What video games were your first favorites? Were they old school—Pong, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong? Those examples are a far cry from today’s complex, realistic video games.
As games have become more sophisticated, concepts from gaming have seeped into other areas that are utilitarian, beneficial and have real-world applications. Game-inspired processes can encourage people to complete certain tasks and change behavior. The gamification trend is even entering medicine as a tool to help encourage practitioners’ best practices and processes such as peer review. How can healthcare organizations utilize the benefits of gamification to help improve radiology workflow and potentially improve patient care?
Gamification Enters Medicine
Leaders in medicine have been discussing possible ways to introduce gamification to improve medical practices. From software that’s designed to fulfill continuing medical education credits to applications that help change behavioral patterns, gamification processes are designed to compile and analyze digital information. This information can track performances of individuals or teams, turning daily processes into entertaining challenges.
Here are a few possible applications:
- Improving Processes. Gamification can be used to encourage desirable practices within a medical department. Are you trying to improve peer-review or other radiology workflow processes? Games could be introduced that would give physicians points when meeting peer review quotas, for example. Points could also be awarded for improving report turnaround times or using clinical decision support (CDS) tools. Practitioners could also get points by participating in CME activities, with point leaders posted for staff to see, and rewards potentially given to the top scorers.
- Augmenting Staff Education. Games and quizzes can help medical organizations educate staff—if they work seamlessly with workflow without being disruptive or time consuming. Clinicians in one program received short, engaging quizzes twice a week to their smartphones. Results were posted on a leader board, with the group ultimately achieving a participation rate of 94 percent.
- Supporting CME Efforts. As organizations look at ways to spice up CME and patient safety efforts, CME applications are already being used. Duncan Lennox is CEO of Qstream, a company that has created CME games. “We started with the CME [apps] and that’s still there,” said Lennox in an article on healthcareitnews. “But as we’ve gotten into hospitals more generally … I think we clearly see patient safety as one of the areas that there’s a lot of interest in … [I]t will start to broaden in other areas as they start to see how engaged people are in learning this way.”
Gamification is already being used in CME. It may be further utilized to help improve processes within healthcare organizations—whether that’s radiology workflow, peer review or filing paperwork. Technology that started out with Pong now has the potential to be used to do good in the world by helping improve both healthcare processes and quality of patient care. Pong certainly has come a long way.
Discover how high-tech solutions such as QICS for Radiology can help improve workflow processes and support peer review. Request a demo and visit McKesson booth #425 at SIIM in Long Beach, Calif., May 15-17.