Anecdotal reports of intentional nonreporting of infection data have prompted two federal agencies to publicly emphasize the importance of accurate reporting to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) through strict adherence to NHSN definitions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today issued a joint reminder regarding concerns about health care facilities not reporting health care-associated infection events. “While there is no evidence of a widespread issue, CDC and CMS want to emphasize that accurate reporting … is critical.”

The agencies stated their commitment to ensuring data accuracy and reliability for guiding prevention priorities and protecting patients. They said identifying infections and making sure patients receive the highest quality of care are top priorities. The CDC NHSN is the nation’s most comprehensive medical event tracking system and currently in use at more than 16,000 U.S. health care facilities.