BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE : JULY 3, 2000 ISSUE
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

How the.Net System Works


The new initiative will allow Web sites to talk to one another, simplifying routine tasks

-- Paul breaks his leg and goes to a health clinic for treatment. Paul's identification card contains a code that checks his insurance and gives the clinic permission to view his medical information on the Internet.

-- The doctor attends to Paul's leg and dictates her notes into her handheld computer. The computer zaps the notes to Paul's online file and creates a link to his new X-rays in the clinic's system.

-- It also triggers a program that pages his doctor. Before the doctor can get Paul's medical history, a blip goes out to another Web site to determine whether the doctor is authorized to see that info.

-- The doctor types a prescription for pain killers into her computer. That triggers a query to Paul's records to see whether he's taking any other medications. The records site says Paul has another prescription.

-- That site checks with the drugmaker to see whether the two treatments can be taken simul-taneously. The doctor's PC also activates a link to Paul's insurer to see if he's covered for the medication, then sends out a bill.

-- The prescription request triggers an order that is sent to the pharmacy closest to Paul's house. The pharmacist fills the prescription, and when he's done signals a delivery service to bring the medication to Paul.



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