OES works alongside agency collaborators to apply behavioral insights, make concrete recommendations on how to improve government, and evaluate impact using administrative data. For example, in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and Inova Health Systems, OES applied behavioral insights to develop two interventions to increase the use of patient-generated health data among patients with diabetes. The impacts of these interventions were then evaluated using data from the electronic health record.

The first intervention encouraged providers to place bulk orders for electronic blood glucose flow sheets, while the second intervention reminded patients to log their own health data into the flow sheets.


Table 1: Training and Encouragement to providers significantly increased patient use of blood glucose flowsheets.

Both interventions were found to be effective, leading to increased patient use of electronic blood glucose flowsheets and fewer in-office A1c tests. These findings have led Inova Health System to continue to improve provider and patient use of health information technology in their system, with the hope that utilizing this technology can continue to reduce costs and provide better care for their patients. . Inova plans to make all providers aware of the functionality within the electronic health record to allow patients to enter their glucose results online. Inova will create and send documentation to patients with instructions on how to place orders for electronic blood glucose flowsheets. Finally, Inova plans to provide physicians with a reminder message that they can send to encourage use of the tools.


Table 2: Reminder messages to patients significantly increased patient use of blood glucose flowsheets

This project was presented at the 2019 Annual Event. See the recording and presentation slides here.