Article Date: 9/1/2005

instrumental strategies
Eliminate Rx Errors, Plus
Lens calculating software offers multiple benefits to the paperless practice.

As a doctor with a growing computer vision care business, I've been very pleased with the benefits to both my patients and my practice of PRIO's new lens calculating software, Shazam! EZ. As a result, my practice has prescribed far more near variable focus (NVF) lenses for our computer-using patients. In my opinion, this is the best type of lens for their computer needs.

NVF lenses made easy

Before using the original Shazam! several years ago, I was reluctant to prescribe NVF lenses due to difficulties in ordering and fitting this new type of lens design. However, Shazam's formula, which is based on the distance Rx and reading add, has taken the mystery out of prescribing them. The lens calculator software actually recommends the optimal lens for the patient's Rx and calculates the total near power to order from the lab. In most cases, this is the NVF lens.

While NVF lenses offer a number of user benefits — e.g., very wide vision at the computer screen, less distortion, more distance vision and wider reading area — eye care professionals have been slow in adopting their use. I believe this will change as more ECPs begin to see the patient benefits of these lenses and familiarize themselves with PRIO's Shazam! EZ.

The Shazam! EZ makes near variable focus lenses easy to prescribe.

It's easy to determine which patients can benefit from this tool. I give patients a pre-exam questionnaire, which includes questions about computer use. If they tell me that they spend more than two hours per day in front of a computer, I know they are candidates for NVF lenses and I use the Shazam! EZ to calculate near power.

 You'll see the benefits

I have found the Shazam! EZ to be particularly user friendly. It has greatly streamlined the lens selection process for us. Best of all, I have already seen an increase in the number of lenses our office dispenses for our computer-using patients, which seems to be virtually everyone from age seven to 70! In fact, in the last year alone, my second pair sales have gone up more than 10%.

Go electronic

Shazam! EZ also allows the user to send the patient's prescription electronically, thereby eliminating the need to print out the patient's information and send it to the lab. My office staff really likes the drop-down menu as it eliminates the need to type in the prescription. This saves time, which is a benefit to the entire staff.

Shazam! EZ offers a simplified viewing screen with an easy-to-read format, and provides the base curve with the final calculation. Additionally, it allows you to save the patient's records in the electronic file or send them electronically to the lab for ordering. The Shazam! EZ is compatible with Microsoft Windows '95 and above, as well as other platforms. It is available for download from the company's Web site,

Prepare for the future

While Shazam! EZ doesn't eliminate the need to conduct question-and-answer sessions with patients regarding their computer vision problem, the bottom line is that it can help improve communication between the office and the lab. This benefits everyone by reducing errors, as well as paper use, in our office.

Computer vision care is certainly here to stay and products like Shazam! EZ are helping to streamline the adaptation process.


Optometric Management, Issue: September 2005