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The Inclusion of Nurses in the Systems Development Life Cycle
The Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a continuous life cycle that ensures an information system that fits according to the goals and objectives of the healthcare organization and ensures bothits efficiency and effectiveness. In the healthcare industry, the SDLC consists of a need assessment of an organization where all the healthcare practitioners working therein are included, especially the nurses(Davis, 2019). This cycle follows a waterfall model where one step flows to the next. The steps are divided into the feasibility of the system, analysis of the organization, designing the system, implementation of the system, its evaluation, and finally the maintenance of the system. Since nurses make up a total of 55 percent of the healthcare force, it is essential that they must be included in every step of the Systems Development Life Cycle.
The healthcare sector has been incorporating technology in order to ensure effective and efficient treatment of patients. The technology must be integrated through the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) for optimum results. Furthermore, considering nurses in the SDLC is essential for determining the effect of the new technology on enhancing patient outcomes(Ergasheva & Kruglov, 2020). Similarly, failure to include nurses in all the stages of SDLC would have a negative impact on the healthcare organization. The Systems Development Life Cycle consists of four phases. The first phase analyzes the system to determine the most effective technology for the organization. The next step includes the involvement of nurses to ensure that the new system would respond to their IT needs. Similarly, the next phaseinvolves the designing of the system. For this step, the IT expert comes up with a plan after complete analysis to improve the existing system(Sutejo et al., 2021). Nurses have an important role to play in this step as they would effectively provide the hospital data that would be required for this analysis. Implementation of the system is the next stage, in which the system is put into practice. Nurses would require proper training on the new system to enhance the effectiveness of patient treatment to improve patient outcomes. After some time, the evaluation of the system is conducted to view its effectiveness and determine the nurses’ capability to use the new system. Nurses must be involved during the evaluation process since they are the ones spending the most time with the patient. As the system is introduced to maximize patient outcomes, the nurses would have an important role to play. Failing to evaluate the effectiveness of nurses in using the system, on the other hand, could result in technical problems in the future that would yield negative patient outcomes. Moreover, the last stage of SLDC includes system maintenance. The role of nurses in this step would be to identify and fix issues related to the system that can affect patients. Therefore, nurses would have to analyze the system, and if any problem occurs, they can report it to the executive that would contact the IT specialist. Failing to identify the problem can impact the whole organization for the worse; therefore, nurses have an essential role to play in maintaining the organization’s reputation.
Failure to include nurses in all the steps of SDLC would lead to the development of a system that is inefficient and incapable of addressing all the needs of the healthcare staff as well as the patients. Similarly, not involving nurses can also result in the development of a system that does not provide actual input of workflow
Davis, W. S. (2019). The systems development life cycle. In The Information System Consultant’s Handbook (pp. 3–9). CRC Press.
Ergasheva, S., & Kruglov, A. (2020). Software Development Life Cycle early phases and quality metrics: A Systematic Literature Review. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1694(1), 012007.
Sutejo, S., Prasetijo, A. B., & Agushybana, F. (2021). Designing Integrated Patient Safety Incident Reporting with Hospital Information System. Jurnal Aisyah: Jurnal Ilmu Kesehatan, 6(3), 661–666.
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The systems development life cycle (SDLC) is the process of developing application systems in stages and is divided into steps such understanding the problem and the solution, developing a plan, implementing the plan, evaluating the plan, and maintenance, review, and possible destruction of the system, to begin the cycle again (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2021, p. 191). When initiating a plan for a new application system in health care it is essential to identify the needs of the organization as a whole and propose solutions for the betterment of the organization before ever starting. Communication with the right team on board is vital in the implementation of any new system.
My organization implemented a new system a few years back for bar code medication administration. At the beginning of this hospital wide initiative and planning phase nurses were part of the team for this process however nursing staff from the emergency room were not involved during the process. During the design phase “it is crucial to review what is the current state, what are the current gaps, and what is the current workflow” (Sipes, 2019, p. 87). The workflow of the emergency room nurse is very different than a nurse on a med-surg floor. There are many times in an emergency that a medication needs to be overridden in the pyxis as well as given quickly at the bedside. In the beginning phases of this project, there was not a way to override which caused huge delays to give medications emergently. Therefore, it was vital to have a member of the team from the emergency room during this phase for input of workflow from this area. Upon implementation and testing of this project, it was soon realized that this was a huge mistake. When a system is not user-friendly “nurses are constantly finding themselves in positions where they must use a workaround to overcome the poor usability of an implemented system, not as an act of defiance but as means of ensuring timely patient care within a flawed system that put patients at risk” (Dykes & Chu, 2020). Involving emergency room nurses would have saved time in the implementation and testing phase of this program. As the maintenance phase requires monthly upgrades to the overall program it is also key that education is done by nurses to nursing staff, as the explanations of a program deliver better education coming from a user end of the program itself.
Dykes, S., & Chu, C. H. (2020). Now more than ever, nurses need to be involved in technology design: Lessons from the covid‐19 pandemic. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 30(7-8). https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.15581
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. (2021). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (5th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Sipes, C. (2019). Application of nursing informatics: Competencies, skills, and decision-making (1st ed.). Springer Publishing Company.
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