Part of what makes my job at DohJe so amazing is that I have the opportunity to take photographs of an organization’s staff when they onboard with us. This isn’t obligatory, but it sets us all up for success by including and recognizing those staff members that are so often overlooked. Sometimes literally overlooked. Individuals that work at large facilities, or organizations that have many physical locations, don’t necessarily know what their fellow employees look like. So I travel to the facility, set up my gear, and talk to strangers.
Historically, only healthcare executives and physicians have had professional photos taken, perhaps because they’re the only people that really needed them. Critics of DohJe said that nurses and other staff members would never agree to be listed online. We disagreed, and speculated that if they had a great photo, many staffers wouldn’t mind theirs being on a gratitude site like DohJe. And since listening to the naysayers has never been one of my strengths, I studied photography with my now mentor, Eric Raeber, and got to work.
I have always been able to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger under any set of circumstances, so you can imagine I’m pretty comfortable in this situation. I’m a people person, through and through. But healthcare includes all sorts of people, many of whom are not keen on having their photo taken. Some vehemently protest, while others pose endlessly and enjoy every second of the experience. Most just want it over with quickly and to get back to work.
During each shoot, my goal is to bring out the “je ne sais quoi”, the THING that makes a person special, and coax it into the photograph. I’m sure you’ve seen it. It’s that light that illuminates a man when he talks about his passion. That fierce strength that suddenly appears on a woman’s face. The fascinating angles of a body when the human in front of you declares the story of their trials and triumphs. The thing could be named “beauty”, but it doesn’t really matter what it’s called. It exists in every single one of us, and I want it to come out and play.
How I see someone is not usually how they see themselves. I see wisdom in the wrinkles and burgeoning hope in the awkward smiles. I see lives lived or just getting started. I see authentic human beings … being. It is my distinct pleasure to be a part of something intimate and public, simultaneously.
By: Mata Smith Gratitude is described as a state of being that is fundamental to a life well lived. Scientists are finding that if gratitude is practiced habitually, a slew of benefits may be reaped, such as a stronger immune system, higher level of positive emotions, more optimism, acting compassionately and feeling less lonely and isolated. DohJe is a company making it easy to share gratitude. It is reinventing recognition for healthcare by providing a simple, new way for patients to thank a caregiver and for caregivers to support one another. And, I'm excited to have recently joined the team here in beautiful Bend, OR!
Mata Smith, DohJe writer
DohJe’s recent partnership with Hilltop Community Resources, an assisted living and home care partner in Grand Junction, CO, will allow a resident's family members to directly thank the staff who care for their loved ones many miles away. Caregivers will also be able to communicate positively and share gratitude with one another, decreasing turnover and increasing morale and performance.
Many of us may face the difficult decision to place a parent or loved one into an assisted care facility. The intention with this life change is to ensure that the people who took such good care of us will receive the same love and attention in their most delicate years. Studies indicate however, that recruiting and securing assisted living employees is becoming a serious problem for long-term care facilities. Staff stability is critical to providing care to assisted living residents and high quality assisted living services depend upon a reliable, well-trained workforce. Hilltop is ensuring this workforce by joining forces with DohJe.
Hilltop, recently named one of the healthiest places to work by the American Psychological Association, is dedicated to ensuring the welfare of its employees and the clients they serve. Its partnership with DohJe will continue to support this mission.
"At Hilltop we are committed to employees having a great experience and believe that receiving gratitude is an important element of that,” says Michaelle Smith, Senior Director, Hilltop Community Resources. “We know that employees who feel valued provide outstanding service to our clients. We are excited to start using DohJe.com to harness the power of gratitude."
Turnover and truancy costs health care facilities millions of dollars. The rate of turnover for new nurses alone is 30% for the first year and up to 57% by the second year according to research reported by American Nurse Today. The ability to recognize nurses and send thank you notes through the DohJe platform has already had an impressive effect on reducing this turnover rate and its associated cost at partner facilities. DohJe has partnered with academic researchers from Harvard Business School and the University of Michigan to study how sharing gratitude using DohJe's real-time, web-based recognition system can have a significant impact on employee retention and staff morale at Hilltop and several other leading facilities.
A little bit of gratitude goes a long way, and with DohJe’s solution, it takes only 2 minutes to share it. Gratitude is a beautiful thing, and it makes an impact.
Sooo, we've been absolutely terrible about posting to our blog for the past year! Sorry, we've been busy launching DohJe at new facilities like Delta County Memorial Hospital in Delta, CO, which is around 30 minutes from Grand Junction, CO and adding a bunch of exciting new features to the product...more on that soon. Oh, and we moved our HQ to Bend, OR.
Jonathan Crowell, Registered Respiratory Therapist
Delta County Memorial Hospital
Photo Credit: Dakota Cole
I promise to write more soon, but for now I'm going to link to a recent article about DohJe in StartupBend.com that gives a quick snapshot of where things are at for us right now.
I applied last year to speak at the Lean Startup Conference, but I didn't get selected. This year I tried again, and they picked me. Yay!
Thanks to the Lean Startup Conference organizers: Ritika Puri, Sarah Milstein, and Eric Riess for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the fun 5-minute Ignite talks! For those of you who don't know what an Ignite talk is...it's 20 slides on an automatic timer every 15 seconds. No exceptions.
I spoke about the art of turning hospital gatekeepers into advocates so we could test our MVP (minimum viable product) at UCSF.
Thanks also to the incredibly supportive crowd at the Fairmount Hotel Grand Ballroom who laughed at my jokes. Maybe it helped that there were free drinks before the talks began. :)
Practice. Practice. Practice.
Thanks also to the 50+ people who let me practice with them before the big event. Once my DohJe teammates heard the talk 10 times, it was time to move on to a new audience. At first I gave my talk to my favorite coffee shop owners. Then my neighbors and friends. Then I got into an awesome group of other Lean Startup Speakers to practice together over Google Hangout.
Oh, and I also practiced on my 3 and 6 year old boys. For anyone who knows me, you know that I have always spoken fast and tend to mumble. Always. So, I practiced reading Curious George books to my kids very SLOWLY with strategic pauses for emphasis. They both said, "Wow, Mom, I can understand every word you are saying." I guess I should have been practicing speaking slowly much sooner. But it's one of those weaknesses that at age 42 I thought I would never really be able to improve. I've tried, but it's never really helped much. Until now.
I guess you really can teach old dogs new tricks...if you try hard enough.
In the couple days leading up to the conference, I gave my talk to the wonderful woman who colors my hair, Lynette at Curlzalamode, the cool clothing shop worker who helped me pick out a new outfit to wear, and the bike store owner where I was procrastinating by test riding some bikes. You never know who will give you the best feedback. The bike store owner had been in PR and was a phenomenal coach...and his dad had been the VP of HR at Stanford Hospital for 20 years. If you watch the video you will see why that was so crazy to me.
On the actual day of the talk, I gave my talk a few more times... to the fabulous drag queen makeup artist I was lucky enough to have do my makeup and the awesome blowout magician, Suzie at Blowology.
Deliver one main point and focus on how to help the audience absorb it.
I've never put so much time into a presentation, but it really makes a difference. The big thing that clicked for me on this talk was letting go of what I wanted to say and focus on delivering one main point in a way that the audience could actually absorb (Thanks, Sally Kohn!) In order to get to the point where my test "audience" did not have the deer in the headlights look, I had to cut out around 15 minutes of additional content that I originally tried to cram into my 5-minute talk.
Thank you everyone who helped me. I am truly grateful for your time and support!
Hello! Sorry we've been so quiet on the blog for so long! It's been a busy second half of the year. We will fill you in on all the news soon....
In the mean time, here is a fun little post from one of our newest team members, Kirsten Spraker. Kirsten is heading up DohJe operations on the east coast. She was an Air Force helicopter pilot and her military experience will be a huge help as we work to bring DohJe to military and VA hospitals in 2015. Here is Kirsten at the top of Mt. Fuji. She was stationed in Japan with her family before returning to DC in Aug.
Attention CAREGIVERS: help us get the gratitude flowing! Patients are looking for you to send their gratitude and close their gratitude debts - they really want and need to find you! Haven't posted a profile picture yet on DohJe? Don't have a headshot readily available? No problem!
I bet you have a smartphone with a 'selfie' camera option or you know someone who does. How in the the world do you take a good selfie, you ask? Well, DohJe, Inc. consulted a 15 year old selfie expert to offer some tips. Who better to consult than a teen who has taken 1000's of selfies already in her life! Take a look at this quick, helpful tutorial to learn how to take a perfect selfie worthy of posting online for patients to find you...
Send us a note to email@example.com after watching this tutorial and let us know if it was helpful!
Remember the goal of your DohJe selfie is to help patients recognize you, so think about wearing your scrubs and whatever hairstyle, glasses, etc that you wear to work.
CONTEST: At the end of January, we will give away two $25 Amazon gift cards for...
1. The most helpful feedback
2. The best DohJe style selfie
You can attach your selfie to your DohJe profile from the "edit profile" page.
If you don't have a DohJe account, click "sign-up" in the top right corner at DohJe.com and we will work with your facility to get you up and running right away!
One year ago, on May 6, 2013, we launched DohJe.com with our first partner, Mountain Midwifery Center in Denver, Colorado in honor of National Nurses Week. Happy Anniversary! Happy Nurses Week!
Since then patients and co-workers have been sending some pretty heart-warming DohJeNotes.
We wanted to keep things simple at first and just share notes one-to-one. Now we realize that these amazing notes can be super inspirational to others. So, we will be adding a new opt-in to share feature when composing a DohJeNote that lets the sender decide if they want to also share the note with the manager and possibly on the new DohJe gratitude board we're working on.
In the meantime, I asked one of the recent patients at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital if we could share one of her DohJeNotes as an example of some of the great gratitude being shared. I'm thrilled she said yes, and "...we love this ability to share our gratitude through Dohje..."
Thanks, Megan! Here is her DohJeNote to Janice at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital:
Janice T. Photo By: Eric Raeber
"Janice! I just found out about this website and I am so excited to send you a proper note thanking you for your love and support during and after the birth of our first child, daughter, Paige...Your sense of humor was a breath of fresh air and made me feel right at home throughout my roller coaster labor. I can't express enough, how wonderful our experience was during our stay in the L&D at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. Your genuine compassion for our well being speaks volumes. You have chosen the perfect field and we are forever grateful that you have dedicated so many years to it. You kept us informed and calm throughout our labor that progressed quickly, sent us to the OR and then back to our room where we experienced the best day of our life. There is no other nurse that we would rather have had to be there to share it with. We are now almost 6 weeks postpartum and will begin practicing yoga with our little girl. Since it seemed that yoga is what got me through pushing so successfully. Thank you for keeping it real by sharing your own experiences and making us feel normal. You are amazing and we love you. Know that you are both respected and appreciated. You made our experience one we will never forget. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Sending all our love and gratitude. Kindly, Megan, Kenny and Paige"
Here's to a great year #2 and many many more notes of gratitude!
Right after the news aired, we had a constant stream of "find my caregiver" submissions on DohJe.com. And they are still coming in! We connected with Eric Eglin after seeing his comment on a LinkedIn article by Cleveland Clinic CEO, Toby Cosgrove. Eric expressed his gratitude to Toby and the staff at Cleveland Clinic, and DohJe Purveyor of Gratitude, Chris Wolstenholme, commented back. Eric understood what we are trying to do from his personal experience, and graciously offered to wait to cover our story until we were ready to announce the UCSF launch.
Gabe was the "live" guy, and is clearly a wizard. He arrived at UCSF BCH at 2:15pm, set up in minutes, and did just one take of everything (because he makes everyone so comfortable). He masterfully edited the footage and then aired it on the 8pm broadcast the same night. He even managed to get the video up on the KRON4 site less than an hour later (when it normally can take over 24 hours). Thank you Gabe and KRON4 News team!
These three leaders at UCSF have been amazing to work with: Kim Scurr (RN and Executive Director of the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital), Diane Vonbehren (RN and Director-Perinatal Services), and Elizabeth Harrington (RN and Patient Care Manager, Center for Mothers and Newborns). Here they are in the Charlie's Angels walk that Gabe shot for the KRON4 News story. It didn't make the final 2-minutes, but I thought they look super cool. (Left to Right: Elizabeth, Kim, Diane). Thanks also to Juliana Bunim, UCSF Media Relations Manager, who helped me navigate the maze and get approvals to shoot the interview at UCSF BCH.
I’ve been having fun going to UCSF every week, meeting more of their staff, taking their photos, and making product improvements based on their feedback. I learned that nobody likes their badge photo, so Team DohJe hatched a plan. We think we can help them get comfortable putting their face on DohJe if they have a photo they love. But I’m not a photographer so ...
Eric Raeber, Tea Towel Superhero
Abundant thanks to our superhero DohJe photographer, Eric Raeber! Eric is super-fun to work with. After a couple hours of laughing and taking photos of our "model" (rockstar Stanford ER MD, Rebecca Walker), Rebecca helped me capture this photo of Eric. Rebecca had no idea what she was getting into.
Jessie K., RN
Not only has Eric taken amazing photos for our new posters, he has also taught me how to take headshots. He lets me borrow his portable flash set-up so I can take photos whenever I’m meeting with people at UCSF. Then he edits my photos and makes me look like a pro!
Amanda Krantz, CEO in a sweater
The idea for better headshots came from the guys at about.me. They did fantastic photo shoots to help get new users, and the awe of the experience just stuck. This photo was taken at one of those shoots by Justin Winokur Photography. Thanks for the photo and the inspiration!
Eric's photo of Ahn and Rohan
Bobbi Williams, General Manager of Natural Resources, allowed us to set up an a photo shoot in the store's green room. Ahn and her boys were my planned-for models, but we photographed a couple of brave strangers as well. Thanks all!
The gratitude just keeps going and going and going ...
Kiersten Lammerding volunteered her time with early UX input. Thanks, Kiersten.
Thanks to Chris Anton at Cloudburst Design Studio in Boulder, CO for the graphic design on our posters. This is one of a series of eight. He iterated, gave thoughtful suggestions, and ended up with a great final product.
A long overdue thanks to Angela Chih at AHCDesign for our DohJe logo design, our first website mockups, and our business cards!
DohJe poster on display at Summit Coffee
Thanks to Summit Coffee for providing great wifi, coffee, and empanadas during my "office" hours. And thanks also for proudly displaying our DohJe “Easy Peasy” poster where all of your loyal customers can see it!
Thanks to Elspeth C., the UCSF BCH nurse who helped me deliver a 9 pound baby and inspired me to start DohJe in the first place.
And a final thanks to my co-founders, Francis Li and Dawn Cheairs, who do EVERYTHING!