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The dedicated area in a public hospital that is organised and administered to provide emergency care to those in the community who perceive the need for or are in need of acute or urgent care.

The emergency department must be part of a hospital and be licensed or otherwise recognised as an emergency department by the appropriate state or territory authority.

An emergency department provides triage, assessment, care and/or treatment for patients suffering from medical condition(s) and/or injury.


Emergency department care.


This glossary term has been defined to support the National Minimum Data Set - Non-admitted patient emergency department care. It is not intended as a definitive statement of the role or purpose of an emergency department.

The national definition of an emergency department and the care that is provided in an emergency department is characterised by jurisdictional and local differences. For example, there is no national agreement on the identification and classification of emergency department-related settings such as observation units, short stays units, or the use of 'admitted patient beds' located in an emergency department setting.
Emergency department is therefore defined as a concept, and not necessarily as a physical premises, setting or site.


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