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CDC infection tracking system goes nationwide
About 1,000 hospitals expected to join NHSN
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has opened enrollment for all health care facilities in the United States who wish to join its state-of-the art infection reporting system: the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). The NHSN is a secure, web-based reporting network that lets facilities track infections associated with health care. It now is available to all health care facilities in the United States, it recently announced.
NHSN currently has more than 600 participants and is utilized in 45 states. That number is expected to grow to some 1,000 as hospitals and other health care settings take the CDC up on the invitation. CDC already is partnering with dozens of health care facilities, including Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals, to use NHSN as a tool to track the prevention of a common infection caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). NHSN has been recently improved to meet the needs of states with mandatory public reporting of health care-associated infections. As a result, many states are designating NHSN as part of systems for hospitals to report health care-associated infections to meet requirements of state laws requiring infection rate disclosures.
The NHSN provides multiple options for data analysis and more flexibility for sharing information both within and outside a facility — including the general public, if the facility so chooses. The system builds upon the CDC's National Nosocomial Infection Surveillance (NNIS) system which, for more than 30 years, was the gold standard system for tracking health care-associated infections. CDC developed the NNIS system to help infection control professionals and hospitals stay abreast of the rapidly expanding science and practice of infection prevention and control, and better manage episodes of health care-associated infections. The NNIS system had about 300 participating facilities nationwide.