Striking a Balance: Integrating Essential Elements and New Digital Solutions in Healthcare

  • By SureTest
  • August 15, 2022
Don’t Let the New and Shiny Distract You from the Essential

In recent years, an upsurge of “glittering” digital solutions flooded the healthcare market. This “Cambrian explosion” has resulted in the doubling of digital health funding every year. 

There’s a lot to look at as you survey the technology landscape, and many digital health options are available to healthcare organizations. New and “shiny” technology is exciting but can cause you to lose sight of the essentials.

The Bedrock of Your Bedrock

Even as the latest solutions catch your eye, you can’t forgo the basics. Your EHR is your foundation. All the new and shiny digital health solutions in the world will amount to nothing if they can’t integrate with your EHR.

The connection between your digital health solutions and your EHR needs to be adequately tested before go-live to ensure it works properly. EHR test automation is the key to doing just that.

Why Testing is a Priority

One essential that cannot be overlooked is EHR, third-party, and enterprise application testing. Test automation dramatically reduces the length of testing cycles so you can test more frequently, with higher quality, and much faster.

Test automation is foundational to your EHR. It’s critical for keeping everything running smoothly and should never go neglected.

Patient safety should never be ignored or compromised.

EHR-related safety events happen daily in the U.S., compromising patient safety and putting hospitals at risk.

Private healthcare analytics firm Quantros logged 18,000 EHR-related safety events between 2007 and 2018, resulting in a 3 percent harm rate and seven patient deaths. But according to a Quantros director, that figure isn’t accurate because events like these are “drastically underreported.”

Patient-safety watchdog, The Leapfrog Group discovered in a study that hospital EHR medication ordering “failed to flag potentially harmful drug orders in 39 percent of cases in a test simulation,” which could have caused death in 13 percent of the cases. 

Usability is paramount to ensure your technology is adopted and you maximize its value for greater ROI. 

According to the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS), EHR Usability is defined as: “The effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction with which specific users can achieve a specific set of tasks in a particular environment.”

Usability also affects patient safety, clinical effectiveness, and patient satisfaction. MedStar Health’s National Center on Human Factors in Healthcare studied medication errors at three pediatric hospitals. The study, published in the journal Health Affairs, found that 36% of errors were due in part to EHR “usability issues,” and 20% of those errors had the potential for patient harm. 

“Poor interface design and poor implementations can lead to errors and sometimes death, and that is just unbelievably bad as well as completely fixable,” Director Raj Ratwani said. “We should not have patients harmed this way.”

The Pew Charitable Trusts EHR safety project revealed that at some institutions, the correct medical record was matched to the correct patient only half of the time. And in a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 1 in 5 patients said they noticed an error in their electronic health record.

Reducing clinician burnout is imperative.

Usability impacts productivity, clinician burnout, staff satisfaction and retention, operational efficiency, and profitability.

Burnout among healthcare workers is on the rise. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued a new Surgeon General’s Advisory regarding the urgent need to deal with the healthcare worker burnout crisis.

An estimated 3 million essential healthcare workers in the next five years and a projected shortage of nearly 140,00 physicians by 2033 puts more pressure on healthcare organizations to do everything possible to reduce burnout.

How Test Automation Helps

Test automation puts patient safety at the forefront.

By turning over the manual testing process to SureTest’s expert team of automation engineers and developers, you can drastically improve patient safety by eliminating these variables and allowing your staffing resources to spend time on more pressing strategic initiatives. Not only that, but SureTest’s managed service Test Automation Solution leverages its SurePersona® Engine, which precisely emulates each team member’s exact functions for every use case, eliminating clunky workarounds that invite risk.

Our SureMethod® Framework adapts to your workflows, so you always use the most up-to-date protocols and accounting for every patient journey and related workflow. The SureWorks® Library is always updated, available, and customized to every workflow. 

SureTest helps you prioritize rigorous testing by making it easy to continuously test so you can get it right and save lives.

Test automation keeps things running smoothly by improving both testing quality and efficiency.

Some system bugs won’t reveal themselves until you’ve tested 50 or 60 times. It’s essential that you test adequately to catch these.

Test automation allows you to test more often and faster so you can catch these bugs and mitigate any consequences they may cause. SureTest helps you take a proactive approach to continuous testing, so you keep diligent testing a priority.

Test automation allows your clinicians the freedom to focus on caring for patients rather than dealing with time-consuming manual testing.

Manual testing requires Herculean effort from your team and a lot of time away from their primary job responsibilities. In today’s climate of rampant burnout, few healthcare organizations can afford to allow manual testing to monopolize the time or energy of an already depleted staff.

SureTest eliminates up to 80% or more of manual testing activities, so you only need a few QA specialists occasionally. Your IT staff can pursue strategic initiatives, your clinical staff can focus on patient care delivery, and your organization can realize operational efficiency and phenomenal ROI.

This means less stress, improved job satisfaction, and better morale which translates into better employee retention.

Although other digital health solutions may be alluring and are worth investing in due to the dramatic patient engagement and outcomes improvements they can deliver, you can’t forget about test automation. It will help your healthcare organization ensure a solid foundation both now and in the future.

What’s Next 

SureTest has worked with cutting-edge healthcare organizations across the country to automate EHR testing, helping clients to reap rewarding benefits.

Learn how test automation helped Southern Illinois Healthcare overcome challenges and transform their EHR testing into an effective, efficient process.

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