Tips on how to deal with long ER wait times

ER wait times are long and it annoys everyone. While waiting at the ER for what seems like eternity, You might have asked yourself “Why are ER wait times so long ?” and ‘’When are the emergency rooms the least busy ?’’ In fact, the average wait time for ER’s in Canada is over four hours. This situation becomes a major problem for Canadians after access to family doctors. But what is the explanation behind these hours of patience ?

A shortage of emergency department physicians is one of the main cause of these long hours waiting. The few family physicians available is another factor. Canadians who don’t have a family doctor tend to visit the ER for multiple non-urgent conditions. The lack of funding by the federal government is also an important economic factor. With this being said, here are some tips to avoid long ER wait times.

Avoid long ER wait times by going at certain hours

1. Avoid Going To The ER Between 6 Pm And Midnight.

This is the easiest way to get short ER wait times. Let’s state the obvious, most Canadians are not working in this timeslot and the ERs are full by that time. The best time to visit the ER is between 6 am and noon. There are two reasons for this advice. First, the hospitals are at full efficiency in the morning with the most staff. Second is that by mid-morning, doctor’s offices and medical clinics are generally open, relieving pressure from the ERs.

Avoid long ER wait times by seeing your physician

2. Call Your Primary Care Physician

Not everyone has a primary care physician, but if you do have one, call your physician. Ask if you can see him or her instead of staying and waiting for hours at the ER. If you know your condition is non-urgent save time and ask an appointment with your family doctor. There are alternative ways of speaking to a medical authority such as calling 811 HealthLine. They can help by redirecting you to the most appropriate service, which might not be the ER.

Use an ER wait time tracking app

3. Use an ER Wait Time Tracking App

If you are tired of always typing stuff like ‘’walk-in clinic near me’’ in Google, there are alternatives.The most known app to get through the healthcare system is Doctr. Access the wait times and occupancy rates of emergency rooms in real-time across Canada. There is also lots of information on walk-in clinics availability. If you hate calling multiple times to get an appointment this is for you. Join the Doctr community and share the status of medical walk-in clinics with other patients to book appointments faster.

Reserve at home and avoid ER wait time

4. Register yourself and wait at home, come when it’s your turn.

There are services that let patients be more autonomous by registering himself inside the walk-in clinic and wait somewhere else. Some even send you a notification or an email when it’s your turn to see the doc. We’ll save you some time and present two of them.

Patient in Line is a system where you go into the clinic, pick up your number in line and call Patient in Line. It will notice you when your turn is near. Like receiving a text or a call instead of sitting in the clinic for hours ?

Chronometriq is a company that helps you book an appointment with a clinic, reminds your appointments and lets you self check-in once you arrive at the clinic. It reduces the administrative work form the employees and helps increase their efficiency. Want to take control of your appointment?