Using behavioural economics concepts to increase organizational learning in an NHS hospital

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Journal of Organizational Change Management


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to assess whether the dissemination systems that hospitals use to spread information about particular safety incidents can be enhanced using behavioural economics concepts. Design/methodology/approach: The current service evaluation took place within eight wards in a single acute care hospital. It was conducted as a randomized controlled trial with two groups. In the control group nothing was altered. In the intervention group ward managers received additional support to disseminate information to their nurses. Nurses were randomly selected to be surveyed during their scheduled shifts. The surveys revealed how the nurses learned about particular safety incidents and how many they remembered. Findings: Nurses in the intervention group were more likely to learn about particular safety incidents than nurses in the control group. Practical implications: Enhancing common dissemination systems in hospitals can increase organizational learning about safety incidents. The current study presents some means by which dissemination systems can be enhanced. Originality/value: The current service evaluation is a unique application of behavioural economics concepts to enhance organizational learning of particular adverse safety incidents in an NHS hospital.

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