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FAQs: Annual Surveys

Annual Hospital Survey: Teaching Status

Q1: Which designation of teaching status should I indicate on the annual hospital survey?

The NHSN teaching status categories are as follows:

  1. Major Teaching – Facility trains medical students, nursing students, and post-graduate residents. Note that there is no minimum number of students that must be present in your facility to meet this designation, and it is not necessary for your facility to be attached/affiliated with a medical school.
  2. Graduate Teaching- Facility trains post-graduate residents/fellows
  3. Undergraduate Teaching- Facility trains current (undergraduate) medical students and/or nursing students.

Annual Hospital Survey: units designated as Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs)

Q2: My acute care hospital includes a CMS-certified Rehab Unit mapped as a location within the hospital (i.e., the CCN for the Rehab unit includes an ‘R’ or ‘T’ in the 3rd position). Do I include the number of rehab beds from this unit on the annual hospital survey, the annual rehab survey, or both?

The number of rehab beds should be counted on both the hospital and rehab surveys. On the hospital survey, include these beds in the count for “All other inpatient locations”. In addition, counts from these locations should be included in the total facility patient days and admissions.


Q3: The Rehab unit/facility is physically separated from my acute care hospital and is enrolled as a separate facility in NHSN. Do I include the number of rehab beds from this unit on the annual hospital survey?

Since the Rehab unit/facility is a separate NHSN facility, the number of rehab beds, patient days, and admissions should NOT be counted on the hospital survey, and will be included only on the rehab survey.


Q4: I have a free-standing IRF that is enrolled as a separate facility in NHSN (i.e., last 4 digits of the IRF CCN are between 3025-3099). Do I include the number of rehab beds from this unit on the annual hospital survey?

The number of beds, patient days, and admissions from the free-standing IRF should only be counted on the Rehab survey.

Annual Hospital Survey:  units designated as Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities (IPFs) and Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs)

Q5: My hospital has an IPF and/or SNF unit located within the hospital. Do I include counts from these units on the annual hospital survey for patient days, admissions, and total bed size?

IPF: Yes, counts from the IPF unit should be included on the annual hospital survey. If your IPF unit is not geographically located within the hospital, contact the NHSN helpdesk for more guidance.

SNF: If your SNF has a separate CCN from the hospital, it should be enrolled as a separate NHSN facility. In this case, counts from the SNF unit should NOT be counted on the acute care hospital’s survey.  If your SNF shares a common CCN with the acute care hospital, then these counts should be included on the hospital survey.

Annual Hospital Survey: Microbiology Laboratory Question #2

Q6: “Question #2 asks: Does the laboratory use CLSI (formerly NCCLS) antimicrobial susceptibility standards? If so, specify the version of the M100 document in use.”
My laboratory has indicated that they use the most recent version of the M100 document, and that version is not listed as a choice on the survey. What should I do?

The answer to this question should reflect the version of the M100 document that was in use during the prior calendar year. For example, the survey you are completing in the beginning of 2016 is referred to as the “2015 Annual Survey”. As such, you should answer this question based on the M100 document that was in use for the majority of calendar year 2015, not the current version of the M100 document that is in use. Please contact your laboratory to confirm the version of the M100 document that was in use last year.

Annual Survey bed size for all facility types

Q7: During the previous calendar year my facility’s number of beds changed during the year. What number should I report for the total number of beds on the annual survey?

Users should report the number of beds that were used for the majority (six months or greater) of the previous calendar year in a facility.

Annual Surveys for newly enrolled facilities

Q8: My facility just opened last month and we are currently enrolling in NHSN. Do I need to complete an annual survey?

All facilities that have recently joined NHSN do have to complete a survey upon enrollment. However, if your facility was not operational during the prior calendar year, you will indicate this during your enrollment process. Then, you will be prompted to complete only select questions from the annual survey. The questions that are unable to be answered at the time of enrollment will be grayed out. At the start of the calendar year following when a facility has enrolled in NHSN, they will have to complete the same annual survey, but will have to complete all the questions. For example, if you enroll in NHSN during 2016 but were not operational in 2015, you will complete a shortened version of the 2016 PSC annual survey containing basic demographic questions. The next year, 2017, you will have to complete the entire 2016 PSC annual survey with information from 2016.

Annual surveys for HCP Influenza Vaccination Summary Module

Q9: Which surveys are required to be completed for the HCP Influenza Vaccination Summary Module?

At this time, no annual surveys are required to participate in this module. However, NHSN encourages users to complete the (optional) “Seasonal Survey on Influenza Vaccination Programs for Healthcare Personnel”. The data collected in this brief survey, including methods a facility uses to deliver influenza vaccine to its HCP, are very helpful to CDC personnel.  If you elect to complete this survey, only one survey should be completed during the influenza season. More information on the survey can be found here: Surveillance for Healthcare Personnel Vaccination.