Why Test Automation Before EHR Implementation is a Game Changer
  • By SureTest
  • October 27, 2021
SureTest explores common misper ceptions surrounding test automation and provides the top three reasons it should be implemented before an EHR go - live

For many healthcare systems, the thought of implementing a new EHR is overwhelming. It’s an all-hands-on-deck situation involving a lot of people and a ton of time. We know firsthand how much goes into these implementations. It’s not for the faint of heart.

At SureTest, we’re passionate about delivering solutions that offer our clients immediate ROI and time savings. As a fully managed services solution, dedicated exclusively to healthcare IT automation, we eliminate more than 80% of manual testing activities, allowing staff to focus on delivering care.

Common Misperceptions

There’s a lot of misunderstanding surrounding test automation implementation, particularly before an EHR go-live. Many organizations don’t entertain the idea because they’re already overwhelmed with just getting through the EHR implementation. Here are some of the reasons healthcare systems hesitate to trod down this path:

1. REASON: We Don’t Have the Time

For most healthcare systems, the phrase “EHR implementation” conjures up images of being trapped in a conference room, hunched over a whiteboard, designing, building, and implementing workflows for 12 to 18 months. So it’s natural to assume that test automation would demand a similar time commitment.

REALITY: SureTest Requires Minimal Hours and Saves You Time

Fortunately, test automation requires a minimal amount of time from our clients. For a typical team of 20 to 25 analysts that cover a full application, SureTest requires just a couple of hours from each team member. For example, we’ll have your team members walk us through how they admit, document orders, and discharge a test patient, with 10 to 12 individual workflows typically comprising an end-to-end patient journey test script.

If the team has a trainer who understands these workflows, we give clients the option of consolidating any time requirements to that one team member to help minimize disruption. The total time we require from your team doesn’t take weeks and it most certainly doesn’t take months.

Ideally, we start the automation process after some of the initial workflows have been designed. This helps us optimize your automation so it’s exactly what you need. You’ll exit the design phase with 80% of the workflows ready to go.

Healthcare systems often put test automation on the back burner and add it to their to-do lists for later, but that approach doubles down on time and resources. By implementing test automation prior to an EHR go-live, you can make the most of your resources, saving time and money both now and in the long run.

2. REASON: Too Much of A Distraction

An EHR implementation can occupy a good portion of your staff. You want to see the implementation through and are concerned that adding another process may shift focus and impact the project’s success.

REALITY: SureTest Adds Value to Your Design Team

The typical lifecycle of an EHR implementation is to design the processes, build out the system (over 6 to 8 months), test the build, and train staff. SureTest designs test scripts as you’re designing your workflows. We’re the “fly on the wall,” designing exactly what you want the system to do, and we build these scripts based on that design. Rather than being a distraction, we’re an extension of your design team.

While the build is being tested, it’s important to test that the process is also working correctly. SureTest ensures integrity in these processes with test scripts, which are confirmation that the system operates as designed and workflows are working as desired. We can also leverage the scripts as part of your system integration testing (SIT).

As you build out your workflow, we build out test automation. SureTest brings added value to the implementation process, ensuring that workflows and processes are fine-tuned to meet your specific needs.

SureTest can also recapture lost testing time. Testing often gets cut if your design and build goes over time or budget — or both. SureTest can compress the elapsed time and get significantly increased testing done in a fraction of the time: 2-3 test cycles can be compressed into a matter of days/weeks instead of months.

SureTest enables you to use the newest version of your system sooner and start testing a new release immediately following a go-live. At some point, prior to go-live, you need to freeze the system. After a go-live, there’s a lot of extra work stabilize and optimize the production environment. It can be challenging to stabilize the system in a production environment while simultaneously dealing with an update.

With SureTest, your test scripts are already built, so all you have to do is put them in the test environment and let your robotic testing test the new version of the system.

3. REASON: Our Budget Has Already Been Approved

When it comes to healthcare systems, there’s a lot of red tape around budgets. Once it’s been approved, it can be challenging to get the green light for new expenses.

REALITY: SureTest Offers Flexibility and a Value-Driven Model

At SureTest, we work with clients to creatively address budget challenges. Oftentimes, a portion of our fees can be assigned to capital costs, rather than operating expenses. Our solution is essentially a rounding error, and your contingency bucket alone may be able to cover the cost of our solution.

Our Test Automation as a Service pricing is based on a 3- or 5-year program and is structured in three fixed fee stages for predictability of cost. This offers our clients more flexibility and the ability to spread fees across multiple budgets.

Regardless of whether you implement test automation before or after go-live, SureTest’s cost is the same. If you partner with us prior to go-live, you ensure your system is working optimally, and you’ll also save time and money.

What’s Next

We hope to see you at the CHIME21 Fall Forum in San Diego, October 27-30. In the meantime, you can catch our latest webinar on demand. “Unpacking Test Automation: How to Innovate and Save Like Novant Health” features Ryan Neaves, VP of Care Operations at Novant Health, discussing how test automation helped the organization innovate while saving time and money.