ER Wait Times Available with Real-Time Data

WINDSOR, ON. – Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH) has launched prEDict, an online Emergency Department (ED) wait time clock that lets patients know how long they can expect to wait in the Emergency Department at either campus before seeing a physician or nurse practitioner. The system is powered by Oculys Health Infomatics and uses a combination of historic and real-time data to provide patients with estimated wait times. The data is updated every 10 minutes and changed in real-time according to what is happening in the ED. Using their proprietary algorithms, Oculys is able to ensure 90% accuracy rate. Previously, WRH had created a “homemade” system that did show wait times but lacked the number of patients being seen, waiting to be seen and the predictive/historical data. That is the information which patients and our community told us they wanted to see. “As employees of the hospital we have access to this data 24/7. The question we kept asking ourselves was, ‘how can we share this data with our patients?’ The prEDict system provides all of this information to the patients – our consumer,” said President and CEO David Musyj. “This new system not only provides relevant data our community wanted to see but also provides predictive data based on historical information on what patients can expect.” The ED wait time clocks for both the Met and Ouellette Campuses are posted online at www.wrh.on.ca where patients can now find: · The estimated wait time to see a physician or nurse practitioner at either campus, · The number of people currently registered and waiting, · The number of people currently being treated, · When the ED is expected to be busiest over the next six hours, and · A list of alternatives to consider in non-life-threatening situations. “We want to empower patients by giving them right information they need to make informed decisions about where to go for treatment and what to expect when coming to the Emergency Department at either campus,” says Karen McCullough, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Executive at Windsor Regional Hospital. The ED teams at both campuses have been testing the new tool for the past three weeks. During the pilot phase, the system consistently provided accurate wait time estimates and the ED teams are excited to share the information with the public. “When patients come to the emergency department they are already not feeling their best. Not knowing what to expect only adds to their uneasiness,” says Dr. Donald Levy, Chief, Emergency Medicine. “This tool can help eliminate any unnecessary stress and anxiety our patients feel when they don’t know what to expect. It allows us to be more transparent about the status in our emergency departments.” “We are thrilled to work with WRH on this,” says Angela Mondou from Oculys. “The predict solution is now in 18 hospitals in Canada and these web pages generate more than 90,000 visits per month. Patients want this information and feel in control of their experience in the ED.” The information on the site is designed to help those with semi-urgent or non-urgent medical conditions. Those with life or limb threatening conditions should always call 911, or go to the closest emergency department for care. There is an argument that patients should not be determining whether they should go to an emergency department based upon the wait times. If they have a true emergency, they should attend the emergency department and the national triage system that is used will see patients based on the severity of their condition. PrEDict emphasizes these issues BUT the concept of prEDict is information sharing and more patient control. Also, it is recognized that at certain times of the day the emergency departments are one of the few outlets available for individuals to receive clinical attention. The prEDict solution is now in 18 hospitals in Canada and these web pages generate more than 90,000 visits per month. Patients want this information and feel in control of their experience in the ED. The prEDict solution has won innovation awards and was named one of the six most innovative projects by the Information Technology Association of Canada when it was first introduced. To view the prEDict wait times clock, go to the WRH home page at www.wrh.on.ca and click on the “Real-Time ED Wait Times Data” icon.