The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is developing a set of guides that use the Health Level Seven (HL7) Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) standard for reporting healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) from healthcare facilities that use vendor infection control surveillance applications to CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), according to an Aug. 15 announcement in Federal Business Opportunities.

The public health importance of healthcare-associated infections, such as those contracted during hospital stays, has prompted an increasing number of states to require hospitals to report infection data to the health department or another state agency.

The clinical document format is an efficient and consistent method for transmitting and reporting healthcare-associated infections to the safety network. The CDA model is also a standard for a patient care summary required under meaningful use.

The NHSN is an online system designed to improve patient and personnel safety in healthcare facilities, such as hospitals and rehabilitation and long-term care institutions, by collecting and distributing the information to detect and respond to healthcare-associated infection threats.

The safety network can accept electronic infection reports, denominator data, and process-of-care data from commercial infection surveillance systems, CDC said. The potential vendor will expand and enhance existing implementation guides, associated standard vocabularies, tools and business processes to analyze and support documentation, distribution and tracking, and a help desk to support infection control system vendors.

As of June, 24 states call for hospitals to report infection data to the health department or another state agency using the safety network. About 3,000 providers currently participate in the network. More states are expected to require hospitals to report infection data using the safety network.