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Guidance for completing Contact Assessments remotely

30 March 2020

A guidance document is available to help interRAI competent Contact Assessors complete Contact Assessments by telephone. This option is especially useful for healthcare professionals during COVID-19.

The guidance document explains when a telephone assessment is appropriate and tips on how to conduct one successfully.

If a home care assessment is required urgently during COVID-19, you may be able to complete this using video call (Zoom, Skype, Google Duo etc.).

Guidance for completing community assessments by telephone
Guidance for completing assessments by video link

Are you using your home computer to access the Momentum software system?

26 March 2020

With everyone working from home, demand for laptops and PCs supplied by DHBs, providers and aged residential care facilities is high. To help manage this, we are temporarily allowing people to use their personal laptops and PCs to access the interRAI software system, Momentum, during the COVID-19 crisis.

To use your personal device, you will need a client-side certificate. Get one by calling your host site at either Canterbury (03 378 6555) or Taranaki (06 753 7766). Please make sure you have your manager’s approval to use your personal device.

Wait times at service desks are longer than usual so we ask you to be patient. We will endeavour to process all requests as quickly as possible.

Please also be aware that your host site only has responsibility for Momentum. Any issues with laptops or PCs, whether managed or personal, are the responsibility of the DHB, provider or facility, and users are advised to seek support from their own IT services.

All computers, laptops and other devices must have a minimum standard set up to access Momentum.

Find out more about managing interRAI's Momentum software

Key findings from the latest interRAI Annual Report 2018/19

interRAI New Zealand analysis of data highlights some key findings about older people living in aged residential care. During the past year 127,000 interRAI assessments were completed for older people living in New Zealand Of those:

  • Most older people (92%) in care have strong supportive relationships with their family

  • Most (76%) people in residential care facilities find meaning in their daily life

  • Most (71%) have a consistent positive outlook

  • Most (71%) spend some or most of their time involved in activities

  • People living in the 667 aged residential care facilities across the country are on average 85 years old – about half of them (49%) have some form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Nearly three quarters (73%) aged care residents use a walking stick, walking frame, wheelchair or scooter to get around. And, 44% of people found it difficult to make decisions, such as what to wear.

Read the full report

Complete your draft assessments or discontinue them

All draft or incomplete assessments will be discontinued next February if they are older than three months, or 90 days past the Assessment Reference Date (ARD). This will make it easier next year when we move to from two software host sites to one host site. 

Temporary change for LTCF users

To prevent the creation of duplicate records we have made a temporary software change for Long Term Care Facilities (LTCF) assessments. Assessors will not be able to use the 'Add a New Resident' option under Common Tasks bar. 

Aged Residential Care funding review report published

The review recommendations strengthen interRAI as a key component of the New Zealand health sector. interRAI has been the primary assessment system in aged residential care across the country since 2015.

Assess once – use often

interRAI is an integrated health information system where assessment data has many uses. In New Zealand, we use assessment data for individual care planning, resource planning and quality initiatives at facility and DHB level, policy development and research, all drawn from single assessments completed by a health professionals. Adding Resource Utilisation Groups (RUGs) increases interRAI’s value even more.

Ongoing development of the high standard of support for interRAI assessors will be crucial for maintaining the integrity of assessments and the resulting quality data.

Opportunity for a stronger continuum of care

The introduction of Resource Utilisation Groups (RUGs) is an opportunity to better align aged care with other parts of the health sector strengthening the continuum of care for older people.

interRAI is ideally placed to support this alignment. More than 25 assessments are available for many different settings and populations, including acute care and mental health. All interRAI assessments share a common language and concepts, making assessment data transferable across settings and locations.

About RUGs

Many countries use a standardised assessment to determine an individual’s level of need for long-term care. In many of these classification systems, the levels of care determined by the assessment instrument are directly connected to the level of funding available to care for the individual.

Resource Utilisation Groups (RUGs) directly match funding to a resident’s needs and care plan.

The RUGs system has proven to be extremely robust[1] and it is used in several nations as a basis of a payment system for funding long-term care, including the United States, Canada, Iceland and Finland[2].

[1] Carpenter et al. 1997


Online interRAI training available 

interRAI Services has launched online training for health professionals who would like to read their clients’ interRAI assessments.

The course is the first e-learning offering for interRAI users in New Zealand. It was developed to meet the growing demand from health professionals who use interRAI information to gain a better understanding of their clients’ functional abilities.

Users learn about:

  • how to access the interRAI software system
  • how to read and interpret assessment information
  • interRAI clinical decision making support.

The course takes one hour to complete and is also a great general introduction to the interRAI software system.

New look and feel for the interRAI software

From 24 August 2019 we gave  the interRAI software system a new look and feel and a more modern and logical user interface.

The functionality stayed the same though some tabs and buttons may have moved locations.


We often present about aspects of interRAI at conferences and to the health sector. Find presentations held by interRAI Services team members here.

Read more


Read past issues of our newsletters the interRAI Informer and Inside interRAI.

Read more

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Contact interRAI

Ring: 0800 10 80 44
Email: interRAI (at)

interRAI software support

Southern and Northern DHB regions (CDHB)
Ring: 03 378 6555
Email: interRAIservicedesk (at)

Central and Midland DHB regions (TDHB)
Ring: 06 753 7766
Email: IT.servicedesk (at)

69 Tory Street Wellington 6140 Phone +64 4 801 2430