Hospital bans ‘Pokemon Go’ from campus citing patient safety, privacy

“I like that it makes you get out and about and it brings back childhood memories,” said Emmy Barron playing Pokemon Go with her friend Corey Blalock on July 11 in Marion Square near the intersection at King and Calhoun streets.

At least one South Carolina hospital is working with the creators of “Pokemon Go” to disable the game on campus and inside its buildings.

An internal email sent to Bon Secours St. Francis employees in Greenville indicates gamers are wandering into the hospital from off the street in search of virtual creatures. They are compromising patient safety and privacy, the hospital argues.

The email, recently posted by an employee on Reddit, said Bon Secours St. Francis has banned the game. The restriction applies to hospital employees, patients, visitors and “other individuals who have no legitimate need to be on the campus.”

Staff have been asked to report rule-breakers.

“Players should be requested to discontinue the game and, if they have no legitimate business at the location, to leave the premises. If necessary, security staff may be requested to intervene.”

A spokeswoman for Bon Secours St. Francis did not immediately return a message.

The Charlotte Observer reported last week that hospitals in North Carolina were experiencing similar problems, but it isn’t clear if Charleston-area hospitals have been swarmed with people playing the popular new game, which has amassed a viral following since its debut earlier this month.

Andy Lyons, spokesman for Roper St. Francis, said he hadn’t heard any complaints so far.

“Our security has encountered no issues with folks looking for Pokemon creatures, and our human resources hasn’t come across any issues either,” Lyons said.

Spokeswoman for East Cooper Medical Center in Mount Pleasant and Medical University Hospital both said they haven’t encountered any problems with “Pokemon Go” either.

A representative for Trident Health has not yet responded to The Post and Courier’s inquiry.

Other sites, such as the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., have deemed the game inappropriate in certain settings. Officials there have asked Niantic, the game’s developer, to disable it at the museum.

Reach Lauren Sausser at 843-937-5598.