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Increasing antimicrobial resistance has been identified as a global threat to health, and a variety of measures to encourage prudent use of antibiotics have been implemented with varying success. Whilst prescriber knowledge and skills are important, attention to behavioural and social aspects in prescribing appear essential to sustain any improvement initiatives. Educational games and gamification have been successfully introduced in other settings to maintain clinicians’ engagement with desired behaviours. 

On Call: Antibiotics is an educational game aimed at clinicians, designed to support and encourage the prudent use of antimicrobials in acute care. You play a doctor who needs to quickly diagnose patients based on their symptoms and choose the appropriate antimicrobial treatment.

You have to juggle the needs of your patients, pharmacists, nurses and fellow doctors, who all have different motivations, and respond to your chosen treatments in different ways. To be successful, players have to make optimal use of antibiotics and antibiotic prescribing behaviours. 

The game provides immediate feedback on players’ performance and decisions, considering clinical accuracy and the impact on other professionals and the wider hospital environment. To sustain the focus on the game, elements such as timers, scores and leader boards, together with increasing case difficulty are used. Delayed consequences of some prescribing decisions are made explicit for the players; for example, using broad-spectrum antibiotics too frequently will lead to multiple virtual patients attending with antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, or prolonged use of IV antibiotics will result in cannula-site infection cases.

 

Development of the game was led by Dr Enrique Castro-Sánchez, Lead Research Nurse at the Health Protection Research Unit in Healthcare-Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance at Imperial College London, and developed in collaboration with clinicians at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

 More information on the game can be found in this paper.

On Call: Antibiotics is available via the following link:

Note: The Unity engine for web browsers is incompatible with some web browsers. If you cannot get it to work at first, try a different browser.

Imperial Innovations and Imperial College are not responsible for the content of external websites. Users click on the link above at their own risk.

 

Mobile versions for IOS and Android are in development.

On Call: Antibiotics

An educational game where you diagnose patients and choose the right antibiotic treatments

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