Teaching trainees to identify and manage sepsis using an online game known as “Septris” earned hospitalists at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, Calif., a Research, Innovation, and Clinical Vignette category award at HM13.1
“We took third-year medical students and residents in medicine, surgery, and emergency medicine—people who would be sepsis first responders on the floor—and gave them pre- and post-tests that documented improvements in both attitudes and knowledge,” says lead author Lisa Shieh, MD, PhD, Stanford’s medical director of quality in the department of medicine. All participants said they enjoyed playing the game, she reported.
Septris was developed by a multidisciplinary group of physicians, educational technology specialists, and programmers at Stanford. The game offers a case-based interactive learning environment drawn from evidence-based treatment algorithms. Players make treatment decisions and watch as the patient outcome rises or declines. The game’s rapid pace underscores the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.
“We tried to make our game as engaging and real-life as possible,” Dr. Shieh says.
The Stanford team is in touch with the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s Surviving Sepsis Campaign (www.survivingsepsis.org) and with other medical groups internationally. Thousands of players have accessed the game online for free (http://cme.stanford.edu/septris/game/SepsisTetris.html), with a nominal fee for CME credit. It is best played on an iPad or iPhone, Dr. Shieh says.
Larry Beresford is a freelance writer in Alameda, Calif.