Gamification In Healthcare: Will It Work?
Nikola Stanisic/

Implementing Gamification In Healthcare

Gamification is being used in a number of corporate organizations these days to train and develop skills and knowledge in their employees. Gamification started off as a digital learning trend but soon made it known that it was an effective learning technique that helped learners absorb and retain knowledge while keeping them engaged. Although gamification works for a number of product and service-based industries, does it work for healthcare training? The answer to that is yes!

Gamification has been used, and is being used, by a number of healthcare organizations to train their employees. A number of healthcare organizations are hesitant to implement gamification in their workplace because healthcare is a serious industry that deals with saving people’s lives. However, healthcare is also used in safety training for a number of industries, which is another serious subject. If you’re still not convinced and are looking for reasons why gamification works for healthcare training, this article is written to put exactly such doubts to rest. Let’s have a look at 4 reasons why gamification works for healthcare training.

1. Connects With Learners On An Emotional Level

A lot of stakeholders in healthcare organizations are under the impression that gamification would trivialize the learning employees receive from digital learning programs. Nothing could be further from the truth. Those who have played video games would understand the emotional connection games build with the player. People get engrossed in their storyline, involved emotionally with the characters and connect on a deep level with the tasks or missions they are supposed to complete within the game. When gamification is used to develop skills and knowledge, the same emotional connection is made with learning. Information and skills are retained better when learners feel an emotional connection with learning. Gamification does that using storylines, characters, points, levels, badges, achievements, and leaderboards.

2. Uses Failure As A Learning Tool

Failure is perhaps the greatest of all learning tools. Failure helps learners understand what they’re not supposed to do. But, in order for learners to understand that failure is in fact the greatest of all learning tools, they need to learn not to be afraid of failure. They should view failure as a milestone to success while also understanding that failure has consequences. Gamification provides learners with a virtual world where they can make mistakes without fearing consequences that would be devastating in real life in the healthcare organization. For example, surgeons could be trained to perform surgeries without the fear of killing the patient if they make a mistake. In addition, sometimes a mistake can teach learners more than a successful operation.

3. Turns Boring Learning Into Engaging Activities

The power of gamification lies in its ability to engage learners. A lot of healthcare training is boring and calls for memorization of hundreds of symptoms, diseases, treatments, prescriptions, procedures, and whatnot. Gamification simplifies these by turning them into an engaging experience and removing the boredom learners would otherwise feel while memorizing these. Gamified digital learning courses offer intrinsic motivation to people because they don’t feel like training, but at the same time they are.

4. Tracks Progress And Offers Immediate Feedback

One of the engaging features of gamification is level progress. It gives learners the impression that they are moving forward. Healthcare organizations can create gamified courses that simulate the real life of a healthcare professional. For example, where they get promoted to upper levels of a healthcare organization as they complete exercises and learn more and more. Level progress in gamification also allows the concerned authorities to track learner progress. In addition, gamification also offers immediate feedback to learners unlike other digital learning methods which allow learners to understand how they’ve performed, and retake the course to fix their mistakes.

Healthcare is a slow-moving and cautious industry, and thus its hesitation to embrace relatively newer digital learning strategies and methods like gamification can be understood. However, after reading the above-mentioned points it is evident that gamification offers a number of real benefits to the healthcare industry, and can really revolutionize healthcare training. Healthcare organizations that have already understood this use gamified digital learning courses to engage employees, train them and improve their performance.

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