How Critical is Functional and Compatibility Testing for a Healthcare provider?

functional testing

A recent Mckinsey report on Healthcare discusses ‘Why should senior health insurance leaders make “digital” a strategic priority?’ at length. In the 1950s when various institutions started implementing technology with the sheer aim to automate standardized tasks, even healthcare began leveraging IT to automate processes and churn high volumes of statistical data.

The report further mentions that the adoption of IT for Healthcare can be compared to any other industry. Almost two decades later, industries experienced the second wave of digitization/IT adoption. It was responsible for 2 changes –

  • It integrated various aspects of core processes with an organization
  • It supported B2B processes such as supply-chain management for various institutions across industries

Automation and digitization is critical for Healthcare providers, as there are highly recurring tasks that have to be done at speed and with absolute accuracy.

When you refer to digital, it implies a range of technologies and applications that can facilitate automation, rational decision making, and enhanced connectivity with the end users, and more innovation that is data-driven.

While digitization could be a solution, equally important is building a robust and market-ready system. The obvious reason is to offer a fresh, agile, digitally resilient and secure business-user interface platform.

Functional and Cross-browser testing plays a major role in building a responsive and market-ready Web platform for the users in an industry that yearns for consistent results and performance. While Cross-browser testing is critical for Web application testing, the first step in the process is to check for a published list of supported browsers and then assess the percentage of browsers to cover.

On the whole, interconnecting the entire system and functions with a web application is a humungous task and to get it operational is the biggest challenge. So, arduous testing of these health applications is a must and ensuring that the application goes through various testing phases is important.

Today, users are assessing healthcare related applications not only across browsers, but also across devices with various dimensions. In this scenario, building an application that is compatible across devices and browsers is very much business-critical.

Compatibility testing is a non-functional testing implemented to assess the application’s compatibility across various environments, segmented as forward compatibility testing and backward compatibility testing.

The key objective is to confirm that the application is compatible across different hardware, operating systems, databases and versions of the browser. Compatibility Testing is a testing process that involves developing hardware and software configurations, designing, and executing tests in real scenarios.

A web interface for your customers not only provides convenience of use, but also plays a key role in showcasing the company’s brand image. If not displayed effectively, it can shatter the company’s position and lead to loss of customers.

Additionally, if the software is not compatible with the most current hardware devices, then the entire effort of hardware upgrade is futile. The core purpose of upgrading hardware is to accelerate the operations and offer enhanced experience.

There could be some serious consequences of skipping an effective compatibility test:

  • If the software is not compatible across browsers and various versions of the browser, then the users will eventually lose interest for any further experience.
  • If the software doesn’t show compatibility with various other devices like printers, etc., it will become a serious dismay for the end users and could lead to hardware damage as well.
  • If the software is not compatible across various database versions, it may lead to interoperability issues.
  • If the compatibility is not experienced with the network, the user might have to experience performance and bandwidth issues.

At the same time functional testing tests various components and features in the application – refers to activities that validate an action or function of the code. More particularly, it helps answer question from the user’s perspective – Can the user perform this action? Is the feature performing the way it should?

It is typically need-specified testing.

It is a testing technique that is applied to test various features/functionalities of the application, considering diverse scenarios that would include failure paths and boundary cases.

There are 2 approaches to functional testing – requirement-based testing and business-process-based testing:

  • Requirement-based testing: In this category of testing the requirements are prioritized based on the risks involved and tests are planned accordingly. This ensures that some critical tests are included in the overall testing effort.
  • Business-process-based testing: This involves considering a day-to-day business scenario while planning the tests. Business knowledge is applied in this case to devise and execute the tests.

Moreover, testing across multiple browsers is a herculean task and it might not be achievable all the time. It is virtually impossible! So, what do we do?

A comprehensive testing approach has to be incorporated to successfully test across various browsers, platforms, and resolutions.

Let’s have a look at some latest cross-browser compatibility testing tools that Mashable has recently listed:

  • Ghostlab offers a step-by-step testing solution for scrolls, clicks, reloads, and form inputs across connected devices and also tests user experience. By leveraging the advanced built-in inspector, you can detect and fix problems rapidly.
  • BrowserStack offers LIVE, web-based browser testing with immediate access to every desktop and mobile browser (as of now more than 300). It further holds ability to test local and internal servers with a secure set-up.
  • Sauce Labs enables you to execute tests in the Cloud for over 260 different browser platforms and devices, offering a comprehensive test infrastructure that includes Selenium, JavaScript, Mobile, and Manual testing facilities.
  • Browsera enables testing for cross-browser layout issues by mechanically comparing each browser’s output and reporting JavaScript errors. There is no installation required and the tests are executed entirely on the Cloud.
  • Litmus provides a one-stop email and cross-browser testing solution that helps display your site across browsers for verification and does Link validation to avoid any backlisting of URLs.

Gallop has been particularly working with the Healthcare sector to empower healthcare providers to serve their end-users effectively in this evolving and challenging digital landscape. A US-based healthcare critical communications provider engaged with Gallop to enable its online platform with Gallop’s Functional testing and Cross-browser compatibility testing expertise.

It is particularly important to understand here that the client offers software solutions for the healthcare sector, where communication is critical and the service is highly sought after in the US. There were 3 clear objectives laid out – Functional Compatibility testing, Browser Compatibility testing, and Integration testing.

Considering sensitive information was being shared with patients, it was absolutely crucial to keep a zero error scenario. The key challenge was an unstable testing application that had inadequate functionalities to test the business requirements.

The team specifically tested 2 major products – Pulse and Nurse Call system. Along with varied suggestions to enhance functioning of the applications, the team authored test cases, achieved maximum code coverage, and executed them effectively to identify and report defects.

Additionally, we executed intensive regression test suite after each deployment so that the previously tested functionalities work even within the new build. With the latest regression suite, Gallop was able to ensure increased stability for the critical messaging application.

The client was able to achieve a tangible 40% reduction in post-production defects. This further helped improve the brand’s credibility in the healthcare space, which is absolutely business-critical.

Gallop has been working closely with leading and innovative enterprises in the Healthcare segment and we understand the requirements of the sector and criticality it holds with the end-users.

Connect with us to gain speed to market and build a robust and secure digital interface for the millennial consumer.

Though Gallop is not associated with all the tool vendors mentioned above, we do leverage our strategic partnerships with vendors to extend added benefits to our clients.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Non-Functional Testing – Quality is more than Validating Features

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The term non-functional testing is commonly used to refer to testing the features not specific to functions. This includes testing for performance, usability, efficiency, security, the breaking point of the software, and many more.

In essence, most of these tests help us to understand the quality and reliability of the product. Quality is a term that has a widespread implications, and when thought about in the context of non-functional testing, it covers the following major areas:

  • Functionality (quality in terms of Features, Business Processes, and Integrations)
  • Security (quality in terms of Application, Data, Network, and Compliance)
  • Performance (quality in terms of Speed, Resource Consumption, Scalability, and Sizing)
  • Usability (quality in terms of Navigation, Aesthetics, Flexibility, A/B Testing, and Documentation)

Quality in terms of Functionality

Even though there’s a whole range of tests available for testing the Functionality of a product in terms of how to use it, when related to non-functional testing, it relates to the ease of use of the product and the experience of a consumer, and how happy is someone while using the same.

Apart from this, the seamless performance of all the processes also indicate that a lot of thought and planning have been put into the product to make it achieve the required levels of quality. This quality experience is what will put your product on top of the buyers list – thus ensuring higher ROIs for yourself.

Quality in terms of Security

The higher the levels of Security, the better is the quality of a product. With so much personal and business critical data at stake in this highly digitized world thorough, end-to-end quality testing of areas such as Application, Data, Network, and Compliance is imperative.

Not checking for the quality of security in either of the aforementioned areas may cause huge (at times not recoverable) losses in terms of finances, credibility, etc. – and in a lot of cases may result in severe security threats and legal complications as the impact of security loss may be felt on human lives across the globe too.

Quality in terms of Performance

On a different front, the quality of a software with regards to its Speed, Resource Consumption, and Scalability matters a lot while trying to retain and attract new customers. The digital world is getting smaller with a lot of apps being used on mobile platforms, tabs, laptops – and customers, with the huge array of choices before them, naturally try to buy the products that give them the best returns for their cost. They need tools that run the fastest, consume the least data charges or electricity, and are capable of working on any platform, OS, or device – all the while providing all the features seamlessly.

Quality in terms of Usability

Quality in terms of Usability refers to the ease a customer enjoys while navigating through the various features of the product, how easy is the product to learn the first time it is used; the comfort levels a customer has with the aesthetics of the product, that is, whether the colours used on the UI are too jazzy for him, or if the whole look and feel has been created thinking about what most users may enjoy looking at when using the product; and whether or not all the test cases documented earlier have been tested for practical use and cover all scenarios possible. It also means that the customers enjoyed using the product so much that they want to re-use the product and do not need to spend time again to learn the basics of the product and can quickly accomplish the desired tasks.

Thus, as can be safely deduced, that in terms of non-functional testing, good quality of a product will always help you gain (and retain) more customers rather than just focussing on testing the features of a product.

Gallop’s teams have successfully performed Non-Functional Testing for our numerous clients. Get in touch with us if you are looking to test Non-Functional Aspects of your business applications and we will be glad to do a free assessment for you.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.