The Emergency Department Wait Times Dashboard at http://www.edwaittimes.ca/. provides average waiting times at Vancouver General, St. Paul’s, Mount Saint Joseph, Lions Gate and Richmond hospitals.
The website shows the average waiting time to see a triage nurse and the average time to see a doctor. Average times are updated every five minutes.
Critically ill patients are not included because they’re always seen immediately, according to the website.
Although it’s the first of its kind in B.C., similar dashboards list emergency room waiting times in Calgary, Edmonton and Kitchener in Canada and throughout the U.S.
The smartphone-friendly website is a pilot project of Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care. It may be expanded to other urban centres and health regions in B.C.
Dr. Eric Grafstein, regional head of emergency medicine for VCH, said in a news release that three-quarters of all emergency visits are walk-ins. The website allows patients with non-critical illnesses to see which emergency department has the shortest waiting time to see a doctor.
BC Ambulance staff can also use the website to guide them in taking patients to hospitals.