04/15/2013 03:44 EDT | Updated 06/15/2013 05:12 EDT

Vancouver ER Wait Times Available Online For 5 Hospitals

VANCOUVER - People needing to use one of five Metro Vancouver hospital emergency departments, may want to check on line for wait times before leaving home.

The list, which can be found at displays average delays in real time at Vancouver General, St. Paul’s, Mount Saint Joseph, Lions Gate and Richmond hospitals.

Dr. Eric Grafstein, the head of emergency medicine for the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, says he originally developed the site for medial staff to help make the most efficient use of hospital resources and relieve congestion.

He says making it available to the public will allow patients with non-critical illnesses to choose which ER to go to based on the shortest average wait time.

The site calculates the average time it takes for nine out of ten patients who visit an emergency department to be seen by a doctor.

While the site is the first of its kind in B.C., similar ER wait time sites are available in Calgary, Edmonton and Kitchener, Ont., as well as in the U.S.

Also on HuffPost

Photo gallery Pricey Hospital Parking See Gallery