Background: Transmission of microorganisms from the hands of health care workers is the main source of cross-infection in hospitals and can be prevented by hand washing. The aim of this study was to identify predictors of noncompliance with hand washing during routine patient care. Materials And Methods: This is an observational study. The participants in the study were Health Care Workers (HCWs). Doctors, nurses and ward aides working in different wards of the hospital who were observed for compliance with hand washing. Results: In 270 observed opportunities for hand washing, average compliance was 63.3%. Noncompliance was highest among doctors followed by nurses. Ward aides were most compliant. Conclusions: Compliance with hand washing was moderate. Variation across the hospital ward and type of HCW suggests that targeted educational programs may be useful. Noncompliance suggests that understaffing may decrease quality of patient care.