How Wait Times Are Measured

Addiction Services
Wait time starts: The date the patient completes an intake over the telephone or in person.
Wait time ends: The date the patient registers in a program and receives service.
Excluded: Emergency priority patients and patients who declined the first offered service date.

Internal Medicine Referrals & Interventions: Cardiac Care
Wait time starts: The date the hospital receives referral for a patient.
Wait time ends: The date the patient’s treatment was completed.
Excluded: Patients who decide to be removed from the wait list voluntarily are excluded.

Diagnostic Imaging & Tests
Wait time starts: The date the hospital receives the diagnostic imaging request from the doctor who referred the patient.
Wait time ends: The date the patient’s exam or test is completed.
Excluded: Emergency priority patients and patients staying in a hospital bed as inpatients.

Cancer Services (Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment): Medical Oncologist and Radiation Oncologist
Wait time starts: The date the Cancer Centre receives the patient’s referral.
Wait time ends: The date of the patient’s first appointment with an oncologist.
Excluded: None

Cancer Services (Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment): Radiation Therapy (External Beam)
Wait time starts: The date the Cancer Centre receives the patient’s referral.
Wait time ends: The date the patient started radiation therapy.
Excluded: None

Internal Medicine Referrals & Interventions: Dalhousie University Department of Medicine Specialties
Wait time starts: The date the patient’s referral was received by the division or clinic.
Wait time ends: The date of the patient’s appointment.
Excluded: Days patients are not available, patients who choose to reschedule their appointment, patients who see a specialist who is not affiliated with the Dalhousie University Department of Medicine.

Surgery and Surgeon Consultations: Consult Wait Time
Wait time starts: The date the surgeon received the patient’s referral.
Wait time ends: The date the surgeon first saw the patient for a consult appointment.
Excluded: Patients who have been under the ongoing care of a surgeon and were not considered to be a new patient for the surgeon, and patients who did not see the surgeon until the day of surgery.

Surgery and Surgeon Consultations: Surgery Wait Time
Wait time starts: The date the surgeon decides that surgery is necessary and the patient consents to treatment.
Wait time ends: The date the patient’s surgery is completed.
Excluded: Emergency surgery patients and any days that a patient was unavailable for surgery due to medical or personal reasons.

Internal Medicine Referrals & Interventions: Genetic Consultation
Wait time starts: The date that Maritime Medical Genetics Service receives the patient’s referral.
Please note: Cancer referrals often require patients to complete and return a family history questionnaire and patients cannot be scheduled until this is received in our unit. For that reason, some of the delay to appointment may be patient driven.
Wait time ends: The date the patient’s consult is completed.
Excluded: No exclusions.

Mental Health Services
Wait time starts: The date that the community based clinic receives the patient’s referral.
Wait time ends: The date the patient’s first (choice) appointment with a clinician.
Excluded: Emergency patients, or those who refuse offered services

Long-Term Care
Wait time starts: The date the client is added to the Long-term Care wait list.
Wait time ends: The date the client accepts an offer for Long-term Care placement.
Excluded: Individuals placed from hospital as well as Priority 1 & 2 placements.

Reduce your wait time

Not all wait times are the same, and you may reduce your wait time for health care services. Explore options and talk to your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Talk to your doctor

Wait time information can help you and your doctor make informed decisions. Find wait times and share the numbers with your healthcare provider.