Chasing Paper from Medicine

One man's mission to eliminate a doctor's most dangerous instrument: the pen

Glen Tullman didn't invent information technology, but he is one of those people who figured out early how to aim it with effect. Case in point: the 3 billion often illegibly marked paper prescriptions that Americans get from their doctors each year. Tullman, CEO of the electronic health records company Allscripts, would like to whittle that number to zero. Prescription errors, he points out, injure 1.5 million and kill 7,000 patients annually--and most mistakes could be avoided if scripts were written electronically. "Seven thousand deaths is the equivalent of one Boeing 737 crashing every week for a year," he says. "If...

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