Home Care (HC)

The interRAI Home Care Assessment System (HC) has been designed to be a user-friendly, reliable, person-centered assessment system that informs and guides comprehensive care and service planning in community-based settings around the world. It focuses on the person’s functioning and quality of life by assessing needs, strengths, and preferences, and facilitates referrals when appropriate. When used over time, it provides the basis for an outcome-based assessment of the person’s response to care or services. The interRAI HC can be used to assess persons with chronic needs for care as well as those with post-acute care needs (for example, after hospitalization or in a hospital-at-home situation).


The interRAI HC was first developed in 1994. Initially it was designed to be compatible with the Long-Term Care Facilities system that was implemented in U.S. nursing homes. It was revised in 1999 (Version 2.0), at which time items were dropped, modified, or added, and the period of observation (time frame) for most assessment items was decreased from 7 to 3 days. It was further revised in 2007 to be compatible with the other assessment systems in the interRAI suite.

Target Population

The interRAI HC was developed for use with adults in home and community-based settings. The instrument is generally used with the frail elderly or persons with disabilities who are seeking or receiving formal health care and supportive services.

Adoption and Use

The interRAI HC was designed to highlight issues related to functioning and quality of life for community-residing individuals. Although the system can be used on admission to a home care program or at a hospital prior to discharge, its power is augmented by reassessment at a standard interval such as 90 days. Multiple trials have been conducted in several countries that establish good inter-rater reliability of MDS-HC items. The HC system is currently being used in North America (Canada and multiple states in the U.S.), Europe (Italy, Switzerland, Finland, Estonia, etc.), and Asia/Pacific Rim (Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia, New Zealand).

The HC system supports a variety of research-informed decision support tools that assist the assessor in planning and monitoring care. These include:

  • Scales for ADLs, cognition, communication, pain, depression, and medical instability
  • Clinical Assessment Protocols that contain strategies to address problem conditions as triggered by one or more HC item responses
  • Screening systems to identify appropriate outreach and care pathways for prospective clients (the MI Choice and MAPLe systems)
  • A quality monitoring system (Home Care Quality Indicators, or HCQIs)
  • A case-mix system that creates distinct service-use intensity categories (RUG-III/HC)

For further information, please contact

See our list of Home Care publications (plus localizations and translations) in our Catalog.

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