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Navigating MyCare
in the Emergency Department

Sunnybrook’s Emergency Department cares for urgent, life-threatening illness and injuries. We know that coming to an Emergency Department for you or a family member can be stressful. Please read this overview of what to expect, recognizing that each patient’s hospital experience is slightly different because no two patients’ injuries or conditions are the same.

Your care pathway

1

Getting to Sunnybrook's Emergency Department

Location and parking

Location: A-Wing, Ground Floor, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON

You can access the ED from the walk-in entrance on Life-Saving Drive or through the A-Wing Ground Floor entrance.

View our campus map
View parking information and rates

What to bring

  • Health Card (OHIP card) or photo ID that includes your current address
  • Home telephone number or cell phone number
  • Family doctor name and contact information
  • Emergency contact information
  • List of your allergies and any medications, herbal remedies, or supplements you are taking
  • Next of kin (if possible, have a family member or next of kin with you at your visit for support)

Can I bring my child to Sunnybrook for care?

Your child’s care is important to us. Your child will be assessed and cared for by an emergency physician in as timely a manner as possible. We do not have pediatricians on staff at Sunnybrook.

While equipped to perform basic assessment and emergency treatment, pediatric care at Sunnybrook is limited beyond what is provided in the Emergency Department. If your child requires consultation with a pediatrician, hospital admission, surgery, out-patient clinic follow-up or certain tests, your child may be transferred and/or referred to another hospital that provides pediatric care.

Fragrance free

Sunnybrook is a fragrance-free hospital. Please avoid wearing perfume or other scented products.

Ambulance fees

Why was I sent a bill for $45 to cover an ambulance service to Sunnybrook?

Ontario residents having a valid Ontario health card (OHIP) and receiving ambulance transportation deemed medically necessary are required, under Ontario legislation, to pay the billing institution an ambulance co-payment of $45. In these situations, the hospital acts as the billing agent. (There are special exemptions – please visit the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (opens in a new window) website for more information).

Why was I billed $240 for an ambulance service to Sunnybrook?

When an Ontario resident with a valid health card is transported within Ontario by land ambulance, and the receiving hospital physician or designate deems the use of an ambulance medically unnecessary, the ambulance transportation is not insured under the Ontario Health Insurance Act and the patient must pay the billing institution $240. A physician at the receiving hospital decides if the service is medically necessary.

Please find more information about ambulance services charges on the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website

Urgent care centres

If you are experiencing urgent, but non-life threatening illness or injuries, please consider visiting an urgent care centre or a walk-in clinic for non-urgent treatment of minor illness or injury. ​

Search for a walk-in clinic close to home using the below tool:

Or view a list of centres in Ontario:

View list of urgent care centres
View list of walk-in clinics

Find a family doctor

Learn more about finding a family doctor in Ontario via Health Care Connect 

Phone number: 1-800-455-1822

2

Arrival at the Emergency Department

Self check-in kiosk

  • Upon arrival through the Emergency Department’s walk-in entrance, you will follow arrows to the “self check-in” kiosk.
  • Follow the instructions on the touch screen
  • When finished, you will receive a number and the triage nurse will be alerted that you are here
  • Watch for your number on the screen above the triage booths
  • When called, you will be assessed by a triage nurse in one of the triage booths
  • Patients are not always called in the order they arrive

Triage (assessment by a nurse)

Our triage nurses use the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS) to prioritize patient care requirements based on severity of injury or illness (how sick you are).

Tell the triage nurse about any allergies and all medications, herbal remedies or supplements you are taking.

After the nurse has completed their assessment, you will be called by the registration clerk to register for your visit.

You're waiting because...

Sunnybrook is Canada’s largest trauma centre, and we also see patients who need urgent burn, stroke, heart, cancer and obstetrical care. Because we see very sick patients, it can impact wait times.

We know waiting can be difficult – please be patient. Your health, safety, and comfort are very important to us.

If your condition changes or gets worse, please calmly and clearly tell someone at the triage booth or a nursing station.

Depending on your condition when you were brought into the department, you may be placed either on a stretcher or in a chair in a small waiting room to wait.

A doctor will see people with the most urgent concern first, regardless of who arrived first.

If you require additional medical imaging (X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, etc.), blood tests, consultation with a specialist doctor or other services as part of your treatment, you will need to wait for these services.

Wi-Fi

Sunnybrook offers free Wi-Fi to our patients and visitors. 

View WiFi login details

Food

Enjoy a selection of food options at our Bayview Campus, including popular restaurant and café brands.

View food options and locations at our Bayview Campus

If your condition changes

If your condition changes, please speak with a member of the care team.

3

In the Emergency Department

You're waiting because..

Sunnybrook is Canada’s largest trauma centre; we also see patients who need urgent burn, stroke, heart, cancer and obstetrical care. Because we see very sick patients, it can impact wait times.

We know waiting can be difficult – please be patient. Your health, safety, and comfort are very important to us.

If your condition changes or gets worse, please calmly and clearly tell someone at the triage booth or a nursing station.

Depending on your condition when you were brought into the department, you may be placed either on a stretcher or in a chair in a small waiting room to wait.

A doctor will see people with the most urgent concern first, regardless of who arrived first.

If you require additional diagnostic imaging (X-ray, CT scan, ultrasound, etc.), blood tests, consultation with a specialist doctor or other services as part of your treatment, you will need to wait for these services.

Rooms and stretchers

Rooms and stretchers are needed for patient assessment. You might be moved to a chair to wait while we see other patients. We appreciate your understanding should this happen.

When you see the doctor

You may be seen by a doctor, resident physician (doctor in training), or a physician assistant. In all cases a staff emergency doctor will review your case before you are sent home or referred for admission.

MyChart

MyChart is Sunnybrook’s personal online health management record solution, which will give you the ability to access and manage your own health information.

All patients must obtain a PIN before being able to create an account to access their records online.

If you are being registered at the hospital for the first time and your e-mail was entered at the time of registration, you will receive an automated MyChart invitation along with a PIN (valid for 60 days). You can also register for MyChart online. 

Privacy

We ask that you do not record (audio or video) or take photos in the hospital. Everyone has the right to decide whether or not to participate in photography and recordings, including our staff.

In protecting patient privacy and in keeping with privacy laws, our staff will ask you to delete any unauthorized photos or recordings.

Those who do not cooperate will be asked to leave the department.

Zero tolerance violence policy

Sunnybrook is committed to providing a safe, healthy, secure and respectful environment through the prevention of violent, abusive and aggressive behaviour. We pledge to treat you with dignity and respect, and expect the same treatment in return.

The safety of our patients and staff is of utmost importance.

Every act of physical, verbal, emotional, or psychological abuse is not acceptable. This includes, but is not limited to, arguing, bullying, profanity, belittling, name-calling, intimidating, threatening, stealing and damaging property.

Patients and visitors who are considered to pose a safety risk to our staff, physicians, volunteers or other patients, will be removed from the hospital.

Belongings

Sunnybrook is not responsible for patient and visitor belongings. Please do not bring valuables (this includes, but is not limited to, cash, jewelry, keys and watches) into the hospital.

We understand that an Emergency Department visit is not planned. Be sure to pass your valuables to a friend or family member for safekeeping while you are in the hospital so they can make arrangements to take them home for you.

Concerns

If you have any concerns, speak with a member of the care team

Spiritual and religious care

A chaplain / spiritual care provider provides support in an interfaith, spiritual capacity to people from all faith traditions, as well as those who are not associated with a faith tradition. They can:

  1. Assist and support you in identifying and communicating your spiritual needs
  2. Support you in grief and loss issues that may surface for you and your loved ones
  3. Explore issues of meaning and purpose that may be present for you during this time
  4. Support and assist you in bringing closure to "unfinished business" especially in the area of making peace or reconciling relationships
  5. Connect you with a specific faith group leader, if this is your wish

The following quiet spaces are available for prayer, reflection, meditation, reading and worship:

  1. Veterans Chapel or Main Chapel (with Blessed Sacrament Chapel)
  2. Synagogue/Jewish Chapel
  3. Muslim Prayer Room (with Women's Prayer Section)

All of the above are located near the McLaughlin Auditorium in E-Wing, Ground Floor

View our campus map

4

Admission or discharge

Discharge from the Emergency Department

If you are discharged home, it is important that you understand your discharge instructions. This may include:

Any follow-up appointments you may have. You may need to see your family doctor or a specialist at Sunnybrook or in the community. Make sure your contact information is up to date.

Your prescriptions for medications and where you can get them filled. This can be done either at your local pharmacy or at Sunnybrook. 

View information about Sunnybrook's outpatient pharmacy

Please ensure you:

Transportation

Patients and families are responsible for the costs of transportation home when you are discharged from an emergency visit. Please ask someone on your healthcare team if you need assistance with arranging any of the following transportation methods home:

  • Taxi
  • Wheelchair taxi
  • Private ambulance transportation services (i.e. for patients requiring a stretcher)

Note: Some services will require that you provide a credit card number in order to book transportation.

Payment for medical supplies upon discharge

When you are discharged, you may receive medical supplies related to your condition. These may include, but are not limited to crutches, splints, casts, etc. Please note that patients are responsible for the cost of these items. Patients may receive a bill in the mail from Sunnybrook outlining the item and the cost. These items are non-refundable.

Admission

If the doctor feels that you require admission to the hospital you will stay in the Emergency Department until a bed becomes available on one of the in-patient units. Unfortunately, there may be more patients than available beds in the hospital. The nursing staff will initiate and continue your care in the Emergency Department while you wait for an available bed. You will still be regularly assessed by your doctor.

Beds on the ward become available when admitted patients are discharged. When there are more patients waiting for beds than beds available, the Emergency Department will experience a backlog and this can cause long waits.

If you are stable and waiting for an in-patient bed you may be required to wait in our hallway. This is because some patients require rooms for special treatments or may need special equipment such as heart monitors and breathing machines. You will still have nurses caring for you and your doctor will continue to check in with you.

We work closely with our Patient Flow Department, who are also trying their best to find a bed for you. Please be patient during this wait time. We cannot control the number of patients and ambulances that arrive, or how many patients are discharged from the hospital.

You will receive an information package about your stay from one of our volunteer ambassadors, which includes a patient handbook.

Office of the Patient Experience

Our Office of the Patient Experience is here to help should you have concerns during your stay. 

Learn more about our Office of the Patient Experience

» Download a PDF version of this care pathway

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