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Monday, January 15th 2007

I Write Like A Fourteen Year Old Girl…

…which is apparently lucky for you once I get my MD. I suppose Time gets these statistics from the ballyhooed IOM report on patient safety,

Doctors’ sloppy handwriting kills more than 7,000 people annually.

The plan is a free web based prescription network.

By providing doctors with free tools and support—and perhaps a little prodding from the big insurers who pay the bills—the NEPSI alliance hopes to encourage a quickening in adoption of electronic prescribing. Because the new program is Web-based, no special software or hardware is required, and NEPSI says the new system takes 15 minutes to learn. Sprint plans to give away 1,000 web-enabled phones to be used to transmit e-prescriptions and to demonstrate the technology’s ease of use. To keep pharmacies plugged into the new system, SureScripts, which links pharmacies around the country much like the national ATM network connects banks, will handle the e-prescriptions traffic from doctors to the country’s 55,000 pharmacies.

Sounds like a fine idea to me, if there truly is no hardware to invest in. I’ll end with another “shocking” stat (although I suppose it shouldn’t be when you actually ponder it):

“Not a lot of people understand that 15% of physicians in the U.S. write 50% of the prescription volume,” Hutchinson says. “And 30% of them write 80%. So it’s not about getting 100% of physicians to e-prescribe. It’s about getting those key 30% who prescribe the most. Then you’ve automated the process.”

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