Gamification is an often-heard buzzword among business leaders for learning and knowledge retention, and it’s easy to see why. Traditional education styles can feel dull compared to today’s multi-media experiences, and are not always effective and motivating to the recipient. Gamification uses peoples’ competitive instincts to engage learners in the material at-hand. Points, badges and leaderboards are typically included in learning games to drive fun and end user retention of the material.
Patient-friendly game-based learning is not a novel concept in healthcare. Many games are available to help patients improve their health and nutrition, such as Didget World and Plant Nanny. A relatively new spin, however, involves using games to teach healthcare industry professionals and create long-term connections with the information.
Integrating game-based learning helps healthcare workers explore new ways of processing content with better understanding and faster recall skills. There are a variety of game types health organizations can use for this type of learning including action, adventure, simulations, strategy, role-based, and quizzes and puzzles. Many games also include an aspect of teamwork, to improve collaboration among business units.
Games give an ability for workers and managers to be able to measure progress. Whether it be a progress or experience bar or level progression, a quantified scale is available to record status. Managing a team, especially larger teams, can make it difficult for leaders to track where individual difficulties may lie or where there is a skills gap. Using gaming scores and achievements, managers can uncover where focus areas should be and create supplemental ways for employees to grow while improving capabilities as well as progress in gaming to demonstrate subject mastery.
Money, Money, Money
Investing in game-based learning not only improves employee skills and knowledge, but can also benefit a hospital or health system’s payment collections. Healthcare organizations need to be sure they are capturing the correct information on the front end. Even small errors on patient information such as insurance policy number or patient address can cause delays in payment. Game play increases knowledge and recall, helping employees find information quickly and accurately. Improving accuracy will also reflect positively in the revenue cycle.
Gaming in Action
The University of Alabama at Birmingham has already seen impressive results with their quiz game designed for graduate medicine residents, Kaizen, which tests nursing skills learned in the lab. The online rapid-fire trivia game allows players to compete to answer multiple choice questions setting. Students are divided into lab groups and compete to see which group gets the most questions right to win a party with faculty. On retest, correct responses increased by 11.9 percent, demonstrating greater mastery of the subject matter.
Games provide immediate, real-time feedback to help employees understand their choices and reinforce learning. If you’re considering implementing gamification strategies for learning, remember that games should match the players’ capabilities. They should not be so difficult that they overwhelm learners, but also should not be too simple that they offend the player’s intelligence.
If you want to explore gaming strategies as a teaching tool in your organization or other optimization initiatives, use the form below to schedule a consultation.
Brian Meyer is a Consultant with Avaap and uses his dual passions for gamification and healthcare to drive innovative projects within the marketplace.