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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. 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…

  8. 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…

  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. 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

  1. 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

  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. 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

  8. 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

  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 438.362 - 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. [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

  7. 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

  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. 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…

  2. 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…

  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 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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…

  1. 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...

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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…

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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…

  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. 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,…

  19. 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.

  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. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  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. 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...

  1. 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…

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

    • 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...

    • 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...

    • 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...

    • 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;...

    • 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...

    • 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...

    • 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

      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

    • 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.

    • 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

    • 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.

    • 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.

  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. 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...

  6. 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

  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. 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...

  2. 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)

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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…

  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 (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...

  7. 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…

  8. 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...

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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…

  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. 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...

  15. 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...

  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

  11. Assessing the Quality of Bioforensic Signatures

    SciTech Connect

    Sego, Landon H.; Holmes, Aimee E.; Gosink, Luke J.; Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M.; Kreuzer, Helen W.; Anderson, Richard M.; Brothers, Alan J.; Corley, Courtney D.; Tardiff, Mark F.

    2013-06-04

    We present a mathematical framework for assessing the quality of signature systems in terms of fidelity, cost, risk, and utility—a method we refer to as Signature Quality Metrics (SQM). We demonstrate the SQM approach by assessing the quality of a signature system designed to predict the culture medium used to grow a microorganism. The system consists of four chemical assays designed to identify various ingredients that could be used to produce the culture medium. The analytical measurements resulting from any combination of these four assays can be used in a Bayesian network to predict the probabilities that the microorganism was grown using one of eleven culture media. We evaluated fifteen combinations of the signature system by removing one or more of the assays from the Bayes network. We demonstrated that SQM can be used to distinguish between the various combinations in terms of attributes of interest. The approach assisted in clearly identifying assays that were least informative, largely in part because they only could discriminate between very few culture media, and in particular, culture media that are rarely used. There are limitations associated with the data that were used to train and test the signature system. Consequently, our intent is not to draw formal conclusions regarding this particular bioforensic system, but rather to illustrate an analytical approach that could be useful in comparing one signature system to another.

  12. Quality and Safety in Health Care, Part XIV: The External Environment and Research for Diagnostic Processes.

    PubMed

    Harolds, Jay A

    2016-09-01

    The work system in which diagnosis takes place is affected by the external environment, which includes requirements such as certification, accreditation, and regulations. How errors are reported, malpractice, and the system for payment are some other aspects of the external environment. Improving the external environment is expected to decrease errors in diagnosis. More research on improving the diagnostic process is needed. PMID:27280903

  13. No-reference stereoscopic image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akhter, Roushain; Parvez Sazzad, Z. M.; Horita, Y.; Baltes, J.

    2010-02-01

    Display of stereo images is widely used to enhance the viewing experience of three-dimensional imaging and communication systems. In this paper, we propose a method for estimating the quality of stereoscopic images using segmented image features and disparity. This method is inspired by the human visual system. We believe the perceived distortion and disparity of any stereoscopic display is strongly dependent on local features, such as edge (non-plane) and non-edge (plane) areas. Therefore, a no-reference perceptual quality assessment is developed for JPEG coded stereoscopic images based on segmented local features of artifacts and disparity. Local feature information such as edge and non-edge area based relative disparity estimation, as well as the blockiness and the blur within the block of images are evaluated in this method. Two subjective stereo image databases are used to evaluate the performance of our method. The subjective experiments results indicate our model has sufficient prediction performance.

  14. Bacteriological Assessment of Spoon River Water Quality

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Shundar; Evans, Ralph L.; Beuscher, Davis B.

    1974-01-01

    Data from a study of five stations on the Spoon River, Ill., during June 1971 through May 1973 were analyzed for compliance with Illinois Pollution Control Board's water quality standards of a geometric mean limitation of 200 fecal coliforms per 100 ml. This bacterial limit was achieved about 20% of the time during June 1971 through May 1972, and was never achieved during June 1972 through May 1973. Ratios of fecal coliform to total coliform are presented. By using fecal coliform-to-fecal streptococcus ratios to sort out fecal pollution origins, it was evident that a concern must be expressed not only for municipal wastewater effluents to the receiving stream, but also for nonpoint sources of pollution in assessing the bacterial quality of a stream. PMID:4604145

  15. Image quality assessment and human visual system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Xinbo; Lu, Wen; Tao, Dacheng; Li, Xuelong

    2010-07-01

    This paper summaries the state-of-the-art of image quality assessment (IQA) and human visual system (HVS). IQA provides an objective index or real value to measure the quality of the specified image. Since human beings are the ultimate receivers of visual information in practical applications, the most reliable IQA is to build a computational model to mimic the HVS. According to the properties and cognitive mechanism of the HVS, the available HVS-based IQA methods can be divided into two categories, i.e., bionics methods and engineering methods. This paper briefly introduces the basic theories and development histories of the above two kinds of HVS-based IQA methods. Finally, some promising research issues are pointed out in the end of the paper.

  16. Quality assessment of strawberries (Fragaria species).

    PubMed

    Azodanlou, Ramin; Darbellay, Charly; Luisier, Jean-Luc; Villettaz, Jean-Claude; Amadò, Renato

    2003-01-29

    Several cultivars of strawberries (Fragaria sp.), grown under different conditions, were analyzed by both sensory and instrumental methods. The overall appreciation, as expressed by consumers, was mainly reflected by attributes such as sweetness and aroma. No strong correlation was obtained with odor, acidity, juiciness, or firmness. The sensory quality of strawberries can be assessed with a good level of confidence by measuring the total sugar level ( degrees Brix) and the total amount of volatile compounds. Sorting out samples using the score obtained with a hedonic test (called the "hedonic classification method") allowed the correlation between consumers' appreciation and instrumental data to be considerably strengthened. On the basis of the results obtained, a quality model was proposed. Quantitative GC-FID analyses were performed to determine the major aroma components of strawberries. Methyl butanoate, ethyl butanoate, methyl hexanoate, cis-3-hexenyl acetate, and linalool were identified as the most important compounds for the taste and aroma of strawberries. PMID:12537447

  17. Assessing Assessment Quality: Criteria for Quality Assurance in Design of (Peer) Assessment for Learning--A Review of Research Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tillema, Harm; Leenknecht, Martijn; Segers, Mien

    2011-01-01

    The interest in "assessment for learning" (AfL) has resulted in a search for new modes of assessment that are better aligned to students' learning how to learn. However, with the introduction of new assessment tools, also questions arose with respect to the quality of its measurement. On the one hand, the appropriateness of traditional,…

  18. NATIONAL CROP LOSS ASSESSMENT NETWORK: QUALITY ASSURANCE PROGRAM (JOURNAL VERSION)

    EPA Science Inventory

    A quality assurance program was incorporated into the National Crop Loss Assessment Network (NCLAN) program, designed to assess the economic impacts of gaseous air pollutants on major agricultural crops in the United States. The quality assurance program developed standardized re...

  19. Peer Review and Quality Assessment in Complete Denture Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Novetsky, Marvin; Razzoog, Michael E.

    1981-01-01

    A program in peer review and quality assessment at the University of Michigan denture department is described. The program exposes students to peer review in order to assess the quality of their treatment. (Author/MLW)

  20. [The first experience of external quality control of immunohistochemical studies in the diagnosis of lymphoproliferative diseases].

    PubMed

    Krivolapov, Iu A; Peshkov, M V; Leenman, E E; Matsionis, A E; Kovrigina, A M

    2011-01-01

    The paper presents the results of estimating the quality of immunohistochemical (IHC) staining in 36 pathologic laboratories of the Russian Federation. The results of IHC stains were assessed in 17 markers (CD3, CD5, CDIO, CD15, CD20, CD23, CD30, Bcl2, Bcl6, Pax5, TdT, Mum1, Cyclin D1, Ki-67, Kappa, Lambda, ALK), which are frequently used in the diagnosis of lymphoproliferative diseases, in the sections of specially formed tissue matrices. The study conducted in most participating laboratories has revealed the considerable IHC staining technology flaws that can critically affect the quality of diagnosis of lymphoproliferative diseases; the diagnostic capacities of some participating laboratories are inconsistent with the solved problems for a number of key antibodies being unavailable. PMID:21695985

  1. External Quality Assurance of New Zealand Tertiary Education Providers Matters: Life Jacket or Strait-Jacket? AIR 2001 Annual Forum Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weir, Annie

    The reality of external academic/quality audit has arrived for all tertiary education providers in New Zealand under the umbrella of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. This paper reviews the development over the past decade of external quality assurance of tertiary providers by quality assurance authorities and their associated bodies. The…

  2. Probabilistic Safety Assessment of External Flooding Protection for Nuclear Power Plants in Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berg, Heinz Peter; Goertz, Rudolf; Froehmel, Thomas; Winter, Christian

    Methods to systematically analyse existing nuclear power plants (NPP) regarding the adequacy of their existing protection equipment against external hazards, e.g. flooding, can be of deterministic as well as probabilistic nature. In the past the adequacy of the protection measures has been assessed only on a deterministic basis. The German regulatory body has issued probabilistic safety assessment (PSA) guidelines, which had been elaborated for a comprehensive integrated safety review of all NPP in operation. Amongst others the guidelines imply, that probabilistic considerations regarding external flooding are required. This paper presents a newly developed graded approach for the probabilistic assessment of external flooding. Main aspects are explained such as the underlying probabilistic considerations and the mathematical procedures for the calculation of exceedance frequencies, which have recently been developed and issued as part of the German Nuclear Safety Standard. Exemplarily it has been investigated if extreme events such as tsunami waves could be a hazard for NPP at coastal sites in Germany. Here it could be shown that due to limited source mechanisms and the specific morphological conditions in the North Sea no dedicated measures for protection against tsunamis in the German Bight are necessary.

  3. Poor quality of external validity reporting limits generalizability of overweight and/or obesity lifestyle prevention interventions in young adults: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Partridge, S R; Juan, S J-H; McGeechan, K; Bauman, A; Allman-Farinelli, M

    2015-01-01

    Young adulthood is a high-risk life stage for weight gain. Evidence is needed to translate behavioural approaches into community practice to prevent weight gain in young adults. This systematic review assessed the effectiveness and reporting of external validity components in prevention interventions. The search was limited to randomized controlled trial (RCT) lifestyle interventions for the prevention of weight gain in young adults (18-35 years). Mean body weight and/or body mass index (BMI) change were the primary outcomes. External validity, quality assessment and risk of bias tools were applied to all studies. Twenty-one RCTs were identified through 14 major electronic databases. Over half of the studies were effective in the short term for significantly reducing body weight and/or BMI; however, few showed long-term maintenance. All studies lacked full reporting on external validity components. Description of the intervention components and participant attrition rates were reported by most studies. However, few studies reported the representativeness of participants, effectiveness of recruitment methods, process evaluation detail or costs. It is unclear from the information reported how to implement the interventions into community practice. Integrated reporting of intervention effectiveness and enhanced reporting of external validity components are needed for the translation and potential upscale of prevention strategies. PMID:25407633

  4. Blind image quality assessment through anisotropy.

    PubMed

    Gabarda, Salvador; Cristóbal, Gabriel

    2007-12-01

    We describe an innovative methodology for determining the quality of digital images. The method is based on measuring the variance of the expected entropy of a given image upon a set of predefined directions. Entropy can be calculated on a local basis by using a spatial/spatial-frequency distribution as an approximation for a probability density function. The generalized Rényi entropy and the normalized pseudo-Wigner distribution (PWD) have been selected for this purpose. As a consequence, a pixel-by-pixel entropy value can be calculated, and therefore entropy histograms can be generated as well. The variance of the expected entropy is measured as a function of the directionality, and it has been taken as an anisotropy indicator. For this purpose, directional selectivity can be attained by using an oriented 1-D PWD implementation. Our main purpose is to show how such an anisotropy measure can be used as a metric to assess both the fidelity and quality of images. Experimental results show that an index such as this presents some desirable features that resemble those from an ideal image quality function, constituting a suitable quality index for natural images. Namely, in-focus, noise-free natural images have shown a maximum of this metric in comparison with other degraded, blurred, or noisy versions. This result provides a way of identifying in-focus, noise-free images from other degraded versions, allowing an automatic and nonreference classification of images according to their relative quality. It is also shown that the new measure is well correlated with classical reference metrics such as the peak signal-to-noise ratio. PMID:18059913

  5. No training blind image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, Ying; Mou, Xuanqin; Ji, Zhen

    2014-03-01

    State of the art blind image quality assessment (IQA) methods generally extract perceptual features from the training images, and send them into support vector machine (SVM) to learn the regression model, which could be used to further predict the quality scores of the testing images. However, these methods need complicated training and learning, and the evaluation results are sensitive to image contents and learning strategies. In this paper, two novel blind IQA metrics without training and learning are firstly proposed. The new methods extract perceptual features, i.e., the shape consistency of conditional histograms, from the joint histograms of neighboring divisive normalization transform coefficients of distorted images, and then compare the length attribute of the extracted features with that of the reference images and degraded images in the LIVE database. For the first method, a cluster center is found in the feature attribute space of the natural reference images, and the distance between the feature attribute of the distorted image and the cluster center is adopted as the quality label. The second method utilizes the feature attributes and subjective scores of all the images in the LIVE database to construct a dictionary, and the final quality score is calculated by interpolating the subjective scores of nearby words in the dictionary. Unlike the traditional SVM based blind IQA methods, the proposed metrics have explicit expressions, which reflect the relationships of the perceptual features and the image quality well. Experiment results in the publicly available databases such as LIVE, CSIQ and TID2008 had shown the effectiveness of the proposed methods, and the performances are fairly acceptable.

  6. Quality Assessment Dimensions of Distance Teaching/Learning Curriculum Designing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Volungeviciene, Airina; Tereseviciene, Margarita

    2008-01-01

    The paper presents scientific literature analysis in the area of distance teaching/learning curriculum designing and quality assessment. The aim of the paper is to identify quality assessment dimensions of distance teaching/learning curriculum designing. The authors of the paper agree that quality assessment should be considered during the…

  7. Quantification of an External Motion Surrogate for Quality Assurance in Lung Cancer Radiation Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Lettmaier, Sebastian

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this work was to validate the stability of the end exhale position in deep expiration breath hold (DEBH) technique for quality assurance in stereotactic lung tumor radiation therapy. Furthermore, a motion analysis was performed for 20 patients to evaluate breathing periods and baseline drifts based on an external surrogate. This trajectory was detected using stereo infrared (IR) cameras and reflective body markers. The respiratory waveform showed large interpatient differences in the end exhale position during irradiation up to 18.8 mm compared to the global minimum. This position depends significantly on the tumor volume. Also the baseline drifts, which occur mostly in posterior direction, are affected by the tumor size. Breathing periods, which depend mostly on the patient age, were in a range between 2.4 s and 7.0 s. Fifteen out of 20 patients, who showed a reproducible end exhale position with a deviation of less than 5 mm, might benefit from DEBH due to smaller planning target volumes (PTV) compared to free breathing irradiation and hence sparing of healthy tissue. Patients with larger uncertainties should be treated with more complex motion compensation techniques. PMID:25525599

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

    SciTech Connect

    Alvarez R, J T; Tovar M, V M

    2008-08-11

    A pilot quality control program for audit 18 radiotherapy RT external beams at 13 Mexican hospitals is described--for eleven {sup 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 deg. C plus 24 hrs 80 deg. C). b) Sending two IAEA type capsules to the hospitals for irradiation at the hospital to a nominal D{sub W} = 2 Gy{center_dot}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 D{sub W} for {sup 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.

  9. Child Reactivity Moderates the Over-Time Association between Mother-Child Conflict Quality and Externalizing Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Jackie A.

    2015-01-01

    Constructive parent-child conflict interactions that teach children to problem-solve and negotiate can enhance children's social adjustment. This paper identifies constructive and destructive qualities of mother-child conflict and explores whether child temperament moderated associations with changes in externalizing problems over time. One…

  10. The Impact of Identifying a Specific Purpose and External Audience for Writing on Second Graders' Writing Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Block, Meghan K.

    2013-01-01

    The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (CCSS) emphasize the importance of writing and specify that students should write for external, and, at times, unfamiliar audiences. Given the relationship between audience specification and quality writing in older…

  11. Content-aware objective video quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortiz-Jaramillo, Benhur; Niño-Castañeda, Jorge; Platiša, Ljiljana; Philips, Wilfried

    2016-01-01

    Since the end-user of video-based systems is often a human observer, prediction of user-perceived video quality (PVQ) is an important task for increasing the user satisfaction. Despite the large variety of objective video quality measures (VQMs), their lack of generalizability remains a problem. This is mainly due to the strong dependency between PVQ and video content. Although this problem is well known, few existing VQMs directly account for the influence of video content on PVQ. Recently, we proposed a method to predict PVQ by introducing relevant video content features in the computation of video distortion measures. The method is based on analyzing the level of spatiotemporal activity in the video and using those as parameters of the anthropomorphic video distortion models. We focus on the experimental evaluation of the proposed methodology based on a total of five public databases, four different objective VQMs, and 105 content related indexes. Additionally, relying on the proposed method, we introduce an approach for selecting the levels of video distortions for the purpose of subjective quality assessment studies. Our results suggest that when adequately combined with content related indexes, even very simple distortion measures (e.g., peak signal to noise ratio) are able to achieve high performance, i.e., high correlation between the VQM and the PVQ. In particular, we have found that by incorporating video content features, it is possible to increase the performance of the VQM by up to 20% relative to its noncontent-aware baseline.

  12. [THE VIRTUAL CYTOLOGIC SLIDES FOR EXTERNAL EVALUATION OF QUALITY OF IMPLEMENTATION OF CYTOLOGIC ANALYSES IN CLINICAL DIAGNOSTIC LABORATORIES: POSSIBILITIES AND PERSPECTIVES].

    PubMed

    Djangirova, T V; Shabalova, I P; Pronichev, A N; Polyakov, E V

    2015-08-01

    The article considers application of technology of analysis of cytological slides in external quality control of clinical diagnostic laboratories. The advantages of virtual slides are demonstrated against other applied technologies of external evaluation of quality i.e. slide plate and digital micro-photography. The conditions of formation of virtual slides for external evaluation of quality of clinical diagnostic laboratories. The technology of their application is described. The success of practical application of considered technology in the Federal system of external evaluation of quality is emphasized. PMID:26596044

  13. An Assessment of the Pacific Regional Cancer Coalition: Outcomes and Implications of a Regional Coalition Internal and External Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Heckert, Karen A; Buenconsejo-Lum, Lee; Hedson, Johnny; Tamang, Suresh; Palafox, Neal

    2011-01-01

    Significance The Pacific Regional Cancer Coalition Signifi(PRCC) provides regional leadership in the US Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI) to implement the Regional Comprehensive Control Plan: 2007–2012, and to evaluate its coalition and partnerships. The Pacific Center of Excellence in the Elimination of Disparities (CEED), aims to reduce cancer disparities and conducts evaluation activities relevant to cancer prevention and control in the USAPI. Purpose The PRCC Self (internal) and Partner (external) Assessments were conducted to assess coalition functioning, regional and national partnerships, sustainability, and the role of regionalism for integrating all chronic disease prevention and control in the Pacific. Methods Self-administered questionnaires and key informant telephone interviews with PRCC members (N=20), and representatives from regional and national partner organizations were administered (N=26). Validated multi item measures using 5-point scales on coalition and partnership characteristics were used. Chronbach's alphas and averages for the measures were computed. Results Internal coalition measures: satisfaction (4.2, SD=0.48) communication (4.0, SD=0.56), respect (4.0, SD=0.60) were rated more highly than external partnership measures: resource sharing (3.5, SD=0.74), regionalism (3.9, SD=0.47), use of findings (3.9, SD=0.50). The PRCC specifically identified its level of “collaboration” with external partners including Pacific CEED. External partners identified its partnership with the PRCC in the “coalition” stage. Principal Conclusions PRCC members and external partners are satisfied with their partnerships. All groups should continue to focus on building collaboration with partners to reflect a truly regional approach to sustain the commitment, the coalitions and the programming to reduce cancer in the USAPI. PRCC and partners should also work together to integrate all chronic disease prevention and control efforts in the Pacific. PMID

  14. Image quality assessment in the low quality regime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinto, Guilherme O.; Hemami, Sheila S.

    2012-03-01

    Traditionally, image quality estimators have been designed and optimized to operate over the entire quality range of images in a database, from very low quality to visually lossless. However, if quality estimation is limited to a smaller quality range, their performances drop dramatically, and many image applications only operate over such a smaller range. This paper is concerned with one such range, the low-quality regime, which is defined as the interval of perceived quality scores where there exists a linear relationship between the perceived quality scores and the perceived utility scores and exists at the low-quality end of image databases. Using this definition, this paper describes a subjective experiment to determine the low-quality regime for databases of distorted images that include perceived quality scores but not perceived utility scores, such as CSIQ and LIVE. The performances of several image utility and quality estimators are evaluated in the low-quality regime, indicating that utility estimators can be successfully applied to estimate perceived quality in this regime. Omission of the lowestfrequency image content is shown to be crucial to the performances of both kinds of estimators. Additionally, this paper establishes an upper-bound for the performances of quality estimators in the LQR, using a family of quality estimators based on VIF. The resulting optimal quality estimator indicates that estimating quality in the low-quality regime is robust to exact frequency pooling weights, and that near-optimal performance can be achieved by a variety of estimators providing that they substantially emphasize the appropriate frequency content.

  15. 2003 SNL ASCI applications software quality engineering assessment report.

    SciTech Connect

    Schofield, Joseph Richard, Jr.; Ellis, Molly A.; Williamson, Charles Michael; Bonano, Lora A.

    2004-02-01

    This document describes the 2003 SNL ASCI Software Quality Engineering (SQE) assessment of twenty ASCI application code teams and the results of that assessment. The purpose of this assessment was to determine code team compliance with the Sandia National Laboratories ASCI Applications Software Quality Engineering Practices, Version 2.0 as part of an overall program assessment.

  16. External quality-assurance programs managed by the U.S. Geological Survey in support of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Latysh, Natalie E.; Wetherbee, Gregory A.

    2005-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey, Branch of Quality Systems, operates the external quality-assurance programs for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network (NADP/NTN). Beginning in 1978, six different programs have been implemented?the intersite-comparison program, the blind-audit program, the sample-handling evaluation program, the field-audit program, the interlaboratory-comparison program, and the collocated-sampler program. Each program was designed to measure error contributed by specific components in the data-collection process. The intersite-comparison program, which was discontinued in 2004, was designed to assess the accuracy and reliability of field pH and specific-conductance measurements made by site operators. The blind-audit and sample-handling evaluation programs, which also were discontinued in 2002 and 2004, respectively, assessed contamination that may result from sampling equipment and routine handling and processing of the wet-deposition samples. The field-audit program assesses the effects of sample handling, processing, and field exposure. The interlaboratory-comparison program evaluates bias and precision of analytical results produced by the contract laboratory for NADP, the Illinois State Water Survey, Central Analytical Laboratory, and compares its performance with the performance of international laboratories. The collocated-sampler program assesses the overall precision of wet-deposition data collected by NADP/NTN. This report documents historical operations and the operating procedures for each of these external quality-assurance programs. USGS quality-assurance information allows NADP/NTN data users to discern between actual environmental trends and inherent measurement variability.

  17. Does Feather Corticosterone Reflect Individual Quality or External Stress in Arctic-Nesting Migratory Birds?

    PubMed Central

    Legagneux, Pierre; Harms, N. Jane; Gauthier, Gilles; Chastel, Olivier; Gilchrist, H. Grant; Bêty, Joël; Soos, Catherine

    2013-01-01

    The effects of environmental perturbations or stressors on individual states can be carried over to subsequent life stages and ultimately affect survival and reproduction. The concentration of corticosterone (CORT) in feathers is an integrated measure of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal activity during the molting period, providing information on the total baseline and stress-induced CORT secreted during the period of feather growth. Common eiders and greater snow geese replace all flight feathers once a year during the pre-basic molt, which occurs following breeding. Thus, CORT contained in feathers of pre-breeding individuals sampled in spring reflects the total CORT secreted during the previous molting event, which may provide insight into the magnitude or extent of stress experienced during this time period. We used data from multiple recaptures to disentangle the contribution of individual quality vs. external factors (i.e., breeding investment or environmental conditions) on feather CORT in arctic-nesting waterfowl. Our results revealed no repeatability of feather CORT within individuals of either species. In common eiders, feather CORT was not affected by prior reproductive investment, nor by pre-breeding (spring) body condition prior to the molting period. Individual feather CORT greatly varied according to the year, and August-September temperatures explained most of the annual variation in feather CORT. Understanding mechanisms that affect energetic costs and stress responses during molting will require further studies either using long-term data or experiments. Although our study period encompassed only five years, it nonetheless provides evidence that CORT measured in feathers likely reflects responses to environmental conditions experienced by birds during molt, and could be used as a metric to study carry-over effects. PMID:24391720

  18. Does feather corticosterone reflect individual quality or external stress in arctic-nesting migratory birds?

    PubMed

    Legagneux, Pierre; Harms, N Jane; Gauthier, Gilles; Chastel, Olivier; Gilchrist, H Grant; Bortolotti, Gary; Bêty, Joël; Soos, Catherine

    2013-01-01

    The effects of environmental perturbations or stressors on individual states can be carried over to subsequent life stages and ultimately affect survival and reproduction. The concentration of corticosterone (CORT) in feathers is an integrated measure of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal activity during the molting period, providing information on the total baseline and stress-induced CORT secreted during the period of feather growth. Common eiders and greater snow geese replace all flight feathers once a year during the pre-basic molt, which occurs following breeding. Thus, CORT contained in feathers of pre-breeding individuals sampled in spring reflects the total CORT secreted during the previous molting event, which may provide insight into the magnitude or extent of stress experienced during this time period. We used data from multiple recaptures to disentangle the contribution of individual quality vs. external factors (i.e., breeding investment or environmental conditions) on feather CORT in arctic-nesting waterfowl. Our results revealed no repeatability of feather CORT within individuals of either species. In common eiders, feather CORT was not affected by prior reproductive investment, nor by pre-breeding (spring) body condition prior to the molting period. Individual feather CORT greatly varied according to the year, and August-September temperatures explained most of the annual variation in feather CORT. Understanding mechanisms that affect energetic costs and stress responses during molting will require further studies either using long-term data or experiments. Although our study period encompassed only five years, it nonetheless provides evidence that CORT measured in feathers likely reflects responses to environmental conditions experienced by birds during molt, and could be used as a metric to study carry-over effects. PMID:24391720

  19. Groundwater quality data from the National Water-Quality Assessment Project, May 2012 through December 2013

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arnold, Terri L.; Desimone, Leslie A.; Bexfield, Laura M.; Lindsey, Bruce D.; Barlow, Jeannie R.; Kulongoski, Justin T.; Musgrove, Marylynn; Kingsbury, James A.; Belitz, Kenneth

    2016-01-01

    Groundwater-quality data were collected from 748 wells as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Project of the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Program from May 2012 through December 2013. The data were collected from four types of well networks: principal aquifer study networks, which assess the quality of groundwater used for public water supply; land-use study networks, which assess land-use effects on shallow groundwater quality; major aquifer study networks, which assess the quality of groundwater used for domestic supply; and enhanced trends networks, which evaluate the time scales during which groundwater quality changes. Groundwater samples were analyzed for a large number of water-quality indicators and constituents, including major ions, nutrients, trace elements, volatile organic compounds, pesticides, and radionuclides. These groundwater quality data are tabulated in this report. Quality-control samples also were collected; data from blank and replicate quality-control samples are included in this report.

  20. Automatic quality assessment protocol for MRI equipment.

    PubMed

    Bourel, P; Gibon, D; Coste, E; Daanen, V; Rousseau, J

    1999-12-01

    The authors have developed a protocol and software for the quality assessment of MRI equipment with a commercial test object. Automatic image analysis consists of detecting surfaces and objects, defining regions of interest, acquiring reference point coordinates and establishing gray level profiles. Signal-to-noise ratio, image uniformity, geometrical distortion, slice thickness, slice profile, and spatial resolution are checked. The results are periodically analyzed to evaluate possible drifts with time. The measurements are performed weekly on three MRI scanners made by the Siemens Company (VISION 1.5T, EXPERT 1.0T, and OPEN 0.2T). The results obtained for the three scanners over approximately 3.5 years are presented, analyzed, and compared. PMID:10619255

  1. Data Quality Assessment for Maritime Situation Awareness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iphar, C.; Napoli, A.; Ray, C.

    2015-08-01

    The Automatic Identification System (AIS) initially designed to ensure maritime security through continuous position reports has been progressively used for many extended objectives. In particular it supports a global monitoring of the maritime domain for various purposes like safety and security but also traffic management, logistics or protection of strategic areas, etc. In this monitoring, data errors, misuse, irregular behaviours at sea, malfeasance mechanisms and bad navigation practices have inevitably emerged either by inattentiveness or voluntary actions in order to circumvent, alter or exploit such a system in the interests of offenders. This paper introduces the AIS system and presents vulnerabilities and data quality assessment for decision making in maritime situational awareness cases. The principles of a novel methodological approach for modelling, analysing and detecting these data errors and falsification are introduced.

  2. Quality assessment of clinical computed tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berndt, Dorothea; Luckow, Marlen; Lambrecht, J. Thomas; Beckmann, Felix; Müller, Bert

    2008-08-01

    Three-dimensional images are vital for the diagnosis in dentistry and cranio-maxillofacial surgery. Artifacts caused by highly absorbing components such as metallic implants, however, limit the value of the tomograms. The dominant artifacts observed are blowout and streaks. Investigating the artifacts generated by metallic implants in a pig jaw, the data acquisition for the patients in dentistry should be optimized in a quantitative manner. A freshly explanted pig jaw including related soft-tissues served as a model system. Images were recorded varying the accelerating voltage and the beam current. The comparison with multi-slice and micro computed tomography (CT) helps to validate the approach with the dental CT system (3D-Accuitomo, Morita, Japan). The data are rigidly registered to comparatively quantify their quality. The micro CT data provide a reasonable standard for quantitative data assessment of clinical CT.

  3. Results of external quality-assurance program for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program and National Trends Network during 1985

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.H.; Schroder, L.J.; Willoughby, T.C.

    1988-01-01

    External quality assurance monitoring of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) and National Trends Network (NTN) was performed by the U.S. Geological Survey during 1985. The monitoring consisted of three primary programs: (1) an intersite comparison program designed to assess the precision and accuracy of onsite pH and specific conductance measurements made by NADP and NTN site operators; (2) a blind audit sample program designed to assess the effect of routine field handling on the precision and bias of NADP and NTN wet deposition data; and (3) an interlaboratory comparison program designed to compare analytical data from the laboratory processing NADP and NTN samples with data produced by other laboratories routinely analyzing wet deposition samples and to provide estimates of individual laboratory precision. An average of 94% of the site operators participated in the four voluntary intersite comparisons during 1985. A larger percentage of participating site operators met the accuracy goal for specific conductance measurements (average, 87%) than for pH measurements (average, 67%). Overall precision was dependent on the actual specific conductance of the test solution and independent of the pH of the test solution. Data for the blind audit sample program indicated slight positive biases resulting from routine field handling for all analytes except specific conductance. These biases were not large enough to be significant for most data users. Data for the blind audit sample program also indicated that decreases in hydrogen ion concentration were accompanied by decreases in specific conductance. Precision estimates derived from the blind audit sample program indicate that the major source of uncertainty in wet deposition data is the routine field handling that each wet deposition sample receives. Results of the interlaboratory comparison program were similar to results of previous years ' evaluations, indicating that the participating laboratories

  4. External quality-assurance results for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program and the National Trends Network during 1986

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    See, Randolph B.; Schroder, LeRoy J.; Willoughby, Timothy C.

    1988-01-01

    During 1986, the U.S. Geological Survey operated three programs to provide external quality-assurance monitoring of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program and National Trends Network. An intersite-comparison program was used to assess the accuracy of onsite pH and specific-conductance determinations at quarterly intervals. The blind-audit program was used to assess the effect of routine sample handling on the precision and bias of program and network wet-deposition data. Analytical results from four laboratories, which routinely analyze wet-deposition samples, were examined to determine if differences existed between laboratory analytical results and to provide estimates of the analytical precision of each laboratory. An average of 78 and 89 percent of the site operators participating in the intersite-comparison met the network goals for pH and specific conductance. A comparison of analytical values versus actual values for samples submitted as part of the blind-audit program indicated that analytical values were slightly but significantly (a = 0.01) larger than actual values for pH, magnesium, sodium, and sulfate; analytical values for specific conductance were slightly less than actual values. The decreased precision in the analyses of blind-audit samples when compared to interlaboratory studies indicates that a large amount of uncertainty in network deposition data may be a result of routine field operations. The results of the interlaboratory comparison study indicated that the magnitude of the difference between laboratory analyses was small for all analytes. Analyses of deionized, distilled water blanks by participating laboratories indicated that the laboratories had difficulty measuring analyte concentrations near their reported detection limits. (USGS)

  5. Follow-Up of External Quality Controls for PCR-Based Diagnosis of Whooping Cough in a Hospital Laboratory Network (Renacoq) and in Other Hospital and Private Laboratories in France.

    PubMed

    Guillot, Sophie; Guiso, Nicole

    2016-08-01

    The French National Reference Centre (NRC) for Whooping Cough carried out an external quality control (QC) analysis in 2010 for the PCR diagnosis of whooping cough. The main objective of the study was to assess the impact of this QC in the participating laboratories through a repeat analysis in 2012. PMID:27194689

  6. 42 CFR 493.1289 - Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment. 493... HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATION LABORATORY REQUIREMENTS Quality System for Nonwaived Testing Analytic Systems § 493.1289 Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment. (a)...

  7. 42 CFR 493.1249 - Standard: Preanalytic systems quality assessment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Standard: Preanalytic systems quality assessment... AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATION LABORATORY REQUIREMENTS Quality System for Nonwaived Testing Preanalytic Systems § 493.1249 Standard: Preanalytic systems quality assessment. (a)...

  8. 42 CFR 493.1299 - Standard: Postanalytic systems quality assessment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Standard: Postanalytic systems quality assessment... AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATION LABORATORY REQUIREMENTS Quality System for Nonwaived Testing Postanalytic Systems § 493.1299 Standard: Postanalytic systems quality assessment. (a)...

  9. A Model for Assessment: Integrating External Monitoring with Classroom-Based Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Long, Caroline; Dunne, Tim; Mokoena, Gabriel

    2014-01-01

    The rationale for the introduction of standards in the United States in the late 1980s was that the quality of education would improve. Assessment instruments in the form of written tests were constructed in order to perform a monitoring function. The introduction of standards and the associated monitoring have been replicated in South Africa. It…

  10. Video quality assessment for web content mirroring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Ye; Fei, Kevin; Fernandez, Gustavo A.; Delp, Edward J.

    2014-03-01

    Due to the increasing user expectation on watching experience, moving web high quality video streaming content from the small screen in mobile devices to the larger TV screen has become popular. It is crucial to develop video quality metrics to measure the quality change for various devices or network conditions. In this paper, we propose an automated scoring system to quantify user satisfaction. We compare the quality of local videos with the videos transmitted to a TV. Four video quality metrics, namely Image Quality, Rendering Quality, Freeze Time Ratio and Rate of Freeze Events are used to measure video quality change during web content mirroring. To measure image quality and rendering quality, we compare the matched frames between the source video and the destination video using barcode tools. Freeze time ratio and rate of freeze events are measured after extracting video timestamps. Several user studies are conducted to evaluate the impact of each objective video quality metric on the subjective user watching experience.

  11. Beef quality assessed at European research centres.

    PubMed

    Dransfield, E; Nute, G R; Roberts, T A; Boccard, R; Touraille, C; Buchter, L; Casteels, M; Cosentino, E; Hood, D E; Joseph, R L; Schon, I; Paardekooper, E J

    1984-01-01

    Loin steaks and cubes of M. semimembranosus from eight (12 month old) Galloway steers and eight (16-18 month old) Charolais cross steers raised in England and from which the meat was conditioned for 2 or 10 days, were assessed in research centres in Belgium, Denmark, England, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands. Laboratory panels assessed meat by grilling the steaks and cooking the cubes in casseroles according to local custom using scales developed locally and by scales used frequently at other research centres. The meat was mostly of good quality but with sufficient variation to obtain meaningful comparisons. Tenderness and juiciness were assessed most, and flavour least, consistently. Over the 32 meats, acceptability of steaks and casseroles was in general compounded from tenderness, juiciness and flavour. However, when the meat was tough, it dominated the overall judgement; but when tender, flavour played an important rôle. Irish and English panels tended to weight more on flavour and Italian panels on tenderness and juiciness. Juciness and tenderness were well correlated among all panels except in Italy and Germany. With flavour, however, Belgian, Irish, German and Dutch panels ranked the meats similarly and formed a group distinct from the others which did not. The panels showed a similar grouping for judgements of acceptability. French and Belgian panels judged the steaks from the older Charolais cross steers to have more flavour and be more juicy than average and tended to prefer them. Casseroles from younger steers were invariably preferred although the French and Belgian panels judged aged meat from older animals equally acceptable. These regional biases were thought to be derived mainly from differences in cooking, but variations in experience and perception of assessors also contributed. PMID:22055992

  12. Commissioning and quality assurance of the Pinnacle(3) radiotherapy treatment planning system for external beam photons.

    PubMed

    Bedford, J L; Childs, P J; Nordmark Hansen, V; Mosleh-Shirazi, M A; Verhaegen, F; Warrington, A P

    2003-03-01

    The commissioning of a Pinnacle(3) treatment planning system is described. Four Elekta linear accelerators were commissioned for external beam photons. Measured data were used to derive parameter values for the Pinnacle(3) beam model by (1). fitting a Monte Carlo model of the accelerator head to measured data and then extracting the parameters for the Pinnacle(3) beam model, and by (2). using the auto-modelling facility within Pinnacle(3). Both of these methods yielded dose distributions in accord with published recommendations. A separate small-field beam model, customized for an in-house compact blocking system, was also created, which satisfied appropriate acceptance criteria for stereotactically guided conformal brain treatments. Inhomogeneous, oblique, asymmetrical and irregular fields were also assessed, with calculated and measured doses agreeing to within +/-3%. Dose-volume histogram calculation was found to be accurate to within +/-5% dose or volume for a grid size of 4 mm x 4 mm x 4 mm, with better accuracy being achieved for finer grids. Isocentric doses were compared between Pinnacle(3)'s collapsed cone convolution algorithm and the Bentley-Milan algorithm within the Target-2 treatment planning system. Dose differences were generally less than 3% in the dose prescribed, with larger values for breast plans, where the Pinnacle(3) algorithm calculated scatter more accurately. Pelvic and thoracic plans were also verified using an anthropomorphic phantom, with local dose differences between calculated and delivered dose of up to 8%, but mainly less than 3%, and with no systematic difference. Ionization chamber verifications using START and RT-01 trial procedures demonstrated differences between calculated and measured doses of less than 2%. Following satisfactory performance in the commissioning process, Pinnacle(3) has now been introduced into routine clinical use. PMID:12684232

  13. Assessment of private economic benefits and positive environmental externalities of tea plantation in China.

    PubMed

    Xue, Hui; Ren, Xiaoyi; Li, Shiyu; Wu, Xu; Cheng, Hao; Xu, Bin; Gu, Baojing; Yang, Guofu; Peng, Changhui; Ge, Ying; Chang, Jie

    2013-10-01

    Tea plantations are rapidly expanding in China and other countries in the tropical and subtropical zones, driven by relatively high private economic benefit. However, the impact of tea plantations on the regional environment, including ecosystem services and disservices are unclear. In this study, we developed an assessment framework for determining the private economic benefits and environmental externalities (the algebraic sum of the regulating services and disservices) of tea plantations in China. Our results showed that tea plantations provided private economic benefits of 5,652 yuan ha(-1) year(-1) (7.6 yuan = 1 USD in 2007) for tea farmers, plus positive environmental externalities of 6,054 yuan ha(-1) year(-1) for the society. The environmental externalities were calculated as the sum of the value of four regulating services, including carbon sequestration (392 yuan ha(-1) year(-1)); soil retention (72 yuan ha(-1) year(-1)); soil fertility protection (3,189 yuan ha(-1) year(-1)) and water conservation (2,685 yuan ha(-1) year(-1)), and three disservices, including CO2 emission (-39 yuan ha(-1) year(-1)), N2O emission (-137 yuan ha(-1) year(-1)) and nonpoint source pollution (-108 yuan ha(-1) year(-1)). Before the private optimal level, the positive environmental externalities can be maintained by private economic benefits; if a social optimal level is required, subsidies from government are necessary. PMID:23604726

  14. QUALITY: A program to assess basis set quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sordo, J. A.

    1998-09-01

    A program to analyze in detail the quality of basis sets is presented. The information provided by the application of a wide variety of (atomic and/or molecular) quality criteria is processed by using a methodology that allows one to determine the most appropriate quality test to select a basis set to compute a given (atomic or molecular) property. Fuzzy set theory is used to choose the most adequate basis set to compute simultaneously a set of properties.

  15. Assessment of Reference Height Models on Quality of Tandem-X dem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mirzaee, S.; Motagh, M.; Arefi, H.

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of various Global Digital Elevation Models (GDEMs) in producing high-resolution topography model using TanDEM-X (TDX) Coregistered Single Look Slant Range Complex (CoSSC) images. We selected an image acquired on Jun 12th, 2012 over Doroud region in Lorestan, west of Iran and used 4 external digital elevation models in our processing including DLR/ASI X-SAR DEM (SRTM-X, 30m resolution), ASTER GDEM Version 2 (ASTER-GDEMV2, 30m resolution), NASA SRTM Version 4 (SRTM-V4, 90m resolution), and a local photogrammetry-based DEM prepared by National Cartographic Center (NCC DEM, 10m resolution) of Iran. InSAR procedure for DEM generation was repeated four times with each of the four external height references. The quality of each external DEM was initially assessed using ICESat filtered points. Then, the quality of, each TDX-based DEM was assessed using the more precise external DEM selected in the previous step. Results showed that both local (NCC) DEM and SRTM X-band performed the best (RMSE< 9m) for TDX-DEM generation. In contrast, ASTER GDEM v2 and SRTM C-band v4 showed poorer quality.

  16. The Impact of Quality Assessment in Universities: Portuguese Students' Perceptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cardoso, Sonia; Santiago, Rui; Sarrico, Claudia S.

    2012-01-01

    Despite being one of the major reasons for the development of quality assessment, students seem relatively unaware of its potential impact. Since one of the main purposes of assessment is to provide students with information on the quality of universities, this lack of awareness brings in to question the effectiveness of assessment as a device for…

  17. Internal and External Resources as Determinants of Health and Quality of Life

    PubMed Central

    Greimel, Elfriede; Kato, Yoshiko; Müller-Gartner, Maria; Salchinger, Beate; Roth, Roswith; Freidl, Wolfgang

    2016-01-01

    Background The salutogenic model has been established as a health promoting resource that is related to a strong sense of coherence (SOC), positive subjective health and quality of life (QoL). The aim of the study was to compare internal and external resources, life style factors, perceived health and QoL in Japan and Austria and to determine associations among these factors. Methodology and Principal Findings A survey was conducted in a Japanese (N = 460) and an Austrian (N = 421) student sample using the following self-report health questionnaires: Sense of Coherence Scale (SOC-13), Social and Gender Role Scale, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (DEBQ), SF-12 Health Survey, and the Cross-cultural Health Survey. Analyses of data showed that age (ß -0.12), and stress (ß -0.21) were negatively related and SOC (ß 0.47), family support are (ß -0.35) positively related to mental QoL. Significant predictors for emotional strain, were female gender (ß -0.24), older age (ß-0.14), lower SOC (ß 0.28), less traditional gender and social role patterns (ß 0.10), more restrained eating (ß -0.20), more alcohol intake (ß -0.16), and more stress (ß -0.25) explaining 42% of the variance in Austrian students. In Japan stress (ß -0.38) was negatively related and SOC (ß 0.37) positively related to mental QoL. Older age (ß -0.20), lower SOC (ß 0.29) and more stress (ß -0.33) were identified as significant predictors explaining 35% of the variance in Japanese students. Conclusions and Significance SOC and stress are strongly associated with QoL and perceived health in Austria as well as in Japan. SOC seems to be a crucial predictor for stress, and emotional health independent of the cultural context. A major challenge of cross-cultural research is to understand perceived health and QoL and the extent in which it is individually, socially, or culturally determined. PMID:27136375

  18. RISK REDUCTION THROUGH USE OF EXTERNAL TECHNICAL REVIEWS, TECHNOLOGY READINESS ASSESSMENTS AND TECHNICAL RISK RATINGS - 9174

    SciTech Connect

    Cercy, M; Steven P Schneider, S; Kurt D Gerdes, K

    2009-01-15

    The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM) was established to achieve the safe and compliant disposition of legacy wastes and facilities from defense nuclear applications. A large majority of these wastes and facilities are 'one-of-a-kind' and unique to DOE. Many of the programs to treat these wastes have been 'first-of-a-kind' and unprecedented in scope and complexity. This has meant that many of the technologies needed to successfully disposition these wastes were not yet developed or required significant re-engineering to be adapted for DOE-EM's needs. The DOE-EM program believes strongly in reducing the technical risk of its projects and has initiated several efforts to reduce those risks: (1) Technology Readiness Assessments to reduce the risks of deployment of new technologies; (2) External Technical Reviews as one of several steps to ensure the timely resolution of engineering and technology issues; and (3) Technical Risk Ratings as a means to monitor and communicate information about technical risks. This paper will present examples of how Technology Readiness Assessments, External Technical Reviews, and Technical Risk Ratings are being used by DOE-EM to reduce technical risks.

  19. RISK REDUCTION THROUGH USE OF EXTERNAL TECHNICAL REVIEWS, TECHNOLOGY READINESS ASSESSMENTS AND TECHNICAL RISK RATINGS - 9174

    SciTech Connect

    Cercy, M; Steven P Schneider, S; Kurt D Gerdes, K

    2008-12-12

    The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM) was established to achieve the safe and compliant disposition of legacy wastes and facilities from defense nuclear applications. A large majority of these wastes and facilities are 'one-of-a-kind' and unique to DOE. Many of the programs to treat these wastes have been 'first-of-a-kind' and unprecedented in scope and complexity. This has meant that many of the technologies needed to successfully disposition these wastes were not yet developed or required significant re-engineering to be adapted for DOE-EM's needs. The DOE-EM program believes strongly in reducing the technical risk of its projects and has initiated several efforts to reduce those risks: (1) Technology Readiness Assessments to reduce the risks of deployment of new technologies; (2) External Technical Reviews as one of several steps to ensure the timely resolution of engineering and technology issues; and (3) Technical Risk Ratings as a means to monitor and communicate information about technical risks. This paper will present examples of how Technology Readiness Assessments, External Technical Reviews, and Technical Risk Ratings are being used by DOE-EM to reduce technical risks.

  20. Gestational age assessment by nurses in a developing country using the Ballard method, external criteria only.

    PubMed

    Verhoeff, F H; Milligan, P; Brabin, B J; Mlanga, S; Nakoma, V

    1997-12-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate postnatal examination of the newborn by nurses in a developing country, using a modified Ballard method, scoring for the six external criteria only (Ballard-ext). Applicability of gestational age estimates with the Ballard-ext. was assessed by calculating its agreement with gestational age derived from the last menstrual period (LMP), fundal height and the Dubowitz method. The smallest difference in gestational age and the most narrow limits of agreement were found between the Ballard-ext. and the Dubowitz method. No reliable gestational age could be obtained from LMP or fundal height. At low gestational ages, Ballard-ext. tended to give lower gestational ages compared with the Dubowitz method. At an average gestational age of more than 251 days, Ballard-ext. gave higher values compared with Dubowitz. Both Ballard-ext. and the Dubowitz method identified 48% of low birthweight babies as growth-retarded (gestational age > or = 37 weeks). No significant difference in gestational age assessment of newborns between nurses was observed. The Ballard method, scoring for external criteria alone, compared favourably with the Dubowitz method. The test is simple to perform and can be reliably used routinely by nurses. PMID:9578793

  1. Evolving Adjustments to External (Gamma) Slope Factors for CERCLA Risk and Dose Assessments - 12290

    SciTech Connect

    Walker, Stuart

    2012-07-01

    To model the external exposure pathway in risk and dose assessments of radioactive contamination at Superfund sites, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses slope factors (SFs), also known as risk coefficients, and dose conversion factors (DCFs). Without any adjustment these external radiation exposure pathways effectively assumes that an individual is exposed to a source geometry that is effectively an infinite slab. The concept of an 'infinite slab' means that the thickness of the contaminated zone and its aerial extent are so large that it behaves as if it were infinite in its physical dimensions. EPA has been making increasingly complex adjustments to account for the extent of the contamination and its corresponding radiation field to provide more accurate risk and dose assessment modeling when using its calculators. In most instances, the more accurate modeling results derived from these gamma adjustments are less conservative. The notable exception are for some radionuclides in rooms with contaminated walls, ceiling, and floors, and the receptor is in location of the room with the highest amount of radiation exposure, usually the corner of small rooms and the center of large conference rooms. (authors)

  2. Assessment of external costs for transport project evaluation: Guidelines in some European countries

    SciTech Connect

    Petruccelli, Umberto

    2015-09-15

    Many studies about the external costs generated by the transport system have been developed in the last twenty years. To standardize methodologies and assessment procedures to be used in the evaluation of the projects, some European countries recently have adopted specific guidelines that differ from each other in some aspects even sensibly. This paper presents a critical analysis of the British, Italian and German guidelines and is aimed at cataloguing the external cost types regarded and the assessment methods indicated as well as to highlight the differences of the results, in terms of applicability and reliability. The goal is to contribute to a European standardization process that would lead to the drafting of guidelines suited for all EU countries. - Highlights: • The analyzed guidelines agree on the methods to evaluate costs from air pollution, greenhouse gases and accidents. • They recommend respectively: dose-resp. approach; costs to reduce/permit emissions; whole direct, indirect and social costs. • For noise, DE guide indicates defensive expenditure or SP methods; IT guide, SP method; UK guide, the hedonic prices one. • For on territory impact, DE guide regards only the barrier effect; the IT one, also the soil consumption and system effects. • British guide proposes a qualitative methodology to estimate the impact on various landscapes and environments.

  3. Assessing emergency planning zone for new nuclear power plant considering risk of extreme external events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alzbutas, Robertas

    2015-04-01

    In general, the Emergency Planning Zones (EPZ) are defined as well as plant site and arrangement structures are designed to minimize the potential for natural and manmade hazards external to the plant from affecting the plant safety related functions, which can affect nearby population and environment. This may include consideration of extreme winds, fires, flooding, aircraft crash, seismic activity, etc. Thus the design basis for plant and site is deeply related to the effects of any postulated external events and the limitation of the plant capability to cope with accidents i.e. perform safety functions. It has been observed that the Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA) methodologies to deal with EPZ and extreme external events have not reached the same level of maturity as for severe internal events. The design basis for any plant and site is deeply related to the effects of any postulated external events and the limitation of the plant capability to cope with accidents i.e. perform safety functions. As a prime example of an advanced reactor and new Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) with enhanced safety, the International Reactor Innovative and Secure (IRIS) and Site selection for New NPP in Lithuania had been considered in this work. In the used Safety-by-Design™ approach, the PSA played obviously a key role; therefore a Preliminary IRIS PSA had been developed along with the design. For the design and pre-licensing process of IRIS the external events analysis included both qualitative evaluation and quantitative assessment. As a result of preliminary qualitative analyses, the external events that were chosen for more detailed quantitative scoping evaluation were high winds and tornadoes, aircraft crash, and seismic events. For the site selection in Lithuania a detail site evaluation process was performed and related to the EPZ and risk zoning considerations. In general, applying the quantitative assessment, bounding site characteristics could be used in order to

  4. Food quality assessment by NIR hyperspectral imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitworth, Martin B.; Millar, Samuel J.; Chau, Astor

    2010-04-01

    Near infrared reflectance (NIR) spectroscopy is well established in the food industry for rapid compositional analysis of bulk samples. NIR hyperspectral imaging provides new opportunities to measure the spatial distribution of components such as moisture and fat, and to identify and measure specific regions of composite samples. An NIR hyperspectral imaging system has been constructed for food research applications, incorporating a SWIR camera with a cooled 14 bit HgCdTe detector and N25E spectrograph (Specim Ltd, Finland). Samples are scanned in a pushbroom mode using a motorised stage. The system has a spectral resolution of 256 pixels covering a range of 970-2500 nm and a spatial resolution of 320 pixels covering a swathe adjustable from 8 to 300 mm. Images are acquired at a rate of up to 100 lines s-1, enabling samples to be scanned within a few seconds. Data are captured using SpectralCube software (Specim) and analysed using ENVI and IDL (ITT Visual Information Solutions). Several food applications are presented. The strength of individual absorbance bands enables the distribution of particular components to be assessed. Examples are shown for detection of added gluten in wheat flour and to study the effect of processing conditions on fat distribution in chips/French fries. More detailed quantitative calibrations have been developed to study evolution of the moisture distribution in baguettes during storage at different humidities, to assess freshness of fish using measurements of whole cod and fillets, and for prediction of beef quality by identification and separate measurement of lean and fat regions.

  5. Federal Workforce Quality: Measurement and Improvement. Report of the Advisory Committee on Federal Workforce Quality Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Office of Personnel Management, Washington, DC.

    The Advisory Committee on Federal Workforce Quality Assessment was chartered to examine various work force quality assessment efforts in the federal government and provide advice on their adequacy and suggestions on their improvement or expansion. Objective data in recent research suggested that a universal decline in work force quality might not…

  6. External quality-assurance results for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network, 2002-03

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wetherbee, Gregory A.; Latysh, Natalie E.; Burke, Kevin P.

    2005-01-01

    Six external quality-assurance programs were operated by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) External Quality-Assurance (QA) Project for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network (NADP/NTN) from 2002 through 2003. Each program measured specific components of the overall error inherent in NADP/NTN wet-deposition measurements. The intersite-comparison program assessed the variability and bias of pH and specific conductance determinations made by NADP/NTN site operators twice per year with respect to accuracy goals. The percentage of site operators that met the pH accuracy goals decreased from 92.0 percent in spring 2002 to 86.3 percent in spring 2003. In these same four intersite-comparison studies, the percentage of site operators that met the accuracy goals for specific conductance ranged from 94.4 to 97.5 percent. The blind-audit program and the sample-handling evaluation (SHE) program evaluated the effects of routine sample handling, processing, and shipping on the chemistry of weekly NADP/NTN samples. The blind-audit program data indicated that the variability introduced by sample handling might be environmentally significant to data users for sodium, potassium, chloride, and hydrogen ion concentrations during 2002. In 2003, the blind-audit program was modified and replaced by the SHE program. The SHE program was designed to control the effects of laboratory-analysis variability. The 2003 SHE data had less overall variability than the 2002 blind-audit data. The SHE data indicated that sample handling buffers the pH of the precipitation samples and, in turn, results in slightly lower conductivity. Otherwise, the SHE data provided error estimates that were not environmentally significant to data users. The field-audit program was designed to evaluate the effects of onsite exposure, sample handling, and shipping on the chemistry of NADP/NTN precipitation samples. Field-audit results indicated that exposure of NADP/NTN wet-deposition samples

  7. ICU director data: using data to assess value, inform local change, and relate to the external world.

    PubMed

    Murphy, David J; Ogbu, Ogbonna C; Coopersmith, Craig M

    2015-04-01

    Improving value within critical care remains a priority because it represents a significant portion of health-care spending, faces high rates of adverse events, and inconsistently delivers evidence-based practices. ICU directors are increasingly required to understand all aspects of the value provided by their units to inform local improvement efforts and relate effectively to external parties. A clear understanding of the overall process of measuring quality and value as well as the strengths, limitations, and potential application of individual metrics is critical to supporting this charge. In this review, we provide a conceptual framework for understanding value metrics, describe an approach to developing a value measurement program, and summarize common metrics to characterize ICU value. We first summarize how ICU value can be represented as a function of outcomes and costs. We expand this equation and relate it to both the classic structure-process-outcome framework for quality assessment and the Institute of Medicine's six aims of health care. We then describe how ICU leaders can develop their own value measurement process by identifying target areas, selecting appropriate measures, acquiring the necessary data, analyzing the data, and disseminating the findings. Within this measurement process, we summarize common metrics that can be used to characterize ICU value. As health care, in general, and critical care, in particular, changes and data become more available, it is increasingly important for ICU leaders to understand how to effectively acquire, evaluate, and apply data to improve the value of care provided to patients. PMID:25846533

  8. Quality assessment for spectral domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Shuang; Paranjape, Amit S.; Elmaanaoui, Badr; Dewelle, Jordan; Rylander, H. Grady, III; Markey, Mia K.; Milner, Thomas E.

    2009-02-01

    Retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness, a measure of glaucoma progression, can be measured in images acquired by spectral domain optical coherence tomography (OCT). The accuracy of RNFL thickness estimation, however, is affected by the quality of the OCT images. In this paper, a new parameter, signal deviation (SD), which is based on the standard deviation of the intensities in OCT images, is introduced for objective assessment of OCT image quality. Two other objective assessment parameters, signal to noise ratio (SNR) and signal strength (SS), are also calculated for each OCT image. The results of the objective assessment are compared with subjective assessment. In the subjective assessment, one OCT expert graded the image quality according to a three-level scale (good, fair, and poor). The OCT B-scan images of the retina from six subjects are evaluated by both objective and subjective assessment. From the comparison, we demonstrate that the objective assessment successfully differentiates between the acceptable quality images (good and fair images) and poor quality OCT images as graded by OCT experts. We evaluate the performance of the objective assessment under different quality assessment parameters and demonstrate that SD is the best at distinguishing between fair and good quality images. The accuracy of RNFL thickness estimation is improved significantly after poor quality OCT images are rejected by automated objective assessment using the SD, SNR, and SS.

  9. Assessing soil quality in organic agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil quality is directly linked to food production, food security, and environmental quality (i.e. water quality, global warming, and energy use in food production). Unfortunately, moderate to severe degeneration of soils (i.e., loss of soil biodiversity, poor soil tilth, and unbalanced elemental c...

  10. Informatics: essential infrastructure for quality assessment and improvement in nursing.

    PubMed Central

    Henry, S B

    1995-01-01

    In recent decades there have been major advances in the creation and implementation of information technologies and in the development of measures of health care quality. The premise of this article is that informatics provides essential infrastructure for quality assessment and improvement in nursing. In this context, the term quality assessment and improvement comprises both short-term processes such as continuous quality improvement (CQI) and long-term outcomes management. This premise is supported by 1) presentation of a historical perspective on quality assessment and improvement; 2) delineation of the types of data required for quality assessment and improvement; and 3) description of the current and potential uses of information technology in the acquisition, storage, transformation, and presentation of quality data, information, and knowledge. PMID:7614118

  11. Stereoscopic image quality assessment using disparity-compensated view filtering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Yang; Yu, Mei; Jiang, Gangyi; Shao, Feng; Peng, Zongju

    2016-03-01

    Stereoscopic image quality assessment (IQA) plays a vital role in stereoscopic image/video processing systems. We propose a new quality assessment for stereoscopic image that uses disparity-compensated view filtering (DCVF). First, because a stereoscopic image is composed of different frequency components, DCVF is designed to decompose it into high-pass and low-pass components. Then, the qualities of different frequency components are acquired according to their phase congruency and coefficient distribution characteristics. Finally, support vector regression is utilized to establish a mapping model between the component qualities and subjective qualities, and stereoscopic image quality is calculated using this mapping model. Experiments on the LIVE 3-D IQA database and NBU 3-D IQA databases demonstrate that the proposed method can evaluate stereoscopic image quality accurately. Compared with several state-of-the-art quality assessment methods, the proposed method is more consistent with human perception.

  12. Personality Assessment Inventory Internalizing and Externalizing Structure in Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Associations with Aggression

    PubMed Central

    Van Voorhees, Elizabeth E.; Dennis, Paul A.; Elbogen, Eric B.; Clancy, Carolina P.; Hertzberg, Michael A.; Beckham, Jean C.; Calhoun, Patrick S.

    2015-01-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with aggressive behavior in veterans, and difficulty controlling aggressive urges has been identified as a primary postdeployment readjustment concern. Yet only a fraction of veterans with PTSD commit violent acts. The goals of this study were to (1) examine the higher-order factor structure of Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) scales in a sample of U.S. military veterans seeking treatment for PTSD; and (2) to evaluate the incremental validity of higher-order latent factors of the PAI over PTSD symptom severity in modeling aggression. The study sample included male U.S. Vietnam (n = 433) and Iraq/Afghanistan (n = 165) veterans who were seeking treatment for PTSD at an outpatient Veterans Affairs (VA) clinic. Measures included the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale, the PAI, and the Conflict Tactics Scale. The sample was randomly split into two equal subsamples (n’s = 299) to allow for cross-validation of statistically derived factors. Parallel analysis, variable clustering analysis, and confirmatory factor analyses were used to evaluate the factor structure, and regression was used to examine the association of factor scores with self-reports of aggression over the past year. Three factors were identified: internalizing, externalizing, and substance abuse. Externalizing explained unique variance in aggression beyond PTSD symptom severity and demographic factors, while internalizing and substance abuse did not. Service era was unrelated to reports of aggression. The constructs of internalizing versus externalizing dimensions of PTSD may have utility in identifying characteristics of combat veterans in the greatest need of treatment to help manage aggressive urges. PMID:25131806

  13. Assessment of thermal treatment via irrigation of external ear to reduce cisplatin-induced hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Spankovich, Christopher; Lobarinas, Edward; Ding, Dalian; Salvi, Richard; Le Prell, Colleen G

    2016-02-01

    Systemic and local changes in body temperature can have a profound effect on traumatic injuries including those to the inner ear. Therefore, we investigated the effects of acutely increasing or decreasing the temperature of the external ear canal on cisplatin-induced hearing loss. The external auditory canals of male guinea pigs were acutely irrigated with warm (44 °C), euthermic (37 °C), or cool (30 °C) water and subsequently injected with cisplatin (12 mg/kg, i.p.). Hearing was assessed by the auditory brainstem response and cochleograms were prepared to determine loss of hair cells. Ear canal irrigation with warm water potentiated cisplatin-induced hearing loss and outer hair cell loss whereas cool ear canal irrigation showed significant protection from cisplatin-induced hearing loss and outer hair cell loss. These results suggest that non-invasive cool water ear canal irrigation may be highly effective clinical procedure for protecting against cisplatin-induced hearing loss. PMID:26639015

  14. THz-range generation frequency growth in semiconductor superlattice coupled to external high-quality resonator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makarov, Vladimir V.; Maksimenko, Vladimir A.; Khramova, Marina V.; Pavlov, Alexey N.; Hramov, Alexander E.

    2016-03-01

    We investigate effects of a linear resonator on spatial electron dynamics in semiconductor superlattice. We have shown that coupling the external resonant system to superlattice leads to occurrence of the additional area of negative differential conductance on the current-voltage characteristic, which does not occur in autonomous system. Furthermore, this region shows great increase of generation frequency, that contains practical interest.

  15. In Search of Quality Criteria in Peer Assessment Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ploegh, Karin; Tillema, Harm H.; Segers, Mien S. R.

    2009-01-01

    With the increasing popularity of peer assessment as an assessment tool, questions may arise about its measurement quality. Among such questions, the extent peer assessment practices adhere to standards of measurement. It has been claimed that new forms of assessment, require new criteria to judge their validity and reliability, since they aim for…

  16. Recent advances in soil quality assessment in the United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil quality is a concept that is useful as an educational and assessment tool. A number of assessment tools have been developed including: the Soil Conditioning Index (SCI), the Soil Management Assessment Framework (SMAF), the AgroEcosystem Performance Assessment Tool (AEPAT), and the new Cornell “...

  17. Environmental Assessment for the Warren Station externally fired combined cycle demonstration project

    SciTech Connect

    1995-04-01

    The proposed Penelec project is one of 5 projects for potential funding under the fifth solicitation under the Clean Coal Technology program. In Penelec, two existing boilers would be replaced at Warren Station, PA; the new unit would produce 73 MW(e) in a combined cycle mode (using both gas-fired and steam turbines). The project would fill the need for a full utility-size demonstration of externally fire combined cycle (EFCC) technology as the next step toward commercialization. This environmental assessment was prepared for compliance with NEPA; its purpose is to provide sufficient basis for determining whether to prepare an environmental impact statement or to issue a finding of no significant impact. It is divided into the sections: purpose and need for proposed action; alternatives; brief description of affected environment; environmental consequences, including discussion of commercial operation beyond the demonstration period.

  18. Next Generation Risk Assessment: Incorporation of Recent Advances in Molecular, Computational, and Systems Biology (External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cover of the Next Generation of Risk <span class=Assessment (External Review Draft)" vspace = "5" hspace="5" align="right" border="1" /> EPA is releasing a draft report "Next Generation Risk Assessment: I...

  19. Research Quality Assessment in Education: Impossible Science, Possible Art?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bridges, David

    2009-01-01

    For better or for worse, the assessment of research quality is one of the primary drivers of the behaviour of the academic community with all sorts of potential for distorting that behaviour. So, if you are going to assess research quality, how do you do it? This article explores some of the problems and possibilities, with particular reference to…

  20. Educational Quality Assessment: Manual for Interpreting School Reports.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pennsylvania State Dept. of Education, Harrisburg. Bureau of Educational Quality Assessment.

    The results of the Pennsylvania Educational Quality Assessment program, Phase II, are interpreted. The first section of the manual presents a statement of each of the Ten Goals of Quality Education which served as the basis of the assessment. Also included are the key items on the questionnaires administered to 5th and 11th grade students. The…

  1. Quality Assessment of Internationalised Studies: Theory and Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Juknyte-Petreikiene, Inga

    2013-01-01

    The article reviews forms of higher education internationalisation at an institutional level. The relevance of theoretical background of internationalised study quality assessment is highlighted and definitions of internationalised studies quality are presented. Existing methods of assessment of higher education internationalisation are criticised…

  2. Different Academics' Characteristics, Different Perceptions on Quality Assessment?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cardoso, Sonia; Rosa, Maria Joao; Santos, Cristina S.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore Portuguese academics' perceptions on higher education quality assessment objectives and purposes, in general, and on the recently implemented system for higher education quality assessment and accreditation, in particular. It aims to discuss the differences of those perceptions dependent on some…

  3. Development and Validation of Assessing Quality Teaching Rubrics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Weiyun; Mason, Steve; Hammond-Bennett, Austin; Zlamout, Sandy

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: This study aimed at examining the psychometric properties of the Assessing Quality Teaching Rubric (AQTR) that was designed to assess in-service teachers' quality levels of teaching practices in daily lessons. Methods: 45 physical education lessons taught by nine physical education teachers to students in grades K-5 were videotaped. They…

  4. Academics' Perceptions on the Purposes of Quality Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosa, Maria J.; Sarrico, Claudia S.; Amaral, Alberto

    2012-01-01

    The accountability versus improvement debate is an old one. Although being traditionally considered dichotomous purposes of higher education quality assessment, some authors defend the need of balancing both in quality assessment systems. This article goes a step further and contends that not only they should be balanced but also that other…

  5. Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction: An Assessment and Future Directions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hernon, Peter; Nitecki, Danuta A.; Altman, Ellen

    1999-01-01

    Reviews the literature of library and information science to examine issues related to service quality and customer satisfaction in academic libraries. Discusses assessment, the application of a business model to higher education, a multiple constituency approach, decision areas regarding service quality, resistance to service quality, and future…

  6. Quality Assurance of Assessment and Moderation Discourses Involving Sessional Staff

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grainger, Peter; Adie, Lenore; Weir, Katie

    2016-01-01

    Quality assurance is a major agenda in tertiary education. The casualisation of academic work, especially in teaching, is also a quality assurance issue. Casual or sessional staff members teach and assess more than 50% of all university courses in Australia, and yet the research in relation to the role sessional staff play in quality assurance of…

  7. On Improving Higher Vocational College Education Quality Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Xiang; Chen, Yan; Zhang, Jie; Wang, Yi

    Teaching quality assessment is a judgment process by using the theory and technology of education evaluation system to test whether the process and result of teaching have got to a certain quality level. Many vocational schools have established teaching quality assessment systems of their own characteristics as the basic means to do self-examination and teaching behavior adjustment. Combined with the characteristics and requirements of the vocational education and by analyzing the problems exist in contemporary vocational school, form the perspective of the content, assessment criteria and feedback system of the teaching quality assessment to optimize the system, to complete the teaching quality information net and offer suggestions for feedback channels, to make the institutionalization, standardization of the vocational schools and indeed to make contribution for the overall improvement of the quality of vocational schools.

  8. Germination tests for assessing biochar quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Understanding the impact of biochar quality on soil productivity is crucial to the agronomic acceptance of biochar amendments. Our objective in this study was to develop a quick and reliable screening procedures to characterize the quality of biochar amendments. Biochars were evaluated by both seed ...

  9. SOIL QUALITY ASSESSMENT USING FUZZY MODELING

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maintaining soil productivity is essential if agriculture production systems are to be sustainable, thus soil quality is an essential issue. However, there is a paucity of tools for measurement for the purpose of understanding changes in soil quality. Here the possibility of using fuzzy modeling t...

  10. EMISSIONS ASSESSMENT OF CONVENTIONAL STATIONARY SYSTEMS: VOLUME III. EXTERNAL COMBUSTION SOURCES FOR ELECTRICITY GENERATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report characterizes multimedia emissions from external combustion sources for electricity generation. Study results indicate that external combustion sources for electricity generation contribute significantly to the nationwide emissions burden. Flue gas emissions of NOx, SO...

  11. AIR QUALITY CRITERIA FOR OZONE AND RELATED PHOTOCHEMICAL OXIDANTS (External Review Draft, 1995)

    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 air quality criteria issued under Section 108 of the Clean Air Act. The previous ozone (03) criteria document, Air Qua...

  12. The Effects of Externally Solidified Product on Wave Celerity and Quality of Die Cast Products

    SciTech Connect

    Carroll Mobley; Yogeshwar Sahai; Jerry Brevick

    2003-10-10

    The cold chamber die casting process is used to produce essentially all the die cast aluminum products and about 50% of the die cast magnesium products made today. Modeling of the cold chamber die casting process and metallographic observations of cold chamber die cast products indicate that typically 5 to 20% of the shot weight is solidified in the shot sleeve before or during cavity filling. The protion of the resulting die casting which is solidified in the shot sleeve is referred to as externally solidified product, or, when identified as a casting defect, as cold flakes. This project was directed to extending the understanding of the effects of externally solidified product on the cold chamber die casting process and products to enable the production of defect-free die castings and reduce the energy associated with these products. The projected energy savings from controlling the fraction of externally solidified product in die cast components is 40 x 10 Btu through the year 2025.

  13. A set of external reference controls/probes that enable quality assurance between different microarray platforms.

    PubMed

    Akiyama, Hideo; Ueda, Yoji; Nobumasa, Hitoshi; Ooshima, Hiroyuki; Ishizawa, Yohei; Kitahiro, Koji; Miyagawa, Isao; Watanabe, Kazufumi; Nakamura, Takazumi; Tanaka, Ritsuka; Yamamoto, Nobuko; Nakae, Hiroki; Kawase, Mitsuo; Gemma, Nobuhiro; Sekiguchi, Yuji; Fujibuchi, Wataru; Matoba, Ryo

    2015-03-01

    RNA external standards, although important to ensure equivalence across many microarray platforms, have yet to be fully implemented in the research community. In this article, a set of unique RNA external standards (or RNA standards) and probe pairs that were added to total RNA in the samples before amplification and labeling are described. Concentration-response curves of RNA external standards were used across multiple commercial DNA microarray platforms and/or quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and next-generation sequencing to identify problematic assays and potential sources of variation in the analytical process. A variety of standards can be added in a range of concentrations spanning high and low abundances, thereby enabling the evaluation of assay performance across the expected range of concentrations found in a clinical sample. Using this approach, we show that we are able to confirm the dynamic range and the limit of detection for each DNA microarray platform, RT-PCR protocol, and next-generation sequencer. In addition, the combination of a series of standards and their probes was investigated on each platform, demonstrating that multiplatform calibration and validation is possible. PMID:25481737

  14. Research iris serial images quality assessment method based on HVS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Zhi-hui; Zhang, Chang-hai; Ming, Xing; Zhao, Yong-hua

    2006-01-01

    Iris recognition can be widely used in security and customs, and it provides superiority security than other human feature recognition such as fingerprint, face and so on. The iris image quality is crucial to recognition effect. Accordingly reliable image quality assessments are necessary for evaluating iris image quality. However, there haven't uniformly criterion to Image quality assessment. Image quality assessment have Objective and Subjective Evaluation methods, In practice, However Subjective Evaluation method is fussy and doesn't effective on iris recognition. Objective Evaluation method should be used in iris recognition. According to human visual system model (HVS) Multi-scale and selectivity characteristic, it presents a new iris Image quality assessment method. In the paper, ROI is found and wavelet transform zero-crossing is used to find Multi-scale edge, and Multi-scale fusion measure is used to assess iris image quality. In experiment, Objective and Subjective Evaluation methods are used to assess iris images. From the results, the method is effectively to iris image quality assessment.

  15. Visual air quality assessment: Denver case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mumpower, Jeryl; Middleton, Paulette; Dennis, Robin L.; Stewart, Thomas R.; Veirs, Val

    Studies of visual air quality in the Denver metropolitan region during summer 1979 and winter 1979-1980 are described and results reported. The major objective of the studies was to investigate relationships among four types of variables important to urban visual air quality: (1) individuals' judgements of overall visual air quality; (2) perceptual cues used in making judgments of visual air quality; (3) measurable physical characteristics of the visual environment and (4) concentrations of visibility-reducing pollutants and their precursors. During August 1979 and mid-December 1979 to January 1980, simultaneous measurements of observational and environmental data were made daily at various locations throughout the metropolitan area. Observational data included ratings of overall air quality and related perceptual cues (e.g., distance, clarity, color, border) by multiple observers. Environmental data included routine hourly pollutant and meteorological measurements from several fixed locations within the city, as well as aerosol light scattering and absorption measures from one location. Statistical analyses indicated that (1) multiple perceptual cues are required to explain variation in judgments of overall visual air quality and (2) routine measurements of the physical environment appear to be inadequate predictors of either judgments of overall visual air quality or related perceptual cues.

  16. Statistical quality assessment of a fingerprint

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwang, Kyungtae

    2004-08-01

    The quality of a fingerprint is essential to the performance of AFIS (Automatic Fingerprint Identification System). Such a quality may be classified by clarity and regularity of ridge-valley structures.1,2 One may calculate thickness of ridge and valley to measure the clarity and regularity. However, calculating a thickness is not feasible in a poor quality image, especially, severely damaged images that contain broken ridges (or valleys). In order to overcome such a difficulty, the proposed approach employs the statistical properties in a local block, which involve the mean and spread of the thickness of both ridge and valley. The mean value is used for determining whether a fingerprint is wet or dry. For example, the black pixels are dominant if a fingerprint is wet, the average thickness of ridge is larger than one of valley, and vice versa on a dry fingerprint. In addition, a standard deviation is used for determining severity of damage. In this study, the quality is divided into three categories based on two statistical properties mentioned above: wet, good, and dry. The number of low quality blocks is used to measure a global quality of fingerprint. In addition, a distribution of poor blocks is also measured using Euclidean distances between groups of poor blocks. With this scheme, locally condensed poor blocks decreases the overall quality of an image. Experimental results on the fingerprint images captured by optical devices as well as by a rolling method show the wet and dry parts of image were successfully captured. Enhancing an image by employing morphology techniques that modifying the detected poor quality blocks is illustrated in section 3. However, more work needs to be done on designing a scheme to incorporate the number of poor blocks and their distributions for a global quality.

  17. WATER QUALITY ASSESSMENT OF AMERICAN FALLS RESERVOIR

    EPA Science Inventory

    A water quality model was developed to support a TMDL for phosphorus related to phytoplankton growth in the reservoir. This report documents the conceptual model, available data, model evaluation, and simulation results.

  18. Teacher Quality and Quality Teaching: Examining the Relationship of a Teacher Assessment to Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hill, Heather C.; Umland, Kristin; Litke, Erica; Kapitula, Laura R.

    2012-01-01

    Multiple-choice assessments are frequently used for gauging teacher quality. However, research seldom examines whether results from such assessments generalize to practice. To illuminate this issue, we compare teacher performance on a mathematics assessment, during mathematics instruction, and by student performance on a state assessment. Poor…

  19. Mapping coal quality parameters for economic assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Hohn, M.E.; Smith, C.J.; Ashton, K.C.; McColloch, G.H. Jr.

    1988-08-01

    This study recommends mapping procedures for a data base of coal quality parameters. The West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey has developed a data base that includes about 10,000 analyses of coal samples representing most seams in West Virginia. Coverage is irregular and widely spaced; minimal sample spacing is generally greater than 1 mi. Geologists use this data base to answer public and industry requests for maps that show areas meeting coal quality specifications.

  20. Space shuttle flying qualities and criteria assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myers, T. T.; Johnston, D. E.; Mcruer, Duane T.

    1987-01-01

    Work accomplished under a series of study tasks for the Flying Qualities and Flight Control Systems Design Criteria Experiment (OFQ) of the Shuttle Orbiter Experiments Program (OEX) is summarized. The tasks involved review of applicability of existing flying quality and flight control system specification and criteria for the Shuttle; identification of potentially crucial flying quality deficiencies; dynamic modeling of the Shuttle Orbiter pilot/vehicle system in the terminal flight phases; devising a nonintrusive experimental program for extraction and identification of vehicle dynamics, pilot control strategy, and approach and landing performance metrics, and preparation of an OEX approach to produce a data archive and optimize use of the data to develop flying qualities for future space shuttle craft in general. Analytic modeling of the Orbiter's unconventional closed-loop dynamics in landing, modeling pilot control strategies, verification of vehicle dynamics and pilot control strategy from flight data, review of various existent or proposed aircraft flying quality parameters and criteria in comparison with the unique dynamic characteristics and control aspects of the Shuttle in landing; and finally a summary of conclusions and recommendations for developing flying quality criteria and design guides for future Shuttle craft.

  1. Key Elements for Judging the Quality of a Risk Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Fenner-Crisp, Penelope A.; Dellarco, Vicki L.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Many reports have been published that contain recommendations for improving the quality, transparency, and usefulness of decision making for risk assessments prepared by agencies of the U.S. federal government. A substantial measure of consensus has emerged regarding the characteristics that high-quality assessments should possess. Objective: The goal was to summarize the key characteristics of a high-quality assessment as identified in the consensus-building process and to integrate them into a guide for use by decision makers, risk assessors, peer reviewers and other interested stakeholders to determine if an assessment meets the criteria for high quality. Discussion: Most of the features cited in the guide are applicable to any type of assessment, whether it encompasses one, two, or all four phases of the risk-assessment paradigm; whether it is qualitative or quantitative; and whether it is screening level or highly sophisticated and complex. Other features are tailored to specific elements of an assessment. Just as agencies at all levels of government are responsible for determining the effectiveness of their programs, so too should they determine the effectiveness of their assessments used in support of their regulatory decisions. Furthermore, if a nongovernmental entity wishes to have its assessments considered in the governmental regulatory decision-making process, then these assessments should be judged in the same rigorous manner and be held to similar standards. Conclusions: The key characteristics of a high-quality assessment can be summarized and integrated into a guide for judging whether an assessment possesses the desired features of high quality, transparency, and usefulness. Citation: Fenner-Crisp PA, Dellarco VL. 2016. Key elements for judging the quality of a risk assessment. Environ Health Perspect 124:1127–1135; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1510483 PMID:26862984

  2. Natural radioactivity and external dose assessment of surface soils in Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Huy, N Q; Hien, P D; Luyen, T V; Hoang, D V; Hiep, H T; Quang, N H; Long, N Q; Nhan, D D; Binh, N T; Hai, P S; Ngo, N T

    2012-09-01

    In this study, natural radioactivity in surface soils of Vietnam and external dose assessment to human population, deduced from activities of (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K nuclides, were determined. From 528 soil samples collected in 63 provinces of Vietnam, including five centrally governed cities, the average activities were obtained and equal to 42.77 ± 18.15 Bq kg(-1) for (226)Ra, 59.84 ± 19.81 Bq kg(-1) for (232)Th and 411.93 ± 230.69 Bq kg(-1) for (40)K. The outdoor absorbed dose rates (OADRs) in air at 1 m above the ground level for 63 provinces were calculated, and their average value was 71.72 ± 24.72 nGy h(-1), with a range from 17.45 to 149.40 nGy h(-1). The population-weighted OADR of Vietnam was 66.70 nGy h(-1), which lies in the range of 18-93 nGy h(-1) found in the World. From the OADRs obtained, it was estimated that the outdoor annual effective dose and indoor annual effective dose to the population were 0.082  and 0.458 mSv, which are higher than the corresponding values 0.07 and 0.41 mSv, respectively, of the World. The radium equivalent activity Ra(eq) and the external hazard index H(ex) of surface soils of Vietnam are lower than the corresponding permissible limits of 370 Bq kg(-1) and 1, respectively. Therefore, soil from Vietnam is safe for the human population when it is used as a building material. PMID:22434923

  3. Assessment of external fixator reusability using load- and cycle-dependent tests.

    PubMed

    Matsuura, Maiko; Lounici, Smain; Inoue, Nozomu; Walulik, Stephen; Chao, Edmund Y S

    2003-01-01

    No standard method has been established for investigating repeated use of an external fixator. The purpose of the current study was to establish a fatigue testing method for assessing fixator frame reuse. A unilateral DynaFix trade mark external fixator system was tested using high-load and low-cycle (900-150 N at 5 Hz) and low-load and high-cycle (450-100 N at 10 Hz) tests (assumed one use of 500,000 and 1 million cycles, respectively). These loading conditions were selected to simulate single clinical use and to satisfy Food and Drug Administration requirements. In the high-load low-cycle test, substantial failure of the serrated joint occurred before completion of the first simulated use. In the low-load high-cycle test, all fixators completed three simulated clinical uses without failure, although (1/4) of the serrated joint components had hairline cracks. The high-load low-cycle test identified the fixator components which should be examined and replaced if reuse of the fixator is to be considered. Wear and deformation of the set screw on the rotary joint and telescoping mechanisms were observed in the low-load high-cycle test but not in the high-load low-cycle test. Therefore, if the unilateral DynaFix trade mark fixators are being considered for reusability, the number of reuses should be limited as the whole structure of the device will experience fatigue damage as the loading cycle increases. PMID:12579028

  4. External and Internal Influences as Driving Forces and/or Stumbling-Blocks in the Development of the South African Quality Assurance System Nationally as Well as Institutionally.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van der Westhuizen, L. J.

    2002-01-01

    Examines the most important internal and external environmental influences directing or hampering national and institutional quality assurance and management developments, as well as their implementation, in the South African higher education system. (EV)

  5. Application of case classification in healthcare quality assessment in China.

    PubMed

    Xu, Ping; Li, Meina; Zhang, Lulu; Sun, Qingwen; Lv, Shinwei; Lian, Bin; Wei, Min; Kan, Zhang

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to build a healthcare quality assessment system with disease category as the basic unit of assessment based on the principles of case classification, and to assess the quality of care in a large hospital in Shanghai. Using the Delphi method, four quality indicators were selected. The data of 124,125 patients discharged from a large general hospital in Shanghai, from October 1, 2004 to September 30, 2007, were used to establish quality indicators estimates for each disease. The data of 51,760 discharged patients from October 1, 2007 to September 30, 2008 were used as the testing sample, and the standard scores of each quality indicator for each clinical department were calculated. Then the total score of various clinical departments in the hospital was calculated based on the differences between the practical scores and the standard. Based on quality assessment scores, we found that the quality of healthcare in departments of thyroid and mammary gland surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, stomatology, dermatology, and paediatrics was better than in other departments. Implementation of the case classification for healthcare quality assessment permitted the comparison of quality among different healthcare departments. PMID:22700559

  6. Illinois Quality Counts: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Illinois' Quality Counts prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for Family…

  7. Iowa Child Care Quality Rating System: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Iowa's Child Care Quality Rating System prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile is divided into the following categories: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for Family Child Care Programs;…

  8. Missouri Quality Rating System: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Missouri's Quality Rating System prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for…

  9. Virginia Star Quality Initiative: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Virginia's Star Quality Initiative prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators…

  10. Oregon Child Care Quality Indicators Program: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Oregon's Child Care Quality Indicators Program prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4)…

  11. Mississippi Quality Step System: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS)Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Mississippi's Quality Step System prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Application…

  12. Palm Beach Quality Counts: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Palm Beach's Quality Counts prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for…

  13. New Hampshire Quality Rating System: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of New Hampshire's Quality Rating System prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4)…

  14. Ohio Step Up to Quality: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Ohio's Step Up to Quality prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for Family…

  15. Indiana Paths to Quality: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Indiana's Paths to Quality prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for…

  16. Miami-Dade Quality Counts: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Miami-Dade's Quality Counts prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for…

  17. Maine Quality for ME: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Maine's Quality for ME prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for Family…

  18. Doctors or technicians: assessing quality of medical education

    PubMed Central

    Hasan, Tayyab

    2010-01-01

    Medical education institutions usually adapt industrial quality management models that measure the quality of the process of a program but not the quality of the product. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the impact of industrial quality management models on medical education and students, and to highlight the importance of introducing a proper educational quality management model. Industrial quality management models can measure the training component in terms of competencies, but they lack the educational component measurement. These models use performance indicators to assess their process improvement efforts. Researchers suggest that the performance indicators used in educational institutions may only measure their fiscal efficiency without measuring the quality of the educational experience of the students. In most of the institutions, where industrial models are used for quality assurance, students are considered as customers and are provided with the maximum services and facilities possible. Institutions are required to fulfill a list of recommendations from the quality control agencies in order to enhance student satisfaction and to guarantee standard services. Quality of medical education should be assessed by measuring the impact of the educational program and quality improvement procedures in terms of knowledge base development, behavioral change, and patient care. Industrial quality models may focus on academic support services and processes, but educational quality models should be introduced in parallel to focus on educational standards and products. PMID:23745059

  19. Factors Influencing Assessment Quality in Higher Vocational Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baartman, Liesbeth; Gulikers, Judith; Dijkstra, Asha

    2013-01-01

    The development of assessments that are fit to assess professional competence in higher vocational education requires a reconsideration of assessment methods, quality criteria and (self)evaluation. This article examines the self-evaluations of nine courses of a large higher vocational education institute. Per course, 4-11 teachers and 3-10…

  20. Clinical assessment of three-dimensional ultrasound prostate localization for external beam radiotherapy

    SciTech Connect

    Orton, Nigel P.; Jaradat, Hazim A.; Tome, Wolfgang A.

    2006-12-15

    Three-dimensional ultrasound localization has been performed for external beam prostate treatments at our institution since September 2001. This article presents data from the daily shifts for 221 patients and 5005 fractions, and the results of tests performed to assess the system's performance under clinical conditions. Three tests are presented: (1) To measure the accuracy of the shifts, eight patients treated on a helical tomotherapy machine were localized daily using both ultrasound (US) and a megavoltage computed tomography (MVCT) scan. Comparison of the shifts showed that US localization improved alignment for six of the eight patients when compared to alignment using skin marks alone. The mean US-MVCT vector for these six patients was 3.1{+-}1.3 mm, compared to 5.1{+-}2.1 mm between the MVCT and the skin marks. The other two patients were identified as poor candidates for US prior to their first treatment fraction. (2) To assess the extent of intrafraction motion, US localization was repeated after treatment for six patients and a total of 29 fractions. The mean intrafraction prostate shift was 1.9{+-}1.0 mm, and the shift was within the 3 mm localization uncertainty [Tome et al., Med. Phys. 29, 1781-1788 (2002); in New Technologies in Radiotion Oncology, edited by W. Schlegel, T. Bortfelde, and A. Grosu (Springer, Berlin, 2005)] of the system for 25 of 29 fractions. (3) To assess the interuser variation in shifts, four experienced operators independently localized five patients for five consecutive fractions. The standard deviation of the users' shifts was found to be approximately the same as the system's localization uncertainty. For shifts larger than the system localization uncertainty, the standard deviation of the users' shifts was nearly always much smaller than the mean shift. Taken together with the results of the US-MVCT comparison, this indicates that the shifts improved patient localization despite differences between users.

  1. Dried fruits quality assessment by hyperspectral imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serranti, Silvia; Gargiulo, Aldo; Bonifazi, Giuseppe

    2012-05-01

    Dried fruits products present different market values according to their quality. Such a quality is usually quantified in terms of freshness of the products, as well as presence of contaminants (pieces of shell, husk, and small stones), defects, mould and decays. The combination of these parameters, in terms of relative presence, represent a fundamental set of attributes conditioning dried fruits humans-senses-detectable-attributes (visual appearance, organolectic properties, etc.) and their overall quality in terms of marketable products. Sorting-selection strategies exist but sometimes they fail when a higher degree of detection is required especially if addressed to discriminate between dried fruits of relatively small dimensions and when aiming to perform an "early detection" of pathogen agents responsible of future moulds and decays development. Surface characteristics of dried fruits can be investigated by hyperspectral imaging (HSI). In this paper, specific and "ad hoc" applications addressed to propose quality detection logics, adopting a hyperspectral imaging (HSI) based approach, are described, compared and critically evaluated. Reflectance spectra of selected dried fruits (hazelnuts) of different quality and characterized by the presence of different contaminants and defects have been acquired by a laboratory device equipped with two HSI systems working in two different spectral ranges: visible-near infrared field (400-1000 nm) and near infrared field (1000-1700 nm). The spectra have been processed and results evaluated adopting both a simple and fast wavelength band ratio approach and a more sophisticated classification logic based on principal component (PCA) analysis.

  2. Transition Assessment: Wise Practices for Quality Lives.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sax, Caren L.; Thoma, Colleen A.

    The 10 papers in this book attempt to provide some creative approaches to assessment of individuals with disabilities as they transition from the school experience to the adult world. The papers are: (1) "For Whom the Test Is Scored: Assessments, the School Experience, and More" (Douglas Fisher and Caren L. Sax); (2) "Person-Centered Planning:…

  3. Image quality assessment using Takagi-Sugeno-Kang fuzzy model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Äńordević, Dragana; Kukolj, Dragan; Schelkens, Peter

    2015-03-01

    The main aim of the paper is to present a non-linear image quality assessment model based on a fuzzy logic estimator, namely the Takagi-Sugeno-Kang fuzzy model. This image quality assessment model uses a clustered space of input objective metrics. Main advantages of the introduced quality model are simplicity and understandably of its fuzzy rules. As reference model the polynomial 3 rd order model was chosen. The parameters of the Takagi-Sugeno-Kang fuzzy model are optimized in accordance to the mapping criteria of the selected set of input objective quality measures to the Mean Opinion Score (MOS) scale.

  4. High sensitivity and specificity of clinical microscopy in rural health facilities in western Kenya under an external quality assurance program.

    PubMed

    Wafula, Rebeccah; Sang, Edna; Cheruiyot, Olympia; Aboto, Angeline; Menya, Diana; O'Meara, Wendy Prudhomme

    2014-09-01

    Microscopic diagnosis of malaria is a well-established and inexpensive technique that has the potential to provide accurate diagnosis of malaria infection. However, it requires both training and experience. Although it is considered the gold standard in research settings, the sensitivity and specificity of routine microscopy for clinical care in the primary care setting has been reported to be unacceptably low. We established a monthly external quality assurance program to monitor the performance of clinical microscopy in 17 rural health centers in western Kenya. The average sensitivity over the 12-month period was 96% and the average specificity was 88%. We identified specific contextual factors that contributed to inadequate performance. Maintaining high-quality malaria diagnosis in high-volume, resource-constrained health facilities is possible. PMID:24935953

  5. Image quality assessment by preprocessing and full reference model combination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bianco, S.; Ciocca, G.; Marini, F.; Schettini, R.

    2009-01-01

    This paper focuses on full-reference image quality assessment and presents different computational strategies aimed to improve the robustness and accuracy of some well known and widely used state of the art models, namely the Structural Similarity approach (SSIM) by Wang and Bovik and the S-CIELAB spatial-color model by Zhang and Wandell. We investigate the hypothesis that combining error images with a visual attention model could allow a better fit of the psycho-visual data of the LIVE Image Quality assessment Database Release 2. We show that the proposed quality assessment metric better correlates with the experimental data.

  6. E-Services quality assessment framework for collaborative networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stegaru, Georgiana; Danila, Cristian; Sacala, Ioan Stefan; Moisescu, Mihnea; Mihai Stanescu, Aurelian

    2015-08-01

    In a globalised networked economy, collaborative networks (CNs) are formed to take advantage of new business opportunities. Collaboration involves shared resources and capabilities, such as e-Services that can be dynamically composed to automate CN participants' business processes. Quality is essential for the success of business process automation. Current approaches mostly focus on quality of service (QoS)-based service selection and ranking algorithms, overlooking the process of service composition which requires interoperable, adaptable and secure e-Services to ensure seamless collaboration, data confidentiality and integrity. Lack of assessment of these quality attributes can result in e-Service composition failure. The quality of e-Service composition relies on the quality of each e-Service and on the quality of the composition process. Therefore, there is the need for a framework that addresses quality from both views: product and process. We propose a quality of e-Service composition (QoESC) framework for quality assessment of e-Service composition for CNs which comprises of a quality model for e-Service evaluation and guidelines for quality of e-Service composition process. We implemented a prototype considering a simplified telemedicine use case which involves a CN in e-Healthcare domain. To validate the proposed quality-driven framework, we analysed service composition reliability with and without using the proposed framework.

  7. In-house quality check of external beam plans using 3D treatment planning systems - a DVH comparison.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Ayyalasomayajula Anil; Akula, Roopa Rani; Ayyangar, Komanduri; P, Krishna Reddy; Vuppu, Srinivas; Narayana, P V Lakshmi; Rao, A Durga Prasada

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents a new approach towards the quality assurance of external beam plans using in-house-developed DICOM import and export software in a clinical setup. The new approach is different from what is currently used in most clinics, viz., only MU and point dose are verified. The DICOM-RT software generates ASCII files to import/export structure sets, treatment beam data, and dose-volume histo-grams (DVH) from one treatment planning system (TPS) to the other. An efficient and reliable 3D planning system, ROPS, was used for verifying the accuracy of treatment plans and treatment plan parameters. With the use of this new approach, treatment plans planned using Varian Eclipse planning system were exported to ROPS planning system. Important treatment and dosimetrical data, such as the beam setup accuracy, target dose coverage, and dose to critical structures, were also quantitatively verified using DVH comparisons. Two external beam plans with diverse photon energies were selected to test the new approach. The satisfactory results show that the new approach is feasible, easy to use, and can be used as an adjunct test for patient treatment quality check. PMID:27167271

  8. Five years of experience with a national external quality control program for the culture and identification of Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

    PubMed Central

    Griffin, C W; Mehaffey, M A; Cook, E C

    1983-01-01

    In response to a need for monitoring the proficiency of public health laboratories in isolating and identifying Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a national external quality control program was developed. Essentially, three types of freeze-dried samples, representing different levels of challenge for identification, were sent to laboratories for testing. The quality of the samples was confirmed by external reference laboratories, and stability of the samples was confirmed by thermal degradation tests before the samples were sent to laboratories enrolled in the program. By analyzing laboratory results, we identified common errors and chronic problems in testing samples. As a group, laboratories testing small numbers of actual patient specimens did not perform as well in the program as did laboratories testing large numbers of specimens; however, the performance of laboratories testing small numbers of specimens improved over time. Overall, laboratories experienced the most difficulty with samples containing N. gonorrhoeae mixed with other microbial species. Laboratories that performed confirmatory tests committed fewer errors than did laboratories that performed presumptive tests only, but the failure to use pure cultures of gonococci for inoculation of cystine tryptic digest agar appeared to be a chronic problem in confirmatory carbohydrate testing. A review of the use of different plating media and confirmatory tests showed that the use of certain media and tests changed over time. PMID:6417161

  9. SAMPLING DESIGN FOR ASSESSING RECREATIONAL WATER QUALITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Current U.S. EPA guidelines for monitoring recreatoinal water quality refer to the geometric mean density of indicator organisms, enterococci and E. coli in marine and fresh water, respectively, from at least five samples collected over a four-week period. In order to expand thi...

  10. Assessment of Curriculum Quality through Alumni Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saunders-Smits, Gillian; de Graaff, Erik

    2012-01-01

    In today's output defined society, alumni are the output of higher education. This article shows how alumni research can be used as an important indicator of curriculum quality. This relatively unexplored area of engineering education research in Europe is highlighted using a case study carried out in the Netherlands, the outcomes of which have…

  11. ASSESSING WATER QUALITY: AN ENERGETICS PERPECTIVE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Integrated measures of food web dynamics could serve as important supplemental indicators of water quality that are well related with ecological integrity and environmental well-being. When the concern is a well-characterized pollutant (posing an established risk to human health...

  12. Assessing Students' Spiritual and Religious Qualities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Astin, Alexander W.; Astin, Helen S.; Lindholm, Jennifer A.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes a comprehensive set of 12 new measures for studying undergraduate students' spiritual and religious development. The three measures of spirituality, four measures of "spiritually related" qualities, and five measures of religiousness demonstrate satisfactory reliability, robustness, and both concurrent and predictive validity.…

  13. Nondestructive spectroscopic and imaging techniques for quality evaluation and assessment of fish and fish products.

    PubMed

    He, Hong-Ju; Wu, Di; Sun, Da-Wen

    2015-01-01

    Nowadays, people have increasingly realized the importance of acquiring high quality and nutritional values of fish and fish products in their daily diet. Quality evaluation and assessment are always expected and conducted by using rapid and nondestructive methods in order to satisfy both producers and consumers. During the past two decades, spectroscopic and imaging techniques have been developed to nondestructively estimate and measure quality attributes of fish and fish products. Among these noninvasive methods, visible/near-infrared (VIS/NIR) spectroscopy, computer/machine vision, and hyperspectral imaging have been regarded as powerful and effective analytical tools for fish quality analysis and control. VIS/NIR spectroscopy has been widely applied to determine intrinsic quality characteristics of fish samples, such as moisture, protein, fat, and salt. Computer/machine vision on the other hand mainly focuses on the estimation of external features like color, weight, size, and surface defects. Recently, by incorporating both spectroscopy and imaging techniques in one system, hyperspectral imaging cannot only measure the contents of different quality attributes simultaneously, but also obtain the spatial distribution of such attributes when the quality of fish samples are evaluated and measured. This paper systematically reviews the research advances of these three nondestructive optical techniques in the application of fish quality evaluation and determination and discuss future trends in the developments of nondestructive technologies for further quality characterization in fish and fish products. PMID:24915393

  14. Dosimetry quality assurance in Martin Marietta Energy Systems` centralized external dosimetry system

    SciTech Connect

    Souleyrette, M.L.

    1992-10-23

    External dosimetry needs at the four Martin Marietta Energy Systems facilities are served by Energy Systems Centralized External Dosimetry System (CEDS). The CEDS is a four plant program with four dosimeter distribution centers and two dosimeter processing centers. Each plant has its own distribution center, while processing centers are located at ORNL and the Y-12 Plant. The program has been granted accreditation by the Department of Energy Laboratory Accreditation Program (DOELAP). The CEDS is a TLD based system which is responsible for whole-body beta-gamma, neutron, and extremity monitoring. Beta-gamma monitoring is performed using the Harshaw/Solon Technologies model 8805 dosimeter. Effective October 1, 1992 the standard silver mylar has been replaced with an Avery mylar foil blackened on the underside with ink. This was done in an effort to reduce the number of light induced suspect readings. At this time we have little operational experience with the new blackened mylars-The CEDS neutron dosimeter is the Harshaw model 8806B. This card/holder configuration contains two TLD-600/TLD-700 chip pairs; one pair is located beneath a cadmium filter and one pair is located beneath a plastic filter. In routine personnel monitoring the CEDS neutron dosimeter is always paired with a CEDS beta-gamma dosimeter.The CEDS extremity dosimeter is composed of a Harshaw thin TLD-700 dosiclip placed inside a Teledyne RB-4 finger sachet. The finger sachet provides approximately 7 mg/cm{sup 2} filtration over the chip. A teflon ring surrounds the dosiclip to help prevent tearing of the vinyl sachet.

  15. Dosimetry quality assurance in Martin Marietta Energy Systems' centralized external dosimetry system

    SciTech Connect

    Souleyrette, M.L.

    1992-10-23

    External dosimetry needs at the four Martin Marietta Energy Systems facilities are served by Energy Systems Centralized External Dosimetry System (CEDS). The CEDS is a four plant program with four dosimeter distribution centers and two dosimeter processing centers. Each plant has its own distribution center, while processing centers are located at ORNL and the Y-12 Plant. The program has been granted accreditation by the Department of Energy Laboratory Accreditation Program (DOELAP). The CEDS is a TLD based system which is responsible for whole-body beta-gamma, neutron, and extremity monitoring. Beta-gamma monitoring is performed using the Harshaw/Solon Technologies model 8805 dosimeter. Effective October 1, 1992 the standard silver mylar has been replaced with an Avery mylar foil blackened on the underside with ink. This was done in an effort to reduce the number of light induced suspect readings. At this time we have little operational experience with the new blackened mylars-The CEDS neutron dosimeter is the Harshaw model 8806B. This card/holder configuration contains two TLD-600/TLD-700 chip pairs; one pair is located beneath a cadmium filter and one pair is located beneath a plastic filter. In routine personnel monitoring the CEDS neutron dosimeter is always paired with a CEDS beta-gamma dosimeter.The CEDS extremity dosimeter is composed of a Harshaw thin TLD-700 dosiclip placed inside a Teledyne RB-4 finger sachet. The finger sachet provides approximately 7 mg/cm[sup 2] filtration over the chip. A teflon ring surrounds the dosiclip to help prevent tearing of the vinyl sachet.

  16. AIR QUALITY CRITERIA FOR CARBON MONOXIDE (1999) (SECOND EXTERNAL REVIEW DRAFT)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This revised criteria document consolidates and updates the current scientific basis for another reevaluation of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for carbon monoxide (CO), currently set at 9 ppm (10 mg/m3) for 8 h and 35 ppm (40 mg/m3) for 1 h. Although emphasis is plac...

  17. External Quality Assurance in Higher Education: How Can It Address Corruption and Other Malpractices?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Michaela

    2016-01-01

    Corruption and malpractices in higher education are today a major concern in nearly all higher education systems worldwide. It is a multifaceted phenomenon and has become particularly visible in the academic domain. This paper represents an exploration of the possible role that quality assurance can play in addressing corruption and malpractices.…

  18. AIR QUALITY CRITERIA FOR OXIDES OF NITROGEN (External Review Draft, 1991)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The revised air quality criteria document for oxides of nitrogen (NOx) reviews and evaluates the scientific information on the health and welfare effects associated with exposure to concentrations of NO2 found in ambient air. Although the document is not intended to be an exhaust...

  19. Technology assessment of external heat systems for Stirling heat pumps. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Vasilakis, A.D.

    1993-12-01

    A technology assessment and design improvement effort was undertaken for the Stirling engine heat pump external heat system (EHS) in order to reduce costs. It was found that only two applicable EHS design approaches have been developed to any extent: a relatively undeveloped design featuring a premixed fuel and air transpiration burner, and a turbulent diffusion type burner system developed by Mechanical Technology, Inc. To evaluate and optimize the design concepts, an analytical model was developed that examined design and performance variables. The model calculated key temperatures, allowing the specification of materials requirements. Adherence to American National Standards Institute appliance furnace code material specifications was assumed. Concepts for EHS control systems were evaluated, and a cost-effective control system design was developed for the turbulent diffusion burner EHS. The study reveals that optimizing the diffusion burner EHS design can result in significant cost savings. No clear choice between the diffusion burner and transpiration burner systems could be determined from this study, but the designs of both were further developed and improved. Estimates show the EHS based on a transpiration burner to have a manufactured cost that is roughly 70% of the turbulent diffusion burner EHS cost, but fuel efficiency is lower by about 18%.

  20. Assessing diversity and quality in primary care through the multimethod assessment process (MAP).

    PubMed

    Kairys, Jo Ann; Orzano, John; Gregory, Patrice; Stroebel, Christine; DiCicco-Bloom, Barbara; Roemheld-Hamm, Beatrix; Kobylarz, Fred A; Scott, John G; Coppola, Lisa; Crabtree, Benjamin F

    2002-01-01

    The U.S. health care system serves a diverse population, often resulting in significant disparities in delivery and quality of care. Nevertheless, most quality improvement efforts fail to systematically assess diversity and associated disparities. This article describes application of the multimethod assessment process (MAP) for understanding disparities in relation to diversity, cultural competence, and quality improvement in clinical practice. MAP is an innovative quality improvement methodology that integrates quantitative and qualitative techniques and produces a system level understanding of organizations to guide quality improvement interventions. A demonstration project in a primary care practice illustrates the utility of MAP for assessing diversity. PMID:12938252

  1. Assessing Air Pollutant-Induced, Health-Related External Costs in the Context of Nonmarginal System Changes: A Review.

    PubMed

    Bachmann, Till M

    2015-08-18

    Marginal analysis is the usual approach to environmental economic assessment, for instance, of health-related external costs due to energy-associated air pollutant emissions. However, nonlinearity exists in all steps of their assessment, i.e., atmospheric dispersion, impact assessment, and monetary valuation. Dedicated assessments thus appear necessary when evaluating large systems or their changes such as in green accounting or the implications of economy-wide energy transitions. Corresponding approaches are reviewed. Tools already exist that allow assessing a marginal change (e.g., one power plant's emissions) for different background emission scenarios that merely need to be defined and implemented. When assessing nonmarginal changes, the top-down approach is considered obsolete, and four variants of the bottom-up approach with different application domains were identified. Variants 1 and 2 use precalculated external cost factors with different levels of sophistication, suitable for energy systems modeling, optimizing for social (i.e., private and external) costs. Providing more reliable results due to more detailed modeling, emission sources are assessed individually or jointly in variants 3 and 4, respectively. Aiming at considering nonlinearity more fully and simultaneously following marginal analysis principles, I propose a variant 3-based approach, subdividing an aggregate (i.e., a nonmarginal change) into several smaller changes. Its strengths and drawbacks, notably the associated effort, are discussed. PMID:26237285

  2. Assessment of an implant-skin interface scoring system for external skeletal fixation of dogs.

    PubMed

    McDonald-Lynch, Mischa B; Marcellin-Little, Denis J; Roe, Simon C; Lascelles, B Duncan X; Trumpatori, Brian J; Griffith, Emily H

    2015-11-01

    OBJECTIVE To assess intraobserver repeatability and interobserver and in vivo versus photographic agreement of a scoring system for the implant-skin interface (ISI) of external skeletal fixation (ESF). SAMPLE 42 photographs of ISIs from 18 dogs for interobserver agreement and intraobserver repeatability and 27 photographs of ISIs from 6 dogs for in vivo versus photograph agreement. PROCEDURES An ISI inflammation scoring system was developed. It included scales for 6 metrics (erythema, drainage amount, drainage type, swelling, hair loss or lack of hair regrowth, and granulation tissue). Photographs of the ISI of ESF were obtained by use of a standard protocol and evaluated to determine intraobserver repeatability and interobserver agreement (Cronbach α; 4 raters) of the ISI score. Agreement between in vivo and photographic ISI scores (2 raters) and correlation between median scores across metrics were evaluated. RESULTS 42 photographs met the inclusion criteria. Overall intraclass correlation coefficients ranged from 0.922 to 0.975. Interobserver overall Cronbach α ranged from 0.835 to 0.943. For in vivo versus photographic assessment, 27 ISIs in 6 dogs and their photographs were evaluated. The Cronbach α for both raters ranged from 0.614 to 0.938. Overall, the Cronbach α ranged from 0.725 to 0.932. Mean photographic scores were greater than mean in vivo scores for each metric. Pearson correlation coefficients ranged from 0.221 to 0.923. Erythema, swelling, and granulation were correlated with all other metrics. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE In this study, an ISI scoring system used in this study had high repeatability and agreement and may therefore be considered for use in clinical situations. Photographic scores were not equivalent to in vivo scores and should not be used interchangeably. PMID:26512537

  3. 42 CFR 460.140 - Additional quality assessment activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... SERVICES (CONTINUED) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.140 Additional...

  4. 42 CFR 460.140 - Additional quality assessment activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... SERVICES (CONTINUED) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.140 Additional...

  5. 42 CFR 460.140 - Additional quality assessment activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... SERVICES (CONTINUED) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.140 Additional...

  6. UPPER SNAKE RIVER BASIN WATER QUALITY ASSESSMENT, 1976

    EPA Science Inventory

    This package contains information for the Upper Snake River Basin, Idaho (170402, 17040104). The report contains a water quality assessment approach which will assist EPA planners, land agencies, and state and local agencies in identifying probably nonpoint sources and determini...

  7. ASSESSING BIOACCUMULATION FOR DERIVING NATIONAL HUMAN HEALTH WATER QUALITY CRITERIA

    EPA Science Inventory

    The United States Environmental Protection Agency is revising its methodology for deriving national ambient water quality criteria (AWQC) to protect human health. A component of this guidance involves assessing the potential for chemical bioaccumulation in commonly consumed fish ...

  8. Data sources for environmental assessment: determining availability, quality and utility

    EPA Science Inventory

    Objectives: An environmental quality index (EQI) for all counties in the United States is being developed to explore the relationship between environmental insults and human health. The EQI will be particularly useful to assess how environmental disamenities contribute to health...

  9. US Department of Energy Quality Assessment Program data evaluation report

    SciTech Connect

    Jaquish, R.E.; Kinnison, R.R.

    1984-04-01

    The results of radiochemical analysis performed on the Quality Assessment Program (QAP) test samples are presented. This report reviews the results submitted by 26 participating laboratories for 49 different radionuclide-media combinations. 5 tables. (ACR)

  10. Assessing Quality across Health Care Subsystems in Mexico

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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

  11. Using big data for quality assessment in oncology.

    PubMed

    Broughman, James R; Chen, Ronald C

    2016-05-01

    There is increasing attention in the US healthcare system on the delivery of high-quality care, an issue central to oncology. In the report 'Crossing the Quality Chasm', the Institute of Medicine identified six aims for improving healthcare quality: safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable. This article describes how current big data resources can be used to assess these six dimensions, and provides examples of published studies in oncology. Strengths and limitations of current big data resources for the evaluation of quality of care are also discussed. Finally, this article outlines a vision where big data can be used not only to retrospectively assess the quality of oncologic care, but help physicians deliver high-quality care in real time. PMID:27090300

  12. Method and apparatus for assessing weld quality

    DOEpatents

    Smartt, Herschel B.; Kenney, Kevin L.; Johnson, John A.; Carlson, Nancy M.; Clark, Denis E.; Taylor, Paul L.; Reutzel, Edward W.

    2001-01-01

    Apparatus for determining a quality of a weld produced by a welding device according to the present invention includes a sensor operatively associated with the welding device. The sensor is responsive to at least one welding process parameter during a welding process and produces a welding process parameter signal that relates to the at least one welding process parameter. A computer connected to the sensor is responsive to the welding process parameter signal produced by the sensor. A user interface operatively associated with the computer allows a user to select a desired welding process. The computer processes the welding process parameter signal produced by the sensor in accordance with one of a constant voltage algorithm, a short duration weld algorithm or a pulsed current analysis module depending on the desired welding process selected by the user. The computer produces output data indicative of the quality of the weld.

  13. Assessment of Groundwater Quality by Chemometrics.

    PubMed

    Papaioannou, Agelos; Rigas, George; Kella, Sotiria; Lokkas, Filotheos; Dinouli, Dimitra; Papakonstantinou, Argiris; Spiliotis, Xenofon; Plageras, Panagiotis

    2016-07-01

    Chemometric methods were used to analyze large data sets of groundwater quality from 18 wells supplying the central drinking water system of Larissa city (Greece) during the period 2001 to 2007 (8.064 observations) to determine temporal and spatial variations in groundwater quality and to identify pollution sources. Cluster analysis grouped each year into three temporal periods (January-April (first), May-August (second) and September-December (third). Furthermore, spatial cluster analysis was conducted for each period and for all samples, and grouped the 28 monitoring Units HJI (HJI=represent the observations of the monitoring site H, the J-year and the period I) into three groups (A, B and C). Discriminant Analysis used only 16 from the 24 parameters to correctly assign 97.3% of the cases. In addition, Factor Analysis identified 7, 9 and 8 latent factors for groups A, B and C, respectively. PMID:27329059

  14. QRS detection based ECG quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Hayn, Dieter; Jammerbund, Bernhard; Schreier, Günter

    2012-09-01

    Although immediate feedback concerning ECG signal quality during recording is useful, up to now not much literature describing quality measures is available. We have implemented and evaluated four ECG quality measures. Empty lead criterion (A), spike detection criterion (B) and lead crossing point criterion (C) were calculated from basic signal properties. Measure D quantified the robustness of QRS detection when applied to the signal. An advanced Matlab-based algorithm combining all four measures and a simplified algorithm for Android platforms, excluding measure D, were developed. Both algorithms were evaluated by taking part in the Computing in Cardiology Challenge 2011. Each measure's accuracy and computing time was evaluated separately. During the challenge, the advanced algorithm correctly classified 93.3% of the ECGs in the training-set and 91.6 % in the test-set. Scores for the simplified algorithm were 0.834 in event 2 and 0.873 in event 3. Computing time for measure D was almost five times higher than for other measures. Required accuracy levels depend on the application and are related to computing time. While our simplified algorithm may be accurate for real-time feedback during ECG self-recordings, QRS detection based measures can further increase the performance if sufficient computing power is available. PMID:22902864

  15. Procedural Influence on Internal and External Assessment Scores of Undergraduate Vocational and Technical Education Research Projects in Nigerian Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    A. C., John; Manabete, S. S.

    2015-01-01

    This study sought to determine the procedural influence on internal and external assessment scores of undergraduate research projects in vocational and technical education programmes in the university under study. A survey research design was used for the conduct of this study. The population consisted of 130 lecturers and 1,847 students in the…

  16. Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Oxides of Nitrogen and Sulfur Environmental Criteria (First External Review Draft, Dec 2007)

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  17. Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Oxides of Nitrogen and Sulfur Environmental Criteria (Second External Review Draft, Aug 2008)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has announced that the Second External Review Draft of the Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Oxides of Nitrogen and Sulfur - Environmental Criteria has been made available for independent peer review and public review. This draft ISA document represents a conci...

  18. Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources (External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cover of the <span class=external review draft of the hydraulic fracturing drinking water research report"> This assessment provides a review and synthesi...

  19. Quality evaluation of extra high quality images based on key assessment word

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kameda, Masashi; Hayashi, Hidehiko; Akamatsu, Shigeru; Miyahara, Makoto M.

    2001-06-01

    An all encompassing goal of our research is to develop an extra high quality imaging system which is able to convey a high level artistic impression faithfully. We have defined a high order sensation as such a high level artistic impression, and it is supposed that the high order sensation is expressed by the combination of the psychological factor which can be described by plural assessment words. In order to pursue the quality factors that are important for the reproduction of the high order sensation, we have focused on the image quality evaluation of the extra high quality images using the assessment words considering the high order sensation. In this paper, we have obtained the hierarchical structure between the collected assessment words and the principles of European painting based on the conveyance model of the high order sensation, and we have determined a key assessment word 'plasticity' which is able to evaluate the reproduction of the high order sensation more accurately. The results of the subjective assessment experiments using the prototype of the developed extra high quality imaging system have shown that the obtained key assessment word 'plasticity' is the most appropriate assessment word to evaluate the image quality of the extra high quality images quasi-quantitatively.

  20. The Organization of Multidisciplinary Care Teams: Modeling Internal and External Influences on Cancer Care Quality

    PubMed Central

    Prabhu Das, Irene; Clauser, Steven; Petrelli, Nicholas; Salner, Andrew

    2010-01-01

    Quality cancer treatment depends upon careful coordination between multiple treatments and treatment providers, the exchange of technical information, and regular communication between all providers and physician disciplines involved in treatment. This article will examine a particular type of organizational structure purported to regularize and streamline the communication between multiple specialists and support services involved in cancer treatment: the multidisciplinary treatment care (MDC) team. We present a targeted review of what is known about various types of MDC team structures and their impact on the quality of treatment care, and we outline a conceptual model of the connections between team context, structure, process, and performance and their subsequent effects on cancer treatment care processes and patient outcomes. Finally, we will discuss future research directions to understand how MDC teams improve patient outcomes and how characteristics of team structure, culture, leadership, and context (organizational setting and local environment) contribute to optimal multidisciplinary cancer care. PMID:20386055

  1. River Pollution: Part II. Biological Methods for Assessing Water Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Openshaw, Peter

    1984-01-01

    Discusses methods used in the biological assessment of river quality and such indicators of clean and polluted waters as the Trent Biotic Index, Chandler Score System, and species diversity indexes. Includes a summary of a river classification scheme based on quality criteria related to water use. (JN)

  2. Quality of Religious Education in Croatia Assessed from Teachers' Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baric, Denis; Burušic, Josip

    2015-01-01

    The main aim of the present study was to examine the quality of religious education in Croatian primary schools when assessed from teachers' perspective. Religious education teachers (N?=?226) rated the impact of certain factors on the existing quality of religious education in primary schools and expressed their expectations about the future…

  3. Goals of Peer Assessment and Their Associated Quality Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gielen, Sarah; Dochy, Filip; Onghena, Patrick; Struyven, Katrien; Smeets, Stijn

    2011-01-01

    The output of peer assessment in higher education has been investigated increasingly in recent decades. However, this output is evaluated against a variety of quality criteria, resulting in a cluttered picture. This article analyses the different conceptualisations of quality that appear in the literature. Discussions about the most appropriate…

  4. Quality of Education, Comparability, and Assessment Choice in Developing Countries

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wagner, Daniel A.

    2010-01-01

    Over the past decade, international development agencies have begun to emphasize the improvement of the quality (rather than simply quantity) of education in developing countries. This new focus has been paralleled by a significant increase in the use of educational assessments as a way to measure gains and losses in quality. As this interest in…

  5. School Information: Phase III of Quality Assessment Program. Appendix B.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burson, William W.

    This questionnaire, used in the Educational Quality Assessment Program in Pennsylvania, was designed to be filled out by school administrators. It requests information about staff size, enrollment size, library books available, hours of paraprofessionals, and quality of housing in school district. It also includes a checklist to show the extent of…

  6. Guidance on Data Quality Assessment for Life Cycle Inventory Data

    EPA Science Inventory

    Data quality within Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a significant issue for the future support and development of LCA as a decision support tool and its wider adoption within industry. In response to current data quality standards such as the ISO 14000 series, various entities wit...

  7. Assessment of density in enriched colony cages: Egg quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Enriched colony cage production systems are becoming more prevalent in the US. A study was undertaken to determine the impact of housing density on hen health, well-being, egg production and quality. Six densities were examined with 8 housing replicates per density. Egg quality was assessed at hen a...

  8. Technical assessment for quality control of resins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gosnell, R. B.

    1977-01-01

    Survey visits to companies involved in the manufacture and use of graphite-epoxy prepregs were conducted to assess the factors which may contribute to variability in the mechanical properties of graphite-epoxy composites. In particular, the purpose was to assess the contributions of the epoxy resins to variability. Companies represented three segments of the composites industry - aircraft manufacturers, prepreg manufacturers, and epoxy resin manufacturers. Several important sources of performance variability were identified from among the complete spectrum of potential sources which ranged from raw materials to composite test data interpretation.

  9. U.S. Geological Survey external quality-assurance project report to the National Atmospheric Deposition Program / National Trends Network and Mercury Deposition Network, 2007-08

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wetherbee, Gregory A.; Latysh, Natalie E.; Chesney, Tanya A.

    2010-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) used six distinct programs to provide external quality-assurance monitoring for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program / National Trends Network (NTN) and Mercury Deposition Network (MDN) during 2007-08. The field-audit program assessed the effects of onsite exposure, sample handling, and shipping on the chemistry of NTN samples, and a system-blank program assessed the same effects for MDN. Two interlaboratory-comparison programs assessed the bias and variability of the chemical analysis data from the Central Analytical Laboratory (CAL), Mercury (Hg) Analytical Laboratory (HAL), and 12 other participating laboratories. A blind-audit program was also implemented for the MDN to evaluate analytical bias in HAL total Hg concentration data. A co-located-sampler program was used to identify and quantify potential shifts in NADP data resulting from replacement of original network instrumentation with new electronic recording rain gages (E-gages) and prototype precipitation collectors. The results indicate that NADP data continue to be of sufficient quality for the analysis of spatial distributions and time trends of chemical constituents in wet deposition across the U.S. NADP data-quality objectives continued to be achieved during 2007-08. Results also indicate that retrofit of the NADP networks with the new E-gages is not likely to create step-function type shifts in NADP precipitation-depth records, except for sites where annual precipitation depth is dominated by snow because the E-gages tend to catch more snow than the original NADP rain gages. Evaluation of prototype precipitation collectors revealed no difference in sample volumes and analyte concentrations between the original NADP collectors and modified, deep-bucket collectors, but the Yankee Environmental Systems, Inc. (YES) collector obtained samples of significantly higher volumes and analyte concentrations than the standard NADP collector.

  10. 77 FR 44613 - Notice of Availability of the External Review Draft of Framework for Human Health Risk Assessment...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-30

    ...The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of the Science Advisor (OSA) announces a 60-day public comment period for the external review draft of ``A Framework for Human Health Risk Assessment to Inform Decision Making.'' This document was developed as part of an agencywide program by the EPA Risk Assessment Forum. The EPA is releasing this draft document solely for the purpose of......

  11. Assumptions Commonly Underlying Government Quality Assessment Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmidtlein, Frank A.

    2004-01-01

    The current interest in governmental assessment and accountability practices appears to result from:(1) an emerging view of higher education as an "industry"; (2) concerns about efficient resource allocation; (3) a lack of trust ade between government institutional officials; (4) a desire to reduce uncertainty in government/higher education…

  12. Developing Quality Physical Education through Student Assessments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisette, Jennifer L.; Placek, Judith H.; Avery, Marybell; Dyson, Ben; Fox, Connie; Franck, Marian; Graber, Kim; Rink, Judith; Zhu, Weimo

    2009-01-01

    The National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) is committed to providing teachers with the support and guiding principles for implementing valid assessments. Its goal is for physical educators to utilize PE Metrics to measure student learning based on the national standards. The first PE Metrics text provides teachers with…

  13. Quality assessment of plant transpiration water

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macler, Bruce A.; Janik, Daniel S.; Benson, Brian L.

    1990-01-01

    It has been proposed to use plants as elements of biologically-based life support systems for long-term space missions. Three roles have been brought forth for plants in this application: recycling of water, regeneration of air and production of food. This report discusses recycling of water and presents data from investigations of plant transpiration water quality. Aqueous nutrient solution was applied to several plant species and transpired water collected. The findings indicated that this water typically contained 0.3-6 ppm of total organic carbon, which meets hygiene water standards for NASA's space applications. It suggests that this method could be developed to achieve potable water standards.

  14. Study of the Quality of the Preparation and Performance of Educational Personnel. External Reactor Panel Reports.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Illinois State Board of Education, Springfield.

    Panels comprised of representatives of school administrators, classroom teachers, school boards, and teacher education institutions identified educational issues and potential solutions to them. The panels deliberated on the areas of: (1) recruitment into teacher preparation; (2) assessment of teacher preparation programs; (3) recruitment and…

  15. Towards real-time image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geary, Bobby; Grecos, Christos

    2011-03-01

    We introduce a real-time implementation and evaluation of a new fast accurate full reference based image quality metric. The popular general image quality metric known as the Structural Similarity Index Metric (SSIM) has been shown to be an effective, efficient and useful, finding many practical and theoretical applications. Recently the authors have proposed an enhanced version of the SSIM algorithm known as the Rotated Gaussian Discrimination Metric (RGDM). This approach uses a Gaussian-like discrimination function to evaluate local contrast and luminance. RGDM was inspired by an exploration of local statistical parameter variations in relation to variation of Mean Opinion Score (MOS) for a range of particular distortion types. In this paper we out-line the salient features of the derivation of RGDM and show how analyses of local statistics of distortion type necessitate variation in discrimination function width. Results on the LIVE image database show tight banding of RGDM metric value when plotted against mean opinion score indicating the usefulness of this metric. We then explore a number of strategies for algorithmic speed-up including the application of Integral Images for patch based computation optimisation, cost reduction for the evaluation of the discrimination function and general loop unrolling. We also employ fast Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD) intrinsics and explore data parallel decomposition on a multi-core Intel Processor.

  16. Methods for sampling fish communities as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meador, M.R.; Cuffney, T.F.; Gurtz, M.E.

    1993-01-01

    Fish community structure is characterized in the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment Program as part of an integrated physical, chemical, and biological assessment of the Nation's water quality. The objective of the National Water-Quality Assessment characterization of fish community structure is to relate fish community characteristics to physical, chemical, and other biological factors to assess water-quality conditions. To accomplish this, fish community structure is described at sites representing selected environmental settings. In addition, spatial and temporal patterns in fish community structure are examined at local, regional, and national levels. A representative sample of the fish community is collected by sampling a stream reach using two complementary methods. The primary collection method is electrofishing using backpack, towed, or boat-operated electrofishing gear; seining is a secondary technique. Other secondary techniques may be substituted after careful consideration of sampling efficiency and consultation with local fish ecologists. Before fish sampling is conducted, careful consideration must be given to collecting permits; protecting endangered, threatened, and special-concern species; and coordinating sampling efforts with other fish ecologists. After the sample is collected, individual fish are identified to species by ichthyologists. Length and weight measurements are taken, and the presence of external anomalies are recorded.

  17. A new assessment method for image fusion quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Liu; Jiang, Wanying; Li, Jing; Yuchi, Ming; Ding, Mingyue; Zhang, Xuming

    2013-03-01

    Image fusion quality assessment plays a critically important role in the field of medical imaging. To evaluate image fusion quality effectively, a lot of assessment methods have been proposed. Examples include mutual information (MI), root mean square error (RMSE), and universal image quality index (UIQI). These image fusion assessment methods could not reflect the human visual inspection effectively. To address this problem, we have proposed a novel image fusion assessment method which combines the nonsubsampled contourlet transform (NSCT) with the regional mutual information in this paper. In this proposed method, the source medical images are firstly decomposed into different levels by the NSCT. Then the maximum NSCT coefficients of the decomposed directional images at each level are obtained to compute the regional mutual information (RMI). Finally, multi-channel RMI is computed by the weighted sum of the obtained RMI values at the various levels of NSCT. The advantage of the proposed method lies in the fact that the NSCT can represent image information using multidirections and multi-scales and therefore it conforms to the multi-channel characteristic of human visual system, leading to its outstanding image assessment performance. The experimental results using CT and MRI images demonstrate that the proposed assessment method outperforms such assessment methods as MI and UIQI based measure in evaluating image fusion quality and it can provide consistent results with human visual assessment.

  18. School Indoor Air Quality Assessment and Program Implementation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prill, R.; Blake, D.; Hales, D.

    This paper describes the effectiveness of a three-step indoor air quality (IAQ) program implemented by 156 schools in the states of Washington and Idaho during the 2000-2001 school year. An experienced IAQ/building science specialist conducted walk-through assessments at each school. These assessments documented deficiencies and served as an…

  19. Floristic Quality Assessment Across the Nation: Status, Opportunities, and Challenges

    EPA Science Inventory

    Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA) will be considered in the USEPA National Wetland Condition Assessment (NWCA). FQA is a powerful tool to describe wetland ecological condition, and is based on Coefficients of Conservatism (CC) of individual native plant species. CCs rank sensiti...

  20. No-reference visual quality assessment for image inpainting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voronin, V. V.; Frantc, V. A.; Marchuk, V. I.; Sherstobitov, A. I.; Egiazarian, K.

    2015-03-01

    Inpainting has received a lot of attention in recent years and quality assessment is an important task to evaluate different image reconstruction approaches. In many cases inpainting methods introduce a blur in sharp transitions in image and image contours in the recovery of large areas with missing pixels and often fail to recover curvy boundary edges. Quantitative metrics of inpainting results currently do not exist and researchers use human comparisons to evaluate their methodologies and techniques. Most objective quality assessment methods rely on a reference image, which is often not available in inpainting applications. Usually researchers use subjective quality assessment by human observers. It is difficult and time consuming procedure. This paper focuses on a machine learning approach for no-reference visual quality assessment for image inpainting based on the human visual property. Our method is based on observation that Local Binary Patterns well describe local structural information of the image. We use a support vector regression learned on assessed by human images to predict perceived quality of inpainted images. We demonstrate how our predicted quality value correlates with qualitative opinion in a human observer study. Results are shown on a human-scored dataset for different inpainting methods.

  1. Quality Assessment of TPB-Based Questionnaires: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Oluka, Obiageli Crystal; Nie, Shaofa; Sun, Yi

    2014-01-01

    Objective This review is aimed at assessing the quality of questionnaires and their development process based on the theory of planned behavior (TPB) change model. Methods A systematic literature search for studies with the primary aim of TPB-based questionnaire development was conducted in relevant databases between 2002 and 2012 using selected search terms. Ten of 1,034 screened abstracts met the inclusion criteria and were assessed for methodological quality using two different appraisal tools: one for the overall methodological quality of each study and the other developed for the appraisal of the questionnaire content and development process. Both appraisal tools consisted of items regarding the likelihood of bias in each study and were eventually combined to give the overall quality score for each included study. Results 8 of the 10 included studies showed low risk of bias in the overall quality assessment of each study, while 9 of the studies were of high quality based on the quality appraisal of questionnaire content and development process. Conclusion Quality appraisal of the questionnaires in the 10 reviewed studies was successfully conducted, highlighting the top problem areas (including: sample size estimation; inclusion of direct and indirect measures; and inclusion of questions on demographics) in the development of TPB-based questionnaires and the need for researchers to provide a more detailed account of their development process. PMID:24722323

  2. Assessing and communicating data quality in policy-relevant research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costanza, Robert; Funtowicz, Silvio O.; Ravetz, Jerome R.

    1992-01-01

    The quality of scientific information in policy-relevant fields of research is difficult to assess, and quality control in these important areas is correspondingly difficult to maintain. Frequently there are insufficient high-quality measurements for the presentation of the statistical uncertainty in the numerical estimates that are crucial to policy decisions. We propose and develop a grading system for numerical estimates that can deal with the full range of data quality—from statistically valid estimates to informed guesses. By analyzing the underlying quality of numerical estimates, summarized as spread and grade, we are able to provide simple rules whereby input data can be coded for quality, and these codings carried through arithmetical calculations for assessing the quality of model results. For this we use the NUSAP (numeral, unit, spread, assessment, pedigree) notational system. It allows the more quantitative and the more qualitative aspects of data uncertainty to be managed separately. By way of example, we apply the system to an ecosystem valuation study that used several different models and data of widely varying quality to arrive at a single estimate of the economic value of wetlands. The NUSAP approach illustrates the major sources of uncertainty in this study and can guide new research aimed at the improvement of the quality of outputs and the efficiency of the procedures.

  3. Quantitative statistical methods for image quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Dutta, Joyita; Ahn, Sangtae; Li, Quanzheng

    2013-01-01

    Quantitative measures of image quality and reliability are critical for both qualitative interpretation and quantitative analysis of medical images. While, in theory, it is possible to analyze reconstructed images by means of Monte Carlo simulations using a large number of noise realizations, the associated computational burden makes this approach impractical. Additionally, this approach is less meaningful in clinical scenarios, where multiple noise realizations are generally unavailable. The practical alternative is to compute closed-form analytical expressions for image quality measures. The objective of this paper is to review statistical analysis techniques that enable us to compute two key metrics: resolution (determined from the local impulse response) and covariance. The underlying methods include fixed-point approaches, which compute these metrics at a fixed point (the unique and stable solution) independent of the iterative algorithm employed, and iteration-based approaches, which yield results that are dependent on the algorithm, initialization, and number of iterations. We also explore extensions of some of these methods to a range of special contexts, including dynamic and motion-compensated image reconstruction. While most of the discussed techniques were developed for emission tomography, the general methods are extensible to other imaging modalities as well. In addition to enabling image characterization, these analysis techniques allow us to control and enhance imaging system performance. We review practical applications where performance improvement is achieved by applying these ideas to the contexts of both hardware (optimizing scanner design) and image reconstruction (designing regularization functions that produce uniform resolution or maximize task-specific figures of merit). PMID:24312148

  4. Quantitative Statistical Methods for Image Quality Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Dutta, Joyita; Ahn, Sangtae; Li, Quanzheng

    2013-01-01

    Quantitative measures of image quality and reliability are critical for both qualitative interpretation and quantitative analysis of medical images. While, in theory, it is possible to analyze reconstructed images by means of Monte Carlo simulations using a large number of noise realizations, the associated computational burden makes this approach impractical. Additionally, this approach is less meaningful in clinical scenarios, where multiple noise realizations are generally unavailable. The practical alternative is to compute closed-form analytical expressions for image quality measures. The objective of this paper is to review statistical analysis techniques that enable us to compute two key metrics: resolution (determined from the local impulse response) and covariance. The underlying methods include fixed-point approaches, which compute these metrics at a fixed point (the unique and stable solution) independent of the iterative algorithm employed, and iteration-based approaches, which yield results that are dependent on the algorithm, initialization, and number of iterations. We also explore extensions of some of these methods to a range of special contexts, including dynamic and motion-compensated image reconstruction. While most of the discussed techniques were developed for emission tomography, the general methods are extensible to other imaging modalities as well. In addition to enabling image characterization, these analysis techniques allow us to control and enhance imaging system performance. We review practical applications where performance improvement is achieved by applying these ideas to the contexts of both hardware (optimizing scanner design) and image reconstruction (designing regularization functions that produce uniform resolution or maximize task-specific figures of merit). PMID:24312148

  5. A new quality assessment and improvement system for print media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Mohan; Konya, Iuliu; Nandzik, Jan; Flores-Herr, Nicolas; Eickeler, Stefan; Ndjiki-Nya, Patrick

    2012-12-01

    Print media collections of considerable size are held by cultural heritage organizations and will soon be subject to digitization activities. However, technical content quality management in digitization workflows strongly relies on human monitoring. This heavy human intervention is cost intensive and time consuming, which makes automization mandatory. In this article, a new automatic quality assessment and improvement system is proposed. The digitized source image and color reference target are extracted from the raw digitized images by an automatic segmentation process. The target is evaluated by a reference-based algorithm. No-reference quality metrics are applied to the source image. Experimental results are provided to illustrate the performance of the proposed system. We show that it features a good performance in the extraction as well as in the quality assessment step compared to the state-of-the-art. The impact of efficient and dedicated quality assessors on the optimization step is extensively documented.

  6. Assessing quality management in an R and D environment

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, B.D.

    1998-02-01

    Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a premier research and development institution operated by the University of California for the US Department of Energy. Since 1991, LANL has pursued a heightened commitment to developing world-class quality in management and operations. In 1994 LANL adopted the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria as a framework for all activities and initiated more formalized customer focus and quality management. Five measurement systems drive the current integration of quality efforts: an annual Baldrige-based assessment, a customer focus program, customer-driven performance measurement, an employee performance management system and annual employee surveys, and integrated planning processes with associated goals and measures.

  7. Assessing the Quality of Clinical Teachers

    PubMed Central

    Bolhuis, Sanneke; Grol, Richard; Laan, Roland; Wensing, Michel

    2010-01-01

    Background Learning in a clinical environment differs from formal educational settings and provides specific challenges for clinicians who are teachers. Instruments that reflect these challenges are needed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of clinical teachers. Objective To systematically review the content, validity, and aims of questionnaires used to assess clinical teachers. Data Sources MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO and ERIC from 1976 up to March 2010. Review Methods The searches revealed 54 papers on 32 instruments. Data from these papers were documented by independent researchers, using a structured format that included content of the instrument, validation methods, aims of the instrument, and its setting. Results Aspects covered by the instruments predominantly concerned the use of teaching strategies (included in 30 instruments), supporter role (29), role modeling (27), and feedback (26). Providing opportunities for clinical learning activities was included in 13 instruments. Most studies referred to literature on good clinical teaching, although they failed to provide a clear description of what constitutes a good clinical teacher. Instrument length varied from 1 to 58 items. Except for two instruments, all had to be completed by clerks/residents. Instruments served to provide formative feedback ( instruments) but were also used for resource allocation, promotion, and annual performance review (14 instruments). All but two studies reported on internal consistency and/or reliability; other aspects of validity were examined less frequently. Conclusions No instrument covered all relevant aspects of clinical teaching comprehensively. Validation of the instruments was often limited to assessment of internal consistency and reliability. Available instruments for assessing clinical teachers should be used carefully, especially for consequential decisions. There is a need for more valid comprehensive instruments. Electronic supplementary material The online

  8. No Reference Video-Quality-Assessment Model for Monitoring Video Quality of IPTV Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamagishi, Kazuhisa; Okamoto, Jun; Hayashi, Takanori; Takahashi, Akira

    Service providers should monitor the quality of experience of a communication service in real time to confirm its status. To do this, we previously proposed a packet-layer model that can be used for monitoring the average video quality of typical Internet protocol television content using parameters derived from transmitted packet headers. However, it is difficult to monitor the video quality per user using the average video quality because video quality depends on the video content. To accurately monitor the video quality per user, a model that can be used for estimating the video quality per video content rather than the average video quality should be developed. Therefore, to take into account the impact of video content on video quality, we propose a model that calculates the difference in video quality between the video quality of the estimation-target video and the average video quality estimated using a packet-layer model. We first conducted extensive subjective quality assessments for different codecs and video sequences. We then model their characteristics based on parameters related to compression and packet loss. Finally, we verify the performance of the proposed model by applying it to unknown data sets different from the training data sets used for developing the model.

  9. Constructing Assessment Model of Primary and Secondary Educational Quality with Talent Quality as the Core Standard

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Benyou

    2014-01-01

    Quality is the core of education and it is important to standardization construction of primary and secondary education in urban (U) and rural (R) areas. The ultimate goal of the integration of urban and rural education is to pursuit quality urban and rural education. Based on analysing the related policy basis and the existing assessment models…

  10. Service Quality Assessment Scale (SQAS): An Instrument for Evaluating Service Quality of Health-Fitness Clubs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lam, Eddie T. C.; Zhang, James J.; Jensen, Barbara E.

    2005-01-01

    This study was designed to develop the Service Quality Assessment Scale to evaluate the service quality of health-fitness clubs. Through a review of literature, field observations, interviews, modified application of the Delphi technique, and a pilot study, a preliminary scale with 46 items was formulated. The preliminary scale was administered to…

  11. Assessing Quality in Graduate Programs: An Internal Quality Indicator. AIR Forum 1981 Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DiBiasio, Daniel A.; And Others

    Four approaches to measuring quality in graduate education are reviewed, and the approach used at the graduate school at Ohio State University is assessed. Four approaches found in the literature are: measuring quality by reputation, by scholarly productivity, by correlating reputation and scholarly productivity, and by multiple measures. Ohio…

  12. Assessment of mesh simplification algorithm quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, Michael; Nicolier, Frederic; Foufou, S.; Truchetet, Frederic; Koschan, Andreas; Abidi, Mongi A.

    2002-03-01

    Traditionally, medical geneticists have employed visual inspection (anthroposcopy) to clinically evaluate dysmorphology. In the last 20 years, there has been an increasing trend towards quantitative assessment to render diagnosis of anomalies more objective and reliable. These methods have focused on direct anthropometry, using a combination of classical physical anthropology tools and new instruments tailor-made to describe craniofacial morphometry. These methods are painstaking and require that the patient remain still for extended periods of time. Most recently, semiautomated techniques (e.g., structured light scanning) have been developed to capture the geometry of the face in a matter of seconds. In this paper, we establish that direct anthropometry and structured light scanning yield reliable measurements, with remarkably high levels of inter-rater and intra-rater reliability, as well as validity (contrasting the two methods).

  13. Methods for assessing the quality of runoff from Minnesota peatlands

    SciTech Connect

    Clausen, J.C.

    1981-01-01

    The quality of runoff from large, undisturbed peatlands in Minnesota is chaaracterized and sampling results from a number of bogs (referred to as a multiple watershed approach) was used to assess the effects of peat mining on the quality of bog runoff. Runoff from 45 natural peatlands and one mined bog was sampled five times in 1979-80 and analyzed for 34 water quality characteristics. Peatland watersheds were classified as bog, transition, or fen, based upon both water quality and watershed characteristics. Alternative classification methods were based on frequency distributions, cluster analysis, discriminant analysis, and principal component analysis results. A multiple watershed approach was used as a basis of drawing inferences regarding the quality of runoff from a representative sample of natural bogs and a mined bog. The multiple watershed technique applied provides an alternative to long-term paired watershed experiments in evaluating the effects of land use activities on the quality of runoff from peatlands in Minnesota.

  14. External quality-assurance results for the national atmospheric deposition program/national trends network, 2000-2001

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wetherbee, Gregory A.; Latysh, Natalie E.; Gordon, John D.

    2004-01-01

    Five external quality-assurance programs were operated by the U.S. Geological Survey for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network (NADP/NTN) from 2000 through 2001 (study period): the intersite-comparison program, the blind-audit program, the field-audit program, the interlaboratory-comparison program, and the collocated-sampler program. Each program is designed to measure specific components of the total error inherent in NADP/NTN wet-deposition measurements. The intersite-comparison program assesses the variability and bias of pH and specific-conductance determinations made by NADP/NTN site operators with respect to accuracy goals. The accuracy goals are statistically based using the median of all of the measurements obtained for each of four intersite-comparison studies. The percentage of site operators responding on time that met the pH accuracy goals ranged from 84.2 to 90.5 percent. In these same four intersite-comparison studies, 88.9 to 99.0 percent of the site operators met the accuracy goals for specific conductance. The blind-audit program evaluates the effects of routine sample handling, processing, and shipping on the chemistry of weekly precipitation samples. The blind-audit data for the study period indicate that sample handling introduced a small amount of sulfate contamination and slight changes to hydrogen-ion content of the precipitation samples. The magnitudes of the paired differences are not environmentally significant to NADP/NTN data users. The field-audit program (also known as the 'field-blank program') was designed to measure the effects of field exposure, handling, and processing on the chemistry of NADP/NTN precipitation samples. The results indicate potential low-level contamination of NADP/NTN samples with calcium, ammonium, chloride, and nitrate. Less sodium contamination was detected by the field-audit data than in previous years. Statistical analysis of the paired differences shows that contaminant ions

  15. Assessing the quality of a student-generated question repository

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bates, Simon P.; Galloway, Ross K.; Riise, Jonathan; Homer, Danny

    2014-12-01

    We present results from a study that categorizes and assesses the quality of questions and explanations authored by students in question repositories produced as part of the summative assessment in introductory physics courses over two academic sessions. Mapping question quality onto the levels in the cognitive domain of Bloom's taxonomy, we find that students produce questions of high quality. More than three-quarters of questions fall into categories beyond simple recall, in contrast to similar studies of student-authored content in different subject domains. Similarly, the quality of student-authored explanations for questions was also high, with approximately 60% of all explanations classified as being of high or outstanding quality. Overall, 75% of questions met combined quality criteria, which we hypothesize is due in part to the in-class scaffolding activities that we provided for students ahead of requiring them to author questions. This work presents the first systematic investigation into the quality of student produced assessment material in an introductory physics context, and thus complements and extends related studies in other disciplines.

  16. Self- and parent assessment of mental health: disagreement on externalizing and internalizing behaviour in young refugees from the Middle East.

    PubMed

    Montgomery, Edith

    2008-01-01

    Self- and parent assessment of mental health problems yield a limited degree of cross-informant agreement in adolescent populations. Working with data from 122 refugee children, adolescents and young adults from the Middle East, the aims of this study were to analyse levels of agreement and disagreement between self- and parent ratings of externalizing and internalizing behaviour and to identify predictors for the differences between the two sets of ratings. Parents and children were interviewed separately using structured questionnaires. Mental health was assessed using the Achenbach System of Empirically-based Assessment. Self- and parent-rated scale scores correlated moderately. The mean score differences between self- and parent-rated internalizing and externalizing behaviour were 2.0 and 2.7, p < 0.005, respectively. A larger mean difference was found among boys concerning externalizing behaviour and among girls concerning internalizing behaviour. Individual (age, and sex) family (father's health situation) and ethnic background predicted this difference. This could indicate that parent ratings and children's self-ratings are two, qualitatively different constructs and not just a result of expected inter-observer disagreement. When assessing young refugees for possible treatment, this difference needs to be understood and taken into consideration. PMID:18411865

  17. Health-Related Quality of Life 2 Years After Treatment With Radical Prostatectomy, Prostate Brachytherapy, or External Beam Radiotherapy in Patients With Clinically Localized Prostate Cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Ferrer, Montserrat Suarez, Jose Francisco; Guedea, Ferran; Fernandez, Pablo; Macias, Victor; Marino, Alfonso; Hervas, Asuncion; Herruzo, Ismael; Ortiz, Maria Jose; Villavicencio, Humberto; Craven-Bratle, Jordi; Garin, Olatz; Aguilo, Ferran

    2008-10-01

    Purpose: To compare treatment impact on health-related quality of life (HRQL) in patients with localized prostate cancer, from before treatment to 2 years after the intervention. Methods and Materials: This was a longitudinal, prospective study of 614 patients with localized prostate cancer treated with radical prostatectomy (134), three-dimensional external conformal radiotherapy (205), and brachytherapy (275). The HRQL questionnaires administered before and after treatment (months 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24) were the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form, the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (General and Prostate Specific), the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC), and the American Urological Association Symptom Index. Differences between groups were tested by analysis of variance and within-group changes by univariate repeated-measures analysis of variance. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) models were constructed to assess between-group differences in HRQL at 2 years of follow-up after adjusting for clinical variables. Results: In each treatment group, HRQL initially deteriorated after treatment with subsequent partial recovery. However, some dimension scores were still significantly lower after 2 years of treatment. The GEE models showed that, compared with the brachytherapy group, radical prostatectomy patients had worse EPIC sexual summary and urinary incontinence scores (-20.4 and -14.1; p < 0.001), and external radiotherapy patients had worse EPIC bowel, sexual, and hormonal summary scores (-3.55, -5.24, and -1.94; p < 0.05). Prostatectomy patients had significantly better EPIC urinary irritation scores than brachytherapy patients (+4.16; p < 0.001). Conclusions: Relevant differences between treatment groups persisted after 2 years of follow-up. Radical prostatectomy had a considerable negative effect on sexual functioning and urinary continence. Three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy had a moderate negative impact on bowel

  18. External quality-assurance project report for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network and Mercury Deposition Network, 2009-2010

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wetherbee, Gregory A.; Martin, RoseAnn; Rhodes, Mark F.; Chesney, Tanya A.

    2014-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey operated six distinct programs to provide external quality-assurance monitoring for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network (NTN) and Mercury Deposition Network (MDN) during 2009–2010. The field-audit program assessed the effects of onsite exposure, sample handling, and shipping on the chemistry of NTN samples; a system-blank program assessed the same effects for MDN. Two interlaboratory-comparison programs assessed the bias and variability of the chemical analysis data from the Central Analytical Laboratory (CAL) and Mercury (Hg) Analytical Laboratory (HAL). The blind-audit program was also implemented for the MDN to evaluate analytical bias in total Hg concentration data produced by the HAL. The co-located-sampler program was used to identify and quantify potential shifts in NADP data resulting from replacement of original network instrumentation with new electronic recording rain gages (E-gages) and precipitation collectors that use optical sensors. The results indicate that NADP data continue to be of sufficient quality for the analysis of spatial distributions and time trends of chemical constituents in wet deposition across the United States. Results also suggest that retrofit of the NADP networks with the new precipitation collectors could cause –8 to +14 percent shifts in NADP annual precipitation-weighted mean concentrations and total deposition values for ammonium, nitrate, sulfate, and hydrogen ion, and larger shifts (+13 to +74 percent) for calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and chloride. The prototype N-CON Systems bucket collector is more efficient in the catch of precipitation in winter than Aerochem Metrics Model 301 collector, especially for light snowfall.

  19. Human Variome Project Quality Assessment Criteria for Variation Databases.

    PubMed

    Vihinen, Mauno; Hancock, John M; Maglott, Donna R; Landrum, Melissa J; Schaafsma, Gerard C P; Taschner, Peter

    2016-06-01

    Numerous databases containing information about DNA, RNA, and protein variations are available. Gene-specific variant databases (locus-specific variation databases, LSDBs) are typically curated and maintained for single genes or groups of genes for a certain disease(s). These databases are widely considered as the most reliable information source for a particular gene/protein/disease, but it should also be made clear they may have widely varying contents, infrastructure, and quality. Quality is very important to evaluate because these databases may affect health decision-making, research, and clinical practice. The Human Variome Project (HVP) established a Working Group for Variant Database Quality Assessment. The basic principle was to develop a simple system that nevertheless provides a good overview of the quality of a database. The HVP quality evaluation criteria that resulted are divided into four main components: data quality, technical quality, accessibility, and timeliness. This report elaborates on the developed quality criteria and how implementation of the quality scheme can be achieved. Examples are provided for the current status of the quality items in two different databases, BTKbase, an LSDB, and ClinVar, a central archive of submissions about variants and their clinical significance. PMID:26919176

  20. Quality, management, and the interplay of self-assessment, process assessments, and performance-based observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willett, D. J.

    1993-04-01

    In this document, the author presents his observations on the topic of quality assurance (QA). Traditionally the focus of quality management has been on QA organizations, manuals, procedures, audits, and assessments; quality was measured by the degree of conformance to specifications or standards. Today quality is defined as satisfying user needs and is measured by user satisfaction. The author proposes that quality is the responsibility of line organizations and staff and not the responsibility of the QA group. This work outlines an effective Conduct of Operations program. The author concludes his observations with a discussion of how quality is analogous to leadership.

  1. Perceptual Quality Assessment for Multi-Exposure Image Fusion.

    PubMed

    Ma, Kede; Zeng, Kai; Wang, Zhou

    2015-11-01

    Multi-exposure image fusion (MEF) is considered an effective quality enhancement technique widely adopted in consumer electronics, but little work has been dedicated to the perceptual quality assessment of multi-exposure fused images. In this paper, we first build an MEF database and carry out a subjective user study to evaluate the quality of images generated by different MEF algorithms. There are several useful findings. First, considerable agreement has been observed among human subjects on the quality of MEF images. Second, no single state-of-the-art MEF algorithm produces the best quality for all test images. Third, the existing objective quality models for general image fusion are very limited in predicting perceived quality of MEF images. Motivated by the lack of appropriate objective models, we propose a novel objective image quality assessment (IQA) algorithm for MEF images based on the principle of the structural similarity approach and a novel measure of patch structural consistency. Our experimental results on the subjective database show that the proposed model well correlates with subjective judgments and significantly outperforms the existing IQA models for general image fusion. Finally, we demonstrate the potential application of the proposed model by automatically tuning the parameters of MEF algorithms. PMID:26068317

  2. Assessment of external combustion, Brayton-cycle engine potential in total and integrated energy systems

    SciTech Connect

    Marciniak, T.J.; Bratis, J.C.; Davis, A.; Jain, M.L.; Ashe, T.L.; Six, L.D.; Trimble, S.W.

    1980-03-01

    The history, advantages, disadvantages, and performance and cost characteristics of the external-combustion, Brayton engine are discussed. Included are studies of external combustion, Brayton engines in Integrated Energy Systems, and comparisons with current technologies, such as diesels and gas turbines, as well as with other advanced prime-mover technologies, such as large Stirling engines and adiabatic turbocompound diesel engines. Lastly, a development program, one that would lead to a commercializable external combustion, Brayton engine using an atmospheric fluidized bed combustor is described. The fluidized bed offers a method for burning coal in an environmentally acceptable manner at a fairly reasonable cost so that the external combustion Brayton concept can be used in the residential/commercial sector. Based on this study, it appears that the external combustion, Brayton engine, using a fluidized-bed combustion system, offers a technologically sound alternative for developing an economically viable, environmentally acceptable method for using non-scarce fuels. Although the efficiency of the engine is not as high as that projected for large diesel and Stirling engines, the capital cost advantages, fuel flexibility, relatively low developmental costs, and high chance of success make it an attractive alternative.

  3. Revised series of stylized anthropometric phantoms for internal and external radiation dose assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Eunyoung

    At present, the dosimetry systems of both the International Commission on Radiological Protection, and the Society of Nuclear Medicine's Medical Internal Radiation Dose Committee utilize a series of stylized or mathematical anthropometric models of patient anatomy developed in 1987 at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). In this study, substantial revisions to the ORNL phantom series are reported with tissue compositions, tissue densities, and organ masses adjusted to match their most recent values in the literature. In addition, both the ICRP and MIRD systems of internal dosimetry implicitly consider that electron and beta-particle energy emitted within the source organs of the patient are fully deposited within these organs. With the development of the revised ORNL phantom series, three additional applications were explored as part of this dissertation research. First, the phantoms were used in combination to assess external radiation exposures to family members caring or interacting with patients released from the hospital following radionuclide therapy with I-131. Values of family member effective dose are then compared to values obtained using NRC guidance and based on a simple point-source methodology which ignores the effects of photon attenuation and scatter within both the source individual (patient) and the target individual (family member). Second, the anatomical structures of the extrathoracic airways and thoracic airways (exclusive of the lungs themselves) have been included in the entire revised ORNL phantom series of pediatric individuals. Values of cross-region photon dose are explored for use in radioactive aerosol inhalation exposures to members of the general public, and comparisons are made to values given by the ICRP in which surrogate organ assignments were made in the absence of explicit models of these airways. Finally, the revised ORNL phantoms of the adult male and adult female are used to determine internal photon exposures to

  4. Quality Assessment and Physicochemical Characteristics of Bran Enriched Chapattis

    PubMed Central

    Dar, B. N.; Sharma, Savita; Singh, Baljit; Kaur, Gurkirat

    2014-01-01

    Cereal brans singly and in combination were blended at varying levels (5 and 10%) for development of Chapattis. Cereal bran enriched Chapattis were assessed for quality and physicochemical characteristics. On the basis of quality assessment, 10% enrichment level for Chapatti was the best. Moisture content, water activity, and free fatty acids remained stable during the study period. Quality assessment and physicochemical characteristics of bran enriched Chapattis carried out revealed that dough handling and puffing of bran enriched Chapattis prepared by 5 and 10% level of bran supplementation did not vary significantly. All types of bran enriched Chapattis except rice bran enriched Chapattis showed nonsticky behavior during dough handling. Bran enriched Chapattis exhibited full puffing character during preparation. The sensory attributes showed that both 5 and 10% bran supplemented Chapattis were acceptable. PMID:26904644

  5. Procedure for assessing visual quality for landscape planning and management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gimblett, H. Randal; Fitzgibbon, John E.; Bechard, Kevin P.; Wightman, J. A.; Itami, Robert M.

    1987-07-01

    Incorporation of aesthetic considerations in the process of landscape planning and development has frequently met with poor results due to its lack of theoretical basis, public involvement, and failure to deal with spatial implications. This problem has been especially evident when dealing with large areas, for example, the Adirondacks, Scenic Highways, and National Forests and Parks. This study made use of public participation to evaluate scenic quality in a portion of the Niagara Escarpment in Southern Ontario, Canada. The results of this study were analyzed using the visual management model proposed by Brown and Itami (1982) as a means of assessing and evaluating scenic quality. The map analysis package formulated by Tomlin (1980) was then applied to this assessment for the purpose of spatial mapping of visual impact. The results of this study illustrate that it is possible to assess visual quality for landscape/management, preservation, and protection using a theoretical basis, public participation, and a systematic spatial mapping process.

  6. Assessment of permeation quality of concrete through mercury intrusion porosimetry

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, Rakesh; Bhattacharjee, B

    2004-02-01

    Permeation quality of laboratory cast concrete beams was determined through initial surface absorption test (ISAT). The pore system characteristics of the same concrete beam specimens were determined through mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP). Data so obtained on the measured initial surface absorption rate of water by concrete and characteristics of pore system of concrete estimated from porosimetry results were used to develop correlations between them. Through these correlations, potential of MIP in assessing the durability quality of concrete in actual structure is demonstrated.

  7. Space Shuttle flying qualities and flight control system assessment study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myers, T. T.; Johnston, D. E.; Mcruer, D.

    1982-01-01

    The suitability of existing and proposed flying quality and flight control system criteria for application to the space shuttle orbiter during atmospheric flight phases was assessed. An orbiter experiment for flying qualities and flight control system design criteria is discussed. Orbiter longitudinal and lateral-directional flying characteristics, flight control system lag and time delay considerations, and flight control manipulator characteristics are included. Data obtained from conventional aircraft may be inappropriate for application to the shuttle orbiter.

  8. Assessment of foodservice quality and identification of improvement strategies using hospital foodservice quality model

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Kyungjoo; Kim, Minyoung

    2010-01-01

    The purposes of this study were to assess hospital foodservice quality and to identify causes of quality problems and improvement strategies. Based on the review of literature, hospital foodservice quality was defined and the Hospital Foodservice Quality model was presented. The study was conducted in two steps. In Step 1, nutritional standards specified on diet manuals and nutrients of planned menus, served meals, and consumed meals for regular, diabetic, and low-sodium diets were assessed in three general hospitals. Quality problems were found in all three hospitals since patients consumed less than their nutritional requirements. Considering the effects of four gaps in the Hospital Foodservice Quality model, Gaps 3 and 4 were selected as critical control points (CCPs) for hospital foodservice quality management. In Step 2, the causes of the gaps and improvement strategies at CCPs were labeled as "quality hazards" and "corrective actions", respectively and were identified using a case study. At Gap 3, inaccurate forecasting and a lack of control during production were identified as quality hazards and corrective actions proposed were establishing an accurate forecasting system, improving standardized recipes, emphasizing the use of standardized recipes, and conducting employee training. At Gap 4, quality hazards were menus of low preferences, inconsistency of menu quality, a lack of menu variety, improper food temperatures, and patients' lack of understanding of their nutritional requirements. To reduce Gap 4, the dietary departments should conduct patient surveys on menu preferences on a regular basis, develop new menus, especially for therapeutic diets, maintain food temperatures during distribution, provide more choices, conduct meal rounds, and provide nutrition education and counseling. The Hospital Foodservice Quality Model was a useful tool for identifying causes of the foodservice quality problems and improvement strategies from a holistic point of view

  9. Role of HIDA scanning in the assessment of external biliary fistulae

    SciTech Connect

    McPherson, G.A.; Collier, N.A.; Lavender, J.P.; Blumgart, L.H.

    1984-01-01

    Three patients with postoperative external biliary fistula are described. In each, radionuclide /sup 99m/Tc HIDA was used to define the anatomy of the fistula. The extent of the fistula and the presence of distal obstruction to bile flow could also be determined. This information was used to predict the likelihood of spontaneous fistula closure. HIDA scanning is a useful noninvasive alternative to other investigations, such as fistulography and cholangiography, which do not always provide useful information. The results of HIDA scanning can aid the clinical decision on the need for surgical intervention to correct an external biliary fistula.

  10. Machine learning approach for objective inpainting quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frantc, V. A.; Voronin, V. V.; Marchuk, V. I.; Sherstobitov, A. I.; Agaian, S.; Egiazarian, K.

    2014-05-01

    This paper focuses on a machine learning approach for objective inpainting quality assessment. Inpainting has received a lot of attention in recent years and quality assessment is an important task to evaluate different image reconstruction approaches. Quantitative metrics for successful image inpainting currently do not exist; researchers instead are relying upon qualitative human comparisons in order to evaluate their methodologies and techniques. We present an approach for objective inpainting quality assessment based on natural image statistics and machine learning techniques. Our method is based on observation that when images are properly normalized or transferred to a transform domain, local descriptors can be modeled by some parametric distributions. The shapes of these distributions are different for noninpainted and inpainted images. Approach permits to obtain a feature vector strongly correlated with a subjective image perception by a human visual system. Next, we use a support vector regression learned on assessed by human images to predict perceived quality of inpainted images. We demonstrate how our predicted quality value repeatably correlates with a qualitative opinion in a human observer study.

  11. Recreational stream assessment using Malaysia water quality index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibrahim, Hanisah; Kutty, Ahmad Abas

    2013-11-01

    River water quality assessment is crucial in order to quantify and monitor spatial and temporally. Malaysia is producing WQI and NWQS indices to evaluate river water quality. However, the study on recreational river water quality is still scarce. A study was conducted to determine selected recreational river water quality area and to determine impact of recreation on recreational stream. Three recreational streams namely Sungai Benus, Sungai Cemperuh and Sungai Luruh in Janda Baik, Pahang were selected. Five sampling stations were chosen from each river with a 200-400 m interval. Six water quality parameters which are BOD5, COD, TSS, pH, ammoniacal-nitrogen and dissolved oxygen were measured. Sampling and analysis was conducted following standard method prepared by USEPA. These parameters were used to calculate the water quality subindex and finally an indicative WQI value using Malaysia water quality index formula. Results indicate that all recreational streams have excellent water quality with WQI values ranging from 89 to 94. Most of water quality parameter was homogenous between sampling sites and between streams. An one-way ANOVA test indicates that no significant difference was observed between each sub index values (p> 0.05, α=0.05). Only BOD and COD exhibit slightly variation between stations that would be due to organic domestic wastes done by visitors. The study demonstrated that visitors impact on recreational is minimum and recreation streams are applicable for direct contact recreational.

  12. Assessment of phytoplankton diversity as an indicator of water quality

    SciTech Connect

    Yergeau, S.E.; Lang, A.; Teeters, R.

    1997-08-01

    For the measurement of water quality in freshwater systems, there are established indices using macroinvertebrate larvae. There is no such comparable measure for marine and estuarine environments. A phytoplankton diversity index (PDI), whose basic form was conceived by Dr. Ruth Gyure of Save the Sound, Inc., is being investigated as a possible candidate to rectify this situation. Phytoplankton were chosen as the indicators of water quality since algae have short generation times and respond quickly to changing water quality conditions. The methodologies involved in this initial assessment of the PDI are incorporated into the Adopt-a-Harbor water quality monitoring program and its associated laboratory. The virtues of the procedures are that they are simple and quick to use, suitable for trained volunteers to carry out, easily reproducible, and amenable to quality assurance checks.

  13. Assessment of voice quality: Current state-of-the-art.

    PubMed

    Barsties, Ben; De Bodt, Marc

    2015-06-01

    Voice quality is not clearly defined but it can be concluded that it is a multidimensional perceived construct. Therefore, there are broadly two approaches to measure voice quality: (1) subjective measurements to score a client's voice that reflects his or her judgment of the voice and (2) objective measurements by applying specific algorithm to quantify certain aspects of a correlate of vocal production. This paper proposes a collection and discusses a number of critical issues of the current state-of-the-art in voice quality assessments of auditory-perceptual judgment, objective-acoustic analysis and aerodynamic measurements in clinical practice and research that maybe helpful for clinicians and researchers. PMID:25440411

  14. New image quality assessment method using wavelet leader pyramids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Xiaolin; Yang, Xiaokang; Zheng, Shibao; Lin, Weiyao; Zhang, Rui; Zhai, Guangtao

    2011-06-01

    In this paper, we propose a wave leader pyramids based Visual Information Fidelity method for image quality assessment. Motivated by the observations that the human vision systems (HVS) are more sensitive to edge and contour regions and that the human visual sensitivity varies with spatial frequency, we first introduce the two-dimensional wavelet leader pyramids to robustly extract the multiscale information of edges. Based on the wavelet leader pyramids, we further propose a visual information fidelity metric to evaluate the quality of images by quantifying the information loss between the original and the distorted images. Experimental results show that our method outperforms many state-of-the-art image quality metrics.

  15. Assessment of visual landscape quality using IKONOS imagery.

    PubMed

    Ozkan, Ulas Yunus

    2014-07-01

    The assessment of visual landscape quality is of importance to the management of urban woodlands. Satellite remote sensing may be used for this purpose as a substitute for traditional survey techniques that are both labour-intensive and time-consuming. This study examines the association between the quality of the perceived visual landscape in urban woodlands and texture measures extracted from IKONOS satellite data, which features 4-m spatial resolution and four spectral bands. The study was conducted in the woodlands of Istanbul (the most important element of urban mosaic) lying along both shores of the Bosporus Strait. The visual quality assessment applied in this study is based on the perceptual approach and was performed via a survey of expressed preferences. For this purpose, representative photographs of real scenery were used to elicit observers' preferences. A slide show comprising 33 images was presented to a group of 153 volunteers (all undergraduate students), and they were asked to rate the visual quality of each on a 10-point scale (1 for very low visual quality, 10 for very high). Average visual quality scores were calculated for landscape. Texture measures were acquired using the two methods: pixel-based and object-based. Pixel-based texture measures were extracted from the first principle component (PC1) image. Object-based texture measures were extracted by using the original four bands. The association between image texture measures and perceived visual landscape quality was tested via Pearson's correlation coefficient. The analysis found a strong linear association between image texture measures and visual quality. The highest correlation coefficient was calculated between standard deviation of gray levels (SDGL) (one of the pixel-based texture measures) and visual quality (r = 0.82, P < 0.05). The results showed that perceived visual quality of urban woodland landscapes can be estimated by using texture measures extracted from satellite

  16. External quality-assurance results for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network, 1997-99

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gordon, John D.; Latysh, Natalie E.; Lindholm, Sandy J.

    2003-01-01

    Five external quality-assurance programs were operated by the U.S. Geological Survey for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/ National Trends Network (NADP/NTN) during 1997 through 1999: the intersite-comparison program, the blind-audit program, the field- audit program, the interlaboratory-comparison program, and the collocated-sampler program. The intersite-comparison program assesses the accuracy of pH and specific-conductance determinations made by NADP/NTN site operators. In two 1997 intersite-comparison studies, 83.7 and 85.8 percent of the pH determinations met the NADP/NTN accuracy goals, whereas 97.3 and 92.4 percent of the specific-conductance determinations met the NADP/NTN accuracy goals. The percentage of pH and specific-conductance determinations that met the accuracy goals in 1998 were, for the most part, higher than in 1997. In two 1998 studies, 90.9 and 90.3 percent of the pH determinations met the accuracy goals compared to 94.7 and 96.0 percent of the specific- conductance measurements meeting the accuracy goals. In one 1999 intersite-comparison study, 89.5 percent and 99.4 percent of pH and specific- conductance determinations, respectively, met the NADP/NTN accuracy goals. The blind-audit program evaluates the effects of routine sample handling, processing, and shipping on the analytical bias and precision of weekly precipitation samples. A portion of the blind-audit sample subject to the normal onsite handling and processing of a weekly precipitation sample is referred to as the bucket portion, whereas the portion receiving only minimal handling is referred to as the bottle portion. Positive bias in regard to blind-audit results indicates that the bucket portion has a higher concentration than the bottle portion. The paired t-test for the 1997 through 1999 blind- audit data indicates that routine sample handling, processing, and shipping introduced a positive bias (a=0.05) for calcium and chloride and a negative bias (cz=0.05) for

  17. A Needs Assessment for an External Doctor of Pharmacy Degree Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joyner, Pamela U.; Pittman, A. Wayne; Campbell, William H.; Dennis, Betty H.

    1997-01-01

    Describes a fall 1994 survey of North Carolina pharmacists to determine the level of interest in an external doctor of pharmacy degree program, examine reasons for that interest, and evaluate program designs. Among 917 respondents, 389 showed interest in a part-time program; 173 indicated interest in a later program; 355 had no interest. Increased…

  18. SU-E-T-571: Newly Emerging Integrated Transmission Detector Systems Provide Online Quality Assurance of External Beam Radiation Therapy

    SciTech Connect

    Hoffman, D; Chung, E; Hess, C; Stern, R; Benedict, S

    2015-06-15

    Purpose: Two newly emerging transmission detectors positioned upstream from the patient have been evaluated for online quality assurance of external beam radiotherapy. The prototype for the Integral Quality Monitor (IQM), developed by iRT Systems GmbH (Koblenz, Germany) is a large-area ion chamber mounted on the linac accessory tray to monitor photon fluence, energy, beam shape, and gantry position during treatment. The ion chamber utilizes a thickness gradient which records variable response dependent on beam position. The prototype of Delta4 Discover™, developed by ScandiDos (Uppsala, Sweden) is a linac accessory tray mounted 4040 diode array that measures photon fluence during patient treatment. Both systems are employable for patient specific QA prior to treatment delivery. Methods: Our institution evaluated the reproducibility of measurements using various beam types, including VMAT treatment plans with both the IQM ion chamber and the Delta4 Discover diode array. Additionally, the IQM’s effect on photon fluence, dose response, simulated beam error detection, and the accuracy of the integrated barometer, thermometer, and inclinometer were characterized. The evaluated photon beam errors are based on the annual tolerances specified in AAPM TG-142. Results: Repeated VMAT treatments were measured with 0.16% reproducibility by the IQM and 0.55% reproducibility by the Delta4 Discover. The IQM attenuated 6, 10, and 15 MV photon beams by 5.43±0.02%, 4.60±0.02%, and 4.21±0.03% respectively. Photon beam profiles were affected <1.5% in the non-penumbra regions. The IQM’s ion chamber’s dose response was linear and the thermometer, barometer, and inclinometer agreed with other calibrated devices. The device detected variations in monitor units delivered (1%), field position (3mm), single MLC leaf positions (13mm), and photon energy. Conclusion: We have characterized two new transmissions detector systems designed to provide in-vivo like measurements upstream

  19. Analysis of quality raw data of second generation sequencers with Quality Assessment Software

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Second generation technologies have advantages over Sanger; however, they have resulted in new challenges for the genome construction process, especially because of the small size of the reads, despite the high degree of coverage. Independent of the program chosen for the construction process, DNA sequences are superimposed, based on identity, to extend the reads, generating contigs; mismatches indicate a lack of homology and are not included. This process improves our confidence in the sequences that are generated. Findings We developed Quality Assessment Software, with which one can review graphs showing the distribution of quality values from the sequencing reads. This software allow us to adopt more stringent quality standards for sequence data, based on quality-graph analysis and estimated coverage after applying the quality filter, providing acceptable sequence coverage for genome construction from short reads. Conclusions Quality filtering is a fundamental step in the process of constructing genomes, as it reduces the frequency of incorrect alignments that are caused by measuring errors, which can occur during the construction process due to the size of the reads, provoking misassemblies. Application of quality filters to sequence data, using the software Quality Assessment, along with graphing analyses, provided greater precision in the definition of cutoff parameters, which increased the accuracy of genome construction. PMID:21501521

  20. An innovative method to assess negotiation skills necessary for quality improvement.

    PubMed

    Varkey, Prathibha; Gupta, Priyanka; Bennet, Kevin E

    2008-01-01

    Quality improvement (QI) initiatives require leaders who can facilitate change through negotiation. Although a few education programs teach these skills, there is no published literature on methods to assess competency in negotiation. This study's purpose was to determine the psychometric properties of an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) to assess negotiation skills. The OSCE uses an actor trained to respond to the learner in a standardized fashion. The negotiation station was part of an 8-station QI OSCE piloted in the Mayo Clinic Endocrinology and Preventive Medicine fellowship programs. External experts judged the content validity to be excellent. Interrater reliability was outstanding for the global competency assessment (0.80) and moderate for checklist scores (0.53). All participating faculty strongly agreed (33.3%) or agreed (66.7%) that the OSCE station was an authentic assessment tool. Further research is needed to study the predictive validity of such an OSCE and its application to assessing other quality improvement competencies. PMID:18820139

  1. Randomized Control Trial: Evaluating Aluminum-Based Antiperspirant Use, Axilla Skin Toxicity, and Reported Quality of Life in Women Receiving External Beam Radiotherapy for Treatment of Stage 0, I, and II Breast Cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Watson, Linda C.; Gies, Donna; Thompson, Emmanuel; Thomas, Bejoy

    2012-05-01

    Purpose: Standard skin care instructions regarding the use of antiperspirants during radiotherapy to the breast varies across North America. Women have articulated that when instructed to not use antiperspirant, the potential for body odor is distressing. Historical practices and individual opinions have often guided practice in this field. The present study had 2 purposes. To evaluate whether the use of aluminum-based antiperspirant while receiving external beam radiotherapy for stage 0, I, or II breast cancer will increase axilla skin toxicity and to evaluate whether the use of antiperspirant during external beam radiotherapy improves quality of life. Methods: A total of 198 participants were randomized to either the experimental group (antiperspirant) or control group (standard care-wash only). The skin reactions in both groups were measured weekly and 2 weeks after treatment using the National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria Adverse Events, version 3, toxicity grading criteria. Both groups completed the Functional Assessment for Chronic Illness Therapy's questionnaire for the breast population quality of life assessment tool, with additional questions evaluating the effect of underarm antiperspirant use on quality of life before treatment, immediately after treatment, and 2 weeks after treatment during the study. Results: The skin reaction data were analyzed using the generalized estimating equation. No statistically significant difference was seen in the skin reaction between the 2 groups over time. The quality of life data also revealed no statistically significant difference between the 2 groups over time. Conclusions: Data analysis indicates that using antiperspirant routinely during external beam radiotherapy for Stage 0, I, or II breast cancer does not affect the intensity of the skin reaction or the self-reported quality of life. This evidence supports that in this particular population, there is no purpose to restrict these women from using

  2. A NEW CLINICAL MUSCLE FUNCTION TEST FOR ASSESSMENT OF HIP EXTERNAL ROTATION STRENGTH: AUGUSTSSON STRENGTH TEST

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Introduction Dynamic clinical tests of hip strength applicable on patients, non–athletes and athletes alike, are lacking. The aim of this study was therefore to develop and evaluate the reliability of a dynamic muscle function test of hip external rotation strength, using a novel device. A second aim was to determine if gender differences exist in absolute and relative hip strength using the new test. Methods Fifty–three healthy sport science students (34 women and 19 men) were tested for hip external rotation strength using a device that consisted of a strap connected in series with an elastic resistance band loop, and a measuring tape connected in parallel with the elastic resistance band. The test was carried out with the subject side lying, positioned in 45 ° of hip flexion and the knees flexed to 90 ° with the device firmly fastened proximally across the knees. The subject then exerted maximal concentric hip external rotation force against the device thereby extending the elastic resistance band. The displacement achieved by the subject was documented by the tape measure and the corresponding force production was calculated. Both right and left hip strength was measured. Fifteen of the subjects were tested on repeated occasions to evaluate test–retest reliability. Results No significant test–retest differences were observed. Intra–class correlation coefficients ranged 0.93–0.94 and coefficients of variation 2.76–4.60%. In absolute values, men were significantly stronger in hip external rotation than women (right side 13.2 vs 11.0 kg, p = 0.001, left side 13.2 vs 11.5 kg, p = 0.002). There were no significant differences in hip external rotation strength normalized for body weight (BW) between men and women (right side 0.17 kg/BW vs 0.17 kg/BW, p = 0.675, left side 0.17 kg/BW vs 0.18 kg/BW, p = 0.156). Conclusions The new muscle function test showed high reliability and thus could be useful for measuring dynamic hip

  3. Total Quality Management in Higher Education: A Critical Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seymour, Daniel; Collett, Casey

    This study attempted a comprehensive, critical assessment of Total Quality Management (TQM) initiatives in higher education. A survey of 25 institutions (including community colleges, private four-year colleges and universities and public colleges) with experience with TQM was developed and used. The survey utilized , attitude scales designed to…

  4. Algorithm for automatic forced spirometry quality assessment: technological developments.

    PubMed

    Melia, Umberto; Burgos, Felip; Vallverdú, Montserrat; Velickovski, Filip; Lluch-Ariet, Magí; Roca, Josep; Caminal, Pere

    2014-01-01

    We hypothesized that the implementation of automatic real-time assessment of quality of forced spirometry (FS) may significantly enhance the potential for extensive deployment of a FS program in the community. Recent studies have demonstrated that the application of quality criteria defined by the ATS/ERS (American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society) in commercially available equipment with automatic quality assessment can be markedly improved. To this end, an algorithm for assessing quality of FS automatically was reported. The current research describes the mathematical developments of the algorithm. An innovative analysis of the shape of the spirometric curve, adding 23 new metrics to the traditional 4 recommended by ATS/ERS, was done. The algorithm was created through a two-step iterative process including: (1) an initial version using the standard FS curves recommended by the ATS; and, (2) a refined version using curves from patients. In each of these steps the results were assessed against one expert's opinion. Finally, an independent set of FS curves from 291 patients was used for validation purposes. The novel mathematical approach to characterize the FS curves led to appropriate FS classification with high specificity (95%) and sensitivity (96%). The results constitute the basis for a successful transfer of FS testing to non-specialized professionals in the community. PMID:25551213

  5. Algorithm for Automatic Forced Spirometry Quality Assessment: Technological Developments

    PubMed Central

    Melia, Umberto; Burgos, Felip; Vallverdú, Montserrat; Velickovski, Filip; Lluch-Ariet, Magí; Roca, Josep; Caminal, Pere

    2014-01-01

    We hypothesized that the implementation of automatic real-time assessment of quality of forced spirometry (FS) may significantly enhance the potential for extensive deployment of a FS program in the community. Recent studies have demonstrated that the application of quality criteria defined by the ATS/ERS (American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society) in commercially available equipment with automatic quality assessment can be markedly improved. To this end, an algorithm for assessing quality of FS automatically was reported. The current research describes the mathematical developments of the algorithm. An innovative analysis of the shape of the spirometric curve, adding 23 new metrics to the traditional 4 recommended by ATS/ERS, was done. The algorithm was created through a two-step iterative process including: (1) an initial version using the standard FS curves recommended by the ATS; and, (2) a refined version using curves from patients. In each of these steps the results were assessed against one expert's opinion. Finally, an independent set of FS curves from 291 patients was used for validation purposes. The novel mathematical approach to characterize the FS curves led to appropriate FS classification with high specificity (95%) and sensitivity (96%). The results constitute the basis for a successful transfer of FS testing to non-specialized professionals in the community. PMID:25551213

  6. Miniature spinning as a fiber quality assessment tool

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Miniature spinning has long been used to assess cotton varieties in a timely manner. It has been an accepted fact that the quality of miniature spinning is less than optimal, but that it allows a direct comparison between cottons during varietal studies. Recently, researchers have made processing ...

  7. Quality Control Charts in Large-Scale Assessment Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schafer, William D.; Coverdale, Bradley J.; Luxenberg, Harlan; Jin, Ying

    2011-01-01

    There are relatively few examples of quantitative approaches to quality control in educational assessment and accountability contexts. Among the several techniques that are used in other fields, Shewart charts have been found in a few instances to be applicable in educational settings. This paper describes Shewart charts and gives examples of how…

  8. Incorporating Contaminant Bioavailability into Sediment Quality Assessment Frameworks

    EPA Science Inventory

    The recently adopted sediment quality assessment framework for evaluating bay and estuarine sediments in the State of California incorporates bulk sediment chemistry as a key line of evidence(LOE) but does not address the bioavailability of measured contaminants. Thus, the chemis...

  9. A Methodological Proposal for Learning Games Selection and Quality Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dondi, Claudio; Moretti, Michela

    2007-01-01

    This paper presents a methodological proposal elaborated in the framework of two European projects dealing with game-based learning, both of which have focused on "quality" aspects in order to create suitable tools that support European educators, practitioners and lifelong learners in selecting and assessing learning games for use in teaching and…

  10. Feedback Effects of Teaching Quality Assessment: Macro and Micro Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bianchini, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates the feedback effects of teaching quality assessment. Previous literature looked separately at the evolution of individual and aggregate scores to understand whether instructors and university performance depends on its past evaluation. I propose a new quantitative-based methodology, combining statistical distributions and…

  11. Quality of Feedback Following Performance Assessments: Does Assessor Expertise Matter?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Govaerts, Marjan J. B.; van de Wiel, Margje W. J.; van der Vleuten, Cees P. M.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: This study aims to investigate quality of feedback as offered by supervisor-assessors with varying levels of assessor expertise following assessment of performance in residency training in a health care setting. It furthermore investigates if and how different levels of assessor expertise influence feedback characteristics.…

  12. Quality Assured Assessment Processes: Evaluating Staff Response to Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Malau-Aduli, Bunmi S.; Zimitat, Craig; Malau-Aduli, Aduli E. O.

    2011-01-01

    Medical education is not exempt from the increasing societal expectations of accountability and this is evidenced by an increasing number of litigation cases by students who are dissatisfied with their assessment. The time and monetary costs of student appeals makes it imperative that medical schools adopt robust quality assured assessment…

  13. The Assessment of Service Quality in Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Delene, Linda; Bunda, Mary Anne

    This paper presents a market driven model for assessing the service quality of support services in higher education, primarily for United States institutions, by examining higher education within the context of a complex service industry. The paper begins by explaining the development of the model and its implications for service management. Next,…

  14. Quality Assessment Parameters for Student Support at Higher Education Institutions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sajiene, Laima; Tamuliene, Rasa

    2012-01-01

    The research presented in this article aims to validate quality assessment parameters for student support at higher education institutions. Student support is discussed as the system of services provided by a higher education institution which helps to develop student-centred curriculum and fulfils students' emotional, academic, social needs, and…

  15. Quality and Assessment in Context: A Brief Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koslowski, Fred A., III

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide a general review for USA and international academic faculty and administrators of the dominant themes and history of quality and assessment in both industry and Higher Education, and how they relate to each other in order to stimulate and encourage debate as well as influence policy.…

  16. Portable Imagery Quality Assessment Test Field for Uav Sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dąbrowski, R.; Jenerowicz, A.

    2015-08-01

    Nowadays the imagery data acquired from UAV sensors are the main source of all data used in various remote sensing applications, photogrammetry projects and in imagery intelligence (IMINT) as well as in other tasks as decision support. Therefore quality assessment of such imagery is an important task. The research team from Military University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geodesy, Geodesy Institute, Department of Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry has designed and prepared special test field- The Portable Imagery Quality Assessment Test Field (PIQuAT) that provides quality assessment in field conditions of images obtained with sensors mounted on UAVs. The PIQuAT consists of 6 individual segments, when combined allow for determine radiometric, spectral and spatial resolution of images acquired from UAVs. All segments of the PIQuAT can be used together in various configurations or independently. All elements of The Portable Imagery Quality Assessment Test Field were tested in laboratory conditions in terms of their radiometry and spectral reflectance characteristics.

  17. A research review of quality assessment for software

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    Measures were recommended to assess the quality of software submitted to the AdaNet program. The quality factors that are important to software reuse are explored and methods of evaluating those factors are discussed. Quality factors important to software reuse are: correctness, reliability, verifiability, understandability, modifiability, and certifiability. Certifiability is included because the documentation of many factors about a software component such as its efficiency, portability, and development history, constitute a class for factors important to some users, not important at all to other, and impossible for AdaNet to distinguish between a priori. The quality factors may be assessed in different ways. There are a few quantitative measures which have been shown to indicate software quality. However, it is believed that there exists many factors that indicate quality and have not been empirically validated due to their subjective nature. These subjective factors are characterized by the way in which they support the software engineering principles of abstraction, information hiding, modularity, localization, confirmability, uniformity, and completeness.

  18. Colonoscopy video quality assessment using hidden Markov random fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Sun Young; Sargent, Dusty; Spofford, Inbar; Vosburgh, Kirby

    2011-03-01

    With colonoscopy becoming a common procedure for individuals aged 50 or more who are at risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC), colon video data is being accumulated at an ever increasing rate. However, the clinically valuable information contained in these videos is not being maximally exploited to improve patient care and accelerate the development of new screening methods. One of the well-known difficulties in colonoscopy video analysis is the abundance of frames with no diagnostic information. Approximately 40% - 50% of the frames in a colonoscopy video are contaminated by noise, acquisition errors, glare, blur, and uneven illumination. Therefore, filtering out low quality frames containing no diagnostic information can significantly improve the efficiency of colonoscopy video analysis. To address this challenge, we present a quality assessment algorithm to detect and remove low quality, uninformative frames. The goal of our algorithm is to discard low quality frames while retaining all diagnostically relevant information. Our algorithm is based on a hidden Markov model (HMM) in combination with two measures of data quality to filter out uninformative frames. Furthermore, we present a two-level framework based on an embedded hidden Markov model (EHHM) to incorporate the proposed quality assessment algorithm into a complete, automated diagnostic image analysis system for colonoscopy video.

  19. Display device-adapted video quality-of-experience assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rehman, Abdul; Zeng, Kai; Wang, Zhou

    2015-03-01

    Today's viewers consume video content from a variety of connected devices, including smart phones, tablets, notebooks, TVs, and PCs. This imposes significant challenges for managing video traffic efficiently to ensure an acceptable quality-of-experience (QoE) for the end users as the perceptual quality of video content strongly depends on the properties of the display device and the viewing conditions. State-of-the-art full-reference objective video quality assessment algorithms do not take into account the combined impact of display device properties, viewing conditions, and video resolution while performing video quality assessment. We performed a subjective study in order to understand the impact of aforementioned factors on perceptual video QoE. We also propose a full reference video QoE measure, named SSIMplus, that provides real-time prediction of the perceptual quality of a video based on human visual system behaviors, video content characteristics (such as spatial and temporal complexity, and video resolution), display device properties (such as screen size, resolution, and brightness), and viewing conditions (such as viewing distance and angle). Experimental results have shown that the proposed algorithm outperforms state-of-the-art video quality measures in terms of accuracy and speed.

  20. Assessing local resources and culture before instituting quality improvement projects.

    PubMed

    Hawkins, C Matthew

    2014-12-01

    The planning phases of quality improvement projects are commonly overlooked. Disorganized planning and implementation can escalate chaos, intensify resistance to change, and increase the likelihood of failure. Two important steps in the planning phase are (1) assessing local resources available to aid in the quality improvement project and (2) evaluating the culture in which the desired change is to be implemented. Assessing local resources includes identifying and engaging key stakeholders and evaluating if appropriate expertise is available for the scope of the project. This process also involves engaging informaticists and gathering available IT tools to plan and automate (to the extent possible) the data-gathering, analysis, and feedback steps. Culture in a department is influenced by the ability and willingness to manage resistance to change, build consensus, span boundaries between stakeholders, and become a learning organization. Allotting appropriate time to perform these preparatory steps will increase the odds of successfully performing a quality improvement project and implementing change. PMID:25467724

  1. [The assessment of bone quality in lifestyle-related diseases].

    PubMed

    Yamauchi, Mika

    2016-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus(DM)and other lifestyle-related diseases are associated with an increased risk of bone quality deterioration-type osteoporosis. The deterioration of bone quality in type 2 DM involves factors such as qualitative changes of collagens, reduction in bone turnover, narrow cortical bone diameter, increased cortical bone porosity, and destruction of trabecular bone microarchitecture. In mild to moderate chronic kidney disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the factors involved are thought to be hyperhomocysteinemia and deterioration of trabecular bone microarchitecture as well as cortical bone structure. Investigations of the usefulness of bone quality assessment using approaches such as the following are under way : biocheminal markers such as pentosidine and homocysteine, bone structure assessment methods such as hip structure analysis, trabecular bone score, and high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography. PMID:26728532

  2. Water Quality Assessment of Ayeyarwady River in Myanmar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thatoe Nwe Win, Thanda; Bogaard, Thom; van de Giesen, Nick

    2015-04-01

    Myanmar's socio-economic activities, urbanisation, industrial operations and agricultural production have increased rapidly in recent years. With the increase of socio-economic development and climate change impacts, there is an increasing threat on quantity and quality of water resources. In Myanmar, some of the drinking water coverage still comes from unimproved sources including rivers. The Ayeyarwady River is the main river in Myanmar draining most of the country's area. The use of chemical fertilizer in the agriculture, the mining activities in the catchment area, wastewater effluents from the industries and communities and other development activities generate pollutants of different nature. Therefore water quality monitoring is of utmost importance. In Myanmar, there are many government organizations linked to water quality management. Each water organization monitors water quality for their own purposes. The monitoring is haphazard, short term and based on individual interest and the available equipment. The monitoring is not properly coordinated and a quality assurance programme is not incorporated in most of the work. As a result, comprehensive data on the water quality of rivers in Myanmar is not available. To provide basic information, action is needed at all management levels. The need for comprehensive and accurate assessments of trends in water quality has been recognized. For such an assessment, reliable monitoring data are essential. The objective of our work is to set-up a multi-objective surface water quality monitoring programme. The need for a scientifically designed network to monitor the Ayeyarwady river water quality is obvious as only limited and scattered data on water quality is available. However, the set-up should also take into account the current socio-economic situation and should be flexible to adjust after first years of monitoring. Additionally, a state-of-the-art baseline river water quality sampling program is required which

  3. A reconsideration of the external dose assessment for the Techa river population.

    PubMed

    Mokrov, Yuri G

    2002-12-01

    A new methodology is employed to infer the time course of the external dose rate that affected the Techa riverside population. This was accomplished using information on the radionuclide composition of released radioactive waste and from earlier and current data on the degree of the river floodplain contamination with (137)Cs. The new approach is proposed for use in the dose reconstruction. Compared to current assumptions it indicates a considerably higher dose contribution due to short-lived fission products from the predominant peak of contamination in 1951. Relative to the present Techa river dosimetry system (TRDS-2000) this information may increase the external dose estimates several fold and correspondingly reduce the solid cancer risk estimate. PMID:12541077

  4. Illustrated Field Guide for Assessing External and Internal Anomalies in Fish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, Stephen B.; Donahue, Anne P.; Lipkin, Robin J.; Blazer, Vicki; Schmitt, Christopher J.; Goede, Ronald W.

    2002-01-01

    Procedures are described for processing fish for examination of external and internal anomalies and pathologies indicative of exposure to environmental contaminants and other peturbations. For the procedures described here, fish are captured (preferably by electrofishing) and held alive until processing (generally < 1 h). Fish are weighed, measured, and necropsied, and a scale sample is obtained from for age determination. Information is given for the collection and preservation of tissue samples for histopathological analysis. Photographs of most abnormalities are included along with normal conditions for easier identification of external (oral, head, eye, gill, opercula, and fin) and internal (liver, spleen, gonad, and kidney) anomalies. The report also includes recommendations for record keeping, sample labeling, and shipping records, equipment, supplies,and samples. A list of suggested equipment and supplies for field processing is included as are instructions for cleaning equipment.

  5. Joint probability safety assessment for NPP defense infrastructure against extreme external natural hazards

    SciTech Connect

    Guilin, L.; Defu, L.; Huajun, L.; Fengqing, W.; Tao, Z.

    2012-07-01

    With the increasing tendency of natural hazards, the typhoon, hurricane and tropical Cyclone induced surge, wave, precipitation, flood and wind as extreme external loads menacing Nuclear Power Plants (NPP) in coastal and inland provinces of China. For all of planned, designed And constructed NPP the National Nuclear Safety Administration of China and IAEA recommended Probable Maximum Hurricane /Typhoon/(PMH/T), Probable Maximum Storm Surge (PMSS), Probable Maximum Flood (PMF), Design Basis Flood (DBF) as safety regulations for NPP defense infrastructures. This paper discusses the joint probability analysis of simultaneous occurrence typhoon induced extreme external hazards and compare with IAEA 2006-2009 recommended safety regulation design criteria for some NPP defense infrastructures along China coast. (authors)

  6. Preliminary FISH-based assessment of external dose for residents exposed on the Techa River.

    PubMed

    Vozilova, A V; Shagina, N B; Degteva, M O; Edwards, A A; Ainsbury, E A; Moquet, J E; Hone, P; Lloyd, D C; Fomina, J N; Darroudi, F

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a feasibility cytogenetic study using the fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) translocation assay for residents of villages located on the Techa River (Southern Urals, Russia) contaminated with liquid radioactive wastes from the Mayak plutonium facility in 1949-1956. The study was conducted with two groups of donors that differed in their main pathways of exposure. The first group comprised 18 residents of the middle Techa region who were exposed predominantly from ingestion of radionuclides (mostly (89,90)Sr) via the river water and local foodstuffs. The second group included 20 residents of Metlino, the closest village to the site of releases, who were exposed to external γ radiation from the contaminated river bank and exposed internally from dietary intake of radionuclides. A significant linear dependence between the radiation-induced translocation frequency and individual red bone marrow dose from incorporated (89,90)Sr, calculated with the Techa River Dosimetry System (TRDS), was found in the first group of donors. This allowed us to take the contribution of (89,90)Sr to the total radiation-induced translocation frequency into account for the second group of donors and to analyze translocations resulting from external γ-ray exposure. Individual doses from external exposure derived from the corrected translocation frequency for the second group of donors (Metlino residents), using a linear dose-response coefficient of 0.015 translocation/cell/Gy recommended by Edwards et al. in 2005, were shown to vary up to 2.1 Gy, with an average value of 0.48 Gy, which was in agreement with TRDS-based external dose estimates for Metlino residents. PMID:22026585

  7. Assessment of the Antimicrobial Activity of Algae Extracts on Bacteria Responsible of External Otitis

    PubMed Central

    Pane, Gianluca; Cacciola, Gabriele; Giacco, Elisabetta; Mariottini, Gian Luigi; Coppo, Erika

    2015-01-01

    External otitis is a diffuse inflammation around the external auditory canal and auricle, which is often occurred by microbial infection. This disease is generally treated using antibiotics, but the frequent occurrence of antibiotic resistance requires the development of new antibiotic agents. In this context, unexplored bioactive natural candidates could be a chance for the production of targeted drugs provided with antimicrobial activity. In this paper, microbial pathogens were isolated from patients with external otitis using ear swabs for over one year, and the antimicrobial activity of the two methanol extracts from selected marine (Dunaliella salina) and freshwater (Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata) microalgae was tested on the isolated pathogens. Totally, 114 bacterial and 11 fungal strains were isolated, of which Staphylococcus spp. (28.8%) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) (24.8%) were the major pathogens. Only three Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) strains and 11 coagulase-negative Staphylococci showed resistance to methicillin. The two algal extracts showed interesting antimicrobial properties, which mostly inhibited the growth of isolated S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella spp. with MICs range of 1.4 × 109 to 2.2 × 1010 cells/mL. These results suggest that the two algae have potential as resources for the development of antimicrobial agents. PMID:26492256

  8. Evaluating the Role of Content in Subjective Video Quality Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Vrgovic, Petar

    2014-01-01

    Video quality as perceived by human observers is the ground truth when Video Quality Assessment (VQA) is in question. It is dependent on many variables, one of them being the content of the video that is being evaluated. Despite the evidence that content has an impact on the quality score the sequence receives from human evaluators, currently available VQA databases mostly comprise of sequences which fail to take this into account. In this paper, we aim to identify and analyze differences between human cognitive, affective, and conative responses to a set of videos commonly used for VQA and a set of videos specifically chosen to include video content which might affect the judgment of evaluators when perceived video quality is in question. Our findings indicate that considerable differences exist between the two sets on selected factors, which leads us to conclude that videos starring a different type of content than the currently employed ones might be more appropriate for VQA. PMID:24523643

  9. Space Shuttle flying qualities and flight control system assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myers, T. T.; Mcruer, D. T.; Johnston, D. E.

    1982-01-01

    This paper reviews issues, data, and analyses relevant to the longitudinal flying qualities of the Space Shuttle in approach and landing. The manual control of attitude and path are first examined theoretically to demonstrate the unconventional nature of the Shuttle's augmented pitch and path response characteristics. The time domain pitch rate transient response criterion used for design of the Shuttle flight control system is examined in context with data from recent flying qualities experiments and operational aircraft. Questions arising from this examination are addressed through comparisons with MIL-F-8785C and other proposed flying qualities criteria which indicate potential longitudinal flying qualities problems. However, it is shown that these criteria, based largely on data from conventional aircraft, may be inappropriate for assessing the Shuttle.

  10. Current external beam radiation therapy quality assurance guidance: does it meet the challenges of emerging image-guided technologies?

    PubMed

    Palta, Jatinder R; Liu, Chihray; Li, Jonathan G

    2008-01-01

    The traditional prescriptive quality assurance (QA) programs that attempt to ensure the safety and reliability of traditional external beam radiation therapy are limited in their applicability to such advanced radiation therapy techniques as three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy, inverse treatment planning, stereotactic radiosurgery/radiotherapy, and image-guided radiation therapy. The conventional QA paradigm, illustrated by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine Radiation Therapy Committee Task Group 40 (TG-40) report, consists of developing a consensus menu of tests and device performance specifications from a generic process model that is assumed to apply to all clinical applications of the device. The complexity, variation in practice patterns, and level of automation of high-technology radiotherapy renders this "one-size-fits-all" prescriptive QA paradigm ineffective or cost prohibitive if the high-probability error pathways of all possible clinical applications of the device are to be covered. The current approaches to developing comprehensive prescriptive QA protocols can be prohibitively time consuming and cost ineffective and may sometimes fail to adequately safeguard patients. It therefore is important to evaluate more formal error mitigation and process analysis methods of industrial engineering to more optimally focus available QA resources on process components that have a significant likelihood of compromising patient safety or treatment outcomes. PMID:18406911

  11. Health-related quality of life assessment in clinical practice.

    PubMed

    Meers, C; Singer, M A

    1996-01-01

    Assessment of biochemical responses to therapy is routine in the management of patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD). Assessment of health-related quality of life (HRQOL), however, is less common. Previous research indicates that HRQOL is a meaningful indicator that should be integrated into clinical practice. HRQOL is longitudinally evaluated in in-centre hemodialysis patients using the RAND 36-item Health Survey 1.0. Caregivers incorporate scores from this instrument into their assessment of patient functioning and well-being. HRQOL scores can be utilized to evaluate responses to changes in therapy, and to direct clinical decision-making, adding an important dimension to holistic, quality care for ESRD patients. PMID:8900807

  12. Learning to rank for blind image quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Gao, Fei; Tao, Dacheng; Gao, Xinbo; Li, Xuelong

    2015-10-01

    Blind image quality assessment (BIQA) aims to predict perceptual image quality scores without access to reference images. State-of-the-art BIQA methods typically require subjects to score a large number of images to train a robust model. However, subjective quality scores are imprecise, biased, and inconsistent, and it is challenging to obtain a large-scale database, or to extend existing databases, because of the inconvenience of collecting images, training the subjects, conducting subjective experiments, and realigning human quality evaluations. To combat these limitations, this paper explores and exploits preference image pairs (PIPs) such as the quality of image Ia is better than that of image Ib for training a robust BIQA model. The preference label, representing the relative quality of two images, is generally precise and consistent, and is not sensitive to image content, distortion type, or subject identity; such PIPs can be generated at a very low cost. The proposed BIQA method is one of learning to rank. We first formulate the problem of learning the mapping from the image features to the preference label as one of classification. In particular, we investigate the utilization of a multiple kernel learning algorithm based on group lasso to provide a solution. A simple but effective strategy to estimate perceptual image quality scores is then presented. Experiments show that the proposed BIQA method is highly effective and achieves a performance comparable with that of state-of-the-art BIQA algorithms. Moreover, the proposed method can be easily extended to new distortion categories. PMID:25616080

  13. No-reference quality assessment based on visual perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Junshan; Yang, Yawei; Hu, Shuangyan; Zhang, Jiao

    2014-11-01

    The visual quality assessment of images/videos is an ongoing hot research topic, which has become more and more important for numerous image and video processing applications with the rapid development of digital imaging and communication technologies. The goal of image quality assessment (IQA) algorithms is to automatically assess the quality of images/videos in agreement with human quality judgments. Up to now, two kinds of models have been used for IQA, namely full-reference (FR) and no-reference (NR) models. For FR models, IQA algorithms interpret image quality as fidelity or similarity with a perfect image in some perceptual space. However, the reference image is not available in many practical applications, and a NR IQA approach is desired. Considering natural vision as optimized by the millions of years of evolutionary pressure, many methods attempt to achieve consistency in quality prediction by modeling salient physiological and psychological features of the human visual system (HVS). To reach this goal, researchers try to simulate HVS with image sparsity coding and supervised machine learning, which are two main features of HVS. A typical HVS captures the scenes by sparsity coding, and uses experienced knowledge to apperceive objects. In this paper, we propose a novel IQA approach based on visual perception. Firstly, a standard model of HVS is studied and analyzed, and the sparse representation of image is accomplished with the model; and then, the mapping correlation between sparse codes and subjective quality scores is trained with the regression technique of least squaresupport vector machine (LS-SVM), which gains the regressor that can predict the image quality; the visual metric of image is predicted with the trained regressor at last. We validate the performance of proposed approach on Laboratory for Image and Video Engineering (LIVE) database, the specific contents of the type of distortions present in the database are: 227 images of JPEG2000, 233

  14. External quality-assurance results for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network, 1995-96

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gordon, John D.

    1999-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey operated four external quality-assurance programs for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network (NADP/NTN) in 1995 and 1996: the intersite-comparison program, the blind-audit program, the interlaboratory- comparison program, and the collocated-sampler program. The intersite-comparison program assessed the precision and bias of pH and specific-conductance determinations made by NADP/NTN site operators. The analytical bias introduced during routine handling, processing, and shipping of wet-deposition samples and precision of analyte values was estimated using a blind-audit program. An interlaboratory-comparison program was used to evaluate differences between analytical results and to estimate the analytical precision of five North American laboratories that routinely analyzed wet deposition. A collocated-sampler program estimated the precision of the overall precipitation collection and analysis system from initial sample collection through final storage of the data. Results of two intersite-comparison studies completed in 1995 indicated 94.6 and 94.4 percent of the onsite pH determinations met the NADP/NTN accuracy goals, whereas 97.2 and 98.3 percent of the specific-conductance determinations were within the established limits. The percentages of onsite determinations that met the accuracy goals in 1996 were slightly less for both pH and specific-conductance than in 1995. In 1996, 93.2 and 87.5 percent of onsite pH determinations met the accuracy goals, whereas the percentage of onsite specific-conductance measurements that met the goals was 93.9 and 94.9 percent.The blind audit program utilizes a paired sample design to evaluate the effects of routine sample handling, processing and shipping on the chemistry of weekly precipitation samples. The portion of the blind audit sample subject to all of the normal onsite handling and processing steps of a regular weekly precipitation sample is referred to as the bucket

  15. Decentralization of Acid Fast Bacilli(AFB) External Quality Assurance Using Blind Rechecking for Sputum Smear Microscopy in Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    Melese, Muluken; Jerene, Degu; Alem, Genetu; Seid, Jemal; Belachew, Feleke; Kassie, Yewulsew; Habte, Dereje; Negash, Solomon; Ayana, Gonfa; Girma, Belaineh; Haile, Yared K.; Hiruy, Nebiyu; Suarez, Pedro G.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Ethiopia achieved a rapid expansion of TB microscopic centers for acid fast bacilli (AFB). However, external quality assurance (EQA) services were, until recently, limited to few regional and sub-regional laboratories. In this paper, we describe the decentralization experience and the result of EQA using random blinded rechecking. Materials and Methods The routine EQA quarterly report was compiled and analyzed. A positive result by the microscopic center while the EQA center reported negative result is categorized as false positive (FP). A negative result by the microscopic center while the EQA center reported positive is considered false negative (FN). The reading of EQA centers was considered a gold standard to compute the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive (PPV) and negative predictive values (NPV) of the readings of microscopic centers. Results We decentralized sputum smear AFB EQA from 4 Regional Laboratories (RRLs) to 82 EQA centers and enrolled 956 health facilities in EQA schemes. Enrollment of HFs in EQA was gradual because it required training and mentoring laboratory professionals, institutionalizing internal QA measures, equipping all HFs to perform diagnosis, and establishing more EQA centers. From 2012 to 2014 (Phase I), the FP rate declined from 0.6% to 0.2% and FN fell from as high as 7.6% to 1.6% in supported health facilities (HFs). In HFs that joined in Phase II, FN rates ranged from 5.6 to 7.3%. The proportion of HFs without errors has increased from 77.9% to 90.5% in Phase I HFs and from 82.9% to 86.9% in Phase II HFs. Overall sensitivity and specificity were 95.0% and 99.7%, respectively. PPV and NPV were 93.3% and 99.7%, respectively. Conclusion Decentralizing blinded rechecking of sputum smear microscopy is feasible in low-income settings. While a comprehensive laboratory improvement strategy enhanced the quality of microscopy, laboratory professionals’ capacity in slide reading and smear quality requires continued

  16. Quality assessment of systematic reviews on alveolar socket preservation.

    PubMed

    Moraschini, V; Barboza, E Dos S P

    2016-09-01

    The aim of this overview was to evaluate and compare the quality of systematic reviews, with or without meta-analysis, that have evaluated studies on techniques or biomaterials used for the preservation of alveolar sockets post tooth extraction in humans. An electronic search was conducted without date restrictions using the Medline/PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science databases up to April 2015. Eligibility criteria included systematic reviews, with or without meta-analysis, focused on the preservation of post-extraction alveolar sockets in humans. Two independent authors assessed the quality of the included reviews using AMSTAR and the checklist proposed by Glenny et al. in 2003. After the selection process, 12 systematic reviews were included. None of these reviews obtained the maximum score using the quality assessment tools implemented, and the results of the analyses were highly variable. A significant statistical correlation was observed between the scores of the two checklists. A wide structural and methodological variability was observed between the systematic reviews published on the preservation of alveolar sockets post tooth extraction. None of the reviews evaluated obtained the maximum score using the two quality assessment tools implemented. PMID:27061478

  17. Using the data quality objectives process in risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-07-01

    The Environmental Protection Agency`s Quality Assurance Management Staff has developed a systematic process, the Data Quality Objectives (DQO) process, as an important tool for assisting project managers and planners in determining the type, quantity, and quality of environmental data sufficient for environmental decision-making. This information brief presents the basic concepts of, and information requirements for using the DQO process to plan the collection of the necessary environmental data, to support the performance of human health risk assessments under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act or Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The goal of the DQO process is to identify the type, quality, and quantity of data required to support remedial action decisions which are based on risk assessment and its associated uncertainties. The DQO process consists of a number of discrete steps. These steps include a statement of the problem and the decision to be made, identifying inputs to the decision, developing a decision rule, and optimizing the design for data collection. In defining the data for input into the decision, a Site Conceptual Exposure Model should be developed to identify the existing or potential complete exposure pathways. To determine the data quality for use din the risk assessment, the DQO team must assist the decision-maker to define the acceptable level of uncertainty for making site-specific decisions. To determine the quantity of data needed, the DQO team utilizes the established target cleanup level, previously collected data and variability, and the acceptable errors. The results of the DQO process are qualitative and quantitative statements that define the scope of risk assessment data to be collected to support a defensible site risk management decision.

  18. Assessing technical performance in differential gene expression experiments with external spike-in RNA control ratio mixtures.

    PubMed

    Munro, Sarah A; Lund, Steven P; Pine, P Scott; Binder, Hans; Clevert, Djork-Arné; Conesa, Ana; Dopazo, Joaquin; Fasold, Mario; Hochreiter, Sepp; Hong, Huixiao; Jafari, Nadereh; Kreil, David P; Łabaj, Paweł P; Li, Sheng; Liao, Yang; Lin, Simon M; Meehan, Joseph; Mason, Christopher E; Santoyo-Lopez, Javier; Setterquist, Robert A; Shi, Leming; Shi, Wei; Smyth, Gordon K; Stralis-Pavese, Nancy; Su, Zhenqiang; Tong, Weida; Wang, Charles; Wang, Jian; Xu, Joshua; Ye, Zhan; Yang, Yong; Yu, Ying; Salit, Marc

    2014-01-01

    There is a critical need for standard approaches to assess, report and compare the technical performance of genome-scale differential gene expression experiments. Here we assess technical performance with a proposed standard 'dashboard' of metrics derived from analysis of external spike-in RNA control ratio mixtures. These control ratio mixtures with defined abundance ratios enable assessment of diagnostic performance of differentially expressed transcript lists, limit of detection of ratio (LODR) estimates and expression ratio variability and measurement bias. The performance metrics suite is applicable to analysis of a typical experiment, and here we also apply these metrics to evaluate technical performance among laboratories. An interlaboratory study using identical samples shared among 12 laboratories with three different measurement processes demonstrates generally consistent diagnostic power across 11 laboratories. Ratio measurement variability and bias are also comparable among laboratories for the same measurement process. We observe different biases for measurement processes using different mRNA-enrichment protocols. PMID:25254650

  19. Thermo-optic quality assessment of doped optical ceramics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willis, Christina C. C.; Bradford, Joshua D.; Maddox, Emily; Shah, Lawrence; Richardson, Martin

    2013-03-01

    The use of optical quality ceramics for laser applications is expanding, and with this expansion there is an increasing need for diagnostics to assess the quality of these materials. Ceramic material with flaws and contaminants yields significantly less efficient performance as laser gain media and can generate excessive amounts of waste heat. This is a concern that is especially relevant in high power laser applications where thermally induced damage can be catastrophic. In order to assess a set of ceramic and crystalline samples we induce and measure thermal lensing in order to produce a relative ranking based on the extent of the induced thermal lens. In these experiments thermal lensing is induced in a set of nine 10% Yb:YAG ceramic and single-crystal samples using a high power 940 nm diode, and their thermal response is measured using a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor. The materials are also ranked by their transmission in the visible region. Discrepancies between the two ranking methods reveal that transmission in the visible region alone is not adequate for an assessment of the overall quality of ceramic samples. The thermal lensing diagnostic technique proves to be a reliable and quick over-all assessment method of doped ceramic materials without requiring any a priori knowledge of material properties.

  20. Web Service for Positional Quality Assessment: the Wps Tier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xavier, E. M. A.; Ariza-López, F. J.; Ureña-Cámara, M. A.

    2015-08-01

    In the field of spatial data every day we have more and more information available, but we still have little or very little information about the quality of spatial data. We consider that the automation of the spatial data quality assessment is a true need for the geomatic sector, and that automation is possible by means of web processing services (WPS), and the application of specific assessment procedures. In this paper we propose and develop a WPS tier centered on the automation of the positional quality assessment. An experiment using the NSSDA positional accuracy method is presented. The experiment involves the uploading by the client of two datasets (reference and evaluation data). The processing is to determine homologous pairs of points (by distance) and calculate the value of positional accuracy under the NSSDA standard. The process generates a small report that is sent to the client. From our experiment, we reached some conclusions on the advantages and disadvantages of WPSs when applied to the automation of spatial data accuracy assessments.