What do Emergency Department wait times reflect?
Emergency Department wait times are an estimate of the time in hours to be triaged, registered and see a doctor or nurse practitioner.
How often are Emergency Department wait times refreshed?
Emergency Department wait times are refreshed every 30 minutes to provide patients and their loved ones with as timely and accurate information about wait times as possible.
Why are Emergency Department wait times always changing?
Demand for services in the Emergency Department can change very quickly depending on the number of patients arriving and their level of need. Incidents such as a serious accident or patients arriving with life or limb threatening injuries or illnesses can unexpectedly impact the wait times.
How will I be assessed for my turn to be seen?
The Emergency Department does not work on a first-come, first-served system. It’s important to know that critical patients will be seen first, whether they arrive on their own or via ambulance.
Upon arrival in the Emergency Department, you will be assessed using the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS). The CTAS is a tool used both nationally and internationally to allow emergency departments and their staff to prioritize patient care requirements. You will be seen by a doctor based on that assessment. In simple terms, the sickest patients will be seen most quickly.
Should I use the wait time to determine if I should come to the Emergency Department?
The online wait time tool is meant to give the public general information about current wait times at each of our hospital sites. This includes current pressures on the system in real time.
In the case of a serious emergency, please call 911.
If your medical problem isn’t urgent, you may want to consider alternatives other than the Emergency Department, such as a walk-in clinic, an Urgent Care Centre or scheduling an appointment to see your family doctor. Using any of these options for minor medical issues helps to alleviate pressure on Emergency Department and reduces wait times for everyone. Learn more about your other health care options.
The wait times on William Osler Health System’s website is not meant to be used as medical advice or a recommendation that you choose a specific Emergency Department or Urgent Care Centre.
Why is Osler making this information available to the public?
Wait times in our Emergency Departments are among the most frequently asked questions by our patients and families.
Sharing our wait time information reinforces our commitment to be transparent and accountable by communicating information in real time that will help those we serve make more informed and timely decisions about their care.