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Business Gamification in Healthcare: What are 3 practical uses?

In the months after Perficient published a whitepaper on Gamification, the interest from our readers has been gratifying and it seems to be time for a follow-up to that interest.  Business gamification is the use of game mechanics and user interfaces in business software.  What are the practical uses of gamification in a healthcare workplace?  Here is a fresh look beyond the well-known fitness and wellness applications:

  1. Agile project management for implementing EMRs
  2. Training staff on new documentation requirements for ICD-10
  3. Maintaining a high level of commitment to quality measures and patient safety

Agile project management

Most healthcare organizations are in the grip of too many projects and desperately need a way to streamline project management and keep project team members highly engaged.  If that is your situation, then check out www.redcrittertracker.com and their Agile Project Management that uses badges, rewards leaderboards and real-time Twitter feeds to drive a “what’s next” methodology.  This innovative software uses gaming elements including fifty unique badges that can be unlocked by meeting project goals and deadlines.  Completing key milestones in a project can earn a participant Reward Points that can be cashed in for gift cards or lunches with executives.  Red Critter Tracker uses a drag and drop user interface that should improve project management updates as well.  Red Critter has been developed for multiple team management, traditional time tracking and effort estimation and real-time team messaging.  Most EMR implementations that span multiple institutions need easy to use and yet powerful project management tool that can coordinate communications in a simple To Do style view.

Staff Training on ICD-10 Documentation

Forbes recently named Badgeville (www.badgeville.com) “America’s Most Promising Company.”  Badgeville views gamification as a modern business strategy that uses proven techniques from social gaming to measure and influence behavior. They believe their techniques can be applied across virtually any user experience where increasing specific behaviors add value to a business or organization. Using advanced gamification techniques, such as levels, missions, and tracks, Badgeville clients experience 20 to more than 200 increases in key business objectives.  Their “Behavior Platform” appears to be just what the doctor ordered for the big cultural shift required in tougher documentation standards required to justify ICD-10 codes used for billing in healthcare.  The mission would be to meet or exceed the required standards and language for ICD-10 for each key medical procedure and gamification could manage the improvement through levels for key medical professionals.  The game elements could make the learning process more interesting, possibly playful and morale-boosting rather than intrusive for already busy people.

Maintaining key performance metrics for quality and patient safety

Healthcare organizations work very hard to get quality measures at or better than national standards and keep the focus on patient safety at high levels.  The challenge is maintaining or increasing specific behaviors in a healthcare organization over long periods of time, a basic idea of performance fatigue.  Badgeville uses analytics techniques from the social gaming industry to benchmark business objectives and identify opportunities to increase key user behaviors. The social gaming industry has achieved such great levels of success because all of these social games are programs designed to measure and influence behavior.  Using a data-driven reporting method for monitoring and increasing the correct behaviors will allow the creation of the feedback loops to pinpoint small changes to keep key performance metrics high or improving.  Besides, it is basic human nature to want recognition or improved reputation for meeting key goals and gamification can deliver on that need in a more automated manner.

The benefit of business gamification is that almost all work consists of discrete tasks that must be completed in an orderly, timely and often repetitive fashion and it can simply make it more fun and rewarding.  There are people that will argue that we should be motivated to do our work without the need of badges or gold stars for good behavior, but in an industry where driving down errors can save lives or improve outcomes, business gamification is a worthy idea.  More importantly, business gamification could increase the level of transparency about everyone’s productivity in an industry working to lower costs and keep quality up.  Okay, it’s not Angry Birds, but couldn’t we stand more fun in a good cause?

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One thought on “Business Gamification in Healthcare: What are 3 practical uses?

  1. Pingback: Gamification Roundup – April 30, 2012 | Gamification Blog

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