Behavioural Design for Medical Errors during Patient Diagnosis Process

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nad
Author: Dey, Swagatam; Dabral, Shweta; Khadilkar, Pramod
Series: ICED
Institution: Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 0767-0776
DOI number:


The health and well-being sector has been of significant interest to the behavioural design domain since bringing in behavioural changes can help improve the overall well-being of a community. However, the domain’s intervention in this sector has been limited to persuasive techniques for the adoption of healthier lifestyles. There is a need to consider the diagnostic actions and decisions undertaken by doctors as it represents an important part of health and well-being improvement of people. Medical errors committed by healthcare professionals are an important aspect of the healthcare domain. Since these errors result due to undesired or non-normative behaviours, behavioural design can be instrumental in their eradication. But the research on integrating behavioural design and medical error literature is still nascent.

In this paper, we address this gap by identifying the categories of errors based on the performance levels within which they occur. Next, we contextualise these errors categories to medical literature focusing on the diagnostic stage. We further link it to the behavioural change model of COM-B to determine preliminary intervention functions that can be utilised by behavioural designers to deploy interventions.

Keywords: Medical Errors, Behavioural Design, Decision making, Design methods, Social responsibility

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