CMS Releases Nursing Home COVID-19 Training Data with Urgent Call to Action

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2020

Contact: CMS Media Relations
(202) 690-6145 | CMS Media Inquiries

CMS Releases Nursing Home COVID-19 Training Data with Urgent Call to Action
Agency thanks nursing homes whose staff have completed free CMS training, but urges remaining homes to take advantage of this resource

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is publicly recognizing the 1,092 nursing homes at which 50% or more of their staff have completed CMS training designed to help staff combat the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in nursing homes. CMS applauds these facilities for taking this critical step to equip their staff with the latest information regarding infection control, vaccine distribution, and other topics.

There are 125,506 individuals from 7,313 nursing homes who have completed the training. This represents approximately 12.5% of the approximately one million nursing home staff in the country. With today’s announcement, CMS is calling on nursing homes to take action, urging them to require their staff to take this free training, as part of the Trump Administration’s continued efforts to keep nursing home residents safe.

“We’ve provided nursing homes with $20 billion in federal funding, millions of pieces of PPE, free testing machines and supplies, and significant technical assistance and on-the-ground support,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “Ultimately, the ownership and management of every nursing must take it on themselves to ensure their staff is fully equipped to keep residents safe. With coronavirus cases increasing across the country and infection control identified as a major issue, we encourage all nursing homes to take advantage of this no-cost opportunity to train their staff.”

The training includes multiple modules, with emphases on topics such as infection control, screening and surveillance, personal protective equipment (PPE) usage, disinfection of the nursing home, cohorting and caring for individuals with dementia during a pandemic. CMS developed this training in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and expert stakeholders, and announced the training on August 25, 2020. For anyone interested, the training is free to access on a public CMS website; instructions on how to create an account and take the training are available at qsep.cms.gov/welcome.aspx.

Training Specifics

The CMS Targeted COVID-19 Training for Frontline Nursing Home Staff & Management is available now, with five specific modules designed for frontline clinical staff and 10 designed for nursing home management. The training is available on the CMS Quality, Safety & Education Portal at https://QSEP.cms.gov. Instructions on how to access the trainings are available at this website.

The training modules for frontline staff address basic infection control and prevention – some of the most common concerns found by surveyors and Federal Task Force Strike Teams (teams of federal staff deployed to facilities with high numbers of cases). The modules are focused on the most urgent needs of frontline nursing home staff and include:

Module 1: Hand Hygiene and PPE

Module 2: Screening and Surveillance

Module 3: Cleaning the Nursing Home

Module 4: Cohorting

Module 5: Caring for Residents with Dementia in a Pandemic

The training modules for management are comprehensive, focusing on infection control and cleanliness but also larger institution-wide issues like implementation of telehealth, emergency preparedness, and vaccine delivery. They include:

Module 1: Hand Hygiene and PPE

Module 2: Screening and Surveillance

Module 3: Cleaning the Nursing Home

Module 4: Cohorting

Module 5: Caring for Residents with Dementia in a Pandemic

Module 6: Infection Prevention and Control

Module 7: Emergency Preparedness and Surge Capacity

Module 8: Addressing Emotional Health of Residents and Staff

Module 9: Telehealth for Nursing Homes

Module 10: Getting Your Vaccine Delivery System Ready

If a nursing home’s staff is unsure which training module best meets their needs, CMS is offering an online self-assessment tool at www.qioprogram.org to help them identify their needs and suggest the appropriate training modules that best reflect those needs. A certificate of completion is offered for each completed training course.

The list of nursing homes at which 50% or more of staff have completed CMS COVID-19 training is here: Nursing Home Facilities Training 50% Achievement List (PDF) 

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