Inclusion of Nurses in the Systems Development Life Cycle
The healthcare sector continues to face several unique challenges. There has been an increased demand for enhanced and secure data management methods. There have been many significant advancements in computer technology in the modern world. The use of computers has become ubiquitous across many, if not all, sectors. In the healthcare industry, computer technology has revolutionized many practices, increasing efficiency, patient outcomes, communication, and the overall satisfaction levels of healthcare providers and their clients or patients (Mcgonigle & Mastrian, 2022).
Nurses form the majority of healthcare providers. Furthermore, nurses have the most contact and communication with patients. Risling and Risling (2020) assert that nurses play vital roles in decision-making regarding the use of information systems in the healthcare industry and the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC). The SDLC is a cycle involving planning, analyzing, designing, implementing, and maintaining healthcare information systems and nursing informatics (Wang et al., 2019). This paper analyzes the potential repercussions and consequences for organizations that fail to involve nurses in each stage of the SDLC when implementing or purchasing new health information systems.
The planning phase is an integral part of any project. Effective planning ensures that the subsequent steps run smoothly and ensure the achievement of top-notch results despite the complexity or difficulty of a project. Organizations must conduct a feasibility analysis before implementing or purchasing a new information system. Failing to include nurses in this vital step could lead to developing an ineffective system that does not address all the healthcare organizations. Nurses form most of the healthcare team and spend the most time with patients.
The analysis phase entails evaluating a technology to see what works and what does not. In this phase, the project designers examine the requirements and workflows of the new system. Nurses manage patients and also collaborate with other healthcare professionals. Therefore, they understand all healthcare providers’ responsibilities and workflow in patient care. Failing to involve nurses in the analysis phase could lead to developing systems deficient in positive workflows and failing to address all the healthcare needs.
This stage has various processes, including the essentiality of data and program visualization. It also includes how combining different aspects of a system can lead to productive and successful outcomes. Nurses are involved at every point of patient care and know the most essential and non-essential patient data at every phase of interaction. Failing to involve nurses in the design phase could lead to a system that is inefficient to use, time-consuming, and fails to collect all essential patient information at different stages.
Implementation and Evaluation Phase
The system developers collaborate with nurses and other healthcare members to bring the new system to life. Failing to involve nurses in this stage can lead to an unhelpful and unfamiliar system that nurses perceive as non-essential to patient care. Hosein et al. (2019) note that nurses dramatically improve healthcare services when they adopt new health information systems. Failing to involve nurses in evaluating the effectiveness of a system can lead to gathering unreliable data that does not identify possible gaps.
The maintenance phase involves continuous user support, which may involve system changes. Failing to involve nurses can lead to long delays in implementing changes to systems, delaying essential patient care.
I have not yet been involved in developing or selecting a health information technology system. However, there might be some upcoming projects soon. I am positive that I will be involved in the projects. This paper has shed light on the essence of involving nurses in the different phases of the SDLC.
Hosein, B., Luo, J., & Karami, M. (2019). Adoption of Hospital Information System Among Nurses: A Technology Acceptance Model Approach. Acta Informatica Medica, 27(5), 305. https://doi.org/10.5455/aim.2019.27.305-310
Mcgonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2022). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (5th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Risling, T. L., & Risling, D. E. (2020). Advancing nursing participation in user-centred design. Journal of Research in Nursing, 25(3), 226–238. https://doi.org/10.1177/1744987120913590
Wang, J., Gephart, S. M., Mallow, J., & Bakken, S. (2019). Models of collaboration and dissemination for nursing informatics innovations in the 21st century. Nursing Outlook, 67(4), 419–432. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2019.02.003
The Inclusion of Nurses in the Systems Development Life Cycle 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. To Prepare: 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.