When Quality Assurance for Custom Applications Saves Lives
Author: Chamika Nishani | | December 28, 2021
Quality assurance (QA) is never more important than when lives are on the line. When critical care and emergency patients need life-saving services, getting them to a hospital with a bed available can mean the difference between death and recovery.
This was the case for a large North American healthcare organization and hospital network. In order for healthcare services in this geography to be delivered continuously and quickly, patients, doctors, hospitals, and government entities relied on applications built by this healthcare organization to ensure patients were matched with facilities with enough beds and resources to accommodate them.
The two major applications that enabled them to accomplish this included: an application to track hospital occupancy and availability, and another to gather information on incoming patients. The two apps together managed hospital supply and patient demand – and real-time accuracy was paramount. This meant that any enhancement or changes to the technology needed to be supported by detailed quality assurance practices of their applications.
Over a decade ago, the company reached out to Datavail to serve as their application development (AppDev) and QA partner. In this article, we’ll discuss the specific strategies and tactics we used to ensure efficient and detailed QA for this company across all AppDev projects before, during and after the 2020 pandemic.
QA is About Time and Commitment
The goal of QA is to ensure that the results of an AppDev process match the desired outcome. AppDev is complex and nuanced, and this important step in the process is necessary to flush out any defects, unexpected variations in performance, or coding errors. It can also reveal opportunities to build in efficiencies or improve process.
At Datavail, we take QA very seriously. We use a well-defined and proven software development quality assurance and testing process that includes a large number of critical tests to ensure that applications are functioning smoothly and ready for prime time, every time.
Here’s a snapshot of the testing types that were vital for this client:
- Requirements Validation Testing
- Sanity/Smoke Testing
- Performance Testing
- Load & Stress Testing
- Cross-Browser and Cross-Platform Testing
- Security Testing
- User Experience Testing
- Disaster Recovery Testing
- Defect Elimination/Process QA
These testing types were executed rigorously using a combination of manual and automated testing procedures and tools.
In addition to the above testing types, we also implemented a number of other important tactics to ensure that application quality was top-notch and that there would be no user or performance issues.
- Application Integration to confirm the performance of integration points after changes or updates were made.
- Migration Testing including failover testing to ensure that the new environment could properly allocate resources and manage any performance issues within the system.
- Automated Testing to save time and money on repetitive test cases, using an open-source tool called Selenium.
- Risk-based Testing Strategy that ensured that high-risk items would get the necessary time and inspection first before tackling lower-priority items.
- Scaling and Flexing with Growth so that as the data volume and complexity of the applications grew, they would still continue to behave predictably and without issue.
Getting Results is Everything
These healthcare applications were unique in that their successful deployment was critical to the lives and health of thousands of people. There was no room for error. The data needed to be 100% accurate and the system overall needed to be highly available, defect-free, and online all the time.
Our quality assurance team has consistently turned around fully vetted changes and updates with no unexpected pitfalls, sometimes as quickly as three days. But the most significant result we’ve been able to deliver is over ten years with no unplanned downtime. Even with changes and updates taking place a minimum of once every two months, the client has had consistent peace of mind and confidence in the services they deliver knowing that their applications will always perform with high availability and accuracy.
To learn more about how we helped this healthcare organization achieve excellent application performance, download our case study, “Large Hospital Network Gains Reliable Quality Assurance (QA) and Software Testing Support.”
Good quality assurance is a matter of consistency and reliability. Executing repeatable QA processes and following best practices is the secret sauce that ensures critical applications perform with efficiency and stability even as the data, complexity, and volume changes.
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