Coding the Location of the Event or Unsafe Condition
Simple crosswalk with NHSN codes available

One common question CHPSO receives is about coding the location of the event, as the AHRQ common formats codes are new to many. The entire set of locations is listed below. Because most hospitals are reporting data to NHSN and have coded their locations according to that standard, CHPSO has developed a crosswalk that allows organizations to, when faced with a question about an unusual department, to rapidly identify the proper code. As always, please call us if you have any questions. We’re eager to help.

Common Formats Location Codes
Answer Code Answer Value
A249 Inpatient general care area (e.g., medical/ surgical unit)
A252 Special care area (e.g., ICU, CCU, NICU)
A255 Labor and delivery
A258 Operating room or procedure area (e.g., cardiac catheter lab, endoscopy area), including PACU or recovery area
A261 Radiology/ imaging department, including onsite mobile units
A264 Pharmacy
A267 Laboratory, including pathology department and blood bank
A270 Emergency department
A273 Other area within the facility
A276 Outpatient care area
A279 Outside area (i.e., grounds of this facility)
UNK Unknown
A66 Other: Please specify