Less than half of patients surveyed say they would recommend the emergency room at Health Sciences North.

The Sudbury hospital said a recent patient satisfaction survey shows 45 per cent of patients would recommend going there for an emergency — below the provincial average of 62 per cent.

The chief operating officer at the hospital said that, while patients are happy with the level of care they get when they are finally admitted to the ER, the time they have to wait is what impacts the number of patient recommendations.

"But I think you're still dissatisfied if you're sitting in [the ER] and you don't know what's going on and you feel like nobody cares about you sitting there," Joe Pilon said.

"Once you get in and get great care, that's good. But what about when I'm sitting here or I'm sitting here with my loved one, and that's where we're trying to focus some of our improvement opportunity now."

Pilon said one way to potentially improve the patient experience would be to have a greeter to check on people as they wait in the ER.