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Patient Wait Time at the Emergency Department of a Rural Hospital in Saskatchewan

dc.contributor.advisorLim, June
dc.contributor.committeeMemberJanzen, Bonnie
dc.contributor.committeeMemberNeudorf, Cory
dc.contributor.committeeMemberOyedokun, Segun
dc.creatorSalawu, Akeem O 1973-
dc.creator.orcid0000-0002-4198-251X 2019
dc.description.abstractContext & Rationale Emergency department wait times have been a great challenge to healthcare service delivery in most emergency departments across Canada and a challenge to healthcare managers and provincial governments. This study sought to determine how long patients have to wait to see a physician and the total time spent to complete an ER visit at the Meadow Lake Hospital (MLH) emergency department. It examines various factors that could be responsible for the variation in both wait time and total length of stay at the ER, and the characteristics of patients that left the ER without being seen by a physician. Methods This is a retrospective study reviewing medical records of patients attending the Meadow Lake hospital ER for medical services. A total of 778 visits were considered for analysis after records were consecutively reviewed without randomization, for a total of four weeks, one week each during winter, spring, summer, and fall in the year 2015. Results Results showed that more than half (54%) of the ER users were females; about 80% of patients using the MLH ER arrived by walking, 10% by ambulance. Most of them presented with either less urgent (48%), or non-urgent (28%) medical conditions. A majority (about 80%) of patients were seen and discharged home; only about 8.3% were admitted to the hospital and 7.4% left without being seen by the ER physician. Patients wait an average of about 86.41 minutes (1.44 hours) before being attended to by the ER physicians, and the average total length of stay at the ER was about 163.3 minutes (2.72 hours). Time until physician assessment (wait time) was found be influenced by a patient’s mode of arrival, day of arrival, time of arrival, season of arrival and CTAS level. Total time spent to complete an ER visit was dependent on the patient’s day of arrival, time of arrival, season of arrival, severity of medical condition (triage level), need for investigation, monitoring, and consultations with specialists in other health facilities. Conclusion Most patients presenting to the Meadow Lake hospital ER were not meant to be seen at the ER, since larger proportions of patients seen and those that left without being seen presented with either less or non-urgent medical conditions. Both wait time and total ER length of stay at the Meadow Lake hospital ER is shorter than the Canadian average for most urban hospital emergency departments.
dc.subjectER wait time, Rural hospital
dc.titlePatient Wait Time at the Emergency Department of a Rural Hospital in Saskatchewan
dc.type.materialtext Health and Epidemiology and Population Health Science of Saskatchewan of Science (M.Sc.)


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