Thursday, November 15, 2012

Planning the course tracks for the ASET 2013 Annual Conference in Reno

Have you ever wondered how we decide what course tracks should be included in our annual conference program?  And how we decide when each course should be placed on the schedule?
It is rather like putting a puzzle together.
First, I take into consideration all the comments from attendee evaluations from the last annual conference.  There are many helpful comments about what would be of interest for future programs.  I also tally how many people attend each lecture, based on which lectures each attendee evaluated.  So, I can easily see a pattern of “hot topics” and ones that are not as popular.
I also try to offer some variety from year to year without skipping our perennial favorites.  Additionally, I make special note of ABRET oral exams, if they are being held the weekend of the conference, in the city in which we are holding the conference.  This means that there will be lots of anxious exam candidates in town, who would appreciate a day of EEG topics prior to sitting for the exam.  It also means that there will be many highly qualified technologists and neurologists coming into town to serve as examiners who can also give great presentations on a variety of topics!  Because of ABRET guidelines, examiners cannot give lectures pertaining to Board Prep topics, but there are many other areas of interest to be covered.
There are several courses which include hands-on workshops, as they are the most effective way to learn a new procedure.  Nerve conduction, Evoked Potentials and Trans-cranial Doppler are three examples where “hands-on” is a must.  These courses must be scheduled on days when our vendors are on-site in our exhibit hall, so that they may provide the equipment we use in these workshops.
So, what is happening in Reno?  I have just put the master schedule together.  I hope that you are looking forward to the program, and I encourage your comments, suggestions and questions at any time.  I begin serious planning of content in early December.  Here is the plan:
Daily Plenary Session as the first event and Platform Presentations throughout each day, plus:  
Thursday, Aug. 1
Evoked Potentials
Pediatric Neurodiagnostics

 Friday, Aug. 2
Trends in IONM

Saturday, Aug. 3
ICU Monitoring
Advanced IONM
1/2 Day CPT Coding Workshop
1/2 Day Professional Development
You’ve probably noticed some new offerings!  The Pediatric Course is in response to multiple requests on the attendee evaluations from St. Paul.  Since I worked at Children’s Hospital in Boston, this is an area that is dear to my heart, and our smallest patients require specialized care and disease states and diagnostic procedures can be unique to this age group. 
We are also trying something a bit different with two half-day courses on Saturday.  We are fortunate to have access to a very savvy billing expert.  With all the changes in billing and coding that will come with the Affordable Health Care Act, we need to delve deeply into the topic of CPT coding.  This expert did a short workshop in St. Paul and the overwhelming majority of comments were that the program was not long enough to address the topic.  So, this year we will provide adequate time for a customized learning experience, where participants can bring in case studies and questions related to reimbursement.
Because it was so successful last year, we will once again offer a daily plenary session, for all conference attendees, followed by short platform presentations on a variety of topics.
The abstract application form is on our website now, at the “Meetings” tab, plus “Annual Conference”.  We need abstracts!  You will receive free registration on the day you present your abstract, so it is worth doing this!  We also have poster abstracts, and you may apply to present in either format. 
See you in Reno, August1-3, 2013!