Since the beginning of 2017, University Hospital Antwerp (UZA) has started the development and installation of an electronic patient dossier (EPD). In an EPD, all the patient's medical data is available anytime and anywhere to all doctors and nurses involved and the patient themself.
The new EPD will replace more than 150 IT applications that exist today within the UZA to collect these data with a single central system. At the moment, such a dossier for one patient is often scattered across different departments. Patients will be able to consult their dossiers anytime and anywhere, as will their family doctor and all healthcare providers involved.
In order to make one of the biggest changes of the past and coming years possible, the UZA chose the system of international market leader Cerner as the most suitable package for the future EPD.
With the project now well on track and the Go Live in May 2020 growing nearer, the testing strategy was worked out in early 2019. It soon became clear that we would need additional resources that would provide the necessary testing expertise and support.
We entered into several discussions with potential partners to supply test engineers, but Passwerk's story convinced us: The necessary expertise around software testing supplemented with added social value.
We therefore made the decision to employ three Passwerk employees as test consultants.
Before our three passionate test engineers joined the team, the EPD team was informed extensively about the unique qualities of the Passwerk employees. During an interactive presentation, the job coach gave a little more insight into how Passwerk works, working with people with an autism spectrum disorder and the supporting role, before, during and after employment. Practical considerations also had to be discussed: A separate room or office, with as few stimuli as possible.
Before the start, there were quite a few questions from the UZA team members.
Our three test engineers started on 24 April.
Lotte, Arthur and Glenn are three different personalities who have joined the EPD team and have integrated remarkably quickly. Almost immediately, everyone noticed their great added value in the thoroughness and speed with which they analyse things.
They each have their own uniqueness and strengths, quick and analytical, good language skills, focused and rigorous, etc.
They initially had a lot of questions and were worried that their lack of a clinical background would be a barrier.
On the contrary, however, by looking at our cases and workflows without assumptions and clinical approaches, they were able to pinpoint problems that we were overlooking.
The main task for the three test engineers was twofold: Providing support with writing test scripts and performing various unit tests (mainly checking content). The unit testing, in particular, was often a repetitive task with a high number of problems on occasion. The test engineers have the golden ability to keep this up and not get as tired as we would expect from other employees.
Their eye for detail is and remains what everyone admires so much in them. This means that, apart from testing, they are also perfectly suitable for text reading and data validation.
As test manager and point of contact for the testers, the internal supervision of the three testers lies with me. This is going really well. There is a lot of consultation involved, and we worked together to determine how the total Agile project approach could still be structured clearly for them. We set up a Trello board together and consult on at least a daily basis. The guidance is intensive but in line with expectations.
The Passwerk coaches also visit regularly for 1-on-1 meetings with the three test engineers as well as a consultation with me. This ensures that all parties receive support.
As I understand it, is quite unique that a group of three test engineers from Passwerk are employed together on one project. This does mean three times the follow-up from Passwerk, and I have to coordinate regularly with three job coaches.
We are still very satisfied with our test team and hope to keep them on board for a long time to come.