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Compaq, Allscripts to offer handhelds to doctors

Compaq's Pocket PC will allow doctors to write prescriptions and send them directly to pharmacies  

(IDG) -- While doctors' traditionally illegible scribblings may not be improving, some companies are working on a way to make penmanship unimportant.

Compaq Computer Corp. in Houston Thursday announced a $100 million deal with Allscripts Healthcare Solutions to provide physicians with iPAQ Pocket PCs, wireless handheld computers they can use to access patient information. Allscripts is a Chicago-based company that develops software for the health care industry. INFOCENTER
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The deal would allow doctors to write prescriptions on the handhelds and then send the prescriptions as text messages directly to pharmacies. General Motors Corp. and health care vendor Medscape announced a similar alliance in January to promote the use of handheld computing devices among some 5,000 physicians who treat GM employees and their dependents.

"The question in health care is not whether the information exists, but rather providing access to the right information at the right time. And the right time is at the point of care when the physician is in the decision-making process," said Allscripts Chairman and CEO Glen Tullman. The deal with Compaq will help bring that information to doctors when they need it, he said.

Using the handhelds, physicians can get reference material, billing information, patient records, lab orders and results, and clinical notes.

The iPAQs will run Allscripts' TouchWorks software suite on Microsoft Corp. operating systems, according to the announcement. Under the agreement, Allscripts Healthcare Solutions will standardize its TouchWorks clinical information products suite for Compaq's iPAQ Pocket PCs, DeskPro Workstations and ProLiant servers.

By selling or leasing the bundled solutions directly to medical practices and health care institutions, Allscripts becomes one of Compaq's largest health care resellers.

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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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