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Ontario Wait Times

Emergency Room Wait Times - Emergency Room Targets

Ontario has set two provincial targets for the most favorable length of time within which a patient should spend in the ER. Clinical experts helped to develop these targets. The targets are a way for the Ontario government and ERs to be accountable to Ontarians for achieving results in reducing the total time spent in ERs. They are goals for hospitals and their ERs.

Total Time Spent in the ER: Time spent in the emergency room starts when a patient registers or is triaged (whichever comes first) until the patient is discharged or is admitted to a hospital bed. During that time emergency room doctors and nurses may be diagnosing or treating a patient's condition, ordering tests and waiting for results in order to determine the best course of treatment. Sometimes treatment for a condition requires admission to a hospital bed. This may mean that a patient spends time being cared for in the ER before a bed becomes available.

High Acuity Target

Low Acuity Target

9 out of 10 patients with complex conditions/requiring more time for diagnosis, treatment or hospital bed admission

9 out of 10 patients with minor or uncomplicated conditions/requiring less time for diagnosis, treatment or observation

Total Time Spent in ER Target:  no more than 8 hours in the ER from the time they arrive and register or are triaged to the time their visit is complete and they are discharged or admitted to hospital

Total Time Spent in ER Target:  no more than 4 hours in the ER from the time they arrive and register or are triaged to the time their visit is complete and they are discharged or admitted to hospital

For More Information

Call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-888-779-7767
(Toll-free in Ontario only)

E-mail : transforminghealth@moh.gov.on.ca

TTY 1-800-387-5559. In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
Hours of operation : 8:30am - 5:00p