Injection Safety

What are safe injection practices?
Safe injection practices are a set of practices that healthcare providers should follow when they give injections. For example, healthcare providers should not use the same syringe on more than one patient, even if the needle is changed.

Did you know: Syringe reuse, misuse of medication vials, and drug diversion/tampering have resulted in dozens of outbreaks and the need to alert more than 150,000 patients to seek testing for bloodborne pathogens such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.

Did you know: Most healthcare providers follow safe injection practices. Though not common, unsafe practices sometimes occur. Healthcare providers can spread bloodborne pathogens such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV if they reuse injection equipment like needles or syringes on more than one person or to access vials that are shared between patients.

Safe Injection Practices Coalition (SIPC)

NJDOH was selected as a "state partner" in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Safe Injection Practices Coalition (SIPC) in the Fall of 2010. Initiatives included educating providers across the state and creating an advisory board to guide the initiative. In collaboration with the New Jersey Association of Nurse Anesthesiologists and other state and professional organizations, the injection safety team has presented to many organizations across the country. The injection safety team is proud that since being selected as a "state partner," they have provided presentations and materials to more than 10,000 health professionals and students at over 130 locations throughout NJ.

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Safe Injection Ambassador

One of the most popular programs that the team created is the "Safe Injection Ambassador Program." The program was created in 2011 and the first training provided in 2012. The “Safe Injection Ambassador Program” trains licensed health professionals, mostly nurses and infection preventionists, to present injection safety information and serve as Safe Injection Ambassadors in NJ. The information provided at the training includes basics in infection prevention and control, safe injection practices, and examples of outbreaks and disease transmission associated with unsafe injection practices. Ambassadors are provided materials and CDC and SIPC campaign resources. As of 2016, the injection safety team has trained nearly 75 Ambassadors; these Ambassadors have provided more than 100 education and awareness programs to approximately 1600 professionals. NJ’s partnership in the SIPC is seen as a successful model for getting important public health information out to providers and other health professionals that it has been replicated by other partner states across the country.

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Drug Diversion

The CDC includes drug diversion of injectable medications as a component of the injection safety initiative. New Jersey has completed quite a few activities to address the issue of drug diversion. The first drug diversion conference was held at Rutgers in June 2015. More than 110 health professionals representing healthcare facilities, public health and security attended. As a result of the first conference, a NJ Drug Diversion Coalition was started. With more than 40 members, the coalition meets to share best practices and lessons learned. Additionally, four members of the NJ Drug Diversion coalition volunteered to participate in a drug diversion exercise. The injection safety team, in collaboration with staff from NJ Health Facilities Survey and Field Operations created three scenarios that featured drug diversion of injectable medications at acute care facilities. A facilitator’s guide was created and will be disseminated to federal and other state partners. Plans to develop a drug diversion exercise for ambulatory care centers are underway.

For more information about New Jersey’s injection safety initiative, visit:

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Preventing Infection in the Healthcare Setting
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Last Reviewed: 12/18/2018