Patients who are heading to emergency rooms at five Vancouver Coastal Health Authority hospitals can now go online or by phone to check in real time how long it will take to see a doctor.
The Emergency Department Wait Times Dashboard at www.edwaittimes.ca, provides average waiting times to see a triage nurse and the average time to see a doctor at Vancouver General Hospital, St. Paul's Hospital, Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, Lions Gate Hospital and Richmond Hospitals. Average times are updated every 5 minutes.
According to the website, critically ill patients are not included because they are always seen immediately. Ambulance staff can also use this website to guide them in taking patients to hospitals. This website allows patients with non-critical illnesses to see which emergency department has the shortest waiting time to see a doctor.
Although it is the first of its kind in British Columbia, similar dashboards list emergency room waiting times in Calgary, Edmonton and Kitchener in Canada and throughout the States.