Looking for which emergency room is the least busy in your area? Don’t be fooled by the occupancy rate statistic, which only takes stretchers into account. Fortunately, some establishments have taken the initiative to make public the waiting time to see a doctor in the emergency room, but the information is not widely known or available everywhere.
For example, in early October at Portneuf’s Saint-Raymond hospital, the waiting time for outpatients – those who arrive on their own and are not hospitalized – exceeded eight hours, according to information gathered. However, the occupancy rate displayed on the Index Santé website was only 14%.
“The occupancy rate represents the traffic for customers installed on stretchers compared to the number of functional stretchers and not the traffic in the outpatient sector of the Emergency Department (waiting room). There is no direct link between the occupancy rate on a stretcher and the number of people present in the waiting room ”, explains Robert Maranda, media relations of the MSSS.
Index Santé, which is independent of the government, emphasizes the use of data from the Provincial Emergency Consul (CPU). The latter collects data from all emergencies in near real time using information from a variety of emergency management software, the MSSS explains on its website.
Health Index “recommends that you consult this page (occupation of emergencies) to choose one emergency over another”. But the government, on the Data Quebec website, offers a link to Index Santé and writes that “the goal is to find the emergency room less crowded.”
The secret seems well guarded, but these figures are published by some institutions.
The CHU de Québec, which brings together five hospitals in the national capital, does so “on the initiative of the establishment”, explains its spokesman Bryan Gélinas.
On Statistics.chudequebec.ca, the institute clearly publishes the data for each of its hospitals, updated every five minutes.
Yesterday at 2:15 pm, for example, the CHU had 45 people in its outpatient clientele. Four were added in the last hour and the average wait was 2.8 hours. At the Hôpital du Saint-Sacrement the wait was only 0.6 hours, but at Saint-François d’Assise it was 3.3 hours.
The statistics of the day before are also presented to allow you to note if the evolution of the situation. The two mental health emergencies of the CHU also publish their data.
Much more detailed statistics are also available on the occupancy rate of stretchers with the hourly variation and the average length of stay.
Yesterday at 2:15 pm, the occupancy rate ranged from 105% to 140% depending on the facility. The wait on a stretcher was 9.4 hours at CHUL, but 21.2 hours in Saint-François d’Assise.
Mr. Gélinas adds that the data presented come from the institution’s internal systems. And the initiative is not new.
“This data has been available since 2019, but an update has been made this fall,” he specifies.
Although there is no data to measure the impact of publishing these statistics on emergency room attendance during peak periods, Bryan Gélinas points out that “the intention of the CHU is to promote informed consultation with users prior to their visit to the emergency room”.
The newspaper found three other organizations that also publish data on outpatient emergency room expectations. These are the CISSS de la Côte-Nord, the Cité-de-la-Santé hospital in Laval and the CISSS des Laurentides.
On the other hand, the data are not presented in a practical way like that of the CHU, nor are they updated with the same frequency.
The CHU de Québec offers very comprehensive statistics on waiting for emergencies, both on the outpatient side and on the stretcher.
Regions that give the right time
-Data on outpatient waiting for the 5 hospitals
-Full data for waiting on stretchers
– Updates every five minutes
– Very intuitive layout
– Waiting time for 8 emergencies in the area
– Numbers based on triage priority (P1-P5)
– Timetable update
-Number of outpatient patients
– Graph of the variation in the number of patients
– Timetable update
-Number of priority patients P4 and P5
– Total number of patients
– Timetable update