In order to ensure a patient-centred approach to the management and reduction of
Wait Times, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority developed the following set of
That every patient is entitled to timely access to needed health care services and procedures, be they diagnostic, surgical or medical, emergent, urgent or elective (scheduled).
That being on a wait list for a needed health care procedure can be a stressful disruption in the life of the patient and their family, that impacts not only their physical health, but also their emotional, social and psychological health and can have economic consequences.
That having a scheduled procedure cancelled for reasons other than their own
personal health or choice increases the distress caused to the patient and their
family and negatively impacts their well being.
That every patient placed on a wait list is entitled to, and shall be treated as an individual with personal dignity, concern and respect.
To that end, the WRHA shall:
Develop, over time, single wait lists for procedures and services, targeting the
highest priority areas first, as identified by the First Ministers’ Health Accord.
Put Wait List Navigators in place for each priority specialty service, who shall:
- Communicate with patients on an ongoing basis, keeping them fully
informed of all options.
- Help patients navigate the system and access the resources they need.
- Advocate on behalf of patients and their needs.
- Schedule patients into the next available time for their needed procedure.
- Assign patients to the first available health care provider who can perform their procedure.
- Give patients the option to decline the first available health care provider and to chose another, while explaining such a decision may impact their wait time.
Ensure standardized implementation of Wait List initiatives through the Regional Director of Patient Access
As well, each patient shall:
Be given the opportunity to decline the first available provider and to choose another, recognizing that such a decision may impact their wait time.
Be kept fully informed as to their options regarding health care provider of choice and wait times, including the wait times for specific health care providers and facilities.
Be kept fully informed of any steps they can take during their wait time to
improve their health status and the outcome of their procedure.
Be communicated with on an ongoing basis throughout their wait in order to ensure their health status is monitored, as well as to provide them with the opportunity to ask any questions or share new information that may impact their wait time.
Be given a contact number to call in case of questions or a change in health status.
Be given the date of their procedure as soon as possible after they are assessed by the health care provider who will perform it.
Finally, health care providers, either individuals or organizations, shall:
Continue their efforts to improve throughput and reduce wait times.
Refer patients to the central single wait list developed for the appropriate
specialty service, not to a specific health care provider.
Give their patient the date of the procedure as soon as possible after they
assess the patient.
Make every effort to avoid the cancellation of a scheduled patient for reasons other than their health.
Ensure that when a patient’s scheduled surgery is cancelled for reasons other than the patient’s health or personal reasons, that the patient is rescheduled as soon as possible.
Work within their specialty areas to develop and apply common criteria for
placing, priorizing, monitoring and removing patients on waitlists.
Work within their specialty areas to develop a process to transfer patients to another health care provider, including crediting those patients with time already spent waiting.
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority - at all levels and in every hospital/
facility and program - is committed to improving the quality of care patients
receive by continuing to find ways to better manage wait lists and reduce wait
times through improved processes and innovations.