An estimated 15 million people globally, downloaded the app Pokémon GO within days of its release, leading to worldwide fandom and record-breaking economic spikes for Nintendo and other Pokémon corporations.

A large part of the game’s appeal is that it urges players to get off the couch and move around outside while catching characters displayed on smartphones and found in the real world. But in the race to “catch em’ all,” organizations need users to be aware of some things.

Healthcare and Emergency facilities like Self Regional Healthcare are sensitive to foot traffic, which is one of the first issues businesses face with large numbers of Pokémon GO players making their way around cities and towns.

“We understand that Pokémon Go is a fun way to spend time and has potential health benefits for the players because it encourages physical activity, which we support,” said Jim Pfeiffer, President and CEO of Self Regional Healthcare. “However, we request the public to not play the game on the Self Regional campus. For various reasons, including safety and patient privacy, games like Pokémon Go are not allowed on our property.”

Increased numbers of patrons within a healthcare facility can pose safety and health risks to patients, team members and visitors alike. Concentrating on a phone while walking, driving, biking or crossing streets makes it even more dangerous.

So far, national news reports that one driver got into an accident, one person fell into a pond, and a child was hit by a car- all because of the game. In addition many healthcare facilities around the country are reporting incidents in which patient and visitor safety was potentially compromised because of individuals engaging in the game on the campus or even in the facility itself.

“We want people in the community to be physically active and enjoy the app if they choose, Pfeiffer added, “but we also want them to be cautious and always aware of what is going on.”


About Self Regional Healthcare: Self Regional Healthcare is a not-for-profit, regional referral hospital that provides care to residents of Greenwood, Abbeville, Laurens, Saluda, McCormick, Edgefield and Newberry counties. Services include prevention and wellness, acute care and tertiary care services including cancer care, neurosurgery, heart and vascular surgery, NICU, orthopedics and genetics. Self Medical Group is its employed physician affiliate network of 32 practices and more than 113 physicians.