AAO to launch U.S. eye disease patient database

July 17, 2013

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) plans to implement the first comprehensive eye disease patient database in the United States.

San Francisco-The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) plans to implement the first comprehensive eye disease patient database in the United States.

The IRIS (Intelligent Research in Sight) Registry is a centralized data repository and reporting tool that collects data from electronic health records and performs statistical analysis of aggregated, de-identified patient data to produce easy-to-interpret, national and practice-level benchmark reports. The reports can validate the quality of care ophthalmologists provide and pinpoint opportunities for improvement. By assessing their quality-of-care rates and studying best practices, ophthalmologists can develop a strategic plan for improving patient outcomes.

The initiative will enable thousands of ophthalmologists across the country to review and analyze their own care statistically and compare it with benchmarks and peer-physician performance.

“This is a fantastically powerful tool that will stimulate improved quality of eye care,” said David W. Parke II, MD, chief executive officer of the AAO. “None of us went to medical school to be average physicians. We respond to data and seek tools to benchmark our own performance.”

The ophthalmology database is expected to provide other significant benefits for eye physicians and surgeons. Top among them is automatic participation in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). The registry can directly and automatically extract data for PQRS measures and submit it to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on a practice’s behalf, eliminating the need for the traditional method of ophthalmologists manually reporting their data on their Medicare claims throughout the year.

The AAO envisions that the registry will expand its scope to include functions for completing the American Board of Ophthalmology’s Maintenance of Certification Practice Improvement Modules, clinical research, post-market surveillance studies of ophthalmic drugs and devices, early detection of safety signals for adverse health events and determining changes in practice patterns.

“The [registry] will represent a seminal change in how the medical specialty of ophthalmology will improve performance and outcomes, while shortening the timeline for the dissemination of important clinical knowledge, research and results of drug and device surveillance,” said William L. Rich III, MD, medical director of health policy for the AAO.

For more information, visit www.aao.org/irisregistry or e-mail IRISRegistry@aao.org.

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