Using Video Games to teach people isn’t new. Corporations, the military, law enforcement, and a whole host of other groups have been using video games for years to teach people. Now, there is a new game currently under development that will help doctors do a better job of diagnosing and prioritizing trauma patients.

The game is called ‘Night Shift’ and it was developed by Schell Games.

According to a report in Science Daily, researchers recently published a study in the British Medical Journal that reported on how effective the game is at teaching Doctors.

The results were staggering.

This video game could help save 30,000 patients a year

According to statistics, 30,000 patients die every year because they were, in part, misdiagnosed and not given the proper treatment. This is especially prevalent in hospitals that don’t have trauma centers. Often, when a trauma patient is brought into a non-trauma hospital, they are stabilized and sent to a trauma facility.

A doctor in a non-trauma hospital sees about one trauma for every 3000 patients. Since doctors in those facilities don’t see many trauma cases, the patients are often under-diagnosed and not transported to hospitals equipped with trauma equipment.

Doctors received on-going training to learn how to properly diagnose patients, the training is usually text-based, i.e.

books and papers. The video game was created to teach the same material but with an interactive twist.

Here’s a video of a game that is in the same genre of Night Shift. While it isn’t very exciting and the graphics are rough (to say the least), these games seem to help people learn and retain more over time.

Here’s how the video game works

When the doctors play the game they are playing as a young ER doctor. They are confronted with a variety of medical cases and they evaluate and prescribe treatment for the patient. They are scored on their actions and also receive information about recommended courses of treatment.

The game setting is a hospital with free movement between offices and departments.

The graphics aren’t the best, but the game is about learning and providing information.

More gaming might be in the future for doctors

Dr. Deepika Mohan, M.D., an assistant professor in Pitt's departments of Critical Care Medicine and Surgery, conducted a study to compare the learning and retention of doctors who played the game compared to doctors who learned by reading.

Researchers were astonished to find that doctors using the game had a much higher level of comprehension and understanding from playing the game versus reading about the information. Physicians who played the game were 11 percent less likely to under-triage a patient.

Additionally, the doctors who played the game retained the information longer than those who learned from text-based reading.

The doctors from the study were re-tested 6 months later and the doctors who played the game were 17 percent less likely to undertriage a patient.

The game is still in beta but once released the game has the potential to cause quite a disruption in the professional development of physicians. Dr. Mohan’s paper is titled “Efficacy of educational video game versus traditional educational apps at improving physician decision making in trauma triage: randomized controlled trial.”