MedStar Health to Join New Nationwide Initiative to Fight COVID-19 Infection in Nursing Homes | MedStar Health

MedStar Health to Join New Nationwide Initiative to Fight COVID-19 Infection in Nursing Homes

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Columbia, MD – The MedStar Health Institute for Quality and Safety is joining a nationwide training program to help keep COVID-19 from spreading in area nursing homes and to prepare and equip staff so that they can better protect residents and themselves. This is an essential nationwide initiative in the fight against COVID-19.

The program is part of the National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network supported by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and Project ECHO. MedStar Health Institute for Quality and Safety is participating in the Network as an official Training Center for nursing homes.

This program has six goals:

  • Keep the virus from entering nursing homes.
  • Find out early if residents and staff have been infected.
  • Prevent the spread of the virus to staff, residents, and visitors.
  • Provide safe and appropriate care to residents with mild and asymptomatic cases.
  • Ensure staff have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to implement best-practice safety measures to protect residents and themselves.
  • Reduce social isolation for residents, families, and staff.

To do this, the Network embraces an "all teach, all learn" philosophy in which participants both receive education in best practices from renowned experts and learn from their peers. The MedStar Institute will lead 16 virtual learning sessions with nursing home teams in simultaneous cohorts. Each Network session is designed to be interactive—to hear from nursing home staff about the challenges they are facing and provide practical solutions. During each session, nursing home staff will discuss real cases of front-line problems with both experts and their peers. In this way, staff have a chance to share best practices and learn from their peers while benefiting from the guidance of nursing home and quality improvement experts. Each session will include a brief lecture or lesson paired with case presentations and discussion, followed by a Q&A forum.

"We are thrilled to announce that we have over 100 nursing homes committed to MedStar Health's training center program. We look forward to creating a learning community to share COVID-19 education, best practices and practical solutions with our participating sites that will ultimately improve care quality and safety for residents, staff and visitors," said Bryan O. Buckley, DrPH, MPH, research fellow, Medstar Health Institute for Quality and Safety and director of the training center effort. 

MedStar Health launched its first training cohort on November 10th, 2020.  As a designated training center MedStar Health Institute for Quality and Safety will also provide rapid response mentorship for any nursing home that experiences a sudden increase in COVID-19.

All Medicare- and Medicaid-eligible nursing homes in the area are invited to join this free, voluntary program. The Network will provide a stipend to each facility for successful completion of the program and a certificate of completion for participating individuals. Any questions regarding the network can be sent to


About the MedStar Health Institute for Quality and Safety

The mission of the Medstar Health Institute for Quality and Safety is to partner with patients, their families, and those that take care of them to improve patient care outcomes and reduce the global burden of preventable harm. Established by Medstar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, the Institute provides a global infrastructure in which leaders, front-line care givers, patients and family members jointly develop, educate, assess, and advocate for patient safety and clinical quality initiatives. For more information, visit  

ECHO National Nursing Home COVID-19 ACTION Network

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) mission is to produce evidence to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable, and to work within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and with other partners to make sure that the evidence is understood and used.

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) uses improvement science to advance and sustain better outcomes in health and healthcare across the world.

Project ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is a movement to demonopolize knowledge and amplify the capacity to provide best practice care for underserved people all over the world.


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