HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOMS MISS CRITICAL WAIT TIME CRITERIA ALMOST ALL OF THE TIME: STAR REPORT

Jan 28, 2016

By Jane Brown

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It seems very few patients who need critical care in Greater Toronto hospital emergency rooms are getting treatment within an acceptable wait period.

A report in the Toronto Star says people deemed to be at the second highest priority level, (with conditions such as a severe asthma attack or drug overdose), were seen by a doctor within the recommended time frame of 15 minutes only ten percent of the time.

This data comes from the 2014-15 fiscal year from the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

Wait times were established 18 years ago by the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, based on what emergency experts would want for themselves and their families. The guidelines are updated every two years.

These latest findings show little progress has been made in shortening the time it takes to first see an ER physician since the release of a critical 2010 report by auditor general Jim McCarter. His in depth look at three ERs, two of them in the GTA, found that level 2 and 3 patients sometimes waited more than six hours after triage before being seen by an emergency room doctor, instead of the recommended 15 to 30 minutes.

Listen for more on this story on Zoomer Radio’s Goldhawk Fights Back, after today’s 11am news.

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