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Tool to improve the quality of care and life for vulnerable

Tool to improve the quality of care and life for vulnerable

A new electronic assessment tool to improve the quality of care for the elderly and vulnerable could have wider applications for the health of New Zealanders.

The tool, interRAI, is a relatively new concept to New Zealand but is well used in Canada. So, what lessons can we learn from it, and how can we collaborate to get better health outcomes for our most vulnerable?

University of Waterloo’s Professor John Hirdes is in Auckland this week, hosting a seminar at Massey University’s Albany campus. He will explore how this electronic assessment tool can improve the quality of health care for those in home and community care, residential and long-term care, acute care, assisted living, mental health and palliative care.

InterRAI is a not-for-profit collaborative network of researchers and clinicians from more than 35 countries improving health care for the elderly, frail and disabled. Since July this year, it has been mandatory for all aged care facilities in New Zealand to use interRAI as their primary assessment for care planning.

Professor Hirdes’ seminar will provide an overview of Canada’s use of interRAI assessments. He offers ideas for how researchers, health service providers and policy makers in both countries could collaborate.

“New Zealand and Canada have been at the forefront of innovation in the use of electronic health records to improve the care of vulnerable persons,“ says Professor Hirdes. “There are exciting new opportunities for our countries to collaborate at multiple levels in order to improve the quality of health care.”

Massey University College of Health Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Paul McDonald was recently appointed Chair of the interRAI Governance Board by the Ministry of Health.

Professor McDonald says, “I had the pleasure of working with Professor Hirdes in Canada. He helped providers in long-term care, mental health, and home care to use the interRAI instrument to develop evidence-based practices and benchmark their progress.

“John is a master at using the interRAI set to study policy and practice alternatives for very little cost. He is a very engaging speaker who will be of great interest to researchers, students, policy developers and programme providers.”

For more information on interRAI: http://www.interrai.org/

Note for editors: The first World interRAI Conference will be held in Toronto Canada in April 2016. It will provide an important forum that brings together researchers, policy makers and practitioners from around the globe, using the interRAI system in home and community care, residential/long-term care, acute care, assisted living, mental health and palliative care.

For more information: https://www.worldinterrai.org/

Continues …

Professor John Hirdes biography:

John Hirdes is a Professor in the School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He is the senior Canadian Fellow and a Board Member of interRAI. He chairs interRAI's International Network of Excellence in Mental Health and the interRAI Network of Canada. He is also a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Professor Hirdes has more than 190 publications in peer reviewed journals and academic book chapters. His primary areas of interest include assessment, mental health, aging, health care and service delivery, case mix systems, quality measurement, health information management, and quantitative research methods.

Seminar details

Where: Atrium Round Room, Massey University, Auckland Campus

When: 12 – 1pm, Thursday October 15

ENDS

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