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System Performance

Measuring Wait Times for Orthopedic Surgeries


Priority levels and target wait times for orthopedic surgeries in Ontario are set by surgeons, specialists and health care administrators across the province, based on clinical evidence, to guide treatment decisions and to improve patient access and outcomes.

Wait times for orthopedic surgeries, including knee replacements and hip replacements, in Ontario are measured and reported for two periods. (Data excludes patients who did not have the surgery after their first appointment with a surgeon.)

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

Time from decision to having orthopedic surgery: How long the patient waits from deciding with the surgeon to proceed with the surgery, to having the orthopedic surgery.

Priority level of the patient's condition

Clinical description

Target time* from patient’s first orthopedic appointment

Target time** from decision to having orthopedic surgery

Priority 1

Surgery is urgently required to address significant joint derangement

Not included in wait times data

Patient has surgery within 1 week of decision

Priority 2

High probability of disease/disability progression and morbidity affecting function

Patient sees surgeon within 7 days of referral received

Patient has surgery within 6 weeks of decision

Priority 3

The progress of the disability or disease is moderate

Patient sees surgeon within 30 days of referral received

Patient has surgery within 12 week of decision

Priority 4

The progress of the disability or disease is minimal

Patient sees surgeon within 90 days of referral received

Patient has surgery within 26 week of decision

*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 for Orthopedic Surgery Wait Times

Data for the wait times for orthopedic surgeries in Ontario is reported using these measurement numbers:

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

Data Sources for Orthopedic Surgery Wait Times

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

TIME TO PATIENT'S FIRST ORTHOPEDIC SURGICAL APPOINTMENT

How long patients waited from surgeon or central intake office receiving the referral, to the patient's first orthopedic surgical appointment

Learn more
Two health care professionals searching for system performance information on a computer in a hospital office

TIME FROM DECISION TO HAVING ORTHOPEDIC SURGERY

How long patients waited from the surgery decision to having orthopedic surgery

Learn more
Two health care professionals searching for system performance information on a computer in a hospital office

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