OHA Supports Initiatives to Improve ER Performance, Transparency

    TORONTO, Feb. 19 /CNW/ - Ontario's hospitals support new Ministry of
Health and Long-Term Care initiatives to improve transparency and reduce wait
times in hospital emergency rooms said Tom Closson, President and CEO of the
Ontario Hospital Association (OHA).
    "Hospitals are committed to reducing wait times in emergency rooms, and
to improving the patient experience," said Closson. "Measuring and collecting
data on emergency room wait times will give hospitals, caregivers and
decision-makers the information they need to create or tailor solutions to
reach those goals."
    For the first time, the hospitals will publicly report on the time
patients are spending in emergency rooms on www.ontariowaittimes.com. This
information will help provide patients with a sense of how long they may be in
the ER.
    The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has also set performance
targets for the amount of time patients spend in emergency rooms. The targets
    -   Four hours for patients with minor or uncomplicated conditions, which
        require less time for diagnosis, treatment and observation
    -   Eight hours for patients with complex conditions, which require more
        time for diagnosis, treatment or hospital bed admission

    Patients will also be able to learn more about alternative health care
options in their community by visiting www.ontario.ca/healthcareoptions.
However, the OHA stressed that any individual who believes they need emergency
care should visit the closest hospital emergency room as soon as possible.
    "I commend Minister Caplan and the Government of Ontario for making
accurate, verified information about emergency department wait times publicly
available - and for dedicating resources to improve them," says Closson. "As
we have seen with surgical wait times, transparency, when coupled with
dedicated resources, can lead to improvements for patients."

    The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) is the voice of Ontario's public
hospitals. Founded in 1924, the OHA uses advocacy, education and partnerships
to build a strong, innovative and sustainable health care system for all

For further information:

For further information: OHA Public Affairs, Lanre Banjoko, (416)

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