Fun, Gamification and Self-Awareness – MPEC20 Day 1

For the first time, the annual MGMA event, was held virtually. It was clear from the start that the organizers were inspired by the change in format. The agenda was packed with different styles of sessions as well as numerous ways to connect with sponsors and fellow attendees. This combination made for an exciting first day.

Setting a fun tone early

Dubbed, the Medical Practice Excellence Conference #MPEC20, the event got started with MGMA Board Chair Bill Hambsh welcoming everyone to the first virtual annual event in MGMA’s 93 year history. He was followed by MGMA President Dr. Halee Fischer-Wright (see John Lynn’s recent interview with Dr. Fischer-Wright) who set the tone for the day by making reference to the classic 80s movie Say Anything.

The reference was a perfect segue to the morning’s keynote by Dr. Tasha Eurich on self-awareness. John Cusack’s character from the movie, Lloyd Dobler, was a ball of anxiety and nerdiness mixed with a healthy dose of self-awareness which ultimately [spoiler alert] helped him triumph in the end.

Self-aware as a competitive advantage

Dr. Eurich’s keynote was an engaging expansion of her famous TEDTalk “Increase your self-awareness with one simple fix”. She expertly made the case for the need for more self-awareness in healthcare – especially in healthcare leaders. One set of statistics stood out:


Dr. Eurich’s keynote had a few simple messages:

  • People trust others who are self-aware
  • We are not as self-aware as we think we are
  • There are simple things we can do to become more self aware (commit to forgive is one)

Gamification improves RCM

Of all the sessions on Day 1, the most fascinating was “How Gamified Psychology Boosts RCM Productivity and Staff Engagement” presented by Carol Wanke, Vice President of Post Acute Revenue Cycle at Sharp Healthcare in San Diego, CA.

Wanke and the team at Sharp consulted with actual gamers to create a system where the RCM team could earn points, badges and other rewards for exhibiting desired behaviors. The result of their work was a leaderboard-style game where individual team members are in a friendly competition. The “game” includes fun real-time dashboards for participants:

And dashboards for organizational leaders:

The results of the game were incredible:

  • 11% increase in overall productivity with same/improved quality
  • 125 additional tasks worked per person per month
  • Reduced staff turnover from 6% to 1.8%
  • Easier coaching for leadership

Wanke told the story of one individual who was a low-performer prior to the implementation of their gamification process and in danger of being put on an improvement plan. After the new process went into place, however, this person became one of the best performers on the team and completely turned-around their prospects at the organization.

Improving space utilization

Another interesting session was presented by Adrienne Palmer Lloyd, MGMA Consultant and Business Coach at Optimize Healthcare on the topic of space utilization.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reduced patient volumes for many medical practices. As a result, owners and executive directors are rethinking the amount of space their organization will need going forward and how they can optimize the space they currently have for the pandemic. Lloyd made the prudent suggestion to take this opportunity to audit the medical equipment practices have on hand.

“You will be surprised at how many devices and other pieces of equipment you have in your storage room that no one uses any more,” said Lloyd. “Take that equipment and sell them to recoup some of the cost and to pass them along to someone else who will make use of them.”

Looking forward to Day 2

MPEC Day 1 was thoroughly enjoyable and educational. Kudos to the team at MGMA for a great lineup of speakers and sessions. On Day 2, I’m looking forward to checking out the interactive exhibit hall and taking part in the Listening Mural.

About the author

Colin Hung

Colin Hung

Colin Hung is the co-founder of the #hcldr (healthcare leadership) tweetchat one of the most popular and active healthcare social media communities on Twitter. Colin speaks, tweets and blogs regularly about healthcare, technology, marketing and leadership. He is currently an independent marketing consultant working with leading healthIT companies. Colin is a member of #TheWalkingGallery. His Twitter handle is: @Colin_Hung.

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