Associate Professor Katie Walker, Director of Emergency Medicine Research, FACEM

Associate Professor Walker has been widely published and research interests include medical workforce and doctor productivity, ambulance distribution, private emergency medicine, health economics and health policy, appropriate end-of-life care in emergency medicine patients, medical technology innovations and quality of care in emergency medicine. She sits on the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine Clinical Trials Network committee and is the Director of Emergency Medicine Research at Cabrini.

A/Prof Walker has introduced the role of the medical scribe to Cabrini and several other Victorian health services. She is director of the scribe program and has led a team of medical investigators since 2012, evaluating the concept of the medical scribe (or doctor’s clerical assistant). The team ran pilot studies at Cabrini using American scribes, demonstrating that doctors can see around 20 per cent more patients per hour if they are supported in this way.

The research also evaluated how to train scribes and run a scribe program outside the USA. Two studies were conducted to evaluate patient experiences around the use of scribes and the group demonstrated there was no negative impact on patients. It also evaluated the feelings of doctors towards working with scribes and found the vast majority were overwhelmingly positive about having a scribe work with them and would like to work with a scribe during every shift. The research team has recently completed this study, published in The BMJ, which showed that scribes increase emergency physician productivity, shorten patient stays in emergency departments and was safe. Economically, the role of the scribe was found to be cost-effective.

A/Prof Walker assists with medical education, teaching scribes, student doctors, emergency medicine trainees and provides continuing medical education to general practitioners and fellows of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM). Cabrini has recently introduced a new role of a research registrar, commencing in 2019, for emergency medicine advanced fellowship trainees. A/Prof Walker has also published case reports and is contributing to text-book chapters.


Dr Michael Ben-Meir, Director of Emergency Medicine, FACEM

Dr Ben-Meir is the Director of Emergency Medicine at Cabrini, the Chair of Governance of Safer Care Victoria’s emergency clinical care network and Chair of the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine’s private practice committee. Dr Ben-Meir has diverse research interests, including acupuncture and its role in emergency medicine, scribes and health workforce, private emergency medicine utilisation and capabilities, ambulance distribution and disaster management.

Dr Ben-Meir has been an integral part of the scribe research from the start of the project and a co-author on all scribe papers. Dr Ben-Meir is also interested in research into acupuncture to control pain in emergency medicine. He conducted a large multi-centre Australian emergency medicine acupuncture study, which was published in the MJA in 2017. He has been part of a team responsible for introducing and evaluating a follow-up phone call program for patients after they are discharged from Cabrini’s Alan, Ada and Eva Selwyn Emergency Department. He also has a higher degree in medical ethics.

Adjunct Assoc. Prof. Keith Joe, FACEM

Assoc. Prof Joe’s area of interest is body worn sensors. He is currently developing a wireless patch worn by patients that can monitor and transmit information such as heart rate and blood pressure in real time to attending doctors and nurses. This project has the potential to revolutionise early detection of patient deterioration in hospitals. A/Prof Joe holds joint faculty appointments at Monash University – at Monash Institute of Medical Engineering (MIME) and Monash Arts Design & Architecture (MADA). He is also the chair of the ACEM Emergency Department Design Working Group responsible for reviewing and publishing the design guidelines for emergency departments in Australasia. He also has an interest in how Emergency Physicians work.

Dr Christine Jackman, FACEM

Dr Jackman is a leader in clinical medical student education. She is currently evaluating the effectiveness of teaching medical students in our simulation centre in the Patricia Peck Education and Research Precinct. She has presented this work nationally. She has a higher research degree in medical education and recently published a case report about public food safety.

Dr Drew Brownlee, Dr Dane Horsfall, FACEM, Dr Sascha Mitkovski, FACEM & Dr Ian Turner, FACEM

These specialists undertake quality improvement projects, translating best research evidence from across the nation, into Cabrini day-to-day practice. They measure what we do, compare this with the best evidence we have, change our practice, if needed, and measure what we do again. For example, they have improved the care of our cardiac patients and our patients who are critically unwell with infections. Dr Turner is a co-author of two scribe papers to date and trains scribes, preparing them to work with emergency specialists.


Dr Hamish Rodda, FACEM

Dr Rodda is an integral part of our research team. He is the scribe team medical IT developer and has been an essential part of integrating scribes into our department


Ms Erin O’Callaghan, M.N. (Emergency)

Ms O’Callaghan is undertaking several studies currently regarding the quality of nursing care for our Emergency Patients.


Mr Shijie Ian Tan

Mr Tan is a Cabrini medical student who is assisting with a study to describe the research capacity of Emergency Departments across Australia and New Zealand being under taken in 2019.


Mr David Cui

Mr Cui is undertaking an investigation to determine exactly what emergency medicine patients need the day following their discharge home. He is our current Cabrini Medical Student Scholar (2019).

Dr Melanie Stephenson

Dr Stephenson is Cabrini’s Australasian College for Emergency Medicine research registrar trainee. She is spending 2019 undertaking research projects with Cabrini, to learn advanced clinical research skills as part of her emergency specialist training.