Emergency Department Overcrowding in Canada: An Update


Project Status:
In Progress
Project Line:
Health Technology Review
Project Sub Line:
Optimal Use
Project Number:
OP0553-000 - RE0044-000

Emergency department (ED) overcrowding is increasing and worsening in jurisdictions across Canada. In response, CADTH is updating the evidence on a series of reports published in 2006 about the causes and consequences of, and solutions to, ED overcrowding in health care systems across the country.

Five CADTH reports will be published between now and September (in addition to final guidance, which will be released in the fall of 2023):

  • An Environmental Scan of the contributing factors to ED overcrowding and an overview of reviews to assess the effectiveness of interventions to alleviate ED overcrowding
  • A qualitative review of the impact of ED overcrowding on those who engage with ED services
  • A utilization analysis to understand how ED overcrowding has changed over time
  • A Horizon Scan on new and emerging interventions to alleviate ED overcrowding (those not captured in the intervention effectiveness review noted previously)
  • A summary report of CADTH’s multistakeholder dialogue sessions.

Equity and ethical considerations will be integrated across all components of this project. Informed by the evidence, in the fall of 2023 CADTH’s Health Technology Expert Review Panel will also issue guidance for decision- and policy-makers about which interventions to consider to effectively alleviate ED overcrowding in Canada.

To enhance the quality and relevance of this work, CADTH is engaging people with extensive personal and/or professional experience with ED care within the Canadian health system.

CADTH Call for Statements of Interest

End of feedback period: September, 2023


Statements of Interest


Ongoing CADTH reports