Survey Finds Nearly 1 in 2 Americans are Concerned About Contracting an Infectious Disease from a Hospital

Results land amidst surge in drug-resistant organisms and fungal outbreaks, showcase widespread concerns about infection risks in hospitals

Brooklyn, N.Y., Nov. 09, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- New survey findings released today by Kinnos show that the risk of becoming infected by visiting or staying in a hospital weighs heavily on the minds of Americans. The findings, which arrive on the heels of the pandemic and amidst an escalating infectious disease crisis, reflect consumer sentiment and concerns when seeking medical care.

Results from the “2023 Consumer Concerns: Hospital Cleanliness” survey revealed that more than half of the U.S. adult population (56%) is concerned about getting sick or infected while being treated in a hospital or medical clinic, roughly two-thirds (68%) are concerned about hospital cleanliness, and 76% shared that risk of infection is a factor when selecting a hospital for treatment.

“This latest assessment of Americans’ attitudes towards centers of care reveals a troubling lack of trust and a fear of the very places that are meant to make our communities better,” said Kinnos Co-Founder and CEO Jason Kang. “Healthcare leaders have an opportunity to regain essential trust by making cleaning and disinfection an obvious and measurable part of a hospital experience for patients, loved ones and staff.”

Notable survey findings include:

  • Fifty six percent (56%) of Americans are concerned about getting sick or infected when visiting or being treated in a hospital or medical clinic.
  • When asked to choose all the places where they may be likely to contract an infectious disease, including a gas station bathroom, porta-potty, subway train, airplane and a hospital room, 46% of Americans selected hospital room.
  • Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Americans expressed concern about the cleanliness of surfaces in a hospital, with 31% noting they are very concerned.
  • Only 51% of people are even “somewhat confident” that hospital rooms are being properly disinfected.
  • While 76% of Americans said risk of infection is a factor when deciding where to seek care, 16% said it is the top factor in their decision.

The concerns reflected in this recent survey are further substantiated by studies measuring the effectiveness and outcomes of cleaning in hospitals today. It has been consistently shown that less than 50% of high-touch surfaces in healthcare settings are adequately disinfected. Poorly cleaned surfaces can directly result in healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), which impact millions of patients and lead to billions of dollars in direct costs every year in the United States alone. The Centers for Disease Control has also reported that most Candida auris transmissions in the U.S. occur in long-term healthcare facilities – another commonly-embraced care site.

The survey also revealed disparities by race and ethnicity with Black and Hispanic respondents demonstrating a notably higher overall level of concern over hospital cleanliness and risk of infection than White survey participants.

  • Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Hispanics expressed concern about getting sick while in a hospital, compared to 51% of Whites.
  • Eighty percent (80%) of Blacks are concerned about cleanliness of hospital surfaces, compared to 63% of Whites.
  • Eighty-five percent (85%) of Blacks said risk of infection is a factor in their decision on where to go for care, with 30% saying it is the top factor – compared to 73% and 11%, respectively, for Whites.

Findings also show that younger Americans and women generally harbor greater concerns about hospital infections and cleanliness than older Americans or men.

  • The 64% of those 18-34 years-old concerned about the risk of getting sick infected in hospitals and the 34% not confident about hospital cleaning standards were both higher than the share of older respondents who said the same (53% and 28%, respectively).
  • Fifty-one percent (51%) of women said they may contract an infectious disease from a hospital room, compared to only 41% for men.
  • Women (79%) and 18-34 year olds (85%) were significantly more likely than men (73%) or older Americans (73%), respectively, to say the risk of infection was a factor in choosing a hospital.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by YouGov and sponsored by Kinnos from October 5-6, 2023 among 1,155 U.S. adults aged 18 and older. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults (aged 18+).

About Kinnos
Founded in response to the West Africa Ebola outbreak, Kinnos (Brooklyn, NY) is revolutionizing the practice of how disinfectants are applied to create a safer and cleaner world for everyone. Its flagship product, Highlight, is a patented, hospital-grade color additive platform combined with existing disinfectants that has been shown in peer-reviewed studies to rapidly improve cleaning technique and quality by as much as 95% without changing workflow. Recognized in TIME's Best Inventions, Fast Company's Innovation by Design Awards, and Fierce Life Sciences’ Innovation Awards, Highlight is being used by hospitals in North America to provide peace of mind to staff, patients, and loved ones.

Media Contact:
Lynn Wallace
Cosmo PR for Kinnos