E Referral & E Request Healthcare Platform
We automated surgical booking and wait time tracking with an e-referral and e-request platform
Our client is a Canadian healthcare innovator and the provider of an intelligent healthcare platform that streamlines e-requests and e-referrals for hospitals and clinics worldwide. The company focuses on ease of access to healthcare services, helping patients get the right care at the right time by the right provider. Their focus on individual patients makes our client unique among software vendors in the healthcare field.
Delivering reliable healthcare software takes a deep understanding not just of technology but of regulatory requirements for handling confidential records and user-generated data, interoperability with other healthcare systems, and integration with backend systems. Knowledge of relevant regulatory requirements was a key consideration for our client when choosing a reliable outsourcing partner to modernize and adapt their existing healthcare solutions for 11 new hospital sites. The tight project timeline was also a concern during the vendor selection process, as the majority of functionality for managing patient wait times had to be implemented by the end of the client’s fiscal year to take full advantage of sponsorship funds.
Access real-time waiting lists
Manage patient care
Automate responses for patients
Market: Canada, US
Team size: 3 engineers
We applied a two-phased approach to speed up the development of new software. The first phase covered architectural enhancements and new capabilities related to waiting list management, electronic booking, and automated wait time reporting. During this first phase, we prepared the platform for integration with healthcare systems by leading companies including McKesson, GE, Picis, QuadraMed, and Meditech as well as with electronic medical record (EMR) vendors, which allowed our client’s healthcare platform to become a fully integrated enterprise system. The first phase ended with full adoption of the new software solution at one of our client’s 11 hospital sites. This initial success paved the way for broad adoption and acceptance at the 10 remaining sites throughout phase two.
The next phase involved developing an interface between the newly deployed software and the surgical scheduling system already in use at these hospitals. With this new interface, booking requests from surgeons’ offices automatically flow into each hospital’s surgical booking system.
Our quality assurance team elaborated a comprehensive test plan covering all possible test cases with both automated and manual tests. To carry out these tests, our test automation team used C#, Selenium WebDriver, and NUnit. We also used a SIL environment and limited manual testing to ad-hoc checks for bottlenecks and edge cases.
Our testing strategy included verifying HIPAA compliance as an important part of initial sanity testing as well as full feature testing. Our HIPAA compliance testing covered five main areas: user authentication, information disclosure, audit trails, data transfer, and correct data use. We performed HIPAA-related sanity testing as early as possible in the development cycle to quickly discover defects. Our team also ensured that defects related to HIPAA compliance were clearly indicated and documented so they received the highest priority. Weekly reports on testing results ensured our client was aware of identified issues.
Our client’s managed healthcare platform now provides:
- optimized e-referral forms for each region that help patients find data such as medical bills and clinical information
- automatically updated wait times to efficiently route patients to clinics
- real-time referral status updates
- secure consulting functionality for conversations between patients and clinics
This healthcare platform has yielded many benefits for stakeholders – surgeons’ offices, hospitals, and patients – related to the efficiency, accuracy, and timeliness of surgery-related administrative processes. For our client, this platform modernization will pay dividends for years to come.
Using the e-referral platform, a patient can select a healthcare provider while taking into account wait time, patient load, and travel distance. The platform can also route patients to a specific provider, agency, or clinic based on available information, and can be configured to route and manage requests for different types of healthcare services including surgical, ambulatory analysis, palliative care, diagnostics, mental health, and addiction.
We helped our client:
- Reduce referral processing times five-fold
- Successfully introduce their platform in over 35 hospitals across Canada
- Extend their reach to the US and Australia
- Increase healthcare quality and performance
- Achieve significant savings over manual, paper-intensive, and error-prone booking processes