Healthcare costs in the United States have skyrocketed over the past decade, contributing to an estimated $750 billion in wasteful spending annually. Despite the demand to improve residency education on value-based, cost-conscious healthcare, there is no consensus on how to best teach this practice. Traditional lectures have failed to demonstrate enduring change in clinical practice patterns, provider attitudes, and reductions in hospital expenditures. We sought to evaluate whether gamification is an effective pedagogical tool to teach cost-consciousness to emergency medicine (EM) residents by creating a 60-minute interactive session based on the popular gameshow, the Price is Right. Costs and associated charges for common laboratory tests, radiographic studies, medications, and common physical resources typically found in the emergency department (ED) were first obtained through direct communication with the ED clinical director and hospital leadership. The session itself consisted of three phases with several Price-is-Right-themed games, which included realistic visual stimuli reminiscent of the gameshow that were created by the authors using the PowerPoint. Formal quantitative and qualitative feedback was solicited at the end of the session. Quantitative evaluation of the educational intervention was obtained through a 22-item questionnaire using a five-point Likert-type scale from 19 of the 22 enrolled residents (86% response rate). Responses were generally very positive with an overall course rating score of 4.16 (SD +/- 0.90). Qualitative feedback identified learners' predilection for gamified delivery of nonclinical content during conference. The majority of residents (89%) recommend the activity to be used in subsequent offerings to other learners. With healthcare costs on the rise, our feasibility study demonstrated that gamification is an effective way to teach mindful, cost-conscious care to EM residents. Gamification offers a fun and engaging alternative that should be further utilized in EM educational formats. Future studies are needed to longitudinally assess the learner retention and cost-containment practices.
Tomaselli, Peter J; Papanagnou, MD, Dimitrios; Karademos, Jonathan E; Teixeira, Elizabeth; and Zhang, Xiao Chi, "Gamification of Hospital Utilization: Incorporating Cost-consciousness in Daily Practices." (2018). Department of Emergency Medicine Faculty Papers. Paper 191.
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