Testing of departmental processes in CareConnect has begun just a few months after teams began modifying workflows to meet the needs of our health system and those of our patients.
Through this testing, CareConnect teams are identifying and fixing issues before the first go-live in July 2012, which affects scheduling, registration, billing, ADT, and HIM across the health system; lab order communication at all the hospitals; and documentation and physician order entry at a group of ambulatory clinics.
The testing, which began Oct. 24 at the Michigan Operations Center in Santa Monica, is being conducted on all the applications within CareConnect, such as Prelude (registration) and Cadence (scheduling) -- that will be implemented in go-live 1. Testing for most ambulatory applications should be completed by early December, while testing for revenue cycle applications will continue through the end of 2011.
As part of the process, scripts -- sets of instructions performed on a system such as transferring a patient or issuing a refund -- are tested individually. Nearly 300 scripts being tested in the first phase are for revenue cycle applications.
Departmental processes will be tested from start to finish, ensuring that individual segments of workflows function properly and meet the requirements of those who will use the system to perform their jobs. Testing also ensures that role-based security controls function as intended. Each step of the script must pass for it to make it through testing.
"We go through each of the test scripts, and as we execute them, we try to break what we've built. But we're not only testing our own build for accuracy, we are also testing the system as provided by Epic as a whole. We are doing all this now during testing to ensure that nothing will break at go-live," said Crissy Luna, a CareConnect application coordinator on the revenue cycle team who serves as the testing liaison for the ADT and Prelude applications. Her group is responsible for about 80 test scenarios. "If there's a single error in any line of the script, it fails, you have to fix it and then start the process over again."
"In this first phase of testing, we are taking all the information we received from validation and follow-up sessions and making sure the workflows perform in CareConnect the way our business owners agreed to. This is just the first of several steps we will have in testing," said David McCloskey, CareConnect application manager for hospital billing.
Errors are prioritized based on the severity of the defect. Items marked as "critical" are show-stopper defects that will affect the go-live timeline; items marked as "high" halt further testing and stop the workflow; items marked as "medium" are missing critical functionality; and items marked as "low" are items that are non-critical that could be fixed during optimization.
"I think the best part of application testing is being able to see what you built in action," Luna said.
After confirmation that CareConnect software works as it's supposed to, integrated testing begins in January to ensure that CareConnect will communicate with existing systems.
"We've spent months validating CareConnect workflows within applications to make sure they fit the needs of UCLA, and integrated testing will be the next big step in the process," said Sean Raquedan-Tizon, project manager for the CareConnect revenue cycle team. "CareConnect will replace scores of existing systems, integrating all patient records into a single chart. It will be a change, but I think it will be a great one. Testing is crucial to ensure everything will run smoothly when CareConnect is implemented."
An end-to-end walkthrough of workflows is scheduled for late January, when the CareConnect team will use a realistic scenario of a patient visit to test the system from start to finish.
Do you have questions about testing? Contact us here on the CareConnect website or send us an email at CareConnect@mednet.ucla.edu.
Bijal Patel, a CareConnect application coordinator, runs test
|Denise Dios, a CareConnect application coordinator, reviews
test scripts in a conference room at the Michigan Operations
|Hower Ho, (left) and Denise Dios, (right) application
coordinators, run patient billing services test scripts.
|Crissy Luna, an application coordinator on CareConnect's
revenue cycle team, runs test scripts for the ADT application
at the Michigan Operations Center in Santa Monica during
|Hundreds of test scripts are being run in the first round of
testing for CareConnect workflows.