Managing Wait List and Wait Times

Western Health continually monitors wait times in various programs and service areas as well as identify strategies to improve access.  Below are some examples of strategies utilized to support access and decrease waiting times:

Understanding Patient Flow - Understanding the pathway from referral to the receipt of the service can provide valuable information and help facilities understand where changes can be made to improve flow.

Understanding No Show - No shows have an impact at Western Health. No show is defined as the missing of a scheduled appointment without notifying the provider or the department performing the procedure.

The rates of no shows vary from program to program within Western Health. When patients do not show for an appointment, the slot remains vacant. This can significantly impact the wait times for patients. 

Western Health has a no show policy to help decrease the number of no shows. Patients who do not contact Western Health when they miss an appointment will be asked to obtain a new referral for the service.

Patients who are referred urgently and do not show for an appointment will be rescheduled. 

Western Health encourages people to cancel their appointment and reschedule if they are unable to attend. 

Automated Notification System

Forgetting appointments are generally the most common reason for no show. Western Health implemented an automated notification system (ANS) to remind patients of endoscopy appointments and ultrasound appointments. The system will provide a telephone, text or email reminder seven calendar days before their scheduled appointment. This will allow patients to confirm or cancel their appointment.   

What Can Patients Do to Help?

Patients can also do their part by contacting their doctor and other health care providers if:

  • you change your phone number or address;
  • you are moving away to another region or province;
  • you plan to be away for an extended time;
  • you are unable to make your appointment; and
  • you change your mind about having the procedure or test you are waiting for.