Press Release - Germitec/BVA

Find the different materials (in French only):

  • Press release
  • Full study

“47% of French people fear catching diseases in hospitals or clinics"

Germitec® and BVA present the results of the an ******unprecedented study: "Infectious Risks and Care Management in France - Crossed Perspectives of Practitioners and French People"

**"The risk of infection emerges as the top concern of French people when they enter a healthcare facility or undergo a medical examination. 47% of them fear contracting a Healthcare Associated Infection **(HAI) in hospital" (Germitec/BVA 2023)

On June 14, 2023, Germitec and BVA presented the results of the study they initiated and conducted on infectious risks and their management in France. This unprecedented study offers a cross-sectional view between the French people and physicians regarding this matter.

The study results concern the knowledge and compliance with hygiene and disinfection standards in healthcare facilities, the organization of healthcare professional's work, eco-responsibility in medical settings, and, more broadly, prevention in France.

Three years after Covid-19 pandemic, this work, notably, highlights the need to significantly improve knowledge about practices, perceptions, and the level of information among healthcare workers and patients regarding infectious risks associated with care. For example, the study reveals that one-third of specialist doctors are unaware of the current recommendations defining the 4 stages of disinfection of an ultrasound probe. Nearly half of the French population is willing to question healthcare professionals about hygiene during their next examination.

"The infectious risks and their impact," by Prof. Israël Nisand

During the press conference, Prof. Israël Nisand, Head of the Maternity Department at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine and former president of the French National College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, stated: "Doctors' concern is to do no harm. However, as this excellent study shows, doctors underestimate the risks of HAI’s. The most concerning contamination is HPV contamination. 3000 women contract an HPV-induced cancer each year, and a thousand die from it. It is difficult to protect oneself from HPV, and we need to study precisely the nosocomial aspect related to this virus. No study has been published yet. In the future, it is essential for doctors to take precautions that are visible by the patient. They must switch to more effective, faster, and more efficient disinfection methods allowing real traceability. This will protect both patients and doctors." He added: "Regarding patient safety, doctors have an obligation of results. They must show that they have done everything for patient safety and furthermore, they must achieve it. Up today**,** *they have not realized this obligation of results ***concerning patient safety."

**"Radiology and infectious risks,” by Prof. Jean-Paul Beregi

Prof. Jean-Paul Beregi, Head of the Radiology Department at the University Hospital of Nîmes and President of the College of Radiology Teachers of France (CERF), also contributed to ******the conference. Highly involved in the accreditation processes in the program implemented by the HAS in 2006 to accredit doctors and medical teams, he stated: "Interventional radiology is one of the 16 specialties at risk. But we must also note that, in our services departments, waiting rooms and consultation rooms can be sensitive places for hand-transmitted and airborne infections. Moreover, our invasive examinations are closely monitored and require us to implement traceability analyses. I also note that risks are higher for certain fragile populations depending on their physiological and pathological condition. We also monitor the musculoskeletal field when performing joint punctures."

Why was this study conducted?

Regarding this study, Vincent Gardès, CEO of Germitec, explained: "As a deeply committed healthcare actor and producer of innovative prevention solutions, we have a responsibility to thoroughly understand the ecosystem in which we operate and to contribute to improving knowledge about practices, perceptions, and the level of information on infectious risks associated with care, both among medical personnel and patients."

He added: "We act with a public health action objective. The study results confirm indeed that it is necessary and urgent to raise awareness and intensify efforts in prevention and information on infectious risks associated with care, practices, and current disinfection standards."

Key study results to remember:

*"Health, a fragile and precious state for which healthcare professionals fight with great commitment ***and the study shows how unbearable the concept of HAI’s is to them. The sense of history is indeed to minimize as much as possible the existing risk factors related to practices," explained Odile Peixoto, Director of BVA Health.

In terms of risks, HAI’s are the primary concern both for the French population and specialist doctors:

  • 47% of French people fear catching diseases in hospitals or clinics.
  • 27% of French people are affected or know someone affected by a HAI.
  • Nearly 2 out of 3 French people think nosocomial diseases are common, and nearly 9 out of 10 for those who have contracted one.
  • French people are aware of the existence of HAI’s, but half of them do not feel sufficiently informed.
  • Nearly half of French people are willing to question healthcare professional about hygiene.
  • 64% of French people are unable to name a single method of ultrasound probes disinfection.
  • For 56% of French people, healthcare facilities are starting to take actions to limit their environmental impact.
  • Both French people and specialist doctors are convinced that preventing environmental risks will become a major issue for healthcare facilities. ‍

Study methodology

General public

The survey was conducted online from May 3 to May 16, 2023, by questioning a nationally representative sample of 2,000 people.

This national sample is representative of the French population aged 18 and over, using quota sampling in terms of gender, age, region, socio-professional category of the household reference person, and urban category according to INSEE statistics.

Specialist doctors

The survey was conducted online from April 26 to May 24, 2023, by questioning a sample of 105 doctors practicing endocavitary ultrasounds: Obstetrician-gynecologists (19%), cardiologists (20%), hygienist physicians (18%), diagnostic radiologists (5%), urologists (19%), gastroenterologists (19%).



Founded in 2005 and led by Vincent Gardès, Germitec is an innovative Bordeaux-based medtech pioneer in high-level disinfection by UV-C of endocavitary ultrasound probes. It contributes to combating fighting risks of contamination and infections associated with medical care and more broadly against Healthcare Associated Infection’s. Its unique mastery of UV-C radiation technology guarantees ultra-rapid high-level disinfection (90 seconds*),*** simple, effective, and environmentally friendly. Germitec is part of the Bpifrance Excellence network. It has received the European Union's Excellence Label for Research and Innovation and the Bpifrance Growth Prize. In 2020, Chronos® won the Gallien Prize in the best medical device category. Approved in more than 35 countries worldwide, covering Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas, Germitec's technology contributes to over a million disinfections per year.

  • BVA

"The BVA Family is an international independent leader in studies, consulting, and data. For over 50 years, the group's employees have been committed to assisting their clients in transforming themselves to ensure sustainable growth in an ever-changing world. With a unique approach enriched by the contributions of behavioral sciences, our 1000 talents provide their clients with a 'Behavioral Advantage' to move from ambition to action."

Watch the full video of the conference below: