FAQs on Transition of COVID-19 Hospital Reporting

Updated December 6, 2022

General Transition Overview

No, NHSN enrollment is not required prior to the training. Information on how to access NHSN is available in the transition preparation slides. [PDF – 529KB]

Important: Most hospitals are already enrolled in NHSN. Please do not begin enrolling a facility without confirmation from NHSN that enrollment is needed.

Reach out to the infection prevention and control department at your facility. All facilities enrolled in NHSN will have at least one facility administrator or user with access to the NHSN application.

If you are unable to identify an NHSN user in the facility, email NHSN@cdc.gov and provide the following:

  • Email subject line: “COVID-19 Hospital”
  • Facility name
  • Facility address (including zip code)
  • CCN (if applicable)

If you need to be added to a facility in NHSN as a new user, please refer to the transition preparation slides [PDF – 500 KB] for instructions.

There will not be a reduction in frequency of required reporting as a result of the transition of reporting systems. Information on current reporting frequency is available in the HHS Covid-19 Guidance for Hospital Reporting and FAQs for Hospitals, Hospital Laboratory, and Acute Care Facility Data Reporting [PDF – 535KB] document.

Hospital COVID-19 data will be reported in the COVID-19 module in the Patient Safety Component in NHSN.

Hospital COVID-19 data has been reported since 2020, and there is likely someone in your facility’s emergency preparedness or data/informatics department who can assist you in identifying who has been reporting the hospital COVID-19 data. This individual may need to be added as a user to the facility in the NHSN application.  It is up to the individual facility to determine who should submit the data.

NHSN Access

Yes, if you currently have access to the NHSN Patient Safety Component you will have access to the COVID-19 data reporting module as hospital COVID-19 data reporting will take place through the NHSN Patient Safety Component. Your hospital’s NHSN facility administrator can ensure you have access to the appropriate component.

You will not need to enroll the facility in NHSN again. You may need to activate the Patient Safety Component if this component is not already used at your facility for reporting in NHSN:

The Facility Administrator will log into the facility

Select “Facility” on the left side navigation bar

Select “Add/Edit Component.”

add edit component

Under “Components Followed” select the Patient Safety Component

components followed

You will then be prompted to complete information for the Patient Safety Component Primary Contact

New users can be added to the Patient Safety Component COVID-19 hospital reporting module for hospital COVID-19 reporting if needed.  Instructions to add new users are available in the How to Add a New User in NHSN document [PDF – 515 KB].

Yes. When adding a new user to NHSN for reporting of hospital COVID-19 data, on the Add User Rights page, select “Custom Rights” and then “Advanced.”

customize rights screenshot

Select rights for the COVID-19 Module:

covid-19 module screenshot

NOTE: New users currently can be added to the COVID-19 module, but the module will not be accessible to use until late October 2022.

Additional information about COVID-19 module access for Group users reporting hospital COVID-19 data is forthcoming.

There is no limit of the number users that can be added to a facility in NHSN. NHSN recommends that additional users are added at the facility level to ensure coverage for reporting.

1-2 days.

Additional information about NHSN access and addition of new users can be found in the Transition Preparation slides [PDF – 529 KB] (start at slide 15).

SAMS (Secure Access Management Services) gives authorized personnel secure access to non-public CDC applications. The SAMS partner portal is a website designed to provide centralized access to public health information and computer applications operated by the CDC, such as the NHSN system.

SAMS portal: https://sams.cdc.gov

SAMS Helpdesk: samshelp@cdc.gov

Yes, you will need to provide personal information in order to verify your identity. Note that the information that you provide to obtain SAMS access is confidential and is not stored by CDC.

NHSN recommends that anyone who needs access for hospital COVID-19 reporting obtain NHSN access by October 1, 2022. This date is not a requirement, but obtaining access by October 1, 2022 will ensure you are set-up and familiar with the NHSN application prior to the availability of the COVID-19 module for testing data submissions.

There is no required training to complete SAMS registration and access NHSN. This prompt is related to suggested training for healthcare-associated infection surveillance. Enter the current date you are completing SAMS registration in the date field:

SAMS registration date field

Data Submission

Yes, reporting using .CSV upload will continue in the NHSN application. More information can be found on the Transition of COVID-19 Hospital Reporting Web Page.

Yes. If you currently report to a vendor and that vendor reports on your behalf, this process can continue after the system transition. NHSN will be working with vendors to ensure a smooth transition of the reporting.

Yes.  State health departments or hospital associations will be able to report to NHSN on behalf of hospitals/facilities in their jurisdictions.

Yes. Reporting to NHSN between October 2022 to the official cutover in December will be for data submission testing purposes only.

Yes, downloadable data coverage reports will be available in NHSN.

You will be able to report for multiple hospitals/facilities in one CSV file. This is considered a bulk upload and will require an NHSN Group. Detailed information on the different bulk upload scenarios and NHSN groups can be found in our Information for Bulk Uploaders [PDF – 914 KB] document.

API is Application Programming Interface. API is data submission option for hospital COVID-19 data, along with webform submission and CSV upload. There is no requirement to report using API.

Reporting Requirements

There will be no impact or changes to COVID-19 vaccination data reporting through the NHSN COVID-19 Vaccination Modules for the Long-term Care Facility, Dialysis, and Healthcare Personnel Safety Components.

Yes. The COVID-19 vaccination data reported through NHSN’s Healthcare Personnel Safety Component is separate from HHS reporting of COVID-19 hospital data.

For HHS reporting of COVID-19 hospital data, the COVID-19 vaccination fields were made federally inactive with the latest round of guidance updates but should still be reported to NHSN through the COVID-19 Vaccination Module of the Healthcare Personnel Safety Component.

Training materials for this reporting are located on the Weekly COVID-19 Vaccination webpage.

Please note that the COVID-19 hospital data will be separate reporting through the Patient Safety component. Hospital COVID-19 data reporting guidance is detailed in the HHS Covid-19 Guidance for Hospital Reporting and FAQs for Hospitals, Hospital Laboratory, and Acute Care Facility Data Reporting [PDF – 535KB] document.

All hospital types required to report COVID-19 hospitalization data per CMS requirements (including critical access) will be required to continue reporting through NHSN once the transition is made.

No other changes to hospital data reporting or specific guidance are planned at this time. Information on facility specific requirements is available in the reporting guidance detailed detailed in the HHS Covid-19 Guidance for Hospital Reporting and FAQs for Hospitals, Hospital Laboratory, and Acute Care Facility Data Reporting [PDF – 535KB] document.

The reporting schedule is determined by HHS. For information on reporting requirements for each facility type, please read the HHS Covid-19 Guidance for Hospital Reporting and FAQs for Hospitals, Hospital Laboratory, and Acute Care Facility Data Reporting [PDF – 535KB] document.

Yes. Please follow any additional guidance from your jurisdiction.

API

A machine-to-machine protocol designed to upload and download COVID-19 hospital data in batch mode. It is secured using OAuth 2.0 Connect ID. You will need to use OAuth 2.0 to access the API.

National Healthcare Safety Network (L3COVID-19 Rest API) – L3NHSN COVID-19 API

This is temporary and is required. Please pass the access_token as a header without the keyword “Bearer” as passed in the Authorization header.

For example:

Authorization: Bearer 3bf8d961-5f45-40b6-9021-2af0c1c77717

access_token: 3bf8d961-5f45-40b6-9021-2af0c1c77717

question 4 screenshot

Ensure you are passing the access_token header and it does not contain the keyword “Bearer”. It is the access token received from the SAMS authorization server.

For example:

Authorization: Bearer 3bf8d961-5f45-40b6-9021-2af0c1c77717

access_token: 3bf8d961-5f45-40b6-9021-2af0c1c77717

The access token expires frequently. You will need to request a valid access token (i.e., hasn’t expired) before accessing the endpoints.

After requesting access to the API and approval in SAMS, you will receive an encrypted e-mail with the ID and secret.

Ensure you are using the correct endpoint and have the “L3NHSN COVID-19 API“ activity in SAMS.

Upload endpoint: upload endpoint link

Download endpoint : download endpoint link

Ensure all requests use the HTTP method POST and not GET.  For example, using curl, add “–request POST”.

Please obtain an OAuth 2.0 Token using curl or Postman before accessing the NHSN API. You will need to pass Authorization and access_token headers with this token. Also, you cannot access the upload or download endpoints directly from a Web browser. You need to access the endpoints via OAuth.

Ensure you are sending multipart-mime and using the “file” keyword to indicate the file name being uploaded.

Ensure you are sending multipart-mime and using the “file” keyword to indicate the file name being uploaded.

Use your SAMS system “User Name” located in the SAMS portal. The format of the username will be SYS-XXXXX.

Use your SAMS system “User Name” located in the SAMS portal. The format of the username will be SYS-XXXXX.

[NEW] Reporting Scenarios and Resources

Individual Facility Reporting

This reporting scenario include facilities/hospitals reporting COVID-19 hospital data for their hospital/facility individually to HHS. The facilities/hospital do not have jurisdiction, hospital associations, healthcare systems, or third-party vendors submit data on their behalf.

Individual facility reporters will report in NHSN using the webform or CSV upload options.

The Overview of Data Submission document [PDF – 900 KB] includes information on setting up for individual facility reporting including information on identifying the current NHSN facility administrator, adding a new user to the facility, accessing the COVID-19 module, and more.

Bulk Upload Reporting

Bulk upload reporting is jurisdictions, hospital associations, healthcare systems, and third-party vendors submit data on behalf of multiple hospitals. There are three Bulk Upload Scenarios for Reporting COVID-19 Hospital Data:

  • Jurisdiction Reporting on Behalf of Facilities (Jurisdiction submits data to HHS)
  • Jurisdiction Reporting on Behalf of Facilities (Jurisdiction uses a third-party vendor [for example, a Juvare* product such as EMResource, WebEOC] to submit to HHS)
  • Hospital Systems Reporting at an Enterprise/Corporate Level or on Behalf of Multiple Facilities

Bulk uploaders report using NHSN groups. Detailed instructions for each of the bulk upload scenarios can be found in the Information for Bulk Uploaders document.