Capacity Check

By Sharon Gorman, D.C.

Many years ago when I was running one office I had a staff meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to work on the practice flow and our capacity. I had a desire to serve more people and it just wasn’t happening even though I was seeing a lot of new patients (over 50 a month). The meeting went pretty smoothly yet I noticed that I was doing all the talking and the CA’s were remaining pretty quiet. As I was getting ready to end the meeting I asked the ladies if they had any last ideas before I closed. Darlene raised her hand. When I called her name she stood up and pulled a piece of paper out of her pocket. She proceeded to tell me that they had gotten together yesterday to write this and that she in essence pulled the short straw. She was elected to read this at the meeting.

She proceeded to read a letter describing how the office could not possibly see any more patients. We were already seeing over 100 patients a day and the practice was only about 8 months old and then she outlined how this procedure took this long for each patient and the recalls took this long etc. etc. etc. You get the picture. I was shocked. How could I be so unaware of how they felt. I stood there a minute to just absorb the concept. I then told her if what she was saying was true than we were all in a lot of trouble.

If what she was saying was truly how they felt than I would have to fire all of them and hire a new staff because I wasn’t going to let their limitations stop me from achieving my dream. Well than she quickly replied (after she reiterated that she didn’t write the letter alone) that she saw things a little different now that we had the meeting (to save her butt). I didn’t fire anyone that day or that week but within 6 months they were all gone. My capacity was bigger than their capacity or desire to work so they had to either change their capacity or get out of my way. What is your staff’s capacity? What is yours?

There is this very busy deli/catering restaurant in town. I love going in there. The service is great and the food is good. When you look behind the counter there is always about a dozen people and believe me this place is hopping. No one is standing still wondering what they should do next and whether they want to do it or not. The energy is high and you can tell that they love it. If they didn’t love it they wouldn’t be there. You can tell the time is flying by for these employees and they would be bored if the deli would serve as many customers as your “normal” deli. They are feeding off each others positive energy and they feel good about serving so many people. I’m sure they are not wondering if they are busy enough or if customers are going to come in. They are busy delivering the goods. They are delivering the goods in such a way that makes people feel taken care of and satisfied and wanting to come back again.

Let’s face it, none of us like to pull into the parking lot of a restaurant where no one else has chosen to eat. This place is happening. I always run into people I know there and they are usually people that are leaders in the community or have successful businesses. They like it there too and they probably don’t even know why. The food is good, not great, but the energy is awesome.

I’ve heard people criticize high volume practices before saying they were just assembly lines. If people where not getting the goods delivered in these practices they would not come back. They are willing to keep coming back and paying for a service not because it is inferior in any way. They are lining up because they want what we have and they want to receive it from us. If you choose not to have a large practice don’t blame people that do and even infer that they are providing an inferior service. People wouldn’t keep coming back if they weren’t being served.

If you desire and can envision your practice growing it is time to look at the practicality of your goals. Does your office’s capacity support your vision?

Have a wonderful day!
I love and appreciate you.
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Dr. Sharon GormanDr. Sharon Gorman is a graduate of Life Chiropractic College. Upon graduation, she associated with her mentor Dr. James Sigafoose. She opened her own practice in June of 1985 and in 3 months was seeing over 100 patients a day. Within 4 years, she had established four chiropractic practices seeing combined over 5000 patients a month. Now, married with 4 children, she still practices part time and manages 3 successful practices. She is a speaker at Dynamic Essentials, New Beginnings, Parker Seminars and is the founder and hostess of the Focus Philosophy Weekends. Visit her website at: @ 8:24 am | Article ID: 1004631880