What's a "Use Case"?

  1. Greetings NI Community,

    Please see the notice below on the final publication of the 2009
    Detailed Clinical Research Use Case. If you are not familiar with this
    document or context please read on:

    Development of the Use Case - The Health IT Standards-Development

    The "Use Case" is an approach that has been adopted to help bring about
    rapid progress in the adoption of health information technology,
    especially in the development of technical and nomenclature standards. A
    Use Case describes the real-world uses, pathways and stakeholders that a
    given health IT application will need to serve. From this thorough
    examination and analysis, standards can be developed to address each
    step and need that the Use Case has identified.

    In 2008, the American Health Information Community (AHIC), an advisory
    committee to HHS, recommended that standards should be developed toward
    the use of EHRs in clinical research, beginning with development of Use
    Cases for various aspects of this challenge.

    In cooperation with HHS, this project was undertaken by the American
    National Standards Institute (ANSI), with support from numerous other
    organizations. A workgroup was formed and commenced the development of
    Use Cases. The first of these Use Cases, now released, will be followed
    by other Use Cases in the future. More information about the workgroup
    is available at

    Last edit by rninformatics on Apr 27, '09 : Reason: correction of link
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    About rninformatics

    Joined: Sep '99; Posts: 1,329; Likes: 498
    Director, Clinical Informatics; from US
    Specialty: 30 year(s) of experience in Informatics, Oncology, IVT, Home Health


  3. by   srahamim
    Are you asking the question or just providing information?

    Use cases have been around for over 15 years, starting as a tool for systems/application development around the same time as object oriented programming concepts. As the article says, it is a way of documenting the paths taken, and the participants of the path (users, data, etc) to ensure accurate collection of requirements.

    It is a lot of fun (IMHO) to "use".

    Let me know if you want more info.

  4. by   rninformatics
    Thanks for posting Sarah,

    The orginal post provides information/explaination of what a Use Case is. The post's title is the question.
    The explaination about Use Cases (and their purpose) is also a segway into reporting the status of AHIC - the American Health Information Community.
    Sorry if I wasn't clear enough. Please feel free to share any further knowledge you have about Use Cases. Are you currently using any Use Cases you could share with us related to systems/application development in your HIT or clinical informatics practice?

    Quote from srahamim
    Are you asking the question or just providing information?