The Penn Anesthesiology "Culture of Change" Advisory (CoCA) was developed to create the environment and forum for open discourse and honest self-reflection with the protection of identities. The true essence of what it means to act in a “professional manner” may often elude us and although members of the department may act in a professional manner most of the time, we can improve our interactions and ensure that we treat each other with utmost respect in all possible encounters: face-to-face relations, written communication and over the telephone. This will begin to address workplace morale, and hopefully translate into improved job satisfaction, commitment, productivity, concentration, and ultimately patient safety.
CoCA uses narratives identified and submitted by attendings, residents, nurse anesthetists, administrative staff and anesthesia technicians in the department that illustrate real but de-identified scenarios of both outstanding and poor peer-to-peer, peer-to-learner, learner-to-patient, peer-to-patient and staff-to-supervisor interactions. Hence, the goal of this new Advisory is to change the culture one story at a time. Our initial efforts are focused internally (Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care) with the hope that the resultant effects would be eventually dispersed to the surrounding external environment.