Background

Supported by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Project ECHO is launching a National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network (the Network).

We are actively recruiting nursing homes and training centers around the country to join this interactive community of practice to collaboratively advance improvements in COVID-19 preparedness, safety and infection control.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

The Network will use the ECHO model as its foundation. ECHO is an interactive, case-based approach to learning based on adult learning principles. Weekly training sessions using videoconferencing technology are facilitated by small multidisciplinary teams of subject matter and quality improvement experts. Sessions combine short lectures that provide immediately usable best practices with case-based group learning. It’s an “all teach, all learn” environment, where community providers learn from experts and each other, and specialists learn from the on-the-ground experience of community providers.

Over more than a decade, Project ECHO has established a community of over 250 training centers (in our ECHO parlance, hubs) across the United States addressing a range of different diseases and conditions. These training centers or hubs include leading academic medical centers and large health care delivery systems in almost every state in the country. Project ECHO is recruiting over 100 training centers/hubs from our existing community and outside of it in order to be able to provide training to up to 15,000 nursing homes this fall.

1. Nursing homes will participate in a 16-week training and mentorship program in groups of 33-35 facilitated by a local training center.

2. The initiative will use a standardized curriculum developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, but each training program will evolve to meet the needs of the local nursing home community.

3. The curriculum will be updated weekly to reflect new evidence, innovations in best practices, and changes in the pandemic.

4. Training centers will cultivate a virtual community of practice among nursing homes to foster peer-to-peer learning and provide additional mentorship.

5. Training centers will also provide rapid response mentorship for any nursing home that experiences a sudden increase in COVID-19.

The Network and training center/hubs will prove participating nursing homes with access to national and local experts in infection control, patient safety, quality improvement, and nursing home operations along with a library of implementation resources. The library will help nursing homes implement COVID safety practices and include resources such as “how to” guides on helping nursing home residents with mobility impairments wear masks and translation of staff training materials and resident/family education materials into Spanish and other languages.

We are currently recruiting, training, and establishing training centers around the U.S. to support the Network. The training centers will launch this fall.

Institutions that want to explore becoming a training center can learn more and share their interest with Project ECHO.

No, nursing homes are not required or mandated to participate.

Nursing homes staff and professionals are dedicated to providing high-quality, safe care for the residents in their facilities. COVID-19 is a new and challenging disease that effects both residents and staff. Participating in the Network provides nursing homes with practical, useful information, skills, and resources. It also connects them with both specialists and their peers to ask and answer immediate challenges.

1. Nursing home staff and professionals are dedicated to providing high-quality, safe care for the residents in their facilities. COVID-19 is a new and challenging disease that effects both residents and staff. Participating in the Network provides nursing homes with practical, useful information, skills, and resources. It also connects them to a virtual learning community of both specialists and their peers to ask and answer immediate challenges.

2. Participating in the Network is free.

3. Nursing homes that actively participate in the 16-week training will receive $6,000 in compensation in recognition of the staff time involved. This reimbursement is available to nursing homes eligible to receiving funding from the Provider Relief Fund and that have agreed to its terms and conditions. The vast majority of nursing homes are eligible.

Both Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing homes are eligible to participate.

The first several weeks of the training program include sessions on:

1. Personal Protective Equipment Best Practices for COVID-19 

2. Making the Environment Safe During COVID-19 Through Infection Control Practices

3. Minimizing the Spread of COVID-19 

4. COVID-19 Testing

5. Clinical Management of Asymptomatic and Mild Cases of COVID-19 

6. Managing Social Isolation During COVID-19

Training has already begun through a series of free webinars. Find the webinars on our Intro Sessions Page.

Hubs are expected to begin 16-week training and mentorship programs beginning the week of September 28th with new groups starting throughout October.