New Assessment Tool for Long-term Care

A new electronic system will enhance quality of care in long-term care facilities across Nova Scotia.

The International Resident Assessment Instrument for Long Term Care Facilities, commonly called interRAI, will allow health professionals to complete standardized assessments of residents in long-term care.

A request for proposals was issued today, Oct. 19, to hire the team that will buy and oversee the implementation of the interRAI system.

“This is about supporting dedicated staff and making sure people living in our long-term care homes are getting the best care possible,” said Minister of Health and Wellness Randy Delorey.

The online care management tool will help staff identify important health issues among residents, develop appropriate care plans and monitor the progress of residents or changes in health on an ongoing basis.

InterRAI will also support consistent collection of data. The system will be able to generate reports that are specific to residents and facilities. The data will be used to measure quality and areas for improvement. InterRAI will also facilitate reporting to the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

“This is good news for our members,” said Mary Lee, president and CEO, Health Association Nova Scotia. “Long-term care facilities are committed to providing quality, person-centred care and have promoted the importance of standardized data collection. InterRAI will allow consistent planning across the sector.”

The implementation of interRAI is a recommendation of the Long-Term Care Working Conditions Group, which was comprised of stakeholders from unions and employers, in response to the Nova Scotia Nurses Union Broken Homes Report.

“This is a step in the right direction and an affirmation of the research in the Broken Homes Report,” said Janet Hazelton, president of the union. “With the right supports, this tool will provide a clear picture of the health of long-term care residents and staffing requirements.”

This investment is part of a 10-year federal funding commitment of $286 million for initiatives related to youth, mental health, home and community care announced in August.