Part of the new AP/CP curriculum is to use whole slide images for resident education. While some of these slides will be used in Blackboard for beginning- or end-of-rotation examinations, the majority are used as slides with redacted diagnoses for which the residents have to come up with the diagnosis or a list of differential diagnoses. Previously, all of the data associated with the slides existed on multiple linked Excel sheets that were sortable by date, service, or diagnosis. In about six weeks, I created a full-stack web application with Ruby on Rails to handle the process of uploading, sorting, and displaying slides and collections of slides for unknowns.
The slides reside on a server that I built from spare parts in the Department, and while the setup is not ideal (I would prefer a cloud-based system), this part of the curriculum was done at little to no cost to the Department. Within the next few months, it will support resident responses to unknowns sessions, and slides will be able to be embedded within Blackboard. With time, the database will expand to contain thousands of the unique cases seen at The Mount Sinai Hospital while maintaining easy access to residents and faculty.