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 has invited 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.

Submissions are now closed and under review. Funding announcements will be made shortly.

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).

For this Special Funding Round, EMF is applying a two-step application process to support researchers and to reduce their workload. Expressions of Interest for the Special Funding Round are now closed and shortlisted applicants have been contacted by EMF and invited to submit a full application. Funding outcomes will be announced shortly.

Important dates (2022)

1 Aug
5 Sep
6-8 Sep
Mid-late Sep
31 Oct
1-4 Nov
Expressions of Interest open
Expressions of Interest close
Eligibility and compliance check (applicants need to be contactable)
Shortlisted applicants invited to submit full application
Full applications close
Eligibility and compliance check (applicants need to be contactable)
Announcement of funding outcomes


How to apply – Full Application Stage [applications now closed]

Step 1: read the guidelines


Download and read the guidelines for the Special Funding Round to ensure you meet the full eligibility criteria and for detailed information on completing your application.

Step 2: prepare the full application  

Full application TEMPLATE (WORD)  

You can use this template to build your application prior to submitting via our grant management platform, SmartyGrants.

Please note SmartyGrants is not Word compatible therefore the online grant application will need to be populated by copying the content into the online form.


EMF requires you to submit an Application Certification document with your application.

The Principal Investigator, the Head/s of Department/s (or equivalent) and the Administering Institution are required to sign the Application Certification Document which must be uploaded with the application.

Step 3: lodge the application  


EMF uses SmartyGrants to process your application. Shortlisted applicants will receive an email with a link to access the full application on SmartyGrants.


This SmartyGrants Help Guide explains the steps you need to take to complete and submit your grant application


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


Transforming Emergency Healthcare

2021 – 2022 Annual Report now available online

View Online
CONTACT US +61 7 3720 5700 Suite 1B, Terraces, 19 Lang Parade, Milton Qld 4064