You may have heard the term “dyad leadership” at some point over the past two years since the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) was formed. That’s because it’s one of the bedrocks of this new organization.
But what is a dyad? And how does it make health care in Saskatchewan better?
A dyad consists of two elements or parts. In health care, the dyad leadership model pairs a physician with an administrative leader, often someone with a nursing background. This leadership team of two is accountable for managing large, complex health care teams, and is meant to enhance the role of physicians as leaders in the health system.
“This model really allows administrators and physicians to draw on each other’s knowledge, skills and experience to form an interdependent leadership partnership,” explained Dr. Kevin Wasko, a Physician Executive who leads the SHA’s Integrated Rural Health team for southern Saskatchewan with his dyad partner, Karen Earnshaw, Vice President of Integrated Rural Health. “The administrative leader has expertise in management, while the physician leader has clinical expertise. Both are necessary components when leading within a health care organization.”
This model integrates physician leaders into the SHA, giving them an active role at the leadership table, and ensures that physicians and administrative leaders make decisions jointly, share accountability, and communicate openly and transparently.
How is this making the health care you receive better?
“Administrative decisions that ultimately affect patients are made with the perspectives of both leaders, who have different backgrounds – corporate and clinical, but who both ultimately want to put the patient first,” said Earnshaw.
Dyad relationships currently exist between the Vice President and Physician Executive for several SHA portfolios.