In this episode of This Week in Health Tech, we welcome Ryan Neaves, VP, Care Applications from Novant Health, and Laura O'Tool, President, Santa Rosa Consulting. We focus on test automation for Electronic Health Record systems and also for digital testing of mobile and web applications.
As some wise person noted, there is never enough testing to provide the best user experience and satisfaction. Tido Inc. has test automation packages which help end to end testing of all workflows for EHR and also for the growing number of mobile and web applications with digital transformation in healthcare.
Laura comments that we are always scrambling to do testing or cover all the workflows. Testing is required for multiple reasons including whenever we are upgrading EHR or health systems. And we need to do enough rigorous testing because we care about patients and providing the best healthcare. So it is important all the scenario testing, integrated testing are covered in an automated fashion. This also frees up resources to actually focus on patient care. Especially in these difficult pandemic times, it is crucial to allow key resources to have confidence in health systems and not be bogged down by testing or incorrect workflows.
Ryan comments that it has been a great journey for Novant health and implementing test automation. There were also some unintended consequences of the test automation strategy. He also indicates that test automation has been used in other industries forever. While in healthcare we do testing with getting people in a room and running through workflows once.
Laura indicates that we have increased innovation in healthcare and Ryan agrees that we search for opportunities, and as the industry changes, there are a lot of tools available.
Vik agrees with Ryan that he has been part of those testing calls that Ryan mentioned where resources get together in a room. But a lot of times, there was no documentation of scenarios, it was mainly just relying on clinical personnel remembering workflows.
Ryan comments that traditionally you are relying on the key 3 or 4 personnel, and even when you do the testing manually once, it is still only done once! Laura provides an example of how many different data elements or workflows that have to be considered so testing once is definitely not enough.
The other issue Ryan highlights are that key resources don't enjoy testing as it takes away from more important tasks at hand. Vik asks Ryan what were some of the challenges with test automation implementation.
Ryan indicated that culture shift or change of mentality was one of the main challenges. It was wrestling that control and providing confidence to staff that test automation will test applications thoroughly and intended as it needs to be tested.
Vik comments that with the COVID situation, digital transformation is happening rapidly, so from a digital strategy, there will be an increasing number of mobile and web apps. Ryan indicates that Novant is looking at everything including machine learning and AI. Ryan provides the example of telehealth and how they went from a few hundred users to 30000 users and it highlighted issues that were not known below. Laura comments that because of COVID through health systems into the frying pan and really highlighted the skills of healthcare staff and forced us to be more innovative and utilize automation.