Nandaime, Nicaragua -- Dispensary
The optical dispensary is tasked with finding the best match to the prescription given by the optometrist. From a large library of donated eyeglasses, the dispensary staff picks the best match possible.
This year the dispensary was aided greatly by the computerization of the library inventory under the REIMS system. REIMS stands for Richmond Eyeglass Inventory Matching System, and was developed specifically for this type of remote clinic. Skip Charles wrote the code, using the optical expertise of the late Dr. Phillip Richmond. REIMS was developed for use by Friends of ASAPROSAR (Asociacion Salvadorena Por Salud Rural -- Salvadoran Association for Rural Health). Using this system, the prescription is entered into a laptop on site and the system returns the best possible matches from the inventory.
Reims is free shareware, and any VOSH group or other remote optical dispensary should look into using it. See http://www.friendsofasaprosar.org/reims.html
REIMS is pretty slick, and can be set to prioritize the right eye or the left eye. If bifocals are not available in the best prescription match, it can automatically split the prescription into two pair of glasses, one for distance and the other for near vision. In preparation for this trip, an enormous amount of time was spent by VOSH volunteers stateside in entering the prescriptions of eyewear in the library into the system. Among those taking on this important and seemingly endless data entry task were Larry Ginsberg OD, Jennifer Burney, Stephen Burney, Deb Imondi, and Sarah England. Major Kudos are in order for those who entered the prescriptions into the database before the mission, and especially to Stephen Burney, who was the on site expert in all thing REIMS.
For the 2008 trip, all of the plus single vision and bifocals were in the computerized inventory. For any minus prescriptions, which are much less common, we had to resort to the old method of digging through the boxes of eyewear, organized by power. At the end of the clinic, we were able to run a report, showing how many pair of eyeglasses were dispensed, and in what power, to ease the replenishment process.
From Linda Carpentier: Our mission to Nandaime, what can I say? "What a GREAT Mission". As tough as it was to get there it was without a doubt well worth it. We made a lot of people happy with their new glasses. I may have gotten more blessing from people in this town than ever before. What a grateful place Nandaime is.
We had an awesome group of people working in the dispensary. Deb Imondi, Deb Ervin, Stephen Burney, Brady Hart are seasoned veterans who work so very hard to help so many people. Long hard days with no complaints. That is what these missions are all about. Jessica Barth was new to the mission this year and you would have never known. She fit perfectly with everyone. She was upbeat the entire week and that is sometimes tough to do. Maryann England and Persephone Brown joined us in the afternoons and all of their help allowed us to get done at a reasonable hour. What a unbelievable great group of people.
We added the REIMS inventory system this year and found it to save a lot of time in searching for Rx matches. It will also help us to know what powers we used the most of. This will help a lot for future missions. Another addition was taking all readers and suns from the ODs who were short this year without the students and some fellow OD who could not make the trip. These changes seemed to work out well for everyone since we saw almost the same amount of people as in past missions with less man/woman power.
Thanks Brady for supplying the music for the dispensary, which I think kept us sane (somewhat) and of course for making a 94 year old woman (Do you really think she was 94?) very, very happy.
2008 Optical Dispensary Photo Gallery
This page was last updated UTC 2008-03-04 11:04 -0000
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