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Sample records for external quality assessment

  1. External quality assessment: best practice.

    PubMed

    James, David; Ames, Darren; Lopez, Berenice; Still, Rachel; Simpson, Wiliam; Twomey, Patrick

    2014-08-01

    There is a requirement for accredited laboratories to participate in external quality assessment (EQA) schemes, but there is wide variation in understanding as to what is required by the laboratories and scheme providers in fulfilling this. This is not helped by a diversity of language used in connection with EQA; Proficiency testing (PT), EQA schemes, and EQA programmes, each of which have different meanings and offerings in the context of improving laboratory quality. We examine these differences, and identify what factors are important in supporting quality within a clinical laboratory and what should influence the choice of EQA programme. Equally as important is how EQA samples are handled within the laboratory, and how the information provided by the EQA programme is used. EQA programmes are a key element of a laboratory's quality assurance framework, but laboratories should have an understanding of what their EQA programmes are capable of demonstrating, how they should be used within the laboratory, and how they support quality. EQA providers should be clear as to what type of programme they provide - PT, EQA Scheme or EQA Programme. PMID:24621574

  2. [Making best use of external quality assessment].

    PubMed

    Fried, Roman

    2015-02-01

    To receive a maximum benefit from external quality assessment, the laboratory has to fulfill certain requirements. There have to be standard operating procedures and checklists for the correct sample processing and analysis. It is equally important, that the staff has a basic understanding how this quality-tools work and that detected errors are used as a chance to improve the processes within the laboratory. The benefit of surveys for external quality assessment is not only limited to the analytical phase, but also to some aspects of the pre and post-analytical processes. Due to the many participants, the survey providers are able to collect a lot of practical knowledge. All participants can learn from this by reading the survey reports and commentaries. With this, and with special educational surveys, the providers of surveys are able to offer an opportunity of continuous education to the laboratories. PMID:25630289

  3. [Internal Quality Control and External Quality Assessment on POCT].

    PubMed

    Kuwa, Katsuhiko

    2015-02-01

    The quality management (QM) of POCT summarizes its internal quality control (IQC) and external quality assessment (EQA). For QM requirements in POCT, ISO 22870-Point-of-care testing (POCT) -Requirements for quality and competence and ISO 15189-Medical laboratories-Requirements for quality and competence, it is performed under the guidance of the QM committee. The role of the POC coordinator and/or medical technologist of the clinical laboratory is important. On measurement performance of POCT devices, it is necessary to confirm data on measurement performance from the manufacturer other than those in the inserted document. In the IQC program, the checking and control of measurement performance are the targets. On measurements of QC samples by the manufacturer, it is essential to check the function of devices. In addition, regarding the EQA program, in 2 neighboring facilities, there is an effect to confirm the current status of measurement and commutability assessment in these laboratories using whole blood along with residual blood samples from daily examinations in the clinical laboratory. PMID:26529974

  4. External quality assessment of BRAF molecular analysis in melanoma.

    PubMed

    Deans, Zandra C; Wallace, Andrew; O'Sullivan, Brendan; Purvis, Andrew; Camus, Suzanne; Fairley, Jennifer A; Gonzalez, David

    2014-02-01

    The availability of BRAF inhibitors has given metastatic melanoma patients an effective new treatment choice and molecular testing to determine the presence or absence of a BRAF codon 600 mutation is pivotal in the clinical management of these patients. This molecular test must be performed accurately and appropriately to ensure that the patient receives the most suitable treatment in a timely manner. Laboratories have introduced such testing; however, some experience low sample throughput making it critical that an external quality assurance programme is available to help promote a high standard of testing, reporting and provide an educational aspect for BRAF molecular testing. Laboratories took part in three rounds of external quality assessment (EQA) during a 12-month period giving participants a measure of the accuracy of genotyping, clinical interpretation of the result and experience in testing a range of different samples. Formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissue sections from malignant melanoma patients were distributed to participants for BRAF molecular testing. The standard of testing was generally high but distribution of a mutation other than the most common, p.(Val600Glu), highlighted concerns with detection or reporting of the presence of rarer mutations. The main issues raised in the interpretation of the results were the importance of clear unambiguous interpretation of the result tailored to the patient and the understanding that the treatment is different from that given to other stratified medicine programmes. The variability in reporting and wide range of methodologies used indicate a continuing need for EQA in this field. PMID:24098023

  5. [External quality assessment for clinical microbiology and good laboratory management].

    PubMed

    Kumasaka, K

    1998-02-01

    The Tokyo Metropolitan external quality assessment (EQA) program has revealed some serious problems in private independent microbiology laboratories in Tokyo since 1982. The poor performance in the EQA surveys closely related to poor laboratory managements, the type of training, experience of the medical technologists or technicians, and supervisory ability of the consultant physicians in independent laboratories. Social factors impede the reform of the quality assurance of clinical microbiology. Such factors include poor infrastructure of continuing education for small private laboratories, closure of the central clinical laboratories in the hospitals and outsourcing of laboratory tests due to restructuring in response to economic problems, and limited numbers of certified clinical pathologists of the Japan Society of Clinical Pathology (JSCP). Therefore, the Tokyo Metropolitan EQA Scheme is still confidential and its main role is educational. Good two way communication between participants and the organizers' clinical pathologists is essential, if the quality of laboratory tests is to be improved. The new JSCP edition of the postgraduate training requirement in clinical pathology includes "Laboratory Administration and Management". Good laboratory management(GLM) is an increasingly important component of good laboratory practice. The practice activities of clinical pathologists must include general management in addition to exercising there specialized knowledge in medicine and technology. Whereas leadership of a good clinical pathologist provides the direction of where a good laboratory is going, good management provides the steps of how to get there. And I believe quality system models from business and industry may provide us with strong guidance to build a quality system for the good laboratory that will endure into the next century. PMID:9528335

  6. Standardization of tumor markers - priorities identified through external quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Sturgeon, Catharine

    2016-01-01

    Tumor markers are often heterogeneous substances that may be present in elevated concentrations in the serum of cancer patients. Typically measured by immunoassay, they contribute to clinical management, particularly in screening, case-finding, prognostic assessment, and post-treatment monitoring. Data both from external quality assessment (EQA) schemes and clinical studies demonstrate significant variation in tumor marker results obtained for the same specimen using different methods. Between-method between-laboratory coefficients of variation (CV) reported by EQA schemes generally reflect the complexity of the measurand, ranging from <5% for the structurally relatively simple α-fetoprotein (AFP) to >25% for the complex mucinous cancer antigen 19-9 (CA19-9). Improving the standardization of tumor marker measurements is particularly important for three reasons. The primary use of tumor markers is in monitoring cancer patients over long periods of time. Clinical interpretation of trends may consequently be affected if results are obtained in different laboratories using different methods or if a laboratory has to change method. Differences in results may have major implications for adoption of area-wide decision cut-offs and make implementation of these difficult. Method-related differences also make it difficult to compare clinical studies. Improving comparability of tumor marker results requires broad international agreement about which molecular forms of the measurand have clinical utility, identifying and adopting pure molecular forms as calibrants, and defining antibody specificities for their optimal detection. These aims have been achieved to varying extents for the most frequently measured serum tumor markers as described in this paper. PMID:27542005

  7. The Impact of External Quality Assessment on Universities: The Estonian Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vilgats, Birgit; Heidmets, Mati

    2011-01-01

    This article seeks to establish what impact external quality assessment had on universities in Estonia between 1997 and 2009. It is based on a study of the analysis of experts' reports of curricula accreditation and interviews with university and programme managers, undertaken between 2007 and 2009. The study included an analysis of 12 curricula…

  8. Assessing the Organisational Impact of External Quality Assurance: Hypothesising Key Dimensions and Mechanisms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stensaker, Bjørn; Leiber, Theodor

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the article is to provide a framework in which the organisational impact of external quality assurance (EQA) can be assessed. Based on existing studies of the impact of EQA in universities and colleges it is suggested that greater systematisation of how impact is measured is needed for a better understanding of how EQA can be used as a…

  9. The UK National External Quality Assessment Scheme for heritable bleeding disorders.

    PubMed

    Perry, David J; Cumming, Tony; Goodeve, Anne; Hill, Marian; Jennings, Ian; Kitchen, Steven; Walker, Isobel

    2014-03-01

    Molecular genetic analysis of families with hemophilia and other heritable bleeding disorders is a frequently requested laboratory investigation. In the United Kingdom, laboratories undertaking genetic testing must participate in a recognized external quality assessment scheme for formal accreditation. The UK National External Quality Assessment Scheme (UK NEQAS) for heritable bleeding disorders was established in its current format in 2003, and currently has 27 registered participants in the United Kingdom, the European Union (EU), and the non-EU countries. Two exercises per annum are circulated to participants comprising either whole blood or DNA isolated from cell lines, and laboratories are allowed 6 weeks to analyze the samples and generate a report. Reports are assessed by a panel comprising clinicians and scientists with expertise in this area. Samples to date have involved analysis of the F8 gene (10 exercises), the F9 gene (4 exercises), and the VWF gene (3 exercises) and have comprised a wide spectrum of mutations representing the routine workload encountered in the molecular genetics laboratory. The majority of laboratories in each exercise passed, but a small number did not and reasons for failing included clerical errors, genotyping inaccuracies, and a failure to correctly interpret data. Overall we have seen an improvement in quality of reports submitted for assessment, with a more concise format that will be of value to referring clinicians and counsellors. Informal feedback from participants has been very positive. PMID:24497120

  10. Higher quality of molecular testing, an unfulfilled priority: Results from external quality assessment for KRAS mutation testing in colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Tembuyser, Lien; Ligtenberg, Marjolijn J L; Normanno, Nicola; Delen, Sofie; van Krieken, J Han; Dequeker, Elisabeth M C

    2014-05-01

    Precision medicine is now a key element in clinical oncology. RAS mutational status is a crucial predictor of responsiveness to anti-epidermal growth factor receptor agents in metastatic colorectal cancer. In an effort to guarantee high-quality testing services in molecular pathology, the European Society of Pathology has been organizing an annual KRAS external quality assessment program since 2009. In 2012, 10 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples, of which 8 from invasive metastatic colorectal cancer tissue and 2 artificial samples of cell line material, were sent to more than 100 laboratories from 26 countries with a request for routine KRAS testing. Both genotyping and clinical reports were assessed independently. Twenty-seven percent of the participants genotyped at least 1 of 10 samples incorrectly. In total, less than 5% of the distributed specimens were genotyped incorrectly. Genotyping errors consisted of false negatives, false positives, and incorrectly genotyped mutations. Twenty percent of the laboratories reported a technical error for one or more samples. A review of the written reports showed that several essential elements were missing, most notably a clinical interpretation of the test result, the method sensitivity, and the use of a reference sequence. External quality assessment serves as a valuable educational tool in assessing and improving molecular testing quality and is an important asset for monitoring quality assurance upon incorporation of new biomarkers in diagnostic services. PMID:24631467

  11. The external quality assessment scheme: Five years experience as a participating laboratory

    PubMed Central

    Chaudhary, Rajendra; Das, Sudipta S.; Ojha, Shashank; Khetan, Dheeraj; Sonker, Atul

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aim: Quality assurance in blood banking includes active participation in the external quality program. Such a program offers valuable benefits to patient care, their safety, and an overall quality of laboratory practices. In the year 2002, we participated in the External Quality Assessment Scheme (EQAS) under the World Health Organization (WHO), Bureau of Laboratory Quality Standards, Thailand. Materials and Methods: In the current study we evaluated our EQAS test result of the past five years, from 2003 to 2007. Test results of all blood samples such as ABO grouping, D typing, antibody screening, antibody identification, and transfusion transmitted infection (TTI) testing were analyzed and documented. Results: Discordant results in one or more instances were observed with antibody identification, weak D testing, and tests for anti-HIV1/2 and HBsAg. Twice we failed to detect the ‘anti-Mia’ antibody in the issued sample and that could be attributed to the absence of the corresponding antigen in the used cell panel. HBsAg was missed due to its critically low titer in the serum and the comparatively low sensitivity of our Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) test kit. Conclusion: All these failures in the last five years have helped us to significantly improve our transfusion service in terms of performance evaluation, patient care and safety issues, and the overall quality of laboratory practices. We therefore recommend all laboratories and hospitals to participate in the EQAS program, which will definitely help them to improve from what they learn. PMID:20376263

  12. Development and testing of external quality assessment samples for Salmonella detection in poultry samples.

    PubMed

    Martelli, F; Gosling, R; McLaren, I; Wales, A; Davies, R

    2014-10-01

    Salmonella-contaminated poultry house dust plus 10 g chicken faeces inoculated with Salmonella Enteritidis and then frozen for storage and transport were used as candidate external quality assurance test samples. Variations in faeces sample preparation, storage and culture were examined initially. This indicated that, within modest limits, the age of the inoculating culture and of the faeces did not affect detection, nor did swirling the pre-enrichment culture or extending its duration. Under optimal conditions of preparation and storage, Salmonella numbers of 70 colony-forming units (CFU) and above were reliably detected at the originating laboratory. A ring trial was performed, involving 13 external UK laboratories plus the originating laboratory. Faeces samples inoculated with Salmonella Enteritidis were frozen, transported on dry ice and tested by the ISO 6579:2002 (Annex D) method. Detection by the originating laboratory was consistent with the previously established lower limit for reliability of 70 CFU. However, the sensitivity of detection by the external laboratories was apparently poorer in several cases, with significant interlaboratory variation seen at the lowest inoculum level, using Fisher's exact test. Detection of Salmonella in poultry house dust appeared to be more sensitive and uniform among laboratories. Significance and impact of the study: Salmonella surveillance and control regimes in the European poultry industry and elsewhere require sensitive culture detection of Salmonella in environmental samples, including poultry faeces. A ring trial was conducted, and the results highlighted that some of the participating laboratories failed to identify Salmonella. This suggests that contaminated frozen faeces cubes could be beneficial to assess proficiency, according to the results of this preliminary study. The data obtained in this study can be used as an indication for the design of realistic external quality assurance for laboratories involved in

  13. HGVS Nomenclature in Practice: An Example from the United Kingdom National External Quality Assessment Scheme.

    PubMed

    Deans, Zandra C; Fairley, Jennifer A; den Dunnen, Johan T; Clark, Caroline

    2016-06-01

    The recommendations for the description of sequence variants from the Human Genome Variation Society (HGVS) were published in 2000. Over the years, the recommendations became widely adopted, especially in human clinical genetics and DNA laboratory reporting. As part of a testing scheme performed by the United Kingdom National External Quality Assessment Scheme (UK NEQAS) for Molecular Genetics, we assessed the current variability in the use and interpretation of the guidelines by diagnostic laboratories based across the globe. Twenty-six participating laboratories gave 21 different descriptions. Six laboratories gave fully compliant HGVS descriptions, 12 laboratories reported the correct variant, although not using the recommended format, whilst eight laboratory reports (31%) were not correct. The results indicate that available tools to check variant descriptions were not used. We conclude that education appears to be the way forward to eliminate the observed variability in data reporting. PMID:26919400

  14. KRAS Mutations Testing in Colorectal Carcinoma Patients in Italy: From Guidelines to External Quality Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Normanno, Nicola; Pinto, Carmine; Castiglione, Francesca; Bardelli, Alberto; Gambacorta, Marcello; Botti, Gerardo; Nappi, Oscar; Siena, Salvatore; Ciardiello, Fortunato; Taddei, GianLuigi; Marchetti, Antonio

    2011-01-01

    Background Monoclonal antibodies directed against the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) have been approved for the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal carcinoma (mCRC) that do not carry KRAS mutations. Therefore, KRAS testing has become mandatory to chose the most appropriate therapy for these patients. Methodology/Principal Findings In order to guarantee the possibility for mCRC patients to receive an high quality KRAS testing in every Italian region, the Italian Association of Medical Oncology (AIOM) and the Italian Society of Pathology and Cytopathology -Italian division of the International Academy of Pathology (SIAPEC-IAP) started a program to improve KRAS testing. AIOM and SIAPEC identified a large panel of Italian medical oncologists, pathologists and molecular biologists that outlined guidelines for KRAS testing in mCRC patients. These guidelines include specific information on the target patient population, the biological material for molecular analysis, the extraction of DNA, and the methods for the mutational analysis that are summarized in this paper. Following the publication of the guidelines, the scientific societies started an external quality assessment scheme for KRAS testing. Five CRC specimens with known KRAS mutation status were sent to the 59 centers that participated to the program. The samples were validated by three referral laboratories. The participating laboratories were allowed to use their own preferred method for DNA extraction and mutational analysis and were asked to report the results within 4 weeks. The limit to pass the quality assessment was set at 100% of true responses. In the first round, only two centers did not pass (3%). The two centers were offered to participate to a second round and both centers failed again to pass. Conclusions The results of this first Italian quality assessment for KRAS testing suggest that KRAS mutational analysis is performed with good quality in the majority of Italian centers

  15. Assessing the Quality of PhD Dissertations. A Survey of External Committee Members

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kyvik, Svein; Thune, Taran

    2015-01-01

    This article reports on a study of the quality assessment of doctoral dissertations, and asks whether examiner characteristics influence assessment of research quality in PhD dissertations. Utilising a multi-dimensional concept of quality of PhD dissertations, we look at differences in assessment of research quality, and particularly test whether…

  16. External Quality Assessment in Dutch Higher Education: Consultancy and Watchdog Roles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zijderveld, Diederick C.

    1997-01-01

    Describes the system of external institutional evaluation in Netherlands universities, distinguishing between the organizations conducting the assessment itself and the follow-up. The primary assessing organization is a private one, funded and governed by the 14 universities, and uses discipline-based assessment teams. The follow-up assessment is…

  17. External Quality Assessment of Molecular Detection of Ebola Virus in China

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guojing; Sun, Yu; Zhang, Kuo; Jia, Tingting; Hao, Mingju; Zhang, Dong; Chang, Le; Zhang, Lei; Zhang, Rui; Lin, Guigao; Peng, Rongxue; Li, Jinming

    2015-01-01

    In 2014, Ebola hemorrhagic fever broke out in West Africa. As contact between China and West Africa is frequent, the possibility that Ebola virus would enter China was high. Thus, an external assessment of the quality of Ebola virus detection was organized by the National Center for Clinical Laboratories in China. Virus-like particles encapsulating known sequences of epidemic strains of Ebola virus from 2014 were prepared as positive quality controls. The sample panel, which was composed of seven positive and three negative samples, was dispatched to 19 laboratories participating in this assessment of Ebola virus detection. Accurate detection was reported at 14 of the 19 participating laboratories, with a sensitivity of 91.43% and a specificity of 100%. Four participants (21.05%) reported false-negative results and were classified as “acceptable.” One participant (5.26%) did not detect any positive samples and was thus classified as “improvable.” Based on the results returned, the ability to detect weakly positive Ebola specimens should be improved. Furthermore, commercial assays and the standard primers offered by the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were found to be most accurate and dependable for Ebola detection. A two-target detection approach is recommended for Ebola screening; this approach could reduce the probability of false-negative results. Additionally, standardization of operations and punctual adjustment of instruments are necessary for the control and prevention of Ebola virus. PMID:26177537

  18. Current Landscape and New Paradigms of Proficiency Testing and External Quality Assessment for Molecular Genetics

    PubMed Central

    Kalman, Lisa V.; Lubin, Ira M.; Barker, Shannon; du Sart, Desiree; Elles, Rob; Grody, Wayne W.; Pazzagli, Mario; Richards, Sue; Schrijver, Iris; Zehnbauer, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    Context Participation in proficiency testing (PT) or external quality assessment (EQA) programs allows the assessment and comparison of test performance among different clinical laboratories and technologies. In addition to the approximately 2300 tests for individual genetic disorders, recent advances in technology have enabled the development of clinical tests which quickly and economically analyze the entire human genome. New PT/EQA approaches are needed to ensure the continued quality of these complex tests. Objective To review the availability and scope of PT/EQA for molecular genetic testing for inherited conditions in Europe, Australasia and the United States; to evaluate the successes and demonstrated value of available PT/EQA programs; and to examine the challenges to the provision of comprehensive PT/EQA posed by new laboratory practices and methodologies. Data Sources The available literature on this topic was reviewed and supplemented with personal experiences of several PT/EQA providers. Conclusions PT/EQA schemes are available for common genetic disorders tested in many clinical laboratories, but are not available for most genetic tests offered by only one or a few laboratories. Provision of broad, method-based PT schemes, such as DNA sequencing, would allow assessment of a large number of tests for which formal PT is not currently available. Participation in PT/EQA improves the quality of testing by identifying inaccuracies that laboratories can trace to errors in the testing process. Areas of research and development to ensure that PT/EQA programs can meet the needs of new and evolving genetic tests and technologies are identified and discussed. PMID:23808472

  19. External quality assessment of urine particle identification: a Northern European experience.

    PubMed

    Kouri, Timo T; Makkonen, Pirjo

    2015-11-01

    External quality assessment (EQA) schemes for urinalysis have been provided by Labquality Ltd, the publicly owned EQA service provider in Finland, since the 1980s. In 2014, the scheme on urine particle identification had 329 participating laboratories, out of which 60% from 19 countries were outside Finland. Each of the four annual web-based rounds were distributed with four Sternheimer-stained images from a single patient sample, as viewed both by bright-field and phase-contrast optics. Participants reported classified categories either at the basic or at the advanced level. Participating laboratories received assessment of their analytical performance as compared to their peers, including reflections from clinical data and preanalytical detail of the specimen. In general, reporting of basic urine particles succeeded in the eight schemes during the years 2013-2014 as follows: red blood cells 82%-92%, white blood cells 82%-97%, squamous epithelial cells 92%-98%, casts 84%-94%, and small epithelial cells 73%-83% (minimum and maximum of expected or accepted reports). This basic level of differentiation is used in routine laboratory reports, or as verification of results produced by automated instruments. Considerable effort is needed to standardise national procedures and reporting formats, in order to improve the shown figures internationally. Future technologies may help to alleviate limitations created by single digital images. Despite improvements, degenerating cells and casts always exhibit intermediate forms creating disputable classifications. That is why assessment of performance should encompass justified acceptable categories into the assessed outcomes. Preanalytical and clinical detail provide essential added value to morphological findings. PMID:26351804

  20. Improvement of the quality of BRAF testing in melanomas with nationwide external quality assessment, for the BRAF EQA group

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Knowledge about tumour gene mutation status is essential for the treatment of increasing numbers of cancer patients, and testing quality has a major impact on treatment response and cost. In 2012, 4,629 tests for BRAF p.V600 were performed in France, in patients with melanomas. Methods Two batches of unstained melanoma sections were sent, in May and November 2012, to the 46 laboratories supported by the French National Institute of Cancer (INCa). An external quality assessment (EQA) evaluated mutation status, response times and compliance with INCa recommendations. Results All the French laboratories involved in testing participated in the EQA. Fourteen different methods were used to detect BRAF mutations, most consisting of combinations of in-house techniques. False responses were noted in 25/520 cases (4.8%), 11 of which concerned confusion between p.V600E and p.V600K. Thus, 2.7% of responses would have led to inappropriate treatment. Within six months, mean response times decreased from 22 to 12 days (P<0.001), and the percentage of samples evaluated by a pathologist for tumour cell content increased, from 75.2% to 96.9% (P<0.001). Conclusion Despite the use of non-certified methods, the false response rate was low. Nationwide EQA can improve the quality of molecular pathology tests on tumours. PMID:24119386

  1. Factors associated with the quality of laboratory performance in the United Kingdom external quality assessment scheme for serum growth hormone.

    PubMed

    Seth, J; Hanning, I

    1988-05-31

    A search was made for associations between poor performance in the UK External Quality Assessment Scheme (EQAS) for serum growth hormone (GH), and a range of factors including assay method, laboratory workload and staffing, and Internal Quality Control (IQC) procedures. On the basis of the factors identified as being associated with poor performance we recommend the following. 1. Laboratories using RIA for GH should routinely analyse samples at two dilutions and report a mean result. 2. The use of 125I-GH which is 5 or more weeks old should be avoided. Tracer should also be chromatographed to remove aggregate before use. 3. Laboratories using RIA should avoid using a standard curve which covers too wide a range concentration; a curve midpoint (ie GH concentration to reduce the zero standard binding by 50%) of about 8 mU/l or less is probably acceptable. 4. It should be noted that high workloads present a risk of some loss in quality of responsible for checking IQC data. 6. Laboratories which do not have the resources to maintain fully their own RIA as outlined above should carefully consider use of an unbiased, precise IRMA. The UK EQAS has identified two assays (Boots-Celltech Sucrosep, NETRIA) that appear to meet these criteria [2]. The above observations may also be relevant to immunoassays for other peptide hormones. PMID:3383443

  2. First round of external quality assessment of dengue diagnostics in the WHO Western Pacific Region, 2013

    PubMed Central

    Pok, Kwoon Yong; Squires, Raynal C; Tan, Li Kiang; Takasaki, Tomohiko; Abubakar, Sazaly; Hasebe, Futoshi; Partridge, Jeffrey; Lee, Chin Kei; Lo, Janice; Aaskov, John; Ng, Lee Ching

    2015-01-01

    Objective Accurate laboratory testing is a critical component of dengue surveillance and control. The objective of this programme was to assess dengue diagnostic proficiency among national-level public health laboratories in the World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Region. Methods Nineteen national-level public health laboratories performed routine dengue diagnostic assays on a proficiency testing panel consisting of two modules: one containing commercial serum samples spiked with cultured dengue viruses for the detection of nucleic acid and non-structural protein 1 (NS1) (Module A) and one containing human serum samples for the detection of anti-dengue virus antibodies (Module B). A review of logistics arrangements was also conducted. Results All 16 laboratories testing Module A performed reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR) for both RNA and serotype detection. Of these, 15 had correct results for RNA detection and all 16 correctly serotyped the viruses. All nine laboratories performing NS1 antigen detection obtained the correct results. Sixteen of the 18 laboratories using IgM assays in Module B obtained the correct results as did the 13 laboratories that performed IgG assays. Detection of ongoing/recent dengue virus infection by both molecular (RT–PCR) and serological methods (IgM) was available in 15/19 participating laboratories. Discussion This first round of external quality assessment of dengue diagnostics was successfully conducted in national-level public health laboratories in the WHO Western Pacific Region, revealing good proficiency in both molecular and serological testing. Further comprehensive diagnostic testing for dengue virus and other priority pathogens in the Region will be assessed during future rounds. PMID:26306220

  3. External Quality Assessment for the Detection of Chlamydia trachomatis in Urine Using Molecular Techniques in Belgium

    PubMed Central

    China, Bernard; Vernelen, Kris

    2015-01-01

    Chlamydia trachomatis is a major cause of sexually transmitted bacterial disease worldwide. C. trachomatis is an intracellular bacterium and its growth in vitro requires cell culture facilities. The diagnosis is based on antigen detection and more recently on molecular nucleic acid amplification techniques (NAAT) that are considered fast, sensitive, and specific. In Belgium, External Quality Assessment (EQA) for the detection of C. trachomatis in urine by NAAT was introduced in 2008. From January 2008 to June 2012, nine surveys were organized. Fifty-eight laboratories participated in at least one survey. The EQA panels included positive and negative samples. The overall accuracy was 75.4%, the overall specificity was 97.6%, and the overall sensitivity was 71.4%. Two major issues were observed: the low sensitivity (45.3%) for the detection of low concentration samples and the incapacity of several methods to detect the Swedish variant of C. trachomatis. The reassuring point was that the overall proficiency of the Belgian laboratories tended to improve over time. PMID:26316982

  4. First International External Quality Assessment of Molecular Detection of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus

    PubMed Central

    Escadafal, Camille; Ölschläger, Stephan; Avšič-Županc, Tatjana; Papa, Anna; Vanhomwegen, Jessica; Wölfel, Roman; Mirazimi, Ali; Teichmann, Anette; Donoso-Mantke, Oliver; Niedrig, Matthias

    2012-01-01

    Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a zoonosis caused by a Nairovirus of the family Bunyaviridae. Infection is transmitted to humans mostly by Hyalomma ticks and also by direct contact with the blood or tissues of infected humans or viremic livestock. Clinical features usually include a rapid progression characterized by hemorrhage, myalgia and fever, with a lethality rate up to 30%. CCHF is one of the most widely distributed viral hemorrhagic fevers and has been reported in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, as well as parts of Europe. There is no approved vaccine or specific treatment against CCHF virus (CCHFV) infections. In this context, an accurate diagnosis as well as a reliable surveillance of CCHFV infections is essential. Diagnostic techniques include virus culture, serology and molecular methods, which are now increasingly used. The European Network for the Diagnostics of “Imported” Viral Diseases organized the first international external quality assessment of CCHVF molecular diagnostics in 2011 to assess the efficiency and accurateness of CCHFV molecular methods applied by expert laboratories. A proficiency test panel of 15 samples was distributed to the participants including 10 different CCHFV preparations generated from infected cell cultures, a preparation of plasmid cloned with the nucleoprotein of CCHFV, two CCHFV RNA preparations and two negative controls. Forty-four laboratories worldwide participated in the EQA study and 53 data sets were received. Twenty data sets (38%) met all criteria with optimal performance, 10 (19%) with acceptable performance, while 23 (43%) reported results showing a need for improvement. Differences in performance depended on the method used, the type of strain tested, the concentration of the sample tested and the laboratory performing the test. These results indicate that there is still a need for improving testing conditions and standardizing protocols for the molecular detection of Crimean

  5. International external quality assessment of molecular detection of Rift Valley fever virus.

    PubMed

    Escadafal, Camille; Paweska, Janusz T; Grobbelaar, Antoinette; le Roux, Chantel; Bouloy, Michèle; Patel, Pranav; Teichmann, Anette; Donoso-Mantke, Oliver; Niedrig, Matthias

    2013-01-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a viral zoonosis that primarily affects animals resulting in considerable economic losses due to death and abortions among infected livestock. RVF also affects humans with clinical symptoms ranging from an influenza-like illness to a hemorrhagic fever. Over the past years, RVF virus (RVFV) has caused severe outbreaks in livestock and humans throughout Africa and regions of the world previously regarded as free of the virus. This situation prompts the need to evaluate the diagnostic capacity and performance of laboratories worldwide. Diagnostic methods for RVFV detection include virus isolation, antigen and antibody detection methods, and nucleic acid amplification techniques. Molecular methods such as reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and other newly developed techniques allow for a rapid and accurate detection of RVFV. This study aims to assess the efficiency and accurateness of RVFV molecular diagnostic methods used by expert laboratories worldwide. Thirty expert laboratories from 16 countries received a panel of 14 samples which included RVFV preparations representing several genetic lineages, a specificity control and negative controls. In this study we present the results of the first international external quality assessment (EQA) for the molecular diagnosis of RVF. Optimal results were reported by 64% of the analyses, 21% of the analyses achieved acceptable results and 15% of the results revealed that there is need for improvement. Evenly good performances were achieved by specific protocols which can therefore be recommended as an accurate molecular protocol for the diagnosis of RVF. Other protocols showed uneven performances revealing the need for improved optimization and standardization of these protocols. PMID:23717706

  6. External Quality Assessment of MERS-CoV Molecular Diagnostics During the 2015 Korean Outbreak

    PubMed Central

    Seong, Moon-Woo; Lee, Seung Jun; Cho, Sung Im; Ko, Kyungphil; Kim, Mi-Na; Sung, Heungsub; Kim, Jae-Seok; Ahn, Ji Soo; Yu, Byung Su; Kim, Taek Soo; Kim, Eui Chong

    2016-01-01

    Background The largest outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection outside Middle East Asia in 2015 has necessitated the rapid expansion of laboratories that conduct MERS-CoV molecular testing in Korea, together with external quality assessment (EQA) to evaluate the assays used. Methods The EQA program consisted of two phases; self-validation and blind assessment. For the first EQA phase, in vitro transcribed upstream region of the envelope gene (upE) and the open reading frame (ORF)1a RNAs were used at a concentration of 1,000 copies/µL. The test panel for the second EQA phase consisted of RNA extracts from three samples, which were obtained from two MERS-CoV positive patients and one MERS-CoV negative patient. Results The first EQA phase results for 46 participants showed a linear relationship between the threshold cycle (CT) values of RNA materials and the logarithmic concentrations for both upE and ORF1a gene targets (R2=0.73 and 0.75, respectively). The mean CT value for each concentration was different depending on which commercial kit was used for the assay. Among the three commonly used kits, PowerChek MERS Real-Time PCR kit (KogeneBiotech, Korea) showed the lowest CT values at all concentrations of upE and most concentrations of ORF1a. The second EQA phase results for 47 participants were 100% correct for all tested samples. Conclusions This EQA survey demonstrates that the MERS-CoV molecular testing performed in Korea during the 2015 outbreak is of robust capability. However, careful establishment and validation of a cut-off value are recommended to ensure good analytical sensitivity. PMID:26915611

  7. External quality assessment of dengue and chikungunya diagnostics in the Asia Pacific region, 2015

    PubMed Central

    Soh, Li Ting; Squires, Raynal C; Tan, Li Kiang; Pok, Kwoon Yong; Yang, HuiTing; Liew, Christina; Shah, Aparna Singh; Aaskov, John; Abubakar, Sazaly; Hasabe, Futoshi; Ng, Lee Ching

    2016-01-01

    Objective To conduct an external quality assessment (EQA) of dengue and chikungunya diagnostics among national-level public health laboratories in the Asia Pacific region following the first round of EQA for dengue diagnostics in 2013. Methods Twenty-four national-level public health laboratories performed routine diagnostic assays on a proficiency testing panel consisting of two modules. Module A contained serum samples spiked with cultured dengue virus (DENV) or chikungunya virus (CHIKV) for the detection of nucleic acid and DENV non-structural protein 1 (NS1) antigen. Module B contained human serum samples for the detection of anti-DENV antibodies. Results Among 20 laboratories testing Module A, 17 (85%) correctly detected DENV RNA by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR), 18 (90%) correctly determined serotype and 19 (95%) correctly identified CHIKV by RT–PCR. Ten of 15 (66.7%) laboratories performing NS1 antigen assays obtained the correct results. In Module B, 18/23 (78.3%) and 20/20 (100%) of laboratories correctly detected anti-DENV IgM and IgG, respectively. Detection of acute/recent DENV infection by both molecular (RT–PCR) and serological methods (IgM) was available in 19/24 (79.2%) participating laboratories. Discussion Accurate laboratory testing is a critical component of dengue and chikungunya surveillance and control. This second round of EQA reveals good proficiency in molecular and serological diagnostics of these diseases in the Asia Pacific region. Further comprehensive diagnostic testing, including testing for Zika virus, should comprise future iterations of the EQA. PMID:27508088

  8. 2nd International External Quality Control Assessment for the Molecular Diagnosis of Dengue Infections

    PubMed Central

    Domingo, Cristina; Niedrig, Matthias; Teichmann, Anette; Kaiser, Marco; Rumer, Leonid; Jarman, Richard G.; Donoso-Mantke, Oliver

    2010-01-01

    Background Currently dengue viruses (DENV) pose an increasing threat to over 2.5 billion people in over 100 tropical and sub-tropical countries worldwide. International air travel is facilitating rapid global movement of DENV, increasing the risk of severe dengue epidemics by introducing different serotypes. Accurate diagnosis is critical for early initiation of preventive measures. Different reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) methods are available, which should be evaluated and standardized. Epidemiological and laboratory-based surveillance is required to monitor and guide dengue prevention and control programmes, i.e., by mosquito control or possible vaccination (as soon as an effective and safe vaccine becomes available). Objective The purpose of the external quality assurance (EQA) study described is to assess the efficiency and accuracy of dengue molecular diagnosis methods applied by expert laboratories. Study Design A panel of 12 human plasma samples was distributed and tested for DENV-specific RNA. The panel comprised 9 samples spiked with different DENV serotypes (DENV-1 to DENV-4), including 10-fold dilution series of DENV-1 and DENV-3. Two specificity controls consisted of a sample with a pool of 4 other flaviviruses and a sample with chikungunya virus. A negative control sample was also included. Results Thirty-seven laboratories (from Europe, Middle East Asia, Asia, the Americas/Caribbean, and Africa) participated in this EQA study, and reports including 46 sets of results were returned. Performance among laboratories varied according to methodologies used. Only 5 (10.9%) data sets met all criteria with optimal performance, and 4 (8.7%) with acceptable performance, while 37 (80.4%) reported results showed the need for improvement regarding accomplishment of dengue molecular diagnosis. Failures were mainly due to lack of sensitivity and the presence of false positives. Conclusions The EQA provides information on each laboratory's efficacy of RT

  9. Multicenter feasibility study to assess external quality assessment panels for Xpert MTB/RIF assay in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Scott, Lesley; Albert, Heidi; Gilpin, Chris; Alexander, Heather; DeGruy, Kyle; Stevens, Wendy

    2014-07-01

    External quality assessment (EQA) for the Xpert MTB/RIF assay is part of the quality system required for clinical and laboratory practice. Five newly developed EQA panels that use different matrices, including a lyophilized sample (Vircell, Granada, Spain), a dried tube specimen (CDC), liquid (Maine Molecular Quality Control, Inc. [MMQCI], Scarborough, ME), artificial sputum (Global Laboratory Initiative [GLI]), and a dried culture spot (National Health Laboratory Services [NHLS]), were evaluated at 11 GeneXpert testing sites in South Africa. The panels comprised Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC)-negative, MTBC-positive (including rifampin [RIF] susceptible and RIF resistant), and nontuberculosis mycobacterial material that was inactivated and safe for transportation. Twelve qualitative and quantitative variables were scored as acceptable (1) or unacceptable (0); the overall panel performance score for the Vircell, CDC, GLI, and NHLS panels was 9 of 12, while the MMQCI panel scored 6 of 12 (owing to the need for cold chain maintenance). All panels showed good compatibility with Xpert MTB/RIF testing, and none showed PCR inhibition. The use of a liquid or dry matrix did not appear to be a distinguishing criterion, as both matrices had reduced scores on insufficient volumes, a need for extra consumables, and the ability to transfer to the Xpert MTB/RIF cartridge. EQA is an important component of the quality system required for diagnostic testing programs, but it must be complemented by routine monitoring of performance indicators and instrument verification. This study aims to introduce EQA concepts for Xpert MTB/RIF testing and evaluates five potential EQA panels. PMID:24789182

  10. First International External Quality Assessment Study on Molecular and Serological Methods for Yellow Fever Diagnosis

    PubMed Central

    Domingo, Cristina; Escadafal, Camille; Rumer, Leonid; Méndez, Jairo A.; García, Paquita; Sall, Amadou A.; Teichmann, Anette; Donoso-Mantke, Oliver; Niedrig, Matthias

    2012-01-01

    Objective We describe an external quality assurance (EQA) study designed to assess the efficiency and accurateness of molecular and serological methods used by expert laboratories performing YF diagnosis. Study Design For molecular diagnosis evaluation, a panel was prepared of 14 human plasma samples containing specific RNA of different YFV strains (YFV-17D, YFV South American strain [Brazil], YFV IvoryC1999 strain), and specificity samples containing other flaviviruses and negative controls. For the serological panel, 13 human plasma samples with anti-YFV-specific antibodies against different strains of YFV (YFV-17D strain, YFV IvoryC1999 strain, and YFV Brazilian strain), as well as specificity and negative controls, were included. Results Thirty-six laboratories from Europe, the Americas, Middle East, and Africa participated in these EQA activities. Only 16% of the analyses reported met all evaluation criteria with optimal performance. Serial dilutions of YFV-17D showed that in general the methodologies reported provided a suitable sensitivity. Failures were mainly due to the inability to detect wild-type strains or the presence of false positives. Performance in the serological diagnosis varied, mainly depending on the methodology used. Anti-YFV IgM detection was not performed in 16% of the reports using IIF or ELISA techniques, although it is preferable for the diagnosis of YFV acute infections. A good sensitivity profile was achieved in general; however, in the detection of IgM antibodies a lack of sensitivity of anti-YFV antibodies against the vaccine strain 17D was observed, and of the anti-YFV IgG antibodies against a West African strain. Neutralization assays showed a very good performance; however, the unexpected presence of false positives underlined the need of improving the running protocols. Conclusion This EQA provides information on each laboratory's efficacy of RT-PCR and serological YFV diagnosis techniques. The results indicate the need for

  11. [Assessment of the quality of laboratory diagnosis of intestinal parasitic diseases by the laboratories participating in the Federal System of External Quality Assessment of Clinical Laboratory Testing].

    PubMed

    Malakhov, V N; Dovgalev, A S; Astanina, S Iu; Serdiuk, A P

    2014-01-01

    In 2010-2013, the quality of microscopic detection of the causative agents ofparasitic diseases in the feces has been assessed by the specialists of the laboratories of the therapeutic-and-prophylactic institutions (TPIs) and Hygiene and Epidemiology Centers, Russian Inspectorate for the Protection of Consumer Rights and Human Welfare, which are participants of the Federal System of External Quality Assessment of Clinical Laboratory Testing. Thirty-two specimens containing 16 species of human helminths and 4 species of enteric protozoa in different combinations were examined. The findings suggest that the quality of microscopic detection of the causative agents of parasitic diseases is low in the laboratories of health care facilities and that the specialists of the laboratories of TPIs and Hygiene and Epidemiology Centers, Russian Inspectorate for the Protection of Consumer Rights and Human Welfare, do not not possess the knowledge and skills necessary to make a laboratory diagnosis of helminths and enteric protozoa. The average detection rates of helminths and protozoa were at a level of 64 and 36%, respectively. The correct results showed that the proportion of helminths and protozoa were 94.5 and 5.5%, respectively. According to the biological and epidemiological classification of helminths, there were higher detection rates for contact group parasites (Enterobius vermicularis and Hymenolepis nana) and geohelminths (Ascaris, Trichuris trichiura, and others). Biohelminths (Opisthorchis, tapeworms, and others) Were detectable slightly worse. PMID:25812407

  12. External Quality Assessment for the Detection of Measles Virus by Reverse Transcription-PCR Using Armored RNA

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Tingting; Zhang, Lei; Wang, Guojing; Zhang, Rui; Zhang, Kuo; Lin, Guigao; Xie, Jiehong; Wang, Lunan; Li, Jinming

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, nucleic acid tests for detection of measles virus RNA have been widely applied in laboratories belonging to the measles surveillance system of China. An external quality assessment program was established by the National Center for Clinical Laboratories to evaluate the performance of nucleic acid tests for measles virus. The external quality assessment panel, which consisted of 10 specimens, was prepared using armored RNAs, complex of noninfectious MS2 bacteriophage coat proteins encapsulated RNA of measles virus, as measles virus surrogate controls. Conserved sequences amplified from a circulating measles virus strain or from a vaccine strain were encapsulated into these armored RNAs. Forty-one participating laboratories from 15 provinces, municipalities, or autonomous regions that currently conduct molecular detection of measles virus enrolled in the external quality assessment program, including 40 measles surveillance system laboratories and one diagnostic reagent manufacturer. Forty laboratories used commercial reverse transcription-quantitative PCR kits, with only one laboratory applying a conventional PCR method developed in-house. The results indicated that most of the participants (38/41, 92.7%) were able to accurately detect the panel with 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity. Although a wide range of commercially available kits for nucleic acid extraction and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction were used by the participants, only two false-negative results and one false-positive result were generated; these were generated by three separate laboratories. Both false-negative results were obtained with tests performed on specimens with the lowest concentration (1.2 × 104 genomic equivalents/mL). In addition, all 18 participants from Beijing achieved 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity. Overall, we conclude that the majority of the laboratories evaluated have reliable diagnostic capacities for the detection of measles virus

  13. Evaluation of the 10th External Quality Assessment Scheme results in clinical microbiology laboratories in Tehran and districts.

    PubMed

    Abbassi, M; Rahbar, M; Hekmat Yazdi, S; Rashed Marandi, F; Sabourian, R; Saremi, M

    2006-01-01

    We evaluated the performance of microbiology laboratories in the 10th run of the external quality assessment scheme (EQAS) in Tehran and districts. Each laboratory was sent 2 species of bacteria for identification. Of the 487 laboratories that participated, 437 returned their findings. While 77.0% and 69.9% correctly identified Staphylococcus saprophyticus and Citrobacter freundii respectively, only 29.8% correctly identified Acinetobacter baumanii, 25.3% identified Enterococcus faecalis and 35.6% identified Enterobacter agglomerans. However 78.7% and 79.5% of the laboratories reported correct -results for susceptibility testing for S. saprophyticus and C. freundii respectively. PMID:17037699

  14. Molecular Genetics External Quality Assessment Pilot Scheme for Irinotecan-Related UGT1A1 Genotyping in China

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Kuo; Wang, Lunan; Zhang, Rui; Xie, Jiehong; Li, Jinming

    2016-01-01

    Irinotecan is widely used in the treatment of solid tumors, especially in colorectal cancer and lung cancer. Molecular testing for UGT1A1 genotyping is increasingly required in China for optimum irinotecan administration. In order to determine the performance of laboratories with regard to the whole testing process for UGT1A1 to ensure the consistency and accuracy of the test results, the National Center for Clinical Laboratories conducted an external quality assessment program for UGT1A1*28 genotyping in 2015. The panel, which comprised of four known mutational samples and six wild-type samples, was distributed to 45 laboratories that test for the presence of UGT1A1*28 polymorphisms. Participating laboratories were allowed to perform polymorphism analysis by using their routine methods. The accuracy of the genotyping and reporting of results was analyzed. Other information from the individual laboratories, including the number of samples tested each month, accreditation/certification status, and test methodology, was reviewed. Forty-four of the 45 participants reported the correct results for all samples. There was only one genotyping error, with a corresponding analytical sensitivity of 99.44% (179/180 challenges; 95% confidence interval: 96.94−99.99%) and an analytical specificity of 100% (270/270 challenges; 95% confidence interval: 98.64−100%). Both commercial kits and laboratory development tests were commonly used by the laboratories, and pyrosequencing was the main methodology used (n = 26, 57.8%). The style of the written reports showed large variation, and many reports showed a shortage of information. In summary, the first UGT1A1 genotyping external quality assessment result demonstrated that UGT1A1 genotype analysis of good quality was performed in the majority of pharmacogenetic testing centers that were investigated. However, greater education on the reporting of UGT1A1 genetic testing results is needed. PMID:26820647

  15. Overall Quality of Life Assessment in the Patients Undergoing External Beam Radiation in Outpatient Radiation Oncology Department

    PubMed Central

    Koul, Rashmi; Tse, Richard; Karreman, Erwin; Dubey, Arbind; Tai, Patricia

    2015-01-01

    Background: The impact of treatment on cancer patients’ quality of life (QoL) has been the focus of a variety of longitudinal studies in English literature for past decade. The measurement of patient-reported outcomes which includes health-related quality of life is a new important initiative which has emerged and grown over the past three decades. Following the development of reliable and valid self-reported questionnaires, health-related quality of life has been assessed in tens of thousands of patients and a wide variety of cancers. With growing information, feedback and experience, the quality of the health-related QOL studies has improved a lot. We expect in near future more methodologically robust studies will be done in a scientific way to answer unanswered questions. Methods: As part of a Dean's summer project, a survey was undertaken to facilitate a more complete description of the quality of life experience in patients with histological diagnosis of cancer undergoing external beam radiation as an outpatient at Allan Blair Cancer Center, Regina, Canada. The questionnaires had two major components: depression and global QOL. The depression was measured by the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale which is a short self-administered survey to quantify the depression status of a patient. Results: Overall, only the equation associated with the outcome of QoL - Physical well-being was significant. That data indicated that only the variable of age was a significant predictor. A positive relationship was present indicating higher levels of depression when patients received chemotherapy or narcotics. Breast cancer patients were less depressed than lung cancer patients. Conclusion: Cancer and its related treatment is an important health issue influencing QoL. The study has revealed that the use of chemotherapy and narcotics has a significant impact on the quality of life (QoL). PMID:26261696

  16. The INQAAHE Guidelines of Good Practice for External Quality Assurance Agencies: Assessment and Next Steps

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morse, Jean Avnet

    2006-01-01

    INQAAHE is working to improve the portability of degrees and credits across national boundaries. By defining "good practices" for quality assurance agencies, INQAAHE will promote mutual recognition among agencies in different countries and the acceptance of their accreditation decisions outside their own country. This will allow students and…

  17. Performance of different mono- and multiplex nucleic acid amplification tests on a multipathogen external quality assessment panel.

    PubMed

    Loens, K; van Loon, A M; Coenjaerts, F; van Aarle, Y; Goossens, H; Wallace, P; Claas, E J C; Ieven, M

    2012-03-01

    An external quality assessment (EQA) panel consisting of a total of 48 samples in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid or transport medium was prepared in collaboration with Quality Control for Molecular Diagnostics (QCMD) (www.qcmd.org). The panel was used to assess the proficiency of the three laboratories that would be responsible for examining the 6,000 samples to be collected in the GRACE Network of Excellence (www.grace-lrti.org). The main objective was to decide on the best-performing testing approach for the detection of influenza viruses A and B, parainfluenza virus types 1 to 3, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human metapneumovirus, coronavirus, rhinovirus, adenovirus, Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Legionella pneumophila by nucleic acid amplification techniques (NAATs). Two approaches were chosen: (i) laboratories testing samples using their in-house procedures for extraction and amplification and (ii) laboratories using their in-house amplification procedures on centrally extracted samples. Furthermore, three commercially available multiplex NAAT tests-the ResPlex (Qiagen GmbH, Hilden, Germany), RespiFinder plus (PathoFinder, Maastricht, The Netherlands), and RespiFinder Smart 21 (PathoFinder) tests-were evaluated by examination of the same EQA panel by the manufacturer. No large differences among the 3 laboratories were noticed when the performances of the assays developed in-house in combination with the in-house extraction procedures were compared. Also, the extraction procedure (central versus local) had little effect on performance. However, large differences in amplification efficacy were found between the commercially available tests; acceptable results were obtained by using the PathoFinder assays. PMID:22170925

  18. Data and performances evaluation of the SPIDIA-DNA Pan-European External Quality Assessment: 2nd SPIDIA-DNA laboratory report

    PubMed Central

    Malentacchi, Francesca; Pizzamiglio, Sara; Ibrahim-Gawel, Hady; Pazzagli, Mario; Verderio, Paolo; Ciniselli, Chiara Maura; Wyrich, Ralf; Gelmini, Stefania

    2016-01-01

    Within the EU-SPIDIA project (www.spidia.eu), the quality parameters of blood genomic DNA were defined [SPIDIA-DNA: an External Quality Assessment for the pre-analytical phase of blood samples used for DNA-based analyses – [1]; Influence of pre-analytical procedures on genomic DNA integrity in blood samples: the SPIDIA experience – [2]; Combining qualitative and quantitative imaging evaluation for the assessment of genomic DNA integrity: the SPIDIA experience – [3]. DNA quality parameters were used to evaluate the laboratory performance within an External Quality Assessment (EQA) [Second SPIDIA-DNA External Quality Assessment (EQA): Influence of pre-analytical phase of blood samples on genomic DNA quality – [4]. These parameters included DNA purity and yield by UV spectrophotometric measurements, the presence of PCR interferences by Kineret software and genomic DNA integrity analysis by Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis. Here we present the specific laboratory report of the 2nd SPIDIA-DNA EQA as an example of data and performances evaluation. PMID:26949730

  19. Results of external quality assessment for proviral DNA testing of HIV tropism in the Maraviroc Switch collaborative study.

    PubMed

    Tu, Elise; Swenson, Luke C; Land, Sally; Pett, Sarah; Emery, Sean; Marks, Kat; Kelleher, Anthony D; Kaye, Steve; Kaiser, Rolf; Schuelter, Eugene; Harrigan, Richard

    2013-07-01

    The Maraviroc Switch collaborative study (MARCH) is a study in aviremic patients on stable antiretroviral therapy and utilizes population-based sequencing of proviral DNA to determine HIV tropism and susceptibility to maraviroc. An external quality assessment (EQA) program was implemented to ensure competency in assessing the tropism of clinical samples conducted by MARCH laboratories (n = 14). The MARCH EQA has three prestudy phases assessing V3 loop sequencing and tropism determination using the bioinformatic algorithm geno2pheno, which generates a false-positive rate (FPR). DNA sequences with low FPRs are more likely to be from CXCR4-using (X4) viruses. Phase 1 of the EQA involved chromatogram interpretation. Phases 2, 2/3, and 3 involved patient and clonal samples. Clinical samples used in these phases were from treatment-experienced HIV-infected volunteers; 18/20 had viral loads of <50 copies/ml, and 10/15 were CXCR4-tropic on prior phenotyping. All samples were tested in triplicate, and any replicate with a geno2pheno FPR of <10% was designated X4. Performance was deemed adequate if ≤2 R5 and ≤1 X4 specimens were miscalled. For several clinical samples in the EQA, triplicate testing revealed marked DNA variability (FPR range, 0 to 96.7%). Therefore, a consensus-based approach was employed for each sample, i.e., a median FPR across laboratories was used to define sample tropism. Further sequencing analysis showed mixed viral populations in the clinical samples, explaining the differences in tropism predictions. All laboratories passed the EQA after achieving predefined competence thresholds in either of the phase 2 rounds. The use of clinical samples from patients resembling those who were likely to be screened in the MARCH, coupled with triplicate testing, revealed inherent DNA variability that might have been missed if single or duplicate testing and/or clonal samples alone were used. These data highlight the importance of intensive EQA of tropism

  20. First External Quality Assessment of Molecular and Serological Detection of Rift Valley Fever in the Western Mediterranean Region

    PubMed Central

    Monaco, Federica; Cosseddu, Gian Mario; Doumbia, Baba; Madani, Hafsa; El Mellouli, Fatiha; Jiménez-Clavero, Miguel Angel; Sghaier, Soufien; Marianneau, Philippe; Cetre-Sossah, Catherine; Polci, Andrea; Lacote, Sandra; Lakhdar, Magtouf; Fernandez-Pinero, Jovita; Sari Nassim, Chabane; Pinoni, Chiara; Capobianco Dondona, Andrea; Gallardo, Carmina; Bouzid, Taoufiq; Conte, Annamaria; Bortone, Grazia; Savini, Giovanni; Petrini, Antonio; Puech, Lilian

    2015-01-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne viral zoonosis which affects humans and a wide range of domestic and wild ruminants. The large spread of RVF in Africa and its potential to emerge beyond its geographic range requires the development of surveillance strategies to promptly detect the disease outbreaks in order to implement efficient control measures, which could prevent the widespread of the virus to humans. The Animal Health Mediterranean Network (REMESA) linking some Northern African countries as Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia with Southern European ones as France, Italy, Portugal and Spain aims at improving the animal health in the Western Mediterranean Region since 2009. In this context, a first assessment of the diagnostic capacities of the laboratories involved in the RVF surveillance was performed. The first proficiency testing (external quality assessment—EQA) for the detection of the viral genome and antibodies of RVF virus (RVFV) was carried out from October 2013 to February 2014. Ten laboratories participated from 6 different countries (4 from North Africa and 2 from Europe). Six laboratories participated in the ring trial for both viral RNA and antibodies detection methods, while four laboratories participated exclusively in the antibodies detection ring trial. For the EQA targeting the viral RNA detection methods 5 out of 6 laboratories reported 100% of correct results. One laboratory misidentified 2 positive samples as negative and 3 positive samples as doubtful indicating a need for corrective actions. For the EQA targeting IgG and IgM antibodies methods 9 out of the 10 laboratories reported 100% of correct results, whilst one laboratory reported all correct results except one false-positive. These two ring trials provide evidence that most of the participating laboratories are capable to detect RVF antibodies and viral RNA thus recognizing RVF infection in affected ruminants with the diagnostic methods currently

  1. External Quality Assessment of Non-University Study Programmes Which Were Developed and Submitted for Realisation: Experience and Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zibeniene, Gintaute

    2004-01-01

    The author analyzes the nature of study programme assessment with regard to the assurance of study quality. The organisation of the assessment process of the non-university study programmes which were developed and submitted for realisation in Lithuania and other countries is also presented and compared. It is being analysed whether it is possible…

  2. The homogeneous mutation status of a 22 gene panel justifies the use of serial sections of colorectal cancer tissue for external quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Dijkstra, Jeroen R; Tops, Bastiaan B J; Nagtegaal, Iris D; van Krieken, J Han J M; Ligtenberg, Marjolijn J L

    2015-09-01

    Testing for treatment related biomarkers in clinical care, like Ras mutation status in colorectal cancer (CRC), has increased drastically over recent years. Reliable testing of these markers is pivotal for optimal treatment of patients. Participation in external quality assessment (EQA) programs is an important element in quality management and often obligatory to comply with regulations or for accreditation. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) clinical specimens would ideally form the basis for these assessments, as they represent the most common starting material for molecular testing. However, molecular heterogeneity of a lesion in a FFPE tissue block could potentially affect test results of participating laboratories, which might compromise reliability of the quality assessment results. To assess the actual impact of this potential problem, we determined the mutation status of 22 genes commonly mutated in colon cancer in four levels covering 360 μm of 30 FFPE tissue blocks, by Next Generation Sequencing. In each block, the genotype of these genes was identical at all four levels, with only little variation in mutation load. This result shows that the mutation status of the selected 22 genes in CRC specimens is homogeneous within a 360 μm segment of the tumor. These data justify the use of serial sections, within a defined segment of a CRC tissue block, for external quality assessment of mutation analysis. PMID:26047774

  3. Assessing U.S. Public School Quality: The Advantages of Combining Internal "Consumer Ratings" with External NCLB Ratings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Price, Heather E.

    2016-01-01

    The school quality assessment process under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is criticized for oversimplifying and overemphasizing standardized test results and unfairly targeting diverse, urban schools. There has been much development in alternative test score evaluations, especially value-added models. These developments have tilted the public…

  4. External quality assurance in Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Nawawi, H; Lim, H H; Zakiah, I

    1999-01-01

    An activity supportive of the MOH QA Programme, the National EQAS for clinical chemistry monitors for analytical performance in core routine biochemical testing by the pathology laboratories, with unsatisfactory performance scores serving to alert against deficiencies or problems and the scores in subsequent challenges providing the feedback of effectiveness of remedial actions taken. While unacceptable individual analyte performance score (variance index score, VIS) indicated problems in instruments, reagent and calibrators, or the use of inherently poorer methods, repeated occurrence of unsatisfactory OMRVIS was traceable to generally poor laboratory management of usually inadequately-equipment small laboratories. The outcome has been one of slow but gradual improvement in the overall performance of participating laboratories, with a move towards methods upgrading and standardization to achieve greater concordance of results. Presently, the programme is limited to 61 government and 4 private hospital laboratories in the country for 12 commonly assayed clinical biochemistry analytes. It is hoped that the NEQAS could be extended to the other private laboratories and that of academic institutions. However, this is dependent to a large extent on the manpower and financial support obtainable by the organizing body of the programme in the future. Belk and Sunderman, 1947 demonstrated that laboratories participating in an quality assessment scheme could rapidly and dramatically improve their analytical performance. In some countries, participation has become mandatory, and acceptable performance is a requirement in laboratory accreditation. The need and value of the NEQAP is, therefore, evident. While there may be limitations in the national programme. efforts are being made at improving the programme within the means and resources of the organising body. The goals of the NEQAP are not just to monitor performance but also to educate. On this, matters related to and

  5. Fifteen years of external quality assessment in leukemia/lymphoma immunophenotyping in The Netherlands and Belgium: A way forward.

    PubMed

    Preijers, Frank W M B; van der Velden, Vincent H J; Preijers, Tim; Brooimans, Rik A; Marijt, Erik; Homburg, Christa; van Montfort, Kees; Gratama, Jan W

    2016-05-01

    In 1985, external quality assurance was initiated in the Netherlands to reduce the between-laboratory variability of leukemia/lymphoma immunophenotyping and to improve diagnostic conclusions. This program consisted of regular distributions of test samples followed by biannual plenary participant meetings in which results were presented and discussed. A scoring system was developed in which the quality of results was rated by systematically reviewing the pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical assay stages using three scores, i.e., correct (A), minor fault (B), and major fault (C). Here, we report on 90 consecutive samples distributed to 40-61 participating laboratories between 1998 and 2012. Most samples contained >20% aberrant cells, mainly selected from mature lymphoid malignancies (B or T cell) and acute leukemias (myeloid or lymphoblastic). In 2002, minimally required monoclonal antibody (mAb) panels were introduced, whilst methodological guidelines for all three assay stages were implemented. Retrospectively, we divided the study into subsequent periods of 4 ("initial"), 4 ("learning"), and 7 years ("consolidation") to detect "learning effects." Uni- and multivariate models showed that analytical performance declined since 2002, but that post-analytical performance improved during the entire period. These results emphasized the need to improve technical aspects of the assay, and reflected improved interpretational skills of the participants. A strong effect of participant affiliation in all three assay stages was observed: laboratories in academic and large peripheral hospitals performed significantly better than those in small hospitals. © 2015 International Clinical Cytometry Society. PMID:26102096

  6. LED fluorescence microscopy in the diagnosis of tuberculosis: Fading and restaining of smears for external quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Allassia, Sonia; Aranibar, Mónica; Boutonnet, Mónica; Caserío, Viviana; Etchart, Ana Alicia; Fajardo, Sandra; García, Mónica; Gomez, Noemí; Gunia, Alba Marisa; Gustincic, María Virginia; Izquierdo, Viviana; Jara, Arnaldo Andrés; Kozicky, Graciela; Matteo, Mario; Pellegrini, Carlos; Pellegrino, Silvia; Pérez Catalán, Sebastián; Poggi, Susana; Sacramone, Carina; Santiso, Gabriela María; Souto, Alejandro; Togneri, Ana María; Wolff, Lidia; Vilche, Sandra; Eletti, Daniel; Imaz, María Susana

    2016-01-01

    Blinded rechecking is a method proposed for external quality assurance (EQA) of auramine-stained acid-fast bacilli (AFB) smears using fluorescence microscopy (FM), however, this procedure is not well developed and slides fading over time could compromise its implementation. Since bleaching of fluorescent molecules involves temperature-dependent chemical reactions, it is likely that low temperatures could slow down this process. We stored auramine-stained slides under different environmental conditions, including -20°C, and examined them over time. The slides stored in all the environments faded. At -20°C, fading was not reduced in relation to room temperature. Restaining and re-examining smears after five months showed that the slides containing saliva and storage at -20°C were associated with failure in AFB reappearance. In conclusion, the practice of freezing slides until they are viewed should be discouraged as it has a negative effect on blinded rechecking by reducing reading concordance after restaining. Specimen quality should be considered when interpreting FM-EQA results. PMID:27291283

  7. An assessment of the operation of an external quality assessment (EQA) scheme in histopathology in the South Thames (West) region: 1995-1998.

    PubMed Central

    Carter, R L; Cook, M G

    1998-01-01

    AIMS: To describe the design and organisation of a voluntary regional external quality assessment (EQA) scheme in histopathology, and to record the results obtained over a three year period. METHODS: A protocol is presented in which circulation of EQA slides alternated with teaching sessions. Procedures for the choice of suitable cases, evaluation of submitted diagnoses, and feedback of results to participants are described. The use of teaching sessions, complementary to the slide circulations, and dealing with current diagnostic problems is also outlined. RESULTS: Participation rates in the nine slide circulations varied between 66% and 89%, mean 85%. Overall scores were predictably high but 4% of returns, from 10 pathologists, were unsatisfactory. These low scores were typically isolated or intermittent and none of the participants fulfilled agreed criteria for chronic poor performers. CONCLUSIONS: This scheme has been well supported and overall performances have been satisfactory. The design was sufficiently discriminatory to reveal a few low scores which are analysed in detail. Prompt feedback of results to participants with identification of all "incomplete" and "wrong" diagnoses is essential. Involvement of local histopathologists in designing, running, and monitoring such schemes is important. PMID:10070332

  8. Thoughts on Internal and External Quality Assurance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Jianxin

    2012-01-01

    Quality assurance of higher education is made up of two parts: internal quality assurance (IQA) and external quality assurance (EQA). Both belong to a union of the coexistence and balance of yin and yang. But in reality there exists a paradox of "confusion of quality assurance (QA) subject consciousness, singularity of social QA and lack of QA…

  9. Interlaboratory comparison study on lead in blood, in external quality assessment schemes since 1996: a progress report.

    PubMed

    Pineau, Alain; Otz, Jocelyn; Guillard, Olivier; Fauconneau, Bernard; Dumont, Gilles; Françoise-Burg, Elizabeth

    2014-09-01

    In 1992, at the request of the French labor ministry, an External Quality Control for lead in whole blood (F-EQCPbB) came into being. After 15 years (1996-2011), the ministry wished to exploit the database collected with a sufficient number of laboratories. Indeed, the number of participating laboratories had decreased from 73 to 41. However, the key finding pertained to the highly improved performance of the laboratories, which was associated with a spread of the results over the entire range of tested PbB (9 and 700 µg/l). So, it was that in laboratories having participated for >10 years, the good scores rose between 1996 and 2011 from 49% to 93%. To sum up, analysis has shown progressive and highly pronounced diminution of CVs (%) for all the ranges having undergone testing. We have observed increasing use of inductively coupled plasma with mass spectrometry (from 9% in 2005 to 29% in 2011) and decreasing use of electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry. That said, and provided that they are based on the same degree of expertise in metrology, on all tested concentrations the two analytical techniques yield results that are not statistically different. Thanks to the F-EQCPbB, laboratories have enhanced their proficiency and registered demonstrably improved performance. PMID:24796729

  10. Internal versus External Quality Management

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hofman, Roelande H.; Dijkstra, Nynke J.; Hofman, W. H. Adriaan

    2008-01-01

    This article presents the findings of research into quality management in Dutch elementary schools using theories of school accountability and school improvement as fundamentals. The study is based on data gathered from almost 1000 school leaders. It attempts to determine whether different types of quality management exist in primary schools.…

  11. External Quality Assessment for Tuberculosis Diagnosis and Drug Resistance in the European Union: A Five Year Multicentre Implementation Study

    PubMed Central

    Richter, Elvira; Ahmed, Nada; van der Werf, Marieke J.; Kodmon, Csaba; Drobniewski, Francis; Ruesch-Gerdes, Sabine

    2016-01-01

    Background External quality assurance (EQA) systems are essential to ensure accurate diagnosis of TB and drug-resistant TB. The implementation of EQA through organising regular EQA rounds and identification of training needs is one of the key activities of the European TB reference laboratory network (ERLTB-Net). The aim of this study was to analyse the results of the EQA rounds in a systematic manner and to identify potential benefits as well as common problems encountered by the participants. Methods The ERLTB-Net developed seven EQA modules to test laboratories’ proficiency for TB detection and drug susceptibility testing using both conventional and rapid molecular tools. All National TB Reference laboratories in the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA) Member States were invited to participate in the EQA scheme. Results A total of 32 National TB Reference laboratories participated in six EQA rounds conducted in 2010–2014. The participation rate ranged from 52.9% - 94.1% over different modules and rounds. Overall, laboratories demonstrated very good proficiency proving their ability to diagnose TB and drug-resistant TB with high accuracy in a timely manner. A small number of laboratories encountered problems with identification of specific Non-tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTMs) (N = 5) and drug susceptibility testing to Pyrazinamide, Amikacin, Capreomycin, and Ethambutol (N = 4). Conclusions The European TB Reference laboratories showed a steady and high level of performance in the six EQA rounds. A network such as ERLTB-Net can be instrumental in developing and implementing EQA and in establishing collaboration between laboratories to improve the diagnosis of TB in the EU/EEA. PMID:27055064

  12. Aquatic Ecosystems, Water Quality, and Global Change: Challenges of conducting Multi-Stressor Vulnerability Assessments (External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This draft report investigates the issues and challenges associated with identifying, calculating, and mapping indicators of the relative vulnerability of water quality and aquatic ecosystems, across the United States, to the potential impacts of global change. Using a large set...

  13. Diagnosis of West Nile Virus Human Infections: Overview and Proposal of Diagnostic Protocols Considering the Results of External Quality Assessment Studies

    PubMed Central

    Sambri, Vittorio; Capobianchi, Maria R.; Cavrini, Francesca; Charrel, Rémi; Donoso-Mantke, Olivier; Escadafal, Camille; Franco, Leticia; Gaibani, Paolo; Gould, Ernest A.; Niedrig, Matthias; Papa, Anna; Pierro, Anna; Rossini, Giada; Sanchini, Andrea; Tenorio, Antonio; Varani, Stefania; Vázquez, Ana; Vocale, Caterina; Zeller, Herve

    2013-01-01

    West Nile virus, genus Flavivirus, is transmitted between birds and occasionally other animals by ornithophilic mosquitoes. This virus also infects humans causing asymptomatic infections in about 85% of cases and <1% of clinical cases progress to severe neuroinvasive disease. The virus also presents a threat since most infections remain unapparent. However, the virus contained in blood and organs from asymptomatically infected donors can be transmitted to recipients of these infectious tissues. This paper reviews the presently available methods to achieve the laboratory diagnosis of West Nile virus infections in humans, discussing the most prominent advantages and disadvantages of each in light of the results obtained during four different External Quality Assessment studies carried out by the European Network for ‘Imported’ Viral Diseases (ENIVD). PMID:24072061

  14. First Experience of a Multicenter External Quality Assessment of Molecular 16S rRNA Gene Detection in Bone and Joint Infections

    PubMed Central

    Bémer, Pascale; Valentin, Anne Sophie; Héry-Arnaud, Geneviève; Tandé, Didier; Jolivet-Gougeon, Anne; Vincent, Pascal; Kempf, Marie; Lemarié, Carole; Guinard, Jérôme; Bret, Laurent; Cognée, Anne Sophie; Gibaud, Sophie; Burucoa, Christophe; Corvec, Stéphane

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the performance of seven French laboratories for 16S rRNA gene detection by real-time PCR in the diagnosis of bone and joint infection (BJI) to validate a large multicenter study. External quality control (QC) was required owing to the differences in extraction procedures and the molecular equipment used in the different laboratories. Three proficiency sets were organized, including four bacterial DNA extracts and four bead mill-pretreated osteoarticular specimens. Extraction volumes, 16S rRNA gene primers, and sequencing interpretation rules were standardized. In order to assess each laboratory's ability to achieve the best results, scores were assigned, and each QC series was classified as optimal, acceptable, or to be improved. A total of 168 QCs were sent, and 160 responses were analyzed. The expected results were obtained for 93.8%, with the same proportion for extracts (75/80) and clinical specimens (75/80). For the specimens, there was no significant difference between manual and automated extraction. This QC demonstrated the ability to achieve good and homogeneous results using the same 16S rRNA gene PCR with different equipment and validates the possibility of high-quality multicenter studies using molecular diagnosis for BJI. PMID:25411177

  15. First experience of a multicenter external quality assessment of molecular 16S rRNA gene detection in bone and joint infections.

    PubMed

    Plouzeau, Chloé; Bémer, Pascale; Valentin, Anne Sophie; Héry-Arnaud, Geneviève; Tandé, Didier; Jolivet-Gougeon, Anne; Vincent, Pascal; Kempf, Marie; Lemarié, Carole; Guinard, Jérôme; Bret, Laurent; Cognée, Anne Sophie; Gibaud, Sophie; Burucoa, Christophe; Corvec, Stéphane

    2015-02-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the performance of seven French laboratories for 16S rRNA gene detection by real-time PCR in the diagnosis of bone and joint infection (BJI) to validate a large multicenter study. External quality control (QC) was required owing to the differences in extraction procedures and the molecular equipment used in the different laboratories. Three proficiency sets were organized, including four bacterial DNA extracts and four bead mill-pretreated osteoarticular specimens. Extraction volumes, 16S rRNA gene primers, and sequencing interpretation rules were standardized. In order to assess each laboratory's ability to achieve the best results, scores were assigned, and each QC series was classified as optimal, acceptable, or to be improved. A total of 168 QCs were sent, and 160 responses were analyzed. The expected results were obtained for 93.8%, with the same proportion for extracts (75/80) and clinical specimens (75/80). For the specimens, there was no significant difference between manual and automated extraction. This QC demonstrated the ability to achieve good and homogeneous results using the same 16S rRNA gene PCR with different equipment and validates the possibility of high-quality multicenter studies using molecular diagnosis for BJI. PMID:25411177

  16. Perceived health status and environmental quality in the assessment of external costs of waste disposal facilities. An empirical investigation.

    PubMed

    Giaccaria, Sergio; Frontuto, Vito

    2012-08-01

    Taxation for urban waste management has been reformed in Italy by the introduction of an environmental law in 2006. In the planning phase of waste management, externalities generated by new facilities remain widely unaccounted, with a consequent distortion for prices, often raising local conflicts. The paper presents a survey based on the choice modelling methodology, aimed to evaluate on a monetary scale the disamenity effect perceived by incinerator and landfills in an Italian urban context: the city of Turin. In a random utility framework the behaviour of respondents, whose choices are found to be driven by the endowment of information about technological options, socio-economic characteristics as income, education, family composition, and also by their health status was modelled. Furthermore, empirical evidence that the behaviour in residential location choices is affected by different aspects of the respondent life and in particular by the health status was found. Distinct estimates of willingness to accept compensation for disamenity effects of incinerator (Euro 2670) and landfill (Euro 3816) are elicited. The effect of health status of the respondents, their level of information about the waste disposal infrastructure, the presence of a subjective strong aversion (NIMBY) and the actual endowment and concentration of infrastructures are demonstrated to be significant factors determining the choice behaviour, but differentiated and specific for incinerators and landfills. PMID:22588111

  17. Assessment of the Impacts of Global Change on Regional U.S. Air Quality (External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This report was prepared by the Global Change Research Program (GCRP) in the National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) of the Office of Research and Development (ORD) at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is intended for managers and scientists worki...

  18. Three Rounds of External Quality Assessment in France to Evaluate the Performance of 28 Platforms for Multiparametric Molecular Testing in Metastatic Colorectal and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

    PubMed

    Dequeker, Elisabeth M C; Keppens, Cleo; Egele, Caroline; Delen, Sofie; Lamy, Aude; Lemoine, Antoinette; Sabourin, Jean-Christophe; Andrieu, Catherine; Ligtenberg, Marjolijn; Fetique, Dominique; Tops, Bastiaan; Descarpentries, Clotilde; Blons, Hélène; Denoux, Yves; Aube, Cécile; Penault-Llorca, Frederique; Hofman, Paul; Leroy, Karen; Le Marechal, Cédric; Doucet, Laurent; Duranton-Tanneur, Valérie; Pedeutour, Florence; Soubeyran, Isabelle; Côté, Jean-François; Emile, Jean-François; Vignaud, Jean-Michel; Monhoven, Nathalie; Haddad, Véronique; Laurent-Puig, Pierre; van Krieken, Han; Nowak, Frederique; Lonchamp, Etienne; Bellocq, Jean-Pierre; Rouleau, Etienne

    2016-03-01

    Personalized medicine has gained increasing importance in clinical oncology, and several clinically important biomarkers are implemented in routine practice. In an effort to guarantee high quality of molecular testing in France, three subsequent external quality assessment rounds were organized at the initiative of the National Cancer Institute between 2012 and 2014. The schemes included clinically relevant biomarkers for metastatic colorectal (KRAS, NRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA, microsatellite instability) and non-small cell lung cancer (EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA, ERBB2), and they represent the first multigene/multicancer studies throughout Europe. In total, 56 laboratories coordinated by 28 regional molecular centers participated in the schemes. Laboratories received formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples and were asked to use routine methods for molecular testing to predict patient response to targeted therapies. They were encouraged to return results within 14 calendar days after sample receipt. Both genotyping and reporting were evaluated separately. During the three external quality assessment rounds, mean genotype scores were all above the preset standard of 90% for all biomarkers. Participants were mainly challenged in case of rare insertions or deletions. Assessment of the written reports showed substantial progress between the external quality assessment schemes on multiple criteria. Several essential elements such as the clinical interpretation of test results and the reason for testing still require improvement by continued external quality assessment education. PMID:26752307

  19. Can external quality control improve pig AI efficiency?

    PubMed

    Waberski, D; Petrunkina, A M; Töpfer-Petersen, E

    2008-11-01

    External quality control programmes carried out by central laboratories have been long established in human andrology with the aim of enhancing the accuracy and reproducibility of semen assessment. Compared to human, demands on boar semen assessment in AI stations are more complex, with the need both to identify boars with poor ejaculate quality and to monitor individual boar differences for semen storage. Additionally, appropriate assessment serves as a control instrument to ensure the security and efficiency of semen processing. Despite current limitations regarding the ability of sperm assays to estimate the potential fertility of males, it is evident that boar fertility is related to certain conventional semen tests, e.g. sperm morphology. In central studies carried out on stored semen from 11 AI stations, flow cytometric assessment of plasma and acrosome membrane integrity proved to be more sensitive in detecting sperm damage associated with ageing and temperature stress as compared to light microscopy. Membrane integrity of stored semen differed between AI stations indicating significant influences of semen processing on sperm quality. Thus external control of semen quality in reference laboratories may be useful to monitor the efficiency of internal semen quality control in individual AI stations, to identify males with lower semen quality and/or poor response to semen storage, and to verify the precision of sperm counting. The possibility that central laboratories with sufficient resources may be able to identify functionally different responding sperm subpopulations for better estimation of fertility is discussed. Ideally, external quality control schemes for AI stations would comprise application of validated tests with high relevance for fertility (including bacterial status), analysis of semen processing on the AI station, and training courses for laboratory personnel. PMID:18656253

  20. 42 CFR 438.364 - External quality review results.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false External quality review results. 438.364 Section... SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS MANAGED CARE External Quality Review § 438.364 External quality review results. (a) Information that must be produced. The State must ensure that the EQR...

  1. 42 CFR 438.352 - External quality review protocols.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false External quality review protocols. 438.352 Section... SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS MANAGED CARE External Quality Review § 438.352 External quality review protocols. Each protocol must specify— (a) The data to be gathered; (b) The sources of...

  2. 42 CFR 438.364 - External quality review results.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false External quality review results. 438.364 Section... SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS MANAGED CARE External Quality Review § 438.364 External quality review results. (a) Information that must be produced. The State must ensure that the EQR...

  3. 42 CFR 438.352 - External quality review protocols.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false External quality review protocols. 438.352 Section... SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS MANAGED CARE External Quality Review § 438.352 External quality review protocols. Each protocol must specify— (a) The data to be gathered; (b) The sources of...

  4. 42 CFR 438.362 - Exemption from external quality review.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Exemption from external quality review. 438.362... SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS MANAGED CARE External Quality Review § 438.362 Exemption from external quality review. (a) Basis for exemption. The State may exempt an MCO or PIHP from EQR...

  5. 42 CFR 438.362 - Exemption from external quality review.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Exemption from external quality review. 438.362... SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS MANAGED CARE External Quality Review § 438.362 Exemption from external quality review. (a) Basis for exemption. The State may exempt an MCO or PIHP from EQR...

  6. External Quality Assessment (EQA) program for the preanalytical and analytical immunohistochemical determination of HER2 in breast cancer: an experience on a regional scale

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background An External Quality Assessment (EQA) program was developed to investigate the state of the art of HER2 immunohistochemical determination in breast cancer (BC) in 16 Pathology Departments in the Lazio Region (Italy). This program was implemented through two specific steps to evaluate HER2 staining (step 1) and interpretation (step 2) reproducibility among participants. Methods The management activities of this EQA program were assigned to the Coordinating Center (CC), the Revising Centers (RCs) and the Participating Centers (PCs). In step 1, 4 BC sections, selected by RCs, were stained by each PC using their own procedures. In step 2, each PC interpreted HER2 score in 10 BC sections stained by the CC. The concordance pattern was evaluated by using the kappa category-specific statistic and/or the weighted kappa statistic with the corresponding 95% Jackknife confidence interval. Results In step 1, a substantial/almost perfect agreement was reached between the PCs for scores 0 and 3+ whereas a moderate and fair agreement was observed for scores 1+ and 2+, respectively. In step 2, a fully satisfactory agreement was observed for 6 out of the 16 PCs and a quite satisfactory agreement was obtained for the remaining 10 PCs. Conclusions Our findings highlight that in the whole HER2 evaluation process the two intermediate categories, scores 1+ and 2+, are less reproducible than scores 0 and 3+. These findings are relevant in clinical practice where the choice of treatment is based on HER2 positivity, suggesting the need to share evaluation procedures within laboratories and implement educational programs. PMID:23965490

  7. [EXTERNAL QUALITY ASSESSMENT FOR THE LABORATORY IDENTIFICATION OF THE PATHOGENS OF PARASITIC DISEASES AS AN ELEMENT FOR IMPROVING THE POSTGRADUATE TRAINING OF SPECIALISTS].

    PubMed

    Dovgalev, A S; Astanina, S Yu; Malakhov, V N; Serdyuk, A P; Imamkuliev, K D; Gorbunova, Yu P; Pautova, E A; Prodeus, T V; Semenova, T A; Fedyanina, L V

    2016-01-01

    Within the framework of the Federal External Quality Assessment (EQA) System and in the context of postgraduate training improvement for health workers in 2010-2014, specialists from the laboratories of the therapeutic-prophylactic organizations and institutions of the Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare were examined for their professional competence in microscopically identifying the pathogens of parasitic diseases in feces. The virtual remote educational computer technology tools that included different combinations of 16 helminthic species, 5 intestinal protozoan species, and a number of artefacts, were used. The specialists from 984 laboratories of multidisciplinary therapeutic-prophylactic organizations and hygiene and epidemiology centers in all Federal Districts of the Russian Federation were covered. A total of 8245 replies were analyzed. The detection rate for helminths was 64.0%, including those by a taxonomic group (nematodes, 65.0%; cestodes, 72.0%; trematodes, 55.1%). There was a dynamic decrease in the above indicators. There were low detection rates for trematodes parasitizing the small intestine (Metagonimus, 10.2%; Nanophyetus, 26.2%) and hepatobiliary organs (Fasciola, 59.6%; Clonorchis, 34.9%). The similar trend was seen in the detection rates for the pathogens of geohelminthisms (ascariasis, trichocephaliasis, etc.) and contagious helminthisms (enterobiasis, hymenolepiasis). The level of competence in detecting and identifying intestinal protozoa was much lower than the similar rates for helminthism pathogens. EQA for the laboratory diagnosis of the pathogens of parasitic diseases, by using the virtual tools is a leading element of the postgraduate training system for laboratory specialists. The results of EQA for the laboratory diagnosis of the pathogens of parasitic diseases are a basic material for the development, and improvement of training modernization programs, by applying a modular

  8. Sputum smear microscopy: evaluation of impact of training, microscope distribution, and use of external quality assessment guidelines for resource-poor settings.

    PubMed

    Van Rie, A; Fitzgerald, D; Kabuya, G; Van Deun, A; Tabala, M; Jarret, N; Behets, F; Bahati, E

    2008-03-01

    Sputum smear microscopy is the main and often only laboratory technique used for the diagnosis of tuberculosis in resource-poor countries, making quality assurance (QA) of smear microscopy an important activity. We evaluated the effects of a 5-day refresher training course for laboratory technicians and the distribution of new microscopes on the quality of smear microscopy in 13 primary health care laboratories in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. The 2002 external QA guidelines for acid-fast bacillus smear microscopy were implemented, and blinded rechecking of the slides was performed before and 9 months after the training course and microscope distribution. We observed that the on-site checklist was highly time-consuming but could be tailored to capture frequent problems. Random blinded rechecking by the lot QA system method decreased the number of slides to be reviewed. Most laboratories needed further investigation for possible unacceptable performance, even according to the least-stringent interpretation. We conclude that the 2002 external QA guidelines are feasible for implementation in resource-poor settings, that the efficiency of external QA can be increased by selecting sample size parameters and interpretation criteria that take into account the local working conditions, and that greater attention should be paid to the provision of timely feedback and correction of the causes of substandard performance at poorly performing laboratories. PMID:18174302

  9. [Internal and external assessment of nursing home residents' satisfaction].

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Stéphane; Cohen, Nadia; Bertin-Hugault, François; Sanchez, Marc Antoine; Dramé, Moustapha; Denormandie, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Quality improvement procedures and measuring the satisfaction of nursing home residents is a major priority. A study assessed the differences between the results of a survey conducted by internal staff and of one carried out by an external service provider to evaluate the satisfaction of the residents of a nursing home. PMID:27449308

  10. The Effectiveness of External Quality Audits: A Study of Australian Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shah, Mahsood

    2013-01-01

    External quality audits have been introduced in many countries as part of higher education reforms. This article is based on research on 30 Australian universities to assess the extent to which audits by the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) have improved quality assurance in the core and support areas of the universities. The article…

  11. 42 CFR 460.140 - Additional quality assessment activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Additional quality assessment activities. 460.140... FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.140 Additional quality assessment activities. A PACE organization must meet external quality assessment and reporting...

  12. Quality assessment tools add value.

    PubMed

    Paul, L

    1996-10-01

    The rapid evolution of the health care marketplace can be expected to continue as we move closer to the 21st Century. Externally-imposed pressures for cost reduction will increasingly be accompanied by pressure within health care organizations as risk-sharing reimbursement arrangements become more commonplace. Competitive advantage will be available to those organizations that can demonstrate objective value as defined by the cost-quality equation. The tools an organization chooses to perform quality assessment will be an important factor in its ability to demonstrate such value. Traditional quality assurance will in all likelihood continue, but the extent to which quality improvement activities are adopted by the culture of an organization may determine its ability to provide objective evidence of better health status outcomes. PMID:10162486

  13. 42 CFR 438.354 - Qualifications of external quality review organizations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ...; (iii) Quality assessment and improvement methods; and (iv) Research design and methodology, including... term in 48 CFR 19.101) through— (A) Stock ownership; (B) Stock options and convertible debentures; (C... 42 Public Health 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Qualifications of external quality...

  14. [Quality assessment in surgery].

    PubMed

    Espinoza G, Ricardo; Espinoza G, Juan Pablo

    2016-06-01

    This paper deals with quality from the perspective of structure, processes and indicators in surgery. In this specialty, there is a close relationship between effectiveness and quality. We review the definition and classification of surgical complications as an objective means of assessing quality. The great diversity of definitions and risk assessments of surgical complications hampered the comparisons of different surgical centers or the evaluation of a single center along time. We discuss the different factors associated with surgical risk and some of the predictive systems for complications and mortality. At the present time, standarized definitions and comparisons are carried out correcting for risk factors. Thus, indicators of mortality, complications, hospitalization length, postoperative quality of life and costs become comparable between different groups. The volume of procedures of a determinate center or surgeon as a quality indicator is emphasized. PMID:27598495

  15. 77 FR 21086 - Patents External Quality Survey (formerly Customer Panel Quality Survey)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-09

    ... United States Patent and Trademark Office Patents External Quality Survey (formerly Customer Panel Quality Survey) ACTION: Proposed collection; comment request. SUMMARY: The United States Patent and...@uspto.gov . Include ``0651- 0057 Patents External Quality Survey comment'' in the subject line of...

  16. External Quality Assurance in Indian Higher Education: Case Study of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). New Trends in Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stella, Antony

    Many countries have initiated quality assurance mechanisms for higher education, and more are in the process of developing quality assurance strategies. The experience of India, detailed in this case study, can provide valuable lessons for other countries. The accreditation experience of India may seem to be just 8 years old, but it must be…

  17. Quality Assessment in Oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Albert, Jeffrey M.; Das, Prajnan

    2012-07-01

    The movement to improve healthcare quality has led to a need for carefully designed quality indicators that accurately reflect the quality of care. Many different measures have been proposed and continue to be developed by governmental agencies and accrediting bodies. However, given the inherent differences in the delivery of care among medical specialties, the same indicators will not be valid across all of them. Specifically, oncology is a field in which it can be difficult to develop quality indicators, because the effectiveness of an oncologic intervention is often not immediately apparent, and the multidisciplinary nature of the field necessarily involves many different specialties. Existing and emerging comparative effectiveness data are helping to guide evidence-based practice, and the increasing availability of these data provides the opportunity to identify key structure and process measures that predict for quality outcomes. The increasing emphasis on quality and efficiency will continue to compel the medical profession to identify appropriate quality measures to facilitate quality improvement efforts and to guide accreditation, credentialing, and reimbursement. Given the wide-reaching implications of quality metrics, it is essential that they be developed and implemented with scientific rigor. The aims of the present report were to review the current state of quality assessment in oncology, identify existing indicators with the best evidence to support their implementation, and propose a framework for identifying and refining measures most indicative of true quality in oncologic care.

  18. Higher Education Quality Assessment in China: An Impact Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Shuiyun

    2015-01-01

    This research analyses an external higher education quality assessment scheme in China, namely, the Quality Assessment of Undergraduate Education (QAUE) scheme. Case studies were conducted in three Chinese universities with different statuses. Analysis shows that the evaluated institutions responded to the external requirements of the QAUE…

  19. The Educational Quality Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dinsmore, Peter; And Others

    1976-01-01

    Pennsylvania's Educational Quality Assessment (EQA) program is discussed in terms of its historical background, ACLU objections to its alleged infringements of individual rights, and reactions of students who have taken it. Journal is available from Ritter Hall, Fourth Floor, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pa. 19122. (AV)

  20. The efficacy of computer reminders on external quality assessment for point-of-care testing in Danish general practice: rationale and methodology for two randomized trials

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Point-of-care testing (POCT) is increasingly being used in general practice to assist general practitioners (GPs) in their management of patients with diseases. However, low adherence to quality guidelines in terms of split test procedures has been observed among GPs in parts of the Capital Region in Denmark. Computer reminders embedded in GPs electronic medical records (ComRem) may facilitate improved quality control behaviour, but more research is needed to identify what types of reminders work and when. The overall aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of ComRem to improve GPs adherence to quality guidelines. This article describes the rationale and methods of the study that constitute this research project. Methods/design The study is conducted as two randomised controlled trials (RCTs) among general practices in two districts of the Capital Region in Denmark. These districts contain a total of 739 GPs in 567 practices with a total of 1.1 million patients allocated to practice lists. In the first RCT (RCT A), ComRem is compared to postal reminder letters. In the second RCT (RCT B), ComRem is compared to usual activities (no reminders) with a crossover approach. In both of these studies, outcomes are measured by the number of split tests received by the laboratory. Conclusions This study will contribute to knowledge on the efficacy of ComRem in primary care. Because the study does not explore GPs' perceptions and experiences with regard to ComRem, we will subsequently conduct a qualitative survey focusing on these aspects. Trial registrations Study A: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01152151 Study B: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01152177 PMID:21781338

  1. Reconciling Organisational Culture and External Quality Assurance in Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naidoo, Dhaya

    2013-01-01

    Organisational culture and external quality assurance have both been presented as significant drivers of effectiveness, efficiency and excellence in higher education institutions. However, these assumptions have not been critically examined given the philosophical, conceptual and methodological contestations surrounding both constructs. A…

  2. Higher Education Quality: Perception Differences among Internal and External Stakeholders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abidin, Munirul

    2015-01-01

    Conceptually, education quality of higher education can be determined by evaluation of their stakeholders's satisfaction level. The purpose of this study is to describe how students as external stakeholder and lecturers as internal stakeholder, perceived their satisfaction of learning experience in the university. This study was conducted in…

  3. Performance of Microscopy for the Diagnosis of Malaria and Human African Trypanosomiasis by Diagnostic Laboratories in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Results of a Nation-Wide External Quality Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Mukadi, Pierre; Lejon, Veerle; Barbé, Barbara; Gillet, Philippe; Nyembo, Christophe; Lukuka, Albert; Likwela, Joris; Lumbala, Crispin; Mbaruku, Justin; Vander Veken, Wim; Mumba, Dieudonné; Lutumba, Pascal; Muyembe, Jean-Jacques; Jacobs, Jan

    2016-01-01

    The present External Quality Assessment (EQA) assessed microscopy of blood parasites among diagnostic laboratories in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The EQA addressed 445 participants in 10/11 provinces (October 2013–April 2014). Participants were sent a panel of five slides and asked to return a routinely stained slide which was assessed for quality of preparation and staining. Response rate was 89.9% (400/445). For slide 1 (no parasites), 30.6% participants reported malaria, mostly Plasmodium falciparum. Only 11.0% participants reported slide 2 (Plasmodium malariae) correctly, 71.0% reported “malaria” or “Plasmodium falciparum” (considered acceptable). Slide 3 contained Plasmodium falciparum (109/μl) and Trypanosoma brucei brucei trypomastigotes: they were each reported by 32.5% and 16.5% participants respectively, 6.0% reported both. Slide 4 (Trypanosoma) was recognised by 44.9% participants. Slide 5 (Plasmodium ovale) was correctly reported by 6.2% participants, another 68.8% replied “malaria” or “Plasmodium falciparum” (considered acceptable). Only 13.6% of routine slides returned were correctly prepared and stained. The proportion of correct/acceptable scores for at least 4/5 slides was higher among EQA-experienced participants compared to first time participants (40.9% versus 22.4%, p = 0.001) and higher among those being trained < 2 years ago compared to those who were not (42.9% versus 26.3%, p = 0.01). Among diagnostic laboratories in Democratic Republic of the Congo, performance of blood parasite microscopy including non-falciparum species and Trypanosoma was poor. Recent training and previous EQA participation were associated with a better performance. PMID:26788725

  4. Has External Quality Assurance Actually Improved Quality in Higher Education over the Course of 20 Years of the "Quality Revolution"?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kristensen, Bente

    2010-01-01

    At the beginning of the last 20 years so-called "quality revolution" it was expected from most of the established national quality agencies that internal quality systems and the development of an internal quality culture would emerge automatically in the HEI from the external quality impact. The author argues that a better balance must be found…

  5. Professionalism, Profession and Quality Assurance Practitioners in External Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheung, Jordan C. M.

    2015-01-01

    This article seeks to spark a dialectic discussion on the establishment of a set of professional competencies for quality assurance practitioners who serve in external quality assurance agencies in higher education. Such a need is identified due to the shortage of relevant and sufficient coverage in the quality assurance literature. To…

  6. Joint Statement: Quality Assessment and Quality Audit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, Edinburgh.

    This document sets out the respective responsibilities of the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC) and the Higher Education Quality Council (HEQC) as they currently stand in the field of higher education quality assurance. The SHEFC and the HEQC are both agencies that fulfill legislatively mandated quality assessment and control…

  7. Interrater Reliability in Large-Scale Assessments--Can Teachers Score National Tests Reliably without External Controls?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pantzare, Anna Lind

    2015-01-01

    In most large-scale assessment systems a set of rather expensive external quality controls are implemented in order to guarantee the quality of interrater reliability. This study empirically examines if teachers' ratings of national tests in mathematics can be reliable without using monitoring, training, or other methods of external quality…

  8. Implementation of external hazards in Probabilistic Safety Assessment for nuclear power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Manorma; Klug, Joakim; Raimond, Emmanuel

    2015-04-01

    The paper will focus on the discussion on implementation of external hazards in the probabilistic safety assessment (PSA) methods for the extreme external hazards mainly focused on Seismic, Flooding, Meteorological Hazards (e.g. Storm, Extreme temperature, snow pack), Biological infestation, Lightening hazards, Accidental Aircraft crash and man- made hazards including natural external fire and external explosion. This will include discussion on identification of some good practices on the implementation of external hazards in Level 1 PSA, with a perspective of development of extended PSA and introduction of relevant modelling for external hazards in an existing Level 1 PSA. This paper is associated to the European project ASAMPSAE (www.asampsa.eu) which gathers more than 30 organizations (industry, research, safety control) from Europe, US and Japan and which aims at identifying some meaningful practices to extend the scope and the quality of the existing probabilistic safety analysis developed for nuclear power plants.

  9. External Quality Assessment of Reading and Interpretation of Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests among 1849 End-Users in the Democratic Republic of the Congo through Short Message Service (SMS)

    PubMed Central

    Mukadi, Pierre; Gillet, Philippe; Lukuka, Albert; Mbatshi, Joêl; Otshudiema, John; Muyembe, Jean-Jacques; Buyze, Jozefien; Jacobs, Jan; Lejon, Veerle

    2013-01-01

    Background Although malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) are simple to perform, they remain subject to errors, mainly related to the post-analytical phase. We organized the first large scale SMS based external quality assessment (EQA) on correct reading and interpretation of photographs of a three-band malaria RDT among laboratory health workers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo). Methods and Findings High resolution EQA photographs of 10 RDT results together with a questionnaire were distributed to health facilities in 9 out of 11 provinces in DR Congo. Each laboratory health worker answered the EQA by Short Message Service (SMS). Filled-in questionnaires from each health facility were sent back to Kinshasa. A total of 1849 laboratory health workers in 1014 health facilities participated. Most frequent errors in RDT reading were i) failure to recognize invalid (13.2–32.5% ) or negative test results (9.8–12.8%), (ii) overlooking faint test lines (4.1–31.2%) and (iii) incorrect identification of the malaria species (12.1–17.4%). No uniform strategy for diagnosis of malaria at the health facility was present. Stock outs of RDTs occurred frequently. Half of the health facilities had not received an RDT training. Only two thirds used the RDT recommended by the National Malaria Control Program. Performance of RDT reading was positively associated with training and the technical level of health facility. Facilities with RDT positivity rates >50% and located in Eastern DR Congo performed worse. Conclusions Our study confirmed that errors in reading and interpretation of malaria RDTs are widespread and highlighted the problem of stock outs of RDTs. Adequate training of end-users in the application of malaria RDTs associated with regular EQAs is recommended. PMID:23967211

  10. An In-Depth Study on the Impact of External Quality Assurance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stensaker, Bjorn; Langfeldt, Liv; Harvey, Lee; Huisman, Jeroen; Westerheijden, Don

    2011-01-01

    After more than two decades of external quality assurance, there is an increasing interest in questions concerning the impact and effects of this activity. Following an external evaluation of NOKUT--the Norwegian quality assurance agency, this article studies the impact of external quality assurance in detail by analysing quantitative and…

  11. Portfolio Assessment and Quality Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Youb; Yazdian, Lisa Sensale

    2014-01-01

    Our article focuses on using portfolio assessment to craft quality teaching. Extant research literature on portfolio assessment suggests that the primary purpose of assessment is to serve learning, and portfolio assessments facilitate the process of making linkages among assessment, curriculum, and student learning (Asp, 2000; Bergeron, Wermuth,…

  12. Stationary and non-stationary autoregressive processes with external inputs for predicting trends in water quality.

    PubMed

    Pinault, Jean Louis; Dubus, Igor G

    2008-08-20

    An autoregressive approach for the prediction of water quality trends in systems subject to varying meteorological conditions and short observation periods is discussed. Under these conditions, the dynamics of the system can be reliably forecast, provided their internal processes are understood and characterized independently of the external inputs. A methodology based on stationary and non-stationary autoregressive processes with external inputs (ARX) is proposed to assess and predict trends in hydrosystems which are at risk of contamination by organic and inorganic pollutants, such as pesticides or nutrients. The procedures are exemplified for the transport of atrazine and its main metabolite deethylatrazine in a small agricultural catchment in France. The approach is expected to be of particular value to assess current and future trends in water quality as part of the European Water Framework Directive and Groundwater Directives. PMID:18554747

  13. On the Roles of External Knowledge Representations in Assessment Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mislevy, Robert J.; Behrens, John T.; Bennett, Randy E.; Demark, Sarah F.; Frezzo, Dennis C.; Levy, Roy; Robinson, Daniel H.; Rutstein, Daisy Wise; Shute, Valerie J.; Stanley, Ken; Winters, Fielding I.

    2010-01-01

    People use external knowledge representations (KRs) to identify, depict, transform, store, share, and archive information. Learning how to work with KRs is central to be-coming proficient in virtually every discipline. As such, KRs play central roles in curriculum, instruction, and assessment. We describe five key roles of KRs in assessment: (1)…

  14. External Assessment: A California Case Study in Innovative Program Evaluation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Alan H.; LoPresti, Peter L.

    1982-01-01

    A history is presented of the External Assessment Pilot Project of California's Commission on Teacher Preparation and Licensing. Carried out from 1974 to 1979, the project assessed teacher education programs at California higher education institutions. After giving the background of the project, including the creation of the commission, the…

  15. Solar Radiation Empirical Quality Assessment

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    1994-03-01

    The SERIQC1 subroutine performs quality assessment of one, two, or three-component solar radiation data (global horizontal, direct normal, and diffuse horizontal) obtained from one-minute to one-hour integrations. Included in the package is the QCFIT tool to derive expected values from historical data, and the SERIQC1 subroutine to assess the quality of measurement data.

  16. WATER QUALITY ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY (WQAM)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Water Quality Assessment Methodology (WQAM) is a screening procedure for toxic and conventional pollutants in surface and ground waters and is a collection of formulas, tables, and graphs that planners can use for preliminary assessment of surface and ground water quality in ...

  17. Ten Years of External Quality Audit in Australia: Evaluating Its Effectiveness and Success

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shah, Mahsood

    2012-01-01

    External quality audits are now being used in universities across the world to improve quality assurance, accountability for quality education and transparency of public funding of higher education. Some countries such as Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Sweden and Denmark have had external quality audits for more than a decade but there…

  18. Integrated Science Assessment for Lead (First External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has announced that the First External Review Draft of the Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Lead (Pb) has been made available for independent peer review and public review. This draft ISA represents a concise synthesis and evaluation of the most policy-relevant science ...

  19. Using Portfolios for External Assessment: An Experiment in Portugal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pereira de Eca, Maria Teresa Torres

    2005-01-01

    This article describes some of the conclusions reached from an experiment using portfolios for art external assessment at the end of secondary education (age 17+) conducted in five Portuguese schools in 2001-2003. Several positive outcomes were found. Students found portfolios to be motivating and fostering constructive learning, dialogue and…

  20. Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter (Second External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has announced that the Second External Review Draft of the Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Particulate Matter (PM) have been made available for independent peer review and public review. The ISA reflects the latest scientific knowledge useful in indicating the kind...

  1. Integrated Science Assessment for Carbon Monoxide (First External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has announced that the First External Review Draft of the Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Carbon Monoxide (CO) and related Annexes have been made available for independent peer review and public review. This draft ISA document represents a concise synthesis and evalua...

  2. Integrated Science Assessment for Lead (Second External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has announced that the Second External Review Draft of the Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Lead (Pb) has been made available for independent peer review and public review. This draft ISA represents a concise synthesis and evaluation of the most policy-relevant science...

  3. Multifaceted Functional Behavior Assessment for Students with Externalizing Behavior Disorders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olympia, Daniel E.; Heathfield, Lora Tuesday; Jenson, William R.; Clark, Elaine

    2002-01-01

    This article describes specific components of a multifaceted approach to functional behavior assessment in the context of the widely accepted behavioral excess/deficit model for students with externalizing behavior disorders. Specific strategies to address academic skill and performance deficits as well as social skills deficiencies are also…

  4. Integrated Science Assessment for Carbon Monoxide (Second External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has announced that the Second External Review Draft of the Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Carbon Monoxide (CO) and related Annexes have been made available for independent peer review and public review. This draft ISA document represents a concise synthesis and evalu...

  5. Strategic Planning Techniques: Matching External Assessment with Internal Audit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Groff, Warren H.

    The literature on strategic planning, and the capabilities of Massachusetts system of public postsecondary education were assessed, as part of a 1981 leadership seminar. Teams from all public postsecondary education institutions in the state reviewed the basic concepts of strategic planning; critically analyzed the environment external to their…

  6. Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter (First External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has announced that the First External Review Draft of the Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Particulate Matter and related Annexes have been made available for independent peer review and public review. This draft ISA document represents a concise synthesis and e...

  7. Integrated Science Assessment for Lead (Third External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has announced that the Third External Review Draft of the Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Lead (Pb) has been made available for independent peer review and public review. This draft ISA represents a concise synthesis and evaluation of the most policy-relevant science ...

  8. Assessing Air Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bloomfield, Molly

    2000-01-01

    Introduces the Science and Math Investigative Learning Experiences (SMILE) program. Presents an air quality problem as an example of an integrated challenge problem activity developed by the SMILE program. Explains the process of challenge problems and provides a list of the National Science Education Standards addressed by challenge problems.…

  9. Irrigation water quality assessments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing demands on fresh water supplies by municipal and industrial users means decreased fresh water availability for irrigated agriculture in semi arid and arid regions. There is potential for agricultural use of treated wastewaters and low quality waters for irrigation but this will require co...

  10. Institutional Consequences of Quality Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joao Rosa, Maria; Tavares, Diana; Amaral, Alberto

    2006-01-01

    This paper analyses the opinions of Portuguese university rectors and academics on the quality assessment system and its consequences at the institutional level. The results obtained show that university staff (rectors and academics, with more of the former than the latter) held optimistic views of the positive consequences of quality assessment…

  11. Quality assessment of urban environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ovsiannikova, T. Y.; Nikolaenko, M. N.

    2015-01-01

    This paper is dedicated to the research applicability of quality management problems of construction products. It is offered to expand quality management borders in construction, transferring its principles to urban systems as economic systems of higher level, which qualitative characteristics are substantially defined by quality of construction product. Buildings and structures form spatial-material basis of cities and the most important component of life sphere - urban environment. Authors justify the need for the assessment of urban environment quality as an important factor of social welfare and life quality in urban areas. The authors suggest definition of a term "urban environment". The methodology of quality assessment of urban environment is based on integrated approach which includes the system analysis of all factors and application of both quantitative methods of assessment (calculation of particular and integrated indicators) and qualitative methods (expert estimates and surveys). The authors propose the system of indicators, characterizing quality of the urban environment. This indicators fall into four classes. The authors show the methodology of their definition. The paper presents results of quality assessment of urban environment for several Siberian regions and comparative analysis of these results.

  12. Externalities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zicht, Barbara, Ed.; And Others

    1982-01-01

    This issue explains the concept of externalities (benefits or burdens which accrue to society when there is a difference between the private cost or benefit of an action and the social cost or benefit of that action). These external or social costs of individual actions are often referred to as spillover costs. Three brief teaching units follow…

  13. Educational Quality Assessment. 1986 Data.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pennsylvania State Dept. of Education, Harrisburg. Div. of Educational Testing and Evaluation.

    This manual contains the statistics generated from the Pennsylvania Quality Education Assessment (QEA) administered in 1986. The assessment was to evaluate the achievement of certain educational objectives in grades 4, 6, 7, 9, and 11 in the public schools. The tests were in the following areas: reading comprehension, writing skills, mathematics,…

  14. Objective view synthesis quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conze, Pierre-Henri; Robert, Philippe; Morin, Luce

    2012-03-01

    View synthesis brings geometric distortions which are not handled efficiently by existing image quality assessment metrics. Despite the widespread of 3-D technology and notably 3D television (3DTV) and free-viewpoints television (FTV), the field of view synthesis quality assessment has not yet been widely investigated and new quality metrics are required. In this study, we propose a new full-reference objective quality assessment metric: the View Synthesis Quality Assessment (VSQA) metric. Our method is dedicated to artifacts detection in synthesized view-points and aims to handle areas where disparity estimation may fail: thin objects, object borders, transparency, variations of illumination or color differences between left and right views, periodic objects... The key feature of the proposed method is the use of three visibility maps which characterize complexity in terms of textures, diversity of gradient orientations and presence of high contrast. Moreover, the VSQA metric can be defined as an extension of any existing 2D image quality assessment metric. Experimental tests have shown the effectiveness of the proposed method.

  15. Externalities and electric power: an integrated assessment approach

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, R.

    1995-12-31

    This paper describes an integrated assessment approach for considering the options that electric utilities have to meet the anticipated demand for their power. The objective that this paper considers is one of meeting the demand for power, with an acceptable degree of reliability, at minimum cost. The total cost is the sum of the private cost of producing the electric power plus the external costs that result from its production. These external costs, or externalities, are effects on the well-being of third parties that producers and consumers of electric power do not take into account in their decisions. The external costs include many different types of effects such as illness, ecosystem damage, and road damage. The solution to the problem of minimizing total cost is addressed in two steps. The first step uses damage function methods to establish a common metric for the weights of the different objectives (i.e., external costs). The damage function analysis also reduces the dimensionality of the analysis in the second step, and identifies criteria to include in that analysis. The second step uses multi-criteria decision methods. This analysis includes the most important externalities that the damage function analysis identifies and, in addition, potentially important factors that can not be quantified reliably using damage function methods. An example of the latter are the damages from global climate change. The two-step method that this paper describes addresses many of the limitations of the damage function method and multi-criteria methods, that arise when they are used separately. This linked method can be used by electric utilities for their integrated resource planning. It can also be adapted to other applications.

  16. Toward development of a comprehensive external quality assurance program for polyfunctional intracellular cytokine staining assays

    PubMed Central

    Staats, Janet S.; Enzor, Jennifer H.; Sanchez, Ana M.; Rountree, Wes; Chan, Cliburn; Jaimes, Maria; Chan, Ray Chun-Fai; Gaur, Amitabh; Denny, Thomas N.; Weinhold, Kent J.

    2014-01-01

    The External Quality Assurance Program Oversight Laboratory (EQAPOL) Flow Cytometry Program assesses the proficiency of NIH/NIAID/DAIDS-supported and potentially other interested research laboratories in performing Intracellular Cytokine Staining (ICS) assays. The goal of the EQAPOL Flow Cytometry External Quality Assurance Program (EQAP) is to provide proficiency testing and remediation for participating sites. The program is not punitive; rather, EQAPOL aims to help sites identify areas for improvement. EQAPOL utilizes a highly standardized ICS assay to minimize variability and readily identify those sites experiencing technical difficulties with their assays. Here, we report the results of External Proficiency 3 (EP3) where participating sites performed a 7-color ICS assay. On average, sites perform well in the Flow Cytometry EQAP (median score is “Good”). The most common technical issues identified by the program involve protocol adherence and data analysis; these areas have been the focus of site remediation. The EQAPOL Flow Cytometry team is now in the process of expanding the program to 8-color ICS assays. Evaluating polyfunctional ICS responses would align the program with assays currently being performed in support of HIV immune monitoring assays. PMID:24968072

  17. The Influence of Strategy and External Quality Audit on University Performance: An Australian Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shah, Mahsood; Nair, Sid

    2011-01-01

    External quality audits have been introduced in many parts of the world including Asia Pacific, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. While external quality audits have been introduced for more than a decade in some countries like New Zealand, the United Kingdom (UK), Denmark, and Sweden, there is limited research on the extent to which such…

  18. Quality assessment for hyperspectral imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yuheng; Chen, Xinhua; Zhou, Jiankang; Shen, Weimin

    2014-11-01

    Image quality assessment is an essential value judgement approach for many applications. Multi & hyper spectral imaging has more judging essentials than grey scale or RGB imaging and its image quality assessment job has to cover up all-around evaluating factors. This paper presents an integrating spectral imaging quality assessment project, in which spectral-based, radiometric-based and spatial-based statistical behavior for three hyperspectral imagers are jointly executed. Spectral response function is worked out based on discrete illumination images and its spectral performance is deduced according to its FWHM and spectral excursion value. Radiometric response ability of different spectral channel under both on-ground and airborne imaging condition is judged by SNR computing based upon local RMS extraction and statistics method. Spatial response evaluation of the spectral imaging instrument is worked out by MTF computing with slanted edge analysis method. Reported pioneering systemic work in hyperspectral imaging quality assessment is carried out with the help of several domestic dominating work units, which not only has significance in the development of on-ground and in-orbit instrument performance evaluation technique but also takes on reference value for index demonstration and design optimization for instrument development.

  19. EQA: Educational Quality Assessment. Commentary.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pennsylvania State Dept. of Education, Harrisburg. Div. of Educational Testing and Evaluation.

    In response to a prevailing demand for better quality education in public schools in Pennsylvania, procedures were developed to measure the adequacy and the efficiency of the educational programs in public schools. The objectives currently assessed are in the following areas: communication skills (reading and writing), mathematics, self-esteem,…

  20. External dose assessment in the Ukraine following the Chernobyl accident

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frazier, Remi Jordan Lesartre

    While the physiological effects of radiation exposure have been well characterized in general, it remains unclear what the relationship is between large-scale radiological events and psychosocial behavior outcomes in individuals or populations. To investigate this, the National Science Foundation funded a research project in 2008 at the University of Colorado in collaboration with Colorado State University to expand the knowledge of complex interactions between radiation exposure, perception of risk, and psychosocial behavior outcomes by modeling outcomes for a representative sample of the population of the Ukraine which had been exposed to radiocontaminant materials released by the reactor accident at Chernobyl on 26 April 1986. In service of this project, a methodology (based substantially on previously published models specific to the Chernobyl disaster and the Ukrainian population) was developed for daily cumulative effective external dose and dose rate assessment for individuals in the Ukraine for as a result of the Chernobyl disaster. A software platform was designed and produced to estimate effective external dose and dose rate for individuals based on their age, occupation, and location of residence on each day between 26 April 1986 and 31 December 2009. A methodology was developed to transform published 137Cs soil deposition contour maps from the Comprehensive Atlas of Caesium Deposition on Europe after the Chernobyl Accident into a geospatial database to access these data as a radiological source term. Cumulative effective external dose and dose rate were computed for each individual in a 703-member cohort of Ukrainians randomly selected to be representative of the population of the country as a whole. Error was estimated for the resulting individual dose and dose rate values with Monte Carlo simulations. Distributions of input parameters for the dose assessment methodology were compared to computed dose and dose rate estimates to determine which

  1. Assessing risks to ecosystem quality

    SciTech Connect

    Barnthouse, L.W.

    1995-12-31

    Ecosystems are not organisms. Because ecosystems do not reproduce, grow old or sick, and die, the term ecosystem health is somewhat misleading and perhaps should not be used. A more useful concept is ``ecosystem quality,`` which denotes a set of desirable ecosystem characteristics defined in terms of species composition, productivity, size/condition of specific populations, or other measurable properties. The desired quality of an ecosystem may be pristine, as in a nature preserve, or highly altered by man, as in a managed forest or navigational waterway. ``Sustainable development`` implies that human activities that influence ecosystem quality should be managed so that high-quality ecosystems are maintained for future generations. In sustainability-based environmental management, the focus is on maintaining or improving ecosystem quality, not on restricting discharges or requiring particular waste treatment technologies. This approach requires management of chemical impacts to be integrated with management of other sources of stress such as erosion, eutrophication, and direct human exploitation. Environmental scientists must (1) work with decision makers and the public to define ecosystem quality goals, (2) develop corresponding measures of ecosystem quality, (3) diagnose causes for departures from desired states, and (4) recommend appropriate restoration actions, if necessary. Environmental toxicology and chemical risk assessment are necessary for implementing the above framework, but they are clearly not sufficient. This paper reviews the state-of-the science relevant to sustaining the quality of aquatic ecosystems. Using the specific example of a reservoir in eastern Tennessee, the paper attempts to define roles for ecotoxicology and risk assessment in each step of the management process.

  2. Parental Perceptions of Child Care Quality in Centre-Based and Home-Based Settings: Associations with External Quality Ratings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lehrer, Joanne S.; Lemay, Lise; Bigras, Nathalie

    2015-01-01

    The current study examined how parental perceptions of child care quality were related to external quality ratings and considered how parental perceptions of quality varied according to child care context (home-based or centre-based settings). Parents of 179 4-year-old children who attended child care centres (n = 141) and home-based settings…

  3. AIR QUALITY CRITERIA CARBON MONOXIDE, EXTERNAL REVIEW DRAFT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgates the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) on the basis of scientific information contained in criteria documents. The last air quality criteria document for carbon monoxide (CO) was completed by EPA in 1991. This...

  4. Academic Staff Views on External Quality Audit: Post Audit Evaluation in a Private Higher Education College

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shah, Mahsood; Nair, Chenicheri Sid; Stanford, Sue-Ann

    2011-01-01

    Governments in many countries have funded independent agencies to undertake quality audits of higher education institutions. Such agencies ensure that universities and other higher education providers have effective systems and processes to assure quality assurance in core and support areas. While external quality audits have been in place for a…

  5. International Comparisons and Trends in External Quality Assurance of Higher Education: Commonality or Diversity?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Billing, David

    2004-01-01

    The paper explores international comparisons of the extent of commonality or diversity in the main national external quality assurance frameworks for higher education. It has been suggested, from an European survey, that there are common features in national quality assurance frameworks (van Vught and Westerheijden (Quality Management and Quality…

  6. The Introduction of External Quality Assurance in South African Higher Education: An Analysis of Stakeholder Response

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luckett, Kathy

    2007-01-01

    This paper analyses the take-up of proposals for a national quality assurance system in South Africa using different approaches to quality assurance to classify stakeholder responses to survey and interview questions. The context of the study was the introduction of an external quality assurance system for South African higher education by an…

  7. The Achilles' Heel of Quality: The Assessment of Student Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knight, Peter T.

    2002-01-01

    Explores the dependability of assessments of student achievement when used for internal and external quality monitoring (IQM and EQM). Identifies problems and suggests responses, including a radical approach based on accepting that reliable national data about complex student achievements are not available. Asserts that reliance on EQM is unwise…

  8. Orion Entry Handling Qualities Assessments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bihari, B.; Tiggers, M.; Strahan, A.; Gonzalez, R.; Sullivan, K.; Stephens, J. P.; Hart, J.; Law, H., III; Bilimoria, K.; Bailey, R.

    2011-01-01

    The Orion Command Module (CM) is a capsule designed to bring crew back from the International Space Station (ISS), the moon and beyond. The atmospheric entry portion of the flight is deigned to be flown in autopilot mode for nominal situations. However, there exists the possibility for the crew to take over manual control in off-nominal situations. In these instances, the spacecraft must meet specific handling qualities criteria. To address these criteria two separate assessments of the Orion CM s entry Handling Qualities (HQ) were conducted at NASA s Johnson Space Center (JSC) using the Cooper-Harper scale (Cooper & Harper, 1969). These assessments were conducted in the summers of 2008 and 2010 using the Advanced NASA Technology Architecture for Exploration Studies (ANTARES) six degree of freedom, high fidelity Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GN&C) simulation. This paper will address the specifics of the handling qualities criteria, the vehicle configuration, the scenarios flown, the simulation background and setup, crew interfaces and displays, piloting techniques, ratings and crew comments, pre- and post-fight briefings, lessons learned and changes made to improve the overall system performance. The data collection tools, methods, data reduction and output reports will also be discussed. The objective of the 2008 entry HQ assessment was to evaluate the handling qualities of the CM during a lunar skip return. A lunar skip entry case was selected because it was considered the most demanding of all bank control scenarios. Even though skip entry is not planned to be flown manually, it was hypothesized that if a pilot could fly the harder skip entry case, then they could also fly a simpler loads managed or ballistic (constant bank rate command) entry scenario. In addition, with the evaluation set-up of multiple tasks within the entry case, handling qualities ratings collected in the evaluation could be used to assess other scenarios such as the constant bank angle

  9. Fovea based image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Anan; Zhao, Debin; Liu, Shaohui; Cao, Guangyao

    2010-07-01

    Humans are the ultimate receivers of the visual information contained in an image, so the reasonable method of image quality assessment (IQA) should follow the properties of the human visual system (HVS). In recent years, IQA methods based on HVS-models are slowly replacing classical schemes, such as mean squared error (MSE) and Peak Signal-to-Noise Ratio (PSNR). IQA-structural similarity (SSIM) regarded as one of the most popular HVS-based methods of full reference IQA has apparent improvements in performance compared with traditional metrics in nature, however, it performs not very well when the images' structure is destroyed seriously or masked by noise. In this paper, a new efficient fovea based structure similarity image quality assessment (FSSIM) is proposed. It enlarges the distortions in the concerned positions adaptively and changes the importances of the three components in SSIM. FSSIM predicts the quality of an image through three steps. First, it computes the luminance, contrast and structure comparison terms; second, it computes the saliency map by extracting the fovea information from the reference image with the features of HVS; third, it pools the above three terms according to the processed saliency map. Finally, a commonly experimental database LIVE IQA is used for evaluating the performance of the FSSIM. Experimental results indicate that the consistency and relevance between FSSIM and mean opinion score (MOS) are both better than SSIM and PSNR clearly.

  10. External tank program productivity and quality enhancements - A case study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Locke, S. R.

    1988-01-01

    The optimization of the Manned Space Systems productivity and quality enhancement program is described. The guidelines and standards of the program and the roles played in it by various employee groups are addressed. Aspects of the program involving job/organization redefinition, production and planning in automation, and artificial intelligence and robotics are examined.

  11. Air Quality Criteria for Lead (First External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background:

    The Clean Air Act mandates periodic review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six common air pollutants, also referred to as criteria pollutants, including lead. Under the review process, EPA's Office of Research and Development d...

  12. AIR QUALITY CRITERIA FOR LEAD (SECOND EXTERNAL REVIEW DRAFT)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Clean Air Act mandates periodic review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six common air pollutants, also referred to as criteria pollutants, including lead. Under the review process, EPA's Office of Research and Development develops a criteria docu...

  13. Self-regulation assessment among preschoolers with externalizing behavior problems.

    PubMed

    Graziano, Paulo A; Slavec, Janine; Ros, Rosmary; Garb, Leanna; Hart, Katie; Garcia, Alexis

    2015-12-01

    This study examined the construct validity and clinical utility of a brief self-regulation assessment (Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders, HTKS) among a clinical sample of children with externalizing behavior problems (EBP). Participants for this study included 101 preschool children (72% male; Mage = 5.10 years; 79% Hispanic) with at-risk or clinically elevated levels of EBP. Self-regulation measures included the HTKS task, 4 standardized subtests from the Automated Working Memory Assessment (AWMA), parent and teacher reports of children's executive functioning (EF), and children's self-regulation performance across a series of executive functioning classroom games conducted as part of a summer treatment camp. Additional outcomes included school readiness as measured by standardized achievement tests, and parent and teacher reports of kindergarten readiness and behavioral impairment related to academic functioning. Performance on the HTKS task was moderately correlated with children's performance on the standardized working memory tasks and observed self-regulation performance in the classroom. Low to moderate correlations were observed between performance on the HTKS task and parent report of children's EF difficulties, as well as parent and teacher reports of children's kindergarten readiness and behavioral impairment related to academic functioning. Moderate to high correlations were observed between performance on the HTKS task and standardized academic outcomes. These findings highlight the promise of the HTKS task as a brief, ecologically valid, and integrative EF task tapping into both behavioral and cognitive aspects of self-regulation that are important for children with EBP's success in school. PMID:25822828

  14. Parenting and Friendship Quality as Predictors of Internalizing and Externalizing Symptoms in Early Adolescence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gaertner, Alden E.; Fite, Paula J.; Colder, Craig R.

    2010-01-01

    Research indicates both parents and peers influence child and adolescent adjustment outcomes. Moreover, friendship quality has been found to buffer the influence of parenting on adolescent adjustment, particularly externalizing symptoms. Little to no research, however, has longitudinally examined whether friendship quality moderates the relation…

  15. AIR QUALITY CRITERIA FOR PARTICULATE MATTER (First EXTERNAL REVIEW DRAFT, Oct 1999)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This external review draft document is an updated revision of the Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter, published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1996, and it will serve as the basis for reevaluating the current National Ambient Air Quality St...

  16. A quality audit program for external beam radiotherapy

    SciTech Connect

    Hanson, W.F.; Stovall, M.

    1993-12-31

    For more than 25 years, the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center has had a quality audit program using mailed dosimeters to verify radiation therapy machine output. Two programs, one compulsory and one voluntary, presently monitor therapy beams at more than 1000 megavoltage-therapy facilities. A successful program requires two major components: a high-precision thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) system and dedicated staff that interact closely with the users to resolve discrepancies. The TLD system, the logistics used, and the human interaction of these programs are described. Examples show that the programs can identify major discrepancies, exceeding 5 %, as well as discrepancies as small as 3%.

  17. Engineering Strategies and Methods for Avoiding Air-Quality Externalities: Dispersion Modeling, Home Energy Conservation, and Scenario Planning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knox, Andrew James

    Energy conservation can improve air quality by reducing emissions from fuel combustion. The human health value retained through better air quality can then offset the cost of energy conservation. Through this thesis' innovative yet widely-accessible combination of air pollution dispersion modeling and atmospheric chemistry, it is estimated that the health value retained by avoiding emissions from Ontario's former coal-fired generating stations is 5.74/MWh (using an upper-bound value of 265,000 per year of life lost). This value is combined with energy modeling of homes in the first-ever assessment of the air-quality health benefits of low-energy buildings. It is shown that avoided health damages can equal 7% of additional construction costs of energy efficient buildings in Ontario. At 7%, health savings are a significant item in the cost analysis of efficient buildings. Looking to energy efficiency in the context of likely future low-resource natural gas scenarios, building efficient buildings today is shown to be more economically efficient than any building retrofit option. Considering future natural gas scarcity in the context of Ontario's Long-Term Energy Plan reveals that Ontario may be forced to return to coal-fired electricity. Projected coal use would result in externalities greater than $600 million/year; 80% more than air-quality externalities from Ontario's electricity in 1985. Radically aggressive investment in electricity conservation (75% reduction per capita by 2075) is one promising path forward that keeps air-quality externalities below 1985 levels. Non-health externalities are an additional concern, the quantification, and ultimately monetization, of which could be practical using emerging air pollution monitoring technologies. Energy, conservation, energy planning, and energy's externalities form a complex situation in which today's decisions are critical to a successful future. It is clear that reducing the demand for energy is essential and

  18. Carbon Nanotube Material Quality Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yowell, Leonard; Arepalli, Sivaram; Sosa, Edward; Niolaev, Pavel; Gorelik, Olga

    2006-01-01

    The nanomaterial activities at NASA Johnson Space Center focus on carbon nanotube production, characterization and their applications for aerospace systems. Single wall carbon nanotubes are produced by arc and laser methods. Characterization of the nanotube material is performed using the NASA JSC protocol developed by combining analytical techniques of SEM, TEM, UV-VIS-NIR absorption, Raman, and TGA. A possible addition of other techniques such as XPS, and ICP to the existing protocol will be discussed. Changes in the quality of the material collected in different regions of the arc and laser production chambers is assessed using the original JSC protocol. The observed variations indicate different growth conditions in different regions of the production chambers.

  19. Health-related external cost assessment in Europe: methodological developments from ExternE to the 2013 Clean Air Policy Package.

    PubMed

    van der Kamp, Jonathan; Bachmann, Till M

    2015-03-01

    "Getting the prices right" through internalizing external costs is a guiding principle of environmental policy making, one recent example being the EU Clean Air Policy Package released at the end of 2013. It is supported by impact assessments, including monetary valuation of environmental and health damages. For over 20 years, related methodologies have been developed in Europe in the Externalities of Energy (ExternE) project series and follow-up activities. In this study, we aim at analyzing the main methodological developments over time from the 1990s until today with a focus on classical air pollution-induced human health damage costs. An up-to-date assessment including the latest European recommendations is also applied. Using a case from the energy sector, we identify major influencing parameters: differences in exposure modeling and related data lead to variations in damage costs of up to 21%; concerning risk assessment and monetary valuation, differences in assessing long-term exposure mortality risks together with assumptions on particle toxicity explain most of the observed changes in damage costs. These still debated influencing parameters deserve particular attention when damage costs are used to support environmental policy making. PMID:25664763

  20. Variation in Adherence to External Beam Radiotherapy Quality Measures Among Elderly Men With Localized Prostate Cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Bekelman, Justin E. Zelefsky, Michael J.; Jang, Thomas L.; Basch, Ethan M.; Schrag, Deborah

    2007-12-01

    Purpose: To characterize the variation in adherence to quality measures of external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) for localized prostate cancer and its relation to patient and provider characteristics in a population-based, representative sample of U.S. men. Methods and Materials: We evaluated EBRT quality measures proposed by a RAND expert panel of physicians among men aged {>=}65 years diagnosed between 2000 and 2002 with localized prostate cancer and treated with primary EBRT using data from the linked Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare program. We assessed the adherence to five EBRT quality measures that were amenable to analysis using SEER-Medicare data: (1) use of conformal RT planning; (2) use of high-energy (>10-MV) photons; (3) use of custom immobilization; (4) completion of two follow-up visits with a radiation oncologist in the year after therapy; and (5) radiation oncologist board certification. Results: Of the 11,674 patients, 85% had received conformal RT planning, 75% had received high-energy photons, and 97% had received custom immobilization. One-third of patients had completed two follow-up visits with a radiation oncologist, although 91% had at least one visit with a urologist or radiation oncologist. Most patients (85%) had been treated by a board-certified radiation oncologist. Conclusions: The overall high adherence to EBRT quality measures masked substantial variation in geography, socioeconomic status in the area of residence, and teaching affiliation of the RT facility. Future research should examine the reasons for the variations in these measures and whether the variation is associated with important clinical outcomes.

  1. External quality assurance system (EQAS) for identification of mastitis pathogens in Denmark from 2006 to 2011.

    PubMed

    Karlsmose, S; Kunstmann, L; Rundsten, C F; Krogh, K; Larsen, H K D; Jensen, A B; Aarestrup, F M; Hendriksen, R S

    2013-05-01

    Bovine mastitis is the most common and costly dairy cattle disease. Mastitis is most frequently caused by bacterial species, and to ensure optimal treatment and control strategies, proper quality assured diagnosis and identification of the causative agent is important. With the aim to assess the capacity to isolate and identify mastitis pathogens at veterinary clinics, an external quality assurance system (EQAS) was annually (from 2006 to 2011) provided for the identification of mastitis pathogens. This study presents the setup of the proficiency test and the obtained results that enabled the organizers to pinpoint areas for improvement and thereby to assist veterinary practices at strengthening their mastitis diagnostics. The proficiency test consisted of 15 milk samples spiked with a pure culture of a mastitis pathogen and distributed to veterinary practices for identification. Applying an internal quality control strain, i.e. including the same strain of Streptococcus agalactiae in all iterations of the proficiency test, served to gauge the bias caused by the year-to-year variation in the selection of test strains. A total of 73% of all uploaded results over the years were correct, with the internal quality control strain exhibiting a statistically significant ascending trend from 54% correct identifications in 2006 to 91% in 2011 (p-value=0.0082; n=13). Even if specifics were not recorded as regards the laboratory methods employed at the veterinary clinics for identification of mastitis pathogens, the results from this study indicate that the practices' application of basic biochemical analyses in this context could be optimized. In addition, dissemination of information on new methods and updated nomenclature appeared to be an area which future efforts with advantage could aim at. PMID:23199580

  2. Characterizing Observers Using External Noise and Observer Models: Assessing Internal Representations with External Noise

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lu, Zhong-Lin; Dosher, Barbara Anne

    2008-01-01

    External noise methods and observer models have been widely used to characterize the intrinsic perceptual limitations of human observers and changes of the perceptual limitations associated with cognitive, developmental, and disease processes by highlighting the variance of internal representations. The authors conducted a comprehensive review of…

  3. External Peer Review of Assessment: An Effective Approach to Verifying Standards?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bloxham, Sue; Hudson, Jane; den Outer, Birgit; Price, Margaret

    2015-01-01

    There is growing international concern to regulate and assure standards in higher education. External peer review of assessment, often called external examining, is a well-established approach to assuring standards. Australian higher education is one of several systems without a history of external examining for undergraduate programmes that is…

  4. An Exploratory Study: Assessment of Modeled Dioxin Exposure in Ceramic Art Studios (External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has released an external review draft entitled, An Exploratory Study: Assessment of Modeled Dioxin Exposure in Ceramic Art Studios(External Review Draft). The public comment period and the external peer-review workshop are separate processes that provide opportunities ...

  5. [Analysis of the results of the SEIMC External Quality Control Program. Year 2013].

    PubMed

    de Gopegui Bordes, Enrique Ruiz; Orta Mira, Nieves; Del Remedio Guna Serrano, M; Medina González, Rafael; Rosario Ovies, María; Poveda, Marta; Gimeno Cardona, Concepción

    2015-07-01

    The External Quality Control Program of the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC) include controls for bacteriology, serology, mycology, parasitology, mycobacteria, virology, molecular microbiology and HIV-1, HCV and HBV viral loads. This manuscript presents the analysis of results obtained of the participants from the 2013 SEIMC External Quality Control Programme, except viral loads controls, that they are summarized in a manuscript abroad. As a whole, the results obtained in 2013 confirm the excellent skill and good technical standards found in previous editions. However, erroneous results can be obtained in any laboratory and in clinically relevant determinations. Once again, the results of this program highlighted the need to implement both internal and external controls in order to assure the maximal quality of the microbiological tests. PMID:26320989

  6. A Screening Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Climate Change on the Costs of Implementing Water Quality-Based Effluent Limits at Publicly-Owned Treatment Works (Potws) in the Great Lakes Region (External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has released this draft document solely for the purpose of pre-dissemination peer review under applicable information quality guidelines. This document has not been formally disseminated by EPA. It does not represent and should not be construed to represent any Agency policy ...

  7. Towards Quality Assessment in an EFL Programme

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ali, Holi Ibrahim Holi; Al Ajmi, Ahmed Ali Saleh

    2013-01-01

    Assessment is central in education and the teaching-learning process. This study attempts to explore the perspectives and views about quality assessment among teachers of English as a Foreign Language (EFL), and to find ways of promoting quality assessment. Quantitative methodology was used to collect data. To answer the study questions, a…

  8. [Analysis of the results of the SEIMC External Quality Control Program. Year 2014].

    PubMed

    Gopegui Bordes, Enrique Ruiz de; Guna Serrano, M Del Remedio; Orta Mira, Nieves; Medina González, Rafael; Rosario Ovies, María; Poveda, Marta; Gimeno Cardona, Concepción

    2016-07-01

    The External Quality Control Program of the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC) include controls for bacteriology, serology, mycology, parasitology, mycobacteria, virology and molecular microbiology. This article presents the most relevant conclusions and lessons from the 2014 controls. As a whole, the results obtained in 2014 confirm the excellent skill and good technical standards found in previous editions. However, erroneous results can be obtained in any laboratory and in clinically relevant determinations. Once again, the results of the SEIMC program highlighted the need to implement both internal and external controls in order to assure the maximal quality of the microbiological tests. PMID:27474240

  9. Preceptor doctors' assessment of the clinical skills of chiropractic externs

    PubMed Central

    Hynes, Roger J.R.; Callender, Alana K.; Hynes, Rachelle A.; Gran, Donald F.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: This study surveyed preceptor doctors' opinions of student competence before and after a chiropractic preceptorship. Methods: The qualitative and quantitative survey asked doctors about the competence of externs in various skills and asked opened-ended questions about the strengths and weaknesses of the externs. The survey was conducted using a common Web-based platform called SurveyMonkey. Results: A total of 125 doctors responded to the survey. The doctors tended to agree that they saw a positive change in the skills of the externs over time. Externs presented to the preceptors lacking in confidence and office management skills. The preceptors reported an increase from 2.7 to 3.9 on a 5.0 Likert scale in the students' confidence in adjusting skills during the preceptorship. The preceptor doctors were split on students' preparedness in chiropractic adjusting technique, reporting it as both the strongest and the weakest presenting skill. Conclusion: Preceptor doctors perceived that their student externs were academically qualified but were weaker in the clinical application of procedures. Results from this survey suggest that the preceptor program can improve the confidence levels and practice management knowledge of chiropractic externs. PMID:26600271

  10. Implications of environmental externalities assessments for solar thermal powerplants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, A. D.; Baechler, M. C.

    1991-03-01

    Externalities are those impacts of one activity on other activities that are not priced in the marketplace. An externality is said to exist when two conditions hold: (1) the utility or operations of one economic agent, A, include nonmonetary variables whose values are chosen by another economic agent, B, without regard to the effects on A, and (2) B does not pay A compensation equal to the incremental costs inflicted on A. Electricity generation involves a wide range of potential and actual environmental impacts. Legislative, permitting, and regulatory requirements directly or indirectly control certain environmental impacts, implicitly causing them to become internalized in the cost of electricity generation. Electricity generation, however, often produces residual environmental impacts that meet the definition of an externality. Mechanisms have been developed by several states to include the costs associated with externalities in the cost-effectiveness analyses of new powerplants. This paper examines these costs for solar thermal plants and applies two states' scoring methodologies to estimate how including externalities would affect the levelized costs of power from a solar plant in the Pacific Northwest. It concludes that including externalities in the economics can reduce the difference between the levelized cost of a coal and solar plant by between 0.74 and 2.42 cents/kWh.

  11. Healthcare quality maturity assessment model based on quality drivers.

    PubMed

    Ramadan, Nadia; Arafeh, Mazen

    2016-04-18

    Purpose - Healthcare providers differ in their readiness and maturity levels regarding quality and quality management systems applications. The purpose of this paper is to serve as a useful quantitative quality maturity-level assessment tool for healthcare organizations. Design/methodology/approach - The model proposes five quality maturity levels (chaotic, primitive, structured, mature and proficient) based on six quality drivers: top management, people, operations, culture, quality focus and accreditation. Findings - Healthcare managers can apply the model to identify the status quo, quality shortcomings and evaluating ongoing progress. Practical implications - The model has been incorporated in an interactive Excel worksheet that visually displays the quality maturity-level risk meter. The tool has been applied successfully to local hospitals. Originality/value - The proposed six quality driver scales appear to measure healthcare provider maturity levels on a single quality meter. PMID:27120510

  12. Quality of Life Effects of Automatic External Defibrillators in the Home: Results from the Home Automatic External Defibrillator Trial (HAT)

    PubMed Central

    Mark, Daniel B.; Anstrom, Kevin J.; McNulty, Steven E.; Flaker, Greg C.; Tonkin, Andrew M.; Smith, Warren M.; Toff, William D.; Dorian, Paul; Clapp-Channing, Nancy E.; Anderson, Jill; Johnson, George; Schron, Eleanor B.; Poole, Jeanne E.; Lee, Kerry L.; Bardy, Gust H.

    2010-01-01

    Background Public access automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) can save lives, but most deaths from out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest occur at home. The Home Automatic External Defibrillator Trial (HAT) found no survival advantage for adding a home AED to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training for 7001 patients with a prior anterior wall myocardial infarction. Quality of life (QOL) outcomes for both the patient and spouse/companion were secondary endpoints. Methods A subset of 1007 study patients and their spouse/companions was randomly selected for ascertainment of QOL by structured interview at baseline and 12 and 24 months following enrollment. The primary QOL measures were the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form (SF-36) psychological well-being (reflecting anxiety and depression) and vitality (reflecting energy and fatigue) subscales. Results For patients and spouse/companions, the psychological well-being and vitality scales did not differ significantly between those randomly assigned an AED plus CPR training and controls who received CPR training only. None of the other QOL measures collected showed a clinically and statistically significant difference between treatment groups. Patients in the AED group were more likely to report being extremely or quite a bit reassured by their treatment assignment. Spouse/companions in the AED group reported being less often nervous about the possibility of using AED/CPR treatment than those in the CPR group. Conclusions Adding access to a home AED to CPR training did not affect quality of life either for patients with a prior anterior myocardial infarction or their spouse/companion but did provide more reassurance to the patients without increasing anxiety for spouse/companions. PMID:20362722

  13. Still Balancing Improvement and Accountability? Developments in External Quality Assurance in the Nordic Countries 1996-2006

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dano, Trine; Stensaker, Bjorn

    2007-01-01

    The role and function of external quality assurance is of great importance for the development of an internal quality culture in higher education. Research has shown that external quality assurance can stimulate but also create obstacles for institutional improvement. To strike a balance between improvement and accountability is, therefore, a key…

  14. 49 CFR 192.925 - What are the requirements for using External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA)?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... preassessment, indirect inspection, direct examination, and post assessment to evaluate the threat of external... to assess the threat of external corrosion must follow the requirements in this section, in ASME/ANSI... from the data integration (§ 192.917(b)) to evaluate the covered segment for the threat of third...

  15. 49 CFR 192.925 - What are the requirements for using External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA)?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... preassessment, indirect inspection, direct examination, and post assessment to evaluate the threat of external... to assess the threat of external corrosion must follow the requirements in this section, in ASME/ANSI... from the data integration (§ 192.917(b)) to evaluate the covered segment for the threat of third...

  16. The Logic of the Thai Higher Education Sector on Quality Assessment Policy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sae-Lao, Rattana

    2013-01-01

    Although the concept of quality has been an essential part of the higher education sector, the global quest for Quality Assessment (QA hereafter) has raised attention to quality to a new level. Van Vught and Westerheijden (1994) argue that the common charateristics of QA policy include: meta-level organization to conduct external evaluation,…

  17. Assessment and Quality Social Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savage, Tom V.

    2003-01-01

    Those anonymous individuals who develop high-stakes tests by which educational quality is measured exercise great influence in defining educational quality. In this article, the author examines the impact of high-stakes testing on the welfare of the children and the quality of social studies instruction. He presents the benefits and drawbacks of…

  18. Quality control program for the Hanford External Dosimetry thermoluminescent processing system

    SciTech Connect

    Baumgartner, W.V.; Endres, A.W.; Reese, S.R.

    1992-09-01

    The Hanford External Dosimetry Program is operated by Pacific Northwest Laboratory for the US Department of Energy (DOE). The program records official external occupational radiation doses for all Hanford Site employees and visitors in compliance with DOE Order requirements. This report documents the quality control (QC) program for External Dosimetry's thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) processing system. The focus of the External Dosimetry Program has been (1) to accurately calculate personnel radiation doses, and (2) to document the methods used to report doses in order, to meet DOE Laboratory Accreditation Program (DOELAP) criteria. The purpose of this report is to describe the QC procedures used for dosimeters and processing equipment. Use of QC procedures allows for the prompt correction of unusual data before it is reported.

  19. Quality control program for the Hanford External Dosimetry thermoluminescent processing system

    SciTech Connect

    Baumgartner, W.V.; Endres, A.W.; Reese, S.R.

    1992-09-01

    The Hanford External Dosimetry Program is operated by Pacific Northwest Laboratory for the US Department of Energy (DOE). The program records official external occupational radiation doses for all Hanford Site employees and visitors in compliance with DOE Order requirements. This report documents the quality control (QC) program for External Dosimetry`s thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) processing system. The focus of the External Dosimetry Program has been (1) to accurately calculate personnel radiation doses, and (2) to document the methods used to report doses in order, to meet DOE Laboratory Accreditation Program (DOELAP) criteria. The purpose of this report is to describe the QC procedures used for dosimeters and processing equipment. Use of QC procedures allows for the prompt correction of unusual data before it is reported.

  20. 42 CFR 438.354 - Qualifications of external quality review organizations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... other State entity must be governed by a Board or similar body the majority of whose members are not... term in 48 CFR 19.101) through— (A) Stock ownership; (B) Stock options and convertible debentures; (C... HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS MANAGED CARE External Quality...

  1. 42 CFR 438.354 - Qualifications of external quality review organizations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... other State entity must be governed by a Board or similar body the majority of whose members are not... term in 48 CFR 19.101) through— (A) Stock ownership; (B) Stock options and convertible debentures; (C... HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS MANAGED CARE External Quality...

  2. 42 CFR 438.354 - Qualifications of external quality review organizations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... other State entity must be governed by a Board or similar body the majority of whose members are not... term in 48 CFR 19.101) through— (A) Stock ownership; (B) Stock options and convertible debentures; (C... HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS MANAGED CARE External Quality...

  3. AIR QUALITY Criteria FOR PARTICULATE MATTER (2001) (SECOND EXTERNAL REVIEW DRAFT)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This second external review draft document is an updated revision of the Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter, published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1999, and it will serve as the basis for reevaluating the current National Ambient Air Qua...

  4. Is It Possible? Investigating the Influence of External Quality Audit on University Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carr, Sarah; Hamilton, Emma; Meade, Phil

    2005-01-01

    This paper explores whether it is possible to isolate independent effects of external quality audit (EQA) and concludes that effectiveness evaluations have a stronger foundation when the combined effects of university governance and management initiatives and government initiatives are examined together with EQA. The issue of how successful these…

  5. Air Quality Criteria for Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants (First External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This first external review draft of the Air Quality Criteria for Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants (Ozone Criteria Document) is being released in January 2005 for public comment and for review by EPA's Clean A...

  6. Air Quality Criteria for Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants (Second External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This second external review draft of the Air Quality Criteria for Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants, Volumes I-III (Ozone Criteria Document) is being released for public comment and for review by EPA's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) r...

  7. 42 CFR 438.354 - Qualifications of external quality review organizations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS MANAGED CARE External Quality Review... other State entity must be governed by a Board or similar body the majority of whose members are not... term in 48 CFR 19.101) through— (A) Stock ownership; (B) Stock options and convertible debentures;...

  8. AIR QUALITY CRITERIA FOR PARTICULATE MATTER (THIRD EXTERNAL REVIEW DRAFT, May 2002)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This third external review draft document is an updated revision of the Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter, published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2001, and it will serve as the basis for reevaluating the current National Ambient Air Qual...

  9. AIR QUALITY CRITERIA FOR PARTICULATE MATTER (FOURTH EXTERNAL REVIEW DRAFT, Jun 2003)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This fourth external review draft document is an updated revision of the Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter, published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2001, and it will serve as the basis for reevaluating the current National Ambient Air Qua...

  10. AIR QUALITY CRITERIA FOR PARTICULATE MATTER, VOLUMES I-III, (EXTERNAL REVIEW DRAFT, 1995)

    EPA Science Inventory

    There is no abstract available for these documents.

    If further information is requested, please refer to the bibliographic citation and contact the Technical Information Staff at the number listed above.

    • Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter, Volume I, Extern...

    • Internal and External Ethnic Assessments in Eastern Europe

      ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

      Ahmed, Patricia; Feliciano, Cynthia; Emigh, Rebecca Jean

      2007-01-01

      Survey data for majority and minority ethnicities in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Russia illustrate how internal ethnic identification and other social characteristics influence external ethnic classification. Logistic regressions show how interviewers use negative social characteristics (poverty, low education) to classify respondents as Roma…

    • Planning for Change: Assessing Internal and External Environmental Factors.

      ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

      Coffey, Janis Cox

      This report provides, first, an overview of the external and internal environmental factors affecting planning in California's community colleges; and, second, an examination of the influence of the demographics of the Los Rios Community College District (LRCCD). After an executive summary, introductory material discusses ways in which change can…

    • Co-Certification: A New Direction for External Assessment?

      ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

      Newbold, David

      2009-01-01

      The major European testing agencies have calibrated their exams to the levels of language proficiency described in the Common European Framework (CEFR). In Italy, where the Framework has been enthusiastically embraced, external exams are now frequently used within the state education system as they are believed to provide reliable, widely…

    • The Brazilian Network for HIV-1 Genotyping External Quality Control Assurance Programme

      PubMed Central

      2011-01-01

      The Brazilian network for genotyping is composed of 21 laboratories that perform and analyze genotyping tests for all HIV-infected patients within the public system, performing approximately 25,000 tests per year. We assessed the interlaboratory and intralaboratory reproducibility of genotyping systems by creating and implementing a local external quality control evaluation. Plasma samples from HIV-1-infected individuals (with low and intermediate viral loads) or RNA viral constructs with specific mutations were used. This evaluation included analyses of sensitivity and specificity of the tests based on qualitative and quantitative criteria, which scored laboratory performance on a 100-point system. Five evaluations were performed from 2003 to 2008, with 64% of laboratories scoring over 80 points in 2003, 81% doing so in 2005, 56% in 2006, 91% in 2007, and 90% in 2008 (Kruskal-Wallis, p = 0.003). Increased performance was aided by retraining laboratories that had specific deficiencies. The results emphasize the importance of investing in laboratory training and interpretation of DNA sequencing results, especially in developing countries where public (or scarce) resources are used to manage the AIDS epidemic. PMID:21936945

    • Assessing Quality in Home Visiting Programs

      ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

      Korfmacher, Jon; Laszewski, Audrey; Sparr, Mariel; Hammel, Jennifer

      2013-01-01

      Defining quality and designing a quality assessment measure for home visitation programs is a complex and multifaceted undertaking. This article summarizes the process used to create the Home Visitation Program Quality Rating Tool (HVPQRT) and identifies next steps for its development. The HVPQRT measures both structural and dynamic features of…

    • SERI QC Solar Data Quality Assessment Software

      SciTech Connect

      1994-12-31

      SERI QC is a mathematical software package that assesses the quality of solar radiation data. The SERI QC software is a function written in the C programming language. IT IS NOT A STANDALONE SOFTWARE APPLICATION. The user must write the calling application that requires quality assessment of solar data. The C function returns data quality flags to the calling program. A companion program, QCFIT, is a standalone Windows application that provides support files for the SERI QC function (data quality boundaries). The QCFIT software can also be used as an analytical tool for visualizing solar data quality independent of the SERI QC function.

    • SERI QC Solar Data Quality Assessment Software

      Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

      1994-12-31

      SERI QC is a mathematical software package that assesses the quality of solar radiation data. The SERI QC software is a function written in the C programming language. IT IS NOT A STANDALONE SOFTWARE APPLICATION. The user must write the calling application that requires quality assessment of solar data. The C function returns data quality flags to the calling program. A companion program, QCFIT, is a standalone Windows application that provides support files for themore » SERI QC function (data quality boundaries). The QCFIT software can also be used as an analytical tool for visualizing solar data quality independent of the SERI QC function.« less

    • Second external quality assurance study for the serological diagnosis of hantaviruses in Europe.

      PubMed

      Escadafal, Camille; Avšič-Županc, Tatjana; Vapalahti, Olli; Niklasson, Bo; Teichmann, Anette; Niedrig, Matthias; Donoso-Mantke, Oliver

      2012-01-01

      Hantaviruses are endemic throughout the world and hosted by rodents and insectivores. Two human zoonoses, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), are caused by hantaviruses and case fatality rates have reached 12% for HFRS and 50% for HPS in some outbreaks. Symptomatic hantavirus infections in Europe are summarised as HFRS mainly due to Puumala, Dobrava-Belgrade and Saaremaa virus. While HFRS has an overall low incidence in Europe, the number of cases varies from 100 per year in all Eastern and Southern Europe up to 1,000 per year only in Finland. To assess the quality of hantavirus diagnostics, the European Network for the Diagnostics of "Imported" Viral Diseases (ENIVD) organised a first external quality assurance (EQA) in 2002. The purpose of this second EQA study is to collect updated information on the efficiency and accurateness of hantavirus serological methods applied by expert laboratories. A serum panel of 14 samples was sent to 28 participants in Europe of which 27 sent results. Performance in hantavirus diagnosis varied not only on the method used but also on the laboratories and the subclass of antibodies tested. Commercial and in-house assays performed almost equally. Enzyme immunoassays were mainly used but did not show the best performances while immunoblot assays were the less employed and showed overall better performances. IgM antibodies were not detected in 61% of the positive IgM samples and IgM detection was not performed by 7% of the laboratories indicating a risk of overlooking acute infections in patients. Uneven performances using the same method is indicating that there is still a need for improving testing conditions and standardizing protocols. PMID:22509420

    • Development of Handling Qualities Criteria for Rotorcraft with Externally Slung Loads

      NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

      Hoh, Roger H.; Heffley, Robert K.; Mitchell, David G.

      2006-01-01

      Piloted simulations were performed on the NASA-Ames Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS) to explore handling qualities issues for large cargo helicopters, particularly focusing on external slung load operations. The purpose of this work was based upon the need to include handling qualities criteria for cargo helicopters in an upgrade to the U.S. Army's rotorcraft handling qualities specification, Aeronautical Design Standard-33 (ADS-33E-PRF). From the VMS results, handling qualities criteria were developed fro cargo helicopters carrying external slung loads in the degraded visual environment (DVE). If satisfied, these criteria provide assurance that the handling quality rating (HQR) will be 4 or better for operations in the DVE, and with a load mass ratio of 0.33 or less. For lighter loads, flying qualities were found to be less dependent on the load geometry and therefore the significance of the criteria is less. For heavier loads, meeting the criteria ensures the best possible handling qualities, albeit Level 2 for load mass ratios greater than 0.33.

    • Photographic Analysis Technique for Assessing External Tank Foam Loss Events

      NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

      Rieckhoff, T. J.; Covan, M.; OFarrell, J. M.

      2001-01-01

      A video camera and recorder were placed inside the solid rocket booster forward skirt in order to view foam loss events over an area on the external tank (ET) intertank surface. In this Technical Memorandum, a method of processing video images to allow rapid detection of permanent changes indicative of foam loss events on the ET surface was defined and applied to accurately count, categorize, and locate such events.

  1. Rendered virtual view image objective quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Gang; Li, Xiangchun; Zhang, Yi; Peng, Kai

    2013-08-01

    The research on rendered virtual view image (RVVI) objective quality assessment is important for integrated imaging system and image quality assessment (IQA). Traditional IQA algorithms cannot be applied directly on the system receiver-side due to interview displacement and the absence of original reference. This study proposed a block-based neighbor reference (NbR) IQA framework for RVVI IQA. Neighbor views used for rendering are employed for quality assessment in the proposed framework. A symphonious factor handling noise and interview displacement is defined and applied to evaluate the contribution of the obtained quality index in each block pair. A three-stage experiment scheme is also presented to testify the proposed framework and evaluate its homogeneity performance when comparing to full reference IQA. Experimental results show the proposed framework is useful in RVVI objective quality assessment at system receiver-side and benchmarking different rendering algorithms.

  2. Nonpoint sources as external threats to coastal water quality: lessons from Park Service experience

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burroughs, R.H.

    1993-01-01

    Program design for nonpoint source control was considered through an analogous problem, external threats to national parks. Nonpoint sources are diffuse land activities that degrade water quality, and recent federal legislation seeks to limit them in coastal areas. External threats occur outside a park boundary but affect the purposes for, or resources within, a park. They have been subject to federal management for many decades. Nonpoint sources are a class of external threat. Therefore, programs to limit them should consider techniques used in part protection. These park techniques include 'hard approaches', which rely on power, usually through legal devices, and 'soft approaches', which utilize shared values and objectives. A linked approach, as exemplified at the Cape Cod National Seashore, appears most promising. In a linked approach, if a soft approach fails, the manager of the protected unit is empowered to take an alternative hard action to protect the resource.

  3. Risk assessment of external events in nuclear facilities.

    PubMed

    Rogani, Antonia; Tabet, Eugenio

    2004-01-01

    After the Chernobyl accident, a National Emergency Plan of protective measures for radiological emergencies has been set up in Italy to cope with nuclear risks which require actions at national level. Since the Italian nuclear power plants are, at present, not operational, the most relevant nuclear risk source identified in the National Emergency Plan is related to an accident occurring in a nuclear power plant near the Italian borders. However, risks related to severe accidents to other nuclear facilities present in Italy, such as provisional radioactive waste deposits or research centers are not taken into account in the Plan. In this paper the hypothetical radiological impact of a severe external event in a spent fuel storage pool has been evaluated, as this event appears to be one of those with the most severe consequences. PMID:15536280

  4. Continuous assessment of perceptual image quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamberg, Roelof; de Ridder, Huib

    1995-12-01

    The study addresses whether subjects are able to assess the perceived quality of an image sequence continuously. To this end, a new method for assessing time-varying perceptual image quality is presented by which subjects continuously indicate the perceived strength of image quality by moving a slider along a graphical scale. The slider's position on this scale is sampled every second. In this way, temporal variations in quality can be monitored quantitatively, and a means is provided by which differences between, for example, alternative transmission systems can be analyzed in an informative way. The usability of this method is illustrated by an experiment in which, for a period of 815 s, subjects assessed the quality of still pictures comprising time-varying degrees of sharpness. Copyright (c) 1995 Optical Society of America

  5. Assessing quality across healthcare subsystems in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Puig, Andrea; Pagán, José A; Wong, Rebeca

    2009-01-01

    Recent healthcare reform efforts in Mexico have focused on the need to improve the efficiency and equity of a fragmented healthcare system. In light of these reform initiatives, there is a need to assess whether healthcare subsystems are effective at providing high-quality healthcare to all Mexicans. Nationally representative household survey data from the 2006 Encuesta Nacional de Salud y Nutrición (National Health and Nutrition Survey) were used to assess perceived healthcare quality across different subsystems. Using a sample of 7234 survey respondents, we found evidence of substantial heterogeneity in healthcare quality assessments across healthcare subsystems favoring private providers over social security institutions. These differences across subsystems remained even after adjusting for socioeconomic, demographic, and health factors. Our analysis suggests that improvements in efficiency and equity can be achieved by assessing the factors that contribute to heterogeneity in quality across subsystems. PMID:19305224

  6. FRAMEWORK FOR CUMULATIVE RISK ASSESSMENT (EXTERNAL REVIEW DRAFT)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Several reports have highlighted the importance of understanding the accumulation of risks from multiple environmental stressors. These include the National Research Councils 1994 report Science and Judgment in Risk Assessment and the 1997 report by the Presidential/Congressional...

  7. [External quality assurance of the first wave of the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults (DEGS1)].

    PubMed

    Pelz, I; Pohlabeln, H; Reineke, A; Ahrens, W

    2013-05-01

    The quality management concept for the first wave of the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults (DEGS1) included in addition to conducting internal quality assurance (QS) also the supervision by an external independent institute. After a restricted tendering procedure, the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology-BIPS was commissioned to conduct the external quality assurance. The external quality control included the review of the operation manuals, the training of the field staff, the execution of field work (including measurements), and the monitoring of sampling, response and data management. For the realization of the controls in these areas, test criteria were developed to reveal shortcomings early and to give recommendations for the internal quality assurance. This paper briefly describes the concept and the execution of the accompanying external quality assurance with regard to the above mentioned areas. An English full-text version of this article is available at SpringerLink as supplemental. PMID:23703480

  8. AIR QUALITY CRITERIA FOR LEAD, VOLUMES 1-4. (1983) FIRST EXTERNAL REVIEW DRAFT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The document evaluates and assesses scientific information on the health and welfare effects associated with exposure to various concentrations of lead in ambient air. The literature through 1983 has been reviewed thoroughly for information relevant to air quality criteria, altho...

  9. AIR QUALITY CRITERIA FOR LEAD. VOLUMES 1-4. SECOND EXTERNAL REVIEW DRAFT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The document evaluates and assesses scientific information on the health and welfare effects associated with exposure to various concentrations of lead in ambient air. The literature through 1983 has been reviewed thoroughly for information relevant to air quality criteria, altho...

  10. Quality Assessment in the Blog Space

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schaal, Markus; Fidan, Guven; Muller, Roland M.; Dagli, Orhan

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is the presentation of a new method for blog quality assessment. The method uses the temporal sequence of link creation events between blogs as an implicit source for the collective tacit knowledge of blog authors about blog quality. Design/methodology/approach: The blog data are processed by the novel method for…

  11. Quality indicators and quality assessment in child health

    PubMed Central

    Kavanagh, Patricia L.; Adams, William G.; Wang, C. Jason

    2009-01-01

    Quality indicators are systematically developed statements that can be used to assess the appropriateness of specific healthcare decisions, services and outcomes. In this review, we highlight the range and type of indicators that have been developed for children in the UK and US by prominent governmental agencies and private organizations. We also classify these indicators in an effort to identify areas of child health that may lack quality measurement activity. We review the current state of health information technology in both countries since these systems are vital to quality efforts. Finally, we propose several recommendations to advance the quality indicator development agenda for children. The convergence of quality measurement and indicator development, a growing scientific evidence base and integrated information systems in healthcare may lead to substantial improvements for child health in the 21st century. PMID:19307196

  12. Soil Quality Assessment: Past, Present, and Future

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil quality assessment can help land owners and managers appreciate the multiple functions that soils perform and thus improve the resource management decisions they make. Our objective is to show how the Soil Management Assessment Framework (SMAF) can complement the Soil Conditioning Index (SCI) a...

  13. National Water-Quality Assessment Program - Source Water-Quality Assessments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Delzer, Gregory C.; Hamilton, Pixie A.

    2007-01-01

    In 2002, the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) implemented Source Water-Quality Assessments (SWQAs) to characterize the quality of selected rivers and aquifers used as a source of supply to community water systems in the United States. These assessments are intended to complement drinking-water monitoring required by Federal, State, and local programs, which focus primarily on post-treatment compliance monitoring.

  14. ANSS Backbone Station Quality Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leeds, A.; McNamara, D.; Benz, H.; Gee, L.

    2006-12-01

    In this study we assess the ambient noise levels of the broadband seismic stations within the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) backbone network. The backbone consists of stations operated by the USGS as well as several regional network stations operated by universities. We also assess the improved detection capability of the network due to the installation of 13 additional backbone stations and the upgrade of 26 existing stations funded by the Earthscope initiative. This assessment makes use of probability density functions (PDF) of power spectral densities (PSD) (after McNamara and Buland, 2004) computed by a continuous noise monitoring system developed by the USGS- ANSS and the Incorporated Research Institutions in Seismology (IRIS) Data Management Center (DMC). We compute the median and mode of the PDF distribution and rank the stations relative to the Peterson Low noise model (LNM) (Peterson, 1993) for 11 different period bands. The power of the method lies in the fact that there is no need to screen the data for system transients, earthquakes or general data artifacts since they map into a background probability level. Previous studies have shown that most regional stations, instrumented with short period or extended short period instruments, have a higher noise level in all period bands while stations in the US network have lower noise levels at short periods (0.0625-8.0 seconds), high frequencies (8.0- 0.125Hz). The overall network is evaluated with respect to accomplishing the design goals set for the USArray/ANSS backbone project which were intended to increase broadband performance for the national monitoring network.

  15. Water quality assessment in Ecuador

    SciTech Connect

    Chudy, J.P.; Arniella, E.; Gil, E.

    1993-02-01

    The El Tor cholera pandemic arrived in Ecuador in March 1991, and through the course of the year caused 46,320 cases, of which 692 resulted in death. Most of the cases were confined to cities along Ecuador's coast. The Water and Sanitation for Health Project (WASH), which was asked to participate in the review of this request, suggested that a more comprehensive approach should be taken to cholera control and prevention. The approach was accepted, and a multidisciplinary team consisting of a sanitary engineer, a hygiene education specialist, and an institutional specialist was scheduled to carry out the assessment in late 1992 following the national elections.

  16. How to assess the quality of your analytical method?

    PubMed

    Topic, Elizabeta; Nikolac, Nora; Panteghini, Mauro; Theodorsson, Elvar; Salvagno, Gian Luca; Miler, Marijana; Simundic, Ana-Maria; Infusino, Ilenia; Nordin, Gunnar; Westgard, Sten

    2015-10-01

    Laboratory medicine is amongst the fastest growing fields in medicine, crucial in diagnosis, support of prevention and in the monitoring of disease for individual patients and for the evaluation of treatment for populations of patients. Therefore, high quality and safety in laboratory testing has a prominent role in high-quality healthcare. Applied knowledge and competencies of professionals in laboratory medicine increases the clinical value of laboratory results by decreasing laboratory errors, increasing appropriate utilization of tests, and increasing cost effectiveness. This collective paper provides insights into how to validate the laboratory assays and assess the quality of methods. It is a synopsis of the lectures at the 15th European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM) Continuing Postgraduate Course in Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine entitled "How to assess the quality of your method?" (Zagreb, Croatia, 24-25 October 2015). The leading topics to be discussed include who, what and when to do in validation/verification of methods, verification of imprecision and bias, verification of reference intervals, verification of qualitative test procedures, verification of blood collection systems, comparability of results among methods and analytical systems, limit of detection, limit of quantification and limit of decision, how to assess the measurement uncertainty, the optimal use of Internal Quality Control and External Quality Assessment data, Six Sigma metrics, performance specifications, as well as biological variation. This article, which continues the annual tradition of collective papers from the EFLM continuing postgraduate courses in clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine, aims to provide further contributions by discussing the quality of laboratory methods and measurements and, at the same time, to offer continuing professional development to the attendees. PMID:26408611

  17. Different configurations of laser vibrometry for quality control of electric motors with external rotor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiariotti, P.; Ciarmatori, R.; Castellini, P.; Bastari, A.; Paone, N.

    2012-06-01

    When designing a test bench for vibration based diagnostics of machines with external rotating parts, such as electric motors having a rotating external rotor, one may choose among single point vibrometry, rotational vibrometry or in-plane vibrometry. The paper discusses these different options, taking the assumption that the minimum number of measuring instruments is preferred when instrumenting a quality control system and provides an insight into advantages and limitations of each instrument. In particular the following issues are discussed: a) possible installation lay-outs; b) alignment problems (and possible advantages for diagnostics), c) typical signals and diagnostic features which can be observed. The research presented refers to electric motors for home appliances, but potentially has wider application fields to other rotating machines.

  18. [Radiological assessment of bone quality].

    PubMed

    Ito, Masako

    2016-01-01

    Structural property of bone includes micro- or nano-structural property of the trabecular and cortical bone, and macroscopic geometry. Radiological technique is useful to analyze the bone structural property;micro-CT or synchrotron-CT is available to analyze micro- or nano-structural property of bone samples ex vivo, and multi-detector row CT(MDCT)or high-resolution peripheral QCT(HR-pQCT)is available to analyze human bone in vivo. For the analysis of hip geometry, CT-based hip structure analysis(HSA)is available aw sell se radiography and DXA-based HSA. These structural parameters are related to biomechanical property, and these assessment tools provide information of pathological changes or the effects of anti-osteoporotic agents on bone. PMID:26728530

  19. We Can't Go Home Again: Insights from a Quarter Century of Experiments in External Academic Quality Assurance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dill, David D.

    2010-01-01

    What have we learned from 25 years of experience with external academic quality assurance that can help design more effective framework conditions for assuring academic standards? The key elements appear to be the structure and means of evaluating national academic quality assurance agencies, the nature of academic quality information mandated by…

  20. Automatic no-reference image quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Li, Hongjun; Hu, Wei; Xu, Zi-Neng

    2016-01-01

    No-reference image quality assessment aims to predict the visual quality of distorted images without examining the original image as a reference. Most no-reference image quality metrics which have been already proposed are designed for one or a set of predefined specific distortion types and are unlikely to generalize for evaluating images degraded with other types of distortion. There is a strong need of no-reference image quality assessment methods which are applicable to various distortions. In this paper, the authors proposed a no-reference image quality assessment method based on a natural image statistic model in the wavelet transform domain. A generalized Gaussian density model is employed to summarize the marginal distribution of wavelet coefficients of the test images, so that correlative parameters are needed for the evaluation of image quality. The proposed algorithm is tested on three large-scale benchmark databases. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed algorithm is easy to implement and computational efficient. Furthermore, our method can be applied to many well-known types of image distortions, and achieves a good quality of prediction performance. PMID:27468398

  1. The Role of the External Examiner in the Assessment of Clinical Practice.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jinks, Annette M.; Morrison, Paul

    1997-01-01

    Problems in the use of one-time external examiners to assess nursing students in clinical practice include overemphasis on individuals, lack of criterion referencing, input of clinical staff, halo effect, and cost. Continuous assessment, appropriately recorded, may be more satisfactory. (SK)

  2. 76 FR 67439 - External Peer Review Meeting for Draft Microbial Risk Assessment Guideline: Pathogenic...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-11-01

    ... AGENCY External Peer Review Meeting for Draft Microbial Risk Assessment Guideline: Pathogenic... convene an independent panel of experts to review the draft document, Microbial Risk Assessment Guideline... guidance for a 60 day comment period (76 FR 44586-44587). The public comment period ended on September...

  3. Consistency of Report Card Grades and External Assessments in a Canadian Province

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, John A.; Kostuch, Lynn

    2011-01-01

    The study investigated how well report card grades communicate to students and parents that state educational standards are being met, standards that are objectively measured by infrequently administered mandated assessments. Data sources were report card grades and external assessment scores for 2006-09 for Ontario Canada. The information that…

  4. 49 CFR 192.925 - What are the requirements for using External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA)?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA)? 192.925 Section 192.925 Transportation Other Regulations Relating to... External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA)? (a) Definition. ECDA is a four-step process that combines... corrosion to the integrity of a pipeline. (b) General requirements. An operator that uses direct...

  5. 49 CFR 192.925 - What are the requirements for using External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA)?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA)? 192.925 Section 192.925 Transportation Other Regulations Relating to... External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA)? (a) Definition. ECDA is a four-step process that combines... corrosion to the integrity of a pipeline. (b) General requirements. An operator that uses direct...

  6. 49 CFR 192.925 - What are the requirements for using External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA)?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA)? 192.925 Section 192.925 Transportation Other Regulations Relating to... External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA)? (a) Definition. ECDA is a four-step process that combines... corrosion to the integrity of a pipeline. (b) General requirements. An operator that uses direct...

  7. Assessing product image quality for online shopping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goswami, Anjan; Chung, Sung H.; Chittar, Naren; Islam, Atiq

    2012-01-01

    Assessing product-image quality is important in the context of online shopping. A high quality image that conveys more information about a product can boost the buyer's confidence and can get more attention. However, the notion of image quality for product-images is not the same as that in other domains. The perception of quality of product-images depends not only on various photographic quality features but also on various high level features such as clarity of the foreground or goodness of the background etc. In this paper, we define a notion of product-image quality based on various such features. We conduct a crowd-sourced experiment to collect user judgments on thousands of eBay's images. We formulate a multi-class classification problem for modeling image quality by classifying images into good, fair and poor quality based on the guided perceptual notions from the judges. We also conduct experiments with regression using average crowd-sourced human judgments as target. We compute a pseudo-regression score with expected average of predicted classes and also compute a score from the regression technique. We design many experiments with various sampling and voting schemes with crowd-sourced data and construct various experimental image quality models. Most of our models have reasonable accuracies (greater or equal to 70%) on test data set. We observe that our computed image quality score has a high (0.66) rank correlation with average votes from the crowd sourced human judgments.

  8. Phase congruency assesses hyperspectral image quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shao, Xiaopeng; Zhong, Cheng

    2012-10-01

    Blind image quality assessment (QA) is a tough task especially for hyperspectral imagery which is degraded by noise, distortion, defocus, and other complex factors. Subjective hyperspectral imagery QA methods are basically measured the degradation of image from human perceptual visual quality. As the most important image quality measurement features, noise and blur, determined the image quality greatly, are employed to predict the objective hyperspectral imagery quality of each band. We demonstrate a novel no-reference hyperspectral imagery QA model based on phase congruency (PC), which is a dimensionless quantity and provides an absolute measure of the significance of feature point. First, Log Gabor wavelet is used to calculate the phase congruency of frequencies of each band image. The relationship between noise and PC can be derived from above transformation under the assumption that noise is additive. Second, PC focus measure evaluation model is proposed to evaluate blur caused by different amounts of defocus. The ratio and mean factors of edge blur level and noise is defined to assess the quality of each band image. This image QA method obtains excellent correlation with subjective image quality score without any reference. Finally, the PC information is utilized to improve the quality of some bands images.

  9. Implementation of Good Clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP) guidelines within the External Quality Assurance Program Oversight Laboratory (EQAPOL)

    PubMed Central

    Todd, Christopher A.; Sanchez, Ana M.; Garcia, Ambrosia; Denny, Thomas N.; Sarzotti-Kelsoe, Marcella

    2014-01-01

    The EQAPOL contract was awarded to Duke University to develop and manage global proficiency testing programs for flow cytometry-, ELISpot-, and Luminex bead-based assays (cytokine analytes), as well as create a genetically diverse panel of HIV-1 viral cultures to be made available to National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers. As a part of this contract, EQAPOL was required to operate under Good Clinical Laboratory Practices (GCLP) that are traditionally used for laboratories conducting endpoint assays for human clinical trials. EQAPOL adapted these guidelines to the management of proficiency testing programs while simultaneously incorporating aspects of ISO/IEC 17043 which are specifically designed for external proficiency management. Over the first two years of the contract, the EQAPOL Oversight Laboratories received training, developed standard operating procedures and quality management practices, implemented strict quality control procedures for equipment, reagents, and documentation, and received audits from the EQAPOL Central Quality Assurance Unit. GCLP programs, such as EQAPOL, strengthen a laboratory's ability to perform critical assays and provide quality assessments of future potential vaccines. PMID:24120573

  10. Automatic quality assessment of planetary images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sidiropoulos, P.; Muller, J.-P.

    2015-10-01

    A significant fraction of planetary images are corrupted beyond the point that much scientific meaning can be extracted. For example, transmission errors result in missing data which is unrecoverable. The available planetary image datasets include many such "bad data", which both occupy valuable scientific storage resources and create false impressions about planetary image availability for specific planetary objects or target areas. In this work, we demonstrate a pipeline that we have developed to automatically assess the quality of planetary images. Additionally, this method discriminates between different types of image degradation, such as low-quality originating from camera flaws or low-quality triggered by atmospheric conditions, etc. Examples of quality assessment results for Viking Orbiter imagery will be also presented.

  11. End-to-end image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raventos, Joaquin

    2012-05-01

    An innovative computerized benchmarking approach (US Patent pending Sep 2011) based on extensive application of photometry, geometrical optics, and digital media using a randomized target, for a standard observer to assess the image quality of video imaging systems, at different day time, and low-light luminance levels. It takes into account, the target's contrast and color characteristics, as well as the observer's visual acuity and dynamic response. This includes human vision as part of the "extended video imaging system" (EVIS), and allows image quality assessment by several standard observers simultaneously.

  12. 77 FR 36534 - Third External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Ozone and Related Photochemical...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-19

    ... of EPA's air quality criteria. On September 29, 2008 (73 FR 56581), EPA formally initiated its... (74 FR 54562). In August 2010, EPA held a workshop to discuss, with invited scientific experts, initial draft materials prepared in the development of the ISA (75 FR 42085). The first external...

  13. Objective assessment of MPEG-2 video quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gastaldo, Paolo; Zunino, Rodolfo; Rovetta, Stefano

    2002-07-01

    The increasing use of video compression standards in broadcasting television systems has required, in recent years, the development of video quality measurements that take into account artifacts specifically caused by digital compression techniques. In this paper we present a methodology for the objective quality assessment of MPEG video streams by using circular back-propagation feedforward neural networks. Mapping neural networks can render nonlinear relationships between objective features and subjective judgments, thus avoiding any simplifying assumption on the complexity of the model. The neural network processes an instantaneous set of input values, and yields an associated estimate of perceived quality. Therefore, the neural-network approach turns objective quality assessment into adaptive modeling of subjective perception. The objective features used for the estimate are chosen according to the assessed relevance to perceived quality and are continuously extracted in real time from compressed video streams. The overall system mimics perception but does not require any analytical model of the underlying physical phenomenon. The capability to process compressed video streams represents an important advantage over existing approaches, like avoiding the stream-decoding process greatly enhances real-time performance. Experimental results confirm that the system provides satisfactory, continuous-time approximations for actual scoring curves concerning real test videos.

  14. Water quality issues and energy assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, M.J.; Chiu, S.

    1980-11-01

    This report identifies and evaluates the significant water quality issues related to regional and national energy development. In addition, it recommends improvements in the Office assessment capability. Handbook-style formating, which includes a system of cross-references and prioritization, is designed to help the reader use the material.

  15. An assessment model for quality management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Völcker, Chr.; Cass, A.; Dorling, A.; Zilioli, P.; Secchi, P.

    2002-07-01

    SYNSPACE together with InterSPICE and Alenia Spazio is developing an assessment method to determine the capability of an organisation in the area of quality management. The method, sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA), is called S9kS (SPiCE- 9000 for SPACE). S9kS is based on ISO 9001:2000 with additions from the quality standards issued by the European Committee for Space Standardization (ECSS) and ISO 15504 - Process Assessments. The result is a reference model that supports the expansion of the generic process assessment framework provided by ISO 15504 to nonsoftware areas. In order to be compliant with ISO 15504, requirements from ISO 9001 and ECSS-Q-20 and Q-20-09 have been turned into process definitions in terms of Purpose and Outcomes, supported by a list of detailed indicators such as Practices, Work Products and Work Product Characteristics. In coordination with this project, the capability dimension of ISO 15504 has been revised to be consistent with ISO 9001. As contributions from ISO 9001 and the space quality assurance standards are separable, the stripped down version S9k offers organisations in all industries an assessment model based solely on ISO 9001, and is therefore interesting to all organisations, which intend to improve their quality management system based on ISO 9001.

  16. Recognition and Assessment of Teaching Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fairbrother, Patricia

    1996-01-01

    Identifies models for consideration of teacher quality and competence in nursing education. Presents a range of evaluation criteria in these categories: preparation, delivery, innovation, communication, self-assessment, instructional management, peer recognition, professional memberships and service, publications, and grants and contracts secured.…

  17. Retinal image quality assessment using generic features

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fasih, Mahnaz; Langlois, J. M. Pierre; Ben Tahar, Houssem; Cheriet, Farida

    2014-03-01

    Retinal image quality assessment is an important step in automated eye disease diagnosis. Diagnosis accuracy is highly dependent on the quality of retinal images, because poor image quality might prevent the observation of significant eye features and disease manifestations. A robust algorithm is therefore required in order to evaluate the quality of images in a large database. We developed an algorithm for retinal image quality assessment based on generic features that is independent from segmentation methods. It exploits the local sharpness and texture features by applying the cumulative probability of blur detection metric and run-length encoding algorithm, respectively. The quality features are combined to evaluate the image's suitability for diagnosis purposes. Based on the recommendations of medical experts and our experience, we compared a global and a local approach. A support vector machine with radial basis functions was used as a nonlinear classifier in order to classify images to gradable and ungradable groups. We applied our methodology to 65 images of size 2592×1944 pixels that had been graded by a medical expert. The expert evaluated 38 images as gradable and 27 as ungradable. The results indicate very good agreement between the proposed algorithm's predictions and the medical expert's judgment: the sensitivity and specificity for the local approach are respectively 92% and 94%. The algorithm demonstrates sufficient robustness to identify relevant images for automated diagnosis.

  18. Quality assessment: A performance-based approach to assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Caplinger, W.H.; Greenlee, W.D.

    1993-08-01

    Revision C to US Department of Energy (DOE) Order 5700.6 (6C) ``Quality Assurance`` (QA) brings significant changes to the conduct of QA. The Westinghouse government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO) sites have updated their quality assurance programs to the requirements and guidance of 6C, and are currently implementing necessary changes. In late 1992, a Westinghouse GOCO team led by the Waste Isolation Division (WID) conducted what is believed to be the first assessment of implementation of a quality assurance program founded on 6C.

  19. Assessing uncertainty in stormwater quality modelling.

    PubMed

    Wijesiri, Buddhi; Egodawatta, Prasanna; McGree, James; Goonetilleke, Ashantha

    2016-10-15

    Designing effective stormwater pollution mitigation strategies is a challenge in urban stormwater management. This is primarily due to the limited reliability of catchment scale stormwater quality modelling tools. As such, assessing the uncertainty associated with the information generated by stormwater quality models is important for informed decision making. Quantitative assessment of build-up and wash-off process uncertainty, which arises from the variability associated with these processes, is a major concern as typical uncertainty assessment approaches do not adequately account for process uncertainty. The research study undertaken found that the variability of build-up and wash-off processes for different particle size ranges leads to processes uncertainty. After variability and resulting process uncertainties are accurately characterised, they can be incorporated into catchment stormwater quality predictions. Accounting of process uncertainty influences the uncertainty limits associated with predicted stormwater quality. The impact of build-up process uncertainty on stormwater quality predictions is greater than that of wash-off process uncertainty. Accordingly, decision making should facilitate the designing of mitigation strategies which specifically addresses variations in load and composition of pollutants accumulated during dry weather periods. Moreover, the study outcomes found that the influence of process uncertainty is different for stormwater quality predictions corresponding to storm events with different intensity, duration and runoff volume generated. These storm events were also found to be significantly different in terms of the Runoff-Catchment Area ratio. As such, the selection of storm events in the context of designing stormwater pollution mitigation strategies needs to take into consideration not only the storm event characteristics, but also the influence of process uncertainty on stormwater quality predictions. PMID:27423532

  20. Quality assessment of altimeter data through tide gauge comparisons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prandi, Pierre; Valladeau, Guillaume; Ablain, Michael; Picot, Nicolas; Desjonquères, Jean-Damien

    2015-04-01

    Since the first altimeter missions and the improvements performed in the accuracy of sea surface height measurements from 1992 onwards, the importance of global quality assessment of altimeter data has been increasing. Global CalVal studies usually assess this performance by the analysis of internal consistency and cross-comparison between all missions. The overall quality assessment of altimeter data can be performed by analyzing their internal consistency and the cross-comparison between all missions. As a complementary approach, tide gauge measurements are used as an external and independent reference to enable further quality assessment of the altimeter sea level and provide a better estimate of the multiple altimeter performances. In this way, both altimeter and tide gauge observations, dedicated to climate applications, require a rigorous quality control. The tide gauge time series considered in this study derive from several networks (GLOSS/CLIVAR, PSMSL, REFMAR) and provide sea-level heights with a physical content comparable with altimetry sea level estimates. Concerning altimeter data, the long-term drift assessment can be evaluated thanks to a widespread network of tide gauges. Thus, in-situ measurements are compared with altimeter sea level for the main altimeter missions. If altimeter time series are long enough, tide gauge data provide a relevant estimation of the global Mean Sea Level (MSL) drift calculated for all the missions. Moreover, comparisons with sea level products merging all the altimeter missions together have also been performed using several datasets, among which the AVISO delayed-time Sea Level Anomaly grids.

  1. Water Quality Assessment using Satellite Remote Sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haque, Saad Ul

    2016-07-01

    The two main global issues related to water are its declining quality and quantity. Population growth, industrialization, increase in agriculture land and urbanization are the main causes upon which the inland water bodies are confronted with the increasing water demand. The quality of surface water has also been degraded in many countries over the past few decades due to the inputs of nutrients and sediments especially in the lakes and reservoirs. Since water is essential for not only meeting the human needs but also to maintain natural ecosystem health and integrity, there are efforts worldwide to assess and restore quality of surface waters. Remote sensing techniques provide a tool for continuous water quality information in order to identify and minimize sources of pollutants that are harmful for human and aquatic life. The proposed methodology is focused on assessing quality of water at selected lakes in Pakistan (Sindh); namely, HUBDAM, KEENJHAR LAKE, HALEEJI and HADEERO. These lakes are drinking water sources for several major cities of Pakistan including Karachi. Satellite imagery of Landsat 7 (ETM+) is used to identify the variation in water quality of these lakes in terms of their optical properties. All bands of Landsat 7 (ETM+) image are analyzed to select only those that may be correlated with some water quality parameters (e.g. suspended solids, chlorophyll a). The Optimum Index Factor (OIF) developed by Chavez et al. (1982) is used for selection of the optimum combination of bands. The OIF is calculated by dividing the sum of standard deviations of any three bands with the sum of their respective correlation coefficients (absolute values). It is assumed that the band with the higher standard deviation contains the higher amount of 'information' than other bands. Therefore, OIF values are ranked and three bands with the highest OIF are selected for the visual interpretation. A color composite image is created using these three bands. The water quality

  2. Guidelines for External Reviews of Quality Assurance Agencies in the European Higher Education Area. ENQA Occasional Papers 19

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education), 2012

    2012-01-01

    In accordance with the ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education) membership criteria laid down in the Statutes of ENQA, member agencies are required to undergo external reviews against the membership criteria, and thereby the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) as…

  3. Determinants of Quality Perception in Educational Administration: Potential Conflict between the Requirements of Internal and External Customers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galloway, R. L.; Wearn, Katrina

    1998-01-01

    Attempts to measure perceived quality, based on customers' views within the context of a (British) university faculty office, using a modified SERVQUAL instrument. Internal customers demonstrated that perceived quality is driven by task-focused issues, stressing clarity, accuracy, and reliability. External customers, whose usage is more casual,…

  4. Automated data quality assessment of marine sensors.

    PubMed

    Timms, Greg P; de Souza, Paulo A; Reznik, Leon; Smith, Daniel V

    2011-01-01

    The automated collection of data (e.g., through sensor networks) has led to a massive increase in the quantity of environmental and other data available. The sheer quantity of data and growing need for real-time ingestion of sensor data (e.g., alerts and forecasts from physical models) means that automated Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) is necessary to ensure that the data collected is fit for purpose. Current automated QA/QC approaches provide assessments based upon hard classifications of the gathered data; often as a binary decision of good or bad data that fails to quantify our confidence in the data for use in different applications. We propose a novel framework for automated data quality assessments that uses Fuzzy Logic to provide a continuous scale of data quality. This continuous quality scale is then used to compute error bars upon the data, which quantify the data uncertainty and provide a more meaningful measure of the data's fitness for purpose in a particular application compared with hard quality classifications. The design principles of the framework are presented and enable both data statistics and expert knowledge to be incorporated into the uncertainty assessment. We have implemented and tested the framework upon a real time platform of temperature and conductivity sensors that have been deployed to monitor the Derwent Estuary in Hobart, Australia. Results indicate that the error bars generated from the Fuzzy QA/QC implementation are in good agreement with the error bars manually encoded by a domain expert. PMID:22163714

  5. Automated Data Quality Assessment of Marine Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Timms, Greg P.; de Souza, Paulo A.; Reznik, Leon; Smith, Daniel V.

    2011-01-01

    The automated collection of data (e.g., through sensor networks) has led to a massive increase in the quantity of environmental and other data available. The sheer quantity of data and growing need for real-time ingestion of sensor data (e.g., alerts and forecasts from physical models) means that automated Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) is necessary to ensure that the data collected is fit for purpose. Current automated QA/QC approaches provide assessments based upon hard classifications of the gathered data; often as a binary decision of good or bad data that fails to quantify our confidence in the data for use in different applications. We propose a novel framework for automated data quality assessments that uses Fuzzy Logic to provide a continuous scale of data quality. This continuous quality scale is then used to compute error bars upon the data, which quantify the data uncertainty and provide a more meaningful measure of the data’s fitness for purpose in a particular application compared with hard quality classifications. The design principles of the framework are presented and enable both data statistics and expert knowledge to be incorporated into the uncertainty assessment. We have implemented and tested the framework upon a real time platform of temperature and conductivity sensors that have been deployed to monitor the Derwent Estuary in Hobart, Australia. Results indicate that the error bars generated from the Fuzzy QA/QC implementation are in good agreement with the error bars manually encoded by a domain expert. PMID:22163714

  6. Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen – Health Criteria (Second External Review Draft, 2008)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has announced that the Second External Review Draft of the Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Oxides of Nitrogen – Health Criteria has been made available for independent peer review and public review. This draft ISA document represents a concise synthesis and evaluation...

  7. Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen – Health Criteria (First External Review Draft, 2013)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA is announcing the availability of the First External Review Draft of the Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen – Health Criteria for public comment and independent peer review. This draft document provides EPA’s evaluation and synthesis of the most polic...

  8. Assessing the Viability of External Searchable Resources on the American Board of Family Medicine's Certification Examination

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Neill, Thomas R.; Peabody, Michael R.; Stelter, Keith L.; Hagen, Michael D.

    2015-01-01

    (Purpose) The purpose of our study was to assess the need for an external searchable resource to be used in conjunction with the American Board of Family Medicine's (ABFM) Maintenance of Certification for Family Physicians (MC-FP) Examination, discuss the philosophical question of whether an ESR should be allowed on the examination, and outline…

  9. Integrated Science Assessment of Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants (Second External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has released the Integrated Science Assessment of Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants (Second External Review Draft) for independent peer review and public review. This draft document represents a concise synthesis and evaluation of the most policy-relevant scienc...

  10. Integrated Science Assessment of Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants (Third External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has released the Integrated Science Assessment of Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants (Third External Review Draft) for independent peer review and public review. This draft document represents a concise synthesis and evaluation of the most policy-relevant science...

  11. Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Sulfur Oxides – Health Criteria (First External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has announced that the First External Review Draft of the Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Sulfur Oxides – Health Criteria has been made available for independent peer review and public review. This draft ISA document represents a concise synthesis and evaluatio...

  12. Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen – Health Criteria (First External Review Draft, 2007)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has announced that the First External Review Draft of the Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Oxides of Nitrogen – Health Criteria has been made available for independent peer review and public review. This draft ISA document represents a concise synthesis and eva...

  13. Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Sulfur Oxides – Health Criteria (Second External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has announced that the Second External Review Draft of the Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Sulfur Oxides – Health Criteria has been made available for independent peer review and public review. This draft ISA document represents a concise synthesis and evaluati...

  14. The Conceptual Framework and Implementation of External Assessment, Phases I and II.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Alan H.

    The Commission for Teacher Preparation and Licensing of the State of California has for the past three years been operating an External Assessment Pilot Project. Community and professional constituents of teacher education programs review those programs to determine whether or not they conform to earlier program plans submitted to the commission…

  15. Integrated Science Assessment of Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants (First External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA announced that the First External Review Draft of the Integrated Science Assessment for Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants has been made available for independent peer review and public review. This draft document represents a concise synthesis and evaluation of ...

  16. Salient motion features for video quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Ćulibrk, Dubravko; Mirković, Milan; Zlokolica, Vladimir; Pokrić, Maja; Crnojević, Vladimir; Kukolj, Dragan

    2011-04-01

    Design of algorithms that are able to estimate video quality as perceived by human observers is of interest for a number of applications. Depending on the video content, the artifacts introduced by the coding process can be more or less pronounced and diversely affect the quality of videos, as estimated by humans. While it is well understood that motion affects both human attention and coding quality, this relationship has only recently started gaining attention among the research community, when video quality assessment (VQA) is concerned. In this paper, the effect of calculating several objective measure features, related to video coding artifacts, separately for salient motion and other regions of the frames of the sequence is examined. In addition, we propose a new scheme for quality assessment of coded video streams, which takes into account salient motion. Standardized procedure has been used to calculate the Mean Opinion Score (MOS), based on experiments conducted with a group of non-expert observers viewing standard definition (SD) sequences. MOS measurements were taken for nine different SD sequences, coded using MPEG-2 at five different bit-rates. Eighteen different published approaches related to measuring the amount of coding artifacts objectively on a single-frame basis were implemented. Additional features describing the intensity of salient motion in the frames, as well as the intensity of coding artifacts in the salient motion regions were proposed. Automatic feature selection was performed to determine the subset of features most correlated to video quality. The results show that salient-motion-related features enhance prediction and indicate that the presence of blocking effect artifacts and blurring in the salient regions and variance and intensity of temporal changes in non-salient regions influence the perceived video quality. PMID:20876020

  17. Quality control of radioelectronic apparatus components on basis of external characteristics in frequency domain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pokrovskiy, F. N.

    1985-03-01

    Measurement of impedances and other external parameters at several frequencies is proposed for unambiguous identification of radioelectronic apparatus components in the process of their quality control. The validity of this method is established upon transformation of a complex quantity such as impedance into a rational fractional function and subsequent polynomial series expansion of both numerator and denominator of the latter. This transformation of a measured quantity yields a linear equation containing a certain number of nonidentical groups whose vector can be arbitrarily normalized as is necessary for parametric identification of a given circuit. As an example demonstrating this procedure, inspection is considered of a high frequency (1 MHz) amplifier on a series R235UV1 integrated circuit chip for stability of performance characteristics in time as well as during fluctuations of ambient temperature and supply voltage, under humidity and under mechanical impact. A diagnostic chart is constructed for convenient fault detection and subsequent prevention in preceding stages of the production process.

  18. Pilot Quality Control Program for Audit RT External Beams at Mexican Hospitals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Álvarez R., J. T.; Tovar M., V. M.

    2008-08-01

    A pilot quality control program for audit 18 radiotherapy RT external beams at 13 Mexican hospitals is described—for eleven 60 Co beams and seven photon beams of 6, 10 and 15 MV from accelerators. This program contains five parts: a) Preparation of the TLD-100 powder: washing, drying and annealing (one hour 400 °C plus 24 hrs 80 °C). b) Sending two IAEA type capsules to the hospitals for irradiation at the hospital to a nominal DW = 2 Gy ṡ c ) Preparation at the SSDL of ten calibration curves CC in the range of 0.5 Gy to 6 Gy in terms of absorbed dose to water DW for 60 Co with traceability to primary laboratory NRC (Canada), according to a window irradiation: 26/10/2007-7/12/2007. d) Reading all capsules that match their hospital time irradiation and the SSDL window irradiation. f) Evaluation of the Dw imparted by the hospitals.

  19. [Simultaneous Detection of External and Internal Quality Parameters of Huping Jujube Fruits using Hyperspectral Imaging Technology].

    PubMed

    Xue, Jian-xin; Zhang, Shu-juan; Zhang, Jing-jing

    2015-08-01

    Nondestructive detection of external and internal quality parameters of jujube is crucial for improving jujube's shelf life and industry production. Hyperspectral imaging is an emerging technique that integrates conventional imaging and spectroscopy to acquire both spatial and spectral information from a sample. It takes the advantages of the conventional RGB, near-infrared spectroscopy, and multi-spectral imaging. In this work, hyperspectral imaging technology covered the range of 450~1000 nm has been evaluated for nondestructive determination of "natural defects" (shrink, crack, insect damage and peck injury) and soluble solids content (SSC) in Huping jujube fruit. 400 RGB images were acquired through four different defect (50 for each stage) and normal (200) classes of the Huping jujube samples. After acquiring hyperspectral images of Huping jujube fruits, the spectral data were extracted from region of interests (ROIs). Using Kennard-Stone algorithm, all kinds of samples were randomly divided into training set (280) and test set (120) according to the proportion of 3:1. Seven principal components (PCs) were selected based on principal component analysis (PCA), and seven textural feature variables (contrast, correlation, energy, homogeneity, variance, mean and entropy) were extracted by gray level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM). The least squares support vector machine (LS-SVM) models were built based on the PCs spectral, textural, combined PCs and textural features, respectively. The satisfactory results show the correct discrimination rate of 92.5% for the prediction samples, as well as correlation coefficient (Rp) of 0.944 for the prediction set to calculate SSC content based on PCs and textural features. The study demonstrated that hyperspectral image technique can be a reliable tool to simultaneous detection of external ("natural defects") and internal (SSC) quality parameters of Huping jujube fruits, which provided a theoretical reference for nondestructive

  20. Using institutional theory to analyse hospital responses to external demands for finance and quality in five European countries

    PubMed Central

    Mendel, Peter; Nunes, Francisco; Wiig, Siri; van den Bovenkamp, Hester; Karltun, Anette; Robert, Glenn; Anderson, Janet; Vincent, Charles; Fulop, Naomi

    2015-01-01

    Objectives Given the impact of the global economic crisis, delivering better health care with limited finance grows more challenging. Through the lens of institutional theory, this paper explores pressures experienced by hospital leaders to improve quality and constrain spending, focusing on how they respond to these often competing demands. Methods An in-depth, multilevel analysis of health care quality policies and practices in five European countries including longitudinal case studies in a purposive sample of ten hospitals. Results How hospitals responded to the financial and quality challenges was dependent upon three factors: the coherence of demands from external institutions; managerial competence to align external demands with an overall quality improvement strategy, and managerial stability. Hospital leaders used diverse strategies and practices to manage conflicting external pressures. Conclusions The development of hospital leaders’ skills in translating external requirements into implementation plans with internal support is a complex, but crucial, task, if quality is to remain a priority during times of austerity. Increasing quality improvement skills within a hospital, developing a culture where quality improvement becomes embedded and linking cost reduction measures to improving care are all required. PMID:26683885

  1. Teachers' Opinions on Quality Criteria for Competency Assessment Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baartman, Liesbeth K. J.; Bastiaens, Theo J.; Kirschner, Paul A.; Van der Vleuten, Cees P. M.

    2007-01-01

    Quality control policies towards Dutch vocational schools have changed dramatically because the government questioned examination quality. Schools must now demonstrate assessment quality to a new Examination Quality Center. Since teachers often design assessments, they must be involved in quality issues. This study therefore explores teachers'…

  2. Assessment of chances for external stress corrosion cracking in submarine pipelines

    SciTech Connect

    Mollan, R.; Eliassen, S.; Holt, T.; Ratkje, S.K.

    1982-11-08

    The possibility for stress corrosion cracking due to external environments to occur in submarine pipelines can not be excluded. The probability for stress corrosion to occur in submarine pipelines, however, considered to be for onshore pipelines mainly because calcareous deposits are expected to prevent buildup of the corrosive environment. Also the fact that the quality of surface preparation prior to coating for submarine pipelines normally is of a relatively high standard, contributes to reduce the probability for stresscorrosion cracking to occur.

  3. Assessing the quality of cost management

    SciTech Connect

    Fayne, V.; McAllister, A.; Weiner, S.B.

    1995-12-31

    Managing environmental programs can be effective only when good cost and cost-related management practices are developed and implemented. The Department of Energy`s Office of Environmental Management (EM), recognizing this key role of cost management, initiated several cost and cost-related management activities including the Cost Quality Management (CQM) Program. The CQM Program includes an assessment activity, Cost Quality Management Assessments (CQMAs), and a technical assistance effort to improve program/project cost effectiveness. CQMAs provide a tool for establishing a baseline of cost-management practices and for measuring improvement in those practices. The result of the CQMA program is an organization that has an increasing cost-consciousness, improved cost-management skills and abilities, and a commitment to respond to the public`s concerns for both a safe environment and prudent budget outlays. The CQMA program is part of the foundation of quality management practices in DOE. The CQMA process has contributed to better cost and cost-related management practices by providing measurements and feedback; defining the components of a quality cost-management system; and helping sites develop/improve specific cost-management techniques and methods.

  4. External Quality Assurance Programs Managed by the U.S. Geological Survey in Support of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/Mercury Deposition Network

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Latysh, Natalie E.; Wetherbee, Gregory A.

    2007-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Branch of Quality Systems operates external quality assurance programs for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/Mercury Deposition Network (NADP/MDN). Beginning in 2004, three programs have been implemented: the system blank program, the interlaboratory comparison program, and the blind audit program. Each program was designed to measure error contributed by specific components in the data-collection process. The system blank program assesses contamination that may result from sampling equipment, field exposure, and routine handling and processing of the wet-deposition samples. The interlaboratory comparison program evaluates bias and precision of analytical results produced by the Mercury Analytical Laboratory (HAL) for the NADP/MDN, operated by Frontier GeoSciences, Inc. The HAL's performance is compared with the performance of five other laboratories. The blind audit program assesses bias and variability of MDN data produced by the HAL using solutions disguised as environmental samples to ascertain true laboratory performance. This report documents the implementation of quality assurance procedures for the NADP/MDN and the operating procedures for each of the external quality assurance programs conducted by the USGS. The USGS quality assurance information provides a measure of confidence to NADP/MDN data users that measurement variability is distinguished from environmental signals.

  5. Scene reduction for subjective image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewandowska (Tomaszewska), Anna

    2016-01-01

    Evaluation of image quality is important for many image processing systems, such as those used for acquisition, compression, restoration, enhancement, or reproduction. Its measurement is often accompanied by user studies, in which a group of observers rank or rate results of several algorithms. Such user studies, known as subjective image quality assessment experiments, can be very time consuming and do not guarantee conclusive results. This paper is intended to help design an efficient and rigorous quality assessment experiment. We propose a method of limiting the number of scenes that need to be tested, which can significantly reduce the experimental effort and still capture relevant scene-dependent effects. To achieve it, we employ a clustering technique and evaluate it on the basis of compactness and separation criteria. The correlation between the results obtained from a set of images in an initial database and the results received from reduced experiment are analyzed. Finally, we propose a procedure for reducing the initial scenes number. Four different assessment techniques were tested: single stimulus, double stimulus, forced choice, and similarity judgments. We conclude that in most cases, 9 to 12 judgments per evaluated algorithm for a large scene collection is sufficient to reduce the initial set of images.

  6. Review of the Oconee-3 probabilistic risk assessment: external events, core damage frequency. Volume 2

    SciTech Connect

    Hanan, N.A.; Ilberg, D.; Xue, D.; Youngblood, R.; Reed, J.W.; McCann, M.; Talwani, T.; Wreathall, J.; Kurth, P.D.; Bandyopadhyay, K.

    1986-03-01

    A review of the Oconee-3 Probabilistic Risk Assessment (OPRA) was conducted with the broad objective of evaluating qualitatively and quantitatively (as much as possible) the OPRA assessment of the important sequences that are ''externally'' generated and lead to core damage. The review included a technical assessment of the assumptions and methods used in the OPRA within its stated objective and with the limited information available. Within this scope, BNL performed a detailed reevaluation of the accident sequences generated by internal floods and earthquakes and a less detailed review (in some cases a scoping review) for the accident sequences generated by fires, tornadoes, external floods, and aircraft impact. 12 refs., 24 figs., 31 tabs.

  7. Assessment of External Hazards at Radioactive Waste and Used Fuel Management Facilities - 13505

    SciTech Connect

    Gerchikov, Mark; Schneider, Glenn; Khan, Badi; Alderson, Elizabeth

    2013-07-01

    One of the key lessons from the Fukushima accident is the importance of having a comprehensive identification and evaluation of risks posed by external events to nuclear facilities. While the primary focus has been on nuclear power plants, the Canadian nuclear industry has also been updating hazard assessments for radioactive waste and used fuel management facilities to ensure that lessons learnt from Fukushima are addressed. External events are events that originate either physically outside the nuclear site or outside its control. They include natural events, such as high winds, lightning, earthquakes or flood due to extreme rainfall. The approaches that have been applied to the identification and assessment of external hazards in Canada are presented and analyzed. Specific aspects and considerations concerning hazards posed to radioactive waste and used fuel management operations are identified. Relevant hazard identification techniques are described, which draw upon available regulatory guidance and standard assessment techniques such as Hazard and Operability Studies (HAZOPs) and 'What-if' analysis. Consideration is given to ensuring that hazard combinations (for example: high winds and flooding due to rainfall) are properly taken into account. Approaches that can be used to screen out external hazards, through a combination of frequency and impact assessments, are summarized. For those hazards that cannot be screened out, a brief overview of methods that can be used to conduct more detailed hazard assessments is also provided. The lessons learnt from the Fukushima accident have had a significant impact on specific aspects of the approaches used to hazard assessment for waste management. Practical examples of the effect of these impacts are provided. (authors)

  8. Quality Assessment of Domesticated Animal Genome Assemblies

    PubMed Central

    Seemann, Stefan E.; Anthon, Christian; Palasca, Oana; Gorodkin, Jan

    2015-01-01

    The era of high-throughput sequencing has made it relatively simple to sequence genomes and transcriptomes of individuals from many species. In order to analyze the resulting sequencing data, high-quality reference genome assemblies are required. However, this is still a major challenge, and many domesticated animal genomes still need to be sequenced deeper in order to produce high-quality assemblies. In the meanwhile, ironically, the extent to which RNAseq and other next-generation data is produced frequently far exceeds that of the genomic sequence. Furthermore, basic comparative analysis is often affected by the lack of genomic sequence. Herein, we quantify the quality of the genome assemblies of 20 domesticated animals and related species by assessing a range of measurable parameters, and we show that there is a positive correlation between the fraction of mappable reads from RNAseq data and genome assembly quality. We rank the genomes by their assembly quality and discuss the implications for genotype analyses. PMID:27279738

  9. Impact of external industrial sources on the regional and local air quality of Mexico Megacity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Almanza, V. H.; Molina, L. T.; Li, G.; Fast, J.; Sosa, G.

    2013-10-01

    The air quality of megacities can be influenced by external emissions sources on both global and regional scale, and at the same time their outflow emissions can exert an important impact to the surrounding environment. The present study evaluates an SO2 peak observed on 24 March 2006 at the suburban supersite T1 and ambient air quality monitoring stations located in the north region of the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) during MILAGRO campaign. We found that this peak could be related to an important episodic emission event from Tizayuca region, northeast of the MCMA. Back trajectories analyses suggest that the emission event started in the early morning at 04:00 LST and lasted for about 9 h. The estimated emission rate is noticeably high, about 2 kg s-1. This finding suggests the possibility of "overlooked" emission sources in this region that could influence the air quality of the MCMA. This further motivated us to study the cement plants, including those in the State of Hidalgo and in the State of Mexico, and we found that they can contribute in the NE region of the basin (about 41.7%), at the suburban supersite T1 (41.23%) and at some monitoring stations their contribution can be even higher than from the Tula Industrial Complex. The contribution of Tula Industrial Complex to regional ozone levels is estimated. The model suggests low contribution to the MCMA (1 ppb to 4 ppb) and slightly higher at the suburban T1 (6 ppb) and rural T2 (5 ppb) supersites. However, the contribution could be as high as 10 ppb in the upper northwest region of the basin and in the southwest and south-southeast regions of State of Hidalgo. In addition, a first estimate of the potential contribution from flaring activities to regional ozone levels is presented. Emission rates are estimated with a CFD combustion model. Results suggest that up to 30% of the total regional ozone from TIC could be related to flaring activities. Finally, the influence in SO2 levels from technological

  10. Impact of physical fitness and biometric data on the quality of external chest compression: a randomised, crossover trial

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background During circulatory arrest, effective external chest compression (ECC) is a key element for patient survival. In 2005, international emergency medical organisations changed their recommended compression-ventilation ratio (CVR) from 15:2 to 30:2 to acknowledge the vital importance of ECC. We hypothesised that physical fitness, biometric data and gender can influence the quality of ECC. Furthermore, we aimed to determine objective parameters of physical fitness that can reliably predict the quality of ECC. Methods The physical fitness of 30 male and 10 female healthcare professionals was assessed by cycling and rowing ergometry (focussing on lower and upper body, respectively). During ergometry, continuous breath-by-breath ergospirometric measurements and heart rate (HR) were recorded. All participants performed two nine-minute sequences of ECC on a manikin using CVRs of 30:2 and 15:2. We measured the compression and decompression depths, compression rates and assessed the participants' perception of exhaustion and comfort. The median body mass index (BMI; male 25.4 kg/m2 and female 20.4 kg/m2) was used as the threshold for subgroup analyses of participants with higher and lower BMI. Results HR during rowing ergometry at 75 watts (HR75) correlated best with the quality of ECC (r = -0.57, p < 0.05). Participants with a higher BMI and better physical fitness performed better and showed less fatigue during ECC. These results are valid for the entire cohort, as well as for the gender-based subgroups. The compressions of female participants were too shallow and more rapid (mean compression depth was 32 mm and rate was 117/min with a CVR of 30:2). For participants with a lower BMI and higher HR75, the compression depth decreased over time, beginning after four minutes for the 15:2 CVR and after three minutes for the 30:2 CVR. Although found to be more exhausting, a CVR of 30:2 was rated as being more comfortable. Conclusion The quality of the ECC and fatigue can