PENSACOLA, Fla., Aug. 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS) announced today that physician-owned medical practice Gateway Medical Associates has implemented the IRIS diabetic retinopathy telemedicine solution to administer diabetic retinopathy exams (DREs) to 4,810 patients in the first year, identifying 678 (14 percent) with diabetic retinopathy who otherwise would have gone undiagnosed. Through its adoption of this disruptive technology, Gateway has increased its patients' diabetic retinal exam compliance rate to 85 percent from 37 percent in just one year.
These results enabled Gateway to achieve Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) compliance and quality outcomes that provide the best level of patient care and increased revenue from quality incentives. HEDIS is a tool used by more than 90 percent of America's health plans to evaluate performance on process and outcomes in both clinical care and members' care experience. Elevating HEDIS scores reflects a healthier population and results in reduced healthcare costs and increased health plan rankings and revenue.
Gateway Medical Associates is a large physician-owned practice based in Pennsylvania that consists of both physicians and allied health providers across nine different sites with a population of more than 7,000 patients with diabetes. Dedicated to providing excellent care for its patients, Gateway's leadership realized in early 2016 that there was a serious need to improve compliance in the practice's diabetic retinal exam quality program. Partnering with IRIS, Gateway deployed the IRIS retinal telemedicine platform in eight clinics in October 2016. The IRIS DRE program is fully integrated into the Gateway EHR, which provides the diagnosis for the patient's primary care provider, in addition to providing the opportunity for clinic staff to identify patients who have not received their annual exam.
"We were concerned that this would be one more thing to do, one more stop on the way to the exam room. The last thing we wanted to do was add to our clinical staff's workflow," said Meghan Fleck, Gateway Quality & Pay for Performance Manager. "However, from the beginning, we involved everyone in the process and IRIS helped educate our staff. Training has gone very well and adoption is constantly improving. The flow is smooth, from greeting the patient to the vital signs to the IRIS test to the exam room."
Since implementation, Gateway has examined more than 4,800 unique patients, diagnosing 25 percent with some form of ocular pathology. More than 14 percent of patients have been diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, and 203 patients have been protected from the advanced stages of sight-threatening disease. Those patients have been referred to ophthalmologists and retinal specialists based on level of severity, providing a referral stream that did not previously exist for those practices. In what Gateway and IRIS are calling the "halo effect," compliance with the program is increasing across the board as it moves forward. In these cases, it is very likely that patients would never have known to seek treatment were it not for the primary care DRE program.
"When our physicians started testing patients in the office who weren't compliant, they started getting reports back showing disease almost immediately," said Susan Fleck, Gateway Director of Operations. "They saw patients in need of interventions who weren't getting them, which is what they needed to recognize this was the right thing to do. Once the eye-specialty physicians started seeing patients come to them with diagnosed pathology, they fully understood that we are sending patients who might not otherwise be seen until it was too late to save their vision."
About Gateway Medial Associates
Gateway Medical Associates is a large physician-owned practice in Pennsylvania. Founded in 1996, Gateway consists of both physicians and allied health providers across nine different sites. Gateway strives to provide excellent care for their patients and is at the forefront of doing so using cutting edge, disruptive solutions.
About IRIS: About Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems
Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS) is a Pensacola, FL-based company founded in 2011 by nationally recognized retina surgeon Dr. Sunil Gupta, with a vision to end preventable blindness through the development and deployment of retinal screening services in the primary care setting. The company's IRIS solution is an FDA-cleared, cloud-based service that has improved quality, expanded access and reduced costs for diabetic retinopathy exams across the U.S. A team of physicians, technicians and practice management experts at IRIS seek to partner with forward-thinking providers and payers to enhance quality patient outcomes and the overall healthcare system. For additional information, visit www.retinalscreenings.com.
Amendola Communications for IRIS
SOURCE Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems