A First For Ontario: Access To Up-To-Date Wait Times Info
The McGuinty government is making progress when it comes to reducing wait times for key health care services across Ontario. Now is the time to accelerate that progress. The wait times website is a significant step towards developing a single Wait Time Information System for the province.
Services Being Tracked
The wait times website tracks the following services and procedures by individual hospitals:
- Cancer Surgery
- Cataract surgery
- Hip and Knee Joint Replacement
- Diagnostic Scans (MRI and CT scans).
Criteria For Tracking
The wait times website features the ability to search by the following criteria:
- Local Health Integration Networks
- City or town
- Postal code
- Interactive map of Ontario
- Specific service or procedure.
How Wait Times Information Will Help Ontarians
- Helps the public understand what to expect when it comes to wait times in their community
- Allows the public to compare wait times in their community to others across Ontario
- Provides information so that Ontarians can consult with their primary care provider about where to be referred for potentially faster service
- Enables the public to hold hospitals, the government and the health care system accountable for wait times.
How Wait Times Information Was Collected
Seventy-four hospitals, which received additional funding through the Wait Times Strategy, provided the data available on the wait times website. This information reflects procedures and services performed in the month of July 2005. The data will be updated regularly. There are other hospitals that provide these services, but they are not currently required to report their wait times. The data is the most current and accurate information available on wait times in Ontario.
The wait times website is a current and accurate source of information; however, some of the data limitations include:
- Volume of cases may be too small to give accurate information
- Wait times information may vary for individual hospitals within larger hospital networks
- Data does not reflect patients that choose to delay treatment, or when another illness may delay treatment.
Building A More Comprehensive Information System
Ontario is in the process of developing a Wait Time Information System that will be more comprehensive, precise and timely.
By December 2006, a single information system will be available in about 50 Ontario hospitals, which represent more than 80 per cent of the total volume for key services funded through the Wait Time Strategy.
This system will not only report on wait times, but will give hospitals the tools they need to manage access to care in their facilities.