The challenge of patient empowerment in hand hygiene promotion in health care facilities in Hong Kong

Published:January 25, 2017DOI:


      • Patient empowerment program in hand hygiene was attempted in 2 hospitals.
      • Only 3% patients asked health care workers (HCWs) to clean their hands prior to this program.
      • HCWs expressed fear of conflicts with patients.
      • Patients preferred visual aids over verbal prompts in this program.
      • Increased consumption of alcohol-based handrub was noted during the program.
      Patient empowerment programs in hand hygiene were implemented in 2 extended-care hospitals. Of the 223 patients approached by the infection control nurses, 167 patients (74.9%) participated in the program. A positive response from the health care workers was reported in 70 (93.3%) of 75 patients who reminded health care workers to clean hands as part of the empowerment program. A significant increase in volume of alcohol-based handrub consumption was observed during the intervention period compared with baseline.

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