Features  |   March 2019
Changing Physician Behavior: Insights From Behavioral Economics
Author Affiliations
  • Grant C. Lynde, M.D., M.B.A.
    Committee on Quality Management & Departmental Administration
Article Information
Practice Management / Features
Features   |   March 2019
Changing Physician Behavior: Insights From Behavioral Economics
ASA Monitor 3 2019, Vol.83, 16-17.
ASA Monitor 3 2019, Vol.83, 16-17.
The practice of medicine has increasingly moved toward the creation of protocols and bundles to improve quality and safety. In theory, packaging noncontroversial consensus standards of care into well-defined pathways for routine encounters benefits patients through the provision of evidence-based practice, while simultaneously benefiting clinicians by decreasing workload. However, adherence to these care pathways is variable, partially because educational efforts tend to be one of the least effective forms of change management.1,2  Conceptualizing causes for such deviations as well as driving providers toward desirable behaviors are increasingly addressed through the evolving field of “behavioral economics.”
Behavioral economics is the study of the psychological, cognitive, cultural and emotional factors that underlie or influence decision-making. In its most pure application, methods to influence the performance of desired behaviors should be transparent. Prompts offering increasing discounts with additional purchases while completing online purchases are one common example. Automatic locks on car doors are another.
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