A registry is "an organized system that uses observational study methods to collect uniform data (clinical and other) to evaluate specified outcomes for a population defined by a particular disease, condition, or exposure, and that serves one or more predetermined scientific, clinical, or policy purposes."
Such registries are already being successfully used within other medical specialties, such as the American College of Cardiology, the American Gastroenterological Association and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Based upon the success of these societies, combined with the paradigm shift to electronic health records and the need for physicians to demonstrate compliance with quality improvement measures, the timing is right for ophthalmology to be among the early adopters in strategically deploying information technology to drive quality improvement objectives.
"Now, with more robust quality measures, the increasing adoption of EHR, the development of systems integrators and analytic centers, and other medical society registries breaking new ground, this is the time to move forward," said William L. Rich III, MD, the chairman of the Academy's Registry Work Group. "The registry is a top priority of the Academy and its ophthalmologist leaders."