AHRQ ECHO National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network

Angie Szumlinski Featured, News

The AHRQ ECHO National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network, a partnership between AHRQ, the University of New Mexico’s ECHO Institute and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), provides free training and mentorship to nursing homes across the country to increase the implementation of evidence-based infection prevention and safety practices to protect residents and staff.

Background

In early Fall 2020, nearly one-quarter of all COVID-19 deaths in the United States were nursing home residents and staff. Advanced age, underlying frailty, and communal living conditions make nursing home residents especially vulnerable, and their reliance on nursing home staff members put these essential workers at high risk. Recognizing AHRQ’s leadership in patient safety and infection control, as well as the Agency’s experience helping delivery systems implement evidence into practice, HHS asked AHRQ to provide nursing homes with additional support to address the pandemic.

AHRQ responded by creating the National Nursing Home COVID Action Network under an AHRQ contract worth up to $237 million that is part of the nearly $5 billion Provider Relief Fund authorized in 2020 under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Purpose and Goals of the Network

The Network provides free training and mentorship to U.S. nursing homes to enhance evidence-based safety practices to protect residents and staff. The goals of the Network are to:

Impact

The AHRQ ECHO National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network has reached more than 9,000 nursing homes in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico with its 16-week training and mentorship program. To allow nursing homes to further implement safety improvements and maintain engagement with peers and mentors, AHRQ created an option for nursing homes to continue participating in training sessions through August.

To ensure nursing home safety and quality improvement resources from the Network are available to all U.S. nursing homes, AHRQ is curating resources from the Network’s 16-week curriculum and developing additional resources. The searchable COVID-19 Resources Catalog for Nursing Homes is continually refined and updated as new resources are developed.