How can the science of motivation help transform care delivery?David Asch on how to scale and sustain innovation in care delivery

What is the role of human behavior in healthcare? Looking at both patients and physicians, David Asch discussed at the Siemens Healthineers Executive Summit 2019 the science of motivation and the role played by education, rewards (including financial incentives), and simple design changes in technology in transforming care delivery.

The science of motivation has evolved from 'assume people do not know' to 'assume people are rational expected value-maximizers' to 'recognizes people are irrational' – in predictable ways and that the decisions are affected by emotions, bias, social context. Irrationality should rather be used for the purposes of good. The point is, once you recognize how people are irrational, you are in a better position to help them.

David Asch argued, the most pervasive view of health behavior suggests that patients and clinicians will make good decisions when they have the best information in front of them. But in fact, rationality poorly describes behavior change. Therefore, a better approach would be to use behavioral reflexes.

Today, healthcare systems mainly work with financial incentives, but instead, David Asch suggests, we should utilize a variety of social incentives, which can harness existing trust relationships and may become self-sustaining.

David Asch gives insights in the science of motivation

Executive Director of the Penn Medicine Center for Healthcare, David Asch is a behavioral economist aiming to transform individual and population health. He is dedicated to improving how physicians and patients make decisions in healthcare and everyday life, including the use of medical treatments and personal health behaviors. Professor at Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, David Asch also practices internal medicine at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He has received several awards for training and research and has published more than 350 articles.

Siemens Healthineers Executive Summit is an invitation-only exclusive event gathering prominent healthcare executives to think big about the healthcare transformation.

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