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How do we meet the training needs of frontline nursing home staff?

Supporting nursing home safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic

As COVID-19 spread across the United States, virus outbreaks in nursing homes put America’s most vulnerable at tremendous risk.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recognized that to protect frontline staff and nursing home residents a whole new range of training and resources was needed—and quickly!

Westat helped in this effort.

In response to the immediate need for training for all nursing home staff, Westat set to work. The goal was to ensure all nursing home staff received high-quality training about COVID-19 safety protocols.

Knowing that 40 million+ Americans cite Spanish as their first language, it was clear that training and safety tools needed to be available in Spanish.

Over the course of 3 months, Westat produced a broad range of Spanish training tools and resources ranging from interactive training videos and assessments, to tip sheets on COVID-19 safety protocols.

The work helped provide nursing homes across America, the Spanish-preferring residents, visitors, and staff the information they needed to stay safe.

At the 2021 CMS Quality Conference, which had a theme of Health Care Innovation During a Time of Disruption, the team received a Rock Star Award for its nimble response to emerging needs. CMS highlighted the nursing home training as a system-wide success amid the challenges posed by COVID-19.

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