When you go to an ER, you will either be registered or triaged. “Triage” is a medical term that refers to the process of sorting people who go to the ER into groups, based on their need for, or the likelihood that, they will benefit from immediate medical treatment. A nurse, specially trained in emergency care, handles the triage process. This process makes sure that people who are in the most urgent need of care get seen first.
“Emergency Room Wait Times” means how long an ER patient spends in the ER. This length of time starts when an ER patient is either triaged or registered in the ER. It ends when that patient is either admitted to hospital or discharged (e.g., to return home or to be admitted to another health care facility like a rehab hospital).
How long you may have to spend in the Emergency Room may include the time for :
If the treatment for your condition means that you have to be admitted to hospital, you will need to continue receiving care in the ER until a hospital inpatient bed becomes available.
The information on this website can help you get a sense of how long you can expect to spend in an ER. Please note that this website does not have “real time” information (i.e., it cannot tell you how long you can expect to wait in an ER today – but it can tell you what the ER wait times were a month ago).
At www.ontario.ca/healthcareoptions, you can also find information about other options, (e.g., Urgent Care Centres, walk-in clinics, etc) that are available in your area, instead of going to the ER.
Here are some things to consider when you believe you need to seek emergency care.