Quality Assurance Examples In Healthcare – Lately, we’ve seen a lot of debate surrounding the difference between quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC). A common distinction is that QA is process oriented while QC is product oriented.
This premise is undoubtedly true, but as teams began to implement both approaches, it became clear that a single distinction between quality assurance and quality control did not provide sufficient practical information.
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As testers begin implementing quality assurance, they inevitably run into a number of problems. Are QA/QC completely separate processes? How to assign responsible members? What are the goals for each process? More importantly, what are the risks of making QA and QC completely independent?
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We share our views on the differences, common approaches, risks, and similarities between quality assurance and quality improvement.
Quality assurance focuses on how to choose how to develop and test, checking that the team is doing things right.
Analyzes quality control products and makes recommendations to the QA team. The goal of the QA team is to find the root cause of code problems.
Separating QC and QA not only helps teams focus on a product that works well, but also maintains best practices within the team. If the QA team does a good job of analyzing and fixing the process, the QC team will have fewer problems to deal with in the long run.
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Quality assurance ensures that the development and testing process does not become deeply entrenched. Testers analyze coding errors, make long-term fixes, and provide feedback to the development team. The goal is not only to eliminate the problem, but also to avoid making the same mistakes.
Quality assurance is proactive – its goal is to prevent problems before they occur in the product. The team conducts reviews, tracks documentation, communicates with development teams, and introduces automation and code quality tools. The QA team is responsible for sorting out product requirements and developing strategies to meet those requirements.
Therefore, QA’s top priority is to increase your team’s productivity, prevent problems, and optimize processes. This is accomplished through documentation, planning, inspection, and training.
QC is a series of activities performed to improve the final product. The goal is to provide clean code, fast performance, and an intuitive experience. For quality control, the result is more important than the process. Without quality assurance, quality control can only resort to short-term fixes. The quality of work is not improved and the QC team has to keep dealing with the same errors.
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Without QC, QA doesn’t know what aspects need to be improved. The direction of quality assurance efforts depends largely on feedback from quality control specialists.
Quality control is a proactive approach that focuses on finding existing defects rather than prevention. This is done through product testing, checkpoint testing, code base analysis, and practical use cases.
Before discussing the subtle methodological differences, let’s look at two key differences between quality assurance and quality control.
Both components of quality management are equally important. However, when it comes to the actual implementation, the team is concerned about the cooperation of QA and QC. To what extent are these two fields independent? Does one influence the other? Which function ends and starts? Of course, QA or QC teams also don’t want to disrupt workflows, but is total isolation the solution?
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Quality assurance focuses on primary production. The code itself must be clean and properly developed. QC also takes into account secondary factors such as hardware differences, various operating systems, browsers, plugins, and API compatibility.
If we were to move from software development to food production, quality assurance would be responsible for making sure the food is cooked correctly. Quality control tests it for bacteria, chemicals or spoilage.
Another area similar to the scope of QA is quality improvement. Like assurance, improvement considers the bigger picture, but takes action to solve problems. There are different approaches to quality assurance and quality improvement: Quality assurance is theoretical, while improvement is dynamic. In other words, it is a combination of QA and QC. If the assurance and control teams work together, they work in the same way as the improvement team.
QA is done first, which lays the foundation for quality assurance. QA developers engage in projects through specific quality assurance methods:
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Quality control works according to a set of standards and criteria established by the QA team. Control teams focus on product performance and identifying minor issues. In contrast to a QA/QC program, QC’s activities are based on QA’s requirements.
Quality assurance activities are long-term, and teams must think long-term, strategize, and plan ahead. Quality control is a more practical field that deals with current practical problems.
Quality assurance begins in the early stages of planning. The QA team was already involved when the team created the software requirements specification document and the software development plan. They define product requirements, design criteria, and determine best practices.
After the feature is ready, quality control begins in the next phase of development. Quality control is most active when development is complete, and in the pre-deployment phase, teams can get a complete product.
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A long-term process designed to improve QA teams. As long as the team has a product to develop, QC time is shorter. Obviously, there is a very subtle difference between quality control and quality assurance that varies from project to project.
QA goals are long-term and prevent the same code problems from occurring. Let’s look at some examples.
Quality control has product-driven goals. They aim for software quality rather than systems and long-term delivery.
The QA team is typically involved early in the design and testing phase, working with the entire product development team. QA experts must communicate with developers to understand the specifics of each step in the product development process.
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This means standing up and attending team meetings early, communicating regularly with stakeholders, reviewing competitors, and more.
As a visionary, QA must have all the information about the company, its needs, market, product requirements, technology stack, etc., and fully understand the details of the development process.
Quality control and execution is performed by the testing team. Their responsibility is to clean up and inform the QA team after the development phase.
They can join the project early (as in DevOps) or when most of the code base is ready. The time depends on the software development method of the project.
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Both QA and QC try to measure the workflow as much as possible. Clear deliverables make it easier to communicate with other teams, estimate budgets, and measure your team’s performance.
In software development, it is common to hire QA and QC experts from specialist outsourced teams. In-house QA and QC experts often don’t have enough work to justify the expense of hiring, onboarding, and staffing. Reduce the cost of remote auditing, consulting, optimization, and collaboration by accessing experts with years of experience and getting a third-party opinion on the project.
A major advantage of hiring outsourced QA and QC teams is their multidisciplinary approach. They have created best practices that are not conducive to the company’s current workflow.
Although QA and QC are separate entities, completely separating the two processes poses three key risks.
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Quality assurance experts cannot implement the innovation process without experience using the product. Understanding how the methodology used directly affects the software and its functionality and performance is a key factor in becoming a QA expert. Quality assurance personnel need to see the real results of their work – clean code is a direct result.
Many quality managers prefer quality assurance to quality control because the work is more creative. “Dirty” tasks such as refactoring, cleaning up technical debt, and finding bugs are often not prioritized. Therefore, all members of the QA team should occasionally participate in, or at least directly collaborate with, QC work.
QA professionals already know the dangers of straying too far from product quality. However, quality control teams also run the risk of stagnation when they focus on short-term goals rather than processes. Importantly, the automation and optimization performed by the QA team also reaches the QC team, improving their workflow.
If QA and QC teams can’t agree on ways to improve code and processes, the entire team can lose trust. It has a serious impact on product quality and team effectiveness. Both teams may learn how the other works and occasionally switch roles – just to understand the other’s problems.
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QA and QC work together cyclically. The starting point is the quality control team – they come up with product requirements, define specifications and provide a set of standards. QC takes over these frameworks by using them for actual testing. QC then feeds their insights back to QA – which can now be used by the assurance team to spot development and test issues.
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