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Sample records for external quality assessment

  1. External quality assessment of hormone determinations.

    PubMed

    Sturgeon, Catharine M

    2013-12-01

    Hormone determinations are of central importance to the practice of Clinical Endocrinology, and ensuring their correct use and performance is a multidisciplinary responsibility involving clinicians, laboratory staff, manufacturers of diagnostic systems and healthcare regulatory agencies. All these professional groups have, therefore, an interest in external quality assessment (EQA) as an audit tool that can identify areas where use of tests in routine practice requires improvement to reduce risks to patients. This chapter reviews the principles of EQA, and outlines its strengths and limitations, illustrated with example data from the UK National External Quality Assessment Service (UK NEQAS). The immunological nature of many hormone assays, often further complicated by heterogeneity of analyte structure and lack of suitable calibrators, presents special problems for the designers of EQA schemes in ensuring that specimens are appropriate and that target values are accurate. Laboratory users of EQA should have sufficient knowledge of the characteristics of the EQA schemes in which they participate to make informed interpretation of their data. The trend since the 1980s for in-house assays designed in individual laboratories to be superseded by automated assays provided by a small number of diagnostics manufacturers places a special responsibility on manufacturers to ensure reliable assay design and calibration. In collaboration with other parties EQA can help identify priorities for improved assay design and calibration. Although traditionally the focus of EQA has been on assessing the analytical phase it can also make some assessment of other important aspects of performance, e.g. the consistency of reference ranges and how results are interpreted. Overall, EQA has a valuable role both in laboratory accreditation and as an educational resource, thereby helping to ensure and improve the quality of laboratory services that support patient care.

  2. 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.

  3. Quantitation of carboxyhaemoglobin in blood: external quality assessment of techniques.

    PubMed

    Barnett, K; Wilson, J F

    1998-06-01

    The performance of four dedicated carbon monoxide (CO)-oximeters (AVL, Chiron, IL, Radiometer), spectrophotometry with and without dithionite, spectrophotometry by second derivative, and the Whitehead and Worthington precipitation technique for the measurement of carboxyhaemoglobin in blood was compared by a mean of 136 participants in the United Kingdom National External Quality Assessment Scheme in 21 samples formulated to contain from 4% to 48% carboxyhaemoglobin. The dedicated instruments and spectrophotometry by second derivative were of significantly higher precision than the other techniques, producing fewer measurements rejected as being > 3 standard deviations from the sample mean and having a lower standard deviation for non-rejected measurements. The AVL instrument and spectrophotometry by second derivative had a significant positive bias compared to the other techniques. The Whitehead and Worthington method was of an unacceptably low precision.

  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. External quality assessment in resource–limited countries

    PubMed Central

    Carter, Jane Y

    2017-01-01

    Introduction Health laboratory services are a critical component of national health systems but face major operational challenges in resource-limited (RL) settings. New funding for health systems strengthening in RL countries has increased the demand for diagnostics and provided opportunities to address these constraints. An approach to sustainably strengthen national laboratory systems in sub-Saharan African countries is the Strengthening Laboratory Management Toward Accreditation (SLMTA) programme. External Quality Assessment (EQA) is a requirement for laboratory accreditation. EQA comprises proficiency testing (PT), rechecking of samples and on-site evaluation. Materials and methods A systematic literature search was conducted to identify studies addressing laboratory EQA and quality monitoring in RL countries. Unpublished reports were also sought from national laboratory authorities and personnel. Results PT schemes in RL countries are provided by commercial companies, institutions in developed countries and national programmes. Most government-supported PT schemes address single diseases using a vertical approach. Regional approaches to delivering PT have also been implemented across RL countries. Rechecking schemes address mainly tuberculosis (TB), malaria and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); integrated rechecking programmes have been piloted. Constraints include sample transportation, communication of results, unknown proficiency of referee staff and limited resources for corrective action. Global competency assessment standards for malaria microscopists have been established. Conclusions EQA is vital for monitoring laboratory performance and maintaining quality of laboratory services, and is a valuable tool for identifying and assessing technology in use, identifying gaps in laboratory performance and targeting training needs. Accreditation of PT providers and competency of EQA personnel must be ensured. PMID:28392732

  6. External Quality Assessment beyond the analytical phase: an Australian perspective

    PubMed Central

    Gay, Stephanie; McCaughey, Euan J.; Georgiou, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    External Quality Assessment (EQA) is the verification, on a recurring basis, that laboratory results conform to expectations for the quality required for patient care. It is now widely recognised that both the pre- and post-laboratory phase of testing, termed the diagnostic phases, are a significant source of laboratory errors. These errors have a direct impact on both the effectiveness of the laboratory and patient safety. Despite this, Australian laboratories tend to be focussed on very narrow concepts of EQA, primarily surrounding test accuracy, with little in the way of EQA programs for the diagnostic phases. There is a wide range of possibilities for the development of EQA for the diagnostic phases in Australia, such as the utilisation of scenarios and health informatics. Such programs can also be supported through advances in health information and communications technology, including electronic test ordering and clinical decision support systems. While the development of such programs will require consultation and support from the referring doctors, and their format will need careful construction to ensure that the data collected is de-identified and provides education as well as useful and informative data, we believe that there is high value in the development of such programs. Therefore, it is our opinion that all pathology laboratories should strive to be involved in an EQA program in the diagnostic phases to both monitor the diagnostic process and to identify, learn from and reduce errors and near misses in these phases in a timely fashion. PMID:28392728

  7. National external quality assessment scheme for lymphocyte immunophenotyping in Belgium.

    PubMed

    Van Blerk, Marian; Bernier, Michel; Bossuyt, Xavier; Chatelain, Bernard; D'Hautcourt, Jean-Luc; Demanet, Christian; Kestens, Luc; Van Bockstaele, Dirk; Crucitti, Tania; Libeer, Jean-Claude

    2003-03-01

    In 2000, the Belgian Scientific Institute of Public Health introduced a voluntary external quality assessment scheme for lymphocyte immunophenotyping. This paper provides an analysis of the first six surveys. Specimens consisted of fresh EDTA-anticoagulated whole blood and were sent by overnight mail. The 41 participants were surveyed for methodology and were asked to report white blood cell count, percentage of lymphocytes, and percentages and absolute numbers of CD3+, CD4+, CD8+, and CD19+ cells. Median intralaboratory coefficients of variation were 1.0, 1.3, 1.7, and 3.2% for CD3+, CD4+, CD8+, and CD19+ cell percentages, respectively. Interlaboratory variability was consistently lower than 6.5% for CD3+ and CD4+CD3+ cell percentages, and lower than 9.5% for CD8+CD3+ cell percentages. Median coefficients of variation for the absolute values were higher, ranging from 10.1% for CD4+CD3+ cells to 16.5% for CD19+ cells. The percentage of CD4+CD3+ and CD8+ CD3+ cells was in several samples significantly lower than the percentage of total CD4+ and CD8+ cells. The number of laboratories measuring total CD4+ and CD8+ cells decreased by 30% during the programme. Between-laboratory variability remained stable over time. Analysis of individual laboratory performance indicated that some laboratories markedly improved their results.

  8. 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.

  9. Endorsing good quality assurance practices in molecular pathology: risks and recommendations for diagnostic laboratories and external quality assessment providers.

    PubMed

    Tembuyser, Lien; Dequeker, Elisabeth M C

    2016-01-01

    Quality assurance is an indispensable element in a molecular diagnostic laboratory. The ultimate goal is to warrant patient safety. Several risks that can compromise high quality procedures are at stake, from sample collection to the test performed by the laboratory, the reporting of test results to clinicians, and the organization of effective external quality assessment schemes. Quality assurance should therefore be safeguarded at each level and should imply a holistic multidisciplinary approach. This review aims to provide an overview of good quality assurance practices and discusses certain risks and recommendations to promote and improve quality assurance for both diagnostic laboratories and for external quality assessment providers. The number of molecular targets is continuously rising, and new technologies are evolving. As this poses challenges for clinical implementation and increases the demand for external quality assessment, the formation of an international association for improving quality assurance in molecular pathology is called for.

  10. External quality assessment scheme for haematology in Germany.

    PubMed

    Heller, S

    1995-01-01

    Quality control in haematology is performed in Germany for 20 years. Both cell count, haemoglobin measurement and differential count on smear with morphology exercise and probably diagnosis will be demanded by the participants. Until now this quality control is not mandatory, even efforts are done to change this circumstance, given by the main input of diagnostic value due to haematology results. So this regulation will be changed very soon, in order to submit haematological laboratories to governmental control, effected by the BAK (Bundesärztekammer), as already is done in clinical chemistry. For this EQA the participants cannot expected any financial support by any organization, nor public health, nor private assurance. The role of referee laboratories and reference values as well as difficulties for the adequate reference material are discussed. For the differential count other limits have to be established: recognition of pathological blood films is one of the most important point (in sense of morphological exercise) to ensure broad knowledge of "flag interpretation". Since the last year quality control for reticulocyte count and flow cytometry for immune status and leukemia-differentiation has been established.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stensaker, Bjørn; Leiber, Theodor

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  14. The UK National External Quality Assessment Scheme (UK NEQAS) for molecular genetic testing in haemophilia.

    PubMed

    Perry, David J; Goodeve, Anne; Hill, Marian; Jennings, Ian; Kitchen, Steve; Walker, Isobel

    2006-11-01

    Molecular genetic analysis of families with haemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders is now a common laboratory investigation. In contrast to phenotypic testing in which strict quality control is adhered to, in haemophilia molecular genetic testing there has been a lack of any external quality assurance schemes. In 1998 the UK National External Quality Assessment Scheme (UK NEQAS) established a pilot quality assurance scheme for molecular genetic testing in haemophilia. Results from three initial surveys highlighted problems with the quality of samples when used to screen for the intron 22 inversion within the F8 gene. The scheme was re-launched in 2003, and since that time there have been five exercises involving whole blood or immortalised cell line DNA. The results together with an overall summary of the exercise are subsequently returned to participants. Exercises to date have focused exclusively on haemophilia A and QA, material has included screening for the intron 1 and intron 22 inversions as well as sequence analysis. A paper exercise circulated in 2003 highlighted problems with the format of reports and, following feedback to participants, only a single error has been made in the subsequent four exercises. Participating laboratories now receive QA material every six months. Immortalised cell line material was introduced in 2005 and was shown to perform well. This will allow expansion of the scheme and a reduction in the dependence on blood donation.

  15. [External assessment of analytic quality in hematology: a necessity in Latin America].

    PubMed

    Fink, N E; Fernández Alberti, A; Mazziotta, D

    1997-09-01

    The assurance of analytical quality in a clinical laboratory is achieved through an internal system of quality control complemented by an external evaluation program. Quality assurance provides a foundation for the confidence that is placed in laboratory results and their use in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Many laboratories in Latin American countries do not have appropriate systems in place to evaluate and control quality. Given the importance of diagnoses based on hematologic data, the Pan American Health Organization sponsored a course in quality control in hematology during the XI Latin American Congress of Clinical Biochemistry (Mexico, 1993), in which representatives from Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Paraguay, Dominican Republic, and Uruguay participated. As part of the course, the following control materials were produced: secondary standard solution of cyanmethemoglobin, stabilized concentrated hemoglobin solution, and preserved human whole blood with pseudoleukocytes. These materials were sent to laboratories in the seven participating countries for use in analytical procedures, and the results were then subjected to an external evaluation to assess individual performance and the comparability of results among the group. The specific tasks carried out were: (1) determination of values for hemoglobin, hematocrit, and red and white blood cell counts by the procedures normally used in each laboratory; (2) recording of the data on special reporting forms; and (3) transmittal of those forms to the coordinator in each country. The results were analyzed with regard to both the procedure used and the participating country. Reference values were established by consensus following application of a statistical method to eliminate outlying values. Comparative analysis of the results showed the coefficients of variation (CV) of the hematocrit (4.5%), red blood cell count (11.0%), and white blood cell count (22.2%) to be higher than those reported from

  16. 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.

  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 in Dutch Higher Education: Consultancy and Watchdog Roles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zijderveld, Diederick C.

    1997-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kouri, Timo T; Makkonen, Pirjo

    2015-11-01

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

  2. External Quality Assessment Unravels Interlaboratory Differences in Quality of RAS Testing for Anti-EGFR Therapy in Colorectal Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Tack, Véronique; Ligtenberg, Marjolijn J.L.; Tembuyser, Lien; Normanno, Nicola; Vander Borght, Sara; Han van Krieken, J.

    2015-01-01

    Background. Regulations for the selection of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer for anti-EGFR treatment changed at the end of 2013. The set of mutations to be tested extended from KRAS codons 12 and 13 to KRAS and NRAS exons 2, 3, and 4. A European external quality assessment scheme monitored the performance of laboratories and evaluated the implementation of the new regulations. Materials and Methods. The 131 participating laboratories received 10 samples of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded material, including RAS (exon 2, 3, 4) and BRAF mutations. Mock clinical data were provided for three cases. Using their routine methods, laboratories determined the genotypes and submitted three written reports. Assessors scored the results according to predefined evaluation criteria. Results. Half of the participants (49.3%) had completely implemented the new test requirements (codons 12, 13, 59, 61, 117, and 146 of KRAS and NRAS), and 96 laboratories (73.3%) made no genotype mistakes. Correct nomenclature, according to the Human Genome Variation Society, was used by 82 laboratories (62.6%). Conclusion. Although regulations were effective for several months, many laboratories were not ready for full RAS testing in the context of anti-EGFR therapy. Nevertheless, in each participating country, there are laboratories that provide complete and correct testing. External quality assessments can be used to monitor implementation of new test regulations and to stimulate the laboratories to improve their testing procedures. Because the results of this program are available on the website of the European Society of Pathology, patients and clinicians can refer test samples to a reliable laboratory. PMID:25657200

  3. International external quality assessment study for molecular detection of Lassa virus.

    PubMed

    Nikisins, Sergejs; Rieger, Toni; Patel, Pranav; Müller, Rolf; Günther, Stephan; Niedrig, Matthias

    2015-05-01

    Lassa virus (LASV) is a causative agent of hemorrhagic fever in West Africa. In recent years, it has been imported several times to Europe and North America. The method of choice for early detection of LASV in blood is RT-PCR. Therefore, the European Network for Diagnostics of 'Imported' Viral Diseases (ENIVD) performed an external quality assessment (EQA) study for molecular detection of LASV. A proficiency panel of 13 samples containing various concentrations of inactivated LASV strains Josiah, Lib-1580/121, CSF, or AV was prepared. Samples containing the LASV-related lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) and negative sera were included as specificity controls. Twenty-four laboratories from 17 countries (13 European, one African, one Asian, two American countries) participated in the study. Thirteen laboratories (54%) reported correct results, 4 (17%) laboratories reported 1 to 2 false-negative results, and 7 (29%) laboratories reported 3 to 5 false-negative results. This EQA study indicates that most participating laboratories have a good or acceptable performance in molecular detection of LASV. However, several laboratories need to review and improve their diagnostic procedures.

  4. External quality assessment (EQA) in molecular immunohematology: the INSTAND proficiency test program

    PubMed Central

    Flegel, Willy A; Chiosea, Ion; Sachs, Ulrich J; Bein, Gregor

    2013-01-01

    Background Genotyping for red blood cell (RBC), platelet and granulocyte antigens is a new tool for clinical pathology, transfusion medicine services and blood banks. Proficiency in laboratory tests can be established by external quality assessments (EQAs), which are required for clinical application in many health care systems. There are few EQAs for molecular immunohematology. Methods We analyzed the participation and pass rates in an EQA for RBC, platelet and granulocyte antigens. This EQA was distributed by INSTAND, a large non-profit provider of proficiency tests, twice per year since fall 2006 as EQA no. 235 Immunohematology A (molecular diagnostic). The coordinators defined at the outset which alleles are mandatory for detection. Results The number of participants steadily increased from 51 to 73 per proficiency by fall 2012. More than 60 institutions utilized this EQA at least once a year. Approximately 80% of them participated in RBC, 68% in platelet and 22% in granulocyte systems. With the exceptions of RHD (82%) and granulocytes (85%), pass rates exceeded 93%. While the pass rate increased for granulocyte and decreased for the ABO system, the pass rates for the other systems changed little over 6 ½ years. Conclusions The INSTAND proficiency test program was regularly used for EQA by many institutions, particularly in Central Europe. While the technical standards and pass rates in the participating laboratories were high, there has been little improvement in pass rates since 2006. PMID:24111785

  5. Mutation nomenclature in practice: findings and recommendations from the cystic fibrosis external quality assessment scheme.

    PubMed

    Berwouts, Sarah; Morris, Michael A; Girodon, Emmanuelle; Schwarz, Martin; Stuhrmann, Manfred; Dequeker, Elisabeth

    2011-11-01

    Currently, two nomenclature systems are in use to describe sequence variants for cystic fibrosis: the established traditional nomenclature system and the more recent Human Genome Variation Society (HGVS) nomenclature system. We have evaluated the use of both systems in the laboratory reports of 217 participants in the cystic fibrosis external quality assessment scheme of 2009. The mutation c.1521_1523delCTT (p.Phe508del, F508del) was described by traditional and HGVS nomenclature by 32 of 216 (15%) laboratories that correctly identified the mutation, whereas 171 (79%) laboratories used traditional nomenclature only and 13 (6%) laboratories used HGVS nomenclature only. Overall, 29 of 631 (5%) reports used nomenclature that was evaluated as being seriously incorrect and/or misleading and 136 (22%) reports contained attempts at HGVS coding, of which 104 (76%) contained no coding errors; just 33 (24%) mentioned the correct cDNA name and cited the nucleotide reference sequence. We recognized an urgent need for more consistent and correct usage of nomenclature. We recommended that cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator testing reports should include a description of the identified sequence variants in both HGVS and traditional nomenclature and provided basic recommendations and other guidance.

  6. External Quality Assessment Scheme for Biological Monitoring of Occupational Exposure to Toxic Chemicals

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Mi-Young; Kang, Seong-Kyu

    2011-01-01

    Objectives In this study, we summarized the External Quality Assessment Scheme (EQAS) for the biological monitoring of occupational exposure to toxic chemicals which started in 1995 and continued until a 31st round robin in the spring of 2010. The program was performed twice per year until 2009, and this was changed to once a year since 2010. The objective of the program is to ensure the reliability of the data related to biological monitoring from analytical laboratories. Methods One hundred and eighteen laboratories participated in the 31st round robin. The program offers 5 items for inorganic analysis: lead in blood, cadmium in blood, manganese in blood, cadmium in urine, and mercury in urine. It also offers 10 items for organic analysis, including hippuric acid, methylhippuric acid, mandelic acid, phenylglyoxylic acid, N-methylformamide, N-methylacetamide, trichloroacetic acid, total trichloro-compounds, trans,trans-muconic acid, and 2,5-hexanedione in urine. Target values were determined by statistical analysis using consensus values. All the data, such as chromatograms and calibration curves, were reviewed by the committee. Results The proficiency rate was below 70% prior to the first round robin and improved to over 90% for common items, such as PbB and HA, while those for other items still remained in the range of 60-90% and need to be improved up to 90%. Conclusion The EQAS has taken a primary role in improving the reliability of analytical data. A total quality assurance scheme is suggested, including the validation of technical documentation for the whole analytical procedure. PMID:22953206

  7. External quality assessment of patient HLA-B*57:01 testing prior to abacavir prescription.

    PubMed

    Darke, C; Corbin, S A

    2014-08-01

    Hypersensitivity reactions to the drug abacavir are strongly associated with possession of HLA-B*57:01. Hence, patients with HIV/AIDS who may be prescribed abacavir should be tested for this HLA allele and the drug withheld from those that possess B*57:01. The UK National External Quality Assessment Service for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics has operated a scheme for B*57:01 testing since 2008 which, in 2013, involved 47 participants from 12 countries. A total of 24 B*57:01-positive, 2 B*57:03-positive and 22 B*57-negative blood samples (including 2 B*58 samples) were distributed to between 28 and 47 laboratories each year over 6 years. Participants, who were unaware of the samples' HLA types, tested and reported on their B*57/B*57:01 status. A total of 1868 reports were assessed over the 6 years. Of the 880 reports on B*57:01 samples, 93.4% were correctly assigned as B*57:01, 2.8% were assigned as groups of B*57 alleles including B*57:01, and 3.3% were reported as B*57 positive only. Over the 6 years, there were four (0.46%) false B*57:01 negative reports. All the B*57:03-positive and B*57-negative samples, involving 72 and 916 assignments, respectively, were essentially reported as B*57:01 negative. Thus, there were no false B57:01 positive assignments. The reporting of B*57:01 status over the last 3 years of the scheme was 99.8% sensitive and 100% specific. Over the last year, it was 100% sensitive and 100% specific.

  8. External quality assessment for the determination of diphtheria antitoxin in human serum.

    PubMed

    Di Giovine, Paolo; Pinto, Antonella; Olander, Rose-Marie; Sesardic, Dorothea; Stickings, Paul; Berbers, Guy; Neal, Shona; Efstratiou, Androulla; Paberza, Ruta; Dauksiene, Snieguole; Bujko, Marina; Detcheva, Antoaneta; Joks, Unna; Levent, Belkis; von Hunolstein, Christina

    2010-08-01

    Accurate determination of diphtheria toxin antibodies is of value in determining the rates of immunity within broad populations or the immune status of individuals who may be at risk of infection, by assessing responses to vaccination and immunization schedule efficacy. Here we report the results of an external quality assessment (EQA) study for diphtheria serology, performed within the dedicated surveillance network DIPNET. Twelve national laboratories from 11 European countries participated by testing a standard panel of 150 sera using their current routine method: Vero cell neutralization test (NT), double-antigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA; DAE), dual double-antigen time-resolved fluorescence immunoassay (dDA-DELFIA), passive hemagglutination assay (PHA), toxin binding inhibition assay (ToBI), and in-house or commercial ELISAs. The objective of the study was not to identify the best assay, as the advantages and drawbacks of methods used were known, but to verify if laboratories using their routine method would have categorized (as negative, equivocal, or positive) a serum sample in the same way. The performance of each laboratory was determined by comparing its results on a quantitative and qualitative basis to NT results from a single reference laboratory, as this test is considered the in vitro "gold standard." The performance of laboratories using NT was generally very good, while the laboratories' performance using other in vitro methods was variable. Laboratories using ELISA and PHA performed less well than those using DAE, dDA-DELFIA, or ToBI. EQA is important for both laboratories that use in vitro nonstandardized methods and those that use commercial ELISA kits.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 2nd International External Quality Control Assessment for the Molecular Diagnosis of Dengue Infections

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  13. [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.

  14. External Quality Assessment for Detection of Fetal Trisomy 21, 18, and 13 by Massively Parallel Sequencing in Clinical Laboratories.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Rui; Zhang, Hongyun; Li, Yulong; Han, Yanxi; Xie, Jiehong; Li, Jinming

    2016-03-01

    An external quality assessment for detection of trisomy 21, 18, and 13 by massively parallel sequencing was implemented by the National Center for Clinical Laboratories of People's Republic of China in 2014. Simulated samples were prepared by mixing fragmented abnormal DNA with plasma from non-pregnant women. The external quality assessment panel, comprising 5 samples from pregnant healthy women, 2 samples with sex chromosome aneuploidies, and 13 samples with different concentrations of fetal fractions positive for trisomy 21, 18, and 13, was then distributed to participating laboratories. In total, 55.6% (47 of 84) of respondents correctly identified each of the samples in the panel. Seventeen false-negative and 87 gray zone results were reported, most [102 of 104 (98.1%)] of which were derived from for trisomy samples with effective fetal fractions <4%. No laboratories generated false-positive results. In addition, we observed varied diagnostic capabilities of different assays, with the assay on the basis of NextSeq CN500 performing better than others, whereas Z values generated by BGISEQ-100 fluctuated greatly. There were no significant correlations between the numbers of unique sequence reads and Z values from any trisomy sample generated by BGISEQ-100. Overall, most clinical laboratories detected samples containing effective fetal fractions >4%. Our study shows need for further laboratory training in the management of samples with low fetal fractions. For some assays, precision of Z values needs to be improved.

  15. 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

  16. [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.

  17. An educational web-based external quality assessment outcome and evaluation: first experiences with urinary sediment and hemostaseology.

    PubMed

    Schürer-Maly, Corneliac; Wood, William Graham; Falbo, Rosanna; Brambilla, Paolo; Heller, Christian; Schwarz, Patrick; Illigen, Dirk; Adler, Martin; Heitzmann, Nicole; Bauer, Daniel; Fischer, Martin; Spannagl, Michael

    2013-01-01

    External quality assessment is a standard procedure for many medical laboratories, especially those accredited according to ISO 15189. INSTAND has developed web-based quality control surveys (WQ) with integrated case-based learning in collaboration with the Institute for Teaching and Educational Research in Health Sciences (IDBG), University of Witten/Herdecke. The WQs were presented via a weblink using the learning management system CASUS. Laboratories registered with INSTAND for conventional EQAs covering the same topic were invited to participate in the WQs. Statistics were calculated with the INSTAND EQA-evaluation program and with the "Statistical Program for Social Sciences" (SPSS Version 20). While the two pilot surveys (hemostaseology) were designed for laboratory technicians, WQ III (urine sediment) addressed the whole laboratory team. From the invited laboratories more than 80% participated successfully and the evaluations showed that, in general, more than half the participants solved the tasks as a team. The web-based EQAs were well accepted by the users, with some technical problems in WQ III and moderate criticism on the images and relevance for daily practice in the evaluation sheets. Well above 80% would like to participate in further WQs and would recommend them to other laboratories. Thus web-based quality control surveys can emerge as an important supplement to conventional EQAs.

  18. A pilot programme of external quality assessment for general haematology in Italy.

    PubMed

    Salvati, A M; Maffi, D; Caprari, P; Marsili, G

    1995-01-01

    In the years 1984-1989 the Istituto Superiore di Sanità organized an EQAS for haematology (SVEQE) in Italy. A series of trials for haemocytometry, abnormal haemoglobins, HbA2, HbF, red cell G6PD and peripheral blood films, were carried out with the participation of 126 hospital laboratories, in different regions. SVEQE was an educative programme, aiming at promotion of quality assurance (QA) in laboratory haematology. At the same time an attempt was made to survey the analytical methods and instruments and to estimate the "state of the art" by the dispersion of all results. Participant laboratories were not scored for their performances. The operative protocol was harmonized to the guidelines established by WHO and ICSH; the trial specimens were prepared from normal or pathologic blood samples provided by blood banks or hospital departments. The trials for haemocytometry demonstrated a wide use of completely automated analyzers and in a steady state of performance during about five years. CVs, mainly for WBV and PLT, were somewhat higher than in other countries, where national QA systems have been established for a long time. Such discrepancies were not surprising in a pilot programme and were likely to be caused by inadequate internal quality control. The exercises for abnormal haemoglobins, HbA2, HbF and G6PD pointed out the need of using standardized methods according to the recommendations of ICSH. A large number of participating laboratories took part in the trial for blood cell morphology, being convinced of the educative function of this exercise; it is important to continue with systematic surveys, even including rare haematological disorders amongst the selected cases.

  19. Design and implementation of an external quality assessment program for HIV viral load measurements using dried blood spots.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Results of External Quality Assessment for Proviral DNA Testing of HIV Tropism in the Maraviroc Switch Collaborative Study

    PubMed Central

    Land, Sally; Pett, Sarah; Emery, Sean; Marks, Kat; Kelleher, Anthony D.; Kaye, Steve; Kaiser, Rolf; Schuelter, Eugene; Harrigan, Richard

    2013-01-01

    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

  4. 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

  5. External quality assessment of tumour marker analysis: state of the art and consequences for estimating diagnostic sensitivity and specificity.

    PubMed

    Reinauer, Hans; Wood, William Graham

    2005-05-30

    This review shows the current analytical quality for the following analytes used as tumour markers in the external quality assessment (EQA)-programmes of Instand e.V., a national EQA-organiser in Germany: Corticotropin (ACTH), growth hormone (GH, hGH), prolactin (PRL), chorionic gonadotropin (CG, hCG), calcitonin (CT, hCT), thyroglobulin (Tg), carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), CA-Antigens 125, 72-4, 15-3 and 19-9, alpha foetoprotein (AFP) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA). The results from the participants show a large variation in the precision of the methods used as well as in the comparability of results between methods for the same analyte. In general, the hormones used as tumour markers show better performance than the "CA-markers", which are often inadequately standardised and defined. In the case of one CA-marker (CA 72-4/TAG 72-4), the differences between the lowest kit median concentration and highest kit median concentration for one sample pair were 440% and 580%. The corresponding figures for ACTH were 123% and 156% and for CEA 180% and 184%. The classical tumour markers such as carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and alpha foetoprotein (AFP) performed markedly better than the CA-markers and PSA with regards to both inter- and intra-method comparability. The inter-laboratory precision for a given kit and marker was acceptable in many cases. The results show that only results from the same kit/method for each tumour marker can be used for cumulative or time-dependent comparison of results - for example pre-operative and post-operative follow up. In the case of prostate specific antigen (PSA), the kits used for free and total PSA must come from the same producer, if the generally accepted ratios are to have any diagnostic value. The need for kit- and laboratory-specific reference ranges and cut-off values for setting diagnostic specificity and sensitivity is highlighted from the EQA-results. The situation for inter-method comparability for the CA-Markers has

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. External quality mechanisms for health care: summary of the ExPeRT project on visitatie, accreditation, EFQM and ISO assessment in European Union countries. External Peer Review Techniques. European Foundation for Quality Management. International Organization for Standardization.

    PubMed

    Shaw, C D

    2000-06-01

    This paper is a summary of the operation, findings and conclusions of a European Union project on external peer review techniques, termed 'ExPeRT', to research the scope, mechanisms and use of external quality mechanisms in the improvement of health care. Many of the themes outlined are described in detail in other papers that have been prepared specifically for this issue of The International Journal for Quality in Health Care. Although the emphasis of this project and of this issue of the Journal is on Europe, the conclusions are more widely relevant.

  9. External Quality Arrangements for Scotland's Colleges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education, 2008

    2008-01-01

    This document represents an innovative and radical landmark in the development of external quality arrangements for Scotland's colleges. The quality framework and arrangements for annual engagement, subject-based aspect reports, and external review reflect new thinking nationally, within HMIE, in the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding…

  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.

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.…

  15. [Bringing criteria for external assessment of the quality of biochemical studies within the framework of the Federal System for External Evaluation of the Quality of Clinical Laboratory Studies, in conformity with requirements of the Order No. 45 of the Ministry of Health of Russia, 2/7/2000].

    PubMed

    Zaikin, E V; Malakhov, V N

    2000-07-01

    Criteria for external assessment of the quality of evaluation of 23 biochemical parameters of the blood, meeting the standards of accuracy determined by the Order No. 45 of Ministry of Health of Russia of February 7, 2000 for intralaboratory quality control have been estimated. According to the data of the Federal System for External Evaluation of the Quality of Clinical Laboratory Studies, the percentage of results of analyses of test sera meeting these criteria has been estimated. Introduction of new criteria for external assessment of the quality of biochemical tests into the practice of the Federal System will not notably modify the currently used criteria with regard to the majority of biochemical parameters, except introduction of more stringent criteria for albumin and magnesium and less stringent for creatine kinase.

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

    Giaccaria, Sergio; Frontuto, Vito

    2012-08-01

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

  2. 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...

  3. The UK national external quality assessment scheme in blood group serology. Compatibility testing 1981-1982: performance and practice.

    PubMed

    Holburn, A M; Prior, D

    1984-01-01

    The design of exercises of compatibility testing was modified in 1981 in order better to accommodate participants' serological practices. Ten reference laboratories were also enrolled in order to determine the 'correct' results for each exercise. In 1981-1982 3.5 to 36% of participants missed incompatibilities in exercises in which undiluted antibodies were issued and this did not represent an improvement over performance obtained in 1979-1980. Surveys were undertaken of antiglobulin test procedures and revealed that serological practices continue to change, old techniques are being modified, new techniques are being employed but standardization shows little overall improvement. Surveys of quality control procedures and of cross-match procedures for agglutination in albumin and for agglutination of enzyme treated cells show equal lack of standardization.

  4. Experience with an external quality assessment programme for point-of-care-testing (POCT) devices for the determination of blood glucose.

    PubMed

    Wood, William Graham; Hanke, Rainer; Meissner, Dieane; Reinauer, Hans

    2003-01-01

    This article describes the preparation and internal and external evaluation of materials, critical issues in the external quality assessment (EQA) of point-of-care testing (POCT) devices for measuring blood glucose. A comparison was made between different materials, both of natural and synthetic origin and with and without stabilisers. The aims were to produce a material which was compatible with as many POCT-devices as possible and so reduce the number of materials sent out in each campaign as well as to optimise the precision and comparability of results between methods and devices. Although the use of near natural material--sterile-filtered plasma spiked with glucose--survived internal testing, this material proved to be unsuitable for EQA surveys. The study resulted in the reduction of materials for each survey to stabilised whole blood for one device, stabilised plasma for two devices and a synthetic material based on a polyethylene glycol matrix for all other devices. Samples were sent as pairs six times annually. The POCT-devices tested measured precisely but inaccurately in the synthetic material, when compared with the reference method (gas-chromatography coupled with isotope-dilution mass-spectrometry; GC-IDMS), so that the devices could only be evaluated for precision. The construction of ratios between the concentrations measured on the two samples distributed allowed an indirect assessment of accuracy. The need for surveillance of POCT devices is stressed in this publication, which combines theory and practice in setting up and running an EQA programme for blood glucose.

  5. The reliable assurance of detecting somatic mutations in cancer-related genes by next-generation sequencing: the results of external quality assessment in China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Rui; Ding, Jiansheng; Han, Yanxi; Yi, Lang; Xie, Jiehong; Yang, Xin; Fan, Gaowei; Wang, Guojing; Hao, Mingju; Zhang, Dong; Zhang, Kuo; Lin, Guigao; Li, Jinming

    2016-09-06

    To evaluate the proficiencies of laboratories utilizing next-generation sequencing (NGS) to detect somatic mutations in cancer-related genes, an external quality assessment (EQA) was implemented by the National Center for Clinical Laboratories of China in 2015. We prepared a panel of samples that comprised eight samples made by mixing synthetic mutated DNA fragments with normal human genomic DNA and one reference sample containing only genomic DNA. We validated our sample panel, and then distributed it to laboratories across China. We received complete results from 64 laboratories. The performances of 51.6 % (33/64) respondent labs were acceptable and 26.6 % (17/64) of the labs returned perfect results. In total, 449 mistakes were reported, including 201 false-negatives (201/449, 44.8 %) and 222 false-positives (222/449, 49.4 %) and 26 slightly discordant results (26/449, 5.8 %). We believe these unsatisfactory results and varied performances are mainly due to the enrichment methods used, the diverse sequencing chemistries of the different NGS platforms, and other errors within the sequencing process. The results indicate that our sample panel is suitable for use in EQA studies, and that further laboratory training in targeted NGS testing is urgently required. To address this, we propose a targeted NGS workflow with details on quality assurance procedures according to the current guidelines.

  6. The reliable assurance of detecting somatic mutations in cancer-related genes by next-generation sequencing: the results of external quality assessment in China

    PubMed Central

    Han, Yanxi; Yi, Lang; Xie, Jiehong; Yang, Xin; Fan, Gaowei; Wang, Guojing; Hao, Mingju; Zhang, Dong; Zhang, Kuo; Lin, Guigao; Li, Jinming

    2016-01-01

    To evaluate the proficiencies of laboratories utilizing next-generation sequencing (NGS) to detect somatic mutations in cancer-related genes, an external quality assessment (EQA) was implemented by the National Center for Clinical Laboratories of China in 2015. We prepared a panel of samples that comprised eight samples made by mixing synthetic mutated DNA fragments with normal human genomic DNA and one reference sample containing only genomic DNA. We validated our sample panel, and then distributed it to laboratories across China. We received complete results from 64 laboratories. The performances of 51.6 % (33/64) respondent labs were acceptable and 26.6 % (17/64) of the labs returned perfect results. In total, 449 mistakes were reported, including 201 false-negatives (201/449, 44.8 %) and 222 false-positives (222/449, 49.4 %) and 26 slightly discordant results (26/449, 5.8 %). We believe these unsatisfactory results and varied performances are mainly due to the enrichment methods used, the diverse sequencing chemistries of the different NGS platforms, and other errors within the sequencing process. The results indicate that our sample panel is suitable for use in EQA studies, and that further laboratory training in targeted NGS testing is urgently required. To address this, we propose a targeted NGS workflow with details on quality assurance procedures according to the current guidelines. PMID:27542269

  7. 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.

  8. Monitoring of tricyclic antidepressants in human serum and plasma by HPLC: characterization of a simple, laboratory developed method via external quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Theurillat, R; Thormann, W

    1998-12-01

    A reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method for the determination of plasma and serum levels of amitriptyline (AMI), nortriptyline (NORT), imipramine (IMI), desipramine (DESI), clomipramine (CLOMI), and norclomipramine (NCLOMI) is described. The assay is based upon single step liquid/liquid extraction of these compounds using hexane at pH 11 (recovery between 92 and 105%), a Nova-Pack C-18 HPLC cartridge column, a mobile phase composed of a phosphate buffer with 50% (v/v) acetonitrile and about 0.2% (v/v) diethylamine (final pH: 8) and solute detection at 242 nm. Using 1 ml of plasma or serum and econazole as internal standard, drug levels between 20 and 400 ng ml(-1) (about 60-1450 nM) were found to provide linear calibration graphs. For drug concentrations in the range of 70-120 ng ml(-1) (about 240-430 nM), intraday and interday imprecisions (n = 5) were determined to be < 6.0, and < 15%, respectively. Data reported include those gathered over a 3-year period during which this assay was employed for therapeutic drug monitoring and clinical toxicology. The performance of the laboratory developed assay was assessed via analysis of monthly samples provided by an external quality control scheme.

  9. Organization and results of a pilot scheme for external quality assessment in clinical chemistry carried out in the Latium region, Italy.

    PubMed

    Morisi, G; Leonetti, G; Palombella, D; Patriarca, M; Menditto, A

    1995-01-01

    The results of an external quality assessment scheme (EQAS), carried out in the Latium region between October 1987 and December 1988, are reported. Ninety-four laboratories, both public and private, took part in the scheme. Aim of the scheme was to estimate the reliability of the clinical chemistry services in this region. The participating laboratories received eight control samples for EQA, every two months. The analytes to be determined in each sample were: glucose (GLU), urea (UR), total protein (TP), uric acid (UA), creatinine (CR), bilirubin (BIL), cholesterol (CHO), triglycerides (TRI), sodium (Na), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), creatine kinase (CPK), gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP). Global laboratory performances were evaluated in terms of interlaboratory precision, accuracy--as deviation per cent from the target values and coefficient of variation (CV)--and percentage of results within pre-set acceptability limits. The deviations were reasonably low, whereas the CVs were rather high. The percentage of acceptable results was lower than 50% for the analytes urea, calcium, uric acid, creatine kinase and alkaline phosphatase. The performance of the examined laboratories was worse than those obtained in other regional and national EQAS, both in terms of CVs and percentage of acceptable results.

  10. External quality assessment for enterovirus 71 and coxsackievirus A16 detection by reverse transcription-PCR using armored RNA as a virus surrogate.

    PubMed

    Song, Liqiong; Sun, Shipeng; Li, Bo; Pan, Yang; Li, Wenli; Zhang, Kuo; Li, Jinming

    2011-10-01

    Three armored RNAs (virus-like particles [VLPs]) containing target sequences from enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CA16) and a pan-enterovirus (pan-EV) sequence were constructed and used in an external quality assessment (EQA) to determine the performance of laboratories in the detection of EV71 and CA16. The EQA panel, which consisted of 20 samples, including 14 positive samples with different concentrations of EV and either EV71 or CA16 armored RNAs, 2 samples with all 3 armored RNAs, and 4 negative-control samples (NaN(3)-preserved minimal essential medium [MEM] without VLPs), was distributed to 54 laboratories that perform molecular diagnosis of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) virus infections. A total of 41 data sets from 41 participants were returned; 5 (12.2%) were generated using conventional in-house reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) assays, and 36 (87.8%) were generated using commercial real-time RT-PCR assays. Performance assessments of laboratories differed; 12 (29.3%) showed a need for improvement. Surprisingly, 4 laboratories were unable to detect EV71 RNA in any samples, even those containing the highest concentration of 10(7) IU/ml. Furthermore, the detection sensitivity for EV71 among all laboratories (82.1%) was substantially lower than that for EV (97.4%) or CA16 (95.1%). Overall, the results of the present study indicate that EQA should be performed periodically to help laboratories monitor their ability to detect HFMD viruses and to improve the comparability of results from different laboratories.

  11. 42 CFR 438.362 - Exemption from external quality review.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

  12. Quality control of CD4+ T-lymphocyte enumeration: results from the last 9 years of the United Kingdom National External Quality Assessment Scheme for Immune Monitoring (1993-2001).

    PubMed

    Whitby, Liam; Granger, Viv; Storie, Ian; Goodfellow, Karen; Sawle, Alex; Reilly, John T; Barnett, David

    2002-04-15

    The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) global epidemic has necessitated the routine enumeration of T-lymphocyte subsets, which has created a need for external quality assurance (EQA). The United Kingdom National External Quality Assessment Scheme (UK NEQAS) for Immune Monitoring provides EQA for 296 laboratories in 40 countries. In 1993, UK NEQAS developed and incorporated into its program stabilized whole blood that enables the accurate monitoring of laboratory performance. Overall, the mean interlaboratory coefficient of variation (CV) for percentage CD4(+) T-lymphocyte subset enumeration has fallen from 15% to less than 5%, as a direct result of the increased use of CD45/ side scatter (SSC) gating. Laboratories using alternative gating strategies (i.e., CD45/CD14 or forward scatter [FSC]/SSC) were about 7.4 times more likely to fail an EQA exercise. Furthermore, the adoption of single-platform technology resulted in a reduction of the overall mean interlaboratory CV for absolute CD4(+) T lymphocytes from 56% (prior to the widespread use of single-platform technology) to 9.7%. Individual laboratory deficiencies were also identified using a performance monitoring system and, through re-education by collaboration with the coordinating center, satisfactorily resolved. In conclusion, during the last 9 years, the UK NEQAS for Immune Monitoring program has highlighted the significant technological advances made by laboratories worldwide that undertake lymphocyte subset enumeration.

  13. [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

  14. [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.

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  17. Immunohistochemical demonstration of oestrogen and progesterone receptors: correlation of standards achieved on in house tumours with that achieved on external quality assessment material in over 150 laboratories from 26 countries

    PubMed Central

    Rhodes, A; Jasani, B; Balaton, A; Miller, K

    2000-01-01

    Aims—To investigate the sensitivity of immunohistochemical (IHC) assays for oestrogen receptors (ER) and progesterone receptors (PR) achieved by laboratories on breast tumours fixed and processed in their own department, and to compare this with the degree of sensitivity they achieve on tumours circulated as part of an external quality assessment (EQA) programme. Methods—On 10 occasions between April 1994 and June 1998, histological sections from breast cancers showing various degrees of expression of ER and PR were circulated for IHC staining to laboratories participating in the UK national external quality assessment scheme for immunocytochemistry (UK NEQAS-ICC). The staining of these tumours, in addition to that of tumours fixed and processed in the participants own laboratories (in house tumours), was assessed by a panel of four assessors, using the established UK NEQAS-ICC scoring system. For a selected assessment run, the degree of expression of participants in house tumours was evaluated by means of the semiquantitative quick score method. Results—Although the scores awarded for the staining of in house tumours were generally higher than those awarded for the staining of UK NEQAS tumours, there was also a significant positive correlation between the two sets of scores. Using the quick score method of evaluation for one of the assessment runs, 47% of in house tumours were classified as having a high degree of ER expression. Of the remaining cases, a significant proportion initially classified as having only low or medium expression of ER were found to have higher expression when stained by the organising laboratory. The UK NEQAS-ICC centre's routine assay for hormonal receptors was found to be 90–100% efficient in achieving optimal demonstration of breast tumours from over 150 different laboratories. Conclusions—The significant positive correlation between the results obtained on the UK NEQAS tumours and the in house tumours provides evidence for

  18. [Thromboelastography/-metry and external quality control. Results of a pilot study].

    PubMed

    Dick, A; Schwaiger, M; Jámbor, C

    2010-05-01

    Thromboelastography/thromboelastometry (TEG/ROTEM) is widely used in near-patient setting, especially in perioperative and intensive care medicine for the management of acute bleeding. Until now a comprehensive quality management especially an external quality control of TEG/ROTEM results is not established. Here we report about our results of a pilot survey performed in 2008 and 2009 integrated in the External Quality Assessment Schemes (EQAS) performed by INSTAND. According to this first EQAS data ROTEM results can be controlled in external quality schemes using lyophilized plasma samples. The clot firmness (A20) and clot formation kinetics characterized by the alpha-angle showed very good reproducibility both between the participants and between different surveys. Variations for CT and CFT were considerably higher especially in the plasma sample with reduced fibrinogen level. Regular participation in an external quality assurance will help to confirm this beneficial technology in emergency settings.

  19. 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...

  20. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abidin, Munirul

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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…

  3. Stepfamily Relationship Quality and Children's Internalizing and Externalizing Problems.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Todd M; Lippold, Melissa A; Mills-Koonce, Roger; Fosco, Gregory M

    2017-03-07

    The stepfamily literature is replete with between-group analyses by which youth residing in stepfamilies are compared to youth in other family structures across indicators of adjustment and well-being. Few longitudinal studies examine variation in stepfamily functioning to identify factors that promote the positive adjustment of stepchildren over time. Using a longitudinal sample of 191 stepchildren (56% female, mean age = 11.3 years), the current study examines the association between the relationship quality of three central stepfamily dyads (stepparent-child, parent-child, and stepcouple) and children's internalizing and externalizing problems concurrently and over time. Results from path analyses indicate that higher levels of parent-child affective quality are associated with lower levels of children's concurrent internalizing and externalizing problems at Wave 1. Higher levels of stepparent-child affective quality are associated with decreases in children's internalizing and externalizing problems at Wave 2 (6 months beyond baseline), even after controlling for children's internalizing and externalizing problems at Wave 1 and other covariates. The stepcouple relationship was not directly linked to youth outcomes. Our findings provide implications for future research and practice.

  4. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kristensen, Bente

    2010-01-01

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

  6. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pantzare, Anna Lind

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Water Quality Assessment and Management

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Overview of Clean Water Act (CWA) restoration framework including; water quality standards, monitoring/assessment, reporting water quality status, TMDL development, TMDL implementation (point & nonpoint source control)

  9. 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.

  10. 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)…

  11. 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…

  12. Project Quality Rating by Experts and Practitioners: Experience with Preffi 2.0 as a Quality Assessment Instrument

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Molleman, Gerard R. M.; Peters, Louk W. H.; Hosman, Clemens M. H.; Kok, Gerjo J.; Oosterveld, Paul

    2006-01-01

    Preffi 2.0 is an evidence-based Dutch quality assessment instrument for health promotion interventions. It is mainly intended for both planning and assessing one's own projects but can also be used to assess other people's projects (external use). This article reports a study on the reliability of Preffi as an external quality assessment…

  13. External validity of the pediatric cardiac quality of life inventory

    PubMed Central

    Marino, Bradley S.; Drotar, Dennis; Cassedy, Amy; Davis, Richard; Tomlinson, Ryan S.; Mellion, Katelyn; Mussatto, Kathleen; Mahony, Lynn; Newburger, Jane W.; Tong, Elizabeth; Cohen, Mitchell I.; Helfaer, Mark A.; Kazak, Anne E.; Wray, Jo; Wernovsky, Gil; Shea, Judy A.; Ittenbach, Richard

    2012-01-01

    Purpose The Pediatric Cardiac Quality of Life Inventory (PCQLI) is a disease-specific, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) measure for pediatric heart disease (HD). The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the external validity of PCQLI scores. Methods The PCQLI development site (Development sample) and six geographically diverse centers in the United States (Composite sample) recruited pediatric patients with acquired or congenital HD. Item response option variability, scores [Total (TS); Disease Impact (DI) and Psychosocial Impact (PI) subscales], patterns of correlation, and internal consistency were compared between samples. Results A total of 3,128 patients and parent participants (1,113 Development; 2,015 Composite) were analyzed. Response option variability patterns of all items in both samples were acceptable. Inter-sample score comparisons revealed no differences. Median item–total (Development, 0.57; Composite, 0.59) and item–subscale (Development, DI 0.58, PI 0.59; Composite, DI 0.58, PI 0.56) correlations were moderate. Subscale–subscale (0.79 for both samples) and subscale–total (Development, DI 0.95, PI 0.95; Composite, DI 0.95, PI 0.94) correlations and internal consistency (Development, TS 0.93, DI 0.90, PI 0.84; Composite, TS 0.93, DI 0.89, PI 0.85) were high in both samples. Conclusion PCQLI scores are externally valid across the US pediatric HD population and may be used for multi-center HRQOL studies. PMID:21188538

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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 ...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  2. 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 ...

  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. The Southeast Stream Quality Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Metre, Peter C.; Journey, Celeste

    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).

  5. 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.

  6. The Effectiveness of the Higher Education Quality Assessment System: Problems and Countermeasures in China

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guangli, Zhou

    2016-01-01

    The effectiveness of the higher education quality assessment system is essentially a matter of policy evaluation. On the macro level, such a system refers to external quality assessment, which includes government evaluation, quality certification, and university rankings. Depending on the degree of government intervention, the external quality…

  7. Externalities and electric power: an integrated assessment approach

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, R.

    1995-12-31

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

  8. Irrigation water quality assessments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  9. An overview of the European Organization for External Quality Assurance Providers in Laboratory Medicine (EQALM)

    PubMed Central

    Stavelin, Anne; Albe, Xavier; Meijer, Piet; Sarkany, Erika; MacKenzie, Finlay

    2017-01-01

    The European Organisation for External Quality Assurance Providers in Laboratory Medicine (EQALM) was founded in 1996 and currently has members from 29 European countries and 6 countries from outside Europe. EQALM provides a forum for co-operation and exchange of knowledge on quality-related matters in laboratory medicine, especially with regard to external quality assessment (EQA) programs in Europe. In addition, EQALM represent the EQA providers in laboratory medicine at European level vis-ŕ-vis political, professional, scientific and other bodies, including patients’ organisations. To this end EQALM promotes activities such as organizing meetings with scientific and practical themes for members and other interested parties, issuing scientific publications, developing EQA projects and representing laboratory medicine EQA activities within other organisations and networks. EQALM is active in scientific and educational activity in different fields such as survey frequency, haematology, haemostasis, microbiology, nomenclature, virtual microscopy, traceability, accreditation, and quality assurance of the total testing process. The aim of this paper is to give an overview of the EQALM organisation. PMID:28392724

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Statistical diagnostics emerging from external quality control of real-time PCR.

    PubMed

    Marubini, E; Verderio, P; Raggi, Casini C; Pazzagli, M; Orlando, C

    2004-01-01

    Besides the application of conventional qualitative PCR as a valuable tool to enrich or identify specific sequences of nucleic acids, a new revolutionary technique for quantitative PCR determination has been introduced recently. It is based on real-time detection of PCR products revealed as a homogeneous accumulating signal generated by specific dyes. However, as far as we know, the influence of the variability of this technique on the reliability of the quantitative assay has not been thoroughly investigated. A national program of external quality assurance (EQA) for real-time PCR determination involving 42 Italian laboratories has been developed to assess the analytical performance of real-time PCR procedures. Participants were asked to perform a conventional experiment based on the use of an external reference curve (standard curve) for real-time detection of three cDNA samples with different concentrations of a specific target. In this paper the main analytical features of the standard curve have been investigated in an attempt to produce statistical diagnostics emerging from external quality control. Specific control charts were drawn to help biochemists take technical decisions aimed at improving the performance of their laboratories. Overall, our results indicated a subset of seven laboratories whose performance appeared to be markedly outside the limits for at least one of the standard curve features investigated. Our findings suggest the usefulness of the approach presented here for monitoring the heterogeneity of results produced by different laboratories and for selecting those laboratories that need technical advice on their performance.

  12. Institutional Consequences of Quality Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2006-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Lead (Third External ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    EPA announced that the Third External Review Draft of the Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Lead (Pb) was made available for independent peer review and public review. This draft ISA represents a concise synthesis and evaluation of the most policy-relevant science and will ultimately provide the scientific bases for EPA’s decision regarding whether the current standards for Pb sufficiently protect public health and the environment. Lead (Pb) is one of six principal (or criteria) pollutants for which EPA has established NAAQS

  16. Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Lead (First External ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    EPA announced that the First External Review Draft of the Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Lead (Pb) was made available for independent peer review and public review. This draft ISA represents a concise synthesis and evaluation of the most policy-relevant science and will ultimately provide the scientific bases for EPA’s decision regarding whether the current standards for Pb sufficiently protect public health and the environment. Lead (Pb) is one of six principal (or criteria) pollutants for which EPA has established NAAQS.

  17. 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

  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 California stream quality assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Metre, Peter C.; Egler, Amanda L.; May, Jason T.

    2017-03-06

    In 2017, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) project is assessing stream quality in coastal California, United States. The USGS California Stream Quality Assessment (CSQA) will sample streams over most of the Central California Foothills and Coastal Mountains ecoregion (modified from Griffith and others, 2016), where rapid urban growth and intensive agriculture in the larger river valleys are raising concerns that stream health is being degraded. Findings will provide the public and policy-makers with information regarding which human and natural factors are the most critical in affecting stream quality and, thus, provide insights about possible approaches to protect the health of streams in the region.

  20. Systems Perspectives on External Quality Assurance: Implications for Micro-States

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Houston, Don; Maniku, Ahmed Ali

    2005-01-01

    Quality assurance in higher education is a mess: the "problem" of quality is embedded in complex sets of interacting issues that are of concern to many and varied stakeholders. Developing higher education systems that have responded to issues of quality through a "best practice" model of external quality assurance has produced…

  1. Analyzing the potential for water quality externalities as the result of market water transfers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connor, Jeffery D.; Perry, Gregory M.

    1999-09-01

    This article presents a comparative static framework for predicting the water quality outcomes of water trade. The focus is on a comprehensive treatment of water quality processes. Previous work has assumed that reductions in agriculturally induced water quality externalities are an increasing function of irrigation application rates. The comparative static framework used here allows for the possibility that water transfer can result in both positive and negative water quality externalities as the result of dilution, even when the rate of loading decreases. We apply our model to the Owyhee aquifer of eastern Oregon, an area where nitrate concentrations exceeded the EPA standard of 10 ppm in over 30% of area test wells in 1991. In conclusion, we describe conditions when water trade is most likely to generate positive versus negative water quality externalities. We also draw policy conclusions about the kinds of institutional rules best suited to balance trade-offs between gains to trade, water quality externalities, and transactions costs.

  2. [Current challenges of external quality assurance in the German healthcare system].

    PubMed

    Willms, Gerald; Bramesfeld, Anke; Pottkämper, Karen; Broge, Björn; Szecsenyi, Joachim

    2013-01-01

    External quality assurance has three main aims: to make service provision in medicine and nursing comparable, to systematically identify deficits in service quality and to support the introduction of measures for quality improvement. This article reflects on three major developments in mandatory external quality assurance in the German healthcare system that took place during the last five years. These developments include the implementation of cross-sectoral quality assurance, the utilisation of new data sources and a new focus on quality deficits and practicability. The article highlights the challenges that come along with these developments.

  3. 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…

  4. 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...

  5. 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…

  6. 42 CFR 438.358 - Activities related to external quality review.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS MANAGED CARE External Quality Review § 438.358... quality of care. (3) Calculation of performance measures in addition to those reported by an MCO or PIHP... conducted by an MCO or PIHP and validated by an EQRO. (5) Conduct of studies on quality that focus on...

  7. 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…

  8. 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)…

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background:

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

  13. 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...

  14. 42 CFR 438.352 - External quality review protocols.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... quality review protocols. Each protocol must specify— (a) The data to be gathered; (b) The sources of the data; (c) The activities and steps to be followed in collecting the data to promote its accuracy, validity, and reliability; (d) The proposed method or methods for validly analyzing and interpreting...

  15. 42 CFR 438.352 - External quality review protocols.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... quality review protocols. Each protocol must specify— (a) The data to be gathered; (b) The sources of the data; (c) The activities and steps to be followed in collecting the data to promote its accuracy, validity, and reliability; (d) The proposed method or methods for validly analyzing and interpreting...

  16. 42 CFR 438.352 - External quality review protocols.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... quality review protocols. Each protocol must specify— (a) The data to be gathered; (b) The sources of the data; (c) The activities and steps to be followed in collecting the data to promote its accuracy, validity, and reliability; (d) The proposed method or methods for validly analyzing and interpreting...

  17. 42 CFR 438.352 - External quality review protocols.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... quality review protocols. Each protocol must specify— (a) The data to be gathered; (b) The sources of the data; (c) The activities and steps to be followed in collecting the data to promote its accuracy, validity, and reliability; (d) The proposed method or methods for validly analyzing and interpreting...

  18. Quality of life in patients with varus gonarthrosis treated with high tibial osteotomy using the circular external fixator.

    PubMed

    Gunes, Taner; Erdem, Mehmet; Bostan, Bora; Yeniel, Kursad; Sen, Cengiz

    2008-03-01

    Generally, surgeon-driven musculoskeletal evaluation systems are used for evaluating outcomes of patients who are treated with high tibial osteotomy. In this study, we investigated the effects of high tibial osteotomy using circular external fixator on quality of life. Twenty-one high tibial osteotomy of 19 patients were evaluated. Quality of life assessment was made using Short Form -36 at preoperative, before fixator removal and 6 months after fixator removal. After applying fixator, the physical function and physical role scores of Short Form-36 decreased and emotional role score did not improve. In other categories, significant improvements were observed when fixator in place. At the sixth month after fixator removal, significant improvements were dedected in all categories of Short Form-36. Although there was a decrease in physical functions after fixator application in patients who were treated with high tibial osteotomy using circular external fixator, significant improvement occurred in quality of life after fixator removal.

  19. 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.

  20. [Assessing user satisfaction, an objective for quality of care].

    PubMed

    Séné-Bourgeois, Martine; Mathieu-Chakroun, Isabelle; Margat, Aurore

    The assessment of user satisfaction constitutes a key indicator of the quality of care. It can be envisaged either as part of an internal strategy which favours the improvement of practices, an external strategy whose focus is more commercial and/or an exploratory strategy to develop care models. User satisfaction is expressed in particular through complaint letters and discharge questionnaires. These regulated schemes enable quality to be approached on an individual and collective level.

  1. 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

  2. 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%.

  3. First External Evaluations of Quality Assurance Agencies--Lessons Learned. ENQA Workshop Report 10

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Costes, Nathalie; Curvale, Bruno; Kraft, Michael G.; Llavori, Rafael; Malan, Thierry; Szanto, Tibor

    2010-01-01

    This report is a product of an ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education) seminar on the first external evaluations of quality assurance agencies, held in Paris in July 2008. The seminar took stock of the achieved reviews of agencies to learn lessons from these first outcomes and, hence, provided a platform for…

  4. 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

  5. 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

    2015-03-03

    "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.

  6. 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…

  7. Assessing the Exposome with External Measures: Commentary on the State of the Science and Research Recommendations.

    PubMed

    Turner, Michelle C; Nieuwenhuijsen, Mark; Anderson, Kim; Balshaw, David; Cui, Yuxia; Dunton, Genevieve; Hoppin, Jane A; Koutrakis, Petros; Jerrett, Michael

    2017-03-20

    The exposome comprises all environmental exposures that a person experiences from conception throughout the life course. Here we review the state of the science for assessing external exposures within the exposome. This article reviews (a) categories of exposures that can be assessed externally, (b) the current state of the science in external exposure assessment, (c) current tools available for external exposure assessment, and (d) priority research needs. We describe major scientific and technological advances that inform external assessment of the exposome, including geographic information systems; remote sensing; global positioning system and geolocation technologies; portable and personal sensing, including smartphone-based sensors and assessments; and self-reported questionnaire assessments, which increasingly rely on Internet-based platforms. We also discuss priority research needs related to methodological and technological improvement, data analysis and interpretation, data sharing, and other practical considerations, including improved assessment of exposure variability as well as exposure in multiple, critical life stages.

  8. 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…

  9. 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 ...

  10. Child diurnal cortisol rhythms, parenting quality, and externalizing behaviors in preadolescence.

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

    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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. A Network Approach to Curriculum Quality Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jordens, J. Zoe; Zepke, Nick

    2009-01-01

    This paper argues for an alternative approach to quality assurance in New Zealand universities that locates evaluation not with external auditors but with members of the teaching team. In the process, aspects of network theories are introduced as the basis for an approach to quality assurance. From this, the concept of networks is extended to…

  15. External quality assurance of malaria nucleic acid testing for clinical trials and eradication surveillance.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Sean C; Hermsen, Cornelus C; Douglas, Alexander D; Edwards, Nick J; Petersen, Ines; Fahle, Gary A; Adams, Matthew; Berry, Andrea A; Billman, Zachary P; Gilbert, Sarah C; Laurens, Matthew B; Leroy, Odile; Lyke, Kristen E; Plowe, Christopher V; Seilie, Annette M; Strauss, Kathleen A; Teelen, Karina; Hill, Adrian V S; Sauerwein, Robert W

    2014-01-01

    Nucleic acid testing (NAT) for malaria parasites is an increasingly recommended diagnostic endpoint in clinical trials of vaccine and drug candidates and is also important in surveillance of malaria control and elimination efforts. A variety of reported NAT assays have been described, yet no formal external quality assurance (EQA) program provides validation for the assays in use. Here, we report results of an EQA exercise for malaria NAT assays. Among five centers conducting controlled human malaria infection trials, all centers achieved 100% specificity and demonstrated limits of detection consistent with each laboratory's pre-stated expectations. Quantitative bias of reported results compared to expected results was generally <0.5 log10 parasites/mL except for one laboratory where the EQA effort identified likely reasons for a general quantitative shift. The within-laboratory variation for all assays was low at <10% coefficient of variation across a range of parasite densities. Based on this study, we propose to create a Molecular Malaria Quality Assessment program that fulfills the need for EQA of malaria NAT assays worldwide.

  16. [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.

  17. Higher Education Quality Assessment Model: Towards Achieving Educational Quality Standard

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Noaman, Amin Y.; Ragab, Abdul Hamid M.; Madbouly, Ayman I.; Khedra, Ahmed M.; Fayoumi, Ayman G.

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents a developed higher education quality assessment model (HEQAM) that can be applied for enhancement of university services. This is because there is no universal unified quality standard model that can be used to assess the quality criteria of higher education institutes. The analytical hierarchy process is used to identify the…

  18. 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 ...

  19. [Analysis of the results of the SEIMC External Quality Control Program. Year 2008].

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

    The External Quality Control Program of the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC) include controls for bacteriology, serology, mycology, parasitology, mycobacteria and virology. This article present the most relevant conclusions and lessons from the 2008 controls. As a whole, the results obtained in 2008 confirm the excellent skill and good technical standards of the microbiology laboratories in Spain found in previous editions. However, a few deviations can be obtained in any laboratory, even in clinically relevant determinations. Once again, the results of this program highlighted the need to implement both internal an external controls in order to assure the maximal quality of the microbiological tests.

  20. [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.

  1. [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.

  2. [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.

  3. 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

    ... AGENCY Third External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Ozone and Related Photochemical... External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants'' (EPA/600... Standards (NAAQS) for ozone. EPA is releasing this draft document to seek review by the Clean Air...

  4. The evolution of external quality evaluation: observations from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

    PubMed

    Schyve, P M

    2000-06-01

    The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the oldest health care accrediting body in the world, currently accredits almost 20000 organizations in the USA. Although continuing to be professionally-sponsored, accreditation's rapid growth in recent years has been driven by the external users of accreditation--government, purchasers, and public--rather than by the original users, the professionals themselves. This experience in the USA suggests that over time successful external quality evaluation mechanisms throughout the world will involve representatives of the public, purchasers, and government in establishing standards and setting policies. Without this involvement, these stakeholders are unlikely to find the mechanisms credible in addressing their needs, and will seek alternatives--adding cost and duplication to the external quality evaluation system. Successful mechanisms are also likely to provide more detailed information about an organization's performance to the public, purchasers, and the government, while creating evaluation processes that provide for innovation and support improvement in efficiency, as well as quality, through incorporation of aspects of the Baldrige and European Foundation for Quality Management approaches to organizational excellence. Finally, successful evaluation mechanisms are likely to create a special focus on the safety of care, incorporating aspects of the International Organization for Standardization's ISO 9000 approach to quality management. While the specific nature, priority, and timing of these changes will differ from country to country, they are likely to influence the evolution of external quality evaluation throughout the world. External evaluation of health care organizations' quality holds great promise, but its long-term success depends on responding to all those who will want to depend on it.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    There is no abstract available for these documents.

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

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

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

      Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

      2010-10-01

      ... HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS MANAGED CARE External Quality Review..., policies, data systems, and processes; (ii) Managed care delivery systems, organizations, and financing... other State entity must be governed by a Board or similar body the majority of whose members are...

    • 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.

    • 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…

    • 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,…

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

      PubMed

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

      2012-01-01

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

    • [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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Quality Assessment in Mexican Higher Education.

      ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

      Zorilla, Juan Fidel

      1998-01-01

      Examines the results of Mexico's quality-oriented higher-education policies, in place since 1984 and designed to encourage improved faculty performance through economic incentives. The policies were enhanced further in the mid-1990s by establishing medium-term improvement strategies and using external evaluators and international experience to…

    • Assessment and Quality Social Studies

      ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

      Savage, Tom V.

      2003-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. [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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. On the Roles of External Knowledge Representations in Assessment Design. CSE Report 722

    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.

    2007-01-01

    People use external knowledge representations (EKRs) to identify, depict, transform, store, share, and archive information. Learning how to work with EKRs is central to becoming proficient in virtually every discipline. As such, EKRs play central roles in curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Five key roles of EKRs in educational assessment are…

  13. 49 CFR 192.925 - What are the requirements for using External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA)?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 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...

  14. 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...

  15. The Benefits of Internalizing Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Externalities in the US Energy System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Kristen E.

    The emission of pollutants from energy use has effects on both local air quality and the global climate, but the price of energy does not reflect these externalities. This study aims to analyze the effect that internalizing these externalities in the cost of energy would have on the US energy system, emissions, and human health. In this study, we model different policy scenarios in which fees are added to emissions related to generation and use of energy. The fees are based on values of damages estimated in the literature and are applied to upstream and combustion emissions related to electricity generation, industrial energy use, transportation energy use, residential energy use, and commercial energy use. The energy sources and emissions are modeled through 2055 in five-year time steps. The emissions in 2045 are incorporated into a continental-scale atmospheric chemistry and transport model, CMAQ, to determine the change in air quality due to different emissions reduction scenarios. A benefit analysis tool, BenMAP, is used with the air quality results to determine the monetary benefit of emissions reductions related to the improved air quality. We apply fees to emissions associated with health impacts, climate change, and a combination of both. We find that the fees we consider lead to reductions in targeted emissions as well as co-reducing non-targeted emissions. For fees on the electric sector alone, health impacting pollutant (HIP) emissions reductions are achieved mainly through control devices while Greenhouse Gas (GHG) fees are addressed through changes in generation technologies. When sector specific fees are added, reductions come mainly from the industrial and electricity generation sectors, and are achieved through a mix of energy efficiency, increased use of renewables, and control devices. Air quality is improved in almost all areas of the country with fees, including when only GHG fees are applied. Air quality tends to improve more in regions with

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  17. Assessment of the effective dose equivalent for external photon radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Reece, W.D.; Poston, J.W.; Xu, X.G. )

    1993-02-01

    Beginning in January 1994, US nuclear power plants must change the way that they determine the radiation exposure to their workforce. At that time, revisions to Title 10 Part 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations will be in force requiring licensees to evaluate worker radiation exposure using a risk-based methodology termed the effective dose equivalent.'' A research project was undertaken to improve upon the conservative method presently used for assessing effective dose equivalent. In this project effective dose equivalent was calculated using a mathematical model of the human body, and tracking photon interactions for a wide variety of radiation source geometries using Monte Carlo computer code simulations. Algorithms were then developed to relate measurements of the photon flux on the surface of the body (as measured by dosimeters) to effective dose equivalent. This report (Volume I of a two-part study) describes: the concept of effective dose equivalent, the evolution of the concept and its incorporation into regulations, the variations in human organ susceptibility to radiation, the mathematical modeling and calculational techniques used, the results of effective dose equivalent calculations for a broad range of photon energiesand radiation source geometries. The study determined that for beam radiation sources the highest effective dose equivalent occurs for beams striking the front of the torso. Beams striking the rear of the torsoproduce the next highest effective dose equivalent, with effective dose equivalent falling significantly as one departs from these two orientations. For point sources, the highest effective dose equivalent occurs when the sources are in contact with the body on the front of the torso. For females the highest effective dose equivalent occurs when the source is on the sternum, for males when it is on the gonads.

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. Perceptual Quality Assessment of Screen Content Images.

    PubMed

    Yang, Huan; Fang, Yuming; Lin, Weisi

    2015-11-01

    Research on screen content images (SCIs) becomes important as they are increasingly used in multi-device communication applications. In this paper, we present a study on perceptual quality assessment of distorted SCIs subjectively and objectively. We construct a large-scale screen image quality assessment database (SIQAD) consisting of 20 source and 980 distorted SCIs. In order to get the subjective quality scores and investigate, which part (text or picture) contributes more to the overall visual quality, the single stimulus methodology with 11 point numerical scale is employed to obtain three kinds of subjective scores corresponding to the entire, textual, and pictorial regions, respectively. According to the analysis of subjective data, we propose a weighting strategy to account for the correlation among these three kinds of subjective scores. Furthermore, we design an objective metric to measure the visual quality of distorted SCIs by considering the visual difference of textual and pictorial regions. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed SCI perceptual quality assessment scheme, consisting of the objective metric and the weighting strategy, can achieve better performance than 11 state-of-the-art IQA methods. To the best of our knowledge, the SIQAD is the first large-scale database published for quality evaluation of SCIs, and this research is the first attempt to explore the perceptual quality assessment of distorted SCIs.

  3. Assessing Quality in Digital Reference Services.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lankes, R. David; Mcclure, Charles R.; Gross, Melissa

    2001-01-01

    Outlines a study to develop methods to assess the quality of digital reference services, test and refine measures and quality standards to describe digital reference services, and to produce a guidebook that describes how to collect and report data for these measures and standards. (Author/AEF)

  4. Soldier Quality of Life Assessment

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-09-01

    Soldier QoL and can support system developers and Army leaders in assessing tradeoffs between QoL and resource demands such as fuel, water , and... WATER LIVING STANDARDS OPERATIONAL READINESS MORALE SUSTAINABILITY WASTE REDUCTION...SUSTAINMENT WATER DEMAND REDUCTION USER NEEDS DATA COLLECTION CONTINGENCY BASES ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT BASE CAMPS

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  6. Michigan lakes: An assessment of water quality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Minnerick, R.J.

    2004-01-01

    Michigan has more than 11,000 inland lakes, that provide countless recreational opportunities and are an important resource that makes tourism and recreation a $15-billion-dollar per-year industry in the State (Stynes, 2002). Knowledge of the water-quality characteristics of inland lakes is essential for the current and future management of these resources.Historically the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) jointly have monitored water quality in Michigan's lakes and rivers. During the 1990's, however, funding for surface-water-quality monitoring was reduced greatly. In 1998, the citizens of Michigan passed the Clean Michigan Initiative to clean up, protect, and enhance Michigan's environmental infrastructure. Because of expanding water-quality-data needs, the MDEQ and the USGS jointly redesigned and implemented the Lake Water-Quality Assessment (LWQA) Monitoring Program (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, 1997).

  7. Cropland CEAP soil quality assessment update

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    One goal for the USDA cropland Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) was to assess the effects of various conservation practices on soil quality, which is a proactive process for quantifying the long-term impact of crop and soil management practices within agricultural watersheds. Our objec...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Quality Management Plan for the Environmental Assessment and Innovation Division

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Quality management plan (QMP) which identifies the mission, roles, responsibilities of personnel with regard to quality assurance and quality management for the environmental assessment and innovation division.

  14. Comparability of antimicrobial susceptibility test results from 22 European countries and Israel: an external quality assurance exercise of the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (EARSS) in collaboration with the United Kingdom National External Quality Assurance Scheme (UK NEQAS).

    PubMed

    Bronzwaer, S; Buchholz, U; Courvalin, P; Snell, J; Cornaglia, G; de Neeling, A; Aubry-Damon, H; Degener, J

    2002-12-01

    The goal of this exercise was to organize external quality assurance (QA) of antibiotic susceptibility testing for laboratories participating in EARSS and to assess the comparability of susceptibility test results across countries, and guidelines. In September 2000, UK NEQAS distributed a set of three Streptococcus pneumoniae strains, two Staphylococcus aureus strains and one Streptococcus haemolyticus strain. Laboratories reported the guideline followed, the interpretation of the susceptibility test result and the MIC, if tested. In this study we considered results 'concordant' if the reported interpretation of the participating laboratory agreed with the designated interpretation of reference laboratories. Overall, 433 (92%) of 471 laboratories from 23 countries reported back. Of the 8685 tests that were assessed, 8322 (96%) were interpreted correctly by the participants. Concordance for detection of penicillin non-susceptibility in the three S. pneumoniae strains was 96%, 90% and 87%, respectively. Laboratories performed extremely well in detecting oxacillin resistance in the homogeneously methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strain, but the concordance rate dropped from 100% to 77% in the heterogeneously resistant MRSA strain. Concordance for detection of teicoplanin resistance in the S. haemolyticus strain was 82%. We stratified concordance rates first for country and then for guideline used, but observed only minor differences among countries and guidelines. Quantitative methods yielding an MIC were more concordant than non-MIC methods for penicillin resistance in the S. pneumoniae strains (94% versus 79%). The NCCLS guideline was the most frequently followed, by 61% of laboratories from 19 countries. This exercise shows that, overall, countries participating in EARSS are capable of delivering susceptibility data of good quality. The comparability of susceptibility data for penicillin resistance in S. pneumoniae and for homogeneous methicillin resistance in

  15. Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Lead (Second External Review Draft, Mar 2012)

    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...

  16. Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Lead (Third External Review Draft, Nov 2012)

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  17. Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Particulate Matter (First External Review Draft, Dec 2008)

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  18. Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) 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...

  19. Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Carbon Monoxide (First External Review Draft, Mar 2009)

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  20. Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Particulate Matter (Second External Review Draft, Jul 2009)

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  1. Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Carbon Monoxide (Second External Review Draft, Sep 2009)

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  2. Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) of Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants (First External Review Draft, Feb 2011)

    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 ...

  3. Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Sulfur Oxides – Health Criteria (External Review Draft, Nov 2015)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA announced the availability of the external review draft of the Integrated Science Assessment for Sulfur Oxides– Health Criteria for public comment and independent peer review in a November 24, 2015 Federal Register Notice. This draft document provides EPA’s evaluati...

  4. Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Lead (First External Review Draft, May 2011)

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  5. Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) of Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants (Third External Review Draft, Jun 2012)

    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...

  6. Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) of Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants (Second External Review Draft, Sep 2011)

    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...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Electrical Inspection Oriented Thermal Image Quality Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Ying; Wang, Menglin; Gong, Xiaojin; Guo, Zhihong; Geng, Yujie; Bai, Demeng

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents an approach to access the quality of thermal images that are specially used in electrical inspection. In this application, no reference images are given for quality assessment. Therefore, we first analyze the characteristics for these thermal images. Then, four quantitative measurements, which are one-dimensional (1D) entropy, two-dimensional (2D) entropy, centrality, and No-Reference Structural Sharpness (NRSS), are investigated to measure the information content, the centrality for objects of interest, and the sharpness of images. Moreover, in order to provide a more intuitive measure for human operators, we assign each image with a discrete rate based on these quantitative measurements via the k-nearest neighbor (KNN) method. The proposed approach has been validated in a dataset composed of 2,336 images. Experiments show that our quality assessment results are consistent with subjective assessment.

  16. 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 rated their…

  17. 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…

  18. 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,…

  19. National External Quality Assurance Program Pakistan (NEQAPP) –A Milestone in Proficiency Testing in Pakistan

    PubMed Central

    Ijaz, Aamir

    2016-01-01

    Objective The objective of this study was to highlight current status and importance of National External Quality Assurance Program Pakistan (NEQAPP). Study Design: Cross sectional study Place and duration of study Department of Chemical Pathology and Endocrinology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) from August to October 2015. Methods The study data was extracted from electronic NEQAPP database. Results from 2014-2015 were evaluated for clinical chemistry, hematology, microbiology, and immunoassay programs. Frequencies of unsatisfactory results of individual analytes as well as of all the participating laboratories were calculated. Results Failure rate of newly enrolled laboratories were more as compared to those which were participating for the last two years. The percentages of unsatisfactory results of all laboratories were 19% and 15% in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Fifteen analytes were selected according to their increasing percentage of participation. Failure rate was highest for alkaline phosphatase (35%) followed by creatinine (22%) and urea (20%) in two years analysis. Performance of laboratories in each quarter was evaluated depending upon number of analytes in which they fail to pass. The major failures were due to clerical and technical errors as determined during data compilation of results. Conclusion There is an increase in trend of participating in NEQAPP by health care laboratories which is a step towards laboratory quality management system in Pakistan. Nonetheless, there is a need for improving quality of laboratory results. PMID:28149266

  20. 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.

  1. The Czech External Quality Control system in medical microbiology and parasitology.

    PubMed

    Slosárek, M; Kríz, B

    2000-11-01

    The External Quality Control (EQC) system in activities of laboratories engaged in medical microbiology and parasitology was established in the Czech Republic in 1993 when to the first laboratories which applied coded serum samples were sent for diagnosis of viral hepatitis and bacterial strains for identification. In the course of years the number of control areas increased and in 2000 there were 31 and the number of those interested in participation in EQC increased from 79 in 1993 to 434 in 2000. This year a total of 13,239 samples will be sent to laboratories. Gradually thus almost all microbiological and parasitological laboratories concerned with examination of clinical material became involved. Seven-year experience with EQC in the Czech Republic revealed that gradually the results of various examinations became more accurate, that methods became standardized and the most suitable examination sets are used.

  2. [External quality control system in medical microbiology and parasitology in the Czech Republic].

    PubMed

    Slosárek, M; Petrás, P; Kríz, B

    2004-11-01

    The External Quality Control System (EQAS) of laboratory activities in medical microbiology and parasitology was implemented in the Czech Republic in 1993 with coded sera samples for diagnosis of viral hepatitis and bacterial strains for identification distributed to first participating laboratories. The number of sample types reached 31 in 2003 and the number of participating laboratories rised from 79 in 1993 to 421 in 2003. As many as 15.130 samples were distributed to the participating laboratories in 2003. Currently, almost all microbiology and parasitology laboratories in the Czech Republic involved in examination of clinical material participate in the EQAS. Based on the 11-year experience gained with the EQAS in the Czech Republic, the following benefits were observed: higher accuracy of results in different tests, standardisation of methods and the use of most suitable test kits.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-08-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. [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

  6. 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)

  7. 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

  8. Soil quality assessment under emerging regulatory requirements.

    PubMed

    Bone, James; Head, Martin; Barraclough, Declan; Archer, Michael; Scheib, Catherine; Flight, Dee; Voulvoulis, Nikolaos

    2010-08-01

    New and emerging policies that aim to set standards for protection and sustainable use of soil are likely to require identification of geographical risk/priority areas. Soil degradation can be seen as the change or disturbance in soil quality and it is therefore crucial that soil and soil quality are well understood to protect soils and to meet legislative requirements. To increase this understanding a review of the soil quality definition evaluated its development, with a formal scientific approach to assessment beginning in the 1970s, followed by a period of discussion and refinement. A number of reservations about soil quality assessment expressed in the literature are summarised. Taking concerns into account, a definition of soil quality incorporating soil's ability to meet multifunctional requirements, to provide ecosystem services, and the potential for soils to affect other environmental media is described. Assessment using this definition requires a large number of soil function dependent indicators that can be expensive, laborious, prone to error, and problematic in comparison. Findings demonstrate the need for a method that is not function dependent, but uses a number of cross-functional indicators instead. This method to systematically prioritise areas where detailed investigation is required, using a ranking based against a desired level of action, could be relatively quick, easy and cost effective. As such this has potential to fill in gaps and compliment existing monitoring programs and assist in development and implementation of current and future soil protection legislation.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Retinal image quality assessment using generic features

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Deep Aesthetic Quality Assessment With Semantic Information.

    PubMed

    Kao, Yueying; He, Ran; Huang, Kaiqi

    2017-03-01

    Human beings often assess the aesthetic quality of an image coupled with the identification of the image's semantic content. This paper addresses the correlation issue between automatic aesthetic quality assessment and semantic recognition. We cast the assessment problem as the main task among a multi-task deep model, and argue that semantic recognition task offers the key to address this problem. Based on convolutional neural networks, we employ a single and simple multi-task framework to efficiently utilize the supervision of aesthetic and semantic labels. A correlation item between these two tasks is further introduced to the framework by incorporating the inter-task relationship learning. This item not only provides some useful insight about the correlation but also improves assessment accuracy of the aesthetic task. In particular, an effective strategy is developed to keep a balance between the two tasks, which facilitates to optimize the parameters of the framework. Extensive experiments on the challenging Aesthetic Visual Analysis dataset and Photo.net dataset validate the importance of semantic recognition in aesthetic quality assessment, and demonstrate that multitask deep models can discover an effective aesthetic representation to achieve the state-of-the-art results.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  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. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The range of replications technique for assessing the external validity of road safety evaluation studies.

    PubMed

    Elvik, Rune

    2012-03-01

    This paper introduces a simple statistical technique that can be used to assess the external validity of road safety evaluation studies. External validity refers to the possibility of generalising the results of research to other contexts than those in which it was made. There are several aspects of external validity. Two aspects that are often of interest concern the applicability of the results of road safety evaluation studies across countries and time. Can the results of studies made in one or more countries be applied in countries where studies have not been made? Can the results of studies made many years ago still be applied? The technique introduced in this paper is designed to provide support in answering these questions. The technique evaluates the stability of research results in time and space. The technique is based on cumulative meta-analysis and produces statistics that show the consistency of study results in time and space (across countries). The range of replications denotes the span of time and countries in which studies have been made. The idea is that if the results of studies are stable throughout the range of replications, one may have greater confidence in their external validity than if the results of research vary in time and between countries. The technique is illustrated by means of numerical examples.

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. Quality versus quantity: assessing individual research performance

    PubMed Central

    Sahel, José-Alain

    2011-01-01

    Evaluating individual research performance is a complex task that ideally examines productivity, scientific impact, and research quality––a task that metrics alone have been unable to achieve. In January 2011, the French Academy of Sciences published a report on current bibliometric (citation metric) methods for evaluating individual researchers, as well as recommendations for the integration of quality assessment. Here, we draw on key issues raised by this report and comment on the suggestions for improving existing research evaluation practices. PMID:21613620

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lettmaier, Sebastian

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Alvarez R, J T; Tovar M, V M

    2008-08-11

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

  9. [Materials for carrying out external quality control in the determination of total protein].

    PubMed

    Pishak, V P; Iarmol'chuk, G M

    1998-06-01

    Quaternary bis-ammonium compound No. 82 (QAC-82) is a highly effective antibacterial biochemical stabilizer of total protein. In concentrations of 3.4-13.6 mmol/liter, it preserves the content of protein in the blood serum for 40 days at 18-20 degrees C. For preparing reference material, 5 ml human or animal serum is added to 95 ml 5.25 mM aqueous solution of QAC-82, mixed, stored at room temperature, and used for assessing the quality of total protein measurements by the biuret method.

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. Clinical assessment of external rotation for the diagnosis of anterior shoulder hyperlaxity.

    PubMed

    Ropars, M; Fournier, A; Campillo, B; Bonan, I; Delamarche, P; Crétual, A; Thomazeau, H

    2010-12-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate two methods of clinical assessment for external rotation of the shoulder to optimise the diagnosis of hyperlaxity in patients being selected for surgery for stabilisation of chronic anterior instability. External rotation was evaluated in 70 healthy student volunteers by two examiners (intertester study) using two methods of assessment at 15-day intervals (intratester study). The first method used was the protocol described for the Instability Severity Index Score (ISIS). In this case, the subject was evaluated in the sitting position, bilaterally with passive range of motion movements. The shoulder was considered hyperlax if ER1 was greater than 85°. With the second, so-called "elbow on the table" (EOT) method, the subject was evaluated in the decubitus dorsal position, unilaterally with passive range of motion. The subject was considered to be hyperlax if ER1 was greater than 90°. Kappa values for intra- and intertester agreement with the ISIS method were average, while they were satisfactory with the intraclass coefficient (ICC). Kappa values for inter- and intratester agreement with the EOT method were average and good, respectively. This tendency was confirmed by the ICC which went from good to excellent for the two examiners in both series of measurements using the EOT method, showing better reproducibility with this method. Our study confirms that the most reproducible method for assessing external rotation is obtained by unilateral assessment of the patient in the decubitus dorsal position, with passive range of motion. An ER1 of 90° is the necessary threshold for hyperlaxity because of elbow retropulsion with this method, which provides immediate and visual evaluation and eliminates the necessity of goniometry.

  13. Long-Term Continuous Ambulatory ECG Monitors and External Cardiac Loop Recorders for Cardiac Arrhythmia: A Health Technology Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Kabali, Conrad; Xie, Xuanqian; Higgins, Caroline

    2017-01-01

    Background Ambulatory electrocardiography (ECG) monitors are often used to detect cardiac arrhythmia. For patients with symptoms, an external cardiac loop recorder will often be recommended. The improved recording capacity of newer Holter monitors and similar devices, collectively known as longterm continuous ambulatory ECG monitors, suggests that they will perform just as well as, or better than, external loop recorders. This health technology assessment aimed to evaluate the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and budget impact of longterm continuous ECG monitors compared with external loop recorders in detecting symptoms of cardiac arrhythmia. Methods Based on our systematic search for studies published up to January 15, 2016, we did not identify any studies directly comparing the clinical effectiveness of longterm continuous ECG monitors and external loop recorders. Therefore, we conducted an indirect comparison, using a 24-hour Holter monitor as a common comparator. We used a meta-regression model to control for bias due to variation in device-wearing time and baseline syncope rate across studies. We conducted a similar systematic search for cost-utility and cost-effectiveness studies comparing the two types of devices; none were found. Finally, we used historical claims data (2006–2014) to estimate the future 5-year budget impact in Ontario, Canada, of continued public funding for both types of longterm ambulatory ECG monitors. Results Our clinical literature search yielded 7,815 non-duplicate citations, of which 12 cohort studies were eligible for indirect comparison. Seven studies assessed the effectiveness of longterm continuous monitors and five assessed external loop recorders. Both types of devices were more effective than a 24-hour Holter monitor, and we found no substantial difference between them in their ability to detect symptoms (risk difference 0.01; 95% confidence interval −0.18, 0.20). Using GRADE for network meta-analysis, we evaluated the

  14. 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.

  15. The use of digital 'virtual slides' in the quality assessment of haematological morphology: results of a pilot exercise involving UK NEQAS(H) participants.

    PubMed

    Burthem, J; Brereton, M; Ardern, J; Hickman, L; Seal, L; Serrant, A; Hutchinson, C V; Wells, E; McTaggart, P; De la Salle, B; Parker-Williams, J; Hyde, K

    2005-07-01

    We report the results of a pilot study assessing the use of digital 'virtual slides' in haematological quality assessment. Conducted together with the UK National External Quality Assessment Scheme for General Haematology, the study involved 166 separate participants, using the format of a typical assessment exercise. The results revealed substantial concordance of observations made using digital slides with those reported in previous glass slide surveys that used identical cases. Participant feedback strongly supported the use of electronic slides in teaching and assessment roles. Our results suggest roles for this new electronic resource in external quality assessment (EQA), education and continuing professional development.

  16. 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,…

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. No training blind image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, Ying; Mou, Xuanqin; Ji, Zhen

    2014-03-01

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

  3. 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…

  4. 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... through 493.1283. (b) The analytic systems quality assessment must include a review of the...

  5. 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... Nonwaived Testing Postanalytic Systems § 493.1299 Standard: Postanalytic systems quality assessment. (a) The....1291. (b) The postanalytic systems quality assessment must include a review of the effectiveness...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Volungeviciene, Airina; Tereseviciene, Margarita

    2008-01-01

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

  7. 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... Nonwaived Testing Preanalytic Systems § 493.1249 Standard: Preanalytic systems quality assessment. (a) The....1241 through 493.1242. (b) The preanalytic systems quality assessment must include a review of...

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. 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)

  11. 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.

  12. 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 Central

    Guiso, Nicole

    2016-01-01

    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

  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. 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.

  15. External assessment of the Early Mortality Risk Score in patients with adenocarcinoma undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy

    PubMed Central

    Joliat, Gaëtan-Romain; Petermann, David; Demartines, Nicolas; Schäfer, Markus

    2015-01-01

    Background Pancreaticoduodenectomies (PD) still have a substantial mortality rate. Recently, different scores have been published to predict the mortality risk pre-operatively after PD. This retrospective study was designed to perform an external assessment of an Early Mortality Risk Score (EMRS). Methods From 2000 to 2012, all PD cases performed at our institution were documented. Only patients treated for pancreatic head adenocarcinomas were included. Survival time and EMRS (based on age, tumour size, tumour differentiation and comorbidities) were calculated for every patient. Relative risks (RR) of early death 9 and 12 months after PD were then calculated. Results Of 270 PD for various aetiologies, 120 PD for adenocarcinomas were included. The median follow-up was 37 months, and the overall median survival was 19 months. EMRS of 4 showed a mortality RR of 5.1 at 9 months (P = 0.048) and of 4.5 at 12 months (P = 0.020). Conclusions EMRS of 4 is a predictor of tumour-related mortality at 9 and 12 months after PD for adenocarcinoma. The EMRS was externally assessed in our patient cohort and can be implemented in clinical practice. Clinical implications of this score still need to be studied. PMID:25906918

  16. 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.

  17. Content-aware objective video quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Sediment quality and aquatic life assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Adams, W.J. ); Kimerle, R.A.; Barnettt, J.W. Jr. )

    1992-10-01

    The protection of aquatic resources has assumed national and global prominence. Oil spills, medical wastes, and plastic debris presence on beaches, ocean incineration, ocean disposal of garbage and dredged materials, pesticide and fertilizer runoff, contaminated harbors, and diminishing fisheries have focused public attention on the need to adequately protect marine and freshwater resources-including sediments. Sediments are repositories for physical debris and [open quotes]sinks[close quotes] for a wide variety of chemicals. The concern associated with the chemicals sorbed to sediments is that many commercial species and food chain organisms spend a major portion of their life-cycle living in or on aquatic sediments. This provides a pathway for these chemicals to be consumed by higher aquatic life and wildlife, including avian species as well as humans. Direct transfer of chemicals from sediments to organisms is now considered to be a major route of exposure for many species. Concern has increased over the number of incidences of tumors being observed in many species of fish, especially those that have direct contact with sediments. These issues are focusing attention on sediment contamination and highlight the fact that sediments are an important resource. The purposes of this article are to provide background information on the status of sediment assessment in the United States, a review of the existing methods available for assessing sediment quality, an analysis of the complexity and uncertainty of the sediment assessment methodologies, and a proposed approach that utilizes the unique attributes of many of these methods in a tiered sediment assessment strategy. The authors hope that this sediment assessment strategy will help provide a mechanism for achieving cleaner sediments and wate rin the nation's aquatic ecosystems.

  20. Both Autonomy and Quality Control are Indispensable to make a Success of the Plural External Evaluation System for Japanese Universities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohnami, Masateru

    This paper points out the problem of the plural external evaluation system for Japanese universities. Japanese evaluation system is internationally the peculiar case that both of chartering in government and accreditation in government and non-government agencies exist in parallel. It is the biggest problem that the accreditation agencies secure both the autonomy and quality control and the appropriate cooperation with chartering goes well. This paper also reviews, as the experience in the world and Japan, the activity in the INQAAHE and the JUAA 2003 Version, which aims at the quality assurance of internationally viable higher education and foresees the new accreditation system recognized by government after 2004. From these experiences, it is prospected to develop the plural external evaluation system in future.

  1. Assessing quality of life in paediatric clinical practice.

    PubMed

    Morrow, Angela M; Quine, Susan; Heaton, Maria D; Craig, Jonathan C

    2010-06-01

    The rising prevalence of children with chronic conditions has made quality of life an increasingly important outcome measure in paediatric practice. The discrepancy between doctors' and patients' perceptions of quality of life makes formal assessment necessary. In this paper we use a case scenario to answer commonly asked questions. What is quality of life and who can assess it? Why assess quality of life in the clinical setting? Is it feasible to measure in routine clinical practice? How is quality of life formally assessed? We provide a basic outline of the language and methods of quality of life assessment and use the case scenario to discuss the process of choosing an appropriate instrument. We conclude that quality of life assessment in clinical practice is feasible and provides benefits for both patients and doctors. The benefits include better informed doctors, improved patient doctor communication and a means to effectively monitor quality of life as a treatment outcome.

  2. How to Assess the External Validity and Model Validity of Therapeutic Trials: A Conceptual Approach to Systematic Review Methodology

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background. Evidence rankings do not consider equally internal (IV), external (EV), and model validity (MV) for clinical studies including complementary and alternative medicine/integrative medicine (CAM/IM) research. This paper describe this model and offers an EV assessment tool (EVAT©) for weighing studies according to EV and MV in addition to IV. Methods. An abbreviated systematic review methodology was employed to search, assemble, and evaluate the literature that has been published on EV/MV criteria. Standard databases were searched for keywords relating to EV, MV, and bias-scoring from inception to Jan 2013. Tools identified and concepts described were pooled to assemble a robust tool for evaluating these quality criteria. Results. This study assembled a streamlined, objective tool to incorporate for the evaluation of quality of EV/MV research that is more sensitive to CAM/IM research. Conclusion. Improved reporting on EV can help produce and provide information that will help guide policy makers, public health researchers, and other scientists in their selection, development, and improvement in their research-tested intervention. Overall, clinical studies with high EV have the potential to provide the most useful information about “real-world” consequences of health interventions. It is hoped that this novel tool which considers IV, EV, and MV on equal footing will better guide clinical decision making. PMID:24734111

  3. 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.

  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. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 42 CFR 493.1289 - Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 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 §§...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 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. The Impact of Quality Assessment in Universities: Portuguese Students' Perceptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Indoor Air Quality Building Education and Assessment Model

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Indoor Air Quality Building Education and Assessment Model (I-BEAM), released in 2002, is a guidance tool designed for use by building professionals and others interested in indoor air quality in commercial buildings.

  18. Indoor Air Quality Building Education and Assessment Model Forms

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Indoor Air Quality Building Education and Assessment Model (I-BEAM) is a guidance tool designed for use by building professionals and others interested in indoor air quality in commercial buildings.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Quality of life assessment in haemophilia.

    PubMed

    Bullinger, Monika; von Mackensen, Sylvia

    2004-03-01

    Quality of life (QoL) is a recent focus of research in haemophilia. It can be defined--in analogy to the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of health--as patient-perceived wellbeing and function in terms of physical, emotional, mental, social and behavioural life domains. The paper describes conceptual, methodological and practical foundations of QoL research in adults and children at an international level. It then proceeds to review the QoL literature in the field of haemophilia. With regard to assessment of QoL in haemophilia patients, both generic and very recently targeted instruments have been applied. Recent publications have focused on describing QoL in adults, showing specific impairments in terms of physical function (arthropathy) and mental wellbeing (HIV infection) as well as focusing on the cost-benefit (QoL) ratio of haemophilia care. In paediatric haemophilia, research has suggested the beneficial QoL outcomes with prophylaxis and stressed the role of the family for patients' wellbeing and function. QoL research is a relevant area for haemophilia research which should be pursued further.

  4. 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.

  5. The use of Geographic Information System (GIS) and non-GIS methods to assess the external validity of samples postcollection.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Esther; Good, Margaret; McGrath, Guy; More, Simon J

    2009-09-01

    External validity is fundamental to veterinary diagnostic investigation, reflecting the accuracy with which sample results can be extrapolated to a broader population of interest. Probability sampling methods are routinely used during the collection of samples from populations, specifically to maximize external validity. Nonprobability sampling (e.g., of blood samples collected as part of routine surveillance programs or laboratory submissions) may provide useful data for further posthoc epidemiological analysis, adding value to the collection and submission of samples. As the sample has already been submitted, the analyst or investigator does not have any control over the sampling methodology, and hence external validity as routine probability sampling methods may not have been employed. The current study describes several Geographic Information System (GIS) and non-GIS methods, applied posthoc, to assess the external validity of samples collected using both probability and nonprobability sampling methods. These methods could equally be employed for inspecting other datasets. Mapping was conducted using ArcView 9.1. Based on this posthoc assessment, results from the random field sample could provide an externally valid, albeit relatively imprecise, estimate of national disease prevalence, of disease prevalence in 3 of the 4 provinces (all but Ulster, in the north and northwest, where sample size was small), and in beef and dairy herds. This study provides practical methods for examining the external validity of samples postcollection.

  6. Mercury risk assessment combining internal and external exposure methods for a population living near a municipal solid waste incinerator.

    PubMed

    Deng, Chunyan; Xie, Han; Ye, Xuejie; Zhang, Haoran; Liu, Maodian; Tong, Yindong; Ou, Langbo; Yuan, Wen; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Xuejun

    2016-12-01

    Risk assessments for human health have been conducted for municipal solid waste incinerators (MSWIs) in many western countries, whereas only a few risk assessments have been performed for MSWIs in developing countries such as China where the use of waste incineration is increasing rapidly. To assess the mercury exposure risks of a population living near the largest MSWI in South China, we combined internal exposure and external exposure assessment with an individual-specific questionnaire. The mercury concentrations in air, soil, and locally collected food around the MSWI were assessed. The total mercury (T-Hg) and methylmercury (MeHg) of 447 blood samples from a control group, residential exposure group, and MSWI workers were measured. The internal and external exposures of the subject population were analyzed. Significant difference in MeHg concentrations was observed between the control group and the exposed group, between the control group and the MSWI workers, and between the exposed group and the MSWI workers (median levels: 0.70 μg/L, 0.81 μg/L, and 1.02 μg/L for the control group, exposed group, and MSWI workers, respectively). The MeHg/T-Hg ratio was 0.51 ± 0.19, 0.59 ± 0.17 and 0.58 ± 0.25, respectively. Multiple linear regression analysis indicated that MeHg concentrations were positively correlated with the gaseous mercury in the air. Combining internal and external exposure assessment showed that the direct contribution of MSWI emissions was minor compared with the dietary contribution. The external and internal exposures were well matched with each other. This study also suggested that an integrated method combining internal and external exposure assessment with an individual-specific questionnaire is feasible to assess the risks for a population living near a MSWI.

  7. 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

  8. Assessing residents' operative skills for external ventricular drain placement and shunt surgery in pediatric neurosurgery.

    PubMed

    Aldave, Guillermo; Hansen, Daniel; Briceño, Valentina; Luerssen, Thomas G; Jea, Andrew

    2017-01-27

    OBJECTIVE The authors previously demonstrated the use of a validated Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills (OSATS) tool for evaluating residents' operative skills in pediatric neurosurgery. However, no benchmarks have been established for specific pediatric procedures despite an increased need for meaningful assessments that can either allow for early intervention for underperforming trainees or allow for proficient residents to progress to conducting operations independently with more passive supervision. This validated methodology and tool for assessment of operative skills for common pediatric neurosurgical procedures-external ventricular drain (EVD) placement and shunt surgery- was applied to establish its procedure-based feasibility and reliability, and to document the effect of repetition on achieving surgical skill proficiency in pediatric EVD placement and shunt surgery. METHODS A procedure-based technical skills assessment for EVD placements and shunt surgeries in pediatric neurosurgery was established through the use of task analysis. The authors enrolled all residents from 3 training programs (Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital, and University of Texas-Medical Branch) who rotated through pediatric neurosurgery at Texas Children's Hospital over a 26-month period. For each EVD placement or shunt procedure performed with a resident, the faculty and resident (for self-assessment) completed an evaluation form (OSATS) based on a 5-point Likert scale with 7 categories. Data forms were then grouped according to faculty versus resident (self) assessment, length of pediatric neurosurgery rotation, postgraduate year level, and date of evaluation ("beginning of rotation," within 1 month of start date; "end of rotation," within 1 month of completion date; or "middle of rotation"). Descriptive statistical analyses were performed with the commercially available SPSS statistical software package. A p value < 0.05 was considered

  9. Review process and quality assurance in the EBR-II probabilistic risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Roglans, J.; Hill, D.J.; Ragland, W.A.

    1992-12-01

    A Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) of the Experimental Breeder Reactor II (EBR-II), a Department of Energy (DOE) Category A reactor, has recently been completed at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). Within the scope of the ANL QA Programs, a QA Plan specifically for the EBR-II PRA was developed. The QA Plan covered all aspects of the PRA development, with emphasis on the procedures for document and software control, and the internal and external review process. The effort spent in the quality assurance tasks for the EBR-II PRA has reciprocated by providing acceptance of the work and confidence in the quality of the results.

  10. Review process and quality assurance in the EBR-II probabilistic risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Roglans, J.; Hill, D.J.; Ragland, W.A.

    1992-01-01

    A Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) of the Experimental Breeder Reactor II (EBR-II), a Department of Energy (DOE) Category A reactor, has recently been completed at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). Within the scope of the ANL QA Programs, a QA Plan specifically for the EBR-II PRA was developed. The QA Plan covered all aspects of the PRA development, with emphasis on the procedures for document and software control, and the internal and external review process. The effort spent in the quality assurance tasks for the EBR-II PRA has reciprocated by providing acceptance of the work and confidence in the quality of the results.

  11. 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…

  12. The external pixe milliprobe at davis: laser alignment, pixe calibration, and quality assurance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eldred, Robert A.; Kusko, Bruce H.; Cahill, Thomas A.

    1984-04-01

    An external beam PIXE system has been developed at the Davis cyclotron, which is being used extensively for the analysis of the inks and papers of historical documents. This system has several important features. First, because the system is used in valuable and fragile documents, we have kept the heat loss very small. The amount of beam on the sample is minimized by a close detector geometry and by on-demand beam pulsing. A computer driven beam stop allows beam on the sample only when the data is being acquired. Second, the 1 to 2 mm 2 beam spot can be accurately and quickly located at the desired position using a laser alignment system. With this system we can analyze single letters on one side of a page. Third, the beam on sample is internally monitored using the argon present in the 3 cm gap between the exit window and the sample. This is essential for thick targets which stop the beam. Finally, the elemental results are corrected for the decrease of beam energy at the target and for the X-ray attenuation between the target and the detector, and verified by thin standard foils. Similar corrections are made for the finite thickness of the samples. Multiple measurements on the inks of a single page show good consistency, whether done during the same cyclotron run or at another time. Our work indicates that external beam PIXE can be a very safe and accurate tool in historical research.

  13. Assessing external cause of injury coding accuracy for transport injury hospitalizations.

    PubMed

    Bowman, Stephen M; Aitken, Mary E

    2011-01-01

    External cause of injury codes (E codes) capture circumstances surrounding injuries. While hospital discharge data are primarily collected for administrative/billing purposes, these data are secondarily used for injury surveillance. We assessed the accuracy and completeness of hospital discharge data for transport-related crashes using trauma registry data as the gold standard. We identified mechanisms of injury with significant disagreement and developed recommendations to improve the accuracy of E codes in administrative data. Overall, we linked 2,192 (99.9 percent) of the 2,195 discharge records to trauma registry records. General mechanism categories showed good agreement, with 84.7 percent of records coded consistently between registry and discharge data (Kappa 0.762, p < .001). However, agreement was lower for specific categories (e.g., ATV crashes), with discharge records capturing only 70.4 percent of cases identified in trauma registry records. Efforts should focus on systematically improving E-code accuracy and detail through training, education, and informatics such as automated data linkages to trauma registries.

  14. Transitioning sediment quality assessment into regulations: Challenges and solutions in implementing California's sediment quality objectives.

    PubMed

    Beegan, Chris; Bay, Steven M

    2012-10-01

    Development and promulgation of sediment quality criteria represents a substantial challenge for water quality agencies. Unlike water quality programs that rely on individual chemical thresholds to assess water quality, the complex processes affecting contaminant bioavailability in sediments preclude the use of contaminant concentrations to independently assess impacts or identify cause. Various multiple line of evidence approaches (e.g., sediment quality triad) have been developed for sediment quality assessment, but such frameworks are rarely fully incorporated into statewide regulatory programs due to a lack of standardized and validated tools. In 2003, California's State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) initiated development of sediment quality criteria and an assessment framework that required the developers to resolve many challenging technical and policy related issues to the satisfaction of stakeholders, scientists, and the general public. The first part of this multiyear effort has been completed and resulted in the development and validation of an integrated collection of tools, thresholds, and a data interpretation framework for assessing sediment contamination impacts on benthic community condition. The State Water Board's narrative sediment quality criteria and assessment framework became effective in 2009, following US Environmental Protection Agency approval. The results of this effort are described in a series of 6 articles published in this issue of Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. The articles describe: 1) a multiple line of evidence framework for data integration and assessment, 2) calibration and evaluation of sediment quality guidelines for predicting toxic responses, 3) development and evaluation of sediment quality guidelines with respect to benthic macrofauna responses, 4) selection of toxicity test methods and thresholds, 5) identification and characterization of benthic community assemblages, 6) the

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. Assessment and the Quality of Educational Programmes: What Constitutes Evidence?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shay, Sueellen; Jawitz, Jeff

    2005-01-01

    In a climate of growing accountability for Higher Education, there is an increased demand on assessment to play an evaluative role. National, professional and institutional quality assurance systems expect that the assessment of student performance can be used to evaluate the quality of teachers, learners, programmes and even institutions for the…

  19. 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 find…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. Educational Quality, Outcomes Assessment, and Policy Change: The Virginia Example

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Culver, Steve

    2010-01-01

    The higher education system in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States provides a case model for how discussions regarding educational quality and assessment of that quality have affected institutions' policy decisions and implementation. Using Levin's (1998) policy analysis framework, this essay explores how assessment of student…

  3. 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…

  4. Assessing Pre-Service Teachers' Quality Teaching Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Weiyun; Hendricks, Kristin; Archibald, Kelsi

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to design and validate the Assessing Quality Teaching Rubrics (AQTR) that assesses the pre-service teachers' quality teaching practices in a live lesson or a videotaped lesson. Twenty-one lessons taught by 13 Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) students were videotaped. The videotaped lessons were evaluated…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bridges, David

    2009-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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,…

  9. The Emergence of Quality Assessment in Brazilian Basic Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kauko, Jaakko; Centeno, Vera Gorodski; Candido, Helena; Shiroma, Eneida; Klutas, Anni

    2016-01-01

    The focus in this article is on Brazilian education policy, specifically quality assurance and evaluation. The starting point is that quality, measured by means of large-scale assessments, is one of the key discursive justifications for educational change. The article addresses the questions of how quality evaluation became a significant feature…

  10. 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.

  11. On Improving Higher Vocational College Education Quality Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

    Groundwater-quality data were collected from 748 wells as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Project of the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Program from May 2012 through December 2013. The data were collected from four types of well networks: principal aquifer study networks, which assess the quality of groundwater used for public water supply; land-use study networks, which assess land-use effects on shallow groundwater quality; major aquifer study networks, which assess the quality of groundwater used for domestic supply; and enhanced trends networks, which evaluate the time scales during which groundwater quality changes. Groundwater samples were analyzed for a large number of water-quality indicators and constituents, including major ions, nutrients, trace elements, volatile organic compounds, pesticides, and radionuclides. These groundwater quality data are tabulated in a U.S. Geological Survey Data Series Report DS-997 which is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds997 and in this data release. Quality-control samples also were collected; data from blank and replicate quality-control samples are included in the related report (DS-997) and this data release. This compressed file contains 28 files of groundwater-quality data in ASCII text tab-delimited format and 28 corresponding metadata in xml format for wells sampled for the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment Project, May 2012 through December 2013.

  13. Perceived image quality assessment for color images on mobile displays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jang, Hyesung; Kim, Choon-Woo

    2015-01-01

    With increase in size and resolution of mobile displays and advances in embedded processors for image enhancement, perceived quality of images on mobile displays has been drastically improved. This paper presents a quantitative method to evaluate perceived image quality of color images on mobile displays. Three image quality attributes, colorfulness, contrast and brightness, are chosen to represent perceived image quality. Image quality assessment models are constructed based on results of human visual experiments. In this paper, three phase human visual experiments are designed to achieve credible outcomes while reducing time and resources needed for visual experiments. Values of parameters of image quality assessment models are estimated based on results from human visual experiments. Performances of different image quality assessment models are compared.

  14. Ilizarov hybrid external fixation for fractures of the distal radius: Part II. Internal fixation versus Ilizarov hybrid external fixation: Stability as assessed by cadaveric simulated motion testing.

    PubMed

    Dunning, C E; Lindsay, C S; Bicknell, R T; Johnson, J A; King, G J; Patterson, S D

    2001-03-01

    The in vitro stability of an Ilizarov hybrid external fixator was compared with that of a dorsal 3.5-mm AO T-plate in 8 unpaired, fresh-frozen upper extremities. A specially designed testing device that used computer-controlled pneumatic actuators was used to simulate active finger, wrist, and forearm motions by applying loads to relevant tendons. A comminuted extra-articular distal radius fracture was modelled using a dorsally based wedge osteotomy. Fracture stability was assessed using an electromagnetic tracking device to measure motion across the fracture site after randomized application of the plate and the hybrid fixator. During simulated finger and wrist motions with the forearm pronated or supinated, motion of the distal fragment with the hybrid fixator applied was comparable to or statistically less than with the AO plate applied. During simulated forearm rotation, the stability provided by the 2 fixation types was similar, although the plate allowed statistically less radial-ulnar deviation of the fragment. In this model of a 2-part extra-articular distal radius fracture, the clinically meaningful stability of the Ilizarov hybrid external fixator was comparable to that of the dorsal AO plate.

  15. SOIL QUALITY ASSESSMENT USING FUZZY MODELING

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. Germination tests for assessing biochar quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

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

    SciTech Connect

    Souleyrette, M.L.

    1992-10-23

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

  1. 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.…

  2. Assessment of Quality of Life in Migraine

    PubMed Central

    TAŞKAPILIOĞLU, Özlem; KARLI, Necdet

    2013-01-01

    Quality of life is the perception of an individual’s position in life associated with his objectives, expectations, interests, and standard’s of life. Health-related quality of life, on the other hand, includes satisfaction with his health and emotional reaction to his state of health. Primary headaches are encountered commonly in adults during their most productive years like end of puberty and at the beginning of 50’s. Migraine alone is responsible for 1.3% of years with disability in the world, all headaches together being responsible for twice of this load. Headaches both worsen quality of life of individuals and place a significant burden on the society. This review will focus on the effects of primary headaches, especially migraine, on quality of life and tools used to evaluate these effects.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. Quality Assessment of Sharpened Images: Challenges, Methodology, and Objective Metrics.

    PubMed

    Krasula, Lukas; Le Callet, Patrick; Fliegel, Karel; Klima, Milos

    2017-01-10

    Most of the effort in image quality assessment (QA) has been so far dedicated to the degradation of the image. However, there are also many algorithms in the image processing chain that can enhance the quality of an input image. These include procedures for contrast enhancement, deblurring, sharpening, up-sampling, denoising, transfer function compensation, etc. In this work, possible strategies for the quality assessment of sharpened images are investigated. This task is not trivial because the sharpening techniques can increase the perceived quality, as well as introduce artifacts leading to the quality drop (over-sharpening). Here, the framework specifically adapted for the quality assessment of sharpened images and objective metrics comparison in this context is introduced. However, the framework can be adopted in other quality assessment areas as well. The problem of selecting the correct procedure for subjective evaluation was addressed and a subjective test on blurred, sharpened, and over-sharpened images was performed in order to demonstrate the use of the framework. The obtained ground-truth data were used for testing the suitability of state-ofthe- art objective quality metrics for the assessment of sharpened images. The comparison was performed by novel procedure using ROC analyses which is found more appropriate for the task than standard methods. Furthermore, seven possible augmentations of the no-reference S3 metric adapted for sharpened images are proposed. The performance of the metric is significantly improved and also superior over the rest of the tested quality criteria with respect to the subjective data.

  8. A new approach to subjectively assess quality of plenoptic content

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viola, Irene; Řeřábek, Martin; Ebrahimi, Touradj

    2016-09-01

    Plenoptic content is becoming increasingly popular thanks to the availability of acquisition and display devices. Thanks to image-based rendering techniques, a plenoptic content can be rendered in real time in an interactive manner allowing virtual navigation through the captured scenes. This way of content consumption enables new experiences, and therefore introduces several challenges in terms of plenoptic data processing, transmission and consequently visual quality evaluation. In this paper, we propose a new methodology to subjectively assess the visual quality of plenoptic content. We also introduce a prototype software to perform subjective quality assessment according to the proposed methodology. The proposed methodology is further applied to assess the visual quality of a light field compression algorithm. Results show that this methodology can be successfully used to assess the visual quality of plenoptic content.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. The Effect of Landuse and Other External Factors on Water Quality Within two Creeks in Northern Kentucky

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boateng, S.

    2006-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to monitor the water quality in two creeks in Northern Kentucky. These are the Banklick Creek in Kenton County and the Woolper Creek in Boone County, Kentucky. The objective was to evaluate the effect of landuse and other external factors on surface water quality. Landuse within the Banklick watershed is industrial, forest and residential (urban) whereas that of Woolper Creek is agricultural and residential (rural). Two testing sites were selected along the Banklick Creek; one site was upstream the confluence with an overflow stream from an adjacent lake; the second site was downstream the confluence. Most of the drainage into the lake is over a near-by industrial park and the urban residential areas of the cities of Elsmere and Erlanger, Kentucky. Four sampling locations were selected within the Woolper Creek watershed to evaluate the effect of channelization and subsequent sedimentation on the health of the creek. Water quality parameters tested for include dissolved oxygen, phosphates, chlorophyll, total suspended sediments (TSS), pH, oxidation reduction potential (ORP), nitrates, and electrical conductivity. Sampling and testing were conducted weekly and also immediately after storm events that occurred before the regular sampling dates. Sampling and testing proceeded over a period of 29 weeks. Biological impact was determined, only in Woolper Creek watershed, by sampling benthic macroinvertebrates once every four weeks. The results showed significant differences in the water quality between the two sites within the Banklick Creek. The water quality may be affected by the stream overflow from the dammed lake. Also, channelization in the Woolper Creek seemed to have adverse effects on the water quality. A retention pond, constructed to prevent sediments from flowing into the Woolper Creek, did not seem to be effective. This is because the water quality downstream of the retention pond was significantly worse than that of the

  11. Privacy Impact Assessment for the External Compliance Program Discrimination Complaint Files

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The External Compliance Program Discrimination Complaint Files System collects information on administrative complaints. Learn how this data will be collected in the system, how it will be used, access to the data, and the purpose of data collection.

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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;…

  18. 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)…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  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. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. Relating Child Care during Infancy to Externalizing and Internalizing Behaviors in Toddlerhood: How Specific Features of Child Care Quality Matter Depending on a Child's Gender and Temperament

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lemay, Lise; Bigras, Nathalie; Bouchard, Caroline

    2014-01-01

    This study explored whether the relationships between specific features of child care quality and externalizing and internalizing behaviors in 24-month-old children are moderated by gender and temperament. Questionnaires were used to record children's gender and measure their temperament. Child care quality was observed with the "Échelles…

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Total Quality Management: Implications for Educational Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rankin, Stuart C.

    1992-01-01

    Deming's "System of Profound Knowledge" is even more fundamental than his 14-principle system transformation guide and is based on 4 elements: systems theory, statistical variation, a theory of knowledge, and psychology. Management should revamp total system processes so that quality of product is continually improved. Implications for…

  15. Assessing Students' Spiritual and Religious Qualities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Assessment of Curriculum Quality through Alumni Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saunders-Smits, Gillian; de Graaff, Erik

    2012-01-01

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

  17. External quality control results for hormones, tumor markers and CRP testing.

    PubMed

    Tatsumi, N; Kawano, K; Takubo, T; Nakamura, H; Tsuda, I

    1999-01-01

    Most hormones, tumor markers, C-reactive protein, and rheumatoid factor (RF) are measured immunologically. Immunological methods based on the antigen-antibody reaction have certain specific problems, including their principle of determination, character of antibodies used, reaction conditions, and others. Free thyroxine (FT4) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), as well as alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), prostate antigen, carcinoantigen 19-9 (CA 19-9), and CA 125 are very commonly measured in the routine medical laboratory. Authentic materials can be obtained for hormones and CRP, and efforts to improve quality control and standardization have been made for years. Results of surveillance for FT4, TSH, and AFP were not poor, but inter-laboratory differences for CEA, CA 19-9, and RF were not insignificant.

  18. Many quality measurements, but few quality measures assessing the quality of breast cancer care in women: A systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Schachter, Howard M; Mamaladze, Vasil; Lewin, Gabriela; Graham, Ian D; Brouwers, Melissa; Sampson, Margaret; Morrison, Andra; Zhang, Li; O'Blenis, Peter; Garritty, Chantelle

    2006-01-01

    Background Breast cancer in women is increasingly frequent, and care is complex, onerous and expensive, all of which lend urgency to improvements in care. Quality measurement is essential to monitor effectiveness and to guide improvements in healthcare. Methods Ten databases, including Medline, were searched electronically to identify measures assessing the quality of breast cancer care in women (diagnosis, treatment, followup, documentation of care). Eligible studies measured adherence to standards of breast cancer care in women diagnosed with, or in treatment for, any histological type of adenocarcinoma of the breast. Reference lists of studies, review articles, web sites, and files of experts were searched manually. Evidence appraisal entailed dual independent assessments of data (e.g., indicators used in quality measurement). The extent of each quality indicator's scientific validation as a measure was assessed. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) was asked to contribute quality measures under development. Results Sixty relevant reports identified 58 studies with 143 indicators assessing adherence to quality breast cancer care. A paucity of validated indicators (n = 12), most of which assessed quality of life, only permitted a qualitative data synthesis. Most quality indicators evaluated processes of care. Conclusion While some studies revealed patterns of under-use of care, all adherence data require confirmation using validated quality measures. ASCO's current development of a set of quality measures relating to breast cancer care may hold the key to conducting definitive studies. PMID:17176480

  19. National Water-Quality Assessment Program: Island of Oahu, Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anthony, Stephen S.

    1998-01-01

    During the past 25 years, our Nation has sought to improve its water quality; however, many water-quality issues remain unresolved. To address the need for consistent and scientifically sound information for managing the Nation's water resources, the U.S. Geological Survey began a full-scale National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program in 1991. This program is unique compared with other national water-quality assessment studies in that it integrates the monitoring of the quality of surface and ground waters with the study of aquatic ecosystems. The goals of the NAWQA Program are to (1) describe current water-quality conditions for a large part of the Nation's freshwater streams and aquifers, (2) describe how water quality is changing over time, and (3) improve our understanding of the primary natural and human factors affecting water quality. Assessing the quality of water in every location of the Nation would not be practical; therefore, NAWQA Program studies are conducted within a set of areas called study units. These study units represent the diverse geography, water resources, and land and water uses of the Nation. The island of Oahu, Hawaii, is one such study unit designed to supplement water-quality information collected in other study units across the Nation while addressing issues relevant to the island of Oahu.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. [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

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. PIE Nacelle Flow Analysis and TCA Inlet Flow Quality Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shieh, C. F.; Arslan, Alan; Sundaran, P.; Kim, Suk; Won, Mark J.

    1999-01-01

    This presentation includes three topics: (1) Analysis of isolated boattail drag; (2) Computation of Technology Concept Airplane (TCA)-installed nacelle effects on aerodynamic performance; and (3) Assessment of TCA inlet flow quality.

  9. 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...

  10. Workforce Quality and Federal Procurement: An Assessment

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-07-01

    changes tion community have raised concerns about a in personiel policies to improve the possible decline in the quality of the Federal Government’s ability...ratings, both employees and supervi- there is substantial room for improvement as sors believed that virtually the same percentage of indicated by the...52 32 Analytical Ability 47 45 48 37 Oral Communications 47 46 52 37 Writing Ability 46 46 51 33 Ability to Innovate 54 32 53 22 Ability to Initiate

  11. Using big data for quality assessment in oncology.

    PubMed

    Broughman, James R; Chen, Ronald C

    2016-05-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Water Quality Assessment Dale Hollow Lake and Its Inflows,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-03-01

    NATIONAL BUREAU Of STANDARDS-1963-A I B US Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Water Quality Assessment Dale Hollow Lake and Its Inflows March...PERIOD COVERED Water Quality Assessment Final Report Dale Hollow Lake and Its Inflows 6. PERFORMING ORO. REPORT NUMBER 7. AUTHOR(a) 6. CONTRACT OR... Water Resources Center, Tennessee Tech. Univ. Box 5082 Cookeville, TN 38505 11. CONTROLLING OFFICE NAME AND ADDRESS 12. REPORT DATE U.S. Army Engineer

  14. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-01-01

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

  16. 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...

  17. 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)

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  19. Positions, Power and Practice: Functionalist Approaches and Translation Quality Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Honig, Hans G.

    1997-01-01

    Examines theoretical foundations and practical application of Translation Quality Assessment (TQA), particularly in translator training. Several approaches to translation are considered, especially the "functional" and "relevance" approaches. The need for TQA, several popular views on translation quality, and the issue of…

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. American History Textbooks: An Assessment of Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sewall, Gilbert T.

    United States history as a linchpin in the school curriculum and as a potentially exciting, sometimes electrifying, subject was the conviction underlying this analysis of U.S. history textbooks. This assessment investigates the capacity of leading U.S. social studies and history textbooks to inspire the imagination of students through effective…

  4. Questioning the Technical Quality of Performance Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Eva L.

    1993-01-01

    Ongoing research finds that alternatives to formal tests carry hidden costs and require trade-offs. National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST) is studying how performance assessments work so that they may be designed to help students reach their highest potential. This article raises priority questions,…

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. External influences on Europe's air quality: Baseline methane, carbon monoxide and ozone from 1990 to 2030 at Mace Head, Ireland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Derwent, R. G.; Simmonds, P. G.; O'Doherty, S.; Stevenson, D. S.; Collins, W. J.; Sanderson, M. G.; Johnson, C. E.; Dentener, F.; Cofala, J.; Mechler, R.; Amann, M.

    A global 3-D chemistry-transport model STOCHEM has been employed to study trends in the mole fractions of methane, carbon monoxide and ozone in baseline air masses entering Europe from the Atlantic Ocean over the period from 1990 to 2030. With a range of emission scenarios for man-made ozone precursor emission sources available, a wide range of model trends were predicted for the period up to 2030. In the scenario based on current planned air pollution controls, IIASA CLE, methane shows a strong upward trend, ozone shows a weaker upward trend, and carbon monoxide is approximately flat in baseline air masses. In one of the more pessimistic IPCC SRES scenarios, A2, all three gases show future increases. However, in the scenario based on maximum feasible emission reductions, IIASA MFR all three trace gases decline. By 2030, projected climate change reduces the growth in CH 4, but has insignificant effects on baseline CO and O 3 in these simulations. Global or hemispheric ozone precursor emissions and their controls exert a potentially large external influence on Europe's air quality. This influence is currently not taken into account in future European air quality policy formulation.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    1997-01-01

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

  9. Operation of a frequency-narrowed high-beam quality broad-area laser by a passively stabilized external cavity technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bayram, S. B.; Coons, R. W.

    2007-11-01

    The average spectral bandwidth of a 2W broad-area diode laser was narrowed to 5GHz with wavelength tunability of up to 12nm at a center wavelength of 790nm with the use of a Littman-Metcalf external cavity in a displaced configuration. The use of lens and combined lens-laser transformation systems allowed precise alignment of the beam shaping optics, which led to significant improvements of the beam quality and an enhanced suppression of the free-running laser modes. We characterize the spatial beam quality of our external cavity diode laser by measuring the M2 quality factor and relate this to our measured bandwidths. Our external cavity can be configured over a range of cavity lengths and is modular in design, enabling access to a broad frequency spectrum for a wide range of applications that require high-power, narrow bandwidth operation.

  10. 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...

  11. Blind image quality assessment using a general regression neural network.

    PubMed

    Li, Chaofeng; Bovik, Alan Conrad; Wu, Xiaojun

    2011-05-01

    We develop a no-reference image quality assessment (QA) algorithm that deploys a general regression neural network (GRNN). The new algorithm is trained on and successfully assesses image quality, relative to human subjectivity, across a range of distortion types. The features deployed for QA include the mean value of phase congruency image, the entropy of phase congruency image, the entropy of the distorted image, and the gradient of the distorted image. Image quality estimation is accomplished by approximating the functional relationship between these features and subjective mean opinion scores using a GRNN. Our experimental results show that the new method accords closely with human subjective judgment.

  12. 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…

  13. Quality Assessment of Special Education Programmes: Listen to the Parents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    International Journal of Special Education, 2016

    2016-01-01

    Special education programmes must include high quality services to enhance children with disabilities (CWD) in all aspects of their development. This study aims to assess special education programmes (SEP) in Jordan from the perspectives of parents of CWD. Two different SEPs were assessed: inclusive education (IE) in regular schools, and special…

  14. Software Component Quality Assessment in Practice: Successes and Practical Impediments

    SciTech Connect

    Gorton, Ian ); Liu, Anna

    2002-05-19

    This paper describes the author?s experiences of initiating and sustaining a project aimed at accelerating the successful adoption of COTS middleware technologies in large business and scientific information systems. The projects aims are described, along with example outcomes and an assessment of what is needed for wide-scale software component quality assessments to succeed.

  15. Evaluating and Enhancing Outcomes Assessment Quality in Higher Education Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolf, Kenneth; Goodwin, Laura

    2007-01-01

    Accreditation is a mark of distinction indicating that an institution has met high standards set by the profession, and an increasingly important feature of the accreditation process in higher education is "outcomes assessment." This article presents two rubrics for evaluating the quality of an institution's outcomes assessment system. One rubric…

  16. 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...

  17. Assessment of Consumers' Satisfaction with the Automotive Product Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Amineh, Hadi; Kosach, Nataliya

    2016-01-01

    Relevance of article is caused by the fact that customer's satisfaction currently serves as the mechanism allowing the carmakers to be competitive in the market. The paper describes issues of assessment of the quality of products manufactured by automobile companies. The assessment is based on widely applicable complex characteristics of the…

  18. Ultrasonic assessment of oil quality during frying.

    PubMed

    Benedito, Jose; Mulet, Antonio; Velasco, J; Dobarganes, M Carmen

    2002-07-31

    In this paper, changes in ultrasonic properties during thermoxidation of virgin olive oil were studied. Samples of virgin olive oil were heated over different periods of time from 2 to 16 h at 200 degrees C. Oil degradation was characterized by means of physical and chemical changes, i.e., viscosity, color, polar compounds, polymers, and polar fatty acids. Ultrasonic measurements were carried out while the oil sample was cooled from 35 to 25 degrees C. It was found that velocity and attenuation measurements were related to viscosity measurements through a classical equation for viscous liquids. The ultrasonic measurements were also related to the percentages of polar compounds and polymers, which shows the feasibility of using ultrasonic properties to monitor oil quality. Nevertheless, as long as the ultrasonic measurements are temperature dependent, this variable must be controlled in order to obtain repetitive and reliable measurements.

  19. 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.

  20. AVLIS Production Plant Preliminary Quality Assurance Plan and Assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-11-15

    This preliminary Quality Assurance Plan and Assessment establishes the Quality Assurance requirements for the AVLIS Production Plant Project. The Quality Assurance Plan defines the management approach, organization, interfaces, and controls that will be used in order to provide adequate confidence that the AVLIS Production Plant design, procurement, construction, fabrication, installation, start-up, and operation are accomplished within established goals and objectives. The Quality Assurance Program defined in this document includes a system for assessing those elements of the project whose failure would have a significant impact on safety, environment, schedule, cost, or overall plant objectives. As elements of the project are assessed, classifications are provided to establish and assure that special actions are defined which will eliminate or reduce the probability of occurrence or control the consequences of failure. 8 figures, 18 tables.

  1. Fit-for-purpose shellfish reference materials for internal and external quality control in the analysis of phycotoxins.

    PubMed

    Hess, Philipp; McCarron, Pearse; Quilliam, Michael A

    2007-04-01

    The need for reference materials for quality control of analysis of foodstuffs has been stressed frequently. This has been particularly true in the phycotoxins field, where there is a great shortage of both pure calibration standards and reference materials. Worldwide there are very few independent bodies that produce certified reference materials for phycotoxins, the main producers currently being the National Research Council Canada and the Japanese Food Research Laboratory. Limited availability of contaminated shellfish and algae, as well as the time and knowledge necessary for the production of adequate reference materials, continuously lead to limited editions of certified reference materials and even more limited production of in-house reference materials. The restricted availability of in-house quality control materials promotes the rapid use of the limited certified reference materials, which in turn hampers the production of the suite of materials required globally for complete protection of public health. This paper outlines the various options that analysts can pursue in the use of reference materials for internal and external quality control, with a view to optimising the efforts of both reference materials users and reference materials producers. For this purpose, the logical sequence is reviewed from the discovery of a new bioactive compound in shellfish, through initial method development up to regulation for food safety purposes including accepted reference methods. Subsequently, the requirements for and efforts typically spent in the production and characterisation of laboratory reference materials, certified reference materials and other test materials used in inter-laboratory studies or proficiency testing, in the area of marine biotoxins are evaluated. Particular emphasis is put on practical advice for the preparation of in-house reference materials. The intricate link between reference material characterisation and method performance is

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Assessing urban habitat quality using spectral characteristics of Tilia leaves.

    PubMed

    Khavanin Zadeh, A R; Veroustraete, F; Buytaert, J A N; Dirckx, J; Samson, R

    2013-07-01

    Monitoring environmental quality in urban areas is an important issue offering possibilities to control and improve urban habitat quality as well as to avoid adverse effects on human health. A tree leaf reflectance-based bio-monitoring method was used to assess the urban habitat quality of two contrasting habitat classes in the city of Gent (Belgium). As test trees, two Tilia species were selected. Custom made Matlab code is applied to process the measurements of leaf reflectance. This enables the discrimination between polluted and less polluted habitats. The results elicit, that leaf reflectance in the PAR range, as well as the NDAI (Normalised Difference Asymmetry index) are species dependent while Dorsiventral Leaf Reflectance Correlation (DLRC) seems to be independent of species. Therefore the assessment of urban habitat quality is perfectly feasible using leaf reflectance, when taking account of the species specificity of tree leaf physiological and structural responses to habitat quality.

  5. 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…

  6. [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).

  7. Advanced imaging assessment of bone quality.

    PubMed

    Genant, Harry K; Jiang, Yebin

    2006-04-01

    Noninvasive and/or nondestructive techniques can provide structural information about bone, beyond simple bone densitometry. While the latter provides important information about osteoporotic fracture risk, many studies indicate that bone mineral density (BMD) only partly explains bone strength. Quantitative assessment of macrostructural characteristics, such as geometry, and microstructural features, such as relative trabecular volume, trabecular spacing, and connectivity, may improve our ability to estimate bone strength. Methods for quantitatively assessing macrostructure include (besides conventional radiographs) dual X ray absorptiometry (DXA) and computed tomography (CT), particularly volumetric quantitative computed tomography (vQCT). Methods for assessing microstructure of trabecular bone noninvasively and/or nondestructively include high-resolution computed tomography (hrCT), microcomputed tomography (micro-CT), high-resolution magnetic resonance (hrMR), and micromagnetic resonance (micro-MR). vQCT, hrCT, and hrMR are generally applicable in vivo; micro-CT and micro-MR are principally applicable in vitro. Despite progress, problems remain. The important balances between spatial resolution and sampling size, or between signal-to-noise and radiation dose or acquisition time, need further consideration, as do the complexity and expense of the methods versus their availability and accessibility. Clinically, the challenges for bone imaging include balancing the advantages of simple bone densitometry versus the more complex architectural features of bone, or the deeper research requirements versus the broader clinical needs. The biological differences between the peripheral appendicular skeleton and the central axial skeleton must be further addressed. Finally, the relative merits of these sophisticated imaging techniques must be weighed with respect to their applications as diagnostic procedures, requiring high accuracy or reliability, versus their monitoring

  8. 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

  9. 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

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-20

    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 × 10⁸ to 2.2 × 10(10) cells/mL. These results suggest that the two algae have potential as resources for the development of antimicrobial agents.

  13. Assessment of external gamma exposure and radon levels in a dwelling constructed with phosphogypsum plates.

    PubMed

    Máduar, M F; Campos, M P; Mazzilli, B P; Villaverde, F L

    2011-06-15

    Phosphogypsum, a fertilizer industry by-product, is being worldwide stockpiled, posing environmental concerns. Since this material contains natural radionuclides in significant concentrations, its use as a building material has radiological implications. In order to confirm the feasibility of the use of a new material mainly composed by phosphogypsum, an experimental house was built, having some of its rooms entirely lined with this material. Measurements of samples of phosphogypsum plates from different origins resulted in values of 0.2 to 2.6 for the external radiation index, thus justifying a more detailed investigation. In this paper, the application of a previously developed computational model to forecast external doses indoors is described. A comprehensive radiological evaluation is being performed, including measurement of the external gamma exposure and radon concentrations in one of the rooms of the house. The results show that the annual increment in the effective dose to an inhabitant of the house will remain below the 1 mSv limit for every reasonable scenario. The radon measurements were carried out over a period of 18 months, in order to determine the long-term average levels of the indoor radon concentrations. The results obtained are below 200 Bq m(-3), the recommended investigation level for radon.

  14. 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

  15. Assessment of Pulmonary Toxicity Induced by Inhaled Toner with External Additives.

    PubMed

    Tomonaga, Taisuke; Izumi, Hiroto; Yoshiura, Yukiko; Myojo, Toshihiko; Oyabu, Takako; Lee, Byeong-Woo; Okada, Takami; Li, Yunshan; Kawai, Kazuaki; Higashi, Toshiaki; Morimoto, Yasuo

    2017-01-01

    We investigated the harmful effects of exposure to a toner with external additives by a long-term inhalation study using rats, examining pulmonary inflammation, oxidative stress, and histopathological changes in the lung. Wistar rats were exposed to a well-dispersed toner (mean of MMAD: 2.1 μm) at three mass concentrations of 1, 4, and 16 mg/m(3) for 22.5 months, and the rats were sacrificed after 6 months, 12 months, and 22.5 months of exposure. The low and medium concentrations did not induce statistically significant pulmonary inflammation, but the high concentration did, and, in addition, a histopathological examination showed fibrosis in the lung. Although lung tumor was observed in one sample of high exposure for 22.5 months, the cause was not statistically significant. On the other hand, a persistent increase in 8-OHdG was observed in the high exposure group, indicating that DNA damage by oxidative stress with persistent inflammation leads to the formation of tumorigenesis. The results of our studies show that toners with external additives lead to pulmonary inflammation, oxidative stress, and fibrosis only at lung burdens beyond overload. These data suggest that toners with external additives may have low toxicity in the lung.

  16. Assessment of Pulmonary Toxicity Induced by Inhaled Toner with External Additives

    PubMed Central

    Yoshiura, Yukiko; Myojo, Toshihiko; Oyabu, Takako; Lee, Byeong-Woo; Okada, Takami; Li, Yunshan; Higashi, Toshiaki

    2017-01-01

    We investigated the harmful effects of exposure to a toner with external additives by a long-term inhalation study using rats, examining pulmonary inflammation, oxidative stress, and histopathological changes in the lung. Wistar rats were exposed to a well-dispersed toner (mean of MMAD: 2.1 μm) at three mass concentrations of 1, 4, and 16 mg/m3 for 22.5 months, and the rats were sacrificed after 6 months, 12 months, and 22.5 months of exposure. The low and medium concentrations did not induce statistically significant pulmonary inflammation, but the high concentration did, and, in addition, a histopathological examination showed fibrosis in the lung. Although lung tumor was observed in one sample of high exposure for 22.5 months, the cause was not statistically significant. On the other hand, a persistent increase in 8-OHdG was observed in the high exposure group, indicating that DNA damage by oxidative stress with persistent inflammation leads to the formation of tumorigenesis. The results of our studies show that toners with external additives lead to pulmonary inflammation, oxidative stress, and fibrosis only at lung burdens beyond overload. These data suggest that toners with external additives may have low toxicity in the lung. PMID:28191462

  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. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2005-01-01

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

  20. Learning Receptive Fields and Quality Lookups for Blind Quality Assessment of Stereoscopic Images.

    PubMed

    Shao, Feng; Lin, Weisi; Wang, Shanshan; Jiang, Gangyi; Yu, Mei; Dai, Qionghai

    2016-03-01

    Blind quality assessment of 3D images encounters more new challenges than its 2D counterparts. In this paper, we propose a blind quality assessment for stereoscopic images by learning the characteristics of receptive fields (RFs) from perspective of dictionary learning, and constructing quality lookups to replace human opinion scores without performance loss. The important feature of the proposed method is that we do not need a large set of samples of distorted stereoscopic images and the corresponding human opinion scores to learn a regression model. To be more specific, in the training phase, we learn local RFs (LRFs) and global RFs (GRFs) from the reference and distorted stereoscopic images, respectively, and construct their corresponding local quality lookups (LQLs) and global quality lookups (GQLs). In the testing phase, blind quality pooling can be easily achieved by searching optimal GRF and LRF indexes from the learnt LQLs and GQLs, and the quality score is obtained by combining the LRF and GRF indexes together. Experimental results on three publicly 3D image quality assessment databases demonstrate that in comparison with the existing methods, the devised algorithm achieves high consistent alignment with subjective assessment.

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Retinal image quality assessment based on image clarity and content

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdel-Hamid, Lamiaa; El-Rafei, Ahmed; El-Ramly, Salwa; Michelson, Georg; Hornegger, Joachim

    2016-09-01

    Retinal image quality assessment (RIQA) is an essential step in automated screening systems to avoid misdiagnosis caused by processing poor quality retinal images. A no-reference transform-based RIQA algorithm is introduced that assesses images based on five clarity and content quality issues: sharpness, illumination, homogeneity, field definition, and content. Transform-based RIQA algorithms have the advantage of considering retinal structures while being computationally inexpensive. Wavelet-based features are proposed to evaluate the sharpness and overall illumination of the images. A retinal saturation channel is designed and used along with wavelet-based features for homogeneity assessment. The presented sharpness and illumination features are utilized to assure adequate field definition, whereas color information is used to exclude nonretinal images. Several publicly available datasets of varying quality grades are utilized to evaluate the feature sets resulting in area under the receiver operating characteristic curve above 0.99 for each of the individual feature sets. The overall quality is assessed by a classifier that uses the collective features as an input vector. The classification results show superior performance of the algorithm in comparison to other methods from literature. Moreover, the algorithm addresses efficiently and comprehensively various quality issues and is suitable for automatic screening systems.

  5. Objective Quality Assessment and Perceptual Compression of Screen Content Images.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shiqi; Gu, Ke; Zeng, Kai; Wang, Zhou; Lin, Weisi

    2016-05-25

    Screen content image (SCI) has recently emerged as an active topic due to the rapidly increasing demand in many graphically rich services such as wireless displays and virtual desktops. Image quality models play an important role in measuring and optimizing user experience of SCI compression and transmission systems, but are currently lacking. SCIs are often composed of pictorial regions and computer generated textual/graphical content, which exhibit different statistical properties that often lead to different viewer behaviors. Inspired by this, we propose an objective quality assessment approach for SCIs that incorporates both visual field adaptation and information content weighting into structural similarity based local quality assessment. Furthermore, we develop a perceptual screen content coding scheme based on the newly proposed quality assessment measure, targeting at further improving the SCI compression performance. Experimental results show that the proposed quality assessment method not only better predicts the perceptual quality of SCIs, but also demonstrates great potentials in the design of perceptually optimal SCI compression schemes.

  6. Germination tests for assessing biochar quality.

    PubMed

    Rogovska, N; Laird, D; Cruse, R M; Trabue, S; Heaton, E

    2012-01-01

    Definition, analysis, and certification of biochar quality are crucial to the agronomic acceptance of biochar. While most biochars have a positive impact on plant growth, some may have adverse effects due to the presence of phytotoxic compounds. Conversely, some biochars may have the ability to adsorb and neutralize natural phytotoxic compounds found in soil. We evaluated the effects of biochars on seedling growth and absorption of allelochemicals present in corn ( L.) residues. Corn seeds were germinated in aqueous extracts of six biochars produced from varied feedstocks, thermochemical processes, and temperatures. Percent germination and shoot and radicle lengths were evaluated at the end of the germination period. Extracts from the six biochars had no effect on percent germination; however, extracts from three biochars produced at high conversion temperatures significantly inhibited shoot growth by an average of 16% relative to deionized (DI) water. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons detected in the aqueous extracts are believed to be at least partly responsible for the reduction in seedling growth. Repeated leaching of biochars before extract preparation eliminated the negative effects on seedling growth. Biochars differ significantly in their capacity to adsorb allelochemicals present in corn residues. Germination of corn seeds in extracts of corn residue showed 94% suppression of radicle growth compared to those exposed to DI water; however, incubation of corn residue extracts with leached biochar for 24 h before initiating the germination test increased radicle length 6 to 12 times compared to the corn residue extract treatments. Germination tests appear to be a reliable procedure to differentiate between effects of different types of biochar on corn seedling growth.

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willett, D. J.

    1993-04-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Assessment of health-cost externalities of air pollution at the national level using the EVA model system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, J.; Frohn, L. M.; Christensen, J. H.; Andersen, M. S.; Hertel, O.; Geels, C.; Buus Hansen, A.; Hansen, K. M.; Hedegaard, G. B.; Skjøth, C. A.

    2009-04-01

    An integrated model system EVA (Economic Valuation of Air pollution) has been developed to assess external costs related to air pollution from individual sources as specific power plants or different emission sectors, as e.g. power production, road traffic, farming etc. The EVA system is based on the impact pathway chain and consists of a regional scale non-linear Eulerian atmospheric transport-chemistry model including detailed emissions inventories (the Danish Eulerian Hemispheric Model, DEHM), address-level or gridded population data, state-of-the-art exposure-response functions and monetary valuation of the impacts from air pollution. The first general assessment of health-cost externalities at the national level using the EVA system is presented here. Health-cost externalities from different emission sectors in Denmark e.g. power production, road traffic, as well as all sectors simultaneously have been calculated. Furthermore, the heath-cost externalities based on emissions from international ship traffic in the Baltic Sea as well as the North Sea have been estimated. Examples of delta functions, human exposure levels and the total costs of impacts from different chemical species are given. The work is partly carried out within the Centre for Energy, Environment and Health (www.CEEH.dk), which is a Danish strategic research centre funded by the Danish Council for Strategic Research. The mission of the centre is to develop a system to support planning of future energy systems in Denmark, where both direct and indirect costs related to environment, climate and health are considered.

  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. Quality assessment of a discharge summary system.

    PubMed Central

    van Walraven, C; Weinberg, A L

    1995-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To assess the completeness of hospital discharge summaries and the efficiency of the discharge summary system in two urban teaching hospitals. DESIGN: Descriptive study, with follow-up telephone survey. SETTING: General internal medicine services at two urban tertiary care hospitals affiliated with the University of Ottawa. PATIENTS: A total of 135 patient charts, representing 10% of the patients discharged from the services between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31, 1993. Three charts were unavailable for review, and 26 were excluded because of patient death, early patient discharge (within 48 hours after admission) or lack of discharge summary; this left 106 summaries for analysis of completeness and 114 (including the charts without a summary) for analysis of efficiency. OUTCOME MEASURES: Completeness: proportion of summaries in which the following information was reported: admission diagnosis, drug allergies, physical examination, significant laboratory tests and results, discharge diagnosis, discharge medications and medical follow-up. Efficiency: time taken to generate the discharge summary and whether the patient's family physician received it. RESULTS: Of the 106 charts with a discharge summary, information was available from the dictation system database for all but one (99.1% complete). Information was missing on the admission diagnosis in 34.0% (36/106) of the summaries, the discharge diagnosis in 25.5% (27/106) and the discharge medications in 22.8% (23/101). Of the 268 significant laboratory tests and results noted in the charts 115 (42.9%) were not reported in the discharge summary. Of the 94 discharge summaries in charts with the patient's family physician listed on the facesheet, 38 (40.4%) were not received by the family physician. CONCLUSIONS: Considerable deficiencies in the completeness of the discharge summaries and the efficiency of the discharge summary system were found in the participating hospitals. Replication of this study in other settings

  13. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1987-07-01

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

  15. The quality of medical record documentation and External cause of fall injury coding in a tertiary teaching hospital.

    PubMed

    Cunningham, Janet; Williamson, Dianne; Robinson, Kerin M; Carroll, Rhonda; Buchanan, Ross; Paul, Lindsay

    2014-01-01

    This paper reviews the documentation and coding of External causes of admitted fall cases in a major hospital. Intensive analysis of a random selection of 100 medical records included blind re-coding in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth revision, Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM), Fifth Edition for External causes to ascertain whether: (i) the medical records contained sufficient information for assignment of specific External cause codes; and (ii) the most appropriate External cause codes were assigned per available documentation. Comparison of the hospital data with the state-wide Victorian Admitted Episodes Database (VAED) data on frequency of use of External cause codes revealed that the index hospital, a major trauma centre, treated comparatively more falls involving steps, stairs and ladders. The hospital sample reflected lower usage, than state-wide, of unspecified External cause codes and Other specified activity codes; otherwise, there was similarity in External cause coding. A comparison of researcher and hospital codes for the falls study sample revealed differences. The ambulance report was identified as the best source of External cause information; only 50% of hospital medical records contained sufficient information for specific code assignation for all three External cause codes, mechanism of injury, place of occurrence and activity at time of injury. Whilst all medical records contained mechanism of falls injury information, 16% contained insufficient details, indicating a deficiency in medical record documentation to underpin external cause coding. This was compounded by flaws in the ICD-10-AM classification.

  16. 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.

  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. Putting continuous quality improvement into accreditation: improving approaches to quality assessment.

    PubMed Central

    Scrivens, E

    1997-01-01

    The accreditation systems of the United States, Canada, and Australia have been restructured to reflect the adoption by health services of the industrial model of continuous quality improvement. The industrial model of quality makes assumptions about management structures and the relation of process to outcome which are not readily transferable to the assessment of quality in health care. The accreditation systems have therefore had to adapt the principles of continuous quality improvement to reflect the complex nature of health service organisations and the often untested assumptions about the relation between process and outcome. PMID:10177038

  19. 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.

  20. Monoaxial external fixation of the calcaneus: An anatomical study assessing the safety of monoaxial pin insertion.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Callum M; Esparon, Tom; Rea, Paul M; Jamal, Bilal

    2016-10-01

    The use of external fixation for intra-articular calcaneal fractures is increasing in popularity. Studies have shown fine wire and monoaxial external fixation to be a viable surgical alternative to more invasive methods of open reduction and internal fixation of the calcaneus. However, there is an absence of literature that quantifies the risk of pin insertion for monoaxial fixation. This study aimed to determine the safety of inserting monoaxial pins within the calcaneus to house the Orthofix Calcaneal Mini-Fixator. Five formalin embalmed cadaveric ankle and lower leg specimens were inserted with six monoaxial pins. Careful dissection then revealed the presence of the tendons of peroneus longus and brevis, the sural nerve and the small saphenous vein in relation to these pins. Measurements from each pin to each of these structures were made as the structures transected lines drawn from each pin to two palpable bony landmarks: the inferior tip of the lateral malleolus and the posterosuperior calcaneus. In doing this, the risk posed by each pin could be evaluated. We found that two particular pins, those used to hold the articular surface of the subtalar joint in a reduced position, posed a larger risk of injury to surrounding structures than the remaining pins. These findings therefore suggest that monoaxial fixation of the calcaneus using a six pin approach is a relatively safe method of rectifying calcaneal fractures and thus may serve as a welcome alternative to other methods of calcaneal fixation.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1997-08-01

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

  5. [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).

  6. 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...

  7. Case Studies of Water Utility Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment [External Review Draft Report

    EPA Science Inventory

    This report presents a series of case studies describing the approaches taken by four water utilities in the United States to assess their vulnerability to climate change. The report is not intended to be a comprehensive listing of assessment approaches or utilities conducting v...

  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. Idealized "super-eruption" perturbation experiments as a tool to assess climate models' behavior under strong external forcing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zanchettin, Davide; Jungclaus, Johann H.; Timmreck, Claudia

    2014-05-01

    Comprehensive assessments of climate responses under idealized external forcings have been proven in the past to be valuable to understand features and mechanisms simulated by numerical climate models and, consequently, to delimit the validity of model-based inferences about climate dynamics and variability, as well as to compare the performance of different climate models. In this contribution, we advocate for a more extensive use of idealized "super-eruption" experiments, i.e., climate simulations describing the effects of explosive volcanic eruptions of magnitude several times larger than the strongest historical eruptions, as a tool to better understand climate models' behavior under strong external forcing. We present the results of a 100-times-Pinatubo "super-eruption" simulation ensemble performed with the COSMOS version of the Max Planck Institute-Earth System Model (MPI-ESM-COSMOS), focusing on the simulated inter-hemispheric sea-ice response to the induced volcanic perturbation. We show how such "super-eruption" ensemble allows gaining insights on the relative importance of the thermodynamical and dynamical components of the sea-ice response to imposed negative net radiative imbalances in MPI-ESM-COSMOS. We also show that this "super-eruption" ensemble highlights known limits and less understood features that concern both general and specific aspects of the ocean/atmosphere/sea-ice coupled dynamics simulated by MPI-ESM-COSMOS. We therefore discuss how idealized "super-eruption" perturbation experiments might help to delimit the reliability of forced climate responses in more general contexts, hence favor advancements in our understanding of simulated climate dynamics as well as models' sensitivity to external forcing. We present the several advantages we foresee in a more extensive, multi-model employment of "super-eruption" simulations as analog of, e.g., sudden warming experiments, in particular concerning their potential to clarify the role of decadal

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. National Area Health Education Center Program: External Assessment Design. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duggar, Benjamin; And Others

    The AHEC (Area Health Education Center) program is designed to demonstrate the ways in which a university health science center (often including a medical school) can improve the supply, distribution, quality, efficiency, and utilization of health care personnel in medically underserved areas through establishment of satellite educational…

  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. 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

  15. School Indoor Air Quality Assessments Go Mobile / EPA Launches School IAQ Assessment Mobile App

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today launched a new mobile app to assist schools and school districts with performing comprehensive indoor air quality (IAQ) facility assessments to protect the health of children and sch

  16. Assessing Quality of Pre-Service Physics Teachers' Written Arguments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aydeniz, Mehmet; Gürçay, Deniz

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the quality of scientific arguments developed by pre-service physics teachers. Sample: The participants were 171 pre-service physics teachers recruited from two universities: 86 from University A and 85 from University B. Design and method: Participants were prompted to develop a written argument to…

  17. Measure for Measure: Advancement's Role in Assessments of Institutional Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wedekind, Annie; Pollack, Rachel H.

    2002-01-01

    Explores how accreditation, bond ratings, and magazine rankings--including advancement's role in these assessments--continue to be incomplete and controversial indicators of educational quality. Asserts that advancement officers should work to demonstrate the importance of their efforts, such as increasing endowments and alumni support, within the…

  18. 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…

  19. Heuristic Model Of The Composite Quality Index Of Environmental Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khabarov, A. N.; Knyaginin, A. A.; Bondarenko, D. V.; Shepet, I. P.; Korolkova, L. N.

    2017-01-01

    The goal of the paper is to present the heuristic model of the composite environmental quality index based on the integrated application of the elements of utility theory, multidimensional scaling, expert evaluation and decision-making. The composite index is synthesized in linear-quadratic form, it provides higher adequacy of the results of the assessment preferences of experts and decision-makers.

  20. 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.…