NURS 5051/6051:Week 6: A Nurse’s Role in the Systems Development Life Cycle

While the process of developing and implementing a health information technology system may seem overwhelming at first, the systems development life cycle (SDLC) provides organizations with a framework to deliver efficient and effective information systems. Though the SDLC is a common overarching structure for implementing information systems, it is not a one-size-fits-all process. In fact, there are a multitude of approaches that can be used to guide the systems development life cycle. The SDLC approach that is most appropriate for a particular organization will be highly contextual and subject to organization-specific differences.

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This week prompts you to analyze the process of selecting an appropriate health information technology and then evaluate techniques that positively impact the steps of the systems development life cycle in an EHR implementation. You also determine what barriers might occur at each stage and how these could be overcome.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze how a nurse can contribute to each stage of the systems development life cycle

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Required Readings

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2018). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.

    • Chapter 9, “Systems Development Life Cycle: Nursing Informatics and Organizational Decision Making”This chapter explains the systems development life cycle and explores various methods of applying it. The chapter also examines the importance of interoperability in implementing HITECH.
  • Chapter 10, “Administrative Information Systems”This chapter provides an overview of agency-based health information systems. The text also details how administrators can use core business systems in their practice.

Boswell, R. A. (2011). A physician group’s movement toward electronic health records: A case study using the transtheoretical model for organizational change. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 63(2), 138–148.

The authors of this article present a case study on an EHR implementation in a multispecialty physician group. The case study attempts to determine actions that promote successful EHR implementation and the pros and cons of implementation.

Hsiao, J., Chang, H., & Chen, R. (2011).A study of factors affecting acceptance of hospital information systems: A nursing perspective. Journal of Nursing Research, 19(2), 150–160.

The focus of this article is to determine what factors are most important in predicting the acceptance of new health information technology. The results of the study indicated that self-efficacy, top management support, and the quality of information retrieved are the most important determinants of the willingness of nurses to adopt and use a new technology.

Kelley, T. F., Brandon, D. H., & Docherty, S. L. (2011). Electronic nursing documentation as a strategy to improve quality of patient care. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 43(2), 154–162.

This article summarizes a literature review of the relationship between electronic health records (EHRs) and quality of patient care. The article identifies deficiencies in existing research regarding the daily interactions of nurses, patients, and electronic documentation, and it provides a comparison between electronic and paper-based documentation and its effect on quality of care.

Nurse leaders discuss the nurse’s role in driving technology decisions. (2010). Virginia Nurses Today, 18(1), 8–9.

This article summarizes a roundtable held with a number of nursing executives to discuss the role nurses should take in the selection and adoption of new technologies for health care. The executives concluded that the nurses’ goals should be to select technology that will further their ability to provide safe, quality care to their patients.

Page, D. (2011). Turning nurses into health IT superusers. Hospitals & Health Networks, 85(4), 27–28.

This article highlights the importance of involving nurses with all phases of the decision and implementation process surrounding new health information technology. The author stresses the importance of communication in the process as well as defining success.

Swab, J., & Ciotti, V. (2010). What to consider when purchasing an EHR system. hfm(Healthcare Financial Management), 64(5), 38–41.

In this article, recommendations are given for purchasing health information technology. These include selecting the appropriate vendor, carefully considering the cost of both new equipment and personnel, and involving clinicians in decisions.

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2012g). Systems development life cycle. Baltimore, MD: Author.

The systems development life cycle (SLDC) provides a framework for all of the steps necessary to implementing a new technology or process within an organization. This video explains the SDLC and how it is used in the health care field.

Optional Resources

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2005). A toolkit for redesign in health care. Retrieved from https://healthit.ahrq.gov/health-it-tools-and-resources/evaluation-resources/health-it-evaluation-toolkit-and-evaluation-measures-quick-reference

Since the inception of the HITECH Act, health organizations have faced increased pressure to update their health information technology (HIT) resources. As discussed last week, many believe that the increased use of electronic health records and the quick and efficient communication afforded by HIT can lead to improved quality of patient care. Yet there are significant costs associated with implementing such systems. What can organizations do to ensure that the correct system is selected and that the system will be appropriate for those required to use it? Who should be involved in those decisions?

This week introduces the systems development life cycle and discusses how it can guide an organization through the complexities of adopting a new HIT system. In this Discussion, you are asked to consider the role of nurses in the SDLC process.

To prepare:

  • Review the steps of the systems development life cycle.
  • Think about your own organization, or one with which you are familiar, and the steps the organization goes through when purchasing and implementing a new HIT system.
  • Consider what a nurse could contribute to decisions made at each stage when planning for new health information technology. What might be the consequences of not involving nurses?
  • Reflect on your own experiences with your organization selecting and implementing new technology. As an end user, do you feel you had any input in the selection or and planning of the new HIT system?

By Day 3

Post an analysis of the ramifications of an organization not involving nurses in each stage of the systems development life cycle when purchasing and implementing a new HIT system. Give specific examples of potential issues at each stage and how the inclusion of nurses could help avoid such issues.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days using one or more of the following approaches:

  • Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional background information, evidence or research.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
  • Offer and support an alternative perspective using readings from the classroom or from your own research in the Walden Library.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.
  • Make a suggestion based on additional evidence drawn from readings or after synthesizing multiple postings.
  • Expand on your colleagues’ postings by providing additional insights or contrasting perspectives based on readings and evidence.

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