January 20, 2016
RED DEER — Real-time estimated emergency department (ED) wait times for Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre are now available online, giving central Albertans another tool to help them decide where to access care for themselves and their families.
“We want to ensure that we are providing the public with the most current information available to help them manage and maintain their health,” says Allan Sinclair, AHS Executive Director of Red Deer, Central Zone. “Providing the estimated emergency wait times provides patients with more information to use in choosing where to access care.”
The wait times posted reflect an estimate of how long it takes from a patient’s assessment by a triage nurse in the emergency department until they are seen by a physician.
The times are calculated through a software system that uses current data from the facility that compares the number of people in the emergency department and how sick they are with how many resources are available and required to treat those patients.
This calculation does not take into account seriously ill patients, who will be seen immediately, and patients with non-urgent concerns, who may wait longer to be seen depending on resources.
“We know that emergency demand can change quickly and dramatically, without notice, so these times are an estimation,” says Dr. John Colebrook, Central Zone Clinical Department Head – Emergency. “But they are based on a number of very consistent factors, including how many patients are waiting to be seen, how sick they are, and how many resources we have available at a particular time to handle those patients.”
Wait times do not represent the total time patients may spend at the hospital.
Online estimated emergency department wait times were first posted for hospitals and urgent care centres in the Calgary Zone in July 2011, and then in the Edmonton Zone in June 2012.
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.
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