Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. Located across three campuses, it is home to Canada’s largest trauma centre and totals nearly 1.2 million patient visits each year.
A long-time Sunquest customer, Sunnybrook has been using Software Testing Solutions (STS) Scenario testing and services for over ten years to validate Sunquest releases. Currently they are running Sunquest Laboratory version 7.2 and Collection Manager (CLM) version 6.0 which initially went live in January 2017 and continues to be rolled out to various units.
We recently spoke with Arnold Tralla, LIS Analyst at Sunnybrook about their use of the STS Scenario testing. Arnold told us that while “…the real power of STS is the validation for major upgrades – they’re a lifesaver!”, he also realized that he could design his own mini-scenario using the STS building blocks to alleviate a recently assigned monotonous chore – creating hundreds of pending accession numbers for nurses to use in CLM training.
There were two nursing schedules to accommodate – the day-shift weekday only nurses who staffed clinics and the transfusion center plus the hospital nurses who covered all three shifts including weekends. Since it was Arnold’s first solo STS project, he worked with STS to get started. First STS created 8 test patients in the lab system and Arnold associated the appropriate hospital and billing numbers to generate barcoded wrist-bands to use in the training. Then he designed a scenario to place pending orders for chemistry, hematology, blood culture and urine dipstick. After testing to make sure his newly created scenario functioned as needed, he used the tool’s copy function to replicate the scenario and create orders for four patients with three different requested collection times, one per nursing shift. The remaining four patients only needed one collection time per weekday shift for use by the clinic staff.
Stringing scenarios together allowed him to use STS to place orders for four days at a time.
Previously Arnold had used a macro to bulk-load orders but “almost anything would stop the macro, any unexpected message such as an invalid doctor ID. STS is so robust that it can recover from almost anything and log a message so that I know what happened. But the beauty is that it just keeps going.”
If orders had been placed manually, he estimates approximately 45 minutes of keyboard time for each weekday and about 30 minutes for the weekend. Nursing training was scheduled daily for a full four weeks before go-live, meaning about 20 or more hours total spent with this critical but repetitive chore. Instead, after investing about and hour and a half to design, test and build the scenario, it took only five minutes to set the requested collection dates and begin the scenarios to create four days of pending orders.
Thus Arnold spent about 2.5 hours instead of 20 or more. But as he said “It wasn’t just the time; it was the monotony of the task that I wasn’t looking forward too. As LIS analysts, there are so many other things demanding our attention.”
There were a couple of lessons learned during this project. First, the generic dates of T, T+1 etc. for today, tomorrow and so on did not work because sometimes the scenarios ran past midnight, changing the current date mid-stream. Secondly, there should also have been a “STAT” order in the mix so that the trainees could train with that display. Nonetheless, nursing completed their training and the CLM go-live was on time – project success for everybody!
Arnold concluded our conversation by saying “STS is very robust….no matter what happened, it kept running. I can start it then walk away to do other things. It was really great to be able to off-load this tedious chore!”
If you are interested in using your LIS’s Scenario for a similar task and want assistance to get started, or to learn more about STS’s LIS and middleware validation automation contact us today at +1 877.765.0100 or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org (current customers) or email@example.com (new customers). We are here to help you succeed!