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Technology is everywhere today, and it’s become so seamless we expect everything to plug and play. From an end-user perspective, ideally, it should. However, as technology implementation specialists, our job is to find the issues and seek out the problems before they reach end users. And that’s where technology testing comes into play.  Thorough EHR testing and correction are vital for all software and technology implementations. But when you add in patient’s Personally Identifiable Information (PII),  Protected Health Information (PHI), and electronic health records (EHR), testing for efficiency and security becomes paramount.

Before launching an EHR, some testing methods should be planned and executed. While factoring in the time and resources required to perform these tests make them seem daunting, implementation teams cannot afford to overlook them.

Mapped Record Testing
For some applications, such as lab, mapped record testing is required for every orderable in the system. The time and resources required to do this should not be underestimated, especially on the operational side. One missed record can have significant patient safety implications.

Charge Testing
Charge testing should start as early as possible and even, in some cases, should be tested as part of the initial build. During integrated testing, you don’t want to find out that your 100ml piggybacks are charging 100 times the cost or that charging wasn’t set up for your radiology orderable a month after going live.

Integrated Testing
Scripts for downstream systems should include “Day in the life” scenarios developed with operational input. A vendor cannot possibly provide health systems with testing for their downstream systems since they vary from site to site. These must be developed with operational input so that systems, some content, and workflow considerations are accounted for in the test scripts.

Dress Rehearsals
While integrated test scripts should catch many issues in advance of the go-live, dress rehearsals give the operational staff, including providers and staff, the opportunity to work with the system. This can also help to increase their confidence in the build, identify any additional potential problems and make any last minute additional adjustments that may be needed.

Technical Dress Rehearsal (TDR)
After devices are installed, a TDR should be conducted in which the functionality of all of the devices are tested. This should include workstations, printers, barcode scanners, etc. One of the most common problems during go-live are printer and printing problems; conducting a TDR can help prevent these time-consuming issues from arising during the most critical time.

It’s a lot, and it should be. Ensuring that all systems are ready for go-live is an essential part of the implementation process. When you’re dealing with patient’s test results being routed to the right patient, charges being applied to the right patient, how hardware devices communicate with each other, or how systems work together, it’s essential that everything works properly. It’s not just important. System accuracy and viability, as well as patients themselves, depending on the systems we implement. And testing them helps us ensure that they’re ready to perform as expected.

To learn more about EHR Testing, be sure to download our Avoid Common EHR Implementation Mistakes whitepaper here.

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