Behavioral architecture applications in health care are numerous. Everything from default settings on ventilators, to drug formularies, to where instructions are placed on sterile surgical supply packages, for example, can motivate efficiency, encourage benefit maximization, curb risk, and contain costs. But many of these nudges’ influences on patients’ or clinicians’ decisions are not transparent, so health care organizations’ adoption of behavioral architectural strategies is rarely ethically neutral.
Consensus about clinicians’ roles in civic engagement is lacking, but there is no denying that public policy and participation in democracy affects the health and well-being of patients and communities.
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Behavioral psychology considers connections between our thinking and reasoning tendencies and how we respond to environmental stimuli. Behavioral architecture applies what we know about those responses to influence our actions.
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Patients can now easily view their health records, so clinicians must consider a reader’s interpretation of how they convey sensitive personal health information. What might this mean for ethics consultants?
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Dr Mitesh Patel joins us on this episode of Ethics Talk to discuss nudges, how they can be used effectively in health care, and how to identify and avoid the potential ethical pitfalls of guiding behavior.