How QA can strengthen Healthcare technologySubir Saha
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In the health care industry, the need of the hour is to make informed decisions at the right moment to save lives. Healthcare organizations must have a “big picture” when dealing with an extremely large volume of data which allows them to make quantitative decisions that bring in improvement in patient care and reduce costs.
In healthcare technology, any organization needs to have the most robust and comprehensive quality assurance process in place to make the right decisions to save lives. In a healthcare digital workplace, the right solutions, data, and innovative technology help us mitigate several issues driven by human factors. According to Gartner, “The best healthcare companies are responding to disruption with digital and innovation initiatives that enable new business models, address the challenges of increasing demand and escalating costs.” Healthcare technology has grown leaps and bounds in recent years, but it’s not flawless and demands continuous testing as part of the delivery pipeline to ensure the application and data quality.
Today, a healthcare organization gets data from thousands of providers, across multiple systems, and the need for collaboration of all technologies to work together to share a common data platform is extremely difficult to achieve. With the wide variety of technology and software available, every growing volume of data and industry demand to provide the best 360 care to a patient leads to dropping the guard in quality, a mistake that jeopardizes lives. To reduce technical errors and to save lives, organizations employ and implement a robust quality assurance program that acts as the final quality gate before patient intervention.
Quality Assurance is becoming the hallmark of health care. With the need to provide Value-Based Care, pay-for-performance to medical professionals, and the practice of evidence-based medicine, it is becoming increasingly important and an absolute necessity to have quality assurance work throughout the system to design policies and procedures that promote the best possible patient outcomes.
In a healthcare setting, Quality Assurance typically includes a mixture of data specialists, system integrators, administrators, and process improvement subject matter experts. The need for quality begins with the very first step – bringing everything together to tell a story. A good quality assurance program in a healthcare organization can identify potential problem areas and recommend solutions to improve the data they see. Quality assurance can bridge the gap between people, processes, and technology, which is the need of the hour. Healthcare workers must have access to the best quality data, results, and outcomes to do their job. Compromises in quality will put a life at risk.
Healthcare is an industry where 30% of clinical laboratory testing is unnecessary or overused. Reports have shown that up to 98,000 deaths per year occurred in the United States because of medical data errors, thereby being among the top 10 causes of deaths. Ad-hoc testing recommendation or missing key screening will result in complications and expenses arising from unwarranted care which leads to increased health risks and costs. Quality assurance helps ensure delivery of the right decision for the right treatment, at the right time, and in the right setting. Quality Assurance will ensure the most effective patient treatment, improve clinical outcomes, and optimize cost and affordability.
What can Quality Assurance (QA) do in healthcare?
For a QA program to efficiently address all processes and technology in this industry, and continuously ensure the quality of these processes, it is important that all aspects of Total Quality Management (TQM) are covered. Let’s talk about what QA can do for a healthcare organization.
Big Data – Quality Measures
According to Gartner, “Reliable, trustworthy and accessible data is crucial to any healthcare organization’s ongoing ability to successfully orchestrate and pay for care, conduct research and deliver value in the expanding healthcare ecosystem, tackle another COVID-like disruption and extract value from AI investments.” With the extremely large sets of data pouring in every hour for any organization, the need is to have that data analyzed, detect a pattern, associations and provide intervention for the outmost relevant patient care. A QA program can put these processes, algorithms, methods, and business intelligence in check to guarantee that the best quality measures are being provided to healthcare workers so that they can make informed decisions.
Multiple software programs integrate to share patient data on a wide variety of networks. Security is often compromised when data is shared across hundreds of providers who may not have the required compliance you have in your infrastructure. Strict government and regulatory body rules, as well as rising healthcare demands, necessitate a sharp focus on software and data security. A QA program will ensure the software and its data are secured from end to end without compromising any protocols set by the regulatory body.
Healthcare applications extract and feedback updated data to various forms and modules of different applications in multiple departments within the same organization. Integration testing must be performed to ensure that the overall healthcare web application and dependent devices are integrated and working as per the requirements.
For healthcare software products and applications integration, it is important to make sure that the applications are functionally mature enough to deliver the required performance and service. Consider a hospital application that helps patients customize care reports. The application must be functional and must always have all the data updated to deliver the required service accurately.
Functional testing of these integrated applications helps to validate processes and workflows, taking performance measures every step of the way to ensure the desired results are of true value and are 100% accurate. This is done by measuring the output, implementation, and execution of every defined parameter. Consequently, functional testing helps in ensuring the highest quality output within shorter development cycles. Quality Assurance further ensures comprehensive coverage across all the scenarios and setups, which helps achieve end-to-end testing.
A comprehensive and scalable QA program across the board is regarded as a must for every healthcare organization to grow. The QA implementation strategy begins with the establishment of the right culture and a mindset to look out for quality in every deliverable.
Cigniti Technologies has been providing healthcare QA services to providers for a few decades. Our testing services touch upon the following segments, which we can further customize to your needs in providing robust and secure online health care solutions. Our software testing solutions are for diverse life science and healthcare players such as hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare services, clinical labs, diagnostic centers, third-party administrators (TPA), payers, medical equipment manufacturers, healthcare ISVs, and research organizations. We provide end-to-end Advisory & Transformation services, Test Automation, and Performance, Functional, & Security Testing solutions with a strong emphasis on regulations, compliance, quality, and more.