With the dark days of winter looming upon us, it can only mean one thing: tis’ the season to get sick. And as anyone with a family knows, when flu season hits and your children are unwell, getting kids proper medical care in a timely and efficient fashion can be a real challenge.
We’ve all been there: that last-minute dash to the emergency room or walk-in clinic, only to find yourself waiting for several hours because you picked the busiest place in town.
But luckily, this winter, things might be a little different.
This week an app launched in B.C. that will help take the guess-work out of getting the speediest medical care for you and your little ones.
The app is called Doctr and it tracks the wait times and occupancy rates of emergency rooms and walk-in clinics across Canada. While the app doesn’t show exact wait times, it does show how busy each emergency room and walk-in clinic is in real-time, so that patients can make an informed decision about what emergency room is the best one to head to.
The app is free to download for smartphones, Android phones, and ipads and you can upgrade the app to premium to get access to wait time trends and forecasts.
Here in B.C. the app currently has information for six hospitals in the Lower Mainland, including hospitals in Vancouver, Richmond and North Vancouver. It also has data for many local walk-in clinics, and even if the app doesn’t have the data for the wait times, the app still has lots of other pertinent information including contact details and facility open hours.
Quentin Gay is one of the two co-founders of Doctr, and he’s delighted with how the roll-out of the app has been going across Canada so far. He is also pleased with how the app is helping people, particularly families, make choices that can make their lives easier and less stressful. “This app is useful to parents because they use emergency rooms a lot and knowing how long they are going to have to wait is going to help them plan their trip to the emergency room or to find an alternative. As we know, when kids get sick, family doctors aren’t always available right away – or perhaps you need a doctor after-hours or on the weekend, and with kids, sometimes you have acute problems that need to be seen to straight away.”
He also said that since the app was first launched in the winter of 2016 it has received great feedback from users, who find it incredibly convenient. In fact, more than 350,000 people across the country are using the apps features and many more are expected to take advantage of it this flu season. “So far, the feedback that we’ve received from people is that they find the app very useful because it gives them transparency. It’s similar to having the wait times displayed for transit when you’re waiting for a bus or the subway: it makes the wait times more bearable.”
Enter here to win 1 of 20 Doctr subsciptions to be given away on November 30th!