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Tampa Bay Becomes First Community to Jump-Start America's E-Health Revolution
Date:3/16/2009

PaperFree Tampa Bay to Convert 10,000 Regional Physicians to E-Prescribing as First Step Toward Connected Electronic Health Records

TAMPA, Fla., March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- A new public/private partnership called PaperFree Tampa Bay, armed with strong Congressional support, today launched a plan to jump-start America's electronic health revolution. PaperFree Tampa Bay will deploy more than 100 "electronic healthcare ambassadors" with a goal to convert 100 percent of physicians in the Tampa Bay area from paper prescriptions, known to be the cause of costly medical errors, to electronic prescribing. The effort is a first step toward the implementation of Connected Electronic Health Records (EHR) to improve patient safety and reduce costs, and intends to leverage funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Tampa) voiced her support for the funding at a press conference announcing the initiative which was attended by a broad array of healthcare, business and government leaders from across the Bay area.

"The intent of the Recovery Act is jobs, jobs, jobs," Congresswoman Castor said. "The Recovery Act calls for the creation of short-term jobs in the community while providing long-term economic stability. If funded, this University of South Florida electronic prescriptions project will create more than a hundred jobs for people who will work alongside physicians in the 10-county area. That will help in the long term as well, especially by improving our healthcare system."

"Our community will thrive in the long run with these high-wage health industry jobs," Castor said. "Through this project, we also are reinvesting in the future in science and technology."

Castor indicated she felt the partnership is positioned to receive funding from a portion of the $2 billion in discretionary funds available to the Secretary of Health and Hu
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SOURCE USF Health; Allscripts
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