CDC is increasingly making use of data already available from electronic health records and commercial infection control surveillance systems. The goal is to minimize the time and effort required to collect and enter data, allowing facilities to focus on prevention of HAIs. Working with numerous partners, CDC develops data standards that are available to all information technology vendors to use in their development efforts. In addition, care is taken to harmonize measures to ensure that facilities do not have to duplicate data collection efforts for multiple initiatives and mandates.
Each Facility that Participates in NHSN Agrees to the Following Purposes and Assurance of Confidentiality:
- Collect data from a sample of US healthcare facilities to permit valid estimation of the magnitude of adverse events among patients and healthcare personnel.
- Collect data from a sample of US healthcare facilities to permit valid estimation of the adherence to practices known to be associated with prevention of these adverse events.
- Analyze and report collected data to permit recognition of trends.
- Provide facilities with risk-adjusted metrics that can be used for inter-facility comparisons and local quality improvement activities.
- Assist facilities in developing surveillance and analysis methods that permit timely recognition of patient and healthcare worker safety problems and prompt intervention with appropriate measures.
- Conduct collaborative research studies with NHSN member facilities (e.g., describe the epidemiology of emerging HAIs and pathogens, assess the importance of potential risk factors, further characterize HAI pathogens and their mechanisms of resistance, and evaluate alternative surveillance and prevention strategies).
- Comply with legal requirements – including but not limited to state or federal laws, regulations, or other requirements – for mandatory reporting of healthcare facility-specific adverse event, prevention practice adherence, and other public health data.
- Enable facilities to report HAI and prevention practice adherence data via NHSN to CMS in fulfillment of CMS’s quality measurement reporting requirements for those data.
- Provide state departments of health with information that identifies the healthcare facilities in their state that participate in NHSN.
- Provide to state agencies, at their request, facility-specific, NHSN patient safety component and healthcare personnel safety component adverse event and prevention practice adherence data for surveillance, prevention, or mandatory public reporting.
"The voluntarily provided information obtained in this surveillance system that would permit identification of any individual or institution is collected with a guarantee that it will be held in strict confidence, will be used only for the purposes stated, and will not otherwise be disclosed or released without the consent of the individual, or the institution in accordance with Section 304, 306, and 308(d) of the Public Health Service Act (42 USC 242b, 242k, and 242m(d))."
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Healthcare Safety Network
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30333
- Contact NHSN@cdc.gov