To determine the impact of the emergency physiotherapy service provided through different models of care on service quality indicators, patient flow, staff and patient satisfaction. A mixed method prospective observation study was conducted between September 2014 and April 2015 in 19 EDs where a physiotherapy service is provided. Patients seen by the primary contact physiotherapist (PCP) were associated with a significant reduction in ED length of stay by 108 min, wait time to treatment by 10 min (n = 4 EDs) and time-to-first analgesia by 18 min (n = 19 EDs) compared to those seen through usual care processes. Patients who received care by a doctor first and then physiotherapist (secondary contact model) had a prolonged length of stay compared to other care pathways. High levels of satisfaction with the PCP role were expressed by ED staff (n = 17 EDs) and patients (n = 19 EDs). More than 95% of patients who received care by PCP were satisfied with the management of their condition, understood the advice and discharge information provided and had enough time to ask questions. ED implementation of the PCP model may improve patient flow and efficiency of clinical skill utilisation in a complex, high demand workplace. © 2019 Australasian College for Emergency Medicine.