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NHSN Dialysis Event Surveillance –
NHSN Set-up for Outpatient Dialysis

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Available for download NHSN Set-up for Outpatient Dialysis Facilities slideset [PDF 1.04 MB]


Slide 1. Welcome to NHSN Dialysis Event Surveillance training, NHSN Set-up for outpatient dialysis facilities.

Slide 2. The audience for this training is any person enrolling a dialysis clinic or center in NHSN. The person who enrolls a facility is known as the NHSN Facility Administrator. This training is also for any NHSN group users who want to understand the dialysis facility set-up process.

Slide 3. The learning objectives for this presentation include NHSN organization and navigation, how to manage NHSN users and their user rights, how to add an Outpatient Hemodialysis Location to report data to, and how to add monthly reporting plans. This training will also briefly review importing patient information and joining groups.

Slide 4. Let’s begin with some background on NHSN Set-up.

Slide 5. Set-up is the first step following NHSN Enrollment. Once the NSHN Agreement to Participate and Consent is processed, NHSN sends an email to confirm enrollment is complete and the facility has been activated. Your facility must be active before set-up can be started.

Slide 6. To set up NHSN, you’ll login to SDN using your challenge phrase (the same password you created when you requested your digital certificate). Choose ‘NHSN Reporting’ from the SDN Public Health Partners page. This is a good time to add other users if you want to have help or have a backup for NHSN Reporting, but adding users is optional. Adding the “Outpatient Hemodialysis Clinic” surveillance location and adding your monthly reporting plans is required. Once these steps are completed, you can start reporting data.

Slide 7. A good tip is to add the two NHSN websites to your “Favorites” in Internet Explorer so you can find them quickly each month. The site to log on to NHSN Reporting is For Dialysis Event reporting resources, like forms and protocol save the Dialysis Event Homepage.

Slide 8. We’ll begin by explaining NHSN’s organization and how to navigate it in order to complete set-up.

Slide 9. First, log into SDN’s Public Health Partners website, using your challenge phrase (or password). Now instead of NHSN Enrollment, you’ll have the ‘NHSN Reporting’ option. If for some reason you do not have the “NHSN Reporting” option, but you were notified that your facility has been activated, you can request reporting through the “Request Additional Activities” link on this page.

Slide 10. The “NHSN Reporting” link brings you to the NHSN Landing Page. You may or may not need to select your facility and the Patient Safety Component. Click the “Submit” button to access the Patient Safety Homepage.

Slide 11. This is what the NHSN Patient Safety Component Home Page looks like. All of the menu options are listed in the blue navigation bar on the left hand side. User rights determine which navigation bar options are present. If you don’t have user rights to something in NHSN, the option won’t be present on the navigation bar. The NHSN Facility Administrator manages user rights and can modify them if necessary.

Slide 12. While you are navigating in NHSN, use the buttons within NHSN; do not use the web browser buttons.

Slide 13. There are different types of NHSN users.

Slide 14. The Facility Administrator can add additional users to access NHSN. Adding addition users is optional. The Facility Administrator decides what rights each user has. Once a new user is added, an email is automatically sent to their email address with instructions: Each user requires their own digital certificate to access NHSN. Each user must complete required training before using NHSN. Instructions for new users are available in the NHSN User Start-Up Guide.

Slide 15. New users can refer to the start-up guide for help getting going, it is especially helpful for installing their digital certificate.

Slide 16. To add a user, from the NHSN navigation bar: select ‘Users’ then select ‘Add’. Enter that user’s information. You create their username. Make sure the email address entered is the same one they will use to request their digital certificate. Click the “Save” button to create the user. When you save the user, you will go to a screen where you can give them specific rights. Assign rights under Patient Safety, and then “Save” those rights. We do not recommend customizing user rights at this time.

Slide 17. To add a user, on the navigation bar click on Users, then click Add. You will see this “Add User” screen. [MOUSE CLICK] When entering in the new user information, be sure to use the same email address that the User will provide when they request their digital certificate.

Slide 18. A confirmation message will appear at the top of the screen if the user is added successfully. Next, you will need to assign their rights to determine what they are allowed to do in NHSN. You only need to assign rights under Patient Safety for them to access dialysis event information. You can give them administrative rights, all rights for data, or specific rights to analyze, enter or view data.

Slide 19. When a user leaves, you want to deactivate them so that they cannot continue to access the NHSN system. To do this, select the user you want to deactivate, then click “Deactivate”. If the Facility Administrator is changing, be sure that they reassign their Facility Administrator role to a current user before they go.

Slide 20. Adding your surveillance location is a critical set-up step.

Slide 21. For facilities participating in Dialysis Event surveillance, they need an “outpatient hemodialysis clinic” surveillance location to report data to. Surveillance locations are mapped to a CDC location description, which has a specific definition, so that we can be sure that what your facility means by outpatient dialysis is the same thing that CDC means by outpatient dialysis. Most dialysis facilities have only a single location: the outpatient hemodialysis clinic, but other types of facilities that are enrolled in NHSN, such as hospitals, usually have several areas that participating in surveillance. NHSN is planning to add a home hemodialysis location in January 2012 for facilities that are interested in doing surveillance among home hemodialysis patients. This reporting will be completely optional.

Slide 22. To add your surveillance location, from the NHSN navigation bar select ‘Facility’, then ‘Locations’. You create a Code and Label for your location: they can be the same. Then pick the CDC location “Outpatient Hemodialysis Clinic” from the drop down menu. Bedsize is equal to the number of dialysis stations. Click the “Add” button to add the location.

Slide 23. To add the location, go to the navigation bar, select facility [MOUSE CLICK], and select Locations [MOUSE CLICK]. In this example, the Facility Administrator decides to make the code for this location DIALYSIS and the label is Dialysis Clinic, but you can choose any code and label you want. Then select the CDC location description, Dialysis Event surveillance is reported to the “outpatient hemodialysis clinic” location. Click the “Add” button at the bottom to add the location.

Slide 24. At this point, you have completed all one-time requirements. Next step is to add your Monthly Reporting Plans.

Slide 25. Your monthly reporting plan indicates what Patient Safety Component surveillance modules your facility intends to do, specifically that your facility intends on reporting Dialysis Events. Monthly Reporting Plans need to be added for every month of the year, so if you are not doing surveillance for a specific month, indicate ‘No NHSN Patient Safety Modules Followed this Month’ on the Monthly Reporting Plan. You can submit up to a year of Monthly Reporting Plans in advance.

Slide 26. To add a monthly reporting plan, select the “reporting plan” link from the navigation bar and select “add”. Indicate the month and year for your plan and then select your dialysis clinic location: a checkmark will automatically appear in the “DE” box, meaning “Dialysis Event”. Leave other sections blank, these other sections are for other types of surveillance. If you are not doing surveillance for a specific month, you still need to create a reporting plan. But instead of choosing Dialysis Event surveillance you would choose “No NSHN Patient Safety Modules followed this month”. Then you scroll down and click on save.

Slide 27. So here you click on Reporting Plan, then Click Add [MOUSE CLICK]. This Monthly Reporting Plan is used for all of Patient Safety, so there are surveillance options that do not apply to dialysis that you can leave blank. For dialysis event surveillance, all you need to do is under the Device-Associated Module, select your dialysis location [MOUSE CLICK] and the DE box will automatically be checked for Dialysis Event surveillance. [MOUSE CLICK] [MOUSE CLICK] If you are not going to do surveillance, you still need to complete a plan, but you’ll just check the “No NHSN Patient Safety Modules Follow this month” box, under the year drop down menu. Then scroll all the way to the bottom and click ‘Save’. You can create up to a year of plans in advance.

Slide 28. Now that set up is complete, you’re ready to begin reporting Dialysis Event data.

Slide 29. In addition to regular set-up, some facilities choose to import their patient roster information into NHSN to reduce data entry for future reporting. If you plan on joining any NHSN Groups, after your surveillance location is added is a good time to do so. Although, you can join/leave a group at any time. More information on these topics is available on the Dialysis Event website and the NHSN Resource Library.

Slide 30. Instead of adding patient information each time you report a dialysis event, you can import a list of patients from electronic records. The import file must be in ASCII comma delimited format such as you would get from a database or a hospital information system. There are 3 required variables: patient ID, date of birth, and gender. To add a patient roster, choose “import/export” from the navigation bar [MOUSE CLICK]. Then under CSV import, choose patients [MOUSE CLICK]. It will give you the option to browse for a specific file that you can then import. Search “import” in the Help menu for more information on importing.

Slide 31. After you have added your surveillance location, it is a good time to join groups, although you can join or leave a group at any time. Any entity can maintain a group in NHSN, such as state health departments, corporate dialysis chains, ESRD Networks, and so on. NHSN facilities join a group using a Group ID number and a Joining Password which are provided by the group. After joining, the facility will see the “Confer Rights Screen” which shows which data the group wants the facility to share with them. The facility must press the “Accept” button on the Confer Rights screen to share data. Data is only shared with the group, facilities within the group do not have access to any data from other facilities in the group.

Slide 32. To join a group, the facility administrator will click on “Group” then “Join” on the navigation bar to get to the Memberships screen. [MOUSE CLICK] Here they enter the group ID number and joining password provided by the group, [MOUSE CLICK] then click the “join group” button.

Slide 33. The “Join Group” button will bring you to the Confer Rights screen, where you can review which data the group is requesting access to. If you agree to share these data, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and press the “Accept” button. Otherwise, go “back” to leave the group.

Slide 34. Support for using NHSN, including set-up, is available within the application from the help menu. You can also email the NHSN helpdesk at with any questions or concerns.

Slide 35. Remember, email is our only way to communicate with you! Please send us any changes in your email address.

Slide 36. In summary, today we covered adding NHSN websites to your “Favorites” so that you can find them quickly each month, how to navigate in NHSN, how to adding Users and assign user rights, how to add your ‘Outpatient Hemodialysis Clinic’ Location and Monthly Reporting Plans. Once these steps are completed, you are ready to begin reporting dialysis event data. We also briefly covered importing patient information and joining groups.

Slide 37. Thank you for completing NSHN Dialysis Event Surveillance training on NHSN Set-up for Outpatient Dialysis facilities.

Contact NHSN:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    National Healthcare Safety Network
    1600 Clifton Rd
    Atlanta, GA 30333
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