Developing the Infection Management Game

Developing the Infection Management Game

This year we have launched the Infection Management Game in partnership with NHS Lothian and Scottish Health Innovations Ltd (SHIL). This scenario-based game is designed to help players learn how to use the appropriate precautions and procedures to prevent and manage infection outbreaks. In this blog Odette Brooks, Critical Care Infection Surveillance Nurse at NHS Lothian explains how she developed this training resource and why Infection Prevention and Control is so important.

My name is Odette and I have been a Registered Nurse since 2002.  I’ve been in my current role as Infection Surveillance Nurse in Critical Care at the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh since 2009, which involves measuring, investigating and reporting critical care associated infections as well as leading and implementing change to improve patient outcomes. A large part of my role is to model best practice and facilitate education on the unit to ensure staff follow established and agreed policies and guidance. I never thought that one day I would be writing a blog for Focus Games!

For many years education sessions involved me narrating 45 minutes worth of slides in Infection Control and Prevention policies and guidance. While this is standard for theory learning, to effectively demonstrate practical and everyday infection prevention and control issues, I decided to test a new idea with a small group of nurses. I was curious to see if I could get all the same information across in a scenario based, dynamic and interactive tabletop exercise. My initial prototype was an A3 piece of laminated paper drawn out like a ward with bed spaces and little paper cut outs of “patients” to be admitted and relevant equipment. Staff used existing local and national policies and procedures to inform their decisions.  

It worked. The feedback from my first session was very encouraging and really spurred me on to utilise the tabletop for other education sessions in the unit including; tutorials for new nurses in the unit and induction sessions for junior medical staff. I found that the interactive nature of peer enabled learning allowed staff to collectively review their knowledge and decisions. The tabletop could be used by staff within their workplace and a lot of learning could take place in a very short space of time.

In 2018 I was supported by NHS Lothian and SHIL-who works in partnership with NHS Scotland to identify, protect, develop and commercialise healthcare innovations to improve patient care- to progress the idea to commercialisation where I was introduced to Focus Games. We worked together to produce what is now the Infection Management Game. I have learned a lot during my time working on this project and overcome challenges that aren’t normally faced as a Registered Nurse. SHIL took care of all the contractual and legal elements of the process while the team at Focus Games produced the game. Importantly, this allowed me to remain focused on my clinical work.

Infection prevention and control remains as relevant as ever, particularly with the continued global emergence of increasingly multi drug resistant bacteria and I hope the Infection Management Game can be used to support others’ education and knowledge. 

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