Question: Looking for gamification experts in healthcare


- How can healthcare organizations get started with gamification at their organizations?
- What gamification strategies can we use to engage different staff members, such as physicians and nurses?

2 Expert answers


As healthcare focuses more on outcome-based care, the opportunity for gamification in the industry  increases.  For example, a doctor/nurse/caregiver could be scored on the compliance effectiveness of his/her manic-depressive patients in maintaining their lithium regimen.  In such a case, it would first be important to score each patient, providing rewards for consistent compliance (e.g., pharmacy discounts, sponsored benefits, or non-economic benefits such as appealing photos).  Adding the doctor/nurse/caregiver  as a teammate to the patient and empowering him/her to prompt the patient to take the prescribed medication would put "skin in the game" for the medical professional.  A healthcare professional with a good patient compliance score would like be more in demand than others.  Insurance programs might eventually recognize the benefits of high compliance and provide financial incentives to the caregivers for achieving better compliance outcomes.

Similarly, healthcare institutions could provide variable pay to their staff for reducing the need for return visits by the patient (because of obtaining proper treatment the first time).

Of course, such gamification systems must be built with care to prevent the system, itself, from being "gamed."


The key to any game is to know what winning means, yet most healthcare organization employees have no clear definition of winning.  Admittedly, winning is challenging to define in healthcare, as there are multiple constituencies.  But that does not mean it is not possible.  A good example is a cardiac care unit in Johns Hopkins that empowered their employees by making the economics of the unit transparent.  For those not familiar with open-book principles, this HBR article provides more background:
http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/12/a-winning-culture-keeps-score/