This morning I revisited something I wrote about in the forums a year and a half ago. Back then I said that it felt like the capacity of WCA topped out at about 80%, meaning that once we filled about 80% of our slots it became increasingly hard to fill the remainder because it got increasingly harder for patients to find open slots that met their time constraints. (This is a variation of the difficulties one faces when moving at speeds close to the speed of light. .)
When I first wrote this some folks had slightly different percentages for their clinics. Makes sense- results will vary.
As some folks here know last fall WCA hired three new Punks to expand our capacity. (We have this huge warehouse space.) Now we didn't hire them on for full-time right away; we've been gradually increasing their hours. One of them is now full-time, which we define as 20 hours/week and the other two are at 16 hours/week, soon to be 20. Last week WCA saw 411 patient visits. 411 visits translates into 68% of the total slots being filled. Every day was filled to between 61% to 83%, with Sunday actually completely 100% filling up. So I reckon we have some growing capacity still. Good.
We strongly feel that patients need to be seen often AND at the same time a community setting benefits greatly by being at least partially full. So there's that balance of what I figure to be between 55%-85% of capacity, preferably closer to the higher end, that is ideal. In figuring out how many hours a clinic should be open I think its important to be open only enough hours so that your available slots fill up at between 55%-85% of capacity. If you are at your clinic more than that it will feel to the patients as too quiet, too vacant and that's not good. Patients actually do like having other patients around, even if at first they may not know that. On the other hand if you are pushing 80% capacity its time to either expand your hours or hire someone. That's a whole other kettle of fish.