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AANS Online Case Studies

Press Release

For Immediate Release: July 23, 2007

AANS Online Case Studies a Valuable Learning Tool

The AANS Online Case Studies available on MyAANS.org now posts 27 cases covering vascular, pediatric, tumor, spine and functional cases. The cases present an interactive educational experience driven by contributions from neurosurgeons, and are free to AANS members.

The AANS Online Case Study project is designed to serve as a repository for neurosurgical cases that are not limited to viewing an article or abstract. The repository offers a comment function that allows members to interact with each other in a secure and confidential environment. Because viewers' comments are posted almost immediately, colleagues across the country have the option of gathering online to review a case and "discuss" it, or viewing and adding to cumulative commentary over time.

To better represent the variation in disease presentation and management within neurosurgical practice, more cases need to be submitted. Log into www.MyAANS.org to view the cases, and submit additional cases in your subspecialty area.

Neurosurgeons can discuss the case online and learn from each other, describing how they have managed a similar case in another way or offering insights into other aspects of the case presentation or pathophysiology. Another quality that makes the AANS Online Case Study project valuable is its broad appeal. Cases can be submitted by residents, those in early practice or board-certified members. Medical students or interns may also submit cases, under the supervision of a resident or neurosurgeon.

The cases vary in complexity and content so that as the repository grows, every neurosurgeon will find one relating to his or her specialty and experience.

Submitting Cases
Cases are submitted online, using the familiar www.MyAANS.org interface. The cases may be prepared in advance and then posted, or posted by entering content directly online. The submission tool will feel familiar to anyone with experience using presentation software such as PowerPoint or word processing programs. Case submitters are encouraged to enhance the case presentation with audio and video. Files accepted include:
  • Audio (MP3, WMA, WAV)
  • Video (AVI, MPEG)
  • MS Office (e.g. PPT, DOC)
  • Universal formats (TXT, PDF)
Reviewing and Posting Cases
The Online Case Study project is overseen by an editor who receives each submission. The editor assigns the case to one or more reviewers based on the educational content. The reviewers assess the case and recommend whether or not the case should be posted. If a favorable review is received, the editor posts the case for viewing.

The editor and all reviewers will be board-certified neurosurgeon members of the AANS. Each person who submits a case will see the status of the submission in a "my cases" area. They can develop the case presentation in multiple sessions, coming back to it as time allows and completing all of the editing before submitting the final version for review.

Viewing the Online Cases
After logging in at www.MyAANS.org, the viewer selects "Online Case" from the left- hand navigation tool bar. The size and scope of the repository will increase as cases are solicited and submitted. Cases can be viewed chronologically, so new postings are easy to spot, as well as by subject area (vascular, tumor, spine, functional, pediatric, peripheral nerve). A title search feature also is available.

After selecting the case, the viewer sees a screen with the case description at the top, supplemental material such as audio, video or slides to the right, and viewer comments below. A significant amount of information is provided in the "help" section to assist viewers with questions about all parts of the process.

Feedback
As members explore the cases, they are encouraged to send their comments and suggestions to Dr. Carter, bcarter@partners.org. Board-certified neurosurgeons interested in serving as case reviewers also can contact Dr. Carter. The AANS Online Case Study project is a project of the Information Technology Committee

Bob S. Carter, MD, PhD; member, AANS Information Technology Committee.

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