DTA Coaching Community – Interview with Eric Danielson & Leslie Johnson Part 1

Silver Cross Team Photo

As you probably know by now (if you follow our blogs), 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. Our February call featured a presentation from Eric Danielson, Administrative Director of Medical Staff Services & Business Intelligence and Care Team Coach, and Leslie Johnson Manager of Quality and Patient Safety and Care Team Coach at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, IL.

During our conversation with Eric and Leslie, they shared a bit about how coaching has been going in the organization and also some creative ideas on how they’ve incorporated the key care practices into the broader organization. Here’s part one of a look at what Eric and Leslie had to share with the group.

DTA: Tell us a little about your journey to starting a Care Team Coaching Program at Silver Cross

ED: For the past 18 months, we’ve been really focused on improving our physician satisfaction scores through a number of different efforts. I’ll be honest and say that it really started with, “Hey, guys, you know, this is something that we need to focus on, you know, try and do better.” We brought in a speaker to talk at a quarterly medical staff meeting who gave some tips and tricks on how to improve. However, we were just not really seeing any, any improvements. We’d be up one month and down the next month. We even had some folks from our IT and quality departments get together and create an online learning module for the physicians. We had our hospitalist group take it along with a number of our other physicians as well. The feedback was actually pretty good but again, we didn’t really see any sort of improvements, especially sustained improvements in the scores.

It was about four or five months ago that we decided that we needed a customized approach. So, we reached out to DTA and asked them to come onsite and do some one-on-one coaching with a select group of our physicians. We’ve since called this group the DTA control group. This group is made up of 11 of our hospitalists and some other physicians that we were able to coach through our engagement with DTA as Leslie and I were trained to be coaches. So, there are about 20 physicians that are in this DTA control group. We look at the control group data in a run chart of a percentile rank by month. When we looked at this after those physicians were coached, we went from the 11th percentile up to the 61st percentile in December. So, some really amazing scores! In fact, these are the highest that we’ve seen here at Silver Cross ever for these physicians and they see about 35% of our inpatients. We’re seeing a similar increase in scores across our entire physician group. So, we’re really excited about what we’ve been seeing here!

DTA: Awesome! So, what’s next for you?

ED: This is something that our medical executive committee has been really interested in. They’ve been involved from the beginning and it just so happens that our Chief of Staff, who chairs that committee, is also the head of our ER group. He’s asked Leslie and I to bring this one-on-one coaching approach down to our emergency department. We are planning to kick this off at their February department meeting and we will be sharing the success that we’ve seen to date!

Ahead of the kickoff, we’re going to be coaching some of their informal physician leaders in the department so that they can provide some feedback. We did that also with our hospitalist group. We coached some of the early adopters and what they were able to do is help to kind of calm the group down. Naturally, there was some anxiety about what this was going to be like, but really having those early adopters on board, telling their fellow physicians that, “Hey, it was really good. It was good feedback. It was well balanced between things that I was already doing well and some opportunities and where I could improve” sure helped.

We’ll be starting that coaching over the next couple of weeks before that kickoff meeting. Then at the meeting we can also share some of the success that we’ve had with our other physicians who have participated in other parts of the hospital. I think doing those two things together really helps to engage the physicians early and generate excitement to really want to be involved in this.

DTA: That’s wonderful – we can’t wait to hear more about how that develops! Join us next time and we’ll hear a bit more about how Eric and Leslie have broadened the reach of these efforts beyond physicians at Silver Cross.

Thanks to Eric and Leslie and all of the participants of our monthly Coaching Community Calls! This format has been super helpful in collectively building the Coaching Community across the country. 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 Healthcare Solutions’ Coaching Reporting Tool. Click here to read Part II of the interview with Eric and Leslie.

Janiece Gray

I began my career as a social worker and later, with my Master of Health Administration (MHA), directed operations at Allina Health in Minnesota. I later directed patient experience at Allina. My background and experience give me strengths in approaching healthcare opportunities and challenges through a systems lens – with unique strengths, challenges and activation points. My experience is also informed by leadership roles leading performance improvement in patient-centered care and patient experience departments. Working in the client role with healthcare consulting firms inspired me to address some unmet needs in the industry, and to co-found DTA Healthcare Solutions. I have a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and find that the discipline of practice translates to healthcare work very well.

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