Health Minister Tony Ryall visited Malyon House in Mount Maunganui today to see first-hand a government initiative to help nurses provide better care for older people in rest homes.
“The Comprehensive Clinical Assessment (CCA), which is currently being rolled out nationally, helps nurses identify potential risks for residents sooner, such as weight loss, incontinence and depression,” says Mr Ryall.
“From the moment they first move into a rest home, every resident is assessed across 22 key aspects of their health, such as nutrition, cognition, skin condition and falls. The assessment is repeated at least every six months, and the resident’s care plan is modified when their needs change.
“The information from the assessment is recorded on a secure nationwide system so GPs or hospital clinicians have the resident’s most up to date health information when treating them.
“Staff at Malyon House have noticed an improvement since they implemented the assessments in November 2011,” says Mr Ryall.
“They tell me they have a more comprehensive understanding of their residents needs and their care plans have improved – they are more consistent and include information from other health providers, such as social workers. The information from the assessments also identifies areas they can focus on, such as minimising falls, to provide better care for residents.”
Nursing staff at around 120 residential aged care facilities have been trained in the use of CCA. By June 2014 all aged residential facilities in New Zealand will be participating in the roll-out of CCA, with use of the tool becoming mandatory in aged residential care from July 2015.
CCA, also known as interRAI, is used in 30 countries around the world and is based on proven international research and standards.