• Data & Technical Needs

  • Can you give me a technical overview of the electronic health record (EHR) system integration process for the IRIS® Registry?

    The EHR system integration for the IRIS® Registry involves the installation of a piece of interface software known as the Registry Practice Connector (RPC). This software is installed on a server in your practice and helps us interface with your EHR in order to extract IRIS® Registry data fields for reporting to the Academy.

    The software has three main pieces. First: a Microsoft SQL-based database that stores all the information related to the IRIS® Registry (the measures and the data maps specific to your EHR). Second: a .NET 3.5-based Windows Service that is the actual program that interfaces with your EHR and extracts the relevant ophthalmology registry data. Third: a .NET 3.5-based Windows Client that is the program that is used to configure the data extraction tasks and adjust mappings to suit your practice's specific use of your EHR.

    Does the system integration software program write any information into our EHR?

    No, the program is strictly read-only. At no point does the program write anything in your EHR system. A read-only user has very specific read-only rights to a database and its tables and is technically incapable of changing or corrupting your data.

    How much data does the system integration software program extract from our EHR? 

    We only extract the information required for the IRIS® Registry reporting.

    How often do you collect and transmit data into the IRIS® Registry?  

    The IRIS® Registry data is collected once you finalize and complete your encounters and documentations. We will schedule a daily or weekly batching and transmission process that will connect securely to the Academy's servers. This can be scheduled at your convenience, during non-office hours or the weekends, so that the process won't interfere with any clinical activities. There should be no interference with the performance of your server.

    How much space does the system integration software program require on my server?  

    The IRIS® Registry requires reporting of all data elements on every doctor-patient visit that meets the inclusion criteria. Because the extracted data is transmitted to the Academy on a regular basis, the storage space on your server is minimal. However, it is recommended that you allocate at least 1 GB of disc space on your server for this project.

    How much memory is used by the system integration software program?

    We have observed that memory consumption by the system integration program varies between 250 MB to 700 MB; therefore, we recommend having at least 2 GB of memory available on your server.

    How do you transmit my data to your servers?

    We utilize industry-recognized Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) to transmit the IRIS® Registry data to Academy servers. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance for both privacy and security is ensured throughout the process.

    How much does our staff get involved in installing and running the system integration software program? Do I need to allocate a substantial amount of time/resources to participate in the system integration program?

    Installation of the system integration software program is fairly quick. However, we will need some help from your EHR expert staff for the initial mapping process. The mapping discussions normally take two to four weeks – depending on the complexity of customization of your EHR as well as the amount of time your staff can allocate each week to the process. In general, your staff allocation time should be around two to four hours per week during the initial mapping process phase. While we try to handle most of the discussions via email, it may be necessary for your team to participate in a few GoToMeeting online web conference sessions to finalize the mapping process properly. Our technical experts take it from here. We'll take care of all the configuration and ongoing maintenance that needs to be done to successfully extract the IRIS® Registry data from your EHR and export it in the required format to the Academy. Below is a list of tasks we anticipate your staff will need to be involved in:

    Task No.

    Task Estimated Maximum Time


    Review the Fact Sheet & FAQ; Review and complete the Technical Questionnaire. 30 min


    Review and complete the Pre-Install Check List. 30 min


    Download and install .NET 3.5 frame work (if necessary). 60 min


    Attend a GoToMeeting online web conference to view a system integration solution install. 60 min


    Answer questions about locations and data mapping. Minimum of 3 GotoMeeting sessions


    If you have a “home grown” EHR system or a heavily customized EHR, you may need to answer specific data mapping questions in a GoToMeeting online web conference (if necessary). One additional GoToMeeting session

     Where does the data from the EHR come from?

    Some data comes from existing lists in the EHR (e.g., problem lists, medications, procedure, demographics), and some data comes from individual encounters (e.g., vital signs, visual acuity, exam findings, PMH/POH, diagnoses). All of these data are updated at every encounter. Most of these data elements are collected as structured data (this is ideal). There is no natural language processing being used or planned for the immediate future. Because different EHRs store data using different terminologies (e.g., ICD9, ICD10, SNOMED, proprietary terminologies, free text), the "term" as well as the underlying "terminology" are stored.

    Ultimately, the IRIS® Registry database organizes the information into a Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) structure for each patient. This includes elements that are characteristics of the patient (e.g., date of birth, past surgeries), as well as elements that are characteristics of individual exams (e.g., visual acuity).


    More questions? Contact us

    Send an email to irisregistry@aao.org for support.