Pfizer, Microsoft and IBM Collaborate to Deliver Comprehensive Software Solutions to Physician Practices

New Company Formed to Provide Office Automation Solutions To Allow Doctors to Focus on Patients, Not Paperwork

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NEW YORK - 29 Mar 2001: Pfizer announced plans today to collaborate with Microsoft and IBM to form an independent company that will develop software and services for physician practices. The focus of the company will be to reduce the administrative workload for physicians, allowing them to put more time toward their mission of providing quality patient care.

Now more than ever, doctors are required to invest a large amount of their time to increasing paperwork demands. According to the 2000 leadership survey conducted by the Health Information Management Systems Society, over 70 percent of physicians stated that improving operating efficiencies was their primary concern.

The new company will focus on the needs of office-based physicians, particularly those in smaller groups, which represent 70 percent of the office-based doctors in the United States today.

Nelson C. Walker II. M.D., a member of Mansfield Family Practice, a small group practice in Mansfield, Connecticut, said, "There is no more important relationship in medicine than between doctor and patient, but that relationship has been seriously strained by growing administrative burdens. Small medical practices like mine need to streamline office management so we can spend more time with patients."

Using Microsoft's .NET Enterprise Server Platform, Windows 2000 and wireless devices, product offerings will emphasize integrated clinical, financial, and administrative tools to help physicians streamline workflow. Physicians and other care providers will have access to complete medical histories, insurance information, lab results, billing arrangements and more while treating the patients. At the same time, providers will be able to rapidly document patient findings using high quality encoding security systems to ensure that all information is securely transmitted and patient confidentiality fully respected.

"Innovation and strategic partnerships have been key to Pfizer's growth. This initiative represents our customer focus in action: a cost-effective, customized solution that responds directly to one of the most pressing issues facing physicians today," said Karen Katen, Pfizer's Executive Vice President and President of Worldwide Pharmaceuticals. "We are particularly pleased to be working with Microsoft and IBM, two technology leaders who share our enthusiasm for what we can accomplish together."

"Microsoft's involvement in this new venture demonstrates our deep commitment to providing IT solutions to the physician community," said Ralph Young, Vice President, Enterprise Solutions Group at Microsoft. "Physicians need integrated IT solutions that afford them reliability and mobility so that they can focus on what they do best -- providing care to their patients."

"We at IBM share Pfizer's focus on customers and emphasis on developing solutions that directly address customer needs," said Russell J. Ricci, M.D., General Manager IBM Global Healthcare. "We are committed to providing services to the new company to help integrate and deploy technologies, as well as Web-hosting operations and help desk services through our call centers."

The new company is expected to make its first products available to the general market later this year. The company will pursue acquisitions, partnerships and other investments to provide a comprehensive product and service offering, supported by its own dedicated marketing, sales and customer support structure.

The parties intend to execute definitive documents to further implement this relationship. No assurances may be made that such documents will be executed.

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