University of South Florida Receives $6 Million through Recovery Act for Electronic Prescriptions
Washington, Apr 6 -
Congresswoman Kathy Castor announced today that the University of South Florida is receiving nearly $6 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for its PaperFree Florida initiative. USF’s proposal will bring electronic prescribing to the Tampa Bay area while creating jobs in the health care and information technology sectors.
“This Recovery Act award is meaningful for the University of South Florida and the entire Tampa Bay region,” Castor said. “It is a proven job creator, and doctors will have the tools they need to more efficiently and effectively prescribe medicine to their patients. Electronic prescribing will reduce medical errors and cut down on paper work. This is a winning formula for doctors and the patients they treat.”
“Hand-written, illegible prescriptions can be a thing of the past,” Castor continued. “Electronic prescriptions are a step toward the future.”
Added Dr. Stephen Klasko, dean of the USF College of Medicine and CEO of USF Health: “We are so grateful for Rep. Castor’s hard work and leadership to have USF Health and PaperFree Florida be recognized and financed for this important project. PaperFree Florida truly represents a revolution – an electronic revolution in health care that will start here and echo across the nation. We will give doctors the personal attention that has been the missing link in helping them to adopt and use electronic health records. Ultimately, we will help them use technology that works better for them, is more convenient for everyone and safer for patients. When we began this initiative last year, we said why not USF, why not Tampa Bay? And the federal government has answered us. Tampa Bay and USF will continue to be leaders in healthcare reform.”
Last year, Castor joined the University of South Florida in a news conference to kick off PaperFree Florida. USF will hire, train and deploy “ambassadors” throughout the area to convert doctors from a paper-prescribing system to electronic prescribing, laying the foundation for the broader goal of transitioning to a completely electronic medical records system.
PaperFree Florida is expected to support more than 100 jobs.
“University of South Florida is ideally suited for this infusion of Recovery Act dollars,” Castor said.
USF Health includes the colleges of medicine, nursing and public health. The university shares a campus with the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer & Research Center and is across the street from the James A. Haley Veterans Administration Hospital, one of the busiest VA’s in the country.
The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that improving health information technology will reduce the federal government’s health care costs by more than $12 billion throughout the next decade.