Time spent in the ER has decreased by 1.2 hours over the last four years — with approximately 86 per cent of people receiving treatment within target time frames.
The province said it is also building on the success of its ER performance improvement program to support hospitals facing the biggest challenges. This year, 74 ERs are being funded with up to $93.6 million to further reduce the amount of time patients spend waiting for treatment.
“Ontarians who need medical attention are now being seen faster and spending less time in emergency rooms — which is part of our commitment in the Action Plan for Health Care to ensure people receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time,” said Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.
“Ontario’s emergency departments are making great progress in improving their performance so that they treat patients better and faster. The government’s investment is helping them to achieve their goals.” said Dr. Howard Ovens, Provincial Lead, ER Strategy.
In February 2009, Ontario set ER length of stay targets of four hours for patients with minor conditions and eight hours for patients with complex conditions — 86 per cent of visits are seen within these targets.
Emergency rooms have seen a steady increase in complex patients, with the most serious cases increasing by more than 35 per cent since April 2008. Despite this increase, patients are spending less time being treated and discharged, according to the news release.
More than 5.5 million patients were treated in Ontario’s emergency rooms last year.