The key to unlocking the significant primary benefits and hidden benefits of test automation for healthcare organizations is a program that greatly strengthens what you already do while introducing new capabilities for what you don’t but know you need to do. Test automation enables you to test more and test better in order to reduce escalating financial and clinical risks. It should also adapt and advance to keep up with the industry’s direction, such as digital health strategies. To that end, Santa Rosa’s Test Automation as a Service program, delivers six important aspects of test automation that you should consider in order to deliver strong ROI and lasting value.
1. Functional / Unit Testing
In a recent blog, we discussed the advantages and value of building a great test automation program from the ground up – starting with functional scripts for high priority workflows. For example, typical functional (or unit) automated test scripts within Patient Access may include scheduling, registering, admitting, or transferring a patient, and so on. [Note: our national library of Epic automated test scripts for Patient Access alone covers over twenty major workflows.] Get the core functional scripts properly customized to your unique workflows and automated, and the entire program is built on a rock-solid foundation.
2. Integrated EHR Testing
End-to-end integrated testing is more than chaining together functional scripts. Integrated scripts must span systems and processes, such as ordering a test within the EHR, processing that order within the ancillary system, and returning results into the EHR and patient record for clinical decision-making. Like functional scripts, good integrated testing includes both positive (what should happen) and negative (what shouldn’t happen) components.
3. Regression Testing
The key to effective regression testing is continually updating automated test scripts to reflect new releases and build decisions. Unfortunately, that’s the weak link in most healthcare organization’s internal test automation programs. Building automated test scripts is easy compared to keeping them fresh over time. As such, many organizations see the value of their programs diminish precipitously over time as frequent releases erode the validity and applicability of their functional and integrated scripts.
4. Mobile App testing
One of the benefits of test automation is a reduced reliance on forcing end-users to be default ‘testers’ who discover numerous bugs and issues. That role is unwelcome and can lead to serious satisfaction and adoption problems. Nowhere is that more relevant and critical than in digital health. Organizations that employ home-grown or even COTS mobile applications for patient engagement, education, telehealth, etc. all too often do a poor job of testing them. Doing so requires advanced capabilities such as being able to automate actions such as taps, double taps, swipes, and so on but no test automation program is complete without mobile app testing – especially if your organization is charging down the digital health path.
5. Load Testing
There’s nothing like being able to automate an increasing number of users on a system to see what it can handle. Test automation should support doing so in a carefully crafted plan and schedule where the load is testing for a given function, multiple functions or all functions according to a pre-set increase of simultaneous or staggered usage.
6. Performance Testing
While definitions vary, many see performance testing as a close cousin of load testing in that it centers on how changes to a system impact the time required to perform a function, process or activity. A nicety of test automation is these performance impacts can be evaluated in advance before a new release is deployed in order to mitigate them and set proper expectations with users and stakeholders.
These six critical aspects of a successful test automation program come together to deliver tangible ROI today and tomorrow. Of course, where an organization starts depends upon its unique situation and needs. For example, one organization may start with an array of key functions while another with load testing and a third with mobile app testing. The point is this: to have great legs a successful test automation program must deliver all critical aspects in the sequence and pacing that’s best for each organization.
Want to know more? Download our white paper “Test Automation: A Preparatory Guide” for all the details on EHR test automation.