The health information technologies system is designed and implemented with the objective of making the work easier for the users and nurses while ensuring that the quality of care is provided to the patients (Kelley, Brandon & Docherty, 2011). Thus, it is necessary that the nurses are involved at every stage of the system development life cycle (SDLC). Resistance to change or the risk of developing a system that the users cannot use properly are some of the problems that can occur by excluding the end users, who are the nurses, in the acquisition and development of the HIT system.
During the planning phase, the need for the new system is identified. Failure to involve the nurses during this phase can cause acquisition of a system that does not match the needs of the nurses (Hsiao, Chang, & Chen, 2011). For example, the nurses might be expecting a system that will be used in the management of admissions of patients and the organization ends up acquiring a HIT system for managing drugs administration. Indeed, to address the problem, the nurses should be involved in the feasibility study.
Systems Analysis and Requirements
The functional requirements of the system are identified during this stage. Failure to involve the nurses can cause failure in identifying their expectations of the new HIT system. In such instances, the initiative can bring resistance to the proposed system and hence cause delays or failure of the system (Hsiao, Chang, & Chen, 2011). Therefore, nurses should be involved in the analysis to realize their expectations and make sure they match the expectations of the organization and the system.
In this stage, the new system’s specifications, features, and operations are identified. Failure to involve the nurses might lead to the acquisition of one or more components that do not meet their needs. In fact, the move can bring resistance to change or inability to use the system completely. For instance, acquiring complex software systems can exhibit challenges in use. Discussing and determining the specific information needs of the users will prevent such challenges from occurring (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2012).
Development is the actual beginning of the process of implementing the HIT system. Failure to involve the nurses involves the risk of failing to understand the technical aspects of the system, leading to resistance to change or inability to use (Hsiao, Chang & Chen, 2011). In essence, training is important for involving the nurses during this phase.
Integrating and Testing
At this point, it is necessary to establish whether the designed system meets the business goals and expectations of the users. During the implementation of a HIT system, errors and bugs may arise, a situation that might lead to problems with the information therein and issues that can cost the operation of the nurses and the health care organization (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2012). Therefore, some of the serious problems during this process can be avoided by involving the nurses in the practical testing of the system.
The majority of the program code is usually written during this stage and the real installation of the newly created HIT system. The process involves movement of the data and other components from the current system to the new one. Failure to involve the nurses, who understand the current system adequately, can cause the danger of leaving or losing important data, including patient information (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2012). As such, there can be a huge risk, which should be avoided by working with the nurses in the changeover.
Operations and Maintenance
Following implementation of the HIT system, maintenance and regular updating of the system is necessary. Therefore, much of the fundamental information that can help update the system might be lost, especially if the nurses are ignored in the process (Hsiao, Chang, & Chen, 2011). In essence, involving the nurses as a source of information on possible needs for change or updates is imperative.
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.
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.
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2012). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning