Research Approach Overview

Overall Research Focus:

How can technology reduce the workload and increase the productivity of HCAs in
home care settings and increase the efficiency of the home care team overall?”


Study Objectives:

  1. Document and analyze the HCAs’ workflows, including team interactions;
  2. Collaborate with service providers and expert groups to identify key HCA workload issues, and identify and deploy existing, affordable technologies to address these issues;
  3. Assess the impact of these technological solutions on workflow and productivity of HCAs, their health-care teams and client care.  

Data Collection Approach:       

Ethnography requires a very eclectic approach for data collection (Riemer, 2008). Our goal for data collection is to describe a full cycle of activities (all the possible types of situations the HCA may have to deal with). We will also attempt to achieve some form of partial saturation where we start seeing the same patterns and descriptions repeated.

Our research process will have two stages. During the first exploratory stage, we hope to complete informal discussions at all levels to gain the unique perspective for the particular region. We plan to complete interviews with up to 3 HCA and 1 or 2 HCP, case and site managers. 

In addition, a review of related documentation will also be completed which will include data on staffing ratios, caseload, workflow and specific job descriptions for the HCA’s. The exploratory stage will be used to inform the second discovery stage of our research.  During the second stage semi-structured interviews (sample of interview format and questions appendix # 2) will be conducted with all the study participants.

The final component for stage 2 will consist of focus groups (see appendix 3) with HCA, HCP and case and site managers. Note: the semi-structured interviews and focus groups will have specific probes looking at specific areas of interest however participants will have ample opportunity for to add, clarify and even refute previous findings.

Data Collection Methods:

  1.      Documentation review
  2.      Semi-structured interviews
  3.      Focus groups

Examples of interview and focus formats are provided – note each interview will be adapted specifically for the individual being interviewed (e.g. HCA, as opposed to a consumer).