Hand Hygiene

Dozens of health care workers — from doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and others — touch patients in the hospitals and clinics every day. To protect patients from infection, we require that patient care workers thoroughly clean their hands before and after caring for each patient.

Hand hygiene means using either alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water, and using the proper washing techniques for the appropriate length of time.

At UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco, a team of Infection Control staff, doctors, nurses, therapists, technicians, spiritual care staff, engineers and others created a program to ensure proper hand hygiene.

What does UCSF Medical Center do to ensure proper hand hygiene?

UCSF considers hand hygiene a priority and expects all health care workers to clean their hands every time they go in or out of a patient's hospital room or exam room.

Data about hand hygiene compliance are collected through monitoring, both discreetly and openly, and on camera in some areas. A daily compliance report is available. When someone fails to follow proper hand hygiene, they are reminded and coached on correct hand hygiene.

In fiscal year 2016, UCSF Medical Center achieved 94 percent hand hygiene compliance.

How do you know hand hygiene makes a difference?

UCSF Medical Center and other institutions have studied the impact of hand hygiene to reduce infection rates. Hand hygiene is one of many measures at UCSF Medical Center that have helped lower the rate of infections, such as central line-associated bloodstream infections. Our infection rates continue to decline.


Related Information

Contact Us

If you have any questions or comments about our performance, contact Patient Safety and Quality:

  • UCSF Medical Center
    (415) 353-4989
  • UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco
    (415) 502-9859

Other Resources

For help finding a doctor or other assistance, contact our Referral Service at (888) 689-UCSF or (888) 689-8273.

Have a question? Send us an email.