We are the only Australian organisation dedicated to driving, coordinating and supporting multi-disciplinary emergency medicine research and its translation. We also actively engage in educational and promotional activities to help translate research outcomes into real and practical benefits, which help save lives in medical emergencies.
We support emergency health professionals – doctors, nurses, paramedics, retrieval staff and allied health professionals – to design, execute and translate world-leading research into more cost-effective healthcare delivery. Through our work, we also support and collaborate with hospitals, patients, governments and corporates as well as the wider community.
Every day, emergency medicine staff face time and resource challenges that need to be overcome to improve patient experiences and outcomes. EMF prioritises this research to deliver demonstrable benefits to patients, staff and hospitals, and we educate and support emergency department staff to translate research outcomes into practice.To make this happen, we embed translation processes into our research programs and actively engage in educational and promotional activities to help transfer research into real and practical benefits in medical emergencies.
Since our launch in 2007 – with the support of the Queensland Government – EMF has established a reputation for delivering rapid results and high-impact outcomes from emergency medicine research.
We rely on government funding and donations from organisations and individuals to support our research programs. EMF is a non-profit organisation with charitable, health promotion and deductible gift recipient (DGR) status.
The Emergency Medicine Foundation grew out of the Queensland Emergency Medicine Research Foundation (QEMRF). QEMRF was established on 23 October 2007 as a Queensland Government response to broader issues of high workloads in Emergency Departments and the increasing demands of treating large numbers of critically ill patients. At the time, Queensland emergency medicine doctors forfeited further salary negotiations in exchange for funding to conduct emergency medicine research. QEMRF was given the mission to conduct and facilitate research that improves the practice of Emergency Medicine in Queensland. It was intended that through the creation of new research capability and capacity in Queensland, it would stimulate a more intellectually challenging environment that would contribute toward the attraction and retention of specialists in Emergency Medicine in Queensland and particularly in Queensland’s public hospital system.
In October 2014, QEMRF founded the Emergency Medicine Foundation to raise funding nationally for research projects and education campaigns to support emergency medicine. In 2016, the Board made the strategic decision to merge the two companies.
Streamlining our operations under one brand has created economies of scale, and reduced administrative costs also reduced confusion in the marketplace to help create a strengthened, cohesive national brand. We continue to run our dedicated Queensland Research Program and are looking to replicate this model in other States and Territories as well as developing national research programs aligned with Australian health priorities.
The following individuals and organisations were instrumental in negotiating and establishing our Foundation:
Emergency medicine – and the whole health system – is facing huge challenges. EMF is delivering a very big part of the answer to these challenges.
An economic analysis of two projects funded by EMF found they could generate health economic benefits around Australia of more than $418 million. Life-saving research into rapidly assessing cardiac chest pain has a projected annual benefit of $400 million nationwide from an investment of $1.1 million. Meanwhile, research that identified ways to halve IV failure rates by using medical-grade super glue has a projected annual benefit of $18 million to hospitals, from a $50,000 grant.
Helping children breathe easier faster
EMF has invested nearly $200,000 in pilot studies to assess a new therapy for treating infants with respiratory infections in the emergency department. The researchers found the treatment could reduce admissions to ICU and had the potential to reduce healthcare costs associated with the illness by 30%. One of the hospitals involved in the studies has reported savings of $1.2 million per year for their instition alone. The therapy is being evaluated in an NHMRC-funded trial across 17 centres in Australia and New Zealand.
Aged care research transforms clinical policy
An EMF-funded research project into aged care in emergency departments resulted in a suite of field-tested, feasible, evidence-based indicators to support the measurement of quality of care for elderly patients. These helped to revise Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) policy for care of older persons in ED, which will improve clinical practice, reducing recurring hospital admissions and decrease length of stays.
Fast-tracking surgery for road crash victims
Queensland’s ambulance and helicopter retrieval paramedics are using hand-held ultrasound equipment to quickly detect critical internal injuries in an Australian-first trial funded by EMF. The research findings are enabling critically ill patients to be rapidly assessed and head straight to surgery.
To help build inter-agency relations and research collaboration opportunities, in 2016-17, EMF became an Associate Member of the Queensland Alliance for Mental Health (QAMH) – the main body representing the mental health sector in Queensland; and an Associate Member of Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), which is the national peak body representing and supporting providers of age services across residential care, home care and retirement living.
EMF is a non-profit organisation who receives ongoing funding for our research programs from the Queensland Government, corporations and the general public. As an organisation, we work hard to keep our administrative costs low. We are grateful to the many emergency medicine professionals who volunteer their time and expertise.