How small changes make a big difference

19 March 2018

Tackling clinical inertia with behavioural science

Crawford Hollingworth, Founder at The Behavioural Architects recently spoke at a healthcare symposium was on how small changes make a big difference in tackling clinical inertia in diabetes.

The session was introduced by a professor from Leicester University who specialises in identifying clinical inertia in the treatment of diabetes patients, and how this can often be detrimental to the health of diabetes sufferers.

Crawford then presented on how principles from the behavioural sciences can explain:

  • why clinicians might find it hard to make decisions; and also
  • how insights from the behavioural sciences can be used to overcome inertia and nudge action.

He spoke about how we all follow defaults and sometimes struggle to challenge accepted norms, how the way we anchor on certain pieces of information can create inertia but also how anchoring - creating a comparison point - and how we frame information can be used to nudge action. These insights can be used to nudge both clinical and patient behaviour alike.

The symposium was completed by a practising primary care GP with experience in applying behavioural science talking through how to create better processes for healthcare professionals to tackle their own lack of action. Initiatives such as creating new anchors for when to start certain advanced treatments, identifying shortcuts for when particular treatments are more applicable than others, how to best frame and present information and finally how to apply other behavioural tools to motivate patients to take different paths of action.

The talk was incredibly well attended with feedback after the session suggesting that people found the session engaging, inspiring and fun. In a final Q&A session Crawford and the panel fielded questions on how to identify the triggers to clinical inertia and the strategies that can be employed to motivate healthcare professionals and patient behaviour alike.

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The Behavioural Architects did a great job of understanding our needs in this multinational project. They used a behavioural-led methodology to deliver clear and actionable output Ruchika Khattar, Global Marketing Innovation Manager, PepsiCo
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