Leveraging Quick Response Code Technology to Facilitate Simulation-Based Leaderboard Competition

Simul Healthc. 2018 Feb;13(1):64-71. doi: 10.1097/SIH.0000000000000281.


Introduction: Leaderboards provide feedback on relative performance and a competitive atmosphere for both self-guided improvement and social comparison. Because simulation can provide substantial quantitative participant feedback, leaderboards can be used, not only locally but also in a multidepartment, multicenter fashion. Quick Response (QR) codes can be integrated to allow participants to access and upload data. We present the development, implementation, and initial evaluation of an online leaderboard employing principles of gamification using points, badges, and leaderboards designed to enhance competition among healthcare providers.

Method: This article details the fundamentals behind the development and implementation of a user-friendly, online, multinational leaderboard that employs principles of gamification to enhance competition and integrates a QR code system to promote both self-reporting of performance data and data integrity. An open-ended survey was administered to capture perceptions of leaderboard implementation.

Results: Conceptual step-by-step instructions detailing how to apply the QR code system to any leaderboard using simulated or real performance metrics are outlined using an illustrative example of a leaderboard that employed simulated cardiopulmonary resuscitation performance scores to compare participants across 17 hospitals in 4 countries for 16 months. The following three major descriptive categories that captured perceptions of leaderboard implementation emerged from initial evaluation data from 10 sites: (1) competition, (2) longevity, and (3) perceived deficits.

Conclusions: A well-designed leaderboard should be user-friendly and encompass best practices in gamification principles while collecting and storing data for research analyses. Easy storage and export of data allow for longitudinal record keeping that can be leveraged both to track compliance and to enable social competition.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / education
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / standards
  • Clinical Competence
  • Competitive Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Manikins
  • Reaction Time*
  • Self Report
  • Simulation Training*
  • User-Computer Interface
  • Video Games