CDC’s Role in Safe Injection Practices

CDC works with numerous partners to conduct a range of activities to improve injection safety and prevent transmission of bloodborne pathogens and other infectious diseases. Below are some of CDC’s current injection safety activities.

Promotion of Safe Injection Practices

CDC is collaborating with the Safe Injection Practices Coalition (SIPC) to develop and implement an educational campaign to promote safe injection practices by raising awareness among patients and healthcare providers about safe injection practices.

Development of Infection Control Guidelines

CDC and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC), a federal advisory committee, developed recommendations on Safe Injection Practices which are applicable in all healthcare settings. These recommendations are part of Standard Precautions and can be found in the 2007 Guideline for Isolation Precautions. CDC and HICPAC are in the process of further developing documents specifically targeting infection control practices in outpatient healthcare settings.

Improved Basic Infection Control through Collaborations with CMS

CDC is improving basic infection control practices and safe injection practices through collaborations with the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) to enhance survey and oversight capacity of non-acute healthcare settings.

Improved Safety through Collaborations with FDA

CDC is collaborating with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)external icon to address issues associated with medication packaging, labeling and instructions for safe use as well as to promote safe injection practices and prevent the misuse of injectable medications, injection equipment, and related devices.

Improved Healthcare Personnel Protections from Sharps Injuries

CDC has developed guidance, toolkits and surveillance packages aimed at protecting healthcare personnel from blood and body fluid exposures and sharps injuries.

Responding to Outbreaks in Healthcare Settings

There has been a steady increase in the number of requests to CDC from state health departments and healthcare facilities for assistance in investigating infections and outbreaks potentially stemming from unsafe injection practices or related breakdowns in safe care. Support from CDC includes technical guidance and consulting from epidemiologists, on-site assistance with field investigations, and laboratory assistance.

Identification and Promotion of Best Practices for Patient Notification

CDC hosted a meeting to discuss and obtain input on the ethical and communication issues surrounding patient notification when a serious lapse in infection control (e.g., syringe reuse) has been identified. To supplement the input obtained at the meeting, CDC conducted a series of focus groups to further evaluate patient notification practices. CDC is in the process of further developing and disseminating these investigation, risk assessment and patient notification tools.

Efforts to Improve Injection Safety through Collaborations with Industry

CDC is working to promote innovation in product development and identify education and marketing improvements through industry partner meetings in May 2010 with leaders from injection equipment and medication industries and other partners.

Improved Capacity in State Health Departments

CDC is building infrastructure and capacity in state health departments to address healthcare-associated infection and patient safety issues through Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI) Recovery Act Funding.

Expansion of the HHS Action Plan to Prevent HAIs in Outpatient Healthcare Settings

CDC collaborated closely with HHS, AHRQ, CMS, and other federal agencies to expand the HHS Action Plan to Prevent HAIsexternal icon to include ambulatory surgical centers and hemodialysis centers. CDC continues to play a lead role as these modules are developed, helping focus attention on the need to assure that safe injection and other basic infection control standards are met in all settings where healthcare is delivered.

Identification of Drug Diversion as an Infection Risk

CDC and health departments continue to investigate and identify outbreaks stemming from drug diversion activities involving healthcare providers.