Hospitals around the country are beginning to experience issues with the arrival of the Pokémon Go app. The app, which uses smart phone geolocation, incentivizes interaction with the app at specific physical locations where players can interact with each other or characters. That includes location-specific activities that may lead players to hospitals for gameplay. Gamers entering patient care areas and other restricted sites within hospitals for non-patient related reasons may create a disruption in patient care and daily hospital operations as well as pose risks for patient privacy and safety.
The American Hospital Association has reached out directly to Nintendo of America to discuss these concerns and to see if there is a way that we can work together to resolve them on behalf of all hospitals. They have received a response from Nintendo that the concerns have been forwarded directly to the General Counsel for expeditious consideration. Hospitals wishing to remove their location may go to the developer’s website and fill out the form to make a removal request. Select <<submit a request>> in the upper right corner and then <<report an issue with a Gym or Pokestop>> in the pull-down menu that appears.
One hospital has decided to make the most of this new gaming phenomenon. St. Elizabeth’s in Lincoln, NE is arranging guided Pokémon tours for kids. The hospital is using their volunteers to orient children to the system, hospital, services, career opportunities as they “pursue” Pokémon.