Photo: Andrea Hetherington and her colleagues at The Prince Charles Hospital are among four research teams investigating how to improve waiting times in Queensland emergency departments.
Research teams are examining ways to combat ambulance ramping and access block issues in Queensland public hospitals, thanks to a special funding round from Emergency Medicine Foundation (EMF).
Grants totaling more than $320,000 have been awarded to four research teams at Metro North Hospital and Health Service (HHS), Metro South HHS, and the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS), to investigate factors hampering effective and timely assessment and treatment of patients in Queensland public hospitals and their emergency departments (ED).
The grants are part of a special EMF funding program, Improving Patient Flow in Queensland Public Hospitals, which also encompasses a separate major multi-agency research study, and is funded in partnership with Queensland Health’s Healthcare Improvement Unit at Clinical Excellence Queensland.
EMF Board Chair Prof Hugh Grantham ASM said the research comes at a critical time to assist Queensland EDs to meet increased demand while continuing to deliver excellent patient care and outcomes.
“It is no secret emergency departments and clinicians are under immense pressure across the state, but they continue to do a fantastic job delivering life-saving treatment every single day.
“The system needs to support our clinicians and patients to ensure everyone who needs emergency care receives it, when they need it, unimpeded by process or issues unrelated to their treatment. The best way to inform any changes is through evidence-based research, involving those on the frontline who see the challenges first-hand,” he said.
Prof Grantham said the research projects took innovative approaches to help expedite patient flow and reduce unnecessary hospital admissions.
“Effective patient flow is influenced by a whole range of factors, and it is not just limited to what happens in the ED.
“From the treatment paramedics provide in the ambulance before arriving at the ED, or clinicians determining whether a patient can be treated short-term in the ED or requires admission to the ward, to deciding when to discharge a patient for supervised recovery at home – everything has the potential to affect patient flow and access.
“The projects selected for EMF grant funding span this vast array of considerations and hold potential for significant impact,” Prof Grantham said.
Researchers presented the scope and initial insights of their projects at the 2023 EMF Symposium Improving Patient Flow in Queensland Public Hospitals on Wednesday 8 March 2023 in Brisbane.
Principal Investigator (PI)
|Ms Andrea Hetherington||Paeds with a wheeze – Improving patient flow with Nurse Led Stretching of Inhaled Salbutamol (NLSIS)||The Prince Charles Hospital||$70,904|
|Ms Jessica Christie||Criteria Led Discharge from Emergency Department Short Stay Unit||Redcliffe Hospital||$25,873|
|A/Prof Manaan Kar Ray||SAFE STEPS – SAFE and Seamless Transition through Enhanced Proactive Support||Princess Alexandra Hospital||$200,000|
|Dr Wayne Loudon||optimiSed PAtient Flow using prEhoSpital Triage (safest)||Queensland Ambulance Service||$24,368|