a new process of submitting an abstract as well as disclosing for the presenter and all co-authors. We have identified and worked through the areas that created challenges and look forward to utilizing the system for next year.”
Coe-Truman also was “very happy with the way [the project] turned out, despite any hiccups along the way,” said Jon Jenkins, Coe-Truman’s director of product management and development, who was one of the senior architects of the AAOS project. “Any time you go through the same process more than once, you drive efficiency. I would be very worried if we didn’t. If we got it perfect the first time I would argue that we are not working hard enough to improve.”
Picking Your Partner
Kathie Niesen, CMP, education manager for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), has one piece of advice for medical associations interested in upgrading the abstract-submissions/disclosure process. “Make sure you have the right vendor,” she said. “I can’t tell you how important that is. Make sure your IT department and the vendor have a relationship and work together. I could never have done this without both of them.”
AAOS put its abstract-submission process out to bid and got a “wide range” of responses. “We felt Coe-Truman had the staff and professionalism and willingness to make it work,” Niesen said. “They did whatever they had to do to make it work. I think they bit off more than they could chew, and we did, too. But we made it work by working together. It really was a collaborative partnership.”
Coe-Truman went into the partnership with “respect” for AAOS’s internal system, according to Jon Jenkins, Coe- Truman’s director of product management and development. “They have a system that is very central to what they do,” Jenkins said, “and they have a very capable tech team on their end. We have to honor that as a vendor and not impose our system on them. If they have a good system that works, we need to integrate with that.” He added: “You can’t say there are only one or two ways to do something. If you’re flexible, and almost plan for that flexibility, the final outcome will be much more effective.”
The AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Program
Each item below requires an answer. You will be prompted for more information after you have answered all of the questions with a “yes” or “no” response. Please report information for the last 12 months as required by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) guidelines. After submitting your Yes/No answers, you must visit each detail page before you may confirm and save your disclosure. If your answers are accurate, you may return to the summary page and then confirm and save your disclosure. * indicates a required entry
*1 Do you or a member of your immediate family receive royalties for any pharmaceutical, biomaterial, or orthopaedic product or device?
Yes I No
*2 Within the past 12 months, have you or a member of your immediate family served on the speakers bureau or have you been paid an honorarium to present by any pharmaceutical, biomaterial, or orthopaedic product or device company?
Yes I No
*3A Are you or a member of your immediate family a PAID EMPLOYEE of any pharmaceutical, biomaterial, or orthopaedic device or equipment company, or supplier?
Yes I No
*3B Are you or a member of your immediate family a PAID CONSULTANT for any pharmaceutical, biomaterial, or orthopaedic device or equipment company, or supplier?
Yes I No
*3C Are you or a member of your immediate family an UNPAID CONSULTANT for any pharmaceutical, biomaterial, or orthopaedic device or equipment company, or supplier?
Yes I No
*4 Do you or a member of your immediate family own stock or stock options in any pharmaceutical, biomaterial, or orthopaedic device or equipment company, or supplier (excluding mutual funds)?
Yes I No
* 5 Do you or a member of your immediate family receive research or institutional support as a principal investigator from any pharmaceutical, biomaterial, or orthopaedic device or equipment company, or supplier?
Yes I No
*6 Do you or a member of your immediate family receive any other financial or material support from any pharmaceutical, biomaterial, or orthopaedic device or equipment company, or supplier?
Yes I No
*7 Do you or a member of your immediate family receive any royalties, financial or material support from any medical and/or orthopaedic publishers?
Yes I No
*8 Do you or a member of your immediate family serve on the editorial or governing board of any medical and/or orthopaedic publication?
Yes I No
*9 Do you or a member of your immediate family serve on the board of directors or a committee of any medical and/or orthopaedic professional society?
Reprinted with permission from AAOS.
For more information about AAOS’s 2012 Annual Meeting, visit http://bit.ly/AAOS
When the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons overhauled its online abstract-submission process, the result was better abstracts - and ‘squeaky-clean’ financial reporting.
Imagine trying to show a bone fracture to someone using only words - no more than 250, with no Xrays, graphs, or other visual images. That’s what members of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) struggled with when submitting abstracts for AAOS’s Annual Meeting - until the organization’s program committee rallied for change.
“[They] demanded it. They said they weren’t getting what they needed and couldn’t go further with education until we changed our system,” said Kathie Niesen, CMP, AAOS’s education manager. “With no visuals and being limited to 250 words, it was too hard to judge the abstracts and it limited our ability to judge what the final presentations were going to be like.”
A Measure of Acceptance
Dramatic change came in the form of a partnership with Chicago based Coe-Truman Technologies, which allowed AAOS to overhaul its submission process and begin accepting abstracts with “images, graphs, X-rays, pretty much anything,” Niesen said. “And we are no longer limited to 250 words. The limit we decided on is one page, which is more than 2,000 words.”
The result? A record number of abstracts were submitted for AAOS’s 2012 Annual Meeting in San Francisco next month— 5,369 in all, nearly 300 more than were submitted for the 2011 Annual Meeting in San Diego. The abstracts also were of “higher quality,” Niesen said, “which is what the program committee was going for, because the graders could see what they were only able to read before.”
An added benefit of AAOS’s new submission process was “squeaky-clean” financial disclosure—in terms of participants reporting their potential affiliation with any pharmaceutical, medical- device, or publishing company. AAOS requires all Annual Meeting participants submitting abstracts to disclose certain financial information “for the purpose of the graders,” Niesen said. “The graders need to see each participant’s disclosure in order to grade the abstract correctly. The authors’ names don’t appear, but their disclosure does.” (See “The AAOSOrthopaedic Disclosure Program,” at bottom of page.)
For many years, AAOS sent financial-disclosure forms to authors and co-authors via snail mail. “The follow-up was onerous,” Niesen said, “and the storage requirements a nightmare, because we had to keep the forms for six years.” About four years ago, AAOS decided to get “ahead of the curve” and created its own financial-disclosure database. Members submitting abstracts were asked to log on