Patients can now check Emergency Department Wait Times online. Timmins and District Hospital unveiled a new Emergency Department wait-time tool on Monday, November 18, 2019 that lets patients know how long it will be before they get to see a doctor in the Emergency Department.
Accessible through the hospital’s website at https://tadh.com/er-wait-times, the feature allows patients considering a trip to the Emergency Department to see how crowded the Emergency Department waiting room is and the average wait time. In addition to showing the average wait times, the tool shows how many patients are currently in treatment and how many are waiting for treatment in the waiting room. With information updated every 15 minutes, patients can also see whether times are increasing or decreasing over the next few hours.
“We don’t want to discourage patients from coming to the Emergency Department, however, this tool will assist in determining when to go into the ED for non-urgent care“ said Natalie Carle, Director of Clinical Services at the Timmins and District Hospital.
Arming patients with information on how long they can expect to wait is a good thing, she said. “Hopefully, it will alleviate some stresses for patients.”
Unlike a walk-in clinic, you are not seen in order of arrival, but based on the urgency of your need. Urgent patients will be seen according to priority. Estimated wait times are approximate and can change very quickly.
Wait times are estimated from the moment the non-urgent patients are registered to when they enter the department. They do not include the time it takes to be assessed by a physician nor does it reflect the total length of stay of a visit. Due to rapidly changing demands, and the need to see the sickest patient first, your own wait time may be more or less than the time displayed here.
“We realize that visiting the Emergency Department is a stressful experience and we understand that people are often anxious about the wait times. In keeping with Timmins and District Hospital’s vision of providing exemplary care to Northerners, we are pleased to share with you the Emergency Department wait-time tool” said Kim Bazinet, Manager of Emergency Department at the Timmins and District Hospital.
The ER wait-time tracker may also help reduce wait times by encouraging patients to visit other alternatives to the Emergency Department. The top question asked to the registration clerks in the Emergency Department is “How long the wait will be?” Patients will now know that before they come through the doors. An additional monitor will soon be added in the Emergency Department to inform patients of wait-times and the number of patients waiting to be seen.
The new Emergency Department wait-time tracker is offered to arm patients with information; it is not to discourage patients from coming to the Emergency Department.
The feature also lists alternatives to an Emergency Department room visit, like the locations of walk-in clinics and the number for Telehealth Ontario, where residents can talk to a nurse over the phone.
Emergency Department Wait Times are also reported by The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care at https://www.ontario.ca/page/wait-times-ontario using a system implemented in over 100+ hospitals across Ontario. The information for “time spent in the Emergency Department” is the maximum time nine out of ten Ontarians spend in the Emergency Department and is measured from the time patients register or initially see a triage nurse (who assesses the level of urgency for treatment), until the time the patient leaves the Emergency Department (either to go home or to be admitted to the hospital).
*Please note, the Emergency Department information on the Ministry’s site is not real-time information and should not be used to assess the time you may spend in the ED or waiting to be seen. If you believe you need immediate emergency care, please go to your nearest Emergency Department.
The Timmins and District Hospital (TADH) is a level B, fully accredited community, referral and teaching hospital serving the residents of the City of Timmins and Cochrane District as well as the adjoining areas of the Temiskaming, Sudbury and Algoma districts. The hospital offers a full range of medical, surgical, critical care, maternity, newborn, pediatric, long-term care, mental health and diagnostic imaging services.