Nursing homes in national conversation about COVID-19 challenges

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Alice Bonner, R.N., Ph.D.

Every weekday at noon ET, staff members and administrators at long-term care facilities across the country gather online in a brief “huddle” to discuss common clinical and operational issues. The “COVID-19 Rapid Response Network for Nursing Homes,” a series of 20-minute interactive sessions hosted by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), features pragmatic solutions focused on a weekly theme, such as virus testing, procuring personal protective equipment and promoting staff members’ well-being. The theme for the week of June 8 – 12 is infection prevention and control.

Alice Bonner, R.N., Ph.D., Senior Advisor for Aging at IHI, explains that the huddles are designed to be effective and efficient: “We’re trying to provide access to experts and simple, straightforward information and to make it as easy as possible for people who are already doing everything they can.” Bonner sees a need for collaboration across settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living communities, PACE programs, home health agencies and others. She notes, “The huddles are an opportunity for people in different roles to come together to share strategies and get peer support.”

The daily program starts with a “data minute” followed by a 2-minute look at a federal, state or local policy development and an 8-minute best practice presentation. Attendees chat throughout the program and are encouraged to share “one good thing” they have experienced in the past few days.

To join the huddle and access materials for past sessions, register on the IHI website.

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