Think you have what it takes to run a hospital? If so, try out the iPad/iPhone app or computer game called “Patient Shuffle.” Launched by GE Healthymagination last year, it demonstrates the complexities and challenges of running a hospital and managing patient flow. Let me be clear, I am not typically in the habit of plugging apps, but this is a neat little game and I thought the audience would appreciate it.
During gameplay, you are forced to deal with unexpected complications, delays, referrals and staffing limitations similar to a real hospital. You must move your fingers as fast as possible to manage where providers, nurses and patients flow. You try to create the most timely and patient-centric experience, but most importantly develop a consistent strategy that reflects efficiency.
What you experience is a mere microcosm of what a large medical institution deals with quality and safety initiatives, budgeting, regulation, etc. Hit the repeat button every single day, increase scale and scope by a ton, and you have a sense of what running a hospital can be like.
The brilliance of the game is the integration of fun, education and simplicity. It is no wonder healthcare has looked to principles such as “Lean” and “Six Sigma” for ideas on improvement. Let me know your thoughts. Enjoy.
For the competitive folk reading this post, I scored 10 discharges after my second attempt at the game and my patient satisfaction was “very good.” Beat that and I’ll be impressed.
Andrew G. Mychkovsky is a Project Coordinator at Blue Cottage Consulting.