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System Performance

Measuring Pediatric Wait Times for Surgeries


Priority levels and target times for surgeries for pediatric patients (younger than 18) in Ontario are set by surgeons, specialists and health care administrators across the province, based on clinical evidence, to guide treatment decisions and improve patient access and outcomes.

Pediatric wait times for surgeries in Ontario are measured in two wait periods. (Data excludes patients who did not have the surgery after their first appointment with a surgeon.)

Time to pediatric patient's first surgical appointment: How long pediatric patients waited from a surgeon or central intake office receiving the referral from the patient's family doctor, to the patient's first surgical appointment.

Priority level of pediatric patient's condition

Clinical description

Target time* to patient’s first surgical appointment

Priority 1

Surgery is required immediately

Not included in wait times data

Priority 2

Recurring unscheduled health care visits by the patient (such as to the emergency department or family doctor). Treatment window of time is highly sensitive due to the high probability that delay in treatment will adversely affect physical, emotional, or psychosocial development.

Patient sees surgeon within 7 days of referral received

Priority 3

Occasional unscheduled health care visits by the patient (such as to the emergency department or family). Moderate probability that delay in treatment will adversely affect physical, emotional, or psychosocial development.

Patient sees surgeon within 30 days of referral received

Priority 4

Low risk of adversely affecting physical, emotional, or social development associated with a delay in treatment

Patient sees surgeon within 90 days of referral received

Time from surgery decision to pediatric patient having surgery: How long pediatric patients waited from the patient's family and surgeon deciding to proceed with the surgery, to the patient having the surgery.

Target times for this wait period differs depending on the type of surgery the pediatric patient is having (see table below):


Priority level of pediatric patient's condition

Target time** from decision to having pediatric otolaryngic surgery including tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, and myringotomy tube surgery

Target time** from decision to having pediatric oral and maxillofacial surgery and dentistry

Target time** from decision to having pediatric ophthalmology (eye) surgery including strabismus

Priority 1

Pediatric patient has surgery within 24 hours

Pediatric patient has surgery within 24 hours

Pediatric patient has surgery within 24 hours

Priority 2

Pediatric patient has surgery within 6 weeks

Pediatric patient has surgery within 3 weeks

Pediatric patient has surgery within 3 weeks

Priority 3

Pediatric patient has surgery within 12 weeks

Pediatric patient has surgery within 12 weeks

Pediatric patient has surgery within 12 weeks

Priority 4

Pediatric patient has surgery within 26 weeks

Pediatric patient has surgery within 26 weeks

Pediatric patient has surgery within 26 weeks

*The target time within which 9 out of 10 patients are seen.

**The target time within which 9 out of 10 patients are treated.

See what this means for patients

Measurement Numbers Used for Pediatric Wait Times

Data for pediatric patients' wait times is reported using these measurement numbers:

  • The average number of days pediatric patients waited; a lower number is better.
  • The percentage of pediatric patients who were seen, or treated, within the target time; a higher percentage is better.

Data Sources for Pediatric Wait Times

The data comes from the Wait Time Information System™ (WTIS™), Cancer Care Ontario.

TIME TO PEDIATRIC PATIENT'S FIRST SURGICAL APPOINTMENT

How long the pediatric patient waits from a surgeon or central intake office receiving the referral, to the patient's first surgical appointment

Learn more

doctor consulting with patient who has cancer

TIME FROM DECISION TO PEDIATRIC PATIENT HAVING SURGERY

How long the pediatric patient waits from the surgery decision to having surgery

Learn more

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