MAINEGENERAL MOVES TO CLOUD-BASED PLATFORM TO OPTIMIZE SOFTWARE VALIDATION TESTING PROCESS

Henry
February 15, 2024
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MAINEGENERAL HEALTH
AUGUSTA, ME

The Challenge
Find innovative ways to optimize processes to gain much needed efficiencies with limited staff.

Objectives
• Eliminate tedious manual testing tasks
• Streamline and standardize testing processes
• Accelerate testing effort

Solution
• Cymetryc


The Challenge
As a regional healthcare organization, the lab informatics team depends on finding innovative ways to optimize its processes to gain much needed efficiencies with limited staff. Some of these legacy processes involve tedious manual software verification using spreadsheets, cobbling together documentation with ‘cut-and-paste’ screen prints, and little visibility as to progress or status of validation testing. “I’m not sure that people outside of the lab realize how laborious this effort can be and how it can impact getting new functionality and equipment installed in the laboratory,” says Forrest Labbe, Manager ERP & Business Systems. “We knew that we needed to modernize our approach to streamline what we were doing. Essentially, we needed to give our team more tools to cut down on the heavy reliance on manual processes.”

Goals
• Move away from spreadsheet-based testing to a centralized solution
• Better control the project testing phase timelines to avoid delays
• Gain visibility of testing plan, testing status and review status
• Eliminate manual preparation of final inspection-ready documentation

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“We did not have a huge learning curve. Cymetryc is quick to learn and really easy to use.
We can’t imagine going back to spreadsheet-based testing.”
– Amy Gregoire, Information System Analyst, MaineGeneral

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Outcomes for Lab IT
The MaineGeneral team decided to select a cloud-based solution, Cymetryc™, from Software Testing Solutions (STS). “We initially used Cymetryc for our Clinisys CoPathPlus anatomic pathology upgrade project. With its centralized test case repository, Cymetryc gave us a holistic view of our validation testing plan and all of the associated test scripts,” explains Lisa Brown, Information System Analyst. “The basic Cymetryc organizational structure helped us avoid missing a test case which would have slowed down our project.”

“We did not have a huge learning curve either,” explains Amy Gregoire, Information System Analyst. “Cymetryc is quick to learn and really easy to use. And it holds everyone accountable too. You can see on the Cymetryc dashboard which test scripts we’ve completed, and which ones are open. The dashboard gives us a transparent view of the status of our testing and approvals. It’s much easier than having to comb through long email threads to figure out where we are.”

With their initial success, other projects using Cymetryc quickly followed: anatomic pathology stains validation testing, verifying a large group of lab test codes, validating a results interface, and testing for a new hematology analyzer implementation project. “We now use Cymetryc for every project, without question,” says Lisa. “We have already planned to use Cymetryc for an upcoming RALS™ System upgrade, a Clinisys SQ Lab information system upgrade and verifying yet another big batch of new lab test codes.”

Clinical Lab Also Uses Cymetryc
As the team use Cymetryc to document their test scripts and capture screen print evidence, Cymetryc automatically makes the data available in its Approve module. Lisa explains, “When we tested the new batch of test codes, the technical laboratory staff could access Cymetryc to review and approve the outcomes online. Their approvals would be automatically captured in the final documentation as well. And the lab loved how the Cymetryc screen ‘rains confetti’ to signal they are done.”

Leveraging the Cymetryc Test Case Library
Before beginning any project, MaineGeneral prefers to contact STS. “We appreciate that they are continually growing the Cymetryc library of test cases and will share that library so that we don’t have to re-invent the wheel,” says Lisa. “Also, Cymetryc gets frequently improved and we like to check in with STS on the latest features before we start on our next project. The team help us set up our test scripts if we need the guidance so that we are ready to go.” Information Systems Analyst Rick McHale adds, “It’s remarkable how fast they are. The STS support is superb.”

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“We appreciate STS as a partner because they listen to us and take our ideas seriously.
When we bring them a challenge we are trying to solve, they quickly find innovative ways to help us.”
– Lisa Brown, Information System Analyst

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What is Next at MaineGeneral
The Lab IT Team is discussing how to further extend Cymetryc to the lab operations team, to test auto-validation rules, correlation studies validations and other verification testing that the lab typically performs. Lisa points out, “It would make sense if our team and the lab can use the same solution for documenting testing and validation. The consistency of the final reports and the standardized process would no doubt help us with our CAP inspections.”

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