Hospital Concentration

by Martin Murrillo

Martin enjoys playing competitive volleyball and reading science fiction in his spare time. One of his goals is to live in Laguna Beach and work in a corporate training environment.

Instructional Objective Given a specific insurance type, the admission counselor at Sharp Memorial's admitting department will be able to match the utilization action card to the correct insurance card.

Learners This learner group consists of admission counselors at Sharp Memorial Hospital. They are high school graduates and a few have completed college courses. They have basic computer skills and all receive basic insurance training and have an insurance manual with all the insurance types and utilization review requirements. Most of the learners perceive insurance as difficult to master and view it as a dry subject matter. There are no current provisions for checking mastery of insurance knowledge and constructive feedback pertaining to utilization follow-up errors is not immediate.

Context Of Use This card game is designed for use in the work place to augment current training methods established by department policy. In addition to being used n the initial training of a newly hired admission counselor, the card game provides a unique opportunity for groups of seasoned admission counselors to practice/display their insurance knowledge; facilitating peer coaching and learning in a nonthreatening way.

Rationale The insurance/utilization knowledge is an important part of the admission counselor's function, saving significant sums of money for each admission to the hospital. This card game brings an element of fun to a perceived dry and boring subject. The competitive factor of this card game motivates the learner and provides immediate feedback to insurance/utilization knowledge, as it sets peer against peer to know and remember which insurance cards match which utilization follow-up requirements. The portability and familiar rules make it easy to learn and use. This game is playable in a short time span, and can alert supervisors to potential deficiencies in the counselor's insurance knowledge.

Rules The game is played similar to the concentration card game. Thirty-two cards are dealt face down in six rows of six cards each. A player turns up any pair of cards, and if they match (in terms of insurance type and utilization follow-up required) he removes them and tries to turn up another matching pair. When he fails to turn up a match, he turns the two cards face down and another takes a turn. The play continues with two to six players making mental notes of card types and locations in an effort to complete the greatest number matched pairs.

Card Design Each card contains the health insurance and patient information as it would appear on actual hospital forms. These forms may differ slightly between hospitals and among insurance types. Basic information included is the patient name, name of the insurance carrier, effective dates of the insurance policies and dates of anticipated hospital stay. This information may be modified to fit the needs of any particular hospital setting.

Deck Design The deck consists of 36 cards comprised of words and/or pictures representing the particular insurance type or the utilization follow-up required. There is only one possible match for each card type, reducing confusion and simplifying the process. Selected were the insurance types most commonly encountered and those that were the most confusing to the admission counselors.

Design Process After deciding exactly what it was that I wanted to do, it was not as easy a task to pull it all together as I had first thought. First, I experimented with color coding the insurance types. By color coding the insurance types, I could link the the general classes of insurances together. Although this may have been a good way to classify the information, I decided not to code the cards because I felt that it may have been too easy for the learner to play the game for entertainment and not experience the educational objective. I decided not to have any repetition of cards, since there was more than enough subject matter and I believe that simpler is better, especially in a subject that is already perceived as complicated. I also elected not to put any information on the back of the cards. I then enlarged the card size so that the information on the cards could be read easily and the card image was clear and recognizable to the participant. Since the cards did not have to be shuffled and dealt frequently, I did not have great concern for an oversized card. For the cards produced, I reduced a photo copy of an actual insurance card/form so that the images on the cards reflect real-life scenarios encountered by the admission counselor that can be assimilated into everyday practice.