Download: AAPL Partners on Study of CMO-CNO Dyad Leadership

By AAPL Staff
August 1, 2018

The association's work with AHA and AONE results in a new report, future resources for physician leaders.

The American Association for Physician Leadership has partnered with the American Hospital Association and the American Organization of Nurse Executives to study and explore dyad leadership models — partnerships between chief medical and chief nursing officers. The groups will develop several industry resources for physician leaders during the foreseeable future, they announced.

One of those resources is a report, released today, called “A Model for Clinical Partnering: How Nurse and Physician Executives Use Synergy as Strategy.”

The report reflects findings from CMO and CNO dyad leadership models on maintaining individual roles while moving organizations beyond typical, silo management styles.


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This paper reflects learnings from CMO-CNO dyads that maintain individual roles while moving organizations beyond typical, silo management styles. Click here.

“We looked around and said the world is changing, the clinical world is changing, we need to be able to change, we need to work with teams,” Kathleen Sanford, DBA, RN, CENP, FACHE, the chief nursing officer and a senior vice president with Catholic Health Initiatives, said Friday during a panel discussion on the partnership at the 2018 AHA Leadership Summit in San Diego, California.

Best practices shared include joint strategy planning, speaking with one voice by co-presenting and co-rounding, shared accountability, emphasizing dyad language, and getting to know one another as friends as well as colleagues.

“This is an initiative that’s kind of formalizing, hopefully setting a template and setting expectations in the industry for how we can and should move forward,” AAPL President and CEO Peter Angood, MD FRCS(C) FACS MCCM, said during Friday’s discussion.

“If you think about it, what we’re all still primarily focused upon is how do we create significant change in health care so that really we are able to provide better patient care and live by what that really represents.”

aha angood

Dr. Peter Angood, AAPL’s president and CEO, addresses the audience during a panel on CMO-CNO partnerships at the AHA Leadership Summit in San Diego. Listening are fellow panelists Maj. Gen. Lee Payne, assistant director for combat support for the Defense Health Agency, and Dr. Jay Bhatt, AHA’s senior vice president and CMO.

In September 2017, the three industry groups convened an executive forum of nurse/physician dyad partners from nine health care organizations. Participants were selected to represent a diversity of geography, position (system level to hospital level), type of organization (children and adults), role (chief medical, nursing or operating officer), gender and generation.

These leaders shared their insights and experiences to illustrate what it takes for effective partnerships at the executive level. To further the conversation, follow-up interviews were conducted with dyad partners from selected organizations. The report features insights from these leaders, who have intentionally created and nurtured their clinical partnerships to address complex strategic challenges while supporting one another.

“Despite their diversity, many common themes emerged from the conversations, with a distinct emphasis on the power of connection and the resulting impact of synergy on delivery of patient care,” the report says. “Drawn from their expertise, the report provides a model of clinical partnership that fosters synergy between nurses and physicians who are tasked with leading in increasingly challenging environments.”

RELATED: How leading health care organizations build and maintain winning cultures by giving multiple professional constituencies a voice in patient care. Click here.


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