The overall process for completing interRAI assessments is comprehensive. It includes many responsibilities and tasks, including gathering information from different sources, interviewing people and their families, completing reports and submitting data.
But while the process is comprehensive, it doesn’t have to be complicated. With strong leadership and careful planning, implementing interRAI assessments won’t overwhelm your organization.
It’s important to remember that completing an interRAI assessment isn’t an additional piece of work, but one that builds on a clinician’s intuitive assessment skills and experience. The assessment itself is simply an extension of what is already part of a clinician’s skill set.
The advantage of using the interRAI assessment system is that it structures the clinical assessment in a standard format using standard language. This helps to ensure accuracy and consistency, and results in improved outcomes.
Practical tips for success
- Take the approach that any interaction with the person is an opportunity for assessment.
- Make the interRAI assessment part of team rounds and shift changes.
- Try to ensure that the assessor is familiar with the person being assessed and his or her family.
- Set up strategies for good communication within the organization.
- Add assessments to white boards/flow sheets, identifying what needs to be completed.
- Include discussions about the assessments in care conferences, team meetings and family meetings.
- Encourage interdisciplinary teams to use the interRAI language in their day-to-day work.
- Use the information from the interRAI assessment as the structure for admissions, history notes and discharge planning.
- Encourage clinicians to use Clinical Assessment Protocols (CAPs) in care planning, and to use outcomes in evaluating interventions, monitoring treatment and getting a sense of baseline clinical and functional status.
- Include interRAI assessments as part of new hire orientation, yearly clinical competency reviews and even staff’s performance appraisals.
Successful organizations lead by example. This starts at the top, setting the stage for implementing interRAI, endorsing it and using the outputs.