Redesigning workflow and staff competencies to deal with staff shortages in a regional laboratory
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The effect of the pathology workforce crisis on the pathology industry has been widely discussed (Legg 2008). However pathology testing is becoming more critical in the diagnosis and monitoring of disease in an ageing population (Australian Medical Association 2011). There are currently staff shortages in specific regions and areas of practice (Legg 2008). These include remote and rural regions and with multi-disciplinary staff. Providing an out of hours service can be expensive in terms of the cost of the call out or shifts as well as having sufficient well trained staff to provide the service. This begs the question as to whether there is a need to provide the service or a need to have the current staff provide that service. There is no doubt that the technology to provide and monitor the testing has changed and as the costs of service provision increase there is a need to analytically review the totality of the service.
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