SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Verana Health today released a new analysis gathered from the American Academy of Ophthalmology IRIS® Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight) at AAO 2021, the Academy's annual meeting, taking place in New Orleans, November 12-15.
The IRIS Registry is the nation's first and world's largest electronic health record-based comprehensive eye disease and condition registry. The new analysis reveals the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ophthalmic community.
In March 2020, the Academy advised ophthalmologists to cease all but urgent and emergent care to protect physicians, staff, and patients from the spread of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus. In the month following this recommendation, daily patient visits dropped to 45,000 per day, about 33% of the pre-pandemic average of 143,000 per day. Continued analysis revealed that daily patient visits rebounded from May to July 2020, and have since stabilized, albeit at a still-reduced volume compared to 2019.
Additional analysis of IRIS Registry data shows unequivocally that, while sight-threatening conditions continued to be treated during the pandemic, elective cataract surgery was dramatically affected by public health guidance. Monthly cataract surgery volume has been lower, compared to 2019, for every month since the start of the pandemic. The greatest reduction in procedure volume occurred in April 2020, when cataract procedures plummeted to nearly zero, though volumes have now stabilized at closer-to-historical levels. The broader impacts of this may require additional analysis, particularly related to the impact on patients' quality of life.
"The IRIS Registry is a centralized data repository and reporting tool that can analyze de-identified patient data to produce easy-to-interpret national and inter-practice benchmark reports and provide scientific information to improve public health," said David W. Parke II, MD, Chief Executive Officer of the Academy and Verana Health's Executive Chairman. "Through the Academy's partnership with Verana Health, the IRIS Registry has become an invaluable tool for the ophthalmology profession, enabling us to leverage real-world evidence to uncover insights that protect patients' sight."
Verana Health's experience measuring the impact of a health crisis on practice patterns can be translated into other use cases, including studying the impact of a local natural disaster or a major change in state or national health policy on visits or treatment utilization.
The IRIS Registry also informed the original research presented by Theodore Leng, MD, MS, Verana Health Medical Advisor and Director of Research at the Byers Eye Institute at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Leng presented research titled "Variations in Vitreoretinal Physician Utilization of Ancillary Testing: An IRIS® Registry Analysis" as part of Retina Subspecialty Day on Friday, November 12.
Verana Health is also participating in two research presentations with commercial customers:
Additionally, Verana Health will unveil at AAO 2021 the new Quality Measures Dashboard for the IRIS Registry, to be launched in 2022. The dashboard delivers reports that can help validate the quality of care ophthalmologists provide and pinpoint opportunities for improvement.
Physicians who participate in the IRIS Registry may report clinical quality data to the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). The IRIS Registry extracts and submits data for MIPS quality measures to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on behalf of practices that participate in the IRIS Registry via integrated electronic health record (EHR) systems. CMS has confirmed that the IRIS Registry is considered a Clinical Data Registry, and integration of an ophthalmologist's EHR system with the IRIS Registry will fulfill the Clinical Data Registry Reporting measure for the Public Health and Clinical Data Exchange Objective for the Promoting Interoperability Performance Category.
"Ophthalmologists need an accurate, objective source of data that assesses the quality of care they deliver to their patients, identifies potential areas to enhance care, and benchmarks their performance against their peers," said Sujay Jadhav, CEO, Verana Health. "We are proud to introduce the Quality Measures Dashboard for the IRIS Registry, which will enable ophthalmologists to advance care quality and fulfill federal quality-reporting requirements."
Verana Health will be exhibiting at AAO 2021 in person at booth 1562 and online through the Academy's virtual platform.
About Verana Health
Verana Health is a digital health data company committed to helping clinical researchers unlock quality insights with real-world evidence. Verana Health is exclusively entrusted by key specialty medical societies to manage data from real-world healthcare settings across more than 20,000 healthcare providers and 70 electronic health record systems. Its healthcare data ecosystem is powered by VeraQ™, a population health data engine that securely powers a data integrity feedback loop of nearly a half-billion point-of-care health encounters. By applying advanced analytics to fit-for-purpose, quality datasets, Qdata™, Verana Health helps life sciences collaborators accelerate medical innovations that promote quality of care and quality of life. For more information, visit www.veranahealth.com.
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