Ontario Wait Times

Ontario’s Emergency Room Wait Time Strategy

Reducing the time people spend in the ER is a complex health system issue. It cannot be solved by focusing on the hospital ER alone. Prompt emergency care requires making improvements across the entire system – from providing patients with information on alternative options where they can receive immediate, unscheduled health care to supporting timely discharge from the ER to a hospital bed, to home or to other appropriate care settings.

Ontario has a strategy to achieve this goal by:

Expanding Alternatives to ER Services

To help patients make appropriate health care choices and to ease pressures across the system, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is :

Increasing Capacity and Improving ER Processes

To help hospitals reduce the time patients spend in the ER and improve their admission and core operating processes, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is :

Faster Discharging for ALC Patients

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is supporting earlier discharges for ALC patients by :

Measuring and Reporting Patient Time Spent in ERs

Reporting time spent in ER information on this public website means that health care providers can track and assess :

Recent Initiatives

In addition to the initiatives announced through the Ontario government’s ER Strategy in May 2008, the government recently launched two more initiatives to improve ER performance and reduce the time patients spend in the ER :

Performance Management Approach

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is using a Performance Management Framework to help ensure that the goals of the ER Wait Time Strategy are achieved., The framework is supported by :

The first round of Quarterly Stocktake Reporting was completed in May 2009.

For More Information

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