Hospital Mergers and Quarterly Upgrades: How Test Automation Enables Easier Transitions

  • By SureTest
  • May 16, 2022
Hospital Mergers and Quarterly Upgrades: How Test Automation Enables Easier Transitions

Nothing drains your organization’s resources faster than a system upgrade or hospital merger.

These IT projects are critical for maintaining system functionality and optimizing performance. Manual testing processes are time-consuming, creating a slowdown that can lower staff morale and jeopardize the effectiveness of a project.

One way to improve the efficiency of your upgrade or merger process is to automate the testing component, which drastically reduces the need for manual testing hours and resources.

How Test Automation Supports Quarterly Upgrades

It is optimal to upgrade your EHR each quarter to take advantage of the latest features, prevent security breaches, and improve efficiencies.

Having to complete these upgrades every three months can make your IT team feel like they’re constantly stuck in “upgrade mode,” with little time for more meaningful initiatives.

Upgrades can also be highly disruptive to your clinical teams, taking valuable time away from patient care and preventing staff from focusing on the job they were hired to do.

By implementing test automation into your quarterly update process, you can gain these key benefits:

Save Time and Minimize Disruption

We have found that it typically takes 2,000 – 4,000 hours, on average, for a large health system to perform manual testing activities for a quarterly upgrade. With test automation, the time to perform manual testing is drastically reduced.

SureTest eliminates up to 80% of manual testing activities and requires minimal attention from your team, allowing reallocation of time to more strategic projects.

Stay One Step Ahead and Mitigate Risk

SureTest takes a strategic approach to your quarterly testing, preparing your organization in advance of upgrades so there are no surprises.

SureTest has access to vendor release notes prior to upgrade releases. Our engineers proactively review and prepare the scripts to work correctly for the upgrade test cycle. SureTest also runs and monitors scripts daily, continually maintaining them during upgrade builds.

By automating testing for your quarterly updates, your organization can leverage the latest features with no additional effort on your team’s part. Doing so helps your organization mitigate risks related to security breaches that can happen when your EHR is not regularly updated.

Not only that, but your EHR will be “upgrade ready” for the next version, making future testing easier.

How Test Automation Supports Hospital Mergers

Fierce Healthcare recently highlighted Kaufman Hall’s findings on new hospital M&A transactions. Only a dozen new transactions were announced during Q1 2022, a deviation from the megamergers of 2021. But the report stated, “…we expect this quarter’s results will prove to be an anomaly…”

When two healthcare organizations merge, or one acquires another, they must make significant system changes to ensure that data is transferred and used effectively between them. If both organizations use the same EHR system, they must migrate one organization’s data to the other’s instance of the EHR; if they operate two different EHR systems, this migration is an even more complex endeavor.

There are many challenges when dealing with multiple platforms and a lack of interoperability, but test automation makes this process easier in a few ways:

More Opportunities for Savings

Organizations pursuing a merger or acquisition can conserve resources by unifying their EHR systems. Case in point: SSM Health reported it’s EHR consolidation will save over $10 million each year.

While consolidation does offer the chance to save in the long run, manual processes and staff requirements can stand in the way and result in slow and costly migration projects.

By implementing SureTest’s automation solution, organizations can realize significant savings during the testing phase of a migration project, with immediate ROI in as little as 4-6 weeks. Test automation allows you to save time and money upfront, helping to justify the financial investment of the EHR consolidation.

An Expedited, Less Stressful Consolidation Process

A merger or acquisition in which the acquired hospital must use the acquiring hospital’s existing build as the new EHR source (or vice versa) presents enormous challenges that test automation can help with.

Since the acquired hospital’s EHR is created using the other hospital’s foundational build, test automation can be used to mitigate risk by continually testing — even if the new build is customized for the acquired hospital.

SureTest’s Test Automation Solution can make the EHR consolidation process easier with a fast ramp-up time, a shorter project timeline, and minimal time commitment from your team. SureTest can also extend it’s SureWorks™ Library of test scripts to include the new hospital, resulting in significant savings.

With automation, testing is simple, and staff no longer need to lose sleep over migration projects. As a managed service solution, SureTest’s automation can run by itself, and your team can pivot to more critical, migration-related tasks that require human involvement.

What’s Next

SureTest has worked with organizations like yours to automate EHR testing during upgrades, mergers, and acquisitions.

Learn more about our test automation solution and the benefits it offers in this KLAS Emerging Technology Spotlight:

READ THE REPORT