Research Summary

Research Topic:

In response to needs of older adults at the end-of-life and challenges in the recruitment and retention of healthcare providers (HCPs) in home care in the South West Community Care Access Center, a new and innovative model of home care, eShift, has been developed. eShift links unregulated care providers (eShift Technicians) providing home care to a remotely-situated Directing Registered Nurse (DRN), through a smart phone application using real-time communication and documentation technology. The DRN monitors and directs appropriate, safe, and effective care provided in collaboration with the technician in real-time, enhancing quality of care delivery for older adults and their family caregivers.


eShift Technicians when compared to Community PSWs were:

  • more likely to indicate that their patients received sufficient hours of care and that they received care in a timely manner. 
  • felt more confident that they could perform their job well because of professional education opportunities and training provided by their agency.
  • felt more able to:
    • help caregivers accept a poor prognosis,
    • talk to patients and their caregivers about choosing where they would like to die,
    • help caregivers through the grieving process,
    • talk to other health care professionals about caring for a dying patient, and
    • help resolve family conflicts over end-of-life care, recognize when a patient was about to die. 
  • had higher job satisfaction.
  • rated their work environment as more positive and supportive.
  • perceived greater access to opportunities and information, and provision of support and resources.
  • felt that they were more equipped to collaborate and effectively work with other members of the care team.
  • viewed the use of technology in practice more positively and were more likely to perceive technology as easy to use and beneficial to their job performance.

This project is supported by a team of researchers & led by co-principal investigators: 

Lorie Donelle, RN, PhD, Associate Professor, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing and School of Health Studies, Western University. 

Sandra Regan, RN, PhD, Associate Professor, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, Western University. 

Suggested Citation:

Donelle, L., Regan, S. (2016, March). E-shift, an innovative home care model: Perceptions of e shift technicians and community personal support workers on care provision. Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing.


Lorie Donelle

Dr. Lorie Donelle

Associate professor and research chair, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, Western University
Lorie Donelle was inspired to launch Health in All Data from her research across health literacy, equity, and digital health.
She is an Associate Professor at Western University in the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing and a Scientist with the Lawson Health Research Institute in London Ontario and is an inaugural member of Fellows of the Canadian Academy of Nursing (FCAN). She holds an endowed research chair – the Arthur Labatt Family Chair in Nursing focused on digital health.  Dr. Donelle’s research addresses health promotion specific to issues of health & digital health literacy(s), social justice, and digital health.  Her research investigates technology-enabled models of healthcare and the relationships between health information technologies and client/clinician health practices. Dr. Donelle contributes to International and national advisory committees for health literacy and digital health. 

Sarah Ali

Digital Health Project Manager, North York General Hospital
Sarah is a Digital Health program Manager at North York General Hospital where she leads strategic initiatives for implementing a digital health strategy with
stakeholders across the hospital. She previously spent 3 years at University Health Network developing the Patient Portal, and 6 years at MaRS supporting various data innovation projects.