Health IT UAT – How much testing is enough? 7 Key Considerations

June 1, 2023

You have hundreds if not thousands of applications in your healthcare enterprise that need to be tested and validated before being deployed.  Resources are scarce and the ones you have are stretched thin.  You know you need to test – but how much?  You know you cannot possibility test everything.  How do you determine what to test and how much is “enough”?

Determining the right amount of User Acceptance Testing (UAT) depends on a number of factors, including the complexity of the application, the criticality of the processes it supports, the risks involved, the available resources, and the project timeline. While there is no definitive answer to how much UAT testing is “enough,” there are some considerations that can help guide the decision-making process:

UAT Scope and Coverage: Start by defining the scope of UAT and identifying the critical processes, functionalities, and user workflows that need to be tested. Ensure that the selected scenarios cover the most important and representative real world workflow of the application and its interconnected systems. The extent of coverage should be commensurate with the significance and complexity of the system.

Risks and Impact: Assess the potential risks and impact of software failures on the patients, the business processes and the end-users. Prioritize the scenarios based on their potential impact and likelihood of failure.  Consider the consequences of errors, usability issues, data integrity problems, or any other failures that may arise. Allocate more testing efforts to higher-risk areas, critical functionalities, or scenarios with known past issues.

Ask the Users:  Involve the actual end-users and stakeholders in the UAT process. Their insights, experiences, and feedback can provide valuable input on areas of risk or past problems. Incorporating their feedback can help identify gaps, address concerns, and help ensure user satisfaction upon deployment.

Address the Reality of Time and Resource Constraints: Consider the project timeline and available resources when determining the amount of UAT testing. You’ll need to balance the desire for thorough testing with the practical constraints of time and resources. Based on risk and impact, prioritize critical scenarios and focus on testing the most important functionalities within the available timeframe.  Implement standards and systems that help streamline and facilitate UAT testing so that you can do more with less.

Regulatory and Internal Quality Audit Requirements: If the application under test must comply with specific regulations or enterprise standards, ensure that you have the appropriate coverage.  Perform the testing using a methodology that delivers proper testing documentation which may include detailing the test scenario expected outcomes, appropriate testing evidence (like screen prints and output reports) and secondary review and approval where required.

Iterative Testing: UAT, especially for new system implementation, is best conducted iteratively, with failures and issues from earlier iterations informing subsequent testing. Planning for two to three rounds of UAT to address failures and fixes will help ensure a smoother go-live with new applications.

Lessons Learned: Review historical data and lessons learned from previous projects or similar software implementations. Analyze any past issues, challenges, or user feedback to inform the UAT planning process.  The 80/20 Rule applies here – as 20% of the code in an application contributes to 80% of the defects.  Where has this application failed before?

The goal of UAT is to provide sufficient confidence that the application under test meets the needs of the users and the enterprise. Striking the right balance between comprehensive testing and recognizing the practical constraints helps ensure an effective UAT process and the best possible go-live.

To learn more about how Cymetryc can help you streamline UAT testing, helping you do more with less, please check out

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