The GNSH 30 Minute Weekly Team Engagement Initiative

By: Mary Anne Rizzolo, EdD, RN, FAAN, ANEF, FSSH, National League for Nursing

The Global Network for Simulation in Healthcare was established in 2010 with a mission of enhancing patient safety and health care quality by promoting the appropriate use of simulation through collaboration, advocacy, and support. Its members are leaders from organizations and corporations that support the use of simulation. At the 2018 GNSH Summit, workgroups were tasked with identifying the most common and harmful issues in health care institutions and finding solutions to address them. Hospital-system leaders present at the Summit stated that solutions would need to be simple to implement and that the amount of time dedicated for staff engagement in educational training should not exceed 30 minutes per week. The solution that emerged was the 30 Minute Weekly Team Engagement Initiative.

The core of this initiative is real stories — of patients who have been harmed and staff who have experienced injustice — as told by family members, staff, and patients themselves in short video segments. The intent is for health care teams in any institution to explore issues that may have influenced the outcomes of the case and prevent similar tragic situations from happening. Each meeting begins by establishing a safe environment where everyone is respected, and all discussion remains confidential. As the team watches the story, the video is paused intermittently for discussion of the clinical situation, where breakdowns in communication occurred, and to explore system issues that may have influenced the outcomes of the case.  

Since we have no way of knowing the facilitation skill level of those who conduct the meetings, we created facilitator guides with scripts for establishing a safe environment and closing the meetings, as well as discussion suggestions. Links to websites are provided so teams can find further information if they wish to provide additional training in specific content areas or team improvement.

Our plan was to pilot the cases last April, but COVID came along and disrupted that plan. However, we noted an increase in accessing the cases on the GNSH website, so we added a short survey at the end of each case to capture some data on how they were being used. More than 125 surveys were completed, revealing that the greatest use was by nurse educators in online classes and discussion groups in both prelicensure and graduate-level courses. 

The pilot will be rescheduled later in 2021. Revisions and refinements will be made to the cases and facilitator guides based on pilot feedback. The cases will then be made available in other languages, more cases will be developed (starting with a few focused on COVID issues), and all will be freely disseminated globally with the help of GNSH members. What an opportunity to build high functioning teams and improve patient safety and quality care throughout the world!

I invite you to visit and check out current cases. They focus on sepsis, health-care-associated infections, medication errors, and health-care-team issues. Be prepared — the stories will tug on your heartstrings! And you may find them useful for some of your courses. If you would like to get involved in this initiative, contact me at and we can find a spot for you on our team!

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