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BMC Proceedings

Open Access

WHO first global patient safety challenge in Hong Kong – successful implementation in a territory-wide healthcare system

  • CHS Lam1,
  • PTY Ching1,
  • C Tam2,
  • TY Wong2,
  • WH Seto1 and
  • ICNs of HA
BMC Proceedings20115(Suppl 6):P319

Published: 29 June 2011

Introduction / objectives

Hand hygiene is the single most important measure for preventing healthcare associated infection. In Hong Kong the WHO hand hygiene program was launched in a territory wide healthcare system.


In 2006, hand hygiene (HH) was piloted in 4 hospitals that included intervention and control wards. The promotion program included education, placement of Alcohol Hand Rub (AHR) at point of care and posters. In 2009, the program was extended to 74 out patient clinics, 14 Tradition Chinese Medicine clinics and 8 long-term Care Facilities.

In 2008, “clean care is safer care” was implemented in 38 public Hospitals. A huge banner sized 9 x 15 meter was posted at the headquarter building. Same design was also put up across all hospitals. New designs were changed annually.


Compliance rate of control wards was 22.16 % at baseline that increased to 25.27 %. For test wards it was 23.8% that significantly increased to 55.7 % and Chi-square test was <0.05.

For the 74 out patient clinics, 14 Tradition Chinese Medicine clinics and 8 long-term Care Facilities, the overall compliance was 91%, 90% and 80% respectively.

AHR was also measured as a surrogate marker of hand hygiene compliance. The amount used was found to have steadily increased from 3.2 L in 2007 to 12.9 L per 1000 patients bed days in 2010 and the correlation will be done when the data of 2011 is available.


The WHO Hand Hygiene program can be successfully implemented in different kinds of healthcare by a concerted territory-wide effort.

Disclosure of interest

None declared.

Authors’ Affiliations

Hospital Authority
Centre for Health Protection


© Lam et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2011

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.