Technological advancements have tremendously changed the field of medicine across all departments. As one of the professions providing health care, nursing has been forced to change its ways of handling both the patients and their information. Initially, the details of patients were manually documented and saved in the physical files.; however, most clinics are currently adopting a system where information can be kept in the cloud. Although this has raised several privacy issues, it has offered an integrated platform where the patients’ records can be accessed by the health care providers, thus improving the efficiency and accuracy of treating patients. Nurse informaticist has been at the forefront of seeing that technology is correctly used to improve healthcare services. They provide solutions using a wide array of computational techniques to ensure that the patients receive the best treatment possible. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the steps of the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC), benefits, and challenges of involving a nurse leader in health information technology implementation.
The Steps of The Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
A secure SDLC is vital for any organization because it ensures that the activity for which it is intended is well secured and incapable of penetration from both the internal and external factors. The process enhances the development of an effective system that can last for long without experiencing problems. Besides, it outlines what, when, and why certain improvement activities should be conducted. There are mainly five steps executed in SDLC, and they include:
Planning and Requirements Definition
The planning phase is a crucial part of the development of the system. It involves conceptualization of the program and analyzing the needs or the intention of creating the program. In this stage, the developers formulate a timetable, tentative budget, and project resources (Ronquillo et al., 2016). It provides an overview of the final product, thus giving the managers a strategy for developing successful software. The planning phase also helps the facility identify some of the system’s risks, hence formulating a mitigation measure before the actual project begins. The stage details are shared with all the team members, and duties are also delegated.
The analysis phase examines the end-user requirements. In this stage, the developers consider the needs and the goals of the project, and they align their procedures to fit the intended function. Generally, it involves creating process diagrams, gathering requirements, and conducting a thorough analysis. Gathering the requirements is the crucial part of this stage because it establishes the functions that the system must accomplish to become successful. It also analyzes the needs of the end-user, thus ensuring that the procedures can meet the users’ expectations.
Design of The New System
Design is the third stage in SDLC, and it entails illustrating the anticipated features and the system’s operation. It encompasses pseudo-codes, rules of the organization, among other essential elements. It also explains the structure and hardware components and the architecture of the entire system. Designing the system model and IT infrastructure are the crucial processes undertaken in this phase (Hussey & Kennedy, 2016). They help the system have an established foundation free from malfunction and crashes that are often experienced. The specialists endorse the type of services required to perform the tasks and the system’s technical practicality (Laureate Education, 2018). The models of data and the relationships diagrams demonstrate the links between the programs that make the system useful.
This is the second-to-last phase where the plan’s actual execution is conducted, and coding is done based on the specifications provides. The process is done accurately with no mistakes to ensure that the expected results are obtained. According to Hussey and Kennedy (2016), it is the longest stage in the entire SDLC process. All the teams are involved in this stage, and the total reorganization is witnessed. At this point, the outsiders get to understand the project because it is visible to them. After the implementation phase, the outcomes are evaluated against the specifications to determine if the system can perform the intended functions.
It is the final stage of SDLC, and it evaluates the system by determining how it meets the required objectives. It is conducted by the review team that evaluates the delicate areas. The parts can include administration, which deals with the costs, benefits of the system, and the objectives. Secondly, personal performance entails training and performance objectives of the system. Thirdly, hardware components determine the specification of the version of the program. Finally, a documentation plan assesses the efforts used in the system development. The team also provides a time frame to conduct the examination.
The Benefits and Challenges Associated with Involving A Nurse Leader on An Implementation Team for Health Information Technology
Nurse informaticist provide useful information to help the team keep to the current technology. Nurse leaders are aware of the technological changes that are essential for improving the quality of care. They interact with the patients, nurses, and administrators daily; hence, they can identify the technological gaps that need to be filled by the new system. Therefore, they can suggest to the team and also provide feedback on the success of the program.
Secondly, nurse leaders can identify issues with the system at the implementation stage enabling the specialists to find the solution early enough. Since the system is developed for nurses, the nurse’s leader will identify problems when the item is still not in practical use. This can save the specialists from jeopardizing the health of the patients who will be using the program. In most cases, the system appears effective at the implementation; however, some errors can be detected upon use.
The main challenges of using nurse leaders on implementation are its costs and the prolonged duration. Involving them increases the budgets because they will have to be paid like all other specialists working on the project, and this will increase the costs since they were not included in the initial plan (Hussey & Kennedy, 2016). Besides, the project duration will lengthen because the nurse leaders will be given time to check the system’s operation, and this may halt the specialist’s activities since they have to wait for the leader’s feedback.
The Role of the Nurse Informaticist in Systems Development and Implementation
The use of technology has facilitated healthcare providers’ work, especially the nurses who are the majority in the clinic and usually in touch with the patients. Even though technology enhances patients’ health and safety, it has introduced additional roles to the nurses. For instance, nurse informatics is currently engaged in system development to help the specialists produce a successful program. They provide solutions and insight to enable the developers to identify problems that might hinder the operation of SDLC. In short, their main role in the hospitals is to provide a documentation system that has often affected the operation of the healthcare facilities for a long time. The purpose of this section is to highlight the role of the nurse informaticist in each part of systems development and implementation.
Planning and Requirements Definition
Planning is crucial in every department as it helps the programmers to foresee future outcomes. It usually guarantees a successful product free from any system malfunctions. In regards to SDLC, the informatics nurse provides the specialists with a healthcare plan that needs to be fulfilled (Thomas et al., 2016). The material provided by the lead nurse helps in producing the best approaches that can be used to create a program. During the requirement definition, the nurse in charge of informatics highlights all the necessary instruments needed to formulate some fused outputs into the system. The specialist, therefore, proposes how to include the inputs provided.
The analysis stage is composed of establishing the workflows and processes in the system. It also helps determine whether the objectives were met and all the procedures followed to the latter. Moreover, an evaluation is done to establish the possible improvements that can make the system works better (Hussey & Kennedy, 2016). Therefore, nurse informatics can be of importance to the specialist in discussing and explaining the mechanisms used in the previous program. As a result, the system specialist will identify areas that need adjustments and those that should be excluded.
Design of the new system
The overall appearance of the system is constructed in this stage. The teams involved in implementation provide a decision that will ensure the success of the system. For instance, pseudo-codes and reports are generated to establish the potential shortfalls that may be experienced (Thomas et al., 2016). Therefore, the nurse informaticist plays a role by inspecting the flowcharts provided by the specialists to check if they can produce the expected results.
Implementation entails coding the language to create a successful system. Since the graduate nurses have some basic knowledge of programming, they will help the specialist identify areas that are not correctly coded according to the flow chart if an incorrect output is provided. Additionally, they can organize meetings with the junior nurses to get feedback and identify problems associated with the system (Ronquillo et al., 2016). The. Moreover, they can organize training orders to ensure that the new program succeeds.
The last stage involves testing the system to ensure that it meets the functionality requirements. Therefore, a nurse informaticist can check if the program’s results correspond to the objectives of the health system. The program should be capable of storing and capturing the patient’s records effectively. Additionally, they can conduct training to equip the other nurses with how to operate the system. In regards to maintains, he or she always updates the specialists on the system’s performance and the areas that need changes.
Succinctly, modern technology has greatly changed the healthcare system. Activities such as patients’ records are currently done in a well-established technique to ensure efficiency. The incorporation of SDLC into nursing has therefore enhanced documentation procedures. Nurse informatics plays an essential role in ensuring that SDLC is a success. They provide information to the developers, conduct coding of the system, organize training, and provide feedback to the specialists on areas that need improvements. Therefore, SDLC is crucial to the healthcare system, especially in the department of nursing.
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