Background: Nursing homes were ill-equipped for the pandemic; though facilities are required to have infection control staff, only 3% have taken a basic infection control course. Little is known about the implementation of effective practices outside of the acute care setting. We proposed an intervention utilizing Project ECHO, to connect Penn State University experts with nursing home staff and administrators to explore how infection control guidelines can be implemented effectively. Methods: A stratified cluster randomized design was used to assign nursing homes to either AHRQ-funded COVID-19 ECHO or AHRQ-funded COVID-19 ECHO+. Results: 136 nursing homes participated. There were no significant differences in COVID-19 infection rate, hospitalization, deaths, or influenza, between ECHO or ECHO+. Discussion: The ECHO model has significant strengths when compared to traditional training, as it allows for remote learning delivered by a multidisciplinary team of experts and utilizes case discussions that match the context of nursing homes.
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