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 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 (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.


Overall, eShift healthcare providers reported that they were comfortable in their knowledge about end of life processes and felt able to support patients and their family caregivers in their grieving process. eShift healthcare providers agreed that patients were cared for in a timely manner. Patient symptoms, specifically the experience of pain, was well managed, and patients were able to die in their place of choice. The eShift model of care enabled family caregivers to get needed sleep and respite. Technicians and DRNs agreed that fewer errors or mistakes in patient care are made within the eShift model of care. DRNs and Technicians agreed that the DRN was an important mentor to the Technicians and that the guidance provided by the DRN was viewed as helpful in supporting the Technician to effectively and confidently provide patient care. Care Coordinators reported that the eShift model positively influenced their ability to deliver care to their patients and the eShift model of care enabled clear and concise transfer of information among the eShift healthcare team. Healthcare providers had a good understanding of the other providers’ roles, abilities and skills and all healthcare providers perceived Sensory Technologies to be an important member of the eShift team. Technicians, DRNs, and care coordinators agreed that eShift technology was easy to use and technical support was available should any issues arise. Overall, healthcare providers working within the eShift model of care reported feeling highly satisfied with their current job and career choice.

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. (2017, May). E-shift, an innovative home care model: Perceptions of surveyed healthcare providers. 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. 

Dr. Sandra Regan, RN

Deputy Registrar and Executive Director of Education, Policy, and Practice, British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives
Sandra is the Deputy Registrar and Executive Director of Education, Policy, and Practice at the British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives.
Sandra’s work focuses on education program review, practice support and consultation, health policy, and research.