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Wait Time Information Office (WTIO)

Wait Time Information System

The Wait Time Information System (WTIS) is a key part of the Ontario government’s Wait Time Strategy. It is the first-ever information system to monitor, measure and publicly report wait times across the province. Cancer Care Ontario was appointed by Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to operate the WTIS because of our experience working with complex provincial health information systems.

Originally developed for the Wait Time Strategy’s initial five key areas of care: cataract surgery, cancer surgery, cardiac surgery, hip and knee replacement surgery and MRI/CT scans, the WTIS has expanded to include all adult and paediatric surgeries.

It is a single system to capture and better manage wait times in near real-time.

This web-based system performs several functions:

  • enables the collection of data related to wait times;
  • provides surgeons and other health professionals with the tools required to effectively assess patient urgency according to a defined wait times standard;
  • measures and reports wait times and data regarding utilization of procedures;
  • supplies surgeons, other physicians, administrators and managers with near real-time information for use in monitoring and managing wait lists.
  • Reports wait time information to the public on a website enabling patients to manage their own care and the public to assess progress on reducing wait times:

Alternate Level of Care

WTIS data is used to measure and report the time patients wait for alternate levels of care. Alternate Level of Care (ALC) is the designation given by a physician to a patient who is occupying a bed in a hospital while not requiring the intensity of resources or services provided in that particular care setting. ALC information is submitted from 185 hospital sites. While not publically reported, LHINs and hospitals are provided with more robust data that provides a picture of patient flow and that can be used to improve patient outcomes.

About the Wait Time Information Office (WTIO)

Cancer Care Ontario established the Wait Time Information Office, which administers and supports the WTIS by ensuring data quality, performing data audits, and analyzing and reporting wait times data. The WTIO is also responsible for WTIS requirements and release management, and WTIS user support.


The Wait Time Information System keeps all personal health information collected secure and confidential. The CCO Privacy Policy outlines privacy practices and the safeguards the WTIO staff employ to protect personal health information in the WTIS.

The Privacy and Access Office ensures all WTIO staff follow the Privacy Policy, and is the main public contact for information about the WTIO's privacy practices. 

Additional information is available in the WTIO Privacy FAQs.

Contact the Privacy & Access Office
Phone: 416.217.1816

Requesting Wait Time Information

To request aggregate and/or record level wait time data, research requests or other wait time data requests, please contact us at 

Recent Accomplishments

Last modified: Tue, Jun 23, 2015
cancer care ontario | action cancer ontario   620 University Avenue Toronto Ontario, Canada M5G 2L7   Phone: 416.971.9800 Fax: 416.971.6888

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