A new pathway for reporting results from point-of-care coronavirus testing devices is now available for long-term care providers on the National Healthcare Safety Network.  

Representatives with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told nursing home stakeholders on a conference call Wednesday that the pathway would be released Thursday and be ready for provider use starting today. The CDC added four new questions about point-of-care devices to the reporting module in early September. 

Federal regulations require providers performing point-of-care testing under a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certificate of waiver to report the results to their local or state health departments. CDC staff noted that the new pathway is optional. 

“Some states already have reporting pathways that are set up for facilities and the NHSN system is not meant to circumvent that process,” explained Kathy Allen-Bridson, lead for the NHSN protocol and validation team with the CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. 

“If states already have a process that’s working for them or if facilities are having success with that, certainly continue to do that. There is no mandate to use NHSN. It is simply just another option for facilities to meet the reporting requirement,” she added. 

She also noted that the department has taken steps to ensure the system has built-in defaults and can auto-populate fields in order to reduce the reporting burden on providers. The CDC will be hosting two training webinars next week on the new pathway.

The American Health Care Association detailed on Wednesday how providers can register and access the training.