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Health Day: Computer ‘Nudge’ Spurs Doctors to Prescribe Statins to Heart Patients

According to a University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine study, the use of “nudges” or notification in electronic health records by doctors increased prescriptions of cholesterol-lowering statins for heart disease patients. One was a “passive choice” notification to which doctors would navigate. The other was an “active choice” notification to prescribe a certain dose of statins that doctors needed to accept or dismiss. There was a 4 percentage point increase in optimal statin prescribing among doctors who received active nudges. “Active choice prompts are used commonly in electronic health records, but they often are not rigorously tested head-to-head against other approaches,” said senior author Dr. Mitesh Patel, director of Penn Medicine’s Nudge Unit. Read more on Health Day.