Weaving the Web into legacy information systems.


Schoenberg R, Nathanson L, Safran C, Sands DZ. Weaving the Web into legacy information systems. Proc AMIA Symp 2000;:769-73.

Date Published:



For many years, client-server systems were developed as the backbone of clinical computing in leading hospitals around the country. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center now faces the challenge of bridging the technology gap between such systems and the Internet. While developing Web interfaces to legacy clinical systems gives a taste of the future, it is clear that complete institutional migration to the Web is not imminent. Asking clinicians to utilize two different systems, Web-based and legacy, in the interim phase is just one of the difficulties in such transition. This paper describes "Mbridge", a solution that allows legacy system users to exploit the benefits of the Internet in a fashion that does not interfere with their workflow and is both simple and affordable to implement. The service allows clinicians to work on the legacy platform while context-sensitive clinical content is streamed to the browser without their intervention. Using the system, we can gradually expose clinicians to new Web-based applications and resources without forcing them to operate two computing environments simultaneously. The service achieves these goals by means of linkage and coordination rather than by code-translation, data exchange or replication.