How UTSW Ensures Patient Safety – Proper and Frequent Hand Washing

The complexity of care in a hospital setting increases the risk of health care-associated infections (HAIs). Some HAIs are caused by the spread of bacteria on the hands of medical staff and can be reduced by following best practices for infection control by adequate hand washing.

Why Is This Important?

Proper hand washing can reduce the occurrence of HAIs. Hand washing using soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer is required of all medical staff when entering or leaving a patient room, as well as before and after patient contact. Patients and visitors should also clean their hands often to help prevent the spread of infection.

UT Southwestern monitors compliance to its hand-washing policy. High-performing hospitals maintain a hand-washing compliance rate of greater than 90 percent.

UT Southwestern Average Hand Hygiene Compliance

A higher number is better with this measure.

What Does This Graph Show?

The graph illustrates UTSW compliance with hand washing policies in effect at its hospitals, clinics, and procedural areas combined.

UTSW’s compliance rate has improved significantly over the past several years and continues to remain at a high level.