Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Donelle, Lorie



BACKGROUND: Home care in Ontario has become the fastest growing sector and cornerstone of the healthcare system. As a result of the increased shift to the home care sector in Ontario, there have been several health information technology (HIT) initiatives to improve the quality and delivery of health care services to patients. This is exemplified with the province-wide development and implementation of electronic documentation systems (EDS). Electronic documentation systems have the potential to ensure timely, up-to-date and comprehensive patient health and care-related information is available and accessible to healthcare providers such as registered nurses regardless of their physical location. Access to patient health and care-related information supports high-quality nursing care, decision-making, and care delivery processes. Despite the benefits of EDS (i.e., improved workflow, reduced diagnostic and laboratory tests and adverse drug events), low intention by registered nurses to use these systems is well documented. Existing evidence suggests that an expressed intention to use HIT such as EDS is a direct predictor and antecedent of behavioural usage. Despite the growing efforts to understand registered nurses’ perceptions and overall intention to use EDS in practice, there is limited knowledge about registered nurses’ intention to use EDS in the context of home care practice.

AIMS: The purpose of this study was to understand and examine factors that influence nurses’ intention and overall perception of using EDS in their home care practice. The conceptual model framing this study was adapted from the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) to delineate the relationships among factors that influence registered nurses’ intention to use EDS in home care practice.

METHOD: A sequential, explanatory mixed methods design, using a sample of nurses from Ontario who are currently practicing within the home care sector were recruited to address the study’s objectives. Data were collected using both quantitative (online survey) and qualitative (semi-structured individual telephone interviews) methods. Quantitative data were analyzed with descriptive statistics and hierarchical multiple regression analysis and qualitative data were analyzed with content and inductive thematic analysis.

RESULTS: Individual, technological and organizational / environmental characteristics were found to influence nurses’ intention, level of comfort and experience with EDS usage in home care practice. Additional factors found to influence home care nurses’ experience with EDS usage included: the development and employment of workarounds, the influence of nurse-patient interaction amidst system usage, and the ability to provide input towards the system design.

CONCLUSION: Nurses play a significant role in the delivery of home health care services to Ontarians. The findings highlight the importance for: a) further exploration of the most appropriate model and / or adaptation of a model identifying a range of factors influencing nurses’ intention to use EDS in different healthcare contexts; b) continued integration of nursing informatics competencies within nursing curricula; c) an organizational culture that supports the use of EDS in nurses’ home practice (i.e., enlisting user champions and providing adequate training and IT support); and d) having representation of nurses in the EDS design and / or implementation processes through a user-centered design approach.