Case Study

Cerner Use Case

Major California hospital group relieves the pain of manual Cerner testing
185k
patients cared for every year
350+
active research studies
1200
medical providers and residents
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From burdensome manual testing to streamlined, risk-targeted test automation

Overview

A major California hospital group relies on Cerner applications to drive efficient operations and continuously optimize patient care. However, their manual testing approach could not keep pace with Cerner’s rapid release schedule. The constant testing of updates was disruptive, and each test cycle was painful without tools providing insight into what changed and what to focus on.

They knew that Cerner tested each new release. However, Cerner does not disclose exactly what was tested, and with what rigor. Moreover, each Cerner customer needs to perform their own testing to understand how Cerner’s updates impact the highly-customized workflows that hospitals build upon Cerner’s prepackaged functionality.

Even beyond testing Cerner updates, the organization’s manual test tracking and execution process was not meeting their expectations from a reporting, status, coverage, and release traceability standpoint. It was clear that addressing these issues required test automation embedded within a more robust, mature, and streamlined testing practice—as well as a better way to organize test cases and results.

Tricentis helped this major California hospital group advance from manually testing Cerner updates to applying a risk-based automated testing approach that provides more effective testing with significantly fewer resources.

Challenges

  • All testing of the Cerner app was performed manually, with basic Microsoft Office tools

  • Cerner does not provide details about what was testing and with what rigor

  • Cerner’s own testing does not account for individual workflows that various hospital groups might build

  • Manual testing and testing teams became overburdened with the volume of releases
  • Manual testing process left little visibility into analytics and testing data from release to release

  • Lacked the data to support a risk-based approach to test design, so everything had to be tested to the same level of rigor, every time

  • Difficult to capture useful reporting data

  • Difficult to track testing project status

Solution

With effective test automation in mind, this hospital group turned to Tricentis—the leader in test automation. To ensure a speedy and successful deployment, Tricentis leaned on their strategic partner, Tx3 Services, who brings a wealth of experience to servicing Healthcare and Life Sciences organizations.

The hospital group was the first Tricentis customer to venture into Cerner testing; thanks to great collaboration across teams and organizations, deployment and ongoing utilization was a resounding success. The hospital group not only achieved the effective Cerner test automation they had originally targeted. They also discovered numerous additional benefits.

For example, the team can take a risk-based approach to test automation now that they have better analysis and tracking of previous testing and past releases. This drastically reduced the overhead of testing requirements and streamlined regression testing from release to release—dramatically reducing time to ROI. In addition, their automated tests can be easily parametrized and data-driven—increasing the scope of automation while reducing test maintenance and configuration required.

The implementation has yielded such positive results that the CIO has extended the project across other areas of Cerner, as well as across additional applications across the enterprise.

Product Mix

  • Tx3 + Tricentis Tosca

Constant manual testing of Cerner updates was disruptive, and each test cycle was painful without tools providing insight into what changed and what to focus on.

The hospital group was the first Tricentis customer to venture into Cerner testing; thanks to great collaboration across teams and organizations, deployment and ongoing utilization was a resounding success.

Results

  • Testing of several Cerner application areas automated, including First Net, Power Chart, Lab, and Revenue Cycle

  • Implemented a risk-based test automation framework

  • Project details can be provided in readable formats (rather than in compiled code-dumps or bunches of syntax), which is great for management and above

  • Better analysis and tracking of testing from release to release

  • Improved, streamlined regression testing

  • Workflows can be visually mapped, end-to-end
  • Minimal learning curve for moving from manual processes to test automation

  • Data-driven tests increases test coverage while reducing testing effort

  • Real-time visibility and reporting on testing progress

  • Expanding automation to additional areas of Cerner

  • Expanding automation to additional application areas across the enterprise