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Welcome to Our Virtual Information Desk
Need directions to a department or clinic? Want to visit a patient? We're here to help!

Use our "Virtual Information Desk", accessible at the top of any page on our website by clicking on this Visitor Information Panel icon icon, to help answer common questions or help you find your way before and during your hospital visit.

Of course, you can visit our onsite main Information Desk located at the Melnyk Entrance (off of the Queensway) which is open from 7am to 9pm, Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 9pm Weekends and Holidays. Feel free to call us at 416-530-6000.

Find us at St. Joes
St. Joseph's Health Centre Toronto

Emergency Department

Knowing when it’s an emergency is important!

If you have a serious medical emergency call 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Department.

Our Emergency Department is here for you 24 hours a day, every day of the year. As the only Emergency Department serving southwest Toronto, our top priority is to provide our community with excellent care and to give support and comfort when people need it the most.

Our Emergency Department treats an average of 300 patients every day. Whether someone arrives by ambulance or walks in, our healthcare team works together to care for you and your family.

When you arrive:

gurney The triage nurse starts your care by doing an assessment of your illness. This nurse uses the health information you provide to decide what area of the Emergency Department you would best be treated in. We have five separate areas in our ED: Supertrack, Ambulatory, Pediatric, Resusciation and MHESU (Mental Health Emergency Service Unit).

Visitors are allowed anytime in the Emergency Department but we ask that only two stay with you. Under some circumstances, visitors may be asked to wait in our main waiting room. Please speak with your nurse about any questions you have about visiting and visiting hours.

The Emergency Department is located on the ground floor in the Barnicke wing, just inside the Emergency entrance. For information, please call 416-530-6003 where you will be directly connected with the Emergency Department unit clerk.

If you have a serious medical emergency call 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Department.

Patients with the most serious conditions are seen first in our Emergency Department. Consider making an appointment with your family doctor or going to a walk-in clinic to avoid waiting in the Emergency Department.

If your condition is not urgent, please call Telehealth Ontario to determine what type of care you need. Call 1-866-797-0000 for free access to a registered nurse who will help with any health related question. They are available 24 hours every day of the year.

Additional healthcare services in your community

Urgent Care Centres located in the community

Walk-in clinics located in the community

We have a dynamic group of staff members who work together provide you with the treatments you need and with the follow up appointments that are required to so  you have a safe discharge home. Our team includes:

  • Nurses: The Emergency Department is staffed with registered nurses and registered practical nurses who care for you using evidence-based best practices. They are your main contact during your stay with us and can answer any questions you have and get you in contact with any one of our other members of the care team.
  • Physicians: You will be seen initially by an Emergency Department physician who will assess you and order any necessary tests you will need to help diagnose any of your health concerns that brought you to us.
  • Social worker: You can either ask or be referred to our emergency department social worker who can provide you with any support, guidance, and/or resources you need. They are here to support you Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Occupational therapist: A referral may be made by the physician to our occupational therapist to assess and make recommendations about your mobility, cognitive status (your thought process and state of mind), and/or activities of daily living (bathing, toileting, cooking). They are here to support you seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Geriatric emergency management (GEM) nurse: If you are over 75 years of age, a referral may be made by your nurse or physician to our GEM nurse who will perform an in-depth health assessment of you and your needs. They will assist in providing and connecting you with resources and follow-ups, making recommendations and creating a plan for you and your family to ensure you have what you need to be safe at home
  • Unit clerks: Our Emergency Department is staffed with unit clerks 24 hours a day/7 days a week. They are located at the team stations near the signs that say “Please ask me.” They provide all administrative duties as well as assist in connecting you to any member of your healthcare team and addressing any questions you or your family may have.
  • Environmental service staff: Our Emergency Department is staffed by environmental services staff 24 hours, 7 days/week. They keep your area clean and respond to any immediate service requests. They are important in keeping you and your family safe by reducing hospital-acquired infections
  • Portering services: Our Emergency Department is also staffed by portering services 24 hours, 7 days/week. They assist in moving you to scheduled tests in other areas of the hospital or to your room if you are admitted from the Emergency Department. They are important in helping us reduce your wait times.
  • Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) coordinator: In collaboration with our community partners, a referral by any member of your care team will connect you with a CCAC coordinator between 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 7 days/week. The coordinator will speak with you to assess and arrange any community supports you may need.
  • Volunteers: You will find volunteers in the Emergency Department every day from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. They will assist you with any answering any questions you have and connecting you with members of your care team. Our volunteers are important in helping you navigate the Health Centre.
  • Physician consultants: You may be referred to a specialized physician consultant by the emergency department physician based on the results of your tests. We have a number of services that provide consultation: medicine, surgery,  nephrology,  cardiology, neurology, geriatrics and psychiatry.

What to expect when you come to the Emergency Department

You will be seen by a triage nurse who will assign a care level to you based on the information you share. You will then be sent to the most appropriate area of the Emergency Department that will address your needs.

The wait times in the Emergency Department change as we cannot predict patient care needs whether you arrive on your own or by ambulance. We will see all patients, however those that require immediate lifesaving treatments will be seen first.

Hand washing is important to stop the spread of infection, and so we ask that all staff, patients, and visitors clean their hands by using any of the hand sanitizer stations provided throughout the department.

If you see a sign posted outside of a room you are visiting, please ask the unit clerk located in areas marked “Just ask me” who will get you in contact with the nurse. The nurse will provide you with what is expected of you. Please follow the instructions provided to you.

Please ask your nurse before you visit either location as there may be restrictions on your diet as we continue with your care and treatments.

There may be times when we need to restrict access to the Emergency Department. Please follow the directions of hospital staff upon your arrival.

Please use this list to help you prepare for your Emergency Department visit. You should bring with you:

  • Home medications (including pills, drops, creams) any natural non prescription medications
  • Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card – your health card – or any documents that provide proof of healthcare coverage
  • Your house keys
  • Any items you need that assist you in understanding what is being said to you or provided to you in writing
  • Someone who can translate for you.
  • Contact information for someone we can use as your emergency contact while you stay with us.
  • Any supporting legal documents that prove Power of Attorney may be requested

Arranging for transportation: If you arrive alone, please ensure that your transportation home is aware that they can be called at any point in your stay as discharges from the Emergency Department can occur at any time. If you do not have transportation, we can arrange transportation for you at a cost.

Please leave all valuables at home as the Health Centre is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.

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