation and discuss the first experiences of data use. (paper)

  19. Next generation interactive tool as a backbone for universal access to electricity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moner-Girona, Magda; Puig, Daniel; Mulugetta, Yacob

    2018-01-01

    Energy planning in rural areas and in developing countries most often relies on the outputs of specialised analytical tools, of which only a handful have been developed. Over the years these tools have been upgraded, and the newest among them take into consideration, to a greater or lesser extent...

  20. Improving Access to Health Care Among New Zealand’s Maori Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison-Loschmann, Lis; Pearce, Neil

    2006-01-01

    The health status of indigenous peoples worldwide varies according to their unique historical, political, and social circumstances. Disparities in health between Maoris and non-Maoris have been evident for all of the colonial history of New Zealand. Explanations for these differences involve a complex mix of components associated with socioeconomic and lifestyle factors, availability of health care, and discrimination. Improving access to care is critical to addressing health disparities, and increasing evidence suggests that Maoris and non-Maoris differ in terms of access to primary and secondary health care services. We use 2 approaches to health service development to demonstrate how Maori-led initiatives are seeking to improve access to and quality of health care for Maoris. PMID:16507721

  1. Does improved access to diagnostic imaging results reduce hospital length of stay? A retrospective study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hurlen Petter

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background One year after the introduction of Information and Communication Technology (ICT to support diagnostic imaging at our hospital, clinicians had faster and better access to radiology reports and images; direct access to Computed Tomography (CT reports in the Electronic Medical Record (EMR was particularly popular. The objective of this study was to determine whether improvements in radiology reporting and clinical access to diagnostic imaging information one year after the ICT introduction were associated with a reduction in the length of patients' hospital stays (LOS. Methods Data describing hospital stays and diagnostic imaging were collected retrospectively from the EMR during periods of equal duration before and one year after the introduction of ICT. The post-ICT period was chosen because of the documented improvement in clinical access to radiology results during that period. The data set was randomly split into an exploratory part used to establish the hypotheses, and a confirmatory part. The data was used to compare the pre-ICT and post-ICT status, but also to compare differences between groups. Results There was no general reduction in LOS one year after ICT introduction. However, there was a 25% reduction for one group - patients with CT scans. This group was heterogeneous, covering 445 different primary discharge diagnoses. Analyses of subgroups were performed to reduce the impact of this divergence. Conclusion Our results did not indicate that improved access to radiology results reduced the patients' LOS. There was, however, a significant reduction in LOS for patients undergoing CT scans. Given the clinicians' interest in CT reports and the results of the subgroup analyses, it is likely that improved access to CT reports contributed to this reduction.

  2. Improving patient satisfaction with pain management using Six Sigma tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DuPree, Erin; Martin, Lisa; Anderson, Rebecca; Kathuria, Navneet; Reich, David; Porter, Carol; Chassin, Mark R

    2009-07-01

    Patient satisfaction as a direct and public measure of quality of care is changing the way hospitals address quality improvement. The feasibility of using the Six Sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) methodology to improve patient satisfaction as it relates to pain management was evaluated. This project used the DMAIC methodology to improve patients' overall satisfaction with pain management on two inpatient units in an urban academic medical center. Pre- and postintervention patient surveys were conducted. The DMAIC methodology provided a data-driven structure to determine the optimal improvement strategies, as well as a long-term plan for maintaining any improvements. In addition, the Change Acceleration Process (CAP) was used throughout the project's various DMAIC stages to further the work of the team by creating a shared need to meet the objectives of the project. Overall satisfaction with pain management "excellent" ratings increased from 37% to 54%. Both units surpassed the goal of at least 50% of responses in the "excellent" category. Several key drivers of satisfaction with pain management were uncovered in the Analyze phase of the project, and each saw rating increases from the pre-intervention to postintervention surveys. Ongoing monitoring by the hospital inpatient satisfaction survey showed that the pain satisfaction score improved in subsequent quarters as compared with the pre-intervention period. The Six Sigma DMAIC methodology can be used successfully to improve patient satisfaction. The project led to measurable improvements in patient satisfaction with pain management, which have endured past the duration of the Six Sigma project. The Control phase of DMAIC allows the improvements to be incorporated into daily operations.

  3. Improving access to antiretrovirals in rural South Africa – a call to ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Improving access to antiretrovirals in rural South Africa – a call to action. South Africa (SA) already has the world's biggest antiretroviral (ARV) programme. With the introduction of extended criteria for initiating ARVs, the National Department of Health (NDoH) wishes to increase the number of people on ARVs by around.

  4. Using the GTFS format to improve public transport data accessibility in Gauteng

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Koetsier, Sumarie

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Public transport plays an important role in cities. It is a less expensive option than private transport and could reduce congestion and improve accessibility to jobs. However, ridership could be hampered when information regarding an operator’s...

  5. 75 FR 75188 - Listening Session Regarding Improving the Accessibility of Government Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-02

    ... SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION Listening Session Regarding Improving the Accessibility of... of diverse communities and provide better solutions, the U.S. Council of CIOs, in collaboration with... out of? What technologies should the Federal government use that would enhance your interactions with...

  6. Improving access to healthcare with eHealth in sub-Saharan Africa ...

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

    23 août 2013 ... Health systems across Africa are hindered by inadequate resources and growing disease burdens. Access to timely and affordable health services is needed to manage diseases and improve health and well-being. The growing field of electronic health (eHealth) is helping fill gaps in decision-making and ...

  7. Improving children’s mobility and access to socio-economic opportunities: A synthesis of literature

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mashiri, M

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available the population of many such countries consists of children and young persons. Improving mobility and access to socio-economic opportunities for this group is crucial if the Millennium Development Goals of Universal Primary Education, Promotion of Gender Equity...

  8. Unifying Water Data Sources: How the CUAHSI Water Data Center is Enabling and Improving Access to a Growing Catalog of over 100 Data Providers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollak, J.; Berry, K.; Couch, A.; Arrigo, J.; Hooper, R. P.

    2013-12-01

    Scientific data about water are collected and distributed by numerous sources which can differ tremendously in scale. As competition for water resources increases, increasing access to and understanding of information about water will be critical. The mission of the new CUAHSI Water Data Center (WDC) is to provide those researchers who collect data a medium to publish their datasets and give those wanting to discover data the proper tools to efficiently find the data that they seek. These tools include standards-based data publication, data discovery tools based upon faceted and telescoping search, and a data analysis tool HydroDesktop that downloads and unifies data in standardized formats. The CUAHSI Hydrologic Information System (HIS) is a community developed and open source system for sharing water data. As a federated, web service oriented system it enables data publication for a diverse user population including scientific investigators (Research Coordination Networks, Critical Zone Observatories), government agencies (USGS, NASA, EPA), and citizen scientists (watershed associations). HydroDesktop is an end user application for data consumption in this system that the WDC supports. This application can be used for finding, downloading, and analyzing data from the HIS. It provides a GIS interface that allows users to incorporate spatial data that are not accessible via HIS, simple analysis tools to facilitate graphing and visualization, tools to export data to common file types, and provides an extensible architecture that developers can build upon. HydroDesktop, however, is just one example of a data access client for HIS. The web service oriented architecture enables data access by an unlimited number of clients provided they can consume the web services used in HIS. One such example developed at the WDC is the 'Faceted Search Client', which capitalizes upon exploratory search concepts to improve accuracy and precision during search. We highlight such

  9. AR4VI: AR as an Accessibility Tool for People with Visual Impairments

    OpenAIRE

    Coughlan, James M.; Miele, Joshua

    2017-01-01

    Although AR technology has been largely dominated by visual media, a number of AR tools using both visual and auditory feedback have been developed specifically to assist people with low vision or blindness – an application domain that we term Augmented Reality for Visual Impairment (AR4VI). We describe two AR4VI tools developed at Smith-Kettlewell, as well as a number of pre-existing examples. We emphasize that AR4VI is a powerful tool with the potential to remove or significantly reduce a r...

  10. When access to drugs meets catch-up: Insights from the use of CL threats to improve access to ARV drugs in Brazil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramani, Shyama V.; Urias, E.

    2018-01-01

    Access to affordable lifesaving medicines is considered a human right. This leads to a question largely understudied in the catch-up literature on accumulation of industrial capabilities. Can the need to improve access to an essential commodity impact the sectoral catch-up trajectory of the

  11. Opinion: Medical Audit: A veritable tool for improving standards in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    accounting on the part of medical professionals or health care institutions to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the services they render to the community. Its ultimate purpose is to improve standards in clinical care and encourage efficient ...

  12. Demand, capacity, and access of the outpatient clinic: A framework for analysis and improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Bussel, Erik Martijn; van der Voort, Marc Boudewijn Victor Rouppe; Wessel, Ronald N; van Merode, Godefridus G

    2018-06-01

    While theoretical frameworks for optimization of the outpatient processes are abundant, practical step-by-step analyses to give leads for improvement, to forecast capacity, and to support decision making are sparse. This article demonstrates how to evaluate and optimize the triad of demand, (future) capacity, and access time of the outpatient clinic using a structured six-step method. All individual logistical patient data of an orthopaedic outpatient clinic of one complete year were analysed using a 6-step method to evaluate demand, supply, and access time. Trends in the data were retrospectively analysed and evaluated for potential improvements. A model for decision making was tested. Both the analysis of the method and actual results were considered as main outcomes. More than 25 000 appointments were analysed. The 6-step method showed to be sufficient to result in valuable insights and leads for improvement. While the overall match between demand and capacity was considered adequate, the variability in capacity was much higher than in demand, thereby leading to delays in access time. Holidays and subsequent weeks showed to be of great influence for demand, capacity, and access time. Using the six-step method, several unfavourable characteristics of the outpatient clinic were revealed and a better match between demand, supply, and access time could have been reached with only minor adjustments. Last, a clinic specific prediction and decision model for demand and capacity was made using the 6-step method. The 6-step analysis can successfully be applied to redesign and improve the outpatient health care process. The results of the analysis showed that national holidays and variability in demand and capacity have a big influence on the outpatient clinic. Using the 6-step method, practical improvements in outpatient logistics were easily found and leads for future decision making were contrived. © 2018 The Authors Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice

  13. Captioning and Indian Sign Language as Accessibility Tools in Universal Design

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Mathew Martin Poothullil

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Universal Design in Media as a strategy to achieve accessibility in digital television started in Spain in 1997 with the digitalization of satellite platforms (MuTra, 2006. In India, a conscious effort toward a strategy for accessible media format in digital television is yet to be made. Advertising in India is a billion dollar industry (Adam Smith, 2008 and digital television provides a majority of the space for it. This study investigated the effects of advertisement in accessible format, through the use of captioning and Indian sign language (ISL, on hearing and deaf people. “Deaf (capital letter ‘D’ used for culturally Deaf and hearing” viewers watched two short recent advertisements with and without accessibility formats in a randomized order. Their reactions were recorded on a questionnaire developed for the purpose of the study. Eighty-four persons participated in this study of which 42 were deaf persons. Analysis of the data showed that there was difference in the effects of accessible and nonaccessible formats of advertisement on the “Deaf and Hearing” viewers. The study showed that accessible formats increased the comprehension of the message of the advertisement and use of ISL helped deaf persons to understand concepts better. While captioning increased the perception of the hearing persons to correlate with listening and understanding the concept of the advertisement, the deaf persons correlated watching the ISL interpreter with understanding the concept of the advertisement. Placement of the ISL interpreter in the screen and color of the fonts used for captioning were also covered under the study. However, the placement of the ISL interpreter and color of fonts in the screen and their correlation with comprehension of the advertisement by hearing and deaf persons did not show much of significance in the result of the study.

  14. PRIORITIZED ACTIONS FOR MARKETING IMPROVEMENT: A TOOL FOR SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING PROGRAMMES

    OpenAIRE

    Nikola Rovis

    2010-01-01

    Purpose of this paper is to offer a pragmatic tool for management and marketing practitioners in small businesses. The name of the tool is Prioritized Action for Marketing Improvements (PAMI). This work gives an overview of marketing and strategy processes in small businesses and a brief description of Dibb and Simkin buying proforma tool. The PAMI tool builds on successfully conducted market segmentation and specification or implicit knowledge on targeted market segments and market positioni...

  15. A Fixed-Wing Aircraft Simulation Tool for Improving the efficiency of DoD Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-05

    simulation tool , CREATETM-AV Helios [12-14], a high fidelity rotary wing vehicle simulation tool , and CREATETM-AV DaVinci [15-16], a conceptual through...05/2015 Oct 2008-Sep 2015 A Fixed-Wing Aircraft Simulation Tool for Improving the Efficiency of DoD Acquisition Scott A. Morton and David R...multi-disciplinary fixed-wing virtual aircraft simulation tool incorporating aerodynamics, structural dynamics, kinematics, and kinetics. Kestrel allows

  16. Measuring the Benefits of Public Chargers and Improving Infrastructure Deployments Using Advanced Simulation Tools: Preprint

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wood, Eric; Neubauer. Jeremy; Burton, Evan

    2015-02-01

    With support from the U.S. Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Office, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory developed BLAST-V -- the Battery Lifetime Analysis and Simulation Tool for Vehicles. The addition of high-resolution spatial-temporal travel histories enables BLAST-V to investigate user-defined infrastructure rollouts of publically accessible charging infrastructure, as well as quantify impacts on vehicle and station owners in terms of improved vehicle utility and station throughput. This paper presents simulation outputs from BLAST-V that quantify the utility improvements of multiple distinct rollouts of publically available Level 2 electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) in the Seattle, Washington, metropolitan area. Publically available data on existing Level 2 EVSE are also used as an input to BLAST-V. The resulting vehicle utility is compared to a number of mock rollout scenarios. Discussion focuses on the estimated number of Level 2 stations necessary to substantially increase vehicle utility and how stations can be strategically sited to maximize their potential benefit to prospective electric vehicle owners.

  17. Developing new serious games tools to improve radiation protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Majersky, T.; Rapant, T.; Bayer, M.; Majersky, D.

    2008-01-01

    In this paper, novel software technologies for simulation and training of workers in radiologically dangerous conditions are presented. Such new software tools enable the radiation protection managers and workers to better evaluate, visualize and intuitively understand the radiation situation. In the first part of the paper, virtual reality planning tool ALPLANNER is introduced. ALPLANNER enables computation of worker's doses and 3D simulation of planned activities in the environment. In the second part of the paper , a software technology SP ACEVISION for real-time interactive 3D visualization of radioactivity is presented. Radiation fields can be spatially and dynamically visualized in the environment using computer games technologies. Such real-time visualization can be used by RP staff to compute and visualize direct responses of the radiation field to the effects of shielding. Another presented application is determination and visualization of activity sources in inhomogeneous radiation fields. Practical example of how the mentioned software technologies are used during the decommissioning of NPP A-1 Jaslovske Bohunice is provided. Practical example of how the mentioned software technologies are used during the decommissioning of NPP A-1 Jaslovske Bohunice is provided. (authors)

  18. Developing new serious games tools to improve radiation protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Majersky, T.; Rapant, T.; Bayer, M.; Majersky, D.

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, novel software technologies for simulation and training of workers in radiologically dangerous conditions are presented. Such new software tools enable the radiation protection managers and workers to better evaluate, visualize and intuitively understand the radiation situation. In the first part of the paper, virtual reality planning tool ALPLANNER is introduced. ALPLANNER enables computation of worker's doses and 3D simulation of planned activities in the environment. In the second part of the paper , a software technology SP ACEVISION for real-time interactive 3D visualization of radioactivity is presented. Radiation fields can be spatially and dynamically visualized in the environment using computer games technologies. Such real-time visualization can be used by RP staff to compute and visualize direct responses of the radiation field to the effects of shielding. Another presented application is determination and visualization of activity sources in inhomogeneous radiation fields. Practical example of how the mentioned software technologies are used during the decommissioning of NPP A-1 Jaslovske Bohunice is provided. Practical example of how the mentioned software technologies are used during the decommissioning of NPP A-1 Jaslovske Bohunice is provided. (authors)

  19. Improving training tools for continuing operator qualification in Spain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marti, F.; San Antonio, S.

    1991-01-01

    There are currently nine nuclear power plants in service in Spain; the most recent started commercial operation in 1988. Spanish legislation requires operators to have an academic technical background of at least 3 yr. The turnover rate is <5%, and in recent years, symptom-based emergency procedure has been introduced. These facts have given rise to a situation in which Spanish licensed operators are demanding more in-depth training to avoid a stagnant routine and boredom. In responding to this challenge, Tecnatom has had to significantly update its two simulators for boiling water reactor (BWR) and pressurized water reactor (PSR) plants, to ensure coverage of the emergency procedures and has had to create a tool - the Interactive Graphics Simulator - that allows these problems to be ameliorated. With a view to updating its simulators, Tecnatom initiated in 1985 a project known as advanced simulation models (MAS), which was completed at the end of 1990. The TRACS code is a real-time advanced thermohydraulic code for upgrading Tecnatom's nuclear plant simulators. The interactive graphic simulator, (SGI) is a system that provides a graphic display of the models of a full-scope simulator by means of color monitors. The two new tools used are enabling higher levels of motivation to be achieved among the plant operations personnel, especially with respect to requalification

  20. Current strategies for improving access and adherence to antiretroviral therapies in resource-limited settings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scanlon ML

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Michael L Scanlon,1,2 Rachel C Vreeman1,21Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA; 2USAID, Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH Partnership, Eldoret, KenyaAbstract: The rollout of antiretroviral therapy (ART significantly reduced human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-related morbidity and mortality, but good clinical outcomes depend on access and adherence to treatment. In resource-limited settings, where over 90% of the world’s HIV-infected population resides, data on barriers to treatment are emerging that contribute to low rates of uptake in HIV testing, linkage to and retention in HIV care systems, and suboptimal adherence rates to therapy. A review of the literature reveals limited evidence to inform strategies to improve access and adherence with the majority of studies from sub-Saharan Africa. Data from observational studies and randomized controlled trials support home-based, mobile and antenatal care HIV testing, task-shifting from doctor-based to nurse-based and lower level provider care, and adherence support through education, counseling and mobile phone messaging services. Strategies with more limited evidence include targeted HIV testing for couples and family members of ART patients, decentralization of HIV care, including through home- and community-based ART programs, and adherence promotion through peer health workers, treatment supporters, and directly observed therapy. There is little evidence for improving access and adherence among vulnerable groups such as women, children and adolescents, and other high-risk populations and for addressing major barriers. Overall, studies are few in number and suffer from methodological issues. Recommendations for further research include health information technology, social-level factors like HIV stigma, and new research directions in cost-effectiveness, operations, and implementation. Findings from this review make a

  1. Mapping actions to improve access to medicines for mental disorders in low and middle income countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbui, C; Dua, T; Kolappa, K; Saraceno, B; Saxena, S

    2017-10-01

    In recent years a number of intergovernmental initiatives have been activated in order to enhance the capacity of countries to improve access to essential medicines, particularly for mental disorders. In May 2013 the 66th World Health Assembly adopted the World Health Organization (WHO) Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020, which builds upon the work of WHO's Mental Health Gap Action Programme. Within this programme, evidence-based guidelines for mental disorders were developed, including recommendations on appropriate use of medicines. Subsequently, the 67th World Health Assembly adopted a resolution on access to essential medicines, which urged Member States to improve national policies for the selection of essential medicines and to promote their availability, affordability and appropriate use. Following the precedent set by these important initiatives, this article presents eleven actions for improving access and appropriate use of psychotropic medicines. A 4 × 4 framework mapping actions as a function of the four components of access - selection, availability, affordability and appropriate use - and across four different health care levels, three of which belong to the supply side and one to the demand side, was developed. The actions are: developing a medicine selection process; promoting information and education activities for staff and end-users; developing a medicine regulation process; implementing a reliable supply system; implementing a reliable quality-control system; developing a community-based system of mental health care and promoting help-seeking behaviours; developing international agreements on medicine affordability; developing pricing policies and a sustainable financing system; developing or adopting evidence-based guidelines; monitoring the use of psychotropic medicines; promoting training initiatives for staff and end-users on critical appraisal of scientific evidence and appropriate use of psychotropic medicines. Activating

  2. Organisational learning: A tool for continuous improvement of the organization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santos, J. L.; Esteban, M. J.

    2013-01-01

    We are used to hear a success company in today's world is not possible unless a continuous improvement is developed. How can we be successful in the nuclear plant? We have to achieve safety for workers, people and environment in the first step, and for the second step availability and reliability for systems and components to avoid failure of components that could reduce availability. The aim is to search for new measures to reach this way. One of the improvements implemented in the plants to improve continuously was mainly Operating Experience activities, which was based in event analysis in the plants, causes identification, and to implement corrective actions. For External Operating Experience the aim was to learn from others to avoid occurrence of events in our plants. This was the lessons learned from Three Mile Island event. This was the learning process implemented so far, to get a continuous improvement. So far, the developed capabilities for process improvement follow the Operating Experience process that could be considered classical and will be revitalized nowadays. (Author)

  3. The Virtual Space Physics Observatory: Quick Access to Data and Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornwell, Carl; Roberts, D. Aaron; McGuire, Robert E.

    2006-01-01

    The Virtual Space Physics Observatory (VSPO; see http://vspo.gsfc.nasa.gov) has grown to provide a way to find and access about 375 data products and services from over 100 spacecraft/observatories in space and solar physics. The datasets are mainly chosen to be the most requested, and include most of the publicly available data products from operating NASA Heliophysics spacecraft as well as from solar observatories measuring across the frequency spectrum. Service links include a "quick orbits" page that uses SSCWeb Web Services to provide a rapid answer to questions such as "What spacecraft were in orbit in July 1992?" and "Where were Geotail, Cluster, and Polar on 2 June 2001?" These queries are linked back to the data search page. The VSPO interface provides many ways of looking for data based on terms used in a registry of resources using the SPASE Data Model that will be the standard for Heliophysics Virtual Observatories. VSPO itself is accessible via an API that allows other applications to use it as a Web Service; this has been implemented in one instance using the ViSBARD visualization program. The VSPO will become part of the Space Physics Data Facility, and will continue to expand its access to data. A challenge for all VOs will be to provide uniform access to data at the variable level, and we will be addressing this question in a number of ways.

  4. The Challenge of Access: Using Road Construction as a Tool in Counterinsurgency

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-10

    furnished the advertised advantages to the tribes, and the frequency of military movement on them betrayed their fundamental use as methods of access into...staging area. Nestled in a small valley amongst towering Shahmardan Mountains, the area was referred to as the ―belly button.‖ The Chenartu valley

  5. Determining the Accessibility of K-12 Digital Materials: Tools for Educators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Sean J.; Stahl, William

    2016-01-01

    This article explores the manner in which teachers and district leaders can further determine whether or not the digital materials they are considering are accessible for all learners--particularly those with disabilities--and appropriate to the accommodations and modifications provided in the brick-and-mortar school environment. The article…

  6. Data Management and Tools for the Access to the Radiological Areas at CERN

    CERN Document Server

    Sanchez-Corral Mena, E; Dorsival, A; Dumont, G; Foraz, K; Hakulinen, T; Havart, F; Kepinski, M P; Mallon Amerigo, S; Martel, P; Ninin, P; Nunes, R; Valentini, F; Vollaire, J

    2014-01-01

    As part of the refurbishment of the PS accelerator complex Personnel Protection System, the Radiation Protection (RP) checkpoints and buffer zones, for the radiological controls of equipment removed from the beam areas, have been incorporated into the design of the new access points.

  7. 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.

  8. Geographical heterogeneity and inequality of access to improved drinking water supply and sanitation in Nepal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Wen-Jun; Lai, Ying-Si; Karmacharya, Biraj M; Dai, Bo-Feng; Hao, Yuan-Tao; Xu, Dong Roman

    2018-04-02

    Per United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, Nepal is aspiring to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water and provide access to adequate and equitable sanitation for all by 2030. For these goals to be accomplished, it is important to understand the country's geographical heterogeneity and inequality of access to its drinking-water supply and sanitation (WSS) so that resource allocation and disease control can be optimized. We aimed 1) to estimate spatial heterogeneity of access to improved WSS among the overall Nepalese population at a high resolution; 2) to explore inequality within and between relevant Nepalese administrative levels; and 3) to identify the specific administrative areas in greatest need of policy attention. We extracted cluster-sample data on the use of the water supply and sanitation that included 10,826 surveyed households from the 2011 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey, then used a Gaussian kernel density estimation with adaptive bandwidths to estimate the distribution of access to improved WSS conditions over a grid at 1 × 1 km. The Gini coefficient was calculated for the measurement of inequality in the distribution of improved WSS; the Theil L measure and Theil T index were applied to account for the decomposition of inequality. 57% of Nepalese had access to improved sanitation (range: 18.1% in Mahottari to 100% in Kathmandu) and 92% to drinking-water (range: 41.7% in Doti to 100% in Bara). The most unequal districts in Gini coefficient among improved sanitation were Saptari, Sindhuli, Banke, Bajura and Achham (range: 0.276 to 0.316); and Sankhuwasabha, Arghakhanchi, Gulmi, Bhojpur, Kathmandu (range: 0.110 to 0.137) among improved drinking-water. Both the Theil L and Theil T showed that within-province inequality was substantially greater than between-province inequality; while within-district inequality was less than between-district inequality. The inequality of several districts was

  9. Cloud Computing as a Tool for Improving Business Competitiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wišniewski Michał

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available This article organizes knowledge on cloud computing presenting the classification of deployment models, characteristics and service models. The author, looking at the problem from the entrepreneur’s perspective, draws attention to the differences in the benefits depending on the cloud computing deployment models and considers an effective way of selection of cloud computing services according to the specificity of organization. Within this work, a thesis statement was considered that in economic terms the cloud computing is not always the best solution for your organization. This raises the question, “What kind of tools should be used to estimate the usefulness of the model cloud computing services in the enterprise?”

  10. Improving Multi Access Interference Suppression in Optical CDMA by using all-Optical Signal Processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. B. Osadola

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the study of a novel all-optical method for processing optical CDMA signals towards improving suppression of multi access interference. The main focus is on incoherent OCDMA systems using multiwavelength 2D-WH/TS codes generated using FBG based encoders and decoders. The MAI suppression capabilities based on its ability to eliminate selective wavelength pulse processing have been shown. A novel transmitter architecture that achieves up to 3dB power saving was also presented. As a result of hardware savings, processing cost will be significantly reduced and power budget improvement resulted in improved performance.

  11. Sorghum Brown Midrib Mutants, Tools to Improve Biomass for Biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    To improve sorghum for cellulosic bioenergy uses, brown midrib mutants are being investigated for their ability to increase the conversion efficiency of biomass. brown midrib 6 and 12 (bmr6 and 12) mutants affect monolignol biosynthesis resulting in reduced lignin content and altered lignin composi...

  12. Asymmetric bipolar membrane: A tool to improve product purity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Balster, J.H.; Sumbharaju, R.; Srikantharajah, S.; Punt, Ineke G.M.; Stamatialis, Dimitrios; Jordan, V.; Wessling, Matthias

    2007-01-01

    Bipolar membranes (BPMs) are catalytic membranes for electro-membrane processes splitting water into protons and hydroxyl ions. To improve selectivity and current efficiency of BPMs, we prepare new asymmetric BPMs with reduced salt leakages. The flux of salt ions across a BPM is determined by the

  13. [Improving global access to new vaccines: intellectual property, technology transfer, and regulatory pathways].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crager, Sara Eve

    2015-01-01

    The 2012 World Health Assembly Global Vaccine Action Plan called for global access to new vaccines within 5 years of licensure. Current approaches have proven insufficient to achieve sustainable vaccine pricing within such a timeline. Paralleling the successful strategy of generic competition to bring down drug prices, a clear consensus is emerging that market entry of multiple suppliers is a critical factor in expeditiously bringing down prices of new vaccines. In this context, key target objectives for improving access to new vaccines include overcoming intellectual property obstacles, streamlining regulatory pathways for biosimilar vaccines, and reducing market entry timelines for developing-country vaccine manufacturers by transfer of technology and know-how. I propose an intellectual property, technology, and know-how bank as a new approach to facilitate widespread access to new vaccines in low- and middle-income countries by efficient transfer of patented vaccine technologies to multiple developing-country vaccine manufacturers.

  14. Improving global access to new vaccines: intellectual property, technology transfer, and regulatory pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crager, Sara Eve

    2014-11-01

    The 2012 World Health Assembly Global Vaccine Action Plan called for global access to new vaccines within 5 years of licensure. Current approaches have proven insufficient to achieve sustainable vaccine pricing within such a timeline. Paralleling the successful strategy of generic competition to bring down drug prices, a clear consensus is emerging that market entry of multiple suppliers is a critical factor in expeditiously bringing down prices of new vaccines. In this context, key target objectives for improving access to new vaccines include overcoming intellectual property obstacles, streamlining regulatory pathways for biosimilar vaccines, and reducing market entry timelines for developing-country vaccine manufacturers by transfer of technology and know-how. I propose an intellectual property, technology, and know-how bank as a new approach to facilitate widespread access to new vaccines in low- and middle-income countries by efficient transfer of patented vaccine technologies to multiple developing-country vaccine manufacturers.

  15. Educational Leadership and Comprehensive Reform for Improving Equity and Access for All

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olcay Yavuz

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Disparities in college access for underrepresented urban students are one of the most urgent educational problems of America’s education system. In response to growing national concern, this longitudinal study investigated how school leaders worked collaboratively with key stakeholders to implement research-supported student services in order to improve college access for underrepresented urban students. The quantitative investigation showed that when educational leaders and key stakeholders worked collaboratively to deliver comprehensive student services, urban students in a high-poverty school district experienced measurable benefits in terms of their college enrolment. This study may be of particular value to policymakers, school leaders, and educators concerned with the low college access rates of students in urban schools, as well as to those who are seeking to understand what works better to prepare urban students for post-secondary education.

  16. Evidence Aid: Using Systematic Reviews to Improve Access to Evidence for Humanitarian Emergencies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mike Clarke

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Evidence Aid is an international initiative to improve access to reliable evidence that will help people and organisations make well-informed decisions about interventions, actions and strategies in the disaster setting. It focuses on systematic reviews as the most reliable source of research evidence, maximising the power of existing research, avoiding undue emphasis on single studies and reducing the waste associated with research that is ignored or not accessible to decision makers. Evidence Aid is knowledge champion for influencers of the humanitarian sector, including funders, policy makers, NGOs, and humanitarian professionals. Evidence Aid was established by members of the Cochrane Collaboration after the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004. It provides access to information relevant to disaster risk reduction, planning, response, recovery, resilience and rehabilitation. This presentation will discuss the need for Evidence Aid, and describes its activities.Find out more about Mike.

  17. Improving Data Discovery, Access, and Analysis to More Than Three Decades of Oceanographic and Geomorphologic Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forte, M.; Hesser, T.; Knee, K.; Ingram, I.; Hathaway, K. K.; Brodie, K. L.; Spore, N.; Bird, A.; Fratantonio, R.; Dopsovic, R.; Keith, A.; Gadomski, K.

    2016-02-01

    The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center's (USACE ERDC) Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) Coastal Observations and Analysis Branch (COAB) Measurements Program has a 35-year record of coastal observations. These datasets include oceanographic point source measurements, Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) GPS bathymetry surveys, and remote sensing data from both the Field Research Facility (FRF) in Duck, NC and from other project and experiment sites around the nation. The data has been used to support a variety of USACE mission areas, including coastal wave model development, beach and bar response, coastal project design, coastal storm surge, and other coastal hazard investigations. Furthermore these data have been widely used by a number of federal and state agencies, academic institutions, and private industries in hundreds of scientific and engineering investigations, publications, conference presentations and model advancement studies. A limiting factor to the use of FRF data has been rapid, reliable access and publicly available metadata for each data type. The addition of web tools, accessible data files, and well-documented metadata will open the door to much future collaboration. With the help of industry partner RPS ASA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District Spatial Data Branch, a Data Integration Framework (DIF) was developed. The DIF represents a combination of processes, standards, people, and tools used to transform disconnected enterprise data into useful, easily accessible information for analysis and reporting. A front-end data portal connects the user to the framework that integrates both oceanographic observation and geomorphology measurements using a combination of ESRI and open-source technology while providing a seamless data discovery, access, and analysis experience to the user. The user interface was built with ESRI's JavaScript API and all project metadata is managed using Geoportal. The geomorphology data is made

  18. Improved operational performance through the use of business planning tools

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoelscher, H.L.

    1996-01-01

    Improved operational performance at Point Beach Nuclear Plant is based on a focused business plan. Quantitative goals that compare past performance with the performance of potential competitors are the basis of the business plan. This establishes goals for the nuclear power business unit which support corporate goals. Strategies and objectives are then developed to meet the established goals. To continue support for these strategies and objectives, individual performance plans are developed for all management personnel. These performance management plans identify individual contributor actions to support the goals, and also provide periodic feedback for changes to better prioritize individual actions. Performance criteria are also established to measure progress toward achieving the goals. The author also has a program to provide incentives for improved performance based upon success of the organization in achieving established goals

  19. Process Improvement Tools, Commitment to Change Lead to Serious Turnaround.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birznieks, Derek; Zane, Richard

    2017-05-01

    The ED at the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years, doubling in size while also using process improvement methods to dramatically reduce wait times, eliminate ambulance diversion, and boost patient satisfaction. Throughout this period, volume has continued to increase while the cost per patient and avoidable hospital admissions have experienced steady declines. Guiding the effort has been a series of core principles, with a particular focus on making sure that all processes are patient-centered. . To begin the improvement effort, ED leaders established a leadership team, and hired a process improvement chief with no previous experience in healthcare to provide fresh, outside perspective on processes. . In addition to mandating that all processes be patient-centered, the other guiding principles included a commitment to use and track data, to speak with one voice, to value everyone's perspective, to deliver high-quality care to all patients, and to set a standard for other academic medical centers. . To get points on the board early and win approval from staff, one of the first changes administrators implemented was to hire scribes for every physician so they wouldn't be bogged down with data input. The approach has essentially paid for itself. . Among the biggest changes was the elimination of triage, a process that improvement teams found no longer added value or quality to the patient experience. . Leadership also has moved to equilibrate the size and staff of the various zones in the ED so that they are more generic and less specialized. The move has facilitated patient flow, enabling patients in zones with resuscitation bays to connect with providers quickly.

  20. Improvement of Synthetic Biology Tools for DNA Editing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cavaleiro, Mafalda

    with the development and improvement of DNA editing strategies,compatible with other DNA assembly methodologies, genome engineering and,eventually, automation processes. Expanding and optimizing the synbio toolkit has important applications in pathway optimization for metabolic engineering, design and characterization...... of gene circuits, synthesis of whole genomes and natural product discovery. In line with this, it is also described in this thesis how discovery of new cytochromes P450 (CYPs) from marine bacteria could benefit industrial processes....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Madeline; Green, Esther

    2013-05-01

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

  2. Does Improved Water Access Increase Child School Attendance? A Quasi-Experimental Approach From Rural Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masuda, Y.; Cook, J.

    2012-12-01

    This paper analyzes the impact of improved water access on child school attendance using two years of primary panel data from a quasi-experimental study in Oromiya, Ethiopia. A predominant form of child labor in rural poor households in least developed countries is water collection. Girls are often the primary water collectors for households, and because of the time intensive nature of water collection improved water access may allow for time to be reallocated to schooling (Rosen and Vincent 1999; Nankhuni and Findeis 2004). Understanding how improved water access may increase schooling for girls has important development policy implications. Indeed, abundant research on returns to education suggests increased schooling for girls is tied to improved future child and maternal health, economic opportunities, and lower fertility rates (Handa 1996; Schultz 1998; Michaelowa 2000). The literature to date finds that improved water access leads to increased schooling; however, there still exists a clear gap in the literature for understanding this relationship for two reasons. First, only four studies have directly examined the relationship between improved water access and schooling in sub-Saharan Africa, and analyses have been limited due to the use of cross-sectional data and research designs (Nankhuni and Findeis 2004; Koolwal and Van de Walle 2010; Ndiritu and Nyangan 2011; Nauges and Strand 2011). Indeed, only two studies have attempted to control for the endogenous nature of water access. Second, all studies use a binary school enrollment indicator from household surveys, which may suffer from response bias and may be an imperfect measure for actual schooling. Respondents may feel pressured to report that their children are enrolled in school if, like in Ethiopia, there are compulsory education laws. This may result in an overestimation of school enrollment. In addition, most children from rural poor households combine work and school, and a binary indicator does

  3. The Improvement of Automated Spectral Identification Tool ASERA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Hailong; zhang, Yanxia

    2015-08-01

    The regular survey of Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) has acquired over four millions spectra of celestial objects by the summer of 2014, covering about a third of the whole sky area. More spectra will be obtained as the survey projects (eg. LAMOST, SDSS) keeps going on. To effectively make use of the massive spectral data, various advanced data analysis methods and technologies are in great requirement. ASERA, A Spectrum Eye Recognition Assistant, provides a simple convenient solution for the user to access spectra from LAMOST and SDSS, identify their types (QSO, galaxy, and various types of stars) and estimate their redshifts in an interactive graphic interface. The toolkit is at first especially designed for quasar identification. By shifting the quasar template overlaping the target spectrum interactively, one can easily find out the best broad emission line position and the redshift value. Now, besides the quasar template, various templates for different types of galaxies (early type, later type, starburst, bulge, elliptical and luminous red galaxies) and stars (O, B, A, F, G, K, M, WD, CV, Double Stars and Emission-Line-Objects) are added. We also have developed many new useful functionalities for inspecting and analyzing spectra, such as zooming, line fitting, smoothing and automatic result saving. The target information from input catalogues and data processing result from the pipeline as well as fitting parameters for various types of templates, can be presented at the same time. Several volume processing components are developed to support the cooperation with MySQL database, internet resources and SSAP services. ASERA will be a strong helper for astronomers to recognize spectra.

  4. Efficiency of conscious access improves with coupling of slow and fast neural oscillations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakatani, Chie; Raffone, Antonino; van Leeuwen, Cees

    2014-05-01

    Global workspace access is considered as a critical factor for the ability to report a visual target. A plausible candidate mechanism for global workspace access is coupling of slow and fast brain activity. We studied coupling in EEG data using cross-frequency phase-amplitude modulation measurement between delta/theta phases and beta/gamma amplitudes from two experimental sessions, held on different days, of a typical attentional blink (AB) task, implying conscious access to targets. As the AB effect improved with practice between sessions, theta-gamma and theta-beta coupling increased generically. Most importantly, practice effects observed in delta-gamma and delta-beta couplings were specific to performance on the AB task. In particular, delta-gamma coupling showed the largest increase in cases of correct target detection in the most challenging AB conditions. All these practice effects were observed in the right temporal region. Given that the delta band is the main frequency of the P3 ERP, which is a marker of global workspace activity for conscious access, and because the gamma band is involved in visual object processing, the current results substantiate the role of phase-amplitude modulation in conscious access to visual target representations.

  5. Improving accessibility and discovery of ESA planetary data through the new planetary science archive

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macfarlane, A. J.; Docasal, R.; Rios, C.; Barbarisi, I.; Saiz, J.; Vallejo, F.; Besse, S.; Arviset, C.; Barthelemy, M.; De Marchi, G.; Fraga, D.; Grotheer, E.; Heather, D.; Lim, T.; Martinez, S.; Vallat, C.

    2018-01-01

    The Planetary Science Archive (PSA) is the European Space Agency's (ESA) repository of science data from all planetary science and exploration missions. The PSA provides access to scientific data sets through various interfaces at http://psa.esa.int. Mostly driven by the evolution of the PDS standards which all new ESA planetary missions shall follow and the need to update the interfaces to the archive, the PSA has undergone an important re-engineering. In order to maximise the scientific exploitation of ESA's planetary data holdings, significant improvements have been made by utilising the latest technologies and implementing widely recognised open standards. To facilitate users in handling and visualising the many products stored in the archive which have spatial data associated, the new PSA supports Geographical Information Systems (GIS) by implementing the standards approved by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). The modernised PSA also attempts to increase interoperability with the international community by implementing recognised planetary science specific protocols such as the PDAP (Planetary Data Access Protocol) and EPN-TAP (EuroPlanet-Table Access Protocol). In this paper we describe some of the methods by which the archive may be accessed and present the challenges that are being faced in consolidating data sets of the older PDS3 version of the standards with the new PDS4 deliveries into a single data model mapping to ensure transparent access to the data for users and services whilst maintaining a high performance.

  6. Improving Access to European E-theses: the DART-Europe Programme

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Moyle

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available DART-Europe (Digital Access to Research Theses - Europe is a partnership of research libraries and library consortia who are working together to improve global access to European research theses. The Programme is endorsed by LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche as part of the work of the LIBER Access Division, and it is the European Working Group of the NDLTD (Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations. DART-Europe serves as a European networking forum on issues relating to electronic theses. The DART-Europe partners share an enthusiasm for open access to research theses, and they have helped to provide researchers with the DART-Europe E-theses Portal, a service which enables the discovery of the open access research-level e-theses offered by institutions and consortia from a growing number of European countries. This article gives an overview of DART-Europe, its progress and its future plans, with particular reference to the DART-Europe E-theses Portal.

  7. Improving Internal Communication, a Tool for Increasing Organizational Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ioan Bordean

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Communication may be considered an important management tool. Internal communication is notan invention in management, but a basic need. Informing people - or even better, involving them – it is notonly in the employees’ best interest. The Company may take advantage of this state of affairs in several ways:informed employees know what they do, and especially why. They understand the company’s objectives andhow they can achieve them more effectively. A good working environment is in the best interest of everyresponsible employer, for that is a source of increased efficiency. Informed employees are generally morecontent with their professional status; they have a contextualized sense of their personal and professionalvalue and they show more responsibility. Their personal orientation is much better aligned with the companyand it may contribute significantly to achieving its business objectives. To inform people is a good thing, butto involve them it is even better. Involvement is the living proof of the difference between a good employerand a great one. This information can help in attracting good quality staff and it creates support fromemployees in terms of recruitment and sales, it generates passion, satisfaction at work and it reduces theabsenteeism; it provides opportunities for personal growth and development, it creates a sense of communityand an open and honest organizational culture.

  8. Development of Environmental Decision Support System: Unifying Cross-Discipline Data Access Through Open Source Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, S.; Darmenova, K.; Higgins, G. J.; Apling, D.

    2012-12-01

    A common theme when it comes to accessing climate and environmental datasets is that it can be difficult to answer the five basic questions: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. Sometimes even the act of locating a data set or determining how it was generated can prove difficult. It is even more challenging for non-scientific individuals such as planners and policy makers who need to access and include such information in their work. Our Environmental Decision Support System (EDSS) attempts to address this issue by integrating several open source packages to create a simple yet robust web application for conglomerating, searching, viewing, and downloading environmental information for both scientists and decision makers alike. The system is comprised of several open source components, each playing an important role in the EDSS. The Geoportal web application provides an intuitive interface for searching and managing metadata ingested from data sets/data sources. The GeoServer and ncWMS web applications provide overlays and information for visual presentations of the data through web mapping services (WMS) by ingesting ESRI shapefiles, NetCDF, and HDF files. Users of the EDSS can browse the catalog of available products, enter a simple search string, or even constrain searches by temporal and spatial extents. Combined with a custom visualization web application, the EDSS provides a simple yet efficient means for users to not only access and manipulate climate and environmental data, but also trace the data source and the analytical methods used in the final decision aids products.

  9. Providing access to risk prediction tools via the HL7 XML-formatted risk web service.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chipman, Jonathan; Drohan, Brian; Blackford, Amanda; Parmigiani, Giovanni; Hughes, Kevin; Bosinoff, Phil

    2013-07-01

    Cancer risk prediction tools provide valuable information to clinicians but remain computationally challenging. Many clinics find that CaGene or HughesRiskApps fit their needs for easy- and ready-to-use software to obtain cancer risks; however, these resources may not fit all clinics' needs. The HughesRiskApps Group and BayesMendel Lab therefore developed a web service, called "Risk Service", which may be integrated into any client software to quickly obtain standardized and up-to-date risk predictions for BayesMendel tools (BRCAPRO, MMRpro, PancPRO, and MelaPRO), the Tyrer-Cuzick IBIS Breast Cancer Risk Evaluation Tool, and the Colorectal Cancer Risk Assessment Tool. Software clients that can convert their local structured data into the HL7 XML-formatted family and clinical patient history (Pedigree model) may integrate with the Risk Service. The Risk Service uses Apache Tomcat and Apache Axis2 technologies to provide an all Java web service. The software client sends HL7 XML information containing anonymized family and clinical history to a Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) server, where it is parsed, interpreted, and processed by multiple risk tools. The Risk Service then formats the results into an HL7 style message and returns the risk predictions to the originating software client. Upon consent, users may allow DFCI to maintain the data for future research. The Risk Service implementation is exemplified through HughesRiskApps. The Risk Service broadens the availability of valuable, up-to-date cancer risk tools and allows clinics and researchers to integrate risk prediction tools into their own software interface designed for their needs. Each software package can collect risk data using its own interface, and display the results using its own interface, while using a central, up-to-date risk calculator. This allows users to choose from multiple interfaces while always getting the latest risk calculations. Consenting users contribute their data for future

  10. Cell fusion as a tool for rice improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hayashi, Y; Kyozuka, J; Terada, R; Nishibayashi, S; Shimamoto, K [Plantech Research Institute, Kamoshida, Midori-ku, Yokohama (Japan)

    1990-01-01

    Full text: Cell fusion offers a unique opportunity to hybridize sexually incompatible species and to mix cytoplasmic genomes in higher plants. Recent progress in plant regeneration from rice protoplasts facilitates an evaluation of the cell fusion method for rice improvement. By using electrofusion of protoplasts, we obtained hybrid/cybrid plants of the following combinations: Hybrids of rice x barnyard grass (E. oryzicola); Hybrids of rice x wild Oryza species; Cybrids of rice with transferred cms cytoplasm. For the latter, protoplasts irradiated with 70 krad x-rays were used. (author)

  11. Reforming the CDM SD Tool. Recommendations for Improvement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arens, Christof; Mersmann, Florian; Beuermann, Christiane

    assessment of sustainable development, comparable through mitigation mechanisms and embedded into development planning at the national level. This can then be used to integrate sustainability assessment standards into Performance Measurement Systems such as national Monitoring, Reporting and Verification...... Systems. On the other hand, compliance with standards ensures that countries also meet the requirements of international financial institutions such as the Green Climate Fund. Sustainable development benefits of climate protection instruments are highly relevant for development paths beyond aspects...... initial steps towards a globally applicable standard under an international UN institution. The Wuppertal Institute, together with UNEP DTU Partnership, has developed recommendations for its revision, improvement and enhancement that are outlined in this study....

  12. Continuous improvement processes using Lean Management tools. A case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pârv Luminița

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper describes how Lean Management may be applied in the university setting to improve the management processes. The correlation of didactic, educational and research activities with the stakeholders needs is one of the main objectives of the university. In this respect, an indicator used to analyse a university, for the purposes of fulfilling its mission, respectively for the purposes of streamlining its didactic and scientific activity, is related to the number of graduates on the labour market, acting in their area of specialization. This work presents a best practice of Lean Management at Transilvania University of Brasov, Romania.

  13. Peer Assessment with Online Tools to Improve Student Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkins, Leslie J.

    2012-11-01

    Introductory physics courses often require students to develop precise models of phenomena and represent these with diagrams, including free-body diagrams, light-ray diagrams, and maps of field lines. Instructors expect that students will adopt a certain rigor and precision when constructing these diagrams, but we want that rigor and precision to be an aid to sense-making rather than meeting seemingly arbitrary requirements set by the instructor. By giving students the authority to develop their own models and establish requirements for their diagrams, the sense that these are arbitrary requirements diminishes and students are more likely to see modeling as a sense-making activity. The practice of peer assessment can help students take ownership; however, it can be difficult for instructors to manage. Furthermore, it is not without risk: students can be reluctant to critique their peers, they may view this as the job of the instructor, and there is no guarantee that students will employ greater rigor and precision as a result of peer assessment. In this article, we describe one approach for peer assessment that can establish norms for diagrams in a way that is student driven, where students retain agency and authority in assessing and improving their work. We show that such an approach does indeed improve students' diagrams and abilities to assess their own work, without sacrificing students' authority and agency.

  14. Action research to improve methods of delivery and feedback in an Access Grid Room environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    McArthur, Lynne C.; Klass, Lara; Eberhard, Andrew; Stacey, Andrew

    2011-12-01

    This article describes a qualitative study which was undertaken to improve the delivery methods and feedback opportunity in honours mathematics lectures which are delivered through Access Grid Rooms. Access Grid Rooms are facilities that provide two-way video and audio interactivity across multiple sites, with the inclusion of smart boards. The principal aim was to improve the student learning experience, given the new environment. The specific aspects of the course delivery that the study focused on included presentation of materials and provision of opportunities for interaction between the students and between students and lecturers. The practical considerations in the delivery of distance learning are well documented in the literature, and similar problems arise in the Access Grid Room environment; in particular, those of limited access to face-to-face interaction and the reduction in peer support. The nature of the Access Grid Room classes implies that students studying the same course can be physically situated in different cities, and possibly in different countries. When studying, it is important that students have opportunity to discuss new concepts with others; particularly their peers and their lecturer. The Access Grid Room environment also presents new challenges for the lecturer, who must learn new skills in the delivery of materials. The unique nature of Access Grid Room technology offers unprecedented opportunity for effective course delivery and positive outcomes for students, and was developed in response to a need to be able to interact with complex data, other students and the instructor, in real-time, at a distance and from multiple sites. This is a relatively new technology and as yet there has been little or no studies specifically addressing the use and misuse of the technology. The study found that the correct placement of cameras and the use of printed material and smart boards were all crucial to the student experience. In addition, the

  15. Crossing the Barriers: An Analysis of Land Access Barriers to Geothermal Development and Potential Improvement Scenarios

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Levine, Aaron L [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Young, Katherine R [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)

    2017-10-04

    Developers have identified many non-technical barriers to geothermal power development, including access to land. Activities required for accessing land, such as environmental review and private and public leasing can take a considerable amount of time and can delay or prevent project development. This paper discusses the impacts to available geothermal resources and deployment caused by land access challenges, including tribal and cultural resources, environmentally sensitive areas, biological resources, land ownership, federal and state lease queues, and proximity to military installations. In this analysis, we identified challenges that have the potential to prevent development of identified and undiscovered hydrothermal geothermal resources. We found that an estimated 400 MW of identified geothermal resource potential and 4,000 MW of undiscovered geothermal resource potential were either unallowed for development or contained one or more significant barriers that could prevent development at the site. Potential improvement scenarios that could be employed to overcome these barriers include (1) providing continuous funding to the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) for processing geothermal leases and permit applications and (2) the creation of advanced environmental mitigation measures. The model results forecast that continuous funding to the USFS could result in deployment of an additional 80 MW of geothermal capacity by 2030 and 124 MW of geothermal capacity by 2050 when compared to the business-as-usual scenario. The creation of advanced environmental mitigation measures coupled with continuous funding to the USFS could result in deployment of an additional 97 MW of geothermal capacity by 2030 and 152 MW of geothermal capacity by 2050 when compared to the business-as-usual scenario. The small impact on potential deployment in these improvement scenarios suggests that these 4,400 MW have other barriers to development in addition to land access. In other words, simply

  16. Improving Accessibility to Medical Services for Persons with Disabilities in Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anpatcha Sakhornkhan

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: This action research aimed at developing an action plan to improve the accessibility to home health care and assistive devices for persons with disabilities in a rural community, and to evaluate changes in the numbers of such persons who received appropriate home health care and assistive devices after a three-month implementation of the action plan.Method: The study was conducted at a sub-district of Maha Sarakham Province, Thailand. The main beneficiaries were 99 persons with disabilities (mean age55.4±18.7 years. Group meetings were organised for persons with disabilities, caregivers, and various community members. An action plan for improving the accessibility of persons with disabilities to home health care and assistive devices was collaboratively formulated and implemented for three months.Results: The main strategy for improving accessibility was to increase the competency of village health volunteers in providing home health care and assistive devices to persons with disabilities. After the three-month action plan implementation, the number of persons with disabilities who received appropriate home health care, i.e. at least once a month, significantly increased from 33.3% to 72.2% (Chi-square test, PConclusions: Under the supervision of physical therapists and/or other allied health professionals, the village health volunteer is likely to be a key person for improving the accessibility to home health care and assistive devices for persons with disabilities in a rural community.Limitations: The study was limited to only one sub-district. No comparable areas were studied. Further, since the study recruited persons with disabilities from a rural community, applicability of the findings to persons with disabilities in an urban community should be considered judiciously.

  17. Improving access to surgery in a developing country: experience from a surgical collaboration in Sierra Leone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kushner, Adam L; Kamara, Thaim B; Groen, Reinou S; Fadlu-Deen, Betsy D; Doah, Kisito S; Kingham, T Peter

    2010-01-01

    Although surgery is increasingly recognized as an essential component of primary health care, there has been little documentation of surgical programs in low- and middle-income countries. Surgeons OverSeas (SOS) is a New York-based organization with a mission to save lives in developing countries by improving surgical care. This article highlights the surgical program in Sierra Leone as a possible model to improve access to surgery. An SOS team conducted a needs assessment of surgical capacity in Sierra Leone in February 2008. Interventions were then developed and programs were implemented. A follow-up assessment was conducted in December 2009, which included interviews of key Sierra Leone hospital personnel and a review of operating room log books. Based on an initial needs assessment, a program was developed that included training, salary support, and the provision of surgical supplies and equipment. Two 3-day workshops were conducted for a total of 44 health workers, salary support given to over 100 staff, and 2 containers of supplies and equipment were donated. Access to surgery, as measured by the number of major operations at Connaught Hospital, increased from 460 cases in 2007 to 768 cases in 2009. The SOS program in Sierra Leone highlights a method for improving access to surgery that incorporates an initial needs assessment with minimal external support and local staff collaboration. The program functions as a catalyst by providing training, salary support, and supplies. The beneficial results of the program can then be used to advocate for additional resources for surgery from policy makers. This model could be beneficial in other resource-poor countries in which improved access to surgery is desired. Copyright 2010 Association of Program Directors in Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. CORPORATE CULTURE AS A TOOL TO IMPROVE SAFETY CULTURE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erika SUJOVÁ

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the article is to explain interconnectivity between corporate culture and safety culture, which aim to utilize motivation to prevent work accidents and other unwanted events in an enterprise. The article deals with ways how to improve approaches to Occupational Health & Safety, OH&S, at work place through proper direction of corporate culture. It introduces internal and external determinants of corporate culture, which have a significant effect. The article introduces common features of corporate culture and safety culture as an element of the OH&S management system with emphasis on system effectiveness. The final portion of the article presents the hierarchy of needs model, which may serve as a basis motivating employees to follow safety and health rules at work place.

  19. Benchmarking – A tool for judgment or improvement?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Grane Mikael Gregaard

    2010-01-01

    perceptions of benchmarking will be presented; public benchmarking and best practice benchmarking. These two types of benchmarking are used to characterize and discuss the Danish benchmarking system and to enhance which effects, possibilities and challenges that follow in the wake of using this kind......Change in construction is high on the agenda for the Danish government and a comprehensive effort is done in improving quality and efficiency. This has led to an initiated governmental effort in bringing benchmarking into the Danish construction sector. This paper is an appraisal of benchmarking...... as it is presently carried out in the Danish construction sector. Many different perceptions of benchmarking and the nature of the construction sector, lead to an uncertainty in how to perceive and use benchmarking, hence, generating an uncertainty in understanding the effects of benchmarking. This paper addresses...

  20. Improving patient access to videofluoroscopy services: Role of the practitioner-led clinic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Newman, Roger D., E-mail: Roger.Newman@lthtr.nhs.uk [Dept. of Speech and Language Therapy, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, Sharoe Green lane, Fulwood, Preston PR2 9HT (United Kingdom); University of Salford (United Kingdom); Nightingale, Julie [University of Salford (United Kingdom)

    2011-11-15

    Quality Issue: Although costly and time consuming, videofluoroscopic swallowing (VFS) examinations are the gold standard for imaging of oro-pharyngeal dysphagia, and demand is likely to increase with an ageing population. Traditional radiologist-led VFS services in the UK are gradually being replaced by practitioner-led clinics undertaken jointly by speech and language therapists and radiographers. This article explores the impact on patient access of a practitioner-led VFS clinic at a large teaching hospital. Initial Assessment: Specific information pertaining to VFS patient waiting times and service quality was collected for a twelve month period both pre- and post-clinic formation. Choice of Solution: Additional capacity was achieved with the introduction of the practitioner-led clinic, with overall patient access improving by 111%. Mean waiting times for in-patients reduced by 75%, many of whom had the procedure on the same day as referral, with out-patients waiting times reducing by 62.5%. Evaluation: The data demonstrates that patient access and report turnaround times are significantly improved, with no adverse effects as measured by inadequate studies, incorrect reports, complaints and documented radiation dose levels. Lessons Learnt: Practitioner-led VFS services can be recommended as a safe and efficient method of improving service provision.

  1. Improving patient access to videofluoroscopy services: Role of the practitioner-led clinic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Newman, Roger D.; Nightingale, Julie

    2011-01-01

    Quality Issue: Although costly and time consuming, videofluoroscopic swallowing (VFS) examinations are the gold standard for imaging of oro-pharyngeal dysphagia, and demand is likely to increase with an ageing population. Traditional radiologist-led VFS services in the UK are gradually being replaced by practitioner-led clinics undertaken jointly by speech and language therapists and radiographers. This article explores the impact on patient access of a practitioner-led VFS clinic at a large teaching hospital. Initial Assessment: Specific information pertaining to VFS patient waiting times and service quality was collected for a twelve month period both pre- and post-clinic formation. Choice of Solution: Additional capacity was achieved with the introduction of the practitioner-led clinic, with overall patient access improving by 111%. Mean waiting times for in-patients reduced by 75%, many of whom had the procedure on the same day as referral, with out-patients waiting times reducing by 62.5%. Evaluation: The data demonstrates that patient access and report turnaround times are significantly improved, with no adverse effects as measured by inadequate studies, incorrect reports, complaints and documented radiation dose levels. Lessons Learnt: Practitioner-led VFS services can be recommended as a safe and efficient method of improving service provision.

  2. [Improve the accessibility of essential drugs for the populations of one medical region in Burkina Faso].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridde, Valéry; Nitièma, Abdoulaye P; Dadjoari, Moussa

    2005-01-01

    Despite the formulation of the Bamako initiative in 1992 in Burkina Faso, not until 2001 and the launching of a project by a nongovernmental organization was the policy really implemented in a region of the country. One of the goals of this policy is to improve access to health care by using generic essential drugs. The objective of this article is to summarize the results of the evaluation of the project's ability to improve the population's access to drugs. The project lasted three years (2001-2003) and the interventions took place in 41 basic health centres of three districts. According to WHO, improving access to drugs requires consideration of four essential factors: rational use, affordable prices, financial viability, and effectiveness of the distribution. The average number of drugs prescribed per prescription sheet (n = 1061) was 2.4; 93% of the drugs were prescribed by their generic name (international non-proprietary names); 44% of infant diarrheas were treated with oral rehydration salt. National drug prices were respected but not the directives aiming at exempting from payment or subsidizing certain population sub-groups (children, indigents). The average annual cash flow of the basic health centres was 1.2 million F CFA and it increased by 854% compared to the beginning of the project. The cost-recovery scheme for administrative expenses was 106%. The average annual availability of the 10 essential drugs was 89%. Utilization rates increased (0.13 in 1999 to 0.21 in 2003) but not significantly differently than in other basic health centres of the area not supported by the project (p = 0.084). The project succeeded in improving access to these drugs for the overall population but not for the worst-off. The drugs are now geographically available for all and financially accessible for those who can afford to pay. The intervention strategy supported the sustainability of the project's activities but much remains to be done to provide the poorest with

  3. Improving collaboration between primary care research networks using Access Grid technology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zsolt Nagykaldi

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Access Grid (AG is an Internet2-driven, high performance audio_visual conferencing technology used worldwide by academic and government organisations to enhance communication, human interaction and group collaboration. AG technology is particularly promising for improving academic multi-centre research collaborations. This manuscript describes how the AG technology was utilised by the electronic Primary Care Research Network (ePCRN that is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH Roadmap initiative to improve primary care research and collaboration among practice- based research networks (PBRNs in the USA. It discusses the design, installation and use of AG implementations, potential future applications, barriers to adoption, and suggested solutions.

  4. Use of nuclear and biotechnological tools for improving crop yield

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mukherjee, Prasun K.; Venugopalan, V.P.

    2017-01-01

    Crop improvement, crop production and crop protection are the three pillars of agriculture. Optimum yield can be achieved only by cultivating the best available variety coupled with good agronomic practices and robust plant protection (from pests and diseases). Depletion of soil organic matter has become a serious problem, especially in the post-green revolution era, due to the cultivation of nutrient-exhausting, high yielding crop varieties with intensive chemical inputs. Soil organic matter is crucial not only for restoring soil physical properties, but also to sustain the soil flora and fauna that are involved in nutrient cycling. Depletion of cattle population has resulted in less availability of manures. In order to assess the soil health and extent of carbon depletion, we have developed a user-friendly kit for in situ soil organic carbon detection. This technology has been transferred to six companies and many products are already available in the market. This technology has been adopted by CIFAL (Sweden), an FAO -backed NGO for imparting training to the farmers in African countries

  5. Strategic plan: A tool to improve IPP project earnings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    LeClerc, S.

    1997-01-01

    This paper presents a strategic plan to analyze and convert project operations to gain short-term and long-term economic benefits. Areas of Opportunity were identified which may result in improved project economics from Independent Power Producers' project reviews. This paper discusses each Area of Opportunity, suggests options for investigation, and provides a potential magnitude of upside for solid fuel circulating fluidized bed projects in the 50 MW project size. The Areas of Opportunity are: (1) Power Purchase Agreement Modifications; (2) Fuel Use Optimization; (3) Power Plant Upgrades; (4) Power Plant Depreciation Schedule And FAS 121 Analysis; (5) Operation ampersand Maintenance Review; (6) Financial Contract Review; (7) Environmental Review; (8) Insurance Coverage Review; (9) Internal Management Review; and (10) Strategic Development For Energy Sales. Ten appendices are included which comprise a sample Strategic Plan: (1) Potential Plant Upgrades, (2) Enhancement Criteria, (3) Age of Coal Burning Plants, (4) Btu Energy Price Summary, (5) Typical Operation and Maintenance Audit Findings, (6) Typical Performance Objectives and Guidelines, (7) Typical Heavy Metal Emissions, (8) Typical Strategic Plan Formulation, (9) Strategic Plan Implementation Schedule, and (10) Typical Decision Tree. 8 refs

  6. Examining the use of evidence-based and social media supported tools in freely accessible physical activity intervention websites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandelanotte, Corneel; Kirwan, Morwenna; Rebar, Amanda; Alley, Stephanie; Short, Camille; Fallon, Luke; Buzza, Gavin; Schoeppe, Stephanie; Maher, Carol; Duncan, Mitch J

    2014-08-17

    It has been shown that physical activity is more likely to increase if web-based interventions apply evidence-based components (e.g. self-monitoring) and incorporate interactive social media applications (e.g. social networking), but it is unclear to what extent these are being utilized in the publicly available web-based physical activity interventions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether freely accessible websites delivering physical activity interventions use evidence-based behavior change techniques and provide social media applications. In 2013, a systematic search strategy examined 750 websites. Data was extracted on a wide range of variables (e.g. self-monitoring, goal setting, and social media applications). To evaluate website quality a new tool, comprising three sub-scores (Behavioral Components, Interactivity and User Generated Content), was developed to assess implementation of behavior change techniques and social media applications. An overall website quality scored was obtained by summing the three sub-scores. Forty-six publicly available websites were included in the study. The use of self-monitoring (54.3%), goal setting (41.3%) and provision of feedback (46%) was relatively low given the amount of evidence supporting these features. Whereas the presence of features allowing users to generate content (73.9%), and social media components (Facebook (65.2%), Twitter (47.8%), YouTube (48.7%), smartphone applications (34.8%)) was relatively high considering their innovative and untested nature. Nearly all websites applied some behavioral and social media applications. The average Behavioral Components score was 3.45 (±2.53) out of 10. The average Interactivity score was 3.57 (±2.16) out of 10. The average User Generated Content Score was 4.02 (±2.77) out of 10. The average overall website quality score was 11.04 (±6.92) out of 30. Four websites (8.7%) were classified as high quality, 12 websites (26.1%) were classified as moderate

  7. Improving Climate Communication through Comprehensive Linguistic Analyses Using Computational Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gann, T. M.; Matlock, T.

    2014-12-01

    An important lesson on climate communication research is that there is no single way to reach out and inform the public. Different groups conceptualize climate issues in different ways and different groups have different values and assumptions. This variability makes it extremely difficult to effectively and objectively communicate climate information. One of the main challenges is the following: How do we acquire a better understanding of how values and assumptions vary across groups, including political groups? A necessary starting point is to pay close attention to the linguistic content of messages used across current popular media sources. Careful analyses of that information—including how it is realized in language for conservative and progressive media—may ultimately help climate scientists, government agency officials, journalists and others develop more effective messages. Past research has looked at partisan media coverage of climate change, but little attention has been given to the fine-grained linguistic content of such media. And when researchers have done detailed linguistic analyses, they have relied primarily on hand-coding, an approach that is costly, labor intensive, and time-consuming. Our project, building on recent work on partisan news media (Gann & Matlock, 2014; under review) uses high dimensional semantic analyses and other methods of automated classification techniques from the field of natural language processing to quantify how climate issues are characterized in media sources that differ according to political orientation. In addition to discussing varied linguistic patterns, we share new methods for improving climate communication for varied stakeholders, and for developing better assessments of their effectiveness.

  8. Corporate social responsibility to improve access to medicines: the case of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorsteinsdóttir, Halla; Ovtcharenko, Natasha; Kohler, Jillian Clare

    2017-02-21

    Access to medicines and the development of a strong national pharmaceutical industry are two longstanding pillars of health policy in Brazil. This is reflected in a clear emphasis by Brazil's Federal Government on improving access to medicine in national health plans and industrial policies aimed at promoting domestic pharmaceutical development. This research proposes that such policies may act as incentives for companies to pursue a strategic Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda. CSR that supports Governmental priorities could help companies to benefit significantly from the Governmental industrial policy. We sought to determine whether CSR activities of Brazilian pharmaceutical firms are currently aligned with the Federal Government's health prioritization. To do so we examined key Brazilian health related policies since 2004, including the specific priorities of Brazil's 2012-2015 Health Plan, and compared these with CSR initiatives that are reported on the websites of select pharmaceutical firms in Brazil. Brazil's national health plans and industrial policies demonstrated that the Federal Government has followed diverse approaches for improving access to medicines, including strengthening health care infrastructure, increasing transparency, and supporting product development partnerships. Case studies of six pharmaceutical firms, representing both public and private companies of varying size, support the perspective that CSR is a priority for firms. However, while many programs target issues such as health infrastructure, health care training, and drug donation, more programs focus on areas other than health and do not seem to be connected to Governmental prioritization. This research suggests that there are loose connections between Governmental priorities and pharmaceutical firm CSR. However, there remains a significant opportunity for greater alignment, which could improve access to medicines in the country and foster a stronger relationship between

  9. Can health insurance improve access to quality care for the Indian poor?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michielsen, Joris; Criel, Bart; Devadasan, Narayanan; Soors, Werner; Wouters, Edwin; Meulemans, Herman

    2011-08-01

    Recently, the Indian government launched health insurance schemes for the poor both to protect them from high health spending and to improve access to high-quality health services. This article aims to review the potentials of health insurance interventions in order to improve access to quality care in India based on experiences of community health insurance schemes. PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE (R), All EBM Reviews, CSA Sociological Abstracts, CSA Social Service Abstracts, EconLit, Science Direct, the ISI Web of Knowledge, Social Science Research Network and databases of research centers were searched up to September 2010. An Internet search was executed. One thousand hundred and thirty-three papers were assessed for inclusion and exclusion criteria. Twenty-five papers were selected providing information on eight schemes. A realist review was performed using Hirschman's exit-voice theory: mechanisms to improve exit strategies (financial assets and infrastructure) and strengthen patient's long voice route (quality management) and short voice route (patient pressure). All schemes use a mix of measures to improve exit strategies and the long voice route. Most mechanisms are not effective in reality. Schemes that focus on the patients' bargaining position at the patient-provider interface seem to improve access to quality care. Top-down health insurance interventions with focus on exit strategies will not work out fully in the Indian context. Government must actively facilitate the potential of CHI schemes to emancipate the target group so that they may transform from mere passive beneficiaries into active participants in their health.

  10. A GIS Tool for evaluating and improving NEXRAD and its application in distributed hydrologic modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, X.; Srinivasan, R.

    2008-12-01

    In this study, a user friendly GIS tool was developed for evaluating and improving NEXRAD using raingauge data. This GIS tool can automatically read in raingauge and NEXRAD data, evaluate the accuracy of NEXRAD for each time unit, implement several geostatistical methods to improve the accuracy of NEXRAD through raingauge data, and output spatial precipitation map for distributed hydrologic model. The geostatistical methods incorporated in this tool include Simple Kriging with varying local means, Kriging with External Drift, Regression Kriging, Co-Kriging, and a new geostatistical method that was newly developed by Li et al. (2008). This tool was applied in two test watersheds at hourly and daily temporal scale. The preliminary cross-validation results show that incorporating raingauge data to calibrate NEXRAD can pronouncedly change the spatial pattern of NEXRAD and improve its accuracy. Using different geostatistical methods, the GIS tool was applied to produce long term precipitation input for a distributed hydrologic model - Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). Animated video was generated to vividly illustrate the effect of using different precipitation input data on distributed hydrologic modeling. Currently, this GIS tool is developed as an extension of SWAT, which is used as water quantity and quality modeling tool by USDA and EPA. The flexible module based design of this tool also makes it easy to be adapted for other hydrologic models for hydrological modeling and water resources management.

  11. Distributed data discovery, access and visualization services to Improve Data Interoperability across different data holdings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palanisamy, G.; Krassovski, M.; Devarakonda, R.; Santhana Vannan, S.

    2012-12-01

    The current climate debate is highlighting the importance of free, open, and authoritative sources of high quality climate data that are available for peer review and for collaborative purposes. It is increasingly important to allow various organizations around the world to share climate data in an open manner, and to enable them to perform dynamic processing of climate data. This advanced access to data can be enabled via Web-based services, using common "community agreed" standards without having to change their internal structure used to describe the data. The modern scientific community has become diverse and increasingly complex in nature. To meet the demands of such diverse user community, the modern data supplier has to provide data and other related information through searchable, data and process oriented tool. This can be accomplished by setting up on-line, Web-based system with a relational database as a back end. The following common features of the web data access/search systems will be outlined in the proposed presentation: - A flexible data discovery - Data in commonly used format (e.g., CSV, NetCDF) - Preparing metadata in standard formats (FGDC, ISO19115, EML, DIF etc.) - Data subseting capabilities and ability to narrow down to individual data elements - Standards based data access protocols and mechanisms (SOAP, REST, OpenDAP, OGC etc.) - Integration of services across different data systems (discovery to access, visualizations and subseting) This presentation will also include specific examples of integration of various data systems that are developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's - Climate Change Science Institute, their ability to communicate between each other to enable better data interoperability and data integration. References: [1] Devarakonda, Ranjeet, and Harold Shanafield. "Drupal: Collaborative framework for science research." Collaboration Technologies and Systems (CTS), 2011 International Conference on. IEEE, 2011. [2

  12. New tools and methods for direct programmatic access to the dbSNP relational database.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saccone, Scott F; Quan, Jiaxi; Mehta, Gaurang; Bolze, Raphael; Thomas, Prasanth; Deelman, Ewa; Tischfield, Jay A; Rice, John P

    2011-01-01

    Genome-wide association studies often incorporate information from public biological databases in order to provide a biological reference for interpreting the results. The dbSNP database is an extensive source of information on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for many different organisms, including humans. We have developed free software that will download and install a local MySQL implementation of the dbSNP relational database for a specified organism. We have also designed a system for classifying dbSNP tables in terms of common tasks we wish to accomplish using the database. For each task we have designed a small set of custom tables that facilitate task-related queries and provide entity-relationship diagrams for each task composed from the relevant dbSNP tables. In order to expose these concepts and methods to a wider audience we have developed web tools for querying the database and browsing documentation on the tables and columns to clarify the relevant relational structure. All web tools and software are freely available to the public at http://cgsmd.isi.edu/dbsnpq. Resources such as these for programmatically querying biological databases are essential for viably integrating biological information into genetic association experiments on a genome-wide scale.

  13. Airport Gate Activity Monitoring Tool Suite for Improved Turnaround Prediction, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The objective of this research is to create a suite of tools for monitoring airport gate activities with the objective of improving aircraft turnaround. Airport ramp...

  14. Strategic purchasing reform in Estonia: Reducing inequalities in access while improving care concentration and quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habicht, Triin; Habicht, Jarno; van Ginneken, Ewout

    2015-08-01

    As of 2014, the Estonian Health Insurance Fund has adopted new purchasing procedures and criteria, which it now has started to implement in specialist care. Main changes include (1) redefined access criteria based on population need rather than historical supply, which aim to achieve more equal access of providers and specialties; (2) stricter definition and use of optimal workload criteria to increase the concentration of specialist care (3) better consideration of patient movement; and (4) an increased emphasis on quality to foster quality improvement. The new criteria were first used in the contract cycle that started in 2014 and resulted in fewer contracted providers for a similar volume of care compared to the previous contract cycle. This implies that provision of specialized care has become concentrated at fewer providers. It is too early to draw firm conclusions on the impact on care quality or on actors, but the process has sparked debate on the role of selective contracting and the role of public and private providers in Estonian health care. Lastly, the Estonian experience may hold important lessons for other countries looking to overcome inequalities in access while concentrating care and improving care quality. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  15. Pediatric Diabetes Telemedicine Program Improves Access to Care for Rural Families: Role of APRNs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Nancy Marie; Satyshur, Rosemarie DiMauro

    2016-01-01

    Type 1 diabetes mellitus has increased in children by 23% from 2001 to 2009. Rural communities additionally have increased disparities related to access barriers and a large minority population with poorer overall health. Research evidence supports telemedicine as an effective alternative to bring preventive diabetes care to remote areas. This article presents an overview of the leadership role of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) with the implementation and evaluation of a pediatric diabetes telemedicine program at a rural pediatric outpatient specialty clinic in partnership with a tertiary center telemedicine network. The telemedicine program quality improvement (QI) project explored caregiver satisfaction with a convenience sample of caregivers (N = 14) using a nine-item Telemedicine Diabetes Caregiver Satisfaction Survey (TDCSS), with responses ranging from 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree. Findings indicate caregivers were highly satisfied with communication/ privacy (M = 4.8), access to care (M = 4.1), and quality of services (M = 5.0). The multidisciplinary collaborative teamwork, continuous QI, and dependable technology were integral to the quality of the telemedicine clinical initiative. APRNs provided technology expertise, interdisciplinary collaboration leadership, care coordination, and advocacy for policy changes. Results demonstrate that telemedicine and APRN leadership can help implement innovative programs into rural communities to improve access to care, healthcare cost, and outcomes.

  16. Perceived impact and feasibility of strategies to improve access to healthy foods in Washington State, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Donna B; Quinn, Emilee L; Podrabsky, Mary; Beckwith-Stanley, Nadia; Chan, Nadine; Ellings, Amy; Kovacs, Tricia; Lane, Claire

    2013-12-01

    The present study measured the perceived impact and political and implementation feasibility of state-level policy strategies related to increasing access to healthy foods and limiting unhealthy foods. Potential state-level policy strategies to improve access to healthy foods were identified through a review of evidence-based literature and policy recommendations. Respondents rated the perceived impact and political and implementation feasibility of each policy on a five-point scale using online surveys. Washington State policy process. Forty-nine content experts (national researchers and subject experts), forty policy experts (state elected officials or their staff, gubernatorial or legislative policy analysts) and forty-five other stakeholders (state-level advocates, programme administrators, food producers). In aggregate, respondents rated policy impact and implementation feasibility higher than political feasibility. Policy experts rated policy strategies as less politically feasible compared with content experts (P political and implementation feasibility. These included policies related to nutrition standards in schools and child-care facilities, food distribution systems, urban planning projects, water availability, joint use agreements and breast-feeding supports. Although they may be perceived as potentially impactful, some policies will be more difficult to enact than others. Information about the potential feasibility of policies to improve access to healthy foods can be used to focus limited policy process resources on strategies with the highest potential for enactment, implementation and impact.

  17. A Pilot Quality Improvement Collaborative to Improve Safety Net Dental Access for Pregnant Women and Young Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vander Schaaf, Emily B; Quinonez, Rocio B; Cornett, Amanda C; Randolph, Greg D; Boggess, Kim; Flower, Kori B

    2018-02-01

    Objectives To determine acceptability and feasibility of a quality improvement (QI) collaborative in safety net dental practices, and evaluate its effects on financial stability, access, efficiency, and care for pregnant women and young children. Methods Five safety net dental practices participated in a 15-month learning collaborative utilizing business assessments, QI training, early childhood oral health training, and prenatal oral health training. Practices collected monthly data on: net revenue, no-show rates, total encounters, and number of encounters for young children and pregnant women. We analyzed quantitative data using paired t-tests before and after the collaborative and collected supplemental qualitative feedback from clinic staff through focus groups and directed email. Results All mean measures improved, including: higher monthly revenue ($28,380-$33,102, p = 0.37), decreased no-show rate (17.7-14.3%, p = 0.11), higher monthly dental health encounters (283-328, p = 0.08), and higher monthly encounters for young children (8.8-10.5, p = 0.65), and pregnant women (2.8-9.7, p = 0.29). Results varied by practice, with some demonstrating largest increases in encounters for young children and others pregnant women. Focus group participants reported that the collaborative improved access for pregnant women and young children, and that QI methods were often new and difficult. Conclusion for practice Participation by safety net dental practices in a QI collaborative is feasible and acceptable. Individual sites saw greater improvements in different outcomes areas, based on their own structures and needs. Future efforts should focus on specific needs of each dental practice and should offer additional QI training.

  18. Improving Access to Essential Medicines: How Health Concerns can be Prioritised in the Global Governance System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sridhar, Devi

    2008-07-01

    This paper discusses the politics of access to essential medicines and identifies 'space' in the current system where health concerns can be strengthened relative to trade. This issue is addressed from a global governance perspective focusing on the main actors who can have the greatest impact. These include developing country coalitions and citizens in developed countries though participation in civil society organisations. These actors have combined forces to tackle this issue successfully, resulting in the 2001 Doha Declaration on Public Health. The collaboration has been so powerful due to the assistance of the media as well as the decision to compromise with pharmaceutical companies and their host countries. To improve access to essential medicines, six C's are needed: coalitions, civil society, citizenship, compromise, communication and collaboration.

  19. Improved relationships in eastern Kenya from water interventions and access to water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolnikov, Tara Rava; Blodgett Salafia, Elizabeth

    2016-03-01

    Global health interventions focus on providing solutions to unaddressed public health issues in low- and middle-income countries. Providing nearby access to safe drinking water is a primary public health concern and a frequent public health intervention throughout sub-Saharan Africa; access to water eliminates long gathering and transport time and provides an individual with more personal time. Previous research has not reviewed the aspect of time and relationship changes after implemented water interventions. A qualitative phenomenological approach used 52 semistructured interviews to examine relationship experiences among primary water gatherers and their families after receiving nearby access to water. This study took place throughout the historically semiarid eastern region in Kitui, Kenya, where community members have been beneficiaries of various water interventions. Before the water intervention, family members experienced difficulties with irregular meal times and food availability, infrequent family conversations, irritation with lack of bathing and cleanliness, and general discontent without the availability of 1 able-bodied family member. Participants' experiences after implemented water interventions revealed enhanced relationships within household family units; additional personal time was gained and used to rebuild relationships. The newly established relationships included constructive discussions and conversations built around understanding and developing solutions to address economic or individual challenges encountered by the family. This study's findings suggest that relationships significantly improved after households receive access to nearby water. Furthermore, this research provides evidence of an increased need for access to quality water for communities throughout the world to positively contribute to constructive family relationships. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  20. pClone: Synthetic Biology Tool Makes Promoter Research Accessible to Beginning Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, A. Malcolm; Eckdahl, Todd; Cronk, Brian; Andresen, Corinne; Frederick, Paul; Huckuntod, Samantha; Shinneman, Claire; Wacker, Annie; Yuan, Jason

    2014-01-01

    The "Vision and Change" report recommended genuine research experiences for undergraduate biology students. Authentic research improves science education, increases the number of scientifically literate citizens, and encourages students to pursue research. Synthetic biology is well suited for undergraduate research and is a growing area…

  1. How Can Pricing and Reimbursement Policies Improve Affordable Access to Medicines? Lessons Learned from European Countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogler, Sabine; Paris, Valérie; Ferrario, Alessandra; Wirtz, Veronika J; de Joncheere, Kees; Schneider, Peter; Pedersen, Hanne Bak; Dedet, Guillaume; Babar, Zaheer-Ud-Din

    2017-06-01

    This article discusses pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement policies in European countries with regard to their ability to ensure affordable access to medicines. A frequently applied pricing policy is external price referencing. While it provides some benchmark for policy-makers and has been shown to be able to generate savings, it may also contribute to delay in product launch in countries where medicine prices are low. Value-based pricing has been proposed as a policy that promotes access while rewarding useful innovation; however, implementing it has proven quite challenging. For high-priced medicines, managed-entry agreements are increasingly used. These agreements allow policy-makers to manage uncertainty and obtain lower prices. They can also facilitate earlier market access in case of limited evidence about added therapeutic value of the medicine. However, these agreements raise transparency concerns due to the confidentiality clause. Tendering as used in the hospital and offpatent outpatient sectors has been proven to reduce medicine prices but it requires a robust framework and appropriate design with clear strategic goals in order to prevent shortages. These pricing and reimbursement policies are supplemented by the widespread use of Health Technology Assessment to inform decision-making, and by strategies to improve the uptake of generics, and also biosimilars. While European countries have been implementing a set of policy options, there is a lack of thorough impact assessments of several pricing and reimbursement policies on affordable access. Increased cooperation between authorities, experience sharing and improving transparency on price information, including the disclosure of confidential discounts, are opportunities to address current challenges.

  2. Cilostazol May Improve Maturation Rates and Durability of Vascular Access for Hemodialysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Todd E; Kasper, Gregory C; Seiwert, Andrew J; Comerota, Anthony J; Lurie, Fedor

    2017-04-01

    Cilostazol is effective in controlling pathophysiological pathways similar or identical to those involved in nonmaturation and failure of the arteriovenous access. This case-control study examined whether cilostazol would improve maturation rates and durability of vascular access for hemodialysis. The treatment group included 33 patients who received cilostazol for ≥30 days prior to creation of a dialysis access and continued with cilostazol therapy for ≥60 days after surgery. The matched (gender, age, race, diabetes, and the year of surgery) control group included 116 patients who underwent the same procedure but did not receive cilostazol prior to and at least 3 months after surgery. Primary outcomes were maturation and, for those that matured, time of functioning access, defined as the time from the first use to irreparable failure of the access. Secondary outcomes were time to maturation, complications, and time to first complication. Study group patients were 3.8 times more likely to experience fistula maturation compared to the controls (88% vs 66%, RR = 3.8, 95% confidence interval: 1.3-11.6, P = .016). Fewer patients in the study group had complications (76% vs 92%, P = .025), and the time from construction of the fistula to the first complication was longer (345.6 ± 441 days vs 198.3 ± 185.0 days, P = .025). Time to maturation was similar in both groups (119.3 ± 62.9 days vs 100.2 ± 61.7 days, P = .2). However, once matured, time to failure was significantly longer in the treatment group (903.7 ± 543.6 vs 381.6 ± 317.2 days, P = .001). Multivariate analysis confirmed that the likelihood of maturation was significantly higher in the treatment group patients. These results suggest that dialysis access patients may benefit from preoperative and postoperative cilostazol therapy. If confirmed by a randomized trial, this treatment will have a major beneficial impact on patients dependent on a well-functioning access for their hemodialysis.

  3. Cultural transmission of tool use by Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) provides access to a novel foraging niche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krützen, Michael; Kreicker, Sina; MacLeod, Colin D.; Learmonth, Jennifer; Kopps, Anna M.; Walsham, Pamela; Allen, Simon J.

    2014-01-01

    Culturally transmitted tool use has important ecological and evolutionary consequences and has been proposed as a significant driver of human evolution. Such evidence is still scarce in other animals. In cetaceans, tool use has been inferred using indirect evidence in one population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.), where particular dolphins (‘spongers’) use marine sponges during foraging. To date, evidence of whether this foraging tactic actually provides access to novel food items is lacking. We used fatty acid (FA) signature analysis to identify dietary differences between spongers and non-spongers, analysing data from 11 spongers and 27 non-spongers from two different study sites. Both univariate and multivariate analyses revealed significant differences in FA profiles between spongers and non-spongers between and within study sites. Moreover, FA profiles differed significantly between spongers and non-spongers foraging within the same deep channel habitat, whereas the profiles of non-spongers from deep channel and shallow habitats at this site could not be distinguished. Our results indicate that sponge use by bottlenose dolphins is linked to significant differences in diet. It appears that cultural transmission of tool use in dolphins, as in humans, allows the exploitation of an otherwise unused niche. PMID:24759862

  4. AquaUsers: Improving access to remotely sensed data for non-specialists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clements, Oliver; Walker, Peter; Calton, Ben; Miller, Peter

    2015-04-01

    In recent years more and more complex remotely sensed data have been made available to the public by national and international agencies. These data are also reprocessed by different organisations to produce secondary products that are of specific need to a community. For instance the production of chlorophyll concentration maps from ocean colour data provided by NASA for the marine community. Providing access to such data has normally been focused on simply making the data available with appropriate metadata so that domain specialists can make use of it. One area that has seen significant investment, both of time and money, has been in the production of web based data portals. Primarily these have focused on spatial data. By providing a web map visualisation users are able to quickly assess both spatial coverage and data values. Data portal improvements have been possible thanks to advancements in back end data servers such as Thredds and ncWMS as well as improvements in front-end libraries for data visualisation including OpenLayers and D3. Data portals that make use of these technological advancements have aimed at improving the access and use of data by trained scientific domain specialists. There is now a push to improve access to these systems by non-scientific domain specialists through several European Commission funded projects, including OPEC and AquaUsers. These projects have improved upon an open source web GIS portal created by Plymouth Marine Laboratory [https://github.com/pmlrsg/GISportal]. We will present the latest version of our GIS portal, discuss the designs steps taken to achieve the latest build and share user stories as to how non-domain specialists are now able to utilise the system and get benefits from remotely sensed data. A first version was produced and disseminated to end users for feedback. At this stage the end users included government advisors, fish farmers and scientific groups with no specific GIS training or knowledge. This

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-18

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

  7. Unlocking the Value of Literature in Health Co-Design: Transforming Patient Experience Publications into a Creative and Accessible Card Tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villalba, Clare; Jaiprakash, Anjali; Donovan, Jared; Roberts, Jonathan; Crawford, Ross

    2018-05-26

    A wealth of peer-reviewed data exists regarding people's health experience, yet practical ways of using the data to understand patients' experiences and to inform health co-design are needed. This study aims to develop an applied and pragmatic method for using patient experience literature in co-design by transforming it into an accessible and creative co-design tool. A scoping literature review of the CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsycINFO and PubMed electronic databases was conducted from January 2011 through August 2016. Qualitative publications regarding the experience of living with diabetes in Australia were selected. The Results section of each paper was extracted and affinity analysis was applied to identify insights into the health experience. These insights were developed into a card tool for use in health co-design activities. Thirteen relevant papers were identified from the review, and affinity analysis of the Results sections of these papers lead to the identification of 85 insights, from 'Shock of diagnosis' (Insight 1), to 'Delay seeking care' (Insight 9), to 'Assess the quality of care' (Insight 28), to 'Avoid or adapt habits' (Insight 78). Each insight was developed into an individual card, which included a high-level theme, insight, quote and a link back to the literature, together making up the Health Experience Insight Cards, Living with Diabetes Edition. This was the first study to develop a method for transforming existing patient experience literature into a creative tool for health improvement. The Health Experience Insight Cards collate the diverse experiences of over 300 people living with diabetes in Australia, from 13 studies. Health improvement teams can use the 'Living with Diabetes Edition' cards or they can follow this pragmatic method to create their own cards focused on other health experiences to facilitate person-focused health improvements.

  8. Improving access in gastroenterology: The single point of entry model for referrals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novak, Kerri L; Van Zanten, Sander Veldhuyzen; Pendharkar, Sachin R

    2013-01-01

    In 2005, a group of academic gastroenterologists in Calgary (Alberta) adopted a centralized referral intake system known as central triage. This system provided a single point of entry model (SEM) for referrals rather than the traditional system of individual practitioners managing their own referrals and queues. The goal of central triage was to improve wait times and referral management. In 2008, a similar system was developed in Edmonton at the University of Alberta Hospital (Edmonton, Alberta). SEMs have subsequently been adopted by numerous subspecialties throughout Alberta. There are many benefits of SEMs including improved access and reduced wait times. Understanding and measuring complex patient flow systems is key to improving access, and centralized intake systems provide an opportunity to better understand total demand and system bottlenecks. This knowledge is particularly important for specialties such as gastroenterology (GI), in which demand exceeds supply. While it is anticipated that SEMs will reduce wait times for GI care in Canada, the lack of sufficient resources to meet the demand for GI care necessitates additional strategies. PMID:24040629

  9. Shared medical appointments: improving access, outcomes, and satisfaction for patients with chronic cardiac diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartley, Kelly Bauer; Haney, Rebecca

    2010-01-01

    Improving access to care, health outcomes, and patient satisfaction are primary objectives for healthcare practices. This article outlines benefits, concerns, and possible challenges of shared medical appointments (SMAs) for patients and providers. The SMA model was designed to support providers' demanding schedules by allowing patients with the same chronic condition to be seen in a group setting. By concentrating on patient education and disease management, interactive meetings provide an opportunity for patients to share both successes and struggles with others experiencing similar challenges. Studies demonstrated that SMAs improved patient access, enhanced outcomes, and promoted patient satisfaction. This article describes the potential benefits of SMAs for patients with chronic heart disease, which consumes a large number of healthcare dollars related to hospital admissions, acute exacerbations, and symptom management. Education for self-management of chronic disease can become repetitive and time consuming. The SMA model introduces a fresh and unique style of healthcare visits, allowing providers to devote more time and attention to patients and improve productivity. The SMA model provides an outstanding method for nurse practitioners to demonstrate their role as a primary care provider, by leading patients in group discussions and evaluating their current health status. Patient selection, preparation, and facilitation of an SMA are discussed to demonstrate the complementary nature of an SMA approach in a healthcare practice.

  10. Improving Access in Gastroenterology: The Single Point of Entry Model for Referrals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerri L Novak

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available In 2005, a group of academic gastroenterologists in Calgary (Alberta adopted a centralized referral intake system known as central triage. This system provided a single point of entry model (SEM for referrals rather than the traditional system of individual practitioners managing their own referrals and queues. The goal of central triage was to improve wait times and referral management. In 2008, a similar system was developed in Edmonton at the University of Alberta Hospital (Edmonton, Alberta. SEMs have subsequently been adopted by numerous subspecialties throughout Alberta. There are many benefits of SEMs including improved access and reduced wait times. Understanding and measuring complex patient flow systems is key to improving access, and centralized intake systems provide an opportunity to better understand total demand and system bottlenecks. This knowledge is particularly important for specialties such as gastroenterology (GI, in which demand exceeds supply. While it is anticipated that SEMs will reduce wait times for GI care in Canada, the lack of sufficient resources to meet the demand for GI care necessitates additional strategies.

  11. Improving access in gastroenterology: the single point of entry model for referrals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novak, Kerri; Veldhuyzen Van Zanten, Sander; Pendharkar, Sachin R

    2013-11-01

    In 2005, a group of academic gastroenterologists in Calgary (Alberta) adopted a centralized referral intake system known as central triage. This system provided a single point of entry model (SEM) for referrals rather than the traditional system of individual practitioners managing their own referrals and queues. The goal of central triage was to improve wait times and referral management. In 2008, a similar system was developed in Edmonton at the University of Alberta Hospital (Edmonton, Alberta). SEMs have subsequently been adopted by numerous subspecialties throughout Alberta. There are many benefits of SEMs including improved access and reduced wait times. Understanding and measuring complex patient flow systems is key to improving access, and centralized intake systems provide an opportunity to better understand total demand and system bottlenecks. This knowledge is particularly important for specialties such as gastroenterology (GI), in which demand exceeds supply. While it is anticipated that SEMs will reduce wait times for GI care in Canada, the lack of sufficient resources to meet the demand for GI care necessitates additional strategies.

  12. SLIPTA e-Tool improves laboratory audit process in Vietnam and Cambodia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Thuong T; McKinney, Barbara; Pierson, Antoine; Luong, Khue N; Hoang, Quynh T; Meharwal, Sandeep; Carvalho, Humberto M; Nguyen, Cuong Q; Nguyen, Kim T; Bond, Kyle B

    2014-01-01

    The Stepwise Laboratory Quality Improvement Process Towards Accreditation (SLIPTA) checklist is used worldwide to drive quality improvement in laboratories in developing countries and to assess the effectiveness of interventions such as the Strengthening Laboratory Management Toward Accreditation (SLMTA) programme. However, the paper-based format of the checklist makes administration cumbersome and limits timely analysis and communication of results. In early 2012, the SLMTA team in Vietnam developed an electronic SLIPTA checklist tool. The e-Tool was pilot tested in Vietnam in mid-2012 and revised. It was used during SLMTA implementation in Vietnam and Cambodia in 2012 and 2013 and further revised based on auditors' feedback about usability. The SLIPTA e-Tool enabled rapid turn-around of audit results, reduced workload and language barriers and facilitated analysis of national results. Benefits of the e-Tool will be magnified with in-country scale-up of laboratory quality improvement efforts and potential expansion to other countries.

  13. Open Access Platforms in Spinal Cord Injury: Existing Clinical Trial Data to Predict and Improve Outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, John L K; Geisler, Fred; Ramer, Leanne; Plunet, Ward; Cragg, Jacquelyn J

    2017-05-01

    Recovery from acute spinal cord injury (SCI) is characterized by extensive heterogeneity, resulting in uncertain prognosis. Reliable prediction of recovery in the acute phase benefits patients and their families directly, as well as improves the likelihood of detecting efficacy in clinical trials. This issue of heterogeneity is not unique to SCI. In fields such as traumatic brain injury, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, one approach to understand variability in recovery has been to make clinical trial data widely available to the greater research community. We contend that the SCI community should adopt a similar approach in providing open access clinical trial data.

  14. Modification of CAS-protocol for improvement of security web-applications from unauthorized access

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexey I Igorevich Alexandrov

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Dissemination of information technologies and the expansion of their application demand constantly increasing security level for users, operating with confidential information and personal data. The problem of setting up secure user identification is probably one of the most common tasks, which occur in the process of software development. Today, despite the availability of a large amount of authentication tools, new solutions, mechanisms and technologies are being introduced regularly. Primarily, it is done to increase the security level of data protection against unauthorized access. This article describes the experience of using central user authentication service based on CAS-protocol (CAS – Central Authentication Service and free open source software, analyzing its main advantages and disadvantages and describing the possibility of its modification, which would increase security of web-based information systems from being accessed illegally. The article contains recommendations for setting a maximum time limit for users working on services, integrated with central authentication; and, analyses the research of implementing modern web-technologies while using user authentication system based on CAS-protocol. In addition, it describes the ways of CAS-server modernization for developing additional modules: a module for collecting and analyzing the use of information systems, and another one, for a user management system. Furthermore, CAS-protocol can be used at universities and other organizations for creating a unified information environment in education.

  15. Flexibility in problem solving and tool use of kea and New Caledonian crows in a multi access box paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auersperg, Alice M I; von Bayern, Auguste M P; Gajdon, Gyula K; Huber, Ludwig; Kacelnik, Alex

    2011-01-01

    Parrots and corvids show outstanding innovative and flexible behaviour. In particular, kea and New Caledonian crows are often singled out as being exceptionally sophisticated in physical cognition, so that comparing them in this respect is particularly interesting. However, comparing cognitive mechanisms among species requires consideration of non-cognitive behavioural propensities and morphological characteristics evolved from different ancestry and adapted to fit different ecological niches. We used a novel experimental approach based on a Multi-Access-Box (MAB). Food could be extracted by four different techniques, two of them involving tools. Initially all four options were available to the subjects. Once they reached criterion for mastering one option, this task was blocked, until the subjects became proficient in another solution. The exploratory behaviour differed considerably. Only one (of six) kea and one (of five) NCC mastered all four options, including a first report of innovative stick tool use in kea. The crows were more efficient in using the stick tool, the kea the ball tool. The kea were haptically more explorative than the NCC, discovered two or three solutions within the first ten trials (against a mean of 0.75 discoveries by the crows) and switched more quickly to new solutions when the previous one was blocked. Differences in exploration technique, neophobia and object manipulation are likely to explain differential performance across the set of tasks. Our study further underlines the need to use a diversity of tasks when comparing cognitive traits between members of different species. Extension of a similar method to other taxa could help developing a comparative cognition research program.

  16. Flexibility in problem solving and tool use of kea and New Caledonian crows in a multi access box paradigm.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice M I Auersperg

    Full Text Available Parrots and corvids show outstanding innovative and flexible behaviour. In particular, kea and New Caledonian crows are often singled out as being exceptionally sophisticated in physical cognition, so that comparing them in this respect is particularly interesting. However, comparing cognitive mechanisms among species requires consideration of non-cognitive behavioural propensities and morphological characteristics evolved from different ancestry and adapted to fit different ecological niches. We used a novel experimental approach based on a Multi-Access-Box (MAB. Food could be extracted by four different techniques, two of them involving tools. Initially all four options were available to the subjects. Once they reached criterion for mastering one option, this task was blocked, until the subjects became proficient in another solution. The exploratory behaviour differed considerably. Only one (of six kea and one (of five NCC mastered all four options, including a first report of innovative stick tool use in kea. The crows were more efficient in using the stick tool, the kea the ball tool. The kea were haptically more explorative than the NCC, discovered two or three solutions within the first ten trials (against a mean of 0.75 discoveries by the crows and switched more quickly to new solutions when the previous one was blocked. Differences in exploration technique, neophobia and object manipulation are likely to explain differential performance across the set of tasks. Our study further underlines the need to use a diversity of tasks when comparing cognitive traits between members of different species. Extension of a similar method to other taxa could help developing a comparative cognition research program.

  17. Access to health information may improve behavior in preventing Avian influenza among women

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ajeng T. Endarti

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Background: Improving human behavior toward Avian influenza may lessen the chance to be infected by Avian influenza. This study aimed to identify several factors influencing behavior in the community.Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted in July 2008. Behavior regarding Avian influenza was measured by scoring the variables of knowledge, attitude, and practice. Subjects were obtained from the sub district of Limo, in Depok, West Java, which was considered a high risk area for Avian influenza. The heads of household as the sample unit were chosen by multi-stage sampling.Results: Among 387 subjects, 29.5% of them was had good behavior toward Avian influenza. The final model revealed that gender and access to health information were two dominant factors for good behavior in preventing Avian influenza. Compared with men, women had 67% higher risk to have good behavior [adjusted relative risk (RRa = 1.67; 95% confidence interval (CI = 0.92-3.04; P = 0.092]. Compared to those with no access to health information, subjects with access to health information had 3.4 fold increase to good behavior (RRa = 3.40; 95% CI =  0.84-13.76; P = 0.087.Conclusion: Acces to health information concerning Avian influenza was more effective among women in promoting good behavior toward preventing Avian influenza. (Med J Indones 2011; 20:56-61Keywords: avian influenza, behavior, gender, health promotion

  18. An Intelligent System Proposal for Improving the Safety and Accessibility of Public Transit by Highway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmelo R. García

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The development of public transit systems that are accessible and safe for everyone, including people with special needs, is an objective that is justified from the civic and economic points of view. Unfortunately, public transit services are conceived for people who do not have reduced physical or cognitive abilities. In this paper, we present an intelligent public transit system by highway with the goal of facilitating access and improving the safety of public transit for persons with special needs. The system is deployed using components that are commonly available in transport infrastructure, e.g., sensors, mobile communications systems, and positioning systems. In addition, the system can operate in non-urban transport contexts, e.g., isolated rural areas, where the availability of basic infrastructure, such as electricity and communications infrastructures, is not always guaranteed. To construct the system, the principles and techniques of Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence have been employed. To illustrate the utility of the system, two cases of services rendered by the system are described: the first case involves a surveillance system to guarantee accessibility at bus stops; the second case involves a route assistant for blind people.

  19. vFitness: a web-based computing tool for improving estimation of in vitro HIV-1 fitness experiments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Demeter Lisa

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The replication rate (or fitness between viral variants has been investigated in vivo and in vitro for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV. HIV fitness plays an important role in the development and persistence of drug resistance. The accurate estimation of viral fitness relies on complicated computations based on statistical methods. This calls for tools that are easy to access and intuitive to use for various experiments of viral fitness. Results Based on a mathematical model and several statistical methods (least-squares approach and measurement error models, a Web-based computing tool has been developed for improving estimation of virus fitness in growth competition assays of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1. Conclusions Unlike the two-point calculation used in previous studies, the estimation here uses linear regression methods with all observed data in the competition experiment to more accurately estimate relative viral fitness parameters. The dilution factor is introduced for making the computational tool more flexible to accommodate various experimental conditions. This Web-based tool is implemented in C# language with Microsoft ASP.NET, and is publicly available on the Web at http://bis.urmc.rochester.edu/vFitness/.

  20. Toyota A3 report: a tool for process improvement in healthcare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Te-Shu; Kuo, Mu-Hsing

    2009-01-01

    It is proposed that the A3 problem solving process be used by hospital staff to improve its healthcare workflow. A hypothetical case study is given to demonstrate the applicability and benefits of the methodology. The research results show that A3 is a useful tool for healthcare organizations seeking to continuously improve their healthcare service quality.

  1. Training Theory of Mind and Executive Control: A Tool for Improving School Achievement?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kloo, Daniela; Perner, Josef

    2008-01-01

    In the preschool years, there are marked improvements in theory of mind (ToM) and executive functions. And, children's competence in these two core cognitive domains is associated with their academic achievement. Therefore, training ToM and executive control could be a valuable tool for improving children's success in school. This article reviews…

  2. A SERS protocol as a potential tool to access 6-mercaptopurine release accelerated by glutathione-S-transferase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ying; Sun, Jie; Yang, Qingran; Lu, Wenbo; Li, Yan; Dong, Jian; Qian, Weiping

    2015-11-21

    The developed method for monitoring GST, an important drug metabolic enzyme, could greatly facilitate researches on relative biological fields. In this work, we have developed a SERS technique to monitor the absorbance behaviour of 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) and its glutathione-S-transferase (GST)-accelerated glutathione (GSH)-triggered release behaviour on the surface of gold nanoflowers (GNFs), using the GNFs as excellent SERS substrates. The SERS signal was used as an indicator of absorbance or release of 6-MP on the gold surface. We found that GST can accelerate GSH-triggered release behaviour of 6-MP from the gold surface. We speculated that GST catalyzes nucleophilic GSH to competitively bind with the electrophilic substance 6-MP. Experimental results have proved that the presented SERS protocol can be utilized as an effective tool for accessing the release of anticancer drugs.

  3. The Restoration Rapid Assessment Tool: An Access/Visual Basic application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiebert, Ron; Larson, D.L.; Thomas, K.; Tancreto, N.; Haines, D.; Richey, A.; Dow, T.; Drees, L.

    2009-01-01

    Managers of parks and natural areas are increasingly faced with difficult decisions concerning restoration of disturbed lands. Financial and workforce resources often limit these restoration efforts, and rarely can a manager afford to address all concerns within the region of interest. With limited resources, managers and scientists have to decide which areas will be targeted for restoration and the restoration treatments to use in these areas. A broad range of approaches are used to make such decisions, from well-researched expert opinions (Cipollini et al. 2005) to gut feeling, with variable degrees of input from site visits, data collection, and data analysis used to support the decision. A standardized approach including an analytical assessment of site characteristics based on the best information available, with a written or electronic record of all the steps taken along the way, would make comparisons among a group of sites easier and lend credibility through use of common, documented criteria at all sites. In response to these concerns, we have developed the Restoration Rapid Assessment Tool (RRAT). RRAT is based on field observations of key indicators of site degradation, stressors influencing the site, value of the site with respect to larger management objectives, likelihood of achieving the management goals, and logistical constraints to restoration. The purpose of RRAT is not to make restoration decisions or prescribe methods, but rather to ensure that a basic set of pertinent issues are considered for each site and to facilitate comparisons among sites. Several concepts have been central to the development of RRAT. First, the management goal (also known as desired future condition) of any site under evaluation should be defined before the field evaluation begins. Second, the evaluation should be based upon readily observable indicators so as to avoid cumbersome field methods. Third, the ease with which site stressors can be ameliorated must be

  4. Barcelona 2002: law, ethics, and human rights. Using the law to improve access to treatments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Richard; Parmar, Sharan; Divan, Vivek; Berger, Jonathan

    2002-12-01

    The XIII International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa in July 2000 focused worldwide attention on the problem of accessing treatments in developing countries. In the interim, thanks to the work of activists - from demonstrations to court cases, and from acts of public courage by people living with HIV/AIDS to ongoing lobbying of politicians and trade negotiators - some very significant developments have occurred. But the reality is that the vast majority of people living with HIV/AIDS still lack access to affordable, quality medicines. This article, a summary of a paper presented at "Putting Third First: Vaccines, Access to Treatments and the Law," a satellite meeting held at Barcelona on 5 July 2002 and organized by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, the AIDS Law Project, South Africa, and the Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS Unit, India, explores three approaches for improving access. In the first part, Richard Elliott provides an overview of the state of the right to health as embodied in international human rights law; comments on the experience to date in litigating claims to the right to health; and identifies potential strategies activists can adopt to advance recognition of the right to health. In the second part, Sharan Parmar and Vivek Divan describe price-control and drug-financing mechanisms used by industrialized countries to increase the affordability of medicines; and discuss how some of these mechanisms could be adapted for use in developing countries. Finally, Jonathan Berger describes the use of litigation in the courts by the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa.

  5. Encouraging Consumption of Water in School and Child Care Settings: Access, Challenges, and Strategies for Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hampton, Karla E.

    2011-01-01

    Children and adolescents are not consuming enough water, instead opting for sugar-sweetened beverages (sodas, sports and energy drinks, milks, coffees, and fruit-flavored drinks with added sugars), 100% fruit juice, and other beverages. Drinking sufficient amounts of water can lead to improved weight status, reduced dental caries, and improved cognition among children and adolescents. Because children spend most of their day at school and in child care, ensuring that safe, potable drinking water is available in these settings is a fundamental public health measure. We sought to identify challenges that limit access to drinking water; opportunities, including promising practices, to increase drinking water availability and consumption; and future research, policy efforts, and funding needed in this area. PMID:21680941

  6. Developing design principles for a Virtual Hospice: improving access to care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Andrea; French, Tara; Raman, Sneha

    2018-03-01

    Providing access to hospice services will become increasingly difficult due to the pressures of an ageing population and limited resources. To help address this challenge, a small number of services called Virtual Hospice have been established. This paper presents early-stage design work on a Virtual Hospice to improve access to services provided by a hospice (Highland Hospice) serving a largely remote and rural population in Scotland, UK. The study was structured as a series of Experience Labs with Highland Hospice staff, healthcare professionals and patients. Experience Labs employ a participatory design approach where participants are placed at the centre of the design process, helping to ensure that the resultant service meets their needs. Data from the Experience Labs were analysed using qualitative thematic analysis and design analysis. A number of themes and barriers to accessing Highland Hospice services were identified. In response, an initial set of seven design principles was developed. Design principles are high-level guidelines that are used to improve prioritisation and decision making during the design process by ensuring alignment with research insights. The design principles were piloted with a group of stakeholders and gained positive feedback. The design principles are intended to guide the ongoing development of the Highland Hospice Virtual Hospice. However, the challenges faced by Highland Hospice in delivering services in a largely remote and rural setting are not unique. The design principles, encompassing digital and non-digital guidelines, or the design approach could be applied by other hospices in the UK or overseas. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  7. Improving Public Health Through Access to and Utilization of Medication Assisted Treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas F. Kresina

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Providing access to and utilization of medication assisted treatment (MAT for the treatment of opioid abuse and dependence provides an important opportunity to improve public health. Access to health services comprising MAT in the community is fundamental to achieve broad service coverage. The type and placement of the health services comprising MAT and integration with primary medical care including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV prevention, care and treatment services are optimal for addressing both substance abuse and co-occurring infectious diseases. As an HIV prevention intervention, integrated (same medical record for HIV services and MAT services MAT with HIV prevention, care and treatment programs provides the best “one stop shopping” approach for health service utilization. Alternatively, MAT, medical and HIV services can be separately managed but co-located to allow convenient utilization of primary care, MAT and HIV services. A third approach is coordinated care and treatment, where primary care, MAT and HIV services are provided at distinct locations and case managers, peer facilitators, or others promote direct service utilization at the various locations. Developing a continuum of care for patients with opioid dependence throughout the stages MAT enhances the public health and Recovery from opioid dependence. As a stigmatized and medical disenfranchised population with multiple medical, psychological and social needs, people who inject drugs and are opioid dependent have difficulty accessing services and navigating medical systems of coordinated care. MAT programs that offer comprehensive services and medical care options can best contribute to improving the health of these individuals thereby enhancing the health of the community.

  8. [Interventions to improve access to health services by indigenous peoples in the Americas].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araujo, Miguel; Moraga, Cecilia; Chapman, Evelina; Barreto, Jorge; Illanes, Eduardo

    2016-11-01

    Synthesize evidence on effectiveness of interventions designed to improve access to health services by indigenous populations. Review of systematic reviews published as of July 2015, selecting and analyzing only studies in the Region of the Americas. The bibliographic search encompassed MEDLINE, Lilacs, SciELO, EMBASE, DARE, HTA, The Cochrane Library, and organization websites. Two independent reviewers selected studies and analyzed their methodological quality. A narrative summary of the results was produced. Twenty-two reviews met the inclusion criteria. All selected studies were conducted in Canada and the United States of America. The majority of the interventions were preventive, to surmount geographical barriers, increase use of effective measures, develop human resources, and improve people's skills or willingness to seek care. Topics included pregnancy, cardiovascular risk factors, diabetes, substance abuse, child development, cancer, mental health, oral health, and injuries. Some interventions showed effectiveness with moderate or high quality studies: educational strategies to prevent depression, interventions to prevent childhood caries, and multicomponent programs to promote use of child safety seats. In general, results for chronic non-communicable diseases were negative or inconsistent. Interventions do exist that have potential for producing positive effects on access to health services by indigenous populations in the Americas, but available studies are limited to Canada and the U.S. There is a significant research gap on the topic in Latin America and the Caribbean.

  9. Security Analysis and Improvements of Authentication and Access Control in the Internet of Things

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ndibanje, Bruce; Lee, Hoon-Jae; Lee, Sang-Gon

    2014-01-01

    Internet of Things is a ubiquitous concept where physical objects are connected over the internet and are provided with unique identifiers to enable their self-identification to other devices and the ability to continuously generate data and transmit it over a network. Hence, the security of the network, data and sensor devices is a paramount concern in the IoT network as it grows very fast in terms of exchanged data and interconnected sensor nodes. This paper analyses the authentication and access control method using in the Internet of Things presented by Jing et al (Authentication and Access Control in the Internet of Things. In Proceedings of the 2012 32nd International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems Workshops, Macau, China, 18–21 June 2012, pp. 588–592). According to our analysis, Jing et al.'s protocol is costly in the message exchange and the security assessment is not strong enough for such a protocol. Therefore, we propose improvements to the protocol to fill the discovered weakness gaps. The protocol enhancements facilitate many services to the users such as user anonymity, mutual authentication, and secure session key establishment. Finally, the performance and security analysis show that the improved protocol possesses many advantages against popular attacks, and achieves better efficiency at low communication cost. PMID:25123464

  10. Policies for accelerating access to clean energy, improving health, advancing development, and mitigating climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haines, Andy; Smith, Kirk R; Anderson, Dennis; Epstein, Paul R; McMichael, Anthony J; Roberts, Ian; Wilkinson, Paul; Woodcock, James; Woods, Jeremy

    2007-10-06

    The absence of reliable access to clean energy and the services it provides imposes a large disease burden on low-income populations and impedes prospects for development. Furthermore, current patterns of fossil-fuel use cause substantial ill-health from air pollution and occupational hazards. Impending climate change, mainly driven by energy use, now also threatens health. Policies to promote access to non-polluting and sustainable sources of energy have great potential both to improve public health and to mitigate (prevent) climate disruption. There are several technological options, policy levers, and economic instruments for sectors such as power generation, transport, agriculture, and the built environment. However, barriers to change include vested interests, political inertia, inability to take meaningful action, profound global inequalities, weak technology-transfer mechanisms, and knowledge gaps that must be addressed to transform global markets. The need for policies that prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate while addressing the energy needs of disadvantaged people is a central challenge of the current era. A comprehensive programme for clean energy should optimise mitigation and, simultaneously, adaption to climate change while maximising co-benefits for health--eg, through improved air, water, and food quality. Intersectoral research and concerted action, both nationally and internationally, will be required.

  11. Improving awareness, accountability, and access through health coaching: qualitative study of patients' perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liddy, Clare; Johnston, Sharon; Irving, Hannah; Nash, Kate; Ward, Natalie

    2015-03-01

    To assess patients' experiences with and perceptions of health coaching as part of their ongoing care. A qualitative research design using semistructured interviews that were recorded and transcribed verbatim.Setting Ottawa, Ont. Eleven patients (> 18 years of age) enrolled in a health coaching pilot program who were at risk of or diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Patients' perspectives were assessed with semistructured interviews. Interviews were conducted with 11 patients at the end of the pilot program, using a stratified sampling approach to ensure maximum variation. All patients found the overall experience with the health coaching program to be positive. Patients believed the health coaching program was effective in increasing awareness of how diabetes affected their bodies and health, in building accountability for their health-related actions, and in improving access to care and other health resources. Patients perceive one-on-one health coaching as an acceptable intervention in their ongoing care. Patients enrolled in the health coaching pilot program believed that there was an improvement in access to care, health literacy, and accountability,all factors considered to be precursors to behavioural change.

  12. Security analysis and improvements of authentication and access control in the Internet of Things.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ndibanje, Bruce; Lee, Hoon-Jae; Lee, Sang-Gon

    2014-08-13

    Internet of Things is a ubiquitous concept where physical objects are connected over the internet and are provided with unique identifiers to enable their self-identification to other devices and the ability to continuously generate data and transmit it over a network. Hence, the security of the network, data and sensor devices is a paramount concern in the IoT network as it grows very fast in terms of exchanged data and interconnected sensor nodes. This paper analyses the authentication and access control method using in the Internet of Things presented by Jing et al. (Authentication and Access Control in the Internet of Things. In Proceedings of the 2012 32nd International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems Workshops, Macau, China, 18-21 June 2012, pp. 588-592). According to our analysis, Jing et al.'s protocol is costly in the message exchange and the security assessment is not strong enough for such a protocol. Therefore, we propose improvements to the protocol to fill the discovered weakness gaps. The protocol enhancements facilitate many services to the users such as user anonymity, mutual authentication, and secure session key establishment. Finally, the performance and security analysis show that the improved protocol possesses many advantages against popular attacks, and achieves better efficiency at low communication cost.

  13. Biofilm removal technique using sands as a research tool for accessing microbial attachment on surface

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathanon Trachoo

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Biofilms have profound impacts on improved survival of the constituent microorganisms in nature. Biofilms were believed to protect constituent microorganisms from sanitizer treatment, provide a more suitable habitat for microorganisms, and become a site for genetic material exchanges between microorganisms. As we realize more about the significance of biofilm, methods used for biofilm study should be consistently developed and evaluated. To determine microbial attachment on surfaces, usually biofilms are grown on substratum surfaces and removed by vortexing with glass beads or scraping. However, scraping is not as effective as vortexing with glass beads. Another approach is direct-agar overlaying which cannot be used with high density biofilm. In this experiment, we compared effectiveness of glass beads (298±28 μm in diameter and sands (width: 221±55 μm and length: 329±118 μm in removing biofilm of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by vortexing method. The results suggested that acid-washed sands, which are significantly less inexpensive than glass beads, were as effective as (P>0.05 analytical grade glass beads in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm removal without inhibiting growth of the organism.

  14. Understanding and Improving Blind Students' Access to Visual Information in Computer Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Catherine M.

    Teaching people with disabilities tech skills empowers them to create solutions to problems they encounter and prepares them for careers. However, computer science is typically taught in a highly visual manner which can present barriers for people who are blind. The goal of this dissertation is to understand and decrease those barriers. The first projects I present looked at the barriers that blind students face. I first present the results of my survey and interviews with blind students with degrees in computer science or related fields. This work highlighted the many barriers that these blind students faced. I then followed-up on one of the barriers mentioned, access to technology, by doing a preliminary accessibility evaluation of six popular integrated development environments (IDEs) and code editors. I found that half were unusable and all had some inaccessible portions. As access to visual information is a barrier in computer science education, I present three projects I have done to decrease this barrier. The first project is Tactile Graphics with a Voice (TGV). This project investigated an alternative to Braille labels for those who do not know Braille and showed that TGV was a potential alternative. The next project was StructJumper, which created a modified abstract syntax tree that blind programmers could use to navigate through code with their screen reader. The evaluation showed that users could navigate more quickly and easily determine the relationships of lines of code when they were using StructJumper compared to when they were not. Finally, I present a tool for dynamic graphs (the type with nodes and edges) which had two different modes for handling focus changes when moving between graphs. I found that the modes support different approaches for exploring the graphs and therefore preferences are mixed based on the user's preferred approach. However, both modes had similar accuracy in completing the tasks. These projects are a first step towards

  15. E-KIT: An Electronic-Knowledge Information Tool for Organizing Site Information and Improving Technical Communication with Stakeholders - 13082

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kautsky, Mark; Findlay, Richard C.; Hodges, Rex A.

    2013-01-01

    Managing technical references for projects that have long histories is hampered by the large collection of documents, each of which might contain discrete pieces of information relevant to the site conceptual model. A database application has been designed to improve the efficiency of retrieving technical information for a project. Although many databases are currently used for accessing analytical and geo-referenced data, applications designed specifically to manage technical reference material for projects are scarce. Retrieving site data from the array of available references becomes an increasingly inefficient use of labor. The electronic-Knowledge Information Tool (e-KIT) is designed as a project-level resource to access and communicate technical information. The e-KIT is a living tool that grows as new information becomes available, and its value to the project increases as the volume of site information increases. Having all references assembled in one location with complete reference citations and links to elements of the site conceptual model offers a way to enhance communication with outside groups. The published and unpublished references are incorporated into the e-KIT, while the compendium of references serves as a complete bibliography for the project. (authors)

  16. E-KIT: An Electronic-Knowledge Information Tool for Organizing Site Information and Improving Technical Communication with Stakeholders - 13082

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kautsky, Mark [U.S. Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management, 2597 Legacy Way, Grand Junction CO 81503 (United States); Findlay, Richard C.; Hodges, Rex A. [Stoller LMS Team, 2597 Legacy Way, Grand Junction CO 81503 (United States)

    2013-07-01

    Managing technical references for projects that have long histories is hampered by the large collection of documents, each of which might contain discrete pieces of information relevant to the site conceptual model. A database application has been designed to improve the efficiency of retrieving technical information for a project. Although many databases are currently used for accessing analytical and geo-referenced data, applications designed specifically to manage technical reference material for projects are scarce. Retrieving site data from the array of available references becomes an increasingly inefficient use of labor. The electronic-Knowledge Information Tool (e-KIT) is designed as a project-level resource to access and communicate technical information. The e-KIT is a living tool that grows as new information becomes available, and its value to the project increases as the volume of site information increases. Having all references assembled in one location with complete reference citations and links to elements of the site conceptual model offers a way to enhance communication with outside groups. The published and unpublished references are incorporated into the e-KIT, while the compendium of references serves as a complete bibliography for the project. (authors)

  17. Telemedicine as a tool to improve access to specialist healthcare for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We sought to test this technology in a group of patients presenting for the first time with undiagnosed ear complaints. Using the VSee telemedicine platform with a Welch Allyn Otoscope over a mobile 3G internet service 90% of patients were diagnosed accurately and furthermore competence in using the equipment was ...

  18. The APIS service : a tool for accessing value-added HST planetary auroral observations over 1997-2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamy, L.; Henry, F.; Prangé, R.; Le Sidaner, P.

    2015-10-01

    The Auroral Planetary Imaging and Spectroscopy (APIS) service http://obspm.fr/apis/ provides an open and interactive access to processed auroral observations of the outer planets and their satellites. Such observations are of interest for a wide community at the interface between planetology, magnetospheric and heliospheric physics. APIS consists of (i) a high level database, built from planetary auroral observations acquired by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) since 1997 with its mostly used Far-Ultraviolet spectro- imagers, (ii) a dedicated search interface aimed at browsing efficiently this database through relevant conditional search criteria (Figure 1) and (iii) the ability to interactively work with the data online through plotting tools developed by the Virtual Observatory (VO) community, such as Aladin and Specview. This service is VO compliant and can therefore also been queried by external search tools of the VO community. The diversity of available data and the capability to sort them out by relevant physical criteria shall in particular facilitate statistical studies, on long-term scales and/or multi-instrumental multispectral combined analysis [1,2]. We will present the updated capabilities of APIS with several examples. Several tutorials are available online.

  19. Design and validation of an improved graphical user interface with the 'Tool ball'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kuo-Wei; Lee, Ying-Chu

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this research is introduce the design of an improved graphical user interface (GUI) and verifies the operational efficiency of the proposed interface. Until now, clicking the toolbar with the mouse is the usual way to operate software functions. In our research, we designed an improved graphical user interface - a tool ball that is operated by a mouse wheel to perform software functions. Several experiments are conducted to measure the time needed to operate certain software functions with the traditional combination of "mouse click + tool button" and the proposed integration of "mouse wheel + tool ball". The results indicate that the tool ball design can accelerate the speed of operating software functions, decrease the number of icons on the screen, and enlarge the applications of the mouse wheel. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

  20. Toolpath strategy for cutter life improvement in plunge milling of AISI H13 tool steel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adesta, E. Y. T.; Avicenna; hilmy, I.; Daud, M. R. H. C.

    2018-01-01

    Machinability of AISI H13 tool steel is a prominent issue since the material has the characteristics of high hardenability, excellent wear resistance, and hot toughness. A method of improving cutter life of AISI H13 tool steel plunge milling by alternating the toolpath and cutting conditions is proposed. Taguchi orthogonal array with L9 (3^4) resolution will be employed with one categorical factor of toolpath strategy (TS) and three numeric factors of cutting speed (Vc), radial depth of cut (ae ), and chip load (fz ). It is expected that there are significant differences for each application of toolpath strategy and each cutting condition factor toward the cutting force and tool wear mechanism of the machining process, and medial axis transform toolpath could provide a better tool life improvement by a reduction of cutting force during machining.

  1. Decision support tools in conservation: a workshop to improve user-centred design

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Rose

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available A workshop held at the University of Cambridge in May 2017 brought developers, researchers, knowledge brokers, and users together to discuss user-centred design of decision support tools. Decision support tools are designed to take users through logical decision steps towards an evidence-informed final decision. Although they may exist in different forms, including on paper, decision support tools are generally considered to be computer- (online, software or app-based. Studies have illustrated the potential value of decision support tools for conservation, and there are several papers describing the design of individual tools. Rather less attention, however, has been placed on the desirable characteristics for use, and even less on whether tools are actually being used in practice. This is concerning because if tools are not used by their intended end user, for example a policy-maker or practitioner, then its design will have wasted resources. Based on an analysis of papers on tool use in conservation, there is a lack of social science research on improving design, and relatively few examples where users have been incorporated into the design process. Evidence from other disciplines, particularly human-computer interaction research, illustrates that involving users throughout the design of decision support tools increases the relevance, usability, and impact of systems. User-centred design of tools is, however, seldom mentioned in the conservation literature. The workshop started the necessary process of bringing together developers and users to share knowledge about how to conduct good user-centred design of decision support tools. This will help to ensure that tools are usable and make an impact in conservation policy and practice.

  2. Improving access to yoga: barriers to and motivators for practice among health professions students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brems, Christiane; Justice, Lauren; Sulenes, Kari; Girasa, Lisa; Ray, Julia; Davis, Madison; Freitas, Jillian; Shean, Margaret; Colgan, Dharmakaya

    2015-01-01

    promotion, and emotional well-being as well as the seeking of pain relief and a sense of community. A referral by health care providers was the least-frequently cited motivator. The findings have implications for strategies that may help motivate health professionals toward a yoga practice, because having done yoga personally may be related to a willingness to perceive the benefits of and to refer patients to yoga as a viable integrative treatment for patients. Improved access can be developed in 3 ways: (1) integration of yoga research into health curricula to acquaint care providers with yoga's benefits to patients and care givers; (2) have yoga available as close to the workplace as possible to obviate some of the larger access barriers; and (3) societally, project yoga as a healing art and science, not simply as a weight loss strategy or athletic endeavor.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Are consumer surveys valuable as a service improvement tool in health services? A critical appraisal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patwardhan, Anjali; Patwardhan, Prakash

    2009-01-01

    In the recent climate of consumerism and consumer focused care, health and social care needs to be more responsive than ever before. Consumer needs and preferences can be elicited with accepted validity and reliability only by strict methodological control, customerisation of the questionnaire and skilled interpretation. To construct, conduct, interpret and implement improved service provision, requires a trained work force and infrastructure. This article aims to appraise various aspects of consumer surveys and to assess their value as effective service improvement tools. The customer is the sole reason organisations exist. Consumer surveys are used worldwide as service and quality of care improvement tools by all types of service providers including health service providers. The article critically appraises the value of consumer surveys as service improvement tools in health services tool and its future applications. No one type of survey is the best or ideal. The key is the selection of the correct survey methodology, unique and customised for the particular type/aspect of care being evaluated. The method used should reflect the importance of the information required. Methodological rigor is essential for the effectiveness of consumer surveys as service improvement tools. Unfortunately so far there is no universal consensus on superiority of one particular methodology over another or any benefit of one specific methodology in a given situation. More training and some dedicated resource allocation is required to develop consumer surveys. More research is needed to develop specific survey methodology and evaluation techniques for improved validity and reliability of the surveys as service improvement tools. Measurement of consumer preferences/priorities, evaluation of services and key performance scores, is not easy. Consumer surveys seem impressive tools as they provide the customer a voice for change or modification. However, from a scientific point

  5. DoD Needs to Improve Screening and Access Controls for General Public Tenants Leasing Housing on Military Installations (REDACTED)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-04-01

    helps enhance service members’ quality of life by improving the condition of military-owned housing faster and more economically than traditional...DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY SUBJECT: DoD Needs to Improve Screening and Access Controls for General Public Tenants Leasing Housing on Military...public tenants who leased DoD privatized housing before granting those tenants unescorted access to military installations. In addition, DoD officials

  6. Improving access to skilled attendance at delivery: a policy brief for Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabudere, Harriet; Asiimwe, Delius; Amandua, Jacinto

    2013-04-01

    This study describes the process of production, findings for a policy brief on Increasing Access to Skilled Birth Attendance, and subsequent use of the report by policy makers and others from the health sector in Uganda. The methods used to prepare the policy brief use the SUPPORT Tools for evidence-informed health policy making. The problem that this evidence brief addresses was identified through an explicit priority setting process involving policy makers and other stakeholders, further clarification with key informant interviews of relevant policy makers, and review of relevant documents. A working group of national stakeholder representatives and external reviewers commented on and contributed to successive drafts of the report. Research describing the problem, policy options, and implementation considerations was identified by reviewing government documents, routinely collected data, electronic literature searches, contact with key informants, and reviewing the reference lists of relevant documents that were retrieved. The proportion of pregnant women delivering from public and private non-profit facilities was low at 34 percent in 2008/09. The three policy options discussed in the report could be adopted independently or complementary to the other to increase access to skilled care. The Ministry of Health in deliberating to provide intrapartum care at first level health facilities from the second level of care, requested for research evidence to support these decisions. Maternal waiting shelters and working with the private-for-profit sector to facilitate deliveries in health facilities are promising complementary interventions that have been piloted in both the public and private health sector. A combination of strategies is needed to effectively implement the proposed options as discussed further in this article. The policy brief report was used as a background document for two stakeholder dialogue meetings involving members of parliament, policy makers

  7. Pipe dream? Envisioning a grassroots Python ecosystem of open, common software tools and data access in support of river and coastal biogeochemical research (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayorga, E.

    2013-12-01

    Practical, problem oriented software developed by scientists and graduate students in domains lacking a strong software development tradition is often balkanized into the scripting environments provided by dominant, typically proprietary tools. In environmental fields, these tools include ArcGIS, Matlab, SAS, Excel and others, and are often constrained to specific operating systems. While this situation is the outcome of rational choices, it limits the dissemination of useful tools and their integration into loosely coupled frameworks that can meet wider needs and be developed organically by groups addressing their own needs. Open-source dynamic languages offer the advantages of an accessible programming syntax, a wealth of pre-existing libraries, multi-platform access, linkage to community libraries developed in lower level languages such as C or FORTRAN, and access to web service infrastructure. Python in particular has seen a large and increasing uptake in scientific communities, as evidenced by the continued growth of the annual SciPy conference. Ecosystems with distinctive physical structures and organization, and mechanistic processes that are well characterized, are both factors that have often led to the grass-roots development of useful code meeting the needs of a range of communities. In aquatic applications, examples include river and watershed analysis tools (River Tools, Taudem, etc), and geochemical modules such as CO2SYS, PHREEQ and LOADEST. I will review the state of affairs and explore the potential offered by a Python tool ecosystem in supporting aquatic biogeochemistry and water quality research. This potential is multi-faceted and broadly involves accessibility to lone grad students, access to a wide community of programmers and problem solvers via online resources such as StackExchange, and opportunities to leverage broader cyberinfrastructure efforts and tools, including those from widely different domains. Collaborative development of such

  8. A framework for improving access and customer service times in health care: application and analysis at the UCLA Medical Center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duda, Catherine; Rajaram, Kumar; Barz, Christiane; Rosenthal, J Thomas

    2013-01-01

    There has been an increasing emphasis on health care efficiency and costs and on improving quality in health care settings such as hospitals or clinics. However, there has not been sufficient work on methods of improving access and customer service times in health care settings. The study develops a framework for improving access and customer service time for health care settings. In the framework, the operational concept of the bottleneck is synthesized with queuing theory to improve access and reduce customer service times without reduction in clinical quality. The framework is applied at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center to determine the drivers for access and customer service times and then provides guidelines on how to improve these drivers. Validation using simulation techniques shows significant potential for reducing customer service times and increasing access at this institution. Finally, the study provides several practice implications that could be used to improve access and customer service times without reduction in clinical quality across a range of health care settings from large hospitals to small community clinics.

  9. Big Data is a powerful tool for environmental improvements in the construction business

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konikov, Aleksandr; Konikov, Gregory

    2017-10-01

    The work investigates the possibility of applying the Big Data method as a tool to implement environmental improvements in the construction business. The method is recognized as effective in analyzing big volumes of heterogeneous data. It is noted that all preconditions exist for this method to be successfully used for resolution of environmental issues in the construction business. It is proven that the principal Big Data techniques (cluster analysis, crowd sourcing, data mixing and integration) can be applied in the sphere in question. It is concluded that Big Data is a truly powerful tool to implement environmental improvements in the construction business.

  10. Do Bedside Visual Tools Improve Patient and Caregiver Satisfaction? A Systematic Review of the Literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goyal, Anupama A; Tur, Komalpreet; Mann, Jason; Townsend, Whitney; Flanders, Scott A; Chopra, Vineet

    2017-11-01

    Although common, the impact of low-cost bedside visual tools, such as whiteboards, on patient care is unclear. To systematically review the literature and assess the influence of bedside visual tools on patient satisfaction. Medline, Embase, SCOPUS, Web of Science, CINAHL, and CENTRAL. Studies of adult or pediatric hospitalized patients reporting physician identification, understanding of provider roles, patient-provider communication, and satisfaction with care from the use of visual tools were included. Outcomes were categorized as positive, negative, or neutral based on survey responses for identification, communication, and satisfaction. Two reviewers screened studies, extracted data, and assessed the risk of study bias. Sixteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Visual tools included whiteboards (n = 4), physician pictures (n = 7), whiteboard and picture (n = 1), electronic medical record-based patient portals (n = 3), and formatted notepads (n = 1). Tools improved patients' identification of providers (13/13 studies). The impact on understanding the providers' roles was largely positive (8/10 studies). Visual tools improved patient-provider communication (4/5 studies) and satisfaction (6/8 studies). In adults, satisfaction varied between positive with the use of whiteboards (2/5 studies) and neutral with pictures (1/5 studies). Satisfaction related to pictures in pediatric patients was either positive (1/3 studies) or neutral (1/3 studies). Differences in tool format (individual pictures vs handouts with pictures of all providers) and study design (randomized vs cohort) may explain variable outcomes. The use of bedside visual tools appears to improve patient recognition of providers and patient-provider communication. Future studies that include better design and outcome assessment are necessary before widespread use can be recommended. © 2017 Society of Hospital Medicine

  11. Access to Waterless Hand Sanitizer Improves Student Hand Hygiene Behavior in Primary Schools in Nairobi, Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickering, Amy J.; Davis, Jennifer; Blum, Annalise G.; Scalmanini, Jenna; Oyier, Beryl; Okoth, George; Breiman, Robert F.; Ram, Pavani K.

    2013-01-01

    Handwashing is difficult in settings with limited resources and water access. In primary schools within urban Kibera, Kenya, we investigated the impact of providing waterless hand sanitizer on student hand hygiene behavior. Two schools received a waterless hand sanitizer intervention, two schools received a handwashing with soap intervention, and two schools received no intervention. Hand cleaning behavior after toilet use was monitored for 2 months using structured observation. Hand cleaning after toileting was 82% at sanitizer schools (N = 2,507 toileting events), 38% at soap schools (N = 3,429), and 37% at control schools (N = 2,797). Students at sanitizer schools were 23% less likely to have observed rhinorrhea than control students (P = 0.02); reductions in student-reported gastrointestinal and respiratory illness symptoms were not statistically significant. Providing waterless hand sanitizer markedly increased student hand cleaning after toilet use, whereas the soap intervention did not. Waterless hand sanitizer may be a promising option to improve student hand cleansing behavior, particularly in schools with limited water access. PMID:23836575

  12. Using technology to improve access to specialist care in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobson, Esther V; Baird, Wendy O; Cooper, Cindy L; Mawson, Sue; Shaw, Pamela J; Mcdermott, Christopher J

    2016-01-01

    Our objective was to review the evidence for using technology to improve access to specialist care for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and their carers. Medline, Google Scholar and the Cochrane library were searched for articles describing technology that enabled clinical care of patients with ALS or their carers where the patient/carer and clinician were not in the same location. Two applications were identified: telemedicine to facilitate video conferencing as an alternative to outpatient consultations and telehealth monitoring for patients with respiratory failure. One randomized controlled trial using telehealth in patients with respiratory failure including 22 patients with ALS was identified. While rates of hospitalization were reduced, overall mortality was unchanged and there were too few patients with ALS in the study to detect significant benefit. In conclusion, there is limited evidence to support the use of telemedicine or telehealth in the care of patients with ALS. Future research needs to develop an understanding of the key beneficial aspects of the traditional specialist ALS service and how these factors could be delivered using technology. Successful evaluation and implementation of technologies to facilitate access to specialist care will only be possible if all the relevant impacts of an intervention are understood and measured.

  13. Improved efficiency access control equipment and explosive, weapons and drug abuse detection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jenkins, A.; Milford, A.; Woollven, J.

    1985-01-01

    The second generation portal explosives detector has been designed with increased detection capability and convenience in service. The method of detection and performance relative to the first generation is described. A novel method of auto-calibration and self diagnosis is described and results are discussed. Improvements in convenience of operation have been achieved and operating space and costs reduced by combining metal detection capability, together with explosives detection. This allows both alarm signal and diagnostic outputs to be combined on a single remote panel in the guard room, and reduces the number of guards needed to man the access control. This type of access control is entirely a defensive measure against attack but a further additional feature is proposed which will also check the state of mind of all personnel passing through the check point. Any person suffering from the effect of narcotic or alcohol will be detected by their inability to reproduce their normal signature. A new method of signature analysis in five dimensions is described together with proposals for integrating the check without increasing the time in the test area. Some recent results on the effects of alcohol on signature reproduction is given

  14. Access to waterless hand sanitizer improves student hand hygiene behavior in primary schools in Nairobi, Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickering, Amy J; Davis, Jennifer; Blum, Annalise G; Scalmanini, Jenna; Oyier, Beryl; Okoth, George; Breiman, Robert F; Ram, Pavani K

    2013-09-01

    Handwashing is difficult in settings with limited resources and water access. In primary schools within urban Kibera, Kenya, we investigated the impact of providing waterless hand sanitizer on student hand hygiene behavior. Two schools received a waterless hand sanitizer intervention, two schools received a handwashing with soap intervention, and two schools received no intervention. Hand cleaning behavior after toilet use was monitored for 2 months using structured observation. Hand cleaning after toileting was 82% at sanitizer schools (N = 2,507 toileting events), 38% at soap schools (N = 3,429), and 37% at control schools (N = 2,797). Students at sanitizer schools were 23% less likely to have observed rhinorrhea than control students (P = 0.02); reductions in student-reported gastrointestinal and respiratory illness symptoms were not statistically significant. Providing waterless hand sanitizer markedly increased student hand cleaning after toilet use, whereas the soap intervention did not. Waterless hand sanitizer may be a promising option to improve student hand cleansing behavior, particularly in schools with limited water access.

  15. What Can Nature Teach Us About Improving Earth Science Data Access?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, S.

    2012-12-01

    Humans have collected earth observations data for centuries, helping us understand present conditions, allowing us to forecast the future, and giving us a window billions of years into the past. In the last 40 years the collection of earth observations data has increased on a truly massive and accelerating scale. Our abilities to collect new data have outpaced our abilities to access and use the data in all the ways users may expect. Mobile technology is a prime example. Smart telephones and tablet devices are proliferating rapidly; by 2016 there likely will be more smartphones than PCs on the planet. Earth data providers need to plan for and evolve to meet the needs, expectations, and capabilities of vast new numbers of mobile users. These users will not only consume data; many of them will also want to provide data via crowdsourcing or "citizen science" efforts. Can we channel the desire to provide citizen data in ways that help to ground-truth other observations, enrich the observations base, and improve data quality? Innovation will be key to meeting such challenges. Is it possible to innovate by studying the past? Does the earth system itself hold lessons that we can apply? We will examine what nature can teach us to foster sustainable innovation in our information technologies. Simplicity enables complexity; understanding complexity requires a return to simplicity. This presentation describes several user scenarios and examples of simplicity-complexity interactions to illustrate the connections with earth science data access.

  16. Electricity and generator availability in LMIC hospitals: improving access to safe surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chawla, Sagar; Kurani, Shaheen; Wren, Sherry M; Stewart, Barclay; Burnham, Gilbert; Kushner, Adam; McIntyre, Thomas

    2018-03-01

    Access to reliable energy has been identified as a global priority and codified within United Nations Sustainable Goal 7 and the Electrify Africa Act of 2015. Reliable hospital access to electricity is necessary to provide safe surgical care. The current state of electrical availability in hospitals in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) throughout the world is not well known. This study aimed to review the surgical capacity literature and document the availability of electricity and generators. Using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, a systematic search for surgical capacity assessments in LMICs in MEDLINE, PubMed, and World Health Organization Global Health Library was performed. Data regarding electricity and generator availability were extracted. Estimated percentages for individual countries were calculated. Of 76 articles identified, 21 reported electricity availability, totaling 528 hospitals. Continuous electricity availability at hospitals providing surgical care was 312/528 (59.1%). Generator availability was 309/427 (72.4%). Estimated continuous electricity availability ranged from 0% (Sierra Leone and Malawi) to 100% (Iran); estimated generator availability was 14% (Somalia) to 97.6% (Iran). Less than two-thirds of hospitals providing surgical care in 21 LMICs have a continuous electricity source or have an available generator. Efforts are needed to improve electricity infrastructure at hospitals to assure safe surgical care. Future research should look at the effect of energy availability on surgical care and patient outcomes and novel methods of powering surgical equipment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. A comparison of text and technology based training tools to improve cognitive skills in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, Kevin; Kirwan, Grainne; Palmer, Marion

    2011-01-01

    Research has indicated that use of cognitive skills training tools can produce positive benefits with older adults. However, little research has compared the efficacy of technology-based interventions and more traditional, text-based interventions which are also available. This study aimed to investigate cognitive skills improvements experienced by 40 older adults using cognitive skills training tools. A Solomon 4 group design was employed to determine which intervention demonstrated the greatest improvement. Participants were asked to use the interventions for 5-10 minutes per day, over a period of 60 days. Pre and post-tests consisted of measures of numerical ability, self-reported memory and intelligence. Following training, older adults indicated significant improvements on numerical ability and intelligence regardless of intervention type. No improvement in selfreported memory was observed. This research provides a critical appraisal of brain training tools and can help point the way for future improvements in the area. Brain training improvements could lead to improved quality of life, and perhaps, have financial and independent living ramifications for older adults.

  18. An improved synthesis of pentacene: rapid access to a benchmark organic semiconductor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pramanik, Chandrani; Miller, Glen P

    2012-04-20

    Pentacene is an organic semiconductor used in a variety of thin-film organic electronic devices. Although at least six separate syntheses of pentacene are known (two from dihydropentacenes, two from 6,13-pentacenedione and two from 6,13-dihydro-6,13-dihydroxypentacene), none is ideal and several utilize elevated temperatures that may facilitate the oxidation of pentacene as it is produced. Here, we present a fast (-2 min of reaction time), simple, high-yielding (≥ 90%), low temperature synthesis of pentacene from readily available 6,13-dihydro-6,13-dihydroxypentacene. Further, we discuss the mechanism of this highly efficient reaction. With this improved synthesis, researchers gain rapid, affordable access to high purity pentacene in excellent yield and without the need for a time consuming sublimation.

  19. An Improved Synthesis of Pentacene: Rapid Access to a Benchmark Organic Semiconductor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glen P. Miller

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Pentacene is an organic semiconductor used in a variety of thin-film organic electronic devices. Although at least six separate syntheses of pentacene are known (two from dihydropentacenes, two from 6,13-pentacenedione and two from 6,13-dihydro-6,13-dihydroxypentacene, none is ideal and several utilize elevated temperatures that may facilitate the oxidation of pentacene as it is produced. Here, we present a fast (~2 min of reaction time, simple, high-yielding (≥90%, low temperature synthesis of pentacene from readily available 6,13-dihydro-6,13-dihydroxypentacene. Further, we discuss the mechanism of this highly efficient reaction. With this improved synthesis, researchers gain rapid, affordable access to high purity pentacene in excellent yield and without the need for a time consuming sublimation.

  20. A pilot project to improve access to telepsychotherapy at rural clinics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adler, Geri; Pritchett, Lonique R; Kauth, Michael R; Nadorff, Danielle

    2014-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has pioneered telemental health (TMH) with over 500,000 TMH encounters over the past decade. VA community-based outpatient clinics were established to improve accessibility of mental healthcare for rural Veterans. Despite these clinics clinics and increased availability of TMH, many rural Veterans have difficulty receiving mental healthcare, particularly psychotherapy. Twelve therapists participated in a pilot project using TMH technologies to improve mental healthcare service delivery to rural Veterans treated at six community clinics. Therapists completed online training, and study staff communicated with them monthly and clinical leaders every other month. Therapists completed two questionnaires: before training and 10 months later. This article describes barriers and facilitators to the implementation of the project, as well as therapists' knowledge, confidence, and motivation regarding TMH. Two clinicians were offering telepsychotherapy after 10 months. At all six sites, unanticipated organizational constraints and administrative barriers delayed implementation; establishing organizational practices and therapists' motivation helped facilitate the process. Adopters of the project reported more positive views of the modality and did not worry about staffing, a concern of nonadopters. Despite barriers to implementation, lessons learned from this pilot project have led to improvements and changes in TMH processes. Results from the pilot showed that therapists providing telepsychotherapy had increased confidence, knowledge, and motivation. As TMH continues to expand, formalized decision-making with clinical leaders regarding project goals, better matching of therapists with this modality, and assessment of medical center and clinic readiness are recommended.

  1. Fire Source Accessibility of Water Mist Fire Suppression Improvement through Flow Method Control

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jung, Jun Ho; Kim, Hyeong Taek; Kim, Yun Jung; Park, Mun Hee [KHNP CRI, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2013-10-15

    Recently, nuclear power plants set CO{sub 2} fire suppression system. However it is hard to establish and to maintain and it also has difficulties performing function test. Therefore, it needs to develop a new fire suppression system to replace the existing CO{sub 2} fire suppression systems in nuclear power plant. In fact, already, there exist alternatives - gas fire suppression system or clean fire extinguishing agent, but it is hard to apply because it requires a highly complicated plan. However, water mist fire suppression system which has both water system and gas system uses small amount of water and droplet, so it is excellent at oxygen displacement and more suitable for nuclear power plant because it can avoid second damage caused by fire fighting water. This paper explains about enclosure effect of water mist fire suppression. And it suggests a study direction about water mist fire source approach improvement and enclosure effect improvement, using flow method control of ventilation system. Water mist fire suppression can be influenced by various variable. And flow and direction of ventilation system are important variable. Expectations of the plan for more fire source ventilation system is as in the following. It enhances enclosure effects of water mists, so it improves extinguish performance. Also the same effect as a inert gas injection causes can be achieved. Lastly, it is considered that combustible accessibility of water mists will increase because of descending air currents.

  2. SLIPTA e-Tool improves laboratory audit process in Vietnam and Cambodia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thuong T. Nguyen

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: The Stepwise Laboratory Quality Improvement Process Towards Accreditation (SLIPTA checklist is used worldwide to drive quality improvement in laboratories in developing countries and to assess the effectiveness of interventions such as the Strengthening Laboratory Management Toward Accreditation (SLMTA programme. However, the paperbased format of the checklist makes administration cumbersome and limits timely analysis and communication of results. Development of e-Tool: In early 2012, the SLMTA team in Vietnam developed an electronic SLIPTA checklist tool. The e-Tool was pilot tested in Vietnam in mid-2012 and revised. It was used during SLMTA implementation in Vietnam and Cambodia in 2012 and 2013 and further revised based on auditors’ feedback about usability. Outcomes: The SLIPTA e-Tool enabled rapid turn-around of audit results, reduced workload and language barriers and facilitated analysis of national results. Benefits of the e-Tool will be magnified with in-country scale-up of laboratory quality improvement efforts and potential expansion to other countries.

  3. Systematic Assessment of Carbon Emissions from Renewable Energy Access to Improve Rural Livelihoods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith A. Cherni

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available One way of increasing access to electricity for impoverished unconnected areas without adding significant amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere is by promoting renewable energy technologies. However, decision-makers rarely, if ever, take into account the level of in-built energy requirements and consequential CO2 emissions found in renewable energy, particularly photovoltaic cells and related equipment, which have been widely disseminated in developing countries. The deployment of solar panels worldwide has mostly relied on silicon crystalline cell modules, despite the fact that less polluting material—in particular, thin film and organic cells—offers comparatively distinct technical, environmental and cost advantages characteristics. A major scientific challenge has thus been the design of a single decision-making approach to assess local and global climate change-related impacts as well as the socio-economic effects of low-carbon technology. The article focuses on the functions of the multi-criteria-based tool SURE-DSS and environmental impact analysis focused on greenhouse gases (GHG emissions balance to inform the selection of technologies in terms of their impact on livelihoods and CO2eq. emissions. An application in a remote rural community in Cuba is discussed. The results of this study show that while PV silicon (c-Si, thin film (CdTe and organic solar cells may each equally meet the demands of the community and enhance people’s livelihoods, their effect on the global environment varies.

  4. Subscriber Number Forecasting Tool Based on Subscriber Attribute Distribution for Evaluating Improvement Strategies

    OpenAIRE

    Hiramatsu, Ayako; Shono, Yuji; Oiso, Hiroaki; Komoda, Norihisa

    2005-01-01

    In this paper, a subscriber number forecasting tool that evaluates quiz game mobile content improvement strategies is developed. Unsubscription rates depend on such subscriber attributes such as consecutive months, stages, rankings, and so on. In addition, content providers can anticipate change in unsubscription rates for each content improvement strategy. However, subscriber attributes change dynamically. Therefore, a method that deals with dynamic subscriber attribute changes is proposed. ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hein, Stefan; Rapp, Roberto; Feustel, Andreas

    2013-10-01

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

  6. Advancement of Tools Supporting Improvement of Work Safety in Selected Industrial Company

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gembalska-Kwiecień, Anna

    2018-03-01

    In the presented article, the advancement of tools to improve the safety of work in the researched industrial company was taken into consideration. Attention was paid to the skillful analysis of the working environment, which includes the available technologies, work organization and human capital. These factors determine the development of the best prevention activities to minimize the number of accidents.

  7. IMPROVEMENT OF METHODS FOR HYDROBIOLOGICAL RESEARCH AND MODIFICATION OF STANDARD TOOLS FOR SAMPLE COLLECTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. M. Aligadjiev

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim. The paper discusses the improvement of methods of hydrobiological studies by modifying tools for plankton and benthic samples collecting. Methods. In order to improve the standard methods of hydro-biological research, we have developed tools for sampling zooplankton and benthic environment of the Caspian Sea. Results. Long-term practice of selecting hydrobiological samples in the Caspian Sea shows that it is required to complete the modernization of the sampling tools used to collect hydrobiological material. With the introduction of Azov and Black Sea invasive comb jelly named Mnemiopsis leidyi A. Agassiz to the Caspian Sea there is a need to collect plankton samples without disturbing its integrity. Tools for collecting benthic fauna do not always give a complete picture of the state of benthic ecosystems because of the lack of visual site selection for sampling. Moreover, while sampling by dredge there is a probable loss of the samples, especially in areas with difficult terrain. Conclusion. We propose to modify a small model of Upstein net (applied in shallow water to collect zooplankton samples with an upper inverted cone that will significantly improve the catchability of the net in theCaspian Sea. Bottom sampler can be improved by installing a video camera for visual inspection of the bottom topography, and use sensors to determine tilt of the dredge and the position of the valves of the bucket. 

  8. Multidisciplinary Cooperation in Crisis Management Teams: a Tool to Improve Team Situation Awareness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koning, L. de; Kuijt-Evers, L.; Theunissen, N.; Rijk, R. van; Huis in 't Veld, M.

    2011-01-01

    When a crisis occurs, people from different organizations, on different hierarchical levels have to deal with unexpected situations that require coordinated effort. The goal of this research is to improve multidisciplinary cooperation for crisis management teams. We developed a tool, the Multi-mono

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

    To evaluate if improvements in the quality of diabetes care in Indian clinics can be obtained by simple self-surveillance PC-based software. Nineteen Indian diabetes clinics were introduced to the principles of quality assurance (QA), and to a software program, the Steno Quality Assurance Tool (SQAT). Data was entered for an initial 3 months period. Subsequently data were analyzed by the users, who designed plans to improve indicator status and set goals for the upcoming period. A second data entry period followed after 7-9 months. QA data was analyzed from 4487 T2DM patients (baseline) and 4440 (follow-up). The average examination frequency per clinic of the following indicators increased significantly: lipid examination (72-87%) (p=0.007), foot examination (80-94%) (p=0.02), HbA1c investigation (59-77%) (p=0.006), and urine albumin excretion investigation (72-87%) (p=0.006). Outcome parameters also improved significantly: mean (SD) fasting and post prandial BG reduced from 144(16) to 132(16)mg/dl (p=0.02) and 212(24)-195(29)mg/dl (p=0.03), respectively. Systolic BP reduced from 139(6) to 133(4) (p=0.0008)mmHg and diastolic BP from 83(3) to 81(3)mmHg (p=0.002). Quality of diabetes care can be improved by applying SQAT, a QA self-surveillance software that enables documentation of changes in process and outcome indicators. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. High-Resolution Spatial Distribution and Estimation of Access to Improved Sanitation in Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Peng; Anderson, John D; Leitner, Michael; Rheingans, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Access to sanitation facilities is imperative in reducing the risk of multiple adverse health outcomes. A distinct disparity in sanitation exists among different wealth levels in many low-income countries, which may hinder the progress across each of the Millennium Development Goals. The surveyed households in 397 clusters from 2008-2009 Kenya Demographic and Health Surveys were divided into five wealth quintiles based on their national asset scores. A series of spatial analysis methods including excess risk, local spatial autocorrelation, and spatial interpolation were applied to observe disparities in coverage of improved sanitation among different wealth categories. The total number of the population with improved sanitation was estimated by interpolating, time-adjusting, and multiplying the surveyed coverage rates by high-resolution population grids. A comparison was then made with the annual estimates from United Nations Population Division and World Health Organization /United Nations Children's Fund Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply and Sanitation. The Empirical Bayesian Kriging interpolation produced minimal root mean squared error for all clusters and five quintiles while predicting the raw and spatial coverage rates of improved sanitation. The coverage in southern regions was generally higher than in the north and east, and the coverage in the south decreased from Nairobi in all directions, while Nyanza and North Eastern Province had relatively poor coverage. The general clustering trend of high and low sanitation improvement among surveyed clusters was confirmed after spatial smoothing. There exists an apparent disparity in sanitation among different wealth categories across Kenya and spatially smoothed coverage rates resulted in a closer estimation of the available statistics than raw coverage rates. Future intervention activities need to be tailored for both different wealth categories and nationally where there are areas of greater needs when

  11. High-Resolution Spatial Distribution and Estimation of Access to Improved Sanitation in Kenya.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng Jia

    Full Text Available Access to sanitation facilities is imperative in reducing the risk of multiple adverse health outcomes. A distinct disparity in sanitation exists among different wealth levels in many low-income countries, which may hinder the progress across each of the Millennium Development Goals.The surveyed households in 397 clusters from 2008-2009 Kenya Demographic and Health Surveys were divided into five wealth quintiles based on their national asset scores. A series of spatial analysis methods including excess risk, local spatial autocorrelation, and spatial interpolation were applied to observe disparities in coverage of improved sanitation among different wealth categories. The total number of the population with improved sanitation was estimated by interpolating, time-adjusting, and multiplying the surveyed coverage rates by high-resolution population grids. A comparison was then made with the annual estimates from United Nations Population Division and World Health Organization /United Nations Children's Fund Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply and Sanitation.The Empirical Bayesian Kriging interpolation produced minimal root mean squared error for all clusters and five quintiles while predicting the raw and spatial coverage rates of improved sanitation. The coverage in southern regions was generally higher than in the north and east, and the coverage in the south decreased from Nairobi in all directions, while Nyanza and North Eastern Province had relatively poor coverage. The general clustering trend of high and low sanitation improvement among surveyed clusters was confirmed after spatial smoothing.There exists an apparent disparity in sanitation among different wealth categories across Kenya and spatially smoothed coverage rates resulted in a closer estimation of the available statistics than raw coverage rates. Future intervention activities need to be tailored for both different wealth categories and nationally where there are areas of

  12. Improving Arctic Sea Ice Observations and Data Access to Support Advances in Sea Ice Forecasting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, S. L.

    2017-12-01

    The economic and strategic importance of the Arctic region is becoming apparent. One of the most striking and widely publicized changes underway is the declining sea ice cover. Since sea ice is a key component of the climate system, its ongoing loss has serious, and wide-ranging, socio-economic implications. Increasing year-to-year variability in the geographic location, concentration, and thickness of the Arctic ice cover will pose both challenges and opportunities. The sea ice research community must be engaged in sustained Arctic Observing Network (AON) initiatives so as to deliver fit-for-purpose remote sensing data products to a variety of stakeholders including Arctic communities, the weather forecasting and climate modeling communities, industry, local, regional and national governments, and policy makers. An example of engagement is the work currently underway to improve research collaborations between scientists engaged in obtaining and assessing sea ice observational data and those conducting numerical modeling studies and forecasting ice conditions. As part of the US AON, in collaboration with the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC), we are developing a strategic framework within which observers and modelers can work towards the common goal of improved sea ice forecasting. Here, we focus on sea ice thickness, a key varaible of the Arctic ice cover. We describe multi-sensor, and blended, sea ice thickness data products under development that can be leveraged to improve model initialization and validation, as well as support data assimilation exercises. We will also present the new PolarWatch initiative (polarwatch.noaa.gov) and discuss efforts to advance access to remote sensing satellite observations and improve communication with Arctic stakeholders, so as to deliver data products that best address societal needs.

  13. Breastfeeding Support in a Community Pharmacy: Improving Access through the Well Babies at Walgreens Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenell, Amy; Friesen, Carol A; Hormuth, Laura

    2015-11-01

    Well Babies at Walgreens is a unique community-based corporate partnership program that offers breastfeeding support by a lactation professional in a private room at the pharmacy. Walgreens is a community pharmacy chain with more than 8000 locations in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. The primary goal of Well Babies is to support breastfeeding women using a model that is expandable to other Walgreens pharmacy sites. The Well Babies program offers drop-in services, with a professional consultation by a lactation consultant and baby weight check, if desired. Well Babies creators are developing a business plan for Walgreens and a toolkit that would help other stores implement the program. An additional goal is to improve continuity of care for breastfeeding by engaging pharmacists as vital members of the health care team. Offering breastfeeding support at a pharmacy improves access and encourages support persons to attend while simultaneously allowing the family to complete other errands. This initiative included education for pharmacists to improve the recommendations they make for breastfeeding mothers and to improve awareness among pharmacists of the benefits associated with breastfeeding and the need to preserve the breastfeeding relationship. The first drop-in location opened in April 2012. Grant funding from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, awarded to the Indiana State Department of Health, made it possible to open a second drop-in location in June 2013. Future plans include developing an employee lactation program and expanding Well Babies at Walgreens at other store locations. © The Author(s) 2015.

  14. Improving data discoverability, accessibility, and interoperability with the Esri ArcGIS Platform at the NASA Atmospheric Science Data Center (ASDC).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tisdale, M.

    2017-12-01

    NASA's Atmospheric Science Data Center (ASDC) is operationally using the Esri ArcGIS Platform to improve data discoverability, accessibility and interoperability to meet the diversifying user requirements from government, private, public and academic communities. The ASDC is actively working to provide their mission essential datasets as ArcGIS Image Services, Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Mapping Services (WMS), and OGC Web Coverage Services (WCS) while leveraging the ArcGIS multidimensional mosaic dataset structure. Science teams at ASDC are utilizing these services through the development of applications using the Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS and the ArcGIS API for Javascript. These services provide greater exposure of ASDC data holdings to the GIS community and allow for broader sharing and distribution to various end users. These capabilities provide interactive visualization tools and improved geospatial analytical tools for a mission critical understanding in the areas of the earth's radiation budget, clouds, aerosols, and tropospheric chemistry. The presentation will cover how the ASDC is developing geospatial web services and applications to improve data discoverability, accessibility, and interoperability.

  15. Cast Off expansion plan by rapid improvement through Optimization tool design, Tool Parameters and using Six Sigma’s ECRS Technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopalakrishnan, T.; Saravanan, R.

    2017-03-01

    Powerful management concepts step-up the quality of the product, time saving in producing the product thereby increase the production rate, improves tools and techniques, work culture, work place and employee motivation and morale. In this paper discussed about the case study of optimizing the tool design, tool parameters to cast off expansion plan according ECRS technique. The proposed designs and optimal tool parameters yielded best results and meet the customer demand without expansion plan. Hence the work yielded huge savings of money (direct and indirect cost), time and improved the motivation and more of employees significantly.

  16. Improving Urban Accessibility: A Methodology for Urban Dynamics Analysis in Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Cities

    OpenAIRE

    Pérez-delHoyo, Raquel; Garcia-Mayor, Clara; Mora, Higinio; Gilart, Virgilio; Andújar-Montoya, María Dolores

    2016-01-01

    Despite the improvisations of current urban accessibility regulations and their application in urban systems, it is a fact that our cities are not accessible. Both, the assessment of the effectiveness of urban accessibility and its maintenance over time are issues that require a more consistent approach. In order to address these aspects, it is necessary to have an accurate awareness of the existing condition of urban accessibility. Therefore, the way this information is transformed into spec...

  17. λ5-Phosphorus-Containing α-Diazo Compounds: A Valuable Tool for Accessing Phosphorus-Functionalized Molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marinozzi, Maura; Pertusati, Fabrizio; Serpi, Michaela

    2016-11-23

    The compounds characterized by the presence of a λ 5 -phosphorus functionality at the α-position with respect to the diazo moiety, here referred to as λ 5 -phosphorus-containing α-diazo compounds (PCDCs), represent a vast class of extremely versatile reagents in organic chemistry and are particularly useful in the preparation of phosphonate- and phosphinoxide-functionalized molecules. Indeed, thanks to the high reactivity of the diazo moiety, PCDCs can be induced to undergo a wide variety of chemical transformations. Among them are carbon-hydrogen, as well as heteroatom-hydrogen insertion reactions, cyclopropanation, ylide formation, Wolff rearrangement, and cycloaddition reactions. PCDCs can be easily prepared from readily accessible precursors by a variety of different methods, such as diazotization, Bamford-Stevens-type elimination, and diazo transfer reactions. This evidence along with their relative stability and manageability make them appealing tools in organic synthesis. This Review aims to demonstrate the ongoing utility of PCDCs in the modern preparation of different classes of phosphorus-containing compounds, phosphonates, in particular. Furthermore, to address the lack of precedent collective papers, this Review also summarizes the methods for PCDCs preparation.

  18. USE OF THE BLOG AT A PUBLIC SCHOOL MUNICIPAL AS A TOOL FOR ACCESS TO REALITY SCHOOL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurícia Simões dos Santos Palácio

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available This research, related to the Post- graduate Program in Education and its search line “Education´s Practices and Formative processes”, from Universidade Estadual Paulista "Júlio de Mesquita Filho", Campus of Presidente Prudente, contemplated a case study of a blog´s content from a municipal public school located in the interior of São Paulo State. Still, talks about this school blog which configures itself as an access´ tool to the school reality and that serves as a reflection point for the school manager. From the analysis of published texts on, this work had as general objective to analyze whether the use of the blog can be an information space and a way to manage the institutional and pedagogical/ administrative profile, capable to unleash the participation of all the school within the vision of democratic management. The use of Blogs by schools is still a recent habit and there is much to be found out. In this perspective, this study proposed to unravel some resources that will contribute somehow with the school manager's role in relation to Information and Communication Technology (ICT, specially concerning the use of the blog and the establishment of an integrative and interactionist process with the school community.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  20. Improving access to psychological therapies in voice disorders: a cognitive behavioural therapy model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Tracy; Deary, Vincent; Patterson, Jo

    2014-06-01

    The improving access to psychological therapies initiative has highlighted the importance of managing mental health problems effectively, and research has shown excellent outcomes from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) interventions. Patients presenting with functional dysphonia will often also describe psychological distress including anxiety, depression and reduced general well-being, and it is felt that effective voice therapy needs to include the management of psychological well-being. The evidence for the use of CBT enhanced voice therapy is limited to date. Recent research has only started to identify the benefits of this approach and questions regarding how to achieve and maintain competence are essential. Voice therapy outcomes are positive and patients receiving CBT with voice therapy have shown more improvement in their general well-being and distress. CBT is a very well evidenced therapy and recommended by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as the treatment of choice for mental health difficulties and medically unexplained symptoms. Allied health professionals are increasingly being trained to use CBT skills in the management of a number of symptoms/illnesses, and this should be considered for the management of functional dysphonia. However, there is a need for more research and detailed consideration of how therapists should be trained and supervised and how cost-effective this approach may be.

  1. Improving access and equity in reducing cardiovascular risk: the Queensland Health model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ski, Chantal F; Vale, Margarite J; Bennett, Gary R; Chalmers, Victoria L; McFarlane, Kim; Jelinek, V Michael; Scott, Ian A; Thompson, David R

    2015-02-16

    To measure changes in cardiovascular risk factors among patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) and/or type 2 diabetes enrolled in a centralised statewide coaching program delivered by telephone and mail-out in the public health sector in Queensland. A population-based audit of cardiovascular risk factor data collected prospectively as part of The COACH (Coaching Patients On Achieving Cardiovascular Health) Program (TCP) delivered through Queensland Health's Health Contact Centre. 1962 patients with CHD and 707 patients with type 2 diabetes who completed TCP from 20 February 2009 to 20 June 2013, of whom 145 were Indigenous Australians. Changes in fasting lipids, fasting glucose, glycosylated haemoglobin levels, blood pressure, body weight, body mass index, smoking, alcohol consumption and physical activity, as measured at entry to and completion of the program. Statistically significant improvements in cardiovascular risk factor status, from entry to completion of the program, were found across all biomedical and lifestyle factors in patients with CHD and/or type 2 diabetes. For both diseases, improvements in serum lipids, blood glucose, smoking habit and alcohol consumption combined with increases in physical activity were the most notable findings. Similar differences were found in mean change scores in cardiovascular risk factors between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Queenslanders. A centralised statewide coaching program delivered by telephone and mail-out overcomes obstacles of distance and limited access to health services and facilitates a guideline-concordant decrease in cardiovascular risk.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Lean management has proven to be a sustainable method to ensure a high level of patient care through innovation and teamwork. It involves a set of six tools that allow for visual management shared among team members. The team focuses their efforts on the improvement of organizational indicators in a standardized and engaging way, resulting in the sustainability of improvements. This article outlines the program's rollout at Montfort Hospital (l'Hôpital Montfort). In only a few months, two pilot units accomplished close to 50 improvements each. In addition, the organizational employee satisfaction questionnaire showed very positive results. Copyright © 2014 Longwoods Publishing.

  4. Open source GIS based tools to improve hydrochemical water resources management in EU H2020 FREEWAT platform

    Science.gov (United States)

    Criollo, Rotman; Velasco, Violeta; Vázquez-Suñé, Enric; Nardi, Albert; Marazuela, Miguel A.; Rossetto, Rudy; Borsi, Iacopo; Foglia, Laura; Cannata, Massimiliano; De Filippis, Giovanna

    2017-04-01

    Due to the general increase of water scarcity (Steduto et al., 2012), water quantity and quality must be well known to ensure a proper access to water resources in compliance with local and regional directives. This circumstance can be supported by tools which facilitate process of data management and its analysis. Such analyses have to provide research/professionals, policy makers and users with the ability to improve the management of the water resources with standard regulatory guidelines. Compliance with the established standard regulatory guidelines (with a special focus on requirement deriving from the GWD) should have an effective monitoring, evaluation, and interpretation of a large number of physical and chemical parameters. These amounts of datasets have to be assessed and interpreted: (i) integrating data from different sources and gathered with different data access techniques and formats; (ii) managing data with varying temporal and spatial extent; (iii) integrating groundwater quality information with other relevant information such as further hydrogeological data (Velasco et al., 2014) and pre-processing these data generally for the realization of groundwater models. In this context, the Hydrochemical Analysis Tools, akvaGIS Tools, has been implemented within the H2020 FREEWAT project; which aims to manage water resources by modelling water resource management in an open source GIS platform (QGIS desktop). The main goal of AkvaGIS Tools is to improve water quality analysis through different capabilities to improve the case study conceptual model managing all data related into its geospatial database (implemented in Spatialite) and a set of tools for improving the harmonization, integration, standardization, visualization and interpretation of the hydrochemical data. To achieve that, different commands cover a wide range of methodologies for querying, interpreting, and comparing groundwater quality data and facilitate the pre-processing analysis for

  5. Improving Access to NASA Earth Science Data through Collaborative Metadata Curation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sisco, A. W.; Bugbee, K.; Shum, D.; Baynes, K.; Dixon, V.; Ramachandran, R.

    2017-12-01

    The NASA-developed Common Metadata Repository (CMR) is a high-performance metadata system that currently catalogs over 375 million Earth science metadata records. It serves as the authoritative metadata management system of NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS), enabling NASA Earth science data to be discovered and accessed by a worldwide user community. The size of the EOSDIS data archive is steadily increasing, and the ability to manage and query this archive depends on the input of high quality metadata to the CMR. Metadata that does not provide adequate descriptive information diminishes the CMR's ability to effectively find and serve data to users. To address this issue, an innovative and collaborative review process is underway to systematically improve the completeness, consistency, and accuracy of metadata for approximately 7,000 data sets archived by NASA's twelve EOSDIS data centers, or Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs). The process involves automated and manual metadata assessment of both collection and granule records by a team of Earth science data specialists at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. The team communicates results to DAAC personnel, who then make revisions and reingest improved metadata into the CMR. Implementation of this process relies on a network of interdisciplinary collaborators leveraging a variety of communication platforms and long-range planning strategies. Curating metadata at this scale and resolving metadata issues through community consensus improves the CMR's ability to serve current and future users and also introduces best practices for stewarding the next generation of Earth Observing System data. This presentation will detail the metadata curation process, its outcomes thus far, and also share the status of ongoing curation activities.

  6. Improved cultivation and metagenomics as new tools for bioprospecting in cold environments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vester, Jan Kjølhede; Glaring, Mikkel Andreas; Stougaard, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Only a small minority of microorganisms from an environmental sample can be cultured in the laboratory leaving the enormous bioprospecting potential of the uncultured diversity unexplored. This resource can be accessed by improved cultivation methods in which the natural environment is brought...... be limited as few hosts are available for expression of genes with extremophilic properties. This review summarizes the methods developed for improved cultivation as well as the metagenomic approaches for bioprospecting with focus on the challenges faced by bioprospecting in cold environments....

  7. Are patient surveys valuable as a service-improvement tool in health services? An overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patwardhan A

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Anjali Patwardhan,1 Charles H Spencer21Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus, 2Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USAAbstract: Improving the quality of care in international health services was made a high priority in 1977. The World Health Assembly passed a resolution to greatly improve “Health for all” by the year 2000. Since 1977, the use of patient surveys for quality improvement has become a common practice in the health-care industry. The use of surveys reflects the concept that patient satisfaction is closely linked with that of organizational performance, which is in turn closely linked with organizational culture. This article is a review of the role of patient surveys as a quality-improvement tool in health care. The article explores the characteristics, types, merits, and pitfalls of various patient surveys, as well as the impact of their wide-ranging application in dissimilar scenarios to identify gaps in service provision. It is demonstrated that the conducting of patient surveys and using the results to improve the quality of care are two different processes. The value of patient surveys depends on the interplay between these two processes and several other factors that can influence the final outcome. The article also discusses the business aspect of the patient surveys in detail. Finally, the authors make future recommendations on how the patient survey tool can be best used to improve the quality of care in the health-care sector.Keywords: patient surveys, quality improvement, service gaps 

  8. Two-Step Optimization for Spatial Accessibility Improvement: A Case Study of Health Care Planning in Rural China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing Luo

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available A recent advancement in location-allocation modeling formulates a two-step approach to a new problem of minimizing disparity of spatial accessibility. Our field work in a health care planning project in a rural county in China indicated that residents valued distance or travel time from the nearest hospital foremost and then considered quality of care including less waiting time as a secondary desirability. Based on the case study, this paper further clarifies the sequential decision-making approach, termed “two-step optimization for spatial accessibility improvement (2SO4SAI.” The first step is to find the best locations to site new facilities by emphasizing accessibility as proximity to the nearest facilities with several alternative objectives under consideration. The second step adjusts the capacities of facilities for minimal inequality in accessibility, where the measure of accessibility accounts for the match ratio of supply and demand and complex spatial interaction between them. The case study illustrates how the two-step optimization method improves both aspects of spatial accessibility for health care access in rural China.

  9. Economic Insights into Providing Access to Improved Groundwater Sources in Remote, Low-Resource Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramson, A.; Lazarovitch, N.; Adar, E.

    2013-12-01

    Groundwater is often the most or only feasible drinking water source in remote, low-resource areas. Yet the economics of its development have not been systematically outlined. We applied CBARWI (Cost-Benefit Analysis for Remote Water Improvements), a recently developed Decision Support System, to investigate the economic, physical and management factors related to the costs and benefits of non-networked groundwater supply in remote areas. Synthetic profiles of community water services (n = 17,962), defined across 14 parameters' values and ranges relevant to remote areas, were imputed into the decision framework, and the parameter effects on economic outcomes were investigated through regression analysis (Table 1). Several approaches were included for financing the improvements, after Abramson et al, 2011: willingness-to -pay (WTP), -borrow (WTB) and -work (WTW) in community irrigation (';water-for-work'). We found that low-cost groundwater development approaches are almost 7 times more cost-effective than conventional boreholes fitted with handpumps. The costs of electric, submersible borehole pumps are comparable only when providing expanded water supplies, and off-grid communities pay significantly more for such expansions. In our model, new source construction is less cost-effective than improvement of existing wells, but necessary for expanding access to isolated households. The financing approach significantly impacts the feasibility of demand-driven cost recovery; in our investigation, benefit exceeds cost in 16, 32 and 48% of water service configurations financed by WTP, WTB and WTW, respectively. Regressions of total cost (R2 = 0.723) and net benefit under WTW (R2 = 0.829) along with analysis of output distributions indicate that parameters determining the profitability of irrigation are different from those determining costs and other measures of net benefit. These findings suggest that the cost-benefit outcomes associated with groundwater-based water

  10. HERMES: A tool to prepare documentation for access to plants; HERMES: Una Herramienta para la preparacion de la documentacion de acceso a las plantas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Serrano Vizcaino, J.; Rodriguez Montalban, J. R.; Garcia Valcarcel, M.

    2012-07-01

    The appearance of the IS-12 standard has marked a before and after in the entry requirements to the plants. Its impact, in companies like Tecnatom that mobilizing a large number of people to perform services during refueling stops, has forced the design of a tool to help prepare the personnel access documentation in an in a flexible and efficient.

  11. Improving sustainability during hospital design and operation a multidisciplinary evaluation tool

    CERN Document Server

    Bottero, Marta; Buffoli, Maddalena; Lettieri, Emanuele

    2015-01-01

    This book describes the Sustainable High Quality Healthcare (SustHealth) project, which had the goal of developing an original multidisciplinary evaluation tool that can be applied to assess and improve hospitals’ overall sustainability. The comprehensive nature of the appraisal offered by this tool exceeds the scope of most current rating systems, which typically permit a thorough evaluation of relevant environmental factors when designing a new building but fail to consider social and economic impacts of the design phase or the performance of the hospital’s operational structure in these fields. The multidisciplinary evaluation system was developed, from its very inception through to its testing, by following a scientific experimental method in which a global perspective was constantly maintained, as opposed to a focus only on specific technical issues. Application of the SustHealth rating tool to a currently functioning hospital, or one under design, will identify weaknesses and guide users to potentia...

  12. Resource allocation and purchasing arrangements to improve accessibility of medicines: Evidence from Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastani, Peivand; Mehralian, Gholamhossein; Dinarvand, Rasoul

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to review the current methods of pharmaceutical purchasing by Iranian insurance organizations within the World Bank conceptual framework model so as to provide applicable pharmaceutical resource allocation and purchasing (RAP) arrangements in Iran. This qualitative study was conducted through a qualitative document analysis (QDA), applying the four-step Scott method in document selection, and conducting 20 semi-structured interviews using a triangulation method. Furthermore, the data were analyzed applying five steps framework analysis using Atlas-ti software. The QDA showed that the purchasers face many structural, financing, payment, delivery and service procurement and purchasing challenges. Moreover, the findings of interviews are provided in three sections including demand-side, supply-side and price and incentive regime. Localizing RAP arrangements as a World Bank Framework in a developing country like Iran considers the following as the prerequisite for implementing strategic purchasing in pharmaceutical sector: The improvement of accessibility, subsidiary mechanisms, reimbursement of new drugs, rational use, uniform pharmacopeia, best supplier selection, reduction of induced demand and moral hazard, payment reform. It is obvious that for Iran, these customized aspects are more various and detailed than those proposed in a World Bank model for developing countries.

  13. Improving market access opportunities for urban small, medium and micro-enterprises in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian M. Rogerson

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Since the democratic transition of 1994, the promotion of the small, medium and micro-enterprise (SMME economy has been a core focus of South African government policy. With high levels of unemployment and poverty in urban areas, the impact of this policy intervention is most critical for city development. Given South Africa’s chequered history, the national government’s focus is on transforming the prospects for enterprises owned by black South Africans, who were disadvantaged under apartheid. This article examines the range of contemporary policy initiatives to address business constraints on market access and catalyse new market opportunities for black-owned enterprises in urban South Africa. The article concentrates on two themes: 1 building links into private sector supply chains, especially through supplier diversity, and 2 building links into public sector markets through public procurement. It is shown that current policy directions recognise that the national government has a limited capacity to implement SMME improvement and build competitive black-owned SMMEs by itself, which has prompted support for private sector initiatives. In addition, the government is struggling to practice what it preaches and use its own procurement capacity to assist black-owned SMMEs.

  14. Exploring interoperability: The advancements and challenges of improving data discovery, access, and visualization of scientific data through the NOAA Earth Information System (NEIS). (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, J.; Lynge, J.; Hackathorn, E.; MacDermaid, C.; Pierce, R.; Smith, J.

    2013-12-01

    Interoperability is a complex subject and often leads to different definitions in different environments. An interoperable framework of web services can improve the user experience by providing an interface for interaction with data regardless of it's format or physical location. This in itself improves accessibility to data, fosters data exploration and use, and provides a framework for new tools and applications. With an interoperable system you have: -- Data ready for action. Services model facilitates agile response to events. Services can be combined or reused quickly, upgraded or modified independently. -- Any data available through an interoperable framework can be operated on or combined with other data. Integrating standardized formats and access. -- New and existing systems have access to wide variety of data. Any new data added is easily incorporated with minimal changes required. The possibilities are limitless. The NOAA Earth Information System (NEIS) at the Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) is continuing research into an interoperable framework of layered services designed to facilitate the discovery, access, integration, visualization, and understanding of all NOAA (past, present, and future) data. An underlying philosophy of NEIS is to take advantage of existing off-the-shelf technologies and standards to minimize development of custom code allowing everyone to take advantage of the framework to meet these goals above. This framework, while built by NOAA are not limited to NOAA data or applications. Any other data available through similar services or applications that understand these standards can work interchangeably. Two major challenges are under active research at ESRL are data discoverability and fast access to big data. This presentation will provide an update on development of NEIS, including these challenges, the findings, and recommendations on what is needed for an interoperable system, as well as ongoing research activities

  15. 77 FR 42339 - Improving Contracting Officers' Access to Relevant Integrity Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-18

    ... contracting officers' access to relevant information about contractor business ethics in the Federal Awardee... ability to evaluate the business ethics of prospective contractors and protect the Government from...

  16. Tuning COCOMO-II for Software Process Improvement: A Tool Based Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SYEDA UMEMA HANI

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available In order to compete in the international software development market the software organizations have to adopt internationally accepted software practices i.e. standard like ISO (International Standard Organization or CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration in spite of having scarce resources and tools. The aim of this study is to develop a tool which could be used to present an actual picture of Software Process Improvement benefits in front of the software development companies. However, there are few tools available to assist in making predictions, they are too expensive and could not cover dataset that reflect the cultural behavior of organizations for software development in developing countries. In extension to our previously done research reported elsewhere for Pakistani software development organizations which has quantified benefits of SDPI (Software Development Process Improvement, this research has used sixty-two datasets from three different software development organizations against the set of metrics used in COCOMO-II (Constructive Cost Model 2000. It derived a verifiable equation for calculating ISF (Ideal Scale Factor and tuned the COCOMO-II model to bring prediction capability for SDPI (benefit measurement classes such as ESCP (Effort, Schedule, Cost, and Productivity. This research has contributed towards software industry by giving a reliable and low-cost mechanism for generating prediction models with high prediction accuracy. Hopefully, this study will help software organizations to use this tool not only to predict ESCP but also to predict an exact impact of SDPI.

  17. Improvements to Integrated Tradespace Analysis of Communications Architectures (ITACA) Network Loading Analysis Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Nathaniel; Welch, Bryan W.

    2018-01-01

    NASA's SCENIC project aims to simplify and reduce the cost of space mission planning by replicating the analysis capabilities of commercially licensed software which are integrated with relevant analysis parameters specific to SCaN assets and SCaN supported user missions. SCENIC differs from current tools that perform similar analyses in that it 1) does not require any licensing fees, 2) will provide an all-in-one package for various analysis capabilities that normally requires add-ons or multiple tools to complete. As part of SCENIC's capabilities, the ITACA network loading analysis tool will be responsible for assessing the loading on a given network architecture and generating a network service schedule. ITACA will allow users to evaluate the quality of service of a given network architecture and determine whether or not the architecture will satisfy the mission's requirements. ITACA is currently under development, and the following improvements were made during the fall of 2017: optimization of runtime, augmentation of network asset pre-service configuration time, augmentation of Brent's method of root finding, augmentation of network asset FOV restrictions, augmentation of mission lifetimes, and the integration of a SCaN link budget calculation tool. The improvements resulted in (a) 25% reduction in runtime, (b) more accurate contact window predictions when compared to STK(Registered Trademark) contact window predictions, and (c) increased fidelity through the use of specific SCaN asset parameters.

  18. Developing an agenda for research about policies to improve access to healthy foods in rural communities: a concept mapping study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Policies that improve access to healthy, affordable foods may improve population health and reduce health disparities. In the United States most food access policy research focuses on urban communities even though residents of rural communities face disproportionately higher risk for nutrition-related chronic diseases compared to residents of urban communities. The purpose of this study was to (1) identify the factors associated with access to healthy, affordable food in rural communities in the United States; and (2) prioritize a meaningful and feasible rural food policy research agenda. Methods This study was conducted by the Rural Food Access Workgroup (RFAWG), a workgroup facilitated by the Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network. A national sample of academic and non-academic researchers, public health and cooperative extension practitioners, and other experts who focus on rural food access and economic development was invited to complete a concept mapping process that included brainstorming the factors that are associated with rural food access, sorting and organizing the factors into similar domains, and rating the importance of policies and research to address these factors. As a last step, RFAWG members convened to interpret the data and establish research recommendations. Results Seventy-five participants in the brainstorming exercise represented the following sectors: non-extension research (n = 27), non-extension program administration (n = 18), “other” (n = 14), policy advocacy (n = 10), and cooperative extension service (n = 6). The brainstorming exercise generated 90 distinct statements about factors associated with rural food access in the United States; these were sorted into 5 clusters. Go Zones were established for the factors that were rated highly as both a priority policy target and a priority for research. The highest ranked policy and research priorities include strategies designed to

  19. MetaMeta: integrating metagenome analysis tools to improve taxonomic profiling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piro, Vitor C; Matschkowski, Marcel; Renard, Bernhard Y

    2017-08-14

    Many metagenome analysis tools are presently available to classify sequences and profile environmental samples. In particular, taxonomic profiling and binning methods are commonly used for such tasks. Tools available among these two categories make use of several techniques, e.g., read mapping, k-mer alignment, and composition analysis. Variations on the construction of the corresponding reference sequence databases are also common. In addition, different tools provide good results in different datasets and configurations. All this variation creates a complicated scenario to researchers to decide which methods to use. Installation, configuration and execution can also be difficult especially when dealing with multiple datasets and tools. We propose MetaMeta: a pipeline to execute and integrate results from metagenome analysis tools. MetaMeta provides an easy workflow to run multiple tools with multiple samples, producing a single enhanced output profile for each sample. MetaMeta includes a database generation, pre-processing, execution, and integration steps, allowing easy execution and parallelization. The integration relies on the co-occurrence of organisms from different methods as the main feature to improve community profiling while accounting for differences in their databases. In a controlled case with simulated and real data, we show that the integrated profiles of MetaMeta overcome the best single profile. Using the same input data, it provides more sensitive and reliable results with the presence of each organism being supported by several methods. MetaMeta uses Snakemake and has six pre-configured tools, all available at BioConda channel for easy installation (conda install -c bioconda metameta). The MetaMeta pipeline is open-source and can be downloaded at: https://gitlab.com/rki_bioinformatics .

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

    OpenAIRE

    Stang, Heather L.; Anderson, Nancy L.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    M. Dudek-Burlikowska; D. Szewieczek

    2009-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Yuliia M. Shepetko

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Pectus patient information website has improved access to care and patient reported outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tikka, Theofano; Webb, Joanne; Agostini, Paula; Kerr, Amy; Mannion, Glenn; Steyn, Richard S; Bishay, Ehab; Kalkat, Maninder S; Rajesh, Pala B; Naidu, Babu

    2016-04-26

    patient information website has significantly improved access to specialised services. Patients are overall highly satisfied with the surgical outcomes.

  4. Improving patient access to prevent sight loss: ophthalmic electronic referrals and communication (Scotland).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, A A; Mustafa, M Z; Sanders, R

    2015-02-01

    With the number of people with sight loss predicted to double to four million people in the UK by the year 2050, preventable visual loss is a significant public health issue. Sight loss is associated with an increased risk of falls, accidents and depression and evidence suggests that 50% of sight loss can be avoided. Timely diagnosis is central to the prevention of sight loss. Access to care can be a limiting factor in preventable cases. By improving referrals and access to hospital eye services it is possible to treat and minimise the number of patients with preventable sight loss and the impact this has on wider society. In 2005, NHS Fife took part in a flagship pilot funded by the Scottish government e-health department to evaluate the feasibility, safety, clinical effectiveness, and cost of electronic referral with images of patients directly from community optometrists to Hospital Eye Service (HES). The pilot study showed that electronic referral was feasible, fast, safe, and obviated the need for outpatient appointments in 128 (37%) patients with a high patient satisfaction. The results of the pilot study were presented and in May 2007, the electronic referral system was rolled out regionally in southeast Scotland. Referrals were accepted at a single site with vetting by a trained team and appointments were allocated within 48 hours. Following the implementation of electronic referral, waiting times were reduced from a median of 14 to 4 weeks. Significantly fewer new patients were seen (7462 vs 8714 [p electronic communication between community optometry practices and hospital eye departments. Five electronic forms were specifically designed for cataract, glaucoma, macula, paediatric and general ophthalmic disease. A Virtual Private Network was created which enabled optometrists to connect to the Scottish clinical information gateway system and send referrals to hospital and receive referral status feedback. Numerous hurdles have been encountered and overcome

  5. Combining apps targeting professionals and senior citizens to improve housing accessibility and influence housing provision policies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Helle, Tina; Iwarsson, Susanne; Lunn, Tine Bieber

    2015-01-01

    Two separate apps that address the increasingly important issue of accessible housing for senior citizens have been developed in different project settings. One of the apps was developed to facilitate the process for professional raters to assess housing accessibility in the context of individual...... and influence housing provision policies....

  6. 76 FR 15028 - Airport Improvement Program (AIP): Interim Policy Regarding Access to Airports From Residential...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-18

    ... transparent. As a result of these efforts, the agency expects to have reliable information on the utilization... issued, most commenters supported FAA's proposal to allow existing residential through-the-fence access... commenters supported the FAA's proposal to allow through-the-fence access where it exists, if the airport can...

  7. Unlocking the Potential of Web Localizers as Contributors to Image Accessibility: What Do Evaluation Tools Have to Offer?

    OpenAIRE

    Rodriguez Vazquez, Silvia

    2015-01-01

    Creating appropriate text alternatives to render images accessible in the web is a shared responsibility among all actors involved in the web development cycle, including web localization professionals. However, they often lack the knowledge needed to correctly transfer image accessibility across different website language versions. In this paper, we provide insight into translators' performance as regards their accessibility achievements during text alternatives adaptation from English into ...

  8. Relating Nanoscale Accessibility within Plant Cell Walls to Improved Enzyme Hydrolysis Yields in Corn Stover Subjected to Diverse Pretreatments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowe, Jacob D; Zarger, Rachael A; Hodge, David B

    2017-10-04

    Simultaneous chemical modification and physical reorganization of plant cell walls via alkaline hydrogen peroxide or liquid hot water pretreatment can alter cell wall structural properties impacting nanoscale porosity. Nanoscale porosity was characterized using solute exclusion to assess accessible pore volumes, water retention value as a proxy for accessible water-cell walls surface area, and solute-induced cell wall swelling to measure cell wall rigidity. Key findings concluded that delignification by alkaline hydrogen peroxide pretreatment decreased cell wall rigidity and that the subsequent cell wall swelling resulted increased nanoscale porosity and improved enzyme binding and hydrolysis compared to limited swelling and increased accessible surface areas observed in liquid hot water pretreated biomass. The volume accessible to a 90 Å dextran probe within the cell wall was found to be correlated to both enzyme binding and glucose hydrolysis yields, indicating cell wall porosity is a key contributor to effective hydrolysis yields.

  9. Expanding the Impact of Photogrammetric Topography Through Improved Data Archiving and Access

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crosby, C. J.; Arrowsmith, R.; Nandigam, V.

    2016-12-01

    Centimeter to decimeter-scale 2.5 to 3D sampling of the Earth surface topography coupled with the potential for photorealistic coloring of point clouds and texture mapping of meshes enables a wide range of science applications. Not only is the configuration and state of the surface as imaged valuable, but repeat surveys enable quantification of topographic change (erosion, deposition, and displacement) caused by various geologic processes. We are in an era of ubiquitous point clouds which come from both active sources such as laser scanners and radar as well as passive scene reconstruction via structure from motion (SfM) photogrammetry. With the decreasing costs of high-resolution topography (HRT) data collection, via methods such as SfM, the number of researchers collecting these data is increasing. These "long-tail" topographic data are of modest size but great value, and challenges exist to making them widely discoverable, shared, annotated, cited, managed and archived. Presently, there are no central repositories or services to support storage and curation of these datasets. The NSF funded OpenTopography (OT) employs cyberinfrastructure including large-scale data management, high-performance computing, and service-oriented architectures, to provide efficient online access to large HRT (mostly lidar) datasets, metadata, and processing tools. With over 200 datasets and 12,000 registered users, OT is well positioned to provide curation for community collected photogrammetric topographic data. OT is developing a "Community DataSpace", a service built on a low cost storage cloud (e.g. AWS S3) to make it easy for researchers to upload, curate, annotate and distribute their datasets. The system's ingestion workflow will extract metadata from data uploaded; validate it; assign a digital object identifier (DOI); and create a searchable catalog entry, before publishing via the OT portal. The OT Community DataSpace will enable wider discovery and utilization of these HRT

  10. Improving Access to Quality Care in Family Planning: WHO's Four Cornerstones of Evidence-based Guidance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shang-chun WU; Yan ZOU; K Church; O Meirik

    2007-01-01

    The four cornerstones of guidance in technique service of family planning are established by WHO based on high quality evidences. They have been updated according to the appearing new evidences, and the consensuses were reached by the international experts in this field. The four documents include Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use, Decision-making Tool for Family Planning Clients and Providers and The Global Handbook for Family Planning Providers. The first two documents mainlyface to the policy-makers and programme managers and were treated as the important references for creating the local guideline. The other two documents were developed for the front-line health-care and family planning providers at different levels, which include plenty of essential technical information to help providers improve their ability in service delivery and counselling. China paid great attention to the introduction and application of WHO guidelines. As soon as the newer editions of these documents were available, the Chinese version would be followed. WHO guidelines have been primarily adapted with the newly issued national guideline, The Clinical Practical Skill Guidelines- Family Planning Part, which was established by China Medical Association. At the same time, the WHO guidelines have been introduced to some of the linicians and family planning providers at different levels. In the future, more special training courses will be introduced to the township level based on the needs of grassroot providers.

  11. Improving Nigerian health policymakers' capacity to access and utilize policy relevant evidence: outcome of information and communication technology training workshop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uneke, Chigozie Jesse; Ezeoha, Abel Ebeh; Uro-Chukwu, Henry; Ezeonu, Chinonyelum Thecla; Ogbu, Ogbonnaya; Onwe, Friday; Edoga, Chima

    2015-01-01

    Information and communication technology (ICT) tools are known to facilitate communication and processing of information and sharing of knowledge by electronic means. In Nigeria, the lack of adequate capacity on the use of ICT by health sector policymakers constitutes a major impediment to the uptake of research evidence into the policymaking process. The objective of this study was to improve the knowledge and capacity of policymakers to access and utilize policy relevant evidence. A modified "before and after" intervention study design was used in which outcomes were measured on the target participants both before the intervention is implemented and after. A 4-point likert scale according to the degree of adequacy; 1 = grossly inadequate, 4 = very adequate was employed. This study was conducted in Ebonyi State, south-eastern Nigeria and the participants were career health policy makers. A two-day intensive ICT training workshop was organized for policymakers who had 52 participants in attendance. Topics covered included: (i). intersectoral partnership/collaboration; (ii). Engaging ICT in evidence-informed policy making; use of ICT for evidence synthesis; (iv) capacity development on the use of computer, internet and other ICT. The pre-workshop mean of knowledge and capacity for use of ICT ranged from 2.19-3.05, while the post-workshop mean ranged from 2.67-3.67 on 4-point scale. The percentage increase in mean of knowledge and capacity at the end of the workshop ranged from 8.3%-39.1%. Findings of this study suggest that policymakers' ICT competence relevant to evidence-informed policymaking can be enhanced through training workshop.

  12. Improving access to home phototherapy for patients with psoriasis: current challenges and future prospects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franken SM

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Sylvie M Franken, Carlijn L Vierstra, Thomas RustemeyerDepartment of Dermatology, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands Introduction: Although the treatment burden for phototherapy in the outpatient setting is considerable, prescription of home-based phototherapy has not been instigated. Home-based phototherapy seems more patient friendly in terms of avoiding the thrice-weekly hospital visits. So why are most treatments still given in a hospital setting? Is home-based treatment less effective? Are there financial barriers? Is the treatment not available? To answer these questions, a literature search was done. Methods: A literature search of PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases was performed, using the search terms “psoriasis” and “phototherapy”. Selection was based on two rounds; the first round involved screening the title and abstract of all records and second involved evaluating the full text of the remaining articles for eligibility according to inclusion and exclusion criteria. Results: In total, 23 publications were included with consensus of both researchers. Overall, the patients reported being very satisfied with home-based phototherapy. Results regarding effectivity in terms of improvement from disease severity and in quality of life were variable but generally positive. Reasons for reluctance varied from medicolegal and social aspects to lack of reimbursement and unfamiliarity on the side of the prescriber. Conclusion: In the treatment for psoriasis, home-based phototherapy is as effective and safe as phototherapy in an outpatient setting. Patients were more satisfied with home-based phototherapy. Factors that negatively influence the prescription of or choice for home-based phototherapy can be summarized in terms of lack of control, lack of knowledge, and lack of a good reimbursement system. Keywords: psoriasis, phototherapy, UVB, home-based, effectiveness, burden, costs, access 

  13. 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.

  14. Improving access to malaria medicine through private-sector subsidies in seven African countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tougher, Sarah; Mann, Andrea G; Ye, Yazoume; Kourgueni, Idrissa A; Thomson, Rebecca; Amuasi, John H; Ren, Ruilin; Willey, Barbara A; Ansong, Daniel; Bruxvoort, Katia; Diap, Graciela; Festo, Charles; Johanes, Boniface; Kalolella, Admirabilis; Mallam, Oumarou; Mberu, Blessing; Ndiaye, Salif; Nguah, Samual Blay; Seydou, Moctar; Taylor, Mark; Wamukoya, Marilyn; Arnold, Fred; Hanson, Kara; Goodman, Catherine

    2014-09-01

    Improving access to quality-assured artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) is an important component of malaria control in low- and middle-income countries. In 2010 the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria launched the Affordable Medicines Facility--malaria (AMFm) program in seven African countries. The goal of the program was to decrease malaria morbidity and delay drug resistance by increasing the use of ACTs, primarily through subsidies intended to reduce costs. We collected data on price and retail markups on antimalarial medicines from 19,625 private for-profit retail outlets before and 6-15 months after the program's implementation. We found that in six of the AMFm pilot programs, prices for quality-assured ACTs decreased by US$1.28-$4.34, and absolute retail markups on these therapies decreased by US$0.31-$1.03. Prices and markups on other classes of antimalarials also changed during the evaluation period, but not to the same extent. In all but two of the pilot programs, we found evidence that prices could fall further without suppliers' losing money. Thus, concerns may be warranted that wholesalers and retailers are capturing subsidies instead of passing them on to consumers. These findings demonstrate that supranational subsidies can dramatically reduce retail prices of health commodities and that recommended retail prices communicated to a wide audience may be an effective mechanism for controlling the market power of private-sector antimalarial retailers and wholesalers. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Surgical site infections are a potentially preventable patient harm. Emerging evidence suggests that the implementation of evidence-based process measures for infection reduction is highly variable. The purpose of this work was to develop an auditing tool to assess compliance with infection-related process measures and establish a system for identifying and addressing defects in measure implementation. This was a retrospective cohort study using electronic medical records. We used the auditing tool to assess compliance with 10 process measures in a sample of colorectal surgery patients with and without postoperative infections at an academic medical center (January 2012 to March 2013). We investigated 59 patients with surgical site infections and 49 patients without surgical site infections. First, overall compliance rates for the 10 process measures were compared between patients with infection vs patients without infection to assess if compliance was lower among patients with surgical site infections. Then, because of the burden of data collection, the tool was used exclusively to evaluate quarterly compliance rates among patients with infection. The results were reviewed, and the key factors contributing to noncompliance were identified and addressed. Ninety percent of process measures had lower compliance rates among patients with infection. Detailed review of infection cases identified many defects that improved following the implementation of system-level changes: correct cefotetan redosing (education of anesthesia personnel), temperature at surgical incision >36.0°C (flags used to identify patients for preoperative warming), and the use of preoperative mechanical bowel preparation with oral antibiotics (laxative solutions and antibiotics distributed in clinic before surgery). Quarterly compliance improved for 80% of process measures by the end of the study period. This study was conducted on a small surgical cohort within a select subspecialty. The

  16. Improving access to important recovery information for heart patients with low health literacy: reflections on practice-based initiatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naccarella, Lucio; Biuso, Catuscia; Jennings, Amanda; Patsamanis, Harry

    2018-05-29

    Evidence exists for the association between health literacy and heart health outcomes. Cardiac rehabilitation is critical for recovery from heart attack and reducing hospital readmissions. Despite this, literacy. This brief case study reflects and documents practice-based initiatives by Heart Foundation Victoria to improve access to recovery information for patients with low literacy levels. Three key initiatives, namely the Six Steps To Cardiac Recovery resource, the Love Your Heart book and the nurse ambassador program, were implemented informed by mixed methods that assessed need and capacity at the individual, organisational and systems levels. Key outcomes included increased access to recovery information for patients with low health literacy, nurse knowledge and confidence to engage with patients on recovery information, improved education of patients and improved availability and accessibility of information for patients in diverse formats. Given the challenges involved in addressing heart health literacy, multifaceted practice-based approaches are essential to improve access to recovery information for patients with low literacy levels. What is known about the topic? Significant challenges exist for patients with lower health literacy receiving recovery information after a heart attack in hospitals. What does this paper add? This case study provides insights into a practice-based initiative by Heart Foundation Victoria to improve access to recovery information for patients with low literacy levels. What are the implications for practitioners? Strategies to improve recovery through increased heart health literacy must address the needs of patients, nursing staff and the health system within hospitals. Such strategies need to be multifaceted and designed to build the capacity of nurses, heart patients and their carers, as well as support from hospital management.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  18. Prison Library Services in Croatia Need Improvement to Meet International Standards of Universal Rights to Access

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carol Perryman

    2016-09-01

    . While use of the libraries was high, most responses reflected severely limited educational, rehabilitative or cultural programming and access to the internet, and lack of space for collections and reading purposes. Conclusion – Libraries in Croatia fail to meet international standards for staffing, collections, and services. Recommendations for immediate improvement are made, including legislative advocacy and funding, improved public library involvement, and the creation of national standards aligned with international standards.

  19. The Role of Need for Contraception in the Evaluation of Interventions to Improve Access to Family-Planning Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leon, Federico R.; Lundgren, Rebecka; Sinai, Irit; Jennings, Victoria

    2011-01-01

    A nonrandomized experiment carried out in Jharkhand, India, shows how the effects of interventions designed to improve access to family-planning methods can be erroneously regarded as trivial when contraceptive use is utilized as dependent variable, ignoring women's need for contraception. Significant effects of the intervention were observed on…

  20. A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Mobile Clinical Decision Aid to Improve Access to Kidney Transplantation: iChoose Kidney

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel E. Patzer

    2016-05-01

    Discussion: Engaging patients in health care choices can increase patient empowerment and improve knowledge and understanding of treatment choices. If the effectiveness of iChoose Kidney has a greater impact on patients with low health literacy, lower socioeconomic status, and minority race, this decision aid could help reduce disparities in access to kidney transplantation.

  1. Co-production as deep engagement: Improving and sustaining access to clean water in Ghana and Nigeria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mangai, M.S.; Vries, M.S. de

    2018-01-01

    PURPOSE – While there is an urgent need for clean water in Ghana and Nigeria, governments lack the financial means to do much to address this need. This does not mean that improving access to clean water is impossible. On the contrary, this paper argued that engaging citizens through

  2. SARIS: a tool for occupational radiation protection improvement in a Nuclear Medicine Department

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lopez Diaz, A.

    2015-01-01

    Self-assessment is an organization's internal process to review its current status. The IAEA has developed the SARIS system (Self-Assessment of the Regulatory Infrastructure for Safety) with the objective to improve and encourage the compliment of safety requirements and recommendations of the international safety standards. With the purpose to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the occupational radiation protection structure in the Nuclear Medicine Department (from 'Hermanos Ameijeiras' Hospital), we applied 3 questionnaires of the Occupational Radiation Protection Module of SARIS. During the answering phase we provided factual responses to questions, appended all necessary documentary evidence and avoided opinion that cannot be objectively supported by evidence. In the analysis phase we identified the strengths and weaknesses, the opportunities for improvement and the risks if action is not taken. We look the expert's opinion and made recommendations to prepare an action plan for improvement. The Cuban regulations have more strengths than weakness. The major weakness founded was: the documental evidence of the knowledge about the legislative safety responsibility of the management structure and workers could be improved. Upon completion of the self-assessment analysis phase, was developed an action plan, trying to cover all the discovered weakness, making emphasis in the improvement of all documental issue related to radiation safety responsibilities. Were defined the responsibilities and activities in the short, medium and long terms. The SARIS self-assessment tools let us to learn more about our organization and provided us the key elements for the organization's continuous development and improvement. (Author)

  3. A medical application integrating remote 3D visualization tools to access picture archiving and communication system on mobile devices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Longjun; Ming, Xing; Liu, Qian

    2014-04-01

    With computing capability and display size growing, the mobile device has been used as a tool to help clinicians view patient information and medical images anywhere and anytime. However, for direct interactive 3D visualization, which plays an important role in radiological diagnosis, the mobile device cannot provide a satisfactory quality of experience for radiologists. This paper developed a medical system that can get medical images from the picture archiving and communication system on the mobile device over the wireless network. In the proposed application, the mobile device got patient information and medical images through a proxy server connecting to the PACS server. Meanwhile, the proxy server integrated a range of 3D visualization techniques, including maximum intensity projection, multi-planar reconstruction and direct volume rendering, to providing shape, brightness, depth and location information generated from the original sectional images for radiologists. Furthermore, an algorithm that changes remote render parameters automatically to adapt to the network status was employed to improve the quality of experience. Finally, performance issues regarding the remote 3D visualization of the medical images over the wireless network of the proposed application were also discussed. The results demonstrated that this proposed medical application could provide a smooth interactive experience in the WLAN and 3G networks.

  4. APPLICATION OF QC TOOLS FOR CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT IN AN EXPENSIVE SEAT HARDFACING PROCESS USING TIG WELDING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Yunus

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The present study is carried out to improve quality level by identifying the prime reasons of the quality related problems in the seat hardfacing process involving the deposition of cobalt based super alloy in I.C. Engine valves using TIG welding process. During the Process, defects like stellite deposition overflow, head melt, non-uniform stellite merging, etc., are observed and combining all these defects, the rejection level was in top position in Forge shop. We use widely referred QC tools of the manufacturing field to monitor the complete operation and continuous progressive process improvement to ensure ability and efficiency of quality management system of any firm. The work aims to identify the various causes for the rejection by the detailed study of the operation, equipment, materials and the various process parameters that are very important to get defects-free products. Also, to evolve suitable countermeasures for reducing the rejection percentage using seven QC tools. To further understand and validate the obtained results, we need to address other studies related to motivations, advantages, and disadvantages of applying quality control tools.

  5. Application of Lean Manufacturing Tools in a Garment Industry as a Strategy for Productivity Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca M. Nunesca

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to use and apply lean tools as ways of improving manufacturing systems that lead to reduction of wastes and standardization of cycle time. Model A in Line 1 at sewing section was the focus of the study. The researcher used questionnaires, 5S Audit checklists, and Time Study forms in information-gathering and cycle time-computation. Based on the observation done, the company does not have a standard operation time. Similarly, the researcher observed non-value activities such as unnecessary transportation and manual counting, and there were also product defects due to poor 5S and WIP inventories. After considering lean tools, using process flow and cycle time analysis, the standard time was determined. Likewise, the non-value added activities were reduced, thus productivity was improved. After lean implementation, 100% efficiency was achieved, the rejection rate was reduced to 0.08% and zero WIP inventories in Line 1 became a practice. Lean tools brought significant changes in providing smooth process flow and productive operations, which in turn, give a remarkable contribution in achieving company’s goals, focus on the customers, giving quality products at the right time and at the right place. Therefore, the full implementation of BY Garments would contribute in gaining more profits.

  6. Analysis and Tools for Improved Management of Connectionless and Connection-Oriented BLE Devices Coexistence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Campo, Antonio; Cintioni, Lorenzo; Spinsante, Susanna; Gambi, Ennio

    2017-04-07

    With the introduction of low-power wireless technologies, like Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), new applications are approaching the home automation, healthcare, fitness, automotive and consumer electronics markets. BLE devices are designed to maximize the battery life, i.e., to run for long time on a single coin-cell battery. In typical application scenarios of home automation and Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), the sensors that monitor relatively unpredictable and rare events should coexist with other sensors that continuously communicate health or environmental parameter measurements. The former usually work in connectionless mode, acting as advertisers, while the latter need a persistent connection, acting as slave nodes. The coexistence of connectionless and connection-oriented networks, that share the same central node, can be required to reduce the number of handling devices, thus keeping the network complexity low and limiting the packet's traffic congestion. In this paper, the medium access management, operated by the central node, has been modeled, focusing on the scheduling procedure in both connectionless and connection-oriented communication. The models have been merged to provide a tool supporting the configuration design of BLE devices, during the network design phase that precedes the real implementation. The results highlight the suitability of the proposed tool: the ability to set the device parameters to allow us to keep a practical discovery latency for event-driven sensors and avoid undesired overlaps between scheduled scanning and connection phases due to bad management performed by the central node.

  7. Emerging potential for radical e-enabled improvements in rural collaboration and accessibility

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Naude, AH

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available volumes, as well as problems associated with limited local human capacities and uncoordinated or misdirected rural development planning; and enhanced accessibility - addressing the typical problems of rural isolation such as inadequated or costly digital...

  8. Report: Improvements Needed in CSB’s Identity and Access Management and Incident Response Security Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Report #18-P-0030, October 30, 2017. Weaknesses in the Identity and Access Management and Incident Response metric domains leave the CSB vulnerable to attacks occurring and not being detected in a timely manner.

  9. Training using a new multidirectional reach tool improves balance in individuals with stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khumsapsiri, Numpung; Siriphorn, Akkradate; Pooranawatthanakul, Kanokporn; Oungphalachai, Tanyarut

    2018-04-01

    Previous studies suggested that limits of stability (LOS) training with visual feedback using commercial equipment could be used to improve balance ability in individuals with stroke. However, this system is expensive. In this study, we created a new tool from inexpensive elements based on LOS training using visual feedback. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of training using a new multidirectional reach tool on balance in individuals with stroke. A single-blind randomized control trial was conducted. Individuals with stroke (n = 16; age range 38-72 years) were recruited. Participants in the experimental group were trained with the multidirectional reach training for 30 min and conventional physical therapy for 30 min per day, 3 days a week for 4 weeks. Participants in the control group received conventional physical therapy for 30 min per day, 3 days a week for 4 weeks. The outcomes were LOS, weight-bearing squat, and Fullerton Advanced Balance scale. All of the outcome measures were measured at pretraining, post-training, and 1 month follow-up. At post-training and 1-month follow-up, the participants in the experimental group had an improvement of dynamic balance than the control group. Furthermore, the activity assessment by Fullerton Advanced Balance scale was more improved at 1 month follow-up in the experimental group than control group. The results of this study provide evidence that training using a new multidirectional reach tool is effective for improving balance in individuals with stroke. Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  10. Towards comprehensive early abortion service delivery in high income countries: insights for improving universal access to abortion in Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela Dawson

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Improving access to safe abortion is an essential strategy in the provision of universal access to reproductive health care. Australians are largely supportive of the provision of abortion and its decriminalization. However, the lack of data and the complex legal and service delivery situation impacts upon access for women seeking an early termination of pregnancy. There are no systematic reviews from a health services perspective to help direct health planners and policy makers to improve access comprehensive medical and early surgical abortion in high income countries. This review therefore aims to identify quality studies of abortion services to provide insight into how access to services can be improved in Australia. Methods We undertook a structured search of six bibliographic databases and hand-searching to ascertain peer reviewed primary research in English between 2005 and 2015. Qualitative and quantitative study designs were deemed suitable for inclusion. A deductive content analysis methodology was employed to analyse selected manuscripts based upon a framework we developed to examine access to early abortion services. Results This review identified the dimensions of access to surgical and medical abortion at clinic or hospital-outpatient based abortion services, as well as new service delivery approaches utilising a remote telemedicine approach. A range of factors, mostly from studies in the United Kingdom and United States of America were found to facilitate improved access to abortion, in particular, flexible service delivery approaches that provide women with cost effective options and technology based services. Standards, recommendations and targets were also identified that provided services and providers with guidance regarding the quality of abortion care. Conclusions Key insights for service delivery in Australia include the: establishment of standards, provision of choice of procedure, improved provider

  11. Accessibility observations of visually impaired users using the South African National Accessibility Portal

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Coetzee, L

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available . Improving web site accessibility has proven to be a challenging task with a myriad of standards, accessibility testing tools and few technical guides for implementation. This paper presents the South African National Accessibility Portal (NAP), which is used...

  12. Using Direct Sub-Level Entity Access to Improve Nuclear Stockpile Simulation Modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parker, Robert Y. [Brigham Young Univ., Provo, UT (United States)

    1999-08-01

    Direct sub-level entity access is a seldom-used technique in discrete-event simulation modeling that addresses the accessibility of sub-level entity information. The technique has significant advantages over more common, alternative modeling methods--especially where hierarchical entity structures are modeled. As such, direct sub-level entity access is often preferable in modeling nuclear stockpile, life-extension issues, an area to which it has not been previously applied. Current nuclear stockpile, life-extension models were demonstrated to benefit greatly from the advantages of direct sub-level entity access. In specific cases, the application of the technique resulted in models that were up to 10 times faster than functionally equivalent models where alternative techniques were applied. Furthermore, specific implementations of direct sub-level entity access were observed to be more flexible, efficient, functional, and scalable than corresponding implementations using common modeling techniques. Common modeling techniques (''unbatch/batch'' and ''attribute-copying'') proved inefficient and cumbersome in handling many nuclear stockpile modeling complexities, including multiple weapon sites, true defect analysis, and large numbers of weapon and subsystem types. While significant effort was required to enable direct sub-level entity access in the nuclear stockpile simulation models, the enhancements were worth the effort--resulting in more efficient, more capable, and more informative models that effectively addressed the complexities of the nuclear stockpile.

  13. Leveraging community-academic partnerships to improve healthy food access in an urban, Kansas City, Kansas, community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mabachi, Natabhona M; Kimminau, Kim S

    2012-01-01

    Americans can combat overweight (OW) and obesity by eating unprocessed, fresh foods. However, all Americans do not have equal access to these recommended foods. Low-income, minority, urban neighborhoods in particular often have limited access to healthy resources, although they are vulnerable to higher levels of OW and obesity. This project used community-based participatory research (CBPR) principles to investigate the food needs of residents and develop a business plan to improve access to healthy food options in an urban, Kansas City, Kansas, neighborhood. Partner community organizations were mobilized to conduct a Community Food Assessment survey. The surveys were accompanied by flyers that were part of the communication engagement strategy. Statistical analysis of the surveys was conducted. We engaged low-income, minority population (40% Latino, 30% African American) urban communities at the household level. Survey results provided in-depth information about residents' food needs and thoughts on how to improve food access. Results were reported to community members at a town hall style meeting. Developing a strategic plan to engage a community and develop trust is crucial to sustaining a partnership particularly when working with underserved communities. This project demonstrates that, if well managed, the benefits of academic and community partnerships outweigh the challenges thus such relationships should be encouraged and supported by communities, academic institutions, local and national government, and funders. A CBPR approach to understanding an urban community's food needs and opinions is important for comprehensive food access planning.

  14. Performance Assessment Tools for Distance Learning and Simulation: Knowledge, Models and Tools to Improve the Effectiveness of Naval Distance Learning

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Baker, Eva L; Munro, Allen; Pizzini, Quentin A; Brill, David G; Michiuye, Joanne K

    2006-01-01

    ... by (a) extending CRESST's knowledge mapping tool's authoring and scoring functionality and (b) providing the capability to embed a knowledge mapping assessment in simulation-based training developed by BTL...

  15. Improving access to medicines via the Health Impact Fund in India: a stakeholder analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMullan, Patrick; Ajay, Vamadevan S; Srinivas, Ravi; Bhalla, Sandeep; Prabhakaran, Dorairaj; Banerjee, Amitava

    2018-01-01

    In India, 50-65% of the population face difficulties in accessing medicines. The Health Impact Fund (HIF) is a novel proposal whereby pharmaceutical companies would be paid based on the measured global health impact of their drugs. We conducted a key stakeholder analysis to explore access to medicines in India, acceptability of the HIF and potential barriers and facilitators at policy level. To conduct a stakeholder analysis of the HIF in India: to determine key stakeholder views regarding access to medicines in India; to evaluate acceptability of the HIF; and to assess potential barriers and facilitators to the HIF as a policy. In New Delhi, we conducted semi-structured interviews. There was purposive recruitment of participants with snowball sampling. Transcribed data were analysed using stakeholder analysis frameworks and directed content analysis. Participation rate was 29% (14/49). 14 semi-structured interviews were conducted among stakeholders in New Delhi. All participants highlighted access to medicines as a problem in India. There were mixed views about the HIF in terms of relevance and scaleability. Stakeholders felt it should focus on diseases with limited or no market and potentially incorporate direct investment in research. First, access to medicines is perceived to be a major problem in India by all stakeholders, but affordability is just one factor. Second, stakeholders despite considerable support for the idea of the HIF, there are major concerns about scaleability, generalisability and impact on access to medicines. Third, the HIF and other novel drug-related health policies can afford to be more radical, e.g. working outside the existing intellectual property rights regime, targeting generic as well as branded drugs, or extending to research and development. Further innovations in access to medicines must involve country-specific key stakeholders in order to increase the likelihood of their success.

  16. An improved Michelson interferometer: smoothing out the rough spots for a more effective teaching tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastman, Clarke K.

    2017-08-01

    The Michelson interferometer is a classic tool for demonstrating the wave nature of light, and it is a cornerstone of the optics curriculum. But many students' experiences with this device are higher in frustration than they are in learning. That situation motivated an effort to make aligning the tool less a test of a visual acuity and patience, and more of an introduction to optics phenomena and optical engineering. Key improvements included an added beam-splitter to accommodate multiple observers, a modified telescope to quickly and reliably obtain parallel mirrors, and a series of increasing spectral-width light sources to obtain equal path lengths. This greatly improved students' chances of success, as defined by achieving "white light fringes". When presenting these new features to the students, high importance is placed on understanding why alignment was so difficult with the original design, and why the changes made alignment easier. By exposing the rationale behind the improvements, students can observe the process of problem-solving in an optical engineering scenario. Equally important is the demonstration that solutions can be devised or adapted based on the parts at hand, and that implementations only achieve a highly "polished' state after several design iterations.

  17. The role of the continuous improvement tools of procesess in building relationships in supply chain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maciej Urbaniak

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: The aim of this paper is to determine the importance of the quality management and environmental management systems as well as operational improvement tools (such as TPS, Six Sigma, and Lean Management in building partnerships in supply chain. Methods: This paper contains the results of survey in companies operating in Poland and an analysis of the requirements for suppliers in the implementation of the quality and environmental management systems elements as well as recommendation for them to implement process improvement tools (such as elements of the TPS, the concept of Lean Management and Six Sigma methodologies. Results: The results of the survey and the analysis of the examples show that companies that are buyers in the B2B market often define the very individualized to suppliers needs through detailed specifications defining the requirements for quality assurance, performance increases, (for example, shortening implementation cycles, efficiency (cost reduction, safety, reducing the negative impact on the environment. Conclusions: The effectiveness of the action on improving the quality of processes and products by building relationships with suppliers depends largely on the support provided to them. To achieve these objectives many companies introduce special development programs for suppliers.

  18. COMPREHENSIVE DIAGNOSTIC AND IMPROVEMENT TOOLS FOR HVAC-SYSTEM INSTALLATIONS IN LIGHT COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abram Conant; Mark Modera; Joe Pira; John Proctor; Mike Gebbie

    2004-10-31

    Proctor Engineering Group, Ltd. (PEG) and Carrier-Aeroseal LLP performed an investigation of opportunities for improving air conditioning and heating system performance in existing light commercial buildings. Comprehensive diagnostic and improvement tools were created to address equipment performance parameters (including airflow, refrigerant charge, and economizer operation), duct-system performance (including duct leakage, zonal flows and thermal-energy delivery), and combustion appliance safety within these buildings. This investigation, sponsored by the National Energy Technology Laboratory, a division of the U.S. Department of Energy, involved collaboration between PEG and Aeroseal in order to refine three technologies previously developed for the residential market: (1) an aerosol-based duct sealing technology that allows the ducts to be sealed remotely (i.e., without removing the ceiling tiles), (2) a computer-driven diagnostic and improvement-tracking tool for residential duct installations, and (3) an integrated diagnosis verification and customer satisfaction system utilizing a combined computer/human expert system for HVAC performance. Prior to this work the aerosol-sealing technology was virtually untested in the light commercial sector--mostly because the savings potential and practicality of this or any other type of duct sealing had not been documented. Based upon the field experiences of PEG and Aeroseal, the overall product was tailored to suit the skill sets of typical HVAC-contractor personnel.

  19. The use of a policy dialogue to facilitate evidence-informed policy development for improved access to care: the case of the Winnipeg Central Intake Service (WCIS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damani, Zaheed; MacKean, Gail; Bohm, Eric; DeMone, Brie; Wright, Brock; Noseworthy, Tom; Holroyd-Leduc, Jayna; Marshall, Deborah A

    2016-10-18

    meeting achieved its purpose (to engage stakeholders, elicit feedback, refine policy directions). Third, our decision-maker partners' expectations of the policy roundtable meeting were exceeded; they re-affirmed its value and described the refined policy directions as foundational to establishing the vocabulary, vision and framework for improving access to scheduled clinical services in Manitoba. Finally, our adaptation of key design elements was conducive to discussion of issues surrounding access to care. Our policy roundtable process was an effective tool for acquiring broad input from stakeholders, refining policy directions and forming the necessary consensus starting points to move towards evidence-informed policy.

  20. A scoping review of patient discharge from intensive care: opportunities and tools to improve care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stelfox, Henry T; Lane, Dan; Boyd, Jamie M; Taylor, Simon; Perrier, Laure; Straus, Sharon; Zygun, David; Zuege, Danny J

    2015-02-01

    We conducted a scoping review to systematically review the literature reporting patient discharge from ICUs, identify facilitators and barriers to high-quality care, and describe tools developed to improve care. We searched Medline, Embase, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Data were extracted on the article type, study details for research articles, patient population, phase of care during discharge, and dimensions of health-care quality. From 8,154 unique publications we included 224 articles. Of these, 131 articles (58%) were original research, predominantly case series (23%) and cohort (16%) studies; 12% were narrative reviews; and 11% were guidelines/policies. Common themes included patient and family needs/experiences (29% of articles) and the importance of complete and accurate information (26%). Facilitators of high-quality care included provider-patient communication (30%), provider-provider communication (25%), and the use of guidelines/policies (29%). Patient and family anxiety (21%) and limited availability of ICU and ward resources (26%) were reported barriers to high-quality care. A total of 47 tools to facilitate patient discharge from the ICU were identified and focused on patient evaluation for discharge (29%), discharge planning and teaching (47%), and optimized discharge summaries (23%). Common themes, facilitators and barriers related to patient and family needs/experiences, communication, and the use of guidelines/policies to standardize patient discharge from ICU transcend the literature. Candidate tools to improve care are available; comparative evaluation is needed prior to broad implementation and could be tested through local quality-improvement programs.

  1. 2B-Alert Web: An Open-Access Tool for Predicting the Effects of Sleep/Wake Schedules and Caffeine Consumption on Neurobehavioral Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reifman, Jaques; Kumar, Kamal; Wesensten, Nancy J; Tountas, Nikolaos A; Balkin, Thomas J; Ramakrishnan, Sridhar

    2016-12-01

    Computational tools that predict the effects of daily sleep/wake amounts on neurobehavioral performance are critical components of fatigue management systems, allowing for the identification of periods during which individuals are at increased risk for performance errors. However, none of the existing computational tools is publicly available, and the commercially available tools do not account for the beneficial effects of caffeine on performance, limiting their practical utility. Here, we introduce 2B-Alert Web, an open-access tool for predicting neurobehavioral performance, which accounts for the effects of sleep/wake schedules, time of day, and caffeine consumption, while incorporating the latest scientific findings in sleep restriction, sleep extension, and recovery sleep. We combined our validated Unified Model of Performance and our validated caffeine model to form a single, integrated modeling framework instantiated as a Web-enabled tool. 2B-Alert Web allows users to input daily sleep/wake schedules and caffeine consumption (dosage and time) to obtain group-average predictions of neurobehavioral performance based on psychomotor vigilance tasks. 2B-Alert Web is accessible at: https://2b-alert-web.bhsai.org. The 2B-Alert Web tool allows users to obtain predictions for mean response time, mean reciprocal response time, and number of lapses. The graphing tool allows for simultaneous display of up to seven different sleep/wake and caffeine schedules. The schedules and corresponding predicted outputs can be saved as a Microsoft Excel file; the corresponding plots can be saved as an image file. The schedules and predictions are erased when the user logs off, thereby maintaining privacy and confidentiality. The publicly accessible 2B-Alert Web tool is available for operators, schedulers, and neurobehavioral scientists as well as the general public to determine the impact of any given sleep/wake schedule, caffeine consumption, and time of day on performance of a

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnieszka Czajkowska

    2015-11-01

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

  3. Improving Balance in TBI Using a Low-Cost Customized Virtual Reality Rehabilitation Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    quality of life , and cognitive function. This design will allow us to assess the efficacy of IQ as a customizable balance treatment in TBI, and to...VANJHCS.  As  such,  we  have   explored  additional  avenues  and  are   working  closely  with  the  dedicated...AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-14-2-0150 TITLE: Improving Balance in TBI Using a Low-Cost Customized Virtual Reality Rehabilitation Tool PRINCIPAL

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuliia M. Shepetko

    2011-02-01

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

  5. Cultural transmission of tool use by Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) provides access to a novel foraging niche

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kruetzen, Michael; Kreicker, Sina; MacLeod, Colin D.; Learmonth, Jennifer; Kopps, Anna M.; Walsham, Pamela; Allen, Simon J.

    2014-01-01

    Culturally transmitted tool use has important ecological and evolutionary consequences and has been proposed as a significant driver of human evolution. Such evidence is still scarce in other animals. In cetaceans, tool use has been inferred using indirect evidence in one population of Indo-Pacific

  6. Improved algorithms and advanced features of the CAD to MC conversion tool McCad

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lu, L.; Fischer, U.; Pereslavtsev, P.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: •The latest improvements of the McCad conversion approach including decomposition and void filling algorithms is presented. •An advanced interface for the materials editing and assignment has been developed and added to the McCAD GUI. •These improvements have been tested and successfully applied to DEMO and ITER NBI (Neutral Beam Injector) applications. •The performance of the CAD model conversion process is shown to be significantly improved. -- Abstract: McCad is a geometry conversion tool developed at KIT to enable the automatic bi-directional conversions of CAD models into the Monte Carlo (MC) geometries utilized for neutronics calculations (CAD to MC) and, reversed (MC to CAD), for visualization purposes. The paper presents the latest improvements of the conversion algorithms including improved decomposition, void filling and an advanced interface for the materials editing and assignment. The new implementations and features were tested on fusion neutronics applications to the DEMO and ITER NBI (Neutral Beam Injector) models. The results demonstrate greater stability and enhanced efficiency of McCad conversion process

  7. Augmented Reality Tool for the Situational Awareness Improvement of UAV Operators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruano, Susana; Cuevas, Carlos; Gallego, Guillermo; García, Narciso

    2017-01-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are being extensively used nowadays. Therefore, pilots of traditional aerial platforms should adapt their skills to operate them from a Ground Control Station (GCS). Common GCSs provide information in separate screens: one presents the video stream while the other displays information about the mission plan and information coming from other sensors. To avoid the burden of fusing information displayed in the two screens, an Augmented Reality (AR) tool is proposed in this paper. The AR system has two functionalities for Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) UAVs: route orientation and target identification. Route orientation allows the operator to identify the upcoming waypoints and the path that the UAV is going to follow. Target identification allows a fast target localization, even in the presence of occlusions. The AR tool is implemented following the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) standards so that it can be used in different GCSs. The experiments show how the AR tool improves significantly the situational awareness of the UAV operators. PMID:28178189

  8. The structured communication tool SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment and Recommendation) improves communication in neonatology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, M; Harrison, M C

    2014-12-01

    Effective communication, co-operation and teamwork have been identified as key determinants of patient safety. SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment and Recommendation) is a communication tool recommended by the World Health Organization and the UK National Health Service. SBAR is a structured method for communicating critical information that requires immediate attention and action, contributing to effective escalation of management and increased patient safety. To our knowledge, this is the first study showing use of SBAR in South Africa (SA). To determine the effectiveness of adopting the SBAR communication tool in an acute clinical setting in SA. In the first phase of this study, neonatal nurses and doctors at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, were gathered in a focus group and given a questionnaire asking about communication in the neonatal department. Neonatal nurses and doctors were then trained to use SBAR. A telephone audit demonstrated an increase in SBAR use by registrars from 29% to 70% when calling consultants for help. After training, the majority of staff agreed that SBAR had helped with communication, confidence, and quality of patient care. There was qualitative evidence that SBAR led to greater promptness in care of acutely ill patients. Adopting SBAR was associated with perceived improvement in communication between professionals and in the quality and safety of patient care. It is suggested that this simple tool be introduced to many other hospitals in SA.

  9. Construction of improved tools for protein localization studies in Streptococcus pneumoniae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mafalda X Henriques

    Full Text Available We have constructed a set of plasmids that allow efficient expression of both N- and C-terminal fusions of proteins of interest to fluorescent proteins mCherry, Citrine, CFP and GFP in the Gram-positive pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae. In order to improve expression of the fluorescent fusions to levels that allow their detection by fluorescence microscopy, we have introduced a 10 amino acid tag, named i-tag, at the N-terminal end of the fluorescent proteins. This caused increased expression due to improved translation efficiency and did not interfere with the protein localization in pneumococcal bacteria. Localizing fluorescent derivatives of FtsZ, Wzd and Wze in dividing bacteria validated the developed tools. The availability of the new plasmids described in this work should greatly facilitate studies of protein localization in an important clinical pathogen.

  10. The Strategic Analysis as a Management Tool to Improve the Performance of National Enterprises

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shtal Tetiana V.

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The publication considers the issue of improving the performance of enterprises, in particular of their international activities. In order to address this problem, the management of development of international activities uses a variety of tools, one of which is strategic analysis, which allows to analyze the overall status of enterprise, as well as determine the directions of improvement of its efficiency. The main methods of strategic analysis, the appropriateness of their use depending on the set goals and objectives were analyzed. Practical application of separate methods in the strategic analysis (such as model by I. Adizes, model of «five forces» of competitiveness according to Porter, analysis of financial indicators and costs, PEST-analysis and SWOT-analysis is considered on the example of machine-building enterprises, specializing in the production of turbo-expanders. Recommendations on development of their efficiency have been offered.

  11. Model predictive control as a tool for improving the process operation of MSW combustion plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leskens, M.; Kessel, L.B.M. van; Bosgra, O.H.

    2005-01-01

    In this paper a feasibility study is presented on the application of the advanced control strategy called model predictive control (MPC) as a tool for obtaining improved process operation performance for municipal solid waste (MSW) combustion plants. The paper starts with a discussion of the operational objectives and control of such plants, from which a motivation follows for applying MPC to them. This is followed by a discussion on the basic idea behind this advanced control strategy. After that, an MPC-based combustion control system is proposed aimed at tackling a typical MSW combustion control problem and, using this proposed control system, an assessment is made of the improvement in performance that an MPC-based MSW combustion control system can provide in comparison to conventional MSW combustion control systems. This assessment is based on simulations using an experimentally obtained process and disturbance model of a real-life large-scale MSW combustion plant

  12. R and D proposals to improve outages operation. Methods, practices and tools

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dionis, Francois

    2014-01-01

    This paper deals with outage operation improvement. It offers a number of tracks on the interactions between the operation activities and maintenance, with a methodological perspective and proposals concerning the Information System. On the methodological point of view, a clever plant systems modeling may allow representing the needed characteristics in order to optimize tagouts, alignment procedures and the schedule. Tools must be taken n into account for new tagout practices such as tags sharing. It is possible to take advantage of 2D drawings integrated into the information system in order to improve the data controls and to visualize operation activities. An integrated set of mobile applications should allow field operators to join the information system for a better and safer performance. (author)

  13. Development of Wavelet Based Tools for Improving the γ-ray Spectrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamzaoui, E-M.; El Badri, L.; Laraki, K.; Cherkaoui-Elmorsli, R.

    2013-06-01

    In this article, we propose a wavelet transform based tool to improve the use of gamma ray spectrometry as a nuclear technique. First, we attempt to study the problem of filtering the preamplifier's output signals of HPGe detector used in the measurements chain. Thus, we developed a nonlinear method based on discrete Coiflet transform combined to principal component analysis, which allows a significant improvement of the signal to noise ratio (SNR) at the output of the HPGe preamplifier. In a second step, the continuous wavelet transform, based on the Mexican Hat mother function, is used to achieve an automatic processing of the spectrometric data. This method permits us to get an alternative representation of the gamma energy spectrum. The results of different tests, performed in both the presence and the absence of a gamma radiation source, are illustrated. (authors)

  14. An improved model for the oPtImal Measurement Probes Allocation tool

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sterle, C., E-mail: claudio.sterle@unina.it [Consorzio CREATE/Dipartimento di Ingegneria Elettrica e delle Tecnologie dell’Informazione, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Via Claudio 21, 80125 Napoli (Italy); Neto, A.C. [Fusion for Energy, 08019 Barcelona (Spain); De Tommasi, G. [Consorzio CREATE/Dipartimento di Ingegneria Elettrica e delle Tecnologie dell’Informazione, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Via Claudio 21, 80125 Napoli (Italy)

    2015-10-15

    Highlights: • The problem of optimally allocating the probes of a diagnostic system is tackled. • The problem is decomposed in two consecutive optimization problems. • Two original ILP models are proposed and sequentially solved to optimality. • The proposed ILP models improve and extend the previous work present in literature. • Real size instances have been optimally solved with very low computation time. - Abstract: The oPtImal Measurement Probes Allocation (PIMPA) tool has been recently proposed in [1] to maximize the reliability of a tokamak diagnostic system against the failure of one or more of the processing nodes. PIMPA is based on the solution of integer linear programming (ILP) problems, and it minimizes the effect of the failure of a data acquisition component. The first formulation of the PIMPA model did not support the concept of individual slots. This work presents an improved ILP model that addresses the above mentioned problem, by taking into account all the individual probes.

  15. An improved model for the oPtImal Measurement Probes Allocation tool

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sterle, C.; Neto, A.C.; De Tommasi, G.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • The problem of optimally allocating the probes of a diagnostic system is tackled. • The problem is decomposed in two consecutive optimization problems. • Two original ILP models are proposed and sequentially solved to optimality. • The proposed ILP models improve and extend the previous work present in literature. • Real size instances have been optimally solved with very low computation time. - Abstract: The oPtImal Measurement Probes Allocation (PIMPA) tool has been recently proposed in [1] to maximize the reliability of a tokamak diagnostic system against the failure of one or more of the processing nodes. PIMPA is based on the solution of integer linear programming (ILP) problems, and it minimizes the effect of the failure of a data acquisition component. The first formulation of the PIMPA model did not support the concept of individual slots. This work presents an improved ILP model that addresses the above mentioned problem, by taking into account all the individual probes.

  16. Epigenetics as an emerging tool for improvement of fungal strains used in biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aghcheh, Razieh Karimi; Kubicek, Christian P

    2015-08-01

    Filamentous fungi are today a major source of industrial biotechnology for the production of primary and secondary metabolites, as well as enzymes and recombinant proteins. All of them have undergone extensive improvement strain programs, initially by classical mutagenesis and later on by genetic manipulation. Thereby, strategies to overcome rate-limiting or yield-reducing reactions included manipulating the expression of individual genes, their regulatory genes, and also their function. Yet, research of the last decade clearly showed that cells can also undergo heritable changes in gene expression that do not involve changes in the underlying DNA sequences (=epigenetics). This involves three levels of regulation: (i) DNA methylation, (ii) chromatin remodeling by histone modification, and (iii) RNA interference. The demonstration of the occurrence of these processes in fungal model organisms such as Aspergillus nidulans and Neurospora crassa has stimulated its recent investigation as a tool for strain improvement in industrially used fungi. This review describes the progress that has thereby been obtained.

  17. Qualitative insights into practice time management: does 'patient-centred time' in practice management offer a portal to improved access?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buetow, S; Adair, V; Coster, G; Hight, M; Gribben, B; Mitchell, E

    2002-12-01

    Different sets of literature suggest how aspects of practice time management can limit access to general practitioner (GP) care. Researchers have not organised this knowledge into a unified framework that can enhance understanding of barriers to, and opportunities for, improved access. To suggest a framework conceptualising how differences in professional and cultural understanding of practice time management in Auckland, New Zealand, influence access to GP care for children with chronic asthma. A qualitative study involving selective sampling, semi-structured interviews on barriers to access, and a general inductive approach. Twenty-nine key informants and ten mothers of children with chronic, moderate to severe asthma and poor access to GP care in Auckland. Development of a framework from themes describing barriers associated with, and needs for, practice time management. The themes were independently identified by two authors from transcribed interviews and confirmed through informant checking. Themes from key informant and patient interviews were triangulated with each other and with published literature. The framework distinguishes 'practice-centred time' from 'patient-centred time.' A predominance of 'practice-centred time' and an unmet opportunity for 'patient-centred time' are suggested by the persistence of five barriers to accessing GP care: limited hours of opening; traditional appointment systems; practice intolerance of missed appointments; long waiting times in the practice; and inadequate consultation lengths. None of the barriers is specific to asthmatic children. A unified framework was suggested for understanding how the organisation of practice work time can influence access to GP care by groups including asthmatic children.

  18. Qualitative insights into practice time management: does 'patient-centred time' in practice management offer a portal to improved access?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buetow, S; Adair, V; Coster, G; Hight, M; Gribben, B; Mitchell, E

    2002-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Different sets of literature suggest how aspects of practice time management can limit access to general practitioner (GP) care. Researchers have not organised this knowledge into a unified framework that can enhance understanding of barriers to, and opportunities for, improved access. AIM: To suggest a framework conceptualising how differences in professional and cultural understanding of practice time management in Auckland, New Zealand, influence access to GP care for children with chronic asthma. DESIGN OF STUDY: A qualitative study involving selective sampling, semi-structured interviews on barriers to access, and a general inductive approach. SETTING: Twenty-nine key informants and ten mothers of children with chronic, moderate to severe asthma and poor access to GP care in Auckland. METHOD: Development of a framework from themes describing barriers associated with, and needs for, practice time management. The themes were independently identified by two authors from transcribed interviews and confirmed through informant checking. Themes from key informant and patient interviews were triangulated with each other and with published literature. RESULTS: The framework distinguishes 'practice-centred time' from 'patient-centred time.' A predominance of 'practice-centred time' and an unmet opportunity for 'patient-centred time' are suggested by the persistence of five barriers to accessing GP care: limited hours of opening; traditional appointment systems; practice intolerance of missed appointments; long waiting times in the practice; and inadequate consultation lengths. None of the barriers is specific to asthmatic children. CONCLUSION: A unified framework was suggested for understanding how the organisation of practice work time can influence access to GP care by groups including asthmatic children. PMID:12528583

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonatan Mengesha Awaj

    2013-03-01

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

  20. Spirometry as a motivational tool to improve smoking cessation rates: a systematic review of the literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilt, Timothy J; Niewoehner, Dennis; Kane, Robert L; MacDonald, Roderick; Joseph, Anne M

    2007-01-01

    Obtaining spirometric testing and providing those results to individuals who smoke has been advocated as a motivational tool to improve smoking cessation. However, its effectiveness is not known. We conducted a systematic review to determine if this approach improves rates of smoking cessation. Data sources included MEDLINE (1966 to October 2005), the Cochrane Library, and experts in the field. Eligible randomized controlled trials (RCTs) enrolled at least 25 smokers per arm, evaluated spirometry with associated counseling or in combination with other treatments, followed subjects at least 6 months, and provided smoking abstinence rates. Results from nonrandomized studies also were summarized. The primary outcome was patient-reported long-term (at least 6 months) sustained abstinence with biological validation. Additional outcomes included self-reported abstinence and point-prevalence abstinence. Seven RCTs (N = 6,052 subjects) met eligibility criteria. Follow-up duration ranged from 9 to 36 months. In six trials, the intervention group received concomitant treatments previously demonstrated to increase cessation independently. The range of abstinence was 3%-14% for control subjects and 7%-39% among intervention groups, statistically significantly in favor of intervention in four studies. The only RCT that assessed the independent contribution of spirometry in combination with counseling demonstrated a nonsignificant 1% improvement in patient-reported point-prevalence abstinence at 12 months in the group that received spirometry plus counseling versus counseling alone (6.5% versus 5.5%). Findings from observational studies were mixed, and the lack of controls makes interpretation problematic. Available evidence is insufficient to determine whether obtaining spirometric values and providing that information to patients improves smoking cessation compared with other smoking cessation methods. Spirometric values are of limited benefit as a predictor of smoking

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

    found in interpolation surfaces. This methodology provides a technique for combining simple GIS tools to create a novel output, CartIS, in a health service context with the key aim of improving visualisation communication techniques which highlight variation in small scale geographies across large regions. CartIS more faithfully represents the data than interpolation, and visually highlights areas of extreme value more than cartograms, when either is used in isolation. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  2. An assessment tool to help producers improve cow comfort on their farms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasseur, E; Gibbons, J; Rushen, J; Pellerin, D; Pajor, E; Lefebvre, D; de Passillé, A M

    2015-01-01

    Effective management and an appropriate environment are essential for dairy cattle health and welfare. Codes of practice provide dairy producers with best practice guidance for the care and handling of their cattle. New Canadian recommendations have been established for the dairy industry. The objectives of this study were to develop an on-farm assessment tool that helps producers assess how well they are meeting their code of practice and that identifies management and environment modifications that could improve dairy cow comfort on their farms. The assessment tool addressed critical areas of dairy cow comfort, including accommodation and housing (stall design, space allowance, stall management, pen management, milking parlor, and transfer alleys), feed and water (body condition scoring, nutrition), and health and welfare (lameness, claw health, and hoof-trimming). Targets of good practices were identified from the requirements and recommendations of the code of practice. Each farm received a score for each target, ranging from 0 (target not reached) to 100 (target reached). One hundred tiestall and 110 freestall farms were surveyed in 3 provinces of Canada (Quebec, Ontario, and Alberta). The duration of the assessment, in 2 visits lasting, on average, 8 and 9h (range between freestall and tiestall farms) and 4 and 4.1h, was beyond the targeted 3 to 4h due mainly to the animal-based measures; strategies to reduce the duration of the assessment were discussed. Standard operating procedures were developed to ensure consistency in measuring and recording data. Periodical checks were conducted by trainers to ensure all 15 assessors remained above target agreement of weighted kappa ≥0.6. Average scores for all critical areas ranged from 25 to 89% for freestall farms and from 48 to 95% for tiestall farms. These scores need to be considered with caution when comparing farms because scores could not always be calculated the same way between housing systems. An

  3. Use of Tablet Computers to Improve Access to Education in a Remote Location

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ally, Mohamed; Balaji, V.; Abdelbaki, Anwar; Cheng, Ricky

    2017-01-01

    A research project was carried out in using mobile learning to increase access to education. This project is contributing to the achievement of Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is to "Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all". The mobile learning project…

  4. 77 FR 44515 - Airport Improvement Program (AIP): Policy Regarding Access to Airports From Residential Property

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-30

    ... commercial service airport sponsor's inability to comply with the law and/or the standards of compliance as a...) proposes that the FAA may consider a commercial service airport's inability to comply with the law and/or... the access plan represents an Agency determination that the commercial service airport has met the law...

  5. Development of improved methods for remote access of DIII-D data and data analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greene, K.L.; McHarg, B.B. Jr.

    1997-11-01

    The DIII-D tokamak is a national fusion research facility. There is an increasing need to access data from remote sites in order to facilitate data analysis by collaborative researchers at remote locations, both nationally and internationally. In the past, this has usually been done by remotely logging into computers at the DIII-D site. With the advent of faster networking and powerful computers at remote sites, it is becoming possible to access and analyze data from anywhere in the world as if the remote user were actually at the DIII-D site. The general mechanism for accessing DIII-D data has always been via the PTDATA subroutine. Substantial enhancements are being made to that routine to make it more useful in a non-local environment. In particular, a caching mechanism is being built into PTDATA to make network data access more efficient. Studies are also being made of using Distributed File System (DFS) disk storage in a Distributed Computing Environment (DCE). A data server has been created that will migrate, on request, shot data from the DIII-D environment into the DFS environment

  6. 75 FR 54946 - Airport Improvement Program (AIP): Policy Regarding Access to Airports From Residential Property

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-09

    ... summarized as follows: Comment: Residential through-the-fence access provides a supportive community that... accommodate new aircraft types. Secondly, while through-the-fence communities sometimes attempt to limit ownership to aircraft owners, there is no effective way to prevent turnover of these properties to non...

  7. Internet Access and Usage in Improving Students' Self-Directed Learning in Indonesia Open University

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahardjo, Djoko; Sumardjo; Lubis, Djuara P.; Harijati, Sri Ir.

    2016-01-01

    Internet is well known nowadays, however higher distance education students who live in remote rural areas still have not been able to take advantages of this medium optimally for their learning process. For accessing the internet the students have to be available with the minimum prerequisites: the existence of adequate devices and the sufficient…

  8. Improving Information Access through Technology: A Plan for Louisiana's Public Libraries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaques, Thomas F.

    Strengthening technology in Louisiana's public libraries will support equitable and convenient access to electronic information resources for all citizens at library sites, in homes, and in business. The plan presented in this document is intended to enhance and expand technology in the state's public libraries. After discussion of the crucial…

  9. Improving Access to Accommodations: Reducing Political and Institutional Barriers for Canadian Postsecondary Students with Visual Impairments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostrowski, Christopher P.

    2016-01-01

    Challenges to obtaining quality academic accommodations for students with visual impairments in postsecondary education hinder accessibility and the success of such students. The limitations of current policies and practices intended to address the needs of students in Canada are examined and potential solutions are discussed. Further systemic…

  10. Improving and Securing Women's Access to Land in Sénégal | IDRC ...

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

    This project was devised following a regional roundtable aimed at identifying research and advocacy priorities that would favour women's access to land in West Africa. ... Institution. Environmental Development Action in the Third World. Institution Country. Senegal. Institution Website. http://www.enda.sn ... Related content ...

  11. Stay in the Box! Embedded Assistive Technology Improves Access for Students with Disabilities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine Koch

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Assistive technology is not only a required component of a student’s IEP; it can be an effective way to help students with (and without disabilities access their education and to provide them with required instructional accommodations. Teachers, however, are often not adequately prepared in their pre-service course work and ongoing professional development to address the technology needs of their special education students and have not had the opportunities to access technology due to limited availability and cost. While assistive technology can be purchased to augment an existing computer, it is often unnecessary to do that. Both Microsoft and Apple operating systems in “off-the-shelf” computers and handheld devices have embedded assistive technology that is easy to access and easy to use. This embedded technology can help teachers become familiar with technology and assist students with sensory, physical, learning, and attention disabilities, and it might have practical applications with Universal Design for Learning. This paper provides a discussion on how embedded technology can support students with disabilities in the school setting and provides examples for access and use.

  12. Educational Leadership and Comprehensive Reform for Improving Equity and Access for All

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yavuz, Olcay

    2016-01-01

    Disparities in college access for underrepresented urban students are one of the most urgent educational problems of America's education system. In response to growing national concern, this longitudinal study investigated how school leaders worked collaboratively with key stakeholders to implement research-supported student services in order to…

  13. Improving admission medication reconciliation compliance using the electronic tool in admitted medical patients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taha, Haytham; abdulhay, dana; Luqman, Neama; Ellahham, Samer

    2016-01-01

    Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) in Abu Dhabi is the main tertiary care referral hospital in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with 560 bed capacity that is fully occupied most of the time. SKMC senior management has made a commitment to make quality and patient safety a top priority. Our governing body Abu Dhabi Health Services Company has identified medication reconciliation as a critical patient safety measure and key performance indicator (KPI). The medication reconciliation electronic form a computerized decision support tool was introduced to improve medication reconciliation compliance on transition of care at admission, transfer and discharge of patients both in the inpatient and outpatient settings. In order to improve medication reconciliation compliance a multidisciplinary task force team was formed and led this quality improvement project. The purpose of this publication is to indicate the quality improvement interventions implemented to enhance compliance with admission medication reconciliation and the outcomes of those interventions. We chose to conduct the pilot study in general medicine as it is the busiest department in the hospital, with an average of 390 patients admitted per month during the study period. The study period was from April 2014 till October 2015 and a total of 8576 patients were evaluated. The lessons learned were disseminated throughout the hospital. Our aim was to improve admission medication reconciliation compliance using the electronic form in order to ensure patient safety and reduce preventable harm in terms of medication errors. Admission medication reconciliation compliance improved in general medicine from 40% to above 85%, and this improvement was sustained for the last four months of the study period. PMID:27822371

  14. 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

  15. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease pathways as a tool to improve appropriateness in Internal Medicine Departments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Ventrella

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available In recent decades, in the medical field, criteria and methods of decision-making have radically changed, going from an environment dominated by opinions and knowledge transmitted from experts to a context of evidence-based medicine, that finds its practical realization in the drafting of guidelines (GL. However, GL have a poor implementation in the real world for several factors. In the field of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, there are already many GL, international, national, regional and by specific scientific societies. This multiplicity, while it responds to the legitimate needs to respect the diversity of interpretation of the available scientific data, on the other hand, however, can be an element of confusion for physicians. In this varied scenery we have tried to create some new tools, easy and quick to use, in order to improve the local application of existing GL on COPD, by planning a limited number of pathways in the management of acute exacerbation of COPD, which focus on the fundamental diagnostic and therapeutic aspects, as a tool to improve appropriateness in Internal Medicine Departments. These pathways, reported on individual sheets, which can be distributed to medical personnel of wards/units involved in the care of patients with COPD (First Aid, Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, Pulmonology, Intensive Respiratory Care Unit, Resuscitation, are useful to support the physician in the decision-making process and help you to resolve any disputes.

  16. BioTapestry now provides a web application and improved drawing and layout tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paquette, Suzanne M; Leinonen, Kalle; Longabaugh, William J R

    2016-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) control embryonic development, and to understand this process in depth, researchers need to have a detailed understanding of both the network architecture and its dynamic evolution over time and space. Interactive visualization tools better enable researchers to conceptualize, understand, and share GRN models. BioTapestry is an established application designed to fill this role, and recent enhancements released in Versions 6 and 7 have targeted two major facets of the program. First, we introduced significant improvements for network drawing and automatic layout that have now made it much easier for the user to create larger, more organized network drawings. Second, we revised the program architecture so it could continue to support the current Java desktop Editor program, while introducing a new BioTapestry GRN Viewer that runs as a JavaScript web application in a browser. We have deployed a number of GRN models using this new web application. These improvements will ensure that BioTapestry remains viable as a research tool in the face of the continuing evolution of web technologies, and as our understanding of GRN models grows.

  17. Report: EPA Could Improve Physical Access and Service Continuity/Contingency Controls for Financial and Mixed-Financial Systems Located at its Research Triangle Park Campus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Report #2006-P-00005, December 14, 2005. Controls needed to be improved in areas such as visitor access to facilities, use of contractor access badges, and general physical access to the NCC, computer rooms outside the NCC, and media storage rooms.

  18. Direct-Acting Antivirals Improve Access to Care and Cure for Patients With HIV and Chronic HCV Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Lauren F; Chan, Austin; Zheng, Jiayin; Chow, Shein-Chung; Wilder, Julius M; Muir, Andrew J; Naggie, Susanna

    2018-01-01

    Direct-acting antivirals (DAA) as curative therapy for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection offer >95% sustained virologic response (SVR), including in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Despite improved safety and efficacy of HCV treatment, challenges remain, including drug-drug interactions between DAA and antiretroviral therapy (ART) and restrictions on access by payers. We performed a retrospective cohort study of all HIV/HCV co-infected and HCV mono-infected patients captured in care at our institution from 2011-2015, reflecting the DAA era, to determine treatment uptake and SVR, and to elucidate barriers to accessing DAA for co-infected patients. We identified 9290 patients with HCV mono-infection and 507 with HIV/HCV co-infection. Compared to mono-infected patients, co-infected patients were younger and more likely to be male and African-American. For both groups, treatment uptake improved from the DAA/pegylated interferon (PEGIFN)-ribavirin to IFN-free DAA era. One-third of co-infected patients in the IFN-free DAA era required ART switch and nearly all remained virologically suppressed after 6 months. We observed SVR >95% for most patient subgroups including those with co-infection, prior treatment-experience, and cirrhosis. Predictors of access to DAA for co-infected patients included Caucasian race, CD4 count ≥200 cells/mm 3 , HIV virologic suppression and cirrhosis. Time to approval of DAA was longest for patients insured by Medicaid, followed by private insurance and Medicare. DAA therapy has significantly improved access to HCV treatment and high SVR is independent of HIV status. However, in order to realize cure for all, barriers and disparities in access need to be urgently addressed.

  19. An iPad-Based Tool for Improving the Skills of Children with Attention Deficit Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia Wrońska

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, with a worldwide prevalence of 5.29%–7.1%, is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders among children and adolescents. Apart from typical symptoms like inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness, patients also evidence attention deficit problems with reading comprehension. This in turn causes poor school performance and widens the gap with peers without ADHD. This paper presents a novel and interactive tool based on Serious Games for Health, whose aim is not only to improve comprehension, but also hold the user’s attention. This tool is geared towards assessing reading quality and is intended for iPad devices. Preliminary results obtained from the experiment performed to evaluate the game are included in this report. A group of six typically developing children from Colegio Vizcaya aged between 8 and 12 took part in the evaluation of motivation, satisfaction and usability of the same therapy in the new media. Results obtained by participants playing the game were analysed together with questionnaires concerning the usability of the system. Game evaluation resulted in relatively good statistics-average score was 3 points out of 4 and average time for completing the exercise was 59 seconds. A SUS questionnaire with an average score of 92.75 out of 100 indicates that the game presented is user-friendly and an effective tool. Moreover, based on the feedback obtained from participants, the game had been improved and additional functionality introduced. Older participants completed the first game faster than the younger ones, but age was not influential in subsequent games.

  20. An iPad-Based Tool for Improving the Skills of Children with Attention Deficit Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrońska, Natalia; Garcia-Zapirain, Begonya; Mendez-Zorrilla, Amaia

    2015-06-02

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), with a worldwide prevalence of 5.29%-7.1%, is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders among children and adolescents. Apart from typical symptoms like inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness, patients also evidence attention deficit problems with reading comprehension. This in turn causes poor school performance and widens the gap with peers without ADHD. This paper presents a novel and interactive tool based on Serious Games for Health, whose aim is not only to improve comprehension, but also hold the user's attention. This tool is geared towards assessing reading quality and is intended for iPad devices. Preliminary results obtained from the experiment performed to evaluate the game are included in this report. A group of six typically developing children from Colegio Vizcaya aged between 8 and 12 took part in the evaluation of motivation, satisfaction and usability of the same therapy in the new media. Results obtained by participants playing the game were analysed together with questionnaires concerning the usability of the system. Game evaluation resulted in relatively good statistics-average score was 3 points out of 4 and average time for completing the exercise was 59 seconds. A SUS questionnaire with an average score of 92.75 out of 100 indicates that the game presented is user-friendly and an effective tool. Moreover, based on the feedback obtained from participants, the game had been improved and additional functionality introduced. Older participants completed the first game faster than the younger ones, but age was not influential in subsequent games.