As you probably know by now if you’ve been following our blogs over the past several months, on the first Monday of every month, DTA convenes a community of Care Team Coaches from across the country. The purpose of these calls is for coaches who all use DTA’s Coaching Reporting Tool to share notes and learn from one another on their coaching journeys. But our most recent call was a little bit different and we are excited to share with you our interview with Richelle Jader, Director of Emergency Services at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, MN. As part of her role, Richelle oversees the coaching program for the Emergency Department.
Here’s a look at what Richelle had to share with the group.
DTA: Tell us a little about how you got started coaching and how you interface with the coaching that’s going on at Regions in the Emergency Department.
RJ: At Regions we started working with DTA in 2014 because we were struggling to impact our patient experience scores. We made small gains, but mostly it was flat. So, I met with Janiece, and she put together a great program. The DTA Team helped us develop the Unexpected Experience Workshop which was followed with Care Team Coaching. We’ve had a few starts and stops with coaches, but As of right now, we have a great team of five coaches. These five coaches are responsible for coaching and shadowing individually one-to-one. The coaches are working to coach every individual in the ED except the physicians. We’re not coaching the physicians because Health Partners who is our parent company has a coaching program for the physicians. With that said we would certainly coach them if they’re willing to be coached or looking for that. But otherwise it’s these five coaches who are responsible for coaching all the disciplines: nurses, techs, coordinators, medics, and the PAs.
DTA: I’m curious what you’ve seen through your Unexpected Experience training workshops and the Care Team Coaching program. You mentioned that you’ve had coaches and some moved on to other roles. You’ve started, and had to restart at times, but what do you see as the value or why do you believe in the Care Team Coaching program?
RJ: I think we don’t know what we don’t know. I think we also don’t know what nonverbals we give off and just being made aware of those has a lot of power. It’s not that anyone’s wanting to portray a lack of understanding or care or compassion for a patient. Lots of times staff are unaware of the face they’re making or what they’re looking like to patients. They aren’t always aware of the words they say or if their back is turned to the patient instead of turning to them while talking. What’s most important is being present and being with the patient when you’re with the patient. And I think the behaviors and the practice standards that we’ve established with DTA get to that—to the human side of the work that we do. Coaching gives our staff and providers a personal glimpse at how they may be perceived from our patients’ perspectives.
DTA: What kinds of results do you see and how do you see the impact of the coaching playing out on your broader team and the department as a whole?
RJ: I think one of the biggest impacts is how the staff participant may have gone into the coaching experience thinking, “Yeah, I know what you’re going to teach me.” With that kind of attitude. And there are others who are not at all thinking like that. Regardless of how they felt before, they both come out of it saying, “Whoa, I, I did learn something, and I found it very valuable!” That’s probably the greatest thing that comes from the coaching experience. It’s such a benefit for us to have established those practice patterns and that the key care practices are applied throughout the department. That becomes our culture then of how we care for patients. It shows that the Care Team Coaching and the Unexpected Experience workshops and the focus on patient experience is a culture we’ve established as our way of doing things. I feel like our ED team cares greatly for patients and with a lot of heart and smarts. I think the smarts are a given, it’s the heart that isn’t always necessarily a given. Now, for the most part, our patients leave feeling very well cared for and cared about.
Thanks to Richelle and all participants of our monthly Coaching Community Calls! This format has been super helpful in collectively building the Coaching Community across the country. You might even remember that we featured Patty Drinkwine-Holmes from Richelle’s team as our first featured coach interview. If you missed it, check out her interview here. If you are interested in learning more about the DTA Coaching Reporting Tool (the use of which is common to all of the Coaches on these Community Calls), you’re in luck! Sign up to view a demo of DTA Associate’s Coaching Reporting Tool.