CTEN Validation Testing

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Goal of Testing

The goal of validation testing is to establish readiness and demonstrate the capability to exchange health information securely using the intended transaction patterns and standards. Testing is not intended to be exhaustive or burdensome, and is not a replacement for full conformance testing, security testing, or certification.

See the CTEN Onboarding Process for a summary of how validation testing fits into the CTEN onboarding process.

Approach to Testing

Validation testing should be conducted by demonstrating successful exchange with CTEN Participants in test systems that mirror production implementations. When possible, tests should be conducted:

  1. with two other Participants;
  2. with Participants that use a different technology platform than the Applicant; and
  3. with Participants that use different technology platforms than each other.

The California Interoperability Committee (CIC) recognizes that it may not be possible or practical to test with two Participants or with Participants using different technology platforms, especially for transaction patterns new to the CTEN or for transaction patterns with complicated security models. Applicants are therefore asked to file a Testing Plan for approval by the CIC before testing begins to maximize the likelihood that completed testing will result in successful onboarding.

Approved Testing Tools

The Applicant may use a standardized third-party testing tool approved by the CIC in lieu of testing with one CTEN Participant. The following tools have been approved for validation testing:

  1. eHealth Exchange Testing Program maintained by The Sequoia Project
  2. Standards Implementation & Testing Environment (SITE) maintained by ONC

Testing Procedure

  1. File a CTEN Testing Plan Form with the CIC if not using a pre-approved testing plan
  2. File a CTEN Testing Tool Recommendation Form if necessary to complete your testing plan

Once the CIC has approved your testing plan:

  1. Conduct testing per your approved testing plan
  2. File a CTEN Test Report Form with the CIC for approval to onboard

Pre-Approved Testing Plans and Report Forms

The CIC maintains a list of testing plans and test report forms have already been approved. If using one of the following pre-approved testing plans, simply inform the CIC of your intent and which plan you intend to use by sending email to the CTEN Administrator, proceed with testing, and complete and submit the test report form.

TLS Certificates

Many transaction patterns use transport layer security (TLS) as an important part of the security model. The CIC has instituted a policy outlining requirements for digital certificates used in conjunction with TLS for transactions on the CTEN. The following check-list may aid Applicants in ensuring the digital certificates they use for TLS conform to CTEN policy.

Test Data

The CIC does not maintain or provide test data at this time. Applicants are encouraged to work with Participants using fictitious patients and data already present in their test systems. The CIC may provide example test data at a future date.