The system development life cycle (SDLC) consists of several steps to implement new technology (Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer), 2012). It is important to include nurses, or a representative during the process to encourage other staff during the change.
Using the waterfall method SDLC, which is the most common method for health information technology, the process of implementing a new system begins (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015). Once the funding is approved, the feasibility step has been satisfied, this step should include nurses in the choice of the software chosen, as they are the ones to be using the system on a daily basis. If the nurses are denied the ability to offer a vote in choosing a software program, the moral of change will be extremely low (Nurse leaders discuss the nurse’s role in driving technology decisions, 2010).
Analysis being the next hurdle to overcome, should allow nurses to analyze their daily routine and how a new software system could either help or hinder their day. This is also the time all staff can discuss if any changes could or will need to be made to accommodate the new system. This could be how reports are printed differently, data that should be on reports or even the navigation within the new system.
How a system could interface with other equipment would be a good description of the design phase of the SDLC waterfall. Nurses should be involved specifically with this phase as they are the voice for suggesting shortcuts to assist with other staff. An example would be suggesting new DynoMaps or AccuChecks to electronically transfer data directly to a patient’s medical record. This would allow for two things: (1) encourage staff that the change is for their benefit and (2) data transferred electronically with be available quickly and more accurate.
Implementing, testing and maintaining the new system training and assigning super users to assist with additional training while on the job. Super users are the eyes and ears of upper management that is not able to be at all places at the same time (Boswell, 2011). Allowing staff to voice concerns regarding new software encourages teamwork and the satisfaction that their concerns are valued to management.
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.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012). The system development life cycle. Baltimore, MD: Author.
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2015). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.
Nurse leaders discuss the nurse’s role in driving technology decisions. (2010). Virginia Nurses Today, 18(1), 8–9.
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