DTA Coaching Community – Interview with Rosalie Smith

Rosalie Smith

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. On our most recent call, we were able to feature an interview with Rosalie Smith. Rosalie is a Patient Experience Representative at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, California.

Here’s a look at what Rosalie had to share with the group.

DTA: Rosalie, tell us a little bit about your background. How did you become a Care Team Coach?

Rosalie Smith: I started working with Care Team Coaching and DTA Healthcare Solutions about 5 years ago, but I started working at El Camino 8 years ago. I was originally a volunteer and then a temporary employee before I started full time as the concierge for our orthopedic pavilion at the El Camino Los Gatos Campus.  

I was drawn to become a Care Team Coach because people want to know what they do well and where they might need a little assistance for improvement. Everyone wants to know that they are doing the best job that they can and also how they can do even better. In my role as a Patient Experience Representative, I round on patients and see how patients interact with the people providing their care and see what the patients want and appreciate. It is nice to be on the other side of that as well and walk with nursing staff and others as they do what they do when I am engaged as a coach. It helps me to appreciate what they do for our patients as they do the very best that they can.

I love this hospital! The teams here are really keen on Patient Experience. They are focused on making sure the whole patient is cared for, not just their medical care.

DTA: Tell us about your most memorable coaching experience.

RS: I always notice how nervous people are when we start watching and observing them. The first step in my process is to reassure them that “I am just here in the background, you do what you do.”

My most memorable moments are usually after I’ve coached and I sit down with the person to give them their feedback. I love the surprise on their face when I say “Oh my gosh- you were amazing!” and then explain that I loved what they did, loved how they did it and I support this with real examples from our time together. It encourages them to do better and to be better. That always touches my heart when I work with the staff!

I also had an opportunity to coach an administrative secretary at her desk on a unit. (Note: administrative secretaries are often called unit coordinators or HUCs at other locations.) I was sitting with her and observing her communication style and interactions and she was remarkable! It was the combination of her tone, the way she approached nurses, patients, family members, and the conversations that they had together that was just beautiful. I thought to myself “Wow! How many people really get to see this?” because she was such an amazing young woman. It was even more special because you could tell that it was just her—that was how she naturally interacted with people.

DTA: What advice would you give to a new Care Team Coach?

RS: My advice for new coaches is: be open and give what you can to your colleagues. I’d also want new coaches to make the most of their initial coaching session. Janiece from DTA Healthcare Solutions was the first person to shadow, observe and coach me as I was doing patient rounds as part of my role as a Patient Experience Representative. It was the first time someone really followed me through my regular day. I remember how I felt through that whole experience and I try to bring that with me into my coaching interactions.

At El Camino, all new coaches get an opportunity to be coached themselves, so they have a chance to feel what it is like to be coached. I don’t want them to forget how that felt and I want them to remember what worked best when they received feedback as that will likely work best for the person they are coaching.

Thanks to Rosalie and all participants of our monthly Coaching Community Calls. 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! Right now we’re offering a special promotion: Be one of the first 25 people to sign up to view a demo of DTA Healthcare Solutions’ Coaching Reporting Tool by December 31st to receive a free copy of “Beyond CAHPS: A Guide for Achieving Patient- and Family-Centered Care.” This book provides healthcare providers with the knowledge they need to construct a top-notch patient experience and uses data to effectively illustrate current progress and identify improvements and goals.

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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