Clinical Surveillance Resources

When it comes to resident care, your role is to see the bigger picture and to put systems in place that not only protect your residents but also promote their best possible function. Preventing and identifying medical errors and adverse events is imperative for facility leaders. Using the latest technologies to synthesize resident care outcome data -- in complement with implementing proper bedside and clinical decision-making protocols -- are part of a strong clinical surveillance system that bolsters quality assurance. Find out what you need to know and how your facility can take evidence-based steps to improve care. 

  • Oct. 23 and Oct. 29 AHRQ National Nursing Home Network Pre-Launch Webinars on Key COVID-19 Issues: Register Now

    By AHRQ/Project ECHO - October 19, 2020

    Oct. 23 Webinar, Strategies to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

    The first segment of this presentation will address key important and realistic approaches, consistent with current guidance, that health care workers can implement to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 for long-term care professionals.

    The second segment will cover the multiple actions necessary for organizations to consider around PPE from planning, inventory, policies and procedures, types of PPE to use consistent with current guidelines, education, optimization, process surveillance, and follow up.

    Friday, October 23, 2020

    1:00-2:30 p.m. MT / 3 – 4:30 p.m. ET

     

    Oct. 29 Webinar, COVID-19: Realistic and Quality Approach to Cohorting, Cleaning and Disinfection

    The first segment of this presentation will discuss the guidance, planning, education, and prompt action approach to the very important mitigation step of cohorting during the COVID-19 pandemic. The second section will provide key strategies in both cleaning and disinfection to include the process, products, PPE, necessary and education of employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Thursday, October 29, 2020

    10:30 a.m.-Noon MT / 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m. ET

     

     


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  • Pharmacy Partnership for LTC Program Opt-in Now Available Via NHSN LTCF COVID-19 Module

    By CMS/CDC - October 19, 2020

    The Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program provides complete management of the COVID-19 vaccination process. This means LTCF residents and staff across the country will be able to safely and efficiently get vaccinated once vaccines are available and recommended for them, if they have not been previously vaccinated. It will also minimize the burden on LTCF sites and jurisdictional health departments of vaccine handling, administration, and fulfilling reporting requirements.   

    “Protecting the vulnerable has been the number one priority of the Trump Administration’s response to COVID-19, and that commitment will continue through distributing a safe and effective vaccine earliest to those who need it most,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “Our unprecedented public-private partnership with CVS and Walgreens will provide convenient and free vaccination to residents of nursing homes across America, another historic achievement in our efforts to get a safe and effective vaccine to Americans as fast as possible.”

    “Today’s historic pharmacy partnership will truly help jurisdictions solve a logistical hurdle and decrease the burden of distributing, administering, and reporting COVID-19 vaccination for both states and long-term care facilities,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield. “CDC is proud to be a part of this public-private partnership that is advancing care for the Nation’s most vulnerable.”

    “The pandemic has inflicted a devastating toll on America’s nursing home residents,” said Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma. “That’s why the Trump Administration has taken unprecedented action to protect them in every possible way.  This effort will ensure they are at the front of the line for the COVID vaccine and will bring their grueling trial to a close as swiftly as possible.”

    The program is:

    • Free of charge to facilities.
    • Available for residents in all long-term care settings, including skilled nursing facilities (SNF), nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential care homes, and adult family homes.
    • Available to all remaining LTCF staff members who have not been previously vaccinated for COVID-19 (e.g., through satellite, temporary, or off-site clinics).
    • · Available in most rural areas that may not have an easily accessible pharmacy.

    HHS is using multiple authorities to ensure appropriate reimbursement for these services and that no American being vaccinated for COVID-19 will have to pay out-of-pocket.

    CVS and Walgreens will schedule and coordinate on-site clinic date(s) directly with each facility. It is anticipated that three total visits over approximately two months are likely to be needed to administer both doses of vaccine (if indicated) to residents and staff.  The pharmacies will also:


    • Receive and manage vaccines and associated supplies (e.g., syringes, needles, and personal protective equipment).
    • Ensure cold chain management for vaccine.
    • Provide on-site administration of vaccine.
    • Report required vaccination data (including who was vaccinated, with what vaccine, and where) to the state, local, or territorial, and federal public health authorities within 72 hours of administering each dose.
    • Adhere to all applicable Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requirements for COVID-19 testing for LTCF staff.

    “Ensuring access to COVID-19 vaccines, particularly among our most vulnerable populations, will be critical to saving lives and helping our nation recover from the pandemic,” said John Standley, Walgreens president. “Since the onset of the pandemic, Walgreens has worked closely with the CDC, HHS and the Administration to help accelerate the availability of COVID tests, ensure access to essential medicines and products and serve as a safe and trusted source of information in our communities. We are proud of how our pharmacists have continued to serve our patients and look forward to leveraging our nationwide footprint, community presence and pharmacist expertise to help administer COVID-19 vaccines, once they become available.”

    “CVS Health has been on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19, working across the health care spectrum in all the communities we serve and that will continue to be the case when we have a vaccine to dispense,” said Troy Brennan, Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health.

    Starting October 19, 2020, LTCFs will be able to opt in and indicate which pharmacy partner their facility prefers to have on-site. LTCFs are not mandated to participate in this program and can request to use their current pharmacy contracts to support COVID-19 vaccination. Nursing homes can sign up via the National Healthcare Safety Network and assisted living facilities can sign up via an online survey they will receive.  An alert has been incorporated into the NHSN LTC COVID-19 module to guide users to the form.

    When completing the form, facilities will need to indicate participation in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care Program and their preferred retail provider (CVS or Walgreens).  If opting to not participate in the program, facilities must indicate their alternate plan for securing vaccine supply and vaccinating residents. 

    The form will remain open for two weeks, this decision is not binding and can be changed during these two weeks. Once the forms close, a facility must coordinate directly with the selected pharmacy provider to change any requested vaccination supplies and services.  

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  • SARS-COV-2 Point-of-Care Testing Toolkit (10/20)

    By CMS - October 18, 2020

    The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), recently announced plans to provide nursing homes with a Point of Care (POC) rapid response testing instrument to bolster each facility’s ability to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The data collected through the NHSN system directly supports this initiative by helping to prioritize the nursing homes with testing needs and an increasing number of cases. 

    CMS offers:

    • toolkit for nursing homes using point of care devices for SARS-CoV-2 testing as a quick reference guide to important information about testing.
    • The methodology describing how facilities are prioritized, and a listing of the facilities
    • A list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and a recorded webinar
    Read more
  • COVID-19 Testing Guidelines for Nursing Homes (10/20)

    By CDC - October 16, 2020

    Testing Guidelines for Nursing Homes FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2020

    Revisions were made on October 16, 2020, to reflect the following:

    Updated link to Testing Resources for Nursing Homes one-pager for nursing home personnel with link to Guidance for SARS-CoV-2 Point-of-Care Testing.

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  • COVID-19: Considerations, Strategies, and Resources for Crisis Standards of Care in Post-Acute and Long-Term Care (PALTC) Facilities (9/20)

    By ASPR TRACIE - September 28, 2020
    COVID-19: Considerations, Strategies, and Resources for Crisis Standards of Care in Post-Acute and Long-Term Care (PALTC) Facilities is a compilation of considerations for long-term care facilities based on lessons learned during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic accompanied by resources to inform planning and response efforts. This ASPR TRACIE toolkit includes an overview of general considerations, potential strategies, and existing resources that they may use to inform changes to their operations and care processes. It is intended to complement, not replace, existing state and/or local guidance and plans for implementing crisis standards of care. Similarly, sample tools and resources are provided for illustrative purposes only and should be modified to locally adopted protocols as appropriate. 
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  • CMS COVID-19 Nursing Homes Best Practices Toolkit and New QIN-QIO Virtual Assistance UPDATED (9/20)

    By CMS - September 23, 2020

    New tool provides innovative solutions for states and facilities to protect our nation’s vulnerable nursing home residents during emergency

    CMS has released a new toolkit (updated 9/22/20) developed to aid nursing homes, Governors, states, departments of health, and other agencies who provide oversight and assistance to these facilities, with additional resources to aid in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic within nursing homes. The toolkit builds upon previous actions taken by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which provide a wide range of tools and guidance to states, healthcare providers and others during the public health emergency. The toolkit is comprised of best practices from a variety of front line health care providers, Governors’ COVID-19 task forces, associations and other organizations, and experts, and is intended to serve as a catalogue of resources dedicated to addressing the specific challenges facing nursing homes as they combat COVID-19.

    “The coronavirus presents a unique challenge for nursing homes. CMS is using every tool at our disposal to protect our nation’s most vulnerable citizens and aid the facilities that care for them. This toolkit will support state, local leaders and nursing homes in identifying best practices to protect our vulnerable elderly in nursing homes” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.  

    The toolkit provides detailed resources and direction for quality improvement assistance and can help in the creation and implementation of strategies and interventions intended to manage and prevent the spread of COVID-19 within nursing homes. The toolkit outlines best practices for a variety of subjects ranging from infection control to workforce and staffing. It also provides contact information for organizations who stand ready to assist with the unique challenges posed by caring for individuals in long-term care settings. Each state was involved in the creation of this toolkit, resulting in a robust resource that may be leveraged by a variety of entities serving this vulnerable population.

    Additionally, CMS has contracted with 12 Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) to work with providers, community partners, beneficiaries and caregivers on data-driven quality improvement initiatives designed to improve the quality of care for beneficiaries across the United States. The QIN-QIOs are reaching out to nursing homes across the country to provide virtual technical assistance for homes that have an opportunity for improvement based on an analysis of previous citations for infection control deficiencies using publicly available data found on Nursing Home Compare.

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  • CMS QSO Memo Offers New Guidance for Nursing Home Visitations During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (9/20)

    By CMS - September 19, 2020

    Memorandum Summary

    • CMS is committed to continuing to take critical steps to ensure America’s healthcare facilities are prepared to respond to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency (PHE).

    • Visitation Guidance: CMS is issuing new guidance for visitation in nursing homes during the COVID-19 PHE. The guidance below provides reasonable ways a nursing home can safely facilitate in-person visitation to address the psychosocial needs of residents.

    • Use of Civil Money Penalty (CMP) Funds: CMS will now approve the use of CMP funds to purchase tents for outdoor visitation and/or clear dividers (e.g., Plexiglas or similar products) to create physical barriers to reduce the risk of transmission during in-person visits.


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  • World Health Organization Healthcare Worker Safety Charter (9/20)

    By WHO - September 17, 2020

    Keep health workers safe to keep patients safe: WHO

    17 September 2020 | GENEVA – The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on governments and health care leaders to address persistent threats to the health and safety of health workers and patients.

    “The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded all of us of the vital role health workers play to relieve suffering and safe lives,“ said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “No country, hospital or clinic can keep its patients safe unless it keeps its health workers safe. WHO’s Health Worker Safety Charter is a step towards ensuring that health workers have the safe working the conditions, the training, the pay and the respect they deserve.“

    The pandemic has also highlighted the extent to which protecting health workers is key to ensuring a functioning health system and a functioning society.

    The Charter, released today for World Patient Safety Day, calls on governments and those running health services at local levels to take five actions to better protect health workers. These include steps to protect health workers from violence; to improve their mental health; to protect them from physical and biological hazards; to advance national programmes for health worker safety; and to connect health worker safety policies to existing patient safety policies.

    Mounting reports of infections, illness and attacks among health workers fighting COVID-19

    COVID-19 has exposed health workers and their families to unprecedented levels of risk. Although not representative, data from many countries across WHO regions indicate that COVID-19 infections among health workers are far greater than those in the general population.

    While health workers represent less than 3% of the population in the large majority of countries and less than 2% in almost all low- and middle-income countries, around 14% of COVID-19 cases reported to WHO are among health workers. In some countries, the proportion can be as high as 35%.  However, data availability and quality are limited, and it is not possible to establish whether health workers were infected in the work place or in community settings. Thousands of health workers infected with COVID-19 have lost their lives worldwide.

    In addition to physical risks, the pandemic has placed extraordinary levels of psychological stress on health workers exposed to high-demand settings for long hours, living in constant fear of disease exposure while separated from family and facing social stigmatization. Before COVID-19 hit, medical professionals were already at higher risk of suicide in all parts of the world. A recent review of health care professionals found one in four reported depression and anxiety, and one in three suffered insomnia during COVID-19[1].  WHO recently highlighted an alarming rise in reports of verbal harassment, discrimination and physical violence among health workers in the wake of COVID-19.

    5 steps to improve health worker safety and patient safety

    On World Patient Safety Day, WHO reminds governments that they have a legal and moral responsibility to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of health workers. The Organization’s health worker charter calls on all Member States and relevant stakeholders to take steps to:

    1. Establish synergies between health worker safety and patient safety policies and strategies

    ·         Develop linkages between occupational health and safety, patient safety, quality improvement, and infection prevention and control programmes.

    ·         Include health and safety skills in personal and patient safety into education and training programmes for health workers at all levels.

    ·         Incorporate requirements for health worker and patient safety in health care licensing and accreditation standards.

    ·         Integrate staff safety and patient safety incident reporting and learning systems.

    ·         Develop integrated metrics of patient safety, health worker safety and quality of care indicators, and integrate with health information system.  

    2. Develop and implement national programmes for occupational health and safety of health workers

    ·         Develop and implement national programmes for occupational health for health workers in line with national occupational health and safety policies.

    ·         Review and upgrade, where necessary, national regulations and laws for occupational health and safety to ensure that all health workers have regulatory protection of their health and safety at work.

    ·         Appoint responsible officers with authority for occupational health and safety for health workers at both the national and facility levels.

    ·         Develop standards, guidelines, and codes of practice on occupational health and safety.

    ·         Strengthen intersectoral collaboration on health worker and patient safety, with appropriate worker and management representation, including gender, diversity and all occupational groups.

    3. Protect health workers from violence in the workplace

    ·         Adopt and implement in accordance with national law, relevant policies and mechanisms to prevent and eliminate violence in the health sector.

    ·         Promote a culture of zero tolerance to violence against health workers

    ·         Review labour laws and other legislation, and where appropriate the introduction of specific legislation, to prevent violence against health workers.

    ·         Ensure that policies and regulations are implemented effectively to prevent violence and protect health workers.

    ·         Establish relevant implementation mechanisms, such ombudspersons and helplines to enable free and confidential reporting and support for any health worker facing violence.

    4. Improve mental health and psychological well-being

    ·         Establish policies to ensure appropriate and fair duration of deployments, working hours, rest break and minimizing the administrative burden on health workers.

    ·         Define and maintain appropriate safe staffing levels within health care facilities.

    ·         Provide indemnity and insurance coverage for work-related risk, especially those working in high-risk areas.

    ·         Establish a ‘blame-free’ and just working culture through open communication, including legal and administrative protection from punitive action on reporting adverse safety events.

    ·         Provide access to mental well-being and social support services for health workers, including advice on work-life balance and risk assessment and mitigation.

    5. Protect health workers from physical and biological hazards

    ·         Ensure the implementation of minimum patient safety, infection prevention and control, and occupational safety standards in all health care facilities across the health system.

    ·         Ensure availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times, as relevant to the roles and tasks performed, in adequate quantity and appropriate fit and of acceptable quality. Ensure an adequate, locally held, buffer stock of PPE. Ensure adequate training on the appropriate use of PPE and safety precautions.

    ·         Ensure adequate environmental services such as water, sanitation and hygiene, disinfection and adequate ventilation at all health care facilities.

    ·         Ensure vaccination of all health workers at risk against all vaccine-preventable infections, including Hepatitis B and seasonal influenza, in accordance with the national immunization policy, and in the context of emergency response, priority access for health workers to newly licenced and available vaccines.

    ·         Provide adequate resources to prevent health workers from injuries, and harmful exposure to chemicals and radiations; provide functioning and ergonomically designed equipment and work stations to minimize musculoskeletal injuries and falls.

    In addition to the Health Worker Safety Charter, WHO has also outlined specific World Patient Safety Day 2020 Goals for health care leaders to invest in, measure, and improve health worker safety over the next year. The goals are intended for health care facilities to address five areas:  preventing sharps injuries; reducing work-related stress and burnout; improving the use of personal protective equipment; promoting zero tolerance to violence against health workers; and analyzing serious safety related incidents. 

    Read more
  • Independent Nursing Home COVID-19 Commission Findings (9/20)

    By CMS - September 16, 2020
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) received the final report from the independent Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes (Commission), which was facilitated by MITRE.  CMS also released an overview of the robust public health actions the agency has taken to date to combat the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in nursing homes. The Commission’s findings align with the actions the Trump Administration and CMS have taken to contain the spread of the virus and to safeguard nursing home residents from the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s announcement delivers on the Administration’s commitments to keeping nursing home residents safe and to transparency for the American people in the face of this unprecedented pandemic.

    Nursing homes and other shared or congregate living facilities have been severely affected by COVID-19, as these facilities often house older individuals who suffer from multiple medical conditions, making them particularly susceptible to complications from the virus. To help CMS inform immediate and future actions as well as identify opportunities for improvement, the Commission was created to conduct an independent review and comprehensive assessments of confronting COVID-19. The Commission’s report contains best practices that emphasize and reinforce CMS strategies and initiatives to ensure nursing home residents are protected from COVID-19.

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  • COVID-19 Testing and Reporting Requirements: Summary Slide Deck (9/20)

    By CMS - September 10, 2020

    CMS slide deck summarizing resident and staff testing  and reporting requirements, considerations for using and interpreting antigen tests, and educational resources and training available to nursing homes.

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  • Resource: Discharge Planning During the COVID-19 Pandemic (9/20)

    By HHS - September 09, 2020

    HHS' Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response recently published Discharge Planning and Care Coordination during the COVID-19 Pandemic, a resource developed in partnership with ACL and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

     

    This tool is designed to support nurses, social workers, case managers, and others conducting discharge planning for adults with disabilities after COVID-19 treatment.

    The resource:

    • Describes legal protections for people with disabilities including the Olmstead decision;
    • Explains the CMIST (Communication, Maintaining Health, Independence, Services and Support, Transportation) framework and person-centered planning;
    • Provides considerations for three potential discharge scenarios to facilitate person-centered discharge planning and care coordination to the most integrated setting; and
    • Highlights state and federal resources, including the aging and disability networks, to assist care coordinators and discharge planners.
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  • COVID-19 Testing in Nursing Homes: Interim Final Rule Effective 9/02/20, Two QSO Memos With Related Survey Changes, & Algorithm for Interpreting Test Results (8/20)

    By CMS - August 30, 2020

    Medicare and Medicaid Programs, Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), and Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Additional Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency AGENCY: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

    ACTION: Interim final rule with comment period.

    SUMMARY: This interim final rule with comment period (IFC) revises regulations to strengthen CMS’ ability to enforce compliance with Medicare and Medicaid long-term care (LTC) facility requirements for reporting information related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), establishes a new requirement for LTC facilities for COVID-19 testing of facility residents and staff, establishes new requirements in the hospital and critical access hospital (CAH) Conditions of Participation (CoPs) for tracking the incidence and impact of COVID-19 to assist public health officials in detecting outbreaks and saving lives, and establishes requirements for all CLIA laboratories to report COVID-19 test results to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary)in such form and manner, and at such timing and frequency, as the Secretary may prescribe during the Public Health Emergency (PHE).

    DATES: Effective date: These regulations are effective on 09/02/20.


    QSO-20-38-NH

    Memorandum Summary

    • CMS is committed to taking critical steps to ensure America’s healthcare facilities continue to respond effectively to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency (PHE).

    • On August 25, 2020, CMS published an interim final rule with comment period (IFC). This rule establishes Long-Term Care (LTC) Facility Testing Requirements for Staff and Residents. Specifically, facilities are required to test residents and staff, including individuals providing services under arrangement and volunteers, for COVID-19 based on parameters set forth by the HHS Secretary. This memorandum provides guidance for facilities to meet the new requirements.

    • Revised COVID-19 Focused Survey Tool - To assess compliance with the new testing requirements, CMS has revised the survey tool for surveyors. We are also adding to the survey process the assessment of compliance with the requirements for facilities to designate one or more individual(s) as the infection preventionist(s) (IPs) who are responsible for the facility's infection prevention and control program (IPCP) at 42 CFR § 483.80(b). In addition, we are making a number of revisions to the survey tool to reflect other COVID-19 guidance updates.

     

    QSO-20-37-CLIA,NH

    Memorandum Summary

    • CMS is committed to taking critical steps to ensure America’s healthcare facilities are prepared to respond to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency (PHE).

    • On August 25, 2020, an interim final rule with comment period (IFC) went on display at the Federal Register.

    • CLIA regulations have been updated to require all laboratories to report SARS-CoV-2 test results in a standardized format and at a frequency specified by the Secretary.

    • Failure to report SARS-CoV-2 test results will result in a condition level violation of the CLIA regulation and may result the imposition of a Civil Money Penalty (CMP) as required under §§ 493.1804 and 493.1834.

    • Long-Term Care (LTC) Enforcement requirements at 42 CFR part 488 have been revised to include requirements specific to the imposition of a CMP for nursing homes that fail to report requisite COVID-19 related data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) per §483.80(g)(1) and (2).

    • LTC Facility Testing Requirements for Staff and Residents- Facilities are required to test staff and to offer testing to all nursing home residents.

     

    Considerations for Interpreting Antigen Test Results in Nursing Homes Algorithm pdf icon[PDF – 200 KB]  – August 26, 2020

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  • Voluntary CMS/CDC COVID-19 Infection Control Trainings for Frontline Staff and Management Certificate Program (8/20)

    By CMS - August 29, 2020
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  • AHRQ National Nursing Home COVID Action Network Mentorship Program Begins With Webinar Series (8/20)

    By AHRQ - August 28, 2020

    Training and Mentoring for Nursing Homes

    To further support nursing homes, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) will be partnering with America’s nursing homes to create the National Nursing Home COVID Action Network. Through the Network, AHRQ will offer training, and mentorship to the approximately 15,400 nursing homes across the country to supplement efforts aimed at protecting residents and staff. 

    The goals of the training and mentorship are to help nursing home professionals prevent COVID-19 from entering nursing homes via staff, visitors, and patients and prevent greater spread among patients, staff, and visitors if the virus is already present. This program will also guide nursing homes through best-practice care and treatment for patients who test positive for COVID-19; and protect staff from infection through evidence-based safety measures that will build their confidence in their ability to work and feel safe in the nursing homes.

    “AHRQ is proud to support HHS in this critical initiative,” said AHRQ Director Gopal Khanna. “AHRQ has a proven track-record in helping move evidence into practice to address critical needs like responding to COVID-19 and to achieve 21st century care for all Americans.”

    This program will provide interactive small-group, problem-based training and customized mentorship through an existing network of academic medical centers, health centers, and community organizations.  The training and mentorship program is designed to evolve as the needs of nursing homes continue to emerge though the fall.  AHRQ has already established a pilot test of small-group training and mentoring through a partnership with the University of New Mexico’s ECHO Institute. 

    Participation in training and mentoring will be voluntary and nursing homes that participate will receive compensation to cover the costs of staff training time.  Nursing homes will be able to begin signing up to participate in the Network in the coming weeks and training is expected to begin in September.

    In related news, registration is now open for a free webinar series featuring expert-led discussions on infection prevention strategies, telehealth, and COVID-19 testing in nursing homes. The series “Nursing Home Best Practices During the COVID-19 Pandemic” is part of the launch of AHRQ’s National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network.

    National Nursing Home COVID-19 Safety Conversations TeleECHO Program

    In partnership with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Project ECHO is mobilizing our national network of ECHO partners to rapidly deploy COVID-19 ECHO programs to train mentor, and support nursing home staff on infection prevention and control. With support from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the ECHO Institute will provide training, mentorship, and support to nursing home staff on infection prevention and control to an estimated 15,000 nursing homes across the country.


    This initiative will kick off with our Nursing Home Best Practices During the COVID-19 Pandemic mini-series, with three interactive TeleECHO sessions:

    Aug 25, 2020:
    Optimizing Clinical Care in the Time of COVID in Skilled Nursing Home Facilities
    Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN
    Kathleen Unroe, MD, MHA

    NOTE: If you missed this training, it is available here.

    Aug, 26, 2020:
    The Latest News on Testing, Cohorting, and Critical Infection Prevention Strategies
    Nimale Stone, MD
    Additional speaker, TBA

    NOTE: If you missed this training, it is available here.


    Sept 2, 2020:
    Telehealth in the Time of COVID
    Cheryl Phillips, MD, AGSF

    NOTE: If you missed this training, it is available here.

    Recent Study on Infection at Skilled Nursing Facilities
    Lewis Lipsitz, MD

     


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  • CMS-CDC Fundamentals of COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management: QIO National Nursing Home Training Series (8/20)

    By CMS/CDC - August 18, 2020

    Starting on August 20, using a pre-recorded, self-paced format, the new CMS-CDC Fundamentals of COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management training series will include 13 topics that nursing homes must know to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. These trainings will be housed on QIOProgram.org for 24/7 access.

    New, pre-recorded trainings will be released every Thursday at 4:00 p.m. EST through September 2020. CMS and CDC will have subject matter experts available on bi-weekly Q&A sessions through early January 2021 to answer questions you may have about the trainings.

    Critical Topics

    Establishing an Infection Prevention Program in a Nursing Home, with an emphasis on COVID-19
    Is your Nursing Home ready to handle the demands of the COVID-19 Pandemic? Assessing Readiness: Advice from the CDC 
    COVID-19 surveillance to enable early detection and response to outbreaks. Includes NHSN mandatory data collection
    COVID-19 Testing - coming soon
    Cohorting Strategies
    Cleaning Environmental Surfaces and Shared Equipment 
    Establishing a Dedicated COVID-19 Care Center - coming soon
    Hand Hygiene and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Strategies for COVID-19 Care: Supply, Use, Re-use, Removal, and Disposal
    Accepting new patients during an active pandemic: considerations of both transfers from hospitals, and admissions from the community - coming soon
    Telehealth in Nursing Homes
    Transparency: Resident and Family Notification. Department of Health and other Notifications
    Clinical Care/‚ÄčManaging COVID positive residents in the Nursing Home
    Managing Staffing Challenges, Including Employee Health Considerations

    Looking for which trainings you need? Take the Training Fundamentals Self-Assessment.

    What isn’t Changing: Access to certificates of participation are still available for those who complete Fundamentals trainings and those who have participated in the live training series. 

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