The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted nursing homes leading to over 570,000 confirmed COVID-19 resident cases and more than 112,000 COVID-19 related resident deaths as of January 17, 2021. To help address this devastating impact on nursing homes, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has distributed funds to nursing homes and launched several initiatives to improve nursing home safety and infection control. As part of this work AHRQ launched the National Nursing Home COVID-19 Coordinating Center to provide coordination for AHRQ’s national nursing home safety initiatives, including AHRQ’s National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network. The Coordinating Center will ensure AHRQ is in communication with key stakeholders, leverage information to create new tools and resources to support the needs of nursing homes moving forward, and create and coordinate communication and dissemination activities. The Coordinating Center will also document and collate information to assess and communicate the progress, purpose, and impact of the Network.
NORC is implementing and overseeing the Coordinating Center. The goals of the Coordinating Center are to 1) provide coordination of the Network’s activities with other AHRQ and HHS nursing home initiatives; 2) engage scientific and policy stakeholders with AHRQ, HHS and other federal partners on nursing home safety needs and best practices; 3) develop new tools and resources on nursing home safety and quality improvement to address gap areas; 4) create communication materials to advance AHRQ’s dissemination efforts of the Network resources and other AHRQ nursing home safety initiatives; 5) disseminate lessons learned from the Network’s activities; 6) assess findings from the Network; 7) provide technical assistance to AHRQ on inquiries related to the Network and other AHRQ nursing home safety initiatives; and 8) create a library/repository of all Network documentation and products for internal and external audiences.
The Coordinating Center plays a complementary role to the Network serving as a bridge between AHRQ initiatives and the nursing home quality improvement (QI) community that engages scientific and policy stakeholders to identify safety needs and best practices, ensures coordinated development and dissemination of QI tools and other resources, and assesses the impact of the Network on control of COVID-19 in nursing homes as well as impact on nursing home quality improvement and infection control.