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National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

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Infection: Don't Pass It On

The Infection: Don’t Pass It On (IDPIO) campaign was established by the Office of Public Health in 2004 and currently resides within VHA Patient Care Services in the National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (NCP). IDPIO is an ongoing public health campaign to involve VA staff, Veterans, their families and visitors in preventing the transmission of infection. The campaign collaborates with VA program offices and subject matter experts to develop and distribute education and communication resources for the VA community to promote:

Infection Don't Pass it On logo
  • annual seasonal influenza vaccination,
  • basic mitigation strategies including hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and correct use of personal protective equipment,
  • pandemic flu and other disease outbreak preparedness and response.

What you can do to reduce the spread of infection

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick and limit contact with others.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Get your seasonal flu shot.

Education and communication materials

The materials developed by the IDPIO campaign are targeted toward several types of audiences and designed to be used widely throughout the VA health care system. Use and share these resources to help prevent the spread of infection:

Hands typing on laptop. Text - Please don't visit patients or residents when you are sick
  • Hang posters in staff areas, clinic waiting areas and restrooms.
  • Wear buttons to communicate messages about hand hygiene and seasonal influenza vaccination.
  • Give stickers to those who get a flu shot.
  • Distribute brochures to VA staff, Veterans, their families and visitors.
  • Show videos on waiting room TVs or closed circuit networks and during health fairs and staff meetings. Email links to videos to VA colleagues, community partners, Veterans, their families and visitors.
  • Use cafeteria tray liners on your facility's cafeteria and canteen food trays.

The major message of the campaign is to wash your hands and cover your coughs. These basic public health measures—hand and respiratory hygiene—can make a huge difference in reducing the spread of infection, and can save time, money, and lives.

Key contacts at VA health care facilities

We promote the campaign and the use of IDPIO campaign materials widely. Facility contact groups that we consider important to carrying out the campaign in VA facilities have been established throughout the VA health care system. These key contacts are: infection control professionals, patient safety officers, occupational health clinicians, public affairs officers, contacts for multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), preventive medicine, and pharmacy contacts.

Collaborating offices

The IDPIO campaign is coordinated by the VHA National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in collaboration with other VA offices. Learn more about IDPIO campaign collaborating offices and team members.