Quality care initiative combines the power of information technology with evidence-based medicine to improve patient outcomes
SAN FRANCISCO — The American Academy of Ophthalmology today announced the official launch of the IRIS™ Registry, or Intelligent Research in Sight, the nation's first comprehensive eye disease and condition registry. The centralized data repository and reporting tool aggregates patient data from electronic health records (EHRs) and performs statistical analysis that enables ophthalmologists to improve patient care, reduce the cost and enhance the speed of some large clinical trials, assist in monitoring resource utilization, comply with federal payment programs and enhance quality and practice efficiency.
The IRIS Registry is the first of its kind in any U.S. medical specialty, and the nation's only comprehensive, longitudinal, outpatient-focused clinical data registry for ophthalmology. Physicians and eye surgeons who participate and share data using the IRIS Registry will benefit from the growing body of knowledge it houses as they review their own performance against benchmarks. Already, 2,300 physicians in 47 states nationwide are participating in the IRIS Registry, having signed up during a limited rollout, which began in 2013. The ophthalmology registry currently holds more than 5 million patient records and is expected to ultimately house more than 20 million in two years.
"This is a watershed moment for the field of ophthalmology," said David W. Parke II, M.D., CEO of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. "We as physicians find ourselves able to harness the power of many millions of pieces of clinical information in order to make evidence-based decisions in a fraction of the time it would have taken 10 years ago. The IRIS Registry is truly a revolutionary tool that will help us improve care for patients and ensure the best possible outcomes."
Among its benefits, the IRIS Registry includes the ability for clinical benchmarking at the practice, regional and national level. In addition, the IRIS Registry was designed to be interoperable with any EHR, from which it automatically syncs data rather than requiring manual entry. Currently, the IRIS Registry integrates with 18 EHRs and is expected to receive approval this spring as a certified EHR technology vendor.
The IRIS Registry is now available for open enrollment to all U.S.-based Academy members and their practices. Eligible physicians who sign up by June 1 and meet reporting requirements can use the IRIS Registry to report 2014 clinical quality data to the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. For EHR users, the IRIS Registry will automatically extract and submit data for PQRS measures to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services on a practice's behalf, eliminating the need to manually report on Medicare claims throughout the year.
Finally, ophthalmologists can use the IRIS Registry to monitor patient care, track interventions and evaluate outcomes across different populations. Its subspecialty modules were designed to help analyze how different pre-existing conditions, risk factors, severity of disease, and demographics such as age and gender affect outcomes for age-related macular degeneration, cataract surgery, diabetic retinopathy and retinal surgery.
"The power of aggregated data cannot be underestimated," said William L. Rich III, M.D., medical director of health policy for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. "We're going to see a rapid evolution in medical research as a result of the IRIS Registry."
To encourage wide-spread adoption of this powerful tool, the Academy is initially offering multi-year, fee-free access to member physicians who sign an agreement and integrate their EHR with the IRIS Registry in 2014. For more information, including frequently asked questions, webinars, videos and sign-up details, visit www.aao.org/irisregistry.
About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology, headquartered in San Francisco, is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons — Eye M.D.s — with more than 32,000 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 has the education and training to treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit www.aao.org.