Send to

Choose Destination
Comput Methods Programs Biomed. 2009 Sep;95(3):213-26. doi: 10.1016/j.cmpb.2009.03.003. Epub 2009 Apr 15.

Generic screen representations for future-proof systems, is it possible? There is more to a GUI than meets the eye.

Author information

School for Public Health and Primary Care: Caphri, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.



Future-proof EHR systems must be capable of interpreting information structures for medical concepts that were not available at the build-time of the system. The two-model approach of CEN 13606/openEHR using archetypes achieves this by separating generic clinical knowledge from domain-related knowledge. The presentation of this information can either itself be generic, or require design time awareness of the domain knowledge being employed.


To develop a Graphical User Interface (GUI) that would be capable of displaying previously unencountered clinical data structures in a meaningful way.


Through "reasoning by analogy" we defined an approach for the representation and implementation of "presentational knowledge". A proof-of-concept implementation was built to validate its implementability and to test for unanticipated issues.


A two-model approach to specifying and generating a screen representation for archetype-based information, inspired by the two-model approach of archetypes, was developed. There is a separation between software-related display knowledge and domain-related display knowledge and the toolkit is designed with the reuse of components in mind.


The approach leads to a flexible GUI that can adapt not only to information structures that had not been predefined within the receiving system, but also to novel ways of displaying the information. We also found that, ideally, the openEHR Archetype Definition Language should receive minor adjustments to allow for generic binding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center