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Upgrade SAMS Access to Utilize New Point of Care Laboratory Reporting Pathway in NHSN

September 25, 2020

Key Points

  • CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network will release a new reporting pathway on October 15, 2020 to help nursing homes and long-term care facilities comply with SARS-CoV-2 point of care laboratory test reporting requirements.
  • Using the pathway will require an upgraded SAMS access from level 1 to 3.
  • Be on the lookout for an email invitation from CDC to perform this upgrade.
  • Any nursing home or long-term care facility that would like to upgrade now can email nhsn@cdc.gov.

CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) will release a new Point of Care (POC) Laboratory Reporting Pathway within the NHSN LTC COVID-19 Module on October 15, 2020.  The new Pathway will enable CMS-certified nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities, to meet the Department of Health and Human Services’ requirement to report SARS-CoV-2 point-of-care antigen test data, and other on-site COVID-19 laboratory testing data, to appropriate federal and state health authorities.

In order to utilize the new Pathway to fulfill reporting requirements, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities who are NHSN users, will need to upgrade their NHSN Secure Access Management Service (SAMS) from Level 1 to Level 3.  CDC staff are reaching out to nursing home and long-term care facility NHSN users to assist them in upgrading SAMS access to be able use this new module. 

This new NHSN Pathway will provide a single reporting system that nursing homes already use for other mandatory COVID reporting and will meet the requirement to report SARS-CoV-2 point-of-care antigen testing data to state health departments and other appropriate federal authorities.

Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities can also email nhsn@cdc.gov with the subject line “Enhancing Data Security” to begin upgrading their SAMS access to use this Pathway.  Additional details are below.

Additional Details to Upgrade SAMS Access Level

The NHSN team is working to enhance security protections for sensitive long-term care facility COVID-19 point of care (POC) laboratory test data that facilities collect and report to NHSN.   Registered NHSN users in nursing homes who have established their level one SAMS access credentials will need to complete additional SAMS identity proofing to upgrade to level three SAMS access credentials.  That higher level of access credentials is required for NHSN users who submit personally identifiable POC laboratory test data to NHSN for tests performed on residents and staff on site in the nursing home.   To initiate upgrades from level one to level three SAMS access credential, NHSN users in nursing homes should send an e-mail to NHSN@cdc.gov with the subject line “Enhancing Data Security.”  The NHSN team will contact the SAMS team on behalf of the NHSN user, after which the NHSN user will receive a communication from SAMS via sams-no-reply@cdc.gov, requesting two forms of identification.   The NHSN team also recommends that a second NHSN user within a nursing home upgrade to level three SAMS access credentials.