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Aug 26 -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), invites comment by October 25, 2022 regarding the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) data collection.

The Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP), National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collects data from healthcare facilities in the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) under OMB Control Number 0920-0666. NHSN provides facilities, states, regions, and the nation with data necessary to identify problem areas, measure the progress of prevention efforts, and ultimately eliminate healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) nationwide. NHSN allows healthcare facilities to track blood safety errors and various healthcare-associated infection prevention practice methods such as healthcare personnel influenza vaccine status and corresponding infection control adherence rates. NHSN currently has six components: Patient Safety (PS), Healthcare Personnel Safety (HPS), Biovigilance (BV), Long-Term Care Facility (LTCF), Outpatient Procedure (OPC), Dialysis, and Neonatal Component.

Data reported under the Patient Safety Component are used to determine the magnitude of the healthcare-associated adverse events and trends in the rates of the events, in the distribution of pathogens, and in the adherence to prevention practices. Data will help detect changes in the epidemiology of adverse events resulting from new medical therapies and changing patient risks. Additionally, reported data is being used to describe the epidemiology of antimicrobial use and resistance and to better understand the relationship of antimicrobial therapy to this rising problem.

Under the Healthcare Personnel Safety Component, protocols and data on events—both positive and adverse—are used to determine: (1) the magnitude of adverse events in healthcare personnel; and (2) compliance with immunization and sharps injuries safety guidelines.

Under the Biovigilance Component, data on adverse reactions and incidents associated with blood transfusions are reported and analyzed to provide national estimates of adverse reactions and incidents.

Under the Long-Term Care Facility Component, data is captured from skilled nursing facilities. Reporting methods under the LTCF component have been created by using forms from the PS Component as a model with modifications to specifically address the specific characteristics of LTCF residents and the unique data needs of these facilities reporting into NHSN.

The Respiratory Tract Infection (RTI) Form will not to be used by NHSN users, but as part of an EIP project with four EIP sites. The Form is titled Denominators for Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs): Respiratory Tract Infections. The purpose of this form is to allow testing prior to introducing a new module and forms to NHSN users. The CDC's Epidemiology Research & Innovations Branch (ERIB) team will use the form to perform field testing of variables to explore the utilization, applicability, and data collection burden associated with these variables. This process will inform areas of improvement prior to incorporating the new module, including protocol, forms, and instructions into NHSN.

The Dialysis Component offers a simplified user interface for dialysis users to streamline their data entry and analysis processes as well as provide options for expanding in the future to include dialysis surveillance in settings other than outpatient facilities.

The Outpatient Procedure Component (OPC) gathers data on the impact of infections and outcomes related to operative procedures performed in Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs). The OPC is used to monitor two event types: Same Day Outcome Measures and Surgical Site Infections (SSIs).

The Neonatal Component focuses on premature neonates and the healthcare associated events that occur as a result of their prematurity. This component currently has one module, which includes Late Onset-Sepsis and Meningitis.

NHSN has increasingly served as the operating system for HAI reporting compliance through legislation established by the states. As of August 2022, 37 states, the District of Columbia and the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania have opted to use NHSN as their primary system for mandated reporting. Reporting compliance is completed by healthcare facilities in their respective jurisdictions, with emphasis on those states and municipalities acquiring varying consequences for failure to use NHSN. Additionally, healthcare facilities in five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands) are voluntarily reporting to NHSN. Additional territories are projected to follow with similar use of NHSN for reporting purposes. NHSN's data is used to aid in the tracking of HAIs and guide infection prevention activities/practices that protect patients.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other payers use these data to determine incentives for performance at healthcare facilities across the U.S. and surrounding territories, and members of the public may use some protected data to inform their selection among available providers. Each of these parties is dependent on the completeness and accuracy of the data. CDC and CMS work closely and are fully committed to ensuring complete and accurate reporting, which are critical for protecting patients and guiding national, state, and local prevention priorities.

CMS collects some HAI data and healthcare personnel influenza vaccination summary data, which is done on a voluntary basis as part of its Fee-for-Service Medicare quality reporting programs, while others may report data required by a federal mandate. Facilities that fail to report quality measure data are subject to partial payment reduction in the applicable Medicare Fee-for-Service payment system. CMS links their quality reporting to payment for Medicare-eligible acute care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, long-term acute care facilities, oncology hospitals, inpatient psychiatric facilities, dialysis facilities, and ambulatory surgery centers. Facilities report HAI data and healthcare personnel influenza vaccination summary data to CMS via NHSN as part of CMS's quality reporting programs to receive full payment.

Still, many healthcare facilities, even in states without HAI reporting legislation, submit limited HAI data to NHSN voluntarily. NHSN's data collection updates continue to support the incentive programs managed by CMS. For example, survey questions support requirements for CMS' quality reporting programs. Additionally, CDC has collaborated with CMS on a voluntary National Nursing Home Quality Collaborative, which focuses on recruiting nursing homes to report HAI data to NHSN and to retain their continued participation.

The proposed changes in this new ICR include revisions to nine existing data collection forms.
NHSN: https://www.cdc.gov/nhsn/index.html
Draft revised NHSN survey instruments and technical documentation https://www.dropbox.com/sh/djy7494sqrbxzbt/AADWzefoPa1JXh0lADi34Oiqa?dl=0
Data collection forms unchanged from prior approval: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAICList?ref_nbr=202112-0920-014
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-18442

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