Why systems design and scenario planning are important

The design of the laboratory human resource management system became exceptionally important when the government initiative was announced to increase funding and support for organ donation in Victoria. A significant funding boost was made for recovery teams  in hospitals leading to a significant increase in the number of organs available for donation and transplant.

While this led to a much-needed increase in the number of organs available, little forward  planning or modelling been done on the downstream impact on the infrastructure (such as a tissue typing labs) that was necessary to support such increases in organ donation, .

With a model such as one that was developed for the tissue typing lab, it is possible to run scenarios on increased volumes through the system and look at the staffing requirements to deal with these increased volumes and make the necessary submissions to government for increased funding.

Like the situation outlined in the hospital, bottlenecks in the tissue typing labs as result of staffing shortages can completely nullify increases in donation rates at the front end system.

Public policy initiatives abound in cases such as this, where the front of the system is given increased funding in capability without the downstream infrastructure being supported.