Estimated Emergency Department Wait Times | Alberta Health Services (2024)

The estimated wait time to see a physician is approximate and for information only.

The wait time is based on the average patient and does not reflect the wait for those who are critically ill or injured, or those with minor conditions. We provide care to the most critical cases first.

Wait times can change unexpectedly, based on demand. See our FAQs to learn more.

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Estimated Emergency Department Wait Times | Alberta Health Services (1)
Estimated Emergency Department Wait Times | Alberta Health Services (2)


These emergency department wait times are being provided for general information only. Please be advised that the wait times can change significantly and immediately, without warning and therefore are not guaranteed. Patients will be seen in the emergency department based on their medical condition and the severity of their situation.

Due to changing demands in emergency departments, these wait times may not be the time you will need to wait once you arrive at the emergency department. The provision of the wait times on the AHS website are not medical advice or a recommendation of one emergency department over another.

Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of this information and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.

AHS does not assume and is not responsible for any liability whatsoever arising from any person’s use of this website or from any person’s decision to access any of the services referred to in the website.

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Estimated Emergency Department Wait Times | Alberta Health Services (2024)


Do patients respond to posted emergency department wait times time series evidence from the implementation of a wait time publication system in Hamilton Canada? ›

The authors studied the impact of posted predicted ED wait times in 5 EDs in Hamilton, Canada. Lower patient volumes presented within 1 hour of higher posted wait times. Conversely, higher volumes were seen at other sites during those times.

What is the wait time for the ER in the US? ›

The average wait time for the ER in the U.S. is approximately two hours and 25 minutes, but some states see wait times as long as four hours, according to Florida-based personal injury attorneys from The Schiller Kessler Group.

What do you say to get seen faster in an emergency room? ›

Be specific: Describe your symptoms in detail. Instead of saying “I feel sick,” explain the specific symptoms you are experiencing, such as nausea, dizziness, or chest pain. This will help the medical staff understand the urgency of your situation. Use descriptive language: Paint a vivid picture of your symptoms.

Why is there so much waiting in the ER? ›

“We know that there is overcrowding in the ED,” said lead author Renee Y. Hsia, MD, a UCSF professor of emergency medicine. “Capacity has largely failed to match the rise in patient demand.” The paper published June 22, 2023 in JAMA Network Open.

Why is it important to inform patients of wait times? ›

Many times, simply letting patients know what is going on can reduce a huge amount of the frustration. According to research: 80% of patients would be less frustrated if they knew how long the wait would be. A personal apology from the doctor would minimize frustration for 70 percent of patients.

What is the impact of team triage as an intervention on waiting times in an adult emergency department a systematic review? ›

found that fast-track method in the ED and using a physician in triage could reduce patient waiting and stay times in the ED. [30] Consistent with our findings, Choi et al. included physician intervention in patient triage and found a significant reduction in patients' waiting time.

How long are most ER visits? ›

The median time patients spent in emergency rooms was 2 hours, 40 minutes nationwide based on a 12-month average ending in the third quarter of 2022, according to the latest Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) data.

Why does it take so long to get into the ER? ›

While you wait, other patients come and go. Medical staff are working hard to assess, reassess, complete orders, and discharge, admit, or transfer patients. As new patients arrive or a current patient has a change of condition, the response of the medical crew can change.

What is the least busiest time for the ER? ›

Morning: Mornings are typically less busy in many ERs. This could be because many people are at work or school, and not as likely to get injured or fall ill. Afternoon: The pace starts to pick up in the afternoon. Many ERs report an increase in patient volume starting around noon and lasting into the early evening.

How do you skip ER lines? ›

Call your primary care doctor before you head over

If your doctor thinks it's necessary, he or she may even be able to have you admitted directly into the hospital, avoiding the emergency room entirely. This is definitely one of the ways to make your next trip to the hospital easier.

Is it better to go to the ER at night or morning? ›

The least busy times at the ER are usually early in the morning, particularly between 3 a.m. and 9 a.m.

Can I walk out of the ER? ›

Leaving the ER Without Being Seen by a Provider

Some people leave the ER without being seen by a healthcare provider. A common reason is long wait times. 8 You are free to leave but then you may not receive the care you need in a timely manner. Don't leave the hospital without first talking to the ER staff.

Why do patients leave the ER without being seen? ›

Lack of Bandwidth Drives Patients to Leave without Care

When patients are forced to wait long hours to be seen or treated, they may be stuck in the waiting room or the ED hallway. Some become frustrated and leave. While the problem centers on the emergency department, it is not necessarily the root cause.

Why are ER wait times so long in the US? ›

While crafting the resolution, issues with health care staffing, patient turnaround, and the number of primary care physicians were all raised as factors that result in extended waiting room times.

What is the effect of emergency severity index implementation on the waiting time for patients to receive health services in the emergency department? ›

The results of Mann-Whitney test indicate that implementation of emergency severity index (ESI) has a positive effect on the decrease of average time intervals to provide health services, as well as on the entire length of stay in the emergency department (p < 0.05).

How often should the emergency response plan policies and procedures be reviewed and practiced by a training facility? ›

Emergency plans should be reviewed and rehearsed annually, with written documentation of any modifications. The plan should identify responsibility for docu- mentation of actions taken during the emergency, evaluation of the emergency response, institutional personnel training, and equipment maintenance.

Do emergency department return visits resulting in admission reflect quality of care? ›

Deficiencies in ED care are rarely the reason for admission on return. ED return visits resulting in admission may not be reflective of ED quality of care.

What are clinical decision rules in the emergency department? ›

Clinical decision rules (CDRs) are practical tools intended to assist in deciding whether a diagnostic test is needed or another clinical action should be taken such as hospital admission, or what the likelihood is for the presence or absence of a particular disease or condition.

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