Choosing Wisely welcomes videos on understanding bias in health care

4 Nov 2019 | Aotearoa Patient Safety Day

The Choosing Wisely campaign is welcoming new videos on understanding bias in health care, and encourages all health professionals to watch them.

Choosing Wisely was part of a group that provided input into the development of the videos, which are from the Health Quality & Safety Commission and supported by ACC and PHARMAC.

Choosing Wisely clinical lead Dr Derek Sherwood says awareness of the impact of bias in health care on health outcomes is increasing, and the videos are very timely.

'It is very concerning to see data that suggests some population groups are not getting the same care as others. For example, the Commission’s Atlas of Healthcare variation shows that although Māori and Pacific peoples are more affected by gout, they are less likely to regularly receive urate-lowering therapy. It is likely doctors’ biases are a factor in this – biases that they may be completely unaware of.

'Acknowledging that you may have biases can be challenging and confronting – but it is an extremely important thing to do, to improve the care you provide to all patients.'

He says the videos include some powerful personal stories from consumers and clinicians about their experiences of bias.

'It is clear from the consumer stories just how deeply they have been affected by both implicit and explicit bias in the health care they have received.

'The videos are also unequivocal about the impact of colonisation on the health of Māori, and how societal racism leads to bias against some ethnicities.'

The Understanding bias in health care videos are available free on the Commission’s website at, and can also be completed as learning modules on Learn Online.

Last updated 04/11/2019