Single sign on is the process where a user logs on once and is able to access a range of applications through multiple channels without having to log on again during that session. The standard allows you to securely log on once and access a range of ehealth solutions including – Cancer Care Ontario and Ontario Telemedicine Network portals.
Patient context sharing, often tied together with the concept of single sign on, is the sharing of clinical information across applications so that specific content for a given patient can be immediately displayed without having to reselect it within each application.
The single sign on/patient context sharing standard is based on the OASIS SAML* version 2 specification with ehealth specific attributes. SAML is a standard format that is used in federated systems for the purpose of exchanging authentication data.
SAML Architecture contains the following:
- Profile – provides context around type of operation being performed
- Bindings – details that govern how a transaction will proceed
- Protocol – informs the type of transaction being performed
- Assertions – details about the user including how they were authenticated, user details.
* OASIS is the organization for the advancement of structured information standards. SAML, the security assertion markup language standard, defines a framework for exchanging security information between online business partners.