Healthcare Professionals are Overwhelmingly Concerned with New SARS-CoV-2 Variants

Categories: Articles & Healthcare February 5, 2021
Young female doctor doing a medical supplies inventory in a hospital closet stock photo

Maintaining Supply of Disinfectants and Keeping up to Speed with EPA Guidelines

As scientists and the healthcare community continue to grapple with COVID-19—now more complicated with the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants—PDI conducted a survey to better understand how we can serve our customers during this challenging time.

“We know our customers are overwhelmed during this time, but it was striking to see that they are overwhelmingly worried about all the same things: the new variants, maintaining a steady supply of disinfectants, and keeping up to date on frequently changing guidelines,” said Caitlin Stowe, MPH, CPH, CIC, CPHQ, VA-BC, Clinical Affairs Research Manager at PDI. “This information is helpful for us to understand where our customers need the most help and how they are currently receiving their information, and will allow us to better meet their needs in the future.”

Key findings from the survey include:

  • The vast majority (91%) of healthcare professionals surveyed are “extremely concerned” or “somewhat concerned” over the new variants.
  • The vast majority (93%) of healthcare professionals surveyed found maintaining a steady supply of disinfectants to be “extremely challenging” or “somewhat challenging.”
  • The vast majority (92%) of healthcare professionals surveyed found keeping up to speed with EPA guidelines to be “extremely challenging” or “somewhat challenging.”
  • The vast majority (85%) of healthcare professionals surveyed found adapting to new brands to be “extremely challenging” or “somewhat challenging.”
  • When asked if they were concerned current infection prevention products and disinfectants may be less effective against the new strains of SARS-CoV-2, survey respondents were split: 34% said they were “not concerned,” 39% “somewhat concerned,” and 28% “extremely concerned.”
  • More than half (62%) of those surveyed said their primary source of information was “external guidelines.” The next biggest source of information was “experts within the facility” (33%).
  • When asked how manufacturers of infection control products could support healthcare professionals (beyond supply), approximately two-thirds (66%) said they would like access to educational resources and the ability to consult with infection prevention experts (65%).

The survey, which was conducted in January, included input from 100 healthcare professionals in roles that included hospital infection prevention and control, hospital environmental services and housekeeping, nurse managers and directors, and chief nursing officers. These professionals worked at facilities that service a wide range of patient populations.

Read more about the new SARS-CoV-2 variants here.

Watch this Infection Control Today interview with PDI’s Clinical Affairs Director, Caitlin Stowe, MPH, CPH, CPHQ, CIC, as she discusses the importance of a layered disinfection approach, and addresses concerns over the Sars-CoV-2 variants.