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Sample records for activity-based costing approach

  1. Counting the costs of accreditation in acute care: an activity-based costing approach

    PubMed Central

    Mumford, Virginia; Greenfield, David; Hogden, Anne; Forde, Kevin; Westbrook, Johanna; Braithwaite, Jeffrey

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To assess the costs of hospital accreditation in Australia. Design Mixed methods design incorporating: stakeholder analysis; survey design and implementation; activity-based costs analysis; and expert panel review. Setting Acute care hospitals accredited by the Australian Council for Health Care Standards. Participants Six acute public hospitals across four States. Results Accreditation costs varied from 0.03% to 0.60% of total hospital operating costs per year, averaged across the 4-year accreditation cycle. Relatively higher costs were associated with the surveys years and with smaller facilities. At a national level these costs translate to $A36.83 million, equivalent to 0.1% of acute public hospital recurrent expenditure in the 2012 fiscal year. Conclusions This is the first time accreditation costs have been independently evaluated across a wide range of hospitals and highlights the additional cost burden for smaller facilities. A better understanding of the costs allows policymakers to assess alternative accreditation and other quality improvement strategies, and understand their impact across a range of facilities. This methodology can be adapted to assess international accreditation programmes. PMID:26351190

  2. Determination of chest x-ray cost using activity based costing approach at Penang General Hospital, Malaysia

    PubMed Central

    Atif, Muhammad; Sulaiman, Syed Azhar Syed; Shafie, Asrul Akmal; Saleem, Fahad; Ahmad, Nafees

    2012-01-01

    Background Activity based costing (ABC) is an approach to get insight of true costs and to solve accounting problems. It provides more accurate information on product cost than conventional accounting system. The purpose of this study was to identify detailed resource consumption for chest x-ray procedure. Methods Human resource cost was calculated by multiplying the mean time spent by employees doing specific activity to their per-minute salaries. The costs of consumables and clinical equipments were obtained from the procurement section of the Radiology Department. The cost of the building was calculated by multiplying the area of space used by the chest X-ray facility with the unit cost of public building department. Moreover, straight-line deprecation with a discount rate of 3% was assumed for calculation of equivalent annual costs for building and machines. Cost of electricity was calculated by multiplying number of kilo watts used by electrical appliance in the year 2010 with electricity tariff for Malaysian commercial consumers (MYR 0.31 per kWh). Results Five activities were identified which were required to develop one chest X-ray film. Human resource, capital, consumable and electricity cost was MYR 1.48, MYR 1.98, MYR 2.15 and MYR 0.04, respectively. Total cost of single chest X-ray was MYR 5.65 (USD 1.75). Conclusion By applying ABC approach, we can have more detailed and precise estimate of cost for specific activity or service. Choice of repeating a chest X-ray can be based on our findings, when cost is a limiting factor. PMID:22891098

  3. Improving hospital cost accounting with activity-based costing.

    PubMed

    Chan, Y C

    1993-01-01

    In this article, activity-based costing, an approach that has proved to be an improvement over the conventional costing system in product costing, is introduced. By combining activity-based costing with standard costing, health care administrators can better plan and control the costs of health services provided while ensuring that the organization's bottom line is healthy.

  4. Why activity-based costing works.

    PubMed

    Gabram, S G; Mendola, R A; Rozenfeld, J; Gamelli, R L

    1997-01-01

    With advancing technology and the quest for delineating the true cost of a procedure or diagnostic test, cost accounting techniques are being re-explored in the health care setting. Activity-based costing (ABC), adopted from other businesses, is one such example that has applications in the health industry. The purpose of this paper is to enhance the understanding of health care costs among physician providers, emphasizing a new approach--activity-based costing. PMID:10169347

  5. Why activity-based costing works.

    PubMed

    Gabram, S G; Mendola, R A; Rozenfeld, J; Gamelli, R L

    1997-01-01

    With advancing technology and the quest for delineating the true cost of a procedure or diagnostic test, cost accounting techniques are being re-explored in the health care setting. Activity-based costing (ABC), adopted from other businesses, is one such example that has applications in the health industry. The purpose of this paper is to enhance the understanding of health care costs among physician providers, emphasizing a new approach--activity-based costing.

  6. Full-cost determination of different levels of care in the intensive care unit. An activity-based costing approach.

    PubMed

    Doyle, J J; Casciano, J P; Arikian, S R; Mauskopf, J; Paul, J E

    1996-10-01

    We applied an activity-based costing methodology to determine the full cost of intensive care service at a community hospital, a university hospital and a health maintenance organisation (HMO)-affiliated hospital. A total of 5 patient care units were analysed: the intensive care unit (ICU) and surgical ICU (SICU) at the university setting, the ICU at the community setting, and the SICU and cardiac care unit at the HMO setting. The selection of the different ICU types was based on the types of critical care units that were found in each setting (e.g. the HMO did not have an ICU). Institution-specific cost data and clinical management parameters were collected through surveys and site visits from the 3 respective organisation types. The analysis revealed a marked increase in patient-minute cost associated with mechanical ventilation. Higher costs associated with prolonged neuromuscular blockade have important economic implications with respect to selection of an appropriate neuromuscular blocking agent.

  7. Activity-based costing saves on supply distribution costs.

    PubMed

    1997-10-01

    Activity-based costing is coming, but is your organization ready? A few pioneering hospitals are already reaping the operational and economic benefits of activity-based costing in their materials management, and now the VHA purchasing alliance is offering this costing option to its 1,200 hospital members. The concept is simple, so why aren't there more takers? Here are the details on this pragmatic pricing approach that could save your facility plenty.

  8. Allocating physicians' overhead costs to services: an econometric/accounting-activity based-approach.

    PubMed

    Peden, Al; Baker, Judith J

    2002-01-01

    Using the optimizing properties of econometric analysis, this study analyzes how physician overhead costs (OC) can be allocated to multiple activities to maximize precision in reimbursing the costs of services. Drawing on work by Leibenstein and Friedman, the analysis also shows that allocating OC to multiple activities unbiased by revenue requires controlling for revenue when making the estimates. Further econometric analysis shows that it is possible to save about 10 percent of OC by paying only for those that are necessary.

  9. Using activity-based costing in surgery.

    PubMed

    Grandlich, Cheryl

    2004-01-01

    ACTIVITY-BASED COSTING is an accounting technique that allows organizations to determine actual costs associated with their services based on the resources they consume. THIS TECHNIQUE can be used in a variety of ways, including targeting high-cost activities, forecasting financial baselines, and supporting resource allocation. FOUR STEPS should be followed when applying activity-based costing to surgical procedures. THIS ARTICLE explores how Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, Milwaukee, used activity-based costing.

  10. ABC's of Higher Education. Getting Back to the Basics: An Activity-Based Costing Approach to Planning and Financial Decision Making. AIR 1999 Annual Forum Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cox, Kelline S.; Downey, Ronald G.; Smith, Laurinda G.

    This paper describes the activity-based costing approach used to report and capture the time spent by faculty for specified activities at one Midwestern university. For each department, four major areas (instruction, research, public service, and administration) and 14 activities were identified. During the annual goal-setting period, each faculty…

  11. Time-driven activity-based costing.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Robert S; Anderson, Steven R

    2004-11-01

    In the classroom, activity-based costing (ABC) looks like a great way to manage a company's limited resources. But executives who have tried to implement ABC in their organizations on any significant scale have often abandoned the attempt in the face of rising costs and employee irritation. They should try again, because a new approach sidesteps the difficulties associated with large-scale ABC implementation. In the revised model, managers estimate the resource demands imposed by each transaction, product, or customer, rather than relying on time-consuming and costly employee surveys. This method is simpler since it requires, for each group of resources, estimates of only two parameters: how much it costs per time unit to supply resources to the business's activities (the total overhead expenditure of a department divided by the total number of minutes of employee time available) and how much time it takes to carry out one unit of each kind of activity (as estimated or observed by the manager). This approach also overcomes a serious technical problem associated with employee surveys: the fact that, when asked to estimate time spent on activities, employees invariably report percentages that add up to 100. Under the new system, managers take into account time that is idle or unused. Armed with the data, managers then construct time equations, a new feature that enables the model to reflect the complexity of real-world operations by showing how specific order, customer, and activity characteristics cause processing times to vary. This Tool Kit uses concrete examples to demonstrate how managers can obtain meaningful cost and profitability information, quickly and inexpensively. Rather than endlessly updating and maintaining ABC data,they can now spend their time addressing the deficiencies the model reveals: inefficient processes, unprofitable products and customers, and excess capacity.

  12. Time-driven activity-based costing.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Robert S; Anderson, Steven R

    2004-11-01

    In the classroom, activity-based costing (ABC) looks like a great way to manage a company's limited resources. But executives who have tried to implement ABC in their organizations on any significant scale have often abandoned the attempt in the face of rising costs and employee irritation. They should try again, because a new approach sidesteps the difficulties associated with large-scale ABC implementation. In the revised model, managers estimate the resource demands imposed by each transaction, product, or customer, rather than relying on time-consuming and costly employee surveys. This method is simpler since it requires, for each group of resources, estimates of only two parameters: how much it costs per time unit to supply resources to the business's activities (the total overhead expenditure of a department divided by the total number of minutes of employee time available) and how much time it takes to carry out one unit of each kind of activity (as estimated or observed by the manager). This approach also overcomes a serious technical problem associated with employee surveys: the fact that, when asked to estimate time spent on activities, employees invariably report percentages that add up to 100. Under the new system, managers take into account time that is idle or unused. Armed with the data, managers then construct time equations, a new feature that enables the model to reflect the complexity of real-world operations by showing how specific order, customer, and activity characteristics cause processing times to vary. This Tool Kit uses concrete examples to demonstrate how managers can obtain meaningful cost and profitability information, quickly and inexpensively. Rather than endlessly updating and maintaining ABC data,they can now spend their time addressing the deficiencies the model reveals: inefficient processes, unprofitable products and customers, and excess capacity. PMID:15559451

  13. Comprehensive cost analysis of sentinel node biopsy in solid head and neck tumors using a time-driven activity-based costing approach.

    PubMed

    Crott, Ralph; Lawson, Georges; Nollevaux, Marie-Cécile; Castiaux, Annick; Krug, Bruno

    2016-09-01

    Head and neck cancer (HNC) is predominantly a locoregional disease. Sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy offers a minimally invasive means of accurately staging the neck. Value in healthcare is determined by both outcomes and the costs associated with achieving them. Time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) may offer more precise estimates of the true cost. Process maps were developed for nuclear medicine, operating room and pathology care phases. TDABC estimates the costs by combining information about the process with the unit cost of each resource used. Resource utilization is based on observation of care and staff interviews. Unit costs are calculated as a capacity cost rate, measured as a Euros/min (2014), for each resource consumed. Multiplying together the unit costs and resource quantities and summing across all resources used will produce the average cost for each phase of care. Three time equations with six different scenarios were modeled based on the type of camera, the number of SLN and the type of staining used. Total times for different SLN scenarios vary between 284 and 307 min, respectively, with a total cost between 2794 and 3541€. The unit costs vary between 788€/h for the intraoperative evaluation with a gamma-probe and 889€/h for a preoperative imaging with a SPECT/CT. The unit costs for the lymphadenectomy and the pathological examination are, respectively, 560 and 713€/h. A 10 % increase of time per individual activity generates only 1 % change in the total cost. TDABC evaluates the cost of SLN in HNC. The total costs across all phases which varied between 2761 and 3744€ per standard case. PMID:27170361

  14. Comprehensive cost analysis of sentinel node biopsy in solid head and neck tumors using a time-driven activity-based costing approach.

    PubMed

    Crott, Ralph; Lawson, Georges; Nollevaux, Marie-Cécile; Castiaux, Annick; Krug, Bruno

    2016-09-01

    Head and neck cancer (HNC) is predominantly a locoregional disease. Sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy offers a minimally invasive means of accurately staging the neck. Value in healthcare is determined by both outcomes and the costs associated with achieving them. Time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) may offer more precise estimates of the true cost. Process maps were developed for nuclear medicine, operating room and pathology care phases. TDABC estimates the costs by combining information about the process with the unit cost of each resource used. Resource utilization is based on observation of care and staff interviews. Unit costs are calculated as a capacity cost rate, measured as a Euros/min (2014), for each resource consumed. Multiplying together the unit costs and resource quantities and summing across all resources used will produce the average cost for each phase of care. Three time equations with six different scenarios were modeled based on the type of camera, the number of SLN and the type of staining used. Total times for different SLN scenarios vary between 284 and 307 min, respectively, with a total cost between 2794 and 3541€. The unit costs vary between 788€/h for the intraoperative evaluation with a gamma-probe and 889€/h for a preoperative imaging with a SPECT/CT. The unit costs for the lymphadenectomy and the pathological examination are, respectively, 560 and 713€/h. A 10 % increase of time per individual activity generates only 1 % change in the total cost. TDABC evaluates the cost of SLN in HNC. The total costs across all phases which varied between 2761 and 3744€ per standard case.

  15. Activity-Based Costing: A Cost Management Tool.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turk, Frederick J.

    1993-01-01

    In college and university administration, overhead costs are often charged to programs indiscriminately, whereas the support activities that underlie those costs remain unanalyzed. It is time for institutions to decrease ineffective use of resources. Activity-based management attributes costs more accurately and can improve efficiency. (MSE)

  16. Evaluation of activity-based costing versus resource-based relative value costing.

    PubMed

    Berlin, Mark F; Smith, Tommy H

    2004-01-01

    Activity-based costing (ABC) and relative value units costing (RVU) are two approaches that a practice manager can use to determine the cost of physician services. Each costing approach has features that provide distinction as well as differentiation in the cost estimates that are estimated. This paper will provide cost estimates under each approach along with cost estimates under a hybrid approach that merges features from each costing approach known as the ABC-RVU costing technique. A comparison of the results will be provided. PMID:15018372

  17. Evaluation of activity-based costing versus resource-based relative value costing.

    PubMed

    Berlin, Mark F; Smith, Tommy H

    2004-01-01

    Activity-based costing (ABC) and relative value units costing (RVU) are two approaches that a practice manager can use to determine the cost of physician services. Each costing approach has features that provide distinction as well as differentiation in the cost estimates that are estimated. This paper will provide cost estimates under each approach along with cost estimates under a hybrid approach that merges features from each costing approach known as the ABC-RVU costing technique. A comparison of the results will be provided.

  18. Applying activity-based costing in long-term care.

    PubMed

    Wodchis, W P

    1998-01-01

    As greater numbers of the elderly use health services, and as health care costs climb, effective financial tracking is essential. Cost management in health care can benefit if costs are linked to the care activities where they are incurred. Activity-based costing (ABC) provides a useful approach. The framework aligns costs (inputs), through activities (process), to outputs and outcomes. It allocates costs based on client care needs rather than management structure. The ABC framework was tested in a residential care facility and in supportive housing apartments. The results demonstrate the feasibility and advantages of ABC for long term care agencies, including community-based care. PMID:10339203

  19. Applying activity-based costing in long-term care.

    PubMed

    Wodchis, W P

    1998-01-01

    As greater numbers of the elderly use health services, and as health care costs climb, effective financial tracking is essential. Cost management in health care can benefit if costs are linked to the care activities where they are incurred. Activity-based costing (ABC) provides a useful approach. The framework aligns costs (inputs), through activities (process), to outputs and outcomes. It allocates costs based on client care needs rather than management structure. The ABC framework was tested in a residential care facility and in supportive housing apartments. The results demonstrate the feasibility and advantages of ABC for long term care agencies, including community-based care.

  20. Activity-Based Costing Systems for Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Day, Dennis H.

    1993-01-01

    Examines traditional costing models utilized in higher education and pinpoints shortcomings related to proper identification of costs. Describes activity-based costing systems as a superior alternative for cost identification, measurement, and allocation. (MLF)

  1. Activity-based costing management in a private practice setting.

    PubMed

    Carlomagno, M; Draper, V

    1997-01-01

    Activity-based costing is a method of calculating cost of a service, focusing on operations. It gives quick and tangible cost information to operations and financial managers. While this method has be used more in the manufacturing area, it is gaining acceptance in the medical practice. This article describes activity-based costing and illustrates how to start utilizing it in a practice.

  2. Activity-based costing and its application in a Turkish university hospital.

    PubMed

    Yereli, Ayşe Necef

    2009-03-01

    Resource management in hospitals is of increasing importance in today's global economy. Traditional accounting systems have become inadequate for managing hospital resources and accurately determining service costs. Conversely, the activity-based costing approach to hospital accounting is an effective cost management model that determines costs and evaluates financial performance across departments. Obtaining costs that are more accurate can enable hospitals to analyze and interpret costing decisions and make more accurate budgeting decisions. Traditional and activity-based costing approaches were compared using a cost analysis of gall bladder surgeries in the general surgery department of one university hospital in Manisa, Turkey. PMID:19269382

  3. Activity-based costing and its application in a Turkish university hospital.

    PubMed

    Yereli, Ayşe Necef

    2009-03-01

    Resource management in hospitals is of increasing importance in today's global economy. Traditional accounting systems have become inadequate for managing hospital resources and accurately determining service costs. Conversely, the activity-based costing approach to hospital accounting is an effective cost management model that determines costs and evaluates financial performance across departments. Obtaining costs that are more accurate can enable hospitals to analyze and interpret costing decisions and make more accurate budgeting decisions. Traditional and activity-based costing approaches were compared using a cost analysis of gall bladder surgeries in the general surgery department of one university hospital in Manisa, Turkey.

  4. The case for implementing activity based costing.

    PubMed

    Monge, Paul H; Bolinger-Perez, Nicole; Boysen, Kent

    2012-01-01

    ABC identifies profitable volumes to give managers information to better manage volumes. Managers must balance the demand for service while maintaining a reasonable profit margin. Disparate systems work extremely well for their intended purposes, but they do not communicate with one another. The strength of the data they hold individually may be leveraged when implementing ABC methodology. Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota implemented a pilot of ABC to evaluate CT services where there is a high volume, multiple service location for cost comparison, variety of patient acuity and service mix, and large capital investments.The goal was to reveal the actual cost of CT services at the procedural level.

  5. The case for implementing activity based costing.

    PubMed

    Monge, Paul H; Bolinger-Perez, Nicole; Boysen, Kent

    2012-01-01

    ABC identifies profitable volumes to give managers information to better manage volumes. Managers must balance the demand for service while maintaining a reasonable profit margin. Disparate systems work extremely well for their intended purposes, but they do not communicate with one another. The strength of the data they hold individually may be leveraged when implementing ABC methodology. Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota implemented a pilot of ABC to evaluate CT services where there is a high volume, multiple service location for cost comparison, variety of patient acuity and service mix, and large capital investments.The goal was to reveal the actual cost of CT services at the procedural level. PMID:23270120

  6. A New Activity-Based Financial Cost Management Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qingge, Zhang

    The standard activity-based financial cost management model is a new model of financial cost management, which is on the basis of the standard cost system and the activity-based cost and integrates the advantages of the two. It is a new model of financial cost management with more accurate and more adequate cost information by taking the R&D expenses as the accounting starting point and after-sale service expenses as the terminal point and covering the whole producing and operating process and the whole activities chain and value chain aiming at serving the internal management and decision.

  7. Applying activity-based costing to healthcare settings.

    PubMed

    Canby, J B

    1995-02-01

    Activity-based costing (ABC) focuses on processes that drive cost. By tracing healthcare activities back to events that generate cost, a more accurate measurement of financial performance is possible. This article uses ABC principles and techniques to determine costs associated with the x-ray process in a midsized outpatient clinic. The article also provides several tips for initiating an ABC cost system for an entire healthcare organization. PMID:10146178

  8. Applying activity-based costing to healthcare settings.

    PubMed

    Canby, J B

    1995-02-01

    Activity-based costing (ABC) focuses on processes that drive cost. By tracing healthcare activities back to events that generate cost, a more accurate measurement of financial performance is possible. This article uses ABC principles and techniques to determine costs associated with the x-ray process in a midsized outpatient clinic. The article also provides several tips for initiating an ABC cost system for an entire healthcare organization.

  9. Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing in Emergency Medicine.

    PubMed

    Yun, Brian J; Prabhakar, Anand M; Warsh, Jonathan; Kaplan, Robert; Brennan, John; Dempsey, Kyle E; Raja, Ali S

    2016-06-01

    Value in emergency medicine is determined by both patient-important outcomes and the costs associated with achieving them. However, measuring true costs is challenging. Without an understanding of costs, emergency department (ED) leaders will be unable to determine which interventions might improve value for their patients. Although ongoing research may determine which outcomes are meaningful, an accurate costing system is also needed. This article reviews current costing mechanisms in the ED and their pitfalls. It then describes how time-driven activity-based costing may be superior to these current costing systems. Time-driven activity-based costing, in addition to being a more accurate costing system, can be used for process improvements in the ED. PMID:26365921

  10. Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing in Emergency Medicine.

    PubMed

    Yun, Brian J; Prabhakar, Anand M; Warsh, Jonathan; Kaplan, Robert; Brennan, John; Dempsey, Kyle E; Raja, Ali S

    2016-06-01

    Value in emergency medicine is determined by both patient-important outcomes and the costs associated with achieving them. However, measuring true costs is challenging. Without an understanding of costs, emergency department (ED) leaders will be unable to determine which interventions might improve value for their patients. Although ongoing research may determine which outcomes are meaningful, an accurate costing system is also needed. This article reviews current costing mechanisms in the ED and their pitfalls. It then describes how time-driven activity-based costing may be superior to these current costing systems. Time-driven activity-based costing, in addition to being a more accurate costing system, can be used for process improvements in the ED.

  11. The utilization of activity-based cost accounting in hospitals.

    PubMed

    Emmett, Dennis; Forget, Robert

    2005-01-01

    Healthcare costs are being examined on all fronts. Healthcare accounts for 11% of the gross national product and will continue to rise as the "babyboomers" reach retirement age. While ascertaining costs is important, most research shows that costing methods have not been implemented in hospitals. This study is concerned with the use of costing methods; particularly activity-based cost accounting. A mail survey of CFOs was undertaken to determine the type of cost accounting method they use. In addition, they were asked whether they were aware of activity-based cost accounting and whether they had implemented it or were planning to implement it. Only 71.8% were aware of it and only 4.7% had implemented it. In addition, only 52% of all hospitals report using any cost accounting systems. Education needs to ensure that all healthcare executives are cognizant of activity-based accounting and its importance in determining costs. Only by determining costs can hospitals strive to contain them.

  12. Activity-based costing for integrated delivery systems.

    PubMed

    Baker, J J

    1995-01-01

    The paradigm shift toward managed care is fueling new cost-finding demands. More sophisticated methods are emerging to meet these demands. Foremost among the new methods is activity-based costing (ABC). ABC is designed to eliminate cross-subsidies between products or services. Because costs are traced by activities across departments and cost centers, costs can also be traced by activities across integrated delivery systems (IDSs). The methodology makes ABC very applicable to combinations of providers including chains, affiliated groups, and IDS participants. PMID:8820298

  13. Using activity-based costing to guide strategic decision making.

    PubMed

    Dowless, R M

    1997-06-01

    Activity-based costing (ABC) is not widely used in the healthcare industry. Some healthcare provider organizations are considering ABC, however, because of its potential to improve resource management and thereby maximize efficiency. ABC supports better pricing practices through more accurate costing and can be used to identify underutilized resources as well as associated costs that can be reduced. ABC can be a useful tool for determining the cost of unused capacity and for making strategic management decisions that will reduce costs. PMID:10167847

  14. Activity-based costing for integrated delivery systems.

    PubMed

    Baker, J J

    1995-01-01

    The paradigm shift toward managed care is fueling new cost-finding demands. More sophisticated methods are emerging to meet these demands. Foremost among the new methods is activity-based costing (ABC). ABC is designed to eliminate cross-subsidies between products or services. Because costs are traced by activities across departments and cost centers, costs can also be traced by activities across integrated delivery systems (IDSs). The methodology makes ABC very applicable to combinations of providers including chains, affiliated groups, and IDS participants.

  15. IVF cycle cost estimation using Activity Based Costing and Monte Carlo simulation.

    PubMed

    Cassettari, Lucia; Mosca, Marco; Mosca, Roberto; Rolando, Fabio; Costa, Mauro; Pisaturo, Valerio

    2016-03-01

    The Authors present a new methodological approach in stochastic regime to determine the actual costs of an healthcare process. The paper specifically shows the application of the methodology for the determination of the cost of an Assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment in Italy. The reason of this research comes from the fact that deterministic regime is inadequate to implement an accurate estimate of the cost of this particular treatment. In fact the durations of the different activities involved are unfixed and described by means of frequency distributions. Hence the need to determine in addition to the mean value of the cost, the interval within which it is intended to vary with a known confidence level. Consequently the cost obtained for each type of cycle investigated (in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer with or without intracytoplasmic sperm injection), shows tolerance intervals around the mean value sufficiently restricted as to make the data obtained statistically robust and therefore usable also as reference for any benchmark with other Countries. It should be noted that under a methodological point of view the approach was rigorous. In fact it was used both the technique of Activity Based Costing for determining the cost of individual activities of the process both the Monte Carlo simulation, with control of experimental error, for the construction of the tolerance intervals on the final result.

  16. IVF cycle cost estimation using Activity Based Costing and Monte Carlo simulation.

    PubMed

    Cassettari, Lucia; Mosca, Marco; Mosca, Roberto; Rolando, Fabio; Costa, Mauro; Pisaturo, Valerio

    2016-03-01

    The Authors present a new methodological approach in stochastic regime to determine the actual costs of an healthcare process. The paper specifically shows the application of the methodology for the determination of the cost of an Assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment in Italy. The reason of this research comes from the fact that deterministic regime is inadequate to implement an accurate estimate of the cost of this particular treatment. In fact the durations of the different activities involved are unfixed and described by means of frequency distributions. Hence the need to determine in addition to the mean value of the cost, the interval within which it is intended to vary with a known confidence level. Consequently the cost obtained for each type of cycle investigated (in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer with or without intracytoplasmic sperm injection), shows tolerance intervals around the mean value sufficiently restricted as to make the data obtained statistically robust and therefore usable also as reference for any benchmark with other Countries. It should be noted that under a methodological point of view the approach was rigorous. In fact it was used both the technique of Activity Based Costing for determining the cost of individual activities of the process both the Monte Carlo simulation, with control of experimental error, for the construction of the tolerance intervals on the final result. PMID:24752546

  17. Applying activity-based costing to the nuclear medicine unit.

    PubMed

    Suthummanon, Sakesun; Omachonu, Vincent K; Akcin, Mehmet

    2005-08-01

    Previous studies have shown the feasibility of using activity-based costing (ABC) in hospital environments. However, many of these studies discuss the general applications of ABC in health-care organizations. This research explores the potential application of ABC to the nuclear medicine unit (NMU) at a teaching hospital. The finding indicates that the current cost averages 236.11 US dollars for all procedures, which is quite different from the costs computed by using ABC. The difference is most significant with positron emission tomography scan, 463 US dollars (an increase of 96%), as well as bone scan and thyroid scan, 114 US dollars (a decrease of 52%). The result of ABC analysis demonstrates that the operational time (machine time and direct labour time) and the cost of drugs have the most influence on cost per procedure. Clearly, to reduce the cost per procedure for the NMU, the reduction in operational time and cost of drugs should be analysed. The result also indicates that ABC can be used to improve resource allocation and management. It can be an important aid in making management decisions, particularly for improving pricing practices by making costing more accurate. It also facilitates the identification of underutilized resources and related costs, leading to cost reduction. The ABC system will also help hospitals control costs, improve the quality and efficiency of the care they provide, and manage their resources better. PMID:16102243

  18. Activity-Based Costing in the After Press Services Industry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shevasuthisilp, Suntichai; Punsathitwong, Kosum

    2009-10-01

    This research was conducted to apply activity-based costing (ABC) in an after press service company in Chiang Mai province, Thailand. The company produces all of its products by one-stop service (such as coating, stitching, binding, die cutting, and gluing). All products are made to order, and have different sizes and patterns. A strategy of low price is used to compete in the marketplace. After cost analysis, the study found that the company has high overhead (36.5% of total cost). The company's problem is its use of traditional cost accounting, which has low accuracy in assigning overhead costs. If management uses this information when pricing customer orders, losses may occur because real production costs may be higher than the selling price. Therefore, the application of ABC in cost analysis can help executives receive accurate cost information; establish a sound pricing strategy; and improve the manufacturing process by determining work activities which have excessively high production costs. According to this research, 6 out of 56 items had a production cost higher than the selling price, leading to losses of 123,923 baht per year. Methods used to solve this problem were: reducing production costs; establishing suitable prices; and creating a sales promotion with lower prices for customers whose orders include processes involving unused capacity. These actions will increase overall sales of the company, and allow more efficient use of its machinery.

  19. Applying activity-based costing to the nuclear medicine unit.

    PubMed

    Suthummanon, Sakesun; Omachonu, Vincent K; Akcin, Mehmet

    2005-08-01

    Previous studies have shown the feasibility of using activity-based costing (ABC) in hospital environments. However, many of these studies discuss the general applications of ABC in health-care organizations. This research explores the potential application of ABC to the nuclear medicine unit (NMU) at a teaching hospital. The finding indicates that the current cost averages 236.11 US dollars for all procedures, which is quite different from the costs computed by using ABC. The difference is most significant with positron emission tomography scan, 463 US dollars (an increase of 96%), as well as bone scan and thyroid scan, 114 US dollars (a decrease of 52%). The result of ABC analysis demonstrates that the operational time (machine time and direct labour time) and the cost of drugs have the most influence on cost per procedure. Clearly, to reduce the cost per procedure for the NMU, the reduction in operational time and cost of drugs should be analysed. The result also indicates that ABC can be used to improve resource allocation and management. It can be an important aid in making management decisions, particularly for improving pricing practices by making costing more accurate. It also facilitates the identification of underutilized resources and related costs, leading to cost reduction. The ABC system will also help hospitals control costs, improve the quality and efficiency of the care they provide, and manage their resources better.

  20. Cost Analysis of MRI Services in Iran: An Application of Activity Based Costing Technique

    PubMed Central

    Bayati, Mohsen; Mahboub Ahari, Alireza; Badakhshan, Abbas; Gholipour, Mahin; Joulaei, Hassan

    2015-01-01

    Background: Considerable development of MRI technology in diagnostic imaging, high cost of MRI technology and controversial issues concerning official charges (tariffs) have been the main motivations to define and implement this study. Objectives: The present study aimed to calculate the unit-cost of MRI services using activity-based costing (ABC) as a modern cost accounting system and to fairly compare calculated unit-costs with official charges (tariffs). Materials and Methods: We included both direct and indirect costs of MRI services delivered in fiscal year 2011 in Shiraz Shahid Faghihi hospital. Direct allocation method was used for distribution of overhead costs. We used micro-costing approach to calculate unit-cost of all different MRI services. Clinical cost data were retrieved from the hospital registering system. Straight-line method was used for depreciation cost estimation. To cope with uncertainty and to increase the robustness of study results, unit costs of 33 MRI services was calculated in terms of two scenarios. Results: Total annual cost of MRI activity center (AC) was calculated at USD 400,746 and USD 532,104 based on first and second scenarios, respectively. Ten percent of the total cost was allocated from supportive departments. The annual variable costs of MRI center were calculated at USD 295,904. Capital costs measured at USD 104,842 and USD 236, 200 resulted from the first and second scenario, respectively. Existing tariffs for more than half of MRI services were above the calculated costs. Conclusion: As a public hospital, there are considerable limitations in both financial and administrative databases of Shahid Faghihi hospital. Labor cost has the greatest share of total annual cost of Shahid Faghihi hospital. The gap between unit costs and tariffs implies that the claim for extra budget from health providers may not be relevant for all services delivered by the studied MRI center. With some adjustments, ABC could be implemented in MRI

  1. Using time-driven activity-based costing to identify value improvement opportunities in healthcare.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Robert S; Witkowski, Mary; Abbott, Megan; Guzman, Alexis Barboza; Higgins, Laurence D; Meara, John G; Padden, Erin; Shah, Apurva S; Waters, Peter; Weidemeier, Marco; Wertheimer, Sam; Feeley, Thomas W

    2014-01-01

    As healthcare providers cope with pricing pressures and increased accountability for performance, they should be rededicating themselves to improving the value they deliver to their patients: better outcomes and lower costs. Time-driven activity-based costing offers the potential for clinicians to redesign their care processes toward that end. This costing approach, however, is new to healthcare and has not yet been systematically implemented and evaluated. This article describes early time-driven activity-based costing work at several leading healthcare organizations in the United States and Europe. It identifies the opportunities they found to improve value for patients and demonstrates how this costing method can serve as the foundation for new bundled payment reimbursement approaches. PMID:25647962

  2. Using time-driven activity-based costing to identify value improvement opportunities in healthcare.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Robert S; Witkowski, Mary; Abbott, Megan; Guzman, Alexis Barboza; Higgins, Laurence D; Meara, John G; Padden, Erin; Shah, Apurva S; Waters, Peter; Weidemeier, Marco; Wertheimer, Sam; Feeley, Thomas W

    2014-01-01

    As healthcare providers cope with pricing pressures and increased accountability for performance, they should be rededicating themselves to improving the value they deliver to their patients: better outcomes and lower costs. Time-driven activity-based costing offers the potential for clinicians to redesign their care processes toward that end. This costing approach, however, is new to healthcare and has not yet been systematically implemented and evaluated. This article describes early time-driven activity-based costing work at several leading healthcare organizations in the United States and Europe. It identifies the opportunities they found to improve value for patients and demonstrates how this costing method can serve as the foundation for new bundled payment reimbursement approaches.

  3. The ABCs of Activity-Based Costing: A Cost Containment and Reallocation Tool.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turk, Frederick J.

    1992-01-01

    This article describes activity-based costing (ABC) and how this tool may help management understand the costs of major activities and identify possible alternatives. Also discussed are the traditional costing systems used by higher education and ways of applying ABC to higher education. (GLR)

  4. Cost analysis of prenatal care using the activity-based costing model: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Gesse, T; Golembeski, S; Potter, J

    1999-01-01

    The cost of prenatal care in a private nurse-midwifery practice was examined using the activity-based costing system. Findings suggest that the activities of the nurse-midwife (the health care provider) constitute the major cost driver of this practice and that the model of care and associated, time-related activities influence the cost. This pilot study information will be used in the development of a comparative study of prenatal care, client education, and self care.

  5. A new costing model in hospital management: time-driven activity-based costing system.

    PubMed

    Öker, Figen; Özyapıcı, Hasan

    2013-01-01

    Traditional cost systems cause cost distortions because they cannot meet the requirements of today's businesses. Therefore, a new and more effective cost system is needed. Consequently, time-driven activity-based costing system has emerged. The unit cost of supplying capacity and the time needed to perform an activity are the only 2 factors considered by the system. Furthermore, this system determines unused capacity by considering practical capacity. The purpose of this article is to emphasize the efficiency of the time-driven activity-based costing system and to display how it can be applied in a health care institution. A case study was conducted in a private hospital in Cyprus. Interviews and direct observations were used to collect the data. The case study revealed that the cost of unused capacity is allocated to both open and laparoscopic (closed) surgeries. Thus, by using the time-driven activity-based costing system, managers should eliminate the cost of unused capacity so as to obtain better results. Based on the results of the study, hospital management is better able to understand the costs of different surgeries. In addition, managers can easily notice the cost of unused capacity and decide how many employees to be dismissed or directed to other productive areas. PMID:23364414

  6. A new costing model in hospital management: time-driven activity-based costing system.

    PubMed

    Öker, Figen; Özyapıcı, Hasan

    2013-01-01

    Traditional cost systems cause cost distortions because they cannot meet the requirements of today's businesses. Therefore, a new and more effective cost system is needed. Consequently, time-driven activity-based costing system has emerged. The unit cost of supplying capacity and the time needed to perform an activity are the only 2 factors considered by the system. Furthermore, this system determines unused capacity by considering practical capacity. The purpose of this article is to emphasize the efficiency of the time-driven activity-based costing system and to display how it can be applied in a health care institution. A case study was conducted in a private hospital in Cyprus. Interviews and direct observations were used to collect the data. The case study revealed that the cost of unused capacity is allocated to both open and laparoscopic (closed) surgeries. Thus, by using the time-driven activity-based costing system, managers should eliminate the cost of unused capacity so as to obtain better results. Based on the results of the study, hospital management is better able to understand the costs of different surgeries. In addition, managers can easily notice the cost of unused capacity and decide how many employees to be dismissed or directed to other productive areas.

  7. Process-Based Governance in Public Administrations Using Activity-Based Costing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, Jörg; Bergener, Philipp; Räckers, Michael

    Decision- and policy-makers in public administrations currently lack on missing relevant information for sufficient governance. In Germany the introduction of New Public Management and double-entry accounting enable public administrations to get the opportunity to use cost-centered accounting mechanisms to establish new governance mechanisms. Process modelling in this case can be a useful instrument to help the public administrations decision- and policy-makers to structure their activities and capture relevant information. In combination with approaches like Activity-Based Costing, higher management level can be supported with a reasonable data base for fruitful and reasonable governance approaches. Therefore, the aim of this article is combining the public sector domain specific process modelling method PICTURE and concept of activity-based costing for supporting Public Administrations in process-based Governance.

  8. Activity-based costing for clinical paths. An example to improve clinical cost & efficiency.

    PubMed

    Asadi, M J; Baltz, W A

    1996-01-01

    How much does this medical service or surgical procedure cost the hospital to provide? What is the most efficient clinical pathway that maximizes the quality of patient care while minimizing costs? More and more hospitals are discovering that they don't have solid answers to these critically important questions. In an age of managed care and capitation, however, it is imperative for management to know if the patient care services they provide are making or losing money-and by how much. This article discusses how a powerful new tool called activity-based costing (ABC) can be used to help hospitals accurately determine patient care costs. We show how to build a model that combines both clinical and financial data to measure how efficiently the operation allocates human, material and capital resources to provide its services. The modeling approach described in this article can be used to better analyze a wide range of important operational and financial issues, including: How to efficiently allocate resources, and what resources will be needed as patient demand changes-ideal for operational management and planning; How efficiently activities and processes are performed to meet patient needs-effective for measuring performance and improving quality; Determining clinical pathway profitability-essential for understanding where you're making or losing money; Cycle time, throughput and the impact of resource capacity constraints-critical for meeting patient demand; Costs of idle capacity-important for using resources more efficiently. We will illustrate with an example how this modeling technique can be used to develop and implement efficient clinical pathways. PMID:8982988

  9. Activity-based costing for clinical paths. An example to improve clinical cost & efficiency.

    PubMed

    Asadi, M J; Baltz, W A

    1996-01-01

    How much does this medical service or surgical procedure cost the hospital to provide? What is the most efficient clinical pathway that maximizes the quality of patient care while minimizing costs? More and more hospitals are discovering that they don't have solid answers to these critically important questions. In an age of managed care and capitation, however, it is imperative for management to know if the patient care services they provide are making or losing money-and by how much. This article discusses how a powerful new tool called activity-based costing (ABC) can be used to help hospitals accurately determine patient care costs. We show how to build a model that combines both clinical and financial data to measure how efficiently the operation allocates human, material and capital resources to provide its services. The modeling approach described in this article can be used to better analyze a wide range of important operational and financial issues, including: How to efficiently allocate resources, and what resources will be needed as patient demand changes-ideal for operational management and planning; How efficiently activities and processes are performed to meet patient needs-effective for measuring performance and improving quality; Determining clinical pathway profitability-essential for understanding where you're making or losing money; Cycle time, throughput and the impact of resource capacity constraints-critical for meeting patient demand; Costs of idle capacity-important for using resources more efficiently. We will illustrate with an example how this modeling technique can be used to develop and implement efficient clinical pathways.

  10. Activity-based resource allocation: a system for predicting nursing costs.

    PubMed

    Crockett, M J; DiBlasi, M; Flaherty, P; Sampson, K

    1997-01-01

    As hospital-based managers are being confronted with changing patterns of reimbursement, ranging from revenue generating to cost management, it is imperative that hospitals know the exact nursing costs associated with the actual care delivered to specific patients. Nursing care has traditionally been bundled into the room rate for patients. This approach is extremely limiting when facilities are negotiating per diem rates and capitated rate contracts. At Braintree Hospital Rehabilitation Network, the nursing department has developed and implemented an activity-based management system to determine the actual cost of nursing care provided to each patient. This approach, which differentiates nursing costs accurately by diagnostic group and by intensity of nursing care, has contributed to the hospital's success in negotiating individual patient contracts with insurers in the managed care environment that increasingly focuses on costs and outcomes. Another result has been to enhance the accuracy of the network's cost accounting system. PMID:9416189

  11. Application of the Activity-Based Costing Method for Unit-Cost Calculation in a Hospital

    PubMed Central

    Javid, Mahdi; Hadian, Mohammad; Ghaderi, Hossein; Ghaffari, Shahram; Salehi, Masoud

    2016-01-01

    Background: Choosing an appropriate accounting system for hospital has always been a challenge for hospital managers. Traditional cost system (TCS) causes cost distortions in hospital. Activity-based costing (ABC) method is a new and more effective cost system. Objective: This study aimed to compare ABC with TCS method in calculating the unit cost of medical services and to assess its applicability in Kashani Hospital, Shahrekord City, Iran. Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed on accounting data of Kashani Hospital in 2013. Data on accounting reports of 2012 and other relevant sources at the end of 2012 were included. To apply ABC method, the hospital was divided into several cost centers and five cost categories were defined: wage, equipment, space, material, and overhead costs. Then activity centers were defined. ABC method was performed into two phases. First, the total costs of cost centers were assigned to activities by using related cost factors. Then the costs of activities were divided to cost objects by using cost drivers. After determining the cost of objects, the cost price of medical services was calculated and compared with those obtained from TCS. Results: The Kashani Hospital had 81 physicians, 306 nurses, and 328 beds with the mean occupancy rate of 67.4% during 2012. Unit cost of medical services, cost price of occupancy bed per day, and cost per outpatient service were calculated. The total unit costs by ABC and TCS were respectively 187.95 and 137.70 USD, showing 50.34 USD more unit cost by ABC method. ABC method represented more accurate information on the major cost components. Conclusion: By utilizing ABC, hospital managers have a valuable accounting system that provides a true insight into the organizational costs of their department. PMID:26234974

  12. [Cost management: the implementation of the activity-based costing method in sterile processing department].

    PubMed

    Jericó, Marli de Carvalho; Castilho, Valéria

    2010-09-01

    This exploratory case study was performed aiming at implementing the Activity-based Costing (ABC) method in a sterile processing department (SPD) of a major teaching hospital. Data collection was performed throughout 2006. Documentary research techniques and non participant closed observation were used. The ABC implementation allowed for learning the activity-based costing of both the chemical and physical disinfection cycle/load: (dollar 9.95) and (dollar 12.63), respectively; as well as the cost for sterilization by steam under pressure (autoclave) (dollar 31.37) and low temperature steam and gaseous formaldehyde sterilization (LTSF) (dollar 255.28). The information provided by the ABC method has optimized the overall understanding of the cost driver process and provided the foundation for assessing performance and improvement in the SPD processes. PMID:20964053

  13. [Cost management: the implementation of the activity-based costing method in sterile processing department].

    PubMed

    Jericó, Marli de Carvalho; Castilho, Valéria

    2010-09-01

    This exploratory case study was performed aiming at implementing the Activity-based Costing (ABC) method in a sterile processing department (SPD) of a major teaching hospital. Data collection was performed throughout 2006. Documentary research techniques and non participant closed observation were used. The ABC implementation allowed for learning the activity-based costing of both the chemical and physical disinfection cycle/load: (dollar 9.95) and (dollar 12.63), respectively; as well as the cost for sterilization by steam under pressure (autoclave) (dollar 31.37) and low temperature steam and gaseous formaldehyde sterilization (LTSF) (dollar 255.28). The information provided by the ABC method has optimized the overall understanding of the cost driver process and provided the foundation for assessing performance and improvement in the SPD processes.

  14. The Cost of Library Services: Activity-Based Costing in an Australian Academic Library.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Peter; Ellis-Newman, Jennifer

    1998-01-01

    Explains activity-based costing (ABC), discusses the benefits of ABC to library managers, and describes the steps involved in implementing ABC in an Australian academic library. Discusses the budgeting process in universities, and considers benefits to the library. (Author/LRW)

  15. Applying Activity Based Costing (ABC) Method to Calculate Cost Price in Hospital and Remedy Services

    PubMed Central

    Rajabi, A; Dabiri, A

    2012-01-01

    Background Activity Based Costing (ABC) is one of the new methods began appearing as a costing methodology in the 1990’s. It calculates cost price by determining the usage of resources. In this study, ABC method was used for calculating cost price of remedial services in hospitals. Methods: To apply ABC method, Shahid Faghihi Hospital was selected. First, hospital units were divided into three main departments: administrative, diagnostic, and hospitalized. Second, activity centers were defined by the activity analysis method. Third, costs of administrative activity centers were allocated into diagnostic and operational departments based on the cost driver. Finally, with regard to the usage of cost objectives from services of activity centers, the cost price of medical services was calculated. Results: The cost price from ABC method significantly differs from tariff method. In addition, high amount of indirect costs in the hospital indicates that capacities of resources are not used properly. Conclusion: Cost price of remedial services with tariff method is not properly calculated when compared with ABC method. ABC calculates cost price by applying suitable mechanisms but tariff method is based on the fixed price. In addition, ABC represents useful information about the amount and combination of cost price services. PMID:23113171

  16. Operations Assessment of Launch Vehicle Architectures using Activity Based Cost Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ruiz-Torres, Alex J.; McCleskey, Carey

    2000-01-01

    The growing emphasis on affordability for space transportation systems requires the assessment of new space vehicles for all life cycle activities, from design and development, through manufacturing and operations. This paper addresses the operational assessment of launch vehicles, focusing on modeling the ground support requirements of a vehicle architecture, and estimating the resulting costs and flight rate. This paper proposes the use of Activity Based Costing (ABC) modeling for this assessment. The model uses expert knowledge to determine the activities, the activity times and the activity costs based on vehicle design characteristics. The approach provides several advantages to current approaches to vehicle architecture assessment including easier validation and allowing vehicle designers to understand the cost and cycle time drivers.

  17. Filmless versus film-based systems in radiographic examination costs: an activity-based costing method

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Since the shift from a radiographic film-based system to that of a filmless system, the change in radiographic examination costs and costs structure have been undetermined. The activity-based costing (ABC) method measures the cost and performance of activities, resources, and cost objects. The purpose of this study is to identify the cost structure of a radiographic examination comparing a filmless system to that of a film-based system using the ABC method. Methods We calculated the costs of radiographic examinations for both a filmless and a film-based system, and assessed the costs or cost components by simulating radiographic examinations in a health clinic. The cost objects of the radiographic examinations included lumbar (six views), knee (three views), wrist (two views), and other. Indirect costs were allocated to cost objects using the ABC method. Results The costs of a radiographic examination using a filmless system are as follows: lumbar 2,085 yen; knee 1,599 yen; wrist 1,165 yen; and other 1,641 yen. The costs for a film-based system are: lumbar 3,407 yen; knee 2,257 yen; wrist 1,602 yen; and other 2,521 yen. The primary activities were "calling patient," "explanation of scan," "take photographs," and "aftercare" for both filmless and film-based systems. The cost of these activities cost represented 36.0% of the total cost for a filmless system and 23.6% of a film-based system. Conclusions The costs of radiographic examinations using a filmless system and a film-based system were calculated using the ABC method. Our results provide clear evidence that the filmless system is more effective than the film-based system in providing greater value services directly to patients. PMID:21961846

  18. A tutorial on activity-based costing of electronic health records.

    PubMed

    Federowicz, Marie H; Grossman, Mila N; Hayes, Bryant J; Riggs, Joseph

    2010-01-01

    As the American Recovery and Restoration Act of 2009 allocates $19 billion to health information technology, it will be useful for health care managers to project the true cost of implementing an electronic health record (EHR). This study presents a step-by-step guide for using activity-based costing (ABC) to estimate the cost of an EHR. ABC is a cost accounting method with a "top-down" approach for estimating the cost of a project or service within an organization. The total cost to implement an EHR includes obvious costs, such as licensing fees, and hidden costs, such as impact on productivity. Unlike other methods, ABC includes all of the organization's expenditures and is less likely to miss hidden costs. Although ABC is used considerably in manufacturing and other industries, it is a relatively new phenomenon in health care. ABC is a comprehensive approach that the health care field can use to analyze the cost-effectiveness of implementing EHRs. In this article, ABC is applied to a health clinic that recently implemented an EHR, and the clinic is found to be more productive after EHR implementation. This methodology can help health care administrators assess the impact of a stimulus investment on organizational performance. PMID:20042937

  19. A tutorial on activity-based costing of electronic health records.

    PubMed

    Federowicz, Marie H; Grossman, Mila N; Hayes, Bryant J; Riggs, Joseph

    2010-01-01

    As the American Recovery and Restoration Act of 2009 allocates $19 billion to health information technology, it will be useful for health care managers to project the true cost of implementing an electronic health record (EHR). This study presents a step-by-step guide for using activity-based costing (ABC) to estimate the cost of an EHR. ABC is a cost accounting method with a "top-down" approach for estimating the cost of a project or service within an organization. The total cost to implement an EHR includes obvious costs, such as licensing fees, and hidden costs, such as impact on productivity. Unlike other methods, ABC includes all of the organization's expenditures and is less likely to miss hidden costs. Although ABC is used considerably in manufacturing and other industries, it is a relatively new phenomenon in health care. ABC is a comprehensive approach that the health care field can use to analyze the cost-effectiveness of implementing EHRs. In this article, ABC is applied to a health clinic that recently implemented an EHR, and the clinic is found to be more productive after EHR implementation. This methodology can help health care administrators assess the impact of a stimulus investment on organizational performance.

  20. Activity-based costing via an information system: an application created for a breast imaging center.

    PubMed

    Hawkins, H; Langer, J; Padua, E; Reaves, J

    2001-06-01

    Activity-based costing (ABC) is a process that enables the estimation of the cost of producing a product or service. More accurate than traditional charge-based approaches, it emphasizes analysis of processes, and more specific identification of both direct and indirect costs. This accuracy is essential in today's healthcare environment, in which managed care organizations necessitate responsible and accountable costing. However, to be successfully utilized, it requires time, effort, expertise, and support. Data collection can be tedious and expensive. By integrating ABC with information management (IM) and systems (IS), organizations can take advantage of the process orientation of both, extend and improve ABC, and decrease resource utilization for ABC projects. In our case study, we have examined the process of a multidisciplinary breast center. We have mapped the constituent activities and established cost drivers. This information has been structured and included in our information system database for subsequent analysis.

  1. Activity-based costing via an information system: an application created for a breast imaging center.

    PubMed

    Hawkins, H; Langer, J; Padua, E; Reaves, J

    2001-06-01

    Activity-based costing (ABC) is a process that enables the estimation of the cost of producing a product or service. More accurate than traditional charge-based approaches, it emphasizes analysis of processes, and more specific identification of both direct and indirect costs. This accuracy is essential in today's healthcare environment, in which managed care organizations necessitate responsible and accountable costing. However, to be successfully utilized, it requires time, effort, expertise, and support. Data collection can be tedious and expensive. By integrating ABC with information management (IM) and systems (IS), organizations can take advantage of the process orientation of both, extend and improve ABC, and decrease resource utilization for ABC projects. In our case study, we have examined the process of a multidisciplinary breast center. We have mapped the constituent activities and established cost drivers. This information has been structured and included in our information system database for subsequent analysis. PMID:11442093

  2. Using activity-based costing and theory of constraints to guide continuous improvement in managed care.

    PubMed

    Roybal, H; Baxendale, S J; Gupta, M

    1999-01-01

    Activity-based costing and the theory of constraints have been applied successfully in many manufacturing organizations. Recently, those concepts have been applied in service organizations. This article describes the application of activity-based costing and the theory of constraints in a managed care mental health and substance abuse organization. One of the unique aspects of this particular application was the integration of activity-based costing and the theory of constraints to guide process improvement efforts. This article describes the activity-based costing model and the application of the theory of constraint's focusing steps with an emphasis on unused capacities of activities in the organization.

  3. Using activity-based costing and theory of constraints to guide continuous improvement in managed care.

    PubMed

    Roybal, H; Baxendale, S J; Gupta, M

    1999-01-01

    Activity-based costing and the theory of constraints have been applied successfully in many manufacturing organizations. Recently, those concepts have been applied in service organizations. This article describes the application of activity-based costing and the theory of constraints in a managed care mental health and substance abuse organization. One of the unique aspects of this particular application was the integration of activity-based costing and the theory of constraints to guide process improvement efforts. This article describes the activity-based costing model and the application of the theory of constraint's focusing steps with an emphasis on unused capacities of activities in the organization. PMID:10350791

  4. Understanding Time-driven Activity-based Costing.

    PubMed

    Sharan, Alok D; Schroeder, Gregory D; West, Michael E; Vaccaro, Alexander R

    2016-03-01

    Transitioning to a value-based health care system will require providers to increasingly scrutinize their outcomes and costs. Although there has been a great deal of effort to understand outcomes, cost accounting in health care has been a greater challenge. Currently the cost accounting methods used by hospitals and providers are based off a fee-for-service system. As resources become increasingly scarce and the health care system attempts to understand which services provide the greatest value, it will be critically important to understand the true costs of delivering a service. An understanding of the true costs of a particular service will help providers make smarter decisions on how to allocate and utilize resources as well as determine which activities are nonvalue added. Achieving value will require providers to have a greater focus on accurate outcome data as well as better methods of cost accounting. PMID:26889988

  5. Understanding Time-driven Activity-based Costing.

    PubMed

    Sharan, Alok D; Schroeder, Gregory D; West, Michael E; Vaccaro, Alexander R

    2016-03-01

    Transitioning to a value-based health care system will require providers to increasingly scrutinize their outcomes and costs. Although there has been a great deal of effort to understand outcomes, cost accounting in health care has been a greater challenge. Currently the cost accounting methods used by hospitals and providers are based off a fee-for-service system. As resources become increasingly scarce and the health care system attempts to understand which services provide the greatest value, it will be critically important to understand the true costs of delivering a service. An understanding of the true costs of a particular service will help providers make smarter decisions on how to allocate and utilize resources as well as determine which activities are nonvalue added. Achieving value will require providers to have a greater focus on accurate outcome data as well as better methods of cost accounting.

  6. Activity-Based Costing Model for Assessing Economic Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeHayes, Daniel W.; Lovrinic, Joseph G.

    1994-01-01

    An economic model for evaluating the cost performance of academic and administrative programs in higher education is described. Examples from its application at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis are used to illustrate how the model has been used to control costs and reengineer processes. (Author/MSE)

  7. Corporate cost of occupational accidents: an activity-based analysis.

    PubMed

    Rikhardsson, Pall M; Impgaard, Martin

    2004-03-01

    The systematic accident cost analysis (SACA) project was carried out during 2001 by The Aarhus School of Business and PricewaterhouseCoopers Denmark with financial support from The Danish National Working Environment Authority. Its focused on developing and testing a method for evaluating occupational costs of companies for use by occupational health and safety professionals. The method was tested in nine Danish companies within three different industry sectors and the costs of 27 selected occupational accidents in these companies were calculated. One of the main conclusions is that the SACA method could be used in all of the companies without revisions. The evaluation of accident cost showed that 2/3 of the costs of occupational accidents are visible in the Danish corporate accounting systems reviewed while 1/3 is hidden from management view. The highest cost of occupational accidents for a company with 3.600 employees was estimated to approximately US$ 682.000. The paper includes an introduction regarding accident cost analysis in companies, a presentation of the SACA project methodology and the SACA method itself, a short overview of some of the results of the SACA project and a conclusion. Further information about the project is available at http://www.asb.dk/saca. PMID:14642872

  8. Corporate cost of occupational accidents: an activity-based analysis.

    PubMed

    Rikhardsson, Pall M; Impgaard, Martin

    2004-03-01

    The systematic accident cost analysis (SACA) project was carried out during 2001 by The Aarhus School of Business and PricewaterhouseCoopers Denmark with financial support from The Danish National Working Environment Authority. Its focused on developing and testing a method for evaluating occupational costs of companies for use by occupational health and safety professionals. The method was tested in nine Danish companies within three different industry sectors and the costs of 27 selected occupational accidents in these companies were calculated. One of the main conclusions is that the SACA method could be used in all of the companies without revisions. The evaluation of accident cost showed that 2/3 of the costs of occupational accidents are visible in the Danish corporate accounting systems reviewed while 1/3 is hidden from management view. The highest cost of occupational accidents for a company with 3.600 employees was estimated to approximately US$ 682.000. The paper includes an introduction regarding accident cost analysis in companies, a presentation of the SACA project methodology and the SACA method itself, a short overview of some of the results of the SACA project and a conclusion. Further information about the project is available at http://www.asb.dk/saca.

  9. The Role of Activity Based Costing (ABC) in Educational Support Services: A White Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edds, Daniel B.

    Many front-line managers who are assuming more financial responsibility for their organizations find traditional cost accounting inadequate for their needs and are turning to Activity Based Costing (ABC). ABC is not a financial reporting system to serve the needs of regulatory agencies, but a tool that tracks costs from the general ledger…

  10. Activity-Based Costing in User Services of an Academic Library.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis-Newman, Jennifer

    2003-01-01

    The rationale for using Activity-Based Costing (ABC) in a library is to allocate indirect costs to products and services based on the factors that most influence them. This paper discusses the benefits of ABC to library managers and explains the steps involved in implementing ABC in the user services area of an Australian academic library.…

  11. Towards the use of ontologies for activity-based costing in healthcare organizations.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Anand

    2006-01-01

    Activity-based costing is a methodology which provides a basis for healthcare cost optimization. A robust formal representation of such activities is needed in order to be able to draw inferences as to the costs involved in a reliable manner. An introduction to the basic ontological distinctions involved in such a representation and to the complications one faces in carrying out the task is presented in this paper.

  12. Using activity-based costing to track resource use in group practices.

    PubMed

    Zeller, T L; Siegel, G; Kaciuba, G; Lau, A H

    1999-09-01

    Research shows that understanding how resources are consumed can help group practices control costs. An American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons study used an activity-based costing (ABC) system to measure how resources are consumed in providing medical services. Teams of accounting professors observed 18 diverse orthopedic surgery practices. The researchers identified 17 resource-consuming business processes performed by nonphysician office staff. They measured resource consumption by assigning costs to each process according to how much time is spent on related work activities. When group practices understand how their resources are being consumed, they can reduce costs and optimize revenues by making adjustments in how administrative and clinical staff work. PMID:11066706

  13. The impact of activity based cost accounting on health care capital investment decisions.

    PubMed

    Greene, J K; Metwalli, A

    2001-01-01

    For the future survival of the rural hospitals in the U.S., there is a need to make sound financial decisions. The Activity Based Cost Accounting (ABC) provides more accurate and detailed cost information to make an informed capital investment decision taking into consideration all the costs and revenue reimbursement from third party payors. The paper analyzes, evaluates and compares two scenarios of acquiring capital equipment and attempts to show the importance of utilizing the ABC method in making a sound financial decision as compared to the traditional cost method. PMID:11794757

  14. Using activity-based costing to track resource use in group practices.

    PubMed

    Zeller, T L; Siegel, G; Kaciuba, G; Lau, A H

    1999-09-01

    Research shows that understanding how resources are consumed can help group practices control costs. An American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons study used an activity-based costing (ABC) system to measure how resources are consumed in providing medical services. Teams of accounting professors observed 18 diverse orthopedic surgery practices. The researchers identified 17 resource-consuming business processes performed by nonphysician office staff. They measured resource consumption by assigning costs to each process according to how much time is spent on related work activities. When group practices understand how their resources are being consumed, they can reduce costs and optimize revenues by making adjustments in how administrative and clinical staff work.

  15. Using activity-based management to control costs & achieve organization goals.

    PubMed

    Antos, J; Elwell, D

    1998-08-01

    Activity-based management (ABM) is a management process that focuses on improving costs and outcomes. It derives useful information based on the way people think (their activities) rather than traditional expense categories. ABM supports outcomes, quality, teams, re-engineering, empowerment, and continuous improvement. It is a process that providers may want to adopt in light of new Medicare reimbursement practices.

  16. Activity-based costing in the operating room at Valley View Hospital.

    PubMed

    Baker, J J; Boyd, G F

    1997-01-01

    This article presents an example of how one hospital reports the results of activity-based costing (ABC). It examines the composition and supporting assumptions of an ABC report for a particular procedure in the operating room (OR). It describes management uses of the information generated. It comments upon how the continuous quality improvement (CQI) is synchronized with the ABC reporting.

  17. Activity-based costing in the operating room at Valley View Hospital.

    PubMed

    Baker, J J; Boyd, G F

    1997-01-01

    This article presents an example of how one hospital reports the results of activity-based costing (ABC). It examines the composition and supporting assumptions of an ABC report for a particular procedure in the operating room (OR). It describes management uses of the information generated. It comments upon how the continuous quality improvement (CQI) is synchronized with the ABC reporting. PMID:9327354

  18. Critical analysis of the Hanford spent nuclear fuel project activity based cost estimate

    SciTech Connect

    Warren, R.N.

    1998-09-29

    In 1997, the SNFP developed a baseline change request (BCR) and submitted it to DOE-RL for approval. The schedule was formally evaluated to have a 19% probability of success [Williams, 1998]. In December 1997, DOE-RL Manager John Wagoner approved the BCR contingent upon a subsequent independent review of the new baseline. The SNFP took several actions during the first quarter of 1998 to prepare for the independent review. The project developed the Estimating Requirements and Implementation Guide [DESH, 1998] and trained cost account managers (CAMS) and other personnel involved in the estimating process in activity-based cost (ABC) estimating techniques. The SNFP then applied ABC estimating techniques to develop the basis for the December Baseline (DB) and documented that basis in Basis of Estimate (BOE) books. These BOEs were provided to DOE in April 1998. DOE commissioned Professional Analysis, Inc. (PAI) to perform a critical analysis (CA) of the DB. PAI`s review formally began on April 13. PAI performed the CA, provided three sets of findings to the SNFP contractor, and initiated reconciliation meetings. During the course of PAI`s review, DOE directed the SNFP to develop a new baseline with a higher probability of success. The contractor transmitted the new baseline, which is referred to as the High Probability Baseline (HPB), to DOE on April 15, 1998 [Williams, 1998]. The HPB was estimated to approach a 90% confidence level on the start of fuel movement [Williams, 1998]. This high probability resulted in an increased cost and a schedule extension. To implement the new baseline, the contractor initiated 26 BCRs with supporting BOES. PAI`s scope was revised on April 28 to add reviewing the HPB and the associated BCRs and BOES.

  19. Clinical process analysis and activity-based costing at a heart center.

    PubMed

    Ridderstolpe, Lisa; Johansson, Andreas; Skau, Tommy; Rutberg, Hans; Ahlfeldt, Hans

    2002-08-01

    Cost studies, productivity, efficiency, and quality of care measures, the links between resources and patient outcomes, are fundamental issues for hospital management today. This paper describes the implementation of a model for process analysis and activity-based costing (ABC)/management at a Heart Center in Sweden as a tool for administrative cost information, strategic decision-making, quality improvement, and cost reduction. A commercial software package (QPR) containing two interrelated parts, "ProcessGuide and CostControl," was used. All processes at the Heart Center were mapped and graphically outlined. Processes and activities such as health care procedures, research, and education were identified together with their causal relationship to costs and products/services. The construction of the ABC model in CostControl was time-consuming. However, after the ABC/management system was created, it opened the way for new possibilities including process and activity analysis, simulation, and price calculations. Cost analysis showed large variations in the cost obtained for individual patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery. We conclude that a process-based costing system is applicable and has the potential to be useful in hospital management. PMID:12118815

  20. Clinical process analysis and activity-based costing at a heart center.

    PubMed

    Ridderstolpe, Lisa; Johansson, Andreas; Skau, Tommy; Rutberg, Hans; Ahlfeldt, Hans

    2002-08-01

    Cost studies, productivity, efficiency, and quality of care measures, the links between resources and patient outcomes, are fundamental issues for hospital management today. This paper describes the implementation of a model for process analysis and activity-based costing (ABC)/management at a Heart Center in Sweden as a tool for administrative cost information, strategic decision-making, quality improvement, and cost reduction. A commercial software package (QPR) containing two interrelated parts, "ProcessGuide and CostControl," was used. All processes at the Heart Center were mapped and graphically outlined. Processes and activities such as health care procedures, research, and education were identified together with their causal relationship to costs and products/services. The construction of the ABC model in CostControl was time-consuming. However, after the ABC/management system was created, it opened the way for new possibilities including process and activity analysis, simulation, and price calculations. Cost analysis showed large variations in the cost obtained for individual patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery. We conclude that a process-based costing system is applicable and has the potential to be useful in hospital management.

  1. Activity based costing of diagnostic procedures at a nuclear medicine center of a tertiary care hospital

    PubMed Central

    Hada, Mahesh Singh; Chakravarty, Abhijit; Mukherjee, Partha

    2014-01-01

    Context: Escalating health care expenses pose a new challenge to the health care environment of becoming more cost-effective. There is an urgent need for more accurate data on the costs of health care procedures. Demographic changes, changing morbidity profile, and the rising impact of noncommunicable diseases are emphasizing the role of nuclear medicine (NM) in the future health care environment. However, the impact of emerging disease load and stagnant resource availability needs to be balanced by a strategic drive towards optimal utilization of available healthcare resources. Aim: The aim was to ascertain the cost of diagnostic procedures conducted at the NM Department of a tertiary health care facility by employing activity based costing (ABC) method. Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out over a period of 1 year. ABC methodology was utilized for ascertaining unit cost of different diagnostic procedures and such costs were compared with prevalent market rates for estimating cost effectiveness of the department being studied. Results: The cost per unit procedure for various procedures varied from Rs. 869 (USD 14.48) for a thyroid scan to Rs. 11230 (USD 187.16) for a meta-iodo-benzyl-guanidine (MIBG) scan, the most cost-effective investigations being the stress thallium, technetium-99 m myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) and MIBG scan. The costs obtained from this study were observed to be competitive when compared to prevalent market rates. Conclusion: ABC methodology provides precise costing inputs and should be used for all future costing studies in NM Departments. PMID:25400363

  2. Application of activity-based costing (ABC) for a Peruvian NGO healthcare provider.

    PubMed

    Waters, H; Abdallah, H; Santillán, D

    2001-01-01

    This article describes the application of activity-based costing (ABC) to calculate the unit costs of the services for a health care provider in Peru. While traditional costing allocates overhead and indirect costs in proportion to production volume or to direct costs, ABC assigns costs through activities within an organization. ABC uses personnel interviews to determine principal activities and the distribution of individual's time among these activities. Indirect costs are linked to services through time allocation and other tracing methods, and the result is a more accurate estimate of unit costs. The study concludes that applying ABC in a developing country setting is feasible, yielding results that are directly applicable to pricing and management. ABC determines costs for individual clinics, departments and services according to the activities that originate these costs, showing where an organization spends its money. With this information, it is possible to identify services that are generating extra revenue and those operating at a loss, and to calculate cross subsidies across services. ABC also highlights areas in the health care process where efficiency improvements are possible. Conclusions about the ultimate impact of the methodology are not drawn here, since the study was not repeated and changes in utilization patterns and the addition of new clinics affected applicability of the results. A potential constraint to implementing ABC is the availability and organization of cost information. Applying ABC efficiently requires information to be readily available, by cost category and department, since the greatest benefits of ABC come from frequent, systematic application of the methodology in order to monitor efficiency and provide feedback for management. The article concludes with a discussion of the potential applications of ABC in the health sector in developing countries. PMID:11326572

  3. Application of activity-based costing (ABC) for a Peruvian NGO healthcare provider.

    PubMed

    Waters, H; Abdallah, H; Santillán, D

    2001-01-01

    This article describes the application of activity-based costing (ABC) to calculate the unit costs of the services for a health care provider in Peru. While traditional costing allocates overhead and indirect costs in proportion to production volume or to direct costs, ABC assigns costs through activities within an organization. ABC uses personnel interviews to determine principal activities and the distribution of individual's time among these activities. Indirect costs are linked to services through time allocation and other tracing methods, and the result is a more accurate estimate of unit costs. The study concludes that applying ABC in a developing country setting is feasible, yielding results that are directly applicable to pricing and management. ABC determines costs for individual clinics, departments and services according to the activities that originate these costs, showing where an organization spends its money. With this information, it is possible to identify services that are generating extra revenue and those operating at a loss, and to calculate cross subsidies across services. ABC also highlights areas in the health care process where efficiency improvements are possible. Conclusions about the ultimate impact of the methodology are not drawn here, since the study was not repeated and changes in utilization patterns and the addition of new clinics affected applicability of the results. A potential constraint to implementing ABC is the availability and organization of cost information. Applying ABC efficiently requires information to be readily available, by cost category and department, since the greatest benefits of ABC come from frequent, systematic application of the methodology in order to monitor efficiency and provide feedback for management. The article concludes with a discussion of the potential applications of ABC in the health sector in developing countries.

  4. Time-driven activity-based costing in an outpatient clinic environment: development, relevance and managerial impact.

    PubMed

    Demeere, Nathalie; Stouthuysen, Kristof; Roodhooft, Filip

    2009-10-01

    Healthcare managers are continuously urged to provide better patient services at a lower cost. To cope with these cost pressures, healthcare management needs to improve its understanding of the relevant cost drivers. Through a case study, we show how to perform a time-driven activity-based costing of five outpatient clinic's departments and provide evidence of the benefits of such an analysis.

  5. The use of activity-based cost estimation as a management tool for cultural change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mandell, Humboldt; Bilby, Curt

    1991-01-01

    It will be shown that the greatest barrier to American exploration of the planet Mars is not the development of the technology needed to deliver humans and return them safely to earth. Neither is it the cost of such an undertaking, as has been previously suggested, although certainly, such a venture may not be inexpensive by some measures. The predicted costs of exploration have discouraged serious political dialog on the subject. And, in fact, even optimistic projections of the NASA budget do not contain the resources required, under the existing development and management paradigm, for human space exploration programs. It will be demonstrated that the perception of the costs of such a venture, and the cultural responses to the perceptions are factors inhibiting American exploration of the moon and the planet Mars. Cost models employed in the aerospace industry today correctly mirror the history of past space programs, and as such, are representative of the existing management and development paradigms. However, if, under this current paradigm no major exploration programs are feasible, then cost analysis methods based in the past may not have great utility in exploring the needed cultural changes. This paper explores the use of a new type of model, the activity based cost model, which will treat management style as an input variable, in a sense providing a tool whereby a complete, affordable program might be designed, including both the technological and management aspects.

  6. [Activity and cost analysis in surgical pathology. Experience of a French university laboratory using the activity-based costing method].

    PubMed

    Bellocq, J P; Biron, N; Kessler, S; Penaud, M; Faujour, V; Ospel, J; Supper, E; Barthel, A; Roussel, J F; Méchine-Neuville, A; Marcellin, L; Lang-Avérous, G; Chenard, M P

    2001-06-01

    Good self-knowledge enables us to have a well- reasoned adaptation to our environment. Starting from this precept based on simple common sense, activity and cost analysis, when applied to medical departments in a university hospital setting, represents a necessary phase in their scientific progression and in the continuation of their university vocation. This is all the more true given the present climate of economic and organizational restructuring of medical facilities. This paper relates the experience of a French surgical pathology department which was assessed for cost effectiveness using the Activity-Based Costing (ABC) method in 1999. This method, which originated in the business world and of which the general concepts are presented here, has given us a keener understanding of the diverse processes involved, their costs and how these costs are arrived at. Moreover, this method has identified the proportion of costs imputable to diagnostic work and of those linked to work specific to a university hospital, in particular teaching and research and development. The results can then be used for a clearer analysis of the figures required by prescribers and health care funding agencies, and, within the department, to enhance perception of work carried out by the entire staff in order to initiate a new type of management centered on activity (Activity-Based Management). Adaptable to any medical department, whatever its organizational structure, independent of the significance of any given code letter and regardless of the rating method used to grade activities, the ABC method also allows for comparisons between structures of a similar nature. The thoughts it inspires on economic performance must take into account the rules of good medical practice, the imperatives of quality assurance, the need for "breathing space" which are indispensable to research and a humanist conception of working relations. PMID:11468559

  7. [Activity and cost analysis in surgical pathology. Experience of a French university laboratory using the activity-based costing method].

    PubMed

    Bellocq, J P; Biron, N; Kessler, S; Penaud, M; Faujour, V; Ospel, J; Supper, E; Barthel, A; Roussel, J F; Méchine-Neuville, A; Marcellin, L; Lang-Avérous, G; Chenard, M P

    2001-06-01

    Good self-knowledge enables us to have a well- reasoned adaptation to our environment. Starting from this precept based on simple common sense, activity and cost analysis, when applied to medical departments in a university hospital setting, represents a necessary phase in their scientific progression and in the continuation of their university vocation. This is all the more true given the present climate of economic and organizational restructuring of medical facilities. This paper relates the experience of a French surgical pathology department which was assessed for cost effectiveness using the Activity-Based Costing (ABC) method in 1999. This method, which originated in the business world and of which the general concepts are presented here, has given us a keener understanding of the diverse processes involved, their costs and how these costs are arrived at. Moreover, this method has identified the proportion of costs imputable to diagnostic work and of those linked to work specific to a university hospital, in particular teaching and research and development. The results can then be used for a clearer analysis of the figures required by prescribers and health care funding agencies, and, within the department, to enhance perception of work carried out by the entire staff in order to initiate a new type of management centered on activity (Activity-Based Management). Adaptable to any medical department, whatever its organizational structure, independent of the significance of any given code letter and regardless of the rating method used to grade activities, the ABC method also allows for comparisons between structures of a similar nature. The thoughts it inspires on economic performance must take into account the rules of good medical practice, the imperatives of quality assurance, the need for "breathing space" which are indispensable to research and a humanist conception of working relations.

  8. Tissue plasminogen activator-based clot busting: Controlled delivery approaches

    PubMed Central

    El-Sherbiny, Ibrahim M.; Elkholi, Islam E.; Yacoub, Magdi H.

    2014-01-01

    Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide. Thrombosis, the formation of blood clot (thrombus) in the circulatory system obstructing the blood flow, is one of the main causes behind various ischemic arterial syndromes such as ischemic stroke and myocardial infarction, as well as vein syndromes such as deep vein thrombosis, and consequently, pulmonary emboli. Several thrombolytic agents have been developed for treating thrombosis, the most common being tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), administrated systemically or locally via IV infusion directly proximal to the thrombus, with the aim of restoring and improving the blood flow. TPA triggers the dissolution of thrombi by inducing the conversion of plasminogen to protease plasmin followed by fibrin digestion that eventually leads to clot lysis. Although tPA provides powerful thrombolytic activity, it has many shortcomings, including poor pharmacokinetic profiles, impairment of the reestablishment of normal coronary flow, and impairment of hemostasis, leading to life-threatening bleeding consequences. The bleeding consequence is ascribed to the ability of tPA to circulate throughout the body and therefore can lysis all blood clots in the circulation system, even the good ones that prevent the bleeding and promote injury repair. This review provides an overview of the different delivery approaches for tPA including: liposomes, ultrasound-triggered thrombolysis, anti-fibrin antibody-targeted tPA, camouflaged-tPA, tpA-loaded microcarriers, and nano-modulated delivery approaches. PMID:25780787

  9. Extending simulation modeling to activity-based costing for clinical procedures.

    PubMed

    Glick, N D; Blackmore, C C; Zelman, W N

    2000-04-01

    A simulation model was developed to measure costs in an Emergency Department setting for patients presenting with possible cervical-spine injury who needed radiological imaging. Simulation, a tool widely used to account for process variability but typically focused on utilization and throughput analysis, is being introduced here as a realistic means to perform an activity-based-costing (ABC) analysis, because traditional ABC methods have difficulty coping with process variation in healthcare. Though the study model has a very specific application, it can be generalized to other settings simply by changing the input parameters. In essence, simulation was found to be an accurate and viable means to conduct an ABC analysis; in fact, the output provides more complete information than could be achieved through other conventional analyses, which gives management more leverage with which to negotiate contractual reimbursements. PMID:10895422

  10. Extending simulation modeling to activity-based costing for clinical procedures.

    PubMed

    Glick, N D; Blackmore, C C; Zelman, W N

    2000-04-01

    A simulation model was developed to measure costs in an Emergency Department setting for patients presenting with possible cervical-spine injury who needed radiological imaging. Simulation, a tool widely used to account for process variability but typically focused on utilization and throughput analysis, is being introduced here as a realistic means to perform an activity-based-costing (ABC) analysis, because traditional ABC methods have difficulty coping with process variation in healthcare. Though the study model has a very specific application, it can be generalized to other settings simply by changing the input parameters. In essence, simulation was found to be an accurate and viable means to conduct an ABC analysis; in fact, the output provides more complete information than could be achieved through other conventional analyses, which gives management more leverage with which to negotiate contractual reimbursements.

  11. Activity-based cost management. Part II: Applied to a respiratory protection program.

    PubMed

    Brandt, M T; Levine, S P; Smith, D G; Ettinger, H J; Gallimore, B F

    1998-05-01

    To demonstrate the relevance of activity-based cost management (ABCM) for the occupational and environmental health community, the investigators used data generated by an ABCM model of a respiratory protection program (RPP) to develop options for solving a business problem. The RPP manager in this hypothetical but realistic business scenario is faced with a 25% budget cut and a 10% increase in demand for RPP services. The manager's dilemma is to maintain the integrity of the RPP while absorbing a significant budget cut. Various cost savings options are developed, and the assumptions under which these options operate are presented. It is emphasized that the RPP manager's primary responsibility is to assure worker health and safety by first understanding the technical issues, merits, and implications of any cost-cutting option that may be considered. It is argued that only then should the manager consider the financial merits of the possible solutions to this business problem. In this way worker health and safety, and environmental protection goals, can continue to be achieved in an economic climate of cost cutting and downsizing. PMID:9622907

  12. Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing for Inter-Library Services: A Case Study in a University

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pernot, Eli; Roodhooft, Filip; Van den Abbeele, Alexandra

    2007-01-01

    Although the true costs of inter-library loans (ILL) are unknown, universities increasingly rely on them to provide better library services at lower costs. Through a case study, we show how to perform a time-driven activity-based costing analysis of ILL and provide evidence of the benefits of such an analysis.

  13. Time-driven activity-based costing in an outpatient clinic environment: development, relevance and managerial impact.

    PubMed

    Demeere, Nathalie; Stouthuysen, Kristof; Roodhooft, Filip

    2009-10-01

    Healthcare managers are continuously urged to provide better patient services at a lower cost. To cope with these cost pressures, healthcare management needs to improve its understanding of the relevant cost drivers. Through a case study, we show how to perform a time-driven activity-based costing of five outpatient clinic's departments and provide evidence of the benefits of such an analysis. PMID:19505741

  14. Activity-Based Approach for Teaching Aqueous Solubility, Energy, and Entropy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eisen, Laura; Marano, Nadia; Glazier, Samantha

    2014-01-01

    We describe an activity-based approach for teaching aqueous solubility to introductory chemistry students that provides a more balanced presentation of the roles of energy and entropy in dissolution than is found in most general chemistry textbooks. In the first few activities, students observe that polar substances dissolve in water, whereas…

  15. Implementation of activity-based costing (ABC) to drive cost reduction efforts in a semiconductor manufacturing operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naguib, Hussein; Bol, Igor I.; Lora, J.; Chowdhry, R.

    1994-09-01

    This paper presents a case study on the implementation of ABC to calculate the cost per wafer and to drive cost reduction efforts for a new IC product line. The cost reduction activities were conducted through the efforts of 11 cross-functional teams which included members of the finance, purchasing, technology development, process engineering, equipment engineering, production control, and facility groups. The activities of these cross functional teams were coordinated by a cost council. It will be shown that these activities have resulted in a 57% reduction in the wafer manufacturing cost of the new product line. Factors contributed to successful implementation of an ABC management system are discussed.

  16. Optimal Medical Equipment Maintenance Service Proposal Decision Support System combining Activity Based Costing (ABC) and the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP).

    PubMed

    da Rocha, Leticia; Sloane, Elliot; M Bassani, Jose

    2005-01-01

    This study describes a framework to support the choice of the maintenance service (in-house or third party contract) for each category of medical equipment based on: a) the real medical equipment maintenance management system currently used by the biomedical engineering group of the public health system of the Universidade Estadual de Campinas located in Brazil to control the medical equipment maintenance service, b) the Activity Based Costing (ABC) method, and c) the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method. Results show the cost and performance related to each type of maintenance service. Decision-makers can use these results to evaluate possible strategies for the categories of equipment.

  17. Optimal Medical Equipment Maintenance Service Proposal Decision Support System combining Activity Based Costing (ABC) and the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP).

    PubMed

    da Rocha, Leticia; Sloane, Elliot; M Bassani, Jose

    2005-01-01

    This study describes a framework to support the choice of the maintenance service (in-house or third party contract) for each category of medical equipment based on: a) the real medical equipment maintenance management system currently used by the biomedical engineering group of the public health system of the Universidade Estadual de Campinas located in Brazil to control the medical equipment maintenance service, b) the Activity Based Costing (ABC) method, and c) the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method. Results show the cost and performance related to each type of maintenance service. Decision-makers can use these results to evaluate possible strategies for the categories of equipment. PMID:17281912

  18. Status of costing hospital nursing work within Australian casemix activity-based funding policy.

    PubMed

    Heslop, Liza

    2012-02-01

    Australia has a long history of patient level costing initiated when casemix funding was implemented in several states in the early 1990s. Australia includes, to some extent, hospital payment based on nursing intensity adopted within casemix funding policy and the Diagnostic Related Group system. Costing of hospital nursing services in Australia has not changed significantly in the last few decades despite widespread introduction of casemix funding policy at the state level. Recent Commonwealth of Australia National Health Reform presents change to the management of the delivery of health care including health-care costing. There is agreement for all Australian jurisdictions to progress to casemix-based activity funding. Within this context, nurse costing infrastructure presents contemporary issues and challenges. An assessment is made of the progress of costing nursing services within casemix funding models in Australian hospitals. Valid and reliable Australian-refined nursing service weights might overcome present cost deficiencies and limitations.

  19. Status of costing hospital nursing work within Australian casemix activity-based funding policy.

    PubMed

    Heslop, Liza

    2012-02-01

    Australia has a long history of patient level costing initiated when casemix funding was implemented in several states in the early 1990s. Australia includes, to some extent, hospital payment based on nursing intensity adopted within casemix funding policy and the Diagnostic Related Group system. Costing of hospital nursing services in Australia has not changed significantly in the last few decades despite widespread introduction of casemix funding policy at the state level. Recent Commonwealth of Australia National Health Reform presents change to the management of the delivery of health care including health-care costing. There is agreement for all Australian jurisdictions to progress to casemix-based activity funding. Within this context, nurse costing infrastructure presents contemporary issues and challenges. An assessment is made of the progress of costing nursing services within casemix funding models in Australian hospitals. Valid and reliable Australian-refined nursing service weights might overcome present cost deficiencies and limitations. PMID:22257324

  20. Development of Activity-based Cost Functions for Cellulase, Invertase, and Other Enzymes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stowers, Chris C.; Ferguson, Elizabeth M.; Tanner, Robert D.

    As enzyme chemistry plays an increasingly important role in the chemical industry, cost analysis of these enzymes becomes a necessity. In this paper, we examine the aspects that affect the cost of enzymes based upon enzyme activity. The basis for this study stems from a previously developed objective function that quantifies the tradeoffs in enzyme purification via the foam fractionation process (Cherry et al., Braz J Chem Eng 17:233-238, 2000). A generalized cost function is developed from our results that could be used to aid in both industrial and lab scale chemical processing. The generalized cost function shows several nonobvious results that could lead to significant savings. Additionally, the parameters involved in the operation and scaling up of enzyme processing could be optimized to minimize costs. We show that there are typically three regimes in the enzyme cost analysis function: the low activity prelinear region, the moderate activity linear region, and high activity power-law region. The overall form of the cost analysis function appears to robustly fit the power law form.

  1. How can activity-based costing methodology be performed as a powerful tool to calculate costs and secure appropriate patient care?

    PubMed

    Lin, Blossom Yen-Ju; Chao, Te-Hsin; Yao, Yuh; Tu, Shu-Min; Wu, Chun-Ching; Chern, Jin-Yuan; Chao, Shiu-Hsiung; Shaw, Keh-Yuong

    2007-04-01

    Previous studies have shown the advantages of using activity-based costing (ABC) methodology in the health care industry. The potential values of ABC methodology in health care are derived from the more accurate cost calculation compared to the traditional step-down costing, and the potentials to evaluate quality or effectiveness of health care based on health care activities. This project used ABC methodology to profile the cost structure of inpatients with surgical procedures at the Department of Colorectal Surgery in a public teaching hospital, and to identify the missing or inappropriate clinical procedures. We found that ABC methodology was able to accurately calculate costs and to identify several missing pre- and post-surgical nursing education activities in the course of treatment. PMID:17489499

  2. How can activity-based costing methodology be performed as a powerful tool to calculate costs and secure appropriate patient care?

    PubMed

    Lin, Blossom Yen-Ju; Chao, Te-Hsin; Yao, Yuh; Tu, Shu-Min; Wu, Chun-Ching; Chern, Jin-Yuan; Chao, Shiu-Hsiung; Shaw, Keh-Yuong

    2007-04-01

    Previous studies have shown the advantages of using activity-based costing (ABC) methodology in the health care industry. The potential values of ABC methodology in health care are derived from the more accurate cost calculation compared to the traditional step-down costing, and the potentials to evaluate quality or effectiveness of health care based on health care activities. This project used ABC methodology to profile the cost structure of inpatients with surgical procedures at the Department of Colorectal Surgery in a public teaching hospital, and to identify the missing or inappropriate clinical procedures. We found that ABC methodology was able to accurately calculate costs and to identify several missing pre- and post-surgical nursing education activities in the course of treatment.

  3. [Clinical study using activity-based costing to assess cost-effectiveness of a wound management system utilizing modern dressings in comparison with traditional wound care].

    PubMed

    Ohura, Takehiko; Sanada, Hiromi; Mino, Yoshio

    2004-01-01

    In recent years, the concept of cost-effectiveness, including medical delivery and health service fee systems, has become widespread in Japanese health care. In the field of pressure ulcer management, the recent introduction of penalty subtraction in the care fee system emphasizes the need for prevention and cost-effective care of pressure ulcer. Previous cost-effectiveness research on pressure ulcer management tended to focus only on "hardware" costs such as those for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, while neglecting other cost aspects, particularly those involving the cost of labor. Thus, cost-effectiveness in pressure ulcer care has not yet been fully established. To provide true cost effectiveness data, a comparative prospective study was initiated in patients with stage II and III pressure ulcers. Considering the potential impact of the pressure reduction mattress on clinical outcome, in particular, the same type of pressure reduction mattresses are utilized in all the cases in the study. The cost analysis method used was Activity-Based Costing, which measures material and labor cost aspects on a daily basis. A reduction in the Pressure Sore Status Tool (PSST) score was used to measure clinical effectiveness. Patients were divided into three groups based on the treatment method and on the use of a consistent algorithm of wound care: 1. MC/A group, modern dressings with a treatment algorithm (control cohort). 2. TC/A group, traditional care (ointment and gauze) with a treatment algorithm. 3. TC/NA group, traditional care (ointment and gauze) without a treatment algorithm. The results revealed that MC/A is more cost-effective than both TC/A and TC/NA. This suggests that appropriate utilization of modern dressing materials and a pressure ulcer care algorithm would contribute to reducing health care costs, improved clinical results, and, ultimately, greater cost-effectiveness. PMID:14999922

  4. [Clinical study using activity-based costing to assess cost-effectiveness of a wound management system utilizing modern dressings in comparison with traditional wound care].

    PubMed

    Ohura, Takehiko; Sanada, Hiromi; Mino, Yoshio

    2004-01-01

    In recent years, the concept of cost-effectiveness, including medical delivery and health service fee systems, has become widespread in Japanese health care. In the field of pressure ulcer management, the recent introduction of penalty subtraction in the care fee system emphasizes the need for prevention and cost-effective care of pressure ulcer. Previous cost-effectiveness research on pressure ulcer management tended to focus only on "hardware" costs such as those for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, while neglecting other cost aspects, particularly those involving the cost of labor. Thus, cost-effectiveness in pressure ulcer care has not yet been fully established. To provide true cost effectiveness data, a comparative prospective study was initiated in patients with stage II and III pressure ulcers. Considering the potential impact of the pressure reduction mattress on clinical outcome, in particular, the same type of pressure reduction mattresses are utilized in all the cases in the study. The cost analysis method used was Activity-Based Costing, which measures material and labor cost aspects on a daily basis. A reduction in the Pressure Sore Status Tool (PSST) score was used to measure clinical effectiveness. Patients were divided into three groups based on the treatment method and on the use of a consistent algorithm of wound care: 1. MC/A group, modern dressings with a treatment algorithm (control cohort). 2. TC/A group, traditional care (ointment and gauze) with a treatment algorithm. 3. TC/NA group, traditional care (ointment and gauze) without a treatment algorithm. The results revealed that MC/A is more cost-effective than both TC/A and TC/NA. This suggests that appropriate utilization of modern dressing materials and a pressure ulcer care algorithm would contribute to reducing health care costs, improved clinical results, and, ultimately, greater cost-effectiveness.

  5. Validation of housing standards addressing accessibility: exploration of an activity-based approach.

    PubMed

    Helle, Tina; Iwarsson, Susanne; Brandt, Ase

    2014-10-01

    The aim was to explore the use of an activity-based approach to determine the validity of a set of housing standards addressing accessibility. This included examination of the frequency and the extent of accessibility problems among older people with physical functional limitations who used no mobility device (n = 10) or who used a wheelchair (n = 10) or a rollator (n = 10). The setting was a kitchen designed according to present housing standards. The participants prepared lunch in the kitchen. Accessibility problems were assessed by observation and self-report. Differences between the three participant groups were examined. Performing well-known kitchen activities was associated with accessibility problems for all three participant groups, in particular those using a wheelchair. The overall validity of the housing standards examined was poor. Observing older people interacting with realistic environments while performing real everyday activities seems to be an appropriate method for assessing accessibility problems.

  6. A chromatin activity based chemoproteomic approach reveals a transcriptional repressome for gene-specific silencing

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Cui; Yu, Yanbao; Liu, Feng; Wei, Xin; Wrobel, John A.; Gunawardena, Harsha P.; Zhou, Li; Jin, Jian; Chen, Xian

    2015-01-01

    Immune cells develop endotoxin tolerance (ET) after prolonged stimulation. ET increases the level of a repression mark H3K9me2 in the transcriptional-silent chromatin specifically associated with pro-inflammatory genes. However, it is not clear what proteins are functionally involved in this process. Here we show that a novel chromatin activity based chemoproteomic (ChaC) approach can dissect the functional chromatin protein complexes that regulate ET-associated inflammation. Using UNC0638 that binds the enzymatically active H3K9-specific methyltransferase G9a/GLP, ChaC reveals that G9a is constitutively active at a G9a-dependent mega-dalton repressome in primary endotoxin-tolerant macrophages. G9a/GLP broadly impacts the ET-specific reprogramming of the histone code landscape, chromatin remodeling, and the activities of select transcription factors. We discover that the G9a-dependent epigenetic environment promotes the transcriptional repression activity of c-Myc for gene-specific co-regulation of chronic inflammation. ChaC may be also applicable to dissect other functional protein complexes in the context of phenotypic chromatin architectures. PMID:25502336

  7. Systematic Approach to Better Understanding Integration Costs

    SciTech Connect

    Stark, Gregory B.

    2015-09-01

    This research presents a systematic approach to evaluating the costs of integrating new generation and operational procedures into an existing power system, and the methodology is independent of the type of change or nature of the generation. The work was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy and performed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to investigate three integration cost-related questions: (1) How does the addition of new generation affect a system's operational costs, (2) How do generation mix and operating parameters and procedures affect costs, and (3) How does the amount of variable generation (non-dispatchable wind and solar) impact the accuracy of natural gas orders? A detailed operational analysis was performed for seven sets of experiments: variable generation, large conventional generation, generation mix, gas prices, fast-start generation, self-scheduling, and gas supply constraints. For each experiment, four components of integration costs were examined: cycling costs, non-cycling VO&M costs, fuel costs, and reserves provisioning costs. The investigation was conducted with PLEXOS production cost modeling software utilizing an updated version of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers 118-bus test system overlaid with projected operating loads from the Western Electricity Coordinating Council for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Puget Sound Energy, and Public Service Colorado in the year 2020. The test system was selected in consultation with an industry-based technical review committee to be a reasonable approximation of an interconnection yet small enough to allow the research team to investigate a large number of scenarios and sensitivity combinations. The research should prove useful to market designers, regulators, utilities, and others who want to better understand how system changes can affect production costs.

  8. MAI (Multi-Dimensional Activity Based Integrated Approach): A Strategy for Cognitive Development of the Learners at the Elementary Stage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Basantia, Tapan Kumar; Panda, B. N.; Sahoo, Dukhabandhu

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive development of the learners is the prime task of each and every stage of our school education and its importance especially in elementary state is quite worth mentioning. Present study investigated the effectiveness of a new and innovative strategy (i.e., MAI (multi-dimensional activity based integrated approach)) for the development of…

  9. Educational Costs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arnold, Robert

    Problems in educational cost accounting and a new cost accounting approach are described in this paper. The limitations of the individualized cost (student units) approach and the comparative cost approach (in the form of fund-function-object) are illustrated. A new strategy, an activity-based system of accounting, is advocated. Borrowed from…

  10. Comparison of the Ministry of Health’s tariffs with the cost of radiology services using the activity-based costing method

    PubMed Central

    Kalhor, Rohollah; Amini, Saeed; Emami, Majid; Kakasoltani, Keivan; Rhamani, Nasim; Kalhor, Leila

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Efficient use of resources in organizations is one of the most important duties of managers. Appropriate allocation of resources can help managers to do this well. The aim of this study was to determine the cost of radiology services and to compare it with governmental tariffs (introduced by the Ministry of Health in Iran). Methods This was a descriptive and applied study that was conducted using the retrospective approach. First, activity centers were identified on the basis of five main groups of hospital activities. Then, resources and resource drivers, activities, and hospital activity drivers were identified. At the next step, the activities related to the delivery of radiology process were identified. Last, through allocation of activities cost to the cost objects, the cost price of 66 services that were delivered in the radiology department were calculated. The data were collected by making checklists, using the hospital’s information system, observations, and interviews. Finally, the data were analyzed using the non-parametric Wilcoxon test, Microsoft Excel, and SPSS software, version 18. Results The findings showed that from the total cost of wages, materials, and overhead obtained, the unit cost of the 66 cost objects (delivered services) in the Radiology Department were calculated using the ABC method (Price of each unit of Nephrostogram obtained $15.8 and Cystogram obtained $18.4). The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test indicated that the distribution of data of cost price using the ABC method was not normal (p = 0.000). The Wilcoxon test showed that there was a significant difference between the cost of services and the tariff of radiology services (p = 0.000). Conclusions The cost of delivered services in radiology departments was significantly higher than approved tariffs of the Ministry of Health, which can have a negative impact on the quality of services. PMID:27054013

  11. Activity-Based Approach to Authentic Learning in a Vocational Institute

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Choo, Chan Bee

    2007-01-01

    With emphasis on developing competence in students, an activity-based learning environment, inspired by constructivist and situated learning theories, was piloted in the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) to improve student learning experience. The new learning environment, developed for a Lifeskills module (Career Development and Planning),…

  12. Product line cost estimation: a standard cost approach.

    PubMed

    Cooper, J C; Suver, J D

    1988-04-01

    Product line managers often must make decisions based on inaccurate cost information. A method is needed to determine costs more accurately. By using a standard costing model, product line managers can better estimate the cost of intermediate and end products, and hence better estimate the costs of the product line. PMID:10286385

  13. Cost Analysis of Selected Patient Categories within a Dermatology Department Using an ABC Approach

    PubMed Central

    Papadaki, Šárka; Popesko, Boris

    2016-01-01

    Background: Present trends in hospital management are facilitating the utilization of more accurate costing methods, which potentially results in superior cost-related information and improved managerial decision-making. However, the Activity-Based Costing method (ABC), which was designed for cost allocation purposes in the 1980s, is not widely used by healthcare organizations. This study analyzes costs related to selected categories of patients, those suffering from psoriasis, varicose ulcers, eczema and other conditions, within a dermatology department at a Czech regional hospital. Methods: The study was conducted in a hospital department where both inpatient and outpatient care are offered. Firstly, the diseases treated at the department were identified. Further costs were determined for each activity using ABC. The study utilized data from managerial and financial accounting, as well as data obtained through interviews with departmental staff. Using a defined cost-allocation procedure makes it possible to determine the cost of an individual patient with a given disease more accurately than via traditional costing procedures. Results: The cost analysis focused on the differences between the costs related to individual patients within the selected diagnoses, variations between inpatient and outpatient treatments and the costs of activities performed by the dermatology department. Furthermore, comparing the costs identified through this approach and the revenue stemming from the health insurance system is an option. Conclusions: Activity-Based Costing is more accurate and relevant than the traditional costing method. The outputs of ABC provide an abundance of additional information for managers. The benefits of this research lie in its practically-tested outputs, resulting from calculating the costs of hospitalization, which could prove invaluable to persons involved in hospital management and decision-making. The study also defines the managerial implications of

  14. Low cost approach to Mars Pathfinder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spear, Anthony J.

    1995-10-01

    Mars Pathfinder, launching in December '96 and landing in July '97, will demo a low cost delivery system to the surface of Mars. Historically, spacecraft that orbit or land on a distant body carry a large amount of fuel for braking. Mars Pathfinder, thrusting only for navigation, enters directly into the Martian atmosphere, aerobrakes with its aeroshell, deploys a parachute at 10 km above the surface and, within 100 m off the surface, ignites solid rockets for final braking prior to deployment of air bags which cushion touchdown. After landing, petals open to upright the lander, exposing solar panels to the sun. Even though the lander and rover are expected to last longer, the major objectives of Mars Pathfinder, demonstrating EDL (Entry, Descent, Landing) and lander-rover surface operations, will occur within the first few days, at which time panoramic images of the surface will be transmitted and the rover will be deployed to conduct both mobility tests and rock composition measurements. While Mars Pathfinder is primarily an engineering demo, it accomplishes a focused, exciting set of science investigations with a stereo, multi-color lander imager; atmospheric instrumentation, used as a weather station after landing; and the rover with cameras and the APXS (Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer). This paper features Mars Pathfinder's approach to innovative and cost effective mission accomplishment, under a development cost cap. Mars Pathfinder is pathfinding a new way of doing business at NASA and JPL for small, low cost, Discovery class missions.

  15. School District Program Cost Accounting: An Alternative Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hentschke, Guilbert C.

    1975-01-01

    Discusses the value for school districts of a program cost accounting system and examines different approaches to generating program cost data, with particular emphasis on the "cost allocation to program system" (CAPS) and the traditional "transaction-based system." (JG)

  16. Time-driven activity-based costing of multivessel coronary artery bypass grafting across national boundaries to identify improvement opportunities: study protocol

    PubMed Central

    Erhun, F; Mistry, B; Platchek, T; Milstein, A; Narayanan, V G; Kaplan, R S

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is a well-established, commonly performed treatment for coronary artery disease—a disease that affects over 10% of US adults and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. In 2005, the mean cost for a CABG procedure among Medicare beneficiaries in the USA was $32 201±$23 059. The same operation reportedly costs less than $2000 to produce in India. The goals of the proposed study are to (1) identify the difference in the costs incurred to perform CABG surgery by three Joint Commission accredited hospitals with reputations for high quality and efficiency and (2) characterise the opportunity to reduce the cost of performing CABG surgery. Methods and analysis We use time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) to quantify the hospitals’ costs of producing elective, multivessel CABG. TDABC estimates the costs of a given clinical service by combining information about the process of patient care delivery (specifically, the time and quantity of labour and non-labour resources utilised to perform each activity) with the unit cost of each resource used to provide the care. Resource utilisation was estimated by constructing CABG process maps for each site based on observation of care and staff interviews. Unit costs were calculated as a capacity cost rate, measured as a $/min, for each resource consumed in CABG production. Multiplying together the unit costs and resource quantities and summing across all resources used will produce the average cost of CABG production at each site. We will conclude by conducting a variance analysis of labour costs to reveal opportunities to bend the cost curve for CABG production in the USA. Ethics and dissemination All our methods were exempted from review by the Stanford Institutional Review Board. Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at scientific meetings. PMID:26307621

  17. A better approach to cost estimation.

    PubMed

    Richmond, Russ

    2013-03-01

    Using ratios of costs to charges (RCCs) to estimate costs can cause hospitals to significantly over- or under-invest in service lines. A focus on improving cost estimation in cost centers where physicians have significant control over operating expenses, such as drugs or implants, can strengthen decision making and strategic planning. Connecting patient file information to purchasing data can lead to more accurate reflections of actual costs and help hospitals gain better visibility across service lines.

  18. The JPL Cost Risk Analysis Approach that Incorporates Engineering Realism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harmon, Corey C.; Warfield, Keith R.; Rosenberg, Leigh S.

    2006-01-01

    This paper discusses the JPL Cost Engineering Group (CEG) cost risk analysis approach that accounts for all three types of cost risk. It will also describe the evaluation of historical cost data upon which this method is based. This investigation is essential in developing a method that is rooted in engineering realism and produces credible, dependable results to aid decision makers.

  19. Evaluating Reliability: A Cost-Effectiveness Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hogan, Andrew

    1986-01-01

    This study derives the economic costs of misclassification in nursing home patient classification systems. These costs are then used as weights to estimate the reliability of a functional assessment instrument. Results suggest that reliability must be redefined and remeasured with each substantively new application of an assessment instrument.…

  20. Evaluation of economic efficiencies in clinical retina practice: activity-based cost analysis and modeling to determine impacts of changes in patient management

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Timothy G; Tornambe, Paul; Dugel, Pravin; Tong, Kuo Bianchini

    2011-01-01

    Background The purpose of this study is to report the use of activity-based cost analysis to identify areas of practice efficiencies and inefficiencies within a large academic retinal center and a small single-specialty group. This analysis establishes a framework for evaluating rapidly shifting clinical practices (anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy, microincisional vitrectomy surgery) and incorporating changing reimbursements for care delivery (intravitreal injections, optical coherence tomography [OCT]) to determine the impact on practice profitability. Pro forma modeling targeted the impact of declining reimbursement for OCT imaging and intravitreal injection using a strategy that incorporates activity-based cost analysis into a direct evaluation schema for clinical operations management. Methods Activity-based costing analyses were performed at two different types of retinal practices in the US, ie, a small single-specialty group practice and an academic hospital-based practice (Bascom Palmer Eye Institute). Retrospective claims data were utilized to identify all procedures performed and billed, submitted charges, allowed charges, and net collections from each of these two practices for the calendar years 2005–2006 and 2007–2008. A pro forma analysis utilizing current reimbursement profiles was performed to determine the impact of altered reimbursement on practice profitability. All analyses were performed by a third party consulting firm. Results The small single-specialty group practice outperformed the academic hospital-based practice on almost all markers of efficiency. In the academic hospital-based practice, only four service lines were profitable, ie, nonlaser surgery, laser surgery, non-OCT diagnostics, and injections. Profit margin varied from 62% for nonlaser surgery to 1% for intravitreal injections. Largest negative profit contributions were associated with office visits and OCT imaging. Conclusion Activity-based cost analysis is a

  1. Value in Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery Health Care: the Role of Time-driven Activity-based Cost Accounting (TDABC) and Standardized Clinical Assessment and Management Plans (SCAMPs).

    PubMed

    Waters, Peter M

    2015-01-01

    The continuing increases in health care expenditures as well as the importance of providing safe, effective, timely, patient-centered care has brought government and commercial payer pressure on hospitals and providers to document the value of the care they deliver. This article introduces work at Boston Children's Hospital on time-driven activity-based accounting to determine cost of care delivery; combined with Systemic Clinical Assessment and Management Plans to reduce variation and improve outcomes. The focus so far has been on distal radius fracture care for children and adolescents.

  2. An approach to software cost estimation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgarry, F.; Page, J.; Card, D.; Rohleder, M.; Church, V.

    1984-01-01

    A general procedure for software cost estimation in any environment is outlined. The basic concepts of work and effort estimation are explained, some popular resource estimation models are reviewed, and the accuracy of source estimates is discussed. A software cost prediction procedure based on the experiences of the Software Engineering Laboratory in the flight dynamics area and incorporating management expertise, cost models, and historical data is described. The sources of information and relevant parameters available during each phase of the software life cycle are identified. The methodology suggested incorporates these elements into a customized management tool for software cost prediction. Detailed guidelines for estimation in the flight dynamics environment developed using this methodology are presented.

  3. A team approach to cost containment.

    PubMed

    Williams, Jeni

    2008-04-01

    Strategies for involving clinicians in efforts to reduce labor and supply chain expenses include: Working with nurse managers to develop an operations or productivity report that is truly useful. Establishing biweekly reporting of labor utilization per unit. Adding clinicians to your materials management and finance teams. Helping physicians understand the cost profiles of the products they are using and their impact on cost of care. Being patient while securing buy-in. PMID:18441971

  4. A coupled protein and probe engineering approach for selective inhibition and activity based probe labeling of the caspases

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Junpeng; Broz, Petr; Puri, Aaron W.; Deu, Edgar; Morell, Montse; Monack, Denise M.; Bogyo, Matthew

    2013-01-01

    Caspases are cysteine proteases that play essential roles in apoptosis and inflammation. Unfortunately, their highly conserved active sites and overlapping substrate specificities make it difficult to use inhibitors or activity-based probes to study the function, activation, localization and regulation of individual members of this family. Here we describe a strategy to engineer a caspase to contain a latent nucleophile that can be targeted by a probe containing a suitably placed electrophile, thereby allowing specific, irreversible inhibition and labeling of only the engineered protease. To accomplish this, we have identified a non-conserved residue on the small subunit of all caspases that is near the substrate-binding pocket and that can be mutated to a non-catalytic cysteine residue. We demonstrate that an active site probe containing an irreversible binding acrylamide electrophile can specifically target this cysteine residue. Here we validate the approach using the apoptotic mediator, caspase-8 and the inflammasome effector, caspase-1. We show that the engineered enzymes are functionally identical to the wild type enzymes and that the approach allows specific inhibition and direct imaging of the engineered targets in cells. Therefore, this method can be used to image localization and activation as well as the functional contributions of individual caspase proteases to the process of cell death or inflammation. PMID:23701470

  5. Risk evaluation: A cost-oriented approach

    SciTech Connect

    Rogers, B.H.

    1998-02-03

    This method provides a structured and cost-oriented way to determine risks associated with loss and destruction of industrial security interests consisting of material assets and human resources. Loss and destruction are assumed to be adversary perpetrated, high-impact events in which the health and safety of people or high-value property is at risk. This concept provides a process for: (1) assessing effectiveness of all integrated protection system, which includes facility operations, safety, emergency and security systems, and (2) a qualitative prioritization scheme to determine the level of consequence relative to cost and subsequent risk. The method allows managers the flexibility to establish asset protection appropriate to programmatic requirements and priorities and to decide if funding is appropriate. The evaluation objectives are to: (1) provide for a systematic, qualitative tabletop process to estimate the potential for an undesirable event and its impact; and (2) identify ineffective protection and cost-effective solutions.

  6. Counting Costs: A Social Science Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foster, Harold D.

    1978-01-01

    The author briefly outlines a socially-based accounting system which evaluates not only economic but also social and aesthetic variables in arriving at a quantification of the benefits and costs of any action or failure to act. This system is designed to provide an additional tool in decision-making. (Author/MA)

  7. Estimating the Costs of Educating Handicapped Children: A Resource-Cost Model Approach-Summary Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartman, William T.

    1981-01-01

    The resource cost model approach makes the programmatic aspects of special education explicit and links these with associated costs. It facilitates planning for education of handicapped children. An effective cost estimation plan was necessary because of recent political and legal mandates which established the educational rights of the…

  8. Systematic Approach to Better Understanding Integration Costs: Preprint

    SciTech Connect

    Stark, Gregory B.

    2015-09-28

    When someone mentions integration costs, thoughts of the costs of integrating renewable generation into an existing system come to mind. We think about how variability and uncertainty can increase power system cycling costs as increasing amounts of wind or solar generation are incorporated into the generation mix. However, seldom do we think about what happens to system costs when new baseload generation is added to an existing system or when generation self-schedules. What happens when a highly flexible combined-cycle plant is added? Do system costs go up, or do they go down? Are other, non-cycling, maintenance costs impacted? In this paper we investigate six technologies and operating practices--including VG, baseload generation, generation mix, gas prices, self-scheduling, and fast-start generation--and how changes in these areas can impact a system's operating costs. This paper provides a working definition of integration costs and four components of variable costs. It describes the study approach and how a production cost modeling-based method was used to determine the cost effects, and, as a part of the study approach section, it describes the test system and data used for the comparisons. Finally, it presents the research findings, and, in closing, suggests three areas for future work.

  9. A top-down approach to heliostat cost reduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larmuth, James N.; Landamn, Willem A.; Gauché, Paul

    2016-05-01

    The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) has funded a South African central receiver collector technology development project, called Helio100. The project aims to provide South Africa's first commercially viable heliostat technology, which is both low in cost and offers high local content potential. A top-down approach is employed for heliostat cost reduction. This approach incorporates interlinked tools which move from high level cost analyses based on qualitative data during early stages of conceptual design, to detailed quantitative analyses in the final stages of design. Low cost heliostat designs are realized by the incorporation of both a top-down and bottom-up method. The current H100 design results in heliostat costs of 155/m2 at 20 000 units p.a. while further industrialisation results in heliostat costs of 126/m2 at 20 000 units.

  10. An Approach to Query Cost Modelling in Numeric Databases.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jarvelin, Kalervo

    1989-01-01

    Examines factors that determine user charges based on query processing costs in numeric databases, and analyzes the problem of estimating such charges in advance. An approach to query cost estimation is presented which is based on the relational data model and the query optimization, cardinality estimation, and file design techniques developed in…

  11. Considering a Cost Analysis Project? A Planned Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parish, Mina; Teetor, Travis

    2006-01-01

    As resources become more constrained in the library community, many organizations are finding that they need to have a better understanding of their costs. To this end, this article will present one approach to conducting a cost analysis (including questions to ask yourself, project team makeup, organizational support, and data organization). We…

  12. Flipping the Calculus Classroom: A Cost-Effective Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    This article discusses a cost-effective approach to flipping the calculus classroom. In particular, the emphasis is on low-cost choices, both monetarily and with regards to faculty time, that make the daunting task of flipping a course manageable for a single instructor. Student feedback and overall impressions are also presented.

  13. Theoretical, Methodological, and Empirical Approaches to Cost Savings: A Compendium

    SciTech Connect

    M Weimar

    1998-12-10

    This publication summarizes and contains the original documentation for understanding why the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) privatization approach provides cost savings and the different approaches that could be used in calculating cost savings for the Tank Waste Remediation System (TWRS) Phase I contract. The initial section summarizes the approaches in the different papers. The appendices are the individual source papers which have been reviewed by individuals outside of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the TWRS Program. Appendix A provides a theoretical basis for and estimate of the level of savings that can be" obtained from a fixed-priced contract with performance risk maintained by the contractor. Appendix B provides the methodology for determining cost savings when comparing a fixed-priced contractor with a Management and Operations (M&O) contractor (cost-plus contractor). Appendix C summarizes the economic model used to calculate cost savings and provides hypothetical output from preliminary calculations. Appendix D provides the summary of the approach for the DOE-Richland Operations Office (RL) estimate of the M&O contractor to perform the same work as BNFL Inc. Appendix E contains information on cost growth and per metric ton of glass costs for high-level waste at two other DOE sites, West Valley and Savannah River. Appendix F addresses a risk allocation analysis of the BNFL proposal that indicates,that the current approach is still better than the alternative.

  14. Cost comparison of open approach, transoral laser microsurgery and transoral robotic surgery for partial and total laryngectomies.

    PubMed

    Dombrée, Manon; Crott, Ralph; Lawson, Georges; Janne, Pascal; Castiaux, Annick; Krug, Bruno

    2014-10-01

    Activity-based costing is used to give a better insight into the actual cost structure of open, transoral laser microsurgery (TLM) and transoral robotic surgery (TORS) supraglottic and total laryngectomies. Cost data were obtained from hospital administration, personnel and vendor structured interviews. A process map identified 17 activities, to which the detailed cost data are related. One-way sensitivity analyses on the patient throughput, the cost of the equipment or operative times were performed. The total cost for supraglottic open (135-203 min), TLM (110-210 min) and TORS (35-130 min) approaches were 3,349 euro (3,193-3,499 euro), 3,461 euro (3,207-3,664 euro) and 5,650 euro (4,297-5,974 euro), respectively. For total laryngectomy, the overall cost were 3,581 euro (3,215-3,846 euro) for open and 6,767 euro (6,418-7,389 euro) for TORS. TORS cost is mostly influenced by equipment (54%) where the other procedures are predominantly determined by personnel cost (about 45%). Even when we doubled the yearly case-load, used the shortest operative times or a calculation without robot equipment costs we did not reach cost equivalence. TORS is more expensive than standard approaches and mainly influenced by purchase and maintenance costs and the use of proprietary instruments. Further trials on long-term outcomes and costs following TORS are needed to evaluate its cost-effectiveness. PMID:24906840

  15. Estimating the Costs of Educating Handicapped Children: A Resource-Cost Model Approach--Summary Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartman, William T.

    The purpose of this study was to develop an appropriate methodology and use it to estimate the costs of providing appropriate special education programs and services for all school-aged handicapped children in the U.S. in 1980-81. A resource-cost model approach was selected, based on a mathematical formulation of the relationships among students,…

  16. A Systems Approach to Costing in the Blood Bank

    PubMed Central

    Delon, Gerald L.; Smalley, Harold E.

    1969-01-01

    A macroscopic approach to departmental cost finding is combined with a microscopic approach to the weighting of laboratory tests in a mathematical model which, when incorporated into a relative unit value format, yields unit costs for such tests under a wide variety of operational conditions. The task of updating such costs to reflect changing conditions can be facilitated by a computer program incorporating the capability of pricing the various tests to achieve any desired profit or loss or to break even. Among other potential uses of such a technique, the effects on unit cost per test caused by increasing or decreasing the number of technicians or the volume of tests can be systematically examined, and pricing can be updated each year as hospital costs change. PMID:5799486

  17. An opportunity cost approach to sample size calculation in cost-effectiveness analysis.

    PubMed

    Gafni, A; Walter, S D; Birch, S; Sendi, P

    2008-01-01

    The inclusion of economic evaluations as part of clinical trials has led to concerns about the adequacy of trial sample size to support such analysis. The analytical tool of cost-effectiveness analysis is the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER), which is compared with a threshold value (lambda) as a method to determine the efficiency of a health-care intervention. Accordingly, many of the methods suggested to calculating the sample size requirements for the economic component of clinical trials are based on the properties of the ICER. However, use of the ICER and a threshold value as a basis for determining efficiency has been shown to be inconsistent with the economic concept of opportunity cost. As a result, the validity of the ICER-based approaches to sample size calculations can be challenged. Alternative methods for determining improvements in efficiency have been presented in the literature that does not depend upon ICER values. In this paper, we develop an opportunity cost approach to calculating sample size for economic evaluations alongside clinical trials, and illustrate the approach using a numerical example. We compare the sample size requirement of the opportunity cost method with the ICER threshold method. In general, either method may yield the larger required sample size. However, the opportunity cost approach, although simple to use, has additional data requirements. We believe that the additional data requirements represent a small price to pay for being able to perform an analysis consistent with both concept of opportunity cost and the problem faced by decision makers.

  18. Cost approach of health care entity intangible asset valuation.

    PubMed

    Reilly, Robert F

    2012-01-01

    In the valuation synthesis and conclusion process, the analyst should consider the following question: Does the selected valuation approach(es) and method(s) accomplish the analyst's assignment? Also, does the selected valuation approach and method actually quantify the desired objective of the intangible asset analysis? The analyst should also consider if the selected valuation approach and method analyzes the appropriate bundle of legal rights. The analyst should consider if there were sufficient empirical data available to perform the selected valuation approach and method. The valuation synthesis should consider if there were sufficient data available to make the analyst comfortable with the value conclusion. The valuation analyst should consider if the selected approach and method will be understandable to the intended audience. In the valuation synthesis and conclusion, the analyst should also consider which approaches and methods deserve the greatest consideration with respect to the intangible asset's RUL. The intangible asset RUL is a consideration of each valuation approach. In the income approach, the RUL may affect the projection period for the intangible asset income subject to either yield capitalization or direct capitalization. In the cost approach, the RUL may affect the total amount of obsolescence, if any, from the estimate cost measure (that is, the intangible reproduction cost new or replacement cost new). In the market approach, the RUL may effect the selection, rejection, and/or adjustment of the comparable or guideline intangible asset sale and license transactional data. The experienced valuation analyst will use professional judgment to weight the various value indications to conclude a final intangible asset value, based on: The analyst's confidence in the quantity and quality of available data; The analyst's level of due diligence performed on that data; The relevance of the valuation method to the intangible asset life cycle stage and

  19. Cost approach of health care entity intangible asset valuation.

    PubMed

    Reilly, Robert F

    2012-01-01

    In the valuation synthesis and conclusion process, the analyst should consider the following question: Does the selected valuation approach(es) and method(s) accomplish the analyst's assignment? Also, does the selected valuation approach and method actually quantify the desired objective of the intangible asset analysis? The analyst should also consider if the selected valuation approach and method analyzes the appropriate bundle of legal rights. The analyst should consider if there were sufficient empirical data available to perform the selected valuation approach and method. The valuation synthesis should consider if there were sufficient data available to make the analyst comfortable with the value conclusion. The valuation analyst should consider if the selected approach and method will be understandable to the intended audience. In the valuation synthesis and conclusion, the analyst should also consider which approaches and methods deserve the greatest consideration with respect to the intangible asset's RUL. The intangible asset RUL is a consideration of each valuation approach. In the income approach, the RUL may affect the projection period for the intangible asset income subject to either yield capitalization or direct capitalization. In the cost approach, the RUL may affect the total amount of obsolescence, if any, from the estimate cost measure (that is, the intangible reproduction cost new or replacement cost new). In the market approach, the RUL may effect the selection, rejection, and/or adjustment of the comparable or guideline intangible asset sale and license transactional data. The experienced valuation analyst will use professional judgment to weight the various value indications to conclude a final intangible asset value, based on: The analyst's confidence in the quantity and quality of available data; The analyst's level of due diligence performed on that data; The relevance of the valuation method to the intangible asset life cycle stage and

  20. A Minimum Cost Groundwater Remediation Design Using a Dynamic Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papadopoulou, M. P.; Papadopoulou, M. P.; Pinder, G. F.; Pinder, G. F.; Karatzas, G. P.; Karatzas, G. P.

    2001-12-01

    The cost-effective remediation designs that involve removal of contaminants from the subsurface given risk-based constraints and the requirement of contaminant-plume containment can be addressed via a new multi-stage dynamic approach using pump-and-treat systems. In this approach, the remedial design is modified from time to time in order to more effectively employ the available pumping wells. The duration of each period and the pumping rates at the various target wells are considered interactively in determining the least-cost design. At each stage, the pumping rates are modified to accommodate the dynamic nature of the plume. In response to the changing plume geometry, the well discharges may increase or decrease in order to produce the most cost-effective design that satisfies the specified constraints active during the overall design horizon. The utilization of this approach at a field location illustrates the effectiveness of the proposed strategy.

  1. New Approaches in Reuseable Booster System Life Cycle Cost Modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zapata, Edgar

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a 2012 life cycle cost (LCC) study of hybrid Reusable Booster Systems (RBS) conducted by NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The work included the creation of a new cost estimating model and an LCC analysis, building on past work where applicable, but emphasizing the integration of new approaches in life cycle cost estimation. Specifically, the inclusion of industry processes/practices and indirect costs were a new and significant part of the analysis. The focus of LCC estimation has traditionally been from the perspective of technology, design characteristics, and related factors such as reliability. Technology has informed the cost related support to decision makers interested in risk and budget insight. This traditional emphasis on technology occurs even though it is well established that complex aerospace systems costs are mostly about indirect costs, with likely only partial influence in these indirect costs being due to the more visible technology products. Organizational considerations, processes/practices, and indirect costs are traditionally derived ("wrapped") only by relationship to tangible product characteristics. This traditional approach works well as long as it is understood that no significant changes, and by relation no significant improvements, are being pursued in the area of either the government acquisition or industry?s indirect costs. In this sense then, most launch systems cost models ignore most costs. The alternative was implemented in this LCC study, whereby the approach considered technology and process/practices in balance, with as much detail for one as the other. This RBS LCC study has avoided point-designs, for now, instead emphasizing exploring the trade-space of potential technology advances joined with potential process/practice advances. Given the range of decisions, and all their combinations, it was necessary to create a model of the original model

  2. New Approaches in Reusable Booster System Life Cycle Cost Modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zapata, Edgar

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a 2012 life cycle cost (LCC) study of hybrid Reusable Booster Systems (RBS) conducted by NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The work included the creation of a new cost estimating model and an LCC analysis, building on past work where applicable, but emphasizing the integration of new approaches in life cycle cost estimation. Specifically, the inclusion of industry processes/practices and indirect costs were a new and significant part of the analysis. The focus of LCC estimation has traditionally been from the perspective of technology, design characteristics, and related factors such as reliability. Technology has informed the cost related support to decision makers interested in risk and budget insight. This traditional emphasis on technology occurs even though it is well established that complex aerospace systems costs are mostly about indirect costs, with likely only partial influence in these indirect costs being due to the more visible technology products. Organizational considerations, processes/practices, and indirect costs are traditionally derived ("wrapped") only by relationship to tangible product characteristics. This traditional approach works well as long as it is understood that no significant changes, and by relation no significant improvements, are being pursued in the area of either the government acquisition or industry?s indirect costs. In this sense then, most launch systems cost models ignore most costs. The alternative was implemented in this LCC study, whereby the approach considered technology and process/practices in balance, with as much detail for one as the other. This RBS LCC study has avoided point-designs, for now, instead emphasizing exploring the trade-space of potential technology advances joined with potential process/practice advances. Given the range of decisions, and all their combinations, it was necessary to create a model of the original model

  3. Thresholds for the cost-effectiveness of interventions: alternative approaches.

    PubMed

    Marseille, Elliot; Larson, Bruce; Kazi, Dhruv S; Kahn, James G; Rosen, Sydney

    2015-02-01

    Many countries use the cost-effectiveness thresholds recommended by the World Health Organization's Choosing Interventions that are Cost-Effective project (WHO-CHOICE) when evaluating health interventions. This project sets the threshold for cost-effectiveness as the cost of the intervention per disability-adjusted life-year (DALY) averted less than three times the country's annual gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. Highly cost-effective interventions are defined as meeting a threshold per DALY averted of once the annual GDP per capita. We argue that reliance on these thresholds reduces the value of cost-effectiveness analyses and makes such analyses too blunt to be useful for most decision-making in the field of public health. Use of these thresholds has little theoretical justification, skirts the difficult but necessary ranking of the relative values of locally-applicable interventions and omits any consideration of what is truly affordable. The WHO-CHOICE thresholds set such a low bar for cost-effectiveness that very few interventions with evidence of efficacy can be ruled out. The thresholds have little value in assessing the trade-offs that decision-makers must confront. We present alternative approaches for applying cost-effectiveness criteria to choices in the allocation of health-care resources.

  4. NASA operations: An agency wide approach to reduce cost

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Squibb, Gael F.

    1996-01-01

    The NASA Space Operations Management Office (SOMO) is presented. The SOMO concept is based on continuing the distributed participation of the various NASA field centers and agencies, while employing consolidated management through a single lead center. The aim is to determine the duplicity and the overlap between the different agencies that independently developed their own operations management approaches in order to enable more cost effective mission operations by providing common services to the NASA programs. The space operations management will be performed in a distributed manner with a greater degree of contractor involvement than in the past. The changes, approaches and anticipated benefits of this approach to operations are discussed.

  5. Applying electrical utility least-cost approach to transportation planning

    SciTech Connect

    McCoy, G.A.; Growdon, K.; Lagerberg, B.

    1994-09-01

    Members of the energy and environmental communities believe that parallels exist between electrical utility least-cost planning and transportation planning. In particular, the Washington State Energy Strategy Committee believes that an integrated and comprehensive transportation planning process should be developed to fairly evaluate the costs of both demand-side and supply-side transportation options, establish competition between different travel modes, and select the mix of options designed to meet system goals at the lowest cost to society. Comparisons between travel modes are also required under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA). ISTEA calls for the development of procedures to compare demand management against infrastructure investment solutions and requires the consideration of efficiency, socioeconomic and environmental factors in the evaluation process. Several of the techniques and approaches used in energy least-cost planning and utility peak demand management can be incorporated into a least-cost transportation planning methodology. The concepts of avoided plants, expressing avoidable costs in levelized nominal dollars to compare projects with different on-line dates and service lives, the supply curve, and the resource stack can be directly adapted from the energy sector.

  6. Design optimization for cost and quality: The robust design approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Unal, Resit

    1990-01-01

    Designing reliable, low cost, and operable space systems has become the key to future space operations. Designing high quality space systems at low cost is an economic and technological challenge to the designer. A systematic and efficient way to meet this challenge is a new method of design optimization for performance, quality, and cost, called Robust Design. Robust Design is an approach for design optimization. It consists of: making system performance insensitive to material and subsystem variation, thus allowing the use of less costly materials and components; making designs less sensitive to the variations in the operating environment, thus improving reliability and reducing operating costs; and using a new structured development process so that engineering time is used most productively. The objective in Robust Design is to select the best combination of controllable design parameters so that the system is most robust to uncontrollable noise factors. The robust design methodology uses a mathematical tool called an orthogonal array, from design of experiments theory, to study a large number of decision variables with a significantly small number of experiments. Robust design also uses a statistical measure of performance, called a signal-to-noise ratio, from electrical control theory, to evaluate the level of performance and the effect of noise factors. The purpose is to investigate the Robust Design methodology for improving quality and cost, demonstrate its application by the use of an example, and suggest its use as an integral part of space system design process.

  7. Video summarization using descriptors of motion activity: a motion activity based approach to key-frame extraction from video shots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Divakaran, Ajay; Radhakrishnan, Regunathan; Peker, Kadir A.

    2001-10-01

    We describe a video summarization technique that uses motion descriptors computed in the compressed domain. It can either speed up conventional color-based video summarization techniques, or rapidly generate a key-frame based summary by itself. The basic hypothesis of the work is that the intensity of motion activity of a video segment is a direct indication of its `summarizability,' which we experimentally verify using the MPEG-7 motion activity descriptor and the fidelity measure proposed in H. S. Chang, S. Sull, and S. U. Lee, `Efficient video indexing scheme for content-based retrieval,' IEEE Trans. Circuits Syst. Video Technol. 9(8), (1999). Note that the compressed domain extraction of motion activity intensity is much simpler than the color-based calculations. We are thus able to quickly identify easy to summarize segments of a video sequence since they have a low intensity of motion activity. We are able to easily summarize these segments by simply choosing their first frames. We can then apply conventional color-based summarization techniques to the remaining segments. We thus speed up color-based summarization by reducing the number of segments processed. Our results also motivate a simple and novel key-frame extraction technique that relies on a motion activity based nonuniform sampling of the frames. Our results indicate that it can either be used by itself or to speed up color-based techniques as explained earlier.

  8. Approaches to the design of low-cost HUD systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wisely, Paul L.; Bleha, Willaim P.

    2014-06-01

    Since their inception during the Second World War in the simple gyro reflector gun sights of combat aircraft such as the Supermarine Spitfire, HUDs have been developed to achieve ever greater capability and performance, initially in military applications but in the final quarter of the last century for civil applications. With increased performance and capability came increased complexity and an attendant steady increase in cost such that HUDs in civil applications are only to be found in some large passenger and high end business jets. The physical volume of current solutions also has a significant impact on where they may be fitted and this paper discusses techniques and approaches to reduce the volume and costs associated with HUD implementation thereby making the operational and safety benefits of HUD available to a broader range of applications in lower cost airframes.

  9. A Novel Approach for a Low-Cost Deployable Antenna

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Amend, Chris; Nurnberger, Michael; Oppenheimer, Paul; Koss, Steve; Purdy, Bill

    2010-01-01

    The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has designed, built, and fully qualified a low cost, low Passive Intermodulation (PIM) 12-foot (3.66-m) diameter deployable ultra high frequency (UHF) antenna for the Tacsat-4 program. The design utilized novel approaches in reflector material and capacitive coupling techniques. This paper discusses major design trades, unique design characteristics, and lessons learned from the development of the Tacsat 4 deployable antenna. This antenna development was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research.

  10. Measuring Inflation in Public Libraries: A Comparison of Two Approaches, the Input Cost Index and the Cost of Services Index.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chambers, Jay C.; Vergun, Robert

    1999-01-01

    Presents two approaches to measuring the inflation faced by public libraries: (1) an approach based on a fixed market basket of the prices of library inputs; and (2) an approach based on an econometric model of library services and costs that yields a costs of services index. Discusses uses of both models. (SLD)

  11. Activity-Based Management System Implementation in Higher Education Institution: Benefits and Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ismail, Noor Azizi

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to discuss how activity-based costing (ABC) technique can be applied in the context of higher education institutions. It also discusses the obstacles and challenges to the successful implementation of activity-based management (ABM) in the higher education environment. Design/methodology/approach: This paper…

  12. An evolutionary morphological approach for software development cost estimation.

    PubMed

    Araújo, Ricardo de A; Oliveira, Adriano L I; Soares, Sergio; Meira, Silvio

    2012-08-01

    In this work we present an evolutionary morphological approach to solve the software development cost estimation (SDCE) problem. The proposed approach consists of a hybrid artificial neuron based on framework of mathematical morphology (MM) with algebraic foundations in the complete lattice theory (CLT), referred to as dilation-erosion perceptron (DEP). Also, we present an evolutionary learning process, called DEP(MGA), using a modified genetic algorithm (MGA) to design the DEP model, because a drawback arises from the gradient estimation of morphological operators in the classical learning process of the DEP, since they are not differentiable in the usual way. Furthermore, an experimental analysis is conducted with the proposed model using five complex SDCE problems and three well-known performance metrics, demonstrating good performance of the DEP model to solve SDCE problems.

  13. COST-ES0601: Advances in homogenisation methods of climate series: an integrated approach (HOME)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mestre, O.; Auer, I.; Venema, V.; Stepanek, P.; Szentimrey, T.; Grimvall, A.; Aguilar, E.

    2009-04-01

    The COST Action ES0601: Advances in homogenisation methods of climate series: an integrated approach is nearing the end of its second year of life. The action is intended to provide the best possible tools for the homogenization of time series to the climate research community. The involved scientists have done remarkable progress since COST Action ES0601 was launched (see www.homogenisation.org). HOME has started with a literature review and a survey to the research community to identify those climatic elements and homogenisation techniques to be considered during the action. This allowed the preparation of the benchmark monthly dataset to be used during the remaining time of the action. This monthly benchmark contains real temperature and precipitation data (with real inhomogeneities), as well as synthetic and surrogate networks, including artificially produced missing values, outliers, local trends and break inhomogeneities which are inserted at the usual rate, size and distribution found in actual networks. The location of the outliers and change points is undisclosed to the HOME scientists, who are, at present, applying different homogenisation approaches and uploading the results, to analyse the performances of their techniques. Everyone who works on the homogenization of climate data is cordially invited to join this exercise. HOME is also working on the production of a daily benchmark dataset, to reproduce the experiment described above, but in a lower temporal resolution, and on the preparation of freely available homogenization tools, including the best performing approaches.

  14. Assessing the Costs of Adequacy in California Public Schools: A Cost Function Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Imazeki, Jennifer

    2008-01-01

    In this study, a cost function is used to estimate the costs for California districts to meet the achievement goals set out for them by the state. I calculate estimates of base costs (i.e., per pupil costs in a district with relatively low levels of student need) and marginal costs (i.e., the additional costs associated with specific student…

  15. Cost estimation: An expert-opinion approach. [cost analysis of research projects using the Delphi method (forecasting)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buffalano, C.; Fogleman, S.; Gielecki, M.

    1976-01-01

    A methodology is outlined which can be used to estimate the costs of research and development projects. The approach uses the Delphi technique a method developed by the Rand Corporation for systematically eliciting and evaluating group judgments in an objective manner. The use of the Delphi allows for the integration of expert opinion into the cost-estimating process in a consistent and rigorous fashion. This approach can also signal potential cost-problem areas. This result can be a useful tool in planning additional cost analysis or in estimating contingency funds. A Monte Carlo approach is also examined.

  16. Applications and rewards of cost accounting: a practical approach.

    PubMed

    Gottlieb, J A; Suskin, S W

    1986-07-01

    This article is organized to present the full process of cost accounting. Cost behavior characteristics will be explained to provide a foundation for classifying specific types of cost. An overview of cost accounting applications is presented with discussions of productivity monitoring, contract pricing, program evaluation and strategic planning.

  17. Approaches to the Analysis of School Costs, an Introduction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Payzant, Thomas

    A review and general discussion of quantitative and qualitative techniques for the analysis of economic problems outside of education is presented to help educators discover new tools for planning, allocating, and evaluating educational resources. The pamphlet covers some major components of cost accounting, cost effectiveness, cost-benefit…

  18. Airborne LaCoste & Romberg gravimetry: a space domain approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbasi, M.; Barriot, J. P.; Verdun, J.

    2007-04-01

    This paper introduces a new approach to reduce the airborne gravity data acquired by a LaCoste & Romberg (L&R) air/sea gravimeter, or other similar gravimeters. The acceleration exerted on the gravimeter is the sum of gravity and the vertical and Eötvös accelerations of the aircraft. The L&R gravimeter outputs are: (1) the beam position, (2) the spring tension and (3) the cross coupling. Vertical and Eötvös accelerations are computed from GPS-derived aircraft positions. However, the vertical perturbing acceleration sensed by the gravimeter is not the same as the one sensed by the aircraft (via GPS). A determination of the aircraft-to-sensor transfer function is necessary. The second-order differential equation of the motion of the gravimeter’s beam mixes all the input and output parameters of the gravimeter. Conventionally, low-pass filtering in the frequency domain is used to extract the gravity signal, the filter being applied to each flight-line individually. By transforming the differential equation into an integral equation and by introducing related covariance matrices, we develop a new filtering method based on a least-squares approach that is able to take into account, in one stage, the data corresponding to all flight-lines. The a posteriori covariance matrix of the estimated gravity signal is an internal criterion of the precision of the method. As an example, we estimate the gravity values along the flight-lines from an airborne gravity survey over the Alps and introduce an a priori covariance matrix of the gravity disturbances from a global geopotential model. This matrix is used to regularize the ill-posed Fredholm integral equation introduced in this paper.

  19. A market approach to better care at lower cost.

    PubMed

    Antos, Joseph

    2015-11-01

    The Affordable Care Act expanded health insurance coverage in the United States but did little to address the structural problems that plague the U.S. health care system. Controlling cost while maintaining or improving access to quality care requires a more fundamental reform based on market principles. Such an approach means aligning the financial incentives of patients and providers to promote smarter spending. It also requires better information and more flexible regulation to promote well-functioning competitive markets. Key elements of these reforms include setting reasonable limits on subsidies for Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance; modernizing the Medicare program and adopting reforms that promote competition between traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage; allowing greater flexibility for states in running their Medicaid programs; enacting smarter regulations to protect consumers without imposing greater inefficiency on the health market; and promoting more direct consumer involvement in all phases of their health and health care. These changes will challenge academic medical centers as a new era of creativity and competition emerges in the health care market. PMID:26375266

  20. Parts and Components Reliability Assessment: A Cost Effective Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Lydia

    2009-01-01

    System reliability assessment is a methodology which incorporates reliability analyses performed at parts and components level such as Reliability Prediction, Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) to assess risks, perform design tradeoffs, and therefore, to ensure effective productivity and/or mission success. The system reliability is used to optimize the product design to accommodate today?s mandated budget, manpower, and schedule constraints. Stand ard based reliability assessment is an effective approach consisting of reliability predictions together with other reliability analyses for electronic, electrical, and electro-mechanical (EEE) complex parts and components of large systems based on failure rate estimates published by the United States (U.S.) military or commercial standards and handbooks. Many of these standards are globally accepted and recognized. The reliability assessment is especially useful during the initial stages when the system design is still in the development and hard failure data is not yet available or manufacturers are not contractually obliged by their customers to publish the reliability estimates/predictions for their parts and components. This paper presents a methodology to assess system reliability using parts and components reliability estimates to ensure effective productivity and/or mission success in an efficient manner, low cost, and tight schedule.

  1. A market approach to better care at lower cost.

    PubMed

    Antos, Joseph

    2015-11-01

    The Affordable Care Act expanded health insurance coverage in the United States but did little to address the structural problems that plague the U.S. health care system. Controlling cost while maintaining or improving access to quality care requires a more fundamental reform based on market principles. Such an approach means aligning the financial incentives of patients and providers to promote smarter spending. It also requires better information and more flexible regulation to promote well-functioning competitive markets. Key elements of these reforms include setting reasonable limits on subsidies for Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance; modernizing the Medicare program and adopting reforms that promote competition between traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage; allowing greater flexibility for states in running their Medicaid programs; enacting smarter regulations to protect consumers without imposing greater inefficiency on the health market; and promoting more direct consumer involvement in all phases of their health and health care. These changes will challenge academic medical centers as a new era of creativity and competition emerges in the health care market.

  2. A pragmatist's approach to pathology costing: the Welsh Datatree project.

    PubMed Central

    Gozzard, D. I.; Macaulay, M. E.; Nuttall, D. S.; Jones, E. R.

    1992-01-01

    The Datatree costing project in Wales has provided the Welsh pathology laboratories with a standard costing package that allows pathologists to understand how their own laboratory's test costs are compiled. The software provides answers to the question "what if? ..." and shows instantly the effect of salary or consumable cost alterations. Resource management at a laboratory level is enhanced by a greater knowledge of costs, particularly in relation to volumes of work. Perhaps this is one of the stepping-stones across the river to the "open market." In the United Kingdom NHS any information of this kind must be regarded as invaluable. PMID:1401171

  3. How Costly is Hospital Quality? A Revealed-Preference Approach*

    PubMed Central

    Romley, John A.; Goldman, Dana P.

    2013-01-01

    We analyze the cost of quality improvement in hospitals, dealing with two challenges. Hospital quality is multidimensional and hard to measure, while unobserved productivity may influence quality supply. We infer the quality of hospitals in Los Angeles from patient choices. We then incorporate ‘revealed quality’ into a cost function, instrumenting with hospital demand. We find that revealed quality differentiates hospitals, but is not strongly correlated with clinical quality. Revealed quality is quite costly, and tends to increase with hospital productivity. Thus, non-clinical aspects of the hospital experience (perhaps including patient amenities) play important roles in hospital demand, competition, and costs. PMID:22299199

  4. An Approach to Cost Studies in Small Colleges.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gamso, Gary

    This manual is designed to provide an alternative for small colleges that are unable to use computer-based software and models available through the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS). Included are concepts drawn from other NCHEMS costing projects, using simplified worksheets for cost-analysis computations rather than…

  5. The Cost Effectiveness of 22 Approaches for Raising Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yeh, Stuart S.

    2010-01-01

    Review of cost-effectiveness studies suggests that rapid assessment is more cost effective with regard to student achievement than comprehensive school reform (CSR), cross-age tutoring, computer-assisted instruction, a longer school day, increases in teacher education, teacher experience or teacher salaries, summer school, more rigorous math…

  6. Full Costing of Business Programs: Benefits and Caveats

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simmons, Cynthia; Wright, Michael; Jones, Vernon

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: To suggest an approach to program costing that includes the approaches and concepts developed in activity based costing. Design/methodology/approach: The paper utilizes a hypothetical case study of an Executive MBA program as a means of illustrating the suggested approach to costing. Findings: The paper illustrates both the benefits of…

  7. Earth Observatory Satellite system definition study. Report 4: Low cost management approach and recommendations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    An analysis of low cost management approaches for the development of the Earth Observatory Satellite (EOS) is presented. The factors of the program which tend to increase costs are identified. The NASA/Industry interface is stressed to show how the interface can be improved to produce reduced program costs. Techniques and examples of cost reduction which can be applied to the EOS program are tabulated. Specific recommendations for actions to be taken to reduce costs in prescribed areas are submitted.

  8. Calculation of the Average Cost per Case of Dengue Fever in Mexico Using a Micro-Costing Approach

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Introduction The increasing burden of dengue fever (DF) in the Americas, and the current epidemic in previously unaffected countries, generate major costs for national healthcare systems. There is a need to quantify the average cost per DF case. In Mexico, few data are available on costs, despite DF being endemic in some areas. Extrapolations from studies in other countries may prove unreliable and are complicated by the two main Mexican healthcare systems (the Secretariat of Health [SS] and the Mexican Social Security Institute [IMSS]). The present study aimed to generate specific average DF cost-per-case data for Mexico using a micro-costing approach. Methods Expected medical costs associated with an ideal management protocol for DF (denoted ´ideal costs´) were compared with the medical costs of current treatment practice (denoted ´real costs´) in 2012. Real cost data were derived from chart review of DF cases and interviews with patients and key personnel from 64 selected hospitals and ambulatory care units in 16 states for IMSS and SS. In both institutions, ideal and real costs were estimated using the program, actions, activities, tasks, inputs (PAATI) approach, a micro-costing technique developed by us. Results Clinical pathways were obtained for 1,168 patients following review of 1,293 charts. Ideal and real costs for SS patients were US$165.72 and US$32.60, respectively, in the outpatient setting, and US$587.77 and US$490.93, respectively, in the hospital setting. For IMSS patients, ideal and real costs were US$337.50 and US$92.03, respectively, in the outpatient setting, and US$2,042.54 and US$1,644.69 in the hospital setting. Conclusions The markedly higher ideal versus real costs may indicate deficiencies in the actual care of patients with DF. It may be necessary to derive better estimates with micro-costing techniques and compare the ideal protocol with current practice when calculating these costs, as patients do not always receive optimal care

  9. Estimating the Costs of Educating Handicapped Children: A Resource-Cost Model Approach. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartman, William T.

    The research described in this report attempts to estimate the costs of providing an appropriate education to all school-aged handicapped children by 1980-81. The study begins by addressing the aspects of special education that will help to predict future costs--patterns of growth to the present, legal and political mandates, the nature of various…

  10. Cost-effectiveness evaluation of an RCT in rehabilitation after lumbar spinal fusion: a low-cost, behavioural approach is cost-effective over individual exercise therapy

    PubMed Central

    Bünger, Cody E.; Laurberg, Ida; Christensen, Finn B.

    2007-01-01

    Recently, Christensen et al. reported the clinical effects of a low-cost rehabilitation program equally efficient to a relatively intensive program of individual, physiotherapist-guided exercise therapy. Yet, the low-cost approach is not fully supported as an optimal strategy until a full-scale economic evaluation, including extra-hospital effects such as service utilization in the primary health care sector and return-to-work, is conducted. The objective of this study was to conduct such evalution i.e. investigate the cost-effectiveness of (1) a low-cost rehabilitation regimen with a behavioural element and (2) a regimen of individual exercise therapy, both in comparison with usual practice, from a health economic, societal perspective. Study design was a cost-effectiveness evaluation of an RCT with a 2-year follow-up. Ninety patients having had posterolateral or circumferential fusion (indicated by chronic low back pain and localized pathology) were randomized 3 months after their spinal fusion. Validated pain- and disability index scales were applied at baseline and at 2 years postoperative. Costs were measured in a full-scale societal perspective. The probability of the behavioural approach being cost-effective was close to 1 given pain as the prioritized effect measure, and 0.8 to 0.6 (dependent on willingness to pay per effect unit) given disability as the prioritized effect measure. The probability of the exercise therapy approach being cost-effective was modest due to inferior effectiveness. Results proved robust to relevant sensitivity analysis although a differentiated cost-effectiveness ratio between males and females was suspected. In conclusion, a simple behavioural extension, of setting up group meetings for patients, to a regimen with a strict physiotherapeutic focus was found cost-effective, whereas the cost-effectiveness of increasing frequency and guidance of a traditional physiotherapeutic regimen was unlikely in present trial setting. PMID

  11. Low-Cost Approaches to Deep Space Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Squibb, G. F.; Edwards, C. D.; Schober, W. R.; Hooke, A. J.; Tai, W. S.; Pollmeier, V. M.

    2000-01-01

    The past decade has brought about a radical transformation in NASA's planetary exploration program. At the beginning of this decade, NASA was focused on the Cassini mission to Saturn. Following on the heels of the successful Voyager and Galileo missions, Cassini represents the culmination of an evolution towards successively larger, more complex, and more expensive spacecraft. The Cassini spacecraft weighs in at over 5 metric tons, and carries an entry probe and a sophisticated suite of sensors supporting 27 different science investigations enabling a comprehensive scientific investigation of Saturn with a single spacecraft. The cost of this spacecraft exceeded $2B, including the cost of the large Titan IV launch vehicle. During Cassini development, NASA realized that it could no longer afford these "flagship" missions, and the agency moved aggressively towards a "faster, better, cheaper" design philosophy of focused science goals and simpler, rapidly-developed spacecraft, allowing much more frequent launches of smaller, lower-cost missions. The Mars Global Surveyor, launched in November 1996, is an example of this new paradigm. Developed in less than 3-years, MGS is only one-fifth the mass of Cassini, and only cost on the order of $220M. The reduced spacecraft mass allows use of the smaller, lower cost Delta launch vehicle. Currently in orbit about Mars, MGS carries a focused suite of six science instruments that are currently returning high-resolution remote sensing of the Martian surface. The future calls for continued even more aggressive mass and cost targets. Examples of these next-generation goals are embodied in the Mars Micromission spacecraft concept, targeted for launch in 2003. With a mass of only 200kg, this lightweight bus can be tailored to carry a variety of payloads to Mars or other inner-planet destinations. The design of the Micromission spacecraft enable them to be launched at extremely low cost as a secondary "piggyback" payload.

  12. Cost-Effective Marine Protection--A Pragmatic Approach.

    PubMed

    Oinonen, Soile; Hyytiäinen, Kari; Ahlvik, Lassi; Laamanen, Maria; Lehtoranta, Virpi; Salojärvi, Joona; Virtanen, Jarno

    2016-01-01

    This paper puts forward a framework for probabilistic and holistic cost-effectiveness analysis to provide support in selecting the least-cost set of measures to reach a multidimensional environmental objective. Following the principles of ecosystem-based management, the framework includes a flexible methodology for deriving and populating criteria for effectiveness and costs and analyzing complex ecological-economic trade-offs under uncertainty. The framework is applied in the development of the Finnish Programme of Measures (PoM) for reaching the targets of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). The numerical results demonstrate that substantial cost savings can be realized from careful consideration of the costs and multiple effects of management measures. If adopted, the proposed PoM would yield improvements in the state of the Baltic Sea, but the overall objective of the MSFD would not be reached by the target year of 2020; for various environmental and administrative reasons, it would take longer for most measures to take full effect. PMID:26751965

  13. Cost-Effective Marine Protection - A Pragmatic Approach

    PubMed Central

    Oinonen, Soile; Hyytiäinen, Kari; Ahlvik, Lassi; Laamanen, Maria; Lehtoranta, Virpi; Salojärvi, Joona; Virtanen, Jarno

    2016-01-01

    This paper puts forward a framework for probabilistic and holistic cost-effectiveness analysis to provide support in selecting the least-cost set of measures to reach a multidimensional environmental objective. Following the principles of ecosystem-based management, the framework includes a flexible methodology for deriving and populating criteria for effectiveness and costs and analyzing complex ecological-economic trade-offs under uncertainty. The framework is applied in the development of the Finnish Programme of Measures (PoM) for reaching the targets of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). The numerical results demonstrate that substantial cost savings can be realized from careful consideration of the costs and multiple effects of management measures. If adopted, the proposed PoM would yield improvements in the state of the Baltic Sea, but the overall objective of the MSFD would not be reached by the target year of 2020; for various environmental and administrative reasons, it would take longer for most measures to take full effect. PMID:26751965

  14. An alternate approach to hospital cost control: the Rochester project.

    PubMed Central

    Sorensen, A A; Saward, E W

    1978-01-01

    The rapid escalation in health care costs has demonstrated a need to control costs in general and hospital costs in particular. In New York State, efforts at control have followed one of several paths, including reduction of Medicaid program expenditures, elimination of hospital beds, and prospective reimbursement of hospital costs. Although some success has been achieved in each of these areas, hospital costs containment has not been as successful as had been hoped. A new project called MAXICAP, being developed in the Rochester region, seeks to link payment with regional hospital planning. MAXICAP represents a voluntary attempt by hospitals, third party payers, planners, consumers, and governmental agencies to devise a prospective hospital payment system. Under this system community hospital plans in the Rochester region would be integrated and a cap imposed on both revenues and expenses for acute hospital care. The principal advantage of the MAXICAP is that it offers a mechanism for linking hospital planning with payment functions on a regional basis. The principal disadvantage is that the success of the MAXICAP depends upon the voluntary cooperation of the vast majority of the acute care hospitals in the area--hospitals that may be scattered throughout a relatively large region. PMID:98805

  15. Economic evaluations of solar thermal energy systems using a levelized energy cost approach

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, T.A.; Dirks, J.A.

    1985-11-01

    This paper discusses a Levelized Energy Cost (LEC) approach to economic evaluations of solar thermal power plants. Levelized Energy Costs are life cycle costs that include a plant's capital cost, total operation and maintenance cost, taxes, interest, and return on investment. A LEC approach provides an economically correct treatment of these costs and allows an evaluation of alternative solar thermal power systems. In this paper, general economic principals relating to LEC calculations such as the time value of money, discount rate, net present value, and annualized cost are defined and explained. The use of LEC analyses in choosing between alternatives is discussed. Then the simplified approach for calculating an LEC using the standard economic assumptions for solar thermal applications is presented. Finally, a way to easily carry out the LEC calculation on a microcomputer is given.

  16. Approaches to Costing Adult Literacy Programmes, Especially in Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carr-Hill, Roy; Roberts, Fiona; Currie, Elizabeth

    2010-01-01

    Background: This study was originally prepared for the African Inter-Ministerial Conference on Literacy (September 2007) with the objective of analysing the costs of successful adult literacy programmes run both by government ministries, as well as international and national non-governmental organisations. Objectives: This study aims to increase…

  17. Depth of manual dismantling analysis: a cost-benefit approach.

    PubMed

    Achillas, Ch; Aidonis, D; Vlachokostas, Ch; Karagiannidis, A; Moussiopoulos, N; Loulos, V

    2013-04-01

    This paper presents a decision support tool for manufacturers and recyclers towards end-of-life strategies for waste electrical and electronic equipment. A mathematical formulation based on the cost benefit analysis concept is herein analytically described in order to determine the parts and/or components of an obsolete product that should be either non-destructively recovered for reuse or be recycled. The framework optimally determines the depth of disassembly for a given product, taking into account economic considerations. On this basis, it embeds all relevant cost elements to be included in the decision-making process, such as recovered materials and (depreciated) parts/components, labor costs, energy consumption, equipment depreciation, quality control and warehousing. This tool can be part of the strategic decision-making process in order to maximize profitability or minimize end-of-life management costs. A case study to demonstrate the models' applicability is presented for a typical electronic product in terms of structure and material composition. Taking into account the market values of the pilot product's components, the manual disassembly is proven profitable with the marginal revenues from recovered reusable materials to be estimated at 2.93-23.06 €, depending on the level of disassembly. PMID:23374400

  18. A novel approach to reduce greenhouse energy costs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Irradiance, temperature, and carbon dioxide (CO2) are three environmental parameters growers can control during greenhouse production to alter crop growth, quality, and timing. Significant costs are incurred every year, especially during winter and early-spring production, to heat and light the gre...

  19. What Does a College Degree Cost? Comparing Approaches to Measuring "Cost Per Degree". Delta Cost Project White Paper Series

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Nate

    2009-01-01

    What does it cost to provide a bachelor's-level education? This question arises with increasing frequency and urgency as pressure mounts on policymakers and education leaders to increase the education attainment level in the United States, to "Double the Numbers" in some cases. At the same time, the two traditional sources of financing--state…

  20. The Influence of an Activity-Based Explicit Approach on the Turkish Prospective Science Teachers' Conceptions of the Nature of Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Celik, Suat; Bayrakceken, Samih

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of an activity-based explicit nature of science (NOS) instruction undertaken in the context of a "Science, Technology and Society" course on the prospective science teachers' (PSTs') understandings of NOS. In this course, social science based inquiry activities were used to as a context to lead…

  1. Biomass Cost Index: mapping biomass-to-biohydrogen feedstock costs by a new approach.

    PubMed

    Diamantopoulou, L K; Karaoglanoglou, L S; Koukios, E G

    2011-02-01

    Making decisions and developing policy in the field of biofuel and bioenergy is complex because of the large number and potential arrangements of feedstocks, technologies and supply chain options. Although, the technical optimisation and sustainability of any biomass to biofuel production chain is of major importance, the overall chain cost is still considered as the key for their market deployment. A significant percentage of this cost is attributed to primary generation, transportation/handling and pretreatment of the biomass. The separation of the system into smaller semi-independent sub-systems and dealing with their interfaces, provides the pathway to map this complex landscape. The main scope of this work is to present a tool, which was developed for the comparison of diverse biomass-to-biofuel systems, in order to facilitate the cost-wise decision making on this field.

  2. Biomass Cost Index: mapping biomass-to-biohydrogen feedstock costs by a new approach.

    PubMed

    Diamantopoulou, L K; Karaoglanoglou, L S; Koukios, E G

    2011-02-01

    Making decisions and developing policy in the field of biofuel and bioenergy is complex because of the large number and potential arrangements of feedstocks, technologies and supply chain options. Although, the technical optimisation and sustainability of any biomass to biofuel production chain is of major importance, the overall chain cost is still considered as the key for their market deployment. A significant percentage of this cost is attributed to primary generation, transportation/handling and pretreatment of the biomass. The separation of the system into smaller semi-independent sub-systems and dealing with their interfaces, provides the pathway to map this complex landscape. The main scope of this work is to present a tool, which was developed for the comparison of diverse biomass-to-biofuel systems, in order to facilitate the cost-wise decision making on this field. PMID:21074419

  3. External costs of coastal beach pollution: an hedonic approach

    SciTech Connect

    Wilman, E.A.

    1984-01-01

    A technique for inputing a monetary value to the loss in beach recreational services that would result from a hypothetical oil spill in the Georges Bank area combines an oil-spill risk analysis model with a hedonic pricing model of the market for tourist accommodations on Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard. The estimate of beach pollution costs associated with offshore oil development allows a rational judgment of whether the benefits of developing offshore oil outweigh the costs. The method is an effort to improve the economic efficiency of coastal zone management. The report concludes with a discussion of the many sources of uncertainty and suggestions for overcoming them. Five appendices present information on the models, variables, questionnaire responses, beaches, and factor patterns. 7 figures, 27 tables.

  4. Low Cost Manufacturing Approach of High Temperature PMC Components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kannmacher, Kevin

    1997-01-01

    The overall objective is to develop a satisfactory sheet molding compound (SMC) of a high temperature polyimide, such as PMR-11-50, VCAP-75, or NB2-76, and to develop compression molding processing parameters for a random, chopped fiber, high temperature, sheet molding compound that will be more affordable than the traditional hand lay-up fabrication methods. Compression molding will reduce manufacturing costs of composites by: (1) minimizing the conventional machining required after fabrication due to the use of full 360 deg matched tooling, (2) reducing fabrication time by minimizing the intensive hand lay-up operations associated with individual ply fabrication techniques, such as ply orientation and ply count and (3) possibly reducing component mold time by advanced B-staging prior to molding. This program is an integral part of Allison's T406/AE engine family's growth plan, which will utilize technologies developed under NASA's Sub-sonic Transport (AST) programs, UHPTET initiatives, and internally through Allison's IR&D projects. Allison is aggressively pursuing this next generation of engines, with both commercial and military applications, by reducing the overall weight of the engine through the incorporation of advanced, lightweight, high temperature materials, such as polymer matrix composites. This infusion of new materials into the engine is also a major factor in reducing engine cost because it permits the use of physically smaller structural components to achieve the same thrust levels as the generation that it replaced. A lighter, more efficient propulsion system translates to a substantial cost and weight savings to an airframe's structure.

  5. An Industrial Engineering Approach to Cost Containment of Pharmacy Education.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Wendy; Bottenberg, Michelle; Chase, Marilea; Chesnut, Renae; Clarke, Cheryl; Schott, Kathryn; Torry, Ronald; Welty, Tim

    2015-11-25

    A 2-semester project explored employing teams of fourth-year industrial engineering students to optimize some of our academic management processes. Results included significant cost savings and increases in efficiency, effectiveness, and student and faculty satisfaction. While we did not adopt all of the students' recommendations, we did learn some important lessons. For example, an initial investment of time in developing a mutually clear understanding of the problems, constraints, and goals maximizes the value of industrial engineering analysis and recommendations. Overall, industrial engineering was a valuable tool for optimizing certain academic management processes.

  6. An Industrial Engineering Approach to Cost Containment of Pharmacy Education

    PubMed Central

    Bottenberg, Michelle; Chase, Marilea; Chesnut, Renae; Clarke, Cheryl; Schott, Kathryn; Torry, Ronald; Welty, Tim

    2015-01-01

    A 2-semester project explored employing teams of fourth-year industrial engineering students to optimize some of our academic management processes. Results included significant cost savings and increases in efficiency, effectiveness, and student and faculty satisfaction. While we did not adopt all of the students’ recommendations, we did learn some important lessons. For example, an initial investment of time in developing a mutually clear understanding of the problems, constraints, and goals maximizes the value of industrial engineering analysis and recommendations. Overall, industrial engineering was a valuable tool for optimizing certain academic management processes. PMID:26839421

  7. Different approaches to estimating transition costs in the electric- utility industry

    SciTech Connect

    Baxter, L.W.

    1995-10-01

    The term ``transition costs`` describes the potential revenue shortfall (or welfare loss) a utility (or other actor) may experience through government-initiated deregulation of electricity generation. The potential for transition costs arises whenever a regulated industry is subject to competitive market forces as a result of explicit government action. Federal and state proposals to deregulate electricity generation sparked a national debate on transition costs in the electric-utility industry. Industry-wide transition cost estimates range from about $20 billion to $500 billion. Such disparate estimates raise important questions on estimation methods for decision makers. This report examines different approaches to estimating transition costs. The study has three objectives. First, we discuss the concept of transition cost. Second, we identify the major cost categories included in transition cost estimates and summarize the current debate on which specific costs are appropriately included in these estimates. Finally, we identify general and specific estimation approaches and assess their strengths and weaknesses. We relied primarily on the evidentiary records established at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission to identify major cost categories and specific estimation approaches. We also contacted regulatory commission staffs in ten states to ascertain estimation activities in each of these states. We refined a classification framework to describe and assess general estimation options. We subsequently developed and applied criteria to describe and assess specific estimation approaches proposed by federal regulators, state regulators, utilities, independent power companies, and consultants.

  8. In-Hospital Cost Analysis of Total Hip Arthroplasty: Does Surgical Approach Matter?

    PubMed

    Petis, Stephen M; Howard, James L; Lanting, Brent A; Marsh, Jacquelyn D; Vasarhelyi, Edward M

    2016-01-01

    The purposes of this study were to determine the impact of surgical approach on costs of total hip arthroplasty (THA) from a hospital perspective and to provide an updated cost estimation of THA. A prospective, microcosting analysis was performed on 118 patients undergoing a THA through an anterior, lateral, or posterior approach. We determined that overall costs (intraoperative costs and hospital stay) were significantly less for the anterior ($7300.22; 95% confidence interval [CI], 7064.49-7535.95) vs lateral ($7853.10; 95% CI, 7577.29-8128.91; P = .031) and anterior vs posterior approach ($8287.46; 95% CI, 7906.42-8668.51; P < .001). A reduction in hospital length of stay when THA was performed through an anterior approach contributed significantly to an overall reduction in costs from a hospital perspective.

  9. Optimal Investment Under Transaction Costs: A Threshold Rebalanced Portfolio Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tunc, Sait; Donmez, Mehmet Ali; Kozat, Suleyman Serdar

    2013-06-01

    We study optimal investment in a financial market having a finite number of assets from a signal processing perspective. We investigate how an investor should distribute capital over these assets and when he should reallocate the distribution of the funds over these assets to maximize the cumulative wealth over any investment period. In particular, we introduce a portfolio selection algorithm that maximizes the expected cumulative wealth in i.i.d. two-asset discrete-time markets where the market levies proportional transaction costs in buying and selling stocks. We achieve this using "threshold rebalanced portfolios", where trading occurs only if the portfolio breaches certain thresholds. Under the assumption that the relative price sequences have log-normal distribution from the Black-Scholes model, we evaluate the expected wealth under proportional transaction costs and find the threshold rebalanced portfolio that achieves the maximal expected cumulative wealth over any investment period. Our derivations can be readily extended to markets having more than two stocks, where these extensions are pointed out in the paper. As predicted from our derivations, we significantly improve the achieved wealth over portfolio selection algorithms from the literature on historical data sets.

  10. Novel approach for low-cost muzzle flash detection system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voskoboinik, Asher

    2008-04-01

    A low-cost muzzle flash detection based on CMOS sensor technology is proposed. This low-cost technology makes it possible to detect various transient events with characteristic times between dozens of microseconds up to dozens of milliseconds while sophisticated algorithms successfully separate them from false alarms by utilizing differences in geometrical characteristics and/or temporal signatures. The proposed system consists of off-the-shelf smart CMOS cameras with built-in signal and image processing capabilities for pre-processing together with allocated memory for storing a buffer of images for further post-processing. Such a sensor does not require sending giant amounts of raw data to a real-time processing unit but provides all calculations in-situ where processing results are the output of the sensor. This patented CMOS muzzle flash detection concept exhibits high-performance detection capability with very low false-alarm rates. It was found that most false-alarms due to sun glints are from sources at distances of 500-700 meters from the sensor and can be distinguished by time examination techniques from muzzle flash signals. This will enable to eliminate up to 80% of falsealarms due to sun specular reflections in the battle field. Additional effort to distinguish sun glints from suspected muzzle flash signal is made by optimization of the spectral band in Near-IR region. The proposed system can be used for muzzle detection of small arms, missiles and rockets and other military applications.

  11. Relative Costs and Statistical Power in the Extreme Groups Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abrahams, Norman M.; Alf, Edward F., Jr.

    1978-01-01

    The relationship between variables in applied and experimental research is often investigated by the use of extreme groups. Recent analytical work has provided an extreme group procedure that is more powerful than the standard correlational approach. The present article provides procedures to optimize power and thusly resources in such studies.…

  12. The high cost of diarrhoeal illness for urban slum households–a cost-recovery approach: a cohort study

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Ronak B; Stoklosa, Hanni; Shitole, Shrutika; Shitole, Tejal; Sawant, Kiran; Nanarkar, Mahesh; Subbaraman, Ramnath; Ridpath, Alison; Patil-Deshmuk, Anita

    2013-01-01

    Objectives Rapid urbanisation has often meant that public infrastructure has not kept pace with growth leading to urban slums with poor access to water and sanitation and high rates of diarrhoea with greater household costs due to illness. This study sought to determine the monetary cost of diarrhoea to urban slum households in Kaula Bandar slum in Mumbai, India. The study also tested the hypotheses that the cost of water and sanitation infrastructure may be surpassed by the cumulative costs of diarrhoea for households in an urban slum community. Design A cohort study using a baseline survey of a random sample followed by a systematic longitudinal household survey. The baseline survey was administered to a random sample of households. The systematic longitudinal survey was administered to every available household in the community with a case of diarrhoea for a period of 5 weeks. Participants Every household in Kaula Bandar was approached for the longitudinal survey and all available and consenting adults were included. Results The direct cost of medical care for having at least one person in the household with diarrhoea was 205 rupees. Other direct costs brought total expenses to 291 rupees. Adding an average loss of 55 rupees per household from lost wages and monetising lost productivity from homemakers gave a total loss of 409 rupees per household. During the 5-week study period, this community lost an estimated 163 600 rupees or 3635 US dollars due to diarrhoeal illness. Conclusions The lack of basic water and sanitation infrastructure is expensive for urban slum households in this community. Financing approaches that transfer that cost to infrastructure development to prevent illness may be feasible. These findings along with the myriad of unmeasured benefits of preventing diarrhoeal illness add to pressing arguments for investment in basic water and sanitation infrastructure. PMID:23558731

  13. Economic burden of road traffic injuries: a micro-costing approach.

    PubMed

    Riewpaiboon, Arthorn; Piyauthakit, Piyanuch; Chaikledkaew, Usa

    2008-11-01

    This study aimed to determine the economic burden incurred from road traffic injuries in Thailand. It was designed as a prevalence-based cost-of-illness analysis from a societal perspective, employing a micro-costing bottom-up approach. It covered direct medical cost, direct non-medical cost, and indirect cost or productivity loss. Productivity loss covers the costs of work absence or death due to road traffic injuries suffered by persons of working age. We collected data on road traffic injuries and resource utilization which occurred in the fiscal year 2004. A simple random sampling was used to select 200 patients for analysis. The average cost of road traffic injuries per patient was USD 2,596 at 2004 prices. This can be divided into direct cost (USD 102, or 4%) and indirect cost (USD 2,494, or 96%). From these results, we can see that the indirect cost far outweighed the direct cost. To base decisions regarding road safety campaigns on savings of direct costs, particularly direct medical costs, is inadequate. Therefore, data on the complete cost of illness should be taken into account in the planning and creation of a road safety policy. PMID:19062706

  14. A Cost Effective System Design Approach for Critical Space Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abbott, Larry Wayne; Cox, Gary; Nguyen, Hai

    2000-01-01

    NASA-JSC required an avionics platform capable of serving a wide range of applications in a cost-effective manner. In part, making the avionics platform cost effective means adhering to open standards and supporting the integration of COTS products with custom products. Inherently, operation in space requires low power, mass, and volume while retaining high performance, reconfigurability, scalability, and upgradability. The Universal Mini-Controller project is based on a modified PC/104-Plus architecture while maintaining full compatibility with standard COTS PC/104 products. The architecture consists of a library of building block modules, which can be mixed and matched to meet a specific application. A set of NASA developed core building blocks, processor card, analog input/output card, and a Mil-Std-1553 card, have been constructed to meet critical functions and unique interfaces. The design for the processor card is based on the PowerPC architecture. This architecture provides an excellent balance between power consumption and performance, and has an upgrade path to the forthcoming radiation hardened PowerPC processor. The processor card, which makes extensive use of surface mount technology, has a 166 MHz PowerPC 603e processor, 32 Mbytes of error detected and corrected RAM, 8 Mbytes of Flash, and I Mbytes of EPROM, on a single PC/104-Plus card. Similar densities have been achieved with the quad channel Mil-Std-1553 card and the analog input/output cards. The power management built into the processor and its peripheral chip allows the power and performance of the system to be adjusted to meet the requirements of the application, allowing another dimension to the flexibility of the Universal Mini-Controller. Unique mechanical packaging allows the Universal Mini-Controller to accommodate standard COTS and custom oversized PC/104-Plus cards. This mechanical packaging also provides thermal management via conductive cooling of COTS boards, which are typically

  15. Mars Relay Spacecraft: A Low-Cost Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    SvitekT, .; King, J.; Fulton, R.; McOmber, R.; Hastrup, R.; Miller, A.

    1995-01-01

    The next phase of Mars exploration will utilize numerous globally distributed small low-cost devices including landers penetrators microrovers and balloons. Direct-to-Earth communications links if required for these landers will drive the lander design for two reasons: a) mass and complexity needed for a steerable high-gain antenna and b) power requirements for a high-power amplifier (i.e. solar panel and battery mass). Total mass of the direct link hardware for several recent small-lander designs exceeded the mass of the scientific payload. Alternatively if communications are via a Mars-orbiting relay spacecraft resource requirements for the local UHF communication link are comparatively trivial: a simple whip antenna and less than 1 watt power. Clearly using a Mars relay spacecraft (MRS) is the preferred option if the MRS mission can be accomplished in an affordable and robust way. Our paper describes a point design for such a mission launched in the s001 or 2003 opportunity.

  16. Measuring the costs of children: an alternative approach.

    PubMed

    Ray, R

    1983-10-01

    Problems related to the concept of the "cost of a child", more commonly known as the general equivalence scale, are reviewed. The importance of this concept is noted with regard to both theoretical and empirical studies relating to taxation, poverty, income distribution, dietary needs, income maintenance programs, supplementary and child benefits, and other social security payments. "This paper proposes a new methodology for calculating the scale using a framework which is consistent with utility theory and which overcomes the identification problem without having to enforce the arbitrary prior assumptions of recent studies. The proposed method allows easy calculation of not only the basic 'scale' parameter but also how it varies with price and reference utility. [The author illustrates] the usefulness of the procedure by estimating on U.K. budget data at two different levels of aggregation and employing two sets of quite different functional forms. The results are plausible, compare favourably with one another and, hence, confirm the robustness and usefulness of the proposed procedure."

  17. Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA): A Practical and Cost Effective Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Lydia L.; Ingegneri, Antonino J.; Djam, Melody

    2006-01-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is the first mission of the Robotic Lunar Exploration Program (RLEP), a space exploration venture to the Moon, Mars and beyond. The LRO mission includes spacecraft developed by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and seven instruments built by GSFC, Russia, and contractors across the nation. LRO is defined as a measurement mission, not a science mission. It emphasizes the overall objectives of obtaining data to facilitate returning mankind safely to the Moon in preparation for an eventual manned mission to Mars. As the first mission in response to the President's commitment of the journey of exploring the solar system and beyond: returning to the Moon in the next decade, then venturing further into the solar system, ultimately sending humans to Mars and beyond, LRO has high-visibility to the public but limited resources and a tight schedule. This paper demonstrates how NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission project office incorporated reliability analyses in assessing risks and performing design tradeoffs to ensure mission success. Risk assessment is performed using NASA Procedural Requirements (NPR) 8705.5 - Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) Procedures for NASA Programs and Projects to formulate probabilistic risk assessment (PRA). As required, a limited scope PRA is being performed for the LRO project. The PRA is used to optimize the mission design within mandated budget, manpower, and schedule constraints. The technique that LRO project office uses to perform PRA relies on the application of a component failure database to quantify the potential mission success risks. To ensure mission success in an efficient manner, low cost and tight schedule, the traditional reliability analyses, such as reliability predictions, Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), and Fault Tree Analysis (FTA), are used to perform PRA for the large system of LRO with more than 14,000 piece parts and over 120 purchased or contractor

  18. Estimating dietary costs of low-income women in California: A comparison of two approaches

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Objective: Compare two approaches for estimating individual daily diet costs in a population of low-income women in California. Design: Cost estimates based on time-intensive Method 1 (three 24-h recalls and associated food prices on receipts) were compared with estimates using a lesser intensive M...

  19. A bottom-up approach to estimating cost elements of REDD+ pilot projects in Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Several previous global REDD+ cost studies have been conducted, demonstrating that payments for maintaining forest carbon stocks have significant potential to be a cost-effective mechanism for climate change mitigation. These studies have mostly followed highly aggregated top-down approaches without estimating the full range of REDD+ costs elements, thus underestimating the actual costs of REDD+. Based on three REDD+ pilot projects in Tanzania, representing an area of 327,825 ha, this study explicitly adopts a bottom-up approach to data assessment. By estimating opportunity, implementation, transaction and institutional costs of REDD+ we develop a practical and replicable methodological framework to consistently assess REDD+ cost elements. Results Based on historical land use change patterns, current region-specific economic conditions and carbon stocks, project-specific opportunity costs ranged between US$ -7.8 and 28.8 tCOxxxx for deforestation and forest degradation drivers such as agriculture, fuel wood production, unsustainable timber extraction and pasture expansion. The mean opportunity costs for the three projects ranged between US$ 10.1 – 12.5 tCO2. Implementation costs comprised between 89% and 95% of total project costs (excluding opportunity costs) ranging between US$ 4.5 - 12.2 tCO2 for a period of 30 years. Transaction costs for measurement, reporting, verification (MRV), and other carbon market related compliance costs comprised a minor share, between US$ 0.21 - 1.46 tCO2. Similarly, the institutional costs comprised around 1% of total REDD+ costs in a range of US$ 0.06 – 0.11 tCO2. Conclusions The use of bottom-up approaches to estimate REDD+ economics by considering regional variations in economic conditions and carbon stocks has been shown to be an appropriate approach to provide policy and decision-makers robust economic information on REDD+. The assessment of opportunity costs is a crucial first step to provide information on the

  20. easySTORM: a robust, lower-cost approach to localisation and TIRF microscopy.

    PubMed

    Kwakwa, Kwasi; Savell, Alexander; Davies, Timothy; Munro, Ian; Parrinello, Simona; Purbhoo, Marco A; Dunsby, Chris; Neil, Mark A A; French, Paul M W

    2016-09-01

    TIRF and STORM microscopy are super-resolving fluorescence imaging modalities for which current implementations on standard microscopes can present significant complexity and cost. We present a straightforward and low-cost approach to implement STORM and TIRF taking advantage of multimode optical fibres and multimode diode lasers to provide the required excitation light. Combined with open source software and relatively simple protocols to prepare samples for STORM, including the use of Vectashield for non-TIRF imaging, this approach enables TIRF and STORM imaging of cells labelled with appropriate dyes or expressing suitable fluorescent proteins to become widely accessible at low cost. PMID:27592533

  1. Cost Allocation of Multiagency Water Resource Projects: Game Theoretic Approaches and Case Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lejano, Raul P.; Davos, Climis A.

    1995-05-01

    Water resource projects are often jointly carried out by a number of communities and agencies. Participation in a joint project depends on how costs are allocated among the participants and how cost shares compare with the cost of independent projects. Cooperative N-person game theory offers approaches which yield cost allocations that satisfy rationality conditions favoring participation. A new solution concept, the normalized nucleolus, is discussed and applied to a water reuse project in southern California. Results obtained with the normalized nucleolus are compared with those derived with more traditional solution concepts, namely, the nucleolus and the Shapley value.

  2. A Project Management Approach to Using Simulation for Cost Estimation on Large, Complex Software Development Projects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mizell, Carolyn; Malone, Linda

    2007-01-01

    It is very difficult for project managers to develop accurate cost and schedule estimates for large, complex software development projects. None of the approaches or tools available today can estimate the true cost of software with any high degree of accuracy early in a project. This paper provides an approach that utilizes a software development process simulation model that considers and conveys the level of uncertainty that exists when developing an initial estimate. A NASA project will be analyzed using simulation and data from the Software Engineering Laboratory to show the benefits of such an approach.

  3. A prevalence-based approach to societal costs occurring in consequence of child abuse and neglect

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Traumatization in childhood can result in lifelong health impairment and may have a negative impact on other areas of life such as education, social contacts and employment as well. Despite the frequent occurrence of traumatization, which is reflected in a 14.5 percent prevalence rate of severe child abuse and neglect, the economic burden of the consequences is hardly known. The objective of this prevalence-based cost-of-illness study is to show how impairment of the individual is reflected in economic trauma follow-up costs borne by society as a whole in Germany and to compare the results with other countries’ costs. Methods From a societal perspective trauma follow-up costs were estimated using a bottom-up approach. The literature-based prevalence rate includes emotional, physical and sexual abuse as well as physical and emotional neglect in Germany. Costs are derived from individual case scenarios of child endangerment presented in a German cost-benefit-analysis. A comparison with trauma follow-up costs in Australia, Canada and the USA is based on purchasing power parity. Results The annual trauma follow-up costs total to a margin of EUR 11.1 billion for the lower bound and to EUR 29.8 billion for the upper bound. This equals EUR 134.84 and EUR 363.58, respectively, per capita for the German population. These results conform to the ones obtained from cost studies conducted in Australia (lower bound) and Canada (upper bound), whereas the result for the United States is much lower. Conclusion Child abuse and neglect result in trauma follow-up costs of economically relevant magnitude for the German society. Although the result is well in line with other countries’ costs, the general lack of data should be fought in order to enable more detailed future studies. Creating a reliable cost data basis in the first place can pave the way for long-term cost savings. PMID:23158382

  4. A new approach to risk assessment integrating scientific evaluation and economic assessment of costs and benefits.

    PubMed

    Barnard, R C

    1996-10-01

    Traditional quantitative risk assessment based on conservative generic assumptions led to an upper-bound risk value with minimum or no consideration of costs and benefits. There is a growing consensus for a new approach to risk assessment based on a combination of scientific risk assessment and economic cost-benefit analysis. Scientific evaluation would be improved to support the economic cost-benefit analysis. The objective is to demonstrate whether the benefits justify the costs. The move in the new direction is shown by Executive Order 12866 and the Office of Management and Budget implementing document, the proposed regulatory reform legislation in Congress, the draft report of the Risk Assessment and Risk Management Commission, and the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 that enacted the new approach combining scientific and economic assessment of risk. This Commentary discusses these developments with particular reference to contemplated changes in scientific risk assessment to support a parallel economic risk-benefit analysis. PMID:8933625

  5. Economic Evaluation of Mental Health Interventions: A Guide to Costing Approaches.

    PubMed

    Shearer, James; McCrone, Paul; Romeo, Renee

    2016-07-01

    Costing approaches in the economic evaluation of mental health interventions are complicated by the broad societal impacts of mental health, and the multidisciplinary nature of mental health interventions. This paper aims to provide a practical guide to costing approaches across a wide range of care inputs and illness consequences relevant to the treatment of mental health. The resources needed to deliver mental health interventions are highly variable and depend on treatment settings (institutional, community), treatment providers (medical, non-medical) and formats (individual, group, electronic). Establishing the most appropriate perspective is crucial when assessing the costs associated with a particular mental health problem or when evaluating interventions to treat them. We identify five key cost categories (social care, informal care, production losses, crime and education) impacted by mental health and discuss contemporary issues in resource use measurement and valuation, including data sources and resource use instruments. PMID:26922076

  6. A time-and-motion approach to micro-costing of high-throughput genomic assays

    PubMed Central

    Costa, S.; Regier, D.A.; Meissner, B.; Cromwell, I.; Ben-Neriah, S.; Chavez, E.; Hung, S.; Steidl, C.; Scott, D.W.; Marra, M.A.; Peacock, S.J.; Connors, J.M.

    2016-01-01

    Background Genomic technologies are increasingly used to guide clinical decision-making in cancer control. Economic evidence about the cost-effectiveness of genomic technologies is limited, in part because of a lack of published comprehensive cost estimates. In the present micro-costing study, we used a time-and-motion approach to derive cost estimates for 3 genomic assays and processes—digital gene expression profiling (gep), fluorescence in situ hybridization (fish), and targeted capture sequencing, including bioinformatics analysis—in the context of lymphoma patient management. Methods The setting for the study was the Department of Lymphoid Cancer Research laboratory at the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver, British Columbia. Mean per-case hands-on time and resource measurements were determined from a series of direct observations of each assay. Per-case cost estimates were calculated using a bottom-up costing approach, with labour, capital and equipment, supplies and reagents, and overhead costs included. Results The most labour-intensive assay was found to be fish at 258.2 minutes per case, followed by targeted capture sequencing (124.1 minutes per case) and digital gep (14.9 minutes per case). Based on a historical case throughput of 180 cases annually, the mean per-case cost (2014 Canadian dollars) was estimated to be $1,029.16 for targeted capture sequencing and bioinformatics analysis, $596.60 for fish, and $898.35 for digital gep with an 807-gene code set. Conclusions With the growing emphasis on personalized approaches to cancer management, the need for economic evaluations of high-throughput genomic assays is increasing. Through economic modelling and budget-impact analyses, the cost estimates presented here can be used to inform priority-setting decisions about the implementation of such assays in clinical practice. PMID:27803594

  7. A low cost commercial approach to space systems development and operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonner, T. F.; Faget, M. A.; Allen, J. P.; Langstaff, D. H.

    In recent years a number of factors have led to increased attention to the lowering of costs for space flight systems and the operation of those systems. To that end Space Industries Inc. (SII), a small commercial space company based in Houston, Tex., is employing proven methods derived from over three decades of space flight development and space operations. These methods are based on a philosophy that is cost-sensitive focused with a primary objective to drive the cost of space systems and their operations down to the lowest level practical, consistent with the mission objectives, acceptable risk and safety considerations. This approach involves a process of: (1) addressing the basic requirements in the simplest and most cost effective manner, i.e. limit new development wherever possible, maximize use of proven and existing technology and eliminate non-essential requirements; (2) incorporation of proven industrial practices where possible, i.e. focus on performance envelopes (not on restrictive, specific and detailed specifications) and streamline program management, documentation, testing and other procedures; and (3) delivery of the "best" price, i.e. maximum customer utility at minimum cost with emphasis on customer service. The overriding factor, and indeed the most important aspect of the low cost commercial approach, is the willingness to accept greater risks to achieve all of the user's objectives. Our development approach is customer focused with emphasis on fully understanding the customer needs while striving constantly to limit new development requirements and, consequently, additional costs. This approach involves a process of designing for operations, i.e. low operation and life-cycle costs, while ensuring a reliability level consistent with customer budget constraints, mission objectives and safety consideration. In executing this low cost, customer-focused approach, we strive to maintain minimal overheads, simple interfaces, reduced documentation

  8. The common engine concept for ALS application - A cost reduction approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bair, E. K.; Schindler, C. M.

    1989-01-01

    Future launch systems require the application of propulsion systems which have been designed and developed to meet mission model needs while providing high degrees of reliability and cost effectiveness. Vehicle configurations which utilize different propellant combinations for booster and core stages can benefit from a common engine approach where a single engine design can be configured to operate on either set of propellants and thus serve as either a booster or core engine. Engine design concepts and mission application for a vehicle employing a common engine are discussed. Engine program cost estimates were made and cost savings, over the design and development of two unique engines, estimated.

  9. Application of Bayesian Approach to Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Antiviral Treatments in Chronic Hepatitis B

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hua; Huo, Mingdong; Chao, Jianqian; Liu, Pei

    2016-01-01

    Background Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major problem for public health; timely antiviral treatment can significantly prevent the progression of liver damage from HBV by slowing down or stopping the virus from reproducing. In the study we applied Bayesian approach to cost-effectiveness analysis, using Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation methods for the relevant evidence input into the model to evaluate cost-effectiveness of entecavir (ETV) and lamivudine (LVD) therapy for chronic hepatitis B (CHB) in Jiangsu, China, thus providing information to the public health system in the CHB therapy. Methods Eight-stage Markov model was developed, a hypothetical cohort of 35-year-old HBeAg-positive patients with CHB was entered into the model. Treatment regimens were LVD100mg daily and ETV 0.5 mg daily. The transition parameters were derived either from systematic reviews of the literature or from previous economic studies. The outcome measures were life-years, quality-adjusted lifeyears (QALYs), and expected costs associated with the treatments and disease progression. For the Bayesian models all the analysis was implemented by using WinBUGS version 1.4. Results Expected cost, life expectancy, QALYs decreased with age. Cost-effectiveness increased with age. Expected cost of ETV was less than LVD, while life expectancy and QALYs were higher than that of LVD, ETV strategy was more cost-effective. Costs and benefits of the Monte Carlo simulation were very close to the results of exact form among the group, but standard deviation of each group indicated there was a big difference between individual patients. Conclusions Compared with lamivudine, entecavir is the more cost-effective option. CHB patients should accept antiviral treatment as soon as possible as the lower age the more cost-effective. Monte Carlo simulation obtained costs and effectiveness distribution, indicate our Markov model is of good robustness. PMID:27574976

  10. A New Approach For A Low Cost CPV Module Design Utilizing Micro-Transfer Printing Technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burroughs, Scott; Conner, Robert; Furman, Bruce; Menard, Etienne; Gray, Allen; Meitl, Matthew; Bonafede, Salvatore; Kneeburg, David; Ghosal, Kanchan; Bukovnik, Rudolf; Wagner, Wolfgang; Seel, Steven; Sullivan, Michael

    2010-10-01

    Semprius is applying a novel massively parallel, automated production process to address CPV's reliability, performance, cost, and scalability requirements. The new design approach utilizing patented micro-transfer printing technology enables the use of many very small cells (0.36 mm2) with benefits including high efficiency, simple distributed heat transfer, high concentration ratio, and small thin concentrating optical elements. We briefly describe the design approach and provide detailed supporting on-sun measurements.

  11. [Costing nuclear medicine diagnostic procedures].

    PubMed

    Markou, Pavlos

    2005-01-01

    To the Editor: Referring to a recent special report about the cost analysis of twenty-nine nuclear medicine procedures, I would like to clarify some basic aspects for determining costs of nuclear medicine procedure with various costing methodologies. Activity Based Costing (ABC) method, is a new approach in imaging services costing that can provide the most accurate cost data, but is difficult to perform in nuclear medicine diagnostic procedures. That is because ABC requires determining and analyzing all direct and indirect costs of each procedure, according all its activities. Traditional costing methods, like those for estimating incomes and expenses per procedure or fixed and variable costs per procedure, which are widely used in break-even point analysis and the method of ratio-of-costs-to-charges per procedure may be easily performed in nuclear medicine departments, to evaluate the variability and differences between costs and reimbursement - charges. PMID:15886748

  12. From Physical Process to Economic Cost - Integrated Approaches of Landslide Risk Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klose, M.; Damm, B.

    2014-12-01

    The nature of landslides is complex in many respects, with landslide hazard and impact being dependent on a variety of factors. This obviously requires an integrated assessment for fundamental understanding of landslide risk. Integrated risk assessment, according to the approach presented in this contribution, implies combining prediction of future landslide occurrence with analysis of landslide impact in the past. A critical step for assessing landslide risk in integrated perspective is to analyze what types of landslide damage affected people and property in which way and how people contributed and responded to these damage types. In integrated risk assessment, the focus is on systematic identification and monetization of landslide damage, and analytical tools that allow deriving economic costs from physical landslide processes are at the heart of this approach. The broad spectrum of landslide types and process mechanisms as well as nonlinearity between landslide magnitude, damage intensity, and direct costs are some main factors explaining recent challenges in risk assessment. The two prevailing approaches for assessing the impact of landslides in economic terms are cost survey (ex-post) and risk analysis (ex-ante). Both approaches are able to complement each other, but yet a combination of them has not been realized so far. It is common practice today to derive landslide risk without considering landslide process-based cause-effect relationships, since integrated concepts or new modeling tools expanding conventional methods are still widely missing. The approach introduced in this contribution is based on a systematic framework that combines cost survey and GIS-based tools for hazard or cost modeling with methods to assess interactions between land use practices and landslides in historical perspective. Fundamental understanding of landslide risk also requires knowledge about the economic and fiscal relevance of landslide losses, wherefore analysis of their

  13. A low cost real-time motion tracking approach using webcam technology.

    PubMed

    Krishnan, Chandramouli; Washabaugh, Edward P; Seetharaman, Yogesh

    2015-02-01

    Physical therapy is an important component of gait recovery for individuals with locomotor dysfunction. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that incorporating a motor learning task through visual feedback of movement trajectory is a useful approach to facilitate therapeutic outcomes. Visual feedback is typically provided by recording the subject's limb movement patterns using a three-dimensional motion capture system and displaying it in real-time using customized software. However, this approach can seldom be used in the clinic because of the technical expertise required to operate this device and the cost involved in procuring a three-dimensional motion capture system. In this paper, we describe a low cost two-dimensional real-time motion tracking approach using a simple webcam and an image processing algorithm in LabVIEW Vision Assistant. We also evaluated the accuracy of this approach using a high precision robotic device (Lokomat) across various walking speeds. Further, the reliability and feasibility of real-time motion-tracking were evaluated in healthy human participants. The results indicated that the measurements from the webcam tracking approach were reliable and accurate. Experiments on human subjects also showed that participants could utilize the real-time kinematic feedback generated from this device to successfully perform a motor learning task while walking on a treadmill. These findings suggest that the webcam motion tracking approach is a feasible low cost solution to perform real-time movement analysis and training. PMID:25555306

  14. A low cost real-time motion tracking approach using webcam technology.

    PubMed

    Krishnan, Chandramouli; Washabaugh, Edward P; Seetharaman, Yogesh

    2015-02-01

    Physical therapy is an important component of gait recovery for individuals with locomotor dysfunction. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that incorporating a motor learning task through visual feedback of movement trajectory is a useful approach to facilitate therapeutic outcomes. Visual feedback is typically provided by recording the subject's limb movement patterns using a three-dimensional motion capture system and displaying it in real-time using customized software. However, this approach can seldom be used in the clinic because of the technical expertise required to operate this device and the cost involved in procuring a three-dimensional motion capture system. In this paper, we describe a low cost two-dimensional real-time motion tracking approach using a simple webcam and an image processing algorithm in LabVIEW Vision Assistant. We also evaluated the accuracy of this approach using a high precision robotic device (Lokomat) across various walking speeds. Further, the reliability and feasibility of real-time motion-tracking were evaluated in healthy human participants. The results indicated that the measurements from the webcam tracking approach were reliable and accurate. Experiments on human subjects also showed that participants could utilize the real-time kinematic feedback generated from this device to successfully perform a motor learning task while walking on a treadmill. These findings suggest that the webcam motion tracking approach is a feasible low cost solution to perform real-time movement analysis and training.

  15. Using Top‐down and Bottom‐up Costing Approaches in LMICs: The Case for Using Both to Assess the Incremental Costs of New Technologies at Scale

    PubMed Central

    Sinanovic, Edina; Ramma, Lebogang; Foster, Nicola; Berrie, Leigh; Stevens, Wendy; Molapo, Sebaka; Marokane, Puleng; McCarthy, Kerrigan; Churchyard, Gavin; Vassall, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Purpose Estimating the incremental costs of scaling‐up novel technologies in low‐income and middle‐income countries is a methodologically challenging and substantial empirical undertaking, in the absence of routine cost data collection. We demonstrate a best practice pragmatic approach to estimate the incremental costs of new technologies in low‐income and middle‐income countries, using the example of costing the scale‐up of Xpert Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB)/resistance to riframpicin (RIF) in South Africa. Materials and methods We estimate costs, by applying two distinct approaches of bottom‐up and top‐down costing, together with an assessment of processes and capacity. Results The unit costs measured using the different methods of bottom‐up and top‐down costing, respectively, are $US16.9 and $US33.5 for Xpert MTB/RIF, and $US6.3 and $US8.5 for microscopy. The incremental cost of Xpert MTB/RIF is estimated to be between $US14.7 and $US17.7. While the average cost of Xpert MTB/RIF was higher than previous studies using standard methods, the incremental cost of Xpert MTB/RIF was found to be lower. Conclusion Costs estimates are highly dependent on the method used, so an approach, which clearly identifies resource‐use data collected from a bottom‐up or top‐down perspective, together with capacity measurement, is recommended as a pragmatic approach to capture true incremental cost where routine cost data are scarce. PMID:26763594

  16. Partitioning the Metabolic Cost of Human Running: A Task-by-Task Approach

    PubMed Central

    Arellano, Christopher J.; Kram, Rodger

    2014-01-01

    Compared with other species, humans can be very tractable and thus an ideal “model system” for investigating the metabolic cost of locomotion. Here, we review the biomechanical basis for the metabolic cost of running. Running has been historically modeled as a simple spring-mass system whereby the leg acts as a linear spring, storing, and returning elastic potential energy during stance. However, if running can be modeled as a simple spring-mass system with the underlying assumption of perfect elastic energy storage and return, why does running incur a metabolic cost at all? In 1980, Taylor et al. proposed the “cost of generating force” hypothesis, which was based on the idea that elastic structures allow the muscles to transform metabolic energy into force, and not necessarily mechanical work. In 1990, Kram and Taylor then provided a more explicit and quantitative explanation by demonstrating that the rate of metabolic energy consumption is proportional to body weight and inversely proportional to the time of foot-ground contact for a variety of animals ranging in size and running speed. With a focus on humans, Kram and his colleagues then adopted a task-by-task approach and initially found that the metabolic cost of running could be “individually” partitioned into body weight support (74%), propulsion (37%), and leg-swing (20%). Summing all these biomechanical tasks leads to a paradoxical overestimation of 131%. To further elucidate the possible interactions between these tasks, later studies quantified the reductions in metabolic cost in response to synergistic combinations of body weight support, aiding horizontal forces, and leg-swing-assist forces. This synergistic approach revealed that the interactive nature of body weight support and forward propulsion comprises ∼80% of the net metabolic cost of running. The task of leg-swing at most comprises ∼7% of the net metabolic cost of running and is independent of body weight support and forward

  17. A System Dynamics Approach to Understanding Cost and Revenue Interactions in the Community College Financial System.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howard, James E.

    After identifying the components of a community college financial system as enrollment, costs, revenues and tuition, this paper addresses the need for a system dynamics analysis of a California community college district. This systems approach would assess the possible effects of alternative policies on the characteristic behavior modes of the…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davidson, H. Clint, Jr.

    2004-01-01

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

  19. Classroom Observation of Students and Teachers (COST): A Multiple Payoff Approach to Inservice Training. A Symposium.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knowling, Wynn; And Others

    This group of papers was presented as part of a symposium entitled "Classroom Observation of Students and Teachers (COST): A Multiple Payoff Approach to Inservice Training." The first paper, "Films for Inservice Teacher Training: A Miniworkshop," outlines the rationale and development of the film series of which the film, Consequences of Behavior,…

  20. Proportional Transaction Costs in the Robust Control Approach to Option Pricing: The Uniqueness Theorem

    SciTech Connect

    El Farouq, Naïma; Bernhard, Pierre

    2015-10-15

    We prove the missing uniqueness theorem for the viscosity solution of a quasi-variational inequality related to a minimax impulse control problem modeling the option pricing with proportional transactions costs. This result makes our robust control approach of option pricing in the interval market model essentially complete.

  1. Comparison of Australian and US Cost-Benefit Approaches to MEPS

    SciTech Connect

    McMahon, James E.

    2004-03-12

    The Australian Greenhouse Office contracted with the Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program (CLASP) for LBNL to compare US and Australian approaches to analyzing costs and benefits of minimum energy performance standards (MEPS). This report compares the approaches for three types of products: household refrigerators and freezers, small electric storage water heaters, and commercial/industrial air conditioners. This report presents the findings of similarities and differences between the approaches of the two countries and suggests changes to consider in the approach taken in Australia. The purpose of the Australian program is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while the US program is intended to increase energy efficiency; each program is thus subject to specific constraints. The market and policy contexts are different, with the USA producing most of its own products and conducting pioneering engineering-economic studies to identify maximum energy efficiency levels that are technologically feasible and economically justified. In contrast, Australia imports a large share of its products and adopts MEPS already in place elsewhere. With these differences in circumstances, Australia's analysis approach could be expected to have less analytical detail and still result in MEPS levels that are appropriate for their policy and market context. In practice, the analysis required to meet these different objectives is quite similar. To date, Australia's cost-benefit analysis has served the goals and philosophies of the program well and been highly effective in successfully identifying MEPS that are significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions while providing economic benefits to consumers. In some cases, however, the experience of the USA--using more extensive data sets and more detailed analysis--suggests possible improvements to Australia's cost-benefit analysis. The principal findings of the comparison are: (1) The Technology and Market Assessments are

  2. Application of a design-build-team approach to low cost and weight composite fuselage structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ilcewicz, L. B.; Walker, T. H.; Willden, K. S.; Swanson, G. D.; Truslove, G.; Metschan, S. L.; Pfahl, C. L.

    1991-01-01

    Relationships between manufacturing costs and design details must be understood to promote the application of advanced composite technologies to transport fuselage structures. A team approach, integrating the disciplines responsible for aircraft structural design and manufacturing, was developed to perform cost and weight trade studies for a twenty-foot diameter aft fuselage section. Baseline composite design and manufacturing concepts were selected for large quadrant panels in crown, side, and keel areas of the fuselage section. The associated technical issues were also identified. Detailed evaluation of crown panels indicated the potential for large weight savings and costs competitive with aluminum technology in the 1995 timeframe. Different processes and material forms were selected for the various elements that comprise the fuselage structure. Additional cost and weight savings potential was estimated for future advancements.

  3. The impact of trade costs on rare earth exports : a stochastic frontier estimation approach.

    SciTech Connect

    Sanyal, Prabuddha; Brady, Patrick Vane; Vugrin, Eric D.

    2013-09-01

    The study develops a novel stochastic frontier modeling approach to the gravity equation for rare earth element (REE) trade between China and its trading partners between 2001 and 2009. The novelty lies in differentiating betweenbehind the border' trade costs by China and theimplicit beyond the border costs' of China's trading partners. Results indicate that the significance level of the independent variables change dramatically over the time period. While geographical distance matters for trade flows in both periods, the effect of income on trade flows is significantly attenuated, possibly capturing the negative effects of financial crises in the developed world. Second, the total export losses due tobehind the border' trade costs almost tripled over the time period. Finally, looking atimplicit beyond the border' trade costs, results show China gaining in some markets, although it is likely that some countries are substituting away from Chinese REE exports.

  4. Coronary centerline extraction from CT coronary angiography images using a minimum cost path approach

    SciTech Connect

    Metz, C. T.; Schaap, M.; Weustink, A. C.; Mollet, N. R.; Walsum, T. van; Niessen, W. J.

    2009-12-15

    Purpose: The application and large-scale evaluation of minimum cost path approaches for coronary centerline extraction from computed tomography coronary angiography (CTCA) data and the development and evaluation of a novel method to reduce the user-interaction time. Methods: A semiautomatic method based on a minimum cost path approach is evaluated for two different cost functions. The first cost function is based on a frequently used vesselness measure and intensity information, and the second is a recently proposed cost function based on region statistics. User interaction is minimized to one or two mouse clicks distally in the coronary artery. The starting point for the minimum cost path search is automatically determined using a newly developed method that finds a point in the center of the aorta in one of the axial slices. This step ensures that all computationally expensive parts of the algorithm can be precomputed. Results: The performance of the aorta localization procedure was demonstrated by a success rate of 100% in 75 images. The success rate and accuracy of centerline extraction was quantitatively evaluated on 48 coronary arteries in 12 images by comparing extracted centerlines with a manually annotated reference standard. The method was able to extract 88% and 47% of the vessel centerlines correctly using the vesselness/intensity and region statistics cost function, respectively. For only the proximal part of the vessels these values were 97% and 86%, respectively. Accuracy of centerline extraction, defined as the average distance from correctly automatically extracted parts of the centerline to the reference standard, was 0.64 mm for the vesselness/intensity and 0.51 mm for the region statistics cost function. The interobserver variability was 99% for the success rate measure and 0.42 mm for the accuracy measure. Qualitative evaluation using the best performing cost function resulted in successful centerline extraction for 233 out of the 252

  5. A cost comparison of open versus percutaneous approaches to management of large staghorn calculi

    PubMed Central

    Sinha, Maneesh; John, K. R.; Chacko, K. N.; Gopalakrishnan, Ganesh

    2008-01-01

    Aim: This paper compares the cost of open versus percutaneous approaches to the management of large staghorn calculi in a tertiary care hospital in India. Materials and Methods: Patients who underwent surgery for staghorn calculi larger than 6 cm between January 1998 and December 2003 were included. Those who had confounding factors in terms of cost such as additional surgical or medical procedures and complications unrelated to the surgery were excluded. The process of costing was done by following the clinical pathway. Results: There were 13 patients who had open stone surgery and 19 patients who underwent percutaneous nephrolithotripsy (PCNL). The major differences in cost were seen in the higher cost of instruments and consumables in the PCNL group. The cost of management of complications widened this gap. Two patients in the PCNL group and none in the residual group required redo surgery. The residual stones in the open and PCNL groups required a mean of 2525 and 3623 shocks per patient respectively. Complete clearance after redo surgery and Shockwave lithotripsy (SWL) was seen in 92% and 58% in the open and PCNL arms respectively. The overall cost per patient was $625 per PCNL and $499 per open surgery. The final mean residual stone size in the PCNL group was 4.84 mm whereas it was 0.38 mm in the open group. The effective cost of achieving complete clearance in one patient was $1078 in the PCNL group and $543 in the open group. Conclusion: Open stone surgery is less costly than PCNL in large staghorn calculi. PMID:19468354

  6. Assessing cost-utility of predictive biomarkers in oncology: a streamlined approach.

    PubMed

    Safonov, Anton; Wang, Shiyi; Gross, Cary P; Agarwal, Divyansh; Bianchini, Giampaolo; Pusztai, Lajos; Hatzis, Christos

    2016-01-01

    Evaluation of cost-utility is critical in assessing the medical utility of predictive or prognostic biomarkers. Current methods involve complex state-transition models, requiring comprehensive data inputs. We propose a simplified decision-analytic tool to explore the relative effect of factors contributing to the cost-utility of a biomarker. We derived a cost-utility metric, the "test incremental cost-effectiveness ratio" (TICER) for biomarker-guided treatment compared to no biomarker use. This method uses data inputs readily accessible through clinical literature. We compared our results with traditional cost-effectiveness analysis of predictive biomarkers for established (HER2-guided trastuzumab, ALK-guided crizotinib, OncotypeDX-guided adjuvant chemotherapy) and emerging (ROS1-guided crizotinib) targeted treatments. We conducted sensitivity analysis to determine which factors had the greatest impact on TICER estimates. Base case TICER for HER2 was $149,600/quality-adjusted life year (QALY), for ALK was $22,200/QALY, and for OncotypeDX was $11,600/QALY, consistent with literature-reported estimates ($180,000/QALY, $202,800/QALY, $8900/QALY, respectively). Base case TICER for ROS1-guided crizotinib was $205,900/QALY. Generally, when treatment cost is considerably greater than biomarker testing costs, TICER is driven by clinical outcomes and health-related quality of life, while biomarker prevalence and treatment cost have a lesser effect. Our simplified decision-analytic approach produces values consistent with existing cost-effectiveness analyses. Our results suggest that biomarker value is mostly driven by the clinical efficacy of the targeted agent. A user-friendly web tool for complete TICER analysis has been made available for open use at http://medicine.yale.edu/lab/pusztai/ticer/ .

  7. Thermoeconomic analysis of steam turbines: An approach to marginal cost allocation

    SciTech Connect

    Royo, J.; Zaleta, A.; Valero, A.

    1996-12-31

    One of the main problems arising with the thermoeconomic optimization of energy plants, is marginal cost allocation in components containing a flow bifurcation. A typical example is a cogeneration steam turbine. The analysis of the marginal cost allocation of this type of turbine is rigorously studied in this paper. Structural Theory (Valero et al., 1992; 1993) takes under consideration that marginal cost assessment depends on the marginal consumptions of the inlet flow for each outlet energy flow. Supposing that the behavior of the turbine would not be affected by the quantity of mass flowing in the process, these marginal consumptions could easily be calculated (Royo and Valero, 1995). Nevertheless, the calculation of marginal consumptions under this supposition is only an initial approach to the problem. The accurate values of marginal consumptions (and therefore of marginal cost) may be calculated if one knows the actual behavior of the steam turbine. This is the process followed in this paper to obtain the values of the marginal consumptions of several cogeneration steam turbines. The analysis offers a complete knowledge of the marginal consumptions for different steam turbine characteristics that work under on-design and off-design conditions. The results obtained are compared with respect to the above initial approach. It is shown that the errors appearing when assessing marginal costs in this way could be relatively important. Nonetheless, a series of correction terms is proposed, by means of which it is possible to considerably decrease these errors.

  8. A Cost Comparison of Alternative Approaches to Distance Education in Developing Countries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ventre, Gerard G.; Kalu, Alex

    1996-01-01

    This paper presents a cost comparison of three approaches to two-way interactive distance learning systems for developing countries. Included are costs for distance learning hardware, terrestrial and satellite communication links, and designing instruction for two-way interactive courses. As part of this project, FSEC is developing a 30-hour course in photovoltaic system design that will be used in a variety of experiments using the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS). A primary goal of the project is to develop an instructional design and delivery model that can be used for other education and training programs. Over two-thirds of the world photovoltaics market is in developing countries. One of the objectives of this NASA-sponsored project was to develop new and better energy education programs that take advantage of advances in telecommunications and computer technology. The combination of desktop video systems and the sharing of computer applications software is of special interest. Research is being performed to evaluate the effectiveness of some of these technologies as part of this project. The design of the distance learning origination and receive sites discussed in this paper were influenced by the educational community's growing interest in distance education. The following approach was used to develop comparative costs for delivering interactive distance education to developing countries: (1) Representative target locations for receive sites were chosen. The originating site was assumed to be Cocoa, Florida, where FSEC is located; (2) A range of course development costs were determined; (3) The cost of equipment for three alternative two-way interactive distance learning system configurations was determined or estimated. The types of system configurations ranged from a PC-based system that allows instructors to originate instruction from their office using desktop video and shared application software, to a high cost system that uses a

  9. A cost-efficiency and health benefit approach to improve urban air quality.

    PubMed

    Miranda, A I; Ferreira, J; Silveira, C; Relvas, H; Duque, L; Roebeling, P; Lopes, M; Costa, S; Monteiro, A; Gama, C; Sá, E; Borrego, C; Teixeira, J P

    2016-11-01

    When ambient air quality standards established in the EU Directive 2008/50/EC are exceeded, Member States are obliged to develop and implement Air Quality Plans (AQP) to improve air quality and health. Notwithstanding the achievements in emission reductions and air quality improvement, additional efforts need to be undertaken to improve air quality in a sustainable way - i.e. through a cost-efficiency approach. This work was developed in the scope of the recently concluded MAPLIA project "Moving from Air Pollution to Local Integrated Assessment", and focuses on the definition and assessment of emission abatement measures and their associated costs, air quality and health impacts and benefits by means of air quality modelling tools, health impact functions and cost-efficiency analysis. The MAPLIA system was applied to the Grande Porto urban area (Portugal), addressing PM10 and NOx as the most important pollutants in the region. Four different measures to reduce PM10 and NOx emissions were defined and characterized in terms of emissions and implementation costs, and combined into 15 emission scenarios, simulated by the TAPM air quality modelling tool. Air pollutant concentration fields were then used to estimate health benefits in terms of avoided costs (external costs), using dose-response health impact functions. Results revealed that, among the 15 scenarios analysed, the scenario including all 4 measures lead to a total net benefit of 0.3M€·y(-1). The largest net benefit is obtained for the scenario considering the conversion of 50% of open fire places into heat recovery wood stoves. Although the implementation costs of this measure are high, the benefits outweigh the costs. Research outcomes confirm that the MAPLIA system is useful for policy decision support on air quality improvement strategies, and could be applied to other urban areas where AQP need to be implemented and monitored.

  10. A cost-efficiency and health benefit approach to improve urban air quality.

    PubMed

    Miranda, A I; Ferreira, J; Silveira, C; Relvas, H; Duque, L; Roebeling, P; Lopes, M; Costa, S; Monteiro, A; Gama, C; Sá, E; Borrego, C; Teixeira, J P

    2016-11-01

    When ambient air quality standards established in the EU Directive 2008/50/EC are exceeded, Member States are obliged to develop and implement Air Quality Plans (AQP) to improve air quality and health. Notwithstanding the achievements in emission reductions and air quality improvement, additional efforts need to be undertaken to improve air quality in a sustainable way - i.e. through a cost-efficiency approach. This work was developed in the scope of the recently concluded MAPLIA project "Moving from Air Pollution to Local Integrated Assessment", and focuses on the definition and assessment of emission abatement measures and their associated costs, air quality and health impacts and benefits by means of air quality modelling tools, health impact functions and cost-efficiency analysis. The MAPLIA system was applied to the Grande Porto urban area (Portugal), addressing PM10 and NOx as the most important pollutants in the region. Four different measures to reduce PM10 and NOx emissions were defined and characterized in terms of emissions and implementation costs, and combined into 15 emission scenarios, simulated by the TAPM air quality modelling tool. Air pollutant concentration fields were then used to estimate health benefits in terms of avoided costs (external costs), using dose-response health impact functions. Results revealed that, among the 15 scenarios analysed, the scenario including all 4 measures lead to a total net benefit of 0.3M€·y(-1). The largest net benefit is obtained for the scenario considering the conversion of 50% of open fire places into heat recovery wood stoves. Although the implementation costs of this measure are high, the benefits outweigh the costs. Research outcomes confirm that the MAPLIA system is useful for policy decision support on air quality improvement strategies, and could be applied to other urban areas where AQP need to be implemented and monitored. PMID:27348699

  11. The importance of activity-based methods in radiology and the technology that now makes this possible.

    PubMed

    Monge, Paul

    2006-01-01

    Activity-based methods serve as a dynamic process that has allowed many other industries to reduce and control their costs, increase productivity, and streamline their processes while improving product quality and service. The method could serve the healthcare industry in an equally beneficial way. Activity-based methods encompass both activity based costing (ABC) and activity-based management (ABM). ABC is a cost management approach that links resource consumption to activities that an enterprise performs, and then assigns those activities and their associated costs to customers, products, or product lines. ABM uses the resource assignments derived in ABC so that operation managers can improve their departmental processes and workflows. There are three fundamental problems with traditional cost systems. First, traditional systems fail to reflect the underlying diversity of work taking place within an enterprise. Second, it uses allocations that are, for the most part, arbitrary Single step allocations fail to reflect the real work-the activities being performed and the associate resources actually consumed. Third, they only provide a cost number that, standing alone, does not provide any guidance on how to improve performance by lowering cost or enhancing throughput. PMID:16783959

  12. Cost - effectiveness analysis of the antiplatelet treatment administered on ischemic stroke patients using goal programming approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajendran, Rasvini; Zainuddin, Zaitul Marlizawati; Idris, Badrisyah

    2014-09-01

    There are numerous ways to prevent or treat ischemic stroke and each of these competing alternatives is associated with a different effectiveness and a cost. In circumstances where health funds are budgeted and thus fixed, cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) can provide information on how to comprehend the largest health gains with that limited fund as CEA is used to compare different strategies for preventing or treating a single disease. The most common medications for ischemic stroke are the anti-platelet drugs. While some drugs are more effective than others, they are also more expensive. This paper will thus assess the CEA of anti-platelet drug available for ischemic stroke patients using goal programming (GP) approach subject to in-patients days and patients' quality-of-life. GP presents a way of striving towards several objectives simultaneously whereby in this case we will consider minimizing the cost and maximizing the effectiveness.

  13. Renaissance: A revolutionary approach for providing low-cost ground data systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Butler, Madeline J.; Perkins, Dorothy C.; Zeigenfuss, Lawrence B.

    1996-01-01

    The NASA is changing its attention from large missions to a greater number of smaller missions with reduced development schedules and budgets. In relation to this, the Renaissance Mission Operations and Data Systems Directorate systems engineering process is presented. The aim of the Renaissance approach is to improve system performance, reduce cost and schedules and meet specific customer needs. The approach includes: the early involvement of the users to define the mission requirements and system architectures; the streamlining of management processes; the development of a flexible cost estimation capability, and the ability to insert technology. Renaissance-based systems demonstrate significant reuse of commercial off-the-shelf building blocks in an integrated system architecture.

  14. Costs and Cost Effectiveness of Three Approaches for Cervical Cancer Screening among HIV-Positive Women in Johannesburg, South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Lince-Deroche, Naomi; Phiri, Jane; Michelow, Pam; Smith, Jennifer S.; Firnhaber, Cindy

    2015-01-01

    Background South Africa has high rates of HIV and HPV and high incidence and mortality from cervical cancer. However, cervical cancer is largely preventable when early screening and treatment are available. We estimate the costs and cost-effectiveness of conventional cytology (Pap), visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) and HPV DNA testing for detecting cases of CIN2+ among HIV-infected women currently taking antiretroviral treatment at a public HIV clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. Methods Method effectiveness was derived from a validation study completed at the clinic. Costs were estimated from the provider perspective using micro-costing between June 2013-April 2014. Capital costs were annualized using a discount rate of 3%. Two different service volume scenarios were considered. Threshold analysis was used to explore the potential for reducing the cost of HPV DNA testing. Results VIA was least costly in both scenarios. In the higher volume scenario, the average cost per procedure was US$ 3.67 for VIA, US$ 8.17 for Pap and US$ 54.34 for HPV DNA. Colposcopic biopsies cost on average US$ 67.71 per procedure. VIA was least sensitive but most cost-effective at US$ 17.05 per true CIN2+ case detected. The cost per case detected for Pap testing was US$ 130.63 using a conventional definition for positive results and US$ 187.52 using a more conservative definition. HPV DNA testing was US$ 320.09 per case detected. Colposcopic biopsy costs largely drove the total and per case costs. A 71% reduction in HPV DNA screening costs would make it competitive with the conservative Pap definition. Conclusions Women need access to services which meet their needs and address the burden of cervical dysplasia and cancer in this region. Although most cost-effective, VIA may require more frequent screening due to low sensitivity, an important consideration for an HIV-positive population with increased risk for disease progression. PMID:26569487

  15. A simplified low-cost approach to antibiotic resistance profiling for faecal source tracking.

    PubMed

    Ebdon, J E; Wallis, J L; Taylor, H D

    2004-01-01

    Antibiotic resistance profiling (ARP) is a potentially useful method for distinguishing faecal bacteria according to host source. This phenotypic approach has cost benefits over genotypic methods, but existing protocols are time-consuming and manual data handling is open to human error. A simplified, low-cost approach to the ARP technique was developed that used automated data recording techniques combined with simple statistical analyses to compare isolates of the genus Enterococcus from various faecal sources. An initial battery of 21 antibiotics (at up to four concentrations) was chosen for source discrimination. Images of growth or non-growth in microplate wells were stored as bitmaps and converted to binary data to form a database of known antibiotic resistance profiles. Discriminant function analysis (DFA) showed that the average rate of isolates correctly classified by the database (wastewater vs non-wastewater) was 86%. Once the more discriminating antibiotics and their concentrations had been identified, it was possible to reduce the number of tests from 80 to 18 whilst increasing the number of correctly classified human isolates. ARP could offer a low-cost and rapid means of identifying sources of faecal pollution. As such, the technique may be of particular benefit to developing countries, where water quality may have a significant impact on health and where cost is a major factor when choosing environmental management technology. PMID:15318507

  16. Characterizing Synergistic Water and Energy Efficiency at the Residential Scale Using a Cost Abatement Curve Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stillwell, A. S.; Chini, C. M.; Schreiber, K. L.; Barker, Z. A.

    2015-12-01

    Energy and water are two increasingly correlated resources. Electricity generation at thermoelectric power plants requires cooling such that large water withdrawal and consumption rates are associated with electricity consumption. Drinking water and wastewater treatment require significant electricity inputs to clean, disinfect, and pump water. Due to this energy-water nexus, energy efficiency measures might be a cost-effective approach to reducing water use and water efficiency measures might support energy savings as well. This research characterizes the cost-effectiveness of different efficiency approaches in households by quantifying the direct and indirect water and energy savings that could be realized through efficiency measures, such as low-flow fixtures, energy and water efficient appliances, distributed generation, and solar water heating. Potential energy and water savings from these efficiency measures was analyzed in a product-lifetime adjusted economic model comparing efficiency measures to conventional counterparts. Results were displayed as cost abatement curves indicating the most economical measures to implement for a target reduction in water and/or energy consumption. These cost abatement curves are useful in supporting market innovation and investment in residential-scale efficiency.

  17. A Cost-Effective Approach to Sequence Hundreds of Complete Mitochondrial Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Oleksiak, Marjorie F.

    2016-01-01

    We present a cost-effective approach to sequence whole mitochondrial genomes for hundreds of individuals. Our approach uses small reaction volumes and unmodified (non-phosphorylated) barcoded adaptors to minimize reagent costs. We demonstrate our approach by sequencing 383 Fundulus sp. mitochondrial genomes (192 F. heteroclitus and 191 F. majalis). Prior to sequencing, we amplified the mitochondrial genomes using 4–5 custom-made, overlapping primer pairs, and sequencing was performed on an Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform. After removing low quality and short sequences, 2.9 million and 2.8 million reads were generated for F. heteroclitus and F. majalis respectively. Individual genomes were assembled for each species by mapping barcoded reads to a reference genome. For F. majalis, the reference genome was built de novo. On average, individual consensus sequences had high coverage: 61-fold for F. heteroclitus and 57-fold for F. majalis. The approach discussed in this paper is optimized for sequencing mitochondrial genomes on an Illumina platform. However, with the proper modifications, this approach could be easily applied to other small genomes and sequencing platforms. PMID:27505419

  18. A Cost-Effective Approach to Sequence Hundreds of Complete Mitochondrial Genomes.

    PubMed

    Nunez, Joaquin C B; Oleksiak, Marjorie F

    2016-01-01

    We present a cost-effective approach to sequence whole mitochondrial genomes for hundreds of individuals. Our approach uses small reaction volumes and unmodified (non-phosphorylated) barcoded adaptors to minimize reagent costs. We demonstrate our approach by sequencing 383 Fundulus sp. mitochondrial genomes (192 F. heteroclitus and 191 F. majalis). Prior to sequencing, we amplified the mitochondrial genomes using 4-5 custom-made, overlapping primer pairs, and sequencing was performed on an Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform. After removing low quality and short sequences, 2.9 million and 2.8 million reads were generated for F. heteroclitus and F. majalis respectively. Individual genomes were assembled for each species by mapping barcoded reads to a reference genome. For F. majalis, the reference genome was built de novo. On average, individual consensus sequences had high coverage: 61-fold for F. heteroclitus and 57-fold for F. majalis. The approach discussed in this paper is optimized for sequencing mitochondrial genomes on an Illumina platform. However, with the proper modifications, this approach could be easily applied to other small genomes and sequencing platforms. PMID:27505419

  19. A Cost-Effective Approach to Sequence Hundreds of Complete Mitochondrial Genomes.

    PubMed

    Nunez, Joaquin C B; Oleksiak, Marjorie F

    2016-01-01

    We present a cost-effective approach to sequence whole mitochondrial genomes for hundreds of individuals. Our approach uses small reaction volumes and unmodified (non-phosphorylated) barcoded adaptors to minimize reagent costs. We demonstrate our approach by sequencing 383 Fundulus sp. mitochondrial genomes (192 F. heteroclitus and 191 F. majalis). Prior to sequencing, we amplified the mitochondrial genomes using 4-5 custom-made, overlapping primer pairs, and sequencing was performed on an Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform. After removing low quality and short sequences, 2.9 million and 2.8 million reads were generated for F. heteroclitus and F. majalis respectively. Individual genomes were assembled for each species by mapping barcoded reads to a reference genome. For F. majalis, the reference genome was built de novo. On average, individual consensus sequences had high coverage: 61-fold for F. heteroclitus and 57-fold for F. majalis. The approach discussed in this paper is optimized for sequencing mitochondrial genomes on an Illumina platform. However, with the proper modifications, this approach could be easily applied to other small genomes and sequencing platforms.

  20. Bayesian comparison of cost-effectiveness of different clinical approaches to diagnose coronary artery disease.

    PubMed

    Patterson, R E; Eng, C; Horowitz, S F; Gorlin, R; Goldstein, S R

    1984-08-01

    threshold value of prevalence (80%) at which the rank order of policies changes. The model also allows substitution of different values for any variable as a way of accounting for the uncertainty inherent in the data. In conclusion, it is essential to consider the prevalence of disease when selecting the most cost-effective clinical approach to making a diagnosis. PMID:6429224

  1. Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Comparing Two Approaches for Empirical Antifungal Therapy in Hematological Patients with Persistent Febrile Neutropenia

    PubMed Central

    Gil-Navarro, M. Victoria; Aguilar-Guisado, Manuela; Espigado, Ildefonso; de Pipaón, Maite Ruiz Pérez; Falantes, José; Pachón, Jerónimo

    2013-01-01

    New approaches of empirical antifungal therapy (EAT) in selected hematological patients with persistent febrile neutropenia (PFN) have been proposed in recent years, but their cost-effectiveness has not been studied. The aim of this study was to compare the cost-effectiveness of two different approaches of EAT in hematological patients with PFN: the diagnosis-driven antifungal therapy (DDAT) approach versus the standard approach of EAT. A decision tree to assess the cost-effectiveness of both approaches was developed. Outcome probabilities and treatment pathways were extrapolated from two studies: a prospective cohort study following the DDAT approach and a randomized clinical trial following the standard approach. Uncertainty was undertaken through sensitivity analyses and Monte Carlo simulation. The average effectiveness and economic advantages in the DDAT approach compared to the standard approach were 2.6% and €5,879 (33%) per PFN episode, respectively. The DDAT was the dominant approach in the 99.5% of the simulations performed with average cost-effectiveness per PFN episode of €32,671 versus €52,479 in the EAT approach. The results were robust over a wide range of variables. The DDAT approach is more cost-effective than the EAT approach in the management of PFN in hematological patients. PMID:23856767

  2. Pharmacological versus microvascular decompression approaches for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia: clinical outcomes and direct costs

    PubMed Central

    Lemos, Laurinda; Alegria, Carlos; Oliveira, Joana; Machado, Ana; Oliveira, Pedro; Almeida, Armando

    2011-01-01

    In idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia (TN) the neuroimaging evaluation is usually normal, but in some cases a vascular compression of trigeminal nerve root is present. Although the latter condition may be referred to surgery, drug therapy is usually the first approach to control pain. This study compared the clinical outcome and direct costs of (1) a traditional treatment (carbamazepine [CBZ] in monotherapy [CBZ protocol]), (2) the association of gabapentin (GBP) and analgesic block of trigger-points with ropivacaine (ROP) (GBP+ROP protocol), and (3) a common TN surgery, microvascular decompression of the trigeminal nerve (MVD protocol). Sixty-two TN patients were randomly treated during 4 weeks (CBZ [n = 23] and GBP+ROP [n = 17] protocols) from cases of idiopathic TN, or selected for MVD surgery (n = 22) due to intractable pain. Direct medical cost estimates were determined by the price of drugs in 2008 and the hospital costs. Pain was evaluated using the Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) and number of pain crises; the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Sickness Impact Profile, and satisfaction with treatment and hospital team were evaluated. Assessments were performed at day 0 and 6 months after the beginning of treatment. All protocols showed a clinical improvement of pain control at month 6. The GBP+ROP protocol was the least expensive treatment, whereas surgery was the most expensive. With time, however, GBP+ROP tended to be the most and MVD the least expensive. No sequelae resulted in any patient after drug therapies, while after MDV surgery several patients showed important side effects. Data reinforce that, (1) TN patients should be carefully evaluated before choosing therapy for pain control, (2) different pharmacological approaches are available to initiate pain control at low costs, and (3) criteria for surgical interventions should be clearly defined due to important side effects, with the initial higher costs being strongly reduced with time. PMID:21941455

  3. An Alternative Methodological Approach for Cost-Effectiveness Analysis and Decision Making in Genomic Medicine.

    PubMed

    Fragoulakis, Vasilios; Mitropoulou, Christina; van Schaik, Ron H; Maniadakis, Nikolaos; Patrinos, George P

    2016-05-01

    Genomic Medicine aims to improve therapeutic interventions and diagnostics, the quality of life of patients, but also to rationalize healthcare costs. To reach this goal, careful assessment and identification of evidence gaps for public health genomics priorities are required so that a more efficient healthcare environment is created. Here, we propose a public health genomics-driven approach to adjust the classical healthcare decision making process with an alternative methodological approach of cost-effectiveness analysis, which is particularly helpful for genomic medicine interventions. By combining classical cost-effectiveness analysis with budget constraints, social preferences, and patient ethics, we demonstrate the application of this model, the Genome Economics Model (GEM), based on a previously reported genome-guided intervention from a developing country environment. The model and the attendant rationale provide a practical guide by which all major healthcare stakeholders could ensure the sustainability of funding for genome-guided interventions, their adoption and coverage by health insurance funds, and prioritization of Genomic Medicine research, development, and innovation, given the restriction of budgets, particularly in developing countries and low-income healthcare settings in developed countries. The implications of the GEM for the policy makers interested in Genomic Medicine and new health technology and innovation assessment are also discussed. PMID:27096406

  4. A cost-function approach to rival penalized competitive learning (RPCL).

    PubMed

    Ma, Jinwen; Wang, Taijun

    2006-08-01

    Rival penalized competitive learning (RPCL) has been shown to be a useful tool for clustering on a set of sample data in which the number of clusters is unknown. However, the RPCL algorithm was proposed heuristically and is still in lack of a mathematical theory to describe its convergence behavior. In order to solve the convergence problem, we investigate it via a cost-function approach. By theoretical analysis, we prove that a general form of RPCL, called distance-sensitive RPCL (DSRPCL), is associated with the minimization of a cost function on the weight vectors of a competitive learning network. As a DSRPCL process decreases the cost to a local minimum, a number of weight vectors eventually fall into a hypersphere surrounding the sample data, while the other weight vectors diverge to infinity. Moreover, it is shown by the theoretical analysis and simulation experiments that if the cost reduces into the global minimum, a correct number of weight vectors is automatically selected and located around the centers of the actual clusters, respectively. Finally, we apply the DSRPCL algorithms to unsupervised color image segmentation and classification of the wine data.

  5. An Empty Toolbox? Changes in Health Plans’ Approaches for Managing Costs and Care

    PubMed Central

    Mays, Glen P; Hurley, Robert E; Grossman, Joy M

    2003-01-01

    Objective To examine how health plans have changed their approaches for managing costs and utilization in the wake of the recent backlash against managed care. Data Sources/Study Setting Semistructured interviews with health plan executives, employers, providers, and other health care decision makers in 12 metropolitan areas that were randomly selected to be nationally representative of communities with more than 200,000 residents. Longitudinal data were collected as part of the Community Tracking Study during three rounds of site visits in 1996–1997, 1998–1999, and 2000–2001. Study Design Interviews probed about changes in the design and operation of health insurance products—including provider contracting and network development, benefit packages, and utilization management processes—and about the rationale and perceived impact of these changes. Data Collection/Extraction Methods Data from more than 850 interviews were coded, extracted, and analyzed using computerized text analysis software. Principal Findings Health plans have begun to scale back or abandon their use of selected managed care tools in most communities, with selective contracting and risk contracting practices fading most rapidly and completely. In turn, plans increasingly have sought cost savings by shifting costs to consumers. Some plans have begun to experiment with new provider networks, payment systems, and referral practices designed to lower costs and improve service delivery. Conclusions These changes promise to lighten administrative and financial burdens for physicians and hospitals, but they also threaten to increase consumers’ financial burdens. PMID:12650372

  6. The costs of smoking and secondhand smoke exposure in Taiwan: a prevalence-based annual cost approach

    PubMed Central

    Sung, Hai-Yen; Chang, Li-Chuan; Wen, Yu-Wen; Tsai, Yi-Wen

    2014-01-01

    Objectives To assess the costs of the health effects of cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure to society. Design Prevalence-based, disease-specific cost-of-illness study. We used an epidemiological population-attributable risk method to determine the costs that can be attributed to smoking and SHS exposure. Setting Taiwan. Participants All adult population aged 35 and older. Primary outcome measures Direct costs of healthcare expenditures spent for treating tobacco-related diseases, indirect mortality costs measured by the value of lost productivity due to tobacco-related premature deaths and indirect morbidity costs measured by the value of time lost from work due to tobacco-related illness. Results In 2010, direct costs of smoking and SHS exposure amounted to US$828 million, accounting for 3.4% of Taiwan's total personal healthcare expenditures. Smoking and SHS exposure also contributed to 15 555 premature deaths—corresponding to a loss of 284 765 years of life and US$820 million in productivity—and US$22 million in indirect morbidity costs. These direct and indirect costs totalled US$1670 million, representing 0.4% of Taiwan's gross domestic product and averaging about US$720/adult smoker. The share of the total costs was greater from active smoking (92%) than SHS exposure (8%), and greater for men (92%) than women (8%). Conclusions Smoking and SHS exposure impose a huge financial loss in Taiwan. Sustained tobacco control efforts to encourage people to quit smoking, prevent smoking uptake by children and young adults and protect all people from SHS exposure are needed. PMID:25009135

  7. Is the societal approach wide enough to include relatives? Incorporating relatives' costs and effects in a cost-effectiveness analysis.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Thomas; Levin, Lars-Ake

    2010-01-01

    It is important for economic evaluations in healthcare to cover all relevant information. However, many existing evaluations fall short of this goal, as they fail to include all the costs and effects for the relatives of a disabled or sick individual. The objective of this study was to analyse how relatives' costs and effects could be measured, valued and incorporated into a cost-effectiveness analysis. In this article, we discuss the theories underlying cost-effectiveness analyses in the healthcare arena; the general conclusion is that it is hard to find theoretical arguments for excluding relatives' costs and effects if a societal perspective is used. We argue that the cost of informal care should be calculated according to the opportunity cost method. To capture relatives' effects, we construct a new term, the R-QALY weight, which is defined as the effect on relatives' QALY weight of being related to a disabled or sick individual. We examine methods for measuring, valuing and incorporating the R-QALY weights. One suggested method is to estimate R-QALYs and incorporate them together with the patient's QALY in the analysis. However, there is no well established method as yet that can create R-QALY weights. One difficulty with measuring R-QALY weights using existing instruments is that these instruments are rarely focused on relative-related aspects. Even if generic quality-of-life instruments do cover some aspects relevant to relatives and caregivers, they may miss important aspects and potential altruistic preferences. A further development and validation of the existing caregiving instruments used for eliciting utility weights would therefore be beneficial for this area, as would further studies on the use of time trade-off or Standard Gamble methods for valuing R-QALY weights. Another potential method is to use the contingent valuation method to find a monetary value for all the relatives' costs and effects. Because cost-effectiveness analyses are used for

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

    PubMed

    Islam, Md Rashedul; Kim, Jong-Myon

    2014-01-01

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

  9. An Effective Approach to Improving Low-Cost GPS Positioning Accuracy in Real-Time Navigation

    PubMed Central

    Islam, Md. Rashedul; Kim, Jong-Myon

    2014-01-01

    Positioning accuracy is a challenging issue for location-based applications using a low-cost global positioning system (GPS). This paper presents an effective approach to improving the positioning accuracy of a low-cost GPS receiver for real-time navigation. The proposed method precisely estimates position by combining vehicle movement direction, velocity averaging, and distance between waypoints using coordinate data (latitude, longitude, time, and velocity) of the GPS receiver. The previously estimated precious reference point, coordinate translation, and invalid data check also improve accuracy. In order to evaluate the performance of the proposed method, we conducted an experiment using a GARMIN GPS 19xHVS receiver attached to a car and used Google Maps to plot the processed data. The proposed method achieved improvement of 4–10 meters in several experiments. In addition, we compared the proposed approach with two other state-of-the-art methods: recursive averaging and ARMA interpolation. The experimental results show that the proposed approach outperforms other state-of-the-art methods in terms of positioning accuracy. PMID:25136679

  10. A low cost approach to simultaneous orbit, attitude, and rate estimation using an extended Kalman filter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deutschmann, Julie; Harman, Rick; Bar-Itzhack, Itzhack

    1998-01-01

    An innovative approach to autonomous attitude and trajectory estimation is available using only magnetic field data and rate data. The estimation is performed simultaneously using an Extended Kalman Filter (EKF), a well known algorithm used extensively in onboard applications. The magnetic field is measured on a satellite by a magnetometer, an inexpensive and reliable sensor flown on virtually all satellites in low earth orbit. Rate data is provided by a gyro, which can be costly. This system has been developed and successfully tested in a post-processing mode using magnetometer and gyro data from 4 satellites supported by the Flight Dynamics Division at Goddard. In order for this system to be truly low cost, an alternative source for rate data must be utilized. An independent system which estimates spacecraft rate has been successfully developed and tested using only magnetometer data or a combination of magnetometer data and sun sensor data, which is less costly than a gyro. This system also uses an EKF. Merging the two systems will provide an extremely low cost, autonomous approach to attitude and trajectory estimation. In this work we provide the theoretical background of the combined system. The measurement matrix is developed by combining the measurement matrix of the orbit and attitude estimation EKF with the measurement matrix of the rate estimation EKF, which is composed of a pseudo-measurement which makes the effective measurement a function of the angular velocity. Associated with this is the development of the noise covariance matrix associated with the original measurement combined with the new pseudo-measurement. In addition, the combination of the dynamics from the two systems is presented along with preliminary test results.

  11. A Low Cost Approach to Simultaneous Orbit, Attitude, and Rate Estimation Using an Extended Kalman Filter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deutschmann, Julie; Harman, Rick; Bar-Itzhack, Itzhack

    1998-01-01

    An innovative approach to autonomous attitude and trajectory estimation is available using only magnetic field data and rate data. The estimation is performed simultaneously using an Extended Kalman Filter, a well known algorithm used extensively in onboard applications. The magnetic field is measured on a satellite by a magnetometer, an inexpensive and reliable sensor flown on virtually all satellites in low earth orbit. Rate data is provided by a gyro, which can be costly. This system has been developed and successfully tested in a post-processing mode using magnetometer and gyro data from 4 satellites supported by the Flight Dynamics Division at Goddard. In order for this system to be truly low cost, an alternative source for rate data must be utilized. An independent system which estimate spacecraft rate has been successfully developed and tested using only magnetometer data or a combination of magnetometer data and sun sensor data, which is less costly than a gyro. This system also uses an Extended Kalman Filter. Merging the two systems will provide an extremely low cost, autonomous approach to attitude and trajectory estimation. In this work we provide the theoretical background of the combined system. The measurement matrix is developed by combining the measurement matrix of the orbit and attitude estimation EKF with the measurement matrix of the rate estimation EKF, which is composed of a pseudo-measurement which makes the effective measurement a function of the angular velocity. Associated with this is the development of the noise covariance matrix associated with the original measurement combined with the new pseudo-measurement. In addition, the combination of the dynamics from the two systems is presented along with preliminary test results.

  12. Estimating the environmental and resource costs of leakage in water distribution systems: A shadow price approach.

    PubMed

    Molinos-Senante, María; Mocholí-Arce, Manuel; Sala-Garrido, Ramon

    2016-10-15

    Water scarcity is one of the main problems faced by many regions in the XXIst century. In this context, the need to reduce leakages from water distribution systems has gained almost universal acceptance. The concept of sustainable economic level of leakage (SELL) has been proposed to internalize the environmental and resource costs within economic level of leakage calculations. However, because these costs are not set by the market, they have not often been calculated. In this paper, the directional-distance function was used to estimate the shadow price of leakages as a proxy of their environmental and resource costs. This is a pioneering approach to the economic valuation of leakage externalities. An empirical application was carried out for the main Chilean water companies. The estimated results indicated that for 2014, the average shadow price of leakages was approximately 32% of the price of the water delivered. Moreover, as a sensitivity analysis, the shadow prices of the leakages were calculated from the perspective of the water companies' managers and the regulator. The methodology and findings of this study are essential for supporting the decision process of reducing leakage, contributing to the improvement of economic, social and environmental efficiency and sustainability of urban water supplies.

  13. Deburring: technical capabilities and cost-effective approaches. Lessons 5 and 6

    SciTech Connect

    Gillespie, L.K.

    1980-06-01

    The ten-lesson text on deburring is designed to provide engineers and production supervisors with an overall understanding of deburring economics and current capabilities. Lessons 5 and 6 show that the effective plant-wide reduction of deburring costs can best be achieved by: determining the people who should be involved in a plant-wide review of deburring; defining the approach to be used in a plant-wide review of deburring; providing some form of training for both engineers and production workers; establishing in-plant standards for burrs and deburring; and understanding the capabilities of the available deburring equipment. The key to plant-wide control of deburring costs lies in considering deburring as integral as drilling or milling to the manufacturing process, in respecting the difficulty that deburring presents, in recognizing those who contribute to the success of deburring operations, and in using the large quantity of data that already exists. Plant-wide control of deburring costs is the difference between 25 years of experience and one year of experience repeated 25 times.

  14. Estimating the environmental and resource costs of leakage in water distribution systems: A shadow price approach.

    PubMed

    Molinos-Senante, María; Mocholí-Arce, Manuel; Sala-Garrido, Ramon

    2016-10-15

    Water scarcity is one of the main problems faced by many regions in the XXIst century. In this context, the need to reduce leakages from water distribution systems has gained almost universal acceptance. The concept of sustainable economic level of leakage (SELL) has been proposed to internalize the environmental and resource costs within economic level of leakage calculations. However, because these costs are not set by the market, they have not often been calculated. In this paper, the directional-distance function was used to estimate the shadow price of leakages as a proxy of their environmental and resource costs. This is a pioneering approach to the economic valuation of leakage externalities. An empirical application was carried out for the main Chilean water companies. The estimated results indicated that for 2014, the average shadow price of leakages was approximately 32% of the price of the water delivered. Moreover, as a sensitivity analysis, the shadow prices of the leakages were calculated from the perspective of the water companies' managers and the regulator. The methodology and findings of this study are essential for supporting the decision process of reducing leakage, contributing to the improvement of economic, social and environmental efficiency and sustainability of urban water supplies. PMID:27289397

  15. Spacecraft Onboard Software Maintenance: An Effective Approach which Reduces Costs and Increases Science Return

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shell, Elaine M.; Lue, Yvonne; Chu, Martha I.

    1999-01-01

    Flight software (FSW) is a mission critical element of spacecraft functionality and performance. When ground operations personnel interface to a spacecraft, they are dealing almost entirely with onboard software. This software, even more than ground/flight communications systems, is expected to perform perfectly at all times during all phases of on-orbit mission life. Due to the fact that FSW can be reconfigured and reprogrammed to accommodate new spacecraft conditions, the on-orbit FSW maintenance team is usually significantly responsible for the long-term success of a science mission. Failure of FSW can result in very expensive operations work-around costs and lost science opportunities. There are three basic approaches to staffing on-orbit software maintenance, namely: (1) using the original developers, (2) using mission operations personnel, or (3) assembling a Center of Excellence for multi-spacecraft on-orbit FSW support. This paper explains a National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC) experience related to the roles of on-orbit FSW maintenance personnel. It identifies the advantages and disadvantages of each of the three approaches to staffing the FSW roles, and demonstrates how a cost efficient on-orbit FSW Maintenance Center of Excellence can be established and maintained with significant return on the investment.

  16. Comprehensive approach to utilization review based on patient-specific costing data.

    PubMed

    Potvin, K A; Leclair, M C

    1995-01-01

    The Ottawa General Hospital (OGH) is one of a growing number of institutions that has implemented a cost accounting system. The ability to track costs on a patient-specific basis provides an exciting avenue for reviewing the use of resources. With the accumulation of a complete fiscal year of data, the hospital recently embarked on a review process to identify opportunities for more detailed review with practitioners. This will support the OGH's surgical approach of targeting cuts, rather than making across-the-board reductions. The objective is to allow the hospital to maintain the highest levels of quality and service as the eroding funding situation allows. This paper describes the comprehensive approach taken by the review team to identify populations of patients that were relatively homogeneous and yet showed the greatest practice pattern variances between physicians. The method described provides a template for others to summarize large amounts of data and stratify patient groups for more detailed analysis of the patient care delivery process.

  17. Low-income DSM Programs: Methodological approach to determining the cost-effectiveness of coordinated partnerships

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, M.A.; Hill, L.J.

    1994-05-01

    As governments at all levels become increasingly budget-conscious, expenditures on low-income, demand-side management (DSM) programs are being evaluated more on the basis of efficiency at the expense of equity considerations. Budgetary pressures have also caused government agencies to emphasize resource leveraging and coordination with electric and gas utilities as a means of sharing the expenses of low-income programs. The increased involvement of electric and gas utilities in coordinated low-income DSM programs, in turn, has resulted in greater emphasis on estimating program cost-effectiveness. The objective of this study is to develop a methodological approach to estimate the cost- effectiveness of coordinated low-income DSM programs, given the special features that distinguish these programs from other utility-operated DSM programs. The general approach used in this study was to (1) select six coordinated low-income DSM programs from among those currently operating across the United States, (2) examine the main features of these programs, and (3) determine the conceptual and pragmatic problems associated with estimating their cost-effectiveness. Three types of coordination between government and utility cosponsors were identified. At one extreme, local agencies operate {open_quotes}parallel{close_quotes} programs, each of which is fully funded by a single sponsor (e.g., one funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the other by a utility). At the other extreme are highly {open_quotes}coupled{close_quotes} programs that capitalize on the unique capabilities and resources offered by each cosponsor. In these programs, agencies employ a combination of utility and government funds to deliver weatherization services as part of an integrated effort. In between are {open_quotes}supplemental{close_quotes} programs that utilize resources to supplement the agency`s government-funded weatherization, with no changes to the operation of that program.

  18. Measuring population health: costs of alternative survey approaches in the Nouna Health and Demographic Surveillance System in rural Burkina Faso

    PubMed Central

    Lietz, Henrike; Lingani, Moustapha; Sié, Ali; Sauerborn, Rainer; Souares, Aurelia; Tozan, Yesim

    2015-01-01

    Background There are more than 40 Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) sites in 19 different countries. The running costs of HDSS sites are high. The financing of HDSS activities is of major importance, and adding external health surveys to the HDSS is challenging. To investigate the ways of improving data quality and collection efficiency in the Nouna HDSS in Burkina Faso, the stand-alone data collection activities of the HDSS and the Household Morbidity Survey (HMS) were integrated, and the paper-based questionnaires were consolidated into a single tablet-based questionnaire, the Comprehensive Disease Assessment (CDA). Objective The aims of this study are to estimate and compare the implementation costs of the two different survey approaches for measuring population health. Design All financial costs of stand-alone (HDSS and HMS) and integrated (CDA) surveys were estimated from the perspective of the implementing agency. Fixed and variable costs of survey implementation and key cost drivers were identified. The costs per household visit were calculated for both survey approaches. Results While fixed costs of survey implementation were similar for the two survey approaches, there were considerable variations in variable costs, resulting in an estimated annual cost saving of about US$45,000 under the integrated survey approach. This was primarily because the costs of data management for the tablet-based CDA survey were considerably lower than for the paper-based stand-alone surveys. The cost per household visit from the integrated survey approach was US$21 compared with US$25 from the stand-alone surveys for collecting the same amount of information from 10,000 HDSS households. Conclusions The CDA tablet-based survey method appears to be feasible and efficient for collecting health and demographic data in the Nouna HDSS in rural Burkina Faso. The possibility of using the tablet-based data collection platform to improve the quality of population health

  19. A decentralized approach to reducing the social costs of cascading failures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hines, Paul

    Large cascading failures in electrical power networks come with enormous social costs. These can be direct financial costs, such as the loss of refrigerated foods in grocery stores, or more indirect social costs, such as the traffic congestion that results from the failure of traffic signals. While engineers and policy makers have made numerous technical and organizational changes to reduce the frequency and impact of large cascading failures, the existing data, as described in Chapter 2 of this work, indicate that the overall frequency and impact of large electrical blackouts in the United States are not decreasing. Motivated by the cascading failure problem, this thesis describes a new method for Distributed Model Predictive Control and a power systems application. The central goal of the method, when applied to power systems, is to reduce the social costs of cascading failures by making small, targeted reductions in load and generation and changes to generator voltage set points. Unlike some existing schemes that operate from centrally located control centers, the method is operated by software agents located at substations distributed throughout the power network. The resulting multi-agent control system is a new approach to decentralized control, combining Distributed Model Predictive Control and Reciprocal Altruism. Experimental results indicate that this scheme can in fact decrease the average size, and thus social costs, of cascading failures. Over 100 randomly generated disturbances to a model of the IEEE 300 bus test network, the method resulted in nearly an order of magnitude decrease in average event size (measured in cost) relative to cascading failure simulations without remedial control actions. Additionally, the communication requirements for the method are measured, and found to be within the bandwidth capabilities of current communications technology (on the order of 100kB/second). Experiments on several resistor networks with varying structures

  20. A NOVEL APPROACH TO MINERAL CARBONATION: ENHANCING CARBONATION WHILE AVOIDING MINERAL PRETREATMENT PROCESS COST

    SciTech Connect

    Michael J. McKelvy; Andrew V.G. Chizmeshya; Kyle Squires; Ray W. Carpenter; Hamadallah Bearat

    2005-10-01

    Known fossil fuel reserves, especially coal, can support global energy demands for centuries to come, if the environmental problems associated with CO{sub 2} emissions can be overcome. Unlike other CO{sub 2} sequestration candidate technologies that propose long-term storage, mineral sequestration provides permanent disposal by forming geologically stable mineral carbonates. Carbonation of the widely occurring mineral olivine (e.g., forsterite, Mg{sub 2}SiO{sub 4}) is a large-scale sequestration process candidate for regional implementation, which converts CO{sub 2} into the environmentally benign mineral magnesite (MgCO{sub 3}). The primary goal is cost-competitive process development. As the process is exothermic, it inherently offers low-cost potential. Enhancing carbonation reactivity is key to economic viability. Recent studies at the U.S. DOE Albany Research Center have established that aqueous-solution carbonation using supercritical CO{sub 2} is a promising process; even without olivine activation, 30-50% carbonation has been achieved in an hour. Mechanical activation (e.g., attrition) has accelerated the carbonation process to an industrial timescale (i.e., near completion in less than an hour), at reduced pressure and temperature. However, the activation cost is too high to be economical and lower cost pretreatment options are needed. Herein, we report our first year progress in exploring a novel approach that offers the potential to substantially enhance carbonation reactivity while bypassing pretreatment activation. We have discovered that robust silica-rich passivating layers form on the olivine surface during carbonation. As carbonation proceeds, these passivating layers thicken, fracture and eventually exfoliate, exposing fresh olivine surfaces during rapidly-stirred/circulating carbonation. We are exploring the mechanisms that govern carbonation reactivity and the impact that (1) modeling/controlling the slurry fluid-flow conditions, (2) varying the

  1. Spacecraft Software Maintenance: An Effective Approach to Reducing Costs and Increasing Science Return

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shell, Elaine M.; Lue, Yvonne; Chu, Martha I.

    1999-01-01

    Flight software is a mission critical element of spacecraft functionality and performance. When ground operations personnel interface to a spacecraft, they are typically dealing almost entirely with the capabilities of onboard software. This software, even more than critical ground/flight communications systems, is expected to perform perfectly during all phases of spacecraft life. Due to the fact that it can be reprogrammed on-orbit to accommodate degradations or failures in flight hardware, new insights into spacecraft characteristics, new control options which permit enhanced science options, etc., the on- orbit flight software maintenance team is usually significantly responsible for the long term success of a science mission. Failure of flight software to perform as needed can result in very expensive operations work-around costs and lost science opportunities. There are three basic approaches to maintaining spacecraft software--namely using the original developers, using the mission operations personnel, or assembling a center of excellence for multi-spacecraft software maintenance. Not planning properly for flight software maintenance can lead to unnecessarily high on-orbit costs and/or unacceptably long delays, or errors, in patch installations. A common approach for flight software maintenance is to access the original development staff. The argument for utilizing the development staff is that the people who developed the software will be the best people to modify the software on-orbit. However, it can quickly becomes a challenge to obtain the services of these key people. They may no longer be available to the organization. They may have a more urgent job to perform, quite likely on another project under different project management. If they havn't worked on the software for a long time, they may need precious time for refamiliarization to the software, testbeds and tools. Further, a lack of insight into issues related to flight software in its on

  2. Unraveling Higher Education's Costs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gordon, Gus; Charles, Maria

    1998-01-01

    The activity-based costing (ABC) method of analyzing institutional costs in higher education involves four procedures: determining the various discrete activities of the organization; calculating the cost of each; determining the cost drivers; tracing cost to the cost objective or consumer of each activity. Few American institutions have used the…

  3. A study of low cost approaches to scientific experiment implementation for shuttle launched and serviced automated spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    Cost reductions that can be obtained in experiment instrumentation by the use of standardized electronics and by the relaxation of instrument reliability requirements are studied. The feasibility of using standardized equipment for experiment instrumentation is assessed and a system design approach that most effectively incorporates standardized equipment is developed. The level and form of modularization that is appropriate for the standardized equipment is determined. Mission assurance aspects of instrument development are examined to determine the cost reductions that might be derived from the relaxation of reliability requirements and to formulate a systematic approach to the optimization of mission assurance cost reductions. The results of the analyses are applied to a representative model HEAO payload in order to provide a concrete example of the cost reductions that can be achieved by a standardized approach to the instrument electronics.

  4. Activity-based analyses lead to better decision making.

    PubMed

    Player, S

    1998-08-01

    Activity-based costing (ABC) and activity-based management (ABM) are cost-management tools that are relatively new to the healthcare industry. ABC is used for strategic decision making. It assesses the costs associated with specific activities and resources and links those costs to specific internal and external customers of the healthcare enterprise (e.g., patients, service lines, and physician groups) to determine the costs associated with each customer. This cost information then can be adjusted to account for anticipated changes and to predict future costs. ABM, on the other hand, supports operations by focusing on the causes of costs and how costs can be reduced. It assesses cost drivers that directly affect the cost of a product or service, and uses performance measures to evaluate the financial or nonfinancial benefit an activity provides. By identifying each cost driver and assessing the value the element adds to the healthcare enterprise, ABM provides a basis for selecting areas that can be changed to reduce costs. PMID:10182280

  5. A low-cost approach for the documentation and monitoring of an archaeological excavation site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffmeister, Dirk; Orrin, Joel; Richter, Jürgen

    2016-04-01

    The documentation of archaeological excavations and in particular a constant monitoring is often time-consuming and depending on humańs capabilities. Thus, remote sensing methods, which allow an objective reproduction of the current state of an excavation and additional information are of interest. Therefore, a low-cost approach was tested on an open-air excavation site for two days in September 2015. The Magdalenian excavation site of Bad Kösen-Lengefeld, Germany is one important site in a system of about 100 sites in the area of the small rivers Saale and Unstrut. The whole site and the surrounding area (200 by 200 m) was first observed by a GoPro Hero 3+ mounted on a DJI-Phantom 2 UAV. Ground control points were set-up in a regular grid covering the whole area. The achieved accuracy is 20 mm with a ground resolution of 45 mm. As a test, the GoPro Hero 3+ camera was additionally mounted on a small, extendable pole. With this second low-cost, easy to apply monitoring approach, pictures were automatically taken every second in a stop-and-go mode. In order to capture the excavation pit (7 by 4 m), two different angles were used for holding the pole, which focused on the middle and on the border of the pit. This procedure was repeated on the following day in order to document the excavation process. For the registration of the images, the already existing and measured excavation nails were used, which are equally distributed over the whole site in a 1 m grid. Thus, a high accurate registration of the images was possible (>10 mm). In order to approve the accuracy of the already derived data, the whole site was also observed by a Faro Focus 3D LS 120 laser scanner. The measurements of this device were registered by spherical targets, which were measured in the same reference system. The accuracy of the registration and the ground resolution for the image based approach for both days was about 4 mm. From these two measurements the process of the excavation was easily

  6. A user-friendly approach to cost accounting in laboratory animal facilities.

    PubMed

    Baker, David G

    2011-08-19

    Cost accounting is an essential management activity for laboratory animal facility management. In this report, the author describes basic principles of cost accounting and outlines steps for carrying out cost accounting in laboratory animal facilities. Methods of post hoc cost accounting analysis for maximizing the efficiency of facility operations are also described.

  7. A Novel Approach To Mineral Carbonation: Enhancing Carbonation While Avoiding Mineral Pretreatment Process Cost

    SciTech Connect

    Michael J. McKelvy; Andrew V. G. Chizmeshya; Kyle Squires; Ray W. Carpenter; Hamdallah Bearat

    2006-06-21

    Known fossil fuel reserves, especially coal, can support global energy demands for centuries to come, if the environmental problems associated with CO{sub 2} emissions can be overcome. Unlike other CO{sub 2} sequestration candidate technologies that propose long-term storage, mineral sequestration provides permanent disposal by forming geologically stable mineral carbonates. Carbonation of the widely occurring mineral olivine (e.g., forsterite, Mg{sub 2}SiO{sub 4}) is a large-scale sequestration process candidate for regional implementation, which converts CO{sub 2} into the environmentally benign mineral magnesite (MgCO{sub 3}). The primary goal is cost-competitive process development. As the process is exothermic, it inherently offers low-cost potential. Enhancing carbonation reactivity is key to economic viability. Recent studies at the U.S. DOE Albany Research Center have established that aqueous-solution carbonation using supercritical CO{sub 2} is a promising process; even without olivine activation, 30-50% carbonation has been achieved in an hour. Mechanical activation (e.g., attrition) has accelerated the carbonation process to an industrial timescale (i.e., near completion in less than an hour), at reduced pressure and temperature. However, the activation cost is too high to be economical and lower cost pretreatment options are needed. Herein, we report our second year progress in exploring a novel approach that offers the potential to substantially enhance carbonation reactivity while bypassing pretreatment activation. As our second year progress is intimately related to our earlier work, the report is presented in that context to provide better overall understanding of the progress made. We have discovered that robust silica-rich passivating layers form on the olivine surface during carbonation. As carbonation proceeds, these passivating layers thicken, fracture and eventually exfoliate, exposing fresh olivine surfaces during rapidly

  8. Insightful monitoring of natural flood risk management features using a low-cost and participatory approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starkey, Eleanor; Barnes, Mhari; Quinn, Paul; Large, Andy

    2016-04-01

    Pressures associated with flooding and climate change have significantly increased over recent years. Natural Flood Risk Management (NFRM) is now seen as being a more appropriate and favourable approach in some locations. At the same time, catchment managers are also encouraged to adopt a more integrated, evidence-based and bottom-up approach. This includes engaging with local communities. Although NFRM features are being more readily installed, there is still limited evidence associated with their ability to reduce flood risk and offer multiple benefits. In particular, local communities and land owners are still uncertain about what the features entail and how they will perform, which is a huge barrier affecting widespread uptake. Traditional hydrometric monitoring techniques are well established but they still struggle to successfully monitor and capture NFRM performance spatially and temporally in a visual and more meaningful way for those directly affected on the ground. Two UK-based case studies are presented here where unique NFRM features have been carefully designed and installed in rural headwater catchments. This includes a 1km2 sub-catchment of the Haltwhistle Burn (northern England) and a 2km2 sub-catchment of Eddleston Water (southern Scotland). Both of these pilot sites are subject to prolonged flooding in winter and flash flooding in summer. This exacerbates sediment, debris and water quality issues downstream. Examples of NFRM features include ponds, woody debris and a log feature inspired by the children's game 'Kerplunk'. They have been tested and monitored over the 2015-2016 winter storms using low-cost techniques by both researchers and members of the community ('citizen scientists'). Results show that monitoring techniques such as regular consumer specification time-lapse cameras, photographs, videos and 'kite-cams' are suitable for long-term and low-cost monitoring of a variety of NFRM features. These techniques have been compared against

  9. Software Cost Estimation Using a Decision Graph Process: A Knowledge Engineering Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stukes, Sherry; Spagnuolo, John, Jr.

    2011-01-01

    This paper is not a description per se of the efforts by two software cost analysts. Rather, it is an outline of the methodology used for FSW cost analysis presented in a form that would serve as a foundation upon which others may gain insight into how to perform FSW cost analyses for their own problems at hand.

  10. A game-theoretic approach for calibration of low-cost magnetometers under noise uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siddharth, S.; Ali, A. S.; El-Sheimy, N.; Goodall, C. L.; Syed, Z. F.

    2012-02-01

    Pedestrian heading estimation is a fundamental challenge in Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)-denied environments. Additionally, the heading observability considerably degrades in low-speed mode of operation (e.g. walking), making this problem even more challenging. The goal of this work is to improve the heading solution when hand-held personal/portable devices, such as cell phones, are used for positioning and to improve the heading estimation in GNSS-denied signal environments. Most smart phones are now equipped with self-contained, low cost, small size and power-efficient sensors, such as magnetometers, gyroscopes and accelerometers. A magnetometer needs calibration before it can be properly employed for navigation purposes. Magnetometers play an important role in absolute heading estimation and are embedded in many smart phones. Before the users navigate with the phone, a calibration is invoked to ensure an improved signal quality. This signal is used later in the heading estimation. In most of the magnetometer-calibration approaches, the motion modes are seldom described to achieve a robust calibration. Also, suitable calibration approaches fail to discuss the stopping criteria for calibration. In this paper, the following three topics are discussed in detail that are important to achieve proper magnetometer-calibration results and in turn the most robust heading solution for the user while taking care of the device misalignment with respect to the user: (a) game-theoretic concepts to attain better filter parameter tuning and robustness in noise uncertainty, (b) best maneuvers with focus on 3D and 2D motion modes and related challenges and (c) investigation of the calibration termination criteria leveraging the calibration robustness and efficiency.

  11. Effectiveness of bone cleaning process using chemical and entomology approaches: time and cost.

    PubMed

    Lai, Poh Soon; Khoo, Lay See; Mohd Hilmi, Saidin; Ahmad Hafizam, Hasmi; Mohd Shah, Mahmood; Nurliza, Abdullah; Nazni, Wasi Ahmad

    2015-08-01

    Skeletal examination is an important aspect of forensic pathology practice, requiring effective bone cleaning with minimal artefact. This study was conducted to compare between chemical and entomology methods of bone cleaning. Ten subjects between 20 and 40 years old who underwent uncomplicated medico-legal autopsies at the Institute of Forensic Medicine Malaysia were randomly chosen for this descriptive cross sectional study. The sternum bone was divided into 4 parts, each part subjected to a different cleaning method, being two chemical approaches i.e. laundry detergent and a combination of 6% hydrogen peroxide and powder sodium bicarbonate and two entomology approaches using 2nd instar maggots of Chrysomyia rufifacies and Ophyra spinigera. A scoring system for grading the outcome of cleaning was used. The effectiveness of the methods was evaluated based on average weight reduction per day and median number of days to achieve the average score of less than 1.5 within 12 days of the bone cleaning process. Using maggots was the most time-effective and costeffective method, achieving an average weight reduction of 1.4 gm per day, a median of 11.3 days to achieve the desired score and an average cost of MYR 4.10 per case to reach the desired score within 12 days. This conclusion was supported by blind validation by forensic specialists achieving a 77.8% preference for maggots. Emission scanning electron microscopy evaluation also revealed that maggots especially Chrysomyia rufifacies preserved the original condition of the bones better allowing improved elucidation of bone injuries in future real cases.

  12. Costs of Lygus herbivory on cotton associated with farmer decision-making: an ecoinformatics approach.

    PubMed

    Rosenheim, Jay A

    2013-06-01

    Because the farmer is typically excluded from the experimental research setting, experimental research may face challenges in evaluating pest management tactics whose costs and benefits hinge on farmer decision-making. In these cases an ecoinformatics approach, in which observational data collected from the commercial farming setting are "mined" to quantify both biological variables and farmer behavior, can complement experimentation as a useful research tool. Here I analyze such an observational data set to characterize associations between early- (June) and mid-season (July) Lygus hesperus Knight populations and farmer decisions to apply plant growth regulators and defoliants. Previous experimental work suggested the hypothesis that Lygus herbivory, by inducing abscission of young flower buds, might generate increased use of plant growth regulators and defoliants. Cotton's ability to compensate for loss of flower buds may, however, increase as plants grow. On upland cotton, June Lygus populations were associated with increased use of plant growth regulators, as expected, but this relationship was not observed for July Lygus populations. June Lygus populations were not associated with the use of defoliants, whereas, surprisingly, July Lygus populations were associated with decreases in defoliant use. In contrast to these positive and negative associations observed on upland cotton, on Pima cotton Lygus populations exhibited no associations with use of either plant growth regulators or defoliants. These results suggest that cotton responses to Lygus herbivory, as demonstrated in previously published experimental studies, can translate into economically meaningful changes in farmer decisions to apply agricultural chemicals. PMID:23865193

  13. Simulation and training of ultrasound supported anaesthesia: a low-cost approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaaf, T.; Lamontain, M.; Hilpert, J.; Schilling, F.; Tolxdorff, T.

    2010-03-01

    The use of ultrasound imaging technology during techniques of peripheral nerve blockade offers several clinical benefits. Here we report on a new method to educate residents in ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia. The daily challenge for the anesthesiologists is the 3D angle-depending handling of the stimulation needle and the ultrasound probe while watching the 2D ultrasound image on the monitor. Purpose: Our approach describes how a computer-aided simulation and training set for ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia could be built based on wireless low-cost devices and an interactive simulation of a 2D ultrasound image. For training purposes the injection needle and the ultrasound probe are replaced by wireless Bluetooth-connected 3D tracking devices, which are embedded in WII-mote controllers (Nintendo-Brand). In correlation to the tracked 3D positions of the needle and transducer models the visibility and position of the needle should be simulated in the 2D generated ultrasound image. Conclusion: In future, this tracking and visualization software module could be integrated in a more complex training set, where complex injection paths could be trained based on a 3D segmented model and the training results could be part of a curricular e-learning module.

  14. An improved least cost routing approach for WDM optical network without wavelength converters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonani, Luiz H.; Forghani-elahabad, Majid

    2016-12-01

    Routing and wavelength assignment (RWA) problem has been an attractive problem in optical networks, and consequently several algorithms have been proposed in the literature to solve this problem. The most known techniques for the dynamic routing subproblem are fixed routing, fixed-alternate routing, and adaptive routing methods. The first one leads to a high blocking probability (BP) and the last one includes a high computational complexity and requires immense backing from the control and management protocols. The second one suggests a trade-off between performance and complexity, and hence we consider it to improve in our work. In fact, considering the RWA problem in a wavelength routed optical network with no wavelength converter, an improved technique is proposed for the routing subproblem in order to decrease the BP of the network. Based on fixed-alternate approach, the first k shortest paths (SPs) between each node pair is determined. We then rearrange the SPs according to a newly defined cost for the links and paths. Upon arriving a connection request, the sorted paths are consecutively checked for an available wavelength according to the most-used technique. We implement our proposed algorithm and the least-hop fixed-alternate algorithm to show how the rearrangement of SPs contributes to a lower BP in the network. The numerical results demonstrate the efficiency of our proposed algorithm in comparison with the others, considering different number of available wavelengths.

  15. Costs of Lygus herbivory on cotton associated with farmer decision-making: an ecoinformatics approach.

    PubMed

    Rosenheim, Jay A

    2013-06-01

    Because the farmer is typically excluded from the experimental research setting, experimental research may face challenges in evaluating pest management tactics whose costs and benefits hinge on farmer decision-making. In these cases an ecoinformatics approach, in which observational data collected from the commercial farming setting are "mined" to quantify both biological variables and farmer behavior, can complement experimentation as a useful research tool. Here I analyze such an observational data set to characterize associations between early- (June) and mid-season (July) Lygus hesperus Knight populations and farmer decisions to apply plant growth regulators and defoliants. Previous experimental work suggested the hypothesis that Lygus herbivory, by inducing abscission of young flower buds, might generate increased use of plant growth regulators and defoliants. Cotton's ability to compensate for loss of flower buds may, however, increase as plants grow. On upland cotton, June Lygus populations were associated with increased use of plant growth regulators, as expected, but this relationship was not observed for July Lygus populations. June Lygus populations were not associated with the use of defoliants, whereas, surprisingly, July Lygus populations were associated with decreases in defoliant use. In contrast to these positive and negative associations observed on upland cotton, on Pima cotton Lygus populations exhibited no associations with use of either plant growth regulators or defoliants. These results suggest that cotton responses to Lygus herbivory, as demonstrated in previously published experimental studies, can translate into economically meaningful changes in farmer decisions to apply agricultural chemicals.

  16. The Resource Approach to the Analysis of Educational Project Cost. Number 3 in a Series of Monographs on Evaluation in Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.

    Comparing or estimating the costs of educational projects by merely using cost-per-student figures is imprecise and ignores area differences in prices. The resource approach to cost analysis begins by determining specific physical resources (such as facilities, staff, equipment, materials, and services) needed for a project. Then the cost of these…

  17. Cost of maternal health services in selected primary care centres in Ghana: a step down allocation approach

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background There is a paucity of knowledge on the cost of health care services in Ghana. This poses a challenge in the economic evaluation of programmes and inhibits policy makers in making decisions about allocation of resources to improve health care. This study analysed the overall cost of providing health services in selected primary health centres and how much of the cost is attributed to the provision of antenatal and delivery services. Methods The study has a cross-sectional design and quantitative data was collected between July and December 2010. Twelve government run primary health centres in the Kassena-Nankana and Builsa districts of Ghana were randomly selected for the study. All health-care related costs for the year 2010 were collected from a public service provider’s perspective. The step-down allocation approach recommended by World Health Organization was used for the analysis. Results The average annual cost of operating a health centre was $136,014 US. The mean costs attributable to ANC and delivery services were $23,063 US and $11,543 US respectively. Personnel accounted for the largest proportion of cost (45%). Overall, ANC (17%) and delivery (8%) were responsible for less than a quarter of the total cost of operating the health centres. By disaggregating the costs, the average recurrent cost was estimated at $127,475 US, representing 93.7% of the total cost. Even though maternal health services are free, utilization of these services at the health centres were low, particularly for delivery (49%), leading to high unit costs. The mean unit costs were $18 US for an ANC visit and $63 US for spontaneous delivery. Conclusion The high unit costs reflect underutilization of the existing capacities of health centres and indicate the need to encourage patients to use health centres .The study provides useful information that could be used for cost effectiveness analyses of maternal and neonatal care interventions, as well as for policy makers to

  18. Cost accounting and public reimbursement schemes in Spanish hospitals.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Martínez, Fernando; Abellán-Perpiñán, José-María; Martínez-Pérez, Jorge-Eduardo; Puig-Junoy, Jaume

    2006-08-01

    The objective of this paper is to provide a description and analysis of the main costing and pricing (reimbursement) systems employed by hospitals in the Spanish National Health System (NHS). Hospitals cost calculations are mostly based on a full costing approach as opposite to other systems like direct costing or activity based costing. Regional and hospital differences arise on the method used to allocate indirect costs to cost centres and also on the approach used to measure resource consumption. Costs are typically calculated by disaggregating expenditure and allocating it to cost centres, and then to patients and DRGs. Regarding public reimbursement systems, the impression is that unit costs are ignored, except for certain type of high technology processes and treatments.

  19. The genetic basis of the fitness costs of antimicrobial resistance: a meta-analysis approach

    PubMed Central

    Vogwill, Tom; MacLean, R Craig

    2015-01-01

    The evolution of antibiotic resistance carries a fitness cost, expressed in terms of reduced competitive ability in the absence of antibiotics. This cost plays a key role in the dynamics of resistance by generating selection against resistance when bacteria encounter an antibiotic-free environment. Previous work has shown that the cost of resistance is highly variable, but the underlying causes remain poorly understood. Here, we use a meta-analysis of the published resistance literature to determine how the genetic basis of resistance influences its cost. We find that on average chromosomal resistance mutations carry a larger cost than acquiring resistance via a plasmid. This may explain why resistance often evolves by plasmid acquisition. Second, we find that the cost of plasmid acquisition increases with the breadth of its resistance range. This suggests a potentially important limit on the evolution of extensive multidrug resistance via plasmids. We also find that epistasis can significantly alter the cost of mutational resistance. Overall, our study shows that the cost of antimicrobial resistance can be partially explained by its genetic basis. It also highlights both the danger associated with plasmidborne resistance and the need to understand why resistance plasmids carry a relatively low cost. PMID:25861386

  20. Changing the Curation Equation: A Data Lifecycle Approach to Lowering Costs and Increasing Value

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myers, J.; Hedstrom, M.; Plale, B. A.; Kumar, P.; McDonald, R.; Kooper, R.; Marini, L.; Kouper, I.; Chandrasekar, K.

    2013-12-01

    What if everything that researchers know about their data, and everything their applications know, were directly available to curators? What if all the information that data consumers discover and infer about data were also available? What if curation and preservation activities occurred incrementally, during research projects instead of after they end, and could be leveraged to make it easier to manage research data from the moment of its creation? These are questions that the Sustainable Environments - Actionable Data (SEAD) project, funded as part of the National Science Foundation's DataNet partnership, was designed to answer. Data curation is challenging, but it is made more difficult by the historical separation of data production, data use, and formal curation activities across organizations, locations, and applications, and across time. Modern computing and networking technologies allow a much different approach in which data and metadata can easily flow between these activities throughout the data lifecycle, and in which heterogeneous and evolving data and metadata can be managed. Sustainability research, SEAD's initial focus area, is a clear example of an area where the nature of the research (cross-disciplinary, integrating heterogeneous data from independent sources, small teams, rapid evolution of sensing and analysis techniques) and the barriers and costs inherent in traditional methods have limited adoption of existing curation tools and techniques, to the detriment of overall scientific progress. To explore these ideas and create a sustainable curation capability for communities such as sustainability research, the SEAD team has developed and is now deploying an interacting set of open source data services that demonstrate this approach. These services provide end-to-end support for management of data during research projects; publication of that data into long-term archives; and integration of it into community networks of publications, research

  1. To Boost Quality and Cut Costs, Oregon State U. Adopts a Customer-Oriented Approach to Campus Services.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McMillen, Liz

    1991-01-01

    At Oregon State University, an investigation into physical plant administration in response to complaints found significant problems with customer service. Adopting an approach called Total Quality Management, the staff identified and resolved problems, improved quality, and reduced cost. Administrators feel the principles could be applied in all…

  2. MOD Buffer/YBCO Approach to Fabricate Low-Cost Second Generation HTS Wires

    SciTech Connect

    Paranthaman, Mariappan Parans; Sathyamurthy, Srivatsan; Bhuiyan, Md S; Martin, Patrick M; Aytug, Tolga; Kim, Kyunghoon; Fayek, Mostafa; Leonard, Keith J; Li, Jing; Zhang, W.; Rupich, Marty

    2007-01-01

    The metal organic deposition (MOD) of buffer layers on RABiTS substrates is considered a potential, low-cost approach to manufacturing high performance Second Generation (2G) high temperature superconducting (HTS) wires. The typical architecture used by American Superconductor in their 2G HTS wire consists of a Ni-W (5 at.%) substrate with a reactively sputtered Y2O3 seed layer, YSZ barrier layer and a CeO2 cap layer. This architecture supports critical currents of over 300 A/cm-width (77 K, self-field) with 0.8 mum YBCO films deposited by the TFA-MOD process. The main challenge in the development of the MOD buffers is to match or exceed the performance of the standard vacuum deposited buffer architecture. We have recently shown that the texture and properties of MOD - La2Zr2Ogamma (LZO) barrier layers can be improved by inserting a thin sputtered Y2O3 seed layer and prepared MOD deposited LZO layers followed by MOD or RF sputtered CeO2 cap layers that support MOD-YBCO films with Ic's of 200 and 255 A/cm-width, respectively. Detailed X-ray and microstructural characterizations indicated that MOD - CeO2 cap reacted completely with MOD YBCO to form BaCeOs. However, sputtered CeO2 cap/MOD YBCO interface remains clean. By further optimizing the coating conditions and reducing the heat-treatment temperatures, we have demonstrated an Ic of 336 A/cm with improved LZO layers and sputtered CeO2 cap and exceeded the performance of that of standard vacuum deposited buffers.

  3. A cost-outcome approach to pre and post-implementation of national sports injury prevention programmes.

    PubMed

    Gianotti, Simon; Hume, Patria A

    2007-12-01

    In New Zealand (NZ), the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) has developed a pre and post-implementation cost-outcome formulae for sport injury prevention to provide information regarding the success of a prevention programme. The ACC provides for the cost of all personal injuries in NZ and invests in prevention programmes to offset 1.6 million annual claims that cost $NZD 1.9 billion. The ACC invests in nine national community sport injury prevention programmes that represent 40% of sport claims and costs. Pre-implementation is used to determine the decision whether to invest in implementation and to determine the level of such investment for the injury prevention programme. Post-implementation is calculated two ways: unadjusted, assuming ceteris paribus; and adjusted assuming no prevention programme was in place. Post-implementation formulae provide a return on investment (ROI) for each dollar invested in the programme and cost-savings. The cost-outcome formulae approach allows ACC to manage expectations of the prevention programme as well as when it will provide a ROI, allowing it to take a long-term view for investment in sport injury prevention. Originally developed for its sport injury prevention programmes, the cost-outcome formulae have now been applied to the other prevention programmes ACC invests in such as home, road and workplace injury prevention. PMID:17353149

  4. Surgical treatment approaches and reimbursement costs of surgical site infections post hip arthroplasty in Australia: a retrospective analysis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The treatment for deep surgical site infection (SSI) following primary total hip arthroplasty (THA) varies internationally and it is at present unclear which treatment approaches are used in Australia. The aim of this study is to identify current treatment approaches in Queensland, Australia, show success rates and quantify the costs of different treatments. Methods Data for patients undergoing primary THA and treatment for infection between January 2006 and December 2009 in Queensland hospitals were extracted from routinely used hospital databases. Records were linked with pathology information to confirm positive organisms. Diagnosis and treatment of infection was determined using ICD-10-AM and ACHI codes, respectively. Treatment costs were estimated based on AR-DRG cost accounting codes assigned to each patient hospital episode. Results A total of n=114 patients with deep surgical site infection were identified. The majority of patients (74%) were first treated with debridement, antibiotics and implant retention (DAIR), which was successful in eradicating the infection in 60.3% of patients with an average cost of $13,187. The remaining first treatments were 1-stage revision, successful in 89.7% with average costs of $27,006, and 2-stage revisions, successful in 92.9% of cases with average costs of $42,772. Multiple treatments following ‘failed DAIR’ cost on average $29,560, for failed 1-stage revision were $24,357, for failed 2-stage revision were $70,381 and were $23,805 for excision arthroplasty. Conclusions As treatment costs in Australia are high primary prevention is important and the economics of competing treatment choices should be carefully considered. These currently vary greatly across international settings. PMID:23497364

  5. Film-free efficiency systems: a new cost-effective approach.

    PubMed

    Reicher, M A

    1998-01-01

    Pressure is on healthcare providers to make their services more affordable. Streamlining operations to improve efficiency is one means of achieving that goal. PACS has been touted as the technology to improve radiologic services. Sold as a way to eliminate lost records and lower operations costs, in reality, PACS has raised costs and slowed work flow in many cases. Perhaps PACS that raise operations costs are more properly named digital overhead generating systems (DOGS). There is an alternative solution--film-free efficiency systems (FFES), defined as the technological tools required to lower radiologic costs and improve services. A new type of image and information management technology and distinct from traditional PACS in a number of ways, film-free efficiency systems are immediately cost effective. They improve personnel efficiency, reduce costs per RVU, provide an alternative to film and exclude the use of any technology that is not cost effective. Implementation of these systems must begin with a clearly stated mission, a leadership statement and financial accountability. To guarantee an immediate financial gain in your department, you'll want to finance the system through material cost savings. Implementation should start with the digital modalities. The next step is to retrain staff and reengineer the workplace, followed by creating the necessary infrastructure of PCs in referring physicians' offices. Lastly, implement CR or digital radiography as prices drop and technologies improve in speed. PMID:10186419

  6. Development of cost effective fenceline monitoring approaches to support advanced leak detection and repair strategies

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cost-effective fence line and process monitoring systems to support advanced leak detection and repair (LDAR) strategies can enhance protection of public health, facilitate worker safety, and help companies realize cost savings by reducing lost product. The U.S. EPA Office of Re...

  7. Cost implications of different approaches to the prevention of respiratory distress syndrome.

    PubMed Central

    Mugford, M; Piercy, J; Chalmers, I

    1991-01-01

    Because the incidence of both neonatal respiratory distress syndrome and neonatal mortality can be reduced by giving corticosteroids to women expected to deliver preterm and by giving surfactant to babies at high risk of developing hyaline membrane disease, we have considered what effects the adoption of one or both of these preventive policies would have on the costs of neonatal care. We have estimated the effects of treatment from overviews of the relevant controlled trials, and estimated costs from observations of care at one neonatal unit. Our results suggest that if either of these policies is adopted for all babies under 35 weeks' gestation at a drug cost of 150 pounds or less/baby, the overall costs of care would be reduced by between 1 and 10%. The cost per survivor would be reduced by up to 16% even if the drug cost were to be as high as pounds 550/baby. If the policies were to be adopted only for babies under 31 weeks' gestation, both policies would result in a reduction in cost of between 5 and 16%/survivor, although the increased survival resulting from the policies would lead to an increase in overall costs for babies of less then 31 weeks' gestation of between 7 and 32%. PMID:1863120

  8. A Comparable Wage Approach to Geographic Cost Adjustment. Research and Development Report. NCES-2006-321

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Lori L.; Fowler, William J. Jr.

    2006-01-01

    Geographic cost differences present many complications when researchers attempt to make systematic comparisons of educational resources, and failure to address such differences can undermine the equity and adequacy goals of school finance formulas. Therefore, there is considerable interest in developing measures of the cost of education that can…

  9. Film-free efficiency systems: a new cost-effective approach.

    PubMed

    Reicher, M A

    1998-01-01

    Pressure is on healthcare providers to make their services more affordable. Streamlining operations to improve efficiency is one means of achieving that goal. PACS has been touted as the technology to improve radiologic services. Sold as a way to eliminate lost records and lower operations costs, in reality, PACS has raised costs and slowed work flow in many cases. Perhaps PACS that raise operations costs are more properly named digital overhead generating systems (DOGS). There is an alternative solution--film-free efficiency systems (FFES), defined as the technological tools required to lower radiologic costs and improve services. A new type of image and information management technology and distinct from traditional PACS in a number of ways, film-free efficiency systems are immediately cost effective. They improve personnel efficiency, reduce costs per RVU, provide an alternative to film and exclude the use of any technology that is not cost effective. Implementation of these systems must begin with a clearly stated mission, a leadership statement and financial accountability. To guarantee an immediate financial gain in your department, you'll want to finance the system through material cost savings. Implementation should start with the digital modalities. The next step is to retrain staff and reengineer the workplace, followed by creating the necessary infrastructure of PCs in referring physicians' offices. Lastly, implement CR or digital radiography as prices drop and technologies improve in speed.

  10. Activity-based costing in services: literature bibliometric review.

    PubMed

    Stefano, Nara Medianeira; Filho, Nelson Casarotto

    2013-12-01

    This article is aimed at structuring a bibliography portfolio to treat the application of the ABC method in service and contribute to discussions within the scientific community. The methodology followed a three-stage procedure: Planning, execution and Synthesis. Also, the process ProKnow-C (Knowledge Process Development - Constructivist) was used in the execution stage. International databases were used to collect information (ISI Web of Knowledge and Scopus). As a result, we obtained a bibliography portfolio of 21 articles (with scientific recognition) dealing with the proposed theme.

  11. Activity-based costing in services: literature bibliometric review.

    PubMed

    Stefano, Nara Medianeira; Filho, Nelson Casarotto

    2013-12-01

    This article is aimed at structuring a bibliography portfolio to treat the application of the ABC method in service and contribute to discussions within the scientific community. The methodology followed a three-stage procedure: Planning, execution and Synthesis. Also, the process ProKnow-C (Knowledge Process Development - Constructivist) was used in the execution stage. International databases were used to collect information (ISI Web of Knowledge and Scopus). As a result, we obtained a bibliography portfolio of 21 articles (with scientific recognition) dealing with the proposed theme. PMID:23518506

  12. Multi-objective optimization approach for cost management during product design at the conceptual phase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durga Prasad, K. G.; Venkata Subbaiah, K.; Narayana Rao, K.

    2014-03-01

    The effective cost management during the conceptual design phase of a product is essential to develop a product with minimum cost and desired quality. The integration of the methodologies of quality function deployment (QFD), value engineering (VE) and target costing (TC) could be applied to the continuous improvement of any product during product development. To optimize customer satisfaction and total cost of a product, a mathematical model is established in this paper. This model integrates QFD, VE and TC under multi-objective optimization frame work. A case study on domestic refrigerator is presented to show the performance of the proposed model. Goal programming is adopted to attain the goals of maximum customer satisfaction and minimum cost of the product.

  13. Taguchi Approach to Design Optimization for Quality and Cost: An Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Unal, Resit; Dean, Edwin B.

    1990-01-01

    Calibrations to existing cost of doing business in space indicate that to establish human presence on the Moon and Mars with the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) will require resources, felt by many, to be more than the national budget can afford. In order for SEI to succeed, we must actually design and build space systems at lower cost this time, even with tremendous increases in quality and performance requirements, such as extremely high reliability. This implies that both government and industry must change the way they do business. Therefore, new philosophy and technology must be employed to design and produce reliable, high quality space systems at low cost. In recognizing the need to reduce cost and improve quality and productivity, Department of Defense (DoD) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have initiated Total Quality Management (TQM). TQM is a revolutionary management strategy in quality assurance and cost reduction. TQM requires complete management commitment, employee involvement, and use of statistical tools. The quality engineering methods of Dr. Taguchi, employing design of experiments (DOE), is one of the most important statistical tools of TQM for designing high quality systems at reduced cost. Taguchi methods provide an efficient and systematic way to optimize designs for performance, quality, and cost. Taguchi methods have been used successfully in Japan and the United States in designing reliable, high quality products at low cost in such areas as automobiles and consumer electronics. However, these methods are just beginning to see application in the aerospace industry. The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the Taguchi methods for improving quality and reducing cost, describe the current state of applications and its role in identifying cost sensitive design parameters.

  14. Industry-Cost-Curve Approach for Modeling the Environmental Impact of Introducing New Technologies in Life Cycle Assessment.

    PubMed

    Kätelhön, Arne; von der Assen, Niklas; Suh, Sangwon; Jung, Johannes; Bardow, André

    2015-07-01

    The environmental costs and benefits of introducing a new technology depend not only on the technology itself, but also on the responses of the market where substitution or displacement of competing technologies may occur. An internationally accepted method taking both technological and market-mediated effects into account, however, is still lacking in life cycle assessment (LCA). For the introduction of a new technology, we here present a new approach for modeling the environmental impacts within the framework of LCA. Our approach is motivated by consequential life cycle assessment (CLCA) and aims to contribute to the discussion on how to operationalize consequential thinking in LCA practice. In our approach, we focus on new technologies producing homogeneous products such as chemicals or raw materials. We employ the industry cost-curve (ICC) for modeling market-mediated effects. Thereby, we can determine substitution effects at a level of granularity sufficient to distinguish between competing technologies. In our approach, a new technology alters the ICC potentially replacing the highest-cost producer(s). The technologies that remain competitive after the new technology's introduction determine the new environmental impact profile of the product. We apply our approach in a case study on a new technology for chlor-alkali electrolysis to be introduced in Germany.

  15. Industry-Cost-Curve Approach for Modeling the Environmental Impact of Introducing New Technologies in Life Cycle Assessment.

    PubMed

    Kätelhön, Arne; von der Assen, Niklas; Suh, Sangwon; Jung, Johannes; Bardow, André

    2015-07-01

    The environmental costs and benefits of introducing a new technology depend not only on the technology itself, but also on the responses of the market where substitution or displacement of competing technologies may occur. An internationally accepted method taking both technological and market-mediated effects into account, however, is still lacking in life cycle assessment (LCA). For the introduction of a new technology, we here present a new approach for modeling the environmental impacts within the framework of LCA. Our approach is motivated by consequential life cycle assessment (CLCA) and aims to contribute to the discussion on how to operationalize consequential thinking in LCA practice. In our approach, we focus on new technologies producing homogeneous products such as chemicals or raw materials. We employ the industry cost-curve (ICC) for modeling market-mediated effects. Thereby, we can determine substitution effects at a level of granularity sufficient to distinguish between competing technologies. In our approach, a new technology alters the ICC potentially replacing the highest-cost producer(s). The technologies that remain competitive after the new technology's introduction determine the new environmental impact profile of the product. We apply our approach in a case study on a new technology for chlor-alkali electrolysis to be introduced in Germany. PMID:26061620

  16. A unified approach to the estimation and interpretation of resistance costs in plants

    PubMed Central

    Vila-Aiub, M M; Neve, P; Roux, F

    2011-01-01

    Plants exhibit a number of adaptive defence traits that endow resistance to past and current abiotic and biotic stresses. It is generally accepted that these adaptations will incur a cost when plants are not challenged by the stress to which they have become adapted—the so-called ‘cost of adaptation'. The need to minimise or account for allelic variation at other fitness-related loci (genetic background control) is frequently overlooked when assessing resistance costs associated with plant defence traits. We provide a synthesis of the various experimental protocols that accomplish this essential requirement. We also differentiate those methods that enable the identification of the trait-specific or mechanistic basis of costs (direct methods) from those that provide an estimate of the impact of costs by examining the evolutionary trajectories of resistance allele frequencies at the population level (indirect methods). The advantages and disadvantages for each proposed experimental design are discussed. We conclude that plant resistance systems provide an ideal model to address fundamental questions about the cost of adaptation to stress. We also propose some ways to expand the scope of future studies for further fundamental and applied insight into the significance of adaptation costs. PMID:21540885

  17. Modeling the trade-off between diet costs and methane emissions: A goal programming approach.

    PubMed

    Moraes, L E; Fadel, J G; Castillo, A R; Casper, D P; Tricarico, J M; Kebreab, E

    2015-08-01

    Enteric methane emission is a major greenhouse gas from livestock production systems worldwide. Dietary manipulation may be an effective emission-reduction tool; however, the associated costs may preclude its use as a mitigation strategy. Several studies have identified dietary manipulation strategies for the mitigation of emissions, but studies examining the costs of reducing methane by manipulating diets are scarce. Furthermore, the trade-off between increase in dietary costs and reduction in methane emissions has only been determined for a limited number of production scenarios. The objective of this study was to develop an optimization framework for the joint minimization of dietary costs and methane emissions based on the identification of a set of feasible solutions for various levels of trade-off between emissions and costs. Such a set of solutions was created by the specification of a systematic grid of goal programming weights, enabling the decision maker to choose the solution that achieves the desired trade-off level. Moreover, the model enables the calculation of emission-mitigation costs imputing a trading value for methane emissions. Emission imputed costs can be used in emission-unit trading schemes, such as cap-and-trade policy designs. An application of the model using data from lactating cows from dairies in the California Central Valley is presented to illustrate the use of model-generated results in the identification of optimal diets when reducing emissions. The optimization framework is flexible and can be adapted to jointly minimize diet costs and other potential environmental impacts (e.g., nitrogen excretion). It is also flexible so that dietary costs, feed nutrient composition, and animal nutrient requirements can be altered to accommodate various production systems.

  18. Bayesian comparison of cost-effectiveness of different clinical approaches to diagnose coronary artery disease

    SciTech Connect

    Patterson, R.E.; Eng, C.; Horowitz, S.F.; Gorlin, R.; Goldstein, S.R.

    1984-08-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the cost-effectiveness of four clinical policies (policies I to IV) in the diagnosis of the presence or absence of coronary artery disease. A model based on Bayes theorem and published clinical data was constructed to make these comparisons. Effectiveness was defined as either the number of patients with coronary disease diagnosed or as the number of quality-adjusted life years extended by therapy after the diagnosis of coronary disease. The following conclusions arise strictly from analysis of the model and may not necessarily be applicable to all situations. As prevalence of coronary disease in the population increased, it caused a linear increase in cost per patient tested, but a hyperbolic decrease in cost per effect, that is, increased cost-effectiveness. Thus, cost-effectiveness of all policies (I to IV) was poor in populations with a prevalence of disease below 10%. Analysis of the model also indicates that at prevalences less than 80%, exercise thallium scintigraphy alone as a first test (policy II) is a more cost-effective initial test than is exercise electrocardiography alone as a first test (policy I) or exercise electrocardiography first combined with thallium imaging as a second test (policy IV). Exercise electrocardiography before thallium imaging (policy IV) is more cost-effective than exercise electrocardiography alone (policy I) at prevalences less than 80%. 4) Noninvasive exercise testing before angiography (policies I, II and IV) is more cost-effective than using coronary angiography as the first and only test (policy III) at prevalences less than 80%. 5) Above a threshold value of prevalence of 80% (for example patients with typical angina), proceeding to angiography as the first test (policy III) was more cost-effective than initial noninvasive exercise tests (policies I, II and IV).

  19. Modeling the trade-off between diet costs and methane emissions: A goal programming approach.

    PubMed

    Moraes, L E; Fadel, J G; Castillo, A R; Casper, D P; Tricarico, J M; Kebreab, E

    2015-08-01

    Enteric methane emission is a major greenhouse gas from livestock production systems worldwide. Dietary manipulation may be an effective emission-reduction tool; however, the associated costs may preclude its use as a mitigation strategy. Several studies have identified dietary manipulation strategies for the mitigation of emissions, but studies examining the costs of reducing methane by manipulating diets are scarce. Furthermore, the trade-off between increase in dietary costs and reduction in methane emissions has only been determined for a limited number of production scenarios. The objective of this study was to develop an optimization framework for the joint minimization of dietary costs and methane emissions based on the identification of a set of feasible solutions for various levels of trade-off between emissions and costs. Such a set of solutions was created by the specification of a systematic grid of goal programming weights, enabling the decision maker to choose the solution that achieves the desired trade-off level. Moreover, the model enables the calculation of emission-mitigation costs imputing a trading value for methane emissions. Emission imputed costs can be used in emission-unit trading schemes, such as cap-and-trade policy designs. An application of the model using data from lactating cows from dairies in the California Central Valley is presented to illustrate the use of model-generated results in the identification of optimal diets when reducing emissions. The optimization framework is flexible and can be adapted to jointly minimize diet costs and other potential environmental impacts (e.g., nitrogen excretion). It is also flexible so that dietary costs, feed nutrient composition, and animal nutrient requirements can be altered to accommodate various production systems. PMID:25981079

  20. Evaluating Computer-Assisted Career Guidance Systems: A Critique of the Differential Feature-Cost Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oliver, Laurel W.

    1990-01-01

    Finds the feature-cost analysis method (Sampson et al., CE 521 972) a useful tool, but suggests that users need to determine which criteria are most important to them on the basis of a needs assessment. (SK)

  1. Present-value analysis: A systems approach to public decisionmaking for cost effectiveness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herbert, T. T.

    1971-01-01

    Decision makers within Governmental agencies and Congress must evaluate competing (and sometimes conflicting) proposals which seek funding and implementation. Present value analysis can be an effective decision making tool by enabling the formal evaluation of the effects of competing proposals on efficient national resource utilization. A project's costs are not only its direct disbursements, but its social costs as well. How much does it cost to have those funds diverted from their use and economic benefit by the private sector to the public project? Comparisons of competing projects' social costs allow decision makers to expand their decision bases by quantifying the projects' impacts upon the economy and the efficient utilization of the country's limited national resources. A conceptual model is established for the choosing of the appropriate discount rate to be used in evaluation decisions through the technique.

  2. Funding innovation for treatment for rare diseases: adopting a cost-based yardstick approach

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Manufacturers justify the high prices for orphan drugs on the basis that the associated R&D costs must be spread over few patients. The proliferation of these drugs in the last three decades, combined with high prices commonly in excess of $100,000 per patient per year are placing a substantial strain on the budgets of drug plans in many countries. Do insurers spend a growing portion of their budgets on small patient populations, or leave vulnerable patients without coverage for valuable treatments? We suggest that a third option is present in the form of a cost-based regulatory mechanism. Methods This article explores the use of a cost-based price control mechanism for orphan drugs, adapted from the standard models applied in utilities regulation. Results and conclusions A rate-of-return style model, employing yardsticked cost allocations and a modified two-stage rate of return calculation could be effective in setting a new standard for orphan drugs pricing. This type of cost-based pricing would limit the costs faced by insurers while continuing to provide an efficient incentive for new drug development. PMID:24237605

  3. A unified approach for composite cost reporting and prediction in the ACT program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freeman, W. Tom; Vosteen, Louis F.; Siddiqi, Shahid

    1991-01-01

    The Structures Technology Program Office (STPO) at NASA Langley Research Center has held two workshops with representatives from the commercial airframe companies to establish a plan for development of a standard cost reporting format and a cost prediction tool for conceptual and preliminary designers. This paper reviews the findings of the workshop representatives with a plan for implementation of their recommendations. The recommendations of the cost tracking and reporting committee will be implemented by reinstituting the collection of composite part fabrication data in a format similar to the DoD/NASA Structural Composites Fabrication Guide. The process of data collection will be automated by taking advantage of current technology with user friendly computer interfaces and electronic data transmission. Development of a conceptual and preliminary designers' cost prediction model will be initiated. The model will provide a technically sound method for evaluating the relative cost of different composite structural designs, fabrication processes, and assembly methods that can be compared to equivalent metallic parts or assemblies. The feasibility of developing cost prediction software in a modular form for interfacing with state of the art preliminary design tools and computer aided design (CAD) programs is assessed.

  4. What Does it Really Cost? Allocating Indirect Costs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Snyder, Herbert; Davenport, Elisabeth

    1997-01-01

    Better managerial control in terms of decision making and understanding the costs of a system/service result from allocating indirect costs. Allocation requires a three-step process: selecting cost objectives, pooling related overhead costs, and selecting costs bases to connect the objectives to the pooled costs. Argues that activity-based costing…

  5. Cost of water for peace and the environment in Israel: An integrated approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward, Frank A.; Becker, Nir

    2015-07-01

    This paper presents a framework for discovering an economically viable water sharing plan among neighboring communities for promoting peace and environmental protection. Its application is to the Middle East in which Israel may be facing water supply obligations to address environmental requirements and for a possible a peace agreement with its Palestinian neighbors. The framework consists of integrating external factors, constraints, policy instruments, and targets. Our findings from a constrained optimization analysis of Israel's national water system show that the costs of increased deliveries are dependent on two major issues: (1) achieving integrated water resources management (IWRM) in which efficient combinations of expansion from several supply sources and reductions in demands occur over time, and (2) the cost of desalination technologies. We identify a $US 1.46 billion price tag, in present value terms, from using integrated management of demand reduction and supply expansion under current desalination costs. Adjustment costs will decline both with anticipated reductions in desalination costs and with an efficient implementation of IWRM. These adjustments can contribute to moderating regional tensions and protecting key ecological assets while addressing water scarcity in a volatile corner of the world.

  6. A cost sensitive inpatient bed reservation approach to reduce emergency department boarding times.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Shanshan; Chinnam, Ratna Babu; Murat, Alper; Batarse, Bassam; Neemuchwala, Hakimuddin; Jordan, Will

    2015-03-01

    Emergency departments (ED) in hospitals are experiencing severe crowding and prolonged patient waiting times. A significant contributing factor is boarding delays where admitted patients are held in ED (occupying critical resources) until an inpatient bed is identified and readied in the admit wards. Recent research has suggested that if the hospital admissions of ED patients can be predicted during triage or soon after, then bed requests and preparations can be triggered early on to reduce patient boarding time. We propose a cost sensitive bed reservation policy that recommends optimal bed reservation times for patients. The policy relies on a classifier that estimates the probability that the ED patient will be admitted using the patient information collected and readily available at triage or right after. The policy is cost sensitive in that it accounts for costs associated with patient admission prediction misclassification as well as costs associated with incorrectly selecting the reservation time. Results from testing the proposed bed reservation policy using data from a VA Medical Center are very promising and suggest significant cost saving opportunities and reduced patient boarding times.

  7. A multidisciplinary approach to the development of low-cost high-performance lightwave networks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maitan, Jacek; Harwit, Alex

    1991-01-01

    Our research focuses on high-speed distributed systems. We anticipate that our results will allow the fabrication of low-cost networks employing multi-gigabit-per-second data links for space and military applications. The recent development of high-speed low-cost photonic components and new generations of microprocessors creates an opportunity to develop advanced large-scale distributed information systems. These systems currently involve hundreds of thousands of nodes and are made up of components and communications links that may fail during operation. In order to realize these systems, research is needed into technologies that foster adaptability and scaleability. Self-organizing mechanisms are needed to integrate a working fabric of large-scale distributed systems. The challenge is to fuse theory, technology, and development methodologies to construct a cost-effective, efficient, large-scale system.

  8. A participatory approach for selecting cost-effective measures in the WFD context: the Mar Menor (SE Spain).

    PubMed

    Perni, Angel; Martínez-Paz, José M

    2013-08-01

    Achieving a good ecological status in water bodies by 2015 is one of the objectives established in the European Water Framework Directive. Cost-effective analysis (CEA) has been applied for selecting measures to achieve this goal, but this appraisal technique requires technical and economic information that is not always available. In addition, there are often local insights that can only be identified by engaging multiple stakeholders in a participatory process. This paper proposes to combine CEA with the active involvement of stakeholders for selecting cost-effective measures. This approach has been applied to the case study of one of the main coastal lagoons in the European Mediterranean Sea, the Mar Menor, which presents eutrophication problems. Firstly, face-to-face interviews were conducted to estimate relative effectiveness and relative impacts of a set of measures by means of the pairwise comparison technique. Secondly, relative effectiveness was used to estimate cost-effectiveness ratios. The most cost-effective measures were the restoration of watercourses that drain into the lagoon and the treatment of polluted groundwater. Although in general the stakeholders approved the former, most of them stated that the latter involved some uncertainties, which must be addressed before implementing it. Stakeholders pointed out that the PoM would have a positive impact not only on water quality, but also on fishing, agriculture and tourism in the area. This approach can be useful to evaluate other programmes, plans or projects related to other European environmental strategies.

  9. Hurricane risk assessment to rollback or ride out a cost versus loss decision making approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wohlman, Richard A.

    1992-01-01

    The potential exists that a hurricane striking the Kennedy Space Center while a Space Shuttle is on the pad. Winds in excess of 74.5 knots could cause the failure of the holddown bolts bringing about the catastrophic loss of the entire vehicle. Current plans call for the rollback of the shuttle when winds of that magnitude are forecast to strike the center. As this is costly, a new objective method for making rollback/rideout decisions based upon Bayesian Analysis and economic cost versus loss is presented.

  10. Vaccination against typhoid fever in travellers: a cost-effectiveness approach.

    PubMed

    Papadimitropoulos, V; Vergidis, P I; Bliziotis, I; Falagas, M E

    2004-08-01

    Analysis of data on the incidence of typhoid fever and the costs of vaccination of travellers to the developing world indicates that vaccination may not be cost-effective for travel to countries with a moderate-to-high endemicity. It may be reasonable to selectively vaccinate travellers to countries with a very high incidence of typhoid fever, and particularly those who are visiting relatives or who will be in close contact with the local population. Vaccination of travellers on standard tourist itineraries is probably not necessary. The basic preventative measure for typhoid fever should be the avoidance of potentially contaminated food and drink.

  11. A cost-effective approach to microporate mammalian cells with the Neon Transfection System.

    PubMed

    Brees, Chantal; Fransen, Marc

    2014-12-01

    Electroporation is one of the most efficient nonviral methods for transferring exogenous DNA into mammalian cells. However, the relatively high costs of electroporation kits and reagents temper the routine use of this fast and easy to perform technique in many laboratories. Several years ago, a new flexible and easy to operate electroporation device was launched under the name Neon Transfection System. This device uses specialized pipette tips containing gold-plated electrodes as electroporation chamber. Here we report a protocol to regenerate these expensive tips as well as some other Neon kit accessories, thereby reducing the cost of electroporation at least 10-fold. PMID:25172131

  12. A cost-effective approach to microporate mammalian cells with the Neon Transfection System.

    PubMed

    Brees, Chantal; Fransen, Marc

    2014-12-01

    Electroporation is one of the most efficient nonviral methods for transferring exogenous DNA into mammalian cells. However, the relatively high costs of electroporation kits and reagents temper the routine use of this fast and easy to perform technique in many laboratories. Several years ago, a new flexible and easy to operate electroporation device was launched under the name Neon Transfection System. This device uses specialized pipette tips containing gold-plated electrodes as electroporation chamber. Here we report a protocol to regenerate these expensive tips as well as some other Neon kit accessories, thereby reducing the cost of electroporation at least 10-fold.

  13. Ranking the cost of environmental regulation among the several states: A quantitative approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blackstock, Robert Curtis, Jr.

    This dissertation uses a hedonic approach to measure the stringency of environmental regulation among the several States. Unlike other works which use a generalized approach, this dissertation concentrates on the production of SO2 emissions by the electricity producing industry. Using a quantitative rather than a normative approach, twenty-eight States are summarily ranked from the most, to the least stringent in the passing and subsequent enforcement of environmental regulations.

  14. The BOS-X approach: achieving drastic cost reduction in CPV through holistic power plant level innovation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plesniak, A.; Garboushian, V.

    2012-10-01

    In 2011, the Amonix Advanced Technology Group was awarded DOE SunShot funding in the amount of 4.5M to design a new Balance of System (BOS) architecture utilizing Amonix MegaModules™ focused on reaching the SunShot goal of 0.06-$0.08/kWhr LCOE. The project proposal presented a comprehensive re-evaluation of the cost components of a utility scale CPV plant and identified critical areas of focus where innovation is needed to achieve cost reduction. As the world's premier manufacturer and most experienced installer of CPV power plants, Amonix is uniquely qualified to lead a rethinking of BOS architecture for CPV. The presentation will focus on the structure of the BOS-X approach, which looks for the next wave of cost reduction in CPV through evaluation of non-module subsystems and the interaction between subsystems during the lifecycle of a solar power plant. Innovation around nonmodule components is minimal to date because CPV companies are just now getting enough practice through completion of large projects to create ideas and tests on how to improve baseline designs and processes. As CPV companies increase their installed capacity, they can utilize an approach similar to the methodology of BOS-X to increase the competitiveness of their product. Through partnership with DOE, this holistic approach is expected to define a path for CPV well aligned with the goals of the SunShot Initiative.

  15. Calculation of the Cost of an Adequate Education in Kentucky: A Professional Judgment Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Verstegen, Deborah A.

    2004-01-01

    What is an adequate education and how much does it cost? In 1989, Kentucky's State Supreme Court found the entire system of education unconstitutional--"all of its parts and parcels". The Court called for all children to have access to an adequate education, one that is uniform and has as its goal the development of seven capacities, including:…

  16. Understanding the Uncertainty of an Effectiveness-Cost Ratio in Educational Resource Allocation: A Bayesian Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pan, Yilin

    2016-01-01

    Given the necessity to bridge the gap between what happened and what is likely to happen, this paper aims to explore how to apply Bayesian inference to cost-effectiveness analysis so as to capture the uncertainty of a ratio-type efficiency measure. The first part of the paper summarizes the characteristics of the evaluation data that are commonly…

  17. Low cost sensors: Field evaluations and multi-sensor approaches for emissions factors

    EPA Science Inventory

    The development, and application of low cost sensors to measure both particulate and gas-phase air pollutants is poised to explode over the next several years. The need for the sensors is driven by poor air quality experienced in inhabited regions throughout the world, in both de...

  18. Understanding Wind Power Costs: The Value of a Comprehensive Approach (Presentation)

    SciTech Connect

    Lantz, E.

    2013-05-01

    The evolution and maturity of the wind industry have often been assessed by considering changes in key metrics including capital costs, capacity factor, turbine pricing, and in some cases electricity sales data. However, wind turbines and plants represent a complex system optimization problem and each of these metrics, in isolation, fails to tell the complete story of technological progress and industry advancement. By contrast, the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) provides a more comprehensive and nuanced perspective on industry trends. LCOE can be used to analyze the effect of individual changes (by holding other variables constant) or to understand the complex interactions that might occur for example between turbine costs and productivity. Moreover, LCOE offers a reflection of the total production costs and required revenue for wind plants. This presentation provides examples of how a narrow focus on individual industry metrics can provide inaccurate representations of industry trends while also demonstrating how LCOE captures the array of critical industry variables to provide a greater level of insight.

  19. Bringing Environmental Responsibility to Campus: USC's Low-Cost Approach Yields Success.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campus Activities Programming, 1995

    1995-01-01

    The University of South Carolina/Columbia responded to the concerns of a small group of students by establishing a permanent office of waste reduction and recycling. Students, faculty, and staff worked together to obtain a grant and matching funds to create a recycling system that reduces waste disposal costs substantially and uses existing campus…

  20. A Total Systems Approach: Reducing Workers' Compensation Costs at UC Davis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kukulinsky, Janet C.

    1993-01-01

    The University of California (Davis) has revamped its workers' compensation program by improving accountability and safety, implementing safety training, informing workers of the costs of the workers' compensation program, designating a physician and physical therapist, giving light duty to injured employees, using sports medicine techniques, and…

  1. A Systems Approach to Lower Cost Missions: Following the Rideshare Paradigm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herrell, L.

    2009-01-01

    Small-satellite rideshare capabilities and opportunities for low-cost access to space have been evolving over the past 10 years. Small space launch vehicle technology is rapidly being developed and demonstrated, including the Minotaur series and the Space X Falcon, among others, along with the lower cost launch facilities at Alaska's Kodiak Launch Complex, NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, and the Reagan Test Site in the Pacific. Demonstrated capabilities for the launch of multiple payloads have increased (and continue to increase) significantly. This will allow more efficient and cost-effective use of the various launch opportunities, including utilizing the excess capacity of the emerging Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV)-based missions. The definition of standardized interfaces and processes, along with various user guides and payload implementation plans, has been developed and continues to be refined. Top-level agency policies for the support of low-cost access to space for small experimental payloads, such as the DoD policy structure on auxiliary payloads, have been defined and provide the basis for the continued refinement and implementation of these evolving technologies. Most importantly, the coordination and cooperative interfaces between the various stakeholders continues to evolve. The degree of this coordination and technical interchange is demonstrated by the wide stakeholder participation at the recent 2008 Small Payload Rideshare Workshop, held at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility. This annual workshop has been the major platform for coordination and technical interchange within the rideshare community and with the various sponsoring agencies. These developments have provided the foundation for a robust low-cost small payload rideshare capability. However, the continued evolution, sustainment, and utilization of these capabilities will require continued stakeholder recognition, support, and nourishing. Ongoing, coordinated effort, partnering, and

  2. Nutrient-dense food groups have high energy costs: an econometric approach to nutrient profiling.

    PubMed

    Maillot, Matthieu; Darmon, Nicole; Darmon, Michel; Lafay, Lionel; Drewnowski, Adam

    2007-07-01

    Consumers wishing to replace some of the foods in their diets with more nutrient-dense options need to be able to identify such foods on the basis of nutrient profiling. The present study used nutrient profiling to rank 7 major food groups and 25 subgroups in terms of their contribution to dietary energy, diet quality, and diet cost for 1332 adult participants in the French National INCA1 Study. Nutrient profiles were based on the presence of 23 qualifying nutrients, expressed as the percentage of nutrient adequacy per 8 MJ, and 3 negative or disqualifying nutrients, expressed as the percentage of the maximal recommended values for saturated fatty acids, added sugar, and sodium per 1.4 kg. Calculated cost of energy (euro/8 MJ) was based on the mean retail price of 619 foods in the nutrient composition database. The meat and the fruit and vegetables food groups had the highest nutritional quality but were associated with highest energy costs. Sweets and salted snacks had the lowest nutritional quality but were also one of the least expensive sources of dietary energy. Starches and grains were unique because they were low in disqualifying nutrients yet provided low-cost dietary energy. Within each major food group, some subgroups had a higher nutritient-to-price ratio than others. However, the fact that food groups with the more favorable nutrient profiles were also associated with higher energy costs suggests that the present structure of food prices may be a barrier to the adoption of food-based dietary guidelines, at least by low-income households.

  3. Risk aversion and uncertainty in cost-effectiveness analysis: the expected-utility, moment-generating function approach.

    PubMed

    Elbasha, Elamin H

    2005-05-01

    The availability of patient-level data from clinical trials has spurred a lot of interest in developing methods for quantifying and presenting uncertainty in cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA). Although the majority has focused on developing methods for using sample data to estimate a confidence interval for an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER), a small strand of the literature has emphasized the importance of incorporating risk preferences and the trade-off between the mean and the variance of returns to investment in health and medicine (mean-variance analysis). This paper shows how the exponential utility-moment-generating function approach is a natural extension to this branch of the literature for modelling choices from healthcare interventions with uncertain costs and effects. The paper assumes an exponential utility function, which implies constant absolute risk aversion, and is based on the fact that the expected value of this function results in a convenient expression that depends only on the moment-generating function of the random variables. The mean-variance approach is shown to be a special case of this more general framework. The paper characterizes the solution to the resource allocation problem using standard optimization techniques and derives the summary measure researchers need to estimate for each programme, when the assumption of risk neutrality does not hold, and compares it to the standard incremental cost-effectiveness ratio. The importance of choosing the correct distribution of costs and effects and the issues related to estimation of the parameters of the distribution are also discussed. An empirical example to illustrate the methods and concepts is provided.

  4. Finite element modelling approaches for well-ordered porous metallic materials for orthopaedic applications: cost effectiveness and geometrical considerations.

    PubMed

    Quevedo González, Fernando José; Nuño, Natalia

    2016-01-01

    The mechanical properties of well-ordered porous materials are related to their geometrical parameters at the mesoscale. Finite element (FE) analysis is a powerful tool to design well-ordered porous materials by analysing the mechanical behaviour. However, FE models are often computationally expensive. This article aims to develop a cost-effective FE model to simulate well-ordered porous metallic materials for orthopaedic applications. Solid and beam FE modelling approaches are compared, using finite size and infinite media models considering cubic unit cell geometry. The model is then applied to compare two unit cell geometries: cubic and diamond. Models having finite size provide similar results than the infinite media model approach for large sample sizes. In addition, these finite size models also capture the influence of the boundary conditions on the mechanical response for small sample sizes. The beam FE modelling approach showed little computational cost and similar results to the solid FE modelling approach. Diamond unit cell geometry appeared to be more suitable for orthopaedic applications than the cubic unit cell geometry.

  5. Estimating the demand for drop-off recycling sites: a random utility travel cost approach.

    PubMed

    Sidique, Shaufique F; Lupi, Frank; Joshi, Satish V

    2013-09-30

    Drop-off recycling is one of the most widely adopted recycling programs in the United States. Despite its wide implementation, relatively little literature addresses the demand for drop-off recycling. This study examines the demand for drop-off recycling sites as a function of travel costs and various site characteristics using the random utility model (RUM). The findings of this study indicate that increased travel costs significantly reduce the frequency of visits to drop-off sites implying that the usage pattern of a site is influenced by its location relative to where people live. This study also demonstrates that site specific characteristics such as hours of operation, the number of recyclables accepted, acceptance of commingled recyclables, and acceptance of yard-waste affect the frequency of visits to drop-off sites.

  6. Physiological cost and thermal envelope: a novel approach to cycle garment evaluation during a representative protocol.

    PubMed

    Corbett, J; Barwood, M J; Tipton, M J

    2015-04-01

    This study aimed to examine thermoregulation in different clothing assemblies during a representative cycling exercise protocol. Six men undertook cycling exercise simulating representative thermal exchange challenges while wearing low (LOW), intermediate (INT1 and INT2), or high (HI) amounts of clothing. Exercise was conducted at 14.5 °C, 46.8% relative humidity and included a "flat" [45 min at 35% peak power output (PPO), wind speed 8.3 m/s], "uphill" (30 min at 55% PPO, wind speed 3.6 m/s), and "downhill" (20 min at 50 W, wind speed 16.7 m/s) stage. Rectal temperature changed with the exercise stage and was independent of clothing assembly. In contrast, an "envelope" was evident for mean body temperature, resulting from differences in mean skin temperature between the LOW and HI conditions. The elevated mean body temperature in HI was associated with increased physiological "cost," in the form of increased sweat production and heart rate. Physiological cost provides a better index of clothing performance than deep body temperature in the "thermoregulatory zone," as a consequence sports clothing should attempt to optimize the balance between comfort and reduced physiological cost.

  7. Developments toward a Low-Cost Approach for Long-Term, Unattended Vapor Intrusion Monitoring

    PubMed Central

    Tolley, William K.

    2014-01-01

    There are over 450,000 sites contaminated by chemicals in the US. This large number of contaminated sites and the speed of subsurface migration of chemicals pose considerable risk to nearby residences and commercial buildings. The high costs for monitoring around these site stem from the labor involved in placing and replacing the passive sorbent vapor samplers and the resultant laboratory analysis. This monitoring produces sparse data sets that do not track temporal changes well. To substantially reduce costs and better track exposures, less costly, unattended systems for monitoring soil gases and vapor intrusion into homes and businesses are desirable to aid in the remediation of contaminated sites. This paper describes progress toward the development of an inexpensive system specifically for monitoring vapor intrusion; the system can operate repeatedly without user intervention with low detection limits (1 × 10−9, or 1 part-per-billion). Targeted analytes include chlorinated hydrocarbons (dichloroethylene, trichloroethane, trichloroethylene, and perchloroethylene) and benzene. The system consists of a trap-and-purge preconcentrator for vapor collection in conjunction with a compact gas chromatography instrument to separate individual compounds. Chemical detection is accomplished with an array of chemicapacitors and a metal-oxide semiconductor combustibles sensor. Both the preconcentrator and the chromatography column are resistively heated. All components are compatible with ambient air, which serves as the carrier gas for the gas chromatography and detectors. PMID:24903107

  8. Low-Cost Approach to the Design and Fabrication of a LOX/RP-1 Injector

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shadoan, Michael D.; Sparks, Dave L.; Turner, James E. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has designed, built, and is currently testing Fastrac, a liquid oxygen (LOX)/RP-1 fueled 60K-lb thrust class rocket engine. One facet of Fastrac, which makes it unique is that it is the first large-scale engine designed and developed in accordance with the Agency's mandated "faster, better, cheaper" (FBC) program policy. The engine was developed under the auspices of MSFC's Low Cost Boost Technology office. Development work for the main injector actually began in 1993 in subscale form. In 1996, work began on the full-scale unit approximately 1 year prior to initiation of the engine development program. In order to achieve the value goals established by the FBC policy, a review of traditional design practices was necessary. This internal reevaluation would ultimately challenge more conventional methods of material selection. design process, and fabrication techniques. The effort was highly successful. This "new way" of thinking has resulted in an innovative injector design, one with reduced complexity and significantly lower cost. Application of lessons learned during this effort to new or existing designs can have a similar effect on costs and future program successes.

  9. A Randomized Trial Comparing the Cost-Effectiveness of 2 Approaches for Treating Unilateral Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Katherine A.; Chandler, Danielle L.; Repka, Michael X.; Beck, Roy W.; Foster, Nicole C.; Frick, Kevin D.; Golden, Richard P.; Lambert, Scott R.; Melia, Michele; Tien, D. Robbins; Weakley, David R.

    2012-01-01

    Objective To compare the cost-effectiveness of two approaches for treating unilateral nasolacrimal duct obstruction (NLDO) Methods 163 infants 6 to <10 months old with unilateral NLDO were randomly assigned to immediate office-based nasolacrimal duct probing (N=82) or to six months of observation/non-surgical management (N=81) followed by facility-based probing for persistent symptoms. Main Outcome Measures Treatment success was defined as the absence of clinical signs of NLDO (epiphora, increased tear lake, mucous discharge) upon masked examination at 18 months of age. Cost of treatment between randomization and 18 months of age included costs for all surgeries and medications. Results In the observation/deferred facility probing group, NLDO resolved within 6 months without surgery in 44 of the 67 patients (66%, 95% confidence interval (CI)=54% to 76%) who completed the 6-month visit. Twenty-two (27%) of the 81 patients in the observation/deferred facility probing group underwent surgery, 4 of whom were operated within the initial 6 months. At 18 months of age, 69 (92%) of 75 immediate office probing group patients were treatment successes, compared with 58 (82%) of 71 observation/deferred facility probing group patients (difference=10%, 95%CI=−1% to 21%). The average cost of treatment was $562 in the immediate office probing group compared with $701 in the observation/deferred facility probing group (difference=−$139, 95%CI=−$377 to $94). The immediate office probing group had 3.0 fewer months of symptoms (95%CI=−1.8 to −4.0). Conclusions The immediate office probing approach is likely more cost effective than observation followed by deferred facility probing if needed. Adoption of the immediate office probing approach would result in probing about two-thirds of infants who would have resolved with 6 months of non-surgical management, but would largely avoid the need for probing under general anesthesia. Application to Clinical Practice Although

  10. A risk-based approach to cost-benefit analysis of software safety activities

    SciTech Connect

    Fortier, S.C.; Michael, J.B.

    1993-05-01

    Assumptions about the economics of making a system safe are usually not explicitly stated in industrial and software models of safety-critical systems. These assumptions span a wide spectrum of economic tradeoffs with respect to resources expended to make a system safe. The missing component in these models that is necessary for capturing the effect of economic tradeoffs is risk. A qualitative risk-based software safety model is proposed that combines features of industrial and software systems safety models. The risk-based model provides decision makers with a basis for performing cost-benefit analyses of software safety-related activities.

  11. A risk-based approach to cost-benefit analysis of software safety activities

    SciTech Connect

    Fortier, S.C. ); Michael, J.B. )

    1993-01-01

    Assumptions about the economics of making a system safe are usually not explicitly stated in industrial and software models of safety-critical systems. These assumptions span a wide spectrum of economic tradeoffs with respect to resources expended to make a system safe. The missing component in these models that is necessary for capturing the effect of economic tradeoffs is risk. A qualitative risk-based software safety model is proposed that combines features of industrial and software systems safety models. The risk-based model provides decision makers with a basis for performing cost-benefit analyses of software safety-related activities.

  12. Sequential sampling: cost-effective approach for monitoring benthic macroinvertebrates in environmental impact assessements

    SciTech Connect

    Resh, V.H.; Price, D.G.

    1984-01-01

    Sequential sampling is a method for monitoring benthic macroinvertebrates that can significantly reduce the number of samples required to reach a decision, and consequently, decrease the cost of benthic sampling in environmental impact assessments. Rather than depending on a fixed number of samples, this analysis cumulatively compares measured parameter values (for example, density, community diversity) from individual samples, with thresholds that are based on specified degrees of precision. In addition to reducing sample size, a monitoring program based on sequential sampling can provide clear-cut decisions as to whether a priori-defined changes in the measured parameter(s) have or have not occurred.

  13. Joint pricing and production management: a geometric programming approach with consideration of cubic production cost function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadjadi, Seyed Jafar; Hamidi Hesarsorkh, Aghil; Mohammadi, Mehdi; Bonyadi Naeini, Ali

    2014-08-01

    Coordination and harmony between different departments of a company can be an important factor in achieving competitive advantage if the company corrects alignment between strategies of different departments. This paper presents an integrated decision model based on recent advances of geometric programming technique. The demand of a product considers as a power function of factors such as product's price, marketing expenditures, and consumer service expenditures. Furthermore, production cost considers as a cubic power function of outputs. The model will be solved by recent advances in convex optimization tools. Finally, the solution procedure is illustrated by numerical example.

  14. Cost calculator methods for estimating casework time in child welfare services: A promising approach for use in implementation of evidence-based practices and other service innovations

    PubMed Central

    Holmes, Lisa; Landsverk, John; Ward, Harriet; Rolls-Reutz, Jennifer; Saldana, Lisa; Wulczyn, Fred; Chamberlain, Patricia

    2015-01-01

    Estimating costs in child welfare services is critical as new service models are incorporated into routine practice. This paper describes a unit costing estimation system developed in England (cost calculator) together with a pilot test of its utility in the United States where unit costs are routinely available for health services but not for child welfare services. The cost calculator approach uses a unified conceptual model that focuses on eight core child welfare processes. Comparison of these core processes in England and in four counties in the United States suggests that the underlying child welfare processes generated from England were perceived as very similar by child welfare staff in California county systems with some exceptions in the review and legal processes. Overall, the adaptation of the cost calculator for use in the United States child welfare systems appears promising. The paper also compares the cost calculator approach to the workload approach widely used in the United States and concludes that there are distinct differences between the two approaches with some possible advantages to the use of the cost calculator approach, especially in the use of this method for estimating child welfare costs in relation to the incorporation of evidence-based interventions into routine practice. PMID:26412917

  15. A multilevel cost-space approach to solving the balanced long transportation problem

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavanaugh, Kevin J.; Henson, Van Emden

    1993-01-01

    We develop a multilevel scheme for solving the balanced long transportation problem, that is, given a set (c(sub kj)) of shipping costs from a set of M supply nodes S(sub k) to a set of N demand nodes D(sub j), we seek to find a set of flows, (x(sub kj)), that minimizes the total cost Sigma(sub k=1)(exp M) Sigma(sub j=1)(exp N) x(sub kj)c(sub kj). We require that the problem be balanced, that is, the total demand must equal the total supply. Solution techniques for this problem are well known from optimization and linear programming. We examine this problem, however, in order to develop principles that can then be applied to more intractible problems of optimization. We develop a multigrid scheme for solving the problem, defining the grids, relaxation, and intergrid operators. Numerical experimentation shows that this line of research may prove fruitful. Further research directions are suggested.

  16. Validating a low cost approach for predicting human responses to emergency situations.

    PubMed

    Lawson, Glyn; Sharples, Sarah; Clarke, David; Cobb, Sue

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents a new approach for predicting human responses to emergency situations. The approach was developed for ergonomists working in emergency response preparedness. It involves presenting participants with a description of a hypothetical emergency scenario before asking them to describe how they would respond. This study builds upon previous investigations (Lawson et al., 2009a, 2009b; Lawson, 2011) which demonstrated significant associations between the predicted behaviour and that reported in a reference study of behaviour in real fires. This further work aimed to evaluate in greater detail the validity, reliability, resources and ethics of the approach. The results demonstrated significant relationships between the predicted behaviours and those from the reference study for both frequencies (r(s) = 0.572, N = 51, p < 0.001) and sequences (r(s) = 0.344, N = 40, p < 0.05) of behaviour. The approach is shown to be replicable and requires low resources. It does not present any notable risk of physical injury.

  17. The design and implementation of a low-cost GPS-MEMS/INS precision approach algorithm with health monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Richard P.

    An algorithm for precision approach guidance using GPS and a MicroElectroMechanical Systems/Inertial Navigation System (MEMS/INS) has been developed to meet the Required Navigational Performance (RNP) at a cost that is suitable for General Aviation (GA) applications. This scheme allows for accurate approach guidance (Category I) using Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) at locations not served by ILS, MLS or other types of precision landing guidance, thereby greatly expanding the number of useable airports in poor weather. At locations served by a Local Area Augmentation System (LAAS), Category III-like navigation is possible with the novel idea of a Missed Approach Time (MAT) that is similar to a Missed Approach Point (MAP) but not fixed in space. Though certain augmented types of GPS have sufficient precision for approach navigation, its use alone is insufficient to meet RNP due to an inability to monitor loss, degradation or intentional spoofing and meaconing of the GPS signal. A redundant navigation system and a health monitoring system must be added to acquire sufficient reliability, safety and time-to-alert as stated by required navigation performance. An inertial navigation system is the best choice, as it requires no external radio signals and its errors are complementary to GPS. An aiding Kalman filter is used to derive parameters that monitor the correlation between the GPS and MEMS/INS. These approach guidance parameters determines the MAT for a given RNP and provide the pilot or autopilot with proceed/do-not-proceed decision in real time. The enabling technology used to derive the guidance program is a MEMS gyroscope and accelerometer package in conjunction with a single-antenna pseudo-attitude algorithm. To be viable for most GA applications, the hardware must be reasonably priced. The MEMS gyros allows for the first cost-effective INS package to be developed. With lower cost, however, comes higher drift rates and a more dependence on GPS aiding. In

  18. An Approach for Transmission Loss and Cost Allocation by Loss Allocation Index and Co-operative Game Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, Baseem; Agnihotri, Ganga; Mishra, Anuprita S.

    2016-03-01

    In the present work authors proposed a novel method for transmission loss and cost allocation to users (generators and loads). In the developed methodology transmission losses are allocated to users based on their usage of the transmission line. After usage allocation, particular loss allocation indices (PLAI) are evaluated for loads and generators. Also Cooperative game theory approach is applied for comparison of results. The proposed method is simple and easy to implement on the practical power system. Sample 6 bus and IEEE 14 bus system is used for showing the effectiveness of proposed method.

  19. Algebraic Approach to the Minimum-Cost Multi-Impulse Orbit-Transfer Problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avendaño, M.; Martín-Molina, V.; Martín-Morales, J.; Ortigas-Galindo, J.

    2016-08-01

    We present a purely algebraic formulation (i.e. polynomial equations only) of the minimum-cost multi-impulse orbit transfer problem without time constraints, while keeping all the variables with a precise physical meaning. We apply general algebraic techniques to solve these equations (resultants, Gr\\"obner bases, etc.) in several situations of practical interest of different degrees of generality. For instance, we provide a proof of the optimality of the Hohmann transfer for the minimum fuel 2-impulse circular to circular orbit transfer problem, and we provide a general formula for the optimal 2-impulse in-plane transfer between two rotated elliptical orbits under a mild symmetry assumption on the two points where the impulses are applied (which we conjecture that can be removed).

  20. Frontier Fields: A Cost-Effective Approach to Bringing Authentic Science to the Education Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eisenhamer, B.; Lawton, B.; Summers, F.; Ryer, H.

    2015-11-01

    For more than two decades, the Hubble EPO program has sought to bring the wonders of the universe to the education community and the public, and to engage audiences in the adventure of scientific discovery. Program components include standards-based, curriculum-support materials, exhibits and exhibit components, and professional development workshops. The main underpinnings of the program's infrastructure are scientist-educator development teams, partnerships, and an embedded program evaluation component. The Space Telescope Science Institute's Office of Public Outreach is leveraging this existing infrastructure to bring the Frontier Fields science program to the education community in a cost-effective way. Frontier Fields observations and results have been, and will continue to be, embedded into existing product lines and professional development offerings. We also are leveraging our new social media strategy to bring the science program to the public in the form of an ongoing blog.

  1. A risk-reduction approach for optimal software release time determination with the delay incurred cost

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Rui; Li, Yan-Fu; Zhang, Jun-Guang; Li, Xiang

    2015-07-01

    Most existing research on software release time determination assumes that parameters of the software reliability model (SRM) are deterministic and the reliability estimate is accurate. In practice, however, there exists a risk that the reliability requirement cannot be guaranteed due to the parameter uncertainties in the SRM, and such risk can be as high as 50% when the mean value is used. It is necessary for the software project managers to reduce the risk to a lower level by delaying the software release, which inevitably increases the software testing costs. In order to incorporate the managers' preferences over these two factors, a decision model based on multi-attribute utility theory (MAUT) is developed for the determination of optimal risk-reduction release time.

  2. Living off the land: the practical low-cost approach to piloted Mars missions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zubrin, R. M.

    This paper investigates means for achieving human expeditions to Mars utilizing existing or near-term technology. Both mission plans described here, Mars Direct and Semi-Direct are accomplished with tandem direct launches of payloads to Mars using the upper stages of the heavy lift booster used to lift the payloads to orbit. No on-orbit assembly of large interplanetary spacecraft is required. In situ-propellant production of CH4/O2 and H2O on the Martian surface is used to reduce return propellant and surface consumable requirements, and thus total mission mass and cost. The proposed surface systems payload manifest is presented, and mission back-up plans are described. It is concluded that both the Mars Direct and Semi-Direct plans offer viable options for robust piloted Mars missions employing near-term technology.

  3. A heat & mass integration approach to reduce capital and operating costs of a distillation configuration

    SciTech Connect

    Madenoor Ramapriya, Gautham; Jiang, Zheyu; Tawarmalani, Mohit; Agrawal, Rakesh

    2015-11-11

    We propose a general method to consolidate distillation columns of a distillation configuration using heat and mass integration. The proposed method encompasses all heat and mass integrations known till date, and includes many more. Each heat and mass integration eliminates a distillation column, a condenser, a reboiler and the heat duty associated with a reboiler. Thus, heat and mass integration can potentially offer significant capital and operating cost benefits. In this talk, we will study the various possible heat and mass integrations in detail, and demonstrate their benefits using case studies. This work will lay out a framework to synthesize an entire new class of useful configurations based on heat and mass integration of distillation columns.

  4. Deburring: technical capabilities and cost-effective approaches, Lessons 3 and 4

    SciTech Connect

    Gillespie, L.K.

    1980-06-01

    This ten lesson text on deburring is designed to provide engineers and production supervisors with an overall understanding of deburring economics and current capabilities. The material included describes economics, side effects, process selection techniques, product design influences, standards, plantwide approaches, burr formation, and prevention. Deburring methods described include barrel, centrifugal barrel, vibratory, spindle, manual, electrochemical, electropolish, brush, abrasive jet, abrasive flow, water jet, thermal energy, and mechanized mechanical. Lessons 3 and 4 describe product design influences and burr prevention and minimization respectively.

  5. Dignity and cost-effectiveness: a rejection of the utilitarian approach to death.

    PubMed Central

    Brooks, S A

    1984-01-01

    Utilitarianism is commonly assumed to be the most appropriate sub-structure for medical ethics. This view is challenged. It is suggested that the utilitarian approach to euthanasia works against the patient's individual advantage and is a corrupting influence in the relationship between the physician and society. Dignity for the individual patient is not easily achieved by assessing that person's worth against the yardstick of others' needs and wishes. PMID:6502643

  6. Deburring: Technical capabilities and cost-effective approaches, lessons 3 and 4

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillespie, L. K.

    1980-06-01

    This ten lesson text on deburring is designed to provide engineers and production supervisors with an overall understanding of deburring economics and current capabilities. The material included describes economics, side effects, process selection techniques, product design influences, standards, plantwide approaches, burr formation, and prevention. Deburring methods described include barrel, centrifugal barrel, vibratory, spindle, manual, electrochemical, electropolish, brush, abrasive jet, abrasive flow, water jet, thermal energy, and mechanized mechanical. Lessons 3 and 4 describe product design influences and burr prevention and minimization respectively.

  7. Dignity and cost-effectiveness: a rejection of the utilitarian approach to death.

    PubMed

    Brooks, S A

    1984-09-01

    Utilitarianism is commonly assumed to be the most appropriate sub-structure for medical ethics. This view is challenged. It is suggested that the utilitarian approach to euthanasia works against the patient's individual advantage and is a corrupting influence in the relationship between the physician and society. Dignity for the individual patient is not easily achieved by assessing that person's worth against the yardstick of others' needs and wishes.

  8. Deburring: technical capabilities and cost-effective approaches. Lessons 1 and 2

    SciTech Connect

    Gillespie, L.K.

    1980-12-01

    This two-lesson text on deburring provides engineers and production supervisors with an overall understanding of deburring economics and capabilities. The subject matter includes economics, side effects, process selection techniques, product design influences, standards, plant-wide approaches, and burr formation and prevention. Deburring methods discussed include barrel, centrifugal barrel, vibratory, spindle, manual, electrochemical, electropolish, brush, abrasive jet, abrasive flow, water jet, thermal energy, and mechanized mechanical. Lesson 1 is an introduction to burr technology; Lesson 2 discusses burr formation and properties.

  9. A system dynamic modeling approach for evaluating municipal solid waste generation, landfill capacity and related cost management issues

    SciTech Connect

    Kollikkathara, Naushad; Feng Huan; Yu Danlin

    2010-11-15

    As planning for sustainable municipal solid waste management has to address several inter-connected issues such as landfill capacity, environmental impacts and financial expenditure, it becomes increasingly necessary to understand the dynamic nature of their interactions. A system dynamics approach designed here attempts to address some of these issues by fitting a model framework for Newark urban region in the US, and running a forecast simulation. The dynamic system developed in this study incorporates the complexity of the waste generation and management process to some extent which is achieved through a combination of simpler sub-processes that are linked together to form a whole. The impact of decision options on the generation of waste in the city, on the remaining landfill capacity of the state, and on the economic cost or benefit actualized by different waste processing options are explored through this approach, providing valuable insights into the urban waste-management process.

  10. An approach to assess the marginal environmental costs for flow regulation: an example in three European rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Jalon Diego, Garcia; de Jalon Silvestre, Garcia; Tanago Marta, Gonzalez

    2015-04-01

    In the last decades there has been a growing concern about water environmental costs. 'Polluter should pay' has been a phrase repeated in numerous policy-making processes. Water abstraction for Irrigation, Hydropower or water supply for Domestic or Industrial porpoises alters natural flow regimes impacting severely fluvial Ecosystems. The objective of this paper is to develop an evaluation of the marginal environmental costs for flow regulation. This approach is based on the idea 'who regulates flows should pay' and the amount to be paid should be proportional on the intensity, duration and frequency of the resulting regulated flows. The methodology proposed includes three separated steps: (i) estimating the natural flow regime of a river segment through studying the hydrologic conditions before the river is affected by a determined anthropogenic impact, (ii) assessing the hydrologic alteration of the river segment according to the estimated natural flow regime, and (iii) calculating marginal environmental costs of water supply. The three different case studies where the methodology was applied were the Esla River (Spain), the Upper River Tyne (England) and the Marna River (Norway).

  11. A Mars environmental survey (MESUR) - Feasibility of a low cost global approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hubbard, G. S.; Wercinski, Paul F.; Sarver, George L.; Hanel, Robert P.; Ramos, Ruben

    1991-01-01

    In situ measurements of Mars' surface and atmosphere are the objectives of a novel network mission concept called the Mars Environmental SURvey (MESUR). As envisioned, the MESUR mission will emplace a pole-to-pole global distribution of 16 landers on the Martian surface over three launch opportunites using medium-lift (Delta-class) launch vehicles. The basic concept is to deploy small free-flying probes which would directly enter the Martian atmosphere, measure the upper atmospheric structure, image the local terrain before landing, and survive landing to perform meteorology, seismology, surface imaging, and soil chemistry measurements. Data will be returned via dedicated relay orbiter or direct-to-earth transmission. The mission philosophy is to: (1) 'grow' a network over a period of years using a series of launch opportunities; (2) develop a level-of-effort which is flexible and responsive to a broad set of objectives; (3) focus on Mars science while providing a solid basis for future human presence; and (4) minimize overall project cost and complexity wherever possible.

  12. Cost Effective, High Efficiency Integrated Systems Approach To Auxiliary Electric Motors

    SciTech Connect

    Roy Kessinger; Kanchan Angal; Steve Brewer; Steve Kraihanzel; Lenny Schrank; Jason Wolf

    2003-07-15

    The CARAT program, carried out by Kinetic Art & Technology Corporation (KAT), has been one of the most commercially successful KAT R&D programs to date. Based on previous development of its technology, KAT designed, constructed and tested a highly efficient motor and controller system under this CARAT program with supplemental commercial funding. Throughout this CARAT effort, the technical objectives have been refined and refocused. Some objectives have been greatly expanded, while others have been minimized. The determining factor in all decisions to refocus the objectives was the commercial need, primarily the needs of KAT manufacturing partners. Several companies are employing the resulting CARAT motor and controller designs in prototypes for commercial products. Two of these companies have committed to providing cost share in order to facilitate the development. One of these companies is a major manufacturing company developing a revolutionary new family of products requiring the ultra-high system efficiency achievable by the KAT motor and controller technologies (known as Segmented ElectroMagnetic Array, or SEMA technology). Another company requires the high efficiency, quiet operation, and control characteristics afforded by the same basic motor and controller for an advanced air filtration product. The combined annual production requirement projected by these two companies exceeds one million units by 2005.

  13. Cost Effective, High Efficiency Integrated Systems Approach to Auxilliary Electric Motors

    SciTech Connect

    Roy Kessinger Jr.; Keith Seymour; Kanchan Angal; Jason Wolf; Steve Brewer; Leonard Schrank

    2003-09-26

    The CARAT program, carried out by Kinetic Art & Technology Corporation (KAT), has been one of the most commercially successful KAT R&D programs to date. Based on previous development of its technology, KAT designed, constructed and tested a highly efficient motor and controller system under this CARAT program with supplemental commercial funding. Throughout this CARAT effort, the technical objectives have been refined and refocused. Some objectives have been greatly expanded, while others have been minimized. The determining factor in all decisions to refocus the objectives was the commercial need, primarily the needs of KAT manufacturing partners. Several companies are employing the resulting CARAT motor and controller designs in prototypes for commercial products. Two of these companies have committed to providing cost share in order to facilitate the development. One of these companies is a major manufacturing company developing a revolutionary new family of products requiring the ultra-high system efficiency achievable by the KAT motor and controller technologies (known as Segmented ElectroMagnetic Array, or SEMA technology). Another company requires the high efficiency, quiet operation, and control characteristics afforded by the same basic motor and controller for an advanced air filtration product. The combined annual production requirement projected by these two companies exceeds one million units by 2005.

  14. Low Cost Beam-Steering Approach for a Series-Fed Array

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Host, Nicholas K.; Chen, Chi-Chih; Volakis, John L.; Miranda, Felix A.

    2013-01-01

    Phased array antennas showcase many advantages over mechanically steered systems. However, they are also more complex and costly. This paper presents a concept which overcomes these detrimental attributes by eliminating all of the phased array backend (including phase shifters). Instead, a propagation constant reconfigurable transmission line in a series fed array arrangement is used to allow phase shifting with one small (less than or equal to 100mil) linear mechanical motion. A novel slotted coplanar stripline design improves on previous transmission lines by demonstrating a greater control of propagation constant, thus allowing practical prototypes to be built. Also, beam steering pattern control is explored. We show that with correct choice of line impedance, pattern control is possible for all scan angles. A 20 element array scanning from -25 deg less than or equal to theta less than or equal to 21 deg. with mostly uniform gain at 13GHz is presented. Measured patterns show a reduced scan range of 12 deg. less than or equal to theta less than or equal to 25 deg. due to a correctable manufacturing error as verified by simulation. Beam squint is measured to be plus or minus 2.5 deg for a 600MHz bandwidth and cross-pol is measured to be at least -15dB.

  15. Solar disinfection: an approach for low-cost household water treatment technology in Southwestern Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Disinfection of contaminated water using solar radiation (SODIS) is known to inactivate bacteria. Its inactivation efficiency depends on local conditions where the disinfection is made. This study was aiming to test the efficiency of solar disinfection using different water parameters as low-cost household water treatment technology. Inactivation of microbes was tested using fecal coliform as test organism. The SODIS experiment was carried out at turbidity 2NTU, pH 7, and various water temperature (38.1°C, 41.8°C, 45.6°Cand 51.1°C) and solar intensities, using clear and black plastic bottles filled to different depths. The results show that the rate of microbial inactivation in relation to depth of water, turbidity, container type, intensity of light and color of container was statistically significant (p < 0.05). However, bottle placement, exposure and water pH were unrelated to microbial inactivation. Bacterial re-growth was not observed after solar disinfection. By adjusting the parameters, complete and irreversible fecal coliform inactivation was achieved within an exposure time of less than four hours in the areas where the solar irradiance is about 3.99 kW/m2 and above. Our results indicate that application of SODIS could play a significant role in the provision of safe water in rural communities of developing countries where there is ample sunshine, specifically in sub-Saharan African countries. PMID:24410979

  16. Solar disinfection: an approach for low-cost household water treatment technology in Southwestern Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Dessie, Awrajaw; Alemayehu, Esayas; Mekonen, Seblework; Legesse, Worku; Kloos, Helmut; Ambelu, Argaw

    2014-01-10

    Disinfection of contaminated water using solar radiation (SODIS) is known to inactivate bacteria. Its inactivation efficiency depends on local conditions where the disinfection is made. This study was aiming to test the efficiency of solar disinfection using different water parameters as low-cost household water treatment technology. Inactivation of microbes was tested using fecal coliform as test organism. The SODIS experiment was carried out at turbidity 2NTU, pH 7, and various water temperature (38.1°C, 41.8°C, 45.6°Cand 51.1°C) and solar intensities, using clear and black plastic bottles filled to different depths. The results show that the rate of microbial inactivation in relation to depth of water, turbidity, container type, intensity of light and color of container was statistically significant (p < 0.05). However, bottle placement, exposure and water pH were unrelated to microbial inactivation. Bacterial re-growth was not observed after solar disinfection. By adjusting the parameters, complete and irreversible fecal coliform inactivation was achieved within an exposure time of less than four hours in the areas where the solar irradiance is about 3.99 kW/m2 and above. Our results indicate that application of SODIS could play a significant role in the provision of safe water in rural communities of developing countries where there is ample sunshine, specifically in sub-Saharan African countries.

  17. A Novel Approach to Mineral Carbonation: Enhancing Carbonation While Avoiding Mineral Pretreatment Process Cost

    SciTech Connect

    Andrew V. G. Chizmeshya; Michael J. McKelvy; Kyle Squires; Ray W. Carpenter; Hamdallah Bearat

    2007-06-21

    Known fossil fuel reserves, especially coal, can support global energy demands for centuries to come, if the environmental problems associated with CO{sub 2} emissions can be overcome. Unlike other CO{sub 2} sequestration candidate technologies that propose long-term storage, mineral sequestration provides permanent disposal by forming geologically stable mineral carbonates. Carbonation of the widely occurring mineral olivine (e.g., forsterite, Mg{sub 2}SiO{sub 4}) is a large-scale sequestration process candidate for regional implementation, which converts CO{sub 2} into the environmentally benign mineral magnesite (MgCO{sub 3}). The primary goal is cost-competitive process development. As the process is exothermic, it inherently offers low-cost potential. Enhancing carbonation reactivity is key to economic viability. Recent studies at the U.S. DOE Albany Research Center have established that aqueous-solution carbonation using supercritical CO{sub 2} is a promising process; even without olivine activation, 30-50% carbonation has been achieved in an hour. Mechanical activation (e.g., attrition) has accelerated the carbonation process to an industrial timescale (i.e., near completion in less than an hour), at reduced pressure and temperature. However, the activation cost is too high to be economical and lower cost pretreatment options are needed. We have discovered that robust silica-rich passivating layers form on the olivine surface during carbonation. As carbonation proceeds, these passivating layers thicken, fracture and eventually exfoliate, exposing fresh olivine surfaces during rapidly-stirred/circulating carbonation. We are exploring the mechanisms that govern carbonation reactivity and the impact that (1) modeling/controlling the slurry fluid-flow conditions, (2) varying the aqueous ion species/size and concentration (e.g., Li+, Na+, K+, Rb+, Cl-, HCO{sub 3}{sup -}), and (3) incorporating select sonication offer to enhance exfoliation and carbonation. Thus

  18. Low-cost approaches to problem-driven hydrologic research: The case of Arkavathy watershed, India.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srinivasan, V.; Ballukraya, P. N.; Jeremiah, K.; R, A.

    2014-12-01

    Groundwater depletion is a major problem in the Arkavathy Basin and it is the probable cause of declining flows in the Arkavathy River. However, investigating groundwater trends and groundwater-surface water linkages is extremely challenging in a data-scarce environment where basins are largely ungauged so there is very little historical data; often the data are missing, flawed or biased. Moreover, hard-rock aquifer data are very difficult to interpret. In the absence of reliable data, establishing a trend let alone the causal linkages is a severe challenge. We used a combination of low-cost, participatory, satellite based and conventional data collection methods to maximize spatial and temporal coverage of data. For instance, long-term groundwater trends are biased because only a few dug wells with non-representative geological conditions still have water - the vast majority of the monitoring wells drilled in the 1970s and 1980s have dried up. Instead, we relied on "barefoot hydrology" techniques. By conducting a comprehensive well census, engaging farmers in participatory groundwater monitoring and using locally available commercial borewell scanning techniques we have been able to better establish groundwater trends and spatial patterns.

  19. Sequential sampling: A cost-effective approach for monitoring benthic macroinvertebrates in environmental impact assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Resh, V.H.; Price, D.G.

    1984-01-01

    Sequential sampling is a method for monitoring benthic macroinvertebrates that can significantly reduce the number of samples required to reach a decision, and consequently, decrease the cost of benthic sampling in environmental impact assessments. Rather than depending on a fixed number of samples, this analysis cumulatively compares measured parameter values (for example, density, community diversity) from individual samples, with thresholds that are based on specified degrees of precision. In addition to reducing sample size, a monitoring program based on sequential sampling can provide clear-cut decisions as to whether a priori-defined changes in the measured parameter(s) have or have not occurred. As examples, sequential sampling programs have been developed to evaluate the impact of geothermal energy have been developed to evaluate the impact of geothermal energy development on benthic macroinvertebrate diversity at The Geysers, California, and for monitoring the impact of crude oil contamination on chironomid midge (Cricotopus bicinctus (Meigen) and C. mackenziensis Oliver) population densities in the Trail River, Northwest Territories, Canada.

  20. A multi-scale approach to cost/benefit analyses of landslide prevention vs. post-event actions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salbego, G.; Floris, M.; Busnardo, E.; Toaldo, M.

    2015-02-01

    The main aim of this paper is to test economic benefits of landslide prevention measures vs. post-event emergency actions. To this end, small and large scale analyses were performed in a training area located in the North-Eastern Italian pre-Alps that was hit by an exceptional rainfall event occurred in November 2010. At the small-scale, landslide susceptibility was initially assessed using a simple probabilistic analysis, which allowed to highlight the main landslide conditioning factors and the most hazardous areas. However, this approach revealed to be quite insufficient to reach planned goals, so a large-scale case-by-case analysis was performed: a study case was defined, according to landslide occurrence frequency and assessment of elements at risk. Numerical modeling demonstrated that remedial works carried out after the landslide - water-removal intervention such as a drainage trench - could have improved slope stability if applied before its occurrence. Then, a cost-benefit analysis was finally employed. It defined that prevention would have been economically convenient compared to a non-preventive and passive attitude, allowing a 30% saving relative to total costs. Therefore, this kind of approach could be actually used as a mean toward preventive soil protection not only within the investigated case study, but also in all those hazardous areas where preventive measures are needed.

  1. A novel and cost-effective monitoring approach for outcomes in an Australian biodiversity conservation incentive program.

    PubMed

    Lindenmayer, David B; Zammit, Charles; Attwood, Simon J; Burns, Emma; Shepherd, Claire L; Kay, Geoff; Wood, Jeff

    2012-01-01

    We report on the design and implementation of ecological monitoring for an Australian biodiversity conservation incentive scheme - the Environmental Stewardship Program. The Program uses competitive auctions to contract individual land managers for up to 15 years to conserve matters of National Environmental Significance (with an initial priority on nationally threatened ecological communities). The ecological monitoring was explicitly aligned with the Program's policy objective and desired outcomes and was applied to the Program's initial Project which targeted the critically endangered White Box-Yellow Box-Blakely's Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Derived Native Grassland ecological community in south eastern Australia. These woodlands have been reduced to <3% of their original extent and persist mostly as small remnants of variable condition on private farmland. We established monitoring sites on 153 farms located over 172,232 sq km. On each farm we established a monitoring site within the woodland patch funded for management and, wherever possible, a matched control site. The monitoring has entailed gathering data on vegetation condition, reptiles and birds. We also gathered data on the costs of experimental design, site establishment, field survey, and data analysis. The costs of monitoring are approximately 8.5% of the Program's investment in the first four years and hence are in broad accord with the general rule of thumb that 5-10% of a program's funding should be invested in monitoring. Once initial monitoring and site benchmarking are completed we propose to implement a novel rotating sampling approach that will maintain scientific integrity while achieving an annual cost-efficiency of up to 23%. We discuss useful lessons relevant to other monitoring programs where there is a need to provide managers with reliable early evidence of program effectiveness and to demonstrate opportunities for cost-efficiencies.

  2. A Novel and Cost-Effective Monitoring Approach for Outcomes in an Australian Biodiversity Conservation Incentive Program

    PubMed Central

    Lindenmayer, David B.; Zammit, Charles; Attwood, Simon J.; Burns, Emma; Shepherd, Claire L.; Kay, Geoff; Wood, Jeff

    2012-01-01

    We report on the design and implementation of ecological monitoring for an Australian biodiversity conservation incentive scheme – the Environmental Stewardship Program. The Program uses competitive auctions to contract individual land managers for up to 15 years to conserve matters of National Environmental Significance (with an initial priority on nationally threatened ecological communities). The ecological monitoring was explicitly aligned with the Program’s policy objective and desired outcomes and was applied to the Program’s initial Project which targeted the critically endangered White Box-Yellow Box-Blakely's Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Derived Native Grassland ecological community in south eastern Australia. These woodlands have been reduced to <3% of their original extent and persist mostly as small remnants of variable condition on private farmland. We established monitoring sites on 153 farms located over 172,232 sq km. On each farm we established a monitoring site within the woodland patch funded for management and, wherever possible, a matched control site. The monitoring has entailed gathering data on vegetation condition, reptiles and birds. We also gathered data on the costs of experimental design, site establishment, field survey, and data analysis. The costs of monitoring are approximately 8.5% of the Program’s investment in the first four years and hence are in broad accord with the general rule of thumb that 5–10% of a program’s funding should be invested in monitoring. Once initial monitoring and site benchmarking are completed we propose to implement a novel rotating sampling approach that will maintain scientific integrity while achieving an annual cost-efficiency of up to 23%. We discuss useful lessons relevant to other monitoring programs where there is a need to provide managers with reliable early evidence of program effectiveness and to demonstrate opportunities for cost-efficiencies. PMID:23236399

  3. [An innovative approach combining human and animal vaccination campaigns in nomadic settings of Chad: experiences and costs].

    PubMed

    Bechir, M; Schelling, E; Wyss, K; Daugla, D M; Daoud, S; Tanner, M; Zinsstag, J

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this report is to describe a network of public health care workers, veterinarians and nomadic pastoralists that was set up in Chad to increase vaccination coverage to nomadic children and women who had rarely been vaccinated before. The objectives of the project were to provide human vaccination in conjunction with existing veterinary services, to evaluate the feasibility and limitations of such campaigns, to determine what other services could be provided concurrently, and to estimate the savings for public health care cases in comparison with carrying out vaccination separately. In a series of 12 vaccination campaigns in the Chari-Baguirmi and Kanem districts, more than 2100 children, 2100 women and 52000 cattle were fully immunized. These results confirmed the feasibility of joint campaigns in nomadic settings and provided important experience for improving organization. Information-Education-Communication (IEC) campaigns adapted to the realities of the pastoral setting were an important factor in mobilizing nomadic pastoralists for attendance at vaccination clinics. The savings in logistics costs (i.e., personnel, transportation and cold chain costs excluding vaccine costs) was 15% in Gredaya where 3 out of 6 campaigns were carried out together with veterinarians and 4% in Chaddra/Am Dobak where only 1 out of 6 campaigns was carried out in conjunction with veterinarians. The cost per fully immunized child (FIC) was considerably higher in Chaddra/Am Dobak than Gredaya (EUR 29.2 vs. EUR 11.5). The joint vaccination campaign approach is innovative, appreciated by nomadic pastoralists and less expensive than separate vaccination. By using the mobility of veterinarians in remote zones far from health care facilities, vaccination can be provided to nomadic children and women in countries with limited resources.

  4. Corruption costs lives: a cross-country study using an IV approach.

    PubMed

    Lio, Mon-Chi; Lee, Ming-Hsuan

    2016-04-01

    This study quantitatively estimates the effects of corruption on five major health indicators by using recent cross-country panel data covering 119 countries for the period of 2005-2011. The corruption indicators provided by the World Bank and Transparency International are used, and both the two-way fixed effect and the two-stage least squares approaches are employed for our estimation. The estimation results show that, in general, corruption is negatively associated with a country's health outcomes. A lower level of corruption or a better control of corruption in a country can lead to longer life expectancy, a lower infant mortality rate and a lower under-five mortality rate for citizens. However, our estimation finds no significant association between corruption and individual diseases including human immunodeficiency virus prevalence and tuberculosis incidence. The findings suggest that corruption reduction itself is an effective method to promote health. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  5. Analysis and Approach to the Development of an Advanced Multimedia Instructional System. Volume II. Appendix III. Media Cost Data. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rhode, William E.; And Others

    Basic cost estimates for selected instructional media are tabled in this document, Part II (Appendix III) of the report "Analysis and Approach to the Development of an Advanced Multimedia Instructional System" by William E. Rhode and others. Learning materials production costs are given for motion pictures, still visuals, videotapes, live…

  6. Process-Improvement Cost Model for the Emergency Department.

    PubMed

    Dyas, Sheila R; Greenfield, Eric; Messimer, Sherri; Thotakura, Swati; Gholston, Sampson; Doughty, Tracy; Hays, Mary; Ivey, Richard; Spalding, Joseph; Phillips, Robin

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this report is to present a simplified, activity-based costing approach for hospital emergency departments (EDs) to use with Lean Six Sigma cost-benefit analyses. The cost model complexity is reduced by removing diagnostic and condition-specific costs, thereby revealing the underlying process activities' cost inefficiencies. Examples are provided for evaluating the cost savings from reducing discharge delays and the cost impact of keeping patients in the ED (boarding) after the decision to admit has been made. The process-improvement cost model provides a needed tool in selecting, prioritizing, and validating Lean process-improvement projects in the ED and other areas of patient care that involve multiple dissimilar diagnoses. PMID:26720989

  7. Process-Improvement Cost Model for the Emergency Department.

    PubMed

    Dyas, Sheila R; Greenfield, Eric; Messimer, Sherri; Thotakura, Swati; Gholston, Sampson; Doughty, Tracy; Hays, Mary; Ivey, Richard; Spalding, Joseph; Phillips, Robin

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this report is to present a simplified, activity-based costing approach for hospital emergency departments (EDs) to use with Lean Six Sigma cost-benefit analyses. The cost model complexity is reduced by removing diagnostic and condition-specific costs, thereby revealing the underlying process activities' cost inefficiencies. Examples are provided for evaluating the cost savings from reducing discharge delays and the cost impact of keeping patients in the ED (boarding) after the decision to admit has been made. The process-improvement cost model provides a needed tool in selecting, prioritizing, and validating Lean process-improvement projects in the ED and other areas of patient care that involve multiple dissimilar diagnoses.

  8. Image stacking approach to increase sensitivity of fluorescence detection using a low cost complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) webcam

    PubMed Central

    Balsam, Joshua; Bruck, Hugh Alan; Kostov, Yordan; Rasooly, Avraham

    2013-01-01

    Optical technologies are important for biological analysis. Current biomedical optical analyses rely on high-cost, high-sensitivity optical detectors such as photomultipliers, avalanched photodiodes or cooled CCD cameras. In contrast, Webcams, mobile phones and other popular consumer electronics use lower-sensitivity, lower-cost optical components such as photodiodes or CMOS sensors. In order for consumer electronics devices, such as webcams, to be useful for biomedical analysis, they must have increased sensitivity. We combined two strategies to increase the sensitivity of CMOS-based fluorescence detector. We captured hundreds of low sensitivity images using a Webcam in video mode, instead of a single image typically used in cooled CCD devices.We then used a computational approach consisting of an image stacking algorithm to remove the noise by combining all of the images into a single image. While video mode is widely used for dynamic scene imaging (e.g. movies or time-lapse photography), it is not used to capture a single static image, which removes noise and increases sensitivity by more than thirty fold. The portable, battery-operated Webcam-based fluorometer system developed here consists of five modules: (1) a low cost CMOS Webcam to monitor light emission, (2) a plate to perform assays, (3) filters and multi-wavelength LED illuminator for fluorophore excitation, (4) a portable computer to acquire and analyze images, and (5) image stacking software for image enhancement. The samples consisted of various concentrations of fluorescein, ranging from 30 μM to 1000 μM, in a 36-well miniature plate. In the single frame mode, the fluorometer's limit-of-detection (LOD) for fluorescein is ∼1000 μM, which is relatively insensitive. However, when used in video mode combined with image stacking enhancement, the LOD is dramatically reduced to 30 μM, sensitivity which is similar to that of state-of-the-art ELISA plate photomultiplier-based readers. Numerous medical

  9. Parametric Cost Deployment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dean, Edwin B.

    1995-01-01

    Parametric cost analysis is a mathematical approach to estimating cost. Parametric cost analysis uses non-cost parameters, such as quality characteristics, to estimate the cost to bring forth, sustain, and retire a product. This paper reviews parametric cost analysis and shows how it can be used within the cost deployment process.

  10. The promise--and peril--of integrated cost systems.

    PubMed

    Cooper, R; Kaplan, R S

    1998-01-01

    Recent advances in managerial accounting have helped executives get the information they need to make good strategic decisions. But today's enterprise resource planning systems promise even greater benefits--the chance to integrate activity-based costing, operational-control, and financial reporting systems. But managers need to approach integration very thoughtfully, or they could end up with a system that drives decision making in the wrong direction. Operational-control and ABC systems have fundamentally different purposes. Their requirements for accuracy, timeliness, and aggregation are so different that no single, fully integrated approach can be adequate for both purposes. If an integrated system used real-time cost data instead of standard rates in its ABC subsystem, for example, the result would be dangerously distorted messages about individual product profitability--and that's precisely the problem ABC systems were originally designed to address. Proper linkage and feedback between the two systems is possible, however. Through activity-based budgeting, the ABC system is linked directly to operations control: managers can determine the supply and practical capacity of resources in forthcoming periods. Linking operational control to ABC is also possible. The activity-based portion of an operational control system collects information that, while it mustn't be fed directly into the activity-based strategic cost system, can be extremely useful once it's been properly analyzed. Finally, ABC and operational control can be linked to financial reporting to generate cost of goods sold and inventory valuations--but again, with precautions. PMID:10181585

  11. Three-Stage Production Cost Modeling Approach for Evaluating the Benefits of Intra-Hour Scheduling between Balancing Authorities

    SciTech Connect

    Samaan, Nader A.; Milligan, Michael; Hunsaker, Matthew; Guo, Tao

    2015-07-30

    This paper introduces a Production Cost Modeling (PCM) approach to evaluate the benefits of intra-hour scheduling between Balancing Authorities (BAs). The system operation is modeled in a three-stage sequential manner: day ahead (DA)-hour ahead (HA)-real time (RT). In addition to contingency reserve, each BA will need to carry out “up” and “down” load following and regulation reserve capacity requirements in the DA and HA time frames. In the real-time simulation, only contingency and regulation reserves are carried out as load following is deployed. To model current real-time operation with hourly schedules, a new constraint was introduced to force each BA net exchange schedule deviation from HA schedules to be within NERC ACE limits. Case studies that investigate the benefits of moving from hourly exchange schedules between WECC BAs into 10-min exchange schedules under two different levels of wind and solar penetration (11% and 33%) are presented.

  12. Estimating Suicide Rates in Developing Nations: A Low-Cost Newspaper Capture-Recapture Approach in Cambodia.

    PubMed

    Harris, Keith M; Thandrayen, Joanne; Samphoas, Chien; Se, Pros; Lewchalermwongse, Boontriga; Ratanashevorn, Rattanakorn; Perry, Megan L; Britts, Choloe

    2016-04-01

    This study tested a low-cost method for estimating suicide rates in developing nations that lack adequate statistics. Data comprised reported suicides from Cambodia's 2 largest newspapers. Capture-recapture modeling estimated a suicide rate of 3.8/100 000 (95% CI = 2.5-6.7) for 2012. That compares to World Health Organization estimates of 1.3 to 9.4/100 000 and a Cambodian government estimate of 3.5/100 000. Suicide rates of males were twice that of females, and rates of those <40 years were twice that of those ≥40 years. Capture-recapture modeling with newspaper reports proved a reasonable method for estimating suicide rates for countries with inadequate official data. These methods are low-cost and can be applied to regions with at least 2 newspapers with overlapping reports. Means to further improve this approach are discussed. These methods are applicable to both recent and historical data, which can benefit epidemiological work, and may also be applicable to homicides and other statistics. PMID:26969636

  13. Estimating Suicide Rates in Developing Nations: A Low-Cost Newspaper Capture-Recapture Approach in Cambodia.

    PubMed

    Harris, Keith M; Thandrayen, Joanne; Samphoas, Chien; Se, Pros; Lewchalermwongse, Boontriga; Ratanashevorn, Rattanakorn; Perry, Megan L; Britts, Choloe

    2016-04-01

    This study tested a low-cost method for estimating suicide rates in developing nations that lack adequate statistics. Data comprised reported suicides from Cambodia's 2 largest newspapers. Capture-recapture modeling estimated a suicide rate of 3.8/100 000 (95% CI = 2.5-6.7) for 2012. That compares to World Health Organization estimates of 1.3 to 9.4/100 000 and a Cambodian government estimate of 3.5/100 000. Suicide rates of males were twice that of females, and rates of those <40 years were twice that of those ≥40 years. Capture-recapture modeling with newspaper reports proved a reasonable method for estimating suicide rates for countries with inadequate official data. These methods are low-cost and can be applied to regions with at least 2 newspapers with overlapping reports. Means to further improve this approach are discussed. These methods are applicable to both recent and historical data, which can benefit epidemiological work, and may also be applicable to homicides and other statistics.

  14. A modeling approach for agricultural water management in citrus orchards: cost-effective irrigation scheduling and agrochemical transport simulation.

    PubMed

    Kourgialas, Nektarios N; Karatzas, George P

    2015-07-01

    The water flow and the mass transport of agrochemicals in the unsaturated and saturated zone were simulated in the extended alluvial basin of Keritis river in Crete, Greece (a predominantly flat and most productive citrus growing area) using the hydrological model MIKE SHE. This model was set up based on information on land use, geology, soil structure, meteorological data, as well as groundwater level data from pumping wells. Additionally, field measurements of the soil moisture at six different locations from three soil depths (0.1, 0.2, and 0.3 m) were used as targets to calibrate and validate the unsaturated flow model while for saturated condition, groundwater level data from three well locations were used. Following the modeling approach, the agrochemical mass transport simulation was performed as well, based on different application doses. After the successful calibration processes, the obtained 1D modeling results of soil moisture-pressure related to soil depth at different locations were used to design a proper and cost-effective irrigation programme (irrigation timing, frequency, application rates, etc.) for citrus orchards. The results of the present simulation showed a very good correlation with the field measurements. Based on these results, a proper irrigation plan can be designed at every site of the model domain reducing the water consumption up to 38% with respect to the common irrigation practices and ensuring the citrus water productivity. In addition, the effect of the proposed irrigation scheduling on citrus yield was investigated. Regarding the agrochemical concentration in the groundwater for all dose cases was below the maximum permissible limit. The only exception was for the highest dose in areas where the water table is high. Thus, this modeling approach could be used as a tool for appropriate water management in an agricultural area estimating at each time and location the availability of soil water, contributing to a cost

  15. Aircraft routing with minimal climate impact: the REACT4C climate cost function modelling approach (V1.0)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grewe, V.; Frömming, C.; Matthes, S.; Brinkop, S.; Ponater, M.; Dietmüller, S.; Jöckel, P.; Garny, H.; Tsati, E.; Dahlmann, K.; Søvde, O. A.; Fuglestvedt, J.; Berntsen, T. K.; Shine, K. P.; Irvine, E. A.; Champougny, T.; Hullah, P.

    2014-01-01

    In addition to CO2, the climate impact of aviation is strongly influenced by non-CO2 emissions, such as nitrogen oxides, influencing ozone and methane, and water vapour, which can lead to the formation of persistent contrails in ice-supersaturated regions. Because these non-CO2 emission effects are characterised by a short lifetime, their climate impact largely depends on emission location and time; that is to say, emissions in certain locations (or times) can lead to a greater climate impact (even on the global average) than the same emission in other locations (or times). Avoiding these climate-sensitive regions might thus be beneficial to climate. Here, we describe a modelling chain for investigating this climate impact mitigation option. This modelling chain forms a multi-step modelling approach, starting with the simulation of the fate of emissions released at a certain location and time (time-region grid points). This is performed with the chemistry-climate model EMAC, extended via the two submodels AIRTRAC (V1.0) and CONTRAIL (V1.0), which describe the contribution of emissions to the composition of the atmosphere and to contrail formation, respectively. The impact of emissions from the large number of time-region grid points is efficiently calculated by applying a Lagrangian scheme. EMAC also includes the calculation of radiative impacts, which are, in a second step, the input to climate metric formulas describing the global climate impact of the emission at each time-region grid point. The result of the modelling chain comprises a four-dimensional data set in space and time, which we call climate cost functions and which describes the global climate impact of an emission at each grid point and each point in time. In a third step, these climate cost functions are used in an air traffic simulator (SAAM) coupled to an emission tool (AEM) to optimise aircraft trajectories for the North Atlantic region. Here, we describe the details of this new modelling

  16. Aircraft routing with minimal climate impact: the REACT4C climate cost function modelling approach (V1.0)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grewe, V.; Frömming, C.; Matthes, S.; Brinkop, S.; Ponater, M.; Dietmüller, S.; Jöckel, P.; Garny, H.; Tsati, E.; Søvde, O. A.; Fuglestvedt, J.; Berntsen, T. K.; Shine, K. P.; Irvine, E. A.; Champougny, T.; Hullah, P.

    2013-08-01

    In addition to CO2, the climate impact of aviation is strongly influenced by non-CO2 emissions, such as nitrogen oxides, influencing ozone and methane, and water vapour, forming contrails. Because these non-CO2 emission effects are characterised by a short lifetime, their climate impact largely depends on emission location and time, i.e. emissions in certain locations (or times) can lead to a greater climate impact (even on the global average) than the same emission in other locations (or times). Avoiding these climate sensitive regions might thus be beneficial to climate. Here, we describe a modelling chain for investigating this climate impact mitigation option. It forms a multi-step modelling approach, starting with the simulation of the fate of emissions released at a certain location and time (time-region). This is performed with the chemistry-climate model EMAC, extended by the two submodels AIRTRAC 1.0 and CONTRAIL 1.0, which describe the contribution of emissions to the composition of the atmosphere and the contrail formation. Numerous time-regions are efficiently calculated by applying a Lagrangian scheme. EMAC also includes the calculation of radiative impacts, which are, in a second step, the input to climate metric formulas describing the climate impact of the time-region emission. The result of the modelling chain comprises a four dimensional dataset in space and time, which we call climate cost functions, and which describe at each grid point and each point in time, the climate impact of an emission. In a third step, these climate cost functions are used in a traffic simulator (SAAM), coupled to an emission tool (AEM) to optimise aircraft trajectories for the North Atlantic region. Here, we describe the details of this new modelling approach and show some example results. A number of sensitivity analyses are performed to motivate the settings of individual parameters. A stepwise sanity check of the results of the modelling chain is undertaken to

  17. COST EFFECTIVE REGULATORY APPROACHES TO ENHANCE DOMESTIC OIL & GAS PRODUCTION AND ENSURE THE PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT

    SciTech Connect

    Ben Grunewald; Paul Jehn; Tom Gillespie; Ben Binder

    2004-12-21

    The Environmental Information Management Suite/Risk Based Data Management System (EIMS/RBDMS) and Cost Effective Regulatory Approach (CERA) programs continue to be successful. All oil and gas state regulatory programs participate in these efforts. Significant accomplishments include: streamline regulatory approaches, enhancing environmental protection, and making oil and gas data available via the Internet. Oil and gas companies worldwide now have access to data on state web sites. This reduces the cost of exploration and enables companies to develop properties in areas that would have been cost prohibited for exploration. Early in project, GWPC and State Oil and Gas agencies developed the EIMS and CERA strategic plan to prioritize long term development and implementation. The planning process identifies electronic commerce and coal bed methane as high priorities. The group has involved strategic partners in industry and government to develop a common data exchange process. Technical assistance to Alaska continues to improve their program management capabilities. New initiatives in Alaska include the development of an electronic permit tracking system. This system allows managers to expedite the permitting process. Nationwide, the RBDMS system is largely completed with 22 states and one Indian Nation now using this nationally accepted data management system. Additional remaining tasks include routine maintenance and the installation of the program upon request for the remaining oil and gas states. The GWPC in working with the BLM and MMS to develop an XML schema to facilitate electronic permitting and reporting (Appendix A, B, and C). This is a significant effort and, in years to come, will increase access to federal lands by reducing regulatory barriers. The new initiatives are coal bed methane and e-commerce. The e-commerce program will provide industry and BLM/MMS access to the millions of data points housed in the RBDMS system. E-commerce will streamline

  18. Student Lead Nanosatellite Design/Build Projects: making a cost effective approach to Earth and Space Observational Science even more cost efficient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bottoms, J.; Lange, B. A.; AlbertaSat

    2011-12-01

    With the advancement of technologies and the miniaturization of sensors and electrical/computational components satellites are also undergoing miniaturization. With lower manufacturing cost and a decreased design/build cycle (~2 years from start to launch), compared to conventional large scale satellites, nanosatellites have become a cost effective alternative for satellite Earth and Space Observations. The University of Alberta student nanosatellite (10x10x30cm; <4kg) design/build team, AlbertaSat-1, is a participant in the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge (CSDC) implemented by the CSA and Geocentrix Ltd. in addition to 15 other Universities from across Canada. AlbertaSat-1 will be launched in early 2013, after a 2 year design/build process and environmental testing. AlbertaSat-1 will be an Earth Observation satellite monitoring GHG (CO2, H2O & CH4) concentrations over many regions of the earth with the use of a NIR spectrometer. Here we present the planning, design and future manufacturing of AlbertaSat-1 with a focus on budget and cost effective solutions. Since this is a student project, AlbertaSat-1 will incur certain benefits making them exempt from certain financial requirements and obtaining services and equipment at very low or no cost. The largest cost benefit of AlbertaSat-1 is the virtual elimination of labor costs by having a team consisting of only unpaid students. Labor costs of typical satellite missions can be a very costly component. The educational components of such projects offer more indirect benefits to effective development of this industry/discipline, nevertheless just as important, by developing skills and knowledge that can only be learned through realistic hands on design/build projects. Student lead projects and student design/build initiatives such as CSDC (among many others in the U.S. and Europe lead by NASA and ESA, respectively) will have a major impact on shaping the future of Space and Earth Observational Sciences. We will

  19. How to calculate the annual costs of NGO-implemented programmes to support orphans and vulnerable children: a six-step approach

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Information on the costs of implementing programmes designed to provide support of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere is increasingly being requested by donors for programme evaluation purposes. To date, little information exists to document the costs and structure of costs of OVC programmes as actually implemented "on the ground" by local non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This analysis provides a practical, six-step approach that NGOs can incorporate into routine operations to evaluate their costs of implementing their OVC programmes annually. This approach is applied to the Community-Based Care for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (CBCO) Program implemented by BIDII (a Kenyan NGO) in Eastern Province of Kenya. Methods and results The costing methodology involves the following six steps: accessing and organizing the NGO's annual financial report into logical sub-categories; reorganizing the sub-categories into input cost categories to create a financial cost profile; estimating the annual equivalent payment for programme equipment; documenting donations to the NGO for programme implementation; including a portion of NGO organizational costs not attributed to specific programmes; and including the results of Steps 3-5 into an expanded cost profile. Detailed results are provided for the CBCO programme. Conclusions This paper shows through a concrete example how NGOs implementing OVC programmes (and other public health programmes) can organize themselves for data collection and documentation prospectively during the implementation of their OVC programmes so that costing analyses become routine practice to inform programme implementation rather than a painful and flawed retrospective activity. Such information is required if the costs and outcomes achieved by OVC programmes will ever be clearly documented and compared across OVC programmes and other types of programmes (prevention, treatment, etc.). PMID:22182588

  20. Cost-effective approaches for high-resolution bioimaging by time-stretched confocal microscopy at 1μm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Terence T. W.; Qiu, Yi; Lau, Andy K. S.; Xu, JingJiang; Chan, Antony C. S.; Wong, Kenneth K. Y.; Tsia, Kevin K.

    2012-12-01

    Optical imaging based on time-stretch process has recently been proven as a powerful tool for delivering ultra-high frame rate (< 1MHz) which is not achievable by the conventional image sensors. Together with the capability of optical image amplification for overcoming the trade-off between detection sensitivity and speed, this new imaging modality is particularly valuable in high-throughput biomedical diagnostic practice, e.g. imaging flow cytometry. The ultra-high frame rate in time-stretch imaging is attained by two key enabling elements: dispersive fiber providing the time-stretch process via group-velocity-dispersion (GVD), and electronic digitizer. It is well-known that many biophotonic applications favor the spectral window of ~1μm. However, reasonably high GVD (< 0.1 ns/nm) in this range can only be achieved by using specialty single-mode fiber (SMF) at 1μm. Moreover, the ultrafast detection has to rely on the state-of- the-art digitizer with significantly wide-bandwidth and high sampling rate (e.g. <10 GHz, <40 GS/s). These stringent requirements imply the prohibitively high-cost of the system and hinder its practical use in biomedical diagnostics. We here demonstrate two cost-effective approaches for realizing time-stretch confocal microscopy at 1μm: (i) using the standard telecommunication SMF (e.g. SMF28) to act as a few-mode fiber (FMF) at 1μm for the time-stretch process, and (ii) implementing the pixel super-resolution (SR) algorithm to restore the high-resolution (HR) image when using a lower-bandwidth digitizer. By using a FMF (with a GVD of ~ 0.15ns/nm) and a modified pixel-SR algorithm, we can achieve time-stretch confocal microscopy at 1μm with cellular resolution (~ 3μm) at a frame rate 1 MHz.

  1. A general purpose astronomy small satellite: an approach to low-cost space telescope design using space-qualified ground telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosanac, Natasha; Do, Sydney; Wen, Hui Ying; Wicht, Anthony

    2010-07-01

    The General Purpose Astronomy - Small Satellite (GPA-SS) project studied the feasibility of developing a useful space telescope with a cost to launch below $100 million. An optical telescope assembly (OTA) designed for ground use is proposed for use in a space mission in order to take advantage of the economies of scale in existing mirror fabrication processes. This paper details the additional design, manufacture and test tasks required to flight-qualify the ground telescope. A near-infrared imaging space telescope was costed as a potential mission. Key subsystems were designed at a conceptual level. This design was used both to estimate subsystem costs and to inform the science achievable from a given telescope design. Subsystem costs were estimated from the design through a combination of previously published cost estimating relationships and vendor quotes. This paper concludes that the space-qualification of an existing ground telescope is a potential approach for making significant cost savings when designing a low cost space telescope. Additional work on design and cost estimation around the framework presented in this paper could be undertaken to add certainty to the cost estimate.

  2. An Activity-Based Approach to Early Intervention. Third Edition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pretti-Frontczak, Kristie; Bricker, Diane

    2004-01-01

    How can early childhood professionals seamlessly link assessment, goal development, intervention, and evaluation for children from birth to age 5--while developing individualized IEP/IFSP goals, creating multiple and varied learning opportunities, and working as a team? The third edition of this highly respected resource has the answers. A classic…

  3. [Calculation of workers' health care costs].

    PubMed

    Rydlewska-Liszkowska, Izabela

    2006-01-01

    In different health care systems, there are different schemes of organization and principles of financing activities aimed at ensuring the working population health and safety. Regardless of the scheme and the range of health care provided, economists strive for rationalization of costs (including their reduction). This applies to both employers who include workers' health care costs into indirect costs of the market product manufacture and health care institutions, which provide health care services. In practice, new methods of setting costs of workers' health care facilitate regular cost control, acquisition of detailed information about costs, and better adjustment of information to planning and control needs in individual health care institutions. For economic institutions and institutions specialized in workers' health care, a traditional cost-effect calculation focused on setting costs of individual products (services) is useful only if costs are relatively low and the output of simple products is not very high. But when products form aggregates of numerous actions like those involved in occupational medicine services, the method of activity based costing (ABC), representing the process approach, is much more useful. According to this approach costs are attributed to the product according to resources used during different activities involved in its production. The calculation of costs proceeds through allocation of all direct costs for specific processes in a given institution. Indirect costs are settled on the basis of resources used during the implementation of individual tasks involved in the process of making a new product. In this method, so called map of processes/actions consisted in the manufactured product and their interrelations are of particular importance. Advancements in the cost-effect for the management of health care institutions depend on their managerial needs. Current trends in this regard primarily depend on treating all cost reference

  4. A single reflection approach to HCPV: Very high concentration ratio and wide acceptance angles using low cost materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Nardis, Davide

    2012-10-01

    The Italian engineering company Becar (Beghelli SpA group) presents its latest HCPV module currently sold under the brand name "Life Tree". The module is characterized by an efficiency of 26% that is in line with systems having higher complexity. The high efficiency and flexibility of the system are reached thanks to the single reflection scheme of the optical system. The module characterized by high acceptance angles comprises a metalized plastic primary reflector and a secondary optical element. The latter being a crucial technical feature of the Becar's system. This secondary optic element has been developed and manufactured by the German group Evonik Industries, which markets the product under the trade name SAVOSIL(TM). This technology, compared to other optics available in the market, offer high transparency in the whole solar spectrum and it is manufactured with an innovative sol-gel process that guarantees a precision in the micron range, at a fraction of the other approaches cost . Those two important features boost the light harvesting power of the Beghelli's systems. The article shows also the results of extensive in-field tests carried out to confirm reliability, performance and easy maintenance of the system.

  5. The mass-action law based algorithm for cost-effective approach for cancer drug discovery and development.

    PubMed

    Chou, Ting-Chao

    2011-01-01

    The mass-action law based system analysis via mathematical induction and deduction lead to the generalized theory and algorithm that allows computerized simulation of dose-effect dynamics with small size experiments using a small number of data points in vitro, in animals, and in humans. The median-effect equation of the mass-action law deduced from over 300 mechanism specific-equations has been shown to be the unified theory that serves as the common-link for complicated biomedical systems. After using the median-effect principle as the common denominator, its applications are mechanism-independent, drug unit-independent, and dynamic order-independent; and can be used generally for single drug analysis or for multiple drug combinations in constant-ratio or non-constant ratios. Since the "median" is the common link and universal reference point in biological systems, these general enabling lead to computerized quantitative bio-informatics for econo-green bio-research in broad disciplines. Specific applications of the theory, especially relevant to drug discovery, drug combination, and clinical trials, have been cited or illustrated in terms of algorithms, experimental design and computerized simulation for data analysis. Lessons learned from cancer research during the past fifty years provide a valuable opportunity to reflect, and to improve the conventional divergent approach and to introduce a new convergent avenue, based on the mass-action law principle, for the efficient cancer drug discovery and the low-cost drug development.

  6. Three-Stage Production Cost Modeling Approach for Evaluating the Benefits of Intra-Hour Scheduling Between Balancing Authorities

    SciTech Connect

    Samaan, Nader; Milligan, Michael; Hunsaker, Matt; Guo, Tao

    2015-10-05

    This paper introduces a production cost modeling approach for evaluating the benefits of intra-hour scheduling among Balancing Authorities (BAs). System operation is modeled in a three-stage sequential manner: day ahead (DA)-hour ahead (HA) real time (RT). In addition to contingency reserve, each BA will need to carry out 'up' and 'down' load following and regulation reserve capacity requirements in the DA and HA time frames. In the RT simulation, only contingency and regulation reserves are carried out as load following is deployed. To model current RT operation with hourly schedules, a new constraint was introduced to force each BA net exchange schedule deviation from HA schedules to be within North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) area control error (ACE) limits. Case studies that investigate the benefits of moving from hourly exchange schedules between Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) BAs into 10-minute exchange schedules under two different levels of wind and solar penetration (11% and 33%) are presented.

  7. Facile, Low-Cost, UV-Curing Approach to Prepare Highly Conductive Composites for Flexible Electronics Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Fucheng; Chen, Shilong; Wei, Yong; Liu, Konghua; Lin, Yong; Liu, Lan

    2016-07-01

    We present a facile approach to prepare high-performance ultraviolet (UV)-curable polyurethane-acrylate-based flexible electrical conductive adhesive (PUA-FECA) for flexible electronics applications. PUA is employed as the polymer matrix so that the ECA is flexible and UV-curable at room temperature in just a few minutes. The effects of the PUA-FECA formulation and curing procedure on the electrical properties have been studied. Very low volume resistivity (5.08 × 10-4 Ω cm) is obtained by incorporating 70 wt.% microsized Ag-coated Cu flakes. Moreover, by simply standing the PUA-FECA paste for 4 h before exposure to UV light, the bulk resistivity of the PUA-FECA is dramatically decreased to 3.62 × 10-4 Ω cm. This can be attributed to rearrangement of Ag-coated Cu flakes in the matrix while standing. PUA-FECA also presents stable electrical conductivity during rolling and compression, excellent adhesion, and good processability, making it easily scalable to large-scale fabrication and enabling screen-printing on various low-cost flexible substrates such as office paper and polyethylene terephthalate film.

  8. New approach based on compressive sampling for sample rate enhancement in DASs for low-cost sensing nodes.

    PubMed

    Bonavolontà, Francesco; D'Apuzzo, Massimo; Liccardo, Annalisa; Vadursi, Michele

    2014-10-13

    The paper deals with the problem of improving the maximum sample rate of analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) included in low cost wireless sensing nodes. To this aim, the authors propose an efficient acquisition strategy based on the combined use of high-resolution time-basis and compressive sampling. In particular, the high-resolution time-basis is adopted to provide a proper sequence of random sampling instants, and a suitable software procedure, based on compressive sampling approach, is exploited to reconstruct the signal of interest from the acquired samples. Thanks to the proposed strategy, the effective sample rate of the reconstructed signal can be as high as the frequency of the considered time-basis, thus significantly improving the inherent ADC sample rate. Several tests are carried out in simulated and real conditions to assess the performance of the proposed acquisition strategy in terms of reconstruction error. In particular, the results obtained in experimental tests with ADC included in actual 8- and 32-bits microcontrollers highlight the possibility of achieving effective sample rate up to 50 times higher than that of the original ADC sample rate.

  9. New Approach Based on Compressive Sampling for Sample Rate Enhancement in DASs for Low-Cost Sensing Nodes

    PubMed Central

    Bonavolontà, Francesco; D'Apuzzo, Massimo; Liccardo, Annalisa; Vadursi, Michele

    2014-01-01

    The paper deals with the problem of improving the maximum sample rate of analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) included in low cost wireless sensing nodes. To this aim, the authors propose an efficient acquisition strategy based on the combined use of high-resolution time-basis and compressive sampling. In particular, the high-resolution time-basis is adopted to provide a proper sequence of random sampling instants, and a suitable software procedure, based on compressive sampling approach, is exploited to reconstruct the signal of interest from the acquired samples. Thanks to the proposed strategy, the effective sample rate of the reconstructed signal can be as high as the frequency of the considered time-basis, thus significantly improving the inherent ADC sample rate. Several tests are carried out in simulated and real conditions to assess the performance of the proposed acquisition strategy in terms of reconstruction error. In particular, the results obtained in experimental tests with ADC included in actual 8- and 32-bits microcontrollers highlight the possibility of achieving effective sample rate up to 50 times higher than that of the original ADC sample rate. PMID:25313493

  10. An Accelerated Development, Reduced Cost Approach to Lunar/Mars Exploration Using a Modular NTR-Based Space Transportation System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borowski, S.; Clark, J.; Sefcik, R.; Corban, R.; Alexander, S.

    1995-01-01

    ' NTR-based moon/Mars STS, examines performance sensitivities resulting from different 'mission mode' assumptions, and quantifies potential schedule and cost benefits resulting from this modular moon/Mars NTR vehicle approach.

  11. A revolutionary approach to health care cost control: leveraging the power of Web-enabled employee "consumerism".

    PubMed

    Rozzi, M V

    2001-09-01

    The confluence of two trends--health care "consumerism" and employee self-service benefits programs--offers employers a promising opportunity for health care cost control. To take advantage of this opportunity, employers must take a fresh look at the health care cost dilemma and find ways to simultaneously offer employees a new kind of benefit and implement more effective cost-control measures.

  12. Novel cost-effective quality control approach for the Cepheid Xpert CT/NG assay for the detection of Chlamydia Trachomatis and Neisseria Gonorrhoeae.

    PubMed

    Chan, Maurice; Jiang, Boran; Ng, Siew Yong Lily; Tan, Thean Yen

    2016-06-01

    The Xpert CT/NG is a rapid assay for detection of Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis. QC materials must be formulated to emulate human specimens, and are prohibitively expensive. A creative, cost-effective QC approach is proposed. The acceptable sample types for the Xpert CT/NG assay were extended to include eye swabs. PMID:27091503

  13. Economic cost of primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases in Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Ngalesoni, Frida; Ruhago, George; Norheim, Ole F; Robberstad, Bjarne

    2015-01-01

    Tanzania is facing a double burden of disease, with non-communicable diseases being an increasingly important contributor. Evidence-based preventive measures are important to limit the growing financial burden. This article aims to estimate the cost of providing medical primary prevention interventions for cardiovascular disease (CVD) among at-risk patients, reflecting actual resource use and if the World Health Organization (WHO)’s CVD medical preventive guidelines are implemented in Tanzania. In addition, we estimate and explore the cost to patients of receiving these services. Cost data were collected in four health facilities located in both urban and rural settings. Providers’ costs were identified and measured using ingredients approach to costing and resource valuation followed the opportunity cost method. Unit costs were estimated using activity-based and step-down costing methodologies. The patient costs were obtained through a structured questionnaire. The unit cost of providing CVD medical primary prevention services ranged from US$30–41 to US$52–71 per patient per year at the health centre and hospital levels, respectively. Employing the WHO’s absolute risk approach guidelines will substantially increase these costs. The annual patient cost of receiving these services as currently practised was estimated to be US$118 and US$127 for urban and rural patients, respectively. Providers’ costs were estimated from two main viewpoints: ‘what is’, that is the current practice, and ‘what if’, reflecting a WHO guidelines scenario. The higher cost of implementing the WHO guidelines suggests the need for further evaluation of whether these added costs are reasonable relative to the added benefits. We also found considerably higher patient costs, implying that distributive and equity implications of access to care require more consideration. Facility location surfaced as the main explanatory variable for both direct and indirect patient costs in

  14. Economic cost of primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases in Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Ngalesoni, Frida; Ruhago, George; Norheim, Ole F; Robberstad, Bjarne

    2015-09-01

    Tanzania is facing a double burden of disease, with non-communicable diseases being an increasingly important contributor. Evidence-based preventive measures are important to limit the growing financial burden. This article aims to estimate the cost of providing medical primary prevention interventions for cardiovascular disease (CVD) among at-risk patients, reflecting actual resource use and if the World Health Organization (WHO)'s CVD medical preventive guidelines are implemented in Tanzania. In addition, we estimate and explore the cost to patients of receiving these services. Cost data were collected in four health facilities located in both urban and rural settings. Providers' costs were identified and measured using ingredients approach to costing and resource valuation followed the opportunity cost method. Unit costs were estimated using activity-based and step-down costing methodologies. The patient costs were obtained through a structured questionnaire. The unit cost of providing CVD medical primary prevention services ranged from US$30-41 to US$52-71 per patient per year at the health centre and hospital levels, respectively. Employing the WHO's absolute risk approach guidelines will substantially increase these costs. The annual patient cost of receiving these services as currently practised was estimated to be US$118 and US$127 for urban and rural patients, respectively. Providers' costs were estimated from two main viewpoints: 'what is', that is the current practice, and 'what if', reflecting a WHO guidelines scenario. The higher cost of implementing the WHO guidelines suggests the need for further evaluation of whether these added costs are reasonable relative to the added benefits. We also found considerably higher patient costs, implying that distributive and equity implications of access to care require more consideration. Facility location surfaced as the main explanatory variable for both direct and indirect patient costs in the regression

  15. What does an MRI scan cost?

    PubMed

    Young, David W

    2015-11-01

    Historically, hospital departments have computed the costs of individual tests or procedures using the ratio of cost to charges (RCC) method, which can produce inaccurate results. To determine a more accurate cost of a test or procedure, the activity-based costing (ABC) method must be used. Accurate cost calculations will ensure reliable information about the profitability of a hospital's DRGs. PMID:26685437

  16. Impact of Health Insurance on Health Care Treatment and Cost in Vietnam: A Health Capability Approach to Financial Protection

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Kim Thuy; Khuat, Oanh Thi Hai; Pham, Duc Cuong; Khuat, Giang Thi Hong

    2012-01-01

    We applied an alternative conceptual framework for analyzing health insurance and financial protection grounded in the health capability paradigm. Through an original survey of 706 households in Dai Dong, Vietnam, we examined the impact of Vietnamese health insurance schemes on inpatient and outpatient health care access, costs, and health outcomes using bivariate and multivariable regression analyses. Insured respondents had lower outpatient and inpatient treatment costs and longer hospital stays but fewer days of missed work or school than the uninsured. Insurance reform reduced household vulnerability to high health care costs through direct reduction of medical costs and indirect reduction of income lost to illness. However, from a normative perspective, out-of-pocket costs are still too high, and accessibility issues persist; a comprehensive insurance package and additional health system reforms are needed. PMID:22698046

  17. Paying for hospital care: the experience with implementing activity-based funding in five European countries.

    PubMed

    O'Reilly, Jacqueline; Busse, Reinhard; Häkkinen, Unto; Or, Zeynep; Street, Andrew; Wiley, Miriam

    2012-01-01

    Following the US experience, activity-based funding has become the most common mechanism for reimbursing hospitals in Europe. Focusing on five European countries (England, Finland, France, Germany and Ireland), this paper reviews the motivation for introducing activity-based funding, together with the empirical evidence available to assess the impact of implementation. Despite differences in the prevailing approaches to reimbursement, the five countries shared several common objectives, albeit with different emphasis, in moving to activity-based funding during the 1990s and 2000s. These include increasing efficiency, improving quality of care and enhancing transparency. There is substantial cross-country variation in how activity-based funding has been implemented and developed. In Finland and Ireland, for instance, activity-based funding is principally used to determine hospital budgets, whereas the models adopted in the other three countries are more similar to the US approach. Assessing the impact of activity-based funding is complicated by a shortage of rigorous empirical evaluations. What evidence is currently available, though, suggests that the introduction of activity-based funding has been associated with an increase in activity, a decline in length of stay and/or a reduction in the rate of growth in hospital expenditure in most of the countries under consideration.

  18. Educational Cost Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flynn, Donald L.

    Traditional approaches to the cost analysis of educational programs involve examining annual budgets. Such approaches do not properly consider the cost of either new capital expenditures or the current value of previously purchased items. This paper presents the methodology for a new approach to educational cost analysis that identifies the actual…

  19. The Near Earth Object Scout Spacecraft: A Low Cost Approach to in-situ Characterization of the NEO Population

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koontz, Steven L.; Condon, Gerald; Graham, Lee; Bevilacqua, Ricardo

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we describe a micro/nano satellite spacecraft and a supporting mission profile and architecture designed to enable preliminary in-situ characterization of a significant number of Near Earth Objects (NEOs) at reasonable cost. The spacecraft will be referred to as the NEO Scout. NEO Scout spacecraft are to be placed in GTO, GEO, or cis-lunar space as secondary payloads on launch vehicles headed for GTO or beyond and will begin their mission after deployment from the launcher. A distinguishing key feature of the NEO scout system is to design the mission timeline and spacecraft to rendezvous with and land on the target NEOs during close approach to the Earth-Moon system using low-thrust/high- impulse propulsion systems. Mission feasibility and preliminary design analysis are presented along with detailed trajectory calculations. The use of micro/nano satellites in low-cost interplanetary exploration is attracting increasing attention and is the subject of several annual workshops and published design studies (1-4). The NEO population consists of those asteroids and short period comets orbiting the Sun with a perihelion of 1.3 astronomical units or less (5-8). As of July 30, 2013 10065 Near-Earth objects have been discovered. The spin rate, mass, density, surface physical (especially mechanical) properties, composition, and mineralogy of the vast majority of these objects are highly uncertain and the limited available telescopic remote sensing data imply a very diverse population (5-8). In-situ measurements by robotic spacecraft are urgently needed to provide the characterization data needed to support hardware and mission design for more ambitious human and robotic NEO operations. Large numbers of NEOs move into close proximity with the Earth-Moon system every year (9). The JPL Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Targets Study (NHATS) (10) has produced detailed mission profile and delta V requirements for various NEO missions ranging from 30

  20. Primer: The DOE Wind Energy Program's Approach to Calculating Cost of Energy: July 9, 2005 - July 8, 2006

    SciTech Connect

    George, K.; Schweizer, T.

    2008-01-01

    This report details the methodology used by DOE to calculate levelized cost of wind energy and demonstrates the variation in COE estimates due to different financing assumptions independent of wind generation technology.

  1. Constraints on the observation of partial match costs: implications for transfer-appropriate processing approaches to immediate priming.

    PubMed

    Leboe, Jason P; Leboe, Launa C; Milliken, Bruce

    2010-06-01

    According to a transfer-appropriate processing framework, immediate priming costs arise from a match between a prime and probe event on 1 dimension and a difference between those 2 events on some other dimension (i.e., a partial match). In Experiment 1, the authors used a Stroop priming procedure to generate 6 variants of partial match, yet only 1 of these 6 conditions yielded a partial match cost. Experiment 2 demonstrates that, for some of these conditions, an underlying partial match cost was obscured by the contribution of an independent source of facilitation to performance. In Experiment 3, however, a partial match was observed to have produced an immediate priming cost only when the selective attention demands of the probe task were high. Overall, the results reveal a limitation in current applications of the transfer-appropriate processing framework to immediate priming phenomena.

  2. A pharmacoeconomic approach to assessing the costs and benefits of air quality interventions that improve health: a case study

    PubMed Central

    Lomas, James; Schmitt, Laetitia; Jones, Sally; McGeorge, Maureen; Bates, Elizabeth; Holland, Mike; Cooper, Duncan; Crowther, Richard; Ashmore, Mike; Rojas-Rueda, David; Weatherly, Helen; Richardson, Gerry; Bojke, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Objective This paper explores the use of pharmacoeconomic methods of valuation to health impacts resulting from exposure to poor air quality. In using such methods, interventions that reduce exposure to poor air quality can be directly compared, in terms of value for money (or cost-effectiveness), with competing demands for finite resources, including other public health interventions. Design Using results estimated as part of a health impact assessment regarding a West Yorkshire Low Emission Zone strategy, this paper quantifies cost-saving and health-improving implications of transport policy through its impact on air quality. Data source Estimates of health-related quality of life and the National Health Service (NHS)/Personal Social Services (PSS) costs for identified health events were based on data from Leeds and Bradford using peer-reviewed publications or Office for National Statistics releases. Population Inhabitants of the area within the outer ring roads of Leeds and Bradford. Main outcomes measures NHS and PSS costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). Results Averting an all-cause mortality death generates 8.4 QALYs. Each coronary event avoided saves £28 000 in NHS/PSS costs and generates 1.1 QALYs. For every fewer case of childhood asthma, there will be NHS/PSS cost saving of £3000 and a health benefit of 0.9 QALYs. A single term, low birthweight birth avoided saves £2000 in NHS/PSS costs. Preventing a preterm birth saves £24 000 in NHS/PSS costs and generates 1.3 QALYs. A scenario modelled in the West Yorkshire Low Emission Zone Feasibility Study, where pre-EURO 4 buses and HGVs are upgraded to EURO 6 by 2016 generates an annual benefit of £2.08 million and a one-off benefit of £3.3 million compared with a net present value cost of implementation of £6.3 million. Conclusions Interventions to improve air quality and health should be evaluated and where improvement of population health is the primary objective, cost-effectiveness analysis

  3. The cost-effectiveness of 10 antenatal syphilis screening and treatment approaches in Peru, Tanzania, and Zambia

    PubMed Central

    Terris-Prestholt, Fern; Vickerman, Peter; Torres-Rueda, Sergio; Santesso, Nancy; Sweeney, Sedona; Mallma, Patricia; Shelley, Katharine D.; Garcia, Patricia J.; Bronzan, Rachel; Gill, Michelle M.; Broutet, Nathalie; Wi, Teodora; Watts, Charlotte; Mabey, David; Peeling, Rosanna W.; Newman, Lori

    2015-01-01

    Objective Rapid plasma reagin (RPR) is frequently used to test women for maternal syphilis. Rapid syphilis immunochromatographic strip tests detecting only Treponema pallidum antibodies (single RSTs) or both treponemal and non-treponemal antibodies (dual RSTs) are now available. This study assessed the cost-effectiveness of algorithms using these tests to screen pregnant women. Methods Observed costs of maternal syphilis screening and treatment using clinic-based RPR and single RSTs in 20 clinics across Peru, Tanzania, and Zambia were used to model the cost-effectiveness of algorithms using combinations of RPR, single, and dual RSTs, and no and mass treatment. Sensitivity analyses determined drivers of key results. Results Although this analysis found screening using RPR to be relatively cheap, most (> 70%) true cases went untreated. Algorithms using single RSTs were the most cost-effective in all observed settings, followed by dual RSTs, which became the most cost-effective if dual RST costs were halved. Single test algorithms dominated most sequential testing algorithms, although sequential algorithms reduced overtreatment. Mass treatment was relatively cheap and effective in the absence of screening supplies, though treated many uninfected women. Conclusion This analysis highlights the advantages of introducing RSTs in three diverse settings. The results should be applicable to other similar settings. PMID:25963907

  4. Activity based chemical proteomics: profiling proteases as drug targets.

    PubMed

    Heal, William Percy; Wickramasinghe, Sasala Roshinie; Tate, Edward William

    2008-09-01

    The pivotal role of proteases in many diseases has generated considerable interest in their basic biology, and in the potential to target them for chemotherapy. Although fundamental to the initiation and progression of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis and malaria, in many cases their precise role remains unknown. Activity-based chemical proteomics-an emerging field involving a combination of organic synthesis, biochemistry, cell biology, biophysics and bioinformatics-allows the detection, visualisation and activity quantification of whole families or selected sub-sets of proteases based upon their substrate specificity. This approach can be applied for drug target/lead identification and validation, the fundamentals of drug discovery. The activity-based probes discussed in this review contain three key features; a 'warhead' (binds irreversibly but selectively to the active site), a 'tag' (allowing enzyme 'handling', with a combination of fluorescent, affinity and/or radio labels), and a linker region between warhead and tag. From the design and synthesis of the linker arise some of the latest developments discussed here; not only can the physical properties (e.g., solubility, localisation) of the probe be tuned, but the inclusion of a cleavable moiety allows selective removal of tagged enzyme from affinity beads etc. The design and synthesis of recently reported probes is discussed, including modular assembly of highly versatile probes via solid phase synthesis. Recent applications of activity-based protein profiling to specific proteases (serine, threonine, cysteine and metalloproteases) are reviewed as are demonstrations of their use in the study of disease function in cancer and malaria.

  5. Activity-Based Protein Profiling of Microbes

    SciTech Connect

    Sadler, Natalie C.; Wright, Aaron T.

    2015-02-01

    Activity-Based Protein Profiling (ABPP) in conjunction with multimodal characterization techniques has yielded impactful findings in microbiology, particularly in pathogen, bioenergy, drug discovery, and environmental research. Using small molecule chemical probes that react irreversibly with specific proteins or protein families in complex systems has provided insights in enzyme functions in central metabolic pathways, drug-protein interactions, and regulatory protein redox, for systems ranging from photoautotrophic cyanobacteria to mycobacteria, and combining live cell or cell extract ABPP with proteomics, molecular biology, modeling, and other techniques has greatly expanded our understanding of these systems. New opportunities for application of ABPP to microbial systems include: enhancing protein annotation, characterizing protein activities in myriad environments, and reveal signal transduction and regulatory mechanisms in microbial systems.

  6. Rodent model of activity-based anorexia.

    PubMed

    Carrera, Olaia; Fraga, Ángela; Pellón, Ricardo; Gutiérrez, Emilio

    2014-04-10

    Activity-based anorexia (ABA) consists of a procedure that involves the simultaneous exposure of animals to a restricted feeding schedule, while free access is allowed to an activity wheel. Under these conditions, animals show a progressive increase in wheel running, a reduced efficiency in food intake to compensate for their increased activity, and a severe progression of weight loss. Due to the parallelism with the clinical manifestations of anorexia nervosa including increased activity, reduced food intake and severe weight loss, the ABA procedure has been proposed as the best analog of human anorexia nervosa (AN). Thus, ABA research could both allow a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying AN and generate useful leads for treatment development in AN.

  7. Design the Cost Approach in Trade-Off's for Structural Components, Illustrated on the Baseline Selection of the Engine Thrust Frame of Ariane 5 ESC-B

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Appolloni, L.; Juhls, A.; Rieck, U.

    2002-01-01

    Designing for value is one of the very actual upcoming methods for design optimization, which broke into the domain of aerospace engineering in the late 90's. In the frame of designing for value two main design philosophies exist: Design For Cost and Design To Cost. Design To Cost is the iterative redesign of a project until the content of the project meets a given budget. Designing For Cost is the conscious use of engineering process technology to reduce life cycle cost while satisfying, and hopefully exceeding, customer demands. The key to understanding cost, and hence to reducing cost, is the ability to measure cost accurately and to allocate it appropriately to products. Only then can intelligent decisions be made. Therefore the necessity of new methods as "Design For Value" or "Design For Competitiveness", set up with a generally multidisciplinary approach to find an optimized technical solution driven by many parameters, depending on the mission scenario and the customer/market needs. Very often three, but not more than five parametric drivers are sufficient. The more variable exist, the higher is in fact the risk to find just a sub-optimized local and not the global optimum, and the less robust is the found solution against change of input parameters. When the main parameters for optimization have been identified, the system engineer has to communicate them to all design engineers, who shall take care of these assessment variables during the entire design and decision process. The design process which has taken to the definition of the feasible structural concepts for the Engine Thrust Frame of the Ariane 5 Upper Cryogenic Stage ESC-B follows these most actual design philosophy methodologies, and combines a design for cost approach, to a design to cost optimization loop. Ariane 5 is the first member of a family of heavy-lift launchers. It aims to evolve into a family of launchers that responds to the space transportation challenges of the 21st century. New

  8. Bridging the gap between health and non-health investments: moving from cost-effectiveness analysis to a return on investment approach across sectors of economy.

    PubMed

    Sendi, Pedram

    2008-06-01

    When choosing from a menu of treatment alternatives, the optimal treatment depends on the objective function and the assumptions of the model. The classical decision rule of cost-effectiveness analysis may be formulated via two different objective functions: (i) maximising health outcomes subject to the budget constraint or (ii) maximising the net benefit of the intervention with the budget being determined ex post. We suggest a more general objective function of (iii) maximising return on investment from available resources with consideration of health and non-health investments. The return on investment approach allows to adjust the analysis for the benefits forgone by alternative non-health investments from a societal or subsocietal perspective. We show that in the presence of positive returns on non-health investments the decision-maker's willingness to pay per unit of effect for a treatment program needs to be higher than its incremental cost-effectiveness ratio to be considered cost-effective.

  9. Preliminary methodology for evaluating the cost-effectiveness of alternative indoor air quality control approaches. Final report, March 1998--February 1999

    SciTech Connect

    Henschel, D.B.

    1999-06-01

    The report defines a simplified methodology that can be used by indoor air quality (IAQ) diagnosticians, architects/engineers, building owners/operators, and the scientific community, for preliminary comparison of the cost-effectiveness of alternative IAQ control measures for any given commercial or institutional building. The preliminary methodology consists of text, logic diagrams, and worksheets that are intended to aid the user in: (1) assessing which IAQ control options(s) might apply to the specific building being addressed; (2) designing alternative control measures (involving increased outdoor air ventilation, air cleaning, or source management), and developing rough installed and operating costs for these measures; (3) estimating the approximate effectiveness of the alternative control measures in reducing occupant exposure to contaminants of concern; and (4) comparing the cost-effectiveness of the alternative control measures under consideration, to aid in selecting the optimal control approach.

  10. Elements of designing for cost

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dean, Edwin B.; Unal, Resit

    1992-01-01

    During recent history in the United States, government systems development has been performance driven. As a result, systems within a class have experienced exponentially increasing cost over time in fixed year dollars. Moreover, little emphasis has been placed on reducing cost. This paper defines designing for cost and presents several tools which, if used in the engineering process, offer the promise of reducing cost. Although other potential tools exist for designing for cost, this paper focuses on rules of thumb, quality function deployment, Taguchi methods, concurrent engineering, and activity-based costing. Each of these tools has been demonstrated to reduce cost if used within the engineering process.

  11. Elements of Designing for Cost

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dean, Edwin B.; Unal, Resit

    1992-01-01

    During recent history in the United States, government systems development has been performance driven. As a result, systems within a class have experienced exponentially increasing cost over time in fixed year dollars. Moreover, little emphasis has been placed on reducing cost. This paper defines designing for cost and presents several tools which, if used in the engineering process, offer the promise of reducing cost. Although other potential tools exist for designing for cost, this paper focuses on rules of thumb, quality function deployment, Taguchi methods, concurrent engineering, and activity based costing. Each of these tools has been demonstrated to reduce cost if used within the engineering process.

  12. Estimating Lifetime Costs of Social Care: A Bayesian Approach Using Linked Administrative Datasets from Three Geographical Areas.

    PubMed

    Steventon, Adam; Roberts, Adam

    2015-12-01

    We estimated lifetime costs of publicly funded social care, covering services such as residential and nursing care homes, domiciliary care and meals. Like previous studies, we constructed microsimulation models. However, our transition probabilities were estimated from longitudinal, linked administrative health and social care datasets, rather than from survey data. Administrative data were obtained from three geographical areas of England, and we estimated transition probabilities in each of these sites flexibly using Bayesian methods. This allowed us to quantify regional variation as well as the impact of structural and parameter uncertainty regarding the transition probabilities. Expected lifetime costs at age 65 were £20,200-27,000 for men and £38,700-49,000 for women, depending on which of the three areas was used to calibrate the model. Thus, patterns of social care spending differed markedly between areas, with mean costs varying by almost £10,000 (25%) across the lifetime for people of the same age and gender. Allowing for structural and parameter uncertainty had little impact on expected lifetime costs, but slightly increased the risk of very high costs, which will have implications for insurance products for social care through increasing requirements for capital reserves. PMID:25385010

  13. Estimating Lifetime Costs of Social Care: A Bayesian Approach Using Linked Administrative Datasets from Three Geographical Areas.

    PubMed

    Steventon, Adam; Roberts, Adam

    2015-12-01

    We estimated lifetime costs of publicly funded social care, covering services such as residential and nursing care homes, domiciliary care and meals. Like previous studies, we constructed microsimulation models. However, our transition probabilities were estimated from longitudinal, linked administrative health and social care datasets, rather than from survey data. Administrative data were obtained from three geographical areas of England, and we estimated transition probabilities in each of these sites flexibly using Bayesian methods. This allowed us to quantify regional variation as well as the impact of structural and parameter uncertainty regarding the transition probabilities. Expected lifetime costs at age 65 were £20,200-27,000 for men and £38,700-49,000 for women, depending on which of the three areas was used to calibrate the model. Thus, patterns of social care spending differed markedly between areas, with mean costs varying by almost £10,000 (25%) across the lifetime for people of the same age and gender. Allowing for structural and parameter uncertainty had little impact on expected lifetime costs, but slightly increased the risk of very high costs, which will have implications for insurance products for social care through increasing requirements for capital reserves.

  14. Cost analysis for procedure comparisons.

    PubMed

    Trowers, E A; Batra, S C; Buessler, J; Anderson, L K

    1995-01-01

    Using the methodology of activity-based costing as a conceptual framework, the authors present the potential cost reduction of a new office routine and a medical procedure. The costs of a new instrument for colorectal cancer screening and a new surveying and follow-up of at-risk patients show that time and relevant costs in the G.I Clinic and G.I Endoscopy Lab were significantly reduced.

  15. Defining Landscape Resistance Values in Least-Cost Connectivity Models for the Invasive Grey Squirrel: A Comparison of Approaches Using Expert-Opinion and Habitat Suitability Modelling

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson-Holt, Claire D.; Watts, Kevin; Bellamy, Chloe C.; Nevin, Owen T.; Ramsey, Andrew D.

    2014-01-01

    Least-cost models are widely used to study the functional connectivity of habitat within a varied landscape matrix. A critical step in the process is identifying resistance values for each land cover based upon the facilitating or impeding impact on species movement. Ideally resistance values would be parameterised with empirical data, but due to a shortage of such information, expert-opinion is often used. However, the use of expert-opinion is seen as subjective, human-centric and unreliable. This study derived resistance values from grey squirrel habitat suitability models (HSM) in order to compare the utility and validity of this approach with more traditional, expert-led methods. Models were built and tested with MaxEnt, using squirrel presence records and a categorical land cover map for Cumbria, UK. Predictions on the likelihood of squirrel occurrence within each land cover type were inverted, providing resistance values which were used to parameterise a least-cost model. The resulting habitat networks were measured and compared to those derived from a least-cost model built with previously collated information from experts. The expert-derived and HSM-inferred least-cost networks differ in precision. The HSM-informed networks were smaller and more fragmented because of the higher resistance values attributed to most habitats. These results are discussed in relation to the applicability of both approaches for conservation and management objectives, providing guidance to researchers and practitioners attempting to apply and interpret a least-cost approach to mapping ecological networks. PMID:25380289

  16. Avoidable waste management costs

    SciTech Connect

    Hsu, K.; Burns, M.; Priebe, S.; Robinson, P.

    1995-01-01

    This report describes the activity based costing method used to acquire variable (volume dependent or avoidable) waste management cost data for routine operations at Department of Energy (DOE) facilities. Waste volumes from environmental restoration, facility stabilization activities, and legacy waste were specifically excluded from this effort. A core team consisting of Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site, and Oak Ridge Reservation developed and piloted the methodology, which can be used to determine avoidable waste management costs. The method developed to gather information was based on activity based costing, which is a common industrial engineering technique. Sites submitted separate flow diagrams that showed the progression of work from activity to activity for each waste type or treatability group. Each activity on a flow diagram was described in a narrative, which detailed the scope of the activity. Labor and material costs based on a unit quantity of waste being processed were then summed to generate a total cost for that flow diagram. Cross-complex values were calculated by determining a weighted average for each waste type or treatability group based on the volume generated. This study will provide DOE and contractors with a better understanding of waste management processes and their associated costs. Other potential benefits include providing cost data for sites to perform consistent cost/benefit analysis of waste minimization and pollution prevention (WMIN/PP) options identified during pollution prevention opportunity assessments and providing a means for prioritizing and allocating limited resources for WMIN/PP.

  17. Methods of Costing in Universities. Brief Comparison Between the NCHEMS Approach and the Approach Used by the French-Speaking Research Group Associated with the IMHE Programme.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cossu, Claude

    1975-01-01

    A group of French universities modified the NCHEMS accounting method for use in a study of its budget control procedures and cost-evaluation methods. The conceptual differences in French university education (as compared to American higher education) are keyed to the adjustments in the accounting method. French universities, rather than being…

  18. Innovative approach to the design of low-cost Zr-based BMG composites with good glass formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Jia-Lin; Chen, Guang; Liu, Chain-Tsuan; Li, Yi

    2013-06-01

    The high manufacturing cost for metallic glasses hampers actual commercial applications of this class of fascinating materials. In this letter, the effect of oxygen impurity on the glass forming ability and tensile properties of Zr-BMG composites were studied. Our results have demonstrated that oxygen was absorbed and concentrated only in the precipitated β-Zr phase, leading that the remainder molten metal retains good glass forming ability. The high oxygen concentration in the β-Zr phase induces a significant solid-solution strengthening effect, this resulting in an enhanced strength of the BMG composites without sacrificing their overall ductility. Based on this alloying strategy, we have successfully developed the low-cost Zr-based BMG composites with excellent tensile properties and good glass forming ability, using the low grade industrial raw materials processed under industrial vacuum systems. This finding is expected to greatly cut down the manufacturing cost and greatly promote the commercial applications of the BMG composites.

  19. Mathematical framework for activity-based cancer biomarkers.

    PubMed

    Kwong, Gabriel A; Dudani, Jaideep S; Carrodeguas, Emmanuel; Mazumdar, Eric V; Zekavat, Seyedeh M; Bhatia, Sangeeta N

    2015-10-13

    Advances in nanomedicine are providing sophisticated functions to precisely control the behavior of nanoscale drugs and diagnostics. Strategies that coopt protease activity as molecular triggers are increasingly important in nanoparticle design, yet the pharmacokinetics of these systems are challenging to understand without a quantitative framework to reveal nonintuitive associations. We describe a multicompartment mathematical model to predict strategies for ultrasensitive detection of cancer using synthetic biomarkers, a class of activity-based probes that amplify cancer-derived signals into urine as a noninvasive diagnostic. Using a model formulation made of a PEG core conjugated with protease-cleavable peptides, we explore a vast design space and identify guidelines for increasing sensitivity that depend on critical parameters such as enzyme kinetics, dosage, and probe stability. According to this model, synthetic biomarkers that circulate in stealth but then activate at sites of disease have the theoretical capacity to discriminate tumors as small as 5 mm in diameter-a threshold sensitivity that is otherwise challenging for medical imaging and blood biomarkers to achieve. This model may be adapted to describe the behavior of additional activity-based approaches to allow cross-platform comparisons, and to predict allometric scaling across species.

  20. Mathematical framework for activity-based cancer biomarkers.

    PubMed

    Kwong, Gabriel A; Dudani, Jaideep S; Carrodeguas, Emmanuel; Mazumdar, Eric V; Zekavat, Seyedeh M; Bhatia, Sangeeta N

    2015-10-13

    Advances in nanomedicine are providing sophisticated functions to precisely control the behavior of nanoscale drugs and diagnostics. Strategies that coopt protease activity as molecular triggers are increasingly important in nanoparticle design, yet the pharmacokinetics of these systems are challenging to understand without a quantitative framework to reveal nonintuitive associations. We describe a multicompartment mathematical model to predict strategies for ultrasensitive detection of cancer using synthetic biomarkers, a class of activity-based probes that amplify cancer-derived signals into urine as a noninvasive diagnostic. Using a model formulation made of a PEG core conjugated with protease-cleavable peptides, we explore a vast design space and identify guidelines for increasing sensitivity that depend on critical parameters such as enzyme kinetics, dosage, and probe stability. According to this model, synthetic biomarkers that circulate in stealth but then activate at sites of disease have the theoretical capacity to discriminate tumors as small as 5 mm in diameter-a threshold sensitivity that is otherwise challenging for medical imaging and blood biomarkers to achieve. This model may be adapted to describe the behavior of additional activity-based approaches to allow cross-platform comparisons, and to predict allometric scaling across species. PMID:26417077

  1. Label-free fluorescence turn-on detection of uracil DNA glycosylase activity based on G-quadruplex formation.

    PubMed

    Ma, Changbei; Wu, Kefeng; Liu, Haisheng; Xia, Kun; Wang, Kemin; Wang, Jun

    2016-11-01

    We have developed a new methodology for fluorescence turn-on detection of uracil DNA glycosylase (UDG) activity based on G-quadruplex formation using a thioflavin T probe. In the presence of UDG, it catalyzed the hydrolysis of the uracil bases in the duplex DNA, resulting in the dissociation of the duplex DNA owing to their low melting temperature. Then, the probe DNA can be recognized quickly by the ThT dye and resulting in an increase in fluorescence. This approach is highly selective and sensitive with a detection limit of 0.01U/mL. It is simple and cost effective without requirement of labeling with a fluorophore-quencher pair. This new method could be used to evaluate the inhibition effect of 5-fluorouracil on UDG activity, and become a useful tool in biomedical research. PMID:27591637

  2. [Femicide Across Europe COST Action, a transnational cooperation network for the study of and approach to femicide in Europe].

    PubMed

    Sanz-Barbero, Belén; Otero-García, Laura; Boira, Santiago; Marcuello, Chaime; Vives Cases, Carmen

    2016-01-01

    Femicide or the murder of women because of their gender is a recognised public health problem as well as a serious violation of human rights. Its magnitude worldwide is still unknown, given the methodological difficulties to differentiate these murders from other female homicides. The European Union programme entitled «European Cooperation in Science and Technology» (COST) launched the «Femicide across Europe» COST Action in 2013, establishing an optimal European framework for transnational cooperation among experts addressing great social and public health challenges such as femicide. This field note describes the main objectives, the participating groups of experts and the mid-term results of this experience.

  3. A Novel, Low-Cost, Reduced-Sensor Approach for Providing Smart Renote Monitoring and Diagnostics for Packaged Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

    SciTech Connect

    Brambley, Michael R.

    2009-09-01

    This report describes conceptually an approach to providing automated remote performance and conditioning monitoring and fault detection for air conditioners and heat pumps that shows great promise to reduce the capital and installation costs of such systems from over $1000 per unit to $200 to $400 per unit. The approach relies on non-intrusive electric load monitoring (NIELM) to enable separation of the power use signals of compressors and fans in the air conditioner or heat pump. Then combining information on the power uses and one or two air temperature measurements, changes in energy efficiency and occurrence of major faults would be detected. By decreasing the number of sensors used from between ten and twenty in current diagnostic monitoring systems to three for the envisaged system, the capital cost of the monitoring system hardware and the cost of labor for installation would be decreased significantly. After describing the problem being addressed and the concept for performance monitoring and fault detection in more detail, the report identifies specific conditions and faults that the proposed method would detect, discusses specific needs for successful use of the NIELM approach, and identifies the major elements in the path from concept to a commercialized monitoring and diagnostic system.

  4. A probabilistic approach for a cost-benefit analysis of oil spill management under uncertainty: A Bayesian network model for the Gulf of Finland.

    PubMed

    Helle, Inari; Ahtiainen, Heini; Luoma, Emilia; Hänninen, Maria; Kuikka, Sakari

    2015-08-01

    Large-scale oil accidents can inflict substantial costs to the society, as they typically result in expensive oil combating and waste treatment operations and have negative impacts on recreational and environmental values. Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) offers a way to assess the economic efficiency of management measures capable of mitigating the adverse effects. However, the irregular occurrence of spills combined with uncertainties related to the possible effects makes the analysis a challenging task. We develop a probabilistic modeling approach for a CBA of oil spill management and apply it in the Gulf of Finland, the Baltic Sea. The model has a causal structure, and it covers a large number of factors relevant to the realistic description of oil spills, as well as the costs of oil combating operations at open sea, shoreline clean-up, and waste treatment activities. Further, to describe the effects on environmental benefits, we use data from a contingent valuation survey. The results encourage seeking for cost-effective preventive measures, and emphasize the importance of the inclusion of the costs related to waste treatment and environmental values in the analysis. Although the model is developed for a specific area, the methodology is applicable also to other areas facing the risk of oil spills as well as to other fields that need to cope with the challenging combination of low probabilities, high losses and major uncertainties. PMID:25983196

  5. A probabilistic approach for a cost-benefit analysis of oil spill management under uncertainty: A Bayesian network model for the Gulf of Finland.

    PubMed

    Helle, Inari; Ahtiainen, Heini; Luoma, Emilia; Hänninen, Maria; Kuikka, Sakari

    2015-08-01

    Large-scale oil accidents can inflict substantial costs to the society, as they typically result in expensive oil combating and waste treatment operations and have negative impacts on recreational and environmental values. Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) offers a way to assess the economic efficiency of management measures capable of mitigating the adverse effects. However, the irregular occurrence of spills combined with uncertainties related to the possible effects makes the analysis a challenging task. We develop a probabilistic modeling approach for a CBA of oil spill management and apply it in the Gulf of Finland, the Baltic Sea. The model has a causal structure, and it covers a large number of factors relevant to the realistic description of oil spills, as well as the costs of oil combating operations at open sea, shoreline clean-up, and waste treatment activities. Further, to describe the effects on environmental benefits, we use data from a contingent valuation survey. The results encourage seeking for cost-effective preventive measures, and emphasize the importance of the inclusion of the costs related to waste treatment and environmental values in the analysis. Although the model is developed for a specific area, the methodology is applicable also to other areas facing the risk of oil spills as well as to other fields that need to cope with the challenging combination of low probabilities, high losses and major uncertainties.

  6. Constraints on the Observation of Partial Match Costs: Implications for Transfer-Appropriate Processing Approaches to Immediate Priming

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leboe, Jason P.; Leboe, Launa C.; Milliken, Bruce

    2010-01-01

    According to a transfer-appropriate processing framework, immediate priming costs arise from a match between a prime and probe event on 1 dimension and a difference between those 2 events on some other dimension (i.e., a partial match). In Experiment 1, the authors used a Stroop priming procedure to generate 6 variants of partial match, yet only 1…

  7. Enhancing a Low-Cost Virtual Reality Application through Constructivist Approach: The Case of Spatial Training of Middle Graders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Samsudin, Khairulanuar; Rafi, Ahmad; Mohamad Ali, Ahmad Zamzuri; Abd. Rashid, Nazre

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study is to develop and to test a low-cost virtual reality spatial trainer in terms of its effectiveness in spatial training. The researchers adopted three features deriving from the constructivist perspective to guide the design of the trainer, namely interaction, instruction, and support. The no control pre test post test…

  8. An Evolutionary Path for Concentrating Thermal Solar Power Technologies: A New Approach for Modeling CSP Power Costs and Potential

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Yabei; Smith, Steven J.

    2008-05-08

    Concentrating thermal solar power (CSP) technology is a potentially competitive power generation option, particularly in arid regions where direct sunlight is abundant. We examine the potential role of CSP power plants and their contribution to carbon emissions reduction. The answers to these questions depend on the cost of electricity generated by CSP plants. Although a few studies have projected future CSP costs based on assumptions for technology advancement and the effect of economies of scale and learning curves, few studies have considered the combined effects of intermittency, solar irradiance changes by season, and diurnal and seasonal system load changes. Because the generation of a solar plant varies over a day and by season, the interactions between CSP generators and other generators in the electric system can play an important role in determining costs. In effect, CSP electricity generation cost will depend on the CSP market penetration. This paper examines this relationship and explores possible evolutionary paths for CSP technologies with and without thermal storage.

  9. Sacrificing power for more cost-effective treatment: A techno-economic approach for engineering microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Stoll, Zachary A; Ma, Zhaokun; Trivedi, Christopher B; Spear, John R; Xu, Pei

    2016-10-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a promising energy-positive wastewater treatment technology, however, the system's cost-effectiveness has been overlooked. In this study, two new anode materials - hard felt (HF) and carbon foam (CF) - were evaluated against the standard graphite brush (GB) to determine if using inexpensive materials with less than ideal properties can achieve more cost-effective treatment than high-cost, high-performing materials. Using domestic wastewater as the substrate, power densities for the GB, HF and CF-MFCs were 393, 339 and 291 mW m(-2) normalized by cathodic surface area, respectively. Higher power densities correlated with larger anodic surface areas and anodic current densities but not with electrical conductivity. Cyclic voltammetry revealed that redox systems used for extracellular electron transport in the GB, HF and CF-MFCs were similar (-0.143 ± 0.046, -0.158 ± 0.004 and -0.100 ± 0.014 V vs. Ag/AgCl) and that the electrochemical kinetics of the MFCs showed no correlation with their respective electrical conductivity. 16S rRNA sequencing showed the GB, HF and CF microbial community compositions were not statistically different while organic removal rates were nearly identical for all MFCs. The HF-MFC generated a power output to electrode cost (W $(-1)) 1.9 times greater than the GB-MFC, despite producing 14% less power and 15% less anodic current, while having 2.6 times less anodic surface area, 2.1 times larger charge transfer resistance and an electrical conductivity three orders of magnitude lower. The results demonstrate that inexpensive materials are capable of achieving more cost-effective treatment than high-performing materials despite generating lower power when treating real wastewater. PMID:27395791

  10. Sacrificing power for more cost-effective treatment: A techno-economic approach for engineering microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Stoll, Zachary A; Ma, Zhaokun; Trivedi, Christopher B; Spear, John R; Xu, Pei

    2016-10-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a promising energy-positive wastewater treatment technology, however, the system's cost-effectiveness has been overlooked. In this study, two new anode materials - hard felt (HF) and carbon foam (CF) - were evaluated against the standard graphite brush (GB) to determine if using inexpensive materials with less than ideal properties can achieve more cost-effective treatment than high-cost, high-performing materials. Using domestic wastewater as the substrate, power densities for the GB, HF and CF-MFCs were 393, 339 and 291 mW m(-2) normalized by cathodic surface area, respectively. Higher power densities correlated with larger anodic surface areas and anodic current densities but not with electrical conductivity. Cyclic voltammetry revealed that redox systems used for extracellular electron transport in the GB, HF and CF-MFCs were similar (-0.143 ± 0.046, -0.158 ± 0.004 and -0.100 ± 0.014 V vs. Ag/AgCl) and that the electrochemical kinetics of the MFCs showed no correlation with their respective electrical conductivity. 16S rRNA sequencing showed the GB, HF and CF microbial community compositions were not statistically different while organic removal rates were nearly identical for all MFCs. The HF-MFC generated a power output to electrode cost (W $(-1)) 1.9 times greater than the GB-MFC, despite producing 14% less power and 15% less anodic current, while having 2.6 times less anodic surface area, 2.1 times larger charge transfer resistance and an electrical conductivity three orders of magnitude lower. The results demonstrate that inexpensive materials are capable of achieving more cost-effective treatment than high-performing materials despite generating lower power when treating real wastewater.

  11. Advanced steam power plant concepts with optimized life-cycle costs: A new approach for maximum customer benefit

    SciTech Connect

    Seiter, C.

    1998-07-01

    The use of coal power generation applications is currently enjoying a renaissance. New highly efficient and cost-effective plant concepts together with environmental protection technologies are the main factors in this development. In addition, coal is available on the world market at attractive prices and in many places it is more readily available than gas. At the economical leading edge, standard power plant concepts have been developed to meet the requirements of emerging power markets. These concepts incorporate the high technological state-of-the-art and are designed to achieve lowest life-cycle costs. Low capital cost, fuel costs and operating costs in combination with shortest lead times are the main assets that make these plants attractive especially for IPPs and Developers. Other aspects of these comprehensive concepts include turnkey construction and the willingness to participate in BOO/BOT projects. One of the various examples of such a concept, the 2 x 610-MW Paiton Private Power Project Phase II in Indonesia, is described in this paper. At the technological leading edge, Siemens has always made a major contribution and was pacemaker for new developments in steam power plant technology. Modern coal-fired steam power plants use computer-optimized process and plant design as well as advanced materials, and achieve efficiencies exceeding 45%. One excellent example of this high technology is the world's largest lignite-fired steam power plant Schwarze Pumpe in Germany, which is equipped with two 800 MW Siemens steam turbine generators with supercritical steam parameters. The world's largest 50-Hz single-shaft turbine generator with supercritical steam parameters rated at 1025 MW for the Niederaussem lignite-fired steam power plant in Germany is a further example of the sophisticated Siemens steam turbine technology and sets a new benchmark in this field.

  12. Comparison of response rates and cost-effectiveness for a community-based survey: postal, internet and telephone modes with generic or personalised recruitment approaches

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Epidemiological research often requires collection of data from a representative sample of the community or recruitment of specific groups through broad community approaches. The population coverage of traditional survey methods such as mail-outs to residential addresses, and telephone contact via public directories or random-digit-dialing is declining and survey response rates are falling. There is a need to explore new sampling frames and consider multiple response modes including those offered by changes in telecommunications and internet technology. Methods We evaluated response rates and cost-effectiveness for three modes of survey administration (postal invitation/postal survey, postal invitation/internet survey and postal invitation/telephone survey) and two styles of contact approach (personalised and generic) in a community survey of greywater use. Potential respondents were contacted only once, with no follow up of non-responders. Results The telephone survey produced the highest adjusted response rate (30.2%), followed by the personalised postal survey (10.5%), generic postal survey (7.5%) and then the internet survey (4.7% for the personalised approach and 2.2% for the generic approach). There were some differences in household characteristics and greywater use rates between respondents to different survey modes, and between respondents to personalised and generic approaches. These may be attributable to the differing levels of motivations needed for a response, and varying levels of interest in the survey topic among greywater users and non-users. The generic postal survey had the lowest costs per valid survey received (Australian $22.93), followed by the personalised postal survey ($24.75). Conclusions Our findings suggest that postal surveys currently remain the most economic option for population-based studies, with similar costs for personalised and generic approaches. Internet surveys may be effective for specialised groups where email

  13. How Much? Cost Models for Online Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lorenzo, George

    2001-01-01

    Reviews some of the research being done in the area of cost models for online education. Describes a cost analysis handbook; an activity-based costing model that was based on an economic model for traditional instruction at the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis; and blending other costing models. (LRW)

  14. Hematopoietic Progenitor Cell Mobilization with “Just-in-Time” Plerixafor Approach is a Cost Effective Alternative to Routine Plerixafor Use

    PubMed Central

    Veltri, Lauren; Cumpston, Aaron; Shillingburg, Alexandra; Wen, Sijin; Luo, Jin; Leadmon, Sonia; Watkins, Kathy; Craig, Michael; Hamadani, Mehdi; Kanate, Abraham S.

    2015-01-01

    Hematopoietic progenitor cell (HPC) mobilization with granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) and plerixafor results in superior CD34+ cell yield, when compared to mobilization with G-CSF alone in patients with myeloma and lymphoma. However, plerixafor-based approaches are associated with high costs. To circumvent this, several institutions use a so-called “just-in-time” plerixafor (JIT-P) approach, where plerixafor is only administered to patients likely to fail mobilization with G-CSF alone. Whether such a JIT-P approach is cost effective has not been confirmed to date. We present here, results of 136 patients with myeloma or lymphoma who underwent mobilization with two different approaches of plerixafor utilization. Between Jan 2010-Oct 2012 (n=76) patients uniformly received mobilization with G-CSF and plerixafor (routine G+P cohort). To reduce mobilization costs, between Nov 2012-Jun 2014 (n=60) patients were mobilized with JIT-P where plerixafor was only administered to patients likely to fail mobilization with G-CSF alone. Patients in routine G+P group had a higher median peak peripheral blood CD34+ cell count (62 vs. 29 cells/μL, p<0.001) and a higher median day 1 CD34+ cell yield (2.9 × 106 CD34+ cells/kg vs. 2.1 × 106 CD34+ cells/kg, p=0.001). The median total CD34+ cell collection was also higher in routine G+P group (5.8 × 106 CD34+ cells/kg vs. 4.5 × 106 CD34+ cells/kg, p=0.007). In the JIT-P group 40% (n=24) completed adequate HPC collection without plerixafor. There was no difference in mobilization failure rates. The mean number of plerixafor doses utilized in JIT-P was lower (1.3 vs. 2.1, p=0.0002). The mean estimated cost in the routine G+P group was higher than that in the JIT-P group (USD 27,513 vs. USD 23,597, p=0.01). Our analysis demonstrates that mobilization with a JIT-P approach is a safe, effective and cost efficient strategy for HPC collection. PMID:26475754

  15. Design-to-cost

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bradley, F. E.

    1974-01-01

    Attempts made to design to costs equipment, vehicles and subsystems for various space projects are discussed. A systematic approach, based on mission requirement analysis, definition of a mission baseline design, benefit and cost analysis, and a benefit-cost analysis was proposed for implementing the cost control program.

  16. Costing for Policy Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Association of College and University Business Officers, Washington, DC.

    Cost behavior analysis, a costing process that can assist managers in estimating how certain institutional costs change in response to volume, policy, and environmental factors, is described. The five steps of this approach are examined, and the application of cost behavior analysis at four college-level settings is documented. The institutions…

  17. Exposure assessment in SMES: a low-cost approach to bring OHS services to small-scale enterprises.

    PubMed

    Seneviratne, Mahinda; Phoon, Wai On

    2006-01-01

    There is increased attention to improving occupational health and safety in small to medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). The Workers Health Centre, a not-for-profit OHS service in western Sydney, assessed workplace exposures in two SMEs following intervention by regulatory agencies. A low-cost monitoring program for noise, airbone dust, fibers and chemicals was conducted at these two metal working industry workplaces. Results showed that exposure to the hazards were above the statutory limits and there was generally an unhealthy access to OHS information by the predominantly immigrant or low literate worker population, were identified. The potential for using a program of low-cost exposure assessments, accompanied by a strategy to provide OHSs information for workers in small-scale enterprises, is discussed.

  18. [Femicide Across Europe COST Action, a transnational cooperation network for the study of and approach to femicide in Europe].

    PubMed

    Sanz-Barbero, Belén; Otero-García, Laura; Boira, Santiago; Marcuello, Chaime; Vives Cases, Carmen

    2016-01-01

    Femicide or the murder of women because of their gender is a recognised public health problem as well as a serious violation of human rights. Its magnitude worldwide is still unknown, given the methodological difficulties to differentiate these murders from other female homicides. The European Union programme entitled «European Cooperation in Science and Technology» (COST) launched the «Femicide across Europe» COST Action in 2013, establishing an optimal European framework for transnational cooperation among experts addressing great social and public health challenges such as femicide. This field note describes the main objectives, the participating groups of experts and the mid-term results of this experience. PMID:27321371

  19. A Low-Cost, Hands-on Module to Characterize Antimicrobial Compounds Using an Interdisciplinary, Biophysical Approach

    PubMed Central

    Kaushik, Karishma S.; Kessel, Ashley; Ratnayeke, Nalin; Gordon, Vernita D.

    2015-01-01

    We have developed a hands-on experimental module that combines biology experiments with a physics-based analytical model in order to characterize antimicrobial compounds. To understand antibiotic resistance, participants perform a disc diffusion assay to test the antimicrobial activity of different compounds and then apply a diffusion-based analytical model to gain insights into the behavior of the active antimicrobial component. In our experience, this module was robust, reproducible, and cost-effective, suggesting that it could be implemented in diverse settings such as undergraduate research, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) camps, school programs, and laboratory training workshops. By providing valuable interdisciplinary research experience in science outreach and education initiatives, this module addresses the paucity of structured training or education programs that integrate diverse scientific fields. Its low-cost requirements make it especially suitable for use in resource-limited settings. PMID:25602254

  20. Highly reusable space transportation: Approaches for reducing ETO launch costs to $100 - $200 per pound of payload

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olds, John R.

    1995-01-01

    The Commercial Space Transportation Study (CSTS) suggests that considerable market expansion in earth-to-orbit transportation would take place if current launch prices could be reduced to around $400 per pound of payload. If these low prices can be achieved, annual payload delivered to low earth orbit (LEO) is predicted to reach 6.7 million pounds. The primary market growth will occur in communications, government missions, and civil transportation. By establishing a cost target of $100-$200 per pound of payload for a new launch system, the Highly Reusable Space Transportation (HRST) program has clearly set its sights on removing the current restriction on market growth imposed by today's high launch costs. In particular, achieving the goal of $100-$200 per pound of payload will require significant coordinated efforts in (1) marketing strategy development, (2) business planning, (3) system operational strategy, (4) vehicle technical design, and (5) vehicle maintenance strategy.

  1. A Low-Cost, Hands-on Module to Characterize Antimicrobial Compounds Using an Interdisciplinary, Biophysical Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, Vernita; Kaushik, Karishma; Kessel, Ashley; Ratnayeke, Nalin

    2015-03-01

    We have developed a hands-on, experimental module that combines biology experiments with a physics-based analytical model to characterize antimicrobial compounds. To understand antibiotic resistance, participants perform a disc diffusion assay to test the antimicrobial activity of different compounds, then apply a diffusion-based analytical model to gain insights into the behavior of the active antimicrobial component. In our experience, this module was robust, reproducible, and cost-effective, suggesting that it could be implemented in diverse settings such as undergraduate research, STEM camps, school programs, and laboratory training workshops. This module addresses the paucity of structured training or education programs that integrate diverse scientific fields by providing valuable, interdisciplinary research experience in science outreach and education initiatives. Its low cost requirements make it especially suitable for use in resource-limited settings.

  2. A Cost-effective Satellite-aircraft-drogue Approach for Studying Estuarine Circulation and Shelf Waste Dispersion. [Delaware Bay

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klemas, V. (Principal Investigator); Davis, G.; Wang, H.; Whelan, W.; Tornatore, G.

    1975-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Satellites, such as ERTS-1, can be used to obtain a synoptic view of current circulation over large coastal areas. Since in turbid coastal regions suspended sediment acts as a natural tracer, cost is minimized by eliminating the need for expensive injections of large volumes of dye such as Rhodamine-B. One of the principal shortcomings of satellite imaging of coastal currents was its inability to determine current magnitude and to penetrate beyond the upper few meters of the water column. These objections were overcome by complementing satellite observations with drogues tracking currents at various selected depths. By combining the satellite's wide coverage with aircraft or shore stations capable of tracking expendable drogues, a cost effective, integrated system was devised for monitoring currents over large areas, various depths, and under severe environmental conditions.

  3. Predation-Related Costs and Benefits of Conspecific Attraction in Songbirds—An Agent-Based Approach

    PubMed Central

    Szymkowiak, Jakub; Kuczyński, Lechosław

    2015-01-01

    Songbirds that follow a conspecific attraction strategy in the habitat selection process prefer to settle in habitat patches already occupied by other individuals. This largely affects the patterns of their spatio-temporal distribution and leads to clustered breeding. Although making informed settlement decisions is expected to be beneficial for individuals, such territory clusters may potentially provide additional fitness benefits (e.g., through the dilution effect) or costs (e.g., possibly facilitating nest localization if predators respond functionally to prey distribution). Thus, we hypothesized that the fitness consequences of following a conspecific attraction strategy may largely depend on the composition of the predator community. We developed an agent-based model in which we simulated the settling behavior of birds that use a conspecific attraction strategy and breed in a multi-predator landscape with predators that exhibited different foraging strategies. Moreover, we investigated whether Bayesian updating of prior settlement decisions according to the perceived predation risk may improve the fitness of birds that rely on conspecific cues. Our results provide evidence that the fitness consequences of conspecific attraction are predation-related. We found that in landscapes dominated by predators able to respond functionally to prey distribution, clustered breeding led to fitness costs. However, this cost could be reduced if birds performed Bayesian updating of prior settlement decisions and perceived nesting with too many neighbors as a threat. Our results did not support the hypothesis that in landscapes dominated by incidental predators, clustered breeding as a byproduct of conspecific attraction provides fitness benefits through the dilution effect. We suggest that this may be due to the spatial scale of songbirds’ aggregative behavior. In general, we provide evidence that when considering the fitness consequences of conspecific attraction for

  4. A managerial approach to costing fixed assets in health care organizations: the role of depreciation and interest.

    PubMed

    Goldschmidt, Y; Gafni, A

    1991-01-01

    The economic aspect of depreciation and interest on capital are incorporated within a managerial accounting framework by treating both items as imputed charges to be debited to the users of the assets' services. The costs of these services is examined for individual assets that provide either uniform or declining service over the expected life, and for a stock of assets where the character of the individual assets is ignored. By using imputed charges, the hospital's net income is allocated to its sources.

  5. A multi-resolution approach for an automated fusion of different low-cost 3D sensors.

    PubMed

    Dupuis, Jan; Paulus, Stefan; Behmann, Jan; Plümer, Lutz; Kuhlmann, Heiner

    2014-01-01

    The 3D acquisition of object structures has become a common technique in many fields of work, e.g., industrial quality management, cultural heritage or crime scene documentation. The requirements on the measuring devices are versatile, because spacious scenes have to be imaged with a high level of detail for selected objects. Thus, the used measuring systems are expensive and require an experienced operator. With the rise of low-cost 3D imaging systems, their integration into the digital documentation process is possible. However, common low-cost sensors have the limitation of a trade-off between range and accuracy, providing either a low resolution of single objects or a limited imaging field. Therefore, the use of multiple sensors is desirable. We show the combined use of two low-cost sensors, the Microsoft Kinect and the David laserscanning system, to achieve low-resolved scans of the whole scene and a high level of detail for selected objects, respectively. Afterwards, the high-resolved David objects are automatically assigned to their corresponding Kinect object by the use of surface feature histograms and SVM-classification. The corresponding objects are fitted using an ICP-implementation to produce a multi-resolution map. The applicability is shown for a fictional crime scene and the reconstruction of a ballistic trajectory. PMID:24763255

  6. Innovative approach to the design of low-cost Zr-based BMG composites with good glass formation

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Jia-Lin; Chen, Guang; Liu, Chain-Tsuan; Li, Yi

    2013-01-01

    The high manufacturing cost for metallic glasses hampers actual commercial applications of this class of fascinating materials. In this letter, the effect of oxygen impurity on the glass forming ability and tensile properties of Zr-BMG composites were studied. Our results have demonstrated that oxygen was absorbed and concentrated only in the precipitated β-Zr phase, leading that the remainder molten metal retains good glass forming ability. The high oxygen concentration in the β-Zr phase induces a significant solid-solution strengthening effect, this resulting in an enhanced strength of the BMG composites without sacrificing their overall ductility. Based on this alloying strategy, we have successfully developed the low-cost Zr-based BMG composites with excellent tensile properties and good glass forming ability, using the low grade industrial raw materials processed under industrial vacuum systems. This finding is expected to greatly cut down the manufacturing cost and greatly promote the commercial applications of the BMG composites. PMID:23807140

  7. A multi-resolution approach for an automated fusion of different low-cost 3D sensors.

    PubMed

    Dupuis, Jan; Paulus, Stefan; Behmann, Jan; Plümer, Lutz; Kuhlmann, Heiner

    2014-01-01

    The 3D acquisition of object structures has become a common technique in many fields of work, e.g., industrial quality management, cultural heritage or crime scene documentation. The requirements on the measuring devices are versatile, because spacious scenes have to be imaged with a high level of detail for selected objects. Thus, the used measuring systems are expensive and require an experienced operator. With the rise of low-cost 3D imaging systems, their integration into the digital documentation process is possible. However, common low-cost sensors have the limitation of a trade-off between range and accuracy, providing either a low resolution of single objects or a limited imaging field. Therefore, the use of multiple sensors is desirable. We show the combined use of two low-cost sensors, the Microsoft Kinect and the David laserscanning system, to achieve low-resolved scans of the whole scene and a high level of detail for selected objects, respectively. Afterwards, the high-resolved David objects are automatically assigned to their corresponding Kinect object by the use of surface feature histograms and SVM-classification. The corresponding objects are fitted using an ICP-implementation to produce a multi-resolution map. The applicability is shown for a fictional crime scene and the reconstruction of a ballistic trajectory.

  8. A Multi-Resolution Approach for an Automated Fusion of Different Low-Cost 3D Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Dupuis, Jan; Paulus, Stefan; Behmann, Jan; Plümer, Lutz; Kuhlmann, Heiner

    2014-01-01

    The 3D acquisition of object structures has become a common technique in many fields of work, e.g., industrial quality management, cultural heritage or crime scene documentation. The requirements on the measuring devices are versatile, because spacious scenes have to be imaged with a high level of detail for selected objects. Thus, the used measuring systems are expensive and require an experienced operator. With the rise of low-cost 3D imaging systems, their integration into the digital documentation process is possible. However, common low-cost sensors have the limitation of a trade-off between range and accuracy, providing either a low resolution of single objects or a limited imaging field. Therefore, the use of multiple sensors is desirable. We show the combined use of two low-cost sensors, the Microsoft Kinect and the David laserscanning system, to achieve low-resolved scans of the whole scene and a high level of detail for selected objects, respectively. Afterwards, the high-resolved David objects are automatically assigned to their corresponding Kinect object by the use of surface feature histograms and SVM-classification. The corresponding objects are fitted using an ICP-implementation to produce a multi-resolution map. The applicability is shown for a fictional crime scene and the reconstruction of a ballistic trajectory. PMID:24763255

  9. New Physical Deposition Approach for Low Cost Inorganic Hole Transport Layer in Normal Architecture of Durable Perovskite Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Nejand, Bahram Abdollahi; Ahmadi, Vahid; Shahverdi, Hamid Reza

    2015-10-01

    In this work we reported sputter deposited NiOx/Ni double layer as an HTM/contact couple in normal architecture of perovskite solar cell. A perovskite solar cell that is durable for more than 60 days was achieved, with increasing efficiency from 1.3% to 7.28% within 6 days. Moreover, low temperature direct deposition of NiOx layer on perovskite layer was introduced as a potential hole transport material for an efficient cost-effective solar cell applicable for various morphologies of perovskite layers, even for perovskite layers containing pinholes, which is a notable challenge in perovskite solar cells. The angular deposition of NiOx layers by dc reactive magnetron sputtering showed uniform and crack-free coverage of the perovskite layer with no negative impact on perovskite structure that is suitable for nickel back contact layer, surface shielding against moisture, and mechanical damages. Replacing the expensive complex materials in previous perovskite solar cells with low cost available materials introduces cost-effective scalable perovskite solar cells.

  10. Activity based video indexing and search

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yang; Jiang, Qin; Medasani, Swarup; Allen, David; Lu, Tsai-ching

    2010-04-01

    We describe a method for searching videos in large video databases based on the activity contents present in the videos. Being able to search videos based on the contents (such as human activities) has many applications such as security, surveillance, and other commercial applications such as on-line video search. Conventional video content-based retrieval (CBR) systems are either feature based or semantics based, with the former trying to model the dynamics video contents using the statistics of image features, and the latter relying on automated scene understanding of the video contents. Neither approach has been successful. Our approach is inspired by the success of visual vocabulary of "Video Google" by Sivic and Zisserman, and the work of Nister and Stewenius who showed that building a visual vocabulary tree can improve the performance in both scalability and retrieval accuracy for 2-D images. We apply visual vocabulary and vocabulary tree approach to spatio-temporal video descriptors for video indexing, and take advantage of the discrimination power of these descriptors as well as the scalability of vocabulary tree for indexing. Furthermore, this approach does not rely on any model-based activity recognition. In fact, training of the vocabulary tree is done off-line using unlabeled data with unsupervised learning. Therefore the approach is widely applicable. Experimental results using standard human activity recognition videos will be presented that demonstrate the feasibility of this approach.

  11. An Analysis of the Costs, Benefits, and Implications of Different Approaches to Capturing the Value of Renewable Energy Tax Incentives

    SciTech Connect

    Bolinger, Mark

    2014-04-09

    This report compares the relative costs, benefits, and implications of capturing the value of renewable energy tax benefits in these three different ways – applying them against outside income , carrying them forward in time until they can be fully absorbed internally, or monetizing them through third-party tax equity investors – to see which method is most competitive under various scenarios. It finds that under current law and late-2013 market conditions, monetization makes sense for all but the most tax-efficient project sponsors. In other words, for most project sponsors, bringing in third-party tax equity currently provides net benefits to a project.

  12. Aluminium alloyed iron-silicide/silicon solar cells: A simple approach for low cost environmental-friendly photovoltaic technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar Dalapati, Goutam; Masudy-Panah, Saeid; Kumar, Avishek; Cheh Tan, Cheng; Ru Tan, Hui; Chi, Dongzhi

    2015-12-01

    This work demonstrates the fabrication of silicide/silicon based solar cell towards the development of low cost and environmental friendly photovoltaic technology. A heterostructure solar cells using metallic alpha phase (α-phase) aluminum alloyed iron silicide (FeSi(Al)) on n-type silicon is fabricated with an efficiency of 0.8%. The fabricated device has an open circuit voltage and fill-factor of 240 mV and 60%, respectively. Performance of the device was improved by about 7 fold to 5.1% through the interface engineering. The α-phase FeSi(Al)/silicon solar cell devices have promising photovoltaic characteristic with an open circuit voltage, short-circuit current and a fill factor (FF) of 425 mV, 18.5 mA/cm2, and 64%, respectively. The significant improvement of α-phase FeSi(Al)/n-Si solar cells is due to the formation p+-n homojunction through the formation of re-grown crystalline silicon layer (~5-10 nm) at the silicide/silicon interface. Thickness of the regrown silicon layer is crucial for the silicide/silicon based photovoltaic devices. Performance of the α-FeSi(Al)/n-Si solar cells significantly depends on the thickness of α-FeSi(Al) layer and process temperature during the device fabrication. This study will open up new opportunities for the Si based photovoltaic technology using a simple, sustainable, and los cost method.

  13. An analytical approach to air defense: cost, effectiveness and SWOT analysis of employing fighter aircraft and modern SAM systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kus, Orcun; Kocaman, Ibrahim; Topcu, Yucel; Karaca, Volkan

    2012-05-01

    The problem of defending a specific airspace is among the main issues a military commander to solve. Proper protection of own airspace is crucial for mission success at the battlefield. The military doctrines of most world armed forces involve two main options of defending the airspace. One of them is utilizing formations of fighter aircraft, which is a flexible choice. The second option is deploying modern SAM (Surface to Air Missile) systems, which is more expansive. On the other hand the decision makers are to cope with miscellaneous restrictions such as the budgeting problems. This study defines air defense concept according to modern air warfare doctrine. It considers an air defense scenario over an arbitrary airspace and compares the performance and cost-effectiveness of employing fighter aircraft and SAM systems. It also presents SWOT (Strenghts - Weakness - Opportunities - Threats) analyses of air defense by fighter aircraft and by modern SAMs and tries to point out whichever option is better. We conclude that deploying SAMs has important advantages over using fighter aircraft by means of interception capacity within a given time period and is cost-effective.

  14. Bottom-up approach for the low-cost synthesis of graphene-alumina nanosheet interfaces using bimetallic alloys.

    PubMed

    Omiciuolo, Luca; Hernández, Eduardo R; Miniussi, Elisa; Orlando, Fabrizio; Lacovig, Paolo; Lizzit, Silvano; Menteş, Tevfik Onur; Locatelli, Andrea; Larciprete, Rosanna; Bianchi, Marco; Ulstrup, Søren; Hofmann, Philip; Alfè, Dario; Baraldi, Alessandro

    2014-09-29

    The production of high-quality graphene-oxide interfaces is normally achieved by graphene growth via chemical vapour deposition on a metallic surface, followed by transfer of the C layer onto the oxide, by atomic layer and physical vapour deposition of the oxide on graphene or by carbon deposition on top of oxide surfaces. These methods, however, come with a series of issues: they are complex, costly and can easily result in damage to the carbon network, with detrimental effects on the carrier mobility. Here we show that the growth of a graphene layer on a bimetallic Ni3Al alloy and its subsequent exposure to oxygen at 520 K result in the formation of a 1.5 nm thick alumina nanosheet underneath graphene. This new, simple and low-cost strategy based on the use of alloys opens a promising route to the direct synthesis of a wide range of interfaces formed by graphene and high-κ dielectrics.

  15. Bottom-up approach for the low-cost synthesis of graphene-alumina nanosheet interfaces using bimetallic alloys.

    PubMed

    Omiciuolo, Luca; Hernández, Eduardo R; Miniussi, Elisa; Orlando, Fabrizio; Lacovig, Paolo; Lizzit, Silvano; Menteş, Tevfik Onur; Locatelli, Andrea; Larciprete, Rosanna; Bianchi, Marco; Ulstrup, Søren; Hofmann, Philip; Alfè, Dario; Baraldi, Alessandro

    2014-01-01

    The production of high-quality graphene-oxide interfaces is normally achieved by graphene growth via chemical vapour deposition on a metallic surface, followed by transfer of the C layer onto the oxide, by atomic layer and physical vapour deposition of the oxide on graphene or by carbon deposition on top of oxide surfaces. These methods, however, come with a series of issues: they are complex, costly and can easily result in damage to the carbon network, with detrimental effects on the carrier mobility. Here we show that the growth of a graphene layer on a bimetallic Ni3Al alloy and its subsequent exposure to oxygen at 520 K result in the formation of a 1.5 nm thick alumina nanosheet underneath graphene. This new, simple and low-cost strategy based on the use of alloys opens a promising route to the direct synthesis of a wide range of interfaces formed by graphene and high-κ dielectrics. PMID:25262792

  16. Aluminium alloyed iron-silicide/silicon solar cells: A simple approach for low cost environmental-friendly photovoltaic technology.

    PubMed

    Kumar Dalapati, Goutam; Masudy-Panah, Saeid; Kumar, Avishek; Cheh Tan, Cheng; Ru Tan, Hui; Chi, Dongzhi

    2015-12-03

    This work demonstrates the fabrication of silicide/silicon based solar cell towards the development of low cost and environmental friendly photovoltaic technology. A heterostructure solar cells using metallic alpha phase (α-phase) aluminum alloyed iron silicide (FeSi(Al)) on n-type silicon is fabricated with an efficiency of 0.8%. The fabricated device has an open circuit voltage and fill-factor of 240 mV and 60%, respectively. Performance of the device was improved by about 7 fold to 5.1% through the interface engineering. The α-phase FeSi(Al)/silicon solar cell devices have promising photovoltaic characteristic with an open circuit voltage, short-circuit current and a fill factor (FF) of 425 mV, 18.5 mA/cm(2), and 64%, respectively. The significant improvement of α-phase FeSi(Al)/n-Si solar cells is due to the formation p(+-)n homojunction through the formation of re-grown crystalline silicon layer (~5-10 nm) at the silicide/silicon interface. Thickness of the regrown silicon layer is crucial for the silicide/silicon based photovoltaic devices. Performance of the α-FeSi(Al)/n-Si solar cells significantly depends on the thickness of α-FeSi(Al) layer and process temperature during the device fabrication. This study will open up new opportunities for the Si based photovoltaic technology using a simple, sustainable, and los cost method.

  17. Excitation Energies with Cost-Reduced Variant of the Active-Space EOMCCSDT Method: The EOMCCSDt-3̅ Approach.

    PubMed

    Hu, Han-Shi; Kowalski, Karol

    2013-11-12

    In this paper, we discuss the performance of several simplified variants of equation-of-motion coupled cluster method (EOMCC) with iterative inclusion of singles, doubles, and active-space triples (EOMCCSDt). In particular, we explore simplified EOMCCSDt approaches that enable one to generate the triply excited amplitudes in an on-the-fly manner. The original EOMCCSDt formulation has already demonstrated great success in encapsulating the most important excited-state correlation effects due to triples. In analogy to the original EOMCCSDT-3 formulation, the proposed approach can bypass the typical bottlenecks associated with the need for storing triply excited amplitudes. In this paper, we illustrate the performance of several approximate EOMCCSDt methods, named EOMCCSDt-3̅ and EOMCCSDt-3̅, on typical benchmark systems including C2, N2, ozone, ethene, and E-butadiene molecules. These new methods yield excitation energies close to the EOMCCSDt ones. The extrapolation of excitation energies for basis sets ranging from cc-pVDZ to cc-pV6Z for N2 and C2 shows very good convergence to the experimental results for states dominated by single excitations. The performance of the EOMCCSDt-3̅x approach is also compared with the results obtained with popular CCSDR(3) and CC3 approaches. PMID:26583394

  18. Profitable capitation requires accurate costing.

    PubMed

    West, D A; Hicks, L L; Balas, E A; West, T D

    1996-01-01

    In the name of costing accuracy, nurses are asked to track inventory use on per treatment basis when more significant costs, such as general overhead and nursing salaries, are usually allocated to patients or treatments on an average cost basis. Accurate treatment costing and financial viability require analysis of all resources actually consumed in treatment delivery, including nursing services and inventory. More precise costing information enables more profitable decisions as is demonstrated by comparing the ratio-of-cost-to-treatment method (aggregate costing) with alternative activity-based costing methods (ABC). Nurses must participate in this costing process to assure that capitation bids are based upon accurate costs rather than simple averages. PMID:8788799

  19. Low cost and high performance GPON, GEPON and RFoG optical network pentaplexer module design using diffractive grating approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, I.-Ju; Chi, Chang-Chia; Tarn, Chen-Wen

    2016-01-01

    A new architecture of a pentaplexer transceiver module which can be used in GPON/GEPON and RFoG triple play optical networks with supporting of the multiple optical wavelengths of 1310 nm, 1490 nm, 1550 nm, 1610 nm, and 1650 nm, is proposed. By using diffractive grating elements combing with market readily available GRIN (Gradient-Index) lens, grating, mirrors, beamsplitter, LDs (Laser Diodes), and PDs (Photodetectors), the proposed design have the advantages of low cost, high efficiency/performance, easy design and manufacturing, over the contemporary triplex transceivers which are made of multilayer filters or waveguides that increase the complexity of manufacturing and reduce the performance efficiency. With the proposed design, a pentaplexer system can accommodate GPON/GEPON, RFoG, and monitoring integration services, total five optical wavelength channels into a hybrid-integrated TO-CAN package platform with sufficient efficiency.

  20. Teaching for Democracy in Ukraine: Activity-Based Developmental and Dialogical Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koshmanova, Tetyana

    2006-01-01

    This article addresses the issues of how cultural historical theory of activity can help design democratic teacher education classrooms aimed at developmental learning and dialogical, humanitarian thinking of students and prospective teachers. On the basis of retrospective analysis, the author begins by summarizing activity-based approaches to…

  1. A Comparison of Activity-Based Intervention and Embedded Direct Instruction When Teaching Emergent Literacy Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Botts, Dawn C.; Losardo, Angela S.; Tillery, Christina Y.; Werts, Margaret G.

    2014-01-01

    This replication study focused on the effectiveness of two different intervention approaches, activity-based intervention and embedded direct instruction, on the acquisition, generalization, and maintenance of phonological awareness, a key area of emergent literacy, by preschool children with language delays. Five male preschool participants with…

  2. Aluminium alloyed iron-silicide/silicon solar cells: A simple approach for low cost environmental-friendly photovoltaic technology

    PubMed Central

    Kumar Dalapati, Goutam; Masudy-Panah, Saeid; Kumar, Avishek; Cheh Tan, Cheng; Ru Tan, Hui; Chi, Dongzhi

    2015-01-01

    This work demonstrates the fabrication of silicide/silicon based solar cell towards the development of low cost and environmental friendly photovoltaic technology. A heterostructure solar cells using metallic alpha phase (α-phase) aluminum alloyed iron silicide (FeSi(Al)) on n-type silicon is fabricated with an efficiency of 0.8%. The fabricated device has an open circuit voltage and fill-factor of 240 mV and 60%, respectively. Performance of the device was improved by about 7 fold to 5.1% through the interface engineering. The α-phase FeSi(Al)/silicon solar cell devices have promising photovoltaic characteristic with an open circuit voltage, short-circuit current and a fill factor (FF) of 425 mV, 18.5 mA/cm2, and 64%, respectively. The significant improvement of α-phase FeSi(Al)/n-Si solar cells is due to the formation p+−n homojunction through the formation of re-grown crystalline silicon layer (~5–10 nm) at the silicide/silicon interface. Thickness of the regrown silicon layer is crucial for the silicide/silicon based photovoltaic devices. Performance of the α-FeSi(Al)/n-Si solar cells significantly depends on the thickness of α-FeSi(Al) layer and process temperature during the device fabrication. This study will open up new opportunities for the Si based photovoltaic technology using a simple, sustainable, and los cost method. PMID:26632759

  3. Children's exposure to harmful elements in toys and low-cost jewelry: characterizing risks and developing a comprehensive approach.

    PubMed

    Guney, Mert; Zagury, Gerald J

    2014-04-30

    Contamination problem in jewelry and toys and children's exposure possibility have been previously demonstrated. For this study, risk from oral exposure has been characterized for highly contaminated metallic toys and jewelry ((MJ), n=16) considering three scenarios. Total and bioaccessible concentrations of Cd, Cu, Ni, and Pb were high in selected MJ. First scenario (ingestion of parts or pieces) caused unacceptable risk for eight items for Cd, Ni, and/or Pb (hazard index (HI)>1, up to 75, 5.8, and 43, respectively). HI for ingestion of scraped-off material scenario was always <1. Finally, saliva mobilization scenario caused HI>1 in three samples (two for Cd, one for Ni). Risk characterization identified different potentially hazardous items compared to United States, Canadian, and European Union approaches. A comprehensive approach was also developed to deal with complexity and drawbacks caused by various toy/jewelry definitions, test methods, exposure scenarios, and elements considered in different regulatory approaches. It includes bioaccessible limits for eight priority elements (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Sb). Research is recommended on metals bioaccessibility determination in toys/jewelry, in vitro bioaccessibility test development, estimation of material ingestion rates and frequency, presence of hexavalent Cr and organic Sn, and assessment of prolonged exposure to MJ.

  4. An indirect approach to imply trade-off shapes: population level patterns in resistance suggest a decreasingly costly resistance mechanism in a model insect system.

    PubMed

    Mealor, M A; Boots, M

    2006-03-01

    Trade-offs between life history and other traits play a key role in shaping the evolution of individuals. It is well established theoretically that the shapes of trade-off curves are as crucial to the evolutionary outcome as their strengths. However, measuring the shape of these relationships directly is often impractical. Here we use an indirect approach that examines the patterns seen within a population and then use theory to infer the shape of the trade-off curve. Using a bioassay we found that most individuals had either high susceptibility or relatively high resistance to a microparasite in a lepidopteran host population. According to general theory, this type of pattern in resistance would be most likely with a deceleratingly costly impact on fitness of increasing resistance. The implications and generality of the approach are discussed, along with the implications of the results to our understanding of the nature of innate resistance to parasites.

  5. Local infiltration of rabies immunoglobulins without systemic intramuscular administration: An alternative cost effective approach for passive immunization against rabies

    PubMed Central

    Bharti, Omesh Kumar; Madhusudana, Shampur Narayan; Gaunta, Pyare Lal; Belludi, Ashwin Yajaman

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Presently the dose of rabies immunoglobulin (RIG) which is an integral part of rabies post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is calculated based on body weight though the recommendation is to infiltrate the wound(s). This practice demands large quantities of RIG which may be unaffordable to many patients. In this background, we conducted this study to know if the quantity and cost of RIG can be reduced by restricting passive immunization to local infiltration alone and avoiding systemic intramuscular administration based on the available scientific evidence. Two hundred and sixty nine category III patients bitten by suspect or confirmed rabid dogs/animals were infiltrated with equine rabies immunoglobulin (ERIGs) in and around the wound. The quantity of ERIG used was proportionate to the size and number of wounds irrespective of their body weight. They were followed with a regular course of rabies vaccination by intra-dermal route. As against 363 vials of RIGs required for all these cases as per current recommendation based on body weight, they required only 42 vials of 5ml RIG. Minimum dose of RIGs given was 0.25 ml and maximum dose given was 8 ml. On an average 1.26 ml of RIGs was required per patient that costs Rs. 150 ($3). All the patients were followed for 9 months and they were healthy and normal at the end of observation period. With local infiltration, that required small quantities of RIG, the RIGs could be made available to all patients in times of short supply in the market. A total of 30 (11%) serum samples of patients were tested for rabies virus neutralizing antibodies by the rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test (RFFIT) and all showed antibody titers >0.5 IU/mL by day 14. In no case the dose was higher than that required based on body weight and no immunosuppression resulted. To conclude, this pilot study shows that local infiltration of RIG need to be considered in times of non-availability in the market or unaffordability by poor patients

  6. Brain stimulation for the treatment of pain: A review of costs, clinical effects, and mechanisms of treatment for three different central neuromodulatory approaches

    PubMed Central

    Zaghi, Soroush; Heine, Nikolas; Fregni, Felipe

    2010-01-01

    Methods of cortical stimulation including epidural motor cortex stimulation (MCS), repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) are emerging as alternatives in the management of pain in patients with chronic medically-refractory pain disorders. Here we consider the three methods of brain stimulation that have been investigated for the treatment of central pain: MCS, rTMS, and tDCS. While all three treatment modalities appear to induce significant clinical gains in patients with chronic pain, tDCS is revealed as the most cost-effective approach (compared to rTMS and MCS) when considering a single year of treatment. However, if a 5-year treatment is considered, MCS is revealed as the most cost-effective modality (as compared to rTMS and tDCS) for the neuromodulatory treatment of chronic pain. We discuss the theory behind the application of each modality as well as efficacy, cost, safety, and practical considerations. PMID:20585474

  7. Enabling Low Cost Biopharmaceuticals: A Systematic Approach to Delete Proteases from a Well-Known Protein Production Host Trichoderma reesei

    PubMed Central

    Landowski, Christopher P.; Huuskonen, Anne; Wahl, Ramon; Westerholm-Parvinen, Ann; Kanerva, Anne; Hänninen, Anna-Liisa; Salovuori, Noora; Penttilä, Merja; Natunen, Jari; Ostermeier, Christian; Helk, Bernhard; Saarinen, Juhani; Saloheimo, Markku

    2015-01-01

    The filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei has tremendous capability to secrete proteins. Therefore, it would be an excellent host for producing high levels of therapeutic proteins at low cost. Developing a filamentous fungus to produce sensitive therapeutic proteins requires that protease secretion is drastically reduced. We have identified 13 major secreted proteases that are related to degradation of therapeutic antibodies, interferon alpha 2b, and insulin like growth factor. The major proteases observed were aspartic, glutamic, subtilisin-like, and trypsin-like proteases. The seven most problematic proteases were sequentially removed from a strain to develop it for producing therapeutic proteins. After this the protease activity in the supernatant was dramatically reduced down to 4% of the original level based upon a casein substrate. When antibody was incubated in the six protease deletion strain supernatant, the heavy chain remained fully intact and no degradation products were observed. Interferon alpha 2b and insulin like growth factor were less stable in the same supernatant, but full length proteins remained when incubated overnight, in contrast to the original strain. As additional benefits, the multiple protease deletions have led to faster strain growth and higher levels of total protein in the culture supernatant. PMID:26309247

  8. A low cost sensor network approach to investigate spatio-temporal patterns of stream temperatures and electrical conductivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lieder, Ernestine; Weiler, Markus; Blume, Theresa

    2016-04-01

    Understanding water and energy fluxes at the stream and catchment scale remains a challenging task. Within the CAOS-project-framework it is our aim to investigate spatiotemporal patterns of stream temperature and to deduce understanding about the underlying hydrological system. A low cost sensor network was installed in summer 2015 to monitor stream temperature and EC patterns in time and space. 90 HOBO temperature sensors, which were modified to additionally measure EC, were installed at 30 confluences across the Attert catchment (288 km²) in Luxembourg. The design of the sensor network allows for the investigation of three research questions: a) spatial patterns of stream temperatures and EC and their dynamics across the region b) estimation of relative streamflow contributions and their temporal dynamics by using simple mixing models and c) estimation of heat transport. The data will thus provide valuable insight in runoff contributions from different sub-catchments, and a combined analysis with distributed measurements of soil moisture and shallow groundwater will improve our process understanding by linking hillslope scale processes with stream responses. First results indicate that streams in different geologies show distinct temperature and EC patterns throughout the observation period. Differences are also found with respect to temporal dynamics both for longer periods as well as diurnal fluctuations. These differences are likely to be caused by differences in flow paths on the one hand (e.g. amount of groundwater contribution) and exposure to direct radiation on the other hand.

  9. Molecular approaches to solar energy conversion: the energetic cost of charge separation from molecular-excited states.

    PubMed

    Durrant, James R

    2013-08-13

    This review starts with a brief overview of the technological potential of molecular-based solar cell technologies. It then goes on to focus on the core scientific challenge associated with using molecular light-absorbing materials for solar energy conversion, namely the separation of short-lived, molecular-excited states into sufficiently long-lived, energetic, separated charges capable of generating an external photocurrent. Comparisons are made between different molecular-based solar cell technologies, with particular focus on the function of dye-sensitized photoelectrochemical solar cells as well as parallels with the function of photosynthetic reaction centres. The core theme of this review is that generating charge carriers with sufficient lifetime and a high quantum yield from molecular-excited states comes at a significant energetic cost-such that the energy stored in these charge-separated states is typically substantially less than the energy of the initially generated excited state. The role of this energetic loss in limiting the efficiency of solar energy conversion by such devices is emphasized, and strategies to minimize this energy loss are compared and contrasted.

  10. Forest fires and environmental haze in Southeast Asia: using the 'stakeholder' approach to assign costs and responsibilities.

    PubMed

    Quah, E; Johnston, D

    2001-10-01

    The 'seasonal haze' problem is one which afflicts large parts of Southeast Asia in years of drought. The major cause is forest, bush and field fires in the states of Kalimantan and Sumatra in Indonesia, and to a lesser extent in Sabah, Sarawak, and other parts of Malaysia. Almost all of these fires now seem preventable, since they are intentionally set to clear land for cultivation. Theoretically, the government authorities at central, provincial and local levels in these countries should be responsible for controlling activities in their territory. In practice, however, air pollution control through regulatory policies and practices is extraordinarily difficult to implement and maintain in a situation of this kind in developing countries, especially at a time of crippling economic setbacks. Moreover, the establishment of legal liability, through an international tribunal or otherwise, hardly seems a politically feasible course of action for the government of an affluent 'victim state' such as Singapore. Faith in the usual solutions--science, regulation, law and diplomacy--is weakened by one's sense of current realities. The purpose of this paper is to review the issues and suggested responses, the cost implications of each, the responsibilities as well as entitlements that might apply to the various stakeholders, and the special role of Singapore as an affluent 'victim state'. We also discuss the incentive mechanisms that would be needed to manage forest fires.

  11. Possibility of the most cost efficient choice: a divided process approach to method and location selection for municipal solid waste management.

    PubMed

    Korucu, M Kemal; Cihan, Ahmet; Alkan, Atakan; Ozbay, Ismail; Karademir, Aykan; Aladag, Zerrin

    2014-11-01

    As studies on municipal solid waste management increased in recent years, many new mathematical models and approaches with a focus on determining the best treatment and disposal scenario were developed and applied. In this study, a mixed integer linear programming model was developed to be used as a facilitative tool for the cost minimisation of municipal solid waste management practices. Since municipal solid waste mass is a mixed composition of various types of waste components with different physical and chemical properties, the model was designed to include all the suitable treatment and disposal methods for these different waste components. The method alternatives with multiple waste inputs, such as aerobic biological treatment and the thermal processes, were divided into a number of inputs to remove their non-linear structures. This way, linear programming could be used, and the linear cost function could be minimised over a set of linear constraints with integer variables. The model was applied to the city of Kocaeli, which will require a new waste management application in the future, beginning from 2015. The results obtained for different haul distance constraints in the study area were presented and assessed. The results showed that all the information required for a comprehensive management task could be modelled by a linear optimisation model with a divided processes approach easily.

  12. Challenging sequential approach to treatment resistant depression: cost-utility analysis based on the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR(⁎)D) trial.

    PubMed

    Olgiati, Paolo; Bajo, Emanuele; Bigelli, Marco; Montgomery, Stuart; Serretti, Alessandro

    2013-12-01

    In major depression, when a first antidepressant does not cause remission of symptoms (60%-75%), there are several options for continuing treatment in the next step. This study is a cost-utility analysis (CUA) of different second-line approaches. In a simulated trial outpatients with MDD were treated with citalopram for 13 weeks (level 1), then based on two alternative algorithms implemented from the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR(*)D) study. Algorithm A: citalopram was continued until study endpoint (week 26). Algorithm B: patients who remitted during level 1 continued citalopram. Those who did not remit could opt for switching to another antidepressant (venlafaxine; sertraline) (b1) or adding bupropion to citalopram treatment (augmentation; b2). Algorithm B increased remission rate by 10.6% over Algorithm A (number needed to treat: 9.9; sensitivity range: 9.1-12.5). As a comparison, differences between active antidepressants and placebo are associated with NNT values of 6 to 8. In CUA Algorithm B was dominant with an ICER of $11,813 (sensitivity range=$1783 - $21,784), which is <1GDP per capita cost-effectiveness threshold (USA=$47,193). Among Algorithm B options, switching (b1) dominated Algorithm A with a smaller number of responders than augmentation approach (b2) (NNT 11 vs. 7.7), whereas ICER values were similar (b1: $14,738; b2: $15,458). However we cannot exclude a bias in selecting second treatment. This cost-utility analysis shows (in line with current guidelines) a benefit in modifying antidepressant treatment if response to first-line agent does not occur within 3 months, but not a clear-cut evidence in terms of NNT.

  13. Activity based financing in England: the need for continual refinement of payment by results.

    PubMed

    Street, Andrew; Maynard, Alan

    2007-10-01

    The English National Health Service is introducing activity based tariff systems or Payment by Results (PbR) as the basis for hospital funding. The funding arrangements provide incentives for increasing activity, particularly day surgery, and, uniquely, are based on costing data from all hospitals. But prices should not be based on average costs and the potential of PbR to improve the quality of care is yet to be exploited. Without refinement, PbR threatens to undermine expenditure control, to divert resources away from primary care, and to distort needs based funding. PMID:18634642

  14. A New, Effective and Low-Cost Three-Dimensional Approach for the Estimation of Upper-Limb Volume

    PubMed Central

    Buffa, Roberto; Mereu, Elena; Lussu, Paolo; Succa, Valeria; Pisanu, Tonino; Buffa, Franco; Marini, Elisabetta

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this research was to validate a new procedure (SkanLab) for the three-dimensional estimation of total arm volume. SkanLab is based on a single structured-light Kinect sensor (Microsoft, Redmond, WA, USA) and on Skanect (Occipital, San Francisco, CA, USA) and MeshLab (Visual Computing Lab, Pisa, Italy) software. The volume of twelve plastic cylinders was measured using geometry, as the reference, water displacement and SkanLab techniques (two raters and repetitions). The right total arm volume of thirty adults was measured by water displacement (reference) and SkanLab (two raters and repetitions). The bias and limits of agreement (LOA) between techniques were determined using the Bland–Altman method. Intra- and inter-rater reliability was assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and the standard error of measurement. The bias of SkanLab in measuring the cylinders volume was −21.9 mL (−5.7%) (LOA: −62.0 to 18.2 mL; −18.1% to 6.7%) and in measuring the volume of arms’ was −9.9 mL (−0.6%) (LOA: −49.6 to 29.8 mL; −2.6% to 1.4%). SkanLab’s intra- and inter-rater reliabilities were very high (ICC >0.99). In conclusion, SkanLab is a fast, safe and low-cost method for assessing total arm volume, with high levels of accuracy and reliability. SkanLab represents a promising tool in clinical applications. PMID:26016917

  15. Estimating the cost of improving service quality in water supply: A shadow price approach for England and wales.

    PubMed

    Molinos-Senante, María; Maziotis, Alexandros; Sala-Garrido, Ramón

    2016-01-01

    Service quality to customers is an aspect that cannot be ignored in the performance assessment of water companies. Nowadays water regulators introduce awards or penalties to incentivize companies to improve service quality to customers when setting prices. In this study, the directional distance function is employed to estimate the shadow prices of variables indicating the lack of service quality to customers in the water industry i.e., written complaints, unplanned interruptions and properties below the reference level. To calculate the shadow price of each undesirable output for each water company, it is needed to ascribe a reference price for the desirable output which is the volume of water delivered. An empirical application is carried out for water companies in England and Wales. Hence, the shadow price of each undesirable output is expressed both as a percentage of the price of the desirable output and in pence per cubic meter of water delivered The estimated results indicate that on average, each additional written complaint that needs to be dealt with by the water company includes a service quality cost of 0.399p/m(3). As expected, when looking at the other service quality variables which involve network repair or replacement, these values are considerably higher. On average, the water company must spend an extra 0.622p/m(3) to prevent one unplanned interruption and 0.702p/m(3) to avoid one water pressure below the reference level. The findings of this study are of great importance for regulated companies and regulators as it has been illustrated that improvements in the service quality in terms of customer service could be challenging and therefore ongoing investments will be required to address these issues.

  16. Estimating the cost of improving service quality in water supply: A shadow price approach for England and wales.

    PubMed

    Molinos-Senante, María; Maziotis, Alexandros; Sala-Garrido, Ramón

    2016-01-01

    Service quality to customers is an aspect that cannot be ignored in the performance assessment of water companies. Nowadays water regulators introduce awards or penalties to incentivize companies to improve service quality to customers when setting prices. In this study, the directional distance function is employed to estimate the shadow prices of variables indicating the lack of service quality to customers in the water industry i.e., written complaints, unplanned interruptions and properties below the reference level. To calculate the shadow price of each undesirable output for each water company, it is needed to ascribe a reference price for the desirable output which is the volume of water delivered. An empirical application is carried out for water companies in England and Wales. Hence, the shadow price of each undesirable output is expressed both as a percentage of the price of the desirable output and in pence per cubic meter of water delivered The estimated results indicate that on average, each additional written complaint that needs to be dealt with by the water company includes a service quality cost of 0.399p/m(3). As expected, when looking at the other service quality variables which involve network repair or replacement, these values are considerably higher. On average, the water company must spend an extra 0.622p/m(3) to prevent one unplanned interruption and 0.702p/m(3) to avoid one water pressure below the reference level. The findings of this study are of great importance for regulated companies and regulators as it has been illustrated that improvements in the service quality in terms of customer service could be challenging and therefore ongoing investments will be required to address these issues. PMID:26379261

  17. A new, effective and low-cost three-dimensional approach for the estimation of upper-limb volume.

    PubMed

    Buffa, Roberto; Mereu, Elena; Lussu, Paolo; Succa, Valeria; Pisanu, Tonino; Buffa, Franco; Marini, Elisabetta

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this research was to validate a new procedure (SkanLab) for the three-dimensional estimation of total arm volume. SkanLab is based on a single structured-light Kinect sensor (Microsoft, Redmond, WA, USA) and on Skanect (Occipital, San Francisco, CA, USA) and MeshLab (Visual Computing Lab, Pisa, Italy) software. The volume of twelve plastic cylinders was measured using geometry, as the reference, water displacement and SkanLab techniques (two raters and repetitions). The right total arm volume of thirty adults was measured by water displacement (reference) and SkanLab (two raters and repetitions). The bias and limits of agreement (LOA) between techniques were determined using the Bland-Altman method. Intra- and inter-rater reliability was assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and the standard error of measurement. The bias of SkanLab in measuring the cylinders volume was -21.9 mL (-5.7%) (LOA: -62.0 to 18.2 mL; -18.1% to 6.7%) and in measuring the volume of arms' was -9.9 mL (-0.6%) (LOA: -49.6 to 29.8 mL; -2.6% to 1.4%). SkanLab's intra- and inter-rater reliabilities were very high (ICC >0.99). In conclusion, SkanLab is a fast, safe and low-cost method for assessing total arm volume, with high levels of accuracy and reliability. SkanLab represents a promising tool in clinical applications. PMID:26016917

  18. Research misconduct oversight: defining case costs.

    PubMed

    Gammon, Elizabeth; Franzini, Luisa

    2013-01-01

    This study uses a sequential mixed method study design to define cost elements of research misconduct among faculty at academic medical centers. Using time driven activity based costing, the model estimates a per case cost for 17 cases of research misconduct reported by the Office of Research Integrity for the period of 2000-2005. Per case cost of research misconduct was found to range from $116,160 to $2,192,620. Research misconduct cost drivers are identified.

  19. Research misconduct oversight: defining case costs.

    PubMed

    Gammon, Elizabeth; Franzini, Luisa

    2013-01-01

    This study uses a sequential mixed method study design to define cost elements of research misconduct among faculty at academic medical centers. Using time driven activity based costing, the model estimates a per case cost for 17 cases of research misconduct reported by the Office of Research Integrity for the period of 2000-2005. Per case cost of research misconduct was found to range from $116,160 to $2,192,620. Research misconduct cost drivers are identified. PMID:24551963

  20. Activity Based Startup Plan for Prototype Vertical Denitration Calciner

    SciTech Connect

    SUTTER, C.S.

    1999-08-31

    Testing activities on the Prototype Vertical Denitration Calciner at PFP were suspended in January 1997 due to the hold on fissile material handling in the facility. The restart of testing activities will require a review through an activity based startup process based upon Integrated Safety Management (ISM) principles to verify readiness. The Activity Based Startup Plan has been developed for this process.

  1. Incentivising effort in governance of public hospitals: Development of a delegation-based alternative to activity-based remuneration.

    PubMed

    Søgaard, Rikke; Kristensen, Søren Rud; Bech, Mickael

    2015-08-01

    This paper is a first examination of the development of an alternative to activity-based remuneration in public hospitals, which is currently being tested at nine hospital departments in a Danish region. The objective is to examine the process of delegating the authority of designing new incentive schemes from the principal (the regional government) to the agents (the hospital departments). We adopt a theoretical framework where, when deciding about delegation, the principal should trade off an initiative effect against the potential cost of loss of control. The initiative effect is evaluated by studying the development process and the resulting incentive schemes for each of the departments. Similarly, the potential cost of loss of control is evaluated by assessing the congruence between focus of the new incentive schemes and the principal's objectives. We observe a high impact of the effort incentive in the form of innovative and ambitious selection of projects by the agents, leading to nine very different solutions across departments. However, we also observe some incongruence between the principal's stated objectives and the revealed private interests of the agents. Although this is a baseline study involving high uncertainty about the future, the findings point at some issues with the delegation approach that could lead to inefficient outcomes.

  2. Assessing the vulnerability of groundwater to pollution in Ireland based on the COST-620 Pan-European approach.

    PubMed

    Pavlis, Michail; Cummins, Enda

    2014-01-15

    The aim of the analysis was to assess the intrinsic and specific vulnerability of groundwater to pollution from pesticides in Ireland at the national scale. A methodology to incorporate the effect of groundwater recharge in vulnerability assessment is described which can be particularly useful for the evaluation of dilution of groundwater pollutants. A sensitivity analysis using Monte-Carlo simulation revealed that the most important parameters of the model were subsoil (ρ = 0.79) and topsoil (ρ = 0.72), which is in agreement with the current knowledge of the parameters that have a significant effect on groundwater vulnerability in Ireland. The intrinsic vulnerability assessment was verified using total organic carbon (TOC) concentration in groundwater, a novel approach for the validation of groundwater vulnerability methods at regional scales. A statistical analysis showed that TOC concentration was significantly different (p < 0.001) between watersheds classified as highly vulnerable and watersheds classified as less vulnerable, providing evidence that the developed method can effectively classify karst areas in terms of groundwater vulnerability.

  3. Teaching ABC & Cost Behaviors to Non-Numbers People

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Virginia Anne; Rudnick, Martin

    2007-01-01

    Simply put, a cost analysis studies how you spend your money. Activity based costing models associate costs with services and cost benefit analysis weighs whether or not the costs expended were worth the money given the efforts involved and the results achieved. This study seeks to understand the financial choices and information seeking behaviors…

  4. Costs of integrating demand-based reproductive health commodity model into the Government and NGO service delivery systems in Bangladesh: a supply side perspective.

    PubMed

    Islam, Ziaul; Sarker, Abdur Razzaque; Anwar, Shahela; Kabir, Humayun; Gazi, Rukhsana

    2015-01-01

    To estimate additional total cost and average cost of integrating the demand-based reproductive health commodity model into the existing Government and NGO facilities in Bangladesh. Activity based cost analysis was conducted during 2006-2008 in two low performing rural sub-districts (Nabigong and Raipur sub-district) and one urban slum area in Dhaka city, Bangladesh. Activity-based cost data were collected using ingredient approach, which comprised of listing all types of inputs by activity, quantities and prices for each input. Total cost was presented according to capital and recurrent items. The supply side perspective was considered for entire analysis. The total cost of integrating demand-based reproductive health commodity (DBRHC) model into the Government and NGO service delivery system was estimated to BDT 18,667,634 (US$274,524). The proportion of capital cost was 59 % and the recurrent cost was 41 % of the total cost. The average cost per beneficiaries was BDT 230 (US$3.38) only for introducing this model into the existing health system. The built-in interventions of DBRHC model were doable at low-cost at the selected Government and NGO settings at the grass-root level. The model has potential of further cost containment during scaling up-if the intervention costs are adjusted with the existing functionaries of the Government and NGOs.

  5. Highly parallel single-molecule amplification approach based on agarose droplet polymerase chain reaction for efficient and cost-effective aptamer selection.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei Yun; Zhang, Wenhua; Liu, Zhiyuan; Li, Cong; Zhu, Zhi; Yang, Chaoyong James

    2012-01-01

    We have developed a novel method for efficiently screening affinity ligands (aptamers) from a complex single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) library by employing single-molecule emulsion polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based on the agarose droplet microfluidic technology. In a typical systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) process, the enriched library is sequenced first, and tens to hundreds of aptamer candidates are analyzed via a bioinformatic approach. Possible candidates are then chemically synthesized, and their binding affinities are measured individually. Such a process is time-consuming, labor-intensive, inefficient, and expensive. To address these problems, we have developed a highly efficient single-molecule approach for aptamer screening using our agarose droplet microfluidic technology. Statistically diluted ssDNA of the pre-enriched library evolved through conventional SELEX against cancer biomarker Shp2 protein was encapsulated into individual uniform agarose droplets for droplet PCR to generate clonal agarose beads. The binding capacity of amplified ssDNA from each clonal bead was then screened via high-throughput fluorescence cytometry. DNA clones with high binding capacity and low K(d) were chosen as the aptamer and can be directly used for downstream biomedical applications. We have identified an ssDNA aptamer that selectively recognizes Shp2 with a K(d) of 24.9 nM. Compared to a conventional sequencing-chemical synthesis-screening work flow, our approach avoids large-scale DNA sequencing and expensive, time-consuming DNA synthesis of large populations of DNA candidates. The agarose droplet microfluidic approach is thus highly efficient and cost-effective for molecular evolution approaches and will find wide application in molecular evolution technologies, including mRNA display, phage display, and so on.

  6. Interfacial activation-based molecular bioimprinting of lipolytic enzymes.

    PubMed Central

    Mingarro, I; Abad, C; Braco, L

    1995-01-01

    Interfacial activation-based molecular (bio)-imprinting (IAMI) has been developed to rationally improve the performance of lipolytic enzymes in nonaqueous environments. The strategy combinedly exploits (i) the known dramatic enhancement of the protein conformational rigidity in a water-restricted milieu and (ii) the reported conformational changes associated with the activation of these enzymes at lipid-water interfaces, which basically involves an increased substrate accessibility to the active site and/or an induction of a more competent catalytic machinery. Six model enzymes have been assayed in several model reactions in nonaqueous media. The results, rationalized in light of the present biochemical and structural knowledge, show that the IAMI approach represents a straightforward, versatile method to generate manageable, activated (kinetically trapped) forms of lipolytic enzymes, providing under optimal conditions nonaqueous rate enhancements of up to two orders of magnitude. It is also shown that imprintability of lipolytic enzymes depends not only on the nature of the enzyme but also on the "quality" of the interface used as the template. PMID:7724558

  7. Successive self-propagating sintering process using carbonaceous materials: A novel low-cost remediation approach for dioxin-contaminated solids.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Long; Hou, Hong; Zhu, Tengfei; Li, Fasheng; Terada, Akihiko; Hosomi, Masaaki

    2015-12-15

    The disposal of dioxin-contaminated solids was studied using a novel successive self-propagating sintering process (SSPSP) incorporating a carbonaceous material. Among the five types of carbonaceous materials investigated, Charcoal B displayed optimum adsorbent properties and was selected as the best thermal source in the current remediation approach based on economical efficiency aspects. The feasibility of this proposed approach, removal efficiencies, and congener compositions of dioxins were examined using two types of dioxin-contaminated solids (Fugan sediment and Toyo soil) that displayed different characteristics including the initial concentrations of dioxins. The removal efficiencies of DL-PCBs ("dioxin-like" polychlorinated biphenyls) were higher than those of PCDD/Fs (polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/dibenzofurans), achieving 99.9 and 92% removal in the Fugan sediment and Toyo soil, respectively. In contrast, the degradation efficiencies of DL-PCBs were lower (i.e., 89.3 and 88.8%, respectively). The initial concentrations of dioxins, available precursors, and properties of the solids strongly influenced the congener compositions and removal efficiencies of dioxins. Furthermore, the dechlorination reaction pathways of high-chlorinated PCDDs and potential regeneration pathways of PCDFs from PCBs were deduced using isotope labeling. The proposed novel low-cost remediation approach for the removal of dioxins from solids is a highly efficient and environmentally sound treatment technology.

  8. The Near Earth Object (NEO) Scout Spacecraft: A Low-cost Approach to In-situ Characterization of the NEO Population

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woeppel, Eric A.; Balsamo, James M.; Fischer, Karl J.; East, Matthew J.; Styborski, Jeremy A.; Roche, Christopher A.; Ott, Mackenzie D.; Scorza, Matthew J.; Doherty, Christopher D.; Trovato, Andrew J.; Volk, Christopher P.; Koontz, Steven L.; Bevilacqua, Riccardo; Swenson, Charles

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes a microsatellite spacecraft with supporting mission profile and architecture, designed to enable preliminary in-situ characterization of a significant number of Near Earth Objects (NEOs) at reasonably low cost. The spacecraft will be referred to as the NEO-Scout. NEO-Scout spacecraft are to be placed in Geosynchronous Equatorial Orbit (GEO), cis-lunar space, or on earth escape trajectories as secondary payloads on launch vehicles headed for GEO or beyond, and will begin their mission after deployment from the launcher. A distinguishing key feature of the NEO-Scout system is to design the spacecraft and mission timeline so as to enable rendezvous with and landing on the target NEO during NEO close approach (<0.3 AU) to the Earth-Moon system using low-thrust/high-impulse propulsion systems. Mission durations are on the order 100 to 400 days. Mission feasibility and preliminary design analysis are presented, along with detailed trajectory calculations.

  9. Beyond cost-of-energy, the value-of-energy metric and value-centric approaches to design, operations, and maintenance of wind turbines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandes, Kevin

    This thesis is oriented toward developers, owners, operators and investors of renewable energy projects. With increasing demand of renewables, our energy dependence comes down to reducing costs associated with this sector so as to compete with the existing sources. One way of valuing investment potential is to determine and then compare the overall value derived by investing in a particular project. Several engineering and financial levers, one of which is operation and maintenance, affect this value. This thesis provides a useful visual aid to owners and operators by which they can operate and maintain their wind farm so as to achieve maximum value throughout its lifetime. All the necessary components that go into developing a business model of a wind farm project will be discussed. Finally, this tool is valid within the assumptions that are explicitly stated. Real world data and trends are used to provide a practical approach to the optimization.

  10. Unique cost-effective approach for multisurfaced micro-aspheric lens prototyping and fabrication by single-point diamond turning and micro-injection molding technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pun, Ashley M.; Wong, Chi-Choy; Chan, Norman S.; Louie, Derek C.; Li, Li-Man

    2004-02-01

    The latest development of sophisticated high-precision optical devices necessitates precision fabrication methodologies of freeform microlens having very tight, up to micron tolerance. Instead of adopting high-end multi-axis freeform machining approach, the proposed acrylic multi-surfaced microaspheric lens, with the axial diameter of 1.3mm, was cost-effectively prototyped and fabricated by single point diamond turning and micro-injection molding technology respectively. The micro-optical component was used as an opto-electronic module for high-speed data-transmission in fiber optics. Sequential fixturing technique was applied to facilitate the precise fabrication of the optical surfaces from different optical alignments. The aspherical accuracy and surface finish of the machined surfaces were evaluated, and end result was determined to be satisfactory. Further, the ultra precision tooling would be developed for micro-injection molding for carrying out mass production of the micro-optical component.

  11. Activity-Based Costing Models for Alternative Modes of Delivering On-Line Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garbett, Chris

    2011-01-01

    In recent years there has been growth in online distance learning courses. This has been prompted by; new technology such as the Internet, mobile learning, video and audio conferencing: the explosion in student numbers in Higher Education, and the need for outreach to a world wide market. Web-based distance learning is seen as a solution to…

  12. Extending transaction cost economics: towards a synthesised approach for analysing contracting in health care markets with experience from the Australian private sector.

    PubMed

    Donato, Ronald

    2010-12-01

    Transaction cost economics (TCE) has been the dominant economic paradigm for analysing contracting, and the framework has been applied in a number of health care contexts. However, TCE has particular limitations when applied to complex industry settings and there have been calls to extend the framework to incorporate dynamic theories of industrial organisation, specifically the resource-based view (RBV). This paper analyses how such calls for theoretical pluralism are particularly germane to health care markets and examines whether a combined TCE-RBV provides a more comprehensive approach for understanding the nature of contractual arrangements that have developed within the Australian private health care sector and its implications for informing policy. This Australian case study involved a series of interviews with 14 senior contracting executives from the seven major health funds (i.e. 97% of the insured population) and seven major private hospital groups (i.e. 73% of the private hospital beds). Study findings reveal that both the TCE perspective with its focus on exchange hazards, and the RBV approach with its emphasis on the dynamic nature of capabilities, each provide a partial explanation of the developments associated with contracting between health funds and hospital groups. For a select few organisations, close inter-firm relational ties involving trust and mutual commitment attenuate complex exchange hazards through greater information sharing and reduced propensity to behave opportunistically. Further, such close relational ties also provide denser communication channels for creating and transmitting more complex information enabling organisations to tap into each other's complementary resources and capabilities. For policymakers, having regard to both TCE and RBV considerations provides the opportunity to apply competition policy beyond the current static notions of efficiency and welfare gains, and cautions policymakers against specifying ex ante the

  13. Activity-based funding model provides foundation for province-wide best practices in renal care.

    PubMed

    Levin, Adeera; Lo, Clifford; Noel, Kevin; Djurdjev, Ogjnenka; Amano, Erlyn C

    2013-01-01

    British Columbia has a unique funding model for renal care in Canada. Patient care is delivered through six health authorities, while funding is administered by the Provincial Renal Agency using an activity-based funding model. The model allocates funding based on a schedule of costs for every element of renal care, excluding physician fees. Accountability, transparency of allocation and tracking of outcomes are key features that ensure successful implementation. The model supports province-wide best practices and equitable care and fosters innovation. Since its introduction, the outpatient renal services budget has grown less than the population, while maintaining or improving clinical outcomes. PMID:24485244

  14. Assessing DRG cost accounting with respect to resource allocation and tariff calculation: the case of Germany.

    PubMed

    Vogl, Matthias

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to analyze the German diagnosis related groups (G-DRG) cost accounting scheme by assessing its resource allocation at hospital level and its tariff calculation at national level. First, the paper reviews and assesses the three steps in the G-DRG resource allocation scheme at hospital level: (1) the groundwork; (2) cost-center accounting; and (3) patient-level costing. Second, the paper reviews and assesses the three steps in G-DRG national tariff calculation: (1) plausibility checks; (2) inlier calculation; and (3) the "one hospital" approach. The assessment is based on the two main goals of G-DRG introduction: improving transparency and efficiency. A further empirical assessment attests high costing quality. The G-DRG cost accounting scheme shows high system quality in resource allocation at hospital level, with limitations concerning a managerially relevant full cost approach and limitations in terms of advanced activity-based costing at patient-level. However, the scheme has serious flaws in national tariff calculation: inlier calculation is normative, and the "one hospital" model causes cost bias, adjustment and representativeness issues. The G-DRG system was designed for reimbursement calculation, but developed to a standard with strategic management implications, generalized by the idea of adapting a hospital's cost structures to DRG revenues. This combination causes problems in actual hospital financing, although resource allocation is advanced at hospital level. PMID:22935314

  15. Assessing DRG cost accounting with respect to resource allocation and tariff calculation: the case of Germany.

    PubMed

    Vogl, Matthias

    2012-08-30

    The purpose of this paper is to analyze the German diagnosis related groups (G-DRG) cost accounting scheme by assessing its resource allocation at hospital level and its tariff calculation at national level. First, the paper reviews and assesses the three steps in the G-DRG resource allocation scheme at hospital level: (1) the groundwork; (2) cost-center accounting; and (3) patient-level costing. Second, the paper reviews and assesses the three steps in G-DRG national tariff calculation: (1) plausibility checks; (2) inlier calculation; and (3) the "one hospital" approach. The assessment is based on the two main goals of G-DRG introduction: improving transparency and efficiency. A further empirical assessment attests high costing quality. The G-DRG cost accounting scheme shows high system quality in resource allocation at hospital level, with limitations concerning a managerially relevant full cost approach and limitations in terms of advanced activity-based costing at patient-level. However, the scheme has serious flaws in national tariff calculation: inlier calculation is normative, and the "one hospital" model causes cost bias, adjustment and representativeness issues. The G-DRG system was designed for reimbursement calculation, but developed to a standard with strategic management implications, generalized by the idea of adapting a hospital's cost structures to DRG revenues. This combination causes problems in actual hospital financing, although resource allocation is advanced at hospital level.

  16. Assessing DRG cost accounting with respect to resource allocation and tariff calculation: the case of Germany

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to analyze the German diagnosis related groups (G-DRG) cost accounting scheme by assessing its resource allocation at hospital level and its tariff calculation at national level. First, the paper reviews and assesses the three steps in the G-DRG resource allocation scheme at hospital level: (1) the groundwork; (2) cost-center accounting; and (3) patient-level costing. Second, the paper reviews and assesses the three steps in G-DRG national tariff calculation: (1) plausibility checks; (2) inlier calculation; and (3) the “one hospital” approach. The assessment is based on the two main goals of G-DRG introduction: improving transparency and efficiency. A further empirical assessment attests high costing quality. The G-DRG cost accounting scheme shows high system quality in resource allocation at hospital level, with limitations concerning a managerially relevant full cost approach and limitations in terms of advanced activity-based costing at patient-level. However, the scheme has serious flaws in national tariff calculation: inlier calculation is normative, and the “one hospital” model causes cost bias, adjustment and representativeness issues. The G-DRG system was designed for reimbursement calculation, but developed to a standard with strategic management implications, generalized by the idea of adapting a hospital’s cost structures to DRG revenues. This combination causes problems in actual hospital financing, although resource allocation is advanced at hospital level. PMID:22935314

  17. A single-nucleotide polymorphism-based approach for rapid and cost-effective genetic wolf monitoring in Europe based on noninvasively collected samples.

    PubMed

    Kraus, Robert H S; vonHoldt, Bridgett; Cocchiararo, Berardino; Harms, Verena; Bayerl, Helmut; Kühn, Ralph; Förster, Daniel W; Fickel, Jörns; Roos, Christian; Nowak, Carsten

    2015-03-01

    Noninvasive genetics based on microsatellite markers has become an indispensable tool for wildlife monitoring and conservation research over the past decades. However, microsatellites have several drawbacks, such as the lack of standardisation between laboratories and high error rates. Here, we propose an alternative single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based marker system for noninvasively collected samples, which promises to solve these problems. Using nanofluidic SNP genotyping technology (Fluidigm), we genotyped 158 wolf samples (tissue, scats, hairs, urine) for 192 SNP loci selected from the Affymetrix v2 Canine SNP Array. We carefully selected an optimised final set of 96 SNPs (and discarded the worse half), based on assay performance and reliability. We found rates of missing data in this SNP set of <10% and genotyping error of ~1%, which improves genotyping accuracy by nearly an order of magnitude when compared to published data for other marker types. Our approach provides a tool for rapid and cost-effective genotyping of noninvasively collected wildlife samples. The ability to standardise genotype scoring combined with low error rates promises to constitute a major technological advancement and could establish SNPs as a standard marker for future wildlife monitoring.

  18. Utilizing Expert Knowledge in Estimating Future STS Costs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fortner, David B.; Ruiz-Torres, Alex J.

    2004-01-01

    A method of estimating the costs of future space transportation systems (STSs) involves classical activity-based cost (ABC) modeling combined with systematic utilization of the knowledge and opinions of experts to extend the process-flow knowledge of existing systems to systems that involve new materials and/or new architectures. The expert knowledge is particularly helpful in filling gaps that arise in computational models of processes because of inconsistencies in historical cost data. Heretofore, the costs of planned STSs have been estimated following a "top-down" approach that tends to force the architectures of new systems to incorporate process flows like those of the space shuttles. In this ABC-based method, one makes assumptions about the processes, but otherwise follows a "bottoms up" approach that does not force the new system architecture to incorporate a space-shuttle-like process flow. Prototype software has been developed to implement this method. Through further development of software, it should be possible to extend the method beyond the space program to almost any setting in which there is a need to estimate the costs of a new system and to extend the applicable knowledge base in order to make the estimate.

  19. Planning for Cost Effectiveness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schlaebitz, William D.

    1984-01-01

    A heat pump life-cycle cost analysis is used to explain the technique. Items suggested for the life-cycle analysis approach include lighting, longer-life batteries, site maintenance, and retaining experts to inspect specific building components. (MLF)

  20. Analyzing Bilingual Education Costs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bernal, Joe J.

    This paper examines the particular problems involved in analyzing the costs of bilingual education and suggests that cost analysis of bilingual education requires a fundamentally different approach than that followed in other recent school finance studies. Focus of the discussion is the Intercultural Development Research Association's (IDRA)…