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Caring for older people: A case for better data

ARC Managers at a Palmerston North workshop use interRAI data to learn more about their residents.

Finding out more about aged care residents

A series of workshops around the country are bringing together key players in the Aged Residential Care sector, and helping aged care facilities learn more about their residents.

John McDougall, Data Analyst at the New Zealand Aged Care Association (NZACA), is an advocate of bringing people together to learn more about interRAI – assessments that take place to fully understand an older person needs and plan their care.

interRAI assessors, often Registered Nurses, complete a comprehensive clinical assessment with an older person. This forms the basis of a care plan to support someone in their own home or when they need to go into residential care.

John says ‘Given that NZACA was supportive of the introduction of interRAI (which became mandatory for aged care facilities in 2015), we were dismayed that many of our members were finding it a burden. We wanted to ensure aged care facility managers understood how to use interRAI more efficiently, and get through the assessment process quickly.’

Workshops as a joint venture

The NZACA was keen to collaborate with TAS in delivering a series of workshops for aged residential care staff.

‘The workshops are a joint venture between TAS and the NZACA. interRAI educators – a service provided by TAS - do the training and teaching at the workshops. I’m involved as an NZACA representative,’ John says.

TAS facilitators deliver the presentation, working through how health professionals can maximise the value from interRAI, make better use of interRAI data and learn more about their residents.

Feeling part of something bigger

The workshops bring together people who have the common goal of caring for older people, and allow them to put a face to a name, and establish new points of contact.

Sandra Deegan, Facility care manager/Registered Nurse at Cottage Rest Home in Opunake says the workshops helped her feel part of something bigger. 'It was great to network with others, and realise you’re not alone – you’re not the only one going through something.’

‘At the workshop I learned that interRAI reports can be printed off monthly. I now spend one day a month downloading the reports and giving the information to the trust who governs our rest home.’


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