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USF offers free e-coaching for doctors


3/16/2009 © Florida Health News

A lot of doctors cite cost as the barrier to going paperless. Others need technical help. Today, University of South Florida announced an initiative to blow past both of those barriers: "PaperFree Tampa Bay."


The goal, said USF Health CEO Stephen Klasko, is to convert every single one of the physicians in the 10-county area from paper prescriptions to electronic prescribing. That would increase efficiency and reduce errors, he said.

If enough funding is available, PaperFree Tampa Bay will deploy more than 100 "electronic healthcare ambassadors" to help physicians get connected. 

Allscripts Inc., the largest e-prescribing company in the nation, and USF are launching the project today to convert the 3,200 physicians in Hillsborough County.

As more funds become available, Klasko said, the project will expand to the other nine counties: DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota,

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor said she believes she can get the funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The stimulus bill includes $2 billion in discretionary funds for the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

PaperFree TampaBay should generate 132 jobs, she said: 111 trainers and 21 support staff.

More information is at the USF Health Website

-- Editor Carol Gentry can be reached at by e-mail or by phone at 727-410-3266.