No offence, but have you washed your hands?

Would you be offended, maybe even outraged, if a patient bluntly asked whether you’d washed your hands before you treated them or their child?

What if the patient simply held up a colourful, comical sign on a wooden stick — otherwise known as a ‘patient empowerment tool’ — as a little reminder to practise good hand hygiene? Would that ease your indignation?

Researchers from the US say their 'patient empowerment tool' concept appears to be an effective strategy to encourage adherence to hand hygiene, although they concede that acceptance of the