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Regent: An invaluable new offering from the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

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April 30, 2017
by Robert T. Sataloff, MD, DMA, FACS, Editor-in-Chief

We live in a world in which quality of care will be analyzed and used not only for reimbursement, but also for many other purposes. The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) has developed a new data registry called Regent that should be invaluable for practicing otolaryngologists.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) acquires quality data through Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QCDR) that it approves. Regent, an otolaryngology-specific clinical data registry developed by the AAO-HNSF, has been federally approved and is available to AAO-HNSF members. Although there undoubtedly will be implementation challenges as occur with any new computerized system, Regent was very well thought out. In particular, it was designed to be almost effortless for users.

Regent was designed in technologic collaboration with FIGmd (a corporate collaborator) and has a registry practice connector (RPC) that allows it to acquire data from an otolaryngologist's Electronic Medical Record system. It is a read-only link to the otolaryngologist's electronic health record (EHR) that can extract data from the EHR and download it to Regent when the physician's practice initiates a connection session (Regent cannot initiate data collection). The RPC can be installed on a physician's database server, or on a computer that has access to the EHR database.

What good is such a system to the individual physician, and is it safe? From a confidentiality perspective, this system is not only safe but federally approved, and it does not put patient-identified information at risk. However, it does do several valuable things for practitioners.

Physicians are being required to report quality data to the federal government, and the amount of data reporting required will only increase. Because Regent has been federally approved as a QCDR, physicians can use it as their CMS Physician Quality Reporting System, and the data reported through this system will be acceptable to the government under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System.

In addition to providing information to a national data bank, physicians will have access to their own performance data, which will be available with comparisons to national benchmarks. Under current regulations, the AAO-HNSF is allowed to create up to 30 Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery-specific performance measures for quality improvement and reporting. Early users of this system will have an opportunity to influence the evolution of performance measures for our specialty through the AAO-HNSF.

As otolaryngologists, we should be grateful to the AAO-HNSF for its successful efforts in this extremely important initiative. The data acquired through Regent will be helpful in guiding individual physician improvement, and improvement of the specialty overall. Regent also will be able to help track the efficacy and side effects of new drugs and devices. In time, it is anticipated that participating otolaryngologists will be able to use data entered in Regent to assist them in meeting the requirements for maintenance of certification and licensing for the American Board of Otolaryngology and state licensing boards, as well as for other purposes.

Otolaryngologists are encouraged to learn more about Regent through the AAO-HNSF and to consider early participation in Regent. More information can be obtained at and through the AAO-HNSF Bulletin, July 2016, pages 25-26.

Ear, Nose & Throat Journal
Ear Nose Throat J. 2017 April-May;96(4-5):154