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New Tools To Help Your Practice Become More Visible—And Productive

New Web-based tools, amplified by social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, are enabling ECPs to build their practice's visibility and achieve productivity.

We explore more of these in this edition of CLICK, Vision Monday's twice-a-month e-newsletter that helps brief ECPs about web technology and Internet developments.

Dozens of examples are available in our CLICK Archives. They are easy-to-access to help you catch up on tips and interesting ideas. It's located at

Have you tried something new on your website or launched a special social media campaign? Tell us about it and we'll consider it for an upcoming feature in CLICK.
—The Editors


Filling Those Empty Appointment Spots Via the New

By Alan Glazier, OD, FAAO

ROCKVILLE, Md.—One of the primary revenue drains in any practice is vacant appointment times. According to the Medical Group Management Association, physicians with busy practices lose 12 percent of available appointment times daily, due to patients that don't show up, who reschedule a few hours ahead or cancel at the last minute. This is a significant drain on income; based on this figure a practice with one doctor can lose $32,000 or more per year from missed, cancelled or rescheduled appointments. The problem is these openings are usually same-day, and coordinating people into newly opened-up appointment slots is a significant challenge as well.

As a patient, or someone needing an appointment, one of the greatest frustrations is the wait for an opening, yet openings happen all the time when appointments are cancelled, rescheduled or no-showed. is a unique and inexpensive web-based application, free for patients, that connects patients desiring same day or same week appointments with recent openings in physicians' offices by making the appointments visible as they become available on both a website and, importantly, on a mobile device like an iPhone, Droid or other smartphone.

When an appointment opens up, your receptionist enters it into Schedgehog’s database. If a patient realizes they have an hour or two gap in which they’d love to knock out a doctors visit, they go to Schedgehog on their mobile, type in their doctors name and, voila! A list of all the appointments available same day at their doctor or within a certain radius of their location appears. One click and they are on the phone scheduling their appointment, keeping your schedule full.

I created the software behind Schedgehog as a way to recover lost revenue at my private optometric practice, Shady Grove Eye & Vision Care. I hired a team of web designers and after several iterations, came up with a web based mobile application. Subsequently, we sent letters and emails to our patient base to inform them that the practice offered this value-added service. One patient suggested that we open up the data base for all medical professionals and Schedgehog Professional was born.

For just $390 per year per physician, Schedgehog can plug up a $32,000 per physician drain on your practice and at the same time enable you to offer a value-added service of convenience to your patients who value your time and would love a chance to be able to see you without having to wait two weeks or more. For most doctors, just one or two open appointments filled by pays their entire years subscription.

What does this mean to larger practices with 10 physicians or more? You do the math. Sign up for Schedgehog with the code “Click” before the new year and receive 6 months free, including Schedgehog support. Email questions to and connect at twitter @Schedgehog.

Like any technology, it takes several months to catch on. Live at Dr. Glazier's practice for three months now, we’re expecting the response to ramp up between 6 and 9 months. In the meantime, our receptionists and technicians discuss it with every patient who visits the practice. Future plans are to expand Schedgehog into different medical verticals.

Alan N. Glazier, OD, FAAO is the founder/CEO of Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care in Rockville, Md. A search and social optimization consultant, he is now a regular contributor to CLICK and also writes a regular blog for Glazier is at and his regular posts can be found via his Twitter handle: @EyeInfo, his blog: and his website:

in focus

Getting Social Media's Basics: Jan. 18 Webinar from

NEW YORK— is one of the optometric field's leading providers of web marketing solutions for individual practitioners. With services ranging from website design and maintenance services to proactive marketing through Search Engine Optomization (SEO), Social Media Optimization (SMO) and Google Local Optimization (GLO) services. EyeCarePro works with clients all over North America to get as much benefit as possible from their web presence, according to Daniel Rostenne, founder and managing director. is also part of the American Optometric Association's Member Advantage program.

The group is planning its first webinar on Social Media next month, Jan. 18. According to Rostenne, the webinar will detail effective strategies and steps practices can implement to capture new patients through social media. This webinar addresses how to optimize Facebook, Twitter and Blogging social media presence for patient acquisition while setting expectations on what kind of results a practice can expect from its efforts. The session will enable ECPs to start or improve their social media efforts and take advantage of the fastest growing segement on the Internet today, Rostenne added.

Participation in the one-hour webinar is free, and is geared to EyeCarePro's current clients as well as prospective clients.

Click here and register to join at 8:30 PM EST or click here and register to join at 11:30 PM EST.

Social Media is the latest in a series of webinars from, which has hosted other programs on Search Engine Optimization, Google Local Optimization and Conversation Rate Optimization (turning more website visitors into patients). CLICK featured in its August 2009 edition; read what we wrote in CLICK's archives.


cool tools

It’s not too late to send some really different e-Holiday messages this year! This site, known for its interactive and beautiful Advent Calendar, also features some truly imaginative and different Holiday and New Year’s cards. You can sign up for the e-newsletter and also become a member to regularly enjoy the unique art, images, designs and messages of artist Susan Preston. Some 160 e-cards, for all occasions, are available from this one-of-a-kind site.


Redefine Christmas is a movement that re-imagines the way we look at gift giving during the holidays. Rather than giving in to the convention of giving, the site looks at ways to redirect some of that money to charity. Consider giving your friends and family members donations to their favorite charities in their names. The site offers a range of suggestions, links and messages from celebrities to make the options easier.

And it. If you're ready to start giving this way, click on the Give Charitably tab to learn how, or click the JustGive link to begin exploring charities.

sites to see

ClearVision Optical is inviting all ECPs and optical retailers to celebrate the holidays with a fun, interactive cyber game—The Gingerbread Shuffle. The whimsical holiday greeting is an entirely viral approach to the standard holiday card. Lucky recipients of the Gingerbread Shuffle eblast can “play” from their inbox by clicking here to start.

Conceptualized, developed and implemented by ClearVision’s marketing department, The Gingerbread Shuffle features visually-pleasing gingerbread graphics and a festively-fun concept. The object of the game is to find matching pairs of images in as little time as possible.

A creative way to extend holiday greetings using today’s technology, it will be deployed to thousands of ClearVision customers, friends, family and more, internally to ClearVision employees.


This holiday season, consumers are invited to join Pearle in helping the world see by supporting OneSight, a family of charitable programs dedicated to preserving and restoring clear vision for those in need. During December, customers can donate their gently-used glasses* and help raise money by “Liking” Pearle's Facebook page. Pearle will donate $1 for every “Like” (up to $5,000) and will give all glasses collected to OneSight.

“We believe the quality vision care and eyewear we provide patients should be available to everyone,” said Seth McLaughlin, Pearle Vision general manager. Funds donated by Pearle for Facebook “Likes” will support OneSight's Regional and Global Eye Care Clinics and local community programs. Eyewear that passes OneSight's strict standards will be cleaned, repaired and hand-delivered by doctors and trained volunteers on Global Clinics.

More info is also posted at