The Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) can be a hardware or software project which clearly lays out the relationships between different processes, resources, products and views including the expected time for each stage (Bird, 2017). It involves four stages namely, planning, analysis, implementation and the testing and maintenance stage.
The planning stage marks the inception of the identified nursing need to be solved by the establishment of an application. It is systematically carried out starting with the analysis of the organization’s existing state to facilitate the establishment of the expected future state (Newbold, 2021). The project purpose and scope is documented and the information system management committee plans for the required resources to achieve the desired outcome. This is followed by the analysis stage in which the project team identifies the technical requirements of the desired system as per the set goals. The organization’s leaders then draft a system proposal document listing all the requirements of the desired project.
The third stage involves the design, development and the customization of the proposed system to meet the set objectives. The functional and technical specifications of the system are identified by the project team which utilizes focused plans in the development stage to customize the program as per nursing policies and procedures (Newbold, 2021). The final stage of the SDLC is the testing and maintenance stage in which involves system implementation, evaluation, support and maintenance. The system is implemented via live operations in a clinical setting where users test its usability and reliability. After the live usage, the project team evaluates the system’s performance to identify the positive aspects and the challenges. The final product undergoes continuous maintenance by smart tracking data in compliance records and dashboards of individual users to identify areas that need improvement.
Rationale of nurse Leaders involvement in each step of the SDLC
Aiding nurses with a customized tool such as SDLC to obtain clinical information and document health information can significantly enhance the healthcare services as it provides a practical framework for patient care (Ehler, Lovis & Blondon, 2019). Clinical leaders should take part in the implementation of SDLC to enhance healthcare and disseminate appropriate education of the users.
In the planning stage, the nurse informatics defines the requirements of the desired system (Newbold, 2021). Their training in informatics enables them to define the system’s requirements to enhance user friendliness. The nurses could guide the patients using clear instructions that the patients can follow to enhance health outcomes.
In the analysis stage, the nurses provide information on the merits and the challenges encountered in using the existing systems. Data collected from the nurses on the effectiveness of the existing systems and their contributions to patient health is effective in estimating the anticipated cost of operation and the training cost of the desired system (Bird, 2017). Moreover, nurse informatics can assess the credibility of the developed system in the implementation stage to enhance its effectiveness.
In the implementation phase, nurse leaders can contribute to best practices in nursing informatics through effective collaboration to enhance evidence-based practice (EBP) (Newbold, 2021). Open communication across multilevel in the healthcare system enables the project team to gather conclusive data on the impact of the system to patient care and the potential challenges that might hinder the system’s implementation.
In the testing and maintenance stage, nursing leaders play a significant role of consulting to the vendors of the desired system in the testing and maintenance stage (Bird, 2017). Testing is crucial to the SDLC because it determines the desired system’s acceptability and effectiveness among users. Clinicians track data using nursing alerts and clinical guidelines to enhance EBP. Clinicians could also suggest alternative guidelines as per patient needs for the maintenance of the system.
Job and Role Description of the Nurse in Systems Development and Implementation
SDLC provides a platform for the integration of interactive processes for planning and initiating change within the healthcare organization. The involvement of nurses is critical in the establishment and integration of new health information technologies. This section describes the role of a graduate level nurse in participating in the execution team for a new nursing documentation system based on the SDLC conceptual framework. Moreover, the nurse’s impact in each of the four stages of SDLC will be discussed.
The Planning and Defining Requirements stage: this stage is crucial in the inception and identification of the direction of the system development project. This stage determines the success or the ineffectiveness of the desired system. It involves identifying the scope of the desired system, challenges, potential alternatives, testing methodologies and the required resources for the system development and implementation (Ehler, Lovis & Blondon, 2019). The role of the graduate nurse in this stage is to collaborate with the project team to create the scope of the desired system, identify the required resources, clinical instruments, goals and objectives of the project thus contribute to setting realistic expectations for the desired system. The graduate nurse’s background in clinical knowledge contributes to critical thinking thus contributing a nursing view in the development of an effective system.
Analysis Stage: this stage emphasizes the technical requirements of the desired system including documentation of the functional design and system proposal. The project team assesses the system proposal and establishes potential solutions and alternatives to possible challenges (Medha & Sadhya, 2017). The role of the graduate nurse in this stage is to collaborate with the project team in creating a priority list of the project’s requirements. The nurse could also contribute by generating and assessing potential alternatives and recommendations for the operation of the system. Moreover, the graduate nurse could assist the project team in reviewing the organizational policies and directives to align the new system with the existing policies.
Implementation Stage: this phase prioritizes the integration of the health information technology into the system application with the help of the nurses (Bird, 2017). In this stage, the nurses are trained to maximize the data in developing quality and safe evidence-based practices for patient care. The system is tailored to suit patient needs and installed ready for use. The graduate nurse’s roles in this stage include collaborating with the design team to assess the alignment of the system’s general configuration to health policies and organization’s directives.
Testing and maintenance stage: this phase prioritizes the installation and support of the new system. The new system is tested live to assess its functionality and usefulness in enhancing patient care (Ehler, Lovis & Blondon, 2019).. The graduate nurse’s roles include assessing the system’s performance, readjusting the new system where necessary and providing feedback on the system’s utility. Maintenance is a continuous process that involves fixing the system’s problems to enhance its effectiveness. The nurse should understand the impacts of the new system by training the users to facilitate acceptance to reduce technical challenges caused by non-compliance of the staff.
Bird, P. (2017). A day in the life of a nurse informaticist: Implementation support. Journal of Informatics Nursing, 2(2), 27.
Ehrler, F., Lovis, C., & Blondon, K. (2019). A mobile phone app for bedside nursing care: Design and development using an adapted software development life cycle model. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 7(4), e12551.
Medha Piplani Verma, Sandhya Gupta. Software Development for Nursing: Role of Nursing Informatics. Int. J. Nur. Edu. and Research. 2017; 5(2): 203-207. doi: 10.5958/2454-2660.2017.00044.8
Newbold, S. (2021). System Design Life Cycle: A Framework. Retrieved 29 December 2021, from https://nursekey.com/system-design-life-cycle-a-framework/
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