Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) Use Cases

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Back to: Back to Main Security WG > Requirements Analysis> Security Use Cases

See also: Glossary of Consent Terms for definition of acronyms and terms.


Introduction

The following use cases are based on the RBAC specification.

Each type of user in a healthcare organization has a specified "role" which consists of "permissions" to perform certain functions and access specific data. While the set of permissions assigned to each role is based on local policy (enterprise-wide, jurisdiction-wide, etc.), the operation and the functions/information to which they apply, are standardized by HL7 as a normative specification. The functional roles for healthcare users are specified as an informative specification.

  • Sample permissions:
    • "read, M.A.R. (medication administration record)" allows the user the see the medication administered to a patient.
    • "create, Registration" allows a clerk to register a patient by creating a registration/encounter record

RBAC Benefits for Privacy Protection of Protected Health Information (PHI)

  • Even though it does not take into account specific patient preferences, RBAC ensures that only specific user roles have access to patient information and clinical functionality (e.g. admission clerks cannot view pharmacy prescriptions).

Authorization Use Cases

Allow Functionality (based on role)

Based on the functional role of the user logged in, the healthcare information system will limit access only to those operations (e.g. append, create, read, update, delete, execute) and functions (identified using an object id) that are allowed for that role.

Pre-condition

This use case would apply to a situation where both the application and the security systems are in the same organization or in different organizations using consistent functional roles.

Basic scenario

A user logs in, the application identifies the functional group or role for the user. Based on the user's role, the application interrogates the security systems for the functions allowed for the role. The security system stores the permissions associated with the role and it can specify whether the user can access specific functionality. Based on the results provided by the security system, the application displays to the users only those areas of functionality that prescribed by their functional role.

Actors

  • User
  • Healthcare Application
  • Security System

Mask Information (based on user role)

Based on their functional role, users can view(read),create, update, delete, or act (execute) on information contained in a patient's record. While the role of the user may limit their access to specific patient record information - limiting it to the information required to perform the job as specified by the role.

Pre-condition

This use case would apply to a situation where both the application and the security systems are in the same organization or in different organizations using consistent functional roles.

Basic Scenario

The user inquires the Personal Health Record system, based on the role the system provides the information specified by the permissions assigned to the user's role.

Actors

  • User
  • EHR System (EHRS)
  • Security System


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