Practice Variation in Validation of Device Denominator Data for National Healthcare Safety Network Reporting

Background: The NHSN is a widely used CDC program for tracking healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The goal of the NHSN is to help healthcare organizations to identify and track the incidence of HAI and to prevent adverse events as well as to simplify mandatory quality reporting to the CMS. Healthcare organizations provide both event data for HAIs and information about the population at risk. For device-related infections, device denominator data (eg, data related to urinary or intravascular catheters, and ventilators) must be collected and reported. NHSN guidelines require that electronic reporting of device denominator numbers be validated to be within 5% of manually collected counts over a period of 3 consecutive months. Little is known about current practical application of validation practices.

Authors: Douglas Challener, Priya Sampathkumar and John O’Horo