CHA News Article

Hospitals Advised on Removing Sites From ‘Pokemon Go’

CHA has been contacted by member hospitals about Pokemon Go gamers coming to hospital locations to play. Released July 6, Pokemon Go is a smartphone game that uses a phone’s GPS and camera to help users hunt for fictional characters in the real world. The game encourages players to walk past certain areas to earn credits and points. Unfortunately, this has caused many to wander inside hospitals, which is undesirable from a security, patient privacy and infection control perspective.

While the game encourages positive activities such as walking and family togetherness, hospitals are not the place to search for fictional characters. The American Hospital Association has contacted the game developer to ask that hospitals be removed from the game. Individual hospitals may also ask the developer to remove their location by using an online form (select “submit a request,” in the upper right corner and then “Report an issue with a Gym or Pokestop” in the pull-down menu). However, it has been reported that the system is currently overwhelmed with requests. 

Many hospitals have prohibited entry related to the game, posting signs that say that “the hospital is a place of healing, not Pokemon battles” or that “the hospital is a Pokemon Go-free zone.” Hospitals are also educating their staff to be vigilant and notify security as appropriate.

CHA will keep members informed of the progress of this issue through CHA News.