Montreal Children’s Hospital launches text message service to reduce wait times

Waiting to see your doctor is a source of frustration for many Canadians. Several independent organizations have installed kiosks that allow patients to register their smartphone and receive a text a few minutes before the doc is ready to see you. These all come a price per text at $3.

The Montreal Children’s Hospital in Quebec has launched a similar service to those visiting the hospital and they are calling it “a first of its kind in Québec.” This is only available to those visiting the emergency department and one must first register their child’s hospital card or Medicare card number and register their number through the kiosk at the hospital or the website. Wait times are sent via text every five minutes and alerts are only sent when five or less patients are ahead of them.


There doesn’t seem to be a service charge like the others, but it does count as a text message on your monthly carrier bill.

Dr. Harley Eisman, Director of the Montreal Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Emergency Department, stated “the goal is to make wait times more palatable for patients and families so that ultimately, they can make more empowered decisions. Sometimes, this can mean that they decide to go for a walk, or get a bite to eat while they wait instead of sitting in the waiting room, and other times, it may mean they decide to go home or seek care elsewhere. Ultimately, we hope that by giving parents more options with this new service, it will help to enhance the patient experience.”

Source: MUHC