Dyad Leadership in Healthcare

Is Dyad leadership needed to run a successful healthcare practice? An overwhelming number of medical facilities say that the answer is yes. A recent survey shows that nearly 75% of all medical practices in the United States use the Dyad leadership approach. What is more, 85% of all practices that use the method say it is effective. Even so, it’s important to understand just how and why it works so well if you want to use a Dyad leadership structure to its fullest potential.

What is the Dyad Leadership Model?

A dyad is something that consists of two elements or parts. In the medical world, a dyad leadership model consists of a physician and an administrative business leader working together to run a hospital, clinic or another medical practice. Each person on the leadership team would naturally take the lead in matters that he or she is familiar with. The administrator, for instance, would most likely be in charge of finances, clinical IT operations and other issues not directly related to medicine while the doctor on the leadership team would be in charge of issues such as medical care, hiring and training new nurses and doctors, etc. Even so, both members of the dyad are equally leaders; neither is in charge of the other. Both leadership team members also work together, consulting each other before making significant decisions that would impact the entire medical center.

How Can you Make a Dyad Leadership Model Even More Effective?

Is a Dyad leadership model automatically effective? Experts clearly state that this is not the case. There are several things that a medical institution needs to do to ensure that a dyad leadership structure operates as it should.

Naturally, the first step is choosing the right leaders in the first place. Experts note that while qualifications and experience are good indicators of who might be best for the job, it is also essential to look for skills such as the ability to teamwork and communicate well with others. The leaders must share the same values and be working towards a shared goal if the leadership dyad is to be successful. They also need to respect each other at all times even if they don’t agree on every single small issue.

Others point out that the needs of a medical institution must also be taken into account when choosing a leadership team. A leader who has performed well in one setting may not be the best choice for another environment as the needs, requirements, and vision of the hospital in question may be different from the hospital that a former leader has successfully managed in the past. In some instances, an administrative or medical leader who would work well with one person may not be the best teammate for another. It is essential to balance out the weaknesses and strengths of both team members to ensure that the leadership team has the skills needed to take the medical institution where it needs to go.

A clear organizational structure is also essential. Both leaders should have clear areas of responsibility so that people know who to turn to when a particular decision needs to be made. This does not preclude the need for the leaders to communicate regarding important choices; however, it does streamline the decision-making process.

The Role of Clinical IT Services in a Medical Leadership Dyad

Lance Goudzwaard has more than 25 years of experience working as a healthcare executive. He currently serves as Chairman for the Western section of the MGMA and is a fellow of the American College of Medical Practice Executives. In recent comments given about the effectiveness of a dyad leadership team, Mr. Goudzwaard accurately notes that it is not enough for the two people at the head of a leadership dyad to work well together. Each leader in the dyad needs to have a good working relationship with the team members working under him or her for the leadership structure to be successful. In some ways, a dyad leader and his or her team would operate as a “mini dyad” as each team member manages his or her department or practice in consultation with his or her overseer while still retaining authority to take appropriate action as and when needed.

Mr. Goudzwaard also pointed out the importance of including clinical IT services as part of the team. As medical institutions rely on EMR services more than ever, it is imperative for these to be appropriately managed and maintained if a hospital or clinic is to remain successful long-term. In most cases, clinical IT services would be outsourced to a competent third party but would be part of a dyad under the supervision of an administrative leader. At the same time, the doctor on the leadership dyad would need to provide input regarding what type of EMR program would best suit the needs of doctors and patients alike.

The importance of dyad leadership cannot be overstated. Two leaders working together with each other and working in tandem with those under them are vital to the success of any medical institution. As all involved communicate clearly and work towards common goals, the medical institution will move forward and be able to provide the best possible assistance and medical care to the community.