Extendicare’s path to create more time for care

  • Case Study
  • 5 minute read
  • March 11, 2024

How a Workday integration was used to simplify, strengthen and standardize processes

Digital transformation case study

Client: Extendicare
Today's issue: 
Digital transformation


Extendicare, a leading Canadian provider of long-term care and home health care, has been serving seniors across the continuum of care for nearly five decades, driven by a mission to help people live better. Known for delivering high-quality care grounded in compassion and expertise, the organization is working to renew and reimagine seniors’ care to strengthen the systems seniors and their families will rely on for decades to come. These principles guide its interactions with residents, patients, families, a network of dedicated 22,000 team members, and government and community partners across provinces. 

Operating 100+ long-term care homes and providing home health services across the country, Extendicare aims to meet the needs of Canada’s growing senior population. Recently, the provider embarked on a journey to transform its legacy finance and HR operations system.

Its goal was to simplify access to dependable information and streamline processes, all while forging stronger partnerships within their existing operations. Central to this effort was the desire to standardize operations and empower data-backed decision-making, to improve accuracy and reliability for all.


PwC Canada’s collaboration with Extendicare started in 2019, with a primary focus on transforming human resource (HR) and Finance operations. The project kicked off with a Payroll Diagnostic and Optimization Roadmap to uncover improvement opportunities in this critical function that supports an employee base of 22,000 across the country. From there, PwC supported Extendicare in establishing the foundation and essential components required for the implementation of Workday in HR and Finance. This involved the design of their future-state Job Catalog, Chart of Accounts and future-state HR and Finance Operating Models.

However, to help Extendicare to meet their goal towards simplification, strengthening and standardization, Extendicare needed to first address the following key areas:

  • Outdated legacy system: A legacy system had created gaps between departments and care locations, leading to inefficiencies and complicating collaboration.
  • Union complexity: Extendicare’s thousands of team members are unionized, with 300 collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) making consistency and compliance formidable challenges.
  • Independent operations: Independent operational structures across care locations in several provinces hindered adaptability and complicated efforts to unify processes.

To achieve growth and operational efficiency, Extendicare recognized that it needed to replace the aging legacy system with a modern, comprehensive tool. Workday emerged as the clear choice, offering a comprehensive solution for ERP, Finance and Human Capital Management. 


In March 2020, amid the challenges of a global pandemic, Extendicare commenced its transformative journey with Workday. As efforts gained momentum over time, the culmination transpired with the launch of the Workday Phase 1 Full Platform project with PwC overseeing all aspects of software implementation and integration strategy.

This important milestone marked an exciting step forward for both teams. At the heart of the transition were guiding principles that formed the bedrock of the new Workday implementation:

  • Elevating user experience: Clear project outcomes included simplifying interfaces to ensure easy access to information and prioritize user-friendly processes—particularly in critical areas like hiring and recruitment. Wrap-around internal communications and support resources committed to partner with users and respond to their feedback every step of the way.
  • Achieving seamless integration: The project’s core focus was integrating disparate operations spread throughout the organization. The aim was to establish a unified environment where data and processes seamlessly flowed between various departments and care locations. This integration extended across crucial domains, including Finance, HR and regulatory compliance.
  • Streamlining workflows: The number of required approvals were reduced to eliminate redundancy and processing time. Extendicare aimed to standardize procedures for various operations, to deliver quicker resolution to team members’ administrative needs, to allow more time for teams to focus on high-quality care delivery. A significant achievement was the overhaul of the existing payroll structure by reducing the number of paygroups from 29 to 5. 
  • Fostering transparency: The project was rooted in trust and open communication, and grounded in a broad recognition that a change takes work - from people at all levels of the organization. Leaders vowed to listen to feedback and respond, and this partnership continues to result in new learnings today. These principles nurtured a collaborative environment that played a pivotal role in informed decision-making and the overall success of the transformation initiative.


The Workday implementation made Extendicare’s technology infrastructure more secure through features such as the encryption of employee and customer data.  Workday enabled them to utilize the security group features of role and user-based as well as process-maintained.  This allowed them to adopt leading practices and processes in Finance, HR, Payroll, Absence Management and Time Tracking. It successfully addressed critical challenges, such as managing the complexities of its 300+ CBAs. This transformation brought transparency to 22,000 team members spread across 100+ care locations.

One of the project’s notable achievements was the alignment it fostered between the Finance, HR and IT departments. This collaboration significantly improved the ability of these crucial support services teams to partner effectively, paving the way for sharing enhanced insights and reporting capabilities.

The alignment of Finance and HR provided comprehensive visibility into operations, bolstering their ability to manage compliance and make informed strategic decisions.


A legacy transformed

Extendicare’s journey with PwC and Workday stands as a testament to its commitment to continuous improvement, particularly as demands for seniors' health care continue to grow rapidly.

By making investments to simplify, standardize and streamline operations,  the organization is better positioned for sustainable growth and empowered care delivery to the thousands of Canadians in need of support as they age.

At its  foundation, this project was the result of the collaboration and dedication exhibited by both Extendicare and the PwC project teams. As Extendicare’s story demonstrates, the right technology—implemented through careful collaboration, ongoing engagement with teams,  and guided by a commitment to excellence—can provide the tools to revolutionize how an organization operates.

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Aaron Hudson

Aaron Hudson

Partner, Consulting and Deals, Workday Practice, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 277 9542

Asim  Bhatti

Asim Bhatti

Managing Director, Workday, Healthcare and Public Sector, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 710 5371

Angela Ma

Angela Ma

Partner, Healthcare Leader, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 687 8514

Angela Lianos

Angela Lianos

Senior Director, Healthcare Advisory , PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 508 2787