Data Use Agreements (DUA) with NHSN

Health Departments can Access Data Reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network

Since October 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP) has provided state health departments with additional access to data reported by healthcare facilities in their jurisdiction to CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), and beginning in 2018, this additional access is extended to local and territorial health departments. NHSN is the nation’s most widely used healthcare-associated infection tracking system. NHSN provides facilities, states, regions, and the nation with data needed to identify problem areas, measure progress of prevention efforts, and ultimately eliminate healthcare-associated infections. Since 2006, CDC has provided health departments in states with mandatory HAI reporting requirements with access to mandatorily reported data in their jurisdiction.

Schedule an Intro Call

Get started with establishing a data use agreement by emailing the NHSN team to schedule an introductory call.


Data Use Agreements Between HDs and CDC
[DOCX - 36 KB]
Data Template
[XLSX - 6 MB]

Step 1 – Review the DUA Template and Data Specification Document

The Data Use Agreement (DUA) Template is the starting point in discussions between health departments and CDC. In addition, the Data Specification document is where you will indicate the data you would like to access. State, local, and territorial departments of health that are interested in entering into a DUA with NHSN should review the DUA Template and Data Specification document, then contact the NHSN DUA team to schedule an introductory call.

Step 2 – Schedule an Introductory Call

The initial call should include the HAI coordinator and other health department staff (e.g., epidemiologists), as well as legal counsel who are likely to be involved in discussions with the NHSN team about a DUA. Contact to arrange the initial call with the NHSN DUA team and any follow-up calls related to DUA work.

Step 3 – Finalize and Sign DUA

When the terms of the DUA are finalized, CDC will sign the agreement. Once the health department signs the DUA, the date that data access begins will be set.

Step 4 – Conduct Webinar with Healthcare Facilities

After a state, local, or territorial department of health has worked with CDC to complete a DUA and before the health department begins accessing new NHSN data, CDC will provide healthcare facilities in the jurisdiction the opportunity to opt-out of voluntary reporting to NHSN.

Some healthcare facilities voluntarily report data to NHSN, even in states and municipalities with HAI reporting mandates. Those facilities will be able to stop their voluntary NHSN reporting before the new data access provisions go into effect.

Step 5 – Access NHSN Data

CDC wants voluntary NHSN reporting to continue wherever possible, while simultaneously enabling health department access to those data for surveillance and prevention programs. The overarching goal of these access provisions is to enhance the value of data reported to NHSN for public health purposes.

Outside of NHSN Data Use Agreements, health departments have additional options for accessing data reported to NHSN by healthcare facilities in their jurisdictions as described in this table.

For more information about NSHN data use agreements, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.