Importing Data

CDA Import Function Training

This training is intended for CDA software vendors and Facility Users submitting CDAs into the NHSN application with application ‘Admin’ user rights.


  • Identify the steps in submitting records to NHSN via the NHSN Import Data function.
  • Demonstrate import for the following events:
    • Bloodstream infection (CLABSI)
    • ICU denominator
    • Surgical Site infection
    • Procedure

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CSV Import

NHSN will allow importation of procedure data in an ASCII comma delimited text file format. You can generate the import files from different external sources, such as databases or hospital information systems. Please refer to the Procedure Import file specifications, as well as the NHSN Manual, for complete details on the data field requirements and definitions.

These documents are available under the Supporting Materials section.

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DIRECT Protocol

NHSN, in alignment with HHS Office of the National Coordinator and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Meaningful Use Initiative, has implemented the Direct Protocol as a means to securely receive electronic data from healthcare information systems via a Health Information Service Provider (HISP). NHSN refers to it as “DIRECT CDA Automation”.

The sign-up will occur in the NHSN User Interface. If you are interested in this method, you can obtain a DIRECT address if you or your facilities do not already have one.

NHSN competitively awarded a contract to the RosettaHealth  for Health Information Service Provider (HISP) services. In order to electronically send data to NHSN, you may solicit the services of a HISP or implement your own. There are a growing number of commercial HISPs from which to choose.

You do not need an account with RosettaHealth in order to send data to NHSN.

Any HISP that implements a Direct protocol which incorporates secure IMAP and SMTP endpoints can be used to send data to NHSN. Your HISP will exchange certificates with the RosettaHealth, allowing you, from your HISP, to send data through RosettaHealth to NHSN. NHSN does not endorse any commercial product, but rather urges you to seek a solution that both fits your own needs as well as strictly adheres to the Direct Protocol.

Technical Guides


DIRECT CDA Automation Webinar

Presentation Date: January 28, 2014
This webinar describes NHSN’s CDA Automation feature, which allows submission of CDAs via the NwHIN Direct protocol.

Links & Resources

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