Background: Systems thinking (ST) is the ability to recognize, understand, and synthesize interactions and interdependencies in a set of components designed for a purpose. Systems thinking has been shown to improve systems and decrease error. Despite these benefits, ST has not yet been consistently integrated into all health care education programs.
Purpose: This study examined the impact of Friday Night at the ER (FNER), a table-top simulation designed to teach ST to a variety of prelicensure and postlicensure health care students.
Methods: A multisite study was conducted in 5 academic institutions targeting both graduate and prelicensure students enrolled in nursing, medicine, physical therapy, public health, psychology, and pharmacy programs.
Results: The FNER simulation was followed by statistically significant improvements in ST scores.
Conclusions: The FNER table-top simulation was found to improve ST in a wide variety of health-related majors.