The federal government launched a new initiative on Tuesday, aiming to help nursing homes leaders better address patient safety issues in their facilities.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials yesterday announced the planned release of  a series of offerings they hope may help providers improve resident care. Those would range from tools for assessing the competency of staffers, to instructional guides, training webinars and technical assistance seminars. Offerings in the three-year initiative would be paid for through civil monetary penalties collected from providers.

“We are pleased to offer nursing home staff practical tools and assistance to improve resident care,” Administrator Seema Verma said in the announcement.

Typically, fines under the Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Program are collected and returned to states to fund local projects that benefit nursing home residents. CMS also retains a portion of those proceeds for similar national initiatives. With this new endeavor, the agency said it plans to collaborate with industry experts to launch an ongoing series of toolkits to help improve care delivery and residents’ quality of life.

CMS also unveiled the first toolkit in the series, designed to help nursing home caregivers and managers evaluate their own skill sets. More information on the program can be found here.

Barbara Gay, vice president of public policy communications for LeadingAge, said it supports the requirement — which was spelled out in the Affordable Care Act — that CMS would use funds from penalties to support providers.

“We view this program as a positive in that the money is being put to use within nursing homes, on an important aspect of workforce management — improving the quality of care,” she told McKnight’s on Tuesday.

“Workforce is one of the largest challenges facing long-term care providers, and continuing to develop resources to help our members maintain high quality care is top of mind for us,” added David Gifford, M.D., senior VP of quality and regulatory affairs for the American Health Care Association.