We enjoyed taking a deep dive into modern healthcare testing and spending some time with Michael Cooper from Healthcare IT Leaders and Kevin Dunne from QASymphony during our recent webinar “Evolve or Die: Healthcare IT Testing”.
Most of today’s electronic health record (EHR) implementations come with a high level of complexity and accelerated timelines, yet many healthcare organizations fail to consider what is needed for testing until the last minute. Putting testing last in the process or the lack of adequate planning for testing can put any healthcare organization at risk. These risks include delaying a complete EHR implementation because of issues around functionality, end user acceptance, or patient safety concerns from inaccurate or incomplete workflows. These risks require healthcare organizations to be smarter about testing and to ‘evolve or die’.
In this webinar, Michael and Kevin discuss:
The modernization of technology across healthcare IT value chain
The evolving role of healthcare testing
Modern Healthcare Testing Techniques
Security, compliance and government regulatory mandates
This webinar produced a slew of great questions for our presenters and since we were not able to answer them all during the webinar, we answered a few of them below:
Can you provide recommendations for regression testing of mobile use cases? The number of mobile environments available increases the complexity of mobile regression quite significantly. For most apps that work across devices/OS versions, it is simply not feasible to regression test all features across all devices and OS’s. Making this problem worse is the fact that mobile automation tools are still for the most part either immature or limited in the ways that they can be used. So, one of the most important exercises is to determine what test cases on what platforms will constitute a thorough enough regression testing coverage to feel confident. for teams that have access to their app/source code, intercom and other tools can provide many of these insights so you can understand what features are being used on what devices in real time.
Specifically for Healthcare applications and GUI interfaces what product would you recommend for Test Management? Though we are a bit biased, we would recommend qTest. Three of the top reasons being: 1. qTest eXplorer to automate the capture of manual testing activity for use in the case of audit 2. Integration to eggPlant functional, the leading automation tool for EHR’s (it is used by Epic’s internal development team, as well as many epic hospitals) 3. Unique Epic test case converter to convert Epic excel test cases into an easily imported format for quick migration and adoption of our tool
What is the difference between automated testing and manual scripting? There is a lot that could be said about this topic. In general, some thoughts on automated testing are that it will require more investment up front in both tools and people, as well as planning. So, it is typically reserved for longer term projects where these up front costs can be repaid in the time savings and accuracy that automated tests can provide after the tests are run many times. While manual testing will be slower per each execution vs. a defined manual test, manual tests will require less effort in initial creation and can be defined by a wider variety of resources. Therefore, manual testing is often a better fit for shorter term projects or test cases that will only be run infrequently. Overall, the most successful strategies often leverage both manual and automated testing in tandem to achieve the greater return and maximize the benefits of each approach.
Our biggest struggle has been in finding the right QA resource, who can do both manual and automation testing. Usually people do one or the other. Any inputs on how best to hire a good resource? Hiring the right talent is certainly one of the key (if not the key) to running a good QA program, but there is not one surefire way to get the right people on your team. Many organizations decide to outsource testing as a whole to eliminate this problem, but problems can arise if the wrong partner is selected, and partners never have the same understanding of the business and ownership of quality that internal testers can deliver. Usually, its good to hire a core foundation of testers that can serve as a foundation to build a testing organization on top of, with the understanding that some specialized functions around certain types of testing (i.e. security) may be done by contractors. As far as hiring a tester who can contribute automation as well as manual testing, that can be challenging but today’s automation tools are making it easier. Choosing an automation solution that does not require a high degree of technical knowledge (e.g. eggPlant Functional) can allow a much higher percentage of users to contribute automation coverage. The remaining technical gaps can be filled in with on-line or in-person training, with places like softwaretestinghelp.com and softwaretestingclub.com providing great free/low cost courses to help developers get started on those tools.