American Academy of Ophthalmology to Implement the IRIS Registry Eye Disease Patient Database


SAN FRANCISCO—The American Academy of Ophthalmology has announced that it will implement the nation’s first comprehensive eye disease patient database in early 2014. In an effort to improve the quality of care for patients requiring medical and surgical care for vision loss, the initiative will enable thousands of ophthalmologists across the country to statistically review and analyze their own care and compare it to benchmarks and peer physician performance.

The database will be facilitated by the IRIS (Intelligent Research in Sight) Registry, 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.

The ophthalmology database is expected to provide other significant benefits, top among them is automatic participation in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). As an approved PQRS electronic health record submission vendor, the IRIS 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 Academy plans for the IRIS Registry to 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 AAO is partnering in the development of the IRIS Registry with FIGMD, Inc., the software and technology firm involved in developing and maintaining registries for both the American College of Cardiology and the American Gastroenterological Association. It is currently piloting the IRIS Registry with pre-selected, early-access users, with plans to launch the registry to all practicing U.S.-based ophthalmologists in early 2014. The AAO estimates that the IRIS Registry will be populated with more than 20 million patient records within two years.

Early-access opportunities are still available for interested AAO members at or by emailing