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New NHSN Data Elements on Testing

Posted Aug 12, 20201 min Read

Regulatory & Clinical

On August 10, 2020, the CDC updated the data elements on testing in the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) long-term care facility (LTCF) COVID-19 reporting module.  These new data elements, contained within the Resident Impact and Facility Capacity pathway, aim to improve understanding of barriers to testing and are required to be answered in order to submit weekly data.

Previously, nursing facilities were asked to report whether they had access to testing.  Now, nursing facilities are asked to report on a number of testing data elements, including the ability to perform testing or to obtain resources to perform testing on all current residents within the next seven (7) days; barriers to testing such as lack of PPE or testing supplies, a shortage of trained staff to perform the testing, lack of access to labs that can process tests, and questions around reimbursement; and turn-around times for receiving test results.

NHSN will also now collect data on whether nursing facilities have completed facility-wide testing during the reporting period and if so, what the reasons were for completing facility-wide testing.

We encourage you to review NHSN’s updated Table of Instructions for additional information.