1.0 Eyeglasses Inventory Program produced by:
New: Version 5.3-1 with Easy Data Entry.
Since August of 1999 I have been traveling to Honduras to provide eyecare to the Honduran people. My primary goal has been to provide glasses for them to not only read their Bible but to also assist them in their daily living. During that time I have gained an understanding of how important it is to have good eye care and have developed a passion to help these good and gracious people. I have been working very closely with an organization called Baptist Medical Dental Mission International (BMDMI) with a web site address of http://www.bmdmi.org/
. This organization (which is so much God centered) has been incredibly supportive of the optometry ministry.
From the very beginning what has been readily available has been used prescription eyeglasses. When we first began our ministry. we would put large numbers of glasses out on a table and people would try a pair until they found something that would help. (See Figure 1). It was very clear that this procedure was not a good one. We could only be precise with the reading glasses which were already marked with a prescription. We knew we had to be more precise. In 4 years after many stages of developments God led us to use the Nikon Retinomax 2 autorefractor (now made by Righton). (See Figure 2)
Here is the history of the development of Kendall Optometry Ministry, Inc.
In 1999 working with several benefactors we got about 50% of the funds necessary to purchase a very important item... a Focometer. This device (Figure 3) allowed me to measure three parameters about a person's eyes: Sphere, Cylinder, and axis by the patient viewing a target (See Figure 4).
We were also able to buy a kit consisting of 100 pairs of perfectly round glasses plus 250 miscellaneous sizes of lens. The glasses look like Figure 5. A very laborious procedure allowed us to use fhe Focometer to measure the strength of the prescription eyeglasses. By my February 2001 trip I was prepared to use this new system. I came equipped with a sorted printout of my inventory.
This trip proved the value of measured eyeglasses to properly fit the need of the patients who visited the clinic. We had many smiles and were very successful in this trip. Look at Figures 6 and 7 and you will see the Focometer and the inventory printout in use.
What we discovered from the February 2001 trip is that the procedure of using the Focometer to measure the eyeglasses was not only laborious but also was inaccurate. I was then able to get my benefactors to purchase an instrument called a Lensometer to measure the eyeglasses. This instrument is shown in Figure 8. This instrument was used to measure 1300 pairs of prescription eyeglasses to be handed out in August 2001. Again we used the sorted printout to find the necessary pair of glasses. This worked out exceptionally well but we found two problems. 1) it took too long to find the right pair of glasses in 1300 pair and 2) scanning down a printout of 1300 entries was quite time consuming also. We were able to service 600 people in 3 days but turned away over 100 others.
For my February of 2002 trip I improved on the inventory problem by writing version 1.0 of the program that is described in this help file. The program was developed with the assistance of Dr Ian Berger one of the founders of the organization called "Infocus" (http://www.infocusonline.org/)
who invented the Focometer. He helped me determine parameters of glasses which could deviate from the absolutely accurate number and still be helpful to the patient. His knowledge in the selection of eyeglasses is a great part of the power of this program.
When I returned from my February 2002 trip, I realized I still had several problems which needed resolution. 1) The focometer was sometimes difficult and time consuming for some patients, 2) glasses selection out of an inventory of over 1400 was slow, 3) I needed to keep better track of the inventory of both my reading glasses, and snap-together frames/lens. Also some minor changes needed to be made to the program to refine it's selection process. This is how version 2 of the program was developed.
In July/August of 2002 we took another trip to Honduras using version 2.6-8 of the program. This enhanced version of the program added new features which provided more choices for the proper selection of the glasses. As a result more glasses would be chosen which would be helpful to the patient. During this trip we saw nearly 200 patients per day but still at the end of the trip we turned away over 100 people. Upon analysis of the reasons we determined that glasses selection was quick but measurement of the eyes we still slow and not nearly accurate enough. Measurement of the astigmatism (cylinder and axis) with the focometer was hardly ever accurate. Clearly, improvements needed to be made.
We decided that another faster and more accurate method was needed to measure the eyes. After a lot of research we decided to purchase a Nikon Retinomax 2 handheld autorefractor as shown in figure 9 (being used in a children's home in Honduras). This autorefractor reduced the time required to determine the prescription from 15-30 minutes to less than 2 minutes. 99% of the time it was also more accurate. Only when the eyes were badly physically damaged would it be better to use the Focometer. When using the autorefractor with young patients, it was necessary to dilate the eyes to get an accurate reading but this did not slow down the process. To further streamline the process the autorefractor was connected to the computer causing an automatic inventory search upon completion of the measurement. The operator no longer had to type in the prescription. This was version 3.4-1 of the program. It was first used in February, 2003 and again by another team in March, 2003. The results were astonishing. Many people were helped (250 per day) to better vision and for the first time nobody was turned away at the end of the clinic.
Upon return from this trip tremendous interest developed for this program. Not everybody had a Nikon autorefractor so it was decided to interface to other brands of autorefractors. Both the Welch Allyn Suresight and also the Marco Nidek ARK-20/30 were interfaced and made to work with this program. This led to the creation of version 4.0 of this program which was used in Honduras in April, 2003.
In July-August of 2003 I took another trip to Honduras with further procedures and computer program enhancements. For the first time we used a "PickList" printer as shown in Figure 11. This printer was used to print the list of glasses which would be used by the fitters to select the glasses for the patient. Creating this list meant that the computer system was freed to be used for another patient. Things moved MUCH faster. Also, to make it easier to find glasses in the inventory all of the glasses were placed on storage racks as shown in Figure 12. With this printer and procedural changes we saw 1000 patients in 3 days, handed out 1500 pairs of glasses, and turned away nobody on the last day.
Version 5 which is described in section 3 enhances the program capabilities even further.
Figure 10 shows the primary goal of our ministry. Check the HELP/ABOUT in the program for more information.
Our goal is to spread the word of God by providing eyeglasses so that people can read their Bible. Being able to see properly will also assist them in their daily life and help to improve their standard of living.
to setup the Eyeglasses Inventory Program.
Holland Kendall 9/30/2004