The importance of QA testing for health data privacy
Tuesday December 24, 2019,
6 min Read
Given its highly sensitive applications, it’s no surprise that the healthcare industry has massively turned to a digital transformation to improve its services. This has made it possible for health institutions to improve their overall services, from the treatments themselves to the way the patients’ health records are managed. The results are there for all to see - the healthcare industry now offers higher quality services than before.
Yet, that doesn’t come without its challenges. That’s especially true for all the critical data related to patients and organizations that’s stored and used on a daily basis. From payment information to identity details, there’s a lot of sensitive information lying around, which makes digital security a must for all healthcare applications. How can anyone ensure that level of security? By working with a QA outsourcing company that ensures the final software is robust enough to prevent breaches.
There are several ways in which QA services can help with that, but the most important ones are detailed below.
1 - A higher quality software
A basic benefit of all QA testing services is ensuring that the final product is as bug-free as possible. Since bugs and errors in the code translate into vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malicious agents to get a hold of sensitive data, it’s highly important that software for the healthcare industry has a near-perfect code.
That’s what a QA software tester works for. These professionals intervene in all stages of software development to analyze the processes used to create the application. The goal is to ensure they are up to standard. By being developed with rigorous and tested processes, software is less prone to have bugs, thus being more secure.
2 - Improved protection for PHI
A software QA company working on custom development for the healthcare industry can pinpoint potential risks that can compromise protected health information (also known as PHI). It can do that by employing strategic security testing processes that can help unveil the spots where security might be breached.
Besides, data encryption should be tested in all applications for the healthcare industry, as it’s one of the requirements in the HIPAA Compliance list. Complying with this regulation is mandatory, so having experts helping in the security aspects is a good idea to fit the requirements without any issues.
3 - Validation for Data Storage
All of the data that’s gathered from patients and organizations working with health institutions is kept in servers that, naturally, have to be secured against potential breaches and malicious attacks. Fortunately, QA services can come in handy for this as well, since security testing ensures that the data storage techniques are secure enough.
Additionally, QA testing analyzes the health institution’s current security infrastructure to guarantee that’s the best option available for its purposes. This also means that software QA outsourcing companies take a look at the institution’s encryption techniques and its data management policy to guarantee that all of the aspects of data storage are as strong as needed, depending on the context.
4 - Validation for Security Techniques
Software QA outsourcing companies don’t just look at specific aspects of the healthcare industry applications but also examine the overall picture. This means that they also look at the core mechanisms used in data storage and transmission to ensure that the option used by the institutions is the perfect alternative for their requirements.
Thus, it can help define whether an organization needs a specific encryption algorithm, two-way authentication, or any other measure to safeguard the sensitive data the institution is gathering.
5 - Better protection for the data flow
Custom software for the healthcare industry takes advantage of several technologies to move its data around. That means that the software QA company has to analyze how email, cloud storage, and mobile integration is embedded within the application to ensure that the data flow is completely secure.
A seasoned QA team will take a look at how each point of the data exchange is secured against unauthorized attacks and access. This means detecting vulnerable points, implementing identity validation measures, and mitigating potential data breaches. The way QA can ensure that is by using the right security testing to detect these instances and provide the solutions during the software’s development.
6 - Thorough risk assessment before release
As they do in any development process, software QA testers take a look at every stage in the development process to ensure that necessary fixes are implemented before the software’s release to its final users. In other words, the QA company has to plan all the quality assurance actions with enough time to ensure that the developers have enough time to diagnose the application and provide the feedback in time.
Thus, QA testing has to be taken into account right from the get-go, as it should safeguard data privacy from the very beginning of development. That’s the only way to guarantee that the final software will be secure enough once it reaches its users.
Some final words
QA services have become increasingly important in the development of custom software for the healthcare industry. That’s because the whole industry has turned to digital solutions to provide better services to its patients, and having bug-free applications is one of the better ways to do so.
It’s not just a matter of user experience. Though a good software can ensure a more sophisticated aid to doctors, nurses, and other health professionals, digital solutions have to be as precise as possible, since they are dealing with human lives and treatments that affect them.
In that context, QA testing positions itself as crucial, since code errors potentially lead to wrong diagnosis and its derived treatments. And that’s without considering the impact a bug-ridden software can have on data privacy in the age of data vulnerability, especially in the healthcare industry, where there are loads of sensitive data being exchanged.
All of that underlines the importance of counting with the best possible software. The idea is obvious - to have the best possible help from digital applications without the potential pitfalls that might appear. The only way to ensure that is through QA testing, a must-have tool for the healthcare industry of the 21st century.