Published 11/1/2011
Kathie Niesen, CMP

New abstract system scores high

Submitters and graders enjoy its flexibility, ease of use

Introducing new technology is often difficult—especially when the users are spread across the world. Will they understand it? Is the system intuitive enough? Is it flexible enough to meet multiple needs?

Questions like that concerned the AAOS 2012 Annual Meeting Program Committee when it introduced a new abstract system earlier this year. Based on feedback from users, however, both submitters and graders are thrilled with the new system.

“I have been doing this for the last 6 years,” said one reviewer, “and this is the best system yet!” The new system is the result of a partnership between the AAOS and Coe-Truman Technologies Inc., a leading content-management and software development firm. The goal was to improve the abstract process and make it easier for both the submitter and the grader.

With a better abstract submission process, the Program Committee hoped to improve the quality of the papers and posters presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting and beyond. The improved system enabled the reviewers to concentrate on reading the abstracts and contemplating the corresponding grade. The abstract submission process also enabled presenters to submit a longer and more complete abstract, along with attachments such as images, radiographs, charts, and graphs, giving reviewers more information on which to base their grades.

Overall, the reviewers thought that the system was one of the best they have used. Comments like “the system works very fast and efficiently” and “the best I have ever used grading abstracts in several different societies” were echoed time and again.

According to Program Committee Chair Michael J. Stuart, MD, “The addition of images was of supreme importance to the committee. In this day and age, it’s antiquated to try to describe an image in words. The flexibility of the new system allows us to better quantify the data in the abstract. Visualization is the key to any good presentation, and now that we have that capability in the abstract submission system, the education presented at the meeting will be of the highest level.”

Those who submitted abstracts also found the system more efficient and user friendly. Not only did the system include instructions on how to attach images, it also provided submitters with word counts. Submitters could begin to enter the abstract data into the system, save the information, and return at a later date to add more data.

“The previous system was missing a holding tank where submitters could save incomplete abstracts and come back to finish them after they had more information. The new system enables us to provide that missing piece,” said Steven L. Frick, MD, who will chair the Program Committee for the 2013 Annual Meeting.

The 2012 Annual Meeting in San Francisco will include presentations of 810 papers, 577 posters, more than 80 scientific exhibits, and 40 multimedia presentations. It’s a meeting you won’t want to miss!

See you in San Francisco
Member registration for the 2012 AAOS Annual Meeting is now open. If you haven’t attended the Annual Meeting recently, Local Chairs William J. Maloney, MD, and Thomas P. Vail, MD, encourage you to join your colleagues in San Francisco, Feb. 7–11, 2012. Take advantage of the exciting education, new research, and networking opportunities at the 2012 AAOS Annual Meeting.

Kathie Niesen, CMP, is the education manager in the AAOS convention & meeting services department. More information on the 2012 AAOS Annual Meeting is available at www.aaos.org/am2012