Game on: Disseminating research for improving hospital dementia care
Approximately 40 percent of older people in hospitals have dementia. Research suggests that hospital staff are ill-prepared to provide dementia care. There is an urgent need to increase dementia knowledge among hospital staff because an aging population is giving rise to patients with dementia. A literature review has identified three key challenges in hospital dementia education: (a) staff struggled to find time to attend workshops due to schedules and staffing shortage, (b) managers with tight budgets could not pay for conferences, workshops for staff education and replacement, (c) staff found classroom learning boring and difficult to retain.
To address these challenges, in 2017, the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council funded the development of an online game based on the PhD research findings of Lillian Hung in hospital dementia care. The game development was a collaboration between a team of clinical experts, VCH Learning & Technology, and a game design student at BCIT. Over 70 interdisciplinary VGH staff members participated in PDSA cycles to co-develop the game, called the ART & SCIENCE of Person-Centred Care, showing 10 dementia care approaches applicable in the hospital setting. The game was launched on the LearningHub, an online platform that enables staff in all BC health authorities to have free access, anywhere, anytime.
This project aims to facilitate a wider uptake of research in hospital dementia care by using gamification principles to motivate staff engagement in learning. This project integrates the expertise of researchers (Habib Chaudhury and Lillian Hung), research user co-lead (Jan Robson, Alzheimer Society Provincial Educator), and research users (local experts and decision makers) in BC health authorities — Fraser Health, Providence, Interior Health, Island Health, Northern Health, and Vancouver Coastal Health.
A knowledge translation workshop will bring researchers and research users together to work with a knowledge translation specialist (Lupin Battersby) from the BC SUPPORT Unit and a patient partner (Jim Mann) to co-develop a knowledge translation plan.
In the knowledge translation workshop, the team will:
- Develop communication tools and key messages.
- Determine strategies to problem solve local barriers.
- Agree on knowledge translation processes, products and evaluation plan.
- An opportunity for provincial cross health authorities collaboration in knowledge dissemination.
- Improving dementia care through increasing awareness and using the educational game for staff training.
- Contribution to the science of knowledge-to-action by identifying lessons learned in this innovative project.