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Canada: Report Shows Emergency Room Waits Continue to Increase

The length of time patients spend in Canadian emergency departments (EDs) while waiting to be admitted to the hospital is on the rise, new data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) shows. The amount of time that patients who were discharged directly from the ED, who account for the majority of ED visits, spent in the ED remained relatively stable.  This new CIHI data shows that 90% of ED visits for admitted patients were completed within 32.6 hours in 2016–2017 — meaning 1 out of 10 patients waited longer than that. This represents a 3.3-hour increase from 2015–2016 (29.3 hours). Every jurisdiction saw an increase in the amount of time patients who needed to be admitted to hospital waited in the ED. Looking back 5 years (to 2012–2013), 90% of ED visits for admitted patients were completed within 28.3 hours — signifying that, on average, patients who are admitted to hospital are now waiting longer.

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