A vital cog in the software QA machine, functional testing is set to evaluate the compliance of a particular solution or its component against the functional requirements established in the software documentation. But in practice it’s not that easy as it sounds. To wit, functional testing of an EHR system is a complex multi-tier process that requires addressing the versatile needs of all stakeholders of the healthcare ecosystem. That means before you proceed to test planning and execution, you have to categorize all users of your EHR system in groups like patients, caregivers, insurers, and administrative staff as well as identify basic and specific requirements for each group. Underpinned by this information, you’ll be able to specify user journeys and start testing them to achieve the overall user satisfaction.
In this blog post, we’ll go through user needs with a fine-tooth comb, giving you cogent reasons why you should prioritize functional testing of your EHR software.
EHR systems with their advanced functionality and powerful automation capabilities have the potential to notably improve the efficiency of non-tech caregivers. But for that to happen, your medical solution should easily solve users’ critical needs.
Electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) is on the list of the EHR functionality that should be tested first off. Comprehensive functional testing will help you make sure physicians can smoothly generate prescription orders with multiple medications included, securely transmit them from any device directly to pharmacies, easily process medication refills requests as well as manage drug interactions and allergy lists — all in compliance with HIPAA regulations.
Smooth collaboration among physicians is key to any healthcare facility, so pay particular attention to checking real-time communication capabilities of your EHR solution. Make sure users can seamlessly create one-to-one and one-to-many chats, activate telemedicine video conferencing to provide face-to-face instructions, share screens, and transfer multimedia files like lab results or medical images.
Verifying telehealth functions
If you want to streamline and improve clinical decision-making within your organization, remember to test healthcare BI functionality. This usually includes verifying the functional requirements of your data warehouse as well as the accuracy of generating BI reports in terms of relevance, format, time, and frequency.
Although key, physicians are not the only EHR users. In the majority of cases, patients also need access to electronic records — to perform a limited number of critical operations. And robust functional testing of the EHR software will help you enhance online experiences for this group of users, too.
For example, you’ll be able to make sure patients can frictionlessly send a request for an appointment — no matter they do it via an integrated medical portal or an EHR patient scheduling module. Successful completion of functional tests will also guarantee accuracy in identifying whether the physician of interest is free for a particular date and notifying about any scheduling conflicts when the patient plans to visit multiple doctors within a day.
Rock-solid functional testing will put you in a position to eliminate any error regarding access to lab results or physician notes. And you can introduce an extra layer of comfort by verifying such an EHR function as sending notifications about records updates to an email or the device of choice like mobile, tablet, or smartwatch.
PGHD integration into EHRs
Comprehensive QA can also help you increase visibility into a patient’s treatment progress, while cementing their engagement and loyalty. First, ensure system interoperability for seamless transfer of patient-generated health data (PGHD) from medical IoT devices to EHRs. And then, run functional tests to guarantee that data is sent to the right hospital — at the volume, format, and time the patient requested.
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Administrative staff is one more user group you can accommodate by function-testing your EHR software. For that to be a success, map an advanced user journey specifying all key needs and use it as a guidance throughout the entire QA process.
Among the functions that need verification is consultation scheduling, because not all patients use the opportunity to make an appointment with a doctor online through an EHR module and instead call the hospital. Functional testing will help you make sure that administrative workers won’t have any difficulties with checking the real-time availability of physicians, handling cancellations, booking recurring visits, sending appointment reminders, tracking the meeting status, and more.
Patient appointment management
A lot goes into ensuring high operational efficiencies within a practice — smart handling of financial and insurance procedures are no exception. From verifying the accuracy of payments and automating co-pays to medical insurance claims management and reimbursement processing, robust functional testing will make your EHR operate without a hitch.
Other EHR functions that should be thoroughly tested to ensure high productivity among your administrative workers include verification of patient decisions in the form of digital consents, support of service requests, standard compliance assessments, physician-patient relationship management, and more.
A wider adoption of EHRs in hospitals has always been key to driving value-based care. However, mere system implementation doesn’t guarantee success. To get tangible results, your medical tech should fully satisfy the needs of all its users.
And comprehensive functional testing will help you unite all these pieces into a bigger puzzle. By thoroughly checking all the EHR functions performed by different user groups, you’ll be able to bolster doctor productivity, win patients’ trust, and improve administrative operations.
Experts in healthcare software development and end-to-end quality assurance, we are ready to revamp your existing EHR system or build a reliable medical solution from scratch — with early testing in mind.