Active Surveillance Culture/Testing (ASC/AST)

ASC/AST means active surveillance culture/testing for a facility but is NOT used in patient diagnosis and treatment.

For purposes of The National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) surveillance, ASC/AST refers to active testing that is intended to identify the presence of microorganisms to create or suspend isolation precautions.

Examples of this would include:

  • Nasal swab for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  • Rectal swab for Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus (VRE)
  • Monitoring for eradication of a carrier state.

Those cultures are reported as part of a facility’s infection prevention and control surveillance to help stop outbreaks in establishments such as hospitals.