Your Visit to The Emergency Department

Explanation of the Indicators

Wait Times for a Non-urgent Medical Consultation

This indicator refers to Step 4–Consultation (after arrival, triage, and registration). That is when a healthcare professional in the Emergency Department will assess your health. The healthcare professional will determine if tests/examinations are needed to determine an official diagnosis or if immediate treatment is needed. The duration of the examinations required depends on your health condition.

Estimated Duration of a Complete Visit for Non-urgent Cases  

This indicator refers to the estimated length of a visit the Emergency Department for patients who do not need hospitalization. The duration is calculated from the time you register (Step 3) to the time you leave the hospital. It includes the wait time, consultation, tests, diagnosis, and treatment if needed.

The duration of a visit can vary. It will depend on the type of the treatment and care needed, the level of priority, and the number of people at the Emergency Department at the same time as you.

Stretcher Occupancy

This indicator measures how many all the Department’s beds or stretchers are being used. It shows the percentage of beds occupied by patients. Those patients either need hospitalization or an extended observation period in the Emergency Department. Patients on stretchers are generally in more critical condition. They sometimes require immediate medical care, in-depth examinations, or intensive follow-up. Understanding this value helps us to better manage our space and resources, and provide care more efficiently.

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How does the Emergency Department prioritize cases?

A triage system is used to categorize all cases based on their seriousness. Triage is the first step of your visit after you arrive at the Emergency Department. It allows us to prioritize cases that require immediate intervention.

The nurses in triage will check your vital signs, ask questions, and assess your overall health. You will be assigned a priority based on that information.

After triage you will see a healthcare professional for a consultation (Step 4), based on the priority level you were assigned. The most urgent cases are seen immediately. Patients with non-urgent health issues (P4, P5) will wait longer, depending on the number of higher-priority patients.

What should I do if I start feeling worse while waiting to see a healthcare professional (Step 4)?

If you start feeling much worse after triage, return to the number distributor and press Réévaluation to inform the staff.

These are some examples of a serious deterioration in health:

  • Difficulty breathing;  
  • Chest pain;
  • Intense headaches, severe dizziness, sudden weakness on one side of the body, difficulty seeing or speaking;
  • Significant or unexplained bleeding, vomiting blood;
  • High fever with confusion or sleepiness;
  • Intense abdominal pain, extreme sensitivity, pain along with frequent vomiting;
  • Sudden fainting or loss of consciousness;
  • Severe allergic reactions: sudden swelling of the face or throat, difficulty breathing, widespread rash.

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