Skip to content

After much discussion and consideration, the ACHE Board of Governors and leadership team have decided to cancel the 2020 Congress on Healthcare Leadership due to the need for leaders and healthcare organizations to manage their responses to coronavirus (COVID-19) within their communities. Learn more at

112A – Improving Clinical Outcomes Through Culture Change

Wednesday, March 25th

About the Session

In complex health systems, clinical and administrative leaders from the top of the organization to the front lines try to ensure that the system achieves reliable quality outcomes, but they are frequently unable to produce consistent results. Programs facing or at risk of declining quality outcomes can reverse course by leading culture change.

Alignment between culture and aims of any health system, hospital, service line, program or team takes having an active focus of various leaders at many levels and building infrastructure and support for behavior change that leads to improved clinical outcomes. This seminar will identify how organizational culture works; describe how to identify a problem that needs a cultural intervention; introduce tools for identifying a desired culture shift and making concrete changes to support that aspirational culture; and show you how use of such tools resulted in culture changes that led to improved clinical outcomes. The presentation will be based on a case study of the Cardiovascular Surgery program at the University of Pennsylvania Health System. The faculty also will facilitate brief small group conversations to help you identify shared cultural challenges with other attendees and opportunities for your own organization.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe what organizational culture is and recognize when culture could put outcomes at risk.
  • Employ a set of tools to scope and define action plans for leading culture change.


Presented By

Patrick J. Brennan, MD

CMO/Senior Vice President
University of Pennsylvania Health System

Michael Acker, MD

Chief, Division of Cardiovascular Surgery/Director, Penn Medicine Heart/Vascular Center/Julian Johnson Professorship of Cardiothoracic Surgery
University of Pennsylvania Health System

LuAnn Y. Brady

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania