Outcome Measures at the WBRC - VA Palo Alto Health Care System
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VA Palo Alto Health Care System


Outcome Measures at the WBRC

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The Western Blind Rehabilitation Center (WBRC) measures outcomes in several areas each fiscal year (FY) to ensure quality improvement and service delivery excellence. Outcome measures are collected from a variety of sources representing the WBRC's key stakeholders. This summary reflects the FY 2020 annual analysis of the WBRC outcome measures.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in temporary halting of all VA Blind Rehabilitation inpatient programs starting in mid-March 2020. As a result, WBRC outcomes data were limited to the first two quarters of the fiscal year with the exception of u-SPEQ satisfaction survey, for which there is data for the entire year. Interim measures (largely direct care provided via Telehealth) during the last half of FY20.

WBRC admissions:

The WBRC is committed to ensuring that all eligible patients who require blind rehabilitation training receive access to care in a timely manner. The following demographics are listed for information about the patients who received training from WBRC staff this year, inpatient and telehealth programs.


Regular  46
Computer  39
Dual    6
iProgram  91
CNVR  14
GPS    7
Personal Assistance Device (Echo)    1
Power Mobility    3
Two Week    3
Matter of Balance    9


Regular 39
Computer 34
Dual 45
iProgram 28
GPS 31
Personal Assistance Device (Echo)   8
Power Mobility 24
Two Week 14
Matter of Balance 26


World War II  18
Pre-Korean  11
Korean  38
Post-Korean  20
Vietnam 113
Post-Vietnam  31
Persian Gulf  12


Teens (10s)   0
Twenties (20s)   0
Thirties (30s)   1
Forties (40s)   3
Fifties (50s) 24
Sixties (60s) 43
Seventies (70s) 81
Eighties (80s) 58
Nineties (90s) 31
Hundreds (100s)   2


Other 71
Glaucoma 53
Diabetic Retinopathy 17
Trauma  5
RP  6
Stroke  0
Optic Atrophy 11
Retinal Detachment  7


Army 102
Marines 24
Air Force 47
Navy 54
Coast Guard  2
Merchant Marines  2
U.S. Public Health Service  2

Effectiveness measures:

The WBRC developed clinically based ‘pre’ and ‘post’ training assessments and surveys to improve the effectiveness of treatment. The following highlights Veterans' perceived and/or measured improvements in each area for FY 2020:


iProgram: 80% of participants reported improved levels of satisfaction following training. Accessibility training on technology devices: A majority reported increased ease of use and satisfaction in using accessibility software on a technology device.

Orientation and mobility: 75% detected drop-down curbs after training, resulting in greater safety for independent travel. This reflected a smaller number than usual of Veterans during this time period, due to impact of COVID-19 restrictions.

Matter of balance (MOB): At the time of program completion, 100% of MOB participants rated themselves “Sure/ Very Sure” to the question, “I can become more steady on my feet.”

Visual skills: Participants’ most common complaint is difficulty reading. After visual skills training, 91% of participants were able to read a street sign at a greater distance, and 92% demonstrated improved reading comprehension scores.

Manual skills: Most Veterans reported improved ease at making accurate measurements independently. 91% of Veterans surveyed rated improvements of confidence in their ability to complete manual tasks and use of tools independently.

Living skills: 88% of participants reported increased ease and satisfaction with their ability to store and retrieve information, such as grocery lists, reminders and phone numbers. The majority of participants reported increased satisfaction in their ability to manage activities of daily living, including phone dialing, identify currency, recording information, and meal preparation.

Rehabilitative nursing: All (100%) Veterans trained by WBRC Nursing Services to use a Pik Stik reported that it was “easy to use” at the end of training. All Veterans who attended the Nursing Education forum also reported increased knowledge in health topics discussed.

As an integral part of the team at WBRC, Recreation Therapy, Psychology and Social Work co-facilitate a relaxation class once a week to address stress reduction in Veterans at the WBRC. One-on-one sessions also assist in community re-entry and quality of life. Of those attending, 88% reported reductions in their stress level at the end of the session.

Satisfaction survey information:

The WBRC uses a variety of measures to ensure individualized expectations of each participant and stakeholder are met, including the u-SPEQ Satisfaction Survey. According to Q1-2 survey results, 100% of participants stated they would recommend the program to others, and 99% stated that their goals were met and enabled them to do things better. Q3-4 results (reflecting remote care via Telehealth only), revealed 100% of participants stated they would recommend the program to others, and 96% stated that their goals were met and enabled them to do things better.