AHRQ ECHO National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network

Supported by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Project ECHO is launching a National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network.

Our team at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Project ECHO is participating in the Network as an official Training Center for nursing homes. Joining us in this effort are the NJ Department of Health, the Trinitas Regional Medical Center Project ECHO team, the NJ Health Care Quality Institute (NJHCQI), the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and other state and national nursing home subject matter experts.

The program includes access to national and local expertise and is designed to support the goals for resiliency, safety and quality improvement of CMS-certified skilled nursing home facilities.


Program Goals

  • Keep COVID-19 from entering nursing homes
  • Early identification of residents and staff who have been infected with COVID-19
  • Prevent the spread of COVID-19 between staff, residents and visitors
  • Provide safe and appropriate care to residents with mild and asymptomatic cases of COVID-19
  • 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 during these difficult times

How to Participate in the Nursing Home CAN ECHO

You may access the training center from anywhere, using a computer or mobile device.

The Nursing Home CAN will use the ECHO Model for interactive case-based learning, which is defined by 4 key principles:

  • Sharing best practices
  • Case-based learning using an “all teach, all learn” methodology
  • Ensuring a quality improvement loop to best meet the learner’s need
  • Using technology to leverage scarce resources

Program Requirements and Benefits

  • To participate your facility must be a CMS certified nursing homes
  • Each facility can register up to 4 participants
  • At least 2 participants must attend 13 of the 16 sessions to qualify for the $6,000 facility incentive awarded at the end of the 16 weeks
  • Each session is an hour and a half in length with the last half hour open to Q&A; participants are required to stay for 60 minutes but encouraged to stay for the full hour and a half

Learning Objectives

Upon participating in the Nursing Home ECHO, Nursing Home Care Providers will be able to:

  • Strengthen their emergency response capabilities to prevent COVID-19 from entering nursing home facilities via staff, visitors and residents
  • Learn best practices to prevent greater spread of the virus among patients and staff should an infection arise
  • Learn best practice care methods and treatments for residents who test positive for COVID-19
  • Adopt best practice safety measures to protect staff from infection, help staff build confidence in their work and feel safe to support staff retention
  • Ensure that residents who are dying from COVID-19 can safely receive visitors
  • Support NJ State quality and safety goals for nursing homes
  • Use the ECHO guided-practice, tele-mentoring model for learning, quality improvement, and self-sustaining process improvement
  • Become part of a Community of Learners during the 16-week program and beyond

Rutgers Training Center Nursing Home CAN Session Leaders

  • Mary Bridgeman, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP, Pharmacist, Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy
  • Mobin Chadha, LCSW, Program Director, Trinitas Regional Medical Center
  • Kathy Dodsworth-Rugani, PhD, Executive Director, Rutgers Project ECHO, Rutgers RWJMS
  • Matt D’Oria, Director, Medicaid Policy Center, NJHCQI
  • Fred Kobylarz, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, Family and Community Medicine, Rutgers RWJMS
  • Leone Murphy, APN-C, Trinitas Regional Medical Center
  • Ruben Nanez, Program Coordinator, Rutgers Project ECHO, Rutgers RWJMS
  • Linda Schwimmer, JD, President & CEO, New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute

National Nursing Home CAN Curriculum

  • Tuesday and Thursday - 12:00pm-1:30pm
  • Wednesday - 1:00pm-2:30pm

 Sessions start the weeks of October 26th and November 2nd

Click Here to View Current Curriculum