About 40% of all COVID-19 related deaths in the United States, according to The New York Times, are linked to nursing homes. To help combat these startling statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that “a strong infection prevention and control program is critical to protect both residents and healthcare personnel.”
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is launching the National Nursing Home COVID Action Network which will offer free training and mentorship to nursing homes around the nation with the goal of increasing the implementation of evidence-based infection prevention and safety practices to protect residents and staff. AHRQ is partnering with the University of New Mexico’s ECHO Institute and the Institute for Health Care Improvement (IHI) to provide these trainings. This program was created under an AHRQ contract which is part of the nearly $5 billion Provider Relief Fund authorized by the CARES Act.
The National Nursing Home COVID Action Network joins a series of other programs already in place. As reported in CMA’s COVID-19: Advocate’s Guide, in May the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program launched an eight-week national nursing home training series on infection prevention for nursing facilities. Additionally, CMS and the CDC have developed an on-demand “Nursing Home COVID-19 Training” offering to supplement existing training with education on cohorting strategies, as well as telehealth use.
October 8, 2020 – C. St. John