5 Replies Latest reply on Nov 7, 2018 7:36 AM by Mandy Bodily-Bartrum

    Using NHSN data for HAI reporting

    Jeffrey Kritzman



      Is anyone using NHSN* data to report healthcare-associated infections internally?  We've been using NHSN data for a while, but are starting to use the Export Data Set option to increase granularity and automation (and decrease errors due to manual processing).  I was wondering if anyone else is doing this, or has looked at this, etc.  It's been challenging so far, but seems like a very powerful opportunity.




      University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics


      *CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network

        • 1. Re: Using NHSN data for HAI reporting
          Hope Stiles



          I'd be very interested in hearing how you are already using the NHSN data.  Do you pull it from an online application?  I haven't historically done a lot of with infection data so it may be that we have access to something you're already using that we might be able to consider.


          We've recently begun reporting infection data on a Tableau Dashboard on the Server for the local system (7 hospitals).  Our focus for the dashboard is "all patients" (it has other quality metrics as well) so we aren't limiting it just to NHSN reportable infections.  We are using an internal access data base that our infection preventionists are inputting data into.  But we're also looking for ways to connect to the data other ways.




          • 2. Re: Using NHSN data for HAI reporting
            Jeffrey Kritzman

            Hi Hope,


            I get my data from the NHSN website (https://auth.cdc.gov/).  To get access, you'll need to contact your site administrator (at our hospital it's our lead infection preventionist (IP)).  It's a bit of a process, as it's the government, but it's worth it.  The nice thing about using NHSN data to report internally is that we're forced to keep a close eye on what we're submitting to CMS.  Also, they have a risk-adjusted 'standardized infection ratio' that is nice for benchmarking purposes.


            Until recently, we've been using the pre-processed NHSN reports, and compiling them into a huge excel document.  The 'pre-processed' reports aren't pretty, but they're usable with some extra processing.  A fake example of the NHSN output:

            What my spreadsheet would look like for this fictional example:

            Once you're at this point, you can use this fairly easily in Tableau. 


            What we're starting to do is use the raw data export, which is pretty rough to read through, but much nicer for Tableau to use.  I've worked closely with our IPs and Hospital Epidemiologist to make sense of the sometimes inscrutably named variables. 

            We're mostly done with the initial setup (which was some work), and are getting to a point where it'll be much easier (and more accurate) moving forward.  A big advantage moving forward is that our IPs won't have to double document any more, saving them a lot of time.  Plus, it'll save me a lot of time processing data!


            Hope this helps.

            • 3. Re: Using NHSN data for HAI reporting
              Nicole Lohr

              Hi Hope and Jeff,

              We use Theradoc for the infection reporting and Quantros for the quality reporting. We are also exploring data pulls from both systems to build Tableau dashboards.  I’m very interested in speaking more about this with you.  My email is nicole.lohr@evanhospital.com.  Thanks

              • 4. Re: Using NHSN data for HAI reporting
                Jeffrey Kritzman

                Hi Nicole,


                We previously used Theradoc in conjunction with NHSN, but have recently transitioned to just using NHSN.  I believe we have (or had) Quantros, but I've never explored much beyond the canned PDF reports.  I'd be curious if you find interesting data there in a more raw form.



                • 5. Re: Using NHSN data for HAI reporting
                  Mandy Bodily-Bartrum

                  I have started playing with pulling reports from NHSN. There are several reports that can be run, and sometimes with different data. You can also modify reports and download it with modifications, which can assist.

                  I have been able to get SIRs, which was an initial concern of mine. I usually download the JSON files from NHSN; the biggest challenge right now is trying to automate the process of the download because otherwise it is a manual and quite lengthy process. Although, it is still much faster than our current process and the data is more trustworthy,


                  My company does not currently have an electronic surveillance system, so I pull the data completely from NHSN to create my dashboards.


                  Please feel free to reach out with questions!

                  Mandy Bodily-Bartrum