X-Plain interactive modules go through extensive content review, instructional design, and screen design. Our rigorous content review ensures that the material is up-to-date and facilitates unbiased decision making according to current standards of care.
This page gives an overview of the editorial process we use to develop the content of X-Plain modules:
Stage 1 - Writing the Content
Board-certified physicians write the content of most of our X-Plain health care programs. Nurses and other healthcare professionals write modules for which they offer the most expertise in patient education.
Our Medical Advisory Board consists of healthcare professionals who contribute to our libraries. All medical contributors work under editorial guidelines which emphasize unbiased and current standard-of-care language. Contributors sign a Contributor Agreement, disclosing any conflicts of interest and assigning the rights of the X-Plain program to us. The writer of the first script is the Original Author. The Original Author keeps the copyright of his or her original text.
Stage 2 - Reviewing the Content
The Medical Director reviews the content written by the Original Author and determines if it meets our guidelines and if it needs further review by another specialist. The Medical Director may also delete sections that are too technical or add sections that help provide some background to the health topic.
Stage 3 - Instructional Design
The instructional designer reviews content written by the healthcare professionals and organizes it to enhance learning. For example, difficult concepts are presented once simpler ones are explained. The content is divided into sections that are relevant to the consumers. The text is chunked into small pages. Interactive questions with relevant, error-contingent feedback are developed. Finally, graphics and animations are recommended to enhance understanding and engage the learner.
Stage 4 - Editing Content
Before sending the script of a program to healthcare professionals for final proof, our editorial staff reviews the content for grammar, spelling, style, and consistency. The editorial staff also ensures that the readability of the text is acceptable. If healthcare professionals and instructional designers did not simplify sentences enough, further simplification of the language is recommended at this stage.
Stage 5 - Approving the Script
The Original Author and the Medical Director, who constitute the Content Review Board, conduct the final approval of the script. At the discretion of the Medical Director, one or more specialists in the field may be asked to contribute as reviewers. Once the script is approved, the graphic artists, narrators, and programmers proceed with development of the multimedia components.
Stage 6 - Development of Graphics
Our graphic artists develop the medical illustrations. Our graphic artists work closely with the Medical Director, Original Authors, and the instructional designers. Patient Education Institute illustrations are designed to convey an instructional message, not to cause distraction from instructional objectives.
Stage 7 - Multimedia Development
At this stage, the development staff proceeds to assemble the program with text, sound, graphics, and animations. Programmers develop the interface using one of several templates, which signify different instructional strategies. Most X-Plain programs use a tutorial strategy. Each page is designed separately by laying text, graphics, and animations. The narrator records narration of the script and the programmers process it so it can be streamed over the Internet. The multimedia product is uploaded for the Medical Director and Original Author to review.
Stage 8 - Screen Review
The Medical Director and Original Author review each program online. This review consists of checking all narration for proper pronunciation, and the use of appropriate graphics and animations.
Stage 9 - Publication
Publication involves more than 20 steps. The process includes coding and cross-media publication. The topic (or module) is coded and metatags are developed to facilitate the job of search engines and end-user interfaces. They are also coded by international medical coding standards to facilitate integration with evolving electronic medical records.
In cross-media publication, we use the multimedia tutorials and the original script materials to develop publications that utilize other media and instructional formats. This includes illustrated booklets, self-running video presentations, interactive TV programs, and media programs for cell phones.
Step 10 - Translation
English modules are translated either by our Medical Translator for a given language or assigned to a contractual translator. Our Medical Translator performs quality control, then sends translations to our English or Spanish Medical Director.
Step 11 - Translation Medical Review & Approval
The appropriate Medical Director audits all translations.
Step 12 - Translation Assembly
The narrator of the translated language narrates the content. A programmer is assigned to process and import narrated files. The programmer also imports the translated text. Localization of graphics is performed for European and other international markets. Only minor localization of the illustrations are performed for language groups because graphics are already multi-cultural.
Step 13 - Translation Screen Review
The appropriate Medical Director reviews translated modules on screen. At this stage, minor changes in narration may be recommended.
Step 14 - Publish Translation
Lastly, translated modules are published. This process is similar to the publication of English modules and involves translation of selected meta tags and cross-media publication.