Managing GNUmed Users


A person is a person is a person

Any person GNUmed is to know about must have an entry in the demographics database. There is no difference whether it is staff, a patient, or a contact.

GNUmed User

A (GNUmed level) account needed to use the GNUmed user interface. Equivalent to a "staff member" or "provider".

Database User

A (PostgreSQL level) account needed to access the tables in the GNUmed database. Database users belong to database groups which in turn define their access rights.

Database Group

A group of users in the database. Membership in database groups defines the access rights for a database user. Most database groups are equivalent to care teams. There are some special purpose database groups, however.

Care Team

In the database, access to patient data is granted to database groups. Currently (as of January 2010) GNUmed uses only one care team named gm-doctors for all patients. In later versions GNUmed will introduce fine-grained access control for arbitrarily defined care teams.


Any change to the data is tracked in the database. It will record the database user that was used for the change along with the date and time of the change. To ensure proper identification of the staff member, database accounts (other than gm-dbo) are created on a purely one-to-one basis with an associated GNUmed user. Successful login to the GNUmed software is only possible for valid database username / password combinations which have already associated-with them a GNUmed staff.

Adding GNUmed users

A GNUmed user (staff account) consists of three distinct parts:

  • a GNUmed person (dem.identity)

  • a GNUmed staff member (dem.staff) linked to the GNUmed person

  • a PostgreSQL account associated with the GNUmed staff member

To add a new staff member to the GNUmed system the following steps must be taken:

  1. add a new person to the demographics database

    • from the main menu select GNUmed / Users / Add user

    • complete the wizard

    • the new person will now be the active "patient"

  2. enlist the activated patient as a staff member

    • the Add user dialog will appear

    • complete the dialog

To register an existing person as staff:

  1. search for that person and make it the active patient

  2. go to Person / Enlist as user and complete the dialog

To logon as the new staff member exit GNUmed and enter the database account associated with the new staff member into the login GUI.

Note: Presently, users created under the role 'nurse' for example 'Dr RN Chapel (Christine)' cannot login, because the role and associated database account have not yet been assigned functionality.

Editing users and resetting forgotten passwords

Deactivated users will display in blue and, while inactivated, will be unable to login. A display in red means GNUmed detected a problem with the user’s setup (as can be a remnant of the original installation process), correctable by Activating the user.

Passwords will have been stored, by result of gm.create_user() function, as a This can only be done outside of GNUmed itself using, for example, the psql application.

As root, navigate to the directory containing psql (or ensure it is in your $PATH) and issue a command like follows, targeting the version of the database whose user account is to be modified:

$> psql -d gnumed_v16 -U gm-dbo
gnumed_v16=> set default_transaction_read_only to off;
gnumed_v16=> ALTER USER "any-doc" WITH ENCRYPTED PASSWORD 'any-doc2';
gnumed_v16=> \q

Note the style of quoting above is important, otherwise PostgreSQL will try to subtract "doc" from "any" which won’t work.