New report on results from our recent health trials

3 December 2015Simon Raadsma


Tagsbehavioural insights, behavioural insights unit, health, rct, report

The Behavioural Insight Unit has released a new publication Spotlight on Health Results – Behavioural Insights Short Report. The report outlines the significant gains we have made in increasing hospital efficiency and health outcomes in NSW through our trials.

focus on health

We are pleased to release our newest publication Spotlight on Health Results – Behavioural Insights Short Report. The report describes the Unit’s work with our project partners and the significant gains we have been able to achieve in increasing hospital efficiency and health outcomes in NSW through the use of Behavioural Insights. 

Partnering with St Vincent’s Hospital, we trialled different text messages intended to remind outpatients to attend follow-up appointments. The most effective text message told patients that they could avoid the hospital losing $125 if they attended their appointment. This text message approach led to an almost 20% reduction in missed appointments compared to the control message – leading to an estimated saving of $67,000 for St Vincent’s Hospital each year!

We also report the results of a trial we conducted with Cancer Institute NSW to test whether cervical screening (“Pap test”) appointments could be increased by making simple changes to reminder letters sent to women. Over 75,000 women in NSW received one of four new reminder letters (or a control letter) over a three-month period. All four letters were shown to increase screening appointments relative to the control. The most effective trial letter included a tear-off commitment device which increased screening rates by 9%. The Cancer Institute NSW will now be using the tear-off commitment device reminder letter which they predict could lead to an additional 7,500 women attending their Pap test appointment within three months of receiving it.

Attendees at today’s Community of Practice – Spotlight on Health event will be hearing from our team members and partners about these projects and more.