The five major healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) cost the healthcare system $9.8 billion annually, according to a report published by JAMA Internal Medicine. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention defines HAIs as, “infections that patients acquire during the course of receiving healthcare treatment for other conditions.” HAIs have been targeted by many groups as an area where the healthcare system can save money, because, in most cases, the infections can be prevented with proper hygiene. Surgical site infections contributed the most towards the almost $10 billion price tag, representing 34% of the total. However, they were not the most costly errors per incidence. Central line-associated bloodstream infections cost $45,814, followed by ventilator-associated pneumonia ($40,144), and then surgical site infections ($20,785). The authors of the JAMA study hope their findings will encourage healthcare providers to invest in prevention programs. Facilities that are worried about the cost of implementing a hand hygiene program should consider the World Health Organization’s strategy. The WHO program has been implemented in thousands of hospitals worldwide, and relies on teaching the importance of handwashing and providing alcohol-based handrub at the point of care. According to study, published in The Lancet Infections Diseases, the strategy works. Compliance improved from 51% to 67% in the organizations that were studied and knowledge about the importance of handwashing increased by a third. The authors recommends the WHO program be adopted worldwide, citing that the strategy is both effective and affordable. Handwashing is a great start, but healthcare workers who use mobile devices shouldn’t forget to sanitize their tablets and smartphones. Another study found that iPads used in the clinical setting carried more than 1,800 bacteria colonies.