Choice ArchitectureCarey Candrian and Kirsten Broadfoot Sep 28, 2016
This Wednesday, September 28, at University of Colorado Hospital, Dr. Scott D. Halpern will be giving a Grand Rounds on a topic of great interest: Changing Choice Architecture to Improve Care for Seriously Ill Patients. What is choice architecture, and why might it be of interest?
Choice architecture is a term and concept from behavioral economics that refers to how our choices are structured and presented. Specifically, it refers to the different ways in which the same choices can be presented yet different choices made. Dr. Halpern, among others, has found that the interplay between the structuring of choices and context can dramatically influence a broad array of choices, even preference-driven and sensitive decisions such as those around end of life care. If our decisions are profoundly influenced by how our choices are presented, examining choice architecture could be a powerful way to improve healthcare decisions. After all, we often selectively ignore information in order to make it easier to get to a decision. In fact, how choices are described may matter more than which choices are given to a patient and family, and requires merging elements of choice architecture with artful interaction design and communication skills.
Communication and conversations
Interestingly, communication is a term from architecture where it describes any way that things connect to each other. This raises a key question for communication and choice architecture – how do we create connectivity – both between choices, as well as choices and people? Conversations, then, such as those around end-of-life care decisions, are particular human contributions towards potential connection. Conversation is the means by which we listen, interpret, act and perceive, to exclude or create opportunities for engagement and action. Therefore, understanding the impact of choice architecture for improving care for seriously ill patients must be grounded in a relationship-centered understanding of interaction, because these are decisions about life and death, not about which car or house to buy.
Dr. Halpern’s work and upcoming talk underscores the importance of looking to other disciplines (behavioral economics, communication) for solutions to pressing problems (improving care for seriously ill patients). We hope to see you Wednesday!
Lecture: Changing Choice Architecture to Improve Care for Seriously Ill Patients, University of Colorado Hospital, AIP2, Bruce Schroffel Conference Center, Auditorium, noon-1 p.m. Lunch is provided. You may also view the presentation online via live stream.