March 2018 LTCF Newsletter

March 2018 Newsletter – Print version [PDF – 2 MB]

Coming Soon! NHSN LTCF Annual Training

Plan to join us July 16-18, 2018 for the 2018 National Healthcare Safety Network’s (NHSN) Annual Training for Long-term Care Facilities. The training will be held on the CDC campus in Atlanta, Georgia and will include a variety of topics including antibiotic stewardship, hands on data analysis, surveillance and prevention for urinary tract infections, C. difficile, and multi-drug resistant organisms, and more.

Keep a look out for a registration e-mail from NHSN, which will launch in the next few months.  While there is no registration fee, participants will be responsible for all travel expenses to include transportation, lodging, and the cost of food and beverages. Capacity for the training is approximately 300 participants, and invitations to attend in-person will be issued based on a randomized lottery system.

For those unable to attend in-person, all presentations during the 3 days of the training will be available via live web-stream. Please email with training-related questions.

Reminder: NHSN Re-Consent Is Due!

Way to go! So far 40% of long-term care facilities have completed the re-consent process. Facilities that enrolled in NHSN before December 2, 2017 must accept the updated NHSN Consent. The NHSN assigned Facility Administrator or Primary Contact for the LTCF must agree to this updated Consent Form no later than June 14, 2018 to avoid losing access to NHSN.

Additional information, including Frequently Asked Questions and the updated NHSN purposes, are available on CDC’s NHSN website. If you have any questions, please send an email to with the subject line “NHSN Re-consent.”

NOTE: Facilities that enrolled in NHSN on or after December 2, 2017, have already accessed this new Consent and will not need to accept it again if they have already done so.

Have you completed the 2017 NHSN Annual Facility Survey?

Though the deadline to complete the Annual Facility Survey has passed, we have close to 60% of facilities with completed annual surveys. There is still time to complete the survey in order to re-gain access to NHSN reporting. Those facilities that have not completed and submitted your 2017 Annual Facility Survey, please do so now!

Each calendar year, the Annual Facility Survey must be completed and submitted into the NHSN application portal by all enrolled facilities to provide updated information on LTCF characteristics and practices. Failure to accomplish this task by the designated due date will result in users not being able to complete monthly reporting plans or enter event data.  After the survey is completed, users will regain full access to all pre-existing data and functionality.

As a reminder, the NHSN Annual Facility Survey must be completed and submitted in its entirety electronically into the NHSN application and should not be sent to NHSN via e-mail.

If users are uncertain about any question in the survey, the Annual Facility Survey Table of Instructions can be used as a guide. This document is located on our website, here. For further assistance, please contact us at and include “LTCF Annual Facility Survey”  in the subject line.

Editing NHSN Annual Facility Survey Guidance

For question #3 on the NHSN Annual Facility Survey, please verify the correct selection has been made on your NHSN Annual Facility Survey for Primary Testing Method for C. difficile.

Certain testing methods are more sensitive at detecting C. difficile than others, so accuracy in selecting the primary testing method for your facility is important, particularly when comparing your C. difficile infection rates to another facility.

If your facility uses more than one laboratory, the testing method should be based on the laboratory in which most of your resident specimens are sent. As a reminder, cell cytotoxicity neutralization assay, toxigenic culture, and other are uncommon selections. Please verify with your diagnostic laboratory if you’ve selected one of these options on the survey. Remember!! Completed Annual Facility Surveys CAN be viewed and edited.

Step 1. Sign into NHSN.

NHSN landing page


Step 2. Under the Left-side Tool-bar, Click Surveys to open selections, and then Click Find.

NHSN find survey navigation tab


Step 3. Select the Correct Survey Year, and then Click FIND

NHSN find annual survey


Step 4. Once the survey opens, scroll to the bottom and Click on EDIT button

NHSN view annual survey


NHSN annual survey


Step 5.  After making survey edits/changes, scroll to the bottom of the page and Click SAVE

NHSN save annual survey


NHSN annual survey successfully saved


SHEA Spring 2018 Conference, Portland, Oregon

The Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) regularly convenes conferences to promote the prevention of    healthcare-associated infections (HAI) and antibiotic resistance. During the SHEA Spring 2018 Conference, CDC staff will present on surveillance and prevention for LTCFs, including infection events reported to NHSN.

If you are attending the conference, be on the lookout for the following sessions:

  • Presenter: Elisabeth Mungai, MS, MPH
    Presentation: Nursing Home Characteristics Associated with Increased Rates of Clostridium difficile Infection (CDI), National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) 2016
    Friday, April 20, 2018, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Presenter: Theresa, Rowe, DO, MS
    • Presentation: Changing Approaches in Surveillance
      Thursday, April 19, 2018, 10:00 AM – 11:15 AM
    • Presentation: Challenging Situations
      Thursday, April 19, 2018, 5:00 PM – 5:45 PM
    • Presentation: Surviving Sepsis and Nursing Home Residents: What is Realistic?
      Friday, April 20th, 2018, 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM
  • Presenter: Sarah Kabbani, MD, MSc
    Presentation: Antibiotic Stewardship in Skilled Nursing Facilities and Long-Term Care
    Thursday, April 19, 3:45 PM – 4:45 PM

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Are there available benchmarks for LTCFs?

question mark icon

Answer: NHSN does not currently publish nationally representative infection benchmarks for long-term care facilities.  As more facilities join the NHSN LTCF Component and consistently submit data, more comparison options will be developed for LTCFs, including risk adjusted infection rates that can be used for benchmarking. It is important to remember that NHSN depends on our users to submit complete, accurate and timely data. This includes the Annual Facility Survey, Monthly Denominators, Monthly Reporting and events.

Recent Publication

Palms, Danielle L., et al. “The National Healthcare Safety Network Long-Term Care Facility Component Early Reporting Experience: January 2013-December 2015.” American Journal of Infection Control, 2018, doi:10.1016/j.ajic.2018.01.003