This morning I heard on our local radio station that the local hospital administrators were scrambling and in some cases canceling operations because of a shortage of acute care beds, primarily because of a lack of long-term care facilities in the community or community services where people could be cared for at home. (When I agreed to prostate removal surgery I was given a one page notice that if scheduled, my surgery could be cancelled with as little as 24 hours notice)
I was thinking about this and all of the many "factors" involved and the "random/statistical" distribution of arrivals at emergency, high-priority surgeries identified, surgeon availability, etc., etc. (the number of factors could be mind boggling) So I'm thinking that the "false economy" of strangling almost all aspects of the health care chain "probably" sub-optimizes throughput capacity and maximizes costs. So I'm thinking that "IF" they had a model that simulated the "system" they could see things like an optimal capacity at each "point" or node and where the most critical strangulation is appearing (high leverage point?)
I think that SD modeling is an appropriate methodology to allow for far more effective decision making. My - uninformed - impression is that the "administrators" are just constantly reacting to cost pressures from the government and everyone is playing pass-the-buck and pointing fingers at each other. For example, there is a "local health integration network" http://www.southwestlhin.on.ca/ whose role seems quite nebulous, but a hospital administrator said "I hope the LHIN can assist us" and the LHIN administrator essentially said, "the hospital is on its own."
I'm in the process of composing a letter to - oh, EVERYBODY! - strongly urging looking at Structured Thinking/SD modeling, etc., so that they can make optimal decisions and not just flail around maximizing costs and minimizing delivery.
My initial googling indicates that this is not unheard of!
I'll post the letter when I eventually get it composed and have identified "enough" recipients (victims!)