PaperFree Tampa has two years to convince 10,000 doctors to switch.
Doctors have been slow to give up their prescription pads, even though electronic prescriptions could prevent many of the mistakes that wind up killing 7,000 people in the U.S. every year.
“This is exactly the type of initiative the Obama administration and my House Energy and Commerce Committee had in mind when we drafted the recovery act and set aside $19 billion.” — U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor
Subsequent phases involving other counties will depend on funding. PaperFree Tampa Bay has applied for $18 million in federal stimulus money, which would allow it to hire 111 software trainers and 21 support staff.
Even if it gets the $18 million, the campaign still faces challenges. A program to get Florida doctors to switch to electronic medical records in 2007 ended without even spending all of its $3-million grant, says David Schlaifer, CEO of Doctors’ Administrative Solutions in Tampa. Schlaifer, who helped lead that effort, says resistance from physicians was “probably the biggest impediment.”
EPaperFree Tampa Bay has two years to convince 10,000 doctors to switch to electronic prescriptions.
“We have to stop talking about making medicine more service oriented,” says Stephen Klasko, CEO of USF Health, “and we have to just do it.”