National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN)

What is the National Healthcare Safety Network?

CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) is the nation’s most comprehensive and widely used system to identify emerging and enduring threats across healthcare, such as healthcare-associated infections, antimicrobial-resistant infections, and COVID-19. NHSN provides healthcare facilities, states, regions, and the nation with data needed to identify problem areas, measure progress of prevention efforts, eliminate healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AR), and, ultimately, confront emerging threats to healthcare.

Health Department Activities

Expanding and enhancing NHSN
By supporting NHSN, health departments improve healthcare facility data collection and reporting capabilities needed to:

  • Identify infection prevention problems by facility or state
  • Monitor progress on specific quality improvement projects
  • Benchmark progress of infection prevention efforts
  • Comply with state and federal public reporting mandates
  • Drive national progress toward elimination of HAIs

As part of CDC’s HAI/AR Program, health department HAI/AR Programs complete a wide range of NHSN-related activities, including but not limited to:

  • Providing technical assistance to healthcare facilities interested in NHSN enrollment and reporting
  • Monitoring antibiotic use to inform stewardship activities
  • Establishing data use agreements with local health departments to facilitate their use of NHSN
  • Partnering with academic institutions to validate studies of patient HAI data and improve prevention efforts with their findings
  • Finding and supporting healthcare facilities with implementing antibiotic use and antimicrobial resistance surveillance resources


Through supplemental funding provided by the American Rescue Plan Act, CDC awarded health departments with additional funding to bolster the use of NHSN and identify areas of improvement in patient safety and healthcare quality for emerging threats like AR infections and COVID-19.

Resources for Health Departments

HAI Data Portal and the Antibiotic Resistance and Patient Safety Portal: read reports authored using NHSN data.

NHSN Data Validation: access publications, webinars, and more regarding NHSN data validation efforts.

Enroll in NHSN: health departments can direct healthcare facilities interested in joining NHSN here.