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Sample records for quality assessment decision

  1. 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…

  2. Ecosystem valuation: a sequential decision support system and quality assessment issues.

    PubMed

    Turner, R Kerry; Morse-Jones, Sian; Fisher, Brendan

    2010-01-01

    Understanding the economic value of nature and the services it provides to humanity has become increasingly important for local, national, and global policy and decision making. It has become obvious that quantifying and integrating these services into decision making will be crucial for sustainable development. Problems arise in that it is difficult to obtain meaningful values for the goods and services that ecosystems provide and for which there is no formal market. A wide range of ecosystem services fall into this category. Additional problems arise when economic methods are applied inappropriately and when the importance of ecosystem maintenance for human welfare is underestimated. In this article we identify a place for monetary valuation within the pluralistic approach supported by ecological economics and assess progress to date in the application of environmental valuation to ecosystem service provision. We first review definitions of ecosystem services in order to make an operational link to valuation methods. We then discuss the spatially explicit nature of ecosystem services provision and benefits capture. We highlight the importance of valuing marginal changes and the role for macroscale valuation, nonlinearities in service benefits, and the significance of nonconvexities (threshold effects). We also review guidance on valuation studies quality assurance, and discuss the problems inherent in the methodology as exposed by the findings of behavioral economics, as well as with benefits transfer--the most common way valuation studies are applied in the policy process. We argue for a sequential decision support system that can lead to a more integrated and rigorous approach to environmental valuation and biophysical measurement of ecosystem services. This system itself then needs to be encompassed within a more comprehensive multicriteria assessment dialogue and process.

  3. Ten years of the International Patient Decision Aid Standards Collaboration: evolution of the core dimensions for assessing the quality of patient decision aids.

    PubMed

    Volk, Robert J; Llewellyn-Thomas, Hilary; Stacey, Dawn; Elwyn, Glyn

    2013-01-01

    In 2003, the International Patient Decision Aid Standards (IPDAS) Collaboration was established to enhance the quality and effectiveness of patient decision aids by establishing an evidence-informed framework for improving their content, development, implementation, and evaluation. Over this 10 year period, the Collaboration has established: a) the background document on 12 core dimensions to inform the original modified Delphi process to establish the IPDAS checklist (74 items); b) the valid and reliable IPDAS instrument (47 items); and c) the IPDAS qualifying (6 items), certifying (6 items + 4 items for screening), and quality criteria (28 items). The objective of this paper is to describe the evolution of the IPDAS Collaboration and discuss the standardized process used to update the background documents on the theoretical rationales, evidence and emerging issues underlying the 12 core dimensions for assessing the quality of patient decision aids.

  4. Development of computer automated decision support system for surface water quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Asheesh; Naidu, Madhuri; Sargaonkar, Aabha

    2013-02-01

    The Overall Index of Pollution (OIP) is a single number that expresses the overall water quality by integrating measurements of 14 different physicochemical, toxicological, and bacteriological water quality parameters. It provides a simple and concise method for water quality classification as, 'Excellent', 'Acceptable', 'Slightly Polluted', 'Polluted', and 'Heavily Polluted'. OIP values range from 0 to 16. A high OIP value signals poor water quality, while a low value signals good water quality based on the classification scheme developed for India. In this paper, we present a computer-automated, user-friendly, and standalone Surface Water Quality Assessment Tool (SWQAT), which calculates OIP values and displays it on Google map. The software is developed in VB.Net and SQL database. The software application is demonstrated through water quality assessment of two rivers of India, namely Cauvery and Tungabhadra. OIP values are estimated at 10 sampling stations on the river Cauvery and at eight sampling stations on the river Tungabhadra. The Cauvery river OIP scores in the range 0.85-7.91 while for Tungabhadra river, it is in range 2.08 to 8.97. The results are useful to analyze the variations in the water quality of different sites at different times. SWQAT improves understanding of general water quality issues, communicates water quality status, and draws the need for and effectiveness of protection measures.

  5. The Development and Validation of a Generic Instrument, QoDoS, for Assessing the Quality of Decision Making

    PubMed Central

    Donelan, Ronan; Walker, Stuart; Salek, Sam

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: The impact of decision-making during the development and the regulatory review of medicines greatly influences the delivery of new medicinal products. Currently, there is no generic instrument that can be used to assess the quality of decision-making. This study describes the development of the Quality of Decision-Making Orientation Scheme QoDoS© instrument for appraising the quality of decision-making. Methods: Semi-structured interviews about decision-making were carried out with 29 senior decision makers from the pharmaceutical industry (10), regulatory authorities (9) and contract research organizations (10). The interviews offered a qualified understanding of the subjective decision-making approach, influences, behaviors and other factors that impact such processes for individuals and organizations involved in the delivery of new medicines. Thematic analysis of the transcribed interviews was carried out using NVivo8® software. Content validity was carried out using qualitative and quantitative data by an expert panel, which led to the developmental version of the QoDoS. Further psychometric evaluations were performed, including factor analysis, item reduction, reliability testing and construct validation. Results: The thematic analysis of the interviews yielded a 94-item initial version of the QoDoS© with a 5-point Likert scale. The instrument was tested for content validity using a panel of experts for language clarity, completeness, relevance and scaling, resulting in a favorable agreement by panel members with an intra-class correlation coefficient value of 0.89 (95% confidence interval = 0.56, 0.99). A 76-item QoDoS© (version 2) emerged from content validation. Factor analysis produced a 47-item measure with four domains. The 47-item QoDoS© (version 3) showed high internal consistency (n = 120, Cronbach's alpha = 0.89), high reproducibility (n = 20, intra-class correlation = 0.77) and a mean completion time of 10 min. Reliability testing

  6. Probabilistic assessment of a containment vessel's survivability to facilitate decision making and enhance quality assurance

    SciTech Connect

    Dolin, Ronald M.

    2001-01-01

    This paper presents a probabilistic approach for assessing the design and safety of an HSLA-100 Steel Confinement Vessel for particular types of detonations. Likelihood of failure for three different scenarios is considered. They are the likelihood a fragment, (1) penetrates half the containment vessel's thickness, (2) perforates through the containment vessel, and (3) perforates a secondary safety vessel given it's perforated the containment vessel. Uncertainties to be quantified include a fragment's geometry, orientation, and velocity. The governing equation for the likelihood of failure is the probability a large enough fragment exits, that it travels fast enough, and is in the proper orientation. The mathematical formulation of this probability expression is presented. The likelihood of failure is based on existing experimental evidence, theory, and expert judgment. Simulations are performed using Monte Carlo and Latin Hypercube sampling. The assessment model is used to verify and validate numerical predictions in the well-defined-well-documented, (WDWD) domain. Using Bayesian methods, confidence in numerical predictions is assessed within the WDWD domain so inferences beyond the domain can be made with confidence using only numerical analysis. The assessment model's influence diagram is evolved into a decision analysis model. Validation problems are presented to exercise the decision model.

  7. A Web-Based Decision Support System for Assessing Regional Water-Quality Conditions and Management Actions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Booth, N.L.; Everman, E.J.; Kuo, I.-L.; Sprague, L.; Murphy, L.

    2011-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Assessment Program has completed a number of water-quality prediction models for nitrogen and phosphorus for the conterminous United States as well as for regional areas of the nation. In addition to estimating water-quality conditions at unmonitored streams, the calibrated SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models can be used to produce estimates of yield, flow-weighted concentration, or load of constituents in water under various land-use condition, change, or resource management scenarios. A web-based decision support infrastructure has been developed to provide access to SPARROW simulation results on stream water-quality conditions and to offer sophisticated scenario testing capabilities for research and water-quality planning via a graphical user interface with familiar controls. The SPARROW decision support system (DSS) is delivered through a web browser over an Internet connection, making it widely accessible to the public in a format that allows users to easily display water-quality conditions and to describe, test, and share modeled scenarios of future conditions. SPARROW models currently supported by the DSS are based on the modified digital versions of the 1:500,000-scale River Reach File (RF1) and 1:100,000-scale National Hydrography Dataset (medium-resolution, NHDPlus) stream networks. ?? 2011 American Water Resources Association. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  8. A Web-Based Decision Support System for Assessing Regional Water-Quality Conditions and Management Actions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Booth, N. L.; Everman, E.; Kuo, I.; Sprague, L.; Murphy, L.

    2011-12-01

    A new web-based decision support system has been developed as part of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Quality Assessment Program's (NAWQA) effort to provide ready access to Spatially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) results of stream water-quality conditions and to offer sophisticated scenario testing capabilities for research and water-quality planning via an intuitive graphical user interface with a map-based display. The SPARROW Decision Support System (DSS) is delivered through a web browser over an Internet connection, making it widely accessible to the public in a format that allows users to easily display water-quality conditions, distribution of nutrient sources, nutrient delivery to downstream waterbodies, and simulations of altered nutrient inputs including atmospheric and agricultural sources. The DSS offers other features for analysis including various background map layers, model output exports, and the ability to save and share prediction scenarios. SPARROW models currently supported by the DSS are based on the modified digital versions of the 1:500,000-scale River Reach File (RF1) and 1:100,000-scale National Hydrography Dataset (medium-resolution, NHDPlus) stream networks. The underlying modeling framework and server infrastructure illustrate innovations in the information technology and geosciences fields for delivering SPARROW model predictions over the web by performing intensive model computations and map visualizations of the predicted conditions within the stream network.

  9. Testing an advanced satellite technique for dust detection as a decision support system for the air quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falconieri, Alfredo; Filizzola, Carolina; Femiano, Rossella; Marchese, Francesco; Sannazzaro, Filomena; Pergola, Nicola; Tramutoli, Valerio; Di Muro, Ersilia; Divietri, Mariella; Crisci, Anna Maria; Lovallo, Michele; Mangiamele, Lucia; Vaccaro, Maria Pia; Palma, Achille

    2014-05-01

    In order to correctly apply the European directive for air quality (2008/50/CE), local Authorities are often requested to discriminate the possible origin (natural/anthropic) of anomalous concentration of pollutants in the air (art.20 Directive 2008/50/CE). In this framework, it's been focused on PM10 and PM2,5 concentrations and sources. In fact, depending on their origin, appropriate counter-measures can be taken devoted to prevent their production (e.g. by traffic restriction) or simply to reduce their impact on citizen health (e.g. information campaigns). In this context suitable satellite techniques can be used in order to identify natural sources (particularly Saharan dust, but also volcanic ash or forest fire smoke) that can be responsible of over-threshold concentration of PM10/2,5 in populated areas. In the framework of the NIBS (Networking and Internationalization of Basilicata Space Technologies) project, funded by the Basilicata Region within the ERDF 2007-2013 program, the School of Engineering of University of Basilicata, the Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis of National Research Council (IMAA-CNR) and the Regional Agency for the Protection of the Environment of Basilicata Region (ARPAB) have started a collaboration devoted to assess the potential of the use of advanced satellite techniques for Saharan dust events identification to support ARPAB activities related to the application of the European directive for air quality (2008/50/CE) in Basilicata region. In such a joint activity, the Robust Satellite Technique (RST) approach has been assessed and tested as a decision support system for monitoring and evaluating air quality at local and regional level. In particular, RST-DUST products, derived by processing high temporal resolution data provided by SEVIRI (Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager) sensor on board Meteosat Second Generation platforms, have been analysed together with PM10 measurements performed by the ground

  10. Assessing the Hydrologic Performance of the EPA's Nonpoint Source Water Quality Assessment Decision Support Tool Using North American Land Data Assimilation System (Products)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, S.; Ni-Meister, W.; Toll, D.; Nigro, J.; Guiterrez-Magness, A.; Engman, T.

    2010-01-01

    The accuracy of streamflow predictions in the EPA's BASINS (Better Assessment Science Integrating Point and Nonpoint Sources) decision support tool is affected by the sparse meteorological data contained in BASINS. The North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS) data with high spatial and temporal resolutions provide an alternative to the NOAA National Climatic Data Center (NCDC)'s station data. This study assessed the improvement of streamflow prediction of the Hydrological Simulation Program-FORTRAN (HSPF) model contained within BASINS using the NLDAS 118 degree hourly precipitation and evapotranspiration estimates in seven watersheds of the Chesapeake Bay region. Our results demonstrated consistent improvements of daily streamflow predictions in five of the seven watersheds when NLDAS precipitation and evapotranspiration data was incorporated into BASINS. The improvement of using the NLDAS data is significant when watershed's meteorological station is either far away or not in a similar climatic region. When the station is nearby, using the NLDAS data produces similar results. The correlation coefficients of the analyses using the NLDAS data were greater than 0.8, the Nash-Sutcliffe (NS) model fit efficiency greater than 0.6, and the error in the water balance was less than 5%. Our analyses also showed that the streamflow improvements were mainly contributed by the NLDAS's precipitation data and that the improvement from using NLDAS's evapotranspiration data was not significant; partially due to the constraints of current BASINS-HSPF settings. However, NLDAS's evapotranspiration data did improve the baseflow prediction. This study demonstrates the NLDAS data has the potential to improve stream flow predictions, thus aid the water quality assessment in the EPA nonpoint water quality assessment decision tool.

  11. Assessing the predictive performance of risk-based water quality criteria using decision error estimates from receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis.

    PubMed

    McLaughlin, Douglas B

    2012-10-01

    Field data relating aquatic ecosystem responses with water quality constituents that are potential ecosystem stressors are being used increasingly in the United States in the derivation of water quality criteria to protect aquatic life. In light of this trend, there is a need for transparent quantitative methods to assess the performance of models that predict ecological conditions using a stressor-response relationship, a response variable threshold, and a stressor variable criterion. Analysis of receiver operating characteristics (ROC analysis) has a considerable history of successful use in medical diagnostic, industrial, and other fields for similarly structured decision problems, but its use for informing water quality management decisions involving risk-based environmental criteria is less common. In this article, ROC analysis is used to evaluate predictions of ecological response variable status for 3 water quality stressor-response data sets. Information on error rates is emphasized due in part to their common use in environmental studies to describe uncertainty. One data set is comprised of simulated data, and 2 involve field measurements described previously in the literature. These data sets are also analyzed using linear regression and conditional probability analysis for comparison. Results indicate that of the methods studied, ROC analysis provides the most comprehensive characterization of prediction error rates including false positive, false negative, positive predictive, and negative predictive errors. This information may be used along with other data analysis procedures to set quality objectives for and assess the predictive performance of risk-based criteria to support water quality management decisions.

  12. Health-related quality of life assessment and reported outcomes in leukaemia randomised controlled trials - a systematic review to evaluate the added value in supporting clinical decision making.

    PubMed

    Efficace, Fabio; Kemmler, Georg; Vignetti, Marco; Mandelli, Franco; Molica, Stefano; Holzner, Bernhard

    2008-07-01

    Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is increasingly reported as an important outcome in cancer clinical trials. However, very little evidence exists on the impact of such evaluation in randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of leukaemia patients. A systematic search of the literature from 1980 to 2007 was undertaken and studies were identified and evaluated independently, according to a pre-defined coding scheme, by three reviewers. Both HRQOL outcomes and traditional clinical reported outcomes were systematically analysed to evaluate their consistency and their relevance for supporting clinical decision making. Nine RCTs were identified, involving 3838 patients overall. There were four RCTs involving acute myeloid leukaemia patients (AML), three with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) and two with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). Six studies were published after 2000 and provided fairly robust methodological quality. Imatinib greatly improved HRQOL compared to interferon based treatments in CML patients and fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide does not seem to have a deleterious impact on patient's HRQOL when compared to fludarabine alone or chlorambucil in CLL patients. This study revealed the paucity of HRQOL research in leukaemia patients. Nonetheless, HRQOL assessment is feasible in RCTs and has the great potential of providing valuable outcomes to further support clinical decision making.

  13. Assessing the feasibility and quality of shared decision making in China: evaluating a clinical encounter intervention for Chinese patients

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Rongchong; Song, Xiantao; Wu, Jian; Huang, Wei; Leppin, Aaron L; Gionfriddo, Michael R; Liu, Yongxian; Boehmer, Kasey R; Ting, Henry H; Montori, Victor M

    2016-01-01

    Background The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using the Statin Choice decision aid to have discussions about starting a statin medication for cardiovascular risk reduction in Chinese patients with stable coronary artery diseases. Methods A prospective, pilot study of the Statin Choice decision aid in two teaching hospitals in Northern China was conducted. A total of seven clinicians were enrolled and underwent a 12-hour, group-based, in-person training on shared decision making (SDM) and the Statin Choice decision aid. Then, these clinicians used the Statin Choice decision aid in patients during a clinical encounter. A total of 86 patients aged 40−80 years, who had stable angina, were enrolled. All clinical encounters were video recorded. A team of three researchers viewed and scored all the encounter recordings to evaluate the SDM process and fidelity to the intervention using the OPTION scale and Fidelity scale, respectively. All the patients were followed up for 12 months to record adherence to statin and any major adverse cardiac events (MACEs). Results The average scores on the OPTION normalized score and Fidelity scale were 21 (range, 3–32; out of a possible, 48) and 10 (range, 6–10; out of a possible, 10), respectively. This suggested that Chinese clinicians who were using Statin Choice in their patients were able to exhibit behaviors consistent with SDM at a level that is similar to that reported in Western countries. After SDM, the statin adherence was 94.5% (69/73), and the proportion of MACEs was 2.9% (2/69). Conclusion Using an encounter decision aid developed in the US, it was feasible to implement SDM in a referral cardiology practice in Mainland China. Further work to ensure that the encounter aid is pertinent to the Chinese population and that SDM is tested in at-risk patients could contribute to the implementation of SDM across Mainland China. PMID:27881912

  14. Quality of decision making and group norms.

    PubMed

    Postmes, T; Spears, R; Cihangir, S

    2001-06-01

    Two studies investigated the impact of group norms for maintaining consensus versus norms for critical thought on group decisions in a modification of the biased sampling paradigm (G. Stasser & W. Titus, 1985). Both studies showed that critical norms improved the quality of decisions, whereas consensus norms did not. This effect appeared to be mediated by the perceived value of shared and unshared information: Consensus norm groups valued shared information more highly than critical groups did, and valence was a good predictor of decision outcome. In addition, the 2nd study showed that the group norm manipulation has no impact on individual decisions, consistent with the assumption that this is a group effect. Results suggest that the content of group norms is an important factor influencing the quality of group decision-making processes and that the content of group norms may be related to the group's proneness for groupthink.

  15. Conceptualizing, Understanding, and Predicting Responsible Decisions and Quality Input

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wall, N.; PytlikZillig, L. M.

    2012-12-01

    In areas such as climate change, where uncertainty is high, it is arguably less difficult to tell when efforts have resulted in changes in knowledge, than when those efforts have resulted in responsible decisions. What is a responsible decision? More broadly, when it comes to citizen input, what is "high quality" input? And most importantly, how are responsible decisions and quality input enhanced? The aim of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of the different dimensions of "responsible" or "quality" public input and citizen decisions by comparing and contrasting the different predictors of those different dimensions. We first present different possibilities for defining, operationalizing and assessing responsible or high quality decisions. For example, responsible decisions or quality input might be defined as using specific content (e.g., using climate change information in decisions appropriately), as using specific processes (e.g., investing time and effort in learning about and discussing the issues prior to making decisions), or on the basis of some judgment of the decision or input itself (e.g., judgments of the rationale provided for the decisions, or number of issues considered when giving input). Second, we present results from our work engaging people with science policy topics, and the different ways that we have tried to define these two constructs. In the area of climate change specifically, we describe the development of a short survey that assesses exposure to climate information, knowledge of and attitudes toward climate change, and use of climate information in one's decisions. Specifically, the short survey was developed based on a review of common surveys of climate change related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors, and extensive piloting and cognitive interviews. Next, we analyze more than 200 responses to that survey (data collection is currently ongoing and will be complete after the AGU deadline), and report the predictors of

  16. Evaluating the Validity of Portfolio Assessments for Licensure Decisions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Mark; Hallam, P. J.; Pecheone, Raymond; Moss, Pamela A.

    2014-01-01

    This study examines one part of a validity argument for portfolio assessments of teaching practice used as an indicator of teaching quality to inform a licensure decision. We investigate the relationship among portfolio assessment scores, a test of teacher knowledge (ETS's Praxis I and II), and changes in student achievement (on…

  17. Shared Decision Making in Neonatal Quality Improvement.

    PubMed

    Warren, Jamie B; Wiggins, Nikki

    2016-01-01

    Since the Institute of Medicine published Crossing the Quality Chasm in 2001, healthcare systems have become more focused on improving the quality of healthcare delivery. At Oregon Health & Science University and Doernbecher Children's Hospital, we recognize the need to take an interprofessional, team-based approach to improving the care we provide to our current and future patients. We describe here an ongoing quality improvement project in the Doernbecher Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), with specific attention to the factors we believe have contributed to the implementation and early success of the project. These factors include the history of quality improvement work in our NICU and in the field of neonatology, the "dyad leadership" structure under which we operate in our NICU, and our developing understanding of the concept of "team intelligence." These elements have led to the formation of a team that can practice shared decision making and work as one to realize a shared goal.

  18. Taking Decisions: Assessment for University Entry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Plassmann, Sibylle; Zeidler, Beate

    2014-01-01

    Language testing means taking decisions: about the test taker's results, but also about the test construct and the measures taken in order to ensure quality. This article takes the German test "telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule" as an example to illustrate this decision-making process in an academic context. The test is used for university…

  19. On the Quality of Collective Decisions in Sociotechnical Systems: Transparency, Fairness, and Efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porello, Daniele

    The aim of this paper is to propose a methodology for evaluating the quality of collective decisions in sociotechnical systems (STS). We propose using a foundational ontology for conceptualizing the complex hierarchy of information involved in decisions in STS (e.g., normative, conceptual, factual, perceptual). Moreover, we introduce the concept of transparency of decisions as a necessary condition in order to assess the quality of decision-making in STS. We further view transparency as an entitlement of the agent affected by the decision: i.e., the collective decision should be justified.

  20. Implications of Modeling Uncertainty for Water Quality Decision Making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shabman, L.

    2002-05-01

    The report, National Academy of Sciences report, "Assessing the TMDL Approach to Water Quality Management" endorsed the "watershed" and "ambient water quality focused" approach" to water quality management called for in the TMDL program. The committee felt that available data and models were adequate to move such a program forward, if the EPA and all stakeholders better understood the nature of the scientific enterprise and its application to the TMDL program. Specifically, the report called for a greater acknowledgement of model prediction uncertinaity in making and implementing TMDL plans. To assure that such uncertinaity was addressed in water quality decision making the committee called for a commitment to "adaptive implementation" of water quality management plans. The committee found that the number and complexity of the interactions of multiple stressors, combined with model prediction uncertinaity means that we need to avoid the temptation to make assurances that specific actions will result in attainment of particular water quality standards. Until the work on solving a water quality problem begins, analysts and decision makers cannot be sure what the correct solutions are, or even what water quality goals a community should be seeking. In complex systems we need to act in order to learn; adaptive implementation is a concurrent process of action and learning. Learning requires (1) continued monitoring of the waterbody to determine how it responds to the actions taken and (2) carefully designed experiments in the watershed. If we do not design learning into what we attempt we are not doing adaptive implementation. Therefore, there needs to be an increased commitment to monitoring and experiments in watersheds that will lead to learning. This presentation will 1) explain the logic for adaptive implementation; 2) discuss the ways that water quality modelers could characterize and explain model uncertinaity to decision makers; 3) speculate on the implications

  1. Assessing risks to ecosystem quality

    SciTech Connect

    Barnthouse, L.W.

    1995-12-31

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

  2. 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)

  3. Decision Tree Approach for Soil Liquefaction Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Gandomi, Amir H.; Fridline, Mark M.; Roke, David A.

    2013-01-01

    In the current study, the performances of some decision tree (DT) techniques are evaluated for postearthquake soil liquefaction assessment. A database containing 620 records of seismic parameters and soil properties is used in this study. Three decision tree techniques are used here in two different ways, considering statistical and engineering points of view, to develop decision rules. The DT results are compared to the logistic regression (LR) model. The results of this study indicate that the DTs not only successfully predict liquefaction but they can also outperform the LR model. The best DT models are interpreted and evaluated based on an engineering point of view. PMID:24489498

  4. Decision tree approach for soil liquefaction assessment.

    PubMed

    Gandomi, Amir H; Fridline, Mark M; Roke, David A

    2013-01-01

    In the current study, the performances of some decision tree (DT) techniques are evaluated for postearthquake soil liquefaction assessment. A database containing 620 records of seismic parameters and soil properties is used in this study. Three decision tree techniques are used here in two different ways, considering statistical and engineering points of view, to develop decision rules. The DT results are compared to the logistic regression (LR) model. The results of this study indicate that the DTs not only successfully predict liquefaction but they can also outperform the LR model. The best DT models are interpreted and evaluated based on an engineering point of view.

  5. Health Impact Assessment of Urban Waterway Decisions

    PubMed Central

    Korfmacher, Katrina Smith; Aviles, Katia; Cummings, B.J.; Daniell, William; Erdmann, Jared; Garrison, Valerie

    2014-01-01

    Health impact assessments (HIA) promote the consideration of health in a wide range of public decisions. Although each HIA is different, common pathways, evidence bases, and strategies for community engagement tend to emerge in certain sectors, such as urban redevelopment, natural resource extraction, or transportation planning. To date, a limited number of HIAs have been conducted on decisions affecting water resources and waterfronts. This review presents four recent HIAs of water-related decisions in the United States and Puerto Rico. Although the four cases are topically and geographically diverse, several common themes emerged from the consideration of health in water-related decisions. Water resource decisions are characterized by multiple competing uses, inter-institutional and inter-jurisdictional complexity, scientific uncertainty, long time scales for environmental change, diverse cultural and historical human values, and tradeoffs between private use and public access. These four case studies reveal challenges and opportunities of examining waterfront decisions through a “health lens”. This review analyzes these cases, common themes, and lessons learned for the future practice of HIA in the waterfront zone and beyond. PMID:25547399

  6. Analysis of ETMS Data Quality for Traffic Flow Management Decisions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chatterji, Gano B.; Sridhar, Banavar; Kim, Douglas

    2003-01-01

    The data needed for air traffic flow management decision support tools is provided by the Enhanced Traffic Management System (ETMS). This includes both the tools that are in current use and the ones being developed for future deployment. Since the quality of decision support provided by all these tools will be influenced by the quality of the input ETMS data, an assessment of ETMS data quality is needed. Motivated by this desire, ETMS data quality is examined in this paper in terms of the unavailability of flight plans, deviation from the filed flight plans, departure delays, altitude errors and track data drops. Although many of these data quality issues are not new, little is known about their extent. A goal of this paper is to document the magnitude of data quality issues supported by numerical analysis of ETMS data. Guided by this goal, ETMS data for a 24-hour period were processed to determine the number of aircraft with missing flight plan messages at any given instant of time. Results are presented for aircraft above 18,000 feet altitude and also at all altitudes. Since deviation from filed flight plan is also a major cause of trajectory-modeling errors, statistics of deviations are presented. Errors in proposed departure times and ETMS-generated vertical profiles are also shown. A method for conditioning the vertical profiles for improving demand prediction accuracy is described. Graphs of actual sector counts obtained using these vertical profiles are compared with those obtained using the Host data for sectors in the Fort Worth Center to demonstrate the benefit of preprocessing. Finally, results are presented to quantify the extent of data drops. A method for propagating track positions during ETMS data drops is also described.

  7. 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,…

  8. 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).

  9. 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…

  10. Determinants of judgment and decision making quality: the interplay between information processing style and situational factors.

    PubMed

    Ayal, Shahar; Rusou, Zohar; Zakay, Dan; Hochman, Guy

    2015-01-01

    A framework is presented to better characterize the role of individual differences in information processing style and their interplay with contextual factors in determining decision making quality. In Experiment 1, we show that individual differences in information processing style are flexible and can be modified by situational factors. Specifically, a situational manipulation that induced an analytical mode of thought improved decision quality. In Experiment 2, we show that this improvement in decision quality is highly contingent on the compatibility between the dominant thinking mode and the nature of the task. That is, encouraging an intuitive mode of thought led to better performance on an intuitive task but hampered performance on an analytical task. The reverse pattern was obtained when an analytical mode of thought was encouraged. We discuss the implications of these results for the assessment of decision making competence, and suggest practical directions to help individuals better adjust their information processing style to the situation at hand and make optimal decisions.

  11. Data Quality: Earning the Confidence of Decision Makers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ligon, Glynn D.

    Professionals responsible for educational research, evaluation, and statistics have sought to provide timely and useful information to decision makers. Regardless of the evaluation model, research design, or statistical methodology employed, informing the decision making process with quality, reliable data is a basic goal. The definition of…

  12. The Use of Graphs as Decision Aids in Relation to Information Overload and Managerial Decision Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chan, Siu Y.

    2001-01-01

    Discussion of information overload focuses on a study of masters degree students at a Hong Kong university that investigated the effectiveness of graphs as decision aids to reduce adverse effects of information overload on decision quality. Results of a simulation of a business prediction task with a sample of business managers are presented.…

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. Affirming the Value of the Resident Assessment Instrument: Minimum Data Set Version 2.0 for Nursing Home Decision-Making and Quality Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Drummond, Lindsay S.; Slaughter, Susan E.; Jones, C. Allyson; Wagg, Adrian S.; Batchelor-Murphy, Melissa

    2015-01-01

    Background: We examined the agreement over time of the physical functioning domains of the Resident Assessment Instrument: Minimum Data Set Version 2.0 (RAI-MDS) and the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) in nursing home residents with dementia. Methods: We completed a secondary analysis of data from a longitudinal quasi-experimental study of residents who could transfer independently or with the assistance of one person. FIM assessments were completed at up to three time points by researchers using interviews. RAI-MDS assessments, completed by nursing home staff, were matched to the FIM assessment by nearest time. FIM and RAI-MDS assessments were correlated based on time between assessments using Pearson’s correlation. Items for activities of daily living (ADL) from the RAI-MDS were rescaled using two previously published crosswalks. Motor and ADL subscales were also used, containing eight and six items, respectively. Results: A total of 362 paired interviews and assessments were collected from 130 residents. The mean scores and standard deviations were as follows: FIM: 19.64 (7.60); William’s RAI-MDS crosswalk: 18.04 (5.25); and Velozo’s RAI-MDS crosswalk: 18.09 (6.50). Using both crosswalks, most items showed medium (r > 0.3) or large (r > 0.5) correlations, even at greater than 41 days between assessments. Subscales showed large correlations for all time intervals for both crosswalks. Conclusions: The RAI-MDS remains stable when data are collected greater than 41 days from the FIM assessment. These findings should add confidence in the RAI-MDS data and its clinical utility. PMID:27417788

  16. Assessment of Health Decision Making Skills of Adolescents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Gary D.

    Although the development of rational decision making skills among school age populations has been identified as a goal of school health education programs, few measurement tools or methods exist to assess such skills. In order to develop an instrument for assessing adolescent health decision-making skills, a preliminary health decision making…

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. Probabilistic Risk Assessment to Inform Decision Making: Frequently Asked Questions

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    General concepts and principles of Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA), describe how PRA can improve the bases of Agency decisions, and provide illustrations of how PRA has been used in risk estimation and in describing the uncertainty in decision making.

  20. Using NASA EOS to Assess Air Quality and Health Risks Associated with the Virginia Dismal Swamp Fires of 2011 for Improved Decision Making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hebbar, V.

    2012-12-01

    The Great Dismal Swamp has always experienced recurring wildfires that are part of a natural cycle of ecological growth and succession. However, the Lateral West Fire in 2011 was the product of two factors; an ongoing regional drought and a lightning strike. The fire burned from August to late November and was a challenge to extinguish because of the highly organic peat ecosystem. The fire released smoke that was reported over 200 miles north of the origin. The combustion of organic peat content augmented PM2.5, PM10, and carbon monoxide levels enough to exceed federal air quality limits. In order to analyze the effects, MODIS (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) aboard Aqua and Terra and Aqua's AIRS (Atmospheric Infrared Sounder) were used. The satellites were used to discern aerosol distribution and chemical content of the fire's smoke plumes. In addition, data taken from NASA Langley's High Spectral Resolution LiDAR from flights conducted during the time period in conjunction with CALIPSO's CALIOP (Cloud-Aerosol LiDAR with Orthogonal Polarization) sensor offered vertical cross sections of aerosol tracking and air quality analysis. Finally, Meteorology-based trajectories and concentration plots from NOAA's HYSPLIT (Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) model added theoretical smoke plume direction and distribution information to compare with observed data. With the utilization of NASA Earth and airborne observing systems in conjunction with models were able to analyze the spread of smoke, aerosols, and its effects on air quality to provide a method that can be used by concerned agencies in an effort to protect regional environment and public health in the case of future exceptional and wildfire events.; MODIS AOD and CALIPSO 532nm attenuated backscatter along with NOAA HYSPLIT Frequency model on August 22nd, indicating smoke direction and particles in the atmosphere.

  1. 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/).

  2. Adaptive Peircean decision aid project summary assessments.

    SciTech Connect

    Senglaub, Michael E.

    2007-01-01

    This efforts objective was to identify and hybridize a suite of technologies enabling the development of predictive decision aids for use principally in combat environments but also in any complex information terrain. The technologies required included formal concept analysis for knowledge representation and information operations, Peircean reasoning to support hypothesis generation, Mill's's canons to begin defining information operators that support the first two technologies and co-evolutionary game theory to provide the environment/domain to assess predictions from the reasoning engines. The intended application domain is the IED problem because of its inherent evolutionary nature. While a fully functioning integrated algorithm was not achieved the hybridization and demonstration of the technologies was accomplished and demonstration of utility provided for a number of ancillary queries.

  3. 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.

  4. Competence and Quality in Real-Life Decision Making

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    What distinguishes a competent decision maker and how should the issue of decision quality be approached in a real-life context? These questions were explored in three studies. In Study 1, using a web-based questionnaire and targeting a community sample, we investigated the relationships between objective and subjective indicators of real-life decision-making success. In Study 2 and 3, targeting two different samples of professionals, we explored if the prevalent cognitively oriented definition of decision-making competence could be beneficially expanded by adding aspects of competence in terms of social skills and time-approach. The predictive power for each of these three aspects of decision-making competence was explored for different indicators of real-life decision-making success. Overall, our results suggest that research on decision-making competence would benefit by expanding the definition of competence, by including decision-related abilities in terms of social skills and time-approach. Finally, the results also indicate that individual differences in real-life decision-making success profitably can be approached and measured by different criteria. PMID:26545239

  5. A fuzzy-logic based decision-making approach for identification of groundwater quality based on groundwater quality indices.

    PubMed

    Vadiati, M; Asghari-Moghaddam, A; Nakhaei, M; Adamowski, J; Akbarzadeh, A H

    2016-12-15

    Due to inherent uncertainties in measurement and analysis, groundwater quality assessment is a difficult task. Artificial intelligence techniques, specifically fuzzy inference systems, have proven useful in evaluating groundwater quality in uncertain and complex hydrogeological systems. In the present study, a Mamdani fuzzy-logic-based decision-making approach was developed to assess groundwater quality based on relevant indices. In an effort to develop a set of new hybrid fuzzy indices for groundwater quality assessment, a Mamdani fuzzy inference model was developed with widely-accepted groundwater quality indices: the Groundwater Quality Index (GQI), the Water Quality Index (WQI), and the Ground Water Quality Index (GWQI). In an effort to present generalized hybrid fuzzy indices a significant effort was made to employ well-known groundwater quality index acceptability ranges as fuzzy model output ranges rather than employing expert knowledge in the fuzzification of output parameters. The proposed approach was evaluated for its ability to assess the drinking water quality of 49 samples collected seasonally from groundwater resources in Iran's Sarab Plain during 2013-2014. Input membership functions were defined as "desirable", "acceptable" and "unacceptable" based on expert knowledge and the standard and permissible limits prescribed by the World Health Organization. Output data were categorized into multiple categories based on the GQI (5 categories), WQI (5 categories), and GWQI (3 categories). Given the potential of fuzzy models to minimize uncertainties, hybrid fuzzy-based indices produce significantly more accurate assessments of groundwater quality than traditional indices. The developed models' accuracy was assessed and a comparison of the performance indices demonstrated the Fuzzy Groundwater Quality Index model to be more accurate than both the Fuzzy Water Quality Index and Fuzzy Ground Water Quality Index models. This suggests that the new hybrid fuzzy

  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. 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...

  8. [Prediction of regional soil quality based on mutual information theory integrated with decision tree algorithm].

    PubMed

    Lin, Fen-Fang; Wang, Ke; Yang, Ning; Yan, Shi-Guang; Zheng, Xin-Yu

    2012-02-01

    In this paper, some main factors such as soil type, land use pattern, lithology type, topography, road, and industry type that affect soil quality were used to precisely obtain the spatial distribution characteristics of regional soil quality, mutual information theory was adopted to select the main environmental factors, and decision tree algorithm See 5.0 was applied to predict the grade of regional soil quality. The main factors affecting regional soil quality were soil type, land use, lithology type, distance to town, distance to water area, altitude, distance to road, and distance to industrial land. The prediction accuracy of the decision tree model with the variables selected by mutual information was obviously higher than that of the model with all variables, and, for the former model, whether of decision tree or of decision rule, its prediction accuracy was all higher than 80%. Based on the continuous and categorical data, the method of mutual information theory integrated with decision tree could not only reduce the number of input parameters for decision tree algorithm, but also predict and assess regional soil quality effectively.

  9. Using the data quality objectives process in risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-07-01

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

  10. Air quality modeling and decisions for ozone reduction strategies.

    PubMed

    Roth, Philip M; Reynolds, Steven D; Tesche, Thomas W

    2005-10-01

    Despite the widespread application of photochemical air quality models (AQMs) in U.S. state implementation planning (SIP) for attainment of the ambient ozone standard, documentation for the reliability of projections has remained highly subjective. An "idealized" evaluation framework is proposed that provides a means for assessing reliability. Applied to 18 cases of regulatory modeling in the early 1990s in North America, a comparative review of these applications is reported. The intercomparisons suggest that more than two thirds of these AQM applications suffered from having inadequate air quality and meteorological databases. Emissions representations often were unreliable; uncertainties were too high. More than two thirds of the performance evaluation efforts were judged to be substandard compared with idealized goals. Meteorological conditions chosen according regulatory guidelines were limited to one or two cases and tended to be similar, thus limiting the extent to which public policy makers could be confident that the emission controls adopted would yield attainment for a broad range of adverse atmospheric conditions. More than half of the studies reviewed did not give sufficient attention to addressing the potential for compensating errors. Corroborative analyses were conducted in only one of the 18 studies reviewed. Insufficient attention was given to the estimation of model and/or input database errors, uncertainties, or variability in all of the cases examined. However, recent SIP and policy-related regional modeling provides evidence of substantial improvements in the underlying science and available modeling systems used for regulatory decision making. Nevertheless, the availability of suitable databases to support increasingly sophisticated modeling continues to be a concern for many locations. Thus, AQM results may still be subject to significant uncertainties. The evaluative process used here provides a framework for modelers and public policy

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Decision-support tools for the assessment process

    SciTech Connect

    Whelan, Gene; Pelton, Mitch A.; Dorow, Kevin E.

    2004-06-14

    A new software system is under development that provides a framework to link disparate assessment software and databases for site-specific, regional, or national analyses. This system represents the merger of the Framework for Risk Analysis in Multimedia Environmental Systems (FRAMES), which performs site-specific assessments, and Multi-media, Multi-pathway, Multi-receptor Risk Assessment (3MRA) methodology, which performs regional and national assessments. This Merged System is an icon-driven, site-layout platform, which represents an interactive means by which the user graphically constructs a conceptualization of the problem by visually expressing the assessment, indicating sources of contamination, contaminant travel pathways through the environment, linkages between contamination and people or wildlife, and impacts associated with the contamination. It processes data as part of a systems-based assessment and is an open-architecture, object-oriented framework, which contains ''sockets'' for a collection of databases and computer codes that will transparently simulate elements of transport, exposure, and risk assessment, including contaminant source and release to and through overland soils, vadose and saturated zones, air, surface water, food supply, intake human health impacts, sensitivity/uncertainty, ecological impacts, with the ability to expand into areas including Geographical Information System (GIS), remediation technology, cost analysis, Data Quality Objectives, life-cycle management, and conceptual site design. A user can choose from a list of models, and the assessment path forward can be visually presented, which describes the models and their linkages from source through receptor to the decision-making endpoint.

  14. 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.

  15. Clinical decision support systems: data quality management and governance.

    PubMed

    Liaw, Siaw-Teng

    2013-01-01

    This chapter examines data quality management (DQM) and information governance (IG) of electronic decision support (EDS) systems so that they are safe and fit for use by clinicians and patients and their carers. This is consistent with the ISO definition of data quality as being fit for purpose. The scope of DQM & IG should range from data creation and collection in clinical settings, through cleaning and, where obtained from multiple sources, linkage, storage, use by the EDS logic engine and algorithms, knowledge base and guidance provided, to curation and presentation. It must also include protocols and mechanisms to monitor the safety of EDS, which will feedback into DQM & IG activities. Ultimately, DQM & IG must be integrated across the data cycle to ensure that the EDS systems provide guidance that leads to safe and effective clinical decisions and care.

  16. 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

  17. An Assessment of Reading Compliance Decisions among Undergraduate Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sharma, Amit; Van Hoof, Bert; Pursel, Barton

    2013-01-01

    Research suggests that reading compliance among undergraduate students is low. This study assesses the factors that influence students' decisions to comply with their assigned course readings using two theoretical underpinnings: students' self-rationing ability of time and construal effects on their decision process. Data collected through focus…

  18. Decision Aiding in Europe: Assessment Report,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-05-26

    bodies and ship contours BRLT ratings, the decision-maker keeps produced in this way are quite striking, working on a goal point or reference point and...graphic functions but are multicriteria aspirations are often contra- not specifically European. Cinematic dictory and cannot be achieved simulta...above a certain threshold, then more of Hamburg. Starting from a bare minimum information and aiding are of little use, of assumptions (e.g., rigidity

  19. Small Unit Decision Making (SUDM) Assessment Battery

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-11-21

    Stimulus Types Ambiguity Tolerance MSTAT T Self-Regulation Problem Solving Scale PSS S Self-Awareness Freiberg Mindfulness Inventory FMI S Decision...Removed Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory ( FMI ) 6 Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CDRS) 3 Metacognitive Activities Inventory (MAI) 11, 12, 20...the case of BRS (resilience), FMI (self-awareness), NCA (attentional control), and DES (perspective taking), the magnitude of eigenvalues and the

  20. 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.

  1. The xeroderma pigmentosum pathway: decision tree analysis of DNA quality.

    PubMed

    Naegeli, Hanspeter; Sugasawa, Kaoru

    2011-07-15

    The nucleotide excision repair (NER) system is a fundamental cellular stress response that uses only a handful of DNA binding factors, mutated in the cancer-prone syndrome xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), to detect an astounding diversity of bulky base lesions, including those induced by ultraviolet light, electrophilic chemicals, oxygen radicals and further genetic insults. Several of these XP proteins are characterized by a mediocre preference for damaged substrates over the native double helix but, intriguingly, none of them recognizes injured bases with sufficient selectivity to account for the very high precision of bulky lesion excision. Instead, substrate versatility as well as damage specificity and strand selectivity are achieved by a multistage quality control strategy whereby different subunits of the XP pathway, in succession, interrogate the DNA double helix for a distinct abnormality in its structural or dynamic parameters. Through this step-by-step filtering procedure, the XP proteins operate like a systematic decision making tool, generally known as decision tree analysis, to sort out rare damaged bases embedded in a vast excess of native DNA. The present review is focused on the mechanisms by which multiple XP subunits of the NER pathway contribute to the proposed decision tree analysis of DNA quality in eukaryotic cells.

  2. Linking Assessment to Decision Making in Water Resources Planning - Decision Making Frameworks and Case Study Evaluations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Broman, D.; Gangopadhyay, S.; Simes, J.

    2015-12-01

    Climate assessments have become an accepted and commonly used component of long term water management and planning. There is substantial variation in the methods used in these assessments; however, managers and decision-makers have come to value their utility to identify future system limitations, and to evaluate future alternatives to ensure satisfactory system performance. A new set of decision-making frameworks have been proposed, including robust decision making (RDM), and decision scaling, that directly address the deep uncertainties found in both future climate, and non-climatic factors. Promising results have been obtained using these new frameworks, offering a more comprehensive understanding of future conditions leading to failures, and identification of measures to address these failures. Data and resource constraints have limited the use of these frameworks within the Bureau of Reclamation. We present here a modified framework that captures the strengths of previously proposed methods while using a suite of analysis tool that allow for a 'rapid climate assessment' to be performed. A scalable approach has been taken where more complex tools can be used if project resources allow. This 'rapid assessment' is demonstrated through two case studies on the Santa Ana and Colorado Rivers where previous climate assessments have been completed. Planning-level measures are used to compare how decision making is affected when using this new decision making framework.

  3. 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…

  4. Addendum to Air Quality: Decision Support Tools, Partner Plans, Working Groups, Committees

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holekamp, Kara; Frisbie, Troy; Estep, Lee

    2005-01-01

    In the original report dated February 11, 2005, the utility of the NASA Earth science data in the air quality activities of other agencies and organizations was assessed by reviewing strategic and mission plans and by conducting personal interviews with agency experts to identify and investigate agencies with the potential for partnership with NASA. The overarching agency strategic plans were reviewed and commonalities such as the desire for partnerships and technology development were noted. The addendum to the original report contains such information about the Tennessee Valley Authority and will be inserted in Section 2.6 of "Air Quality Decision Support Tools, Partner Plans, Working Groups, Committees".

  5. Addendum to Air Quality: Decision Support Tools, Partner Plans, Working Groups, Committees

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holekamp, Kara; Frisbie, Troy; Estep, Lee

    2005-01-01

    In the original report dated February 11, 2005, the utility of NASA Earth science data in the air quality activities of other agencies and organizations was assessed by reviewing strategic and mission plans and by conducting personal interviews with agency experts to identify and investigate agencies with the potential for partnership with NASA. The overarching agency strategic plans were reviewed and commonalities such as the desire for partnerships and technology development were noted. This addendum to the original report contains such information about the Tennessee Valley Authority and will be inserted as Section 2.6 of "Air Quality: Decision Support Tools, Partner Plans, Working Groups, Committees."

  6. 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.

  7. Implementing a Quality Needs Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cuiccio, Cary

    2012-01-01

    Districts nationwide are facing budget cuts that, to some, feel more like funding cliffs. Accordingly, school teams are re-examining their personnel, programs, and schedules so that they can make difficult decisions about where to spend resources to realize the greatest improvement. The principals who are able to make decisions with data from…

  8. 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…

  9. Decision trees in selection of featured determined food quality.

    PubMed

    Dębska, B; Guzowska-Świder, B

    2011-10-31

    The determination of food quality, authenticity and the detection of adulterations are problems of increasing importance in food chemistry. Recently, chemometric classification techniques and pattern recognition analysis methods for wine and other alcoholic beverages have received great attention and have been largely used. Beer is a complex mixture of components: on one hand a volatile fraction, which is responsible for its aroma, and on the other hand, a non-volatile fraction or extract consisting of a great variety of substances with distinct characteristics. The aim of this study was to consider parameters which contribute to beer differentiation according to the quality grade. Chemical (e.g. pH, acidity, dry extract, alcohol content, CO(2) content) and sensory features (e.g. bitter taste, color) were determined in 70 beer samples and used as variables in decision tree techniques. This pattern recognition techniques applied to the dataset were able to extract information useful in obtaining a satisfactory classification of beer samples according to their quality grade. Feature selection procedures indicated which features are the most discriminating for classification.

  10. 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.

  11. Environmental Decision Making and Information Technology: Issues Assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Barg, S.; Fletcher, T.; Mechling, J.; Tonn, B.; Turner, R.

    1999-05-01

    This report presents a summary of the Information Technology and Environmental Decision Making Workshop that was held at Harvard University, October 1-3, 1998. Over sixty participants from across the US took part in discussions that focused on the current practice of using information technology to support environmental decision making and on future considerations of information technology development, information policies, and data quality issues in this area. Current practice is focusing on geographic information systems and visualization tools, Internet applications, and data warehousing. In addition, numerous organizations are developing environmental enterprise systems to integrate environmental information resources. Plaguing these efforts are issues of data quality (and public trust), system design, and organizational change. In the future, much effort needs to focus on building community-based environmental decision-making systems and processes, which will be a challenge given that exactly what needs to be developed is largely unknown and that environmental decision making in this arena has been characterized by a high level of conflict. Experimentation and evaluation are needed to contribute to efficient and effective learning about how best to use information technology to improve environmental decision making.

  12. 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…

  13. School-Based Management: An Approach to Decision-Making Quality in Egyptian General Secondary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elmelegy, Reda Ibrahim

    2015-01-01

    The current research aims at clarifying how school-based management (SBM) can contribute to achieve the decision-making quality in Egyptian general secondary schools and determine the requirements of quality decision-making. It depends on the descriptive method in order to acknowledge the basics of the SBM and its relationship with the quality of…

  14. Use of Probabilistic Risk Assessment in Shuttle Decision Making Process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boyer, Roger L.; Hamlin, Teri, L.

    2011-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the use of Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) to assist in the decision making for the shuttle design and operation. Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) is a comprehensive, structured, and disciplined approach to identifying and analyzing risk in complex systems and/or processes that seeks answers to three basic questions: (i.e., what can go wrong? what is the likelihood of these occurring? and what are the consequences that could result if these occur?) The purpose of the Shuttle PRA (SPRA) is to provide a useful risk management tool for the Space Shuttle Program (SSP) to identify strengths and possible weaknesses in the Shuttle design and operation. SPRA was initially developed to support upgrade decisions, but has evolved into a tool that supports Flight Readiness Reviews (FRR) and near real-time flight decisions. Examples of the use of PRA for the shuttle are reviewed.

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Needs Assessment for the Use of NASA Remote Sensing Data for Regulatory Water Quality

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spiering, Bruce; Underwood, Lauren

    2010-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the assessment of the needs that NASA can use for the remote sensing of water quality. The goal of this project is to provide information for decision-making activities (water quality standards) using remotely sensed/satellite based water quality data from MODIS and Landsat data.

  18. 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.

  19. Using measurement uncertainty in decision-making and conformity assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pendrill, L. R.

    2014-08-01

    Measurements often provide an objective basis for making decisions, perhaps when assessing whether a product conforms to requirements or whether one set of measurements differs significantly from another. There is increasing appreciation of the need to account for the role of measurement uncertainty when making decisions, so that a ‘fit-for-purpose’ level of measurement effort can be set prior to performing a given task. Better mutual understanding between the metrologist and those ordering such tasks about the significance and limitations of the measurements when making decisions of conformance will be especially useful. Decisions of conformity are, however, currently made in many important application areas, such as when addressing the grand challenges (energy, health, etc), without a clear and harmonized basis for sharing the risks that arise from measurement uncertainty between the consumer, supplier and third parties. In reviewing, in this paper, the state of the art of the use of uncertainty evaluation in conformity assessment and decision-making, two aspects in particular—the handling of qualitative observations and of impact—are considered key to bringing more order to the present diverse rules of thumb of more or less arbitrary limits on measurement uncertainty and percentage risk in the field. (i) Decisions of conformity can be made on a more or less quantitative basis—referred in statistical acceptance sampling as by ‘variable’ or by ‘attribute’ (i.e. go/no-go decisions)—depending on the resources available or indeed whether a full quantitative judgment is needed or not. There is, therefore, an intimate relation between decision-making, relating objects to each other in terms of comparative or merely qualitative concepts, and nominal and ordinal properties. (ii) Adding measures of impact, such as the costs of incorrect decisions, can give more objective and more readily appreciated bases for decisions for all parties concerned. Such

  20. Flaws in the Decision-Making Process: Assessment and Acceptance in the Decision to Launch Flight 51-L.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Renz, Mary Ann; Greg, John

    1988-01-01

    Argues that it was the failure of the decision-making process, rather than the mode of risk assessment, which led to the decision to launch the Space Shuttle Challenger. Identifies the phrasing of the decision question and a shift in the burden of proof as specific problems of the process. (MS)

  1. [Informed decisions: patient and consumer information at the German Agency for Quality in Medicine (ÄZQ)].

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Corinna; Kirschning, Silke

    2010-01-01

    The concept of informed decision making does not only comply with the ideals of the self-determining citizen. In politics and society it is more and more understood as an individual obligation. In order to be capable of making competent decisions regarding treatment options, citizens have to be provided with high quality information. With the aim of facilitating patients' and consumers' orientation in health care questions, the German Agency for Quality in Medicine (ÄZQ) has been committed to developing and promoting the use of reliable patient information for more than ten years. ÄZQ's activities are based on four main principles: development of patient versions of high quality clinical practice guidelines; provision of patient information which has been assessed according to its formal quality; provision of information on the German health care system (checklists); further development of quality standards and methods.

  2. A Decision Support System for Drinking Water Production Integrating Health Risks Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Delpla, Ianis; Monteith, Donald T.; Freeman, Chris; Haftka, Joris; Hermens, Joop; Jones, Timothy G.; Baurès, Estelle; Jung, Aude-Valérie; Thomas, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    The issue of drinking water quality compliance in small and medium scale water services is of paramount importance in relation to the 98/83/CE European Drinking Water Directive (DWD). Additionally, concerns are being expressed over the implementation of the DWD with respect to possible impacts on water quality from forecast changes in European climate with global warming and further anticipated reductions in north European acid emissions. Consequently, we have developed a decision support system (DSS) named ARTEM-WQ (AwaReness Tool for the Evaluation and Mitigation of drinking Water Quality issues resulting from environmental changes) to support decision making by small and medium plant operators and other water stakeholders. ARTEM-WQ is based on a sequential risk analysis approach that includes consideration of catchment characteristics, climatic conditions and treatment operations. It provides a holistic evaluation of the water system, while also assessing human health risks of organic contaminants potentially present in treated waters (steroids, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, bisphenol-a, polychlorobiphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, petrochemical hydrocarbons and disinfection by-products; n = 109). Moreover, the system provides recommendations for improvement while supporting decision making in its widest context. The tool has been tested on various European catchments and shows a promising potential to inform water managers of risks and appropriate mitigative actions. Further improvements should include toxicological knowledge advancement, environmental background pollutant concentrations and the assessment of the impact of distribution systems on water quality variation. PMID:25046634

  3. A decision support system for drinking water production integrating health risks assessment.

    PubMed

    Delpla, Ianis; Monteith, Donald T; Freeman, Chris; Haftka, Joris; Hermens, Joop; Jones, Timothy G; Baurès, Estelle; Jung, Aude-Valérie; Thomas, Olivier

    2014-07-18

    The issue of drinking water quality compliance in small and medium scale water services is of paramount importance in relation to the 98/83/CE European Drinking Water Directive (DWD). Additionally, concerns are being expressed over the implementation of the DWD with respect to possible impacts on water quality from forecast changes in European climate with global warming and further anticipated reductions in north European acid emissions. Consequently, we have developed a decision support system (DSS) named ARTEM-WQ (AwaReness Tool for the Evaluation and Mitigation of drinking Water Quality issues resulting from environmental changes) to support decision making by small and medium plant operators and other water stakeholders. ARTEM-WQ is based on a sequential risk analysis approach that includes consideration of catchment characteristics, climatic conditions and treatment operations. It provides a holistic evaluation of the water system, while also assessing human health risks of organic contaminants potentially present in treated waters (steroids, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, bisphenol-a, polychlorobiphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, petrochemical hydrocarbons and disinfection by-products; n = 109). Moreover, the system provides recommendations for improvement while supporting decision making in its widest context. The tool has been tested on various European catchments and shows a promising potential to inform water managers of risks and appropriate mitigative actions. Further improvements should include toxicological knowledge advancement, environmental background pollutant concentrations and the assessment of the impact of distribution systems on water quality variation.

  4. Clinical Decision Support System to Enhance Quality Control of Spirometry Using Information and Communication Technologies

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background We recently demonstrated that quality of spirometry in primary care could markedly improve with remote offline support from specialized professionals. It is hypothesized that implementation of automatic online assessment of quality of spirometry using information and communication technologies may significantly enhance the potential for extensive deployment of a high quality spirometry program in integrated care settings. Objective The objective of the study was to elaborate and validate a Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) for automatic online quality assessment of spirometry. Methods The CDSS was done through a three step process including: (1) identification of optimal sampling frequency; (2) iterations to build-up an initial version using the 24 standard spirometry curves recommended by the American Thoracic Society; and (3) iterations to refine the CDSS using 270 curves from 90 patients. In each of these steps the results were checked against one expert. Finally, 778 spirometry curves from 291 patients were analyzed for validation purposes. Results The CDSS generated appropriate online classification and certification in 685/778 (88.1%) of spirometry testing, with 96% sensitivity and 95% specificity. Conclusions Consequently, only 93/778 (11.9%) of spirometry testing required offline remote classification by an expert, indicating a potential positive role of the CDSS in the deployment of a high quality spirometry program in an integrated care setting. PMID:25600957

  5. Assessing decision making in young adult romantic relationships.

    PubMed

    Vennum, Amber; Fincham, Frank D

    2011-09-01

    Romantic relationships among young adults are rich with ambiguity and without a clear, universal progression emphasizing the need for active decision making. Lack of active decision making in romantic relationships can lead to increases in constraints (e.g. pregnancy, shared living space or finances) that promote the continuation of relationships that would have otherwise ended, leading to increased risk of relationship distress. Because there is no available assessment of thoughtfulness regarding relationship decisions, the authors of the present studies report data on the development of one such scale, the Relationship Deciding Scale (RDS). Study 1 (N = 995) reveals the factor structure of the RDS and provides reliability data for the emergent subscales. In Study 2 (N = 963), the obtained three-factor structure (Relationship Confidence, Knowledge of Warning Signs, and Deciding) is tested via confirmatory factor analysis, demonstrates convergent and discriminant validity, and is shown to predict relationship characteristics 14 weeks later. Study 3 (N = 805) shows the sensitivity of the three factors to change through examination of the influence of a semester-long intervention targeted at increasing decision making in relationships. Use of this scale for identifying and intervening with couples or individuals who lack active decision making in relationships may decrease their risk for future relationship distress.

  6. Decision analytic strategies for integrating ecosystem services and risk assessment.

    PubMed

    von Stackelberg, Katherine E

    2013-04-01

    Ecosystem services as a concept and guiding principle are enjoying wide popularity and endorsement from high-level policy thinkers to industry as support for sustainability goals continue to grow. However, explicit incorporation of ecosystem services into decision making still lacks practical implementation at more local scales and faces significant regulatory and technical constraints. Risk assessment represents an example of a regulatory process for which guidance exists that makes it challenging to incorporate ecosystem service endpoints. Technical constraints exist in the quantification of the relationships between ecological functions and services and endpoints valued by humans, and the complexity of those interactions with respect to bundling and stacking. In addition, ecosystem services, by their very definition, represent an anthropogenic construct with no inherent ecological value, which, in practical terms, requires a far more inclusionary decision making process explicitly incorporating a greater diversity of stakeholder values. Despite these constraints, it is possible, given a commitment to sustainable decision making, to simplify the process based on strategic outcomes (e.g., identifying desired end-states in general terms). Decision analytic techniques provide a mechanism for evaluating tradeoffs across key ecosystem services valued by stakeholders and to develop criteria drawn from the entire spectrum of stakeholders in evaluating potential alternatives. This article highlights several examples of ways in which ecosystem service endpoints can be incorporated into the decision-making process.

  7. Using ecosystem services to inform decisions on U.S. air quality standards.

    PubMed

    Rea, Anne W; Davis, Christine; Evans, David A; Heninger, Brian T; Van Houtven, George

    2012-06-19

    The ecosystem services (ES) framework provides a link between changes in a natural system's structure and function and public welfare. This systematic integration of ecology and economics allows for more consistency and transparency in environmental decision making by enabling valuation of nature's goods and services in a manner that is understood by the public. This policy analysis (1) assesses the utility of the ES conceptual framework in the context of setting a secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS), (2) describes how economic valuation was used to summarize changes in ES affected by NOx and SOx in the review, and (3) uses the secondary NOxSOx NAAQS review as a case study to highlight the advantages and challenges of quantifying air pollutant effects on ES in a decision making context. Using an ES framework can benefit the decision making process by accounting for environmental, ecological, and social elements in a holistic manner. As formal quantitative linkages are developed between ecosystem structure and function and ES, this framework will increasingly allow for a clearer, more transparent link between changes in air quality and public welfare.

  8. 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.

  9. Subjective experience of image quality: attributes, definitions, and decision making of subjective image quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leisti, Tuomas; Radun, Jenni; Virtanen, Toni; Halonen, Raisa; Nyman, Göte

    2009-01-01

    Subjective quality rating does not reflect the properties of the image directly, but it is the outcome of a quality decision making process, which includes quantification of subjective quality experience. Such a rich subjective content is often ignored. We conducted two experiments (with 28 and 20 observers), in order to study the effect of paper grade on image quality experience of the ink-jet prints. Image quality experience was studied using a grouping task and a quality rating task. Both tasks included an interview, but in the latter task we examined the relations of different subjective attributes in this experience. We found out that the observers use an attribute hierarchy, where the high-level attributes are more experiential, general and abstract, while low-level attributes are more detailed and concrete. This may reflect the hierarchy of the human visual system. We also noticed that while the observers show variable subjective criteria for IQ, the reliability of average subjective estimates is high: when two different observer groups estimated the same images in the two experiments, correlations between the mean ratings were between .986 and .994, depending on the image content.

  10. Probabilistic Risk Assessment for Decision Making During Spacecraft Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meshkat, Leila

    2009-01-01

    Decisions made during the operational phase of a space mission often have significant and immediate consequences. Without the explicit consideration of the risks involved and their representation in a solid model, it is very likely that these risks are not considered systematically in trade studies. Wrong decisions during the operational phase of a space mission can lead to immediate system failure whereas correct decisions can help recover the system even from faulty conditions. A problem of special interest is the determination of the system fault protection strategies upon the occurrence of faults within the system. Decisions regarding the fault protection strategy also heavily rely on a correct understanding of the state of the system and an integrated risk model that represents the various possible scenarios and their respective likelihoods. Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) modeling is applicable to the full lifecycle of a space mission project, from concept development to preliminary design, detailed design, development and operations. The benefits and utilities of the model, however, depend on the phase of the mission for which it is used. This is because of the difference in the key strategic decisions that support each mission phase. The focus of this paper is on describing the particular methods used for PRA modeling during the operational phase of a spacecraft by gleaning insight from recently conducted case studies on two operational Mars orbiters. During operations, the key decisions relate to the commands sent to the spacecraft for any kind of diagnostics, anomaly resolution, trajectory changes, or planning. Often, faults and failures occur in the parts of the spacecraft but are contained or mitigated before they can cause serious damage. The failure behavior of the system during operations provides valuable data for updating and adjusting the related PRA models that are built primarily based on historical failure data. The PRA models, in turn

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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)

  16. National water-quality assessment: Future directions of the U.S. Geological Survey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cohen, Philip; Alley, William M.; Wilber, William G.

    1988-01-01

    Throughout U.S. history, the Nation has made major investments in assessing natural resources, such as soils, minerals, and hydrocarbons. The maintenance and the improvement of water quality has been one of the major areas of public investment and government regulation. One of the contributions the U.S. Geological Survey proposes to make is to provide a strong, high quality National Water-Quality Assessment Program to underpin and unify the Nation's water-quality activities. Such an assessment program will satisfy a decisive share of the attainable, national scale, water quality information objectives.

  17. 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

  18. Brain Hemispheric Consensus and the Quality of Investment Decisions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyd, Michael

    This on-going study explores the hypothesis that stock fund managers who underperform do so because they make bad decisions, and examines whether their choices can be improved by using a decision model that invokes principles of brain hemispheric consensus. The study, begun in fall 1999, involves two groups of business students: the control group…

  19. Review of Multi-Criteria Decision Aid for Integrated Sustainability Assessment of Urban Water Systems - MCEARD

    EPA Science Inventory

    Integrated sustainability assessment is part of a new paradigm for urban water decision making. Multi-criteria decision aid (MCDA) is an integrative framework used in urban water sustainability assessment, which has a particular focus on utilising stakeholder participation. Here ...

  20. 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).

  1. Computational study of developing high-quality decision trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Zhiwei

    2002-03-01

    Recently, decision tree algorithms have been widely used in dealing with data mining problems to find out valuable rules and patterns. However, scalability, accuracy and efficiency are significant concerns regarding how to effectively deal with large and complex data sets in the implementation. In this paper, we propose an innovative machine learning approach (we call our approach GAIT), combining genetic algorithm, statistical sampling, and decision tree, to develop intelligent decision trees that can alleviate some of these problems. We design our computational experiments and run GAIT on three different data sets (namely Socio- Olympic data, Westinghouse data, and FAA data) to test its performance against standard decision tree algorithm, neural network classifier, and statistical discriminant technique, respectively. The computational results show that our approach outperforms standard decision tree algorithm profoundly at lower sampling levels, and achieves significantly better results with less effort than both neural network and discriminant classifiers.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Superintendents and Principals Need Quality Public Information That Informs Decisions, Empowers Action. Don't Make Decisions in the Dark

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Data Quality Campaign, 2014

    2014-01-01

    District superintendents or school principals need to be able to access and use high-quality data to make good decisions. Often this data is collected and stored locally, but information that is publicly reported by the state can provide additional value. Although public reporting in a few states is designed to serve information needs, states'…

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Decision-making in structure solution using Bayesian estimates of map quality: the PHENIX autosol wizard

    SciTech Connect

    Terwilliger, Thomas C; Adams, Paul D; Read, Randy J; Mccoy, Airlie J

    2008-01-01

    Ten measures of experimental electron-density-map quality are examined and the skewness of electron density is found to be the best indicator of actual map quality. A Bayesian approach to estimating map quality is developed and used in the PHENIX AutoSol wizard to make decisions during automated structure solution.

  10. Decision Maker Perception of Information Quality: A Case Study of Military Command and Control

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morgan, Grayson B.

    2013-01-01

    Decision maker perception of information quality cues from an "information system" (IS) and the process which creates such meta cueing, or data about cues, is a critical yet un-modeled component of "situation awareness" (SA). Examples of common information quality meta cueing for quality criteria include custom ring-tones for…

  11. 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.

  12. Soft Mathematical Aggregation in Safety Assessment and Decision Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Cooper, J. Arlin

    1999-06-10

    This paper improves on some of the limitations of conventional safety assessment and decision analysis methods. It develops a top-down mathematical method for expressing imprecise individual metrics as possibilistic or fuzzy numbers and shows how they may be combined (aggregated) into an overall metric, also portraying the inherent uncertainty. Both positively contributing and negatively contributing factors are included. Metrics are weighted according to significance of the attribute and evaluated as to contribution toward the attribute. Aggregation is performed using exponential combination of the metrics, since the accumulating effect of such factors responds less and less to additional factors. This is termed soft mathematical aggregation. Dependence among the contributing factors is accounted for by incorporating subjective metrics on overlap of the factors and by correspondingly reducing the overall contribution of these combinations to the overall aggregation. Decisions corresponding to the meaningfulness of the results are facilitated in several ways. First, the results are compared to a soft threshold provided by a sigmoid function. Second, information is provided on input ''Importance'' and ''Sensitivity,'' in order to know where to place emphasis on controls that may be necessary. Third, trends in inputs and outputs are tracked in order to add important information to the decision process. The methodology has been implemented in software.

  13. Assessing the relevance of ecotoxicological studies for regulatory decision making.

    PubMed

    Rudén, Christina; Adams, Julie; Ågerstrand, Marlene; Brock, Theo Cm; Poulsen, Veronique; Schlekat, Christian E; Wheeler, James R; Henry, Tala R

    2016-09-07

    Regulatory policies in many parts of the world recognize either the utility of or the mandate that all available studies be considered in environmental or ecological hazard and risk assessment (ERA) of chemicals, including studies from the peer-reviewed literature. Consequently, a vast array of different studies and data types need to be considered. The first steps in the evaluation process involve determining whether the study is relevant to the ERA and sufficiently reliable. Relevance evaluation is typically performed using existing guidance but involves application of "expert judgment" by risk assessors. In the present paper, we review published guidance for relevance evaluation and, on the basis of the practical experience within the group of authors, we identify additional aspects and further develop already proposed aspects that should be considered when conducting a relevance assessment for ecotoxicological studies. From a regulatory point of view, the overarching key aspect of relevance concerns the ability to directly or indirectly use the study in ERA with the purpose of addressing specific protection goals and ultimately regulatory decision making. Because ERA schemes are based on the appropriate linking of exposure and effect estimates, important features of ecotoxicological studies relate to exposure relevance and biological relevance. Exposure relevance addresses the representativeness of the test substance, environmental exposure media, and exposure regime. Biological relevance deals with the environmental significance of the test organism and the endpoints selected, the ecological realism of the test conditions simulated in the study, as well as a mechanistic link of treatment-related effects for endpoints to the protection goal identified in the ERA. In addition, uncertainties associated with relevance should be considered in the assessment. A systematic and transparent assessment of relevance is needed for regulatory decision making. The relevance

  14. The Effect of a Decision Aid on the Quality of Colorectal Cancer Screening Decisions

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-03-29

    Wiley & Sons, Inc. 153. Arterburn, D.E., et al., Randomized trial of a video-based patient decision aid for bariatric surgery . Obesity (Silver Spring... surgery than those who did not, while those who felt strongly about preserving their sexual function were less likely to have surgery 25 [104...knowledge and treatment decision making for breast cancer surgery : a randomized trial. Jama, 2004. 139 292(4): p. 435-41. 118. Street, R.L., Jr., et al

  15. A customisable framework for the assessment of therapies in the solution of therapy decision tasks.

    PubMed

    Manjarrés Riesco, A; Martínez Tomás, R; Mira Mira, J

    2000-01-01

    In current medical research, a growing interest can be observed in the definition of a global therapy-evaluation framework which integrates considerations such as patients preferences and quality-of-life results. In this article, we propose the use of the research results in this domain as a source of knowledge in the design of support systems for therapy decision analysis, in particular with a view to application in oncology. We discuss the incorporation of these considerations in the definition of the therapy-assessment methods involved in the solution of a generic therapy decision task, described in the context of AI software development methodologies such as CommonKADS. The goal of the therapy decision task is to identify the ideal therapy, for a given patient, in accordance with a set of objectives of a diverse nature. The assessment methods applied are based either on data obtained from statistics or on the specific idiosyncrasies of each patient, as identified from their responses to a suite of psychological tests. In the analysis of the therapy decision task we emphasise the importance, from a methodological perspective, of using a rigorous approach to the modelling of domain ontologies and domain-specific data. To this aim we make extensive use of the semi-formal object oriented analysis notation UML to describe the domain level.

  16. Assessment of Competence in Clinical Reasoning and Decision-Making under Uncertainty: The Script Concordance Test Method

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ramaekers, Stephan; Kremer, Wim; Pilot, Albert; van Beukelen, Peter; van Keulen, Hanno

    2010-01-01

    Real-life, complex problems often require that decisions are made despite limited information or insufficient time to explore all relevant aspects. Incorporating authentic uncertainties into an assessment, however, poses problems in establishing results and analysing their methodological qualities. This study aims at developing a test on clinical…

  17. 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.

  18. SU-E-J-155: Automatic Quantitative Decision Making Metric for 4DCT Image Quality

    SciTech Connect

    Kiely, J Blanco; Olszanski, A; Both, S; White, B; Low, D

    2015-06-15

    Purpose: To develop a quantitative decision making metric for automatically detecting irregular breathing using a large patient population that received phase-sorted 4DCT. Methods: This study employed two patient cohorts. Cohort#1 contained 256 patients who received a phasesorted 4DCT. Cohort#2 contained 86 patients who received three weekly phase-sorted 4DCT scans. A previously published technique used a single abdominal surrogate to calculate the ratio of extreme inhalation tidal volume to normal inhalation tidal volume, referred to as the κ metric. Since a single surrogate is standard for phase-sorted 4DCT in radiation oncology clinical practice, tidal volume was not quantified. Without tidal volume, the absolute κ metric could not be determined, so a relative κ (κrel) metric was defined based on the measured surrogate amplitude instead of tidal volume. Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves were used to quantitatively determine the optimal cutoff value (jk) and efficiency cutoff value (τk) of κrel to automatically identify irregular breathing that would reduce the image quality of phase-sorted 4DCT. Discriminatory accuracy (area under the ROC curve) of κrel was calculated by a trapezoidal numeric integration technique. Results: The discriminatory accuracy of ?rel was found to be 0.746. The key values of jk and tk were calculated to be 1.45 and 1.72 respectively. For values of ?rel such that jk≤κrel≤τk, the decision to reacquire the 4DCT would be at the discretion of the physician. This accounted for only 11.9% of the patients in this study. The magnitude of κrel held consistent over 3 weeks for 73% of the patients in cohort#3. Conclusion: The decision making metric, ?rel, was shown to be an accurate classifier of irregular breathing patients in a large patient population. This work provided an automatic quantitative decision making metric to quickly and accurately assess the extent to which irregular breathing is occurring during phase

  19. Decision Gate Process for Assessment of a Technology Development Portfolio

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kohli, Rajiv; Fishman, Julianna; Hyatt, Mark

    2012-01-01

    The NASA Dust Management Project (DMP) was established to provide technologies (to TRL 6 development level) required to address adverse effects of lunar dust to humans and to exploration systems and equipment, which will reduce life cycle cost and risk, and will increase the probability of sustainable and successful lunar missions. The technology portfolio of DMP consisted of different categories of technologies whose final product is either a technology solution in itself, or one that contributes toward a dust mitigation strategy for a particular application. A Decision Gate Process (DGP) was developed to assess and validate the achievement and priority of the dust mitigation technologies as the technologies progress through the development cycle. The DGP was part of continuous technology assessment and was a critical element of DMP risk management. At the core of the process were technology-specific criteria developed to measure the success of each DMP technology in attaining the technology readiness levels assigned to each decision gate. The DGP accounts for both categories of technologies and qualifies the technology progression from technology development tasks to application areas. The process provided opportunities to validate performance, as well as to identify non-performance in time to adjust resources and direction. This paper describes the overall philosophy of the DGP and the methodology for implementation for DMP, and describes the method for defining the technology evaluation criteria. The process is illustrated by example of an application to a specific DMP technology.

  20. [The objective assessment of the quality of oral health care and development of quality indicators].

    PubMed

    Pinke, Ildikó; Paulik, Edit; Kivovics, Péter; Segatto, Emil; Nagy, Katalin

    2011-12-01

    Public health care administration and decision-makers need appropriate tools and information to assess and monitor oral health needs and improve the performance of the oral health system. The aim of the article is to introduce the available methods of measurement of the quality of service, to give a brief summary considering the role of quality indicators in domestic and international sources and the European indicator project (EGOHID) and to introduce ICDAS (International Caries Detection and Assessment System), the method used for clinical examinations. The clinical indicators - that are produced from data gained from the questionnaires and screenings--provide an opportunity to improve and develop quality. Quality indicators are objective measure of the process or outcome of patient care. The 40 indicators were created by the experts of EGOHID program which are described in four categories. Part A is indicators for monitoring the oral health of children and adolescents, Part B is in general population, Part C is indicators for monitoring the oral health systems, Part D concerns indicators for monitoring the oral health quality of life. The purpose of developing public health care and--within it--dental care is the effective use of resources and besides it, reaching the popular level of health gain for which it is a necessary tool when forming and continuously developing the quality approach of providers.

  1. 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.

  2. Physician education on decision-making capacity assessment

    PubMed Central

    Charles, Lesley; Parmar, Jasneet; Brémault-Phillips, Suzette; Dobbs, Bonnie; Sacrey, Lori; Sluggett, Bryan

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Objective To examine FPs’ training needs for conducting decision-making capacity assessments (DMCAs) and to determine how training materials, based on a DMCA model, can be adapted for use by FPs. Design A scoping review of the literature and qualitative research methodology (focus groups and structured interviews). Setting Edmonton, Alta. Participants Nine FPs, who practised in various settings, who chose to attend a focus group on DMCAs. Methods A scoping review of the literature to examine the current status of physician education regarding assessment of decision-making capacity, and a focus group and interviews with FPs to ascertain the educational needs of FPs in this area. Main findings Based on the scoping review of the literature, 4 main themes emerged: increasing saliency of DMCAs owing to an aging population, suboptimal DMCA training for physicians, inconsistent approaches to DMCA, and tension between autonomy and protection. The findings of the focus groups and interviews indicate that, while FPs working as independent practitioners or with interprofessional teams are motivated to engage in DMCAs and use the DMCA model for those assessments, several factors impede their conducting DMCAs. The most notable barriers were a lack of education, isolation from interprofessional teams, uneasiness around managing conflict with families, fear of liability, and concerns regarding remuneration. Conclusion This pilot study has helped to inform ways to better train and support FPs in conducting DMCAs. Family physicians are well positioned, with proper training, to effectively conduct DMCAs. To engage FPs in the process, however, the barriers should be addressed. PMID:28115457

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. INTEGRATING AIR QUALITY DATA TO INFORM HUMAN HEALTH DECISIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The August 1-2, 2005 EPA-NIEHS workshop is addressing the linkages between air quality and human health. My presentation will discuss the strengths and limitations of various databases for relating air quality to health impacts. Specifically, the need for fusing ground-based, s...

  7. ROLE OF MODELS IN AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT DECISIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Within the frame of the US-India bilateral agreement on environmental cooperation, a team of US scientists have been helping India in designing emission control policies to address urban air quality problems. This presentation discusses how air quality models need to be used for ...

  8. 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.

  9. Time to decide: Diurnal variations on the speed and quality of human decisions.

    PubMed

    Leone, María Juliana; Fernandez Slezak, Diego; Golombek, Diego; Sigman, Mariano

    2017-01-01

    Human behavior and physiology exhibit diurnal fluctuations. These rhythms are entrained by light and social cues, with vast individual differences in the phase of entrainment - referred as an individual's chronotype - ranging in a continuum between early larks and late owls. Understanding whether decision-making in real-life situations depends on the relation between time of the day and an individual's diurnal preferences has both practical and theoretical implications. However, answering this question has remained elusive because of the difficulty of measuring precisely the quality of a decision in real-life scenarios. Here we investigate diurnal variations in decision-making as a function of an individual's chronotype capitalizing on a vast repository of human decisions: online chess servers. In a chess game, every player has to make around 40 decisions using a finite time budget and both the time and quality of each decision can be accurately determined. We found reliable diurnal rhythms in activity and decision-making policy. During the morning, players adopt a prevention focus policy (slower and more accurate decisions) which is later modified to a promotion focus (faster but less accurate decisions), without daily changes in performance.

  10. Socioeconomic assessment guidance report: Determining the effects of amenity characteristics on business location decisions

    SciTech Connect

    Allison, T.

    1993-02-01

    Evaluating perception-based impacts of hazardous waste facilities has become an increasingly important part of socioeconomic impact assessments in recent years. One area of discussion has been the potential effect of risk perceptions on business location decision making. This report evaluates the importance of environmental amenities (broadly defined to include natural, cultural, and recreational features; environmental quality; and other indexes of quality of life) with respect to decisions on locating both manufacturing and business service activities. It discusses the major theoretical and empirical issues that arise in attempting to determine the effects of environmental amenities on the location choices for businesses and business activities. This discussion is followed by a survey of major findings from the academic literature and a review of research by the state of Nevada. A number of recommendations for further research are also provided to help the US Department of Energy`s Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management better understand the importance of perception-based impacts in business location decision making and estimate the scale of socioeconomic impacts that would result from siting a high-level waste repository in Nevada.

  11. The reliability of the pass/fail decision for assessments comprised of multiple components

    PubMed Central

    Möltner, Andreas; Tımbıl, Sevgi; Jünger, Jana

    2015-01-01

    Objective: The decision having the most serious consequences for a student taking an assessment is the one to pass or fail that student. For this reason, the reliability of the pass/fail decision must be determined for high quality assessments, just as the measurement reliability of the point values. Assessments in a particular subject (graded course credit) are often composed of multiple components that must be passed independently of each other. When “conjunctively” combining separate pass/fail decisions, as with other complex decision rules for passing, adequate methods of analysis are necessary for estimating the accuracy and consistency of these classifications. To date, very few papers have addressed this issue; a generally applicable procedure was published by Douglas and Mislevy in 2010. Using the example of an assessment comprised of several parts that must be passed separately, this study analyzes the reliability underlying the decision to pass or fail students and discusses the impact of an improved method for identifying those who do not fulfill the minimum requirements. Method: The accuracy and consistency of the decision to pass or fail an examinee in the subject cluster Internal Medicine/General Medicine/Clinical Chemistry at the University of Heidelberg’s Faculty of Medicine was investigated. This cluster requires students to separately pass three components (two written exams and an OSCE), whereby students may reattempt to pass each component twice. Our analysis was carried out using the method described by Douglas and Mislevy. Results: Frequently, when complex logical connections exist between the individual pass/fail decisions in the case of low failure rates, only a very low reliability for the overall decision to grant graded course credit can be achieved, even if high reliabilities exist for the various components. For the example analyzed here, the classification accuracy and consistency when conjunctively combining the three individual

  12. Agricultural climate impacts assessment for economic modeling and decision support

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomson, A. M.; Izaurralde, R. C.; Beach, R.; Zhang, X.; Zhao, K.; Monier, E.

    2013-12-01

    A range of approaches can be used in the application of climate change projections to agricultural impacts assessment. Climate projections can be used directly to drive crop models, which in turn can be used to provide inputs for agricultural economic or integrated assessment models. These model applications, and the transfer of information between models, must be guided by the state of the science. But the methodology must also account for the specific needs of stakeholders and the intended use of model results beyond pure scientific inquiry, including meeting the requirements of agencies responsible for designing and assessing policies, programs, and regulations. Here we present methodology and results of two climate impacts studies that applied climate model projections from CMIP3 and from the EPA Climate Impacts and Risk Analysis (CIRA) project in a crop model (EPIC - Environmental Policy Indicator Climate) in order to generate estimates of changes in crop productivity for use in an agricultural economic model for the United States (FASOM - Forest and Agricultural Sector Optimization Model). The FASOM model is a forward-looking dynamic model of the US forest and agricultural sector used to assess market responses to changing productivity of alternative land uses. The first study, focused on climate change impacts on the UDSA crop insurance program, was designed to use available daily climate projections from the CMIP3 archive. The decision to focus on daily data for this application limited the climate model and time period selection significantly; however for the intended purpose of assessing impacts on crop insurance payments, consideration of extreme event frequency was critical for assessing periodic crop failures. In a second, coordinated impacts study designed to assess the relative difference in climate impacts under a no-mitigation policy and different future climate mitigation scenarios, the stakeholder specifically requested an assessment of a

  13. 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

  14. Concordance between couples reporting their child's quality of life and their decision making in pediatric oncology palliative care.

    PubMed

    Tomlinson, Deborah; Hendershot, Eleanor; Bartels, Ute; Maloney, Anne-Marie; Armstrong, Christine; Wrathall, Glynis; Sung, Lillian

    2011-01-01

    In children 18 years and younger with cancer and no reasonable chance for cure the authors used a cross-sectional study design to (1) describe concordance between fathers' and mothers' evaluation of quality of life (QoL) and (2) determine parental correlation for how factors such as hope, anticipated QoL, and prolonged survival time influence decisions between supportive care alone versus aggressive chemotherapy. Both parents of 13 children performed PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scales, Acute Cancer Module, and Multidimensional Fatigue Scale. Concordance was assessed using intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Parents reported preferences of supportive care versus aggressive chemotherapy in a hypothetical scenario and rated factors that influenced decision making. Concordance was variable across QoL domains, better for physical health (ICC = 0.46), nausea (ICC = 0.61), general fatigue (ICC = 0.50), and sleep/rest fatigue (ICC = 0.76). Correlation was variable between parents on the influence of factors on their decision, with particularly poor correlation for importance of hope (r = -0.24). Variable concordance was reported between parental assessment of child QoL and factors influencing their decision making, suggesting parents may have different perspectives in decision making and that understanding both is important in clinical care.

  15. Overview of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leahy, P.P.; Thompson, T.H.

    1994-01-01

    The Nation's water resources are the basis for life and our economic vitality. These resources support a complex web of human activities and fishery and wildlife needs that depend upon clean water. Demands for good-quality water for drinking, recreation, farming, and industry are rising, and as a result, the American public is concerned about the condition and sustainability of our water resources. The American public is asking: Is it safe to swim in and drink water from our rivers or lakes? Can we eat the fish that come from them? Is our ground water polluted? Is water quality degrading with time, and if so, why? Has all the money we've spent to clean up our waters, done any good? The U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program was designed to provide information that will help answer these questions. NAWQA is designed to assess historical, current, and future water-quality conditions in representative river basins and aquifers nationwide. One of the primary objectives of the program is to describe relations between natural factors, human activities, and water-quality conditions and to define those factors that most affect water quality in different parts of the Nation. The linkage of water quality to environmental processes is of fundamental importance to water-resource managers, planners, and policy makers. It provides a strong and unbiased basis for better decisionmaking by those responsible for making decisions that affect our water resources, including the United States Congress, Federal, State, and local agencies, environmental groups, and industry. Information from the NAWQA Program also will be useful for guiding research, monitoring, and regulatory activities in cost effective ways.

  16. Assessing environmental conditions of Antarctic footpaths to support management decisions.

    PubMed

    Tejedo, Pablo; Benayas, Javier; Cajiao, Daniela; Albertos, Belén; Lara, Francisco; Pertierra, Luis R; Andrés-Abellán, Manuela; Wic, Consuelo; Luciáñez, Maria José; Enríquez, Natalia; Justel, Ana; Reck, Günther K

    2016-07-15

    Thousands of tourists visit certain Antarctic sites each year, generating a wide variety of environmental impacts. Scientific knowledge of human activities and their impacts can help in the effective design of management measures and impact mitigation. We present a case study from Barrientos Island in which a management measure was originally put in place with the goal of minimizing environmental impacts but resulted in new undesired impacts. Two alternative footpaths used by tourist groups were compared. Both affected extensive moss carpets that cover the middle part of the island and that are very vulnerable to trampling. The first path has been used by tourists and scientists since over a decade and is a marked route that is clearly visible. The second one was created more recently. Several physical and biological indicators were measured in order to assess the environmental conditions for both paths. Some physical variables related to human impact were lower for the first path (e.g. soil penetration resistance and secondary treads), while other biochemical and microbiological variables were higher for the second path (e.g. β-glucosidase and phosphatase activities, soil respiration). Moss communities located along the new path were also more diverse and sensitive to trampling. Soil biota (Collembola) was also more abundant and richer. These data indicate that the decision to adopt the second path did not lead to the reduction of environmental impacts as this path runs over a more vulnerable area with more outstanding biological features (e.g. microbiota activity, flora and soil fauna diversity). In addition, the adoption of a new route effectively doubles the human footprint on the island. We propose using only the original path that is less vulnerable to the impacts of trampling. Finally from this process, we identify several key issues that may be taken into account when carrying out impact assessment and environmental management decision-making in the

  17. A cloud model-based approach for water quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dong; Liu, Dengfeng; Ding, Hao; Singh, Vijay P; Wang, Yuankun; Zeng, Xiankui; Wu, Jichun; Wang, Lachun

    2016-07-01

    Water quality assessment entails essentially a multi-criteria decision-making process accounting for qualitative and quantitative uncertainties and their transformation. Considering uncertainties of randomness and fuzziness in water quality evaluation, a cloud model-based assessment approach is proposed. The cognitive cloud model, derived from information science, can realize the transformation between qualitative concept and quantitative data, based on probability and statistics and fuzzy set theory. When applying the cloud model to practical assessment, three technical issues are considered before the development of a complete cloud model-based approach: (1) bilateral boundary formula with nonlinear boundary regression for parameter estimation, (2) hybrid entropy-analytic hierarchy process technique for calculation of weights, and (3) mean of repeated simulations for determining the degree of final certainty. The cloud model-based approach is tested by evaluating the eutrophication status of 12 typical lakes and reservoirs in China and comparing with other four methods, which are Scoring Index method, Variable Fuzzy Sets method, Hybrid Fuzzy and Optimal model, and Neural Networks method. The proposed approach yields information concerning membership for each water quality status which leads to the final status. The approach is found to be representative of other alternative methods and accurate.

  18. Evaluating the quality and use of economic data in decisions about essential medicines

    PubMed Central

    Wirtz, Veronika J; Reich, Michael R

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Objective To evaluate the quality of economic data provided in applications to the World Health Organization (WHO) Model List of Essential Medicines and to evaluate the role of these data in decision-making by the expert committee that considers the applications. Methods We analysed applications submitted to the WHO Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines between 2002 and 2013. The completeness of data on the price and cost–effectiveness of medicines was extracted from application documents and coded using a four-point scale. We recorded whether or not the expert committee discussed economic information and the outcomes of each application. Associations between the completeness of economic data and application outcomes were assessed using χ2 tests. Findings The expert committee received 134 applications. Only eight applications (6%) included complete price data and economic evaluation data. Many applicants omitted or misinterpreted the economic evaluation section of the application form. Despite the lack of economic data, all applications were reviewed by the committee. There was no significant association between the completeness of economic information and application outcomes. The expert committee tried to address information gaps in applications by further review and analysis of data related to the application. Conclusion The World Health Organization should revise the instructions to applicants on economic data requirements; develop new mechanisms to assist applicants in completing the application process; and define methods for the use of economic data in decision-making. PMID:26600611

  19. A decision support system for emission reduction assessment: the OPERA LIFE+ project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carnevale, Claudio; Bianchessi, Nicola; Finzi, Giovanna; Pederzoli, Anna; Pisoni, Enrico; Volta, Marialuisa; Deserti, Marco; De Munari, Eriberto; Stortini, Michele; Veronesi, Paolo; Gianfreda, Roberta; Maffeis, Giuseppe; Blond, Nadege; Mark-Hummel, Lioba; Clappier, Alain; Perron, Gilles

    2013-04-01

    In last decades, air pollution modelling assumed a key role for the definition and evaluation of suitable emission control strategies, supporting Regional Decision Makers in the design of long-term plans for air quality improvement. This is a complex task, due to the non-linear chemical reactions and physical processes that bring to secondary pollution formation and accumulation, involving precursor emissions, namely VOC, NOx, NH3, primary PM and SO2. The problem is even more complex when constraining policy to a fixed budget. This paper presents the first results of the OPERA (Operational Procedure for Emission Reduction Assessment) LIFE+ project (2010-2013, www.operatool.eu) aiming to design and to implement an enhanced approach to identify efficient regional policies (1) complying with National and EU air quality standards, (2) with local emission and meteorological features, financial, technological and social constraints and (3) considering potential synergies with actions to reduce GHG emissions. The proposed methodology is based on a multi-objective (air quality, internal and external costs) optimization problem. The decision variables are the technical and non-technical emission abatement measures. Artificial neural networks, identified processing long-term 3D deterministic multi-phase modelling system simulation outputs, describe the nonlinear relations between the control variables (precursor emissions reduction) and the air quality indexes (AQIs), defining the air quality objective. The internal costs are due to emission reduction measures implementation, while the external costs assess the damage due to population pollution exposure. The methodology has been implemented in a software tool (RIAT+) and tested on two regional applications, Emilia Romagna (IT) and Alsace (FR).

  20. Does empowering resident families or nursing home employees in decision making improve service quality?

    PubMed

    Hamann, Darla J

    2014-08-01

    This research examines how the empowerment of residents' family members and nursing home employees in managerial decision making is related to service quality. The study was conducted using data from 33 nursing homes in the United States. Surveys were administered to more than 1,000 employees on-site and mailed to the primary-contact family member of each resident. The resulting multilevel data were analyzed using hierarchical linear modeling. The empowerment of families in decision making was positively associated with their perceptions of service quality. The empowerment of nursing staff in decision making was more strongly related to service quality than the empowerment of nonnursing staff. Among nursing staff, the empowerment of nursing assistants improved service quality more than the empowerment of nurses.

  1. Staff Involvement in Leadership Decision Making in the UK Further Education Sector: Perceptions of Quality and Social Justice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maringe, Felix

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of the paper is to explore the quality of leadership decision making at various leadership levels in the further education (FE) sector. Using Hoffberg and Korver's model for integrated decision making, the paper aims to examine how staff in five UK FE colleges perceive the quality of their involvement in decision-making teams…

  2. 76 FR 4345 - A Method To Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the Chesapeake Bay

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-01-25

    ... AGENCY A Method To Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the Chesapeake Bay AGENCY... review draft document titled, ``A Method to Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the.../conferences/peerreview/register-chesapeake.htm . The draft ``A Method to Assess Climate-Relevant...

  3. An application of contingent valuation and decision tree analysis to water quality improvements.

    PubMed

    Atkins, Jonathan P; Burdon, Daryl; Allen, James H

    2007-01-01

    This paper applies contingent valuation and decision tree analysis to investigate public preferences for water quality improvements, and in particular reduced eutrophication. Such preferences are important given that the development of EU water quality legislation is imposing significant costs on European economies. Results are reported of a survey undertaken of residents of Arhus County, Denmark for water quality improvements in the Randers Fjord. Results demonstrate strong public support for reduced eutrophication and identify key determinants of such support.

  4. 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.

  5. Geospatial decision support framework for critical infrastructure interdependency assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shih, Chung Yan

    Critical infrastructures, such as telecommunications, energy, banking and finance, transportation, water systems and emergency services are the foundations of modern society. There is a heavy dependence on critical infrastructures at multiple levels within the supply chain of any good or service. Any disruptions in the supply chain may cause profound cascading effect to other critical infrastructures. A 1997 report by the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection states that a serious interruption in freight rail service would bring the coal mining industry to a halt within approximately two weeks and the availability of electric power could be reduced in a matter of one to two months. Therefore, this research aimed at representing and assessing the interdependencies between coal supply, transportation and energy production. A proposed geospatial decision support framework was established and applied to analyze interdependency related disruption impact. By utilizing the data warehousing approach, geospatial and non-geospatial data were retrieved, integrated and analyzed based on the transportation model and geospatial disruption analysis developed in the research. The results showed that by utilizing this framework, disruption impacts can be estimated at various levels (e.g., power plant, county, state, etc.) for preventative or emergency response efforts. The information derived from the framework can be used for data mining analysis (e.g., assessing transportation mode usages; finding alternative coal suppliers, etc.).

  6. Novel flood risk assessment framework for rapid decision making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valyrakis, Manousos; Koursari, Eftychia; Solley, Mark

    2016-04-01

    The impacts of catastrophic flooding, have significantly increased over the last few decades. This is due to primarily the increased urbanisation in ever-expanding mega-cities as well as due to the intensification both in magnitude and frequency of extreme hydrologic events. Herein a novel conceptual framework is presented that incorporates the use of real-time information to inform and update low dimensionality hydraulic models, to allow for rapid decision making towards preventing loss of life and safeguarding critical infrastructure. In particular, a case study from the recent UK floods in the area of Whitesands (Dumfries), is presented to demonstrate the utility of this approach. It is demonstrated that effectively combining a wealth of readily available qualitative information (such as crowdsourced visual documentation or using live data from sensing techniques), with existing quantitative data, can help appropriately update hydraulic models and reduce modelling uncertainties in future flood risk assessments. This approach is even more useful in cases where hydraulic models are limited, do not exist or were not needed before unpredicted dynamic modifications to the river system took place (for example in the case of reduced or eliminated hydraulic capacity due to blockages). The low computational cost and rapid assessment this framework offers, render it promising for innovating in flood management.

  7. An Evaluation of the Decision-Making Capacity Assessment Model

    PubMed Central

    Brémault-Phillips, Suzette C.; Parmar, Jasneet; Friesen, Steven; Rogers, Laura G.; Pike, Ashley; Sluggett, Bryan

    2016-01-01

    Background The Decision-Making Capacity Assessment (DMCA) Model includes a best-practice process and tools to assess DMCA, and implementation strategies at the organizational and assessor levels to support provision of DMCAs across the care continuum. A Developmental Evaluation of the DMCA Model was conducted. Methods A mixed methods approach was used. Survey (N = 126) and focus group (N = 49) data were collected from practitioners utilizing the Model. Results Strengths of the Model include its best-practice and implementation approach, applicability to independent practitioners and inter-professional teams, focus on training/mentoring to enhance knowledge/skills, and provision of tools/processes. Post-training, participants agreed that they followed the Model’s guiding principles (90%), used problem-solving (92%), understood discipline-specific roles (87%), were confident in their knowledge of DMCAs (75%) and pertinent legislation (72%), accessed consultative services (88%), and received management support (64%). Model implementation is impeded when role clarity, physician engagement, inter-professional buy-in, accountability, dedicated resources, information sharing systems, and remuneration are lacking. Dedicated resources, job descriptions inclusive of DMCAs, ongoing education/mentoring supports, access to consultative services, and appropriate remuneration would support implementation. Conclusions The DMCA Model offers practitioners, inter-professional teams, and organizations a best-practice and implementation approach to DMCAs. Addressing barriers and further contextualizing the Model would be warranted. PMID:27729947

  8. 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

  9. 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'…

  10. 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.

  11. A decision support system for water quality issues in the Manzanares River (Madrid, Spain).

    PubMed

    Paredes, Javier; Andreu, Joaquín; Solera, Abel

    2010-05-15

    The Manzanares River, located in Madrid (Spain), is the main water supplier of a highly populated region, and it also receives wastewater from the same area. The effluents of eight Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTPs) downstream of the river, which represent 90% of the flow in the middle and lower parts of the river, are the primary sources of water pollution. Although the situation has improved slightly in the last two years, the water in the river is highly polluted, making it uninhabitable for aquatic life. Water quality modelling is typically used to assess the effect of treatment improvements in water bodies. In this work, the GESCAL module of the Aquatool Decision Support System Shell was used to simulate water quality in the Manzanares River. GESCAL is appropriate for modelling in an integrated way water quality for whole water resources systems, including reservoirs and rivers. A model was built that simulates conductivity, phosphorous, carbonaceous organic matter, dissolved oxygen, organic nitrogen, ammonia, and nitrates. The period from October 2006 to September 2008 was selected for calibration due to the many treatment modifications that occurred during this time. An earlier and longer period, from October 2000 to September 2006, was used for validation. In addition, a daily model was used to analyse the robustness of the GESCAL model. Once the GESCAL model was validated, different scenarios were considered and simulated. First, different combinations of nutrient elimination among the different WWTPs were simulated, leading to the conclusion that investments have to focus on three of the proposed WWTPs. Moreover, these treatments will not be sufficient to maintain fish habitat conditions at all times. Additional measures, such as the increment of the flow in the river or oxygen injection, were simulated. Incrementing the flow of the Manzanares River has been shown to be an efficient means of increasing water quality, but this implies an increment in the

  12. 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

  13. Spatial scale of local breeding habitat quality and adjustment of breeding decisions.

    PubMed

    Doligez, Blandine; Berthouly, Anne; Doligez, Damien; Tanner, Marion; Saladin, Verena; Bonfils, Danielle; Richner, Heinz

    2008-05-01

    Experimental studies provide evidence that, in spatially and temporally heterogeneous environments, individuals track variation in breeding habitat quality to adjust breeding decisions to local conditions. However, most experiments consider environmental variation at one spatial scale only, while the ability to detect the influence of a factor depends on the scale of analysis. We show that different breeding decisions by adults are based on information about habitat quality at different spatial scales. We manipulated (increased or decreased) local breeding habitat quality through food availability and parasite prevalence at a small (territory) and a large (patch) scale simultaneously in a wild population of Great Tits (Parus major). Females laid earlier in high-quality large-scale patches, but laying date did not depend on small-scale territory quality. Conversely, offspring sex ratio was higher (i.e., biased toward males) in high-quality, small-scale territories but did not depend on large-scale patch quality. Clutch size and territory occupancy probability did not depend on our experimental manipulation of habitat quality, but territories located at the edge of patches were more likely to be occupied than central territories. These results suggest that integrating different decisions taken by breeders according to environmental variation at different spatial scales is required to understand patterns of breeding strategy adjustment.

  14. The Neuropeptide Oxytocin Enhances Information Sharing and Group Decision Making Quality.

    PubMed

    De Wilde, Tim R W; Ten Velden, Femke S; De Dreu, Carsten K W

    2017-01-11

    Groups can make better decisions than individuals when members cooperatively exchange and integrate their uniquely held information and insights. However, under conformity pressures group members are biased towards exchanging commonly known information, and away from exchanging unique information, thus undermining group decision-making quality. At the neurobiological level, conformity associates with the neuropeptide oxytocin. A double-blind placebo controlled study found no evidence for oxytocin induced conformity. Compared to placebo groups, three-person groups whose members received intranasal oxytocin, focused more on unique information (i) and repeated this information more often (ii). These findings reveal oxytocin as a neurobiological driver of group decision-making processes.

  15. The Neuropeptide Oxytocin Enhances Information Sharing and Group Decision Making Quality

    PubMed Central

    De Wilde, Tim R. W.; Ten Velden, Femke S.; De Dreu, Carsten K. W.

    2017-01-01

    Groups can make better decisions than individuals when members cooperatively exchange and integrate their uniquely held information and insights. However, under conformity pressures group members are biased towards exchanging commonly known information, and away from exchanging unique information, thus undermining group decision-making quality. At the neurobiological level, conformity associates with the neuropeptide oxytocin. A double-blind placebo controlled study found no evidence for oxytocin induced conformity. Compared to placebo groups, three-person groups whose members received intranasal oxytocin, focused more on unique information (i) and repeated this information more often (ii). These findings reveal oxytocin as a neurobiological driver of group decision-making processes. PMID:28074896

  16. 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.

  17. The Lichtenberg Financial Decision Screening Scale (LFDSS): A new tool for assessing financial decision making and preventing financial exploitation

    PubMed Central

    Lichtenberg, P.A.; Howard, H; Simaskp, P.; Mall, S.; Speir, J.; Farrell, C.; Tatro, R; Rahman-Filipiak, A.; Ficker, L.J.

    2016-01-01

    One of the challenges in preventing the financial exploitation of older adults is that neither criminal justice nor noncriminal justice professionals are equipped to detect capacity deficits. Because decision-making capacity is a cornerstone assessment in cases of financial exploitation, effective instruments for measuring this capacity are essential. We introduce a new screening scale for financial decision making that can be administered to older adults. To explore the scale’s implementation and assess construct validity, we conducted a pilot study of 29 older adults seen by APS workers and 79 seen by other professionals. Case examples are included. PMID:27010780

  18. 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.

  19. Application of water quality guidelines and water quantity calculations to decisions for beneficial use of treated water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pham, Minh Phung T.; Castle, James W.; Rodgers, John H.

    2011-12-01

    Water reuse guidelines were compiled as a decision-analysis screening tool for application to potential water reuse for irrigation, livestock watering, aquaculture, and drinking. Data compiled from the literature for water reuses yielded guideline values for over 50 water quality parameters, including concentrations of inorganic and organic constituents as well as general water chemistry parameters. These water quality guidelines can be used to identify constituents of concern in water, to determine the levels to which the constituents must be treated for water reuse applications, and assess the suitability of treated water for reuse. An example is provided to illustrate the application of water quality guidelines for decision analysis. Water quantity analysis was also investigated, and water volumes required for producing 16 different crops in 15 countries were estimated as an example of applying water quantity in the decision-making process regarding the potential of water reuse. For each of the countries investigated, the crop that produces the greatest yield in terms of weight per water volume is tomatoes in Australia, Brazil, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, USA; sugarcane in Chad, India, Indonesia, Sudan; watermelons in China; lettuce in Egypt, Mexico; and onions (dry) in Russia.

  20. Practical Functional Approach to Quality Assessment in Subtitling: "Pocahontas II--Case Study"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hussain, Alaa Eddin; Khuddro, Ahmad

    2016-01-01

    The present research work deals with subtitling errors encountered by simulators and proof-readers. The resultant work is of significant contribution to problem decision makings in the field of quality assessment of audiovisual translation (AVT). The outcome of this paper is the result of accumulated working experience in this domain. The relevant…

  1. Interactive decision support system to predict print quality.

    PubMed

    Leman, Sugani; Lehto, Mark R

    2003-01-15

    Customers using printers occasionally experience problems such as fuzzy images, bands, or streaks. The customer may call or otherwise contact the manufacturer, who attempts to diagnose the problem based on the customer's description of the problem. This study evaluated Bayesian inference as a tool for identifying or diagnosing 16 different types of print defects from such descriptions. The Bayesian model was trained using 1701 narrative descriptions of print defects obtained from 60 subjects with varying technical backgrounds. The Bayesian model was then implemented as an interactive decision support system, which was used by eight 'agents' to diagnose print defects reported by 16 'customers' in a simulated call centre. The 'agents' and 'customers' in the simulated call centre were all students at Purdue University. Each customer made eight telephone calls, resulting in a total of 128 telephone calls in which the customer reported defects to the agents. The results showed that the Bayesian model closely fitted the data in the training set of narratives. Overall, the model correctly predicted the actual defect category with its top prediction 70% of the time. The actual defect was in the top five predictions 94% of the time. The model in the simulated call centre performed nearly as well for the test subjects. The top prediction was correct 50% of the time, and the defect was one of the top five predictions 80% of the time. Agent accuracy in diagnosing the problem improved when using the tool. These results demonstrated that the Bayesian system learned enough from the existing narratives to accurately classify print defect categories.

  2. 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,…

  3. Identification and assessment of potential water quality impact factors for drinking-water reservoirs.

    PubMed

    Gu, Qing; Deng, Jinsong; Wang, Ke; Lin, Yi; Li, Jun; Gan, Muye; Ma, Ligang; Hong, Yang

    2014-06-10

    Various reservoirs have been serving as the most important drinking water sources in Zhejiang Province, China, due to the uneven distribution of precipitation and severe river pollution. Unfortunately, rapid urbanization and industrialization have been continuously challenging the water quality of the drinking-water reservoirs. The identification and assessment of potential impacts is indispensable in water resource management and protection. This study investigates the drinking water reservoirs in Zhejiang Province to better understand the potential impact on water quality. Altogether seventy-three typical drinking reservoirs in Zhejiang Province encompassing various water storage levels were selected and evaluated. Using fifty-two reservoirs as training samples, the classification and regression tree (CART) method and sixteen comprehensive variables, including six sub-sets (land use, population, socio-economy, geographical features, inherent characteristics, and climate), were adopted to establish a decision-making model for identifying and assessing their potential impacts on drinking-water quality. The water quality class of the remaining twenty-one reservoirs was then predicted and tested based on the decision-making model, resulting in a water quality class attribution accuracy of 81.0%. Based on the decision rules and quantitative importance of the independent variables, industrial emissions was identified as the most important factor influencing the water quality of reservoirs; land use and human habitation also had a substantial impact on water quality. The results of this study provide insights into the factors impacting the water quality of reservoirs as well as basic information for protecting reservoir water resources.

  4. A Tutorial on Probablilistic Risk Assessement and its Role in Risk-Informed Decision Making

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dezfuli, Homayoon

    2010-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews risk assessment and its role in risk-informed decision making. It includes information on probabilistic risk assessment, typical risk management process, origins of risk matrix, performance measures, performance objectives and Bayes theorem.

  5. Teacher Decisions about Planning and Assessment in Primary Mathematics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sullivan, Peter; Clarke, David J.; Clarke, Doug M.

    2012-01-01

    We are interested in exploring the processes teachers use when planning. We sought responses from teachers on aspects of their planning from a survey of various aspects of their decisions. We found that, while there is diversity in processes teachers use for planning, a consistent theme was that teachers make deliberative decisions at all stages…

  6. A Preliminary View of the Quality of Decision-Making in the Benchmark Year of 1984. AIR 1985 Annual Forum Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spiro, Louis M.; Campbell, Jill F.

    Perceptions of college institutional research directors concerning the quality of executive decision making at their institutions were studied. Perceptions were assessed using a theoretical model of Groupthink developed by Janis, who postulates that a high amount of environmental stress should lead to a greater degree of…

  7. Naturalistic Decision-Making Task Processes in Multiprofessional Assessment of Disability.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartolo, Paul A.; Dockrell, Julie; Lunt, Ingrid

    2001-01-01

    Studies the group decision-making process of the evaluation of preschool children with complex disabilities. Sequential application of processes was found to be influenced by the occurrence of a series of three cycles of decision making within each assessment and the decomposition of the assessment task into distinct subproblems. (Contains 67…

  8. Full-Reference Image Quality Assessment with Linear Combination of Genetically Selected Quality Measures

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Information carried by an image can be distorted due to different image processing steps introduced by different electronic means of storage and communication. Therefore, development of algorithms which can automatically assess a quality of the image in a way that is consistent with human evaluation is important. In this paper, an approach to image quality assessment (IQA) is proposed in which the quality of a given image is evaluated jointly by several IQA approaches. At first, in order to obtain such joint models, an optimisation problem of IQA measures aggregation is defined, where a weighted sum of their outputs, i.e., objective scores, is used as the aggregation operator. Then, the weight of each measure is considered as a decision variable in a problem of minimisation of root mean square error between obtained objective scores and subjective scores. Subjective scores reflect ground-truth and involve evaluation of images by human observers. The optimisation problem is solved using a genetic algorithm, which also selects suitable measures used in aggregation. Obtained multimeasures are evaluated on four largest widely used image benchmarks and compared against state-of-the-art full-reference IQA approaches. Results of comparison reveal that the proposed approach outperforms other competing measures. PMID:27341493

  9. Quality effort decision in service supply chain with quality preference based on quantum game

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Cuihua; Xing, Peng; Wang, Jianwei

    2015-04-01

    Service quality preference behaviors of both members are considered in service supply chain (SSC) including a service integrator and a service provider with stochastic demand. Through analysis of service quality cost and revenue, the utility functions are established on service quality effort degree and service quality preference level in integrated and decentralized SSC. Nash equilibrium and quantum game are used to optimize the models. By comparing the different solutions, the optimal strategies are obtained in SSC with quality preference. Then some numerical examples are studied and the changing trend of service quality effort is further analyzed by the influence of the entanglement operator and quality preferences.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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…

  14. 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...

  15. 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…

  16. Decision-making quality of younger and older adults in familiar and unfamiliar domains.

    PubMed

    Wayde, Ernest N; Black, Sheila R; Gilpin, Ansley

    2017-03-01

    Age-related differences in purchasing decisions were examined as a function of age and familiarity. On each trial, participants received purchasing options which varied in quality but ultimately cost the same amount of money. On half the trials, participants made decisions about items familiar to younger adults and on the other half of the trials, participants made decisions about products familiar to older adults. The participants' task was to choose the option that provided the best value for the money. We were particularly interested in participants' performance when inferencing was required to select the optimal option from the two choices. Younger adults outperformed older adults in unfamiliar but not familiar domains. It appeared that both younger and older adults used inferencing and elaborative processing to make the best decision in familiar domains but that only younger adults used inferencing and elaborative processing in unfamiliar domains.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Decision Making, Structure and Institutional Notions of Quality: A Case Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolverton, Mimi

    Few studies have focused on the effects of systemic change and decentralized decision making on organizational structure and on an institution's notion of quality education. This study examined such interconnections at a community college given the pseudonym America Community College (ACC). ACC is a multi-campus metropolitan area college in a area…

  20. Test Length and Decision Quality in Personnel Selection: When Is Short Too Short?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kruyen, Peter M.; Emons, Wilco H. M.; Sijtsma, Klaas

    2012-01-01

    Personnel selection shows an enduring need for short stand-alone tests consisting of, say, 5 to 15 items. Despite their efficiency, short tests are more vulnerable to measurement error than longer test versions. Consequently, the question arises to what extent reducing test length deteriorates decision quality due to increased impact of…

  1. Parental Decision Making about Technology and Quality in Child Care Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rose, Katherine K.; Vittrup, Brigitte; Leveridge, Tinney

    2013-01-01

    Background: This study investigated parental decision making about non-parental child care programs based on the technological and quality components of the program, both child-focused and parent-focused. Child-focused variables related to children's access to technology such as computers, educational television programming, and the internet.…

  2. Models, Measurements, and Local Decisions: Assessing and Addressing Impacts from Port Expansion and Traffic Activity

    EPA Science Inventory

    This presentation includes a combination of modeling and measurement results to characterize near-source air quality in Newark, New Jersey with consideration of how this information could be used to inform decision making to reduce risk of health impacts. Decisions could include ...

  3. When Quality Beats Quantity: Decision Theory, Drug Discovery, and the Reproducibility Crisis

    PubMed Central

    Scannell, Jack W.; Bosley, Jim

    2016-01-01

    A striking contrast runs through the last 60 years of biopharmaceutical discovery, research, and development. Huge scientific and technological gains should have increased the quality of academic science and raised industrial R&D efficiency. However, academia faces a "reproducibility crisis"; inflation-adjusted industrial R&D costs per novel drug increased nearly 100 fold between 1950 and 2010; and drugs are more likely to fail in clinical development today than in the 1970s. The contrast is explicable only if powerful headwinds reversed the gains and/or if many "gains" have proved illusory. However, discussions of reproducibility and R&D productivity rarely address this point explicitly. The main objectives of the primary research in this paper are: (a) to provide quantitatively and historically plausible explanations of the contrast; and (b) identify factors to which R&D efficiency is sensitive. We present a quantitative decision-theoretic model of the R&D process. The model represents therapeutic candidates (e.g., putative drug targets, molecules in a screening library, etc.) within a “measurement space", with candidates' positions determined by their performance on a variety of assays (e.g., binding affinity, toxicity, in vivo efficacy, etc.) whose results correlate to a greater or lesser degree. We apply decision rules to segment the space, and assess the probability of correct R&D decisions. We find that when searching for rare positives (e.g., candidates that will successfully complete clinical development), changes in the predictive validity of screening and disease models that many people working in drug discovery would regard as small and/or unknowable (i.e., an 0.1 absolute change in correlation coefficient between model output and clinical outcomes in man) can offset large (e.g., 10 fold, even 100 fold) changes in models’ brute-force efficiency. We also show how validity and reproducibility correlate across a population of simulated screening and

  4. When Quality Beats Quantity: Decision Theory, Drug Discovery, and the Reproducibility Crisis.

    PubMed

    Scannell, Jack W; Bosley, Jim

    2016-01-01

    A striking contrast runs through the last 60 years of biopharmaceutical discovery, research, and development. Huge scientific and technological gains should have increased the quality of academic science and raised industrial R&D efficiency. However, academia faces a "reproducibility crisis"; inflation-adjusted industrial R&D costs per novel drug increased nearly 100 fold between 1950 and 2010; and drugs are more likely to fail in clinical development today than in the 1970s. The contrast is explicable only if powerful headwinds reversed the gains and/or if many "gains" have proved illusory. However, discussions of reproducibility and R&D productivity rarely address this point explicitly. The main objectives of the primary research in this paper are: (a) to provide quantitatively and historically plausible explanations of the contrast; and (b) identify factors to which R&D efficiency is sensitive. We present a quantitative decision-theoretic model of the R&D process. The model represents therapeutic candidates (e.g., putative drug targets, molecules in a screening library, etc.) within a "measurement space", with candidates' positions determined by their performance on a variety of assays (e.g., binding affinity, toxicity, in vivo efficacy, etc.) whose results correlate to a greater or lesser degree. We apply decision rules to segment the space, and assess the probability of correct R&D decisions. We find that when searching for rare positives (e.g., candidates that will successfully complete clinical development), changes in the predictive validity of screening and disease models that many people working in drug discovery would regard as small and/or unknowable (i.e., an 0.1 absolute change in correlation coefficient between model output and clinical outcomes in man) can offset large (e.g., 10 fold, even 100 fold) changes in models' brute-force efficiency. We also show how validity and reproducibility correlate across a population of simulated screening and

  5. Project Assessment Framework through Design (PAFTD) - A Project Assessment Framework in Support of Strategic Decision Making

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Depenbrock, Brett T.; Balint, Tibor S.; Sheehy, Jeffrey A.

    2014-01-01

    Research and development organizations that push the innovation edge of technology frequently encounter challenges when attempting to identify an investment strategy and to accurately forecast the cost and schedule performance of selected projects. Fast moving and complex environments require managers to quickly analyze and diagnose the value of returns on investment versus allocated resources. Our Project Assessment Framework through Design (PAFTD) tool facilitates decision making for NASA senior leadership to enable more strategic and consistent technology development investment analysis, beginning at implementation and continuing through the project life cycle. The framework takes an integrated approach by leveraging design principles of useability, feasibility, and viability and aligns them with methods employed by NASA's Independent Program Assessment Office for project performance assessment. The need exists to periodically revisit the justification and prioritization of technology development investments as changes occur over project life cycles. The framework informs management rapidly and comprehensively about diagnosed internal and external root causes of project performance.

  6. Genetic testing likelihood: the impact of abortion views and quality of life information on women's decisions.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Jessica L; Ferguson, Gail M; Thorn, Judith M

    2011-04-01

    Little is known about factors predicting the likelihood of choosing genetic testing in college aged women versus older women, including knowledge of quality of life (QOL) associated with a disorder. Using vignettes with female college students (Experiment 1: n=257, mean age=19.70 yrs) and female faculty/staff/alumni (Experiment 2: n (nulliparous)=83, mean age=30.20 yrs; n (mothers)=53, mean age=33.77 yrs), we examined the contribution of multiple factors to predicting genetic testing likelihood for cystic fibrosis. We investigated malleable situational factors (style of genetic risk presentation and providing QOL information including physical and social aspects) and stable dispositional factors (abortion views). Parity (i.e., prior births) was more influential in women's genetic testing likelihood than was age. Greater acceptability of abortion for oneself and self-assessed knowledge following QOL information were predictors of higher testing likelihood for college students. Greater acceptability of abortion for another person was a predictor for nulliparous women. Abortion views moderated the effect of predictors for nulliparous women and mothers. Findings encourage genetic counselors to utilize QOL information to promote informed decision making through genetic testing.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. A Wireless Sensor Network-Based Approach with Decision Support for Monitoring Lake Water Quality

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Xiaoci; Yi, Jianjun; Chen, Shaoli; Zhu, Xiaomin

    2015-01-01

    Online monitoring and water quality analysis of lakes are urgently needed. A feasible and effective approach is to use a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN). Lake water environments, like other real world environments, present many changing and unpredictable situations. To ensure flexibility in such an environment, the WSN node has to be prepared to deal with varying situations. This paper presents a WSN self-configuration approach for lake water quality monitoring. The approach is based on the integration of a semantic framework, where a reasoner can make decisions on the configuration of WSN services. We present a WSN ontology and the relevant water quality monitoring context information, which considers its suitability in a pervasive computing environment. We also propose a rule-based reasoning engine that is used to conduct decision support through reasoning techniques and context-awareness. To evaluate the approach, we conduct usability experiments and performance benchmarks. PMID:26610496

  10. A Wireless Sensor Network-Based Approach with Decision Support for Monitoring Lake Water Quality.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xiaoci; Yi, Jianjun; Chen, Shaoli; Zhu, Xiaomin

    2015-11-19

    Online monitoring and water quality analysis of lakes are urgently needed. A feasible and effective approach is to use a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN). Lake water environments, like other real world environments, present many changing and unpredictable situations. To ensure flexibility in such an environment, the WSN node has to be prepared to deal with varying situations. This paper presents a WSN self-configuration approach for lake water quality monitoring. The approach is based on the integration of a semantic framework, where a reasoner can make decisions on the configuration of WSN services. We present a WSN ontology and the relevant water quality monitoring context information, which considers its suitability in a pervasive computing environment. We also propose a rule-based reasoning engine that is used to conduct decision support through reasoning techniques and context-awareness. To evaluate the approach, we conduct usability experiments and performance benchmarks.

  11. Factual Approach in Decision Making - the Prerequisite of Success in Quality Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kučerová, Marta; Škůrková Lestyánszka, Katarína

    2013-12-01

    In quality management system as well as in other managerial systems, effective decisions must be always based on the data and information analysis, i.e. based on facts, in accordance with the factual approach principle in quality management. It is therefore necessary to measure and collect the data and information about processes. The article presents the results of a conducted survey, which was focused on application of factual approach in decision making. It also offers suggestions for improvements of application of the principle in business practice. This article was prepared using the research results of VEGA project No. 1/0229/08 "Perspectives of the quality management development in relation to the requirements of market in the Slovak Republic".

  12. Quality of Online Information to Support Patient Decision-Making in Breast Cancer Surgery

    PubMed Central

    Bruce, Jordan G.; Tucholka, Jennifer L.; Steffens, Nicole M.; Neuman, Heather B.

    2015-01-01

    Background Breast cancer patients commonly use the internet as an information resource. Our objective was to evaluate the quality of online information available to support patients facing a decision for breast surgery. Methods Breast cancer surgery-related queries were performed (Google and Bing), and reviewed for content pertinent to breast cancer surgery. The DISCERN instrument was used to evaluate websites’ structural components that influence publication reliability and ability of information to support treatment decision-making. Scores of 4/5 were considered “good”. Results 45 unique websites were identified. Websites satisfied a median 5/9 content questions. Commonly omitted topics included: having a choice between breast conservation and mastectomy (67%) and potential for 2nd surgery to obtain negative margins after breast conservation (60%). Websites had a median DISCERN score of 2.9 (range 2.0–4.5). Websites achieved higher scores on structural criteria (median 3.6 [2.1–4.7]), with 24% rated as “good”. Scores on supporting decision-making questions were lower (2.6 [1.3–4.4]), with only 7% scoring “good”. Conclusion Although numerous breast cancer-related websites exist, most do a poor job providing women with essential information necessary to actively participate in decision-making for breast cancer surgery. Providing easily-accessible, high-quality online information has the potential to significantly improve patients’ experiences with decision-making. PMID:26417898

  13. “Surgery Is Certainly One Good Option”: Quality and Time-Efficiency of Informed Decision-Making in Surgery

    PubMed Central

    Braddock, Clarence; Hudak, Pamela L.; Feldman, Jacob J.; Bereknyei, Sylvia; Frankel, Richard M.; Levinson, Wendy

    2008-01-01

    Background: Informed decision-making has been widely promoted in several medical settings, but little is known about the actual practice in orthopaedic surgery and there are no clear guidelines on how to improve the process in this setting. This study was designed to explore the quality of informed decision-making in orthopaedic practice and to identify excellent time-efficient examples with older patients. Methods: We recruited orthopaedic surgeons, and patients sixty years of age or older, in a Midwestern metropolitan area for a descriptive study performed through the analysis of audiotaped physician-patient interviews. We used a valid and reliable measure to assess the elements of informed decision-making. These included discussions of the nature of the decision, the patient's role, alternatives, pros and cons, and uncertainties; assessment of the patient's understanding and his or her desire to receive input from others; and exploration of the patient's preferences and the impact on the patient's daily life. The audiotapes were scored with regard to whether there was a complete discussion of each informed-decision-making element (an IDM-18 score of 2) or a partial discussion of each element (an IDM-18 score of 1) as well as with a more pragmatic metric (the IDM-Min score), reflecting whether there was any discussion of the patient's role or preference and of the nature of the decision. The visit duration was studied in relation to the extent of the informed decision-making, and excellent time-efficient examples were sought. Results: There were 141 informed-decision-making discussions about surgery, including knee and hip replacement as well as wrist/hand, shoulder, and arthroscopic surgery. Surgeons frequently discussed the nature of the decision (92% of the time), alternatives (62%), and risks and benefits (59%); they rarely discussed the patient's role (14%) or assessed the patient's understanding (12%). The IDM-18 scores of the 141 discussions averaged 5

  14. Do users ignore spatial data quality? A decision-theoretic perspective.

    PubMed

    van Oort, P A J; Bregt, A K

    2005-12-01

    Risk analysis (RA) has been proposed as a means of assessing fitness for use of spatial data but is only rarely adopted. The proposal is that better decisions can be made by accounting for risks due to errors in spatial data. Why is RA so rarely adopted? Most geographical information science (GISc) literature stresses educational and technical constraints. In this article we propose, based on decision theory, a number of hypotheses for why the user would be more or less willing to spend resources on RA. The hypotheses were tested with a questionnaire, which showed that the willingness to spend resources on RA depends on the presence of feedback mechanisms in the decision-making process, on how much is at stake, and to a minor extent on how well the decision-making process can be modeled.

  15. Quality assessment of clinical computed tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-08-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Assessment of New Approaches in Geothermal Exploration Decision Making: Preprint

    SciTech Connect

    Akar, S.; Young, K. R.

    2015-02-01

    Geothermal exploration projects have significant amount of risk associated with uncertainties encountered in the discovery of the geothermal resource. Understanding when and how to proceed in an exploration program, and when to walk away from a site, are two of the largest challenges for increased geothermal deployment. Current methodologies for exploration decision making is left to subjective by subjective expert opinion which can be incorrectly biased by expertise (e.g. geochemistry, geophysics), geographic location of focus, and the assumed conceptual model. The aim of this project is to develop a methodology for more objective geothermal exploration decision making at a given location, including go-no-go decision points to help developers and investors decide when to give up on a location. In this scope, two different approaches are investigated: 1) value of information analysis (VOIA) which is used for evaluating and quantifying the value of a data before they are purchased, and 2) enthalpy-based exploration targeting based on reservoir size, temperature gradient estimates, and internal rate of return (IRR). The first approach, VOIA, aims to identify the value of a particular data when making decisions with an uncertain outcome. This approach targets the pre-drilling phase of exploration. These estimated VOIs are highly affected by the size of the project and still have a high degree of subjectivity in assignment of probabilities. The second approach, exploration targeting, is focused on decision making during the drilling phase. It starts with a basic geothermal project definition that includes target and minimum required production capacity and initial budgeting for exploration phases. Then, it uses average temperature gradient, reservoir temperature estimates, and production capacity to define targets and go/no-go limits. The decision analysis in this approach is based on achieving a minimum IRR at each phase of the project. This second approach was

  18. Criteria for assessing problem solving and decision making in complex environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Orasanu, Judith

    1993-01-01

    Training crews to cope with unanticipated problems in high-risk, high-stress environments requires models of effective problem solving and decision making. Existing decision theories use the criteria of logical consistency and mathematical optimality to evaluate decision quality. While these approaches are useful under some circumstances, the assumptions underlying these models frequently are not met in dynamic time-pressured operational environments. Also, applying formal decision models is both labor and time intensive, a luxury often lacking in operational environments. Alternate approaches and criteria are needed. Given that operational problem solving and decision making are embedded in ongoing tasks, evaluation criteria must address the relation between those activities and satisfaction of broader task goals. Effectiveness and efficiency become relevant for judging reasoning performance in operational environments. New questions must be addressed: What is the relation between the quality of decisions and overall performance by crews engaged in critical high risk tasks? Are different strategies most effective for different types of decisions? How can various decision types be characterized? A preliminary model of decision types found in air transport environments will be described along with a preliminary performance model based on an analysis of 30 flight crews. The performance analysis examined behaviors that distinguish more and less effective crews (based on performance errors). Implications for training and system design will be discussed.

  19. Identifying and assessing the application of ecosystem services approaches in environmental policies and decision making.

    PubMed

    Van Wensem, Joke; Calow, Peter; Dollacker, Annik; Maltby, Lorraine; Olander, Lydia; Tuvendal, Magnus; Van Houtven, George

    2017-01-01

    The presumption is that ecosystem services (ES) approaches provide a better basis for environmental decision making than do other approaches because they make explicit the connection between human well-being and ecosystem structures and processes. However, the existing literature does not provide a precise description of ES approaches for environmental policy and decision making, nor does it assess whether these applications will make a difference in terms of changing decisions and improving outcomes. We describe 3 criteria that can be used to identify whether and to what extent ES approaches are being applied: 1) connect impacts all the way from ecosystem changes to human well-being, 2) consider all relevant ES affected by the decision, and 3) consider and compare the changes in well-being of different stakeholders. As a demonstration, we then analyze retrospectively whether and how the criteria were met in different decision-making contexts. For this assessment, we have developed an analysis format that describes the type of policy, the relevant scales, the decisions or questions, the decision maker, and the underlying documents. This format includes a general judgment of how far the 3 ES criteria have been applied. It shows that the criteria can be applied to many different decision-making processes, ranging from the supranational to the local scale and to different parts of decision-making processes. In conclusion we suggest these criteria could be used for assessments of the extent to which ES approaches have been and should be applied, what benefits and challenges arise, and whether using ES approaches made a difference in the decision-making process, decisions made, or outcomes of those decisions. Results from such studies could inform future use and development of ES approaches, draw attention to where the greatest benefits and challenges are, and help to target integration of ES approaches into policies, where they can be most effective. Integr Environ

  20. The Accuracy of Intelligence Assessment: Bias, Perception, and Judgement in Analysis and Decision

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-03-10

    practical inteligence ethic--not a code of conduct but an ethical way of thinking that forces analysts and decision-makers to ask L El the right...incorporated it into their varying viewpoints and turned it often into competitive conclusions. Some embraced, some acquiesced, some ignored, some rejected...dilemma. Intelligence officers and decision-makers compete for viewpoints. Intelligence assessments are always potentially competitive decisions. This

  1. Making effective links to decision-making: Key challenges for health impact assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Elliott, Eva . E-mail: elliotte@cf.ac.uk; Francis, Sarah

    2005-10-15

    This paper draws on an exploratory research study to examine the effectiveness of health impact assessments in Wales. Through the review of five case study health impact assessments the research identified a number of benefits of the process in terms of skills and knowledge development amongst participants. The indirect contributions to decision-making were also evident including the way in which health impact assessment provided useful insights into the local community's perspective and raised awareness about the wider determinants of health. The process was also useful in establishing a dialogue between different stakeholders, which indirectly assisted decision-making and implementation. The direct links between health impact assessment and decision-making were more difficult to trace and this paper puts forward a number of suggestions for making those links more transparent. Suggestions include integrating decision-makers and clarifying the intended links to decision-making at the start of the health impact assessment process. Mainstreaming health impact assessment so that it is triggered as a routine part of all decision-making would help ensure it stands the best chance of informing decisions.

  2. Including Alternate Assessment Results in Accountability Decisions. NCEO Policy Directions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quenemoen, Rachel; Thurlow, Martha

    Alternate assessments provide a mechanism for students with complex disabilities to be included in assessment systems. An integral part of maximizing the benefits of assessing students is to include the results of alternate assessments in school accountability systems. This report addresses policy options for including the results of alternate…

  3. A neurolaw perspective on psychiatric assessments of criminal responsibility: decision-making, mental disorder, and the brain.

    PubMed

    Meynen, Gerben

    2013-01-01

    In some criminal law cases, the defendant is assessed by a forensic psychiatrist or psychologist within the context of an insanity defense. In this article I argue that specific neuroscientific research can be helpful in improving the quality of such a forensic psychiatric evaluation. This will be clarified in two ways. Firstly, we shall adopt the approach of understanding these forensic assessments as evaluations of the influence of a mental disorder on a defendant's decision-making process. Secondly, I shall point to the fact that researchers in neuroscience have performed various studies over recent years on the influence of specific mental disorders on a patient's decision-making. I argue that such research, especially if modified to decision-making in criminal scenarios, could be very helpful to forensic psychiatric assessments. This kind of research aims to provide insights not merely into the presence of a mental disorder, but also into the actual impact of mental disorders on the decisions defendants have made in regard to their actions.

  4. Decision Support System for Disability Assessment and Intervention.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dowler, Denetta L.; And Others

    1991-01-01

    Constructed decision support system to aid referral of good candidates for rehabilitation from Social Security Administration to rehabilitation counselors. Three layers of system were gross screening based on policy guidelines, training materials, and interviews with experts; physical and mental functional capacity items derived from policy…

  5. 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

  6. Map Out a Public Preschool Care and Education Plan: Multiphased Need Assessment for Program Decisions. [Draft].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koppel, Sheree P.; Isenhour, Karen D.

    The Multiphased Need Assessment for Program Decisions (MAP) was designed to inform decision makers of a large urban school district concerning the need for early childhood programs in the community. The goals were to indicate the types of programs desired by the community; to bring together public school preschool experts; and to coordinate…

  7. Assessing Changes in High School Students' Environmental Decision-Making Skills: Some Methodological Contributions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Switzer, Anne C.

    2009-01-01

    In this study, I developed three methods for the assessment of high-school students' environmental decision-making skills. The three methods were developed based on perspectives of decision-making expertise in psychology and are named "Satisfying Results," "Coherence," and "Process Decomposition." Satisfying Results looked directly at the choices…

  8. Geospatial Data Fusion and Multigroup Decision Support for Surface Water Quality Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, A. Y.; Osidele, O.; Green, R. T.; Xie, H.

    2010-12-01

    Social networking and social media have gained significant popularity and brought fundamental changes to many facets of our everyday life. With the ever-increasing adoption of GPS-enabled gadgets and technology, location-based content is likely to play a central role in social networking sites. While location-based content is not new to the geoscience community, where geographic information systems (GIS) are extensively used, the delivery of useful geospatial data to targeted user groups for decision support is new. Decision makers and modelers ought to make more effective use of the new web-based tools to expand the scope of environmental awareness education, public outreach, and stakeholder interaction. Environmental decision processes are often rife with uncertainty and controversy, requiring integration of multiple sources of information and compromises between diverse interests. Fusing of multisource, multiscale environmental data for multigroup decision support is a challenging task. Toward this goal, a multigroup decision support platform should strive to achieve transparency, impartiality, and timely synthesis of information. The latter criterion often constitutes a major technical bottleneck to traditional GIS-based media, featuring large file or image sizes and requiring special processing before web deployment. Many tools and design patterns have appeared in recent years to ease the situation somewhat. In this project, we explore the use of Web 2.0 technologies for “pushing” location-based content to multigroups involved in surface water quality management and decision making. In particular, our granular bottom-up approach facilitates effective delivery of information to most relevant user groups. Our location-based content includes in-situ and remotely sensed data disseminated by NASA and other national and local agencies. Our project is demonstrated for managing the total maximum daily load (TMDL) program in the Arroyo Colorado coastal river basin

  9. 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 §§...

  10. 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 §§...

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. A decision support system for delivering optimal quality peach and tomato

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thai, C. N.; Pease, J. N.; Shewfelt, R. L.

    1990-01-01

    Several studies have indicated that color and firmness are the two quality attributes most important to consumers in making purchasing decisions of fresh peaches and tomatoes. However, at present, retail produce managers do not have the proper information for handling fresh produce so it has the most appealing color and firmness when it reaches the consumer. This information should help them predict the consumer color and firmness perception and preference for produce from various storage conditions. Since 1987, for 'Redglobe' peach and 'Sunny' tomato, we have been generating information about their physical quality attributes (firmness and color) and their corresponding consumer sensory scores. This article reports on our current progress toward the goal of integrating such information into a model-based decision support system for retail level managers in handling fresh peaches and tomatoes.

  15. An Environmental Decision Support System for Spatial Assessment and Selective Remediation

    EPA Science Inventory

    Spatial Analysis and Decision Assistance (SADA) is a Windows freeware program that incorporates environmental assessment tools for effective problem-solving. The software integrates modules for GIS, visualization, geospatial analysis, statistical analysis, human health and ecolog...

  16. Sinkhole hazard assessment in Minnesota using a decision tree model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Yongli; Alexander, E. Calvin

    2008-05-01

    An understanding of what influences sinkhole formation and the ability to accurately predict sinkhole hazards is critical to environmental management efforts in the karst lands of southeastern Minnesota. Based on the distribution of distances to the nearest sinkhole, sinkhole density, bedrock geology and depth to bedrock in southeastern Minnesota and northwestern Iowa, a decision tree model has been developed to construct maps of sinkhole probability in Minnesota. The decision tree model was converted as cartographic models and implemented in ArcGIS to create a preliminary sinkhole probability map in Goodhue, Wabasha, Olmsted, Fillmore, and Mower Counties. This model quantifies bedrock geology, depth to bedrock, sinkhole density, and neighborhood effects in southeastern Minnesota but excludes potential controlling factors such as structural control, topographic settings, human activities and land-use. The sinkhole probability map needs to be verified and updated as more sinkholes are mapped and more information about sinkhole formation is obtained.

  17. The impact of outcome knowledge, role, and quality of information on the perceived legitimacy of lethal force decisions in counter-terrorism operations.

    PubMed

    Goodwill, Alasdair M; Alison, Laurence; Lehmann, Robert; Francis, Ashley; Eyre, Marie

    2010-01-01

    According to the phenomenon of hindsight bias, once people know the outcome of an event, they tend to have biased estimates of the probability that the event would have occurred. In this study, we investigated whether hindsight bias affected judgements about the legitimacy of lethal force decisions in police shooting incidents for counter-terrorism operations. We also assessed to what extent this hindsight bias was mediated by factors such as role and information quality. Four hundred and eighty participants completed a short questionnaire that manipulated role (as senior police officer, Independent Police Complaints Commissioner, or family member, plus a "no role" control group), information quality (detailed/good or vague/ambiguous), and outcome knowledge (knowledge of outcome/hindsight versus no knowledge of outcome/foresight) in a 4 x 2 x 2 design. Results indicated that outcome knowledge affected the perception of threat and decision quality but not the blameworthiness of the senior police officer. Quality of information had a significant effect on all three dependent variables and role had a significant impact on judgements as to whether the decision to shoot was correct and also the perceived threat, though not on perceived blameworthiness. These findings indicate that people who have to judge the liability of lethal force decisions are not able to ignore outcome information, and are strongly influenced by the quality of information and by the role in which they are receiving the information.

  18. Dismounted Infantry Decision Skills Assessment in the Virtual Training Environment

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-03-01

    AVAILABILITY STATEMENT Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES Subject Matter EPOC and Contracting Officer’s...environment technologies like ViSSA have the potential to provide the Army with a training capability to meet these demands to optimize human...in preparing dismounted forces for decision-making in urban operations, using the strengths of virtual environment technologies . The U.S. Army is

  19. The Testing Phase for the Small Unit Decision Making (SUDM) Assessment Battery

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-07-28

    PPSS S Self-Awareness Freiberg Mindfulness Inventory FMI S Decision Making Decision Requirements Interview DRI P SUDM Situational Judgment Test...Mindfulness Inventory ( FMI ) used to assess self-awareness, and the Differences in Empathy Scale (DES) used to assess perspective taking. Two performance...SUDM SJT)—also did not reach the reliability cut off of 0.75. For the current study, the FMI had a 0.48 and 0.42 for pre and post reliabilities. The

  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. Quality measurement and control in physician decision making: state of the art.

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, O W; Shields, M C

    1982-01-01

    The status of the concept of controlling the quality of physicians is reviewed as are studies that have been done on methods to measure and improve quality. The conclusions are dismal given the rhetoric and actions on attempts to measure and control quality of physician decision making. Massive attempts are being made, for example, mandating PSROs to monitor quality before there is a methodology. Cost and quality reviews have, at most, a marginal impact and do not deserve the expenditures to conduct them. Studies on utilization review show minimal impact on reducing utilization. Administrative reviews reduce utilization for certain specific, narrowly defined procedures such as injections. There is no operational definition of "unnecessary" utilization. The tendency is to regard the lowest levels as optimal, presumably because they result in lower expenditures. Bureaucratic reviews do not provide incentives to decision makers the way various types of HMO delivery types do from current evidence. Hence, HMOs, deductibles and coinsurance, and competition have greater promise for limiting expenditures than do utilization reviews. Quality audits are also marginally effective because of limited promise of changing provider behavior given current methods of doing so. They miss the organizational aspects in which incentives are generated. Research is needed, therefore, on alternative forms of quality and cost control such as HMOs, physician risk sharing, competitive models, and deductibles and coinsurance. Until the much needed research has been done, the amount of resources spent on review should be minimized. In the meantime, the review processes should concentrate on extreme variations of very narrowly defined criteria of proven validity while improving the review methodology by systematic research on quality monitoring. PMID:7047464

  2. Quantitative Framework for Retrospective Assessment of Interim Decisions in Clinical Trials.

    PubMed

    Stanev, Roger

    2016-11-01

    This article presents a quantitative way of modeling the interim decisions of clinical trials. While statistical approaches tend to focus on the epistemic aspects of statistical monitoring rules, often overlooking ethical considerations, ethical approaches tend to neglect the key epistemic dimension. The proposal is a second-order decision-analytic framework. The framework provides means for retrospective assessment of interim decisions based on a clear and consistent set of criteria that combines both ethical and epistemic considerations. The framework is broadly Bayesian and addresses a fundamental question behind many concerns about clinical trials: What does it take for an interim decision (e.g., whether to stop the trial or continue) to be a good decision? Simulations illustrating the modeling of interim decisions counterfactually are provided.

  3. Quantitative Framework for Retrospective Assessment of Interim Decisions in Clinical Trials

    PubMed Central

    Stanev, Roger

    2016-01-01

    This article presents a quantitative way of modeling the interim decisions of clinical trials. While statistical approaches tend to focus on the epistemic aspects of statistical monitoring rules, often overlooking ethical considerations, ethical approaches tend to neglect the key epistemic dimension. The proposal is a second-order decision-analytic framework. The framework provides means for retrospective assessment of interim decisions based on a clear and consistent set of criteria that combines both ethical and epistemic considerations. The framework is broadly Bayesian and addresses a fundamental question behind many concerns about clinical trials: What does it take for an interim decision (e.g., whether to stop the trial or continue) to be a good decision? Simulations illustrating the modeling of interim decisions counterfactually are provided. PMID:27353825

  4. Clinical judgment and decision-making in wound assessment and management: is experience enough?

    PubMed

    Logan, Gemma

    2015-03-01

    The assessment and management of wounds forms a large proportion of community nurses' workload, often requiring judgment and decision-making in complex, challenging and uncertain circumstances. The processes through which nurses form judgments and make decisions within this context are reviewed in this article against existing theories on these subjects. There is variability in wound assessment and management practice which may be attributed to uncertainties within the context, a lack of knowledge in appropriate treatment choices and the inability to correctly value the importance of the clinical information presented. Nurses may be required to draw on intuition to guide their judgments and decision-making by association with experience and expertise. In addition, a step-by-step analytical approach underpinned by an evidence base may be required to ensure accuracy in practice. Developing an understanding of the different theories of judgment and decision-making may facilitate nurses' abilities to reflect on their own decision tasks, thereby enhancing the care provided.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Some implications of the technology assessment function for the effective public decision-making process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mayo, L. H.

    1971-01-01

    A preliminary provisional assessment of the prospects for the establishment of an adequate technology assessment function and the implications of the assessment function for the public decision process are presented. Effects of the technology assessment function on each phase of the public decision process and briefly explored. Significant implications during the next decade are projected with respect to the following phases: invention and development of alternative means (technological configurations); evaluation, selection and promotion of preferred courses of action; and modification of statutory scheme or social action program as an outcome of continuing monitoring and appraisal.

  8. 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

  9. A decision support system for assessing landfill performance

    SciTech Connect

    Celik, Basak; Girgin, Sertan; Yazici, Adnan; Unlue, Kahraman

    2010-01-15

    Designing environmentally sound landfills is a challenging engineering task due to complex interactions of numerous design variables; such as landfill size, waste characteristics, and site hydrogeology. Decision support systems (DSS) can be utilized to handle these complex interactions and to aid in a performance-based landfill design by coupling system simulation models (SSM). The aim of this paper is to present a decision support system developed for a performance-based landfill design. The developed DSS is called Landfill Design Decision Support System - LFDSS. A two-step DSS framework, composed of preliminary design and detailed design phases, is set to effectively couple and run the SSMs and calculation modules. In preliminary design phase, preliminary design alternatives are proposed using general site data. In detailed design phase, proposed design alternatives are further simulated under site-specific data using SSMs for performance evaluation. LFDSS calculates the required landfill volume, performs landfill base contour design, proposes preliminary design alternatives based on general site conditions, evaluates the performance of the proposed designs, calculates the factor of safety values for slope stability analyses, and performs major cost calculations. The DSS evaluates the results of all landfill design alternatives, and determines whether the design satisfies the predefined performance criteria. The DSS ultimately enables comparisons among different landfill designs based on their performances (i.e. leachate head stability, and groundwater contamination), constructional stability and costs. The developed DSS was applied to a real site, and the results demonstrated the strengths of the developed system on designing environmentally sound and feasible landfills.

  10. A decision support system for assessing landfill performance.

    PubMed

    Celik, Başak; Girgin, Sertan; Yazici, Adnan; Unlü, Kahraman

    2010-01-01

    Designing environmentally sound landfills is a challenging engineering task due to complex interactions of numerous design variables; such as landfill size, waste characteristics, and site hydrogeology. Decision support systems (DSS) can be utilized to handle these complex interactions and to aid in a performance-based landfill design by coupling system simulation models (SSM). The aim of this paper is to present a decision support system developed for a performance-based landfill design. The developed DSS is called Landfill Design Decision Support System - LFDSS. A two-step DSS framework, composed of preliminary design and detailed design phases, is set to effectively couple and run the SSMs and calculation modules. In preliminary design phase, preliminary design alternatives are proposed using general site data. In detailed design phase, proposed design alternatives are further simulated under site-specific data using SSMs for performance evaluation. LFDSS calculates the required landfill volume, performs landfill base contour design, proposes preliminary design alternatives based on general site conditions, evaluates the performance of the proposed designs, calculates the factor of safety values for slope stability analyses, and performs major cost calculations. The DSS evaluates the results of all landfill design alternatives, and determines whether the design satisfies the predefined performance criteria. The DSS ultimately enables comparisons among different landfill designs based on their performances (i.e. leachate head stability, and groundwater contamination), constructional stability and costs. The developed DSS was applied to a real site, and the results demonstrated the strengths of the developed system on designing environmentally sound and feasible landfills.

  11. Evaluation and selection of decision-making methods to assess landfill mining projects.

    PubMed

    Hermann, Robert; Baumgartner, Rupert J; Vorbach, Stefan; Ragossnig, Arne; Pomberger, Roland

    2015-09-01

    For the first time in Austria, fundamental technological and economic studies on recovering secondary raw materials from large landfills have been carried out, based on the 'LAMIS - Landfill Mining Austria' pilot project. A main focus of the research - and the subject of this article - was to develop an assessment or decision-making procedure that allows landfill owners to thoroughly examine the feasibility of a landfill mining project in advance. Currently there are no standard procedures that would sufficiently cover all the multiple-criteria requirements. The basic structure of the multiple attribute decision making process was used to narrow down on selection, conceptual design and assessment of suitable procedures. Along with a breakdown into preliminary and main assessment, the entire foundation required was created, such as definitions of requirements to an assessment method, selection and accurate description of the various assessment criteria and classification of the target system for the present 'landfill mining' vs. 'retaining the landfill in after-care' decision-making problem. Based on these studies, cost-utility analysis and the analytical-hierarchy process were selected from the range of multiple attribute decision-making procedures and examined in detail. Overall, both methods have their pros and cons with regard to their use for assessing landfill mining projects. Merging these methods or connecting them with single-criteria decision-making methods (like the net present value method) may turn out to be reasonable and constitute an appropriate assessment method.

  12. 36 CFR 220.7 - Environmental assessment and decision notice.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... notice. (a) Environmental assessment. An environmental assessment (EA) shall be prepared for proposals as... need of an EIS has not been determined (§ 220.5). An EA may be prepared in any format useful to... this section are met. The EA may incorporate by reference information that is reasonably available...

  13. RECOVERY ACT - Methods for Decision under Technological Change Uncertainty and Risk Assessment for Integrated Assessment of Climate Change

    SciTech Connect

    Webster, Mort D.

    2015-11-30

    This report presents the final outcomes and products of the project as performed both at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and subsequently at Pennsylvania State University. The research project can be divided into three main components: methodology development for decision-making under uncertainty, improving the resolution of the electricity sector to improve integrated assessment, and application of these methods to integrated assessment.

  14. RECOVERY ACT - Methods for Decision under Technological Change Uncertainty and Risk Assessment for Integrated Assessment of Climate Change

    SciTech Connect

    Webster, Mort David

    2015-03-10

    This report presents the final outcomes and products of the project as performed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The research project consists of three main components: methodology development for decision-making under uncertainty, improving the resolution of the electricity sector to improve integrated assessment, and application of these methods to integrated assessment. Results in each area is described in the report.

  15. In Search of Quality Criteria in Peer Assessment Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  16. Automatic Assessment of Pathological Voice Quality Using Higher-Order Statistics in the LPC Residual Domain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Ji Yeoun; Hahn, Minsoo

    2010-12-01

    A preprocessing scheme based on linear prediction coefficient (LPC) residual is applied to higher-order statistics (HOSs) for automatic assessment of an overall pathological voice quality. The normalized skewness and kurtosis are estimated from the LPC residual and show statistically meaningful distributions to characterize the pathological voice quality. 83 voice samples of the sustained vowel /a/ phonation are used in this study and are independently assessed by a speech and language therapist (SALT) according to the grade of the severity of dysphonia of GRBAS scale. These are used to train and test classification and regression tree (CART). The best result is obtained using an optima l decision tree implemented by a combination of the normalized skewness and kurtosis, with an accuracy of 92.9%. It is concluded that the method can be used as an assessment tool, providing a valuable aid to the SALT during clinical evaluation of an overall pathological voice quality.

  17. Coordinating vendor-buyer decisions for imperfect quality items considering trade credit and fully backlogged shortages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khanna, Aditi; Gautam, Prerna; Jaggi, Chandra K.

    2016-03-01

    Supply chain management has become a critical issue for modern business environments. In today's world of cooperative decision-making, individual decisions in order to reduce inventory costs may not lead to an overall optimal solution. Coordination is necessary among participants of supply chain to achieve better performance. There are legitimate and important efforts from the vendor to enhance the relation with buyer; one such effort is offering trade credit which has been a driver of growth and development of business between them. The cost of financing is a core consideration in effective financial management, in general and in context of business. Also, due to imperfect production a vendor may produce defective items which results in shortages. Motivated with these aspects, an integrated vendor-buyer inventory model is developed for imperfect quality items with allowable shortages; in which the vendor offers credit period to the buyer for payment. The objective is to minimize the total joint annual costs incurred by the vendor and the buyer by using integrated decision making approach. The expected total annual integrated cost is derived and a solution procedure is provided to find the optimal solution. Numerical analysis shows that the integrated model gives an impressive cost reduction, in comparison to independent decision policies by the vendor and the buyer.

  18. 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

  19. Framework for Human Health Risk Assessment to Inform Decision Making

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The purpose of this document is to describe a Framework for conducting human health risk assessments that are responsive to the needs of decision‐making processes in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

  1. Quality Assessment of Internationalised Studies: Theory and Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Juknyte-Petreikiene, Inga

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. 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,…

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Assessing the Problem Formulation in an Integrated Assessment Model: Implications for Climate Policy Decision-Support

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garner, G. G.; Reed, P. M.; Keller, K.

    2014-12-01

    Integrated assessment models (IAMs) are often used with the intent to aid in climate change decisionmaking. Numerous studies have analyzed the effects of parametric and/or structural uncertainties in IAMs, but uncertainties regarding the problem formulation are often overlooked. Here we use the Dynamic Integrated model of Climate and the Economy (DICE) to analyze the effects of uncertainty surrounding the problem formulation. The standard DICE model adopts a single objective to maximize a weighted sum of utilities of per-capita consumption. Decisionmakers, however, may be concerned with a broader range of values and preferences that are not captured by this a priori definition of utility. We reformulate the problem by introducing three additional objectives that represent values such as (i) reliably limiting global average warming to two degrees Celsius and minimizing both (ii) the costs of abatement and (iii) the damages due to climate change. We derive a set of Pareto-optimal solutions over which decisionmakers can trade-off and assess performance criteria a posteriori. We illustrate the potential for myopia in the traditional problem formulation and discuss the capability of this multiobjective formulation to provide decision support.

  17. Choosing and using climate change scenarios for ecological-impact assessments and conservation decisions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Amy K. Snover,; Nathan J. Mantua,; Littell, Jeremy; Michael A. Alexander,; Michelle M. McClure,; Janet Nye,

    2013-01-01

    Increased concern over climate change is demonstrated by the many efforts to assess climate effects and develop adaptation strategies. Scientists, resource managers, and decision makers are increasingly expected to use climate information, but they struggle with its uncertainty. With the current proliferation of climate simulations and downscaling methods, scientifically credible strategies for selecting a subset for analysis and decision making are needed. Drawing on a rich literature in climate science and impact assessment and on experience working with natural resource scientists and decision makers, we devised guidelines for choosing climate-change scenarios for ecological impact assessment that recognize irreducible uncertainty in climate projections and address common misconceptions about this uncertainty. This approach involves identifying primary local climate drivers by climate sensitivity of the biological system of interest; determining appropriate sources of information for future changes in those drivers; considering how well processes controlling local climate are spatially resolved; and selecting scenarios based on considering observed emission trends, relative importance of natural climate variability, and risk tolerance and time horizon of the associated decision. The most appropriate scenarios for a particular analysis will not necessarily be the most appropriate for another due to differences in local climate drivers, biophysical linkages to climate, decision characteristics, and how well a model simulates the climate parameters and processes of interest. Given these complexities, we recommend interaction among climate scientists, natural and physical scientists, and decision makers throughout the process of choosing and using climate-change scenarios for ecological impact assessment.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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…

  1. 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 ...

  2. A Framework Incorporating Community Preferences in Use Attainment and Related Water Quality Decision-Making (2010 Final)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report is intended to assist water quality officials, watershed managers, members of stakeholder groups, and other interested individuals in fully evaluating ecological and socioeconomic objectives and the gains and losses that often are involved in use attainment decisions. ...

  3. Assessing quality of pre-service physics teachers' written arguments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aydeniz, Mehmet; Gürçay, Deniz

    2013-11-01

    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 either support or challenge the Turkish government's decision to invest in nuclear power plants. Data consist of written arguments developed by the participants and information on participants' knowledge of the topic, their confidence in their knowledge and the source of their knowledge related to the topic. Data were analyzed using the CER framework. Results: The results show that participants did not perform at the expected level. The majority of students failed to develop strong scientific arguments. While almost all of the participants provided evidence to justify their claims, they failed to effectively coordinate evidence, claim and theory to develop an argument. Students struggled the most in the warrant/reasoning category of the CER framework. We also identified several misconceptions that students held related to nuclear power plants. Conclusions: In our discussion we problematize college science teaching and advocate integration of instructional strategies such as argumentation that can effectively engage students in construction, evaluation and justification of knowledge.

  4. Effect of Mode of Interest Assessment on Clients' Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Uffelman, Rachel A.; Subich, Linda Mezydlo; Diegelman, Nathan M.; Wagner, Kimberly S.; Bardash, Rebekah J.

    2004-01-01

    To compare the effects of three different modes of interest assessment on career decision-making self-efficacy, 81 career-undecided college students participated in one of the following four conditions: an assessment intervention using the Strong Interest Inventory, an intervention using one of two methods of applying the Self-Directed Search, or…

  5. Test Reviews: Euler, B. L. (2007). "Emotional Disturbance Decision Tree". Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tansy, Michael

    2009-01-01

    The Emotional Disturbance Decision Tree (EDDT) is a teacher-completed norm-referenced rating scale published by Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc., in Lutz, Florida. The 156-item EDDT was developed for use as part of a broader assessment process to screen and assist in the identification of 5- to 18-year-old children for the special…

  6. REGIONAL VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT (REVA) IMPROVING ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION MAKING THROUGH CLIENT PARTNERSHIPS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Regional Vulnerability Assessment (ReV A) Program is an applied research program t,1at is focusing on using spatial information and model results to support environmental decision-making at regional- down to local-scales. Re VA has developed analysis and assessment methods to...

  7. 76 FR 12356 - A Method To Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the Chesapeake Bay

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-03-07

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY A Method To Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the Chesapeake Bay AGENCY... external peer review meeting of the draft document titled, ``A Method to Assess Climate-Relevant...

  8. The Integrated Medical Model - A Risk Assessment and Decision Support Tool for Human Space Flight Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kerstman, Eric; Minard, Charles G.; Saile, Lynn; FreiredeCarvalho, Mary; Myers, Jerry; Walton, Marlei; Butler, Douglas; Lopez, Vilma

    2010-01-01

    The Integrated Medical Model (IMM) is a decision support tool that is useful to space flight mission planners and medical system designers in assessing risks and optimizing medical systems. The IMM employs an evidence-based, probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) approach within the operational constraints of space flight.

  9. The effect of sampling strategies on assessment of water quality criteria attainment.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuxin; Wilson, Jessica M; VanBriesen, Jeanne M

    2015-05-01

    Sample locations for large river studies affect the representativeness of data, and thus can alter decisions made regarding river conditions and the need for interventions to improve water quality. The present study evaluated three water-quality sampling programs for Total Dissolved Solid (TDS) assessment in the Monongahela River from 2008 to 2012. The sampling plans cover the same 145 km of river but differ in frequency, sample location and type (e.g., river water sample vs drinking water plant intake sample). Differences resulting from temporal and spatial variability in sampling lead to different conclusions regarding water quality in the river (including regulatory listing decisions), especially when low flow leads to concentrations at or near the water quality criteria (500mg/L TDS). Drinking water samples exceeded the criteria 82 out of 650 samples (12.6%), while river water samples exceeded the criteria 47 out of 464 samples (10.1%). Different water sample types could provide different pictures of water quality in the river and lead to different regulatory listing decisions.

  10. Evaluation of a software package for automated quality assessment of contrast detail images—comparison with subjective visual assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pascoal, A.; Lawinski, C. P.; Honey, I.; Blake, P.

    2005-12-01

    Contrast detail analysis is commonly used to assess image quality (IQ) associated with diagnostic imaging systems. Applications include routine assessment of equipment performance and optimization studies. Most frequently, the evaluation of contrast detail images involves human observers visually detecting the threshold contrast detail combinations in the image. However, the subjective nature of human perception and the variations in the decision threshold pose limits to the minimum image quality variations detectable with reliability. Objective methods of assessment of image quality such as automated scoring have the potential to overcome the above limitations. A software package (CDRAD analyser) developed for automated scoring of images produced with the CDRAD test object was evaluated. Its performance to assess absolute and relative IQ was compared with that of an average observer. Results show that the software does not mimic the absolute performance of the average observer. The software proved more sensitive and was able to detect smaller low-contrast variations. The observer's performance was superior to the software's in the detection of smaller details. Both scoring methods showed frequent agreement in the detection of image quality variations resulting from changes in kVp and KERMAdetector, which indicates the potential to use the software CDRAD analyser for assessment of relative IQ.

  11. The perspective awareness model - Eliciting multiple perspectives to formulate high quality decisions

    SciTech Connect

    Boucher, Laurel

    2013-07-01

    A great deal of attention is given to the importance of communication in environmental remediation and radioactive waste management. However, very little attention is given to eliciting multiple perspectives so as to formulate high quality decisions. Plans that are based on a limited number of perspectives tend to be narrowly focused whereas those that are based on a wide variety of perspectives tend to be comprehensive, higher quality, and more apt to be put into application. In addition, existing methods of dialogue have built-in limitations in that they typically draw from the predominant thinking patterns which focus in some areas but ignore others. This can result in clarity but a lack of comprehensiveness. This paper presents a Perspective Awareness Model which helps groups such as partnering teams, interagency teams, steering committees, and working groups elicit a wide net of perspectives and viewpoints. The paper begins by describing five factors that makes cooperation among such groups challenging. Next, a Perspective Awareness Model that makes it possible to manage these five factors is presented. The two primary components of this model --- the eight 'Thinking Directions' and the 'Shared Documentation' --- are described in detail. Several examples are given to illustrate how the Perspective Awareness Model can be used to elicit multiple perspectives to formulate high quality decisions in the area of environmental remediation and radioactive waste management. (authors)

  12. Information Quality in Regulatory Decision Making: Peer Review versus Good Laboratory Practice

    PubMed Central

    Borgert, Christopher J.; Mihaich, Ellen M.

    2012-01-01

    Background: There is an ongoing discussion on the provenance of toxicity testing data regarding how best to ensure its validity and credibility. A central argument is whether journal peer-review procedures are superior to Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) standards employed for compliance with regulatory mandates. Objective: We sought to evaluate the rationale for regulatory decision making based on peer-review procedures versus GLP standards. Method: We examined pertinent published literature regarding how scientific data quality and validity are evaluated for peer review, GLP compliance, and development of regulations. Discussion: Some contend that peer review is a coherent, consistent evaluative procedure providing quality control for experimental data generation, analysis, and reporting sufficient to reliably establish relative merit, whereas GLP is seen as merely a tracking process designed to thwart investigator corruption. This view is not supported by published analyses pointing to subjectivity and variability in peer-review processes. Although GLP is not designed to establish relative merit, it is an internationally accepted quality assurance, quality control method for documenting experimental conduct and data. Conclusions: Neither process is completely sufficient for establishing relative scientific soundness. However, changes occurring both in peer-review processes and in regulatory guidance resulting in clearer, more transparent communication of scientific information point to an emerging convergence in ensuring information quality. The solution to determining relative merit lies in developing a well-documented, generally accepted weight-of-evidence scheme to evaluate both peer-reviewed and GLP information used in regulatory decision making where both merit and specific relevance inform the process. PMID:22343028

  13. Water quality assessment and meta model development in Melen watershed - Turkey.

    PubMed

    Erturk, Ali; Gurel, Melike; Ekdal, Alpaslan; Tavsan, Cigdem; Ugurluoglu, Aysegul; Seker, Dursun Zafer; Tanik, Aysegul; Ozturk, Izzet

    2010-07-01

    Istanbul, being one of the highly populated metropolitan areas of the world, has been facing water scarcity since the past decade. Water transfer from Melen Watershed was considered as the most feasible option to supply water to Istanbul due to its high water potential and relatively less degraded water quality. This study consists of two parts. In the first part, water quality data covering 26 parameters from 5 monitoring stations were analyzed and assessed due to the requirements of the "Quality Required of Surface Water Intended for the Abstraction of Drinking Water" regulation. In the second part, a one-dimensional stream water quality model with simple water quality kinetics was developed. It formed a basic design for more advanced water quality models for the watershed. The reason for assessing the water quality data and developing a model was to provide information for decision making on preliminary actions to prevent any further deterioration of existing water quality. According to the water quality assessment at the water abstraction point, Melen River has relatively poor water quality with regard to NH(4)(+), BOD(5), faecal streptococcus, manganese and phenol parameters, and is unsuitable for drinking water abstraction in terms of COD, PO(4)(3-), total coliform, total suspended solids, mercury and total chromium parameters. The results derived from the model were found to be consistent with the water quality assessment. It also showed that relatively high inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations along the streams are related to diffuse nutrient loads that should be managed together with municipal and industrial wastewaters.

  14. The role of Health Impact Assessment in the setting of air quality standards: An Australian perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Spickett, Jeffery; Katscherian, Dianne; Harris, Patrick

    2013-11-15

    The approaches used for setting or reviewing air quality standards vary from country to country. The purpose of this research was to consider the potential to improve decision-making through integration of HIA into the processes to review and set air quality standards used in Australia. To assess the value of HIA in this policy process, its strengths and weaknesses were evaluated aligned with review of international processes for setting air quality standards. Air quality standard setting programmes elsewhere have either used HIA or have amalgamated and incorporated factors normally found within HIA frameworks. They clearly demonstrate the value of a formalised HIA process for setting air quality standards in Australia. The following elements should be taken into consideration when using HIA in standard setting. (a) The adequacy of a mainly technical approach in current standard setting procedures to consider social determinants of health. (b) The importance of risk assessment criteria and information within the HIA process. The assessment of risk should consider equity, the distribution of variations in air quality in different locations and the potential impacts on health. (c) The uncertainties in extrapolating evidence from one population to another or to subpopulations, especially the more vulnerable, due to differing environmental factors and population variables. (d) The significance of communication with all potential stakeholders on issues associated with the management of air quality. In Australia there is also an opportunity for HIA to be used in conjunction with the NEPM to develop local air quality standard measures. The outcomes of this research indicated that the use of HIA for air quality standard setting at the national and local levels would prove advantageous. -- Highlights: • Health Impact Assessment framework has been applied to a policy development process. • HIA process was evaluated for application in air quality standard setting.

  15. Assessing changes in high school students' environmental decision-making skills: Some methodological contributions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Switzer, Anne C.

    In this study, I developed three methods for the assessment of high-school students' environmental decision-making skills. The three methods were developed based on perspectives of decision-making expertise in psychology and are named Satisfying Results, Coherence, and Process Decomposition . Satisfying Results looked directly at the choices students made. Coherence looked at the match between students' choices and their values, and Satisfying Results focused on individual steps of decision-making, with my focus being consequential thinking. With these three methods. I examined changes in 172 secondary students' environmental decision-making skills. The students in the sample studied the first unit of Investigations in Environmental Science: A Case-Based Approach to the Study of Environmental Science (CASES), a curriculum designed for grades 9-12. Integrated with the science content in CASES, students were introduced to the Stakeholder-Consequences Decision Making (SCDM) process. I pre- and post-tested students who experienced the first out of three units of CASES. I used the New Ecological Paradigm scale to look at students' values, as that was necessary for the Coherence perspective. The students' results varied with the decision-making perspective as well as with instruction of two CASES teachers. Relative to instruction, classroom management and the values exemplified by the teacher were examined. The overall results reflect that the assessment methods were able to detect positive gains based on particular goals that CASES stated for teaching environmental decision-making. Specifically, there was evidence of progress with both the "Coherence" and "Process Decomposition" results, which were goals of CASES. The methodology used in this study may be useful for grounding future studies of students' decision-making skills. In particular, the methods developed here can be utilized for matching assessment methods to teaching goals, as well as to entering the realm of

  16. 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.

  17. Informing the judgments of fingerprint analysts using quality metric and statistical assessment tools.

    PubMed

    Langenburg, Glenn; Champod, Christophe; Genessay, Thibault

    2012-06-10

    The aim of this research was to evaluate how fingerprint analysts would incorporate information from newly developed tools into their decision making processes. Specifically, we assessed effects using the following: (1) a quality tool to aid in the assessment of the clarity of the friction ridge details, (2) a statistical tool to provide likelihood ratios representing the strength of the corresponding features between compared fingerprints, and (3) consensus information from a group of trained fingerprint experts. The measured variables for the effect on examiner performance were the accuracy and reproducibility of the conclusions against the ground truth (including the impact on error rates) and the analyst accuracy and variation for feature selection and comparison. The results showed that participants using the consensus information from other fingerprint experts demonstrated more consistency and accuracy in minutiae selection. They also demonstrated higher accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity in the decisions reported. The quality tool also affected minutiae selection (which, in turn, had limited influence on the reported decisions); the statistical tool did not appear to influence the reported decisions.

  18. Decisive Routing and Admission Control According to Quality of Service Constraints

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-03-01

    in pn sn1 tn1 sn2 tn2 sny tny ⎞ ⎟⎟⎟⎟⎟⎟⎠ Where the each row in the matrix corresponds to the following i1...n = input file size of...Preemptive Congestion Control Code Snippet The Decisive Routing and Admission Control According to Quality of Service Constraints code snippet of reaction to...simulation snippet of reaction to forecasted state of the network. The Kalman filter queue has reached a stated level of 45% of its capacity and

  19. Using the Reliability Theory for Assessing the Decision Confidence Probability for Comparative Life Cycle Assessments.

    PubMed

    Wei, Wei; Larrey-Lassalle, Pyrène; Faure, Thierry; Dumoulin, Nicolas; Roux, Philippe; Mathias, Jean-Denis

    2016-03-01

    Comparative decision making process is widely used to identify which option (system, product, service, etc.) has smaller environmental footprints and for providing recommendations that help stakeholders take future decisions. However, the uncertainty problem complicates the comparison and the decision making. Probability-based decision support in LCA is a way to help stakeholders in their decision-making process. It calculates the decision confidence probability which expresses the probability of a option to have a smaller environmental impact than the one of another option. Here we apply the reliability theory to approximate the decision confidence probability. We compare the traditional Monte Carlo method with a reliability method called FORM method. The Monte Carlo method needs high computational time to calculate the decision confidence probability. The FORM method enables us to approximate the decision confidence probability with fewer simulations than the Monte Carlo method by approximating the response surface. Moreover, the FORM method calculates the associated importance factors that correspond to a sensitivity analysis in relation to the probability. The importance factors allow stakeholders to determine which factors influence their decision. Our results clearly show that the reliability method provides additional useful information to stakeholders as well as it reduces the computational time.

  20. Space shuttle flying qualities and criteria assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

  1. Local School Board Members Need Quality Public Information That Informs Decisions, Empowers Action. Don't Make Decisions in the Dark

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Data Quality Campaign, 2014

    2014-01-01

    Local school board members need to be able to access and use high-quality data to make good decisions. Often this data is collected and stored locally, but information that is publicly reported by the state can provide additional value. Most state public reporting is designed to serve information needs, and are geared toward compliance with state…

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Assessing the sensibility of two clinical decision support systems.

    PubMed

    Graham, Timothy A D; Bullard, Michael J; Kushniruk, Andre W; Holroyd, Brian R; Rowe, Brian H

    2008-10-01

    Clinicians in Emergency Medicine (EM) are increasingly exposed to guidelines and treatment recommendations. To help access and recall these recommendations, electronic Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS) have been developed. This study examined the use and sensibility of two CDSS designed for emergency physicians. CDDS for community acquired pneumonia (CAP) and neutropenic fever (NF) were developed by multidisciplinary teams and have been accessed via an intranet-based homepage (eCPG) for several years. Sensibility is a term coined by Feinstein that describes common sense aspects of a survey instrument. It was modified by emergency researchers to include four main headings: (1) Appropriateness; (2) Objectivity; (3) Content; and (4) Discriminative Power. Sensibility surveys were developed using an iterative approach for both the CAP and NF CDSS and distributed to all 25 emergency physicians at one Canadian site. The overall response rate was 88%. Respondents were 88% male and 83% were less than 40; all were attending EM physicians with specialty designations. A number reported never having used the CAP (21%) or NF (33%) CDSS; 54% (CAP) and 21% (NF) of respondents had used the respective CDSS less than 10 times. Overall, both CDSS were rated highly by users with a mean response of 4.95 (SD 0.56) for CAP and 5.62 (SD 0.62) for NF on a seven-point Likert scale. The majority or respondents (CAP 59%, NF 80%) felt that the NF CDSS was more likely than the CAP CDSS to decrease the chances of making a medical error in medication dose, antibiotic choice or patient disposition (4.61 vs. 5.81, p=0.008). Despite being in place for several years, CDSS for CAP and NF are not used by all EM clinicians. Users were generally satisfied with the CDSS and felt that the NF was more likely than the CAP CDSS to decrease medical errors. Additional research is required to determine the barriers to CDSS use.

  7. Compendium of Quality Rating Systems and Evaluations: The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tout, Kathryn; Starr, Rebecca; Soli, Margaret; Moodie, Shannon; Kirby, Gretchen; Boller, Kimberly

    2010-01-01

    Quality Rating Systems (QRS) are currently operating, under development, or being piloted in over 25 states or local areas. As the QRS model becomes integrated into the landscape of child care and education service delivery, policy, and the decisions parents make about child care across the United States, there is an increasing need for…

  8. Application of multicriteria decision making methods to air quality in the microenvironments of residential houses in Brisbane, Australia.

    PubMed

    Ayoko, Godwin A; Morawska, Lidia; Kokot, Serge; Gilbert, Dale

    2004-05-01

    This paper reports the first application of the multicriteria decision making methods, PROMETHEE and GAIA, to indoor and outdoor air quality data. Fourteen residential houses in a suburb of Brisbane, Australia were investigated for 21 air quality-influencing criteria, which included the characteristics of the houses as well as the concentrations of volatile organic compounds, fungi, bacteria, submicrometer, and supermicrometer particles in their indoor and outdoor air samples. Ranking information necessary to select one house in preference to all others and to assess the parameters influencing the differentiation of the houses was found with the aid of PROMETHEE and GAIA. There was no correlation between the rank order of each house and the health complaints of its occupants. Patterns in GAIA plots show that indoor air quality in these houses is strongly dependent on the characteristics of the houses (construction material, distance of the house from a major road, and the presence of an in-built garage). Marked similarities were observed in the patterns obtained when GAIA and factor analysis were applied to the data. This underscores the potential of PROMETHEE and GAIA to provide information that can assist source apportionment and elucidation of effective remedial measures for indoor air pollution.

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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;…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

  16. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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)…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. Modeling access, cost, and perceived quality: computer simulation benefits orthodontic clinic staffing decisions.

    PubMed

    Montgomery, J B; LaFrancois, G G; Perry, M J

    2000-02-01

    Given limited financial resources, simulation permits a financial analysis of the optimum staffing levels for orthodontists and dental assistants in an orthodontic clinic. A computer simulation provides the information for managerial review. This study, by building a computer simulation of an orthodontic service, set out to determine the most efficient mix between providers and support staff to maximize access, maximize perceived quality, and minimize expenditures. Six combinations of providers and support staff were compared during an animated, computer-generated what-if analysis. Based on the clinic workload and size, on the cost per patient, and on the cost per quality point, the research team recommended a staffing mix of one orthodontist and three assistants. This study shows that computer simulation is an enormous asset as a decision support tool for management.

  6. Propagating Water Quality Analysis Uncertainty Into Resource Management Decisions Through Probabilistic Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gronewold, A. D.; Wolpert, R. L.; Reckhow, K. H.

    2007-12-01

    Most probable number (MPN) and colony-forming-unit (CFU) are two estimates of fecal coliform bacteria concentration commonly used as measures of water quality in United States shellfish harvesting waters. The MPN is the maximum likelihood estimate (or MLE) of the true fecal coliform concentration based on counts of non-sterile tubes in serial dilution of a sample aliquot, indicating bacterial metabolic activity. The CFU is the MLE of the true fecal coliform concentration based on the number of bacteria colonies emerging on a growth plate after inoculation from a sample aliquot. Each estimating procedure has intrinsic variability and is subject to additional uncertainty arising from minor variations in experimental protocol. Several versions of each procedure (using different sized aliquots or different numbers of tubes, for example) are in common use, each with its own levels of probabilistic and experimental error and uncertainty. It has been observed empirically that the MPN procedure is more variable than the CFU procedure, and that MPN estimates are somewhat higher on average than CFU estimates, on split samples from the same water bodies. We construct a probabilistic model that provides a clear theoretical explanation for the observed variability in, and discrepancy between, MPN and CFU measurements. We then explore how this variability and uncertainty might propagate into shellfish harvesting area management decisions through a two-phased modeling strategy. First, we apply our probabilistic model in a simulation-based analysis of future water quality standard violation frequencies under alternative land use scenarios, such as those evaluated under guidelines of the total maximum daily load (TMDL) program. Second, we apply our model to water quality data from shellfish harvesting areas which at present are closed (either conditionally or permanently) to shellfishing, to determine if alternative laboratory analysis procedures might have led to different

  7. AERO: A Decision Support Tool for Wind Erosion Assessment in Rangelands and Croplands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galloza, M.; Webb, N.; Herrick, J.

    2015-12-01

    Wind erosion is a key driver of global land degradation, with on- and off-site impacts on agricultural production, air quality, ecosystem services and climate. Measuring rates of wind erosion and dust emission across land use and land cover types is important for quantifying the impacts and identifying and testing practical management options. This process can be assisted by the application of predictive models, which can be a powerful tool for land management agencies. The Aeolian EROsion (AERO) model, a wind erosion and dust emission model interface provides access by non-expert land managers to a sophisticated wind erosion decision-support tool. AERO incorporates land surface processes and sediment transport equations from existing wind erosion models and was designed for application with available national long-term monitoring datasets (e.g. USDI BLM Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring, USDA NRCS Natural Resources Inventory) and monitoring protocols. Ongoing AERO model calibration and validation are supported by geographically diverse data on wind erosion rates and land surface conditions collected by the new National Wind Erosion Research Network. Here we present the new AERO interface, describe parameterization of the underpinning wind erosion model, and provide a summary of the model applications across agricultural lands and rangelands in the United States.

  8. 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.

  9. Towards the ecotourism: a decision support model for the assessment of sustainability of mountain huts in the Alps.

    PubMed

    Stubelj Ars, Mojca; Bohanec, Marko

    2010-12-01

    This paper studies mountain hut infrastructure in the Alps as an important element of ecotourism in the Alpine region. To improve the decision-making process regarding the implementation of future infrastructure and improvement of existing infrastructure in the vulnerable natural environment of mountain ecosystems, a new decision support model has been developed. The methodology is based on qualitative multi-attribute modelling supported by the DEXi software. The integrated rule-based model is hierarchical and consists of two submodels that cover the infrastructure of the mountain huts and that of the huts' surroundings. The final goal for the designed tool is to help minimize the ecological footprint of tourists in environmentally sensitive and undeveloped mountain areas and contribute to mountain ecotourism. The model has been tested in the case study of four mountain huts in Triglav National Park in Slovenia. Study findings provide a new empirical approach to evaluating existing mountain infrastructure and predicting improvements for the future. The assessment results are of particular interest for decision makers in protected areas, such as Alpine national parks managers and administrators. In a way, this model proposes an approach to the management assessment of mountain huts with the main aim of increasing the quality of life of mountain environment visitors as well as the satisfaction of tourists who may eventually become ecotourists.

  10. 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.

  11. A novel air quality analysis and prediction system for São Paulo, Brazil to support decision-making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoshyaripour, Gholam Ali; Brasseur, Guy; Andrade, Maria Fatima; Gavidia-Calderón, Mario; Bouarar, Idir

    2016-04-01

    The extensive economic development and urbanization in southeastern Brazil (SEB) in recent decades have notably degraded the air quality with adverse impacts on human health. Since the Metropolitan Area of São Paulo (MASP) accommodates the majority of the economic growth in SEB, it overwhelmingly suffers from the air pollution. Consequently, there is a strong demand for developing ever-better assessment mechanisms to monitor the air quality and to assist the decision makers to mitigate the air pollution in MASP. Here we present the results of an air quality modeling system designed for SEB with focuses on MASP. The Weather Research and Forecast model with Chemistry (WRF-Chem) is used considering the anthropogenic, biomass-burning and biogenic emissions within a 1000×1500 km domain with resolution of 10 km. FINN and MEGAN are used for the biomass-burning and biogenic emissions, respectively. For the anthropogenic emissions we use a local bottom-up inventory for the transport sector and the HTAPv2 global inventory for all other sectors. The bottom-up inventory accounts for the traffic patterns, vehicle types and their emission factors in the area and thus could be used to evaluate the effect of changes in these parameters on air quality in MASP. The model outputs are compered to the satellite and ground-based observations for O3 and NOx. The results show that using the bottom-up or top-down inventories individually can result in a huge deviation between the predictions and observations. On the other hand, combining the inventories significantly enhances the forecast accuracy. It also provides a powerful tool to quantify the effects of traffic and vehicle emission policies on air quality in MASP.

  12. DYNAMIC EVALUATION OF REGIONAL AIR QUALITY MODELS: ASSESSING CHANGES TO O 3 STEMMING FROM CHANGES IN EMISSIONS AND METEOROLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Regional-scale air quality models are used to estimate the response of air pollutants to potential emission control strategies as part of the decision-making process. Traditionally, the model predicted pollutant concentrations are evaluated for the “base case” to assess a model’s...

  13. Flexible decision-making relative to reward quality and tool functionality in Goffin cockatoos (Cacatua goffiniana)

    PubMed Central

    Laumer, I. B.; Bugnyar, T.; Auersperg, A. M. I.

    2016-01-01

    Decisions involving the use of tools may require an agent to consider more levels of relational complexity than merely deciding between an immediate and a delayed option. Using a new experimental approach featuring two different types of tools, two apparatuses as well as two different types of reward, we investigated the Goffin cockatoos’ ability to make flexible and profitable decisions within five different setups. Paralleling previous results in primates, most birds overcame immediate drives in favor of future gains; some did so even if tool use involved additional work effort. Furthermore, at the group level subjects maximized their profit by simultaneously considering both the quality of an immediate versus a delayed food reward (accessible with a tool) and the functionality of the available tool. As their performance levels remained stable across trials in all testing setups, this was unlikely the result of a learning effect. The Goffin cockatoos’ ability to focus on relevant information was constrained when all task components (both food qualities, both apparatuses and both tools) were presented at the same time. PMID:27334699

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. Does Decision Quality (Always) Increase with the Size of Information Samples? Some Vicissitudes in Applying the Law of Large Numbers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fiedler, Klaus; Kareev, Yaakov

    2006-01-01

    Adaptive decision making requires that contingencies between decision options and their relative assets be assessed accurately and quickly. The present research addresses the challenging notion that contingencies may be more visible from small than from large samples of observations. An algorithmic account for such a seemingly paradoxical effect…

  1. The Utility of the OMI HCHO/NO2 in Air Quality Decision-Making Activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duncan, Bryan

    2010-01-01

    I will discuss a novel and practical application of the OMI HCHU and NO2 data products to the "weight of evidence" in the air quality decision-making process (e.g., State Implementation Plan (SIP)) for a city, region, or state to demonstrate that it is making progress toward attainment of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone. Any trend, or lack thereof, in the observed OMI HCHO/NO2 may support that an emission control strategy implemented to reduce ozone is or is not occurring for a metropolitan area. In addition, the observed OMI HCHO/NO2 may be used to define new emission control strategies as the photochemical environments of urban areas evolve over time. I will demonstrate the utility of the OMI HCHO/NO2 over the U.S. for air quality applications with support from simulations with both a regional model and a photochemical box model. These results support mission planning of an OMI-like instrument for the proposed GEO-CAPE satellite that has as one of its objectives to study air quality from space. However, I'm attending the meeting as the Aura Deputy Project Scientist, so I don't technically need to present anything to justify the travel.

  2. Environmental Impact Assessment Law in China's courts: A study of 107 judicial decisions

    SciTech Connect

    Zining, Jin

    2015-11-15

    The article explores the practices of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Law in China's courts by examining 107 judicial decisions. Each of the 107 judicial decisions has been analyzed to determine the time/location of the decision, what type of EIA document was referred to, what specific claim was made by the plaintiffs, and what the court's ruling was on the case. The results indicate that: unlike in Germany or Japan, all kinds of EIA decisions made by environment protect bureaus (EPBs) in China were widely taken as justiciable, and China's courts generally allowed local residents to have standing and thus challenge the EPBs' decisions made during the EIA process. On the other hand, the research also shows the EPBs overwhelmingly prevailed in those EIA lawsuits. It is also found that China's reviewing judges were highly self-restrained, giving obvious deference to the technocrat with the substantial contents of EIA documents. Also, the concept of “flaw” was created when it came to procedural issues. These two factors, among others, were both helping the EPBs' prevailing successes. - Highlights: • 107 judicial decisions referring to China's EIA law are examined. • The justiciability of EPB's EIA decisions were taken for granted. • The defenders overwhelmingly prevailed in those EIA lawsuits. • The reviewing judges were highly self-restrained, defering to the technocrat with the EIA documents. • A functional concept, “flaw”, was created by reviewing judges when it came to procedural issues.

  3. Assessment of alternative land management practices using hydrological simulation and a decision support tool: Arborea agricultural region, Sardinia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cau, P.; Paniconi, C.

    2007-11-01

    Quantifying the impact of land use on water supply and quality is a primary focus of environmental management. In this work we apply a semidistributed hydrological model (SWAT) to predict the impact of different land management practices on water and agricultural chemical yield over a long period of time for a study site situated in the Arborea region of central Sardinia, Italy. The physical processes associated with water movement, crop growth, and nutrient cycling are directly modeled by SWAT. The model simulations are used to identify indicators that reflect critical processes related to the integrity and sustainability of the ecosystem. Specifically we focus on stream quality and quantity indicators associated with anthropogenic and natural sources of pollution. A multicriteria decision support system is then used to develop the analysis matrix where water quality and quantity indicators for the rivers, lagoons, and soil are combined with socio-economic variables. The DSS is used to assess four options involving alternative watersheds designated for intensive agriculture and dairy farming and the use or not of treated wastewater for irrigation. Our analysis suggests that of the four options, the most widely acceptable consists in the transfer of intensive agricultural practices to the larger watershed, which is less vulnerable, in tandem with wastewater reuse, which rates highly due to water scarcity in this region of the Mediterranean. More generally, the work demonstrates how both qualitative and quantitative methods and information can assist decision making in complex settings.

  4. 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.

  5. A streamlined sustainability assessment tool for improved decision making in the urban water industry.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Matthias; Short, Michael D; Peters, Gregory M

    2012-01-01

    Water supply is a key consideration in sustainable urban planning. Ideally, detailed quantitative sustainability assessments are undertaken during the planning stage to inform the decision-making process. In reality, however, the significant time and cost associated with undertaking such detailed environmental and economic assessments is often cited as a barrier to wider implementation of these key decision support tools, particularly for decisions made at the local or regional government level. In an attempt to overcome this barrier of complexity, 4 water service providers in Melbourne, Australia, funded the development of a publicly available streamlined Environmental Sustainability Assessment Tool, which is aimed at a wide range of decision makers to assist them in broadening the type and number of water servicing options that can be considered for greenfield or backlog developments. The Environmental Sustainability Assessment Tool consists of a simple user interface and draws on life cycle inventory data to allow for rapid estimation of the environmental and economic performance of different water servicing scenarios. Scenario options can then be further prioritized by means of an interactive multicriteria analysis. The intent of this article is to identify the key issues to be considered in a streamlined sustainability assessment tool for the urban water industry, and to demonstrate the feasibility of generating accurate life cycle assessments and life cycle costings, using such a tool. We use a real-life case study example consisting of 3 separate scenarios for a planned urban development to show that this kind of tool can emulate life cycle assessments and life cycle costings outcomes obtained through more detailed studies. This simplified approach is aimed at supporting "sustainability thinking" early in the decision-making process, thereby encouraging more sustainable water and sewerage infrastructure solutions.

  6. Development of a decision-making methodology to design a water quality monitoring network.

    PubMed

    Keum, Jongho; Kaluarachchi, Jagath J

    2015-07-01

    The number of water quality monitoring stations in the USA has decreased over the past few decades. Scarcity of observations can easily produce prediction uncertainty due to unreliable model calibration. An effective water quality monitoring network is important not only for model calibration and water quality prediction but also for resources management. Redundant or improperly located monitoring stations may cause increased monitoring costs without improvement to the understanding of water quality in watersheds. In this work, a decision-making methodology is proposed to design a water quality monitoring network by providing an adequate number of monitoring stations and their approximate locations at the eight-digit hydrologic unit codes (HUC8) scale. The proposed methodology is demonstrated for an example at the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB), where salinity is a serious concern. The level of monitoring redundancy or scarcity is defined by an index, station ratio (SR), which represents a monitoring density based on water quality load originated within a subbasin. By comparing the number of stations from a selected target SR with the available number of stations including the actual and the potential stations, the suggested number of stations in each subbasin was decided. If monitoring stations are primarily located in the low salinity loading subbasins, the average actual SR tends to increase, and vice versa. Results indicate that the spatial distribution of monitoring locations in 2011 is concentrated on low salinity loading subbasins, and therefore, additional monitoring is required for the high salinity loading subbasins. The proposed methodology shows that the SR is a simple and a practical indicator for monitoring density.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Characterizing the Leaching Behavior of Coal Combustion Residues using the Leaching Environmental Assessment Framework (LEAF) to Inform Future Management Decisions

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract for presentation on Characterizing the Leaching Behavior of Coal Combustion Residues using the Leaching Environmental Assessment Framework (LEAF) to Inform Future Management Decisions. The abstract is attached.

  18. Getting (Along) With the Guidelines: Reconciling Patient Autonomy and Quality Improvement Through Shared Decision Making.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yan; Wells, Philip S

    2016-07-01

    In past decades, stark differences in practice pattern, cost, and outcomes of care across regions with similar health demographics have prompted calls for reform. As health systems answer the growing call for accountability in the form of quality indices, while responding to increased scrutiny on practice variation in the form of pay for performance (P4P), a rift is widening between the system and individual patients. Currently, three areas are inadequately considered by P4P structures based largely on physician adherence to guidelines: diversity of patient values and preferences; time and financial burden of therapy in the context of multimorbidity; and narrow focus on quantitative measures that distract clinicians from providing optimal care. As health care reform efforts place greater emphasis on value-for-money of care delivered, they provide an opportunity to consider the other "value"-the values of each patient and care delivery that aligns with them.The inherent balance of risks and benefits in every treatment, especially those involving chronic conditions, calls for engagement of patients in decision-making processes, recognizing the diversity of preferences at the individual level. Shared decision making (SDM) is an attractive option and should be an essential component of quality health care rather than its adjunct. Four interwoven steps toward the meaningful implementation of SDM in clinical practice-embedding SDM as a health care quality measure, "real-world" evaluation of SDM effectiveness, pursuit of an SDM-favorable health system, and patient-centered medical education-are proposed to bring focus back to the beneficiary of health care accountability, the patient.

  19. 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

  20. Evaluation of Nurses' Self-Insight into their Pain Assessment and Treatment Decisions

    PubMed Central

    Hirsh, Adam T.; Jensen, Mark P.; Robinson, Michael E.

    2009-01-01

    Research generally indicates that providers demonstrate modest insight into their clinical decision processes. In a previous study utilizing virtual human (VH) technology, we found that patient demographic characteristics and facial expressions of pain were statistically significant predictors of many nurses' pain-related decisions. The current study examined the correspondence between the statistically-identified and self-reported influences of contextual information on pain-related decisions. Fifty-four nurses viewed vignettes containing a video of a VH patient and text describing a post-surgical context. VH sex, race, age, and facial expression varied across vignettes. Participants made pain assessment and treatment decisions on visual analogue scales. Participants subsequently indicated the information they relied on when making decisions. None of the participants reported using VH sex, race, or age in their decision process. Statistical modeling indicated that 28–54% of participants (depending on the decision) used VH demographic cues. 76% of participants demonstrated concordance between their reported and actual use of the VH facial expression cue. Vital signs, text-based clinical summary, and VH movement were also reported as influential factors. These data suggest that biases may be prominent in practitioner decision-making about pain, but that providers have minimal awareness of and/or a lack of willingness to acknowledge this bias. Perspective: The current study highlights the complexity of provider decision-making about pain management. The VH technology could be used in future research and education applications aimed at improving the care of all persons in pain. PMID:20015702

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

  3. 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...

  4. 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…

  5. Assessing Educational Processes Using Total-Quality-Management Measurement Tools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Macchia, Peter, Jr.

    1993-01-01

    Discussion of the use of Total Quality Management (TQM) assessment tools in educational settings highlights and gives examples of fishbone diagrams, or cause and effect charts; Pareto diagrams; control charts; histograms and check sheets; scatter diagrams; and flowcharts. Variation and quality are discussed in terms of continuous process…

  6. Decision support for water quality management of contaminants of emerging concern.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Astrid; Ter Laak, Thomas; Bronders, Jan; Desmet, Nele; Christoffels, Ekkehard; van Wezel, Annemarie; van der Hoek, Jan Peter

    2017-05-15

    Water authorities and drinking water companies are challenged with the question if, where and how to abate contaminants of emerging concern in the urban water cycle. The most effective strategy under given conditions is often unclear to these stakeholders as it requires insight into several aspects of the contaminants such as sources, properties, and mitigation options. Furthermore the various parties in the urban water cycle are not always aware of each other's requirements and priorities. Processes to set priorities and come to agreements are lacking, hampering the articulation and implementation of possible solutions. To support decision makers with this task, a decision support system was developed to serve as a point of departure for getting the relevant stakeholders together and finding common ground. The decision support system was iteratively developed in stages. Stakeholders were interviewed and a decision support system prototype developed. Subsequently, this prototype was evaluated by the stakeholders and adjusted accordingly. The iterative process lead to a final system focused on the management of contaminants of emerging concern within the urban water cycle, from wastewater, surface water and groundwater to drinking water, that suggests mitigation methods beyond technical solutions. Possible wastewater and drinking water treatment techniques in combination with decentralised and non-technical methods were taken into account in an integrated way. The system contains background information on contaminants of emerging concern such as physical/chemical characteristics, toxicity and legislative frameworks, water cycle entrance pathways and a database with associated possible mitigation methods. Monitoring data can be uploaded to assess environmental and human health risks in a specific water system. The developed system was received with great interest by potential users, and implemented in an international water cycle network.

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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,…

  10. Choosing and using climate-change scenarios for ecological-impact assessments and conservation decisions.

    PubMed

    Snover, Amy K; Mantua, Nathan J; Littell, Jeremy S; Alexander, Michael A; McClure, Michelle M; Nye, Janet

    2013-12-01

    Increased concern over climate change is demonstrated by the many efforts to assess climate effects and develop adaptation strategies. Scientists, resource managers, and decision makers are increasingly expected to use climate information, but they struggle with its uncertainty. With the current proliferation of climate simulations and downscaling methods, scientifically credible strategies for selecting a subset for analysis and decision making are needed. Drawing on a rich literature in climate science and impact assessment and on experience working with natural resource scientists and decision makers, we devised guidelines for choosing climate-change scenarios for ecological impact assessment that recognize irreducible uncertainty in climate projections and address common misconceptions about this uncertainty. This approach involves identifying primary local climate drivers by climate sensitivity of the biological system of interest; determining appropriate sources of information for future changes in those drivers; considering how well processes controlling local climate are spatially resolved; and selecting scenarios based on considering observed emission trends, relative importance of natural climate variability, and risk tolerance and time horizon of the associated decision. The most appropriate scenarios for a particular analysis will not necessarily be the most appropriate for another due to differences in local climate drivers, biophysical linkages to climate, decision characteristics, and how well a model simulates the climate parameters and processes of interest. Given these complexities, we recommend interaction among climate scientists, natural and physical scientists, and decision makers throughout the process of choosing and using climate-change scenarios for ecological impact assessment. Selección y Uso de Escenarios de Cambio Climático para Estudios de Impacto Ecológico y Decisiones de Conservación.

  11. 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.

  12. Career Development Strivings: Assessing Goals and Motivation in Career Decision-Making and Planning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dik, Bryan J.; Sargent, Adam M.; Steger, Michael F.

    2008-01-01

    This article describes and demonstrates a novel approach to assessing goals and motives among individuals engaged in the career decision-making and planning process. Participants generated five career development strivings, rated each striving along several dimensions (self-efficacy, outcome expectations, sense of calling, spiritual significance,…

  13. Assessing the Benefits of Wetland Restoration: A Rapid Benefit Indicators Approach for Decision Makers

    EPA Science Inventory

    This guide presents the Rapid Benefits Indicators (RBI) Approach, a rapid process for assessing the social benefits of ecosystem restoration. Created for those who conduct, advocate for, or support restoration, the RBI approach consists of five steps: (1) Describe the decision co...

  14. Some implications of the technology assessment function for the effective public decision making process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mayo, L. H.

    1975-01-01

    A study was undertaken to analyze ways in which the institutionalization of the assessment function can affect the following phases of the public decision process: problem perception, problem definition, data assembly, invention of alternatives, evaluation of options, authorization, implementation, operation, appraisal, and modification.

  15. Assessing Students' Performances in Decision-Making: Coping Strategies of Biology Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steffen, Benjamin; Hößle, Corinna

    2017-01-01

    Decision-making in socioscientific issues (SSI) constitutes a real challenge for both biology teachers and learners. The assessment of students' performances in SSIs constitutes a problem, especially for biology teachers. The study at hand was conducted in Germany and uses a qualitative approach following the research procedures of grounded theory…

  16. Using Social Simulations to Assess and Train Potential Leaders to Make Effective Decisions in Turbulent Environments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hunsaker, L. Phillip

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe two social simulations created to assess leadership potential and train leaders to make effective decisions in turbulent environments. One is set in the novel environment of a lunar moon colony and the other is a military combat command. The research generated from these simulations for assessing…

  17. LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT IN MANAGEMENT, PRODUCT AND PROCESS DESIGN, AND POLICY DECISION MAKING: A CONFERENCE REPORT

    EPA Science Inventory

    On 24 September 2003, life cycle assessment (LCA) practitioners and decision makers gathered at the InLCA/LCM Conference in Seattle, Washington, USA (see http://www.lcacenter.org/InLCA-LCM03/index.html) to discuss the role of LCA in management, product design, process development...

  18. Determining Faculty Effectiveness. Assessing Teaching, Research, and Service for Personnel Decisions and Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Centra, John A.

    An authoritative, research-based guide to determining faculty effectiveness is offered. Assessment of classroom teaching, scholarship and research, public service, and student advising are faculty tasks examined for personnel decisions and general improvement. Emphasis on educational accountability in academe, due to declining enrollments and…

  19. Assessment of Cognitive Components of Decision Making with Military Versions of the IGT and WCST

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-10-29

    military versions of two standard cognitive assessments, the Iowa Gambling Test and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task, while their eye movements were...Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2211 Decision making , wargames, Iowa Gambling Test, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test REPORT DOCUMENTATION PAGE 11...versions of two standard cognitive assessments, the Iowa Gambling Test and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task, while their eye movements were tracked

  20. Development of the Initial Small Unit Decision Making (SUDM) Assessment Battery

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-12-21

    0001AE-21Dec12 ii Abstract In support of Marine Corps Vision and Strategy (MCV&S) 2025 Task 1 to “Improve small unit leader ability to assess...development of two customized assessment instruments within the battery. In support of Marine Corps Vision and Strategy (MCV&S) 2025 Task 1 to...Situational Judgment Test (SJT) and a Decision Requirements Interview (DRI). Background In support of Marine Corps Vision and Strategy (MCV&S

  1. Facility Energy Decision System (FEDS) Assessment Report for Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico

    SciTech Connect

    Chvala, William D.; Solana, Amy E.; Dixon, Douglas R.

    2005-02-01

    This report documents the findings of the Facility Energy Decision System (FEDS) assessment at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, by a team of PNNL engineers under contract to the Installation Management Agency (IMA) Southeast Region Office (SERO). Funding support was also provided by the Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program. The purpose of the assessment was to determine how energy is consumed at Fort Buchanan, identify the most cost-effective energy retrofit measures, and calculate the potential energy and cost savings.

  2. The Assessment Maze: Making Instructional Decisions about Alternative Assessments for Students with Disabilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daniels, Vera I.

    1999-01-01

    Outlines five popular alternative assessment measures that can be used to provide a multidimensional perspective of students' educational needs and enhance instructional programming, including portfolio assessment, performance-based assessment, authentic assessment, curriculum-based assessment, and criterion-referenced assessment. Guidelines for…

  3. 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.

  4. Application of risk assessment and decision analysis to aquatic nuisance species.

    PubMed

    Suedel, Burton C; Bridges, Todd S; Kim, Jongbum; Payne, Barry S; Miller, Andrew C

    2007-01-01

    The spread of nonindigenous (nonnative) species introduced into the United States is a significant and growing national problem and results in lost agricultural productivity, increased health problems, native species extinctions, and expensive prevention and eradication efforts. Thousands of nonindigenous species have either become established or spread, and introduction of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) into freshwater lakes threaten aquatic biodiversity. Expanding global trade is likely to increase the number of species that are spread across the globe, so the need to develop an approach to predict potential ANS invasions is great. Risk assessments currently being used to assess ANS risk rely on qualitative or semiquantitative information and expert opinion; thus, such approaches lack transparency and repeatability. A more quantitative approach is needed to augment the qualitative approaches currently in use. A quantitative approach with the use of the traditional ecological risk assessment (traditional ERA) framework combined with decision analysis tools was developed for assessing ANS risks in which the causative ecological risk agent is an organism rather than a chemical. This paper presents a systematic risk assessment framework that includes structured decision analysis to help organize and analyze pertinent data, state assumptions, address uncertainties in estimating the probability of an undesired ANS introduction, or spread and integrate these outputs with stakeholder values. This paper also describes when and how decision analysis tools can be used in such assessments for ANS. This framework and methodology will enable risk managers to systematically evaluate and compare alternatives and actions supporting ANS risk management and thus credibly prioritize resources.

  5. Continuous high-frequency monitoring of estuarine water quality as a decision support tool: a Dublin Port case study.

    PubMed

    Briciu-Burghina, Ciprian; Sullivan, Timothy; Chapman, James; Regan, Fiona

    2014-09-01

    High-frequency, continuous monitoring using in situ sensors offers a comprehensive and improved insight into the temporal and spatial variability of any water body. In this paper, we describe a 7-month exploratory monitoring programme in Dublin Port, demonstrating the value of high-frequency data in enhancing knowledge of processes, informing discrete sampling, and ultimately increasing the efficiency of port and environmental management. Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests were used to show that shipping operating in Dublin Port has a small-medium effect on turbidity readings collected by in situ sensors. Turbidity events are largely related to vessel activity in Dublin Port, caused by re-suspension of sediments by vessel propulsion systems. The magnitudes of such events are strongly related to water level and tidal state at vessel arrival times. Crucially, measurements of Escherichia coli and enterococci contamination from discrete samples taken at key periods related to detected turbidity events were up to nine times higher after vessel arrival than prior to disturbance. Daily in situ turbidity patterns revealed time-dependent water quality "hot spots" during a 24-h period. We demonstrate conclusively that if representative environmental assessment of water quality is to be performed at such sites, sampling times, informed by continous monitoring data, should take into account these daily variations. This work outlines the potential of sensor technologies and continuous monitoring, to act as a decision support tool in both environmental and port management.

  6. Combining multicriteria decision analysis, ethics and health technology assessment: applying the EVIDEM decisionmaking framework to growth hormone for Turner syndrome patients

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Objectives To test and further develop a healthcare policy and clinical decision support framework using growth hormone (GH) for Turner syndrome (TS) as a complex case study. Methods The EVIDEM framework was further developed to complement the multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) Value Matrix, that includes 15 quantifiable components of decision clustered in four domains (quality of evidence, disease, intervention and economics), with a qualitative tool including six ethical and health system-related components of decision. An extensive review of the literature was performed to develop a health technology assessment report (HTA) tailored to each component of decision, and content was validated by experts. A panel of representative stakeholders then estimated the MCDA value of GH for TS in Canada by assigning weights and scores to each MCDA component of decision and then considered the impact of non-quantifiable components of decision. Results Applying the framework revealed significant data gaps and the importance of aligning research questions with data needs to truly inform decision. Panelists estimated the value of GH for TS at 41% of maximum value on the MCDA scale, with good agreement at the individual level (retest value 40%; ICC: 0.687) and large variation across panelists. Main contributors to this panel specific value were "Improvement of efficacy", "Disease severity" and "Quality of evidence". Ethical considerations on utility, efficiency and fairness as well as potential misuse of GH had mixed effects on the perceived value of the treatment. Conclusions This framework is proposed as a pragmatic step beyond the current cost-effectiveness model, combining HTA, MCDA, values and ethics. It supports systematic consideration of all components of decision and available evidence for greater transparency. Further testing and validation is needed to build up MCDA approaches combined with pragmatic HTA in healthcare decisionmaking. PMID:20377888

  7. Clinical judgment and decision making in wound assessment and management: is experience enough?

    PubMed

    Logan, Gemma

    2015-03-01

    The assessment and management of wounds forms a large proportion of community nurses' workload, often requiring judgment and decision-making in complex, challenging and uncertain circumstances. The processes through which nurses form judgments and make decisions within this context are reviewed in this article against existing theories on these on these subjects. There is variability in wound assessment and management practice which may be attributed to uncertainties within the context, a lack of knowledge in appropriate treatment choices and the inability to correctly value the importance of the clinical information presented. Nurses may be required to draw on intuition to guide their judgments and decision-making by association with experience and expertise. In addition, a step-by-step analytical approach underpinned by an evidence base may be required to ensure accuracy in practice. Developing an understanding of the different theories of judgment and decision-making may facilitate nurses' abilities to reflect on their own decision tasks, thereby enhancing the care provided.

  8. Intelligent Aircraft Damage Assessment, Trajectory Planning, and Decision-Making under Uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez, Israel; Sarigul-Klijn, Nesrin

    Situational awareness and learning are necessary to identify and select the optimal set of mutually non-exclusive hypothesis in order to maximize mission performance and adapt system behavior accordingly. This paper presents a hierarchical and decentralized approach for integrated damage assessment and trajectory planning in aircraft with uncertain navigational decision-making. Aircraft navigation can be safely accomplished by properly addressing the following: decision-making, obstacle perception, aircraft state estimation, and aircraft control. When in-flight failures or damage occur, rapid and precise decision-making under imprecise information is required in order to regain and maintain control of the aircraft. To achieve planned aircraft trajectory and complete safe landing, the uncertainties in system dynamics of the damaged aircraft need to be learned and incorporated at the level of motion planning. The damaged aircraft is simulated via a simplified kinematic model. The different sources and perspectives of uncertainties in the damage assessment process and post-failure trajectory planning are presented and classified. The decision-making process for an emergency motion planning and landing is developed via the Dempster-Shafer evidence theory. The objective of the trajectory planning is to arrive at a target position while maximizing the safety of the aircraft given uncertain conditions. Simulations are presented for an emergency motion planning and landing that takes into account aircraft dynamics, path complexity, distance to landing site, runway characteristics, and subjective human decision.

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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...

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Desirable qualities of REDD+ projects not considered in decisions of project locations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasgaard, M.; Mertz, O.

    2016-11-01

    Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) has become a major conservation and development concept for international climate change mitigation over the past years with hundreds of so-called ‘demonstration’ or ‘pilot’ projects being planned and implemented across the Global South. Since the broad aim of such projects is to demonstrate climate benefits from reduced deforestation, as well as social co-benefits in receiving countries, the decision on REDD+ locations should ideally center on specific geographical and socioeconomic characteristics, such as high deforestation threat, low opportunity costs, large forest area size, and high local willingness to engage. Based on recent literature supplemented with opinions and perspectives from REDD+ specialists, we compare these desirable qualities for REDD+ locations with actual location of REDD+ projects. We illustrate how locating REDD+ projects is often in the hands of external organizations and tightly connected to their previous engagements in the location. We also show how specific characteristics of these externally driven REDD+ project locations vary according to the sub-objectives of the individual projects and do not always correspond with the overall goal of REDD+. These pre-conditioned decisions and diverging objectives at the meso-level may further complicate global REDD+ agreements.

  1. [From library to clinical decision support systems: access of general practitioner to quality information].

    PubMed

    Fauquert, B

    2012-09-01

    Since 2003, the following tools have been implemented in Belgium for improving the access of general practioners to the EBM literature: the Digital Library for Health and the evidence-linker of the CEBAM, the portal EBMPracticeNet.be and the multidimensional electronic clinical decision support EBMeDS. The aim of this article is to show the progress achieved in the information dissemination toward the belgian general practioners, particularly the access from the electronic health record. From the literature published these last years, the opportunities cited by the users are for using EBM and the strong willingness for using these literature access in the future; the limits are the medical data coding, the irrelevance of the search results, the alerts fatigue induced by EBMeDS. The achievements done and planned for the new EBMPracticeNet guidelines portal and the EBMeDS system are explained in the aim of informing belgian healthcare professionals. These projects are claiming for lauching a participatory process in the production and dissemination of EBM information. The discussion is focused on the belgian healthcare system advantages, the solutions for a reasonable implementation of these projects and for increasing the place of an evidence-based information in the healthcare decision process. Finally the input of these projects to the continuing medical education and to the healthcare quality are discussed, in a context of multifactorial interaction healthcare design (complexity design).

  2. Interaction between assessment and instruction in science: A teacher's decision-making process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brownstein, Erica Marie

    This study describes the interaction between assessment and instruction in a secondary science classroom. This research examines a chemistry teacher in an AP class in a midwestern urban setting interactively assessing his students and how knowledge gained during that assessment affected his instructional decision-making. The theoretical framework includes reflection-in-action, the zone of proximal development, and social constructivism. The primary question that guided the study was: What is the interaction between assessment and instruction in a science classroom? The three sub questions were: How does a teacher gain knowledge of students' thinking? How does a teacher use knowledge of his students' thinking in interactive instructional decisions? What are the components of his interactive instructional decisions? Participant observation of the classroom occurred over a four month period. The elicit interview technique was used immediately following class to discuss interactive instructional decisions with the teacher. Data sources included videotapes, interviews, field notes, classroom documents, intern journal, and member checking from which triangulation was possible. The goal was to examine and understand interactive decisions that had an impact on instruction. The results indicated that the students were in a safe, accepting environment and that student levels of understanding chemistry were indeterminate, low, medium, and high. Impacts on teacher decision making were pedagogical content knowledge, assessing context, and knowledge of the student. It was found that to gain knowledge of student thinking, the teacher listened, examined student work, asked questions, and made statements. Questions the teacher asked were to probe, lead, or clarify student knowledge. Statements the teacher made would clarify or restate student words. The teacher used his understanding of student knowledge to make instructional decisions by recognizing student knowledge, connecting

  3. 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

  4. Assessing Requirements Quality through Requirements Coverage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rajan, Ajitha; Heimdahl, Mats; Woodham, Kurt

    2008-01-01

    requirements and existing model coverage metrics such as the Modified Condition and Decision Coverage (MC/DC) used when testing highly critical software in the avionics industry [8]. Our work is related to Chockler et al. [2], but we base our work on traditional testing techniques as opposed to verification techniques.

  5. A Risk-based Assessment And Management Framework For Multipollutant Air Quality.

    PubMed

    Frey, H Christopher; Hubbell, Bryan

    2009-06-01

    The National Research Council recommended both a risk- and performance-based multipollutant approach to air quality management. Specifically, management decisions should be based on minimizing the exposure to, and risk of adverse effects from, multiple sources of air pollution and that the success of these decisions should be measured by how well they achieved this objective. We briefly describe risk analysis and its application within the current approach to air quality management. Recommendations are made as to how current practice could evolve to support a fully risk- and performance-based multipollutant air quality management system. The ability to implement a risk assessment framework in a credible and policy-relevant manner depends on the availability of component models and data which are scientifically sound and developed with an understanding of their application in integrated assessments. The same can be said about accountability assessments used to evaluate the outcomes of decisions made using such frameworks. The existing risk analysis framework, although typically applied to individual pollutants, is conceptually well suited for analyzing multipollutant management actions. Many elements of this framework, such as emissions and air quality modeling, already exist with multipollutant characteristics. However, the framework needs to be supported with information on exposure and concentration response relationships that result from multipollutant health studies. Because the causal chain that links management actions to emission reductions, air quality improvements, exposure reductions and health outcomes is parallel between prospective risk analyses and retrospective accountability assessments, both types of assessment should be placed within a single framework with common metrics and indicators where possible. Improvements in risk reductions can be obtained by adopting a multipollutant risk analysis framework within the current air quality management

  6. Quality assessment of diagnosis and antibiotic treatment of infectious diseases in primary care: a systematic review of quality indicators

    PubMed Central

    Saust, Laura Trolle; Monrad, Rikke Nygaard; Hansen, Malene Plejdrup; Arpi, Magnus; Bjerrum, Lars

    2016-01-01

    Objective To identify existing quality indicators (QIs) for diagnosis and antibiotic treatment of patients with infectious diseases in primary care. Design A systematic literature search was performed in PubMed and EMBASE. We included studies with a description of the development of QIs for diagnosis and antibiotic use in patients with infectious diseases in primary care. We extracted information about (1) type of infection; (2) target for quality assessment; (3) methodology used for developing the QIs; and (4) whether the QIs were developed for a national or international application. The QIs were organised into three categories: (1) QIs focusing on the diagnostic process; (2) QIs focusing on the decision to prescribe antibiotics; and (3) QIs concerning the choice of antibiotics. Results Eleven studies were included in this review and a total of 130 QIs were identified. The majority (72%) of the QIs were focusing on choice of antibiotics, 22% concerned the decision to prescribe antibiotics, and few (6%) concerned the diagnostic process. Most QIs were either related to respiratory tract infections or not related to any type of infection. A consensus method (mainly the Delphi technique), based on either a literature study or national guidelines, was used for the development of QIs in all of the studies. Conclusions The small number of existing QIs predominantly focuses on the choice of antibiotics and is often drug-specific. There is a remarkable lack of diagnostic QIs. Future development of new QIs, especially disease-specific QIs concerning the diagnostic process, is needed. Key Points In order to improve the use of antibiotics in primary care, measurable instruments, such as quality indicators, are needed to assess the quality of care being provided.A total of 11 studies were found, including 130 quality indicators for diagnosis and antibiotic treatment of infectious diseases in primary care.The majority of the identified quality indicators were focusing on the

  7. Pollution Prevention, An Investment Decision Model to Assess Financial Feasibility for Application to Air Force Processes

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-09-01

    product and include 3-1 I indirect labor, indirect materials, tooling , machining , quality control, maintenance, scheduling, resource planning, and...6-7 7.1 Research Proccess Feedback Loop .... ......... .. 7-7 viii List of Tables Table Page 4.1 Cost Considerations by Level...decision making tool which enables them to make quick and effective choices regarding alternatives to pollution management. Pollution Prevention The

  8. Clinical assessment of decision-making capacity in acquired brain injury with personality change

    PubMed Central

    Owen, Gareth S.; Freyenhagen, Fabian; Martin, Wayne; David, Anthony S.

    2017-01-01

    Assessment of decision-making capacity (DMC) can be difficult in acquired brain injury (ABI) particularly with the syndrome of organic personality disorder (OPD) (the “frontal lobe syndrome”). Clinical neuroscience may help but there are challenges translating its constructs to the decision-making abilities considered relevant by law and ethics. An in-depth interview study of DMC in OPD was undertaken. Six patients were purposefully sampled and rich interview data were acquired for scrutiny using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Interview data revealed that awareness of deficit and thinking about psychological states can be present. However, the awareness of deficit may not be “online” and effectively integrated into decision-making. Without this online awareness of deficit the ability to appreciate or use and weigh information in the process of deciding some matters appeared absent. We argue that the decision-making abilities discussed are: (1) necessary for DMC, (2) threatened by ABI , and (3) assessable at interview. Some advice for practically incorporating these abilities within assessments of DMC in patients with OPD is outlined. PMID:26088818

  9. Integrated assessment of risk and sustainability in the context of regulatory decision making.

    PubMed

    Sexton, Ken; Linder, Stephen H

    2014-01-01

    Risk assessment is a decision-making tool used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other governmental organizations to organize and analyze scientific information so as to examine, characterize, and possibly quantify threats to human health and/or ecologic resources. Sustainability evaluation is a process for organizing and analyzing scientific and technical information about nature-society interactions in order to help decision-makers determine whether taking or avoiding certain actions will make society more sustainable. Although development and application of these two methodologies have progressed along distinct and unconnected pathways, the National Research Council recently recommended that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adopt the concept of "sustainability" as both a process and a goal, and that risk assessment be incorporated, when appropriate, as a key input into decision-making about sustainability. The following discussion briefly reviews these two analytic approaches and examines conceptual frameworks for integrating assessments of risk and sustainability as a component of regulatory decision-making.

  10. Accuracy assessment of planimetric large-scale map data for decision-making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doskocz, Adam

    2016-06-01

    This paper presents decision-making risk estimation based on planimetric large-scale map data, which are data sets or databases which are useful for creating planimetric maps on scales of 1:5,000 or larger. The studies were conducted on four data sets of large-scale map data. Errors of map data were used for a risk assessment of decision-making about the localization of objects, e.g. for land-use planning in realization of investments. An analysis was performed for a large statistical sample set of shift vectors of control points, which were identified with the position errors of these points (errors of map data). In this paper, empirical cumulative distribution function models for decision-making risk assessment were established. The established models of the empirical cumulative distribution functions of shift vectors of control points involve polynomial equations. An evaluation of the compatibility degree of the polynomial with empirical data was stated by the convergence coefficient and by the indicator of the mean relative compatibility of model. The application of an empirical cumulative distribution function allows an estimation of the probability of the occurrence of position errors of points in a database. The estimated decision-making risk assessment is represented by the probability of the errors of points stored in the database.

  11. Decision support methods for the environmental assessment of contamination at mining sites.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Gyozo; Abdaal, Ahmed

    2013-09-01

    Polluting mine accidents and widespread environmental contamination associated with historic mining in Europe and elsewhere has triggered the improvement of related environmental legislation and of the environmental assessment and management methods for the mining industry. Mining has some unique features such as natural background pollution associated with natural mineral deposits, industrial activities and contamination located in the three-dimensional sub-surface space, the problem of long-term remediation after mine closure, problem of secondary contaminated areas around mine sites and abandoned mines in historic regions like Europe. These mining-specific problems require special tools to address the complexity of the environmental problems of mining-related contamination. The objective of this paper is to review and evaluate some of the decision support methods that have been developed and applied to mining contamination. In this paper, only those methods that are both efficient decision support tools and provide a 'holistic' approach to the complex problem as well are considered. These tools are (1) landscape ecology, (2) industrial ecology, (3) landscape geochemistry, (4) geo-environmental models, (5) environmental impact assessment, (6) environmental risk assessment, (7) material flow analysis and (8) life cycle assessment. This unique inter-disciplinary study should enable both the researcher and the practitioner to obtain broad view on the state-of-the-art of decision support methods for the environmental assessment of contamination at mine sites. Documented examples and abundant references are also provided.

  12. U.S. EPA authority to use cumulative risk assessments in environmental decision-making.

    PubMed

    Alves, Sarah; Tilghman, Joan; Rosenbaum, Arlene; Payne-Sturges, Devon C

    2012-06-01

    Conventionally, in its decision-making, the U.S. EPA has evaluated the effects and risks associated with a single pollutant in a single exposure medium. In reality, people are exposed to mixtures of pollutants or to the same pollutant through a variety of media, including the air, water, and food. It is now more recognized than before that environmental exposure to pollutants occurs via multiple exposure routes and pathways, including inhalation, ingestion, and dermal absorption. Moreover, chemical, biologic, radiologic, physical, and psychologic stressors are all acknowledged as affecting human health. Although many EPA offices attempt to consider cumulative risk assessment and cumulative effects in various ways, there is no Agency-wide policy for considering these risks and the effects of exposure to these risks when making environmental decisions. This article examines how U.S. courts might assess EPA's general authority and discretion to use cumulative risk assessment as the basis for developing data in support of environmental decision-making, and how courts might assess the validity of a cumulative risk assessment methodology itself.

  13. Monitoring, assessment and modelling using water quality data in the Saale River Basin, Germany.

    PubMed

    Bongartz, Klaus; Steele, Timothy D; Baborowski, Martina; Lindenschmidt, Karl-Erich

    2007-12-01

    The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) is the overall driver for this environmental study and currently requires the identification of patterns and sources of pollution (monitoring) to support objective ecological sound decision making and specific measures to enhance river water quality (modelling). The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate in a case study the interrelationship between (1) hydrologic and water quality monitoring data for river basin characterization and (2) modelling applications to assess resources management alternatives. The study deals with monitoring assessment and modelling of river water quality data of the main stem Saale River and its principal tributaries. For a period of 6 years the data, which was sampled by Environmental Agencies of the German states of Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, was investigated to assess sources and indicators of pollution. In addition to the assessment a modelling exercise of the routing of different pollutants was carried out in the lower part of the test basin. The modelling is a tool to facilitate the evaluation of alternative measures to reduce contaminant loadings and improve ecological status of a water body as required by WFD. The transport of suspended solids, salts and heavy metals was modelled along a selected Saale reach under strong anthropogenic influence in terms of contaminants and river morphology between the city of Halle and the confluence with the Elbe River. The simulations were carried out with the model WASP5 which is a dynamic flood-routing and water quality model package developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

  14. 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).

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. Nystagmus Assessments Documented by Emergency Physicians in Acute Dizziness Presentations: A Target for Decision Support?

    PubMed Central

    Kerber, Kevin A.; Morgenstern, Lewis B.; Meurer, William J.; McLaughlin, Thomas; Hall, Pamela A.; Forman, Jane; Fendrick, A. Mark; Newman-Toker, David E.

    2011-01-01

    Objectives Dizziness is a common presenting complaint to the emergency department (ED), and emergency physicians (EPs) consider these presentations a priority for decision support. Assessing for nystagmus and defining its features are important steps for any acute dizziness decision algorithm. The authors sought to describe nystagmus documentation in routine ED care to determine if nystagmus assessments might be an important target in decision support efforts. Methods Medical records from ED visits for dizziness were captured as part of a surveillance study embedded within an ongoing population-based cohort study. Visits with documentation of a nystagmus assessment were reviewed and coded for presence or absence of nystagmus, ability to draw a meaningful inference from the description, and coherence with the final EP diagnosis when a peripheral vestibular diagnosis was made. Results Of 1,091 visits for dizziness, 887 (81.3%) documented a nystagmus assessment. Nystagmus was present in 185 out of 887 (20.9%) visits. When nystagmus was present, no further characteristics were recorded in 48 of the 185 visits (26%). The documentation of nystagmus (including all descriptors recorded) enabled a meaningful inference about the localization or cause in only 10 of the 185 (5.4%) visits. The nystagmus description conflicted with the EP diagnosis in 113 (80.7%) of the 140 visits that received a peripheral vestibular diagnosis. Conclusions Nystagmus assessments are frequently documented in acute dizziness presentations, but details do not generally enable a meaningful inference. Recorded descriptions usually conflict with the diagnosis when a peripheral vestibular diagnosis is rendered. Nystagmus assessments might be an important target in developing decision support for dizziness presentations. PMID:21676060

  20. 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.

  1. Assessing water quality in rivers with fuzzy inference systems: a case study.

    PubMed

    Ocampo-Duque, William; Ferré-Huguet, Núria; Domingo, José L; Schuhmacher, Marta

    2006-08-01

    In recent years, fuzzy-logic-based methods have demonstrated to be appropriated to address uncertainty and subjectivity in environmental problems. In the present study, a methodology based on fuzzy inference systems (FIS) to assess water quality is proposed. A water quality index calculated with fuzzy reasoning has been developed. The relative importance of water quality indicators involved in the fuzzy inference process has been dealt with a multi-attribute decision-aiding method. The potential application of the fuzzy index has been tested with a case study. A data set collected from the Ebro River (Spain) by two different environmental protection agencies has been used. The current findings, managed within a geographic information system, clearly agree with official reports and expert opinions about the pollution problems in the studied area. Therefore, this methodology emerges as a suitable and alternative tool to be used in developing effective water management plans.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Effect of different river water quality model concepts used for river basin management decisions.

    PubMed

    Vandenberghe, V; van Griensven, A; Bauwens, W; Vanrolleghem, P A

    2006-01-01

    n this research the applicability of two different water quality concepts, a QUAL2E-based and a RWQM1-based water quality model is evaluated in terms of management decisions. The Dender river in Belgium serves as a case study for the application of the methodology. By using sensitivity analysis on both model concepts the important processes are revealed. Further, the differences between the predictions for a future scenario are analysed. The scenario chosen here is a reduction in fertiliser use of 90%, which reduces the diffuse pollution. This way, the advantages or disadvantages of using one concept against the other for this scenario are formulated. It was found that the QUAL-based models are more focussing on algae processes while the RWQM1 also takes into account processes in the sediment. Further the QUAL-based models are easier to calibrate, especially when only a small amount of data is available. Both concepts lead to more or less the same conclusions. However for some periods the differences become important and to reduce the uncertainty in those periods, more efforts should be spent in calibration and in better detection of parameters concerning sediment processes and diffusion.

  8. Foraging Behaviour in Magellanic Woodpeckers Is Consistent with a Multi-Scale Assessment of Tree Quality

    PubMed Central

    Vergara, Pablo M.; Soto, Gerardo E.; Rodewald, Amanda D.; Meneses, Luis O.; Pérez-Hernández, Christian G.

    2016-01-01

    Theoretical models predict that animals should make foraging decisions after assessing the quality of available habitat, but most models fail to consider the spatio-temporal scales at which animals perceive habitat availability. We tested three foraging strategies that explain how Magellanic woodpeckers (Campephilus magellanicus) assess the relative quality of trees: 1) Woodpeckers with local knowledge select trees based on the available trees in the immediate vicinity. 2) Woodpeckers lacking local knowledge select trees based on their availability at previously visited locations. 3) Woodpeckers using information from long-term memory select trees based on knowledge about trees available within the entire landscape. We observed foraging woodpeckers and used a Brownian Bridge Movement Model to identify trees available to woodpeckers along foraging routes. Woodpeckers selected trees with a later decay stage than available trees. Selection models indicated that preferences of Magellanic woodpeckers were based on clusters of trees near the most recently visited trees, thus suggesting that woodpeckers use visual cues from neighboring trees. In a second analysis, Cox’s proportional hazards models showed that woodpeckers used information consolidated across broader spatial scales to adjust tree residence times. Specifically, woodpeckers spent more time at trees with larger diameters and in a more advanced stage of decay than trees available along their routes. These results suggest that Magellanic woodpeckers make foraging decisions based on the relative quality of trees that they perceive and memorize information at different spatio-temporal scales. PMID:27416115

  9. Foraging Behaviour in Magellanic Woodpeckers Is Consistent with a Multi-Scale Assessment of Tree Quality.

    PubMed

    Vergara, Pablo M; Soto, Gerardo E; Moreira-Arce, Darío; Rodewald, Amanda D; Meneses, Luis O; Pérez-Hernández, Christian G

    2016-01-01

    Theoretical models predict that animals should make foraging decisions after assessing the quality of available habitat, but most models fail to consider the spatio-temporal scales at which animals perceive habitat availability. We tested three foraging strategies that explain how Magellanic woodpeckers (Campephilus magellanicus) assess the relative quality of trees: 1) Woodpeckers with local knowledge select trees based on the available trees in the immediate vicinity. 2) Woodpeckers lacking local knowledge select trees based on their availability at previously visited locations. 3) Woodpeckers using information from long-term memory select trees based on knowledge about trees available within the entire landscape. We observed foraging woodpeckers and used a Brownian Bridge Movement Model to identify trees available to woodpeckers along foraging routes. Woodpeckers selected trees with a later decay stage than available trees. Selection models indicated that preferences of Magellanic woodpeckers were based on clusters of trees near the most recently visited trees, thus suggesting that woodpeckers use visual cues from neighboring trees. In a second analysis, Cox's proportional hazards models showed that woodpeckers used information consolidated across broader spatial scales to adjust tree residence times. Specifically, woodpeckers spent more time at trees with larger diameters and in a more advanced stage of decay than trees available along their routes. These results suggest that Magellanic woodpeckers make foraging decisions based on the relative quality of trees that they perceive and memorize information at different spatio-temporal scales.

  10. Assessing Patient Participation in Health Policy Decision-Making in Cyprus

    PubMed Central

    Souliotis, Kyriakos; Agapidaki, Eirini; Peppou, Lily Evangelia; Tzavara, Chara; Samoutis, George; Theodorou, Mamas

    2016-01-01

    Although the importance of patient participation in the design and evaluation of health programs and services is well-documented, there is scarcity of research with regard to patient association (PA) participation in health policy decision-making processes. To this end, the present study aimed to validate further a previously developed instrument as well as to investigate the degree of PA participation in health policy decision-making in Cyprus. A convenient sample of 114 patients-members of patients associations took part in the study. Participants were recruited from an umbrella organization, the Pancyprian Federation of Patient Associations and Friends (PFPA). PA participation in health policy decision-making was assessed with the Health Democracy Index (HDI), an original 8-item tool. To explore its psychometric properties, Cronbach α was computed as regards to its internal consistency, while its convergent validity was tested against a self-rated question enquiring about the degree of PA participation in health policy decision-making. The findings revealed that the HDI has good internal consistency and convergent validity. Furthermore, PAs were found to participate more in consultations in health-related organizations and the Ministry of Health (MoH) as well as in reforms or crucial decisions in health policy. Lower levels were documented with regard to participation in hospital boards, ethics committees in clinical trials and health technology assessment (HTA) procedures. Overall, PA participation levels were found to be lower than the mid-point of the scale. Targeted interventions aiming to facilitate patients’ involvement in health policy decision-making processes and to increase its impact are greatly needed in Cyprus. PMID:27694659

  11. Computer Simulation as a Tool for Assessing Decision-Making in Pandemic Influenza Response Training

    PubMed Central

    Leaming, James M.; Adoff, Spencer; Terndrup, Thomas E.

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: We sought to develop and test a computer-based, interactive simulation of a hypothetical pandemic influenza outbreak. Fidelity was enhanced with integrated video and branching decision trees, built upon the 2007 federal planning assumptions. We conducted a before-and-after study of the simulation effectiveness to assess the simulations' ability to assess participants' beliefs regarding their own hospitals' mass casualty incident preparedness. Methods: Development: Using a Delphi process, we finalized a simulation that serves up a minimum of over 50 key decisions to 6 role-players on networked laptops in a conference area. The simulation played out an 8-week scenario, beginning with pre-incident decisions. Testing: Role-players and trainees (N=155) were facilitated to make decisions during the pandemic. Because decision responses vary, the simulation plays out differently, and a casualty counter quantifies hypothetical losses. The facilitator reviews and critiques key factors for casualty control, including effective communications, working with external organizations, development of internal policies and procedures, maintaining supplies and services, technical infrastructure support, public relations and training. Pre- and post-survey data were compared on trainees. Results: Post-simulation trainees indicated a greater likelihood of needing to improve their organization in terms of communications, mass casualty incident planning, public information and training. Participants also recognized which key factors required immediate attention at their own home facilities. Conclusion: The use of a computer-simulation was effective in providing a facilitated environment for determining the perception of preparedness, evaluating general preparedness concepts and introduced participants to critical decisions involved in handling a regional pandemic influenza surge. PMID:23687542

  12. Assessing Patient Participation in Health Policy Decision-Making in Cyprus.

    PubMed

    Souliotis, Kyriakos; Agapidaki, Eirini; Peppou, Lily Evangelia; Tzavara, Chara; Samoutis, George; Theodorou, Mamas

    2016-06-20

    Although the importance of patient participation in the design and evaluation of health programs and services is well-documented, there is scarcity of research with regard to patient association (PA) participation in health policy decision-making processes. To this end, the present study aimed to validate further a previously developed instrument as well as to investigate the degree of PA participation in health policy decision-making in Cyprus. A convenient sample of 114 patients-members of patients associations took part in the study. Participants were recruited from an umbrella organization, the Pancyprian Federation of Patient Associations and Friends (PFPA). PA participation in health policy decision-making was assessed with the Health Democracy Index (HDI), an original 8-item tool. To explore its psychometric properties, Cronbach α was computed as regards to its internal consistency, while its convergent validity was tested against a self-rated question enquiring about the degree of PA participation in health policy decision-making. The findings revealed that the HDI has good internal consistency and convergent validity. Furthermore, PAs were found to participate more in consultations in health-related organizations and the Ministry of Health (MoH) as well as in reforms or crucial decisions in health policy. Lower levels were documented with regard to participation in hospital boards, ethics committees in clinical trials and health technology assessment (HTA) procedures. Overall, PA participation levels were found to be lower than the mid-point of the scale. Targeted interventions aiming to facilitate patients' involvement in health policy decision-making processes and to increase its impact are greatly needed in Cyprus.

  13. Design and implementation of a risk assessment module in a spatial decision support system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Kaixi; van Westen, Cees; Bakker, Wim

    2014-05-01

    The spatial decision support system named 'Changes SDSS' is currently under development. The goal of this system is to analyze changing hydro-meteorological hazards and the effect of risk reduction alternatives to support decision makers in choosing the best alternatives. The risk assessment module within the system is to assess the current risk, analyze the risk after implementations of risk reduction alternatives, and analyze the risk in different future years when considering scenarios such as climate change, land use change and population growth. The objective of this work is to present the detailed design and implementation plan of the risk assessment module. The main challenges faced consist of how to shift the risk assessment from traditional desktop software to an open source web-based platform, the availability of input data and the inclusion of uncertainties in the risk analysis. The risk assessment module is developed using Ext JS library for the implementation of user interface on the client side, using Python for scripting, as well as PostGIS spatial functions for complex computations on the server side. The comprehensive consideration of the underlying uncertainties in input data can lead to a better quantification of risk assessment and a more reliable Changes SDSS, since the outputs of risk assessment module are the basis for decision making module within the system. The implementation of this module will contribute to the development of open source web-based modules for multi-hazard risk assessment in the future. This work is part of the "CHANGES SDSS" project, funded by the European Community's 7th Framework Program.

  14. 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

  15. Evaluation of the use of mineral resource assessments in Federal land-use decisions

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, J.F.

    1985-01-01

    Analysis of the content, timeliness, and influence of mineral resource assessments developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Bureau of Mines (BoM) for wilderness withdrawal and other management decisions by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) indicates that significant improvements can be made. The USFS has completed most of its land management plans with very limited geologic input and does not plan to modify them until the mid 1990's. BLM is instituting review procedures for land-use decisions made prior to availability of USGS/BoM mineral assessments. Terminology characterizing mineral potentials (low, medium, high) needs further clarification for assured consideration by BLM land managers who do not usually have geologic backgrounds. Presently, there is no frame of reference for land managers to use in comparing the relative importance of mineral potential and other types of resource values when making a land-use decision. The BoM should characterize the significance of potentially strategic mineral commodities in the assessment reports as background for readers. USGS Bulletin 1638, a mineral assessment of the San Isabel National Forest, Colorado, is an important step in making mineral potential information more assimilatable.

  16. Analysis of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive and the EIA decision in Turkey

    SciTech Connect

    Bilgin, Ayla

    2015-07-15

    The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive first entered into force in the United States in 1969, and began to be implemented in many other countries by 1990. The first Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive in Turkey was published on February 7, 1993, under the Environmental Law No. 2872. The EIA Directive was revised seven times on June 23, 1997, June 6, 2002, December 16, 2003, July 17, 2008, October 3, 2013, and November 25, 2014. Several amendments were made during this process. The first EIA Directive dated 1993 was narrow in scope and its procedure was long, while the amendments in 2003, 2008, 2013, and 2014 widened the scope of the EIA, and shortened the EIA assessment procedures. In this study, the amendments to the Turkish EIA Directive were analysed, and their effect on the number of EIA decisions made was addressed. It was concluded that the uncertainties in EIA procedures were removed, procedures were shortened, and as a result, the number of EIA decisions increased thanks to the revisions made in line with harmonisation with European Union (EU) acquis. - Highlights: • Demonstrates the Environmental Impact Assessment practices in Turkey. • Demonstrates the application of the EIA in Turkey by sector. • Demonstrates the amendments of the EIA by-laws in Turkey. • Demonstrates the changes in EIA practices and EIA decisions.

  17. Foster care assessment: A study of the placement decision process in Flanders.

    PubMed

    Vanderfaeillie, Johan; Pijnenburg, Huub; Damen, Harm; Van Holen, Frank

    2015-11-01

    Family foster care placement decision-making has a weak scientific underpinning. Mostly a 'variable-oriented approach' is taken, which requires a lot of information that is not always available. The identification of clusters of foster children with similar characteristics may be a more viable decision strategy. In this study we investigated if foster children could indeed be clustered, which problems were identified at the time of placement, and the influence of placement history. It proved possible to group foster children into two clusters: (1) young children with familial problems and few behavioral problems, and (2) older children with prominent child problems and behavioral problems. For foster children with and without placement history, problems associated with placement proved identical. Considering that a foster care placement did not result in fundamental change in the problems present at time of placement, the importance is stressed of approaching foster care assessment as part of a decision making process which looks back as well as forward. Placement decisions should be based on an appraisal of the appropriateness of foster placement as a solution for the child. In conjunction with this appraisal a decision is required on how parents can be supported toward reunification. Or--if this is not an option--whether long term foster care is the best option for the child and if so, what conditions need to be met.

  18. Environmental risk assessment of chemicals and nanomaterials--The best foundation for regulatory decision-making?

    PubMed

    Syberg, Kristian; Hansen, Steffen Foss

    2016-01-15

    Environmental risk assessment (ERA) is often considered as the most transparent, objective and reliable decision-making tool for informing the risk management of chemicals and nanomaterials. ERAs are based on the assumption that it is possible to provide accurate estimates of hazard and exposure and, subsequently, to quantify risk. In this paper we argue that since the quantification of risk is dominated by uncertainties, ERAs do not provide a transparent or an objective foundation for decision-making and they should therefore not be considered as a "holy grail" for informing risk management. We build this thesis on the analysis of two case studies (of nonylphenol and nanomaterials) as well as a historical analysis in which we address the scientific foundation for ERAs. The analyses show that ERAs do not properly address all aspects of actual risk, such as the mixture effect and the environmentally realistic risk from nanomaterials. Uncertainties have been recognised for decades, and assessment factors are used to compensate for the lack of realism in ERAs. The assessment factors' values were pragmatically determined, thus lowering the scientific accuracy of the ERAs. Furthermore, the default choice of standard assay for assessing a hazard might not always be the most biologically relevant, so we therefore argue that an ERA should be viewed as a pragmatic decision-making tool among several, and it should not have a special status for informing risk management. In relation to other relevant decision-making tools we discuss the use of chemical alternative assessments (CAAs) and the precautionary principle.

  19. Nursing issues in renal replacement therapy: organization, manpower assessment, competency evaluation and quality improvement processes.

    PubMed

    Graham, Patricia; Lischer, Eileen

    2011-01-01

    For the patient with acute kidney injury, continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) is a treatment option that has application for the hemodynamically unstable critically ill patient. The decision to initiate a continuous renal replacement modality depends not only on the physician, either the nephrologist or intensivist, but also on the availability of specially trained nursing resources. This article will explore the nursing collaborative model of care at a large university-based research and teaching Medical Center in Southern California. The focus will be on nursing issues in CRRT including organization of educational programs, manpower assessment, competency evaluation, and quality improvement processes.

  20. Summary of the U. S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Assessment Program

    SciTech Connect

    Hirsh, R.M.; Alley, W.M.; Wilber, W.G.

    1988-01-01

    Beginning in 1986, the Congress appropriated funds for the US Geological Survey to test and refine concepts for a National Water Quality Assessment Program. At present, the program is in a pilot phase with field studies occurring in seven areas around the Nation. In 1990, a committee of the National Academy of Sciences will complete an evaluation of the design and potential utility of the program. A decision about moving to full-scale implementation will be made upon completion of the evaluation. The program is intended to address a wide range of national water quality issues that include chemical contamination, acidification, eutrophication, salinity, sedimentation, and sanitary quality. The goals of the program are to: (1) provide nationally consistent descriptions of current water quality conditions for a large part of the Nation's water resources; (2) define long-term trends in water quality; and (3) identify and describe the relations of both current conditions and trends in water quality to natural and human factors. This information will be provided to water managers, policy makers, and the public to provide an improved scientific basis for evaluating the effectiveness of water quality management programs and for predicting the likely effects of contemplated changes in land- and water-management practices.

  1. A summary of the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment program

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hirsch, R.M.; Alley, W.M.; Wilber, W.G.

    1988-01-01

    Beginning in 1986, the Congress appropriated funds for the U.S. Geological Survey to test and refine concepts for a National Water Quality Assessment Program. At present, the program is in a pilot phase with field studies occurring in seven areas around the Nation. In 1990, a committee of the National Academy of Sciences will complete an evaluation of the design and potential utility of the program. A decision about moving to full-scale implementation will be made upon completion of this evaluation. The program is intended to address a wide range of national water quality issues that include chemical contamination, acidification, eutrophication, salinity, sedimentation, and sanitary quality. The goals of the program are to: (1) provide nationally consistent descriptions of current water quality conditions for a large part of the Nation 's water resources; (2) define long-term trends (or lack of trends) in water quality; and (3) identify and describe the relations of both current conditions and trends in water quality to natural and human factors. This information will be provided to water managers, policy makers, and the public to provide an improved scientific basis for evaluating the effectiveness of water quality management programs and for predicting the likely effects of contemplated changes in land- and water-management practices. (USGS)

  2. Linking water quality and well-being for improved assessment and valuation of ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Keeler, Bonnie L; Polasky, Stephen; Brauman, Kate A; Johnson, Kris A; Finlay, Jacques C; O'Neill, Ann; Kovacs, Kent; Dalzell, Brent

    2012-11-06

    Despite broad recognition of the value of the goods and services provided by nature, existing tools for assessing and valuing ecosystem services often fall short of the needs and expectations of decision makers. Here we address one of the most important missing components in the current ecosystem services toolbox: a comprehensive and generalizable framework for describing and valuing water quality-related services. Water quality is often misrepresented as a final ecosystem service. We argue that it is actually an important contributor to many different services, from recreation to human health. We present a valuation approach for water quality-related services that is sensitive to different actions that affect water quality, identifies aquatic endpoints where the consequences of changing water quality on human well-being are realized, and recognizes the unique groups of beneficiaries affected by those changes. We describe the multiple biophysical and economic pathways that link actions to changes in water quality-related ecosystem goods and services and provide guidance to researchers interested in valuing these changes. Finally, we present a valuation template that integrates biophysical and economic models, links actions to changes in service provision and value estimates, and considers multiple sources of water quality-related ecosystem service values without double counting.

  3. Decision support tools for urban water and wastewater systems--focussing on hazardous flows assessment.

    PubMed

    Malmqvist, P A; Palmquist, H

    2005-01-01

    The Swedish research programme Urban Water has developed a concept of a multi-criteria basis intended to support decision-making for urban water and wastewater systems. Five criteria groups were established for sustainability assessment of urban water systems: Health and Hygiene, Environment, Economy, Socio-culture, and Technology. Each criterion requires a set of indicators corresponding to quantifiable facts and figures, or qualitative data to comparatively assess the different alternatives in the decision process. The decision support process starts as a baseline study where the existing conditions are addressed. Alternative strategies of the future urban water system are developed and analysed by different tools and methodologies in assessing the five criteria groups. Eventually, the results and conclusions are integrated and synthesised into a basis for decision-making. As an example of a decision support basis for chemical safety, a barrier perspective was introduced to find out if and to what extent hazardous substances can be stopped, diverged, or transformed at various points in the wastewater system. A set of barriers was suggested, i.e. behaviour, systems design, process design, optional recipients, and organisational. The barrier approach was applied to two alternative municipal wastewater system designs--a combined wastewater system vs. a source separated system--analysing the fate of phosphorus, cadmium, and triclosan. The study showed that the combined system caused a higher substance flow to the receiving waterbody than the separated system. The combined system also brought more phosphorus and cadmium to the farmland than the separated system, but only half the amount of triclosan.

  4. A quantitative method to analyze the quality of EIA information in wind energy development and avian/bat assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Chang, Tony; Nielsen, Erik; Auberle, William; Solop, Frederic I.

    2013-01-15

    The environmental impact assessment (EIA) has been a tool for decision makers since the enactment of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Since that time, few analyses have been performed to verify the quality of information and content within EIAs. High quality information within assessments is vital in order for decision makers, stake holders, and the public to understand the potential impact of proposed actions on the ecosystem and wildlife species. Low quality information has been a major cause for litigation and economic loss. Since 1999, wind energy development has seen an exponential growth with unknown levels of impact on wildlife species, in particular bird and bat species. The purpose of this article is to: (1) develop, validate, and apply a quantitative index to review avian/bat assessment quality for wind energy EIAs; and (2) assess the trends and status of avian/bat assessment quality in a sample of wind energy EIAs. This research presents the development and testing of the Avian and Bat Assessment Quality Index (ABAQI), a new approach to quantify information quality of ecological assessments within wind energy development EIAs in relation to avian and bat species based on review areas and factors derived from 23 state wind/wildlife siting guidance documents. The ABAQI was tested through a review of 49 publicly available EIA documents and validated by identifying high variation in avian and bat assessments quality for wind energy developments. Of all the reviewed EIAs, 66% failed to provide high levels of preconstruction avian and bat survey information, compared to recommended factors from state guidelines. This suggests the need for greater consistency from recommended guidelines by state, and mandatory compliance by EIA preparers to avoid possible habitat and species loss, wind energy development shut down, and future lawsuits. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We developed, validated, and applied a quantitative index to review

  5. Fuzzy Based Decision Support System for Condition Assessment and Rating of Bridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srinivas, Voggu; Sasmal, Saptarshi; Karusala, Ramanjaneyulu

    2016-09-01

    In this work, a knowledge based decision support system has been developed to efficiently handle the issues such as distress diagnosis, assessment of damages and condition rating of existing bridges towards developing an exclusive and robust Bridge Management System (BMS) for sustainable bridges. The Knowledge Based Expert System (KBES) diagnoses the distresses and finds the cause of distress in the bridge by processing the data which are heuristic and combined with site inspection results, laboratory test results etc. The coupling of symbolic and numeric type of data has been successfully implemented in the expert system to strengthen its decision making process. Finally, the condition rating of the bridge is carried out using the assessment results obtained from the KBES and the information received from the bridge inspector. A systematic procedure has been developed using fuzzy mathematics for condition rating of bridges by combining the fuzzy weighted average and resolution identity technique. The proposed methodologies and the decision support system will facilitate in developing a robust and exclusive BMS for a network of bridges across the country and allow the bridge engineers and decision makers to carry out maintenance of bridges in a rational and systematic way.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Can comprehensive climate impact assessment of terrestrial ecosystems be included in Life Cycle Assessment to support policy decisions?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bright, R. M.; Cherubini, F.; Strømman, A. H.

    2014-12-01

    Decisions resulting in land use change (LUC) or land management change (LMC) rarely consider the changes to surface biophysical properties that lead to immediate land-atmosphere feedbacks and subsequent local- to regional-scale climate changes. This is likely because the sign and magnitude of the various feedback mechanisms depend largely on a multitude of highly site-specific meteorological, eco-physiological, structural, and topographic factors, making them difficult to quantify in the absence of sophisticated models with high spatial and temporal resolution. In a world increasingly dependent on biomass (and thus land) resources for energy and materials, it is unacceptable to continue ignoring important biogeophysical factors linked to land use activities in climate impact assessment studies. Although a number of useful land-atmosphere impact assessment methodologies and metrics have been proposed in recent years, they are rarely applied in the decision making process. Over the last 10-15 years, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has emerged as a prominent decision-support tool that relies on well-established IPCC climate metrics, yet land-atmosphere climate metrics are rarely applied. Here, we present a review of the literature enveloping methods and metrics for quantifying or characterizing climate change impacts in terrestrial ecosystems. We highlight their merits and discuss practical limitations with respect to their integration into the LCA framework. We conclude by proposing some solutions for overcoming the integration barrier and suggest some practical ways forward for both climate modelers/metric developers and LCA practitioners.

  9. 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.

  10. [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.

  11. 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

  12. [Quality of health care, accreditation, and health technology assessment in Croatia: role of agency for quality and accreditation in health].

    PubMed

    Mittermayer, Renato; Huić, Mirjana; Mestrović, Josipa

    2010-12-01

    standards, and providing other services in the field of healthcare quality assurance, improvement, promotion and monitoring, according to the Act. Formal activities of the Agency in the field of HTA actually began in summer 2009. In the field of quality and accreditation, the plan and program of healthcare quality assurance, improvement, promotion and monitoring was finished and published in October 2010; preparation of the healthcare quality standards as well as the accreditation standards is still in process, with the aim to start accreditation process at 10 hospitals in 2011. Education in the field of healthcare quality assurance, improvement and promotion has been established as a continuous process from the beginning. The Agency is member of the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) and participates in the work of the European Accreditation Network (EAN). In the field of HTA, the Agency has established international collaboration and support, which resulted in its appointment and participation in the European network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA) Joint Action Project as a EUnetHTA Partner, as well as its membership in the international society, HTAi. TAIEX project has been approved as a two-day workshop in December 2010. The Croatian HTA Guidelines have been issued with the aim to start the HTA process and reports that should serve as recommendations, as a support to policy-makers at the national level, in particular the Croatian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and Croatian Institute of Health Insurance, in making evidence-informed decisions on the strategic planning, investment, management and implementation of technologies in health care, on funding (reimbursement) and coverage of health technologies, and at hospital level on the request from hospital directors and policy teams. In conclusion, establishment of all these measures in Croatia is by no means an easy and quick process, however, we do believe that it is feasible

  13. 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.

  14. The imprecise science of evaluating scholarly performance: utilizing broad quality categories for an assessment of business and management journals.

    PubMed

    Lange, Thomas

    2006-08-01

    In a growing number of countries, government-appointed assessment panels develop ranks on the basis of the quality of scholarly outputs to apportion budgets in recognition of evaluated performance and to justify public funds for future R&D activities. When business and management journals are being grouped in broad quality categories, a recent study has noted that this procedure was placing the same journals in essentially the same categories. Drawing on journal quality categorizations by several German- and English-speaking business departments and academic associations, the author performs nonparametric tests and correlations to analyze whether this claim can be substantiated. In particular, he examines the ability of broad quality categorizations to add value to governmental, administrative, and academic decision making by withstanding the criticism traditionally levied at research quality assessments.

  15. 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

  16. Assessing ground-water vulnerability to contamination: Providing scientifically defensible information for decision makers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Focazio, Michael J.; Reilly, Thomas E.; Rupert, Michael G.; Helsel, Dennis R.

    2002-01-01

    Throughout the United States increasing demands for safe drinking water and requirements to maintain healthy ecosystems are leading policy makers to ask complex social and scientific questions about how to assess and manage our water resources. This challenge becomes particularly difficult as policy and management objectives require scientific assessments of the potential for ground-water resources to become contaminated from anthropogenic, as well as natural sources of contamination. Assessments of the vulnerability of ground water to contamination range in scope and complexity from simple, qualitative, and relatively inexpensive approaches to rigorous, quantitative, and costly assessments. Tradeoffs must be carefully considered among the competing influences of the cost of an assessment, the scientific defensibility, and the amount of acceptable uncertainty in meeting the objectives of the water-resource decision maker.

  17. Water quality modeling in the systems impact assessment model for the Klamath River basin - Keno, Oregon to Seiad Valley, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hanna, R. Blair; Campbell, Sharon G.

    2000-01-01

    This report describes the water quality model developed for the Klamath River System Impact Assessment Model (SIAM). The Klamath River SIAM is a decision support system developed by the authors and other US Geological Survey (USGS), Midcontinent Ecological Science Center staff to study the effects of basin-wide water management decisions on anadromous fish in the Klamath River. The Army Corps of Engineersa?? HEC5Q water quality modeling software was used to simulate water temperature, dissolved oxygen and conductivity in 100 miles of the Klamath River Basin in Oregon and California. The water quality model simulated three reservoirs and the mainstem Klamath River influenced by the Shasta and Scott River tributaries. Model development, calibration and two validation exercises are described as well as the integration of the water quality model into the SIAM decision support system software. Within SIAM, data are exchanged between the water quantity model (MODSIM), the water quality model (HEC5Q), the salmon population model (SALMOD) and methods for evaluating ecosystem health. The overall predictive ability of the water quality model is described in the context of calibration and validation error statistics. Applications of SIAM and the water quality model are described.

  18. The effect of multimedia replacing text in resident clinical decision-making assessment.

    PubMed

    Chang, Todd P; Schrager, Sheree M; Rake, Alyssa J; Chan, Michael W; Pham, Phung K; Christman, Grant

    2016-10-17

    Multimedia in assessing clinical decision-making skills (CDMS) has been poorly studied, particularly in comparison to traditional text-based assessments. The literature suggests multimedia is more difficult for trainees. We hypothesize that pediatric residents score lower in diagnostic skill when clinical vignettes use multimedia rather than text for patient findings. A standardized method was developed to write text-based questions from 60 high-resolution, quality multimedia; a series of expert panels selected 40 questions with both a multimedia and text-based counterpart, and two online tests were developed. Each test featured 40 identical questions with reciprocal and alternating modality (multimedia vs. text). Pediatric residents and rising 4th year medical students (MS-IV) at a single residency were randomized to complete either test stratified by postgraduate training year (PGY). A mixed between-within subjects ANOVA analyzed differences in score due to modality and PGY. Secondary analyses ascertained modality effect in dermatology and respiratory questions using Mann-Whitney U tests, and correlations on test performance to In-service Training Exam (ITE) scores using Spearman rank. Eighty-eight residents and rising interns completed the study. Overall multimedia scores were lower than text-based scores (p = 0.047, η p(2)  = 0.04), with highest disparity in rising interns (MS-IV); however, PGY had a greater effect on scores (p = 0.001, η p(2)  = 0.16). Respiratory questions were not significantly lower with multimedia (n = 9, median 0.71 vs. 0.86, p = 0.09) nor dermatology questions (n = 13, p = 0.41). ITEs correlated significantly with text-based scores (ρ = 0.23-0.25, p = 0.04-0.06) but not with multimedia scores. In physician trainees with less clinical experience, multimedia-based case vignettes are associated with significantly lower scores. These results help shed light on the role of multimedia versus text-based information in

  19. Training and assessing complex decision-making in a virtual environment.

    PubMed

    Pleban, Robert J; Matthews, Michael D; Salter, Margaret S; Eakin, David E

    2002-06-01

    The current report describes a procedure for training and assessing complex decision-making in a virtual environment. Focusing on small unit leaders, 7 experienced and 7 inexperienced Army platoon leaders performed missions in a combat simulator, where they were required to direct the activities of 3 subordinate leaders and computer-generated forces in 4 different operations in a virtual urban setting. Objective and subjective assessments of the training value of the simulations showed that both experienced an inexperienced platoon leaders improved their decision-making across the four missions, and both groups rated this "virtual environment" training procedure as useful and positive. Lessons learned and implications for designing similar training protocols for other domains are discussed.

  20. 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.

  1. Influence of routine assessment of fractional flow reserve on decision making during coronary interventions.

    PubMed

    Sant'Anna, Fernando M; Silva, Expedito E R; Batista, Leonardo Alves; Ventura, Fábio Machado; Barrozo, Carlos Alberto Mussel; Pijls, Nico H J

    2007-02-15

    In complex coronary artery disease, it is sometimes difficult to determine which lesions are associated with reversible ischemia and should be stented. Fractional flow reserve (FFR) is an established objective methodology to indicate which lesions produce ischemia. Despite this, the selection of lesions to be stented is often based on the subjectively interpreted angiogram alone. The aim of this study in patients admitted for elective percutaneous intervention (PCI) was to evaluate the change in strategy if the decision to intervene was based on FFR measurement rather than on angiographic assessment. Two hundred fifty consecutive patients (471 arteries) scheduled for PCI were included in this study. All stenoses >or=50% by visual estimation and initially selected to be stented by 3 independent reviewers were assessed by FFR measurements. If FFR was <0.75, stenting was performed; if FFR was >or=0.75, no interventional treatment was given. Optimal pressure measurements were obtained in 452 lesions (96%). Diameter stenosis was 62 +/- 12%, and FFR was 0.67 +/- 0.17 for the entire group. In 68% of the stenoses, initial strategy as assessed from the angiogram was followed, and in 32%, there was a change in the planned approach based on FFR. In 48% of the patients, there was >or=1 lesion in which the treatment decision was changed after physiologic measurements. In conclusion, in this prospective, nonselective, but complete study representing the real world of PCI, 32% of the coronary stenoses and 48% of patients would have received a different treatment if the decision had been based on angiography only, stressing the utility of physiologic assessment in refining decision making during PCI.

  2. Facility Energy Decision System (FEDS) Assessment Report for US Army Garrison, Japan - Honshu Installations

    SciTech Connect

    Kora, Angela R.; Brown, Daryl R.; Dixon, Douglas R.

    2010-03-09

    This report documents an assessment was performed by a team of engineers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) under contract to the Installation Management Command (IMCOM) Pacific Region Office (PARO). The effort used the Facility Energy Decision System (FEDS) model to determine how energy is consumed at five U.S. Army Garrison-Japan (USAG-J) installations in the Honshu area, identify the most cost-effective energy retrofit measures, and calculate the potential energy and cost savings.

  3. Preference and Utilities for Prostate Cancer Screening and Treatment: Assessment of the Underlying Decision Making Process

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-01-01

    Watkins-Bruner, Deborah radio advertisements was overwhelming! In between radio ads we continued to recruit through outreach activities and advertising ... AD Award Number: DAMD17-02-1-0055 TITLE: Preference and Utilities for Prostate Cancer Screening & Treatment: Assessment of the Underlying Decision...most recently, radio and newspaper ads . The community sample will include men age 40 to 80 years of age and without prostate cancer. C. Key Research

  4. Integrating health profile with survival for quality of life assessment.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Jing-Shiang; Wang, Jung-Der

    2004-02-01

    In cohort studies or clinical trials, measurements of quality of life (QoL) were averaged across available individuals for each group at given points in time to produce single measures for comparisons. However, estimates of these single measures may be severely biased if substantial mortality occurs over time. The objective of this study is to develop a method that integrates QoL measurement and survival for long-term evaluation of health services. We defined a mean QoL score function over time for an index population as the average QoL score of all individuals both alive and dead at each time point in the population. While a living subject's QoL can be assessed by asking one's subjective preference, the score of a decedent can be assigned a fixed value depending on the specific facet on health profile. The mean QoL score function over time is reduced to a single measure of expected cumulative QoL score, which is the area under the curve of mean QoL score function over a given time interval and can be estimated by taking a random sample from a cross-sectional survey. For the QoL score function to be extrapolated to life-long, it requires the assumption that the disease causes premature death or a long-term moderate impairment of QoL. We provided methods and computer programs for estimating mean QoL score functions and the reduced single measures for use in comparisons. A cohort of 779 breast cancer patients from Chiangmai, Thailand were followed for 12 years to demonstrate the proposed methods. The data included the 12-year complete survival records and QoL scores on 233 patients collected from a cross-sectional survey using WHOQOL questionnaire and standard gamble method. The expected cumulative QoL scores using utility and psychometric scales were compared among patients in four groups of clinical stages in this cohort for time from onset up to 12 years and life-long. We conclude that such an integration of QoL measurement with survival can be useful for the

  5. 21 CFR 111.113 - What quality control operations are required for a material review and disposition decision?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 2 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false What quality control operations are required for a material review and disposition decision? 111.113 Section 111.113 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION CURRENT...

  6. 21 CFR 111.113 - What quality control operations are required for a material review and disposition decision?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 2 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false What quality control operations are required for a material review and disposition decision? 111.113 Section 111.113 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION CURRENT...

  7. 21 CFR 111.113 - What quality control operations are required for a material review and disposition decision?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 2 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false What quality control operations are required for a material review and disposition decision? 111.113 Section 111.113 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION CURRENT...

  8. 21 CFR 111.113 - What quality control operations are required for a material review and disposition decision?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 2 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false What quality control operations are required for a material review and disposition decision? 111.113 Section 111.113 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION CURRENT...

  9. 21 CFR 111.113 - What quality control operations are required for a material review and disposition decision?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false What quality control operations are required for a material review and disposition decision? 111.113 Section 111.113 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION CURRENT...

  10. Quality of evidence for perceptual decision making is indexed by trial-to-trial variability of the EEG.

    PubMed

    Ratcliff, Roger; Philiastides, Marios G; Sajda, Paul

    2009-04-21

    A fundamental feature of how we make decisions is that our responses are variable in the choices we make and the time it takes to make them. This makes it impossible to determine, for a single trial of an experiment, the quality of the evidence on which a decision is based. Even for stimuli from a single experimental condition, it is likely that stimulus and encoding differences lead to differences in the quality of evidence. In the research reported here, with a simple "face"/"car" perceptual discrimination task, we obtained late (decision-related) and early (stimulus-related) single-trial EEG component amplitudes that discriminated between faces and cars within and across conditions. We used the values of these amplitudes to sort the response time and choice within each experimental condition into more-face-like and less-face-like groups and then fit the diffusion model for simple decision making (a well-established model in cognitive psychology) to the data in each group separately. The results show that dividing the data on a trial-by-trial basis by using the late-component amplitude produces differences in the estimates of evidence used in the decision process. However, dividing the data on the basis of the early EEG component amplitude or the times of the peak amplitudes of either component did not index the information used in the decision process. The results we present show that a single-trial EEG neurophysiological measure for nominally identical stimuli can be used to sort behavioral response times and choices into those that index the quality of decision-relevant evidence.

  11. Reporting Quality Assessment of Randomized Controlled Trials Published in Nephrology Urology Monthly Journal

    PubMed Central

    Mehrazmay, Alireza; Karambakhsh, Alireza; Salesi, Mahmood

    2015-01-01

    Context: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are important tools for evidence-based health care decisions. It is, therefore, important that they be conducted and reported with the highest possible standards. The aim of this study was to evaluate the reporting quality of the RCTs published in nephrology urology monthly journal and to examine whether there was a change over time in the reporting quality. Evidence Acquisition: The quality of each report was assessed using the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) 2010 Statement checklist and a 5-point quality assessment instrument, i.e. the Jadad scale. Results: Eighteen (14 Iranian and 4 non-Iranian) RCTs were published from 2012 to 2014 on topics including renal stone (16.6%), hemodialysis and transplantation (38.8%), and prostate conditions (11.1%). Interventions comprised surgery, drugs, and teaching method in 7 (38 %), 10 (55%), and 1 (5%) of them, respectively. According to the CONSORT checklist, the weakest reported items were registration number, identification as a randomized trial in the title, and settings and locations where the data were collected. The mean Jadad score of the reports was 2.72 ± 1.36 (54% of their maximum possible total score). According to the Jadad and CONSORT scales, there was an increase in the quality of reporting from 2012 to 2014. Conclusions: This assessment shows low reporting quality scores in reports. Training courses for researchers, using standard reporting tools (e.g. CONSORT 2010 Statement checklist), and consultation with methodologists can improve the quality of published RCTs. PMID:26528446

  12. A multicriteria decision analysis model and risk assessment framework for carbon capture and storage.

    PubMed

    Humphries Choptiany, John Michael; Pelot, Ronald

    2014-09-01

    Multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) has been applied to various energy problems to incorporate a variety of qualitative and quantitative criteria, usually spanning environmental, social, engineering, and economic fields. MCDA and associated methods such as life-cycle assessments and cost-benefit analysis can also include risk analysis to address uncertainties in criteria estimates. One technology now being assessed to help mitigate climate change is carbon capture and storage (CCS). CCS is a new process that captures CO2 emissions from fossil-fueled power plants and injects them into geological reservoirs for storage. It presents a unique challenge to decisionmakers (DMs) due to its technical complexity, range of environmental, social, and economic impacts, variety of stakeholders, and long time spans. The authors have developed a risk assessment model using a MCDA approach for CCS decisions such as selecting between CO2 storage locations and choosing among different mitigation actions for reducing risks. The model includes uncertainty measures for several factors, utility curve representations of all variables, Monte Carlo simulation, and sensitivity analysis. This article uses a CCS scenario example to demonstrate the development and application of the model based on data derived from published articles and publicly available sources. The model allows high-level DMs to better understand project risks and the tradeoffs inherent in modern, complex energy decisions.

  13. Creating a spatial multi-criteria decision support system for energy related integrated environmental impact assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Wanderer, Thomas Herle, Stefan

    2015-04-15

    By their spatially very distributed nature, profitability and impacts of renewable energy resources are highly correlated with the geographic locations of power plant deployments. A web-based Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS) based on a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) approach has been implemented for identifying preferable locations for solar power plants based on user preferences. The designated areas found serve for the input scenario development for a subsequent integrated Environmental Impact Assessment. The capabilities of the SDSS service get showcased for Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants in the region of Andalusia, Spain. The resulting spatial patterns of possible power plant sites are an important input to the procedural chain of assessing impacts of renewable energies in an integrated effort. The applied methodology and the implemented SDSS are applicable for other renewable technologies as well. - Highlights: • The proposed tool facilitates well-founded CSP plant siting decisions. • Spatial MCDA methods are implemented in a WebGIS environment. • GIS-based SDSS can contribute to a modern integrated impact assessment workflow. • The conducted case study proves the suitability of the methodology.

  14. Using a computer simulation program to assess the decision-making process in child health care.

    PubMed

    Lauri, S

    1992-01-01

    The purpose of this paper was to describe the development and testing of a computer simulation program designed to assess the decision-making process in the public health nurses' work in child health care. The work was based primarily on theories of problem-solving and decision making; on knowledge of child development, health care, and education; and on the soft systems methodology. An authoring program and two simulations were designed and produced at the University of Turku by a team of two nurse researchers, a computer specialist, and three public health nurses. The simulations presented two typical situations encountered by the public health nurses' work in child health care. A total of 61 public health nurses from 11 health centers in the southwestern part of Finland completed the simulations. The public health nurses responded positively to the simulations and the program worked very well. The results revealed some inconsistencies in the decision-making process of the public health nurses with respect to the needs of the child and the family. The public health nurses' decisions were more closely related to the developmental stage of the child than to the unique needs of each family. The simulation is acting to test the public health nurses' ability to make decisions "here and now" but not about caring it forward. These shortcomings can be corrected by asking them to explain their decisions and thoughts after each stage and by tape recording their answers. The findings gave many answers to the question of how the computer simulation program can be developed.

  15. Supporting Policy and Program Decisions: Recommendations for Conducting High Quality Systematic Evidence Reviews. Issue Brief

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., 2012

    2012-01-01

    Policy and program decisions typically involve selecting one choice from among a set of options, and research about the effect of those options can help inform the decision process. However, for the research to be useful, decision makers need a way of drawing accurate lessons from what often can be a large assortment of relevant studies.…

  16. Capacity in vacuo: an audit of decision-making capacity assessments in a liaison psychiatry service

    PubMed Central

    Spencer, Benjamin W. J.; Wilson, Gareth; Okon-Rocha, Ewa; Owen, Gareth S.; Wilson Jones, Charlotte

    2017-01-01

    Aims and method We aimed to audit the documentation of decision-making capacity (DMC) assessments by our liaison psychiatry service against the legal criteria set out in the Mental Capacity Act 2005. We audited 3 months split over a 2-year period occurring before, during and after an educational intervention to staff. Results There were 21 assessments of DMC in month 1 (6.9% of all referrals), 27 (9.7%) in month 16, and 24 (6.6%) in month 21. Only during the intervention (month 16) did any meet our gold-standard (n = 2). Severity of consequences of the decision (odds ratio (OR) 24.4) and not agreeing to the intervention (OR = 21.8) were highly likely to result in lacking DMC. Clinical implications Our audit demonstrated that DMC assessments were infrequent and poorly documented, with no effect of our legally focused educational intervention demonstrated. Our findings of factors associated with the outcome of the assessment of DMC confirm the anecdotal beliefs in this area. Clinicians and service leads need to carefully consider how to make the legal model of DMC more meaningful to clinicians when striving to improve documentation of DMC assessments. PMID:28184310

  17. Groundwater Quality Assessment for Drinking Purposes Using GIS Modelling (case Study: City of Tabriz)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeihouni, M.; Toomanian, A.; Shahabi, M.; Alavipanah, S. K.

    2014-10-01

    Tabriz is the largest industrial city in North West of Iran and it is developing rapidly. A large proportion of water requirements for this city are supplied from dams. In this research, groundwater quality assessed through sampling 70 wells in Tabriz and its rural areas. The purposes of this study are: (1) specifying spatial distribution of groundwater quality parameters such as Chloride, Electrical Conductivity (EC), pH, hardness and sulphate (2) mapping groundwater quality for drinking purpose by employing Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method in the study area using GIS and Geosatistics. We utilized an interpolation technique of ordinary kriging for generating thematic map of each parameter. The final map indicates that the groundwater quality esaeicni from North to South and from West to East of the study area. The areas located in Center, South and South West of the study area have the optimum quality for drinking purposes which are the best locations to drill wells for supplying water demands of Tabriz city. In critical conditions, the groundwater quality map as a result of this research can be taken into account by East Azerbaijan Regional Water Company as decision support system to drill new wells or selecting existing wells to supply drinking water to Tabriz city.

  18. The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP): a national scale natural resources and conservation needs assessment and decision support tool

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, M.-V. V.; Norfleet, M. L.; Atwood, J. D.; Behrman, K. D.; Kiniry, J. R.; Arnold, J. G.; White, M. J.; Williams, J.

    2015-07-01

    The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) was initiated to quantify the impacts of agricultural conservation practices at the watershed, regional, and national scales across the United States. Representative cropland acres in all major U.S. watersheds were surveyed in 2003-2006 as part of the seminal CEAP Cropland National Assessment. Two process-based models, the Agricultural Policy Environmental eXtender(APEX) and the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), were applied to the survey data to provide a quantitative assessment of current conservation practice impacts, establish a benchmark against which future conservation trends and efforts could be measured, and identify outstanding conservation concerns. The flexibility of these models and the unprecedented amount of data on current conservation practices across the country enabled Cropland CEAP to meet its Congressional mandate of quantifying the value of current conservation practices. It also enabled scientifically grounded exploration of a variety of conservation scenarios, empowering CEAP to not only inform on past successes and additional needs, but to also provide a decision support tool to help guide future policy development and conservation practice decision making. The CEAP effort will repeat the national survey in 2015-2016, enabling CEAP to provide analyses of emergent conservation trends, outstanding needs, and potential costs and benefits of pursuing various treatment scenarios for all agricultural watersheds across the United States.

  19. Assessment of alternative land management practices using hydrological simulation and a decision support tool: Arborea agricultural region, Sardinia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cau, P.; Paniconi, C.

    2007-04-01

    Quantifying the impact of land use on water supply and quality is a primary focus of environmental management. In this work we apply a semidistributed hydrological model (SWAT) to predict the impact of different land management practices on water and agricultural chemical yield for a study site situated in the Arborea region of central Sardinia, Italy. The physical processes associated with water movement, crop growth, and nutrient cycling are directly modeled by SWAT. The model simulations are used to identify indicators that reflect critical processes related to the integrity and sustainability of the ecosystem. Specifically we focus on stream quality and quantity indicators associated with anthropogenic and natural sources of pollution. A multicriteria decision support system is then used to develop the analysis matrix where water quality and quantity indicators for the rivers, lagoons, and soil are combined with socio-economic variables. The DSS is used to assess four options involving alternative watersheds designated for intensive agriculture and dairy farming and the use or not of treated wastewater for irrigation.

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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.…

  5. The Assessment of Service Quality in Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Delene, Linda; Bunda, Mary Anne

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. From "Good" to "Functionally Appropriate": Assessing Translation Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schaffner, Christina

    1997-01-01

    Describes Translation Quality Assessment (TQA), an approach to evaluating translation that incorporates aspects of textlinguistic, pragmatic, and discourse models of translation and focuses on text as a communicative occurrence, within a specific context, rather than a series of words and grammatical structures. A functionalist approach to…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dondi, Claudio; Moretti, Michela

    2007-01-01

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

  9. Miniature spinning as a fiber quality assessment tool

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. Quality Assessment of Undergraduate Education in China: A Policy Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Shuiyun; Rosa, Maria Joao

    2008-01-01

    This paper analyses a higher education policy issued in China in 2002: the Quality Assessment of Undergraduate Education Policy. The policy was designed with four main objectives: improvement, compliance, information and accountability. However, it has not completely fulfilled its objectives, especially regarding improvement and accountability,…

  11. Parameters of Higher Education Quality Assessment System at Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savickiene, Izabela

    2005-01-01

    The article analyses the system of institutional quality assessment at universities and lays foundation to its functional, morphological and processual parameters. It also presents the concept of the system and discusses the distribution of systems into groups, defines information, accountability, improvement and benchmarking functions of higher…

  12. Quality and Assessment in Context: A Brief Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koslowski, Fred A., III

    2006-01-01

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

  13. Parameters of Higher School Internationalization and Quality Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Juknyte-Petreikiene, Inga

    2006-01-01

    The article presents the analysis of higher education internationalization, its conceptions and forms of manifestation. It investigates the ways and means of higher education internationalization, the diversity of higher school internationalization motives, the issues of higher education internationalization quality assessment, presenting an…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bianchini, Stefano

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sajiene, Laima; Tamuliene, Rasa

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Competitive Funding Models, Resource Management and Quality Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sizer, John

    1994-01-01

    Reviews, from a management accountant and funding council chief executive's perspective, relationship among (British) funding council models for competitive funding of higher education institutions, resource management, and quality assessments of teaching and learning. Posits a constrained funding environment for the rest of the 1990s. Concludes…

  17. Quality Control Charts in Large-Scale Assessment Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. [Assessments during Medical Specialists Training: quantity or quality?

    PubMed

    Hamming, J F

    2017-01-01

    Structured assessments form a mandatory part of Dutch Medical Specialist Training, but create administrative workload for both the staff and supervisors. One could argue that the quality of the narrative feedback is more important than the extensive reporting in learning portfolios, and that the focus should be on continuous on-the-job coaching.

  19. Quality of Information Assurance - Assessment, Management and Use (QIAAMU)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-04-01

    QUALITY OF INFORMATION ASSURANCE – ASSESSMENT, MANAGEMENT AND USE (QIAAMU) RAYTHEON BBN TECHNOLGIES APRIL 2013 FINAL TECHNICAL...unit uses a mobile platform (laptop plus radio and SATCOM gear) for information operations such as calling in air support or feeding air operation

  20. Incorporating Contaminant Bioavailability into Sediment Quality Assessment Frameworks

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  1. Evaluating the Assessment: Sources of Evidence for Quality Assurance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Birenbaum, Menucha

    2007-01-01

    High quality assessment practice is expected to yield valid and useful score-based interpretations about what the examinees know and are able to do with respect to a defined target domain. Given this assertion, the article presents a framework based on the "unified view of validity," advanced by Cronbach and Messick over two decades ago, to assist…

  2. Decision-Making in Multiple Sclerosis Consultations in Italy: Third Observer and Patient Assessments

    PubMed Central

    Pietrolongo, Erika; Giordano, Andrea; Kleinefeld, Monica; Confalonieri, Paolo; Lugaresi, Alessandra; Tortorella, Carla; Pugliatti, Maura; Radice, Davide; Goss, Claudia; Heesen, Christoph; Solari, Alessandra

    2013-01-01

    Objective To assess decision-making in multiple sclerosis (MS) from third observer and patient perspectives. Method Audio recordings of first-ever consultations with a participating physician (88 outpatients, 10 physicians) at four tertiary MS care clinics in Italy, were rated by a third observer using the Observing Patient Involvement in Shared Decision Making (OPTION) and by patients using the Perceived Involvement in Care Scale (PICS). Results Mean patient age was 37.5, 66% were women, 72% had MS, and 28% had possible MS or other disease. Mean PICS subscale scores (range 0 poor, 100 best possible) were 71.9 (SD 24.3) for "physician facilitation" (PICS-F); 74.6 (SD 22.9) for "patient information exchange" (PICS-I); and only 22.5 (SD 16.2) for "patient decision making" (PICS-DM). Mean OPTION total score (0 poor, 100 best possible) was 29.6 (SD 10.3). Poorest OPTION scores were found for items assessing “preferred patient approach to receiving information” and “preferred patient level of involvement.” Highest scores were for “clinician drawing attention to identified problem”, “indicating need for decision making,” and “need to review the decision.” Consultation time, woman physician, patient-physician gender concordance and PICS-F were associated with higher OPTION total score; older physician and second opinion consultation were associated with lower OPTION score. Conclusions In line with findings in other settings, our third observer findings indicated limited patient involvement abilities of MS physicians during first consultations. Patient perceptions of physician skills were better than third observers’, although they correlated. Consultations with women physicians, and younger physicians, were associated with higher third observer and patient-based scores. Our findings reveal a need to empower Italian MS physicians with better communication and shared decision-making skills, and show in particular that attention to MS patient

  3. A research review of quality assessment for software

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

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

  4. 42 CFR 460.136 - Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Internal quality assessment and performance...) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.136 Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities. (a) Quality assessment...

  5. 42 CFR 460.136 - Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Internal quality assessment and performance...) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.136 Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities. (a) Quality assessment...

  6. 42 CFR 460.136 - Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Internal quality assessment and performance...) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.136 Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities. (a) Quality assessment...

  7. 42 CFR 460.136 - Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Internal quality assessment and performance...) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.136 Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities. (a) Quality assessment...

  8. 42 CFR 460.136 - Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Internal quality assessment and performance...) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.136 Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities. (a) Quality assessment...

  9. Effort-Based Decision Making: A Novel Approach for Assessing Motivation in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Green, Michael F.; Horan, William P.; Barch, Deanna M.; Gold, James M.

    2015-01-01

    Because negative symptoms, including motivational deficits, are a critical unmet need in schizophrenia, there are many ongoing efforts to develop new pharmacological and psychosocial interventions for these impairments. A common challenge of these studies involves how to evaluate and select optimal endpoints. Currently, all studies of negative symptoms in schizophrenia depend on ratings from clinician-conducted interviews. Effort-based decision-making tasks may provide a more objective, and perhaps more sensitive, endpoint for trials of motivational negative symptoms. These tasks assess how much effort a person is willing to exert for a given level of reward. This area has been well-studied with animal models of effort and motivation, and effort-based decision-making tasks have been adapted for use in humans. Very recently, several studies have examined physical and cognitive types of effort-based decision-making tasks in cross-sectional studies of schizophrenia, providing evidence for effort-related impairment in this illness. This article covers the theoretical background on effort-based decision-making tasks to provide a context for the subsequent articles in this theme section. In addition, we review the existing literature of studies using these tasks in schizophrenia, consider some practical challenges in adapting them for use in clinical trials in schizophrenia, and discuss interpretive challenges that are central to these types of tasks. PMID:26089350

  10. An integrated decision making approach for assessing healthcare waste treatment technologies from a multiple stakeholder.

    PubMed

    Shi, Hua; Liu, Hu-Chen; Li, Ping; Xu, Xue-Guo

    2017-01-01

    With increased worldwide awareness of environmental issues, healthcare waste (HCW) management has received much attention from both researchers and practitioners over the past decade. The task of selecting the optimum treatment technology for HCWs is a challenging decision making problem involving conflicting evaluation criteria and multiple stakeholders. In this paper, we develop an integrated decision making framework based on cloud model and MABAC method for evaluating and selecting the best HCW treatment technology from a multiple stakeholder perspective. The introduced framework deals with uncertain linguistic assessments of alternatives by using interval 2-tuple linguistic variables, determines decision makers' relative weights based on the uncertainty and divergence degrees of every decision maker, and obtains the ranking of all HCW disposal alternatives with the aid of an extended MABAC method. Finally, an empirical example from Shanghai, China, is provided to illustrate the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed approach. Results indicate that the methodology being proposed is more suitable and effective to handle the HCW treatment technology selection problem under vague and uncertain information environment.

  11. Effort-Based Decision Making: A Novel Approach for Assessing Motivation in Schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Green, Michael F; Horan, William P; Barch, Deanna M; Gold, James M

    2015-09-01

    Because negative symptoms, including motivational deficits, are a critical unmet need in schizophrenia, there are many ongoing efforts to develop new pharmacological and psychosocial interventions for these impairments. A common challenge of these studies involves how to evaluate and select optimal endpoints. Currently, all studies of negative symptoms in schizophrenia depend on ratings from clinician-conducted interviews. Effort-based decision-making tasks may provide a more objective, and perhaps more sensitive, endpoint for trials of motivational negative symptoms. These tasks assess how much effort a person is willing to exert for a given level of reward. This area has been well-studied with animal models of effort and motivation, and effort-based decision-making tasks have been adapted for use in humans. Very recently, several studies have examined physical and cognitive types of effort-based decision-making tasks in cross-sectional studies of schizophrenia, providing evidence for effort-related impairment in this illness. This article covers the theoretical background on effort-based decision-making tasks to provide a context for the subsequent articles in this theme section. In addition, we review the existing literature of studies using these tasks in schizophrenia, consider some practical challenges in adapting them for use in clinical trials in schizophrenia, and discuss interpretive challenges that are central to these types of tasks.

  12. Water Quality Assessment of Ayeyarwady River in Myanmar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  13. The impact of perceived quality on online buying decisions: an event-related potentials perspective.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jing; Han, Weiwei

    2014-10-01

    Consumer neuroscience can provide useful insights into the neural foundations of consumer decisions, such as perceived quality. One of the applications is to guide attribute configuration of products to fit consumers' expectations on the basis of individual preferences. In this study, we required 20 participants to decide whether to buy the product provided in the stimuli and to respond as soon as possible. According to their reports of expectations after the experiment, we subdivided the stimuli into two conditions. Condition 1 contained the stimuli that fit individual preferences, whereas Condition 2 contained the other stimuli. An essential component of event-related potentials (ERPs), the P300, was elicited in the two conditions and distributed over almost all parietal and occipital regions. Products in Condition 1 induced a higher P300 amplitude than those in Condition 2. The results show that evaluating product attributes is a cognitive process that modulates attention in the aforementioned regions. When participants evaluate the alternatives, categorical processing occurred on the basis of similarity judgment. The situation in Condition 1 produced a similarity overlap between the product and the expectation and resulted in a higher P300. Otherwise, there was no overlap, leading to a smaller P300. Hence, the P300 may be a useful neural endogenous indicator for measuring consumers' evaluations of products in marketing research.

  14. Pilot test of a patient decision aid about liver transplant organ quality.

    PubMed

    Volk, Michael L; Roney, Meghan; Fagerlin, Angela

    2014-07-01

    Prior studies have shown that patients are reluctant to accept donor-specific risks, and transplant professionals lack an effective and time-efficient means of obtaining informed consent. We designed and pilot-tested a Web-based patient decision aid (DA) on organ quality. The DA was administered to 53 liver transplant candidates (median Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score = 14, range = 7-26), and they took a mean of 15 minutes to complete it. Questions about knowledge and attitudes were asked before and after the DA. Subjects' knowledge improved, with 53% and 60% correctly answering questions about hepatitis B virus and human immunodeficiency virus transmission before the DA and 94% and 100%, respectively, correctly answering them afterward (P < 0.001). The accuracy of mortality prediction also improved from a mean 3-month mortality estimate of 22% before the DA to 12% afterward (P < 0.001). After the DA, subjects felt that it was more likely that they might be offered a less-than-perfect liver (P = 0.001), and they were more likely to consider accepting such a liver (P < 0.001). In conclusion, implementing a Web-based patient DA is feasible and improves knowledge among liver transplant candidates. The use of this tool may decrease candidates' reluctance to accept extended criteria organs.

  15. Taking the Next Step: Using Water Quality Data in a Decision Support System for County, State, and Federal Land Managers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raby, K. S.; Williams, M. W.

    2004-12-01

    Each passing year amplifies the demands placed on communities across the US in terms of population growth, increased tourism, and stresses resulting from escalated use. The conflicting concerns of recreational users, local citizens, environmentalists, and traditional economic interests cause land managers to contend with controversial decisions regarding development and protection of watersheds. Local history and culture, politics, economic goals, and science are all influential factors in land use decision making. Here we report on a scientific study to determine the sensitivity of alpine areas, and the adaptation of this study into a decision support framework. We use water quality data as an indicator of ecosystem health across a variety of alpine and subalpine landscapes, and input this information into a spatially-based decision support tool that planners can use to make informed land use decisions. We develop this tool in a case study in San Juan County, Colorado, a site chosen because its largest town, Silverton, is a small mountain community experiencing a recent surge in tourism and development, and its fragile high elevation locale makes it more sensitive to environmental changes. Extensive field surveys were conducted in priority drainages throughout the county to map the spatial distribution and aerial extent of landscape types during the summers of 2003 and 2004. Surface water samples were collected and analyzed for inorganic and organic solutes, and water quality values were associated with different land covers to enable sensitivity analysis at the landscape scale. Water quality results for each watershed were entered into a module linked to a geographic information system (GIS), which displays maps of sensitive areas based on criteria selected by the user. The decision support system initially incorporates two major water quality parameters: acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) and nitrate (NO3-) concentration, and several categories of sensitivity were

  16. GRADE: Assessing the quality of evidence in environmental and occupational health.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Rebecca L; Thayer, Kristina A; Bero, Lisa; Bruce, Nigel; Falck-Ytter, Yngve; Ghersi, Davina; Guyatt, Gordon; Hooijmans, Carlijn; Langendam, Miranda; Mandrioli, Daniele; Mustafa, Reem A; Rehfuess, Eva A; Rooney, Andrew A; Shea, Beverley; Silbergeld, Ellen K; Sutton, Patrice; Wolfe, Mary S; Woodruff, Tracey J; Verbeek, Jos H; Holloway, Alison C; Santesso, Nancy; Schünemann, Holger J

    2016-01-01

    There is high demand in environmental health for adoption of a structured process that evaluates and integrates evidence while making decisions and recommendations transparent. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) framework holds promise to address this demand. For over a decade, GRADE has been applied successfully to areas of clinical medicine, public health, and health policy, but experience with GRADE in environmental and occupational health is just beginning. Environmental and occupational health questions focus on understanding whether an exposure is a potential health hazard or risk, assessing the exposure to understand the extent and magnitude of risk, and exploring interventions to mitigate exposure or risk. Although GRADE offers many advantages, including its flexibility and methodological rigor, there are features of the different sources of evidence used in environmental and occupational health that will require further consideration to assess the need for method refinement. An issue that requires particular attention is the evaluation and integration of evidence from human, animal, in vitro, and in silico (computer modeling) studies when determining whether an environmental factor represents a potential health hazard or risk. Assessment of the hazard of exposures can produce analyses for use in the GRADE evidence-to-decision (EtD) framework to inform risk-management decisions about removing harmful exposures or mitigating risks. The EtD framework allows for grading the strength of the recommendations based on judgments of the certainty in the evidence (also known as quality of the evidence), as well as other factors that inform recommendations such as social values and preferences, resource implications, and benefits. GRADE represents an untapped opportunity for environmental and occupational health to make evidence-based recommendations in a systematic and transparent manner. The objectives of this article are

  17. Water quality success stories: Integrated assessments from the IOOS regional associations and national water quality monitoring network

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ragsdale, Rob; Vowinkel, Eric; Porter, Dwayne; Hamilton, Pixie; Morrison, Ru; Kohut, Josh; Connell, Bob; Kelsey, Heath; Trowbridge, Phil

    2011-01-01

    The Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) Regional Associations and Interagency Partners hosted a water quality workshop in January 2010 to discuss issues of nutrient enrichment and dissolved oxygen depletion (hypoxia), harmful algal blooms (HABs), and beach water quality. In 2007, the National Water Quality Monitoring Council piloted demonstration projects as part of the National Water Quality Monitoring Network (Network) for U.S. Coastal Waters and their Tributaries in three IOOS Regional Associations, and these projects are ongoing. Examples of integrated science-based solutions to water quality issues of major concern from the IOOS regions and Network demonstration projects are explored in this article. These examples illustrate instances where management decisions have benefited from decision-support tools that make use of interoperable data. Gaps, challenges, and outcomes are identified, and a proposal is made for future work toward a multiregional water quality project for beach water quality.

  18. Perceptual quality assessment of JPEG, JPEG 2000, and JPEG XR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruylants, T.; Barbarien, J.; Munteanu, A.; Schelkens, P.

    2010-05-01

    In this paper, we examine the rate-distortion performance in terms of perceptual quality of JPEG XR (ISO/IEC 29199-2 | ITU-T Rec. T.832)1 and earlier standardized image compression algorithms such as JPEG (ISO/IEC 10918-1 | ITU-T Rec. T.81)2 and JPEG 2000 (ISO/IEC 15444-1 | ITU-T Rec. T.800)3. Unfortunately, objective visual quality metrics (like MSE, PSNR, VQM, SSIM, etc.) do not always correlate well with the actual perceived image quality. In some specific cases, it is even possible that certain visible coding artifacts remain undetectable by these objective visual quality tests. As such, we conducted a series of subjective visual quality assessment tests to measure the visual performance of JPEG XR, JPEG 2000 and JPEG. This paper describes the design of the subjective visual quality assessment experiments, addressing the encountered difficulties and potential pitfalls. Our results indicate that for high bit-rates (i.e. more than 1 bpp) all three codecs more or less have an equal overall performance. However, as expected, at lower bit-rates JPEG performs significantly weaker for every tested image than JPEG 2000 and JPEG XR. On the other hand, both JPEG 2000 and JPEG XR appear to be very competitive at these low bit-rate ranges. Only for specific image content types (e.g. smooth gradient surfaces), JPEG XR appears to have some difficulties. Nevertheless, discarding the fact that JPEG 2000 offers more functionality features than JPEG XR, the latter performed very good for most images and almost in par with JPEG 2000. As a conclusion, the results of the subjective visual quality assessment tests show that JPEG XR successfully passed our verification experiments for low dynamic range imagery.

  19. Assessing the Value of Frost Forecasts to Orchardists: A Dynamic Decision-Making Approach.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katz, Richard W.; Murphy, Allan H.; Winkler, Robert L.

    1982-04-01

    The methodology of decision analysis is used to investigate the economic value of frost (i.e., minimum temperature) forecasts to orchardists. First, the fruit-frost situation and previous studies of the value of minimum temperature forecasts in this context are described. Then, after a brief overview of decision analysis, a decision-making model for the fruit-frost problem is presented. The model involves identifying the relevant actions and events (or outcomes), specifying the effect of taking protective action, and describing the relationships among temperature, bud loss, and yield loss. A bivariate normal distribution is used to model the relationship between forecast and observed temperatures, thereby characterizing the quality of different types of information. Since the orchardist wants to minimize expenses (or maximize payoffs) over the entire frost-protection season and since current actions and outcomes at any point in the season are related to both previous and future actions and outcomes, the decision-making problem is inherently dynamic in nature. As a result, a class of dynamic models known as Markov decision processes is considered. A computational technique called dynamic programming is used in conjunction with these models to determine the optimal actions and to estimate the value of meteorological information.Some results concerning the value of frost forecasts to orchardists in the Yakima Valley of central Washington are presented for the cases of red delicious apples, bartlett pears, and elberta peaches. Estimates of the parameter values in the Markov decision process are obtained from relevant physical and economic data. Twenty years of National Weather Service forecast and observed temperatures for the Yakima key station are used to estimate the quality of different types of information, including perfect forecasts, current forecasts, and climatological information. The orchardist's optimal actions over the frost-protection season and the

  20. Groundwater Quality Assessment Using Averaged Water Quality Index: A Case Study of Lahore City, Punjab, Pakistan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Umair Shahid, Syed; Iqbal, Javed

    2016-10-01

    Water quality is considered as a major issue in mega cities of developing countries. The city of Lahore has over 10 million populations with the highest population density in the Punjab Province, Pakistan. Groundwater is the main source of drinking water in Lahore. The groundwater quality should be regularly monitored to cope up with drinking water quality issues. The water quality index (WQI), previously used in many studies was usually based on one-year data to analyze the water quality situation of the study area. However, the results obtained from the data, based on single observation from different points may have distortion. This might have occurred due to the inclusion of multiple types of errors induced in the data as a result of improper sampling design, lack of expertise in terms of both sampling method and sample testing, instrumental and human errors, etc. Therefore, the study evaluated the groundwater physicochemical parameters (turbidity, pH, total dissolved solids, hardness, chlorides, alkalinity and calcium) for three years. The averaged water quality index (AWQI) was computed using ArcGIS 10.3 model builder. The AWQI map indicated that the water quality in the study area was generally good except in few places like Anarkali, Baghbanpura, Allama Iqbal Town, Mughalpura and Mozang due to relatively higher turbidity levels. The results of this study can be used for decision making regarding provision of clean drinking water to the city of Lahore. Moreover, the methodology adopted in this study can be implemented in other mega cities as well to monitor groundwater quality.