Project Award of $600K Allows Org to Broaden Support to New England Nursing Homes During COVID-19 Crisis
COVID-19 has hit nursing homes particularly hard. For those working on the frontline, support from peers is critical to helping deal with the crisis unfolding around them. Using their quality improvement expertise, Healthcentric Advisors, in partnership with the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), is proud to be selected to deploy the AHRQ ECHO National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network, a virtual learning collaborative.
The collaborative gives nearly 100 homes in Rhode Island and across New England a unique opportunity to participate in an interactive educational opportunity. To ensure they have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to implement best-practice safety measures to protect residents, staff, and visitors from the infection and spread of COVID-19. The model connects providers with medical experts like pharmacists and doctors, including nationally recognized geriatricians from The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, during weekly, collaborative online sessions that include case-based discussions and peer mentoring.
These 16-week sessions are part of a multi-pronged approach Healthcentric Advisors provides to nursing homes to support their efforts during the pandemic. While the organization offers opportunities for nursing home staff to learn from their colleagues, they also provide technical assistance to support their success in collecting data required by the Centers for Disease Control through the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network. Tracking this information is critical to allowing facilities to identify problems, improve care, and determine progress toward the facility and national healthcare-associated infection goals.
Virtual learning provides a critical opportunity for providers to find support from peers in a way they otherwise wouldn’t get. Chad Harris from Harris Health Care North, in Central Falls, RI, calls the collaborative an “interesting, supportive, enriching experience,” especially with the opportunity to have an open dialogue with other peers and experts in the field. “The encouraging collaborative nature of the engagement made it extremely relevant, very case example-based, and also very unique.”
“Now more than ever, we deeply appreciate all that healthcare providers, like nursing home workers, are doing to care for our loved ones,” said H. John Keimig, Healthcentric Advisors, President and CEO. “We honored to be able to utilize our nationally recognized nursing home quality improvement experience and expertise to support nursing home frontline workers battling COVID-19.”
Marguerite McLaughlin, Senior Program Administrator from Healthcentric Advisors, leading the project, notes how vital making space for providers to hear from each other is during the pandemic. “The ECHO model brings fresh perspectives, ideas, and an opportunity to bear witness to each other’s struggles amid COVID-19. Many providers found strength and validation listening to peers with similar challenges.”