Emergency department waiting time predictions in real-time

Grant ID: EMJS-343R33-2020-STAIB

Project Summary

Emergency department (ED) waiting times are a significant predictor of the patient experience.

Simple prediction methods, such as rolling average, are used by hospitals in Australia to predict waiting time for patients. Although this approach is inexpensive to implement, the forecasts have limited accuracy and consequently most Australian hospital EDs do not report expected waiting times to the public.

A solution that is capable of sourcing data from ED information systems and feed it into prediction models to generate waiting time forecasts would bring practical benefits for staff and patients. There is also potential to assist clinicians and nurses to estimate demand for care and calibrate workflow.

For patients, the knowledge may reduce anxiety associated with uncertainty about the waiting time and reduce the number of patients who leave before treatment.

This project aims to use advanced statistical models and machine-learning algorithms to capture dynamic fluctuations in waiting time, to implement and validate the prediction performance of these models. The project will also build ED research capacity by educating staff on forecast modelling and data management techniques.

Leveraged Funds

- UQ HaBS Early Career Researcher Accelerator Award, 2022: $10,000



- Pak, A., Should I stay or should I go? How can Emergency Department waiting time forecasts benefit patients? (poster presentation). Health Consumers Queensland Annual Forum 2022, Brisbane. 13-14th October 2022.

- Staib, A., ED Waiting Time Predictions (oral presentation). Australian College of Emergency Medicine, 17th Annual Queensland Autumn Symposium, Brisbane. 26th May 2022.


- Metro South Health website story, 18/8/2022, ED secures funding support from Emergency Medicine Foundation in competitive research grant round

- 4BC (plus 7 regional Queensland stations), 5/11/20, Patients with minor injuries could soon see which hospital would be able to treat them... Audience 25,000

- WIN News, 5/11/20, 90sec interview with CI Pak

- ABC North West Radio, 5/11/20, interview with CI Pak


Amount Awarded


Grant Scheme


Principal Investigator:
Dr Andrew Staib

Co Investigators:
Dr Anton Pak
Dr Kelly Trinh
Prof Navonil Mustafee
Dr Rob Eley
Prof Brenda Gannon


Collaborating Institutions

CONTACT US +61 7 3720 5700 info@emfoundation.org.au Suite 1B, Terraces, 19 Lang Parade, Milton Qld 4064