At Marin General Hospital, we are committed to providing the best possible care to every patient. In the Emergency Department, we aim to keep your wait time as short as possible, and to keep you informed. To this end, we post the current average wait time on our website and update it every 10 minutes.

However, posted wait times reflect the average wait times for people who do not arrive by ambulance and are subject to change as we can never be certain how many patients are going to come through our doors, and how severe their condition might be. That is why, like all hospitals, we have to perform triage, the process of prioritizing our patients according to the severity of their illness or injury.

The Triage Process

Rest assured, all patients will be immediately assessed by a qualified nurse upon entry into the Emergency Department waiting room and our team will work to ensure wait times are as short as possible. After the initial assessment, patients are registered by one of our Patient Access Representatives. If the patients’ condition does not require immediate emergency care, we may need to treat more severely ill patients first.

There are times when the Emergency Department receives a high number of severely ill patients and it may impact wait times. The following circumstances can affect the wait time in our Emergency Department:

  • Seriously ill or injured patients who require immediate attention often arrive by ambulance through a different entrance. We may be very busy treating them, even if you don’t see a lot of people in the waiting room.
  • Certain patients with a minor illness or injury may be called before others because they can be cared for quickly in the fast-track areas.
  • You may require tests and procedures that will add to the length of your wait or stay.