Patient Engagement
Talk
How to Motivate Behavior Change? Keep It Simple (02:22)

To establish a habit, three conditions must be met: motivation, ability, and trigger. “For all of you thinking about designing healthy systems . . . I can’t stress the first one enough,” says David Kirchhoff, CEO of Snap Kitchen. “Please, for the love of everything good in the world, keep it simple.” It’s important to avoid difficult language, and to make the process as uncomplicated as it can be, he adds.

Find ways to eliminate friction — any reasons not to participate in a behavior change effort — through funding, incentives, and support, advises Kirchhoff. “Support, I would argue, doesn’t get nearly as much air play as incentives. They both speak to the same thing. They’re equally as important.”

Lastly, environment matters — an important element at Snap Kitchen locations, which are essentially convenience stores that sell only healthy food. “For me, this was the perfect embodiment of what we need to be doing,” says Kirchhoff. “Rather than turning my back on behavior change at the individual level, I feel like I finally wised up and recognized that the biggest way you can have impact on behavior change is to attack it at the environmental level.”

From the NEJM Catalyst event Patient Engagement: Behavioral Strategies for Better Health at the University of Pennsylvania, February 25, 2016.

More From Patient Engagement

Engaging Patients to Optimize Medication Adherence

Medication adherence is a significant public health challenge. As each patient is unique, it is critical for health care systems and providers to better characterize and meet individual patient needs at each stage along the way in order to improve medication adherence and ultimately improve patient well-being.

Shared Decision-Making for Good Clinical Care: Better, but Not Easier

Active patient involvement and patient autonomy can be burdensome to patients, especially when they are faced with serious illness. The primary goal of shared decision-making is not autonomy, but good care that fits patients’ lives.

The Patient as Consumer and the Measurement of Bedside Manner

Many physicians do not believe patient satisfaction is a legitimate pursuit. Yet they must meet consumers of health care where they are — on Internet ratings sites.

Health Care — A Final Frontier for Design

Design must move beyond narrow projects and encompass complex systems.

Halpern02_clip_still: A/B Testing Health Behavior Interventions

A/B Testing Health Behavior

Health care can’t implement changes overnight like Silicon Valley, but we can still learn from their version of treatment and control.

Social Interventions Can Lower Costs and Improve Outcomes

We can better serve our under-resourced patients by helping them access treatments and social interventions we already know to be effective.

Better Communication Makes Better Physicians

How Adrienne Boissy and Cleveland Clinic are focusing on physician communication — and getting results.

Why Real-World Results Are So Challenging for Digital Health

User engagement outside of clinical trials is the critical factor.

Transparency and Trust — Online Patient Reviews of Physicians

Transparency of validated data about delivery-system performance has the power to change the culture of health care.

Patient Engagement Survey: Technology Tools Gain Support — But Cost Is a Hurdle

NEJM Catalyst Insights Council members say patient engagement technology tools must be patient-centric and are most useful for managing chronic disease.

Connect

A weekly email newsletter featuring the latest actionable ideas and practical innovations from NEJM Catalyst.

Learn More »

Topics

Engaging Patients to Optimize Medication Adherence

Medication adherence is a significant public health challenge. As each patient is unique, it is…

Patient Incentives

43 Articles

A/B Testing Health Behavior

Health care can’t implement changes overnight like Silicon Valley, but we can still learn from…

Survey Snapshot: Genomic Data Is Far…

NEJM Catalyst Insights Council members say that clinical and cost data will continue to be…

Insights Council

Have a voice. Join other health care leaders effecting change, shaping tomorrow.

Apply Now