The Check Up Self Report (CU-SR) – New assessment tool for elderly persons living in the community 

Magnus Björkgren, PhD, Health Economist, Consultant, President & Co-Founder Oy Raisoft Ltd. Research Fellow interRAI

As the population ages innovation initiatives in social services are needed to ensure people’s access to quality and affordable care throughout their lives. Using evidence-based assessment tools are key in the development of such initiatives. Valid and reliable information is needed for making good decisions.  

Raisoft Ltd. is a software company specialized in decision-support solutions based on a full suite of comprehensive assessment instruments developed by international research organization interRAI. These instruments can be used across different health and social care sectors. In Finland the government decided to make interRAI mandatory in elderly care, the new law will come into effect April 1st, 2023. Other countries that have mandated interRAI instruments include Belgium, Switzerland, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, and half of US states.

With members in over 35 countries interRAI provides a global standard for assessing vulnerable populations. The idea is simple; better assessments produce better care plans which produce better care. Products are brought into the market by licensed software vendors. Raisoft is one of the main international companies with activities in more the ten countries.       

The Check-Up Self-Reported (CU-SR) is one of the newer instruments launched by interRAI. It addresses the needs of a person living independently in the community who may need support. CU-SR is used in primary care, social care, and programs designed to keep older people healthy and active. It has roughly 90 items covering areas of health, functional ability, and social aspects. It can be administered independently or by professionals or laypersons over the phone, via video conference, or in person. The CU-SR takes about 30 minutes to complete.

The RAIsoft solution provides a digital tool for decision support integrating assessment with care and service planning. Outputs include validated scales and measures, action points that trigger health problems and rehabilitation potential. With follow-up assessments the person’s progress can be monitored. As a first contact instrument, it gives a comprehensive profile of the person. Using a self-reported version has many benefits as it minimizes the assessment burden and ensures the individual perspective.

During the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic the RAIsoft CU-SR was successfully piloted in Canada and South Africa by interRAI research and clinical groups. Dr Leon N. Geffen of the Samson Institute for Aging Research (SIFAR) in South Africa concluded that the CU-SR can be administered accurately by non-healthcare professionals, our study bears great promise for the use of multi-domain assessments at scale within low-resource settings. Dr George Heckman a geriatrician in Canada have been using the CU-SR in caring for elderly in primary care and retirement homes, he says the tool is enjoyable to use and makes me a better doctor.

When data becomes the core of understanding care needs for elderly persons digital tools are necessary. Proven solutions that can be implemented on a large scale to support both the elderly, caregivers, and policymakers are here, available, and ready to be used.

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