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inside interRAI  March 2020
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Official sources for COVID-19 information

For detailed, up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the Ministry of Health and COVID-19 websites first. They contain essential updates for workers in healthcare settings, including PPE and related issues.

Ministry of Health COVID-19 information
COVID-19 website

Services are available during COVID-19

All interRAI staff are now working from home. We continue to offer the services you need, making use of different delivery methods. You can still access:

Community Assessor training remains available

A new training package for Contact Assessment, which is a mix of self-directed and educator-directed content, delivered via online learning and videocalling is now available. You can register by emailing us at

Note that once you enrol it will be at least 24 hours before you can attend the educator-directed training. This is to allow time for the required resources to be sent to you, and for you to complete the self-directed content.

Once you’ve enrolled, you’ll be sent a welcome letter with details of what you must do before attending the educator-directed contact. Please read and follow the instructions in this letter.

On the morning of your scheduled educator-directed training, you will receive an email from your educator with login details to the Momentum training site.

Who can undertake interRAI assessments during COVID-19?

Health professionals from any discipline may conduct interRAI assessments, if assessment is part of their scope of practice. They must hold a current New Zealand Annual Practicing Certificate (APC), or equivalent for their health profession. There is an exception for Enrolled Nurses, who may assess only under the direction and delegation of a Registered Nurse or Nurse Practitioner.

To meet high demand during the pandemic, some new assessors who may not fully meet the above criteria (for example, third-year nursing students), will receive training to conduct Contact Assessments. They will also assess under the direction and delegation of a Registered Nurse or Nurse Practitioner. Training and quality review will be provided by interRAI Services. 

Guidance for completing Contact Assessments remotely

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 is available on our website and below.

Guidance for completing assessments via telephone
Guidance for completing assessments via video call

Relias email reminders are suspended

We have suspended Relias email reminders until 1 June, as these are causing unnecessary stress during the pandemic. Instead, we encourage you to complete your annual exams by 29 May. Educators are available to support you in this – please contact us. 

Track COVID-19 in the interRAI system

We have added COVID-19 to the list of Active and Recent Infections Tracking module for both Community and Long Term Care Facilities (LTCF).
If you want to track the known infections for either your community or care facility, you can add an infection from the Active and Recent Infections Tracking module on the person’s Overview screen. The Infection Tracking Type will be COVID-19.  This information may be drawn on from the Reports module.

interRAI algorithm may help to identify vulnerable people

Several DHBs have asked whether interRAI data can help them to identify vulnerable people.

Most vulnerable older people in the community have received an interRAI assessment and an interRAI algorithm was helpful during the Christchurch earthquakes. An updated algorithm has been developed called Vulnerable Persons at Risk (VPR). This algorithm is automatically derived from the person’s most recent interRAI Home Care Assessment. 

We are working with our software provider to make a one-off VPR report available urgently for DHBs for this purpose. We will post a message on our website when this is available.

How to code for N2c during COVID-19 

(HC 9.1 US and Canadian Ed, O2c for LTCF US and Australian Eds)

Q:  How do you code infection control N2c if a person is not unwell but is in isolation?
A:  Code 0 not ordered and did not occur.
The intent of the item is to review prescribed treatments for the person. In this instance the person is not receiving treatment for a condition they have, they are being protected from conditions that others have.  

Trainees may defer or continue interRAI training during COVID-19

In light of COVID-19, we are providing interRAI trainees with the option of continuing or deferring their training. Trainees who continue their training will be supported by their interRAI educator and once competent, will be able to continue to complete interRAI assessments.

Trainees who choose to defer their training, will have their interRAI software access changed to read-only and their Relias accounts temporarily deactivated. Deferrals can be made anytime during training.

To defer training, or to resume it, please email

Kotahi two-to-one delivery dates unchanged

We’re progressing well with streamlining our software service so that it can be hosted at one location (Canterbury). The result will be a simpler, standardised system with a single database, and single sign-on.

Despite recent COVID-19 disruptions, our go-live date remains Monday May 4. In the meantime, we will keep you up to date with progress and what you need to do to prepare for the upgrade.

New on 

Meet your Educators:

We have published our annual report and updated our flyers. Download them from our publications page:

interRAI New Zealand Annual Report 2018/19

People living in aged residential care 

About interRAI

Upcoming dates

To see upcoming training dates, and to request interRAI training, visit our website at

  • 15-17 September 2020, Hospice New Zealand Palliative Care Conference, Auckland.  
  • 19-20 November 2020, Alzheimers NZ Conference, Grand Millennium, Auckland: Living with dementia. Taking action for a better future. Abstracts due by 26 June 2020. 
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