Eye physicians and surgeons in 35 states already using innovative healthcare information technology solution NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Academy of Ophthalmology today unveiled the nation's first comprehensive eye disease and condition patient database. The IRIS ™ Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight) made its debut in a presentation to 25,000 attendees during the opening session of the world's largest ophthalmic conference – the 117 th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130405/MM89329LOGO) The IRIS Registry is a centralized collection and reporting software tool that compiles and processes data from electronic health records (EHR) to enable ophthalmologists to statistically analyze their own care, compare it to that of their peers and pinpoint opportunities for improvement. The database also allows ophthalmologists to manage their patients at a population level; study a specific group of patients based on conditions, risk factors, demographics or outcomes; identify trends and track interventions and answer specific clinical questions. The IRIS Registry is currently being piloted with 120 ophthalmology practices, representing approximately 370,000 patient encounters across 35 states. The Academy estimates that the database will be populated with data from more than 18 million patients by 2016. The ophthalmology database is expected to provide other significant benefits – top among them is streamlined participation in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), a program that uses a combination of incentive payments and payment adjustments to promote reporting of quality information by eligible health professionals. Physicians who do not participate in PQRS in 2014 will face a penalty in 2016. Penalties for failure to participate in PQRS are assessed annually and are expected to continue indefinitely. 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 CMS on a practice's behalf, eliminating the need for the traditional method of manually reporting data on Medicare claims throughout the year.