4. Shorter waiting times

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Less waiting in the ER

Despite the rise in activity, waiting times in the emergency department have been reduced. As a result, 90% of the most serious accidents and emergencies (level 1) are treated without delay in adults as well as in children. For less serious emergencies (level 2 and 3), the vast majority of cases are treated within the defined target time.

In order to continue to improve these results, especially for level 2 emergencies, while dealing with the steady increase in admissions, the HUG is expanding its emergency department, its capacity. Work will begin in 2018 and completion is scheduled for 2022.

Degree of urgency% of patients treated on time
Level 1 (without delay)85%90%
Level 2 (within 20 minutes)56%73%
Level 3 (within 2 hours)63%91%


Geriatric emergencies

With the opening of the geriatric emergency department at the Hospital des Trois-Chêne (FR) on 1 November 2016, to accommodate people aged 75 and over (excluding life-and-death emergencies), the HUG has launched a new and innovative concept, unique in Switzerland. The primary goal is to take care of this section of the population, under appropriate conditions.

After one year of operation, we are seeing little or no waiting times, and it has never exceeded two hours. Two thirds of patients received are then hospitalized on site. Previously, 80% of elderly patients admitted to the adult ER in a non-life-and-death emergency were eventually hospitalized at Trois-Chêne, requiring numerous uncomfortable and expensive inter-site transfers. In just one year, the geriatric ER has cared for 2,979 patients.

Pediatric emergencies

The number of visits to the Pediatric Admissions and Emergencies Division (SAUP) has grown steadily in recent years, increasing by 19.5% between 2014 and 2017 to reach 26,564 outpatients.

After falling by more than 50% in just a few years, waiting times stabilized in 2016 despite the sharp rise in the number of consultations. For all degrees of urgency, the median waiting time is now 30 minutes and the average time for treatment is 2.5 hours. Naturally, these values vary according to the severity of the case

Degree of urgencyWaiting time* in minutesDuration of the visit* in hours
All degrees of urgency combined302.30


infokidsGreater comfort while waiting for consultation

On site, parents are informed of their child's position in the queue on a screen using their initials. If their health condition allows it, they can even temporarily leave the emergency department while waiting for consultation. A text message is then sent to them 15 minutes before their appointment time, notifying them that a doctor is available.

InfoKids is the pediatric accident and emergency app for parents. It offers useful services before, during and after consultation:

  • advice on how to deal with the symptoms presented by the child
  • real-time information on numbers in the waiting room
  • directions to the pediatric emergency department and confirmation of the child's arrival with the healthcare team
  • real-time information on the child's position in the queue
  • description of the treatment measures to follow, based on the diagnosed illness or trauma.




Last update : 29/01/2019