Reducing emergency department demand focus for latest EMF grant recipients

EMF has awarded seven new grants worth $347,538 to fund emergency medicine research projects led by Queensland doctors, thanks to funding from Queensland Health.

The new projects could lead to better patient care as well as significant improvements in healthcare services, with the potential to reduce demand on Australian emergency departments, according to EMF General Manager, Beth Chapman.

“Regional hospitals will benefit strongly from this latest EMF grant round,” said Ms Chapman.

“Our largest grant was awarded to Dr Rose Jones from Ipswich Hospital, who is looking at the non-urgent cases seen in regional hospital emergency departments, which could be managed by other health services.

“A key outcome from this project will be a draft strategy to provide a regional solution.”

Dr Jones is collaborating with clinicians at Gatton and Toowoomba hospitals as well as researchers from The University of Tasmania and the University of Southern Queensland.

In Toowoomba, Emergency Staff Specialist Dr Alex King is also looking to reduce the load on regional emergency departments.

Dr King is leading a multi-site study in collaboration with the University of Southern Queensland, which he hopes will see fewer patients presenting to emergency departments with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The research could lead to an integrated model of healthcare for COPD patients.

Also in regional Queensland, Mackay Hospital’s Dr Sarah Boxall is collaborating with researchers from Central Queensland University and James Cook University, to investigate the impact of imaging referral guidelines.  The team hopes the project will lead to a fall in the number of unnecessary x-rays ordered and reduced patient radiation exposure. This is the first Mackay Hospital research project to receive an EMF grant.

In Brisbane, Professor Louise Cullen is leading a team at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and The University of Queensland to investigate the incidence of patients presenting to emergency with complications due to a medication error. The research could lead to a more integrated healthcare system and fewer patients suffering from medication-related harm.

Other new projects include an evaluation of a new tool for identifying patients at risk who present to the emergency department experiencing ‘syncope’ or fainting; a potential point-of-care test for treating brown snake bite victims; and a better method for diagnosing and treating dermatology patients.

The next EMF grant round opens on the 12th February.


EMF Queensland Research Program Round 28 grant recipients

Principal investigator Project title Site Amount
Dr Rose Jones Developing a regional strategy for reducing non-urgent emergency department presentations


Ipswich  Hospital $69,603
Dr Alex King Reducing avoidable COPD emergency presentations: An integrated cross-health service initiative


Toowoomba Hospital $67,000
Dr Jason Chan Single centre validation of the Canadian Syncope Risk Score


Redcliffe Hospital $59,804
Dr Sarah Boxall The impact of imaging referral guidelines on unnecessary x-ray examinations


Mackay Hospital $57,093
Dr Adam Holyoak Examining the effectiveness of Brown snake antivenom


The Townsville Hospital $46,000
Professor Louise Cullen Medication-related emergency department presentations


Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital $31,410
Dr Tina Bazianas Dermatology  in  the  Emergency Department


Princess Alexandra Hospital $16,448


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