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About FHIR and NHSNLink

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Making the Connection

The National Healthcare Safety Network’s (NHSN) effort to modernize hospital surveillance through Digital Quality Measures (dQMs) using Fast Healthcare Interoperability Reporting (FHIR) will transform hospital reporting. This page provides information for implementers and hospital staff on how FHIR will utilize NHSNLink to exchange hospital data between facilities and NHSN.

About FHIR

Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources® (FHIR) is a Health Level Seven International® (HL7) standard for exchanging healthcare information electronically between information systems. FHIR has several advantages over other methods of reporting, as shown in the figure below.

Difference between Manual, Semi-Automated, and Digital Quality Measures
With Manual or Semi-Automated Measures With Digital Quality Measures
Data standards are specific to the measure and the organization to which they are reported Data are represented using nationally recognized standards across the EHR vendors, facilities, and agencies
Data are pushed (NHSN waits for the facility to transmit data) Data can be pulled, making real-time surveillance feasible
Data are often aggregated, facility-level risk adjustment is typical Data are at the patient level, patient-level risk adjustment is possible
Measures are pre-determined before transmission Measures can be adapted after data transmission

Is Your Facility FHIR Ready?

If you are a healthcare facility interested in reporting data to NHSN via FHIR, start by talking to your IT staff to determine if your facility is FHIR-ready:

checkmark Are your FHIR R4 APIs deployed to your production environment?

checkmark Do your FHIR R4 APIs conform to the US Core Data for Interoperability standard?

checkmark Do you know your EHR vendor’s policies for access of your FHIR R4 APIs by third-party applications for public health and regulatory reporting?

About NHSNLink

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NHSNLink is an open-source FHIR application for public health reporting​. It uses a query engine to connect directly to a healthcare facility’s EHR through the FHIR API to identify patients who meet the criteria for an NHSN dQM. It generates patient-level reports with administrative and clinical data in a MeasureReport Bundle and passes the MeasureReport Bundle to NHSN through a FHIR gateway for NHSN quality and analytic applications. Data flow is only one way, with no write-back to the EHR.

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