CDC’s NHSN: Healthcare Worker and Supply Pathways

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) continues to support the nation’s COVID-19 response and has released two additional data collection pathways in the COVID-19 Module found within the Patient Safety Component. In addition to the Patient Impact and Hospital Capacity Pathway, the Healthcare Worker Staffing Pathway and the Healthcare Supply Pathway are now active. These additional pathways enable hospitals to report critical information to NHSN on healthcare personnel shortages and COVID-19 treatment supplies shortages, such as ventilator supplies, N95 masks, and gloves. The new Healthcare Worker Staffing and Supply Pathways in the COVID-19 Module consist of a total of 15 data elements. As a reminder, the COVID-19 Module calls for reporting aggregate count data for each calendar day. Participation in the Module is voluntary and does not call for patient-level data collection. The data can be submitted using manual entry or CSV file. As with the Patient Impact and Hospital Capacity Pathway released on March 27th, NHSN will enable state and local health departments to gain immediate access to the COVID-19 data for hospitals in their jurisdictions.

CDC has additionally implemented a new technical feature that enables NHSN group users (for example: health departments, hospital associations, health systems) to bulk upload COVID-19 data to NHSN on behalf of member facilities in their NHSN groups. Instructions for group upload can be found on the NHSN COVID-19 web page.

Facility-level data collected through NSHN as part of the COVID-19 Module are being made available to a broader set of Federal, state, and local agency data users than data typically collected by NHSN. Specifically, COVID-19 data at the state, county, territory, and facility level submitted to NHSN will continue to be used for public health emergency response activities by CDC’s emergency COVID-19 response, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’) COVID-19 tracking system maintained in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response as part of the National Response Coordination Center at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and by the White House Coronavirus Task Force.[1]

NHSN’s COVID-19 webpage has been updated to include documents and information that are specific to the new Healthcare Worker Staffing and Supply Pathways. Additionally, a COVID-19 Module Frequently Asked Questions document has been added, as well as updated Patient Impact and Healthcare Capacity data collection form and Table of Instructions for completion of the form.

Please contact for questions regarding COVID-19 Module.

NHSN’s role as a shared platform for healthcare-associated infection surveillance and its collaborations with hospitals, health departments and hospital associations throughout the nation provide a valuable foundation for COVID-19 surveillance. Thank you in advance for working with NHSN as we update the Module, provide information about its use, and invite your participation in a new surveillance effort designed to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency.