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Invited Commentary
October 23, 2019

Mandatory Use of Perioperative Disposable Jackets—Things We Do for No Good Reason

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California
JAMA Surg. 2020;155(1):21. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2019.4086

Guidelines and standards endorsed by national associations and government agencies have become increasingly familiar in the health care industry.1 Designed to promote best practices, guidelines and standards are thought to ensure safety, quality, and decrease costs. However, like many practices in medicine, they are not always evidence based. As a result, health care organizations will adopt guidelines driven by weak or limited evidence and implement them as mandatory policies.1,2 Unfortunately, the adoption of these practices frequently leads to several unintended consequences: health care professionals may be frustrated and burdened by unnecessary tasks that take time away from treating patients, and new products may increase costs without improving outcomes or resources necessary to manage and monitor adherence. Finally, these products may contribute to medical waste—already the second largest contributor to trash in the United States.3

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