Understanding Emergency Department Wait Times

In February 2009, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care wait times website expanded to include include Emergency Department wait time information, as part of the Ministry’s Emergency Department Reporting System requirements.

Provided on a monthly basis, the government’s wait times information will include LHSC’s three emergency departments: University Hospital, Victoria Hospital and Children’s Hospital.

In order to provide stakeholders with more up-to-date data and information regarding ED wait times, to demonstrate our leadership and accountability in respect to our work in the ED, and to better serve the community, LHSC ED wait time data will be provided daily, with explanatory information regarding the metrics and what LHSC is doing to address wait times.

London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is committed to excellence in patient safety and care, and transparency and accountability and welcomes the opportunity to participate in the Ministry’s public reporting initiative. The data provides yet another indicator for measuring and monitoring quality of care, examining our performance and continuously improving the care we provide our patients and the community.

LHSC Emergency Departments

Last year, there were over 146,000 visits to the University Hospital and Victoria Hospital Emergency Departments and the Children’s Hospital Emergency Department.

LHSC’s three emergency departments are open 24/7 to care for those in need of emergency medical treatment. As the largest hospital in the region and the regional trauma centre for other area hospitals whose patients require acute and critical care services, LHSC plays a crucial role in the health and well-being of patients from in and around London. Our priority has always been and will continue to be patient care and safety.

Patients in the emergency departments are assessed according to the five-level Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS) developed by the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP). This scale is used to identify patients’ needs for medical care to ensure the right level of care is received. A triage nurse will ask questions and determine the severity of symptoms and concerns. Patients are seen by a doctor in order of their need and not time or method of arrival.

When the emergency departments are extraordinarily busy and when our bed access situation is escalating, LHSC provides the public with this information in a timely manner.

London Health Sciences Centre is committed to providing patients with compassionate, high quality care. Our top priority is always the health and well-being of our patients.