The new National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network is recruiting nursing homes from across the country to participate in a virtual online peer community for improving COVID-19 infection control and better protecting residents and staff. In Washington, assisted living communities are also welcome to participate in the Seattle-based effort.
The Network is voluntary, and it puts a heavy emphasis on collaboration. Participating nursing homes receive hands-on technical assistance for preventing and reducing the spread of the novel coronavirus—which is even more important now, given that some federal provider relief payments will be tied to improved infection control through the end of the year.
Under the Network, training centers across the country will run a 16-week curriculum with cohorts of up to 35 nursing homes. Although each training center starts with a standardized curriculum developed by IHI, it will be updated weekly to reflect new evidence and best practices – and it will be adapted to meet the needs of the local nursing home community.
Using Project ECHO’s “all teach, all learn” guided mentorship model as a foundation, expert teams at each training center will share best practices and use case-based learning to support the on-the-ground efforts of nursing home staff.
This program offers a distinctive opportunity for staff to gain access to up-to-the-minute expert guidance on how best to protect residents and themselves from the virus while taking part in a larger community of practice. Participants not only learn alongside their peers but also share their insights with them – and with the expert team.
Nursing homes that complete the 16-session training will receive a $6,000 honorarium through the Provider Relief Fund, and staff will earn continuing education units (CEUs) for completing the training.
“Nursing home staff have been called on to bear a tremendous burden – and they need support,” said David Gifford, chief medical officer for AHCA/NCAL. “The Network offers that help, in a non-punitive, collaborative format, so that staff have the knowledge and expertise they need to fight COVID-19 successfully. We urge our nursing home community to take advantage of this unique program.”