Filling Those Empty Appointment Spots Via the New


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 Glazier, OD, FAAO