Niagara Health creates online calculators for wait times at five separate emergency departments


By Don Redmond

Published on October 14, 2022 at 10:34 am

Wait times are probably the biggest concern of visiting a hospital emergency department in the past two years.

Will it take the medical staff an hour to see you? Four hours? Eight hours?

Niagara Health is trying to take that guesswork out with its online “stopwatches” that show wait times at five separate hospital emergency departments in St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland, Fort Erie and Port Colborne.

Simply call “Niagara Health” on your phone and among the options on the main page you will find current wait times for Niagara Health emergency departments and urgent care centers.

“Given heightened concerns about the transmissibility of COVID-19 and pressures on our emergency departments, we ask that you consider your health care options before going to the hospital for non-emergency issues,” indicates the site.

It shows patients not only the wait time, but also the number of people currently waiting in the emergency room, as well as the number of people being treated at that precise moment.

The site clarifies that “wait times here represent the current average time between assessment by a triage nurse and seeing a physician or nurse practitioner.”

He only notes: “Patients are seen on a priority basis, not on a first-come, first-served basis. This ensures that the sickest patients receive the care they need first, whether they arrive alone or by ambulance, and even if they arrive after other patients.

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