It is important for nurses to be involved in Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) because nurses offer extensive knowledge and experience. Nurses can then incorporate their previous knowledge and experiences into developing new systems. The SDLC is similar to the nursing process, in which the nurse must assess, diagnose, plan, implement, evaluate, and revise (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2018). A nurse is familiar with the SDLC because it is similar to what they do with bedside nursing interventions.
The nurse needs to be involved in each stage of the SDLC when purchasing or implementing a new health information technology system. Involving nurses will increase their engagement in planning and implementing the project. Because of nurses’ enhanced collaboration and understanding of software and other healthcare professionals, nurses are great individuals to have in the planning process to integrate technology into practice effectively (Verma & Gupta, 2017). Clinical nurses are good judges to assess positive and negative aspects of newly developing systems and identify needed changes through the analysis, design, and implementation stages. A consequence of not involving nurses in phases of SDLC is the lack of desire to participate in the new development or the inability to track the progress of a system and identify problems faced by them (Verma & Gupta, 2017).
Another consequence of SDLC without the involvement of a nurse is there is no direct interpretation of how the new development is affecting patient care or patient health. Also, nurses could make more mistakes or have an inability to understand the technology implemented if they are not given the proper training to familiarize themselves with the operation and its workflow.
Say a new software is being developed for a healthcare system, but a nurse is not involved in any stages of the SDLC process. A nurse will not assist with planning, which will affect nurses’ enthusiasm and interest in implementing the new information technology system. Because the nurse is not involved in analysis, the workflow and business practice are not examined, affecting the collaboration and understanding between healthcare organization workers (Mastrian and McGonigle, 2018). Without a nurse’s involvement in the design, it may not be as user-friendly and difficult to manage. Suppose the nurse is not involved in the implementation or post-implementation of the new technology development. In that case, there are no opportunities for suggestions for improvements or to make the system more clinically relevant to help the healthcare workers and improve patient care. According to Verma & Gupta (2017), nurses must be involved in the states of the software development cycle to have an efficient system or a healthcare language in the software.
Implementation of SDLC for new technology systems in my practice:
I have had experience in SDLC in new technology development when implementing new technology systems at my healthcare organization. My unit was selected to trial new iPhones. These iPhones are utilized for charting, communicating between healthcare providers, and call light alerts. Nurses on our unit were primarily involved in the implementation and post-implementation of this project. We were able to give our opinions on improving the system, but nurses on our unit did not have involvement in planning, analysis, or designing the software. This affected many nurses’ attitudes toward implementing this new technology, specifically the older nurses who were not familiar with smartphones. I was interested in using the latest technology, but I wish our unit could have been involved from the start. Suppose we would have been involved from the beginning of the planning and analysis process. In that case, I think we would have fixed a lot of initial bug fixes and would have asked the organization to implement technology interventions from the beginning instead of months down the road. According to Pepito & Locsin (2019), nurses face challenges in integrating these new technologies, particularly in their practice. Pepito & Locsin (2019) recommend that nurses learn how to adapt to advancing technology and supplement and enhance their skills in technology because this is how nurses stay relevant in the technologically advanced future of healthcare. Technology has shown to be a significant development in healthcare, and I can only see technology developments growing over time.
Mastrian, K. & McGonigle, D. (2018). Systems Development Life Cylce: Nursing Informativs and Organizational Decision Making. In D. McGonigle & K.G. Mastrian (Eds.), Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed., pp. 175-188). Jones and Bartlett Learning.
Pepito, J. A., & Locsin, R. (2018). Can nurses remain relevant in a technologically advanced future?. International journal of nursing sciences, 6(1), 106–110. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnss.2018.09.013
Verma, M. P. & Gupta, S. (2017). Software development for nursing: Role of nursing informatics. Int. J. Nurs. Edu. and Research 5(2), 203-207. doi: 10.5958/2454-2660.2017.00044.8
The Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a crucial methodology for implementing new health information systems. The essential step is planning, analysis, design, implementation, and maintenance (Laureate Education, 2018). Further evaluation of the stage in SDLC are like those in the nursing process: assess, diagnose, plan, implement, evaluate and revise (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2018). All the outcomes listed in critical steps are essential for successful development. Nurses are experts in their area and know workflow dynamics and interaction among medical personnel in providing nursing care. Nurses need to understand new technology. Therefore, a lack of nurse involvement would hinder the process (Laureate Education, 2018).
The repression of healthcare organizations excluding nurses in each stage of the systems development life cycle when they purchase or implement a new health information technology system is a loss of the initial engagement in the nurses’ attention and trust in the change process. The nurse oversees care given to the patient while coordinating with other healthcare workers and technology to ensure the appropriate delivery of patient care (de Momi et al., 2016). Therefore, any flaw in equipment or incompatibility with the software would be easily identified by the nurse. Other issues would be complex navigating the new system and regular nursing activities, which would be frustrating and inhibit production workflow.
Recently, my employer introduced a new software: a new electronic medical record system called Prognocis. Prognocis was presented with a one-day crash course on the system. Then the following week, the electronic medical record was introduced. We did not have any software input, and we were previously a paper method system. The impact of not thoroughly learning to utilize the system results in information duplication and some data being left out. The nurses became frustrated with the design and navigating the software. This led to resorting to the paper method until issues with the database could be sorted.
Overall, nurses should be involved in technology development since they learn about it and establish an emotional connection with patients (Shishehgar et al., 2018). The process of getting more nurses involved in technology would improve the overall healthcare field in making sure the system remains patient centred. In addition, the introduction of health technology as a part of nursing education would further the understanding and incorporation of technology into the nursing practice. According to Pepito and Locsin (2019), “nurses should learn how to adapt to advancing technology and how to supplement and enhance their skills; there are ways nurses can stay relevant in a technologically advanced future.”
de Momi, E., Kranendonk, L., Valenti, M., Enayati, N., & Ferrigno, G. (2016). A Neural Network-Based Approach for Trajectory Planning in Robot–Human Handover Tasks. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 3. https://doi.org/10.3389/frobt.2016.00034
Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). Interoperability, Standards, and Security [Videofile]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K.G. (2017). Nursing informatics and the foundation of Knowledge (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Pepito, J. A., & Locsin, R. (2019). Can nurses remain relevant in a technologically advanced future? International Journal of Nursing Sciences, 6(1), 106–110. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnss.2018.09.013
Shishehgar, M., Kerr, D., & Blake, J. (2018). A systematic review of research into how robotic technology can help older people. Smart Health, 7–8, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smhl.2018.03.002