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Microsoft Tablet PC Partners Having Increasing Impact on Patient Care, Efficiency for Hospitals and Healthcare Organizations

Mobile Computing Means Better Patient Care, Higher Clinician Efficiency and Lower Costs

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The steadily growing number of Tablet PC solutions created by Microsoft partners and powered by Microsoft(R) technologies is having a positive impact on patient lives, medical worker efficiency and the balance sheets of healthcare organizations, Microsoft Corp. today announced during the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2006 Annual Conference & Exhibition in San Diego.

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Since the launch of Microsoft's mobile software for Tablet PCs in 2004, the number of Microsoft partners creating mobile computing solutions for the healthcare industry -- including industry partners such as Eclipsys Corp., Fujitsu Computer Systems Corp., Motion Computing Inc., Toshiba Corp. and many others -- has rapidly grown to more than 60, extending Microsoft's vision of a more connected and empowered healthcare ecosystem. Relying on the strengths and scalability of Microsoft Windows(R) XP Tablet PC Edition, SQL Server(TM), .NET Web Services, Office XP Professional and other Microsoft technologies, these businesses have implemented Tablet PC and mobile solutions on a consistent platform across a broad cross-section of healthcare organizations, including thousands of hospitals, clinics, home health groups, visiting nurse services and others.

"With millions of healthcare workers needing mobile devices and more intuitive and powerful software for clinical practice, we're excited by the positive impact and extensive reach our partners have achieved by leveraging Microsoft technologies to not only generate efficiencies and cost savings in healthcare but, most importantly, improve patient care," said Bill Crounse, M.D., healthcare industry director at Microsoft.

"Flexible data input options, mobility and real-time access to information are just a few of the factors driving adoption of Tablet PCs in healthcare, because they allow clinicians to easily use point-of-care technologies within their desired practice patterns versus having to change their practice to fit within technology constraints," said Joel French, vice president of healthcare and life sciences at Microsoft partner Motion Computing. "Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition combined with Motion's family of award-winning slate Tablet PCs have together enabled tens of thousands of nurses, physicians and other clinicians to streamline clinical workflows, eliminate or reduce information latency, and improve patient care experiences."

"Fujitsu has embraced Tablet PC on more form factors than any other manufacturer because we see the value it adds to the healthcare industry," said Paul Moore, director of mobile product marketing at Fujitsu. "From touch screens to active digitizers, the diverse product line from Fujitsu delivers on the vision of Tablet PC. Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition provides a stable and reliable environment for deploying products, which is significantly contributing to its growing popularity in healthcare."

Hospitals and healthcare organizations using Tablet PC solutions offer concrete proof of the primary benefits of greater efficiency, better patient care, and lower costs produced through mobile integration, collaboration and information-sharing in the clinical setting.

Greater Efficiency

Lightweight, highly portable, and featuring familiar and easy-to-use Windows applications, Tablet PCs can increase healthcare worker efficiency. Whether reviewing a patient chart, annotating X-rays, collecting patient data, checking lab results, writing prescriptions or performing any number of other common activities, doctors and healthcare workers can do all these things on a Tablet PC in real time while with a patient or colleague. This translates into more patients seen, reduced paperwork and transcription time, and decreased redundancy.

For example, Austin, Texas-based pediatric group 'Specially for Children, an affiliate of Ascension Health, the nation's largest Catholic and largest nonprofit health system with 63 acute-care hospitals, worked with Motion Computing to reduce paper consumption and increase efficiency. The group armed clinicians with Motion's Tablet PCs running on Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition and electronic medical record (EMR) software. As a result, not only did the organization realize substantial annual cost savings, the clinic estimates its staff collectively saves 65 hours a week -- meaning they can see an estimated 2,500 new patients a year.

"The parents of our patients are delighted to see their doctors using cutting-edge technology," said Zachery Jiwa, chief information officer for 'Specially for Children. "Our commitment to the latest medical and administrative technologies builds confidence that their children are in good hands."

Better Patient Care

Tablet PCs improve patient care by reducing mistakes, increasing doctor and nurse efficiency, enhancing communication, and shortening the duration of a patient's visit -- helping create a better overall experience for the patient. The mobility of a Tablet PC helps clinicians quickly and easily collect and review critical patient information and charts, conduct research, share notes, and update information directly at the patient's bedside and in real time. Because Tablet PCs employ digital forms and digital ink software with the use of a pen device on the screen, operation is familiar and similar to the traditional paper, pen and clipboard. This same feature automatically authenticates and records input, reducing errors.

In a concrete example of Tablet PCs delivering efficiencies and improving the patient care, a paperless strategy employing Toshiba's Tablet PCs, an EMR and a patient Web portal saved Bellevue Family Medical Associates nearly $100,000 in just nine months by cutting chart pulls and filing by 66 percent, reducing patient lab result notification by 80 percent, and eliminating dictation time entirely for this 10,000-patient medical center.

Lower Costs

By drastically reducing the use of paper, decreasing the need for multiple PCs for each healthcare team member, and decreasing costly errors and redundancies, adoption of a Tablet PC solution can have a significantly positive impact on a healthcare institution's bottom line.

For example, to improve access to patient information, Wisconsin-based Marshfield Clinic worked with Fujitsu to initiate a program to replace paper-based methods. Central to this was a pilot group of 60 physicians using highly mobile Fujitsu Tablet PCs running Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition to manage medical records. In the pilot, physicians saved more than 450 hours per year as a result of improved patient documentation procedures. To date, more than 1,500 Tablet PCs have been deployed, with more than 550 physicians currently using their Tablet PC as their only computer. Now boasting support for several all-digital campuses with no paper charts, in 2006 Marshfield plans to roll out another 1,000 Tablet PCs for practitioners.

"We are distributing a Tablet PC to each clinician instead of installing a desktop in every exam room and office," said Reed E. Hall, executive director of Marshfield Clinic. "Because of that we can reduce the total number of computers required and estimate savings of nearly $2 million annually, and we will also be able to potentially lower the cost of managing patient charts by up to $6 million annually."

In addition, as a result of its Tablet PC approach, Marshfield estimates that it will be able to lower the cost of managing patient charts by up to $6 million annually.

About Microsoft in Healthcare and Life Sciences

Microsoft provides compliant, standards-based products and technology to help the healthcare and life sciences industries break down information barriers between the disparate IT environments across pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, physicians and healthcare professionals, provider organizations, government and private-sector employers, health insurers, and consumers. Microsoft's vision for a more empowered healthcare ecosystem leverages the company's market-leading technology to help these groups tightly integrate their systems, dramatically enhance collaboration, and increase information-sharing and learning -- ultimately resulting in the ability to deliver high-quality products and services to patients and healthy consumers worldwide. More information about Microsoft in Healthcare and Life Sciences can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/healthcare.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

NOTE: Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Microsoft Corp.

CONTACT: press only, Marc Osborn, +1-425-201-2051, or [email protected],
or Sarah Wahl, +1-425-201-2046, [email protected], both of SS+K, for Microsoft

Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/

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