Development of a Simulation Game for Teaching Entrepreneurial Skills to Novice Health Professionals in an Interprofessional Learning Environment

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2017.0362–0369

german translation / full article

Keywords: family medicine education practice management computer simulation serious game

Background: Whether a doctor works in a primary care or a hospital setting within a solidarity-based system: fundamentals of business management are essential in

either case. Few providers offer business management education in undergraduate medical education or vocational training for family practitioners in Germany. The aim of this study was to develop a business game focused on running a family practice.

Methods: A simulation game for management training was adapted for the needs of establishing and leading a family practice. The criteria were developed within the brainstorming process of a focus group. The modified game was adapted and evaluated in two tests run by an interprofessional group of health care students in an undergraduate course. Effects were assessed qualitatively via interviews with individual participants. These were digitally recorded, transcribed and a content analysis was conducted. All participants were surveyed using a questionnaire, which was developed based on a needs analysis.

Results: 11 participants were in the focus group and 33 participants tested the game. The game covered the following themes for family practices: income and expenditure, types of business structures and the effects on success, typical start-up options, finance and investments and marketing. The process evaluation of the game indicated that this method was seen as enabling a higher learning effect compared to a lecture. The questionnaire items were clear and understandable. A majority of participants agreed that fundamentals of business management should be integrated into education programs and that there was a readiness to adopt this knowledge.

Conclusions: Important themes could be identified for the modification of an existing game, allowing for the fundamentals of business management to be taught to health professionals. This method of instruction was evaluated as more efficient than a traditional lecture.

(State: 15.09.2017)

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