Academy of Otolaryngology to Launch National Clinical Data Registry



Otolaryngologists will soon have an easy way to track the quality of care they provide their patients, as well as the ability to compare their efforts with local and national colleagues. This is one of many benefits of a new clinical data registry developed by the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNSF) and set to launch later this year.

Called Regent, the clinical data registry will provide a platform for otolaryngologists to better engage in and adapt to a changing healthcare environment that is moving from volume-based care to value-based care. Within this changing environment, physicians and physician groups need to find ways to collect, analyze, and report outcomes for establishing reimbursement in a market increasingly moving toward value-based purchasing. The registry will help otolaryngologists achieve these goals (see “Benefits Offered by Regent,”).

“Payers are moving away from reimbursing for volume of care delivered to paying for quality of care and outcomes,” said Randal Weber, MD, professor, in the department of head and neck surgery at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. “Sooner rather than later, we’re all going to have to report our outcomes.” And this is where the registry can be useful, he added. “Outcomes of individual physicians will be compared with thousands of other physicians, and having data will allow us to determine the type of care our patients are receiving and whether it is the best and most appropriate care.”

The Need for a Clinical Data Registry

Improving quality is a data-driven process, according to Dr. Weber. “You have to know the data, you have to know where your outcomes data fit with the rest of the country, and then you need to determine what you can do to improve your outcomes if deficiencies are found.”

According to Lisa E. Ishii, MD, the AAO-HNSF’s coordinator for research and quality and member of the Regent Executive Committee, the database will collect clinical data, store it, and distribute it to AAO-HNS members in the form of data sets or dashboards. “Gathering data from all participating members will allow, for the first time, the analysis of large amounts of clinical otolaryngology data in aggregate.” Dr. Ishii described multiple purposes for which such aggregated data can be used to improve outcomes in otolaryngology (see “Main Uses for Collected and Aggregated Data,” p. 8).

How It Will Work

Currently, Regent is being tested at 30 pilot sites that represent a variety of otolaryngologic practices, including large and small private practice groups, academic groups, and a range of electronic medical records, said Dr. Ishii. This pilot phase will permit testing of the performance measures used in the database and ensure the accuracy and reliability of the extracted data.