Three Pennsylvania  facilities will launch a pilot that resurrects and expands on the “teaching nursing home” model of care under a broad new partnership. 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s harsh impact on facilities, the project aims to reexamine a collaborative care model popularized in the 1980s. Teaching nursing homes connect providers, researchers, students and faculty to improve care for residents and create a “critical bridge between bedside care and academic innovation and clinical expertise.” 

Facilities selected for the pilot program will equip staff with clinical, training, research and quality improvement support. Students will also see increased opportunities to learn first-hand and work with seniors in a real-life setting, while staff enhance their clinical skills while improving patient function and health status. 

Project leaders believe results of the pilot will inform a better model for ongoing clinical quality improvement and safety in long-term care.

The “Pennsylvania Teaching Nursing Home” project is being launched through a partnership with The John A. Hartford Foundation; the Jewish Healthcare Foundation; its nonprofit operating arm Health Careers Futures; and the Henry L. Hillman Foundation. The organizations are providing nearly $1 million in grants. Pennsylvania State University, University of Pennsylvania and University of Pittsburgh will also participate. 

The program will begin on July 1 and run through 2023. 

“The pandemic has shown us the multiple ways we have failed to appropriately integrate nursing homes into the continuum of care and the continuum of nursing education,” Terry Fulmer, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, president of the John A. Hartford Foundation, said in a statement. “This program, which has previously shown positive results without the benefit of the Internet, can now be revisited with these world class nursing schools.”