Preventing Infections in the Healthcare Setting

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 200,000 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.


One & Only Campaign

In 2009 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Safe Injection Practices Coalition (SIPC) developed the One & Only Campaign, a public health effort to eliminate unsafe medical injections.

NJDOH was selected as a "state partner" in the 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 several state and professional organizations, the injection safety team has presented to many organizations across the country. The injection safety team has provided presentations and materials to more than 16,000 health professionals and students at over 160 locations throughout NJ.




Safe Injection Ambassador

The Safe Injection Ambassador Program trains licensed health professionals, primarily 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 resources. As of 2019, the injection safety team has trained nearly 200 Ambassadors.


Drug Diversion

The CDC includes drug diversion of injectable medications as a component of the injection safety initiative. New Jersey’s activities to address the issue of drug diversion include drug diversion conferences and the development of the NJ Drug Diversion Coalition. The coalition meets to share best practices and lessons learned to help facilities reduce the incidence of drug diversion. Drug diversion policy templates have been created by the coalition for acute care and ambulatory surgical centers (ASC).

The NJ team created a drug diversion tabletop exercise for acute care and ASC. This exercise was created to stimulate a discussion of drug diversion and to review existing policies related to the topic. The facilitator guide provides facilities with the tools to conduct their own exercise.


Last Reviewed: 12/3/2019