Lighthouse International Brings State-Of-The-Art Technology to Canada (Archive)

Lighthouse CNIB

FOR RELEASE DECEMBER 5, 2007

Contact:
Leslie Gottlieb
Lighthouse International
(212) 821-9760
or
Leslie Wilmot
CNIB
(416) 486-2500

First Web-Enabled System to Enhance Quality of Service for People with Vision Loss and Create an International Database for Research

New York, N.Y.- Lighthouse International and CNIB, a Canadian not-for-profit organization, which provides services across Canada for those living with vision loss, have signed a licensing agreement bringing the state-of-the-art Electronic Vision Rehabilitation Record (EVRR®) to over 50 CNIB locations across Canada. Tara A. Cortes, PhD, RN, Lighthouse International President and CEO, and Jim Sanders, CNIB President and CEO, met yesterday at Lighthouse headquarters in New York City to launch this exciting new partnership.

EVRR®, developed by Lighthouse International and funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the first Web-enabled electronic record based on best clinical practice for people with vision loss. This computerized care system incorporates for the first time patient and professional assessments of progress. Information from the collective international database will impact and improve treatment by all specialists in the vision rehabilitation field and may impact other health care fields as well. For example, a vision rehabilitation therapist in New York will learn what treatments are most effective from data collected from colleagues in Toronto and may alter or revise treatment based on that information. EVRR® is currently being used by three organizations in the U.S. CNIB, which is headquartered in Toronto, is the first organization outside the U.S. to implement EVRR®.

"We are very pleased that CNIB will be using EVRR®, and look forward to other organizations in the U.S. and abroad implementing it as well," says Dr. Cortes. "As our population ages, eye diseases such as macular degeneration will reach epidemic proportions in the coming years. EVRR® is an exciting new tool that can potentially help millions of people with uncorrectable vision loss. EVRR® supports the best evidence-based practice. It will enable vision rehabilitation agencies to maximize the effectiveness of services designed to improve the daily functioning, safety and independence of their clients," states Dr. Cortes. "It features unique, standardized tools for service providers to conduct pre- and post-intervention assessments, record progress in reaching functional improvement goals and track outcomes."

"CNIB is excited to bring EVRR® to Canada," says Mr. Sanders. "Using EVRR® will allow CNIB to accommodate growth through the next five years. The software and system will position CNIB to respond to Canada's aging population and the demographic shifts predicted for 2015 and beyond." Once EVRR® is deployed, CNIB's goal is to increase service hours by 30 percent."

"EVRR® is accessible to people who are visually impaired and can easily be customized to meet the needs of different organizations. It features a user-friendly Web interface and built-in administrative tools. The system was created using readily available open source technology, which allows for rapid application development and reduced cost," says Tom Nolan, Lighthouse Chief Information Officer. It is currently used by three U.S. agencies representing urban, suburban and rural environments: Lighthouse International, with offices in Manhattan, Westchester and the Mid-Hudson Valley; the Central Association for the Blind and Visually Handicapped in Utica, NY; and The Iris Network in Portland, ME.

About Lighthouse International

Founded in 1905, Lighthouse International is a leading non-profit organization dedicated to preserving vision and to providing critically needed healthcare services to help people of all ages overcome the challenges of vision loss. Through services, education, research and advocacy, the Lighthouse enables people with low vision and blindness to enjoy safe, independent and productive lives. Lighthouse is the only U.S. vision rehabilitation agency with its own in-house research capability. For more information about vision loss, its causes and what you can do about it, contact Lighthouse International at 1-800-829-0500 or visit www.lighthouse.org

About CNIB

CNIB is a nationwide, community-based, registered charity committed to research, public education and the vision health of all Canadians. CNIB provides the services and support necessary to enjoy a good quality of life while living with vision loss. To find out more, visit www.cnib.ca or call 1-800-563-2642.

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