IBM, Duke Develop Web Site For Patients

Patients in Duke University's health system can now go to one Web site to pay medical bills, schedule doctor appointments and eventually view their personal medical histories.

The Duke University Health System today is unveiling its "Healthview Portal" for the 400-thousand to 500-thousand patients who use its three major hospitals and more 100 outpatient clinics each year in the Durham region.

I-B-M and Duke officials jointly developed the site in 14 weeks. They say there are a few other health care systems that provide somewhat similar Web sites, but none will have the breadth and scope of Duke's site.

I-B-M officials say the technology used to build and operate the site could easily be replicated by other health systems. That would move the nation toward the White House's goal of computerizing all patient health records by 2014.

The administration has argued that the construction of a secure computerized national health network would reduce costs, improve efficiency and provide better health care.

Neither I-B-M nor Duke would disclose the cost to build the Web site.