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Home > About AHS > Data & Statistics > Emergency Dept. Length of Stay

Action on Emergency Department Lengths of Stay

Your source for current, accurate information on the progress being made to improve emergency care for all Albertans.

Transparency is important. That’s why Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Alberta Health (AH) are inviting you to track the progress being made at some of the province’s biggest and busiest emergency departments.   

Updated length-of-stay statistics from Edmonton and Calgary emergency departments will be posted here every Monday, reflecting the previous week’s data. We’re working on getting accurate wait time information from elsewhere in the province, which will be posted here as soon as it’s available. 

AHS is taking action to provide more timely access for patients who need emergency department care. Early indicators suggest that province-wide overcapacity protocols aimed at reducing peak pressures in emergency departments are having the desired impact of reducing length of stay. 

This is an encouraging sign for a problem with no quick fixes. There were more than 2 million visits paid to Alberta emergency departments during the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012. The challenge of meeting this demand is compounded by spikes in emergency department visits – during influenza season, for instance – that can stress the overall health system and cause delays in the delivery of care.

Albertans are invited to provide feedback and/or share their ideas on how to improve emergency care by emailing us at action.emergency@albertahealthservices.ca.

Weekly ED Lengths of Stay

How to Read the Charts

The charts show how specific emergency departments are faring in relation to AHS length-of-stay targets over the past 12 months. Each solid line represents a hospital. The dotted line represents the target: 75 per cent of discharged patients should have an ED length of stay no longer than four hours; 60 per cent of admitted patients should have an ED length of stay no longer than eight hours. Upward solid lines indicate improving performance. A hospital is meeting or exceeding AHS length-of-stay targets during those periods when its solid line is on or above the dotted line.