APIC Denounces Changes to COVID-19 Data Reporting

The following statement is attributable to Connie Steed, MSN, RN, CIC, FAPIC, President of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

APIC is very concerned about the recent announcement that hospitals will no longer be reporting COVID-19 data to CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) and instead will be required to send data to the Department of Health and Human Services on a daily basis. This overnight shift creates a lack of trust in the data at a time when we need that trust more than ever. Changing the data collection requirements and methodology in the middle of the pandemic will impact the quality and timeliness of critical public health data that we rely upon to drive our response and policies in our community. Further, there is concern that those responsible for analysis and interpretation of the data will not have adequate training in epidemiology.

“The nation’s infection preventionists and epidemiologists have been working with CDC for decades to create a widely trusted system for the reporting of infection data in hospitals. The CDC’s NHSN has been utilized by state, local, and federal governments, communities and hospitals to drive improvement of healthcare outcomes and to reduce infection rates in hospitals. 

Constantly changing reporting requirements is a huge burden on programs that are already overwhelmed with the pandemic response.  Now, at a time when there are increases in infections of COVID-19 and with only two days’ notice, the Administration is upending the infection reporting process for COVID-19 and asking those who are stewards of the data to shift to a mechanism with no track record of success and without support from the scientific community.  This change further burdens healthcare personnel who are working around the clock to keep their hospitals and communities safe from COVID-19.”

Read the full text of APIC’s 7/16/20 letter to Vice President Mike Pence, Ambassador Birx, and Secretary Azar.

APIC Media Relations Contact: Liz Garman, egarman@apic.org; 202-365-7421