Case Study: Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
OUH Prescribes Eggplant to Help Improve Patient Care
As one of the largest National Health Service (NHS) teaching Trusts in the UK, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) is world renowned for its excellence in healthcare, training and research thanks in part to its collaboration with the University of Oxford. Through its 12,000 employees who serve patients at four hospitals and over 40 other locations across the region, the OUH (www.ouh.nhs.uk) provides a wide range of clinical services, specialist services (including Cardiac, Cancer, Musculoskeletal and Neurological Rehabilitation) and Medical Education.
Digital transformation is at the top of the Trust's agenda and the OUH is leading the way in health technology, and sees investment in IT systems and processes as key to improving the delivery of its services and patient care. The Trust implemented Cerner Millennium (Electronic Patient Record) software in 2011 to store and manage Patient data. The EPR solution provides a wide range of administrative and clinical functions including patient registration, outpatient appointments, in-patient activity, emergency care, prescribing, diagnostics and clinical coding.
As with any public-funded healthcare organisation that provides care free of charge, OUH faces constant financial pressure and resource constraints. Anything that can save staff time and improve efficiency will help save costs. At the same time, OUH recognises the value in dedicated IT and resources and as such, boasts one of the largest IT departments in the UK for a hospital Trust.
Seeking a Cure for Manual Testing Inefficiencies
The EPR solution has been manually tested to provide technical assurance and due to its complexity and size it was recognised that any way of automating certain testing activities would be advantageous. EPR Technical Application Analyst cites one example. "Setting up a new training domain for users [on Millennium] would require a large amount of data input to get patient records set up to enable staff to learn how to use the system. Doing that manually would be extremely labour intensive."
Additionally, there are significant resourcing challenges with performing end to end system regression testing across multiple Millennium core modules and associated configuration. We need to ensure that the system is not adversely impacted by a planned upgrade. The EPR Technical Application Test Manager adds “But if we could run tests quickly with automation, we could cover more ground." The fact that OUH would be relying more on electronic systems to advance its digital initiative was an excellent business case for a test automation solution.