West Parry Sound Health Centre Rolls Out Online Emergency Department Wait Time Tracker


Generous Support from The Friends of Muskoka Lakes Makes Initiative Possible

West Parry Sound Health Centre (WPSHC) has rolled out a new tool to better inform our community about wait times in their Emergency Department (ED). Patients with non-critical care needs, that are still in need of timely care do not always have alternatives to visiting the Emerge in our communities. The Emergency Department must always prioritize critical patients, which can result in rapidly changing and longer wait times for those with less critical needs. Recognizing that the process can be frustrating, WPSHC hopes that this initiative will help advise decision-making and empower people in matters related to
their health.

The new tracker was made possible by efforts put forward by the West Parry Sound Health Centre Foundation and a very generous donation from the Friends of Muskoka Lakes, a philanthropic collective with a special interest in the health of the region. Designed to inform people of the current wait, in real time, the tracker also provides predictive data, that shows average wait times over the course of the day. The predictive data illustrated by the white line, in the graph will become more and more accurate as the tracker is able to collect more data.

These trends will allow individuals with non-urgent needs to better plan their visit and will hopefully result in better workflow for the dedicated staff overseeing the ED.

In addition to wait time information, WPSHC has also included information about potential alternatives to access qualified health advice. While many concerns will still need to be seen to in person, the expanse of virtual care options in our region can help individuals make more informed decisions about how to proceed. Services, such as Health811 where any individual in Ontario can dial 811 to speak with a qualified health care provider at any hour of the day, for free, are not well known about yet, but can be useful tools. This information along with details
about minor ailment consultation available through some local pharmacies, and access to the North East Virtual Care Clinic operated by nurse practitioners has all been collected and included on the tracker for ease of use.

“We know that accessing the right care, at the right time is not always a straightforward endeavour,” said Donald Sanderson, Chief Executive Officer of West Parry Sound Health Centre.

“We also know that knowledge is power and hope that by sharing what our team is experiencing with the public, we will be empowering individuals in our community to make more informed decisions. Anyone experiencing a medical emergency must of course still dial 911 or proceed to the nearest emergency department. However, those who seek care through our ED team for less urgent matters, now have more information at their fingertips.”

“Our ED team is always working as hard as they can, often in difficult circumstances, to ensure that everyone who enters seeking care is seen to as quickly as possible,” said Tanya McCarthy, Clinical Manager of the Emergency Department, and Intensive Care Unit. “However, we understand that waiting is difficult, and that not knowing what’s going on behind closed doors can be frustrating. While we won’t be able to change how long you may have to wait, we hope that giving patients more information will help better inform their decisions or maybe make the wait a little more bearable. Our team is excited about the new tool and very grateful to the Foundation and generous donors for making it happen.”

The ED wait time tracker is located on the lefthand menu of the WPSHC’s home page or can be
accessed by visiting https://wpshc.com/disclaimer/


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