Optimizing SAP Testing in the Medical Devices Industry | TTC Global

Optimizing SAP Testing in the Medical Devices Industry

The Importance of Ensuring Quality of Care and Patient Safety Through Meticulous Software Testing

Michael Cropped
  • Michael Sieve
  • 12 January 2024

The integration of SAP in the medical device industry has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. As the world’s leading provider of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, SAP plays a pivotal role in the Health & Life Sciences (HLS) sector by managing various aspects of business operations, from supply chain management to regulatory compliance. With the introduction of SAP into the medical device sector, there exists a critical need for comprehensive and rigorous testing.

Firstly, the unique integration of SAP systems with medical devices demands meticulous attention to testing. These systems often handle critical patient data, ranging from electronic health records to treatment plans. Any potential malfunction or error in the SAP system could lead to data inaccuracies or compromise patient safety. Thorough testing helps identify and rectify any vulnerabilities in the system, reducing the risk of data breaches or errors that could impact patient care.

Validation of SAP systems for medical devices can be challenging to complete using traditional paper-based validation methods. While using document management systems speeds up this process, there are still paper-based activities, such as “document approval”, that can be broken down into incremental steps. This allows organizations to shift left, with approvals happening when the decisions are made. Implementing a digital validation process covering requirements, testing, and issue management provides a robust path for development and testing to meet compliance, while also providing accurate metrics, detailed process flows, next steps, and the elimination of paper and document management systems.

In the life sciences sector, SAP solutions are extensively used for managing complex processes such as regulatory reporting, quality control, and supply chain management. Digital validation in SAP testing for life sciences ensures that these critical processes are executed accurately and in accordance with regulatory requirements, such as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Good Clinical Practices (GCP). Automated testing tools can validate the functionality of SAP modules that handle sensitive data, ensuring the integrity and security of information crucial for compliance. The ability of digital validation to create comprehensive and repeatable test scenarios is particularly crucial in the life sciences, where precision and reliability are paramount.

By implementing digital validation for SAP, it will enhance overall efficiency, reduce risk of compliance errors, and accelerate the time-to-market for life sciences products and services, ultimately contributing to the success and compliance of organizations in this highly regulated industry.

The migration to SAP S/4HANA is a significant undertaking for healthcare and life sciences companies. S/4HANA migrations refer to the process of migrating an organization's ERP system from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA. This migration process involves a range of technical and operational considerations including data migration, system configuration, and testing. S/4HANA migrations can offer a number of benefits to organizations, including:

  • increased performance,
  • improved user experience,
  • and enhanced analytics capabilities.

However, the migration process can also be complex and require significant planning and preparation to ensure a successful outcome.

Digital validation ensures that the migration adheres to regulatory compliance and industry standards specific to the HLS sector. It helps validate critical functionalities and ensures that the SAP S/4HANA system aligns with the stringent requirements of healthcare data management.

While digital validation ensures compliance and increases the accuracy and speed of compliance-based activities, test automation accelerates the testing process and increases test coverage. This enables HLS companies to efficiently validate various scenarios during the migration. Automated test scripts can be created to verify critical business processes, reducing the time and effort required for testing while improving accuracy. Automated testing can also help to augment your regression testing process utilizing distributed automated execution expanding your testing capacity.

By integrating these testing and validation strategies, HLS companies can ensure a smoother transition to SAP S/4HANA, minimizing downtime, reducing risks, and maintaining compliance. This comprehensive approach helps in safeguarding critical healthcare and life sciences operations while unlocking the full potential of the advanced features and capabilities offered by SAP S/4HANA.

To address the criticality of SAP testing in the medical device industry, companies must adopt best practices. This includes a well-defined and comprehensive testing strategy that covers all aspects of SAP functionality relevant to medical devices. In addition, a risk-based approach to testing, incorporating validation protocols and documentation in line with regulatory requirements, is essential. Regular audits and compliance checks should be conducted to ensure that the system remains in compliance with the ever-evolving regulatory landscape. Furthermore, companies should not only invest in training and development for their personnel to maintain SAP testing expertise, but also consider what technology platform will be used to help implement the systems.

Choosing the right technology platform to support your business can be challenging, especially when SAP testing. TTC Global’s broad experience working with a multitude of industry leading applications enables us to provide optimized solutions best suited to your organization’s needs. Leveraging our team’s knowledge of automated technologies and testing expertise, we collaborate with you and our providers to improve testing efficiencies, software quality, and customer value delivered.

TTC understands the Health and Life Sciences Industry's need for speed to market, while meeting multiple regulatory compliance requirements including 21 CFR Part 11, GxP Compliance, IEC 62304 and ISO 13485. Thanks to our team's extensive experience in testing SAP, TTC can help modernize the quality management system incorporating digital validation and providing big data analytics while still meeting compliance in a rigorous regulatory landscape. TTC applies a risk-based approach to testing, allowing organizations to become more efficient, innovate and shift left, while ensuring the security of patient data and compliance.