Everyone’s a Winner: A design better than we’ve ever done before

Mrs Nerys Brackman1,2

1Queensland Health, Caboolture, Australia, 2The University of Queensland, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work , St Lucia, Australia


The current project has used best practice guidelines, data analysis and site visits to develop planning for an interim extension and a complete new build of a Metropolitan Emergency Department.


To create an Emergency Department design that focused on improving time to treatment by optimising design and supporting flow whilst continuing to foster the unique staff culture and team dynamics.


Presentation data was collected from 2015-2017, American analytic firm – Huddy Health Care Solutions was hired by MNHHS as an ED design Consultant to deliver operational and design insights to the hospital design, project and infrastructure team.  Following the collection of analytics and prior to a joint workshop at Caboolture Hospital with Queensland Health architects, three members of the ED Management Team visited five US Emergency facilities recommended by Huddy for their unique design and/or flow. To evaluate each facility and capture design ideas we developed an evaluation tool and used real time video reflective ethnography.


In collaboration with Huddy, architects engaged by Qld Health, ED clinicians, Caboolture project team and Metro North Infrastructure a unique design and patient flow model was delivered.  The design and model of care incorporates a Pivot/Intake model to quickly stream patients to their correct area, decrease frustrating waits and safely manage the largest cohort of ATS 3 patients who have historically waited in an undifferentiated state with the greatest risk of deterioration outside of a clinical space.  Our design has standardised all clinical spaces to allow for greater flexibility based on departmental demand.


Caboolture Hospital Emergency Department is the first ED in Australia to have used the innovation and experience of Jon Huddy. This has allowed us to develop a design which meets our brief of maintaining staff culture, improving flow; and outcomes for our community.


My nursing career spans over 25 years within the public sector and I have worked in a variety of clinical settings. I have over 17 years’ front-line experience as an Emergency Department nurse at all clinical levels, often in very challenging clinical and social surroundings, and I fully understand the Emergency Department environment and the pressures that staff face.  My current role is as the Nursing Director of Caboolture Emergency Department, Woodford Correctional Facility and Kilcoy Hospital.   My passions lie in clinical innovation in the developing workplace, team work, integrity and improving patient outcomes.