Interface Test Types

Tip 13 in the Interoperability Tip Series

Last week in Tip 12, we covered when, why, and what to test when you’re working with interfaces. This week, we’re looking at the different interface test types a team needs to perform.

Make sure that your tests cover your interoperability requirements. These will vary depending on the systems you’re working with. Be sure to also cover the following:

1. Workflow

Confirm the interface engine handles your standard workflows as expected.  Just as a reminder, workflows are the series of messages (ADT, lab orders, lab results, etc.) that reflect information flow. You might have dozens, depending on the complexity of the systems and patient care scenarios in your hospital or client site.

2. Edge cases: unexpected values

If you’re testing birth dates, include 1899 as well as 2017. Include dates with the month and day reversed. Try different abbreviations for the days of the week. Check all caps on names. Check accented names. Check hyphenated last names (Lowe-Smith), and those with an apostrophe (O’Donnell). They’re more common than we think, and they can trip up an interface, especially those with customized delimiters.

3. Performance, load, and network testing

Though interface developers don’t normally test network infrastructure, you may want to do this during the validation phase to see how workflows and data are impacting overall infrastructure performance. A high-volume interface may need more load testing than a low-volume interface, depending on your interface engine and connectivity infrastructure.

4. Individual systems

You should test each system on its own, kind of analogous to unit testing in software development. For instance, in addition to making sure the surgical and billing systems handle workflow end to end, make sure they work separately.

Learn More about Test Automation

Want to see how Caristix technology automates testing? Check out this 2-minute excerpt on interface testing and validation from our on-demand demo. See how to prevent costly project rework and delays.