The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made its infection tracking system available to all hospitals in the U.S. The National Healthcare Safety Network, or NHSN, is a Web-based reporting system that enables facilities to track their own data and infection rates over time, and allows the CDC to look at national trends in infection data.
Opening this system to all hospitals is a milestone for health protection, said Denise Cardo, director of the CDCs Division of Health Care Quality Promotion. Information is power, and the information tools that NHSN provides help healthcare facilities prevent healthcare-associated infections, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, infections, she said.
The NHSN currently has more than 600 participants and is used in 45 states. Opening the NHSN to all facilities nationwide will allow more hospitals to help prevent MRSA and other infections, the CDC said. We expect nearly 1,000 facilities will take advantage, in coming months, of NHSNs many capabilities, Cardo said.
Public reporting laws in California, Colorado, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia have already designated NHSN as the mandatory system for tracking infections. -- by Jennifer Lubell