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American Academy of Ophthalmology and Sophrona Solutions Announce Partnership to Help Eye Care Providers Meet “Meaningful Use” Requirements and Improve Patient Education

10/17/2011   04:12:16 PM

San Francisco and Minneapolis – The American Academy of Ophthalmology, the world's largest member association for ophthalmologists, and Sophrona Solutions, a leader in online patient communication solutions for ophthalmology, have partnered to provide eye care practices with a convenient, web-based, patient-communication portal featuring trusted Academy patient education and information tools. This initiative helps eye care practices meet the Meaningful Use criteria of the electronic health record incentive program of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2010, which rewards practices for using new medical record technology. One measure of meaningful use requires doctors to show that "more than 10 percent of patients are provided patient-specific education resources" electronically. This measure, while currently optional, could well become a core requirement in the next stage of the EHR incentive program.

Sophrona users can now have immediate access to the Academy's high-quality, patient-education handouts and videos, designed to effectively inform and educate patients about their eye conditions and related treatment options. Chosen for its dedication to ophthalmology and its commitment to continued innovation, Sophrona is one of the first companies to offer Academy patient-education materials directly to patients through its communication portal.

Sophrona's secure, online communication platform allows eye doctors to send their patients clinically accurate information from the Academy explaining ophthalmic procedures and/or surgeries prior to their appointments, as well as follow-up materials post-operatively and after office visits. Because the educational content is linked to specific diagnosis codes used in the practice setting, eyecare providers can quickly and conveniently identify and distribute the most relevant Academy peer-reviewed educational materials to their patients. This directly meets the Meaningful Use criteria and, because it is done automatically and electronically, it requires no extra work from the clinic or the patient.

"The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world's leading provider of information related to eye health," explained Renaldo Juanso, Vice President of Communications and Marketing for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. "This partnership with Sophrona expands the reach of Academy patient education materials by helping ophthalmologists and other eye care providers to communicate effectively and directly with their patients, paving the way for them to meet important Meaningful Use criteria in their practices."

"Sophrona's innovative patient communication technology brings a new level of patient education to eye care through online 24/7 patient convenience," added Marc-Francois Bradley, President of Sophrona Solutions. "This sort of partnership with the Academy makes sense on so many levels because it benefits everyone involved."

A driving force behind Sophrona and the American Academy of Ophthalmology's partnership is a common understanding of patients' need for accurate, trustworthy health education before and after their office visits. By offering Academy patient education content through its communication platform, Sophrona can assure its users that they are providing their patients with the industry's most trusted, accurate information related to eye care. Patients will arrive at their appointments better informed about their condition, their needs and their treatment options, and receive post-visit information to meet any additional educational needs that may have arisen.

"This partnership provides us with additional educational resources for our patients," said Geoff Charlton, Chief Operating Officer at Clarus Eye Center in Lacey, Washington. "It initiates a 'call to action' for them to access these resources when they register with the practice or schedule an appointment via the portal. I am incredibly optimistic that both our staff and our patients are going to be very pleased with the outcome."

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons — Eye M.D.s — with more than 30,000 members worldwide.  Eye health care is provided by the three "O's" – ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit www.aao.org. The Academy's EyeSmart® public education program works to educate the public about the importance of eye health and to empower them to preserve their healthy vision, by providing the most trusted and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. Visit www.geteyesmart.org to learn more.

About Sophrona Solutions
Sophrona Solutions is an innovative healthcare technology firm offering profitable patient communication solutions to ophthalmology practices nationwide. Designed by ophthalmologists, Sophrona's secure patient portal communication software and data analysis tools give practices a comprehensive suite of patient relationship management tools to improve clinic efficiency, grow patient volume, and increase profitability. For more information, visit www.sophrona.com.

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