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'The Doctor Crisis'

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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente

A physician leader's call to action prescribes a cure for America's ailing health care system

OAKLAND, Calif., May 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The American health care system is in crisis, and at the center are doctors who are increasingly dissatisfied, burned out and unable to provide the level of care they would like to provide. These dynamics are examined, along with the potential solution, in "The Doctor Crisis: How Physicians Can, and Must, Lead the Way to Better Health Care," on sale today.

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Written by Kaiser Permanente surgeon Jack Cochran, MD, FACS, executive director of The Permanente Federation, representing the Permanente Medical Groups that employ more than 17,000 physicians, and award-winning health care author Charles Kenney, "The Doctor Crisis" is a rallying cry for health care reform - from a physician who knows firsthand the toll that modern-day challenges are taking on the medical community and the patients they serve.

Because physician dissatisfaction and burnout can ultimately result in poor outcomes for patients, the doctor crisis doesn't just affect doctors. Solving it is a prerequisite to transforming the U.S. health care system to provide quality health care that is accessible and affordable. The book urges health care organizations to restructure, reduce bureaucracy, and increase transparency and support for physicians, who are uniquely qualified to heal and to lead this evolution from Industrial Age medicine to Information Age medicine.

Dr. Cochran illustrates how he cured a large, regional, multispecialty practice of a "persistent fever of disaffection among doctors" in a compelling case study that shows how smart business methods helped avert a systemic crisis. Eliminating cynicism and welcoming constructive dissent are two keys to encouraging medical teams to collaborate and ensure that each member is acting at the highest level of skill, which supports patient-centered care and professional satisfaction.  

"The Doctor Crisis" provides a call to action for physicians to embrace the expanded role of healer, leader and partner. By recognizing and fostering key strengths within a team, partnering with administrators and academics, and embracing technology, physicians can lead the way to better care not just for individuals, but for whole populations - in new ways and in new settings.

The book also makes the case for sharing the responsibility of patient care with other caregivers, health plans and policymakers as a part of a Learning Coalition. The authors outline how physicians have the responsibility, and unique opportunity, to shape the future of health care and to create systems of patient-centered care that are safe, equitable, accessible and affordable.

Read more about the book, including an excerpt, and join the conversation through the newly launched blog kp.org/physicianleader. Published by Public Affairs, "The Doctor Crisis" is available in hardcopy and e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound and other retailers.  Profits from the sale of the book will go to The Colorado Permanente Medical Group Healthcare Education Fund, a fund of the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation in support of nursing education.

About The Permanente Federation

The Permanente Federation represents the national interests of the regional Permanente Medical Groups, which employ more than 17,000 physicians who care for 9.1 million Kaiser Permanente members in eight states and the District of Columbia.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve approximately 9.1 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to kp.org/share.

Media Contacts:
Kim Corteen: 510-435-5304
Kesinee A. Yip: 510-267-7484

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