Quality Assurance

The timely availability of accurate patient and administrative data has become increasingly critical to the operations of most health care providers. At iNTERFACEWARE™, we are acutely aware that customers rely on us to provide reliable integration software that is well conceived, well monitored, and well supported, and also as error free as possible.

Given that many of our vendor customers are medical device manufacturers who are themselves regulated by the FDA and other agencies, we are both contractually and morally obligated to maintain the very highest levels of quality assurance. iNTERFACEWARE™ is proud of the fact that a number of vendors have audited and approved our QA processes.

The following is a high level summary of the processes and procedures we implement and follow. For customers who need to perform quality audits or complete documentation, we are please to provide this free resource.

If your processes require an onsite audit, or if you need us to complete custom forms or paperwork specific to your organization, please contact our sales organization to get a quote for this work.

Basic Background

The two products we supply to our partners, Chameleon and Iguana, are purely software.  We have no manufacturing facilities nor material suppliers involved in our operation. Many of the typical questions found in many quality audit questionnaires are not applicable. For instance:

  • We do not use statistical analysis in our quality metrics since it is not a relevant technique for software quality in our field.
  • Questions regarding lead time, shipping and use of barcoding systems are not relevant since we do not ship a physical product.

We have been in the business of medical middleware since 1997.  The company is privately held and has grown organically and profitably without external investment from the founder to over 30 people today.  Chameleon and Iguana are embedded into a large number of enterprise healthcare solutions which gives us a very stable recurring income.  Our KLAS customer approval scores are consistently over 90%.

All development, design, marketing and sales is performed in Toronto in our Canadian head office.  We do not outsource any aspect of our software development.

The quality manager reports directly to the management team and is required to formally present their assessment of the quality of any Chameleon or Iguana release.

Design and Development

  • All existing product functionality for Iguana™ and Chameleon™ is documented in functional specification documentation within our internal wiki.
  • New functionality and current development work is documented and reviewed as a part of our development process. The documentation includes both functional specifications and R&D reports.
  • The documentation is integrated with our internal systems, including ticketing and source control systems, giving us a detailed and traceable picture of the design and implementation of features. Audit trails (including dates, authors, and modifications) are all part of this integrated system.

Build System

  • We use a continuous integration system for development. Builds are run automatically and at a minimum, twice daily for every platform we support. Unit tests are run as a part of every build.
  • Build results are recorded in a detailed report and automatically distributed to all developers.
  • Test failures are monitored for each build and are evaluated or corrected immediately.
  • Failures, details of cause, prioritization, and fixes are documented and tracked using our internal ticketing and project management system.

QA Testing

  • Our development process includes monitoring, maintaining, and enhancing the tests for each development change.
  • Each change to our products is reviewed and tested.
  • Failures, details of cause, prioritization, and fixes are documented and tracked using our internal ticketing and project management system.
  • Ongoing, long running integration tests of Iguana are maintained to simulate production loads.

Version and Release Management

  • All source code and tests are kept in Mercurial source code control:
    • This is automatically backed up each night
    • Stored in a third party cloud based software service provider
    • Complete cloned copies maintained by development staff.
  • Releases and associated tests are stamped with version tags, making it possible to rebuild, retest, and re-inspect every released product. This also insures testing and installation of correct elements. Released product versions are maintained on an internal server.
  • Code freeze and regression testing is done prior to each release.
  • Review and sign off of outstanding tickets is done before each release.
  • Releases are performed following a detailed release procedure.
  • Final release candidates are presented to the management team by the quality manager before public availability.

Traceability Analysis

  • The traceability of product design specifications, testing, documentation, and support is achieved through our integrated internal systems and processes.
  • Support issues are received via email and are archived. The emails can be retrieved via our archive search engine.
  • Support issues are tracked using tickets that are linked to the emails and customer profiles in our Customer Relationship Management system (CRM).
  • Where appropriate, support tickets may spawn an associated internal ticket for a fix and/or revised documentation related to the support issue.
  • In the internal ticket, the following activities are documented:
    • target release
    • group leader review of issue
    • developer fix
    • source control code changes associated with the ticket
    • QA verification and test plan cross reference
    • change log field that determines whether the technical writer will include this ticket in the release change log or not
  • Each release of our products is shipped with a change log outlining the changes for each release.
  • Functional specifications and test plans are maintained in the same system and are updated and cross referenced.

Development and Testing Platforms

  • Development and testing platforms are built and refreshed with automated scripts to create consistent and identical platforms for development and testing.
  • Test environments are setup and maintained for every platform we support.

Support Processes

All email between the company and customers is archived.

All support email is shared on an alias which is visible to the core development team, the support team and company management team including the CEO.

Support email is triaged by a dedicated support manager and every issue is assigned a unique ticket number.  Each issue is formally closed by the support manager to confirm if the issue has been resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.  Tickets which cannot be resolved by support are escalated to the development team.

We are proud to maintain over 90% customer satisfaction in our KLAS ratings.

Human Resources

All development staff are trained in our development and quality assurance processes. As a software company we compete on the creativity and skill that our technical people bring to our business.  Without this our business would not be commercially viable.