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Dr. April Kam
January 8, 2020

Hamilton hospitals now posting emergency wait times online

Beginning today, residents in the Hamilton and surrounding area have access to a real-time view of wait times for the city’s emergency departments (ED) and urgent care centres (UCC).

Wait times information for each of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s and Hamilton Health Sciences’ EDs and UCCs are available at HamiltonEmergencyWaitTimes.ca.

The data reflects the average length of time it will take for a patient to see a doctor or nurse practitioner from the time of registration to triage. The wait times are based on the previous six-hour period and will be automatically updated every 15 minutes.

“We’re pretty excited that we can offer this to patients,” says Dr. Greg Rutledge, chief of emergency medicine, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. “Patients and families routinely ask how long it will take until they see a doctor. Now they’ll have a better sense of that with up to date information while they wait. It’s a good way to share that information to offer some comfort in a stressful time.”

Rutledge stresses that the wait time information is to help build understanding, and not to choose which location to go to for treatment. He says that should be based on their condition and how urgent the situation is. Anyone who thinks they are experiencing an emergency should always call 9-1-1 immediately.

“Sharing wait time information supports a more informed, empowered patient journey.”

In addition to wait times, the website includes information about the type of care provided at an ED and UCC, as well as other healthcare options available in the city.

“We want our patients to understand the range of healthcare options available to them, and to be able to prepare for their visit accordingly,” says Dr. Kuldeep Sidhu, chief of emergency medicine at HHS. “Sharing wait time information supports a more informed, empowered patient journey.”

This initiative delivers on recommendations from the Ontario Government to provide greater transparency and digital tools for patients.

To see the emergency and urgent care wait times, go to HamiltonEmergencyWaitTimes.ca.

Wait times are available for the following sites:

Emergency Departments:

  • St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s Charlton Campus
  • Hamilton Health Sciences’ Juravinski Hospital
  • Hamilton Health Sciences’ Hamilton General Hospital
  • Hamilton Health Sciences’ McMaster Children’s
  • Hamilton Health Sciences’ West Lincoln Memorial Hospital

Urgent Care Centres:

  • St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s King Campus & Urgent Care Centre
  • Hamilton Health Sciences’ West End Clinic & Urgent Care Centre