Epocrates Smartphone App Helps CDC Educate Clinicians on Safe Injection Practices

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Epocrates, Inc. are educating healthcare professionals about safe injection practices conveniently and effectively on their smartphone devices. Epocrates EssentialPoints® mobile detailing program provides healthcare professionals with key lessons that can be applied directly to patient care.

The CDC, together with the Safe Injection Practices Coalition, is conducting a broad campaign to raise awareness of the need for safe injection practices. This mobile education program is one of many initiatives the CDC is implementing to improve clinical practices and prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). This is a pressing issue, as more than 125,000 patients nationwide have been notified in the last 10 years that they should be tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV due to lapses in basic infection control practices, including reuse of syringes and mishandling of medication vials.

By working with Epocrates, the CDC can reach more than 1 million healthcare professionals in a format that is convenient to recipients -- on their mobile device. Adapted from educational outreach from the Safe Injection Practices Coalition, the EssentialPoints activity "CDC: Injection Safety" features a short, engaging video about a breast cancer patient who, along with 98 others, contracted hepatitis C during chemotherapy treatment due to the oncology clinics failure to follow safe injection practices. After viewing the video, healthcare professionals complete a series of questions to ingrain the safety protocols and ensure they are prepared to act on the information presented. This activity format provides a more robust communication and training vehicle than a one-dimensional email or news alert.

"Advancements in technology present new opportunities to communicate with and educate healthcare professionals in a meaningful way. With so many front-line providers regularly using mobile devices, this channel represents an efficient way to educate them about new protocols and best practices around safe injection practices," says Kathy Warye, chief executive officer for the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). "As a founding partner of the Safe Injection Practices Coalition and a contributor to the content development, APIC embraces new and innovative methods being used to deliver this critical information."

"Epocrates and CDC have a shared mission to support healthcare professionals in their committed efforts to deliver safe quality patient care," says Rose Crane, chief executive officer and president for Epocrates. "Our new EssentialPoints tool is the ideal resource to introduce or solidify a key topic with busy healthcare professionals. We encourage physicians to complete this free mobile activity, which only takes a few minutes."

For more information about safe injection practices, visit www.cdc.gov/injectionsafety.