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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 2016 annual analysis of the WBRC outcome measures.

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 attended WBRC this year.

View 2016 WBRC Demographics

Effectiveness Measures:

The WBRC developed clinically based functional assessments and innovative therapies for all disciplines in order to improve the effectiveness of treatment. The performance improvement initiatives established WBRC as the first blind center to produce outcome measures in all programs. Outcome measures are obtained using a variety of tools including ‘pre’ and ‘post’ training assessments and surveys. The following is a sample of WBRC discipline specific outcome measures from FY 2016:

  • iProgram - Veterans who participate in the WBRC iProgram are surveyed on their satisfaction post-training related to the accessibility software for the iPad or iPhone. 96% of iProgram participants in Fiscal Year 2016 reported improved levels of satisfaction in iPad or iPhone training and use. 97% of iProgram participants reported a decrease in perceived level of difficulty in using the iPhone or iPad.
  • Orientation & Mobility - In the area of Orientation and Mobility, 83% of low-vision Veterans demonstrated improved performance for the visual detection of obstacles, hazards and 100% detected drop-down curbs after training. This means greater safety when traveling independently for these Veterans. Outcomes also show a reduction in falls for Veterans on ward through enhanced fall prevention measures and training for all Veterans participating in WBRC programs including the new Matter of Balance program.
  • Visual Skills - Reading difficulty is the most common complaint among people with vision impairment. Most Veterans and Active Duty Servicemembers who entered the program in FY16 were dissatisfied with simple reading tasks and found them very difficult to complete. Upon completion of a prescribed one-on-one training program, 94% of program participants read a street sign at a greater distance when at time of discharge.
  • Manual Skills - 92% of Veterans who participated in Manual Skills in FY 2016 reported improved ability and confidence in using tools and performing household maintenance tasks including accuracy in measuring. Outcomes also showed most Veterans expressed a higher level of independence and satisfaction in activities in which they had to use their hands.
  • Living Skills - The majority of participants reported increased confidence and overall satisfaction with their ability to maintain their personal appearance including managing personal grooming and hygiene, clothing management, and eating skills. Also, 87% of those trained to use recording devices reported reduced difficulty in storing and retrieving information. The Living Skills’ Department outcome measures have also indicated that the Veterans’ perception of difficulty with meal preparation decreases post-training.
  • Computer Access Training - After completing a comprehensive computer access training program, 96% of participants reported increase in confidence, enthusiasm and skills needed to function in their own homes and other environments.
  • Rehabilitative Nursing - 98% of Veterans trained by WBRC Nursing Services to use the Voice Prodigy Blood Glucose Monitor and 100% of those trained to use the Talking Oximeter reported that it was “easy to use” at the end of training.
  • Recreation Therapy - Recreation therapy is a vital part of the WBRC program. They provide one-on-one training to Veterans and lead a number of groups designed to assist in community re-entry and overall improvement of Veterans’ quality of life. In combination with Psychology and Social Work, a relaxation class is held once a week in which Veterans learn various techniques for stress reduction. Over 2/3 of those who have attended report feeling less tension by the end of the class.
  • Family Training Program (FTP) Satisfaction Survey - The WBRC provides a Family Training Program (FTP), if prescribed by the rehabilitation team, to a close family member or caregiver. The purpose of this program is to educate the participant on the implications of sight loss and the patient’s adjustment to sight loss. The family member or caregiver engages in direct individual interactions with members of the patient's treatment team. The objectives of the program are to demonstrate the new capabilities gained, provide education on prosthetic devices and specific supportive techniques, and to assist the family member or caregiver with the patient’s successful transition back to the home environment. This year, 100% of those surveyed reported they were able to use what they had learned at home.

Satisfaction Survey Information:

The goal of the WBRC is to meet the individualized expectations of each participant and stakeholder. The WBRC uses a variety of measures to ensure this, including the u-SPEQ Satisfaction Survey.

Veteran Satisfaction-u-SPEQ: The goal of the WBRC is to meet the individualized expectations of each participant.
Survey results include:

  • 100% of participants indicated that their goals were met;
  • 100% of participants stated they would recommend the program to others;
  • 97% stated that services enabled them to do things better.