The average time it takes to be seen by a doctor after triage is currently three hours.
In Ontario, an emergency audit report released this week by the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario cited an Ontario study from the Institute for Healthcare Research.
Patients who wait longer for an initial evaluation by a doctor are more likely to require hospitalization, it is written.
The study also found a slightly higher risk of death for every hour of emergency room waits
A quote from Office of the Auditor General of Ontario
Redirecting patients to GMF family doctors during emergency triage can also be risky for some patients.
In 2022, a 65-year-old patient from Trois-Rivières will be found unconscious at home the next morning after presenting herself to the emergency room of the Trois-Rivières Regional Affiliated University Hospital Center (CHAUR). The lady, who died of acute bronchopneumonia, had a history of pulmonary disease in addition to being followed at CHAUR.
Considering the lady's symptoms (high temperature, cough, weakness, low saturation) and in light of her history, there was a potential link with the diagnosis of pneumonia, a diagnosis which was made at the end of the autopsy and which is causal cause of death, the coroner will conclude.
At the triage stage, it is essential to properly document the history to better establish the risk that the patient present.
In other cases, the death will be linked to a medical error, as at the Cité-de-la-Santé in Laval in 2022 where a 76-year-old man died of Propofol poisoning, in the context of a dosage error.
Other reports that we consulted do not lead to any recommendation from the coroner.