The “knowing-doing gap” – preoperative assessments via telemedicine during COVID-19



The phrase “knowing-doing gap” was first coined by Pfeffer and Sutton in 2000.1 They postulated that while big businesses often knew correct management principles, implementation of appropriate change was not always possible. This phrase has also been used by ecologists, highlighting humanity’s failure to control environmental catastrophes regarding global warming. It may be feasible to  suggest that remote pre-anaesthetic evaluation (PAE) by South African anaesthesiologists during the COVID-19 pandemic could also be described as a “knowing-doing gap”. Mobile telephone use by anaesthetists is ubiquitous and these devices are mostly smartphones (computerised mobile telephones capable of making video calls). So, by inference, while most anaesthetists would know how to practice telemedicine, most do not practice it, hence the “gap”. 

Author Biography

A Milner, University of Pretoria

The Forum Head and Neck Unit, Morningside Mediclinic, South Africa and Department of Anaesthesia, University of Pretoria, South Africa






Letters to the Editor