Anytime the value or requirement of a quality effort for a product is questioned, the people questioning may bring in a baseless argument on whether the product is in the health care, life sciences, banking, or aviation kind of domains where the error tolerance level is absolutely low if not zero. This situation has significantly changed over the years, which is welcoming. Without looking at this in any more depth, let’s get to talking about healthcare app testing. This domain is a very regulated space with several mandates and compliances in place – be it HIPAA, or specific compliances in areas of security of electronic health records, accessibility and usability of the software etc. The goal of these mandates is to primarily ensure the chances or errors are significantly brought down.
However, how fool proof are these, is always a question – a question because a) the mandates need to be maintained continuously to ensure they meet the latest requirements of the domain and b) how effectively are detailed mandates adopted and checked for, is always a question. Several compliance software tools are also available to enable product companies determine their level of compliance. Despite all of these, testing for software is indeed both a science and an art. While the mandates and the tools bring in all the science to the process, the value of the feedback coming in from true end users cannot be ignored. Sometimes, the feedback they provide based on their experience in the field is another angle to this whole mix that cannot be brought in by just sticking to comprehensive mandates.
Based on our experience of working with several clients across domains including product companies in health care, we have realized that partnerships with end users, for them to come in and test the product whether as an individual test effort or as a planned crowd sourced test effort is immense. These could even include teaching professionals in the domain from universities, if not practitioners such as doctors, nurses, clinical staff etc.
The important thing to keep in mind though is that neither one of these are going to be sufficient stand alone. The right combination of both these efforts with a test strategy and team that is able to make the release sign off call, combining both pieces of information is what it takes to truly achieving quality in the product and when this happens the zero error tolerance will become possible not just in health care but also other domains.