Improving Patient Flow in Queensland Public Hospitals



Hospital Emergency Departments (EDs) are designed and resourced to be the first point of call for patients requiring urgent medical care. Since 2011-12, demand for ED services in Australia has outpaced population growth – culminating in over 8.8 million ED patient presentations in 2020-2021. EDs are impacted by several significant challenges leading to delays in patient flow. While demand for ED services is a contributor – EDs do not operate in isolation and are impacted by factors across the entire health system.

EMF is collaborating with Queensland Health’s Healthcare Improvement Unit at Clinical Excellence Queensland on a large research program to find effective and evidence-based solutions to improve patient flow in Queensland’s public hospitals. The research program is jointly funded by EMF and Queensland Health and consists of two parallel approaches.


1. Study to analyse patient flow in Queensland Hospitals

EMF is inviting research teams to submit proposals for a broad, whole-of-system study to systematically establish the magnitude of factors leading to challenges with emergency access in Queensland public hospitals. The aim of the study is to establish an evidence base for factors leading to access block and use this evidence base to identify system-wide and local solutions to improve emergency access across the state. The findings will inform a set of recommendations to Queensland Health in implementing solutions that are practical and actionable.

Please refer to the Request for Submissions document below for more information and submission requirements. Proposals must be emailed to by 5pm on 27 June 2022. 

Request for Submissions


2. Special Funding Round 

EMF will run a competitive Special Funding Round to support clinician-led projects that aim to improve patient flow and reduce crowding across Queensland hospitals. Proposals may include the following:

  • Exploration into services and models across the continuum of care to ensure emergency patients are treated at the right time, in the right place and by the right health professional.
  • Targeted initiatives that focus on pre-hospital emergency care, the ED and intensive care to improve patient flow and streamline patient admission processes.
  • Broader, whole of hospital solutions than can be trialled in selected settings or in multi-centre collaborations between major tertiary hospitals as well as regional hospitals.
  • Technological solutions that can help identify and tackle delays in the patient journey (for example by providing real time analytics).

Funding Guidelines, application forms and timeline for the Special Funding Round will be published on this page early July 2022. Tentative closing date for Expressions of Interest is early August and for full applications mid September 2022.

Should you have any questions please contact the EMF Research Team on (07) 3720 5700 or email


Transforming Emergency Healthcare

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