Stay in the Emergency Departments

This section reports the time spent in the emergency department (ED) by patients that are placed on a stretcher.

A stretcher patient can be defined as any person registered in the ED who requires a stretcher because of their medical or psychosocial condition. The Ministry of Health has set a priority to reduce the average length of stay in EDs.

Note: Hospitals function according to an annual calendar composed of 13 periods ("P" in graphs) starting April 1st of each year.

Adult Sites

The Ministry has set provincial targets for length of stay for each patient type visiting the ED such as;

  • Admitted patients
  • Non-admitted patients
  • Patients over 75 years old
  • Patients under 75 years old

To simplify, the internal target is an average of provincial targets.

The next three graphs show the average length of stay in hours for patients on stretchers. It should be noted that the Montreal Neurological Hospital and Montreal Chest Institute do not have an emergency department. The Royal Victoria Hospital ED services these two sites.

Length of stay RVH

Source: MSSS

Analysis: The Royal Victoria Hospital’s average length of stay in ED for patients on stretchers is close to the regional average since the 3rd period of 2013-14.


Length of stay MGH

Source: MSSS

Analysis: The average length of stay of patients on stretchers in the MGH emergency department has increased in comparison to last year but continues to be below the regional average.


Length of stay LachineSource: MSSS

Analysis: The average length of stay of patients on stretchers in the Lachine Campus emergency department shows a wide variability from period to period and is above the average of the other Montreal hospitals. Period 7 of 2013-14 was particularly difficult.


Pediatric Site 

For our pediatric hospitals, the patients on stretchers are called “patients under observation”. The following graph shows the trend over the years.

Length of stay MCH

Source: MSSS

Analysis: The average length of stay of patients under observation at the MCH emergency department continues to be around the internal target of 6 hours. The average length of stay is stable across all periods.