Designing an escape room experience to educate and entertain


As part of their annual Patient Safety Day program, and to help promote a recently-launched digital adverse event reporting tool, the pharmacovigilance team at Bayer wanted to design an escape room experience to temporarily install at their Green Park office. The objective was to raise staff awareness around vigilance and reporting potential safety information, and the channels they can use to do this. As well as being a fun, team-building and bonding exercise, the escape room activity sought to reiterate that patient safety is everyone’s responsibility.


The escape room set a series of entertaining and informative challenges – all related to the theme of pharmacovigilance and some containing references to Bayer’s German heritage. The tasks, which had to be completed chronologically and against the clock, required teams to work together to solve a range of tactile and multimedia puzzles. From searching for hidden keys, deciphering cryptic ciphers, solving video clues and navigating a range of risk minimization materials, the teams were challenged to think laterally to succeed. A tense atmosphere in the room was created through the use of a countdown video which had been recorded for the challenge with a senior staff member.


Transforming a standard meeting room into an escape challenge was a great success, and met all of Bayer’s objectives. Guy Gherardi (Local Safety Physician) commented: “The escape room sessions were fully booked all day, so 65 employees were able to take part in the fun. The winning group managed to escape the room in 12 minutes, whereas some teams weren’t able to escape at all! Everyone taking part enjoyed the activities and valued finding out more about pharmacovigilance.” As a result of the Patient Safety Day initiative, many more of Bayer’s staff are now better informed on how they can notify and act on adverse events relating to the company’s products.

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