THE ROLE OF THE NURSE INFORMATICIST IN SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION
Assume you are a nurse manager on a unit where a new nursing documentation system is to be implemented. You want to ensure that the system will be usable and acceptable for the nurses impacted. You realize a nurse leader must be on the implementation team.
- Review the steps of the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and reflect on the scenario presented.
- Consider the benefits and challenges associated with involving a nurse leader on an implementation team for health information technology.
The Assignment: (2-3 pages not including the title and reference page)
In preparation of filling this role, develop a 2- to 3-page role description for a graduate-level nurse to guide his/her participation on the implementation team. The role description should be based on the SDLC stages and tasks and should clearly define how this individual will participate in and impact each of the following steps:
- Planning and requirements definition
- Design of the new system
- Post-implementation support
- Use APA format and include a title page and reference page.
- Use the Safe Assign Drafts to check your match percentage before submitting your work.
The Role Of The Nurse Informaticist In Systems Development And Implementation
College of Nursing, Walden University
NURS 6051: Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Information Technology.
The constant change and digitization of the healthcare industry have resulted in adoption of diverse systems. According to McGonigle and Mastrian (2022), the success of system adoption and implementation is determined by the ability of the healthcare organization to integrate into its operations. However, in recent times, the impact of the system development and implementation process has become equally important to the success of the program or system adoption and effective integration into care delivery. Using the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) model has allowed developers to analyze the system requirements hence helping effective participation by key stakeholders to ensure the effective adoption and implementation. The active participation of a nurse in the SDLC stages plays a critical role in determining the success of the software adoption and integration into care delivery. Wang et al. (2019) identified that utilizing the five stages of an SDLC model offers a simple stage-by-stage strategy allowing the nurses to review the progress while addressing the set goals. Due to their position in healthcare, nurses have become critical players, with their role expanding beyond bedside care to participate in system implementation. This paper describes a nurse informaticist’s role in system development and implementation. The SDLC processes entail planning and requirements definition, analysis, design of the new system, implementation, and post-implementation.
Planning and Requirements Definition
From the onset, you will be actively involved in implementing the new documentation system as a representative of the nursing unit. This means that participation in the planning stage increases the chances of success, adoption, and implementation. This is justified by the fact that as a representative of the nursing unit, you will help identify system goals and objectives based on the organization’s and nursing unit’s needs, respectively. Significantly, your participation in the planning stage will actively assist other members from other units in identifying the correct system requirements, including data, users, and the overall objective of the incoming system. Notably, dismissing the nurse would result in a shaky foundation and multiple system flaws (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, n.d.a).
In this second stage, as a nurse leader and representative of the unit, you will need to be aware that this sets out the functional aspects of the new system. With this in mind, it is your role to be aware of and identify the benefits of the new proposed system based on the current system. As a nurse leader, you play a vital role in the success of technology implementation and adoption to improve communication and collaboration at every step of the process (McKay & Vanaskie, 2018). The idea is to ensure that the shift from the current to the new system provides added value and benefits for the unit. In this stage, you must make the other team members aware that the adoption of the new system should be based on or guided by challenges faced by the healthcare system of which your nursing unit is part.
Design of the New System
In the new system designing step, which involves the IT experts mapping out the new documentation system per the organization’s needs, your role as a representative of the nursing unit is to come up with or offer suggestions about specific operational procedures that must be included in the new system. Considering that the IT experts’ role is to set up the interface, software, databases, and hardware, as a nurse leader, you need to be on the lookout for what is included and how it impacts your unit’s operations. Ideally, your role is to act as the eye of the unit and ensure that the new documentation system is done from the perspective of a nurse who is actively involved in its use. Therefore, your input is invaluable in ensuring that the system installed will be acceptable and usable once it is handed over to the operational team.
Your input in the implementation stage is centered on putting the system into practice or application (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, n.d.b). As the primary system users, nurses are trained to use and integrate it into their care delivery practices. You will actively ensure that the system is working as expected. You must also be aware that your participation as a leader of the team ensures that the new documentation system aligns with previously identified clinical and organizational needs.
The last stage is the post-implementation support which requires the input and participation of the nurse representative, as with any other stage. This stage entails testing and improving the system based on the identified flaws. According to McGonigle and Mastrian (2022), the participation of a nurse leader in this stage is crucial as it is the stage at which critical feedback is offered. As a unit representative, you must act as the eye of the unit and ask essential questions on issues identified and items that need to be addressed. This means that you must recognize that the new system’s functionality is vital for effective operations by your unit and organization. Given this, you must look out and test for issues or glitches that need to be fixed before the system is handed over for use.
In the final analysis, nurses must be at the core of the SDLC process, especially in adopting and implementing a new documentation system. It is essential for nursing to be actively involved in the advancement of technological innovation in healthcare (Risling & Risling, 2020).
Nurses’ participation should be considered critical and indispensable, and this is guaranteed when they have competent and able leaders participating in every stage of the SDLC process. Due to their position within the care delivery process, nurse informaticist helps link the IT systems with the care delivery needs; hence, their recommendations in each stage should inform the entire process.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (n.d.a). Health IT evaluation toolkit and evaluation measures quick reference guide. https://digital.ahrq.gov/health-it-evaluation-toolkit
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (n.d.b). Workflow assessment for health IT toolkit. https://digital.ahrq.gov/health-it-tools-and-resources/evaluation-resources/workflow-assessment-health-it-toolkit
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2022). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (5th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.
McKay, C., & Vanaskie, K. (2018). Partnering for success: The role of the nurse leader in Health Information Technology implementation for coordination of care. Nurse Leader, 16(6), 385–388. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mnl.2018.07.012
Risling, T. L., & Risling, D. E. (2020). Advancing nursing participation in user-centered design. Journal of research in nursing: JRN, 25(3), 226–238. https://doi.org/10.1177/1744987120913590
Wang, J., Gephart, S. M., Mallow, J., & Bakken, S. (2019). Models of collaboration and dissemination for nursing informatics innovations in the 21st century. Nursing Outlook, 67(4), 419–432. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2019.02.003