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interRAI in New Zealand

What is interRAI?

interRAI is a suite of clinical assessment instruments. It is developed by interRAI™, an international consortium of experts, and licensed for use in New Zealand by interRAI Services, part of Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand.

InterRAI is mandatory in aged residential care and home and community services for older people living in the community.

About the assessments

interRAI assessments are comprehensive clinical assessments, which focus on a person’s function. They are designed to show the assessor opportunities for improvement and any risks to the person’s health, which then form the basis of a care plan.

Six interRAI assessments are used in New Zealand. They are:

  • Contact Assessment - a brief triage assessment for older people
  • Community Health Assessment - a modular assessment used in the community
  • Home Care Assessment - a comprehensive assessment for older people living at home
  • Long Term Care Facilities Assessment - a comprehensive assessment for older people living in aged residential care
  • Palliative Care Assessment - an assessment for older people with a palliative care diagnosis
  • Acute Care Assessment - a hospital assessment for ACC patients on the acute care pathway.

More about the assessments

How assessments are completed

A health professional (e.g. a nurse, occupational therapist or social worker)  has a structured conversation with the person and their family or carers, makes observations and refers to other clinical information. The assessor codes this information on software which creates a profile of the person’s needs and opportunities.

interRAI assessments provide information to support decision making by health professionals. They don't specify the range, type or hours of services to be allocated. This is a follow up process determined by local service guidelines and options.

How assessment data is stored and used

Assessment information is stored electronically, in our data warehouse. It is securely encrypted to protect patient privacy. 

Aggregated, anonymised data is used by researchers and academics, as well as contributing to  service development, planning and research.

Read more about how data is used and how we keep it safe.

The benefits of interRAI

Improving clinical decision making

The interRAI assessment process supports clinical decision making and care planning using evidence based practice guidelines. It indicates opportunities for improvement and highlights potential areas of decline.

The comprehensive approach and holistic view ensures that all relevant health and wellbeing information about a person can be gathered from one assessment process, rather than through a battery of individual tests. 

After interRAI assessment

A quality assessment process, followed by tailored care planning, provides better health outcomes for clients and reduced care costs for the health sector.

A standardised assessment tool

interRAI offers New Zealanders assurance that wherever you live, whatever care needs you have, you will receive a quality assessment that meets current best practice.

All interRAI tools share a common language referring to the same clinical concepts in the same way across instruments, making it easy to build on previous assessments, even if they were done through a different tool in the suite.

The national IT platform

All interRAI tools in New Zealand operate through a single national IT platform. This means that information only needs to be gathered once, and this information can then be used by clinicians many times across care settings, and from any location in New Zealand, ensuring continuity of care.

Producing data

Having standardised tools on a national IT platform produces quality data which can be used in many different ways. The National interRAI Data Analysis and Reporting Centre analyses and reports aggregated data for use by healthcare professionals and policy makers to develop better health services and target resources according to need across the wider community.

More on data and reporting