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The authors devised a system which continuously analyzes data exported from a Clinical Information System for the occurrence of exceptional or life-threatening clinical events. A configurable rule-based system was created to detect and act on such events. When detected, the system formats an alerting message, dials a modem and transmits the message to a commercial satellite relay system. Ennunciated by an alerting beep and blinking LED on a PCMCIA receiver card, the alert message appears on the screen of a Palmtop Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) carried by designated clinicians.