Who we are
We are a behavioral design team that bridges research activities at the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE) and innovation efforts at the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation.
The Penn Medicine Nudge Unit is the world’s first behavioral design team embedded within a health system. Our mission is to leverage insights from behavioral economics and psychology to design and test approaches to steer medical decision-making toward higher value and improved patient outcomes.
- Design: We co-design nudge interventions in partnership with frontline clinicians, health system leadership, and patients.
- Implement: We implement approaches in a pragmatic and testable manner to inform larger scale deployment.
- Evaluate: We conduct rigorous evaluations of the intended and unintended impact of interventions.
- Disseminate: We share findings across multiple channels including peer-reviewed publications, social media, conferences, and our annual symposium.
Human behavior is the final common pathway for most advances in medicine. No matter how effective a medication, protective a vaccine, or beneficial a lifestyle modification, clinicians must recommend them and patients must engage with them to achieve improvements in health. Our decisions and behaviors are heavily influenced by the environment in which they occur. For example, small changes to the way choices are presented and information is framed within the electronic health record can lead to significant differences in the way clinicians order tests and treatments. Social networks and norms influence how individuals eat and exercise. In many cases, these influences go unnoticed or are not given much thought. Nudge units can help develop systematic approaches to designing interventions that better align our decisions and behaviors with long-term goals.
Nudges in Health Care Symposium
Each year, the Penn Medicine Nudge Unit hosts a Nudges in Health Care Symposium. The goals of the event are to:
- Assemble health systems that are interested in implementing nudges or forming nudge units
- Share insights on lessons learned from implementing nudges in health care
- Network and build collaborations across health systems
Learn more and subscribe to be notified when details about next year's event are released.