Due to the fundamental impact of health information technology on nursing practice, nurses have a critical role in the health care system development life cycle (SDLC). In this light, nurses should be actively engaged in all the five crucial stages of SDLC (Verma & Gupta, 2017). There are potential consequences related to the non-involvement of nurses in all the stages of SDLC during the purchase or implementation of the new system since they engage in directly using and integrating it in the operations.
Planning and Requirement Definition
The requirement phase entails defining the system requirement and conducting feasibility tests to assess the system’s viability. Excluding nurses from this phase may lead to the implementation of an ineffective system that does not address all the staff needs, thus failing to improve patients’ care as planned. Nurses focus entirely on the provision of patients’ care and improvement of outcomes, which places them in a better position to determine which feature when incorporated in the planning and requirement definition phase, is likely to be effective in improving clinical care.
In the analysis phase, system requirements and workflows are examined. The exclusion of nurses from the analysis phase results in developing a system that lacks a positive workflow or, even worse, if the system lacks an actual input workflow. Nurses work closely with patients and collaboratively with other health professionals (Verma & Gupta, 2017). This implies that they have a better understanding of the workflow in healthcare. Thus, the inclusion of nurses in the analysis phase is a crucial remedy for ensuring the development of the system with a favorable workflow.
The major activities in the design phase include the data design and interface design. Nurses interact with existing systems as the input and output of patient data (Verma & Gupta, 2017). Thus, nurses understand the essential patient data required at a particular point of care (McGonagall & Mastrian, 2021). Failure to include nurses in the design phase can omit a vital feature during the design. The final designed system may fail to collect all relevant information and have an unfriendly user interface. The inclusion of nurses in the design phase helps eliminates these fatal consequences. It ensures efficiency in integration since nurses are among the practitioners involved in the regular use of the system.
The translation of the system design into a functional system occurs during the implementation phase. Nurses’ absence from this phase creates an unfamiliar and unhelpful system that may become non-functional in healthcare. Nurses must participate in implementing a system to understand how to navigate through it and assist other staff who have difficulty using it.
The lack of involvement of nurses in post-implementation assistance might cause delays when system modifications are performed, resulting in delayed clinical services. In addition, nurses may neglect to report faults in utilizing the system or may not know who to report to, limiting the system’s expected efficiency in clinical treatment. The challenge can be overcome by involving nurses in system post-implementation assistance. The support should focus on exposing the nurses for effective integration.