CDC has updated the data elements on testing in the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) long-term care facility (LTCF) COVID-19 reporting module. These data elements, contained within the Resident Impact and Facility Capacity pathway, aim to improve understanding of barriers to testing.

Previously, long-term care providers were asked to simply report whether they had access to testing. Now, providers will report on a number of data elements including ability to perform testing or to obtain resources, such as assistance from the local health department or a strike team, to perform testing; barriers to testing including lack of personal protective equipment (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 collect data on whether the long-term care facility has completed facility-wide testing during the reporting period and if so, what the reasons were for completing facility-wide testing.

We encourage members to review the Table of Instructions for this pathway for more information. NHSN will also host a data quality webinar on Wednesday, August 12 to help address common reporting errors. Registration for this webinar, recordings of past webinars, and other resources including Tables of Instructions for other pathways can all be accessed at the NHSN LTCF COVID-19 module site.