The Development of BelRAI, a Web Application for Sharing Assessment Data on Frail Older People in Home Care, Nursing Homes, and Hospitals

The Development of BelRAI, a Web Application for Sharing Assessment Data on Frail Older People in Home Care, Nursing Homes, and Hospitals

Dirk Vanneste (KU Leuven, Belgium) and Anja Declercq (KU Leuven, Belgium)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6138-7.ch010
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Abstract

As the complexity of caregiving rises and surpasses traditional models of care, the need for comprehensive and integrated assessment systems increases. The use of standardised and computerised data—available to those who must make decisions—has become paramount. In Belgium, the BelRAI Web application has been developed to support the use of interRAI assessment instruments in a multidisciplinary way and to exchange client-centred information across care settings. This chapter describes the particularities of BelRAI, the security aspects, the support tools, the gradual process of implementation, the dos and don'ts, the pros and cons, and the challenges for the future. The benefits seem to overrule the drawbacks, but it has also become clear that only a significant expenditure on resources with regard to adequate staffing in healthcare environments, appropriate information technology, and training facilities can contribute to a successful introduction, maintenance, and full exploitation of this innovative health information system.
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Background

The Nursing Home Reform Act, a part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 of the U.S. Congress, resulted from significant and widespread quality of care concerns related to nursing homes’ inability to identify residents’ problems and needs (Morris et al., 1990). It consisted of comprehensive federal reforms addressing the regulation of nursing homes. Among those reforms, the development of a standardized Minimum Data Set (MDS) was one of the most fundamental mandated changes (Fries et al., 2003; Hawes, Morris, Phillips, & Fries, 1997; Morris et al., 1990).

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