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About SAMS

What is SAMS?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Secure Access Management Services (SAMS) is a federal information technology (IT) system that gives authorized personnel secure access to non-public CDC applications. The SAMS partner portal is a website designed to provide centralized access to public health information and computer applications operated by the CDC. For the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Program, SAMS will provide healthcare facilities and other partners, such as state health departments and QIOs, with secure and immediate access to the NHSN application.

SAMS will soon replace the Secure Data Network (SDN) that is currently used by NHSN for user identity verification. This means that eventually digital certificates will no longer be required to access NHSN. Unlike digital certificates, SAMS will not require you to install anything on your computer, and it will not require an annual renewal.

The NHSN Program started to pilot SAMS in 2013 as a way to migrate all NHSN users from SDN and the use of digital certificates to SAMS. We recently began a new pilot phase during which we are migrating approximately 120 external volunteers who are users in various types of NHSN facilities or Groups. Feedback from this pilot phase will inform our general migration of all NHSN users to SAMS, which we expect to begin in late 2013. We are planning a gradual migration since we will be limited by the number of SAMS applications that can be processed per day, and we anticipate that the migration of our more than 22,000 NHSN users will take approximately two years to complete.

If you are new to NHSN, after completing the required NHSN training, you will receive an email from NHSN instructing you to review and accept the NHSN Rules of Behavior. After you accept the NHSN Rules of Behavior, you will receive an invitation to SAMS from “SAMS No-Reply (CDC)”. This is a valid and official email from CDC.

If you are an existing NHSN user and currently have an active digital certificate, the NHSN Program will reach out to you. You will receive an invitation from "SAMS No-Reply (CDC)". This is a valid and official email from CDC. However, please note that the timing of your migration to SAMS will be based partly on your digital certificate expiration date, but also upon how many SAMS applications can be processed by CDC per day. Keep in mind that in order to access NHSN, you must have an active digital certificate or you must be "SAMified", so you should continue to renew your digital certificate on an annual basis when you receive an email prompt to do so, until you receive an email invitation to register for SAMS.

If you are an existing NHSN user who already has access to SAMS, we will assess your current authorization access level, and if appropriate, you will receive an authorization email from SAMS stating that you gave been granted access to NHSN. If additional verification credentials are required, the NHSN Program will reach out to you.

To transition to SAMS, all existing and new NHSN users will need to:

  1. Receive an invitation to register for SAMS
  2. Complete and submit identity verification documents to CDC
  3. Access NHSN using SAMS credentials

For SAMS Registration Process, NHSN users will:

Step 1: Receive an invitation to register for SAMS
Step Time
1a Log in to the SAMS application using assigned username (i.e., your current email address) and temporary password from the invite email 2 Min
1b Accept the SAMS Rules of Behavior 5 Min
1c Complete the SAMS Registration Form 5 Min
Step 2: Complete and submit identity verification documents to CDC
Step Time
2a Receive SAMS registration confirmation email, print the attached verification form 5 Min
2b Take the Identity Verification Form to a notary public for endorsement Varies
2c Mail or fax the endorsement verification forms and supporting documents back to CDC Varies
Step 3: Access NHSN using SAMS credentials
Step Time
3a Receive confirmation from CDC that forms were received (correspondence via email and US Postal Service) Varies
3b Receive welcome emails from SAMS and the NHSN Program Varies
3c Receive SAMS grid card delivered to your home address Varies
3d Access NHSN:
  • If you are a newly enrolling facility, the facility admin will require access to NHSN Enrollment
  • If you are any other NHSN user, you will access NHSN Reporting
2 Min

Need Additional Help?

Please refer to:

Help is also available by contacting NHSN Support: nhsn@cdc.gov

SAMS Partner Portal questions can be directed to the SAMS Help Desk: samshelp@cdc.gov

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