In the media introduction to this module, it was suggested that you as a nurse have an important role in the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC). With a focus on patient care and outcomes, nurses may not always see themselves as contributors to the development of new systems. However, as you may have observed in your own experience, exclusion of nurse contributions when implementing systems can have dire consequences.
In this Discussion, you will consider the role you might play in systems development and the ramifications of not being an active participant in systems development.
- Review the steps of the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) as presented in the Resources.
- Reflect on your own healthcare organization and consider any steps your healthcare organization goes through when purchasing and implementing a new health information technology system.
- Consider what a nurse might contribute to decisions made at each stage of the SDLC when planning for new health information technology.
Post a description of what you believe to be the consequences of a healthcare organization not involving nurses in each stage of the SDLC when purchasing and implementing a new health information technology system. Provide specific examples of potential issues at each stage of the SDLC and explain how the inclusion of nurses may help address these issues. Then, explain whether you had any input in the selection and planning of new health information technology systems in your nursing practice or healthcare organization and explain potential impacts of being included or not in the decision-making process. Be specific and provide examples.
Expert Answer and Explanation
Inclusion of Nurses in SDLC Process
The SDLC process has five key stages, including analysis, design, implementation, evaluation, and maintenance (McGonigle, & Mastrian, 2017). The analysis stage is concerned with determining the areas that would be included in the system, and not involving the nurses might lead to gaps in the system modules leading to performance challenges. The inclusion of nurses might help identify the areas that need to be addressed in the system and better implement the software (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, n. d. a). At the design stage, nurses are relevant for providing the required functional framework in terms of structure and routine, and their exclusion can lead to a system that would be partially functional and need numerous changes.
At the implementation stage, nurses are involved for they are the main users of the system, and they need to be trained and educated on the system functionality, failure to their inclusion would lead to underutilization of the system and losses in others of return on investment (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, n.d.b). Not involving nurses in the evaluation process has a negative impact on understanding the impact of the change. Involving nurses in maintenance can be essential in identifying the areas that are properly functioning and those that require redesign or patches.
During my nursing practice, I was partially involved with the selection and planning of the health information technology (HIT) since I was at a lower level. The leadership and management are obligated with the selection, and I was partially involved with planning by providing insights and inputs on how the system would be beneficial to the organization. The potential outcome of being included to be part of the selection and planning is to have a final system that responds to the local problems tailored to the nurses and meet the functional requirement of the organization.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (n.d.a). Health IT evaluation toolkit and evaluation measures quick reference guide. https://healthit.ahrq.gov/health-it-tools-and-resources/evaluation-resources/health-it-evaluation-toolkit-and-evaluation-measures-quick-reference
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (n.d.b). Workflow assessment for health IT toolkit. https://healthit.ahrq.gov/health-it-tools-and-resources/evaluation-resources/workflow-assessment-health-it-toolkit
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2017). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
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