Pokémon GO is everywhere! If you are not familiar with this pop culture phenomenon, Pokémon GO is a free-to-play game for iPhones and Android devices. The game uses real locations to encourage players to search far and wide in the real world to discover and capture Pokémon. As of last week, the app was downloaded more than 15 million times, making it the most downloaded mobile game in the U.S.
There are many stories about how this game is getting people moving and exploring new locations both inside and outside. But Pokémon can show up anywhere, and that can be a problem. Pokémon can appear in museums, at memorials, and even on hospital campuses. Many hospitals are asking Pokémon players to leave. Pokémon players on hospital campuses can be disruptive, and the game is not conducive to patient safety or confidentiality.
Reportedly, some players have been found in secured areas of hospitals. Has your hospital put plans into place to deal with possible Pokémon players on your campus or in your building? Hospital security should be alerted to this game and have a plan in place. Some hospitals are banning staff from playing the game in the hospital (most hospitals have policies addressing the use of mobile phones during work hours) and are asking staff to be vigilant in regards to players in the hospital.
The Nebraska Hospital Association has notified their members that locations, known in the game as “Gyms” or “PokéStops,” can be removed from the app by contacting the developer and filling out a form. Hospitals wishing to remove their location should select “Submit a request,” in the upper right corner and then “Report an issue with a Gym or Pokéstop” in the drop-down menu.
So, be sure to have a plan in place for all those Pokémon Trainers, and help make Nurse Joy proud!