Developing a regional strategy for reducing non-urgent emergency department presentations

Grant ID: EMSS-358R28-2017

Project Summary

Many people who attend hospital emergency departments (EDs) are triaged as having non-urgent concerns, which could be managed by other health services such as the GP. The way regional health services are designed can contribute to the rate of non-urgent presentations in EDs. The impact of non-urgent patients in EDs can result in crowding, ambulance diversion and access block, which are linked to poorer patient outcomes, increased morbidity and staff burnout. While some recognition of this problem exists nationally, many policies or strategies implemented to reduce the incidence of these presentations have not been evidence-based, effective or economically evaluated. We aim to develop a draft regional strategy for reducing non-urgent presentations in emergency.

Prior research on this project was funded by La Trobe University ($20,000), the Clifford Craig Medical Research Trust ($5000) and a University of Tasmania Scholarship ($5000).


The project was halted after 436 surveys were collected. Data from the surveys is currently being analysed.


Darling Downs Hospital Innovation and Research Committee Showcase 2018: Nicholas Ralph, "Why are we waiting? Understanding causes of non-urgent emergency presentations”



Amount Awarded


Grant Scheme

Not complete

Principal Investigator:
Dr Rose Jones

Co Investigators:
A/Prof Nicholas Ralph
Prof Leigh Kinsman


Collaborating Institutions


  • UTAS research findings: Research uncovers reasons behind Tasmanian emergency department traffic

  • CONTACT US +61 7 3112 8668 Suite 1A 34 Sherwood Road Toowong, Qld 4066