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Sample records for external quality assessment

  1. External Quality Assessment Schemes in Latin America.

    PubMed

    Migliarino, Gabriel Alejandro

    2015-11-01

    As professionals of the clinical laboratory we must generate clinically useful results, products and services for the patients' health care. Laboratories must participate in one or more proficiency testing (PT) or external quality assessment (EQA) programs as part of routine quality assurance. Nevertheless participating per se is not enough. There are critical factors to take into consideration when selecting a PT or EQA providers. In most cases the survey's providers offer assigned values obtained from consensus of results provided by the participants for comparison, it is critical to evaluate consistency of the comparison group before interpretation and decision-making. PMID:27683496

  2. External Quality Assessment Schemes in Latin America

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    As professionals of the clinical laboratory we must generate clinically useful results, products and services for the patients’ health care. Laboratories must participate in one or more proficiency testing (PT) or external quality assessment (EQA) programs as part of routine quality assurance. Nevertheless participating per se is not enough. There are critical factors to take into consideration when selecting a PT or EQA providers. In most cases the survey’s providers offer assigned values obtained from consensus of results provided by the participants for comparison, it is critical to evaluate consistency of the comparison group before interpretation and decision-making.

  3. External quality assessment scheme and laboratory accreditation in Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Timan, Ina S; Aulia, Diana; Santoso, Witono

    2002-02-01

    The National Program on External Quality Assessment Scheme (NEQAS) in Indonesia was first started in 1979, organized by the Indonesian Ministry of Health collaborating with professional bodies. The first trial was for clinical chemistry test with 2 cycles per year, followed by the hematology NEQAS in 1986 in collaboration with WHO-Royal Post Graduate Medical School London. After that, the schemes for serology, microbiology and parasitology were also organized. Around 500-600 laboratories throughout Indonesia participated each year in these quality control schemes, 2-4 cycles per year. Samples would be sent to participants and results will be given back to each laboratory. Poor performers should participate in the workshop or training course conducted by the Central Health Laboratory to improve their results. Participation in this NEQAS is mandatory for obtaining the laboratory license, and the Ministry of Health uses these schemes as one of the means for monitoring and coordinating the performance of laboratories throughout Indonesia. There are also some other EQAS (External Quality Assessment Scheme) programs conducted by professional bodies, such as for hemostasis, clinical chemistry and serology. During the course of conducting these schemes, it could be observed that manual methods were gradually changed to the automatic methods, especially for the clinical chemistry and hematology laboratories, which counts also for improvements of their results. Since the last 6 years, the Ministry of Health also began to conduct the Accreditation System evaluation for hospitals, including the laboratory departments. There are 7 standards that were evaluated, such as the aspect of the organization, administration and management, staffing, facilities and equipment, standard operating procedures, research and developments and quality control. This accreditation program is still in progress for all public and private hospital laboratories.

  4. External quality assessment for immunohistochemistry: experiences from NordiQC.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, S

    2015-07-01

    Immunohistochemistry (IHC) is applied routinely in surgical and clinical pathology, because it is essential for diagnosis and sub-classification of many neoplastic lesions. Despite its extensive use for more than 40 years, lack of standardization is a major problem; many factors during the pre-analytical, analytical and post-analytical phases affect the final results. Nordic immunohistochemical Quality Control (NordiQC) was established in 2003 to evaluate the inter-laboratory consistency of IHC, focusing mainly on the analytical part. More than 26,000 IHC slides have been evaluated during the period 2003-2013; 15 - 300 laboratories have participated in each assessment. Overall, 71% of the staining results assessed have been evaluated as sufficient for diagnostic use, while 29% were judged insufficient. All IHC protocols used for the stained slides submitted to NordiQC have been evaluated by focusing on the technical calibration performed by the laboratories, and specific parameters that gave sufficient or insufficient results have been identified. The most common causes for insufficient results were: inadequate calibration of the primary antibody, use of an inadequate primary antibody, inappropriate choice of epitope retrieval method, insufficient heat induced epitope retrieval (HIER) and use of an inadequate detection kit. Approximately 90% of the insufficient results were characterized by either a signal that was too weak or false negative staining, whereas in the remaining 10%, a poor signal-to-noise ratio or false positive staining was seen. Identification of positive and negative tissue controls to ensure appropriate calibration of the IHC assay combined with individually tailored suggestions for protocol optimization have improved IHC staining for many markers and thus inter-laboratory consistency of the IHC results. The overall data generated by NordiQC during 11 years clearly indicates that external quality assessment is a valuable and necessary supplement

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

    PubMed

    Sturgeon, Catharine

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sturgeon, Catharine

    2016-01-01

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

  7. External quality assessment in water microbiology: statistical analysis of performance.

    PubMed

    Tillett, H E; Lightfoot, N F; Eaton, S

    1993-04-01

    A UK-based scheme of water microbiology assessment requires participants to record counts of relevant organisms. Not every sample will contain the target number of organisms because of natural variation and therefore a range of results is acceptable. Results which are tail-end (i.e. at the extreme low or high end of this range) could occasionally be reported by any individual laboratory by chance. Several tail-end results might imply a laboratory problem. Statistical assessment is done in two stages. A non-parametric test of the distribution of tail-end counts amongst laboratories is performed (Cochran's Q) and, if they are not random, then observed and expected frequencies of tail-end counts are compared to identify participants who may have reported excessive numbers of low or high results. Analyses so far have shown that laboratories find high counts no more frequently than would be expected by chance, but that significant clusters of low counts can be detected among participants. These findings have been observed both in short-term and in long-term assessments, thus allowing detection of new episodes of poor performance and intermittent problems. The analysis relies on an objective definition of tail-end results. Working definitions are presented which should identify poor performance in terms of microbiological significance, and which allow fair comparison between membrane-filtration and multiple-tube techniques. Smaller differences between laboratories, which may be statistically significant, will not be detected. Different definitions of poor performance could be incorporated into future assessments.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vilgats, Birgit; Heidmets, Mati

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  10. External quality assessment of serum hormone determinations in the Nordic countries.

    PubMed

    Ruokonen, A; Leskinen, E; Nyberg, A; Vihko, R

    1984-01-01

    Since 1979 the Nordic Clinical Chemistry Project (NORDKEM) has organized four external quality assessment surveys of serum hormone determinations in the five Nordic countries. Charcoal-stripped control sera with weighed additions of the following hormones have been used: thyrotropin, human placental lactogen, prolactin, estriol, estradiol, testosterone, cortisol, triiodothyronine, thyroxine, and, in the fourth survey, progesterone. Human serum was usually used but in the first survey the serum matrix for the protein hormones was calf serum. In three years no systematic improvement in the coefficients of variation of the results has occurred. The change from calf serum to human serum also had no major effects on the results. Percentage coefficients of bias usually varied on both sides of the true value, but at low hormone concentrations the results were almost always positively biased. It is therefore useful to know the true hormone concentrations of the control samples because all-laboratory means are relatively often biased from these. Variation produced by different methods of calculation of the radioimmunoassay results and the influence of outlying standard points on these data processing routines were studied in the third survey. It is possible that sometimes the variation produced by different methods of calculation is one of the main components of the total variation in external quality assessment of RIA. There were no major differences between the performance of computerized or manual calculation methods. The influence of different calibration standards on serum thyroxine determination was studied in the fourth survey. Of the total coefficient of variation (10.8% to 17.0%) the component of variation produced by different thyroxine calibration standards was 0.8% to 4.6%. In conclusion, standardization of the data processing methods and further standardization of assay reagents are urgently needed to give possibilities to identify more subtle differences in

  11. Approaches for providing target values to improve usefulness of external quality assessment scheme. The Spanish experience.

    PubMed

    Ricós, C; Alvarez, V; Hernández, A; Jimenez, C V; Minchinela, J; Perich, C; Simon, M; Serrano, M

    1993-01-01

    The aim of this communication is to highlight the specific aspects of external quality assessment schemes that need to be discussed in a European context: target values, transferability of results and accredit of laboratories. The Spanish situation is presented here. The most reliable way to provide target values is to analyse the control samples by reference methods. However, it is not possible for the majority of national schemes and other approaches are presently used: the verification of consensus means is a practicable solution adopted in Spain. An initial network involving selected routine laboratories has been developed, to attain transferability of results. The traceability of routine calibrators from certified reference materials should be demonstrated. To accredit laboratories for licensing is a complex activity that should consider many aspects, results from the national quality assessment scheme bring one. A scoring system is being used in Spain for guidance, and the complete guidelines are under preparation.

  12. Anatomy and history of an external quality assessment program for interpretative comments in clinical biochemistry.

    PubMed

    Vasikaran, Samuel D

    2015-05-01

    The provision of clinical interpretation of results, either verbally or in the printed report, may be considered an integral part of clinical biochemistry diagnostic service. Proficiency testing or external quality assessment (EQA) of such activity may be useful in education, training, continuing professional development and ensuring the quality of such service. Details of the Patient Report Comments Program (RPCProgram) developed by the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) Chemical Pathology Quality Assurance Programs Pty Ltd (QAP) is described in this review. The program is aimed at pathologists, clinical scientists and trainees. Registered participants are provided a report with case details and a set of clinical biochemistry results at monthly intervals and submit an interpretative comment for the report. Comments received are broken up into components that are translated into common key phrases. An expert panel evaluates the key phrases, classifies them according to appropriateness and drafts a suggested comment, a case summary and a rationale, which are included in a summary report returned to participants. There is considerable diversity in the quality of interpretative comments received from participants of the PRCProgram. The primary purpose of EQA of interpretative commenting is educational self-assessment, and they are recognized as a continuing professional development activity. Whilst there is some evidence for the utility of interpretative comments in improving patient outcomes, evidence for the utility of EQA in improving quality of comments is awaited.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Implementation of External Quality Assessment Scheme in Clinical Chemistry for District Laboratories in Bhutan.

    PubMed

    Jamtsho, Rixin; Nuchpramool, Wilairat

    2012-07-01

    External Quality Assessment Scheme (EQAS) involves evaluation of a number of laboratories by an outside agency on the performance of a number of laboratories based on their analytical performance of tests on samples supplied by the external agency. In developing countries, establishment of national EQAS by preparing homemade quality control material is a useful scheme in terms of resources and time to monitor the laboratory performance. The objective of this study is to implement an EQAS to monitor the analytical performance of the district laboratories in Bhutan. Baseline information was collected through questionnaires. Lyophilized human serum including normal and abnormal levels were prepared and distributed to 19 participating laboratories. Nine routine analytes were included for the study. Their results were evaluated using Variance index scores (VIS) and Coefficient of variations (CV) was compared with Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA) Proficiency Testing Criteria (PT) for each analyte. There was significant decrease in CV at the end of the study. The percentages of results in acceptable VIS as 'A' were 63, 60, 66, 69, 73 and 74, 75, 76 and 79 % in November 2009-July 2010 respectively. From our results, we concluded that, establishment of EQAS through distribution of home-made quality control material could be the useful scheme to monitor the laboratory performance in clinical chemistry in Bhutan.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kyvik, Svein; Thune, Taran

    2015-01-01

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

  19. External Quality Assessment Scheme for reference laboratories - review of 8 years' experience.

    PubMed

    Kessler, Anja; Siekmann, Lothar; Weykamp, Cas; Geilenkeuser, Wolf Jochen; Dreazen, Orna; Middle, Jonathan; Schumann, Gerhard

    2013-05-01

    We describe an External Quality Assessment Scheme (EQAS) intended for reference (calibration) laboratories in laboratory medicine and supervised by the Scientific Division of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine and the responsible Committee on Traceability in Laboratory Medicine. The official EQAS website, RELA (www.dgkl-rfb.de:81), is open to interested parties. Information on all requirements for participation and results of surveys are published annually. As an additional feature, the identity of every participant in relation to the respective results is disclosed. The results of various groups of measurands (metabolites and substrates, enzymes, electrolytes, glycated hemoglobins, proteins, hormones, thyroid hormones, therapeutic drugs) are discussed in detail. The RELA system supports reference measurement laboratories preparing for accreditation according to ISO 17025 and ISO 15195. Participation in a scheme such as RELA is one of the requirements for listing of the services of a calibration laboratory by the Joint Committee on Traceability in Laboratory Medicine.

  20. External quality assessment (EQA) of Belgian clinical laboratories. The telematics paradigm.

    PubMed

    Albert, A; De Moor, G; Libeer, J C

    1998-02-01

    Technology that enables communication between information systems has recently become cheaper and more powerful. It is therefore timely to consider the effects of the introduction of such techniques in external quality assessment (EQA) schemes on both users and organizers. Traditionally, results are returned to EQA organizers as hand-written numbers on structured forms. These data are then manually entered into a computer. The process is time-consuming, slow (as it depends on the postal service), prone to error at every transcription stage, and expensive, as clerical staff must be employed to input the data. Computer-to-computer communication allows this process to be improved. A telematics system for electronic data interchange has been developed for the Belgian EQA programme and it offers several advantages, such as the use of standardized semantics, expression of results in laboratory familiar units, possible interface with the Laboratory Information System, faster data analysis, shorter report time and long-term performance evaluation.

  1. External Quality Assessment Scheme for reference laboratories - review of 8 years' experience.

    PubMed

    Kessler, Anja; Siekmann, Lothar; Weykamp, Cas; Geilenkeuser, Wolf Jochen; Dreazen, Orna; Middle, Jonathan; Schumann, Gerhard

    2013-05-01

    We describe an External Quality Assessment Scheme (EQAS) intended for reference (calibration) laboratories in laboratory medicine and supervised by the Scientific Division of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine and the responsible Committee on Traceability in Laboratory Medicine. The official EQAS website, RELA (www.dgkl-rfb.de:81), is open to interested parties. Information on all requirements for participation and results of surveys are published annually. As an additional feature, the identity of every participant in relation to the respective results is disclosed. The results of various groups of measurands (metabolites and substrates, enzymes, electrolytes, glycated hemoglobins, proteins, hormones, thyroid hormones, therapeutic drugs) are discussed in detail. The RELA system supports reference measurement laboratories preparing for accreditation according to ISO 17025 and ISO 15195. Participation in a scheme such as RELA is one of the requirements for listing of the services of a calibration laboratory by the Joint Committee on Traceability in Laboratory Medicine. PMID:23327864

  2. Results of the National External Quality Assessment for Toxoplasmosis Serological Testing in China

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Kuo; Wang, Lunan; Lin, Guigao; Sun, Yu; Zhang, Rui; Xie, Jiehong; Li, Jinming

    2015-01-01

    Background Toxoplasmosis is typically diagnosed by serologic testing. External quality assessment (EQA) of clinical laboratories could ensure the accuracy and reliability of serological tests. We assessed the quality of toxoplasma serological assays in Chinese clinical laboratories by an EQA performed between 2004 and 2013 by the National Center for Clinical Laboratories. Methodology and Findings EQA panels were prepared and shipped at room temperature to participating laboratories that employed toxoplasma IgG and IgM serological detection. By 2013, 5,384 EQA test reports for toxoplasma-specific IgM and 2,666 reports for toxoplasma-specific IgG were collected. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent (ELISA) and chemical immunofluorescent assays were the most commonly used detection methods. The overall coincidence rates of negative samples were better than those of positive samples. The overall EQA score for toxoplasma-specific IgM detection ranged between 84.3% and 99.6%. The ratio of laboratories that achieved correct IgG detection ranged from 61.1% to 99.3%. However, the inter- and intra-assay variabilities were found to be considerable. The most common problem was failure to detect low titers of antibody. Conclusion The EQA scheme showed an improvement in toxoplasma serological testing in China. However, further optimization of assay sensitivity to detect challenging samples remains a future challenge. PMID:26066047

  3. Chromosome microarray proficiency testing and analysis of quality metric data trends through an external quality assessment program for Australasian laboratories.

    PubMed

    Wright, D C; Adayapalam, N; Bain, N; Bain, S M; Brown, A; Buzzacott, N; Carey, L; Cross, J; Dun, K; Joy, C; McCarthy, C; Moore, S; Murch, A R; O'Malley, F; Parker, E; Watt, J; Wilkin, H; Fagan, K; Pertile, M D; Peters, G B

    2016-10-01

    Chromosome microarrays are an essential tool for investigation of copy number changes in children with congenital anomalies and intellectual deficit. Attempts to standardise microarray testing have focused on establishing technical and clinical quality criteria, however external quality assessment programs are still needed. We report on a microarray proficiency testing program for Australasian laboratories. Quality metrics evaluated included analytical accuracy, result interpretation, report completeness, and laboratory performance data: sample numbers, success and abnormality rate and reporting times. Between 2009 and 2014 nine samples were dispatched with variable results for analytical accuracy (30-100%), correct interpretation (32-96%), and report completeness (30-92%). Laboratory performance data (2007-2014) showed an overall mean success rate of 99.2% and abnormality rate of 23.6%. Reporting times decreased from >90 days to <30 days for normal results and from >102 days to <35 days for abnormal results. Data trends showed a positive correlation with improvement for all these quality metrics, however only 'report completeness' and reporting times reached statistical significance. Whether the overall improvement in laboratory performance was due to participation in this program, or from accumulated laboratory experience over time, is not clear. Either way, the outcome is likely to assist referring clinicians and improve patient care.

  4. Chromosome microarray proficiency testing and analysis of quality metric data trends through an external quality assessment program for Australasian laboratories.

    PubMed

    Wright, D C; Adayapalam, N; Bain, N; Bain, S M; Brown, A; Buzzacott, N; Carey, L; Cross, J; Dun, K; Joy, C; McCarthy, C; Moore, S; Murch, A R; O'Malley, F; Parker, E; Watt, J; Wilkin, H; Fagan, K; Pertile, M D; Peters, G B

    2016-10-01

    Chromosome microarrays are an essential tool for investigation of copy number changes in children with congenital anomalies and intellectual deficit. Attempts to standardise microarray testing have focused on establishing technical and clinical quality criteria, however external quality assessment programs are still needed. We report on a microarray proficiency testing program for Australasian laboratories. Quality metrics evaluated included analytical accuracy, result interpretation, report completeness, and laboratory performance data: sample numbers, success and abnormality rate and reporting times. Between 2009 and 2014 nine samples were dispatched with variable results for analytical accuracy (30-100%), correct interpretation (32-96%), and report completeness (30-92%). Laboratory performance data (2007-2014) showed an overall mean success rate of 99.2% and abnormality rate of 23.6%. Reporting times decreased from >90 days to <30 days for normal results and from >102 days to <35 days for abnormal results. Data trends showed a positive correlation with improvement for all these quality metrics, however only 'report completeness' and reporting times reached statistical significance. Whether the overall improvement in laboratory performance was due to participation in this program, or from accumulated laboratory experience over time, is not clear. Either way, the outcome is likely to assist referring clinicians and improve patient care. PMID:27575971

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Seth, J; Hanning, I

    1988-05-31

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Repeated HIV-1 resistance genotyping external quality assessments improve virology laboratory performance.

    PubMed

    Descamps, Diane; Delaugerre, Constance; Masquelier, Bernard; Ruffault, Annick; Marcelin, Anne-Geneviève; Izopet, Jacques; Chaix, Marie-Laure; Calvez, Vincent; Brun-Vézinet, Françoise; Costagliola, Dominique

    2006-02-01

    The performance of French virology laboratories belonging to the ANRS network has been assessed annually for 3 years. The performance of these laboratories was compared between the years 2002 and 2003. Ten and 7 coded samples were sent to 38 virology laboratories in 2002 and 45 virology laboratories in 2003, respectively. Each panel of coded samples included at least one HIV-negative control, a pair of duplicate specimens, samples with a wide range of viral loads, and samples with a large number of resistance mutations. The laboratories used their standard sequencing procedures and were asked to report the amino acids at codons associated with resistance mutations, based on the IAS-USA expert panel list. The reference amino acid sequences were defined as those most frequently reported by the participants. The specificity of detection of RT mutations was significantly better in 2003 (99.9%) than in 2002 (99.7%) (P = 0.05). There was no difference between 2002 and 2003 in the specificity of detection of protease mutations (99.6% and 99.8%) or the sensitivity of detection of RT mutations (98.8% and 98.2%). The sensitivity of detection of protease mutations improved significantly between 2002 and 2003 (97.6% and 99.0%, respectively; P = 0.037). The proportion of laboratories reporting fully accurate results, in terms of amplification, specificity, sensitivity, and reproducibility, tended to increase between 2002 and 2003 (P = 0.077). No errors were made by 19% of laboratories in 2002, compared to 42% in 2003. These results show the value of repeated external quality assessments.

  10. Italian national survey of blood donors: external quality assessment (EQA) of syphilis testing.

    PubMed

    Vulcano, Francesca; Milazzo, Luisa; Volpi, Sabrina; Battista, Mara Maria; Barca, Alessandra; Hassan, Hamisa Jane; Pimpinelli, Fulvia; Giampaolo, Adele

    2010-03-01

    The detection of syphilis among blood donors may reveal high-risk sexual behavior, which can go unreported at the time of donor selection and compromise the safety of the donated blood. In Italy, blood is collected, tested, and distributed by transfusion services (TSs), which also perform outpatient transfusions. Although the TSs must screen for syphilis by law, there are no indications of the specific type of method to be used, generating discrepancies in the results obtained by the different TSs. To determine the proficiency of the TSs in screening for syphilis, we performed an external quality assessment (EQA). The EQA was based on two shipments of serum panels; 133 and 118 of the 326 existing TSs participated in the first and second shipments, respectively. Each panel consisted of both positive and negative serum samples. The results confirmed that the use of a single nontreponemal test (the Venereal Disease Research Laboratory [VDRL] and the rapid plasma reagin [RPR] tests) is the least sensitive means of identifying samples that are positive for syphilis antibodies. We also found that the interpretation of the results of manual techniques, such as the RPR test, the VDRL test, the Treponema pallidum hemagglutination (TPHA) assay, and the T. pallidum particle agglutination (TPPA) assay, can vary greatly among different TSs and operators. Total Ig enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) are the most sensitive. However, the determination of syphilis on the basis of the results of a single test is not sufficient for an accurate screening; and all blood units should thus be assessed by two distinct treponemal tests, that is, a total Ig EIA and the TPHA or the TPPA assay. PMID:20042617

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. External quality assessment/proficiency testing and internal quality control for the PFA-100 and PFA-200: an update.

    PubMed

    Favaloro, Emmanuel J; Bonar, Roslyn

    2014-03-01

    Platelet function testing is an essential component of comprehensive hemostasis evaluation within the framework of bleeding and/or bruising investigations, and it may also be performed to evaluate antiplatelet medication effects. Globally, the platelet function analyzer (PFA)-100 (Siemens Healthcare, Marburg, Germany) is the most used primary hemostasis-screening instrument and has also been recently remodeled/upgraded to the PFA-200. The PFA-100 is sensitive to a wide range of associated disorders, including platelet function defects and von Willebrand disease (VWD), as well as to various antiplatelet medications. The PFA-100 is also useful in therapy monitoring, especially in VWD. External quality assessment (EQA) (or proficiency testing) and internal quality control (IQC) are critical to ensuring quality of test practice, inclusive of all hemostasis tests. However, both EQA and IQC for platelet function testing, including the PFA-100, is logistically challenging, given theoretical requirements for production, storage, and shipment of large volumes of "stabilized" normal and pathological blood/platelets covering both normal function plus a wide variety of potential defects. We accordingly describe the development and testing of novel feasible approaches to both EQA and IQC of PFA-100/PFA-200 instruments, whereby a range of formulated "platelet function antagonist" materials are utilized. For EQA purposes, these are distributed to participants, and citrated normal whole blood collected on site is then added locally, thereby creating test material that can be locally evaluated. Several exercises have been conducted by the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Quality Assurance Program (RCPAQAP) over the past 6 years. A total of 26 challenges, with most designed to mimic moderate to severe primary hemostasis defects, have been tested in 26 to 50 laboratories depending on the year of dispatch. Numerical results for PFA-100/PFA-200 closure times (CTs) and

  13. Multicenter Feasibility Study To Assess External Quality Assessment Panels for Xpert MTB/RIF Assay in South Africa

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. External Quality Assessment for KRAS Testing Is Needed: Setup of a European Program and Report of the First Joined Regional Quality Assessment Rounds

    PubMed Central

    Bellon, Ellen; Ligtenberg, Marjolijn J.L.; Tejpar, Sabine; Cox, Karen; de Hertogh, Gert; de Stricker, Karin; Edsjö, Anders; Gorgoulis, Vassilis; Höfler, Gerald; Jung, Andreas; Kotsinas, Athanassios; Laurent-Puig, Pierre; López-Ríos, Fernando; Hansen, Tine Plato; Rouleau, Etienne; Vandenberghe, Peter; van Krieken, Johan J.M.

    2011-01-01

    The use of epidermal growth factor receptor–targeting antibodies in metastatic colorectal cancer has been restricted to patients with wild-type KRAS tumors by the European Medicines Agency since 2008, based on data showing a lack of efficacy and potential harm in patients with mutant KRAS tumors. In an effort to ensure optimal, uniform, and reliable community-based KRAS testing throughout Europe, a KRAS external quality assessment (EQA) scheme was set up. The first large assessment round included 59 laboratories from eight different European countries. For each country, one regional scheme organizer prepared and distributed the samples for the participants of their own country. The samples included unstained sections of 10 invasive colorectal carcinomas with known KRAS mutation status. The samples were centrally validated by one of two reference laboratories. The laboratories were allowed to use their own preferred method for histological evaluation, DNA isolation, and mutation analysis. In this study, we analyze the setup of the KRAS scheme. We analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of the regional scheme organization by analyzing the outcome of genotyping results, analysis of tumor percentage, and written reports. We conclude that only 70% of laboratories correctly identified the KRAS mutational status in all samples. Both the false-positive and false-negative results observed negatively affect patient care. Reports of the KRAS test results often lacked essential information. We aim to further expand this program to more laboratories to provide a robust estimate of the quality of KRAS testing in Europe, and provide the basis for remedial measures and harmonization. PMID:21441573

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

    PubMed

    Yi, Lang; Lin, Guigao; Zhang, Kuo; Wang, Lunan; Zhang, Rui; Xie, Jiehong; Li, Jinming

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. [External quality assessment in clinical biochemistry laboratories: pilot study in 11 laboratories of Lomé (Togo)].

    PubMed

    Kouassi, Kafui; Fétéké, Lochina; Assignon, Selom; Dorkenoo, Ameyo; Napo-Koura, Gado

    2015-01-01

    This study aims to evaluate the performance of a few biochemistry analysis and make recommendations to the place of the stakeholders. It is a cross-sectional study conducted between the October 1(st), 2012 and the July 31, 2013 bearing on the results of 5 common examinations of clinical biochemistry, provided by 11 laboratories volunteers opening in the public and private sectors. These laboratories have analysed during the 3 cycles, 2 levels (medium and high) of serum concentration of urea, glucose, creatinine and serum aminotransferases. The performance of laboratories have been determined from the acceptable limits corresponding to the limits of total errors, defined by the French Society of Clinical Biology (SFBC). A system of internal quality control is implemented by all laboratories and 45% of them participated in international programs of external quality assessment (EQA). The rate of acceptable results for the entire study was of 69%. There was a significant difference (p<0.002) between the performance of the group of laboratories engaged in a quality approach and the group with default implementation of the quality approach. Also a significant difference was observed between the laboratories of the central level and those of the peripheral level of our health system (p<0.047). The performance of the results provided by the laboratories remains relatively unsatisfactory. It is important that the Ministry of Health put in place a national program of EQA with mandatory participation.

  20. Analytical performance specifications based on how clinicians use laboratory tests. Experiences from a post-analytical external quality assessment programme.

    PubMed

    Thue, Geir; Sandberg, Sverre

    2015-05-01

    Analytical performance specifications can be based on three different models: the effect of analytical performance on clinical outcome, based on components of biological variation of the measurand or based on state-of-the-art. Models 1 and 3 may to some degree be combined by using case histories presented to a large number of clinicians. The Norwegian Quality Improvement of Primary Care Laboratories (Noklus) has integrated vignettes in its external quality assessment programme since 1991, focusing on typical clinical situations in primary care. Haemoglobin, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), HbA1c, glucose, u-albumin, creatinine/estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), and Internationl Normalised Ratio (INR) have been evaluated focusing on critical differences in test results, i.e., a change from a previous result that will generate an "action" such as a change in treatment or follow-up of the patient. These critical differences, stated by physicians, can translate into reference change values (RCVs) and assumed analytical performance can be calculated. In general, assessments of RCVs and therefore performance specifications vary both within and between groups of doctors, but with no or minor differences regarding specialisation, age or sex of the general practitioner. In some instances state-of-the-art analytical performance could not meet clinical demands using 95% confidence, whereas clinical demands were met using 80% confidence in nearly all instances. RCVs from vignettes should probably not be used on their own as a basis for setting analytical performance specifications, since clinicians seem "uninformed" regarding important principles. They could rather be used as a background for focus groups of "informed" physicians in discussions of performance specifications tailored to "typical" clinical situations.

  1. Design and Implementation of an External Quality Assessment Program for HIV Viral Load Measurements Using Dried Blood Spots

    PubMed Central

    Prach, Lisa M.; Puren, Adrian; Lippman, Sheri A.; Carmona, Sergio; Stephenson, Sophie; Cutler, Ewalde; Barnhart, Scott

    2014-01-01

    An external quality assurance program was developed for HIV-1 RNA viral load measurements taken from dried blood spots using a reference panel and field-collected specimens. The program demonstrated that accurate and reproducible quantitation can be obtained from field-collected specimens. Residual proviral DNA may confound interpretation in virologically suppressed subjects. PMID:25520449

  2. An audit of therapeutic drug monitoring service provision by laboratories participating in an external quality assessment scheme.

    PubMed

    Thomson, A H; Watson, I D; Wilson, J F; Sweeney, G; Dawkins, C E; Smith, B L; Williams, J; Capps, N E; Toseland, P A

    1998-06-01

    Therapeutic drug monitoring services were investigated in a questionnaire sent to all subscribers to the United Kingdom National External Quality Assessment Scheme for Therapeutic Drug Assays. Questions were posed on assay availability and use, target ranges, and reporting procedures for digoxin, lithium, phenytoin, phenobarbitone, carbamazepine, theophylline, and valproic acid. One hundred fifty-seven laboratories replied and, except for lithium, 45% reported in mass units, 34% in molar units, and 22% a mixture of mass and molar units. Target ranges for lithium, digoxin, carbamazepine, and phenobarbitone were highly variable but ranges for phenytoin, theophylline, and valproic acid were more consistent. Immunoassay was the most popular methodology although high-performance liquid chromatography was commonly used for anticonvulsants. Paper copies of results were provided by 93% of laboratories, 40% reported by telephone, 12% by fax, and 28% by computer. Additional data, mainly dose, time of last dose, and duration of therapy were requested by 55% to 67% of laboratories. Grades of staff authorizing results ranged from nurses to senior consultants, and collaboration with pharmacists occurred in 26% of laboratories. Most laboratories provided a daily analytical service and 73% offered a 24-hour emergency service. This audit unexpectedly identified use of a wide range of target concentrations, particularly for digoxin and lithium. PMID:9631919

  3. ASVCP quality assurance guidelines: external quality assessment and comparative testing for reference and in-clinic laboratories.

    PubMed

    Camus, Melinda S; Flatland, Bente; Freeman, Kathleen P; Cruz Cardona, Janice A

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of this document is to educate providers of veterinary laboratory diagnostic testing in any setting about comparative testing. These guidelines will define, explain, and illustrate the importance of a multi-faceted laboratory quality management program which includes comparative testing. The guidelines will provide suggestions for implementation of such testing, including which samples should be tested, frequency of testing, and recommendations for result interpretation. Examples and a list of vendors and manufacturers supplying control materials and services to veterinary laboratories are also included.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zibeniene, Gintaute

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Price, Heather E.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Thoughts on Internal and External Quality Assurance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Jianxin

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  14. External quality assessment of platelet disorder investigations: results of international surveys on diagnostic tests for dense granule deficiency and platelet aggregometry interpretation.

    PubMed

    Hayward, Catherine P M; Moffat, Karen A; Plumhoff, Elizabeth; Timleck, Marnie; Hoffman, Suzanne; Spitzer, Ernie; Van Cott, Elizabeth M; Meijer, Piet

    2012-09-01

    The quality of platelet aggregation and dense granule deficiency testing is important for diagnosing platelet function disorders. After a successful pilot exercise on diagnosing platelet dense granule deficiency by electron microscopy (EM), the North American Specialized Coagulation Laboratory Association (NASCOLA) has launched regular external quality assurance (EQA) for dense granule EM, as well as for the interpretation of platelet aggregation findings. EQA records were analyzed to assess performance. For EM EQA, between 2009 and 2011, there was excellent performance in distinguishing normal from dense granule-deficient samples and good (>70%) agreement on classifying most electron dense structures in platelets. For aggregation EQA, some normal variants were misclassified and overall case interpretations were more acceptable for rare disorders than for common findings. NASCOLA experiences with these EQAs indicate that there is a need to improve the quality of platelet disorder evaluations. For aggregometry interpretations, deficits in performance could be addressed by translating guideline recommendations into practice.

  15. Internal versus External Quality Management

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. The accuracy of platelet counting in thrombocytopenic blood samples distributed by the UK National External Quality Assessment Scheme for General Haematology.

    PubMed

    De la Salle, Barbara J; McTaggart, Paul N; Briggs, Carol; Harrison, Paul; Doré, Caroline J; Longair, Ian; Machin, Samuel J; Hyde, Keith

    2012-01-01

    A knowledge of the limitations of automated platelet counting is essential for the effective care of thrombocytopenic patients and management of platelet stocks for transfusion. For this study, 29 external quality assessment specimen pools with platelet counts between 5 and 64 × 10(9)/L were distributed to more than 1,100 users of 23 different hematology analyzer models. The same specimen pools were analyzed by the international reference method (IRM) for platelet counting at 3 reference centers. The IRM values were on average lower than the all-methods median values returned by the automated analyzers. The majority (~67%) of the automated analyzer results overestimated the platelet count compared with the IRM, with significant differences in 16.5% of cases. Performance differed between analyzer models. The observed differences may depend in part on the nature of the survey material and analyzer technology, but the findings have implications for the interpretation of platelet counts at levels of clinical decision making.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  5. [Standardization of measurement of catalytic activity concentration of enzymes--current situation regarding the external quality assessment program provided by the Japan Medical Association].

    PubMed

    Maekawa, Masato

    2010-01-01

    Measurement of the catalytic activity concentration of enzymes has been standardized using a traceability chain, consisting a reference measurement system for enzyme catalytic activity and reference standard-JSCC enzyme. The Japan Medical Association (JMA) has provided an external quality assessment (EQA) survey program for clinical laboratory testing. More than 3,100 clinical laboratories participated in 2008. The EQA program indicated that standardization of the measurement of the catalytic activity concentration of enzymes has been completed for AST, ALT, LD, ALP, gammaGT, and CK in more than 90% laboratories, and for Amy and ChE in nearly 80% of laboratories. Because such a large survey program must use artificial specimens, a matrix effect cannot be avoided, especially in dry chemistry. However, the bias produced by a matrix effect usually has a predictable tendency: it can be corrected. Next, after standardization of the measurement of the catalytic activity concentration of enzymes, we should develop and use common reference intervals. On completing the standardization, we can make standard medical decisions using reference measurement systems and rules.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. External Music Examiners: Micro-Macro Tasks in Quality Assurance Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, Valerie

    2009-01-01

    External music examiners play a significant role in assessing, verifying and maintaining musical standards. Educational output endorsed by external examiners serves to verify, modify and legitimise internal behaviour. This article examines some of the "inside practices" of external music examiners in the context of quality assurance. It compares…

  11. [The external quality assessment schemes for lead in blood organized by the French national agency for medicine and health product safety: a synthesis of 15 years of activity].

    PubMed

    Pineau, Alain; Otz, Jocelyne; Guillard, Olivier; Fauconneau, Bernard; Dumont, Gilles; François-Burg, Elisabeth

    2014-01-01

    In 1992, at the request of the French labor ministry following questions on the ability of medical biology laboratories to satisfactorily measure blood lead level (PbB), a national PbB quality control came into being. Only in 1996 did this external quality control include a number of laboratories sufficient to allow for a significant retrospective evaluation. After fifteen years (1996-2011), The French National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety wished to exploit the database collected. The number of participating laboratories went down from 73 to 41. On the other hand, the key finding pertained to the highly improved performance of the laboratories, which was associated with a spread decrease of the results over the entire range of tested PbBs (9 to 700 μg/L). Since 2006, we have observed increasing use of the inductively coupled plasma with mass spectrometry and decreasing use of electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry. Provided that they rely on identical metrology expertise, the two analytical techniques lead to results on all the tested concentrations that are not statistically different. PMID:24492097

  12. [The external quality assessment schemes for lead in blood organized by the French national agency for medicine and health product safety: a synthesis of 15 years of activity].

    PubMed

    Pineau, Alain; Otz, Jocelyne; Guillard, Olivier; Fauconneau, Bernard; Dumont, Gilles; François-Burg, Elisabeth

    2014-01-01

    In 1992, at the request of the French labor ministry following questions on the ability of medical biology laboratories to satisfactorily measure blood lead level (PbB), a national PbB quality control came into being. Only in 1996 did this external quality control include a number of laboratories sufficient to allow for a significant retrospective evaluation. After fifteen years (1996-2011), The French National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety wished to exploit the database collected. The number of participating laboratories went down from 73 to 41. On the other hand, the key finding pertained to the highly improved performance of the laboratories, which was associated with a spread decrease of the results over the entire range of tested PbBs (9 to 700 μg/L). Since 2006, we have observed increasing use of the inductively coupled plasma with mass spectrometry and decreasing use of electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry. Provided that they rely on identical metrology expertise, the two analytical techniques lead to results on all the tested concentrations that are not statistically different.

  13. External quality assessment of AFB smear microscopy performances and its associated factors in selected private health facilities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Mosissa, Lemi; Kebede, Abebaw; Mindaye, Tedla; Getahun, Muluwork; Tulu, Sisay; Desta, Kassu

    2016-01-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) is still a public health problem in sub Saharan African countries. In resource-limited settings, TB diagnosis relies on sputum smear microscopy, with low and variable sensitivities, especially in paucibacillary pediatric and HIV-associated TB patients. Tuberculosis microscopy centers have several weaknesses like overworking, insufficiently trained personnel, inconsistent reagent supplies, and poorly maintained equipments; thus, there is a critical need for investments in laboratory infrastructure, capacity building, and quality assurance schemes. The performance of TB microscopy centers in the private health facilities in Addis Ababa is not known so far. The main objective of the study was to assess laboratory performance of acid fast bacilli (AFB) smear microscopy and its associated factors in selected private health facilities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 33 selected private health facilities of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia comprising 7 hospitals, 2 NGO health centers, 23 higher clinics and 1 diagnostic laboratory that provide AFB smear microscopy services. The study was conducted from January to April 2014. A total of 283 stained sputum smears were randomly collected from participant laboratories for blinded rechecking, 320 panel slides were sent to 32 microscopy centers to evaluate their performance on AFB reading, staining and reporting. Checklists were used to assess quality issues of laboratories. Data were captured, cleaned, and analyzed using SPSS version 16.0; χ(2) tests, kappa statistics were used for comparison purpose. P value < 0.05 considered statistically significant. Among the 32 participant laboratories, 2-scored 100%, 15 scored 80-95% & the remaining 15 scored 50-75% for overall proficiency test performance. There were 10 (3.15%) major errors and 121 (37.8%) minor errors. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV of panel reading by microscopy centers were 89%, 96%, 96%, and 90% respectively. Out

  14. External quality assessment of AFB smear microscopy performances and its associated factors in selected private health facilities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Mosissa, Lemi; Kebede, Abebaw; Mindaye, Tedla; Getahun, Muluwork; Tulu, Sisay; Desta, Kassu

    2016-01-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) is still a public health problem in sub Saharan African countries. In resource-limited settings, TB diagnosis relies on sputum smear microscopy, with low and variable sensitivities, especially in paucibacillary pediatric and HIV-associated TB patients. Tuberculosis microscopy centers have several weaknesses like overworking, insufficiently trained personnel, inconsistent reagent supplies, and poorly maintained equipments; thus, there is a critical need for investments in laboratory infrastructure, capacity building, and quality assurance schemes. The performance of TB microscopy centers in the private health facilities in Addis Ababa is not known so far. The main objective of the study was to assess laboratory performance of acid fast bacilli (AFB) smear microscopy and its associated factors in selected private health facilities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 33 selected private health facilities of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia comprising 7 hospitals, 2 NGO health centers, 23 higher clinics and 1 diagnostic laboratory that provide AFB smear microscopy services. The study was conducted from January to April 2014. A total of 283 stained sputum smears were randomly collected from participant laboratories for blinded rechecking, 320 panel slides were sent to 32 microscopy centers to evaluate their performance on AFB reading, staining and reporting. Checklists were used to assess quality issues of laboratories. Data were captured, cleaned, and analyzed using SPSS version 16.0; χ(2) tests, kappa statistics were used for comparison purpose. P value < 0.05 considered statistically significant. Among the 32 participant laboratories, 2-scored 100%, 15 scored 80-95% & the remaining 15 scored 50-75% for overall proficiency test performance. There were 10 (3.15%) major errors and 121 (37.8%) minor errors. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV of panel reading by microscopy centers were 89%, 96%, 96%, and 90% respectively. Out

  15. External quality assessment of AFB smear microscopy performances and its associated factors in selected private health facilities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    Mosissa, Lemi; Kebede, Abebaw; Mindaye, Tedla; Getahun, Muluwork; Tulu, Sisay; Desta, Kassu

    2016-01-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) is still a public health problem in sub Saharan African countries. In resource-limited settings, TB diagnosis relies on sputum smear microscopy, with low and variable sensitivities, especially in paucibacillary pediatric and HIV-associated TB patients. Tuberculosis microscopy centers have several weaknesses like overworking, insufficiently trained personnel, inconsistent reagent supplies, and poorly maintained equipments; thus, there is a critical need for investments in laboratory infrastructure, capacity building, and quality assurance schemes. The performance of TB microscopy centers in the private health facilities in Addis Ababa is not known so far. The main objective of the study was to assess laboratory performance of acid fast bacilli (AFB) smear microscopy and its associated factors in selected private health facilities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 33 selected private health facilities of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia comprising 7 hospitals, 2 NGO health centers, 23 higher clinics and 1 diagnostic laboratory that provide AFB smear microscopy services. The study was conducted from January to April 2014. A total of 283 stained sputum smears were randomly collected from participant laboratories for blinded rechecking, 320 panel slides were sent to 32 microscopy centers to evaluate their performance on AFB reading, staining and reporting. Checklists were used to assess quality issues of laboratories. Data were captured, cleaned, and analyzed using SPSS version 16.0; χ2 tests, kappa statistics were used for comparison purpose. P value < 0.05 considered statistically significant. Among the 32 participant laboratories, 2-scored 100%, 15 scored 80-95% & the remaining 15 scored 50-75% for overall proficiency test performance. There were 10 (3.15%) major errors and 121 (37.8%) minor errors. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV of panel reading by microscopy centers were 89%, 96%, 96%, and 90% respectively. Out of

  16. Defining and Assessing Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fincher, Cameron, Ed.

    The seven papers in this monograph focus on defining and assessing quality. The paper are: (1) "Reflections on Design Ideals" (E. Grady Bogue), which addresses some "governing ideals" of collegiate quality; (2) "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Investment and Quality in Higher Education" (Sven Groennings), which sees the competitive quality of…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shah, Mahsood

    2013-01-01

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

  18. 42 CFR 438.364 - External quality review results.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false External quality review results. 438.364 Section 438.364 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN... quality review results. (a) Information that must be produced. The State must ensure that the EQR...

  19. 42 CFR 438.364 - External quality review results.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false External quality review results. 438.364 Section 438.364 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN... quality review results. (a) Information that must be produced. The State must ensure that the EQR...

  20. The Dynamics of Divorce: Marital Quality, Alternative Attractions and External Pressures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Green, Robert G.; Sporakowski, Michael J.

    1983-01-01

    Tested Lewis and Spanier's theory of marital quality and marital stability using a sample of 131 married and 166 divorced social survey respondents. Examined the relationship between the quality and stability of their marriages and assessed the influence of alternative attractions and external pressures to remain married. (JAC)

  1. 77 FR 21086 - Patents External Quality Survey (formerly Customer Panel Quality Survey)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-09

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

  2. [Quality assessment in surgery].

    PubMed

    Espinoza G, Ricardo; Espinoza G, Juan Pablo

    2016-06-01

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

  3. Quality Assessment in Oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Albert, Jeffrey M.; Das, Prajnan

    2012-07-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Shuiyun

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naidoo, Dhaya

    2013-01-01

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

  7. 42 CFR 438.352 - External quality review protocols.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false External quality review protocols. 438.352 Section 438.352 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN... data once obtained; and (e) Instructions, guidelines, worksheets, and other documents or...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abidin, Munirul

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 42 CFR 438.362 - Exemption from external quality review.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Exemption from external quality review. 438.362 Section 438.362 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN... Medicaid contract has been in effect for at least 2 consecutive years before the effective date of...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Longitudinal Associations between Externalizing Problems and Student-Teacher Relationship Quality for Young Children with ASD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eisenhower, Abbey S.; Blacher, Jan; Bush Hurst, Hillary

    2015-01-01

    The associations between student-teacher relationship (STR) quality and externalizing behavior problems in school were examined among 166 children with ASD (82% boys, ages 4-7 years) across three assessments over a 1.5-year period; IQs in the sample range from 50 to 139 (M = 88.7). Unlike other non-ASD populations, the association between STR…

  13. [Quality assessment in anesthesia].

    PubMed

    Kupperwasser, B

    1996-01-01

    Quality assessment (assurance/improvement) is the set of methods used to measure and improve the delivered care and the department's performance against pre-established criteria or standards. The four stages of the self-maintained quality assessment cycle are: problem identification, problem analysis, problem correction and evaluation of corrective actions. Quality assessment is a measurable entity for which it is necessary to define and calibrate measurement parameters (indicators) from available data gathered from the hospital anaesthesia environment. Problem identification comes from the accumulation of indicators. There are four types of quality indicators: structure, process, outcome and sentinel indicators. The latter signal a quality defect, are independent of outcomes, are easier to analyse by statistical methods and closely related to processes and main targets of quality improvement. The three types of methods to analyse the problems (indicators) are: peer review, quantitative methods and risks management techniques. Peer review is performed by qualified anaesthesiologists. To improve its validity, the review process should be explicited and conclusions based on standards of practice and literature references. The quantitative methods are statistical analyses applied to the collected data and presented in a graphic format (histogram, Pareto diagram, control charts). The risks management techniques include: a) critical incident analysis establishing an objective relationship between a 'critical' event and the associated human behaviours; b) system accident analysis, based on the fact that accidents continue to occur despite safety systems and sophisticated technologies, checks of all the process components leading to the impredictable outcome and not just the human factors; c) cause-effect diagrams facilitate the problem analysis in reducing its causes to four fundamental components (persons, regulations, equipment, process). Definition and implementation

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheung, Jordan C. M.

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Monitoring of chimerism following allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT): technical recommendations for the use of short tandem repeat (STR) based techniques, on behalf of the United Kingdom National External Quality Assessment Service for Leucocyte Immunophenotyping Chimerism Working Group.

    PubMed

    Clark, Jordan R; Scott, Stuart D; Jack, Andrea L; Lee, Helena; Mason, Joanne; Carter, Geoffrey I; Pearce, Laurence; Jackson, Tony; Clouston, Hazel; Sproul, Anne; Keen, Leigh; Molloy, Karen; Folarin, Najeem'deen; Whitby, Liam; Snowden, John A; Reilly, John T; Barnett, David

    2015-01-01

    Analysis of short tandem repeats (STR) is the predominant method for post-transplant monitoring of donor engraftment. It can enable early detection of disease relapse, level of engraftment and provide useful information on the graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)/graft-versus-tumour (GVT) effect, facilitating therapeutic intervention. Harmonization and standardization of techniques and result interpretation is essential to reduce the impact of laboratory variability on both clinical management and the results of multi-centre clinical trials. However, the United Kingdom National External Quality Assessment Service for Leucocyte Immunophenotyping (UK NEQAS LI) has highlighted significant issues inherent in STR testing that impact upon inter- and intra- laboratory variation. We present here consensus best practice guidelines and recommendations for STR chimerism testing, data interpretation and reporting that have been drawn up and agreed by a consortium of 11 UK and Eire clinical laboratories. This document uses data obtained from the UK NEQAS LI Post-Stem Cell Transplant (SCT) Chimerism Monitoring Programme.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pantzare, Anna Lind

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Manorma; Klug, Joakim; Raimond, Emmanuel

    2015-04-01

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

  18. External induced contamination environment assessment for Space Station Freedom

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leger, Lubert; Ehlers, Horst; Hakes, Charles; Theall, Jeff; Soares, Carlos

    1993-01-01

    An assessment of the Space Station Freedom performance as affected by the external induced contamination environment is in progress. The assessment procedure involves comparing the Space Station Freedom external contamination requirements, SSP 30426, Revision B (1991), with calculated molecular deposition, molecular column density, and other effects from potential sources of contamination. The current assessment comprises discussions of Space Shuttle proximity operations, Space Shuttle waste-water dumps (while docked to the Space Station), Space Station fluid and waste-gas venting, system gas leakage, external material outgassing, and a combined contamination assessment. This performance assessment indicates that Space Station Freedom contamination requirements are realistic and can be satisfied when all contamination sources are included.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Pinault, Jean Louis; Dubus, Igor G

    2008-08-20

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

  2. The Quality Assessment Index (QAI) for measuring nursing home quality.

    PubMed Central

    Gustafson, D H; Sainfort, F C; Van Konigsveld, R; Zimmerman, D R

    1990-01-01

    There have been few detailed evaluations of measures of quality of care in nursing homes. This is unfortunate because it has meant that much research on factors affecting nursing home quality has used measures of questionable reliability and validity. Moreover, some measures currently in use have been developed using methodologies not based on solid conceptual grounds, offering little reason to expect them to have much internal or external validity. In this article we suggest characteristics that should be present in measures of nursing home quality, propose a methodology for the development of such measures, propose a specific nursing home quality measure (the Quality Assessment Index or QAI), and report the results of several tests of its validity and reliability. PMID:2184147

  3. Portfolio Assessment and Quality Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Youb; Yazdian, Lisa Sensale

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shah, Mahsood

    2012-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Groff, Warren H.

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pereira de Eca, Maria Teresa Torres

    2005-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  13. The Southeast Stream Quality Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Metre, Peter C.; Journey, Celeste A.

    2014-01-01

    In 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA) is assessing stream quality across the Piedmont and southern Appalachian Mountains in the southeastern United States. The goal of the Southeast Stream Quality Assessment (SESQA) is to characterize multiple water-quality factors that are stressors to aquatic life—contaminants, nutrients, sediment, and streamflow alteration—and the relation of these stressors to ecological conditions in streams throughout the region. Findings will provide communities and policymakers with information on which human and environmental factors are the most critical in controlling stream quality and, thus, provide insights about possible approaches to protect or improve stream quality. The SESQA study will be the second regional study by the NAWQA program, and it will be of similar design and scope as the Midwest Stream Quality Assessment conducted in 2013 (Van Metre and others, 2012).

  14. Solar Radiation Empirical Quality Assessment

    1994-03-01

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

  15. Validation of a scenario-based assessment of critical thinking using an externally validated tool.

    PubMed

    Buur, Jennifer L; Schmidt, Peggy; Smylie, Dean; Irizarry, Kris; Crocker, Carlos; Tyler, John; Barr, Margaret

    2012-01-01

    With medical education transitioning from knowledge-based curricula to competency-based curricula, critical thinking skills have emerged as a major competency. While there are validated external instruments for assessing critical thinking, many educators have created their own custom assessments of critical thinking. However, the face validity of these assessments has not been challenged. The purpose of this study was to compare results from a custom assessment of critical thinking with the results from a validated external instrument of critical thinking. Students from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences were administered a custom assessment of critical thinking (ACT) examination and the externally validated instrument, California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST), in the spring of 2011. Total scores and sub-scores from each exam were analyzed for significant correlations using Pearson correlation coefficients. Significant correlations between ACT Blooms 2 and deductive reasoning and total ACT score and deductive reasoning were demonstrated with correlation coefficients of 0.24 and 0.22, respectively. No other statistically significant correlations were found. The lack of significant correlation between the two examinations illustrates the need in medical education to externally validate internal custom assessments. Ultimately, the development and validation of custom assessments of non-knowledge-based competencies will produce higher quality medical professionals.

  16. Quality assessment of urban environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Quality Assessment in Action.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawk, Thomas R.

    In 1985, an ad hoc committee was appointed to conduct a comprehensive examination of the educational effectiveness of the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP). The principles governing the assessment emphasized students' educational goals; cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes; differences among subgroups within the student population;…

  18. The Northeast Stream Quality Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Metre, Peter C.; Riva-Murray, Karen; Coles, James F.

    2016-04-22

    In 2016, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) is assessing stream quality in the northeastern United States. The goal of the Northeast Stream Quality Assessment (NESQA) is to assess the quality of streams in the region by characterizing multiple water-quality factors that are stressors to aquatic life and evaluating the relation between these stressors and biological communities. The focus of NESQA in 2016 will be on the effects of urbanization and agriculture on stream quality in all or parts of eight states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.Findings will provide the public and policymakers with information about the most critical factors affecting stream quality, thus providing insights about possible approaches to protect the health of streams in the region. The NESQA study will be the fourth regional study conducted as part of NAWQA and will be of similar design and scope to the first three, in the Midwest in 2013, the Southeast in 2014, and the Pacific Northwest in 2015 (http://txpub.usgs.gov/RSQA/).

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shah, Mahsood; Nair, Sid

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frazier, Remi Jordan Lesartre

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

  1. Quality assessment for hyperspectral imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. AIR QUALITY CRITERIA CARBON MONOXIDE, EXTERNAL REVIEW DRAFT

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  4. Assessing risks to ecosystem quality

    SciTech Connect

    Barnthouse, L.W.

    1995-12-31

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

  5. Ultrasonic assessment of rhinostomy size following external dacryocystorhinostomy

    PubMed Central

    Ezra, E.; Restori, M; Mannor, G; Rose, G.

    1998-01-01

    AIM—To assess the dimensions and patency of the surgical epithelial fistula after external dacryocystorhinostomy, using B mode ultrasonography to define the postoperative soft tissue anastomosis.
METHODS—12 patients undergoing 16 external dacryocystorhinostomies, with the creation of large osteotomies, were included in a prospective study. The horizontal and vertical dimensions of the bone ostium was recorded during surgery and compared with the ultrasonographic dimensions of the soft tissue anastomosis at 1 day, 2 weeks, and 6 months after surgery. Functional patency was confirmed with dye testing and irrigation.
RESULTS—Compared with an osteotomy of between 100 and 380 mm2 (mean 235 mm2), the soft tissue anastomosis on the day after surgery was, in all cases, markedly smaller (72-252 mm2; mean 144 mm2, or 61% of the bone window). The soft tissue anastomosis decreased to between 8 and 208 mm2 (mean 98 mm2; 68% of immediate postoperative value) at 2 weeks and 3-208 mm2 (mean 71 mm2; 49% of immediate postoperative value) at 6 months. 14 of the 16 (88%) dacryocystorhinostomies were functional at the end of the study, the two failures being associated with marked contracture of the soft tissue anastomosis; the outcome of surgery correlated significantly with the area of the anastomosis at 2 weeks (χ2 = 16.3; p<0.01) and at 6 months (χ2= 16.0, p= 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS—B mode ultrasonography provides a simple and effective method for assessing the size of the soft tissue anastomosis after external dacryocystorhinostomy and there is a significant reduction in size after surgery, to which the functional outcome of surgery appears related. As the initial soft tissue anastomosis cannot be larger than (and is, on average, about 60% of) the area of the osteotomy, this emphasises the paramount importance of a large rhinostomy to the success of lacrimal surgery.

 Keywords: ultrasonography; dacryocystorhinostomy; rhinostomy; healing PMID

  6. External Quality Assurance in Higher Education: Making Choices. Fundamentals of Educational Planning 85

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Michaela; Stella, Antony

    2007-01-01

    This booklet aims to provide policy advice and support to decision-makers and managers in the area of quality assurance in higher education. In order to do so, the authors describe and discuss major issues that decision-makers in charge of quality assurance need to consider for the creation or development of an external quality assurance (EQA)…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luckett, Kathy

    2007-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. [The external evaluation of study quality: the role in maintaining the reliability of laboratory information].

    PubMed

    Men'shikov, V V

    2013-08-01

    The external evaluation of quality of clinical laboratory examinations was gradually introduced in USSR medical laboratories since 1970s. In Russia, in the middle of 1990 a unified all-national system of external evaluation quality was organized known as the Federal center of external evaluation of quality at the basis of laboratory of the state research center of preventive medicine. The main positions of policy in this area were neatly formulated in the guidance documents of ministry of Health. Nowadays, the center of external evaluation of quality proposes 100 and more types of control studies and permanently extends their specter starting from interests of different disciplines of clinical medicine. The consistent participation of laboratories in the cycles of external evaluation of quality intrinsically promotes improvement of indicators of properness and precision of analysis results and increases reliability of laboratory information. However, a significant percentage of laboratories does not participate at all in external evaluation of quality or takes part in control process irregularly and in limited number of tests. The managers of a number of medical organizations disregard the application of the proposed possibilities to increase reliability of laboratory information and limit financing of studies in the field of quality control. The article proposes to adopt the national standard on the basis of ISO 17043 "Evaluation of compliance. The common requirements of professional competence testing".

  10. 42 CFR 438.364 - External quality review results.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... quality review results. (a) Information that must be produced. The State must ensure that the EQR produces... this section, upon request, through print or electronic media, to interested parties such...

  11. The Midwest Stream Quality Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2012-01-01

    In 2013, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA) and USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center (CERC) will be collaborating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Rivers and Streams Assessment (NRSA) to assess stream quality across the Midwestern United States. The sites selected for this study are a subset of the larger NRSA, implemented by the EPA, States and Tribes to sample flowing waters across the United States (http://water.epa.gov/type/rsl/monitoring/riverssurvey/index.cfm). The goals are to characterize water-quality stressors—contaminants, nutrients, and sediment—and ecological conditions in streams throughout the Midwest and to determine the relative effects of these stressors on aquatic organisms in the streams. Findings will contribute useful information for communities and policymakers by identifying which human and environmental factors are the most critical in controlling stream quality. This collaborative study enhances information provided to the public and policymakers and minimizes costs by leveraging and sharing data gathered under existing programs. In the spring and early summer, NAWQA will sample streams weekly for contaminants, nutrients, and sediment. During the same time period, CERC will test sediment and water samples for toxicity, deploy time-integrating samplers, and measure reproductive effects and biomarkers of contaminant exposure in fish or amphibians. NRSA will sample sites once during the summer to assess ecological and habitat conditions in the streams by collecting data on algal, macroinvertebrate, and fish communities and collecting detailed physical-habitat measurements. Study-team members from all three programs will work in collaboration with USGS Water Science Centers and State agencies on study design, execution of sampling and analysis, and reporting.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background:

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Locke, S. R.

    1988-01-01

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

  15. Orion Entry Handling Qualities Assessments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Fovea based image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  17. Developing standards for malaria microscopy: external competency assessment for malaria microscopists in the Asia-Pacific

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Malaria diagnosis has received renewed interest in recent years, associated with the increasing accessibility of accurate diagnosis through the introduction of rapid diagnostic tests and new World Health Organization guidelines recommending parasite-based diagnosis prior to anti-malarial therapy. However, light microscopy, established over 100 years ago and frequently considered the reference standard for clinical diagnosis, has been neglected in control programmes and in the malaria literature and evidence suggests field standards are commonly poor. Microscopy remains the most accessible method for parasite quantitation, for drug efficacy monitoring, and as a reference of assessing other diagnostic tools. This mismatch between quality and need highlights the importance of the establishment of reliable standards and procedures for assessing and assuring quality. This paper describes the development, function and impact of a multi-country microscopy external quality assurance network set up for this purpose in Asia. Methods Surveys were used for key informants and past participants for feedback on the quality assurance programme. Competency scores for each country from 14 participating countries were compiled for analyses using paired sample t-tests. In-depth interviews were conducted with key informants including the programme facilitators and national level microscopists. Results External assessments and limited retraining through a formalized programme based on a reference slide bank has demonstrated an increase in standards of competence of senior microscopists over a relatively short period of time, at a potentially sustainable cost. The network involved in the programme now exceeds 14 countries in the Asia-Pacific, and the methods are extended to other regions. Conclusions While the impact on national programmes varies, it has translated in some instances into a strengthening of national microscopy standards and offers a possibility both for

  18. A quality audit program for external beam radiotherapy

    SciTech Connect

    Hanson, W.F.; Stovall, M.

    1993-12-31

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knox, Andrew James

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

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

    PubMed

    van der Kamp, Jonathan; Bachmann, Till M

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    van der Kamp, Jonathan; Bachmann, Till M

    2015-03-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lu, Zhong-Lin; Dosher, Barbara Anne

    2008-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Child Diurnal Cortisol Rhythms, Parenting Quality, and Externalizing Behaviors in Preadolescence

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Christina Gamache; Kim, Hyoun K.; Bruce, Jacqueline; Fisher, Philip A.

    2014-01-01

    This study examined a neurobiologically–informed model of the emergence of child externalizing behaviors in an ethnically diverse community sample of 232 9–12 year old children. Replicating extensive prior research, our analyses revealed that parents’ inconsistent discipline and poor quality monitoring were predictive of child externalizing behavior. In addition, poor parental monitoring, but not inconsistent discipline, was associated with children having a significantly flatter morning–to–evening cortisol slope, which was in turn, related to higher levels of externalizing behaviors. An indirect effect of parental monitoring on externalizing behaviors, through child diurnal cortisol rhythms, was also supported. These findings highlight the role of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and its hormonal end product, cortisol, in the relationship between the caregiving environment and the development of externalizing behaviors. PMID:24485489

  6. Implications of environmental externalities assessments for solar thermal powerplants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1991-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  13. [Analysis of the results of the SEIMC External Quality Control Program. Year 2012].

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

    The External Quality Control Program of the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC) include controls for bacteriology, serology, mycology, parasitology, mycobacteria, virology and molecular microbiology. This article presents the most relevant conclusions and lessons from the 2012 controls. As a whole, the results obtained in 2012 confirm the excellent skill and good technical standards found in previous editions. However, erroneous results can be obtained in any laboratory and in clinically relevant determinations. Once again, the results of this program highlighted the need to implement both internal and external controls in order to assure the maximal quality of the microbiological tests.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  15. [Analysis of the results of the SEIMC External Quality Control Program. Year 2009].

    PubMed

    de Gopegui Bordes, Enrique Ruiz; del Remedio Guna Serrano, M; Orta Mira, Nieves; Ovies, María; Poveda, Marta; Gimeno Cardona, Concepción; Pérez, José L

    2011-03-01

    The External Quality Control Program of the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC) includes controls for bacteriology, serology, mycology, parasitology, mycobacteria, virology and molecular microbiology. In this article, the most important conclusions and lessons from the 2009 controls are presented. As a whole, the results obtained in 2009 confirm the excellent skill and good technical standards found in previous editions. However, erroneous results can be obtained in any laboratory and in clinically relevant determinations. The results of this program highlight the need to implement both internal and external controls in order to ensure maximal quality of microbiological tests.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  17. Carbon Nanotube Material Quality Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coffey, Janis Cox

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

  19. Internal and External Ethnic Assessments in Eastern Europe

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-09-01

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

  2. Towards Quality Assessment in an EFL Programme

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  5. Assessing Discriminative Performance at External Validation of Clinical Prediction Models

    PubMed Central

    Nieboer, Daan; van der Ploeg, Tjeerd; Steyerberg, Ewout W.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction External validation studies are essential to study the generalizability of prediction models. Recently a permutation test, focusing on discrimination as quantified by the c-statistic, was proposed to judge whether a prediction model is transportable to a new setting. We aimed to evaluate this test and compare it to previously proposed procedures to judge any changes in c-statistic from development to external validation setting. Methods We compared the use of the permutation test to the use of benchmark values of the c-statistic following from a previously proposed framework to judge transportability of a prediction model. In a simulation study we developed a prediction model with logistic regression on a development set and validated them in the validation set. We concentrated on two scenarios: 1) the case-mix was more heterogeneous and predictor effects were weaker in the validation set compared to the development set, and 2) the case-mix was less heterogeneous in the validation set and predictor effects were identical in the validation and development set. Furthermore we illustrated the methods in a case study using 15 datasets of patients suffering from traumatic brain injury. Results The permutation test indicated that the validation and development set were homogenous in scenario 1 (in almost all simulated samples) and heterogeneous in scenario 2 (in 17%-39% of simulated samples). Previously proposed benchmark values of the c-statistic and the standard deviation of the linear predictors correctly pointed at the more heterogeneous case-mix in scenario 1 and the less heterogeneous case-mix in scenario 2. Conclusion The recently proposed permutation test may provide misleading results when externally validating prediction models in the presence of case-mix differences between the development and validation population. To correctly interpret the c-statistic found at external validation it is crucial to disentangle case-mix differences from incorrect

  6. Photographic Analysis Technique for Assessing External Tank Foam Loss Events

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ramadan, Nadia; Arafeh, Mazen

    2016-04-18

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sae-Lao, Rattana

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Quality assessment of malaria laboratory diagnosis in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Dini, Leigh; Frean, John

    2003-01-01

    To assess the quality of malaria diagnosis in 115 South African laboratories participating in the National Health Laboratory Service Parasitology External Quality Assessment Programme we reviewed the results from 7 surveys from January 2000 to August 2002. The mean percentage incorrect result rate was 13.8% (95% CI 11.3-16.9%), which is alarmingly high, with about 1 in 7 blood films being incorrectly interpreted. Most participants with incorrect blood film interpretations had acceptable Giemsa staining quality, indicating that there is less of a problem with staining technique than with blood film interpretation. Laboratories in provinces in which malaria is endemic did not necessarily perform better than those in non-endemic areas. The results clearly suggest that malaria laboratory diagnosis throughout South Africa needs strengthening by improving laboratory standardization and auditing, training, quality assurance and referral resources. PMID:16117961

  10. [Analysis of the results of the SEIMC External Quality Control Program, 2007].

    PubMed

    Guna Serrano, María del Remedio; Orta Mira, Nieves; Ovies, María; Gimeno Cardona, Concepción; Pérez, José L

    2008-11-01

    The External Quality Control Program of the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC) includes controls for bacteriology, serology, mycology, parasitology, mycobacteria, virology and molecular microbiology. This article presents the most important conclusions and lessons drawn from the 2007 controls. As a whole, the results obtained in 2007 confirm the excellent skill and good technical standards found in previous years. However, erroneous results can be obtained in any laboratory and in clinically relevant determinations. A few deviations were observed in some controls, calling for critical reflection. Once again, the results of this program highlighted the need to complement internal with external controls, such as those offered by the SEIMC program.

  11. Development of Handling Qualities Criteria for Rotorcraft with Externally Slung Loads

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burroughs, R.H.

    1993-01-01

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

  13. Assessing the Quality of Teachers' Teaching Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Weiyun; Mason, Stephen; Staniszewski, Christina; Upton, Ashley; Valley, Megan

    2012-01-01

    This study assessed the extent to which nine elementary physical education teachers implemented the quality of teaching practices. Thirty physical education lessons taught by the nine teachers to their students in grades K-5 were videotaped. Four investigators coded the taped lessons using the Assessing Quality Teaching Rubric (AQTR) designed and…

  14. Assessing Quality in Home Visiting Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. SERI QC Solar Data Quality Assessment Software

    1994-12-31

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

  16. The Spanish external quality assessment scheme for mercury in urine.

    PubMed

    Quintana, M J; Mazarrasa, O

    1996-01-01

    In 1986 the Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo (INSHT), established the "Programa interlaboratorios de control de calidad de mercurio en orina (PICC-HgU)". The operation of this scheme is explained, criteria for evaluation of laboratory performance are defined and some results obtained are reviewed. Since the scheme started, an improvement in the overall performance of laboratories has been observed. The differences in the analytical methods used by laboratories do not seem to have a clear influence on the results.

  17. The Spanish external quality assessment scheme for lead in blood.

    PubMed

    Marcuello, D

    1996-01-01

    In 1985 the Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo (INSHT) established the "Programa Interlaboratorios de Control de Calidad de Plomo en Sangre (PICC-PbS)". The operation of this scheme is explained, criteria for evaluation of laboratory performance are defined and some results obtained are reviewed.

  18. [Analysis of the results of the SEIMC External Quality Control Program. Year 2011].

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

    The External Quality Control Program of the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (Sociedad Española de Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica [SEIMC]) includes controls for bacteriology, serology, mycology, parasitology, mycobacteria, virology, and molecular microbiology. This article presents the most relevant conclusions and lessons from the 2011 controls. Overall, the results obtained in 2011 confirm the excellent skill and good technical standards found in previous years. Nevertheless, erroneous results can be obtained in any laboratory and in clinically relevant determinations. The results of this program highlight the need to implement both internal and external controls, such as those offered by the SEIMC program, in order to ensure maximal quality of microbiological tests.

  19. What Assessment of Reader-Writer Conferencing Can Externalize.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Della-Piana, Gabriel M.; And Others

    This report first presents a brief analysis of the "Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing" that provides the basis for an argument that the test user/purchaser must see the possibilities in uncommon types of assessment before any test developer/publisher is likely to make them available. Next, six criteria (theoretical base,…

  20. Rendered virtual view image objective quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  4. Continuous assessment of perceptual image quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamberg, Roelof; de Ridder, Huib

    1995-12-01

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

  5. Tools to assess tissue quality.

    PubMed

    Neumeister, Veronique M

    2014-03-01

    Biospecimen science has recognized the importance of tissue quality for accurate molecular and biomarker analysis and efforts are made to standardize tissue procurement, processing and storage conditions of tissue samples. At the same time the field has emphasized the lack of standardization of processes between different laboratories, the variability inherent in the analytical phase and the lack of control over the pre-analytical phase of tissue processing. The problem extends back into tissue samples in biorepositories, which are often decades old and where documentation about tissue processing might not be available. This review highlights pre-analytical variations in tissue handling, processing, fixation and storage and emphasizes the effects of these variables on nucleic acids and proteins in harvested tissue. Finally current tools for quality control regarding molecular or biomarker analysis are summarized and discussed.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, John A.; Kostuch, Lynn

    2011-01-01

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

  7. 49 CFR 192.925 - What are the requirements for using External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA)?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

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

  8. 49 CFR 192.925 - What are the requirements for using External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA)?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

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

  9. 49 CFR 192.925 - What are the requirements for using External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA)?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

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

  10. 49 CFR 192.925 - What are the requirements for using External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA)?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

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

  11. Assessing quality in Earth Science Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rollinson, Hugh

    1999-05-01

    Quality is an elusive concept — hard to define, but you recognise it when you come across it. This paper reviews the meaning of quality as applied in Higher Education and shows that there are, of necessity, a number of workable definitions of quality in Higher Education. The assessment of quality in Earth Science Higher Education in England during 1994-1995 is described. A number of general features of quality in Earth Sciences Education are drawn from this case study and the future direction of quality assurance is mapped. Three principles drawn from the definitions of quality and from the English teaching quality assessment exercise are applied to Earth Science Education in Africa. It is argued that different definitions of quality will apply in different societal contexts in Africa and that these may be used to shape the relevance of Geoscience Education. Increasing mobility of labour means that comparability of academic standards between African countries within a region is desirable and should be worked for. Finally, research in the UK shows that teaching quality is not necessarily dependent upon the size or research potential of a department, indicating that Africa can deliver high quality Earth Science Education.

  12. Quality Assessment in the Blog Space

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Quality Assessment for a University Curriculum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hjalmered, Jan-Olof; Lumsden, Kenth

    1994-01-01

    In 1992, a national quality assessment report covering courses in all the Swedish schools of mechanical engineering was presented. This article comments on the general ideas and specific proposals presented, and offers an analysis of the consequences. Presents overall considerations regarding quality issues, the philosophy behind the new…

  14. An Approach towards Software Quality Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srivastava, Praveen Ranjan; Kumar, Krishan

    Software engineer needs to determine the real purpose of the software, which is a prime point to keep in mind: The customer’s needs come first, and they include particular levels of quality, not just functionality. Thus, the software engineer has a responsibility to elicit quality requirements that may not even be explicit at the outset and to discuss their importance and the difficulty of attaining them. All processes associated with software quality (e.g. building, checking, improving quality) will be designed with these in mind and carry costs based on the design. Therefore, it is important to have in mind some of the possible attributes of quality. We start by identifying the metrics and measurement approaches that can be used to assess the quality of software product. Most of them can be measured subjectively because there is no solid statistics regarding them. Here, in this paper we propose an approach to measure the software quality statistically.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dill, David D.

    2010-01-01

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

  16. 77 FR 36534 - Third External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Ozone and Related Photochemical...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-19

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

  17. ANSS Backbone Station Quality Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  18. Water quality assessment in Ecuador

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  20. A Permutation Method to Assess Heterogeneity in External Validation for Risk Prediction Models

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ling-Yi; Lee, Wen-Chung

    2015-01-01

    The value of a developed prediction model depends on its performance outside the development sample. The key is therefore to externally validate the model on a different but related independent data. In this study, we propose a permutation method to assess heterogeneity in external validation for risk prediction models. The permutation p value measures the extent of homology between development and validation datasets. If p < 0.05, the model may not be directly transported to the external validation population without further revision or updating. Monte-Carlo simulations are conducted to evaluate the statistical properties of the proposed method, and two microarray breast cancer datasets are analyzed for demonstration. The permutation method is easy to implement and is recommended for routine use in external validation for risk prediction models. PMID:25606854

  1. Automatic no-reference image quality assessment.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Assessing product image quality for online shopping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Pesticide Environmental Accounting: a method for assessing the external costs of individual pesticide applications.

    PubMed

    Leach, A W; Mumford, J D

    2008-01-01

    The Pesticide Environmental Accounting (PEA) tool provides a monetary estimate of environmental and health impacts per hectare-application for any pesticide. The model combines the Environmental Impact Quotient method and a methodology for absolute estimates of external pesticide costs in UK, USA and Germany. For many countries resources are not available for intensive assessments of external pesticide costs. The model converts external costs of a pesticide in the UK, USA and Germany to Mediterranean countries. Economic and policy applications include estimating impacts of pesticide reduction policies or benefits from technologies replacing pesticides, such as sterile insect technique. The system integrates disparate data and approaches into a single logical method. The assumptions in the system provide transparency and consistency but at the cost of some specificity and precision, a reasonable trade-off for a method that provides both comparative estimates of pesticide impacts and area-based assessments of absolute impacts. PMID:17604888

  4. Pesticide Environmental Accounting: a method for assessing the external costs of individual pesticide applications.

    PubMed

    Leach, A W; Mumford, J D

    2008-01-01

    The Pesticide Environmental Accounting (PEA) tool provides a monetary estimate of environmental and health impacts per hectare-application for any pesticide. The model combines the Environmental Impact Quotient method and a methodology for absolute estimates of external pesticide costs in UK, USA and Germany. For many countries resources are not available for intensive assessments of external pesticide costs. The model converts external costs of a pesticide in the UK, USA and Germany to Mediterranean countries. Economic and policy applications include estimating impacts of pesticide reduction policies or benefits from technologies replacing pesticides, such as sterile insect technique. The system integrates disparate data and approaches into a single logical method. The assumptions in the system provide transparency and consistency but at the cost of some specificity and precision, a reasonable trade-off for a method that provides both comparative estimates of pesticide impacts and area-based assessments of absolute impacts.

  5. Automatic quality assessment of planetary images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  6. External quality assurance performance of clinical research laboratories in sub-saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Amukele, Timothy K; Michael, Kurt; Hanes, Mary; Miller, Robert E; Jackson, J Brooks

    2012-11-01

    Patient Safety Monitoring in International Laboratories (JHU-SMILE) is a resource at Johns Hopkins University that supports and monitors laboratories in National Institutes of Health-funded international clinical trials. To determine the impact of the JHU-SMILE quality assurance scheme in sub-Saharan African laboratories, we reviewed 40 to 60 months of external quality assurance (EQA) results of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) in these laboratories. We reviewed the performance of 8 analytes: albumin, alanine aminotransferase, creatinine, sodium, WBC, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and the human immunodeficiency virus antibody rapid test. Over the 40- to 60-month observation period, the sub-Saharan laboratories had a 1.63% failure rate, which was 40% lower than the 2011 CAP-wide rate of 2.8%. Seventy-six percent of the observed EQA failures occurred in 4 of the 21 laboratories. These results demonstrate that a system of remote monitoring, feedback, and audits can support quality in low-resource settings, even in places without strong regulatory support for laboratory quality.

  7. Automated data quality assessment of marine sensors.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  9. 49 CFR 192.925 - What are the requirements for using External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA)?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 3 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false What are the requirements for using External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA)? 192.925 Section 192.925 Transportation Other Regulations Relating to Transportation (Continued) PIPELINE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (CONTINUED) PIPELINE...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  17. End-to-end image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raventos, Joaquin

    2012-05-01

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

  18. Software quality assessment for health care systems.

    PubMed

    Braccini, G; Fabbrini, F; Fusani, M

    1997-01-01

    The problem of defining a quality model to be used in the evaluation of the software components of a Health Care System (HCS) is addressed. The model, based on the ISO/IEC 9126 standard, has been interpreted to fit the requirements of some classes of applications representative of Health Care Systems, on the basis of the experience gained both in the field of medical Informatics and assessment of software products. The values resulting from weighing the quality characteristics according to their criticality outline a set of quality profiles that can be used both for evaluation and certification.

  19. 42 CFR 438.354 - Qualifications of external quality review organizations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... organizations. 438.354 Section 438.354 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF...; (iii) Quality assessment and improvement methods; and (iv) Research design and methodology, including... as “independent”— (1) A State agency, department, university, or other State entity may not...

  20. Assessing the quality of nursing work life.

    PubMed

    Brooks, Beth A; Storfjell, Judy; Omoike, Osei; Ohlson, Susan; Stemler, Irene; Shaver, Joan; Brown, Amy

    2007-01-01

    Traditionally, nursing has measured job satisfaction by focusing on employees' likes and dislikes. However, job satisfaction is an unsatisfactory construct to assess either the jobs themselves or employees' feelings about work sinceas much as 30% of the variance explained in job satisfaction surveys is a function of personality, something employers can do little to change. Based on socio-technical systems theory, quality of nursing work life (QNWL) assessments focus on identifying opportunities for nurses to improve their work and work environment while achieving the organization's goals. Moreover, some evidence suggests that improvements in work life are needed to improve productivity. Therefore, assessing QNWL reveals areas for improvement where the needs of both the employees and the organization converge. The purpose of this article was to assess the QNWL of staff nurses using Brooks' Quality of Nursing Work Life Survey. PMID:17413509

  1. Pinpointing Chinese Early Childhood Teachers' Professional Development Needs through Self-Evaluation and External Observation of Classroom Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hu, Bi Ying; Zhou, Yisu; Li, Kejian

    2014-01-01

    This study compared Chinese kindergarten teachers' values and perceptions of program quality with trained raters' assessments of quality in order to gain insights into effective professional development for improving teacher quality. A total of 284 Chinese kindergarten teachers self-assessed the quality of their classroom teaching and…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galloway, R. L.; Wearn, Katrina

    1998-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Objective assessment of MPEG-2 video quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gastaldo, Paolo; Zunino, Rodolfo; Rovetta, Stefano

    2002-07-01

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

  5. Water quality issues and energy assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, M.J.; Chiu, S.

    1980-11-01

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

  6. An assessment model for quality management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1982-11-08

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-03-01

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

  9. Quality assessment of altimeter data through tide gauge comparisons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  10. Assessing uncertainty in stormwater quality modelling.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-15

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

  11. Assessing uncertainty in stormwater quality modelling.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-07-01

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

  14. Surface water quality assessment by environmetric methods.

    PubMed

    Boyacioglu, Hülya; Boyacioglu, Hayal

    2007-08-01

    This environmetric study deals with the interpretation of river water monitoring data from the basin of the Buyuk Menderes River and its tributaries in Turkey. Eleven variables were measured to estimate water quality at 17 sampling sites. Factor analysis was applied to explain the correlations between the observations in terms of underlying factors. Results revealed that, water quality was strongly affected from agricultural uses. Cluster analysis was used to classify stations with similar properties and results distinguished three groups of stations. Water quality at downstream of the river was quite different from the other part. It is recommended to involve the environmetric data treatment as a substantial procedure in assessment of water quality data.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Water Quality Assessment using Satellite Remote Sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haque, Saad Ul

    2016-07-01

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

  17. Automated Data Quality Assessment of Marine Sensors

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Latysh, Natalie E.; Wetherbee, Gregory A.

    2007-01-01

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

  19. Statistical approach for optimization of external quality assurance (EQA) studies of molecular and serological viral diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Rumer, Leonid; Domingo, Cristina; Donoso Mantke, Oliver; Dobrydneva, Yuliya; Greiner, Matthias; Niedrig, Matthias

    2016-10-01

    Management of viral diagnostic quality is based on external quality assurance (EQA), where laboratories involved in diagnostics of a targeted virus are offered to analyze a panel of blinded samples. The utility of EQAs is compromised because of the absence of an approach to EQA design which upfront defines acceptance criteria and associated statistical analysis ensuring fair and consistent interpretation. We offer a rigorous statistically based approach for EQA planning. Instead of a conventional performance characteristic (the score) which is calculated as the sum of the points for correctly identified samples in a blinded test panel, Youden index is used as the performance measure. Unlike the score, Youden index requires an estimate of sensitivity and specificity and incorporates the relationship of these performance parameters. Based on the assumption that the coordinator is a reputable expert of viral diagnostics, the performance of the coordinator's laboratory is defined as a proficiency standard for performance evaluation. The immediate goal of EQA is defined as to obtain a statistically reliable estimation for every laboratory whether its performance meets the proficiency standard, while the overall goal is to match every laboratory to its specific performance level. Dependence of informational capacities of test panel from the panel size and content is quantitatively analyzed and the optimal design and informational capacities of both idealized panels (whose size is not restricted by financial factors) and currently feasible panels are considered. Our approach provides the basis both for rational design of currently feasible EQA test panels and for an increased panel size. PMID:27092652

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  1. Graphical assessment of internal and external calibration of logistic regression models by using loess smoothers.

    PubMed

    Austin, Peter C; Steyerberg, Ewout W

    2014-02-10

    Predicting the probability of the occurrence of a binary outcome or condition is important in biomedical research. While assessing discrimination is an essential issue in developing and validating binary prediction models, less attention has been paid to methods for assessing model calibration. Calibration refers to the degree of agreement between observed and predicted probabilities and is often assessed by testing for lack-of-fit. The objective of our study was to examine the ability of graphical methods to assess the calibration of logistic regression models. We examined lack of internal calibration, which was related to misspecification of the logistic regression model, and external calibration, which was related to an overfit model or to shrinkage of the linear predictor. We conducted an extensive set of Monte Carlo simulations with a locally weighted least squares regression smoother (i.e., the loess algorithm) to examine the ability of graphical methods to assess model calibration. We found that loess-based methods were able to provide evidence of moderate departures from linearity and indicate omission of a moderately strong interaction. Misspecification of the link function was harder to detect. Visual patterns were clearer with higher sample sizes, higher incidence of the outcome, or higher discrimination. Loess-based methods were also able to identify the lack of calibration in external validation samples when an overfit regression model had been used. In conclusion, loess-based smoothing methods are adequate tools to graphically assess calibration and merit wider application.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Almanza, Victor; Molina, Luisa T.; Li, Guohui; Fast, Jerome; Sosa, Gustavo

    2014-05-01

    The air quality of megacities can be influenced by external emissions sources on both regional and global scales. At the same time their outflow emissions can exert an important impact to the surrounding environment. The present study evaluates an SO2 peak observed on 24 March 2006 at the suburban supersite and ambient air quality monitoring stations located in the northern region of the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) during MILAGRO campaign. We found that this peak could be related to an important episodic emission event coming from Tizayuca region, northeast of the MCMA. Back trajectories analyses suggest that the emission event started in the early morning at 04:00 LST and lasted for about 9 hours. The estimated emission rate is high, about 2 kg s-1. This finding suggests the possibility of 'overlooked' emission sources in Tizayuca region that could influence the air quality of the MCMA. This further motivated us to study the cement plants, including those in the State of Hidalgo and the State of Mexico. We found that they can also contribute SO2 in the NE region of the basin, at the suburban supersite and that at some monitoring stations; their contribution can be even higher than from the Tula Industrial Complex (TIC). The contribution of TIC to regional ozone levels is also estimated. The model suggests low contribution to the MCMA and slightly higher contribution at the suburban and rural supersites. However, the contribution could be high in the upper northwest region of the basin and in the southwest and south-southeast regions of the State of Hidalgo. In addition, a first estimate of the potential contribution from flaring activities to regional ozone levels is presented. Results suggest that part of the total regional ozone from TIC-generated precursors could be related to flaring activities.

  3. Visual pattern degradation based image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Jinjian; Li, Leida; Shi, Guangming; Lin, Weisi; Wan, Wenfei

    2015-08-01

    In this paper, we introduce a visual pattern degradation based full-reference (FR) image quality assessment (IQA) method. Researches on visual recognition indicate that the human visual system (HVS) is highly adaptive to extract visual structures for scene understanding. Existing structure degradation based IQA methods mainly take local luminance contrast to represent structure, and measure quality as degradation on luminance contrast. In this paper, we suggest that structure includes not only luminance contrast but also orientation information. Therefore, we analyze the orientation characteristic for structure description. Inspired by the orientation selectivity mechanism in the primary visual cortex, we introduce a novel visual pattern to represent the structure of a local region. Then, the quality is measured as the degradations on both luminance contrast and visual pattern. Experimental results on Five benchmark databases demonstrate that the proposed visual pattern can effectively represent visual structure and the proposed IQA method performs better than the existing IQA metrics.

  4. Assessing the quality of cost management

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

  5. Scene reduction for subjective image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewandowska (Tomaszewska), Anna

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Harolds, Jay A

    2016-09-01

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

  7. Objective assessment of image quality VI: imaging in radiation therapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrett, Harrison H.; Kupinski, Matthew A.; Müeller, Stefan; Halpern, Howard J.; Morris, John C., III; Dwyer, Roisin

    2013-11-01

    Earlier work on objective assessment of image quality (OAIQ) focused largely on estimation or classification tasks in which the desired outcome of imaging is accurate diagnosis. This paper develops a general framework for assessing imaging quality on the basis of therapeutic outcomes rather than diagnostic performance. By analogy to receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and their variants as used in diagnostic OAIQ, the method proposed here utilizes the therapy operating characteristic or TOC curves, which are plots of the probability of tumor control versus the probability of normal-tissue complications as the overall dose level of a radiotherapy treatment is varied. The proposed figure of merit is the area under the TOC curve, denoted AUTOC. This paper reviews an earlier exposition of the theory of TOC and AUTOC, which was specific to the assessment of image-segmentation algorithms, and extends it to other applications of imaging in external-beam radiation treatment as well as in treatment with internal radioactive sources. For each application, a methodology for computing the TOC is presented. A key difference between ROC and TOC is that the latter can be defined for a single patient rather than a population of patients.

  8. Quality Assessment of Domesticated Animal Genome Assemblies

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weir, Annie

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Assessing the Quality of Bioforensic Signatures

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-06-04

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Block, Meghan K.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tillema, Harm; Leenknecht, Martijn; Segers, Mien

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Bacteriological Assessment of Spoon River Water Quality

    PubMed Central

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

    1974-01-01

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

  15. Quality assessment of strawberries (Fragaria species).

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-29

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

  16. External quality-assurance results for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network during 1988. Water resources investigation

    SciTech Connect

    See, R.B.; Gordon, J.D.; Willoughby, T.C.

    1990-01-01

    The National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) was established in 1978 as a national monitoring network to investigate acid deposition. The National Trends Network (NTN) was established in 1982 to expand the NADP effort into areas not previously sampled. Most sites in the NADP were incorporated into the NTN operation. Data collected as part of the NADP/NTN programs are used to monitor spatial and temporal trends in the chemical composition of natural wet deposition and to provide accurate data to individual scientists or agencies involved in research on the effects of acid deposition. The report describes the results of the external quality-assurance programs operated by the U.S. Geological Survey during 1988. These programs: (1) Assess the precision and accuracy of onsite determinations of pH and specific conductance; (2) evaluate the effects of onsite and laboratory protocols on the bias and precision of NADP/NTN analyte determinations; (3) determine the comparability, bias, and precision of analytical results obtained by separate laboratories when portions of a common sample were analyzed; and (4) estimate the precision of the entire sampling system.

  17. Institutional Quality Assessment of Higher Education: Dimensions, Criteria and Indicators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savickiene, Izabela; Pukelis, Kestutis

    2004-01-01

    The article discusses dimensions and criteria, which are used to assess the quality of higher education in different countries. The paper presents dimensions and criteria that could be appropriate for assessment of the quality of higher education at Lithuanian universities. Quality dimensions, assessment criteria and indicators are defined and…

  18. [Quality assessment of continuing medical education].

    PubMed

    Lipp, M

    1996-04-01

    Medical performance is subject to quality control. Continuous advanced training (CAT) and continuous medical education (CME) are essential, and quality must be checked and assured: structure (contents, organizational form, framework, term, demands on teachers), process (term of the CAT, interaction between teachers and participants) and results (satisfaction and acceptance, increased knowledge, influence on medical treatment, improvement of the success rate of medical treatment. In emergency medicine one must differentiate between the necessity for CAT (e.g., certified proof required for working as an emergency physician) and a desire for CME (the individual task of the physician). The diversity of forms of CAT/CME reflects the different individual requirements. Using the new German guidelines to obtain qualification as an emergency physician, "Fachkundenachweises Rettungsdienst" offers measures for quality assessment and assurance can be obtained. STRUCTURE QUALITY: The recommendations for obtaining the "Fachkundenachweis Rettungsdienst" which have been valid until now date from the year 1983 and were set fourth explained very differently in the individual countries medical boards. This led to problems in the comparability of the essential CAT. The quality of the structure has now been improved by establishing new minimum requirements for clinical activity, specification of particular knowledge, number of supervised calls for the emergency car as well as participation in interdisciplinary CAT courses, dealing with general and special aspects of emergency medicine. The aim of these measures is not the (senseless) regimentation of CAT training measures, but the qualified transfer of specific medical knowledge and treatment guidelines. PROCESS QUALITY: On qualifying, hardly any physician has any didactic and/or rhetorical education; the physician must make a personal effort to obtain a qualification of this kind. Conventional and commonly practised forms of learning

  19. A PILOT EXTERNAL QUALITY ASSURANCE STUDY OF TRANSFUSION SCREENING FOR HIV, HCV AND HBSAG IN TWELVE AFRICAN COUNTRIES

    PubMed Central

    Bloch, Evan M; Shah, Avani; Kaidarova, Zhanna; Laperche, Syria; Lefrere, Jean-Jacques; van Hasselt, James; Zacharias, Peter; Murphy, Edward L

    2014-01-01

    Background and Objectives Serologic screening for the major transfusion transmissible viruses (TTV) is critical to blood safety and has been widely implemented. However, actual performance as measured by proficiency testing has not been well studied in Sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, we conducted an external quality assessment of laboratories engaged in transfusion screening in the region. Materials and Methods Blinded test panels, each comprising 25 serum samples that were pedigreed for HIV, HBsAg, HCV and negative status, were sent to participating laboratories. The panels were tested using the laboratories’ routine donor screening methods and conditions. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated and multivariable analysis was used to compare performance against mode of testing, country and infrastructure. Results A total of 12 African countries and 44 laboratories participated in the study. The mean (range) sensitivities for HIV, HBsAg and HCV were 91.9% (14.3-100), 86.7% (42.9-100) and 90.1% (50-100), respectively. Mean specificities for HIV, HBsAg and HCV were 97.7%, 97% and 99.5% respectively. After adjusting for country and infrastructure, rapid tests had significantly lower sensitivity than enzyme immunoassays (EIA) for both HBsAg (p<0.0001) and HCV (p<0.05). Sensitivity also varied by country and selected infrastructure variables. Conclusion While specificity was high, sensitivity was more variable and deficient in a substantial number of testing laboratories. These findings underscore the importance of proficiency testing and quality control, particularly in Africa where TTV prevalence is high. PMID:25052195

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Latysh, Natalie E.; Wetherbee, Gregory A.

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Blind image quality assessment via deep learning.

    PubMed

    Hou, Weilong; Gao, Xinbo; Tao, Dacheng; Li, Xuelong

    2015-06-01

    This paper investigates how to blindly evaluate the visual quality of an image by learning rules from linguistic descriptions. Extensive psychological evidence shows that humans prefer to conduct evaluations qualitatively rather than numerically. The qualitative evaluations are then converted into the numerical scores to fairly benchmark objective image quality assessment (IQA) metrics. Recently, lots of learning-based IQA models are proposed by analyzing the mapping from the images to numerical ratings. However, the learnt mapping can hardly be accurate enough because some information has been lost in such an irreversible conversion from the linguistic descriptions to numerical scores. In this paper, we propose a blind IQA model, which learns qualitative evaluations directly and outputs numerical scores for general utilization and fair comparison. Images are represented by natural scene statistics features. A discriminative deep model is trained to classify the features into five grades, corresponding to five explicit mental concepts, i.e., excellent, good, fair, poor, and bad. A newly designed quality pooling is then applied to convert the qualitative labels into scores. The classification framework is not only much more natural than the regression-based models, but also robust to the small sample size problem. Thorough experiments are conducted on popular databases to verify the model's effectiveness, efficiency, and robustness. PMID:25122842

  3. Blind image quality assessment via deep learning.

    PubMed

    Hou, Weilong; Gao, Xinbo; Tao, Dacheng; Li, Xuelong

    2015-06-01

    This paper investigates how to blindly evaluate the visual quality of an image by learning rules from linguistic descriptions. Extensive psychological evidence shows that humans prefer to conduct evaluations qualitatively rather than numerically. The qualitative evaluations are then converted into the numerical scores to fairly benchmark objective image quality assessment (IQA) metrics. Recently, lots of learning-based IQA models are proposed by analyzing the mapping from the images to numerical ratings. However, the learnt mapping can hardly be accurate enough because some information has been lost in such an irreversible conversion from the linguistic descriptions to numerical scores. In this paper, we propose a blind IQA model, which learns qualitative evaluations directly and outputs numerical scores for general utilization and fair comparison. Images are represented by natural scene statistics features. A discriminative deep model is trained to classify the features into five grades, corresponding to five explicit mental concepts, i.e., excellent, good, fair, poor, and bad. A newly designed quality pooling is then applied to convert the qualitative labels into scores. The classification framework is not only much more natural than the regression-based models, but also robust to the small sample size problem. Thorough experiments are conducted on popular databases to verify the model's effectiveness, efficiency, and robustness.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Long, Caroline; Dunne, Tim; Mokoena, Gabriel

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1988-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1988-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Guillot, Sophie; Guiso, Nicole

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Guillot, Sophie; Guiso, Nicole

    2016-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Petruccelli, Umberto

    2015-09-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-01-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-12-12

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Walker, Stuart

    2012-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alzbutas, Robertas

    2015-04-01

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

  15. Quality assessment of clinical computed tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-08-01

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

  16. Automatic quality assessment protocol for MRI equipment.

    PubMed

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

    1999-12-01

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

  17. Data Quality Assessment for Maritime Situation Awareness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  18. Surgical quality assessment. A simplified approach.

    PubMed

    DeLong, D L

    1991-10-01

    The current approach to QA primarily involves taking action when problems are discovered and designing a documentation system that records the deliverance of quality care. Involving the entire staff helps eliminate problems before they occur. By keeping abreast of current problems and soliciting input from staff members, the QA at our hospital has improved dramatically. The cross-referencing of JCAHO and AORN standards on the assessment form and the single-sheet reporting form expedite the evaluation process and simplify record keeping. The bulletin board increases staff members' understanding of QA and boosts morale and participation. A sound and effective QA program does not require reorganizing an entire department, nor should it invoke negative connotations. Developing an effective QA program merely requires rethinking current processes. The program must meet the department's specific needs, and although many departments concentrate on documentation, auditing charts does not give a complete picture of the quality of care delivered. The QA committee must employ a variety of data collection methods on multiple indicators to ensure an accurate representation of the care delivered, and they must not overlook any issues that directly affect patient outcomes. PMID:1952907

  19. Development of a quality assurance programme for external personal dosimetry in Slovenia.

    PubMed

    Breznik, B; Janzekovic, H; Stuhec, M; Zdesar, U

    2001-01-01

    In order to improve the quality of individual monitoring and to achieve harmonisation with the new international standards, important components of a quality assurance system are considered and are presented as a result of cooperation of different institutions. The components are quality assurance and routine quality control of monitoring systems, and the creation of a central state dose register of workers.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-06-20

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

  2. International Space Station flights 1A/R-6A external contamination observations and surface assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soares, Carlos E.; Mikatarian, Ronald R.; Scharf, Robert A.; Miles, Erica A.

    2002-09-01

    This paper documents International Space Station (ISS) external contamination observations and surface assessments covering Flights 1A/R through 6A. These observations are based on imaging from ISS missions, as active external contamination monitoring is not present in the configuration at this time. Imaging from ISS missions is a critical resource as it records the condition of ISS surfaces and helps identify visible signs of surface degradation. The observations are divided into three main sections; the first section covers the Functional Cargo Block (FGB - Russian Segment), the second section covers the Service Module (SM - Russian Segment), and the third section covers the U.S. Segment (Node 1 and Primary Mating Adapters 1 and 2). This distinction is important as materials selection, design and contamination control procedures differ between the FGB and Service Module on the Russian Segment and the U.S. Segment. Numerous observations of FGB self-contamination have been made through ISS imaging obtained during Shuttle flights. These observations were not surprising as external contamination studies conducted during the Shuttle-Mir (Phase I) Program showed extensive contamination induced by the Russian hardware. The impact of FGB induced contamination on ISS sensitive surfaces was mitigated due to FGB on-orbit time vacuum baking the Russian hardware prior to the deployment of ISS contamination sensitive hardware. Service Module impacts on ISS hardware were mitigated with a combination of changes in materials selection and on-orbit vacuum baking as there would be less on-orbit time before deployment of sensitive surfaces. While changes were made to materials selection, self-contamination observations have also been made on the Service Module. At this point, the U.S. Segment appears to be largely free of self-induced contamination. This confirms predictions made during the design and integration phase. Observed darkening and degradation of surfaces on the U

  3. Personality assessment inventory internalizing and externalizing structure in veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder: associations with aggression.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Quality assurance of U.S.-guided external beam radiotherapy for prostate cancer: report of AAPM Task Group 154.

    PubMed

    Molloy, Janelle A; Chan, Gordon; Markovic, Alexander; McNeeley, Shawn; Pfeiffer, Doug; Salter, Bill; Tome, Wolfgang A

    2011-02-01

    Task Group 154 (TG154) of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) was created to produce a guidance document for clinical medical physicists describing recommended quality assurance (QA) procedures for ultrasound (U.S.)-guided external beam radiotherapy localization. This report describes the relevant literature, state of the art, and briefly summarizes U.S. imaging physics. Simulation, treatment planning and treatment delivery considerations are presented in order to improve consistency and accuracy. User training is emphasized in the report and recommendations regarding peer review are included. A set of thorough, yet practical, QA procedures, frequencies, and tolerances are recommended. These encompass recommendations to ensure both spatial accuracy and image quality.

  6. 42 CFR 493.1299 - Standard: Postanalytic systems quality assessment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  9. Beef quality assessed at European research centres.

    PubMed

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

    1984-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  13. QUALITY: A program to assess basis set quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sordo, J. A.

    1998-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    1995-04-01

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

  15. 42 CFR 493.1289 - Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment. 493... Nonwaived Testing Analytic Systems § 493.1289 Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment. (a) The..., assess, and when indicated, correct problems identified in the analytic systems specified in §§...

  16. Assessment of sleep quality in powernapping.

    PubMed

    Takhtsabzy, Bashaer K; Thomsen, Carsten E

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to assess the Sleep Quality (SQ) in powernapping. The contributed factors for SQ assessment are time of Sleep Onset (SO), Sleep Length (SL), Sleep Depth (SD), and detection of sleep events (K-complex (KC) and Sleep Spindle (SS)). Data from daytime nap for 10 subjects, 2 days each, including EEG and ECG were recorded. The SD and sleep events were analyzed by applying spectral analysis. The SO time was detected by a combination of signal spectral analysis, Slow Rolling Eye Movement (SREM) detection, Heart Rate Variability (HRV) analysis and EEG segmentation using both Autocorrelation Function (ACF), and Crosscorrelation Function (CCF) methods. The EEG derivation FP1-FP2 filtered in a narrow band and used as an alternative to EOG for SREM detection. The ACF and CCF segmentation methods were also applied for detection of sleep events. The ACF method detects segment boundaries based on single channel analysis, while the CCF includes spatial variation from multiple EEG derivation. The results indicate that SREM detection using EEG is possible and can be used as input together with power spectral analysis to enhance SO detection. Both segmentation methods could detect SO as a segment boundary. Additionally they were able to contribute to detection of KC and SS events. The CCF method was more sensitive to spatial EEG changes and the exact segment boundaries varied slightly between the two methods. The HRV analysis revealed, that low and very low frequency variations in the heart rate was highly correlated with the EEG changes during both SO and variations in SD. Analyzing the relationship between the sleep events and SD showed a negative correlation between the Delta and Sigma activity. Analyzing the subjective measurement (SM) showed that there were a positive correlation between the SL and rated SQ. This preliminary study showed that the factors contributing to the overall SQ during powernapping can be assessed markedly better using a fusion

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  19. Food quality assessment by NIR hyperspectral imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-04-01

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

  20. Microbial quality assessment of household greywater.

    PubMed

    O'Toole, Joanne; Sinclair, Martha; Malawaraarachchi, Manori; Hamilton, Andrew; Barker, S Fiona; Leder, Karin

    2012-09-01

    A monitoring program was undertaken to assess the microbial quality of greywater collected from 93 typical households in Melbourne, Australia. A total of 185 samples, comprising 75 washing machine wash, 74 washing machine rinse and 36 bathroom samples were analysed for the faecal indicator Escherichia coli. Of these, 104 were also analysed for genetic markers of pathogenic E coli and 111 for norovirus (genogroups GI and GII), enterovirus and rotavirus using RT-PCR. Enteric viruses were detected in 20 out of the 111 (18%) samples comprising 16 washing machine wash water and 4 bathroom samples. Eight (7%) samples were positive for enterovirus, twelve (11%) for norovirus genogroup GI, one (1%) for norovirus genogroup GII and another (1%) for rotavirus. Two washing machine samples contained more than one virus. Typical pathogenic E. coli were detected in 3 out of 104 (3%) samples and atypical enteropathogenic E. coli in 11 (11%) of samples. Levels of indicator E. coli were highly variable and the presence of E. coli was not associated with the presence of human enteric viruses in greywater. There was also little correlation between reported gastrointestinal illness in households and detection of pathogens in greywater.

  1. Public release of performance data and quality improvement: internal responses to external data by US health care providers

    PubMed Central

    Davies, H

    2001-01-01

    Health policy in many countries emphasises the public release of comparative data on clinical performance as one way of improving the quality of health care. Evidence to date is that it is health care providers (hospitals and the staff within them) that are most likely to respond to such data, yet little is known about how health care providers view and use these data. Case studies of six US hospitals were studied (two academic medical centres, two private not-for-profit medical centres, a group model health maintenance organisation hospital, and an inner city public provider "safety net" hospital) using semi-structured interviews followed by a broad thematic analysis located within an interpretive paradigm. Within these settings, 35 interviews were held with 31 individuals (chief executive officer, chief of staff, chief of cardiology, senior nurse, senior quality managers, and front line staff). The results showed that key stakeholders in these providers were often (but not always) antipathetic towards publicly released comparative data. Such data were seen as lacking in legitimacy and their meanings were disputed. Nonetheless, the public nature of these data did lead to some actions in response, more so when the data showed that local performance was poor. There was little integration between internal and external data systems. These findings suggest that the public release of comparative data may help to ensure that greater attention is paid to the quality agenda within health care providers, but greater efforts are needed both to develop internal systems of quality improvement and to integrate these more effectively with external data systems. Key Words: quality of health care; quality improvement; comparative performance data; public disclosure PMID:11389319

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

    PubMed Central

    Henry, S B

    1995-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Carroll Mobley; Yogeshwar Sahai; Jerry Brevick

    2003-10-10

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  8. In Search of Quality Criteria in Peer Assessment Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  9. Role of external oversight in quality activities: accreditation, credentialing, licensure, and deemed status.

    PubMed

    Wish, J B

    1998-12-01

    There currently exist a number of organizations which provide quality oversight to the ESRD program in the United States. The state surveyors confirm that dialysis facilities comply with Medicare's conditions of coverage, but surveyor activities have traditionally followed a quality assurance rather than a continuous quality improvement (CQI) model. State surveyors focus primarily on nursing homes, so their content knowledge of ESRD quality issues may be limited. The ESRD Networks have CQI expertise on their staffs, and their quality agenda is driven by their medical review boards, whose members bring scientific and technical expertise from the provider community. The success of the Networks in achieving quality goals has been hampered by personnel and resource limitations and by inconsistent direction by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). Texas has developed a dialysis facility licensure program that partners its ESRD Network and its Medicare state surveyors in quality oversight activities. This collaboration has led to improved patient outcomes and may prove to be a model for other states. Non-Medicare payers may contract with dialysis providers based on performance specifications that exceed those of Medicare's conditions of coverage. A private credentialing mechanism for dialysis facilities that satisfies the performance specifications of all payers has been proposed but, in the absence of deemed status for Medicare survey and certification activities, is unlikely to achieve widespread acceptance. PMID:9892388

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Capturing the Magic: Assessing the Quality of Youth Mentoring Relationships

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deutsch, Nancy L.; Spencer, Renee

    2009-01-01

    Mentoring programs pose some special challenges for quality assessment because they operate at two levels: that of the dyadic relationship and that of the program. Fully assessing the quality of youth mentoring relationships requires understanding the characteristics and processes of individual relationships, which are the point of service for…

  12. Academics' Perceptions on the Purposes of Quality Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Development and Validation of Assessing Quality Teaching Rubrics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

  15. Quality Assessment of Internationalised Studies: Theory and Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Juknyte-Petreikiene, Inga

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Assessing the Quality of a Student-Generated Question Repository

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

    We present results from a study that categorizes and assesses the quality of questions and explanations authored by students in question repositories produced as part of the summative assessment in introductory physics courses over two academic sessions. Mapping question quality onto the levels in the cognitive domain of Bloom's taxonomy, we…

  17. Assessing quality of care for African Americans with hypertension.

    PubMed

    Peters, Rosalind M; Benkert, Ramona; Dinardo, Ellen; Templin, Thomas

    2007-01-01

    African Americans bear a disproportionate burden of hypertension. A causal-modeling design, using Donabedian's Quality Framework, tested hypothesized relationships among structure, process, and outcome variables to assess quality of care provided to this population. Structural assessment revealed that administrative and staff organization affected patients' trust in their provider and satisfaction with their care. Interpersonal process factors of racism, cultural mistrust, and trust in providers had a significant effect on satisfaction, and perceived racism had a negative effect on blood pressure (BP). Poorer quality in technical processes of care was associated with higher BP. Findings support the utility of Donabedian's framework for assessing quality of care in a disease-specific population.

  18. Quality Assurance--Best Practices for Assessing Online Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Qi

    2006-01-01

    Educators have long sought to define quality in education. With the proliferation of distance education and online learning powered by the Internet, the tasks required to assess the quality of online programs become even more challenging. To assist educators and institutions in search of quality assurance methods to continuously improve their…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grainger, Peter; Adie, Lenore; Weir, Katie

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    1999-01-01

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

  1. Assessment of the Quality Management Models in Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Basar, Gulsun; Altinay, Zehra; Dagli, Gokmen; Altinay, Fahriye

    2016-01-01

    This study involves the assessment of the quality management models in Higher Education by explaining the importance of quality in higher education and by examining the higher education quality assurance system practices in other countries. The qualitative study was carried out with the members of the Higher Education Planning, Evaluation,…

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

    SciTech Connect

    Vasilakis, A.D.

    1993-12-01

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

  3. [External validation of the short emergency geriatric assessment (SEGA) instrument on the SAFES cohort].

    PubMed

    Tardieu, Émilie; Mahmoudi, Rachid; Novella, Jean-Luc; Oubaya, Nadia; Blanchard, François; Jolly, Damien; Dramé, Moustapha

    2016-03-01

    The aim of the study was to achieve the external validation of the SAGA instrument on the SAFES cohort. This was a prospective longitudinal multicentre cohort study, including patients aged 75 years or over, hospitalized in a short stay medical ward via emergency department. A comprehensive geriatric assessment was implemented. The psychometric validation enabled the study of feasibility, internal consistency, convergent, discriminant, and predictive validity of the instrument. The 1 306 patients of the cohort was 85±6 years, with a majority of women (65%). The completion rate of the SEGA instrument was 94%. Internal consistency was good (Cronbach alpha coefficient=0.7). Convergent validity was poor: Donini instrument (kappa=0.18; IC 95%=0.13-0.23), Rockwood instrument (kappa=0.04; IC 95%=0.02-0.06), and Winograd instrument (kappa=0.04; IC 95%=0.01-0.07). The ability of the instrument to discriminate clinically different groups was good. The SEGA instrument predicted well one-year mortality as well as one-year institution admission. Despite poor convergent validity (which is classic with frailty tools, SEGA instrument has satisfactory metrological properties, allowing its use in emergency departments and immediate post-emergency circumstances.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  8. Statistical quality assessment of a fingerprint

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwang, Kyungtae

    2004-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bachmann, Till M

    2015-08-18

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. A Study of the Institutional Factors Influencing the External Impacts of Student Assessment Information. AIR 2000 Annual Forum Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peterson, Marvin W.; Vaughan, Derek S.

    This study examined the external impacts and monitoring patterns of student assessment information on institutions, based on institutional type and control in seven areas: student applications or acceptance rates, allocation or share of state funding, evaluations from regional accrediting agency, private fund-raising results, success on grant…

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  15. Space shuttle flying qualities and criteria assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Michaela

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Evolving from Quantity to Quality: A New Yardstick for Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fulcher, Keston H.; Orem, Chris D.

    2010-01-01

    Higher education experts tout learning outcomes assessment as a vehicle for program improvement. To this end the authors share a rubric designed explicitly to evaluate the quality of assessment and how it leads to program improvement. The rubric contains six general assessment areas, which are further broken down into 14 elements. Embedded within…

  20. Factors Influencing Assessment Quality in Higher Vocational Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baartman, Liesbeth; Gulikers, Judith; Dijkstra, Asha

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Doctors or technicians: assessing quality of medical education

    PubMed Central

    Hasan, Tayyab

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Dried fruits quality assessment by hyperspectral imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serranti, Silvia; Gargiulo, Aldo; Bonifazi, Giuseppe

    2012-05-01

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

  3. Transition Assessment: Wise Practices for Quality Lives.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sax, Caren L.; Thoma, Colleen A.

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

  4. Exploring the Notion of Quality in Quality Higher Education Assessment in a Collaborative Future

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maguire, Kate; Gibbs, Paul

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to contribute to the debate on the notion of quality in higher education with particular focus on "objectifying through articulation" the assessment of quality by professional experts. The article gives an overview of the differentiations of quality as used in higher education. It explores a substantial piece of…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

  17. The organization of multidisciplinary care teams: modeling internal and external influences on cancer care quality.

    PubMed

    Fennell, Mary L; Das, Irene Prabhu; Clauser, Steven; Petrelli, Nicholas; Salner, Andrew

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Air quality risk assessment and management.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yue; Craig, Lorraine; Krewski, Daniel

    2008-01-01

    This article provides (1) a synthesis of the literature on the linkages between air pollution and human health, (2) an overview of quality management approaches in Canada, the United States, and the European Union (EU), and (3) future directions for air quality research. Numerous studies examining short-term effects of air pollution show significant associations between ambient levels of particulate matter (PM) and other air pollutants and increases in premature mortality and hospitalizations for cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses. Several well-designed epidemiological studies confirmed the adverse long-term effects of PM on both mortality and morbidity. Epidemiological studies also document significant associations between ozone (O3), sulfur (SO2), and nitrogen oxides (NO(x)) and adverse health outcomes; however, the effects of gaseous pollutants are less well documented. Subpopulations that are more susceptible to air pollution include children, the elderly, those with cardiorespiratory disease, and socioeconomically deprived individuals. Canada-wide standards for ambient air concentrations of PM2.5 and O3 were set in 2000, providing air quality targets to be achieved by 2010. In the United States, the Clean Air Act provides the framework for the establishment and review of National Ambient Air Quality Standards for criteria air pollutants and the establishment of emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants. The 1996 European Union's enactment of the Framework Directive for Air Quality established the process for setting Europe-wide limit values for a series of pollutants. The Clean Air for Europe program was established by the European Union to review existing limit values, emission ceilings, and abatement protocols, as set out in the current legislation. These initiatives serve as the legislative framework for air quality management in North America and Europe.

  19. Maximising Confidence in Assessment Decision-Making: A Springboard to Quality in Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clayton, Berwyn; Booth, Robin; Roy, Sue

    The introduction of training packages has focused attention on the quality of assessment in the Australian vocational education and training (VET) sector on the quality of assessment. For the process of mutual recognition under the Australian Recognition Framework (ARF) to work effectively, there needs to be confidence in assessment decisions made…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Assessing ecological water quality with macroinvertebrates and fish: a case study from a small Mediterranean river.

    PubMed

    Cheimonopoulou, Maria Th; Bobori, Dimitra C; Theocharopoulos, Ioannis; Lazaridou, Maria

    2011-02-01

    Biological elements, such as benthic macroinvertebrates and fish, have been used in assessing the ecological quality of rivers according to the requirements of the Water Framework Directive. However, the concurrent use of multiple organism groups provides a broader perspective for such evaluations, since each biological element may respond differently to certain environmental variables. In the present study, we assessed the ecological quality of a Greek river (RM4 type), during autumn 2003 and spring 2004 at 10 sites, with benthic macroinvertebrates and fish. Hydromorphological and physicochemical parameters, habitat structure, and riparian vegetation were also considered. Pollution sensitive macroinvertebrate taxa were more abundant at headwaters, which had good/excellent water quality according to the Hellenic Evaluation System (HES). The main river reaches possessed moderate water quality, while downstream sites were mainly characterised as having bad or poor water quality, dominated by pollution-tolerant macroinvertebrate taxa. Macroinvertebrates related strongly to local stressors as chemical degradation (ordination analysis CCA) and riparian quality impairment (bivariate analysis) while fish did not. Fish were absent from the severely impacted lower river reaches. Furthermore, external pathological signs were observed in fish caught at certain sites. A combined use of both macroinvertebrates and fish in biomonitoring programs is proposed for providing a safer assessment of local and regional habitat impairment.

  2. Quality assessment of medical research and education.

    PubMed

    Eriksson, H

    1992-01-01

    Different aspects of the process of evaluating research and education are discussed, using the discipline of medicine as a model. The focus is primarily on potential problems in the design of an evaluation. The most important aspects of an assessment are: to create confidence in the evaluation among scientists and/or teachers who are being assessed before beginning; to find experts for whom the scientists and/or teachers have professional respect; to choose assessment methods in relation to the focus, level, and objectives of the evaluation; and to make the report of the evaluation's findings short and explicit.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. ASSESSING WATER QUALITY: AN ENERGETICS PERPECTIVE

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  5. Time-averaging water quality assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Reddy, L.S.; Ormsbee, L.E.; Wood, D.J.

    1995-07-01

    While reauthorization of the Safe Drinking Water Act is pending, many water utilities are preparing to monitor and regulate levels of distribution system constituents that affect water quality. Most frequently, utilities are concerned about average concentrations rather than about tracing a particular constituent`s path. Mathematical and computer models, which provide a quick estimate of average concentrations, could play an important role in this effort. Most water quality models deal primarily with isolated events, such as tracing a particular constituent through a distribution system. This article proposes a simple, time-averaging model that obtains average, maximum, and minimum constituent concentrations and ages throughout the network. It also computes percentage flow contribution and percentage constituent concentration. The model is illustrated using two water distribution systems, and results are compared with those obtained using a dynamic water quality model. Both models predict average water quality parameters with no significant deviations; the time-averaging approach is a simple and efficient alternative to the dynamic model.

  6. SAMPLING DESIGN FOR ASSESSING RECREATIONAL WATER QUALITY

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. E-Services quality assessment framework for collaborative networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  9. Assessment of Groundwater Quality by Chemometrics.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  10. [Microbial indicators and fresh water quality assessment].

    PubMed

    Briancesco, Rossella

    2005-01-01

    Traditionally, the microbiological quality of waters has been measured by the analysis of indicator microorganisms. The article reviews the sanitary significance of traditional indicators of faecal contamination (total coliforms, faecal coliforms and faecal streptococci) and points out their limits. For some characteristics Escherichia coli may be considered a more useful indicator then faecal coliforms and recently it has been included in all recent laws regarding fresh, marine and drinking water. A clearer taxonomic definition of faecal streptococci evidenced the difficulty into defining a specific standard methodology of enumeration and suggested the more suitable role of enterococci as indicator microorganisms. Several current laws require the detection of enterococci. The resistance of Clostridium perfringens spores may mean that they would serve as a useful indicator of the sanitary quality of sea sediments.

  11. Method and apparatus for assessing weld quality

    DOEpatents

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

    2001-01-01

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

  12. Assessment of Groundwater Quality by Chemometrics.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-04-01

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

  16. Assessing Quality across Health Care Subsystems in Mexico

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. 42 CFR 460.140 - Additional quality assessment activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

  18. 42 CFR 460.140 - Additional quality assessment activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

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

  19. 42 CFR 460.140 - Additional quality assessment activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

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

  20. 42 CFR 460.140 - Additional quality assessment activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

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

  1. Assessing Truck Ride Quality for Design

    SciTech Connect

    Field, R.V., Jr.

    1998-09-30

    This report summarizes a three-year project to characterize and improve the ride quality of the Department of Energy (DOE) tractor/trailer. A high-fidelity computer model was used to simulate the vibrational response in the passenger compartment of the truck due to a common roadway environment. It is the intensity of this response that is indicative of the ride quality of the vehicle. The computational model was then validated with experimental tests using a novel technique employing both lab-based modal tests and modal data derived using the Natural Excitation Technique (NExT). The validated model proved invaluable as a design tool. Utilizing the model in a predictive manner, modifications to improve ride quality were made to both the existing vehicle and the next-generation design concept. As a result, the next-generation fleet of tractors (procurement process begins in FY98) will incorporate elements of a successful model-based design for improved truck ride.

  2. Using big data for quality assessment in oncology.

    PubMed

    Broughman, James R; Chen, Ronald C

    2016-05-01

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

  3. Technical assessment for quality control of resins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gosnell, R. B.

    1977-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  5. Assessing Educational Processes Using Total-Quality-Management Measurement Tools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Macchia, Peter, Jr.

    1993-01-01

    Discussion of the use of Total Quality Management (TQM) assessment tools in educational settings highlights and gives examples of fishbone diagrams, or cause and effect charts; Pareto diagrams; control charts; histograms and check sheets; scatter diagrams; and flowcharts. Variation and quality are discussed in terms of continuous process…

  6. Goals of Peer Assessment and Their Associated Quality Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baric, Denis; Burušic, Josip

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Measuring the Impact of Student Assessment on Institutional Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Losak, John

    Assessment programs, which have recently been implemented in colleges around the country, have indirectly affected the quality of education in ways that are both researchable and measurable. Admissions and placement testing affect educational quality by separating high and low achievers, and making it possible for high-level texts to be used and…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Openshaw, Peter

    1984-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Montgomery, Edith

    2008-01-01

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

  11. Assumptions Commonly Underlying Government Quality Assessment Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmidtlein, Frank A.

    2004-01-01

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

  12. Developing Quality Physical Education through Student Assessments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  13. Quality assessment of plant transpiration water

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  14. Measurement of the natural radioactivity in building materials used in Ankara and assessment of external doses.

    PubMed

    Turhan, S; Baykan, U N; Sen, K

    2008-03-01

    A total of 183 samples of 20 different commonly used structural and covering building materials were collected from housing and other building construction sites and from suppliers in Ankara to measure the natural radioactivity due to the presence of (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K. The measurements were carried out using gamma-ray spectrometry with two HPGe detectors. The specific activities of the different building materials studied varied from 0.5 +/- 0.1 to 144.9 +/- 4.9 Bq kg(-1), 0.6 +/- 0.2 to 169.9 +/- 6.6 Bq kg(-1) and 2.0 +/- 0.1 to 1792.3 +/- 60.8 Bq kg(-1) for (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K, respectively. The results show that the lowest mean values of the specific activity of (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K are 0.8 +/- 0.5, 0.9 +/- 0.4 and 4.1 +/- 1.4 Bq kg(-1), respectively, measured in travertine tile while the highest mean values of the specific activity of the same radionuclides are 78.5 +/- 18.1 (ceramic wall tile), 77.4 +/- 53.0 (granite tile) and 923.4 +/- 161.0 (white brick), respectively. The radium equivalent activity (Ra(eq)), the gamma-index, the indoor absorbed dose rate and the corresponding annual effective dose were evaluated to assess the potential radiological hazard associated with these building materials. The mean values of the gamma-index and the estimated annual effective dose due to external gamma radiation inside the room for structural building materials ranged from 0.15 to 0.89 and 0.2 to 1.1 mSv, respectively. Applying criteria recently recommended for building materials in the literature, four materials meet the exemption annual dose criterion of 0.3 mSv, five materials meet the annual dose limit of 1 mSv and only one material slightly exceeds this limit. The mean values of the gamma-index for all building materials were lower than the upper limit of 1. PMID:18309197

  15. Measurement of the natural radioactivity in building materials used in Ankara and assessment of external doses.

    PubMed

    Turhan, S; Baykan, U N; Sen, K

    2008-03-01

    A total of 183 samples of 20 different commonly used structural and covering building materials were collected from housing and other building construction sites and from suppliers in Ankara to measure the natural radioactivity due to the presence of (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K. The measurements were carried out using gamma-ray spectrometry with two HPGe detectors. The specific activities of the different building materials studied varied from 0.5 +/- 0.1 to 144.9 +/- 4.9 Bq kg(-1), 0.6 +/- 0.2 to 169.9 +/- 6.6 Bq kg(-1) and 2.0 +/- 0.1 to 1792.3 +/- 60.8 Bq kg(-1) for (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K, respectively. The results show that the lowest mean values of the specific activity of (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K are 0.8 +/- 0.5, 0.9 +/- 0.4 and 4.1 +/- 1.4 Bq kg(-1), respectively, measured in travertine tile while the highest mean values of the specific activity of the same radionuclides are 78.5 +/- 18.1 (ceramic wall tile), 77.4 +/- 53.0 (granite tile) and 923.4 +/- 161.0 (white brick), respectively. The radium equivalent activity (Ra(eq)), the gamma-index, the indoor absorbed dose rate and the corresponding annual effective dose were evaluated to assess the potential radiological hazard associated with these building materials. The mean values of the gamma-index and the estimated annual effective dose due to external gamma radiation inside the room for structural building materials ranged from 0.15 to 0.89 and 0.2 to 1.1 mSv, respectively. Applying criteria recently recommended for building materials in the literature, four materials meet the exemption annual dose criterion of 0.3 mSv, five materials meet the annual dose limit of 1 mSv and only one material slightly exceeds this limit. The mean values of the gamma-index for all building materials were lower than the upper limit of 1.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Eunyoung

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

  17. [Quality of the physician-patient pedagogic relationship in external consultation: the case of Oaxaca, Mexico ].

    PubMed

    Campero-Cuenca, L

    1990-01-01

    This research seeks to explore the quality of the pedagogical relationship physician-patient in primary care, in several health centers (A, B, C) depending from the Health Ministry (SSA) in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. It is assumed that the out-patient clinic constitutes a setting for the educative transmission, and that the physician-patient encounter must result in an increase of the knowledge that the patient has on his body and his health, with the help of the former. It is assumed also that the physician not only seeks to elaborate a diagnosis and to solve the health problems, but also to contribute to the education of the patient on this matter. This research seeks to contribute to the reflection in this direction, from a perspective that explores the quality and the nature of the educative processes that there take place. In order to reach this goal, two levels of analysis have been established: the first one, a theoretic approach, which refers to the main aspects of the historic evolution of the medicine -key element that permits to understand the type of physician-patient relationship that it is established in out-patient clinic. The second one, an empirical approach, which seeks to characterize -by using indicators previously determined and through the implementation of the technic "shadow study" (direct observation)- the six tasks (identification, clinic history, exploration, diagnosis, medical treatment, and following) that give structure to the physician-patient relationship in out-patient clinic. This elements, indeed, are useful for defining the nature of the pedagogical relationship that is established between these two actors. This investigation was conducted with a sample of 168 patients and 17 physicians, distributed all of them in 9 localities. The results allow us to conclude that, in the majority of the cases, it does not exist a physician-patient relationship, but that it is possible to talk just of a physician-problem relationship. Due to

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1993-01-01

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

  20. Summary of external quality assurance programs and results for the NADP/NTN

    SciTech Connect

    Gordon, J.D.; Nilles, M.A.

    1997-12-31

    The U.S. Geological Survey utilizes several programs to document and improve the quality of NADP/NTN data. The contribution of sample collection and shipping container surfaces to wet deposition sample chemistry and routine sample handling effects are evaluated with a blind audit program. The results of the blind audit program indicate that the median amount of SO{sub 4}{sup 2-} contamination attributable to handling and container contact has decreased from 0.04 mg/L in 1992 to 0.01 mg/L in 1995. Median percent bias in laboratory hydrogen ion concentration measurements due to handling and container contamination decreased from -9.76 {mu}eq/L in 1992 to -0.10 {mu}/L in 1995. An intersite comparison program evaluates onsite pH and specific conductance determinations. The median percent difference between the reported and expected pH value approximated 0% in every intersite comparison study, an indication that onsite pH measurements have consistently been unbiased. An interlaboratory comparison program compares the results from the NADP/NTN contract laboratory with results from other North American laboratories routinely analyzing wet deposition samples. The interlaboratory comparison program results in 1994-95 indicate cation precision estimates at the 50{sup th} percentile were quite similar between laboratories, with median absolute differences less than or equal to 0.004 mg/L. Anion precision estimates at the 50{sup th} percentile exhibited greater variability, but the median absolute differences were less than or equal to 0.014 mg/L. Network precision is estimated by the typical random error associated with differences between the existing and collocated collection equipment. For SOP{sub 4}{sup 2-} and NO{sub 3}{sup -}, random error in network measurements has consistently been less than 7%.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  2. A new assessment method for image fusion quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  3. School Indoor Air Quality Assessment and Program Implementation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-10-01

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

  5. No-reference visual quality assessment for image inpainting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  6. Evolution of quality and surgical risk assessment in the USA.

    PubMed

    Depalma, Ralph G

    2011-04-01

    As health-care reforms progress, quality and risk assessment in the health-care system of the USA surface as critical issues. This review considers past, present and possible future changes in quality assessment along with formal programs of complication reduction and pay for performance (PFP) as related to surgery and vascular interventions. Strategies for quality improvement include aggregate and risk-adjusted outcome measurement, process compliance with the Surgical Complication Improvement Program, oversight and PFP, now policies of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Advantages, disadvantages and unintended consequences of these policies are discussed. While ongoing system changes will influence vascular surgical practice, unique opportunities and obligations exist for vascular surgeons to contribute to quality assessment of their interventions, to evaluate long-term outcomes and to devise strategies for comprehensive cost-effective care for the conditions affecting patients with vascular disease. PMID:21489931

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  9. Southwest Principal Aquifers Regional Ground-Water Quality Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anning, D.W.; Thiros, S.A.; Bexfield, L.M.; McKinney, T.S.; Green, J.M.

    2009-01-01

    The National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program of the U.S. Geological Survey is conducting a regional analysis of water quality in the principal aquifers in the southwestern United States. The Southwest Principal Aquifers (SWPA) study is building a better understanding of the susceptibility and vulnerability of basin-fill aquifers in the region to ground-water contamination by synthesizing the baseline knowledge of ground-water quality conditions in 15 basins previously studied by the NAWQA Program. The improved understanding of aquifer susceptibility and vulnerability to contamination is assisting in the development of tools that water managers can use to assess and protect the quality of ground-water resources. This fact sheet provides an overview of the basin-fill aquifers in the southwestern United States and description of the completed and planned regional analyses of ground-water quality being performed by the SWPA study.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Assessing quality management in an R and D environment

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, B.D.

    1998-02-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    This assessment provides a review and synthesis of available scientific literature and data to assess the potential for hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas to impact the quality or quantity of drinking water resources, and identifies factors affecting the frequency or severity o...

  13. 42 CFR 438.240 - Quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS MANAGED CARE Quality Assessment and... PIHP have an ongoing quality assessment and performance improvement program for the services it... and overutilization of services. (4) Have in effect mechanisms to assess the quality...

  14. [Systematic economic assessment and quality evaluation for traditional Chinese medicines].

    PubMed

    Sun, Xiao; Guo, Li-ping; Shang, Hong-cai; Ren, Ming; Lei, Xiang

    2015-05-01

    To learn about the economic studies on traditional Chinese medicines in domestic literatures, in order to analyze the current economic assessment of traditional Chinese medicines and explore the existing problems. Efforts were made to search CNKI, VIP, Wanfang database and CBM by computer and include all literatures about economic assessment of traditional Chinese medicines published on professional domestic journals in the systematic assessment and quality evaluation. Finally, 50 articles were included in the study, and the systematic assessment and quality evaluation were made for them in terms of titles, year, authors' identity, expense source, disease type, study perspective, study design type, study target, study target source, time limit, cost calculation, effect indicator, analytical technique and sensitivity analysis. The finally quality score was 0.74, which is very low. The results of the study showed insufficient studies on economics of traditional Chinese medicines, short study duration and simple evaluation methods, which will be solved through unremitting efforts in the future.

  15. [Systematic economic assessment and quality evaluation for traditional Chinese medicines].

    PubMed

    Sun, Xiao; Guo, Li-ping; Shang, Hong-cai; Ren, Ming; Lei, Xiang

    2015-05-01

    To learn about the economic studies on traditional Chinese medicines in domestic literatures, in order to analyze the current economic assessment of traditional Chinese medicines and explore the existing problems. Efforts were made to search CNKI, VIP, Wanfang database and CBM by computer and include all literatures about economic assessment of traditional Chinese medicines published on professional domestic journals in the systematic assessment and quality evaluation. Finally, 50 articles were included in the study, and the systematic assessment and quality evaluation were made for them in terms of titles, year, authors' identity, expense source, disease type, study perspective, study design type, study target, study target source, time limit, cost calculation, effect indicator, analytical technique and sensitivity analysis. The finally quality score was 0.74, which is very low. The results of the study showed insufficient studies on economics of traditional Chinese medicines, short study duration and simple evaluation methods, which will be solved through unremitting efforts in the future. PMID:26390672

  16. 26 years of external quality controls for the screening of congenital metabolic disorders in newborns--a summary of the results.

    PubMed

    Mathias, Dietger; Gebhard, Joachim; Wilhelm, Lars; Schmidt-Gayk, Heinrich; Mathias, Ina

    2008-01-01

    The evaluation of the inter-laboratory tests over the 26 year period shows a clear improvement in the analysis quality of the test participants. This can be clearly seen in the increased recovery rates of the pathological quality control samples. Centers are put in the position to adjust their own quality control measures for their analysis to international standards, thereby decreasing the error rate in their analyses. The introduction of the tandem mass spectrometer for newborn screening is inevitably connected to even higher requirements in the quality of the measured values. Up to now, though, commercially or scientifically determined external quality controls do not exist. In November 2005, as a start, we tentatively expanded our (since 1982) existing inter-laboratory controls to include parameters determinable by mass spectrometry. A second external control will take place in May 2008 for acylcarnitines.

  17. Assessment of mesh simplification algorithm quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-03-01

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

  18. Internal and External Factors Affecting Teachers' Adoption of Formative Assessment to Support Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Izci, Kemal

    2016-01-01

    Assessment forms an important part of instruction. Assessment that aims to support learning is known as formative assessment and it contributes student's learning gain and motivation. However, teachers rarely use assessment formatively to aid their students' learning. Thus reviewing the factors that limit or support teachers' practices of…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Benyou

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Clausen, J.C.

    1981-01-01

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

  2. Analysis, assessment and mapping of groundwater quality of Chandigarh (India).

    PubMed

    Bansal, Rajesh; Sharma, L N; John, Siby

    2011-04-01

    Chandigarh (India) has been depending on groundwater resources to meet its water requirements in addition to the surface water source (Bhakra Main Canal). With a view to assess the groundwater quality, samples were collected from geo-referenced tube wells in different localities of the city. Samples were analysed for conventional parameters indicative of the physico-chemical quality of groundwater. The groundwater quality mapping was attempted using the ARCGIS 9.0. Thematic maps were generated for each parameter of groundwater quality. This paper presents the spatial distribution of groundwater quality of Chandigarh city. The quality of groundwater was found to be varying with geology of the area as well as the land use and land cover.

  3. [Assessment of life quality in children with spina bifida].

    PubMed

    Król, Marianna; Sibiński, Marcin; Stefański, Maciej; Synder, Marek

    2011-01-01

    The aim of the study was identification and assessment of factors influencing quality of life in children with spina bifida. There were 33 children in the study (19 girls and 14 boys) in the age from 5 to 20 years. They were divided into 2 groups: first in the age from 5 to 12 years (17 patients) and second in the age from 13 to 20 years (16 patients). The Health-related Quality of Life in Spina Bifida Questionnaire and questionnaire done by us were used for the study. Younger children had average score of 158 points and older children average 186 points. In the whole group 64% of children assessed they quality of life as good, 30% as very good, 6% as average. None of our patients think that they quality of life is poor or very poor. Presence of visual perception difficulties in younger group and non-ambulation in alder children is related to poorer assessment of quality of life. Alder children that live in a house had better assessment of quality of life than children living in blocks of flats. Vast majority of children with spina bifida have good specialist medical care. Most common concomitant diseases are hydrocephalus and neurogenic urinary bladder.

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

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

  5. [Analysis of the results of the 2010 External Quality Control Program of the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology].

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

    The External Quality Control Program of the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology includes controls for bacteriology, serology, mycology, parasitology, mycobacteria, virology and molecular microbiology. This article presents the most important conclusions and lessons of the 2010 controls. As a whole, the results obtained in 2010 confirm the excellent skill and good technical standards found in previous years. However, erroneous results can be obtained in any laboratory and in clinically relevant determinations. The results of this program highlight the need to implement both internal and external controls to ensure maximal quality of microbiological tests(1).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  7. Quality assurance checks on ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Ferson, S.; Ginzburg, L.

    1995-12-31

    Three major criticisms are routinely made against probabilistic ecological risk assessments: (1) input distributions are often not available, (2) correlations and dependencies are often ignored, and (3) mathematical structure of the ecological model is often questionable. These criticisms are well understood by risk analysts, but it is generally assumed that their only solution is additional empirical effort to develop input distributions, measure correlations and validate the model. As a practical matter, since such empirical information is typically incomplete (and indeed often quite sparse), analysts are forced to make assumptions without empirical justifications. There are, however, computational methods that may allow analysts to sidestep a lack of information to partially or completely answer the three criticisms. When empirical information about the input distributions is limited, comprehensive representations of uncertainty can be estimated using traditional confidence interval or bounding procedures. Using recently developed methods, the probability distribution bounds can be used directly in calculations. When the correlation and dependency structure among variables is unknown, bounds on solutions can be computed without having to make unjustified and possibly false assumptions about independence. Finally, automated checks on the ecological model or mathematical expression used in the risk analysis can be employed to ensure the absence of several classes of structural and mathematical errors. Several kinds of profound errors which are routinely committed in practice, including dimensional or unit discordance, infeasible configurations for correlation, and multiple instantiations of a repeated variable, can all be detected using currently available methods and software.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  12. Terrible Ones? Assessment of Externalizing Behaviors in Infancy with the Child Behavior Checklist

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Zeijl, Jantien; Mesman, Judi; Stolk, Mirjam N.; Alink, Lenneke R. A.; Van IJzendoorn, Marinus H.; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J.; Juffer, Femmie; Koot, Hans M.

    2006-01-01

    Background: This study investigated the occurrence, cross-informant agreement, 1-year stability, and context characteristics of externalizing behaviors in 12-month-old children, as compared to 24- and 36-month-olds. Method: In a general population sample of 786 12-month-olds, 720 24-month-olds, and 744 36-month-olds, the CBCL/1 1/2-5 was obtained…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-06-15

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

  15. Automatic assessment of voice quality according to the GRBAS scale.

    PubMed

    Sáenz-Lechón, Nicolás; Godino-Llorente, Juan I; Osma-Ruiz, Víctor; Blanco-Velasco, Manuel; Cruz-Roldán, Fernando

    2006-01-01

    Nowadays, the most extended techniques to measure the voice quality are based on perceptual evaluation by well trained professionals. The GRBAS scale is a widely used method for perceptual evaluation of voice quality. The GRBAS scale is widely used in Japan and there is increasing interest in both Europe and the United States. However, this technique needs well-trained experts, and is based on the evaluator's expertise, depending a lot on his own psycho-physical state. Furthermore, a great variability in the assessments performed from one evaluator to another is observed. Therefore, an objective method to provide such measurement of voice quality would be very valuable. In this paper, the automatic assessment of voice quality is addressed by means of short-term Mel cepstral parameters (MFCC), and learning vector quantization (LVQ) in a pattern recognition stage. Results show that this approach provides acceptable results for this purpose, with accuracy around 65% at the best.

  16. Quality Assessment and Physicochemical Characteristics of Bran Enriched Chapattis

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Quality-of-life assessment techniques for veterinarians.

    PubMed

    Villalobos, Alice E

    2011-05-01

    The revised veterinary oath commits the profession to the prevention and relief of animal suffering. There is a professional obligation to properly assess quality of life (QoL) and confront the issues that ruin it, such as undiagnosed suffering. There are no clinical studies in the arena of QoL assessment at the end of life for pets. This author developed a user-friendly QoL scale to help make proper assessments and decisions along the way to the conclusion of a terminal patient's life. This article discusses decision aids and establishes commonsense techniques to assess a pet's QoL.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, Rakesh; Bhattacharjee, B

    2004-02-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1982-01-01

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

  20. The Information Quality Triangle: a methodology to assess clinical information quality.

    PubMed

    Choquet, Rémy; Qouiyd, Samiha; Ouagne, David; Pasche, Emilie; Daniel, Christel; Boussaïd, Omar; Jaulent, Marie-Christine

    2010-01-01

    Building qualitative clinical decision support or monitoring based on information stored in clinical information (or EHR) systems cannot be done without assessing and controlling information quality. Numerous works have introduced methods and measures to qualify and enhance data, information models and terminologies quality. This paper introduces an approach based on an Information Quality Triangle that aims at providing a generic framework to help in characterizing quality measures and methods in the context of the integration of EHR data in a clinical datawarehouse. We have successfully experimented the proposed approach at the HEGP hospital in France, as part of the DebugIT EU FP7 project.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-05-01

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

  2. A convolutional neural network approach for objective video quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Le Callet, Patrick; Viard-Gaudin, Christian; Barba, Dominique

    2006-09-01

    This paper describes an application of neural networks in the field of objective measurement method designed to automatically assess the perceived quality of digital videos. This challenging issue aims to emulate human judgment and to replace very complex and time consuming subjective quality assessment. Several metrics have been proposed in literature to tackle this issue. They are based on a general framework that combines different stages, each of them addressing complex problems. The ambition of this paper is not to present a global perfect quality metric but rather to focus on an original way to use neural networks in such a framework in the context of reduced reference (RR) quality metric. Especially, we point out the interest of such a tool for combining features and pooling them in order to compute quality scores. The proposed approach solves some problems inherent to objective metrics that should predict subjective quality score obtained using the single stimulus continuous quality evaluation (SSCQE) method. This latter has been adopted by video quality expert group (VQEG) in its recently finalized reduced referenced and no reference (RRNR-TV) test plan. The originality of such approach compared to previous attempts to use neural networks for quality assessment, relies on the use of a convolutional neural network (CNN) that allows a continuous time scoring of the video. Objective features are extracted on a frame-by-frame basis on both the reference and the distorted sequences; they are derived from a perceptual-based representation and integrated along the temporal axis using a time-delay neural network (TDNN). Experiments conducted on different MPEG-2 videos, with bit rates ranging 2-6 Mb/s, show the effectiveness of the proposed approach to get a plausible model of temporal pooling from the human vision system (HVS) point of view. More specifically, a linear correlation criteria, between objective and subjective scoring, up to 0.92 has been obtained on

  3. Machine learning approach for objective inpainting quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  4. Recreational stream assessment using Malaysia water quality index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibrahim, Hanisah; Kutty, Ahmad Abas

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Kyungjoo; Kim, Minyoung

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  7. Routine internal- and external-quality control data in clinical laboratories for estimating measurement and diagnostic uncertainty using GUM principles.

    PubMed

    Magnusson, Bertil; Ossowicki, Haakan; Rienitz, Olaf; Theodorsson, Elvar

    2012-05-01

    Healthcare laboratories are increasingly joining into larger laboratory organizations encompassing several physical laboratories. This caters for important new opportunities for re-defining the concept of a 'laboratory' to encompass all laboratories and measurement methods measuring the same measurand for a population of patients. In order to make measurement results, comparable bias should be minimized or eliminated and measurement uncertainty properly evaluated for all methods used for a particular patient population. The measurement as well as diagnostic uncertainty can be evaluated from internal and external quality control results using GUM principles. In this paper the uncertainty evaluations are described in detail using only two main components, within-laboratory reproducibility and uncertainty of the bias component according to a Nordtest guideline. The evaluation is exemplified for the determination of creatinine in serum for a conglomerate of laboratories both expressed in absolute units (μmol/L) and relative (%). An expanded measurement uncertainty of 12 μmol/L associated with concentrations of creatinine below 120 μmol/L and of 10% associated with concentrations above 120 μmol/L was estimated. The diagnostic uncertainty encompasses both measurement uncertainty and biological variation, and can be estimated for a single value and for a difference. This diagnostic uncertainty for the difference for two samples from the same patient was determined to be 14 μmol/L associated with concentrations of creatinine below 100 μmol/L and 14 % associated with concentrations above 100 μmol/L.

  8. Friends' knowledge of youth internalizing and externalizing adjustment: accuracy, bias, and the influences of gender, grade, positive friendship quality, and self-disclosure.

    PubMed

    Swenson, Lance P; Rose, Amanda J

    2009-08-01

    Some evidence suggests that close friends may be knowledgeable of youth's psychological adjustment. However, friends are understudied as reporters of adjustment. The current study examines associations between self- and friend-reports of internalizing and externalizing adjustment in a community sample of fifth-, eighth-, and eleventh-grade youth. The study extends prior work by considering the degree to which friends' reports of youth adjustment are accurate (i.e., predicted by youths' actual adjustment) versus biased (i.e., predicted by the friend reporters' own adjustment). Findings indicated stronger bias effects than accuracy effects, but the accuracy effects were significant for both internalizing and externalizing adjustment. Additionally, friends who perceived their relationships as high in positive quality, friends in relationships high in disclosure, and girls perceived youths' internalizing symptoms most accurately. Knowledge of externalizing adjustment was not influenced by gender, grade, relationship quality, or self-disclosure. Findings suggest that friends could play an important role in prevention efforts.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Probabilistic accident consequence uncertainty analysis -- Uncertainty assessment for deposited material and external doses. Volume 2: Appendices

    SciTech Connect

    Goossens, L.H.J.; Kraan, B.C.P.; Cooke, R.M.; Boardman, J.; Jones, J.A.; Harper, F.T.; Young, M.L.; Hora, S.C.

    1997-12-01

    The development of two new probabilistic accident consequence codes, MACCS and COSYMA, was completed in 1990. These codes estimate the consequence from the accidental releases of radiological material from hypothesized accidents at nuclear installations. In 1991, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Commission of the European Communities began cosponsoring a joint uncertainty analysis of the two codes. The ultimate objective of this joint effort was to systematically develop credible and traceable uncertainty distributions for the respective code input variables. A formal expert judgment elicitation and evaluation process was identified as the best technology available for developing a library of uncertainty distributions for these consequence parameters. This report focuses on the results of the study to develop distribution for variables related to the MACCS and COSYMA deposited material and external dose models. This volume contains appendices that include (1) a summary of the MACCS and COSYMA consequence codes, (2) the elicitation questionnaires and case structures, (3) the rationales and results for the panel on deposited material and external doses, (4) short biographies of the experts, and (5) the aggregated results of their responses.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gordon, John D.

    1999-01-01

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

  12. Forensic mental health assessment in France: recommendations for quality improvement.

    PubMed

    Combalbert, Nicolas; Andronikof, Anne; Armand, Marine; Robin, Cécile; Bazex, Hélène

    2014-01-01

    The quality of forensic mental health assessment has been a growing concern in various countries on both sides of the Atlantic, but the legal systems are not always comparable and some aspects of forensic assessment are specific to a given country. This paper describes the legal context of forensic psychological assessment in France (i.e. pre-trial investigation phase entrusted to a judge, with mental health assessment performed by preselected professionals called "experts" in French), its advantages and its pitfalls. Forensic psychiatric or psychological assessment is often an essential and decisive element in criminal cases, but since a judiciary scandal which was made public in 2005 (the Outreau case) there has been increasing criticism from the public and the legal profession regarding the reliability of clinical conclusions. Several academic studies and a parliamentary report have highlighted various faulty aspects in both the judiciary process and the mental health assessments. The heterogeneity of expert practices in France appears to be mainly related to a lack of consensus on several core notions such as mental health diagnosis or assessment methods, poor working conditions, lack of specialized training, and insufficient familiarity with the Code of Ethics. In this article we describe and analyze the French practice of forensic psychologists and psychiatrists in criminal cases and propose steps that could be taken to improve its quality, such as setting up specialized training courses, enforcing the Code of Ethics for psychologists, and calling for consensus on diagnostic and assessment methods. PMID:24631526

  13. Forensic mental health assessment in France: recommendations for quality improvement.

    PubMed

    Combalbert, Nicolas; Andronikof, Anne; Armand, Marine; Robin, Cécile; Bazex, Hélène

    2014-01-01

    The quality of forensic mental health assessment has been a growing concern in various countries on both sides of the Atlantic, but the legal systems are not always comparable and some aspects of forensic assessment are specific to a given country. This paper describes the legal context of forensic psychological assessment in France (i.e. pre-trial investigation phase entrusted to a judge, with mental health assessment performed by preselected professionals called "experts" in French), its advantages and its pitfalls. Forensic psychiatric or psychological assessment is often an essential and decisive element in criminal cases, but since a judiciary scandal which was made public in 2005 (the Outreau case) there has been increasing criticism from the public and the legal profession regarding the reliability of clinical conclusions. Several academic studies and a parliamentary report have highlighted various faulty aspects in both the judiciary process and the mental health assessments. The heterogeneity of expert practices in France appears to be mainly related to a lack of consensus on several core notions such as mental health diagnosis or assessment methods, poor working conditions, lack of specialized training, and insufficient familiarity with the Code of Ethics. In this article we describe and analyze the French practice of forensic psychologists and psychiatrists in criminal cases and propose steps that could be taken to improve its quality, such as setting up specialized training courses, enforcing the Code of Ethics for psychologists, and calling for consensus on diagnostic and assessment methods.

  14. [Implementation of quality standard UNE-EN ISO/IEC 17043 in the External Quality Control Program of the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology].

    PubMed

    Poveda Gabaldón, Marta; Ovies, María Rosario; Orta Mira, Nieves; Serrano, M del Remedio Guna; Avila, Javier; Giménez, Alicia; Cardona, Concepción Gimeno

    2011-12-01

    The quality standard "UNE-EN-ISO 17043: 2010. Conformity assessment. General requirements for proficiency testing" applies to centers that organize intercomparisons in all areas. In the case of clinical microbiology laboratories, these intercomparisons must meet the management and technical standards required to achieve maximum quality in the performance of microbiological analysis and the preparation of test items (sample, product, data or other information used in the proficiency test) to enable them to be accredited. Once accredited, these laboratories can operate as a tool for quality control laboratories and competency assessment. In Spain, accreditation is granted by the Spanish Accreditation Body [Entidad Nacional de Acreditación (ENAC)]. The objective of this review is to explain how to apply the requirements of the standard to laboratories providing intercomparisons in the field of clinical microbiology (the organization responsible for all the tasks related to the development and operation of a proficiency testing program). This requires defining the scope and specifying the technical requirements (personnel management, control of equipment, facilities and environment, the design of the proficiency testing and data analysis for performance evaluation, communication with participants and confidentiality) and management requirements (document control, purchasing control, monitoring of complaints / claims, non-compliance, internal audits and management reviews). PMID:22305673

  15. [Implementation of quality standard UNE-EN ISO/IEC 17043 in the External Quality Control Program of the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology].

    PubMed

    Poveda Gabaldón, Marta; Ovies, María Rosario; Orta Mira, Nieves; Serrano, M del Remedio Guna; Avila, Javier; Giménez, Alicia; Cardona, Concepción Gimeno

    2011-12-01

    The quality standard "UNE-EN-ISO 17043: 2010. Conformity assessment. General requirements for proficiency testing" applies to centers that organize intercomparisons in all areas. In the case of clinical microbiology laboratories, these intercomparisons must meet the management and technical standards required to achieve maximum quality in the performance of microbiological analysis and the preparation of test items (sample, product, data or other information used in the proficiency test) to enable them to be accredited. Once accredited, these laboratories can operate as a tool for quality control laboratories and competency assessment. In Spain, accreditation is granted by the Spanish Accreditation Body [Entidad Nacional de Acreditación (ENAC)]. The objective of this review is to explain how to apply the requirements of the standard to laboratories providing intercomparisons in the field of clinical microbiology (the organization responsible for all the tasks related to the development and operation of a proficiency testing program). This requires defining the scope and specifying the technical requirements (personnel management, control of equipment, facilities and environment, the design of the proficiency testing and data analysis for performance evaluation, communication with participants and confidentiality) and management requirements (document control, purchasing control, monitoring of complaints / claims, non-compliance, internal audits and management reviews).

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. BASINS and WEPP Climate Assessment Tools (CAT): Case Study Guide to Potential Applications (External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This draft report supports application of two recently developed water modeling tools, the BASINS and WEPP climate assessment tools. The report presents a series of short case studies designed to illustrate the capabilities of these tools for conducting scenario based assessments...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Quality Control Charts in Large-Scale Assessment Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Quality Management and Self Assessment Tools for Public Libraries.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Evans, Margaret Kinnell

    This paper describes a two-year study by the British Library Research and Innovation Centre that examined the potential of self-assessment for public library services. The approaches that formed the basis for the investigation were the Business Excellence Model, the Quality Framework, and the Democratic Approach. Core values were identified by…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bianchini, Stefano

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Parameters of Higher School Internationalization and Quality Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Juknyte-Petreikiene, Inga

    2006-01-01

    The article presents the analysis of higher education internationalization, its conceptions and forms of manifestation. It investigates the ways and means of higher education internationalization, the diversity of higher school internationalization motives, the issues of higher education internationalization quality assessment, presenting an…

  5. Quantitative study designs used in quality improvement and assessment.

    PubMed

    Ormes, W S; Brim, M B; Coggan, P

    2001-01-01

    This article describes common quantitative design techniques that can be used to collect and analyze quality data. An understanding of the differences between these design techniques can help healthcare quality professionals make the most efficient use of their time, energies, and resources. To evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of these various study designs, it is necessary to assess factors that threaten the degree with which quality professionals may infer a cause-and-effect relationship from the data collected. Processes, the conduits of organizational function, often can be assessed by methods that do not take into account confounding and compromising circumstances that affect the outcomes of their analyses. An assumption that the implementation of process improvements may cause real change is incomplete without a consideration of other factors that might also have caused the same result. It is only through the identification, assessment, and exclusion of these alternative factors that administrators and healthcare quality professionals can assess the degree to which true process improvement or compliance has occurred. This article describes the advantages and disadvantages of common quantitative design techniques and reviews the corresponding threats to the interpretability of data obtained from their use. PMID:11378972

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sajiene, Laima; Tamuliene, Rasa

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Incorporating Contaminant Bioavailability into Sediment Quality Assessment Frameworks

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  8. Assessment of the hydrogen external tank pressure decay anomaly on Space Transportation System (STS) 51-L

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buckley, Theresa M.

    1988-01-01

    Following the Challenger tragedy, an evaluation of the integrated main propulsion system flight data revealed a premature decay in the hydrogen external tank ullage pressure. A reconstruction of predicted ullage pressure versus time indicated an inconsistency between predicted and measured ullage pressure starting at approximately 65.5 seconds into the flight and reaching a maximum value between 72 and 72.9 seconds. This discrepancy could have been caused by a hydrogen gas leak or by a liquied hydrogen leak that occurred either in the pressurization system or in the external tank. The corresponding leak rates over the time interval from 65.5 to 72.9 seconds were estimated to range from 0.28 kg/s (0.62 lbm/s) + or - 41 percent to between 0.43 and 0.51kg/s (0.94 and 1.12lbs/s) + or - 1 percent for a gas leak and from 72.9 kg/s (160.5 lbs/s) + or - 41 percent to between 111.6 and 133.2 kg/s (245.8 and 293.3 lbs/s) + or - 1 percent for a liquid leak. No speculation is made to ascertain whether the leak is liquid or gas, as this cannot be determined from the analysis performed. Four structural failures in the hydrogen external tank were considered to explain the leak rates. A break in the 5-cm (2 in) pressurization line, in the 13-cm (5 in) vent line, or in the 43-cm (17 in) feedline is not likely. A break in the 10-cm (4 in) recirculation line with a larger structural failure occurring in the 72 to 73-second time period, the time of the visibly identified premature pressure decay, does seem plausible and the most likely of the four modes considered. These modes are not all-inclusive and do not preclude the possibility of a leak elsewhere in the tank.

  9. A research review of quality assessment for software

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hawkins, C Matthew

    2014-12-01

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

  11. Water Quality Assessment of Ayeyarwady River in Myanmar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  12. Perception Mechanisms of Bone-Conducted Ultrasound Assessed by Acoustic Characteristics in the External Auditory Meatus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazuhito Ito,; Seiji Nakagawa,

    2010-07-01

    Acoustic fields/vibrations in the external auditory meatus (ear canal) and tympanic membrane (TM) under bone-conducted ultrasonic stimulation were measured to elucidate the contributions of the osseotympanic and inertial routes to bone-conducted ultrasonic (BCU) perception. Evidence showing nonlinear distortions, especially the generation of audible subharmonics in the outer and middle ear, was examined. In the results, we did not find any audible signals corresponding to the subjective pitch of a BCU tone in the acoustic fields for the auditory meatus and TM vibrations. This suggests that nonlinear distortions in the osseotympanic and inertial routes do not contribute to bone-conducted ultrasonic perception. Specific properties of perception may be related to mechanisms in the cochlea or afferent neural pathway.

  13. Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments: Four Case Studies of Water Utility Practices (External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  14. Basins 4.0 Climate Assessment Tool (Cat): Supporting Documentation and User Manual (External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has released of the draft document solely for the purpose of pre-dissemination peer review under applicable Information Quality Guidelines (IQGs). This document has not been formally disseminated by EPA. It does not represent and should not be construed to represent any Agenc...

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

    PubMed Central

    Vrgovic, Petar

    2014-01-01

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

  16. System change: quality assessment and improvement for Medicaid managed care.

    PubMed

    Smith, W R; Cotter, J J; Rossiter, L F

    1996-01-01

    Rising Medicaid health expenditures have hastened the development of State managed care programs. Methods to monitor and improve health care under Medicaid are changing. Under fee-for-service (FFS), the primary concern was to avoid overutilization. Under managed care, it is to avoid underutilization. Quality enhancement thus moves from addressing inefficiency to addressing insufficiency of care. This article presents a case study of Virginia's redesign of Quality Assessment and Improvement (QA/I) for Medicaid, adapting the guidelines of the Quality Assurance Reform Initiative (QARI) of the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). The article concludes that redesigns should emphasize Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) by all providers and of multi-faceted, population-based data.

  17. Reduced-reference image quality assessment using moment method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Diwei; Shen, Yuantong; Shen, Yongluo; Li, Hongwei

    2016-10-01

    Reduced-reference image quality assessment (RR IQA) aims to evaluate the perceptual quality of a distorted image through partial information of the corresponding reference image. In this paper, a novel RR IQA metric is proposed by using the moment method. We claim that the first and second moments of wavelet coefficients of natural images can have approximate and regular change that are disturbed by different types of distortions, and that this disturbance can be relevant to human perceptions of quality. We measure the difference of these statistical parameters between reference and distorted image to predict the visual quality degradation. The introduced IQA metric is suitable for implementation and has relatively low computational complexity. The experimental results on Laboratory for Image and Video Engineering (LIVE) and Tampere Image Database (TID) image databases indicate that the proposed metric has a good predictive performance.

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

    PubMed

    Meers, C; Singer, M A

    1996-01-01

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

  19. Methodological issues in the quantitative assessment of quality of life.

    PubMed

    Panagiotakos, Demosthenes B; Yfantopoulos, John N

    2011-10-01

    The term quality of life can be identified in Aristotle's classical writings of 330 BC. In his Nichomachian ethics he recognises the multiple relationships between happiness, well-being, "eudemonia" and quality of life. Historically the concept of quality of life has undergone various interpretations. It involves personal experience, perceptions and beliefs, attitudes concerning philosophical, cultural, spiritual, psychological, political, and financial aspects of everyday living. Quality of life has been extensively used both as an outcome and an explanatory factor in relation to human health, in various clinical trials, epidemiologic studies and health interview surveys. Because of the variations in the definition of quality of life, both in theory and in practice, there are also a wide range of procedures that are used to assess quality of life. In this paper several methodological issues regarding the tools used to evaluate quality of life is discussed. In summary, the use of components consisted of large number of classes, as well as the use of specific weights for each scale component, and the low-to-moderate inter-correlation level between the components, is evident from simulated and empirical studies.

  20. External quality-assurance results for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program / National Trends Network and Mercury Deposition Network, 2004

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wetherbee, Gregory A.; Latysh, Natalie E.; Greene, Shannon M.

    2006-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) used five programs to provide external quality-assurance monitoring for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network (NADP/NTN) and two programs to provide external quality-assurance monitoring for the NADP/Mercury Deposition Network (NADP/MDN) during 2004. An intersite-comparison program was used to estimate accuracy and precision of field-measured pH and specific-conductance. The variability and bias of NADP/NTN data attributed to field exposure, sample handling and shipping, and laboratory chemical analysis were estimated using the sample-handling evaluation (SHE), field-audit, and interlaboratory-comparison programs. Overall variability of NADP/NTN data was estimated using a collocated-sampler program. Variability and bias of NADP/MDN data attributed to field exposure, sample handling and shipping, and laboratory chemical analysis were estimated using a system-blank program and an interlaboratory-comparison program. In two intersite-comparison studies, approximately 89 percent of NADP/NTN site operators met the pH measurement accuracy goals, and 94.7 to 97.1 percent of NADP/NTN site operators met the accuracy goals for specific conductance. Field chemistry measurements were discontinued by NADP at the end of 2004. As a result, the USGS intersite-comparison program also was discontinued at the end of 2004. Variability and bias in NADP/NTN data due to sample handling and shipping were estimated from paired-sample concentration differences and specific conductance differences obtained for the SHE program. Median absolute errors (MAEs) equal to less than 3 percent were indicated for all measured analytes except potassium and hydrogen ion. Positive bias was indicated for most of the measured analytes except for calcium, hydrogen ion and specific conductance. Negative bias for hydrogen ion and specific conductance indicated loss of hydrogen ion and decreased specific conductance from contact of the sample with

  1. No-reference quality assessment based on visual perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  2. Successes and Short Comings in Four Years of an International External Quality Assurance Program for Animal Influenza Surveillance

    PubMed Central

    Spackman, Erica; Cardona, Carol; Muñoz-Aguayo, Jeannette; Fleming, Susan

    2016-01-01

    The US National institutes of Health-Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance is a research consortium that funds numerous labs worldwide to conduct influenza A surveillance in diverse animal species. There is no harmonization of testing procedures among these labs; therefore an external quality assurance (EQA) program was implemented to evaluate testing accuracy among labs in the program in 2012. Accurate detection of novel influenza A variants is crucial because of the broad host range and potentially high virulence of the virus in diverse species. Two molecular detection sample sets and 2 serology sample sets (one with avian origin isolates, and one with mammalian origin isolates each) were made available at approximately six month intervals. Participating labs tested the material in accordance with their own protocols. During a five year period a total of 41 labs from 23 countries ordered a total of 132 avian molecular, 121 mammalian molecular and 90 serology sample sets. Testing was completed by 111 individuals. Detection of type A influenza by RT-PCR was reliable with a pass rate (80% or greater agreement with expected results) of 86.6% for avian and 86.2% for mammalian origin isolates. However, identification of subtype by RT-PCR was relatively poor with 54.1% and 75.9% accuracy for avian and mammalian influenza isolates respectively. Serological testing had an overall pass rate of 86.9% and 22/23 labs used commercial ELISA kits. Based on the results of this EQA program six labs modified their procedures to improve accuracy and one lab identified an unknown equipment problem. These data represent the successful implementation of an international EQA program for an infectious disease; insights into the logistics and test design are also discussed. PMID:27788155

  3. Assessment of domestic water quality: case study, Beirut, Lebanon.

    PubMed

    Korfali, Samira Ibrahim; Jurdi, Mey

    2007-12-01

    In urban cities, the environmental services are the responsibility of the public sector, where piped water supply is the norm for urban household. Likewise, in Beirut City (capital of Lebanon) official water authorities are the main supplier of domestic water through a network of piping system that leaks in many areas. Beirut City and its suburbs are overpopulated since it is the residence of 1/3 of the Lebanese citizens. Thus, Beirut suffers deficiency in meeting its water demand. Water rationing, as a remedial action, is firmly established since four decades by the Lebanese Water Authorities. Consumers resorted then to private wells to supplement their domestic water needs. Consequently, household water quality is influenced by external factors relating to well water characteristics and internal factors depending on the types of the pipes of the distribution network and cross connections to sewer pipes. These factors could result in chemical and microbial contamination of drinking water. The objective of this study is to investigate domestic water quality variation in Beirut City emerging form the aforementioned factors. The presented work encircles a typical case study of Beirut City (Ras Beirut). Results showed deterioration pattern in domestic water quality. The predicted metal species and scales within the water pipes of distribution network depended on water pH, hardness, sulfate, chloride, and iron. The corrosion of iron pipes mainly depended on Mg hardness.

  4. Ultrasonography as a diagnostic tool in assessing deltoid ligament injury in supination external rotation fractures of the ankle.

    PubMed

    Henari, Shwan; Banks, Louisa N; Radovanovic, Ingrid; Radiovanovic, Ingrid; Queally, Joseph; Morris, Seamus

    2011-10-01

    The medial deltoid ligament is the primary stabilizing structure in the ankle joint following lateral malleolar fracture. However, medial deltoid ligament ruptures are difficult to diagnose using current imaging modalities. We hypothesized that ultrasonography can be used to accurately allow early clinical assessment of ankle fracture stability, thereby negating the need to perform plain film stress views of the acutely injured ankle. This prospective study included 12 patients (age range, 18-72) with supination external rotation fractures requiring operative fixation. Following induction of anesthesia, ultrasonography examination was performed, followed by an arthrogram under fluoroscopic screening. Radiographs, ultrasonography, and arthrographic findings were compared. There was 100% correlation between ultrasonography and arthrogram findings. Ultrasonography accurately diagnosed medial deltoid rupture with a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 100%. Plain film radiographs of the ankle had a sensitivity of 57.1% and a specificity of 60%. The difference between these was significant (χ(2)=.0091). This study demonstrates diagnostic ultrasonography to be an accurate diagnostic modality in assessing medial deltoid ligament integrity in patients with supination external rotation fractures. It offers the same sensitivity and specificity as arthrography without the need for additional invasive procedures. Its relative ease of use and lack of ionizing radiation make it a potentially useful tool, particularly in a busy trauma service.

  5. Defining and assessing health-related quality of life.

    PubMed

    Holcík, J; Koupilová, I

    1999-11-01

    In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in quality of life assessment in clinical research and practice, as well as in public health and policy analysis. Indicators of health-related quality of life are important not only for health professionals and their patients, but also for health administrators and health economists in health care planning and policy making. Most studies on the outcome of treatments and interventions now include some kind of a quality of life measure. This usually takes a form of an assessment of symptoms and physical functioning, measurement of psychological well-being, life satisfaction, or coping and adjustment. Numerous scales of psychological health, physical health status and physical functioning have been developed for use in the assessment of health outcomes and a wide range of instruments for measurement of health-related quality of life is available. These fall into two broad categories of generic and disease-specific instruments. The selection of an instrument depends upon its measurement properties but also upon the specific context in which the instrument is going to be used. Adequate attention needs to be paid to the translation and validation of instruments for use across countries and cultural contexts.

  6. National Water-Quality Assessment Program: Central Arizona Basins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cordy, Gail E.

    1994-01-01

    In 1991, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began to implement a full-scale National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program. The long-term goals of the NAWQA program are to describe the status and trends in the quality of a large, representative part of the Nation's surface-water and ground-water resources and to provide a sound, scientific understanding of the primary natural and human factors affecting the quality of these resources. In meeting these goals, the program will produce a wealth of water-quality information that will be useful to policymakers and managers at the National, State, and local levels. Studies of 60 hydrologic systems that include parts of most major river basins and aquifer systems (study-unit investigations) are the building blocks of the national assessment. The 60 study units range in size from 1,000 to about 60,000 mi2 and represent 60 to 70 percent of the Nation's water use and population served by public water supplies. Twenty study-unit investigations were started in 1991, 20 additional studies started in 1994, and 20 more are planned to start in 1997. The Central Arizona Basins study unit began assessment activities in 1994.

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

    PubMed

    Moraschini, V; Barboza, E Dos S P

    2016-09-01

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

  8. Assessing the Quality of Quality Assessment: The Inspection of Teaching and Learning in British Universities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Underwood, Simeon

    2000-01-01

    Characterizes Subject Review, a new scrutiny process for British higher education, evaluating its effectiveness against the purposes it has set itself in the area of funding policy, enhancement of provision, and public information. The paper offers a case study of factors which come into account when systems for measuring the quality of higher…

  9. National Water-Quality Assessment program: The Trinity River Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Land, Larry F.

    1991-01-01

    In 1991, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began to implement a full-scale National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program. The long-term goals of the NAWQA program are to describe the status and trends in the quality of a large, representative part of the Nation's surface- and ground-water resources and to provide a sound, scientific understanding of the primary natural and human factors affecting the quality of these resources. In meeting these goals, the program will produce a wealth of water-quality information that will be useful to policy makers and managers at the national, State, and local levels. A major design feature of the NAWQA program will enable water-quality information at different areal scales to be integrated. A major component of the program is study-unit investigations, which comprise the principal building blocks of the program on which national-level assessment activities will be based. The 60 study-unit investigations that make up the program are hydrologic systems that include parts of most major river basins and aquifer systems. These study units cover areas of 1,200 to more than 65,000 square miles and incorporate about 60 to 70 percent of the Nation's water use and population served by public water supply. In 1991, the Trinity River basin study was among the first 20 NAWQA study units selected for study under the full-scale implementation plan.

  10. National Water-Quality Assessment Program: The Sacramento River Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Domagalski, Joseph L.; Brown, Larry R.

    1994-01-01

    In 1991, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began to implement a full-scale National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program. The long-term goals of the NAWQA program are to describe the status of and trends in the quality of a large, representative part of the Nation's surface- and ground-water resources and to identify the major natural and human factors that affect the quality of those resources. In addressing these goals, the program will provide a wealth of water- quality information that will be useful to policy makers and managers at the national, State, and local levels. A major asset of the NAWQA program is that it will allow for the integration of water-quality information collected at several scales. A major component of the program is the study-unit investigation-the foundation of national- level assessment. The 60 study units of the NAWQA program are hydrologic systems that include parts of most major river basins and aquifer systems of the conterminous United States. These study units cover areas of 1,000 to more than 60,000 square miles and represent 60 to 70 percent of the Nation's water use and population served by public water supplies. Investigations of the first 20 study units began in 1991. In 1994, the Sacramento River Basin was among the second set of 20 NAWQA study units selected for investigation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  12. Overview of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leahy, P.P.; Thompson, T.H.

    1994-01-01

    The Nation's water resources are the basis for life and our economic vitality. These resources support a complex web of human activities and fishery and wildlife needs that depend upon clean water. Demands for good-quality water for drinking, recreation, farming, and industry are rising, and as a result, the American public is concerned about the condition and sustainability of our water resources. The American public is asking: Is it safe to swim in and drink water from our rivers or lakes? Can we eat the fish that come from them? Is our ground water polluted? Is water quality degrading with time, and if so, why? Has all the money we've spent to clean up our waters, done any good? The U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program was designed to provide information that will help answer these questions. NAWQA is designed to assess historical, current, and future water-quality conditions in representative river basins and aquifers nationwide. One of the primary objectives of the program is to describe relations between natural factors, human activities, and water-quality conditions and to define those factors that most affect water quality in different parts of the Nation. The linkage of water quality to environmental processes is of fundamental importance to water-resource managers, planners, and policy makers. It provides a strong and unbiased basis for better decisionmaking by those responsible for making decisions that affect our water resources, including the United States Congress, Federal, State, and local agencies, environmental groups, and industry. Information from the NAWQA Program also will be useful for guiding research, monitoring, and regulatory activities in cost effective ways.

  13. Assessment of the measurement properties of quality of life questionnaires in Brazilian women with breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Indiara S.; Costa, Lucíola C. M.; Manzoni, Ana C. T.; Cabral, Cristina M. N.

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: There are several questionnaires available to assess quality of life in breast cancer, however the choice of the best questionnaire often does not take into account the adequacy of these questionnaires' measurement properties. OBJECTIVE: To test the measurement properties of two generic quality of life questionnaires and one quality of life questionnaire specific for women with breast cancer. METHOD: We assessed 106 women after surgery for breast cancer. The assessment included application of the SF-36, WHOQOL-bref, and FACT-B+4 questionnaires as well as the Global Perceived Effect and Pain Numerical Rating scales. The participants were interviewed on three occasions to investigate internal consistency, floor and ceiling effects, construct validity, reproducibility, and responsiveness. RESULTS: Most of the instruments' domains showed adequate internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha varying from 0.66 to 0.91). Reliability varied from poor to substantial (ICC2,1 between 0.39 and 0.87) and agreement varied from negative to very good. The SF-36 presented doubtful agreement and showed floor and ceiling effects in three domains. The domains of the generic questionnaires presented moderate to good correlation with the FACT-B+4 (Pearson varying from 0.31 to 0.69). The internal responsiveness varied from small to large (ES varying from -0.26 to 0.98) and external responsiveness was found in only some of the instruments' domains. CONCLUSIONS: Most of the measurement properties tested for the WHOQOL-bref and FACT-B+4 were adequate as was their ability to assess quality of life in women with breast cancer. The SF-36 showed inadequacy in agreement and floor and ceiling effects and should not be used in women with breast cancer. PMID:25075998

  14. Testing the Limits: The Purposes and Effects of Additional, External Elementary Mathematics Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lombardi, Karen Ann

    2011-01-01

    This mixed-methods case study focuses on the third through fifth grade classrooms at a public elementary school in a Midwestern urban school district where the Northwest Evaluation Association's (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment is being implemented. According to the school district, the goals of these tests are: to show…

  15. Unified registration framework for cumulative dose assessment in cervical cancer across external beam radiotherapy and brachytherapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, Sharmili; Totman, John J.; Choo, Bok A.

    2016-03-01

    Dose accumulation across External Beam Radiotherapy (EBRT) and Brachytherapy (BT) treatment fractions in cervical cancer is extremely challenging due to structural dissimilarities and large inter-fractional anatomic deformations between the EBRT and BT images. The brachytherapy applicator and the bladder balloon, present only in the BT images, introduce missing structural correspondences for the underlying registration problem. Complex anatomical deformations caused by the applicator and the balloon, different rectum and bladder filling and tumor shrinkage compound the registration difficulties. Conventional free-form registration methods struggle to handle such topological differences. In this paper, we propose a registration pipeline that first transforms the original images to their distance maps based on segmentations of critical organs and then performs non-linear registration of the distance maps. The resulting dense deformation field is then used to transform the original anatomical image. The registration accuracy is evaluated on 27 image pairs from stage 2B-4A cervical cancer patients. The algorithm reaches a Hausdorff distance of close to 0:5 mm for the uterus, 2:2 mm for the bladder and 1:7 mm for the rectum when applied to (EBRT,BT) pairs, taken at time points more than three months apart. This generalized model-free framework can be used to register any combination of EBRT and BT images as opposed to methods in the literature that are tuned for either only (BT,BT) pair, or only (EBRT,EBRT) pair or only (BT,EBRT) pair. A unified framework for 3D dose accumulation across multiple EBRT and BT fractions is proposed to facilitate adaptive personalized radiation therapy.

  16. Assessment of quality of life in patients with knee osteoarthritis

    PubMed Central

    Kawano, Marcio Massao; Araújo, Ivan Luis Andrade; Castro, Martha Cavalcante; Matos, Marcos Almeida

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE : To assess the quality of life of knee osteoarthritis patients using the SF-36 questionnaire METHODS : Cross-sec-tional study with 93 knee osteoarthritis patients. The sample was categorized according to Ahlbӓck score. All individuals were interviewed with the SF-36 questionnaire RESULTS : The main finding of the study is related to the association of edu-cation level with the functional capacity, functional limitation and pain. Patients with higher education level had better functional capacity when they were compared to patients with basic level of education CONCLUSION : Individuals with osteoarthritis have a low perception of their quality of life in functional capacity, functional limitation and pain. There is a strong association between low level of education and low perception of quality of life. Level of Evidence IV, Clinical Case Series. PMID:27057143

  17. National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Area-Characterization Toolbox

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Price, Curtis

    2010-01-01

    This is release 1.0 of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Area-Characterization Toolbox. These tools are designed to be accessed using ArcGIS Desktop software (versions 9.3 and 9.3.1). The toolbox is composed of a collection of custom tools that implement geographic information system (GIS) techniques used by the NAWQA Program to characterize aquifer areas, drainage basins, and sampled wells.

  18. Quality control and quality assurance plan for bridge channel-stability assessments in Massachusetts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Parker, Gene W.; Pinson, Harlow

    1993-01-01

    A quality control and quality assurance plan has been implemented as part of the Massachusetts bridge scour and channel-stability assessment program. This program is being conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, Massachusetts-Rhode Island District, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Highway Department. Project personnel training, data-integrity verification, and new data-management technologies are being utilized in the channel-stability assessment process to improve current data-collection and management techniques. An automated data-collection procedure has been implemented to standardize channel-stability assessments on a regular basis within the State. An object-oriented data structure and new image management tools are used to produce a data base enabling management of multiple data object classes. Data will be reviewed by assessors and data base managers before being merged into a master bridge-scour data base, which includes automated data-verification routines.

  19. Assessment of ecological quality of coastal lagoons with a combination of phytobenthic and water quality indices.

    PubMed

    Christia, Chrysoula; Giordani, Gianmarco; Papastergiadou, Eva

    2014-09-15

    Coastal lagoons are ecotones between continents and the sea. Coastal lagoons of Western Greece, subjected to different human pressures, were classified into four different types based on their hydromorphological characteristics and monitored over a three year period for their biotic and abiotic features. Six ecological indices based on water quality parameters (TSI-Chl-a, TSI-TP, TRIX), benthic macrophytes (E-MaQI, EEI-c) and an integrated index TWQI, were applied to assess the ecological status of studied lagoons under real conditions. The trophic status ranged from oligotrophic to hypertrophic according to the index applied. The ecological quality of transitional water ecosystems can be better assessed by using indices based on benthic macrophytes as changes in abundance and diversity of sensitive and tolerant species are the first evidence of incoming eutrophication. The multi-parametric index TWQI can be considered appropriate for the ecological assessment of these ecosystems due to its robustness and the simple application procedure.

  20. Subjective video quality assessment methods for recognition tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, Carolyn G.; McFarland, Mark A.; Stange, Irena W.

    2009-02-01

    To develop accurate objective measurements (models) for video quality assessment, subjective data is traditionally collected via human subject testing. The ITU has a series of Recommendations that address methodology for performing subjective tests in a rigorous manner. These methods are targeted at the entertainment application of video. However, video is often used for many applications outside of the entertainment sector, and generally this class of video is used to perform a specific task. Examples of these applications include security, public safety, remote command and control, and sign language. For these applications, video is used to recognize objects, people or events. The existing methods, developed to assess a person's perceptual opinion of quality, are not appropriate for task-based video. The Institute for Telecommunication Sciences, under a program from the Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute for Standards and Technology's Office of Law Enforcement, has developed a subjective test method to determine a person's ability to perform recognition tasks using video, thereby rating the quality according to the usefulness of the video quality within its application. This new method is presented, along with a discussion of two examples of subjective tests using this method.