How can health care providers empower patients and their caregivers as they deal with the emotional cycles of change throughout their care journey?

How can patients and caregivers develop the confidence and ability to be partners in their care journey?

What do providers need to do differently to recognize, understand and respond to patients’ and caregivers’ needs?

This project introduces the concept of emotional intelligence in patient- and family-centred care. The CHCA is working with home care leaders across the country to create, test and introduce an emotional intelligence learning program. The goal of the program is to increase health care providers’ ability to perceive, understand, manage and use emotions to make a positive difference in client care

Recognizing the caring experience

A holistic, person-centric view of the care journey recognizes that patients’ and caregivers’ unique experiences are made up of what they think (head), how they feel (heart) and what they do (hands). When health care providers recognize and pay attention to all three elements, they can empower patients and caregivers to deal with change and overcome challenges.

Fully engaging the head, heart and hands is key to supporting and empowering patients and caregivers. At the foundation of the CHCA Emotional Intelligence (EI) Education Program is understanding the care journey through a “head-heart-hands” lens.

Addressing the missing link

Emotional intelligence (EI) is essential for recognizing, understanding and responding to patients’ and caregivers’ experiences throughout the care journey. Patients and their caregivers deal with many emotional cycles of change that impact what they think (head), how they feel (heart) and what they do (hands). Health care providers with high EI recognize how emotions impact experiences and use their skills to build trust, show empathy, communicate clearly, adapt to new situations and deliver exceptional patient- and family-centred care.

Emotional intelligence is the core topic for the CHCA EI Learning Program. Specific EI domains and competencies were selected based on needs analysis outcomes and consultations with caregivers and health care providers.

The Value of EI in Patient-Centred Care

Supporting home care leaders

The CHCA is working with select project partners to co-design an innovative learning program that includes online, self-directed learning modules and facilitated group sessions. Project partners are currently implementing the EI Education Program to provide staff with information, tools and case studies to help build their EI capabilities and practise new behaviours to reinforce their learning. Teams will share their experiences in the fall of 2022.

Our project partners:

CarePartners provides personal support workers, rehabilitation services and nursing care for patients in homes, schools, retirement homes, clinics and workplaces. They offer health professionals a great place to work and families a great place to find high-quality health care. Their services are available across Ontario, in both urban and rural communities.

For 30 years, Closing the Gap Healthcare has been providing health care services that enable Canadians of all ages to heal and thrive—living their best lives, as measured by tangible outcomes.

Helping individuals and families who require supportive, palliative and acute care services to remain independent in their home.

Through their newly developing Home First approach, Eastern Health is working to provide timely access to supports and services for individuals in the home and community.

As Ontario’s leading provider of innovative home health care, senior companionship services and specialized services, Spectrum Health Care provides patients with seamless service through a Total Care model.

Partners in Restorative Care is an innovative, capacity-building project designed to enhance the ability of home care providers to recognize, understand and address both the physical and emotional challenges experienced by caregivers through emotional intelligence training. This project is made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada.

Quick Facts

32 systematic reviews, 15 primary studies and 5 key informants informed the training content

24 caregivers and 83 providers
engaged in consultations

8 self-directed
EI learning modules with over 3 hr of training

10 easy-to-use
Learning Aids to apply emotional intelligence


Seniors and Alternate Level of Care: Building on our knowledge

This study provides an in-depth look at transitions from acute care to the community. It showcases three Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) data holdings that inform health system planning about the care needs of elderly Canadians who wait in hospitals for placement in the community. Download the tools

Home First – High Impact Practice

This High Impact Practice describes how the health system partners in the Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network employed two key strategies to respond to the increasing number of individuals designated as ALC (alternate level of care). The strategies targeted the increasing number of people needing care and the process for designating individuals to long-term care placement. Download the HIP

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