Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) such as C.
difficile often result in considerable suffering for residents in nursing homes as well as increased costs for the healthcare system. For the last year and a half, nursing homes across the country have been tracking and reporting C.
difficile data to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) database to establish a national baseline rate for C.
difficile in nursing homes for the first time. However, the work is not done, and ongoing national data collection is vital to improving the quality of nursing home care.
CMS, the CDC, and the Quality Innovation Network Quality Improvement Organizations encourage nursing homes to continue tracking and reporting C.
difficile data to NHSN. These inform national patient safety work helping to characterize the national burden of C.
difficile, identify risk and protective factors, evaluate intervention effectiveness, and monitor incidence and outbreaks. The data are also valuable for individual nursing home quality improvement purposes, including C.
difficile prevention and management and antibiotic stewardship.