Behavioral Economics Goes To Medical School

Check this out. Sorry folks, it’s not an article or a blogging physician’s post for you to look at this time. Nope. It is a website. You should go there and roam around. What you will see is the work of a group of University of Pennsylvania faculty, drawing from both medical and business backgrounds, that is aimed at providing evidence as to the best way to “nudge” physicians into practicing better medicine. Drawing on the principles of Behavioral Economics (BE), these researchers are making practical use of their understanding of such BE principles as biases and heuristics (decision shortcuts). You will see, for example, that by using such techniques as putting dashboards on electronic patient records, the appropriate use of statins can be increased significantly. Importantly, they are also working diligently to use BE nudging to reduce the inappropriate prescribing of opioids.

Bottom Line. With all of the research that has been done, and the gazillion words that have been written about Behavioral Economics, it is truly gratifying to see this body of knowledge being put to such good use. Keep your eyes on the CHIBE gang. I’m betting that you are going to continue to see a lot of important research coming out of West Philadelphia.

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