The Inclusion of Nurses in the Systems Development Life Cycle
Steps of the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
The systems development life cycle (SDLC) is a series of phases that enable an organization’s transformation through a newly developed project. It is a multistep, iterative process structured methodically. It is a framework applied in both the technical and non-technical projects to facilitate quality and efficient systems. Moreover, the framework is instrumental in facilitating good decision making. The cycle was made up of five steps that later advanced to seven; planning, system analysis and requirements, systems design, development, integration and testing, implementation, operations, and maintenance (Kramer, 2018). The addition of the two steps enabled a clear definition of actions to achieve more specific goals.
The planning phase enables problem identification and determination of the most appropriate solutions. During the planning step, system analysts consider the available resources, time allocated, the cost, and benefits of the new project. The second phase involves identifying the requirements of the system and the end user’s needs. It helps determine if the new system will satisfy the expectations of the target group. The designing phase describes the features, specifications, and operations targeted at meeting the proposed system’s requirements. The fourth phase, the development, marks the beginning of production and is characterized by change. During the fifth phase, the system programs and procedures are tested through quality assured (QA) professionals to determine if the design meets the organizational goals (Rahbari, 2018). During implementation, new codes are written and used to replace the old system’s data and components. Implementation of the new system is done via the application of the direct cutover. The final phase involves making changes and fine-tuning to boost the design and add enhanced capabilities.
Steps of Purchasing and Implementing a New Health Information Technology System
Implementing a new health information technology system (HITS) in a clinical setting involves collaboration between the stakeholders and healthcare workers. The planning phase consists of the care providers working together to determine the hospital’s needs and the improvements required. The analysis involves the stakeholders and practitioner leaders discussing what resources are necessary for purchasing a new system and implementation. During this phase, they analyze if the benefits of a new HITS outdo the cost. The integration and testing phase is applied by identifying key leaders and a physician champion tasked with educating all other staff members and mentoring them through the use of the new system (Singletary & Baker, 2019). Besides education, the team of leaders ensures that the stakeholders and investors are kept in the loop of the entire process. The final phases are implementation and evaluation/maintenance. The new system is introduced in traditional schemes of work and day to day activities. The HITS team delegates the duty to follow up among the various departments and decides on some of the changes or modifications that may be required. Additional training is offered during implementation as evaluation still goes on. If successful, the system becomes integrated, replacing the older one.
Nurse are the front-line workers in healthcare, and thus through their involvement, they provide enhanced quality of nursing care. Additionally, they are the best chance of successfully implementing a new system as they are abundant in an organization (Pettit, 2018). Nurses are also involved in developing new policies regarding new information systems and implementing them successfully.
The lack of nurse involvement leads to a retardation of the entire process of implementation. Nurses are the pillars behind policy implementation. Without their contribution, most policies become vague as they end up not being applied. A new information system cannot be utilized if nurses in various departments will not be used. Hence, as a nurse leader, I was consulted in the planning phase and implementing a new system in the health facility. That led to easier training of my fellow junior staff members, and I mentored them through the entire program.
Kramer, M. (2018). Best practices in systems development lifecycle: An analyses based on the waterfall model. Review of Business & Finance Studies, 9(1), 77-84.
Pettit, L. (2018). LTPAC and the Health IT Life Cycle: Project Management. In An Introduction to Health Information Technology in LTPAC Settings (pp. 83-99). Productivity Press.
Rahbari, M. (2018). Analysis and Design of Information Systems Using Structured Systems Development Life Cycle Methodology.
Singletary, V., & Baker, E. L. (2019). Building Informatics-Savvy Health Departments: The Systems Development Life Cycle. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 25(6), 610-611.
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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.
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.
References in the last 5 years
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