Ophthalmology Web Form (OWF)

The Ophthalmology Web Form project utilizes a dynamic, xml-driven framework to present structured data capture forms to the user.

Background: The capture and integration of ophthalmologic data into electronic health records (EHRs) has historically been a challenge. However, the importance of these activities for patient care and research is critical.

Objective: The overall goal of this research was to develop mechanisms to enable efficient data capture for clinical and research use. The specific objectives include: 1) documenting system requirements for an ancillary data capture framework; 2) determining clinical and research relevant ophthalmologic data elements (both structured and image-based); and 3) designing and developing a dynamic data capture framework prototype that can be easily integrated into Marshfield Clinic’s EHR or other health care institution’s EHRs.

Acknowledgements: This project was funded in part through the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) grant: U01HG006382, Marshfield Clinic and Marshfield Clinic Research Institute.

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We interviewed and surveyed stakeholders in the medical, research, and informatics realms to determine data and system requirements for ophthalmologic data capture. Based on these requirements, we developed an Extensible Markup Language (XML)-driven data entry framework to capture and store mineable data elements with important graphical data.


The XML-driven data entry framework supports several innovative features including: ink-over drawing capability for documenting eye abnormalities, event-based web controls that guide data entry based on pre-established dependencies, and an adaptable database or XML schema-driven framework that stores web form specifications and allows for immediate changes in form layout or content. This framework takes advantage of web services to enable data integration with a variety of electronic health records for the retrieval and storage of patient data.

Open Source

The project source is freely available for download.

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