Criteria Led Discharge from Emergency Department Short Stay Unit

Grant ID: EMPF-05R02-2022-CHRISTIE

Project Summary

The Emergency Department Short stay unit (EDSSU) is used to facilitate flow through the Emergency department (ED) for patients requiring further investigations, treatment or period of observations, with the likely disposition of home. Current access block issues and increasing patient presentations means the SSU is consistently full, with multiple patients waiting to be transferred to this unit. Furthermore, limited medical staffing with only one junior doctor to follow up on these patients creates an exit block during periods of increased activity. Criteria Led discharge (CLD) is a proposed strategy that allows for safe and timely discharge of patients by nursing staff from the EDSSU once diagnosis-specific criteria have been met without the need for final medical review. Post initial assessment and investigations, medical staff can identify specific patient cohorts for the CLD pathway. Nursing staff can then discharge patients once criteria is met. CLD is not a new concept; being used among wards and paediatric centres statewide, however it has not been utilised within the adult emergency space in Queensland to the best of our knowledge. This process will decrease length of stay (LOS) within the ED and EDSSU, increasing patient satisfaction with the healthcare service, redirecting medical resources allowing medical staff to prioritise acute patient presentations or perform critical emergency procedures, and alleviate pressures created by medical sick leave when no residents can be allocated to SSU as nursing staff can manage and discharge this cohort of patients using the CLD pathway.



- Christie, J., Redcliffe Research Symposium, 2023.


Amount Awarded


Grant Scheme


Principal Investigator:
Ms Jessica Christie

Co Investigators:


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