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Taking Stock of What Users (Your Patients)
Are Doing Online

From optimizing search, or SEO, to determining how you'll take part in social media for your practice, CLICK provides a lot of practical tips and inspiration. But with the end of the year approaching, in this edition, we zoom out to review the big picture of just how the past year has impacted the way people—your patients—are using the Internet now. As smartphone use ratchets up, and more apps and easy-to-access connections are seamlessly changing how people learn and connect with each other, you can take some time to study that data and learn more about what your business/practice needs to do to stay connected with them.

Each edition of CLICK helps you keep up with the latest digital and social media trends. Take a few minutes to go through the easy-to-access CLICK Archive located under the CLICK button at, which features dozens of Cool Tools, Sites to See and other resources for building your web image and your office's connection to patients. You can also learn from other ECPs, particularly about how they've grappled with the growth of social media. Take some time, alone or with your team, to watch their talks and look at their presentations from CLICK's 2nd Annual Conference earlier this fall, sponsored by Hoya The Free-Form Company. CLICK's videos are posted at VM's Video page.

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




A 2011, End-of-Year "Who's Online" Snapshot

NEW YORK—It's the time of year to take account of what's developed in the online space. And, from Pew Internet & American Life Project, we have two snapshots that reveal a lot about who, among your patients, are online. And about what types of devices your patients are using.


End of year is a good time to assess what this means for your own practice's website, social media presence, review sites' participation and more.



More Adults Depend On Online Healthcare Resources:
Is Your Practice One Of Them?

NEW YORK—The past year has seen the advent of more publicly accessible eyecare information, from eye health and wellness info to disease management and pharmaceutical questions—including eyecare professional resources and tools that can inform, train and be shared with patients.

Via websites, Facebook pages and mobile access, CLICK has highlighted many of these in Sites to See including the AOA's new resource center, Transitions Healthy Sight Professional site and Facebook page and the new Alcon Openings support program for open-angle glaucoma.


Recently, the always-insightful Pew Internet Life Project, a non-profit resource for measuring the impact of the internet and digital media on all aspects of Americans' lives, has issued "The Social Life of Health Information, 2011," the latest report from the Pew Internet Project and the California HealthCare Foundation:


Susannah York, associate director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project and principal author of the Project's survey reports on e-patients and online health, writes, "It contains all the insights we've gathered over the last year on mobile health, the health information divide, and peer-to-peer healthcare. It also contains updates on social media use in health and a few new activities. If you're going to read just one of our reports, this is the one."

Here are some new data points:

  • 1 in 4 internet users have watched an online video about health.
  • 1 in 4 internet users have tracked their weight, diet, exercise routine or other health indicator online.
  • 1 in 4 internet users have consulted online reviews of drugs or medical treatments (but very few post such reviews).

York comments, "Social network sites like Facebook and MySpace have gained ground in the internet population over the past two years. Sixty-two percent of internet users now say they use such sites, compared with 35 percent of internet users in 2008. However, the percentage of adults who turn to these sites for health information remains low. Just 15 percent of social network site users, or 7 percent of adults, say they use the sites to get health information. This is up only slightly from 2008, when 11 percent of social network site users reported getting health information on such sites.

Of the 74 percent of adults who use the internet:

  • 80 percent of internet users have looked online for information about any of 15 health topics such as a specific disease or treatment. This translates to 59 percent of all adults.
  • 34 percent of internet users, or 25 percent of adults, have read someone else's commentary or experience about health or medical issues on an online news group, website, or blog.
  • 25 percent of internet users, or 19 percent of adults, have watched an online video about health or medical issues.
  • 24 percent of internet users, or 18 percent of adults, have consulted online reviews of particular drugs or medical treatments.
  • 18 percent of internet users, or 13 percent of adults, have gone online to find others who might have health concerns similar to theirs.
  • 16 percent of internet users, or 12 percent of adults, have consulted online rankings or reviews of doctors or other providers.
  • 15 percent of internet users, or 11 percent of adults, have consulted online rankings or reviews of hospitals or other medical facilities.

The summary of findings is posted on Pew and is downloadable.


Need to tap some creative insight? Working on a branding project that needs a fresh look? Is your own practice logo seeming...outdated? is a site that says it centrally amasses the talent of thousands of 14,000 logo designers from all over the world, working in many languages. Users essentially start a Logo Contest and interested designers tackle your project for chance to win. You can browse previous logo contests. For your contest, you can request logo revisions. You can then receive standard vector logo files for us on your website,
t-shirts, mugs, pens, etc. The site will provide a legal ownership certificate to you for the design. A video and a blog helps explain the process as well as providing general business advice and tutorials about branding, photography, images and more.


Everyone's site needs some updating and every business needs to refresh its content, images and messages online once in a while. This site is a rich resource of tips to bring to your web design person but it also provides simple updates and plugins that can always enhance what you're communicating about your practice or business online. There are photos and longer tutorials about everything from layout design and the use of colors to basic information about website content management systems. There's also a review of Sites of the Day that highlight well-organized sites. In addition to the educational services and the templates, design tips that you pay for, there's also a range of "Free Stuff" that offers downloadable logos, clipart, borders and themed images (holidays, anyone?) that can enliven what you're doing.


AlwaysCare Benefits, has launched, a new online benefit management tool for group benefit plan members, administrators and vision and dental providers. With new features and a fresh look, the redesigned site offers clients the tools they need to access and manage their benefits online. AlwaysCare members can search for dental and vision providers; print ID cards; view benefit information, claims and coverage amounts; and access health links and benefit tools unique to AlwaysCare. AlwaysCare group administrators can enroll and administer employee benefits for all plans; download enrollment status reports; print ID cards; and access bills and billing history. Providers can view, delete and submit claims; verify member eligibility through various search options; and follow submitted claims through the approval process. AlwaysCare provides group dental, vision, life, disability, critical illness and accident coverage in 48 states.


More than 29 million adult Americans are currently affected by vision problems that if not detected and treated early, could lead to vision loss. Many of these are the result of sight-threatening age-related eye disease, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. And, 90 percent of all eye injuries may be prevented through the use of proper eye protection and eye safety practices. Prevent Blindness America (PBA), has launched the "Healthy Eyes Educational Series," a free program designed to build public awareness of eye and vision basics, common adult vision disorders, eye safety precautions and proactive behaviors that give the best chance for a lifetime of healthy vision.The presentation series can be downloaded in modules to conduct formal sessions or informal meetings which can be customized using topics tailored to the audience. Each module includes a Presentation Guide and an accompanying PowerPoint presentation. Modules include: Adult Eye Disorders, Contact Lens Safety, Eye Anatomy, Healthy Living, Home Safety, Low Vision, Refractive Errors, Sports Safety, Workplace Safety. The program works for community health educators, public health personnel, community and senior center program directors, employers seeing "lunch-and-learn" topics, safety directors as well as eyecare professionals. Factsheets on a variety of eye health and safety topics can also be downloaded free-of-charge from the PBA website for use as handouts to accompany the presentation.


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