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About NetworkZ

NetworkZ involves around eight hours of interactive sessions, including challenging simulated surgical cases, debriefs, and communication skills training. Most hospitals are chosing to run 4 hours sessions more frequently with staff attending two sessions in a 5 year period. 

The scenarios include cases (and the appropriate models) for the main five surgical specialties, and engage each member of the multidisciplinary surgical team: general, orthopaedic, plastics, urology and ENT/ORL. To suit local needs, NetworkZ is designed for flexible delivery in full-day or part-day modules, in an existing operating room (OR) or in a simulation teaching facility.

Each DHB will be supported to implement NetworkZ. The University NetworkZ faculty will provide comprehensive instructor training. ACC funding provides simulators (where required) and surgical models. The faculty will run three NetworkZ courses in each DHB, and provide ongoing support during the transition to locally-led, ongoing NetworkZ training. The goal is for NetworkZ to become part of business as usual in each DHB, and for each surgeon, anaesthetist, anaesthetic technician and theatre nurse to participate regularly in the training.

Roll-out of NetworkZ is in four cohorts, with five DHBs in each cohort. Cohorts one, two and three are well embedded in the program, running courses independently with background support from the NetworkZ faculty as required. Training for cohort four began in early 2020.

The evaluation of NetworkZ will draw upon a suite of measures, including routinely collected data from the National Minimum Data Set, ACC claims data-base, HQSC data as well as observational data and surveys. 

The evidence to support teamwork training for healthcare teams is strong, but team training has not been systematically implemented at a national level. New Zealand stands to become a world leader in this field. We anticipate that this intervention will improve quality, safety, and efficiency of care for surgical patients throughout New Zealand.

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