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Average time patients waited for the first appointment with surgeon after the referral is received by the surgeon’s office or CIAC
Alternate Name
Average time patients waited for their first surgical appointment

Average Time (Days) Wait 1: This time represents the average wait time, in days, from when the surgeon or central intake centre receives the referral to the patient having the first appointment with the surgeon.  The average time Wait 1 represents the typical time patients could expect to wait for the first appointment with the surgeon.  The average wait time is reported by the priority level with the most patients. Patients are assigned a priority level for their appointment by the physician based on clinical evidence.  In this case, the lower the number of days, the better.

HQO Reporting tool/product
Public reporting
Unit of Measurement
Calculation Methods

Average wait time is calculated by dividing the total number of patient wait days by the total count of cases.


  1. All closed wait list entries with procedure dates within the reporting period.                                 

  2. For adult surgical procedures, patients that are 18 years and older on the day the procedure was completed.

  3. For paediatric surgical procedures, patients that are younger than 23 years on the day the procedure was completed.

  4. Treatment Cancer procedures only (excludes diagnostic, palliative and reconstructive cancer procedures, as below).

  5. Patients who were referred for consult as new referrals and re-referrals with referral dates and consult dates

  6. Patients assigned as Priority Level 2 - 4 for specialist consult (Wait 1)


  1. Diagnostic, Palliative and Reconstructive cancer procedures.                                                     

  2. Procedures on Skin - Carcinoma, Skin-Melanoma, and Lymphomas.                                           

  3. Procedures no longer required cases                                                                                        

  4. Patients assigned as Priority Level 1 for specialist consult (Wait 1)

  5. Wait list entries identified by hospitals as data entry errors.                                                        

  6. Patients with no referrals for consult or patients whose consults are considered follow-up visits

Numerator (short description i.e. not inclusions/exclusions)
Denominator (short description i.e. not inclusions/exclusions)


Adjustment (risk, age/sex standardization)- generalized
Data Source
Wait Time Information System (WTIS)
Data provided to HQO by
Cancer Care Ontario (CCO)
Reported Levels of comparability /stratifications (defined)
Corporation, Priority level, Province, Time
Caveats and Limitations
1. The surgery data reported is representative of volumes and measures associated with those patients whereby a decision to treat with a surgical procedure has been determined by the physician in consultation with the patient. In addition, surgery data does not represent those patients who may have had a consult with a surgeon and a decision was made by the physician and patient to NOT to treat with surgery. 2. This wait time is reported not at the surgeon level but rather at the level of the facility where the procedure took place. 3. Ninety among 114 surgical facilities in Ontario report surgical wait times to the WTIS; the remaining 24 facilities do not receive wait time funding for reporting and so do not report wait times. 4. Hospitals with small volumes will be more severely impacted by extreme waits (particularly the average wait time). For example, an unusually long or short wait time for a single patient in a reporting period for hospitals that do not treat a lot of patients (e.g., a small hospital performing cataract surgery) will have a greater impact on the average. 5. Since Wait Time data is reported at the hospital corporation or facility level, facilities with multiple sites will be reported together even though data is collected at each site. Wait Times may also vary by surgeon which will not be apparent in this data as it is reported at the corporation level rather than individual surgeon. 6. There are other factors that affect wait times for a surgical procedure or diagnostic exam that do not relate to a hospital’s efficiency, to a particular doctor or the availability of resources. They include: • Patient Choice – a patient with a non-life-threatening condition may choose a non-surgical treatment or may decide to delay treatment for personal or family reasons to a more convenient time. • Patient Condition – a patient’s condition may need to improve before the surgery or exam takes place. • Follow-up Care – a patient who has an existing condition may be pre-booked for a follow-up treatment or exam a long time in advance. • Treatment Complexity – a patient with special requirements may need specific equipment or a certain kind of facility and there is a delay until these can be scheduled.
Comments Summary
If patient unavailable dates fall outside the referral date up until the date of the appointment, the patient unavailable dates are not deducted from the patient's wait days. These are considered data entry errors.
Acute Care/Hospital
Access, Wait Times
Wait Time Information System (WTIS)
Publish Datetime
09/08/2017 17:23:00