How Medical Societies and Associations use OpenWater

14 Reasons Why Medical Societies Choose OpenWater

Organizations like the Society for the Study of Reproduction, the Society of Urologic Oncology, and the Aerospace Medical Association are a few examples of the medical societies and associations that work with OpenWater to help manage their abstract review, annual meeting, awards, grants, scholarships and fellowships.

Table of Contents

[ON DEMAND] Lunch and Learn

Why Medical Associations Choose OpenWater

Medical societies choose OpenWater primarily because it is the most robust system for abstract review and session scheduling. OpenWater caters to medical associations because it can handle the needs of a large scale annual conference, while also managing the smaller awards, grants and scholarships programs that most medical societies offer.

How Medical Societies Manages their Programs

When we speak with medical associations about their process for abstracts, events, awards, grants and fellowship its common to find a wide range of systems and software that get the job done. Here is an example of the types of solutions we find medical associations use to manage their programs.

  • Abstracts – The annual call for papers and abstract review is the most demanding in terms of workflow. Every year 500 submissions are collected, then 50 different reviewers and volunteers use the abstract software. Once review is over everything has to be exported into another event platform for the attendee facing conference.
  • Awards – A manual process over excel and email for 50 submissions and two categories.
  • Grants – A manual process over excel, google forms and email with 100 submissions and 20 reviewers.
  • Scholarships / Fellowships – A manual process over email and paper.
  • Event Platform and Conference App – This software is separate from the abstracts software. There is a lot of importing data in order to create an attendee facing website, mobile app and virtual portal for an on demand component, updating speaker materials and exhibitors is tedious.

This management system is scattershot and clunky and there are three areas of opportunities in this scenario.

  1. Consolidating systems will make life easier on the staff.
  2. Consolidating software will save money.
  3. Consolidating systems will make it easy to import data into an AMS.

12 Common Software Pitfalls Medical Associations Have

Here are examples of the technology hurdles medical societies have managing an abstract review, an annual meeting, awards, grants, scholarships and fellowships.

  1. They can’t easily copy their annual meeting abstracts review process for a new cycle.
  2. The abstract software crashes from large PDFs, images or video files.
  3. The software doesn’t integrate with the AMS and member engagement is opaque.
  4. The staff is stuck importing and exporting data between multiple programs.
  5. Speaker materials are never stored, and manually reentered, or imported.
  6. There are two or three software systems between an annual event’s abstract review, session scheduler, speaker materials, and the attendee facing website, virtual conference portal and mobile app.
  7. The software fails to find conflict checks, for example double booking a speaker.
  8. The system doesn’t recognize a board member for recusal during a review process.
  9. They need a submission system that collects exhibitor information and updates sponsorship information across a mobile app and conference website.
  10. They need a mobile app for the association, not just for an event.
  11. They need a system for capturing CE credits.
  12. They want reviewers to be able to save their evaluations, and give members and non-members the ability to save a submission.

Creating a Roadmap for Software Consolidation

For most any medical society changing to a new software system for each program and an annual conference is too much to handle in one year. Here are the top three reasons why.

  1. Different programs have different start dates.
  2. Changing everything will overwhelm even the most savvy staff.
  3. Removing one software system is critical and urgent, while others can wait.

This is why we typically see medical associations onboard into OpenWater over the course of a few years.

For example, if an organization has abstract software that crashes during the final week of submissions, then migrating the abstract review process to OpenWater is the highest priority.

Here is an example of a typical multi-year approach.

  • Year One – Migrate the annual conference abstract review and attendee facing software like a conference website, mobile app and virtual on demand portal.
  • Year Two – Migrate awards, grants and scholarships.
  • Year Three – Ensure membership engagement data, and CE credits sync to the AMS and migrate fellowships.

Alternatively, the roadmap could be reversed. In this case, the small programs would be migrated first.

  • Year One – Migrate awards, scholarships and grants.
  • Year Two – Migrate the large scale annual conference abstract review, and attendee facing software platform needs like a conference website, mobile app and virtual on demand portal.
  • Year Three – Enhance the AMS connection, and migrate fellowships.

Every Medical Association Wants to Achieve This

What every executive director at a medical society is looking for is better data in regards to membership engagement. Membership directors want to know how often someone has been a speaker, or how many first year members have submitted an award.

There are three primary goals that our medical societies are constantly working toward by using OpenWater software.

  1. Automate more administrative tasks to reduce the risk of errors.
  2. Become more self-sufficient with OpenWater to save money.
  3. Improve their reporting skills to better understand membership engagement.

14 Reasons Why Medical Associations Choose OpenWater

Medical societies choose OpenWater primarily because it is the most robust system for abstract review and session scheduling for a large scale conference. OpenWater caters to medical associations because it can handle the needs of a large scale annual conference, while also managing the smaller awards, grants and scholarships programs that most medical societies offer.

1. Rich Text Fields with Scientific Characters

OpenWater submission forms have rich text fields with scientific characters.

2. Map Abstracts to Sessions, Session Scheduler

OpenWater has the ability to schedule abstracts, sessions, and other time slots. This makes it easy to schedule your event, while also adding time for breaks. Our session scheduler makes it easy to reschedule or remove a session.

Help Center Resources – Build and Schedule Conference Sessions, Set Conference Date, Room and Times.

3. Handling Multiple Rounds

Sometimes multiple rounds make abstract review much easier. For example, a medical society may want to accept an abstract and then collect more information. In that case, OpenWater allows the program admin to review the abstract and then automatically push them into the next round. This makes it easy for our program administrators to organize submissions and send our timely reminders.

4. Co-Author a Submission

OpenWater forms submissions can allow for multiple author’s. For example, OpenWater can implement look up fields so that when someone wants to add a co-author they can search that name and it will appear as an option as a co-author.

5. Conference Mobile App

Get a branded Application for Android & iOS. Attendees will use the OpenWater Mobile App to access the schedule, sponsors, posters, chat and more. The mobile app includes a comprehensive schedule of your sessions. Attendees can access sessions, chat with other attendees, as well as other key features. An attendee directory is created for users that are currently using the application. This allows for maximum networking.

6. Single Sign On, AMS Integrations

Take your AMS integrations to the next level with OpenWater. Most associations start with integrating single sign on. This eliminates the most pesky login issues for volunteers, board members, members and reviewers. Advanced integrations can help pass along membership engagement from your annual events, ce credits, and awards programs.

7. Large File Sizes, Poster Gallery

OpenWater submission forms can handle it all. From HD surgical footage to monster PDFs our software has been tested by the most demanding application submission forms. For example, one of our customers is the American Advertising Federation with hundreds of thousands of submissions including media files being uploaded in the final week.

8. Advanced Submission Forms, Conditional Logic

OpenWater submission forms are capable of advanced logic. This helps medical associations customize the right submission form based on the type of abstract being submitted. Different forms speed up the submission process for entrants and that creates a better experience for your members.

9. Duplicate Programs for the Next Annual Cycle

Nothing is more frustrating than having to repeat the work you just completed. OpenWater makes it easy for a program workflow to be duplicated. For example, copy an abstract submission workflow to the next annual cycle, or copy an awards workflow then tweak it for scholarship submission and review.

10. Reviewer Recusal

Sometimes board members need to recuse themselves during a review, or in some cases a judge is also an applicant themselves. OpenWater allows judges to recuse themselves from submissions easily within the reviewer workflow.

11. Submission Form for Exhibitors, and Speaker Materials

OpenWater submission forms can be used for collecting any data that you need as part of your conference. One of the most difficult things to collect is exhibitor information, OpenWater allows that information to be collected with forms. Sponsors can simply update their information to a form and have that information automatically update a sponsor’s conference page (sponsor booth).

12. CE Credits

Some medical societies use codes to manage their CE credits, others prefer to automate CE credit tracking as part of a virtual event. Regardless of you process we can fine tune our system to deliver an efficient CE credit tracking system during your annual event.

13. Streamline a Complex Review Process

Automation eliminates frustration. OpenWater helps medical associations automatically assign reviewers an abstract submission for review without needing to export, import or send an email. For example, configure a reviewer to only receive abstracts under a specific category, or set the review process so that an abstract continues to circulate until it is reviewed multiple times.

14. AMS Integrations to Support Membership Engagement

Single Sign-On (SSO) allows users – entrants, judges, committee members, and others alike – to use their existing username and password to sign in to your system. By integrating your AMS with OpenWater, you can prefill the information you already have for users, saving them time and frustration. All AMS fields can be mapped on a one-to-one basis with OpenWater fields. Where one-to-one correlation isn’t possible, we support custom mappings to further simplify the entry process for users.

Lunch and Learn

Fridays at 1 PM