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Move over, Monopoly. Catholic Healthcare Partners, the largest nonprofit hospital system in Ohio, recently completed a pilot program using Zodiak: The Business Game of Finance and Strategy to teach 140 managers more about the business side of healthcare. The board game, a product of Tampa, Fla.-based Paradigm Learning, is targeted at healthcare organizations that want to help their future leaders better understand financial terms and concepts. The game lets five- or six-member teams perform problem-solving and decision-making tasks. The first portion of the game is a three-year scenario involving a fictitious accounting service firm. Players select investors as business partners using chips that represent cash. Participants then switch gears midday and apply the morning's business techniques to healthcare-specific financial strategies. The game takes approximately three to four hours to complete."Our goal is to teach our associates financial concepts so they understand their role in the financial stewardship of our organization," says Debbie Bloomfield, Catholic Healthcare Partners vice president and system controller. In addition to getting future leaders actively involved in revenue streams and billing and collection cycles, the game cultivates fundamental business learning principles, says Jan Donley, corporate director of learning at Catholic Healthcare Partners. "Players go through a process of engagement, having to discover things by using critical-thinking skills, projections and planning," she explains. Catholic Healthcare Partners initially purchased system licenses from Paradigm, which helped reduce the per-participant cost. According to Bloomfield, the organization will use the remaining licenses over the next two years. Paradigm representatives coach select Catholic Healthcare Partners staff members ranging from pharmacy directors to nursing managers in the rules of the game, and those trainees now teach other high-potential, high-performance leaders how to play. Employee feedback has shown marked improvement in participating employees' comfort level with business strategy and terminology, which Bloomfield says is one of the game's primary goals. "We want to reinforce a culture of financial accountability within the health system and closer connect the finance folks with the operations people."-Matt Rogers