Earlier this week, Saskatoon Health Region began posting emergency department wait times for adult non-urgent patients on its website.
“We are very pleased to finally see the times available online,” says Dr. James Stempien, Head of Emergency Medicine. “We have been working closely with the Region’s Information Technology staff for over a year to get it just right. However, we want to remind everyone that if you believe you are having an emergency, don’t wait. Call 911.”
The new wait times page is intended to provide the public with an estimate of the amount of time it will take for adult, non-urgent patients from registration to when they will see a physician at Saskatoon’s three hospital emergencies. It does not include the time it takes to be assessed or reflect the total length of a patient visit. To keep the wait times as accurate as possible, the site is updated automatically every 15 minutes.
“The wait times are really easy to understand and access on our website,” says Graham Blue, Director of Emergency. “You can find the link at the top of every page within our website, as well as every page on the mobile website, which is formatted for smaller screen use. The site also has information on how patients are triaged once they arrive in emergency.”
“The wait times page is intended to give patients and family a sense of what to expect when they arrive in emergency,” says Stempien. “As the webpage explains, the wait time shown is just an estimate and could change in a moment if a number of patients were to arrive in a short time frame or a major trauma arrives that requires immediate attention.”
The new webpage only shows estimated wait times for the adult emergency. Pediatric wait times use a different support process and are much less predictable so were not included at this time.
Below is a recently revised a poster that is used within the emergency department to explain triage and explain why some patients are seen faster than others.