Patient Safety

While receiving care at UCSF Medical Center, your safety is our primary concern. Many procedures are in place to protect your well-being and to secure the best medical outcome possible for you. However, as with any system, these safeguards are not completely error proof. By working with your health care team, you can help us ensure a safer health care experience for you.

Please let us know is something seems unsafe or you see something that we can do better. We welcome your concerns and questions and encourage you to express them to your doctors, nurses and other staff as they will know whom to contact to correct the situation.

Call the Patient Safety Hotline at any time and anonymously report your safety concern:

  • Patient Safety Hotline (415) 353-8787

If you prefer, you may contact Patient Relations at (415) 353-1936.

Steps You Can Take to Help Prevent Medical Errors

Medication Tips

  • Recognize your medication. If the medications you are given do not look familiar, speak up and alert your doctor or nurse. Do the same when picking up medication from the pharmacy.
  • Make sure that all of your doctors know about everything you are taking. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines as well as dietary supplements such as vitamins and herbs.
  • Make sure your doctor and your nurse know about any allergies and adverse reactions you have had to medications.
  • When your doctor writes you a prescription, make sure you can read it.
  • Ask for information about your medicines in terms you can understand — both when your medicines are prescribed and when you receive them.

Hospital Stays

  • Know your health care professionals. All UCSF Medical Center employees — doctors, nurses and other staff — wear a photo identification badge while on duty. If you're not sure who someone is or what their role is, please ask.
  • Make sure your caregivers wash their hands if they perform any "hands on" procedures. Evidence is overwhelming that washing your hands is the single most important thing that anyone — including your caregiver — can do to prevent the spread of infection.
  • When you are being discharged from the hospital, ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist to explain the treatment plan you will use at home.

Other Important Tips

  • If you are having surgery, make sure that you, your doctor and your surgeon all agree clearly on exactly what will be done. Make sure you know who is in charge of your care. This is particularly important when many people are involved in your treatment or when you have many health problems.
  • Speak up if you have questions or concerns. You have the right to know about your care. We encourage you to discuss your questions and concerns with your doctor or any member of your care team.
  • If you can, ask a family member or friend to be there with you and to be your advocate. It is important to have someone who can help get things done and speak up for you if you can't.

To learn more, please review our Patient Safety Booklet.

Contact Us

If you have safety concerns that have not been resolved, you may contact the administration of UCSF Medical Center:

Mark Laret
Chief Executive Officer
UCSF Medical Center
500 Parnassus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94143-0296

Phone (415) 353-2733

If you feel your concern about patient care or safety has not been adequately addressed by UCSF Medical Center, you may contact the Office of Quality Monitoring of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) by calling (800) 994-6610 or sending an email to You also may contact the state Department of Health at (800) 554-0353, your health insurance company or other agencies.

Related Information

Preparing for Your Stay

Admitting Department, Parnassus
Phone: (415) 353-1553

Financial Counseling
Phone: (415) 353-1966
Click here to email

Admitting Department, Mount Zion
Phone: (415) 885-7410

Case Management and Social Work
Phone: (415) 353-1762

Prepare Program at Parnassus
Phone: (415) 353-1099

Prepare Program at Mission Bay
Phone: (415) 514-5590

Contact Us

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

Have a question? Send us an email.