Evidence-Based Strategic Directions to Reduce Emergency Department Patient Wait Times within the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Health Integration Network (HNHB LHIN)

  • Bielska, Iwona (PI)
  • Cimek, Kelly A K.A. (CoI)
  • Tarride, Jean-eric J.-E. (CoI)

Project Details


Increasing emergency department (ED) patient wait times represent a substantial challenge for health care systems in numerous jurisdictions. In the province of Ontario, there were 5.8 million ED visits in fiscal year 2016-17, a 1% increase over the volume in 2015-16. However, over the same time period, the ED wait times increased by 11% for admitted patients. Over the past few months, substantially high lengths of stay times in Ontario EDs have garnered significant media attention. Longer ED wait times are related to a greater risk of adverse patient outcomes, increased rates of patients leaving without being seen, patient dissatisfaction, ambulance offload delays, and higher levels of stress among ED health professionals. The available research indicates that ED wait times are influenced by factors at three levels: individual patient, hospital institution, and system features. In 2016-17, the HNHB LHIN had the fifth highest ED volumes at 572,770 and the highest ambulance volumes at 116,492 in the province, as well as the worst ED wait times among all 14 LHINs. This project will use a mixed research methods approach to undertake an in-depth analysis of the ED wait time situation within the HNHB LHIN in comparison to five LHINs located in southern Ontario. The findings from the quantitative and qualitative data analyses will be assessed to identify the input and output factors affecting patient throughput and increased ED wait times in the HNHB LHIN in comparison to other LHINs. These factors will be assessed in the context of the Institute of Medicine's aims for the improvement of health care. Based on this, evidence-based strategic recommendations on potential opportunities for alleviating ED pressures will be made to the HNHB LHIN.

Effective start/end date1/09/1831/12/20


  • Institute of Health Services and Policy Research: $95,765.00


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