BERT's 'nudge' letters had long-term impact on GP prescribing, says department

Its researchers say antibiotic prescribing rates were still lower 12 months after the letters were sent

So-called nudge letters sent to thousands of GPs about their antibiotic scripts had a long-term impact on their prescribing behaviour, the Federal Health Department says.  

It has released an update on the activities of its Behavioural Economics Research Team which in 2017, at the beginning of one of Australia’s worst flu seasons of recent years, attempted to employ psychology to 'modify' GP behaviour.

That year, it sent out warning letters to the 6,600 GPs who made up the top 30% of antibiotic GP prescribers.