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Fun with Sepsis

Septris: A novel, mobile, online, simulation game that improves sepsis recognition and management. Evans KH et al. Academic Medicine. 2015;90:180-184.


Reviewed by Srividya Naganathan

What was the study question?
Does an online simulation games have a positive impact on (1) dissemination, (2) learner’s knowledge, (3) self -reported knowledge, skills and attitudes and (4) learner satisfaction?

How was the study done?
This innovative online case based education game was designed at Stanford school of medicine to improve sepsis recognition and management. The learners manage 2 simulated patients concurrently choosing diagnostic testing and appropriate management. The study was conducted with 61 second year medical students and 95 post graduate residents using a 10 item pre-game and 15 item post game quiz. The authors assessed learners’ knowledge related to sepsis, game impact on self reported, retrospective knowledge, skills and attitudes, and participant satisfaction.

What were the results?
Septris had a positive effect on all the four areas examined:
(1) Dissemination- between Dec 2011 and Oct 2014, the site has been visited 61,000 times Worldwide.
(2) Learner’s knowledge related to sepsis- significant improvements (P<0.001) noted through pre and post game scores for all the learners.
(3) Self reported knowledge, skills and attitudes related to sepsis- increase for all learners (P< 0.001)
(4) Learners’ satisfaction- 86.5% were likely to recommend the game to a colleague

What are the implications of these findings?
Septris is an innovative online gaming tool with a significant potential to augment medical education. Further studies are needed to evaluate effectiveness across different providers and settings.

Editor’s note: This is one of the first papers to evaluate the “Gamification” –competition, rewards, enjoyment--of medical education. More will likely follow (RR).

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