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Assessment tool enhances the aged care experience

Assessment tool enhances the aged care experience

4 March 2014

With the support of MidCentral District Health Board, aged residential care providers are rolling out a clinical comprehensive assessment tool (interRAI) as part of a nationwide move to improve the assessment experience for older people.

The computerised system helps to provide detailed statistical information about the needs of residents. This integrated, on-line approach to resident information means that decisions can be made quicker by all clinicians involved in a person’s care. Another benefit of the suite of assessment tools is that 80% of the items and information can be used in the next assessment tool, reducing the need for older people to be over-assessed as they progress their journey through the health system.

Lonsdale Total Care Centre in Foxton were recently celebrated by interRAI New Zealand for their part in rolling out the assessment tool. Mark Buckley, a former MidCentral Health employee is leading the clinical care at Lonsdale, as well as Foxton Beach’s Riverside Lodge rest home.

Mark said: “The web portal tool is great with its comprehensive gathering of resident information and care planning ability. Two other staff at Lonsdale are now training in its use, and all residents should be assessed using the new tool in the coming months.”

Senior Portfolio Manager for Health of Older People, Jo Smith spent 18 months supporting the interRAI project, both locally and regionally with its implementation. Ms Smith said the data opportunities these electronic clinical assessment tools can produce is significant.

“Never before have we had the knowledge around older people that we now have on our local communities. De-identified, aggregated data is proving useful in determining what sectors of our communities can be profiled for priority care and support options.”

DHBs have been encouraged to support the rollout and provide assistance where required. MDHB have two trained interRAI trainers who have been supporting the project over the past two years as the need has arisen.

The possible benefits also extend beyond aged care with a number of different tools in the suite of assessments. Interest has been expressed by palliative care staff to add the palliative care tool to the local mix.


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