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Mitesh Patel Wins BX Award for Outstanding Practitioner

Mitesh Patel wins BX award in London

Mitesh Patel, MD, MBA, MS, part of CHIBE’s leadership team and Director of the Penn Medicine Nudge Unit, received the BX Award for Outstanding Practitioner of the Year on September 5, 2019, in London. This award is given to one person across all industries internationally.

According to The Behavioural Insights Team website, this award is given to an individual who demonstrates passion and dedication and has made an outstanding contribution to the field of behavioral science and policy.

Read his nomination below:

Nomination for BX Award for Outstanding Practitioner – Mitesh Patel, MD, MBA, MS

For launching the Penn Medicine Nudge Unit, the world’s first behavioral design team embedded within the operations of a health system, and for work accelerating adoption of nudge units in other health systems across the world.

Dr. Patel is the founding director of the world’s first Nudge Unit within a health system, focused on designing choice architecture to steer clinicians and patients toward better decisions and improved health. He has effectively balanced the art of running pragmatic trials that lead to health system-wide implementation. His team began in 2016 with 2 people running 3 projects and has since grown to a >20 people with >50 active projects at Penn Medicine and other health systems around the world.

Dr. Patel has conducted in several important areas with >20 randomized trials. First, he has shown how nudges can address gaps to improve high-value care. His work changing prescription settings in the electronic health record (EHR) from opt-in to opt-out generics increased generic prescribing across the entire health system from 75% to 99%, saving >$32 million of unnecessary spending in 2 years. He used active choice in the EHR to lead to 35% relative increases in flu vaccination and cancer screening. He used peer comparison feedback to clinicians to triple statin prescribing rates. Second, he has used nudges to reduce unnecessary low-value care. Setting EHR defaults cut unnecessary imaging for palliative cancer patients in half from 68% to 32% and has been implemented health system-wide. His work on opioid prescription defaults in the EHR was implemented across Penn Medicine and cut unnecessary opioid prescribing in emergency departments in half. This is now be implemented at another large health system. Third, he demonstrated how decision fatigue and rushed visits lead to worse care later in the day with 50% relative declines in flu vaccination and cancer screening in primary care clinics. Fourth, he has shown how financial incentives and gamification can be designed to incorporate behavioral insights and lead to sustained improvements in physical activity even after intervention completion. This work has been published in leading medical journals including an NEJM Perspective article and peer-reviewed publications in JAMA, JAMA Internal Medicine, JAMA Oncology, JAMA Network Open and Annals of Internal Medicine. Dr. Patel teaches two courses and mentors >30 mentees as a part of this work.

In 2018, Dr. Patel launched the first Nudge Units in Health Care Symposium to bring together health systems from around the world that were interested in creating their own behavioral design teams. This meeting was attended by 22 health systems and insights were reported in NEJM Catalyst. Dr. Patel launched the Nudge Collaborative, which is a technology platform to help health systems share insights and accelerate implementation. The next Symposium will be held in September 2019 and will continue annually with the goal of reaching >100 health systems within three years.