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Role of Nurses in The HIT Systems Development Life Cycle

Role of Nurses in The HIT Systems Development Life Cycle

Sample Answer 

Role of Nurses in The HIT Systems Development Life Cycle

The participation of nurses in acquiring a health information technology (HIT) system is fundamental to the success of such an initiative in the healthcare organization. Currently, the process of implementing a HIT system is grounded in the systems development life cycle (SDLC). As one of the most important primary caregivers in the clinical setting, the involvement of the nurse during every step of the HIT’s SLDC imparts significant relevance to the system, ensuring it is effectively adapted to the clinical setting.

During the planning stage of the SDLC, key activities include the definition of the scope of the project and deliverables that occur alongside change control and efforts to mitigate any risks (Singletary & Baker, 2019). Being the main users of HIT systems in the clinical setting, the nurse is involved in the determination of the clinical requirements that justify the need for a HIT system, such as the target patient care needs and the need for user training in light of existing skill levels (Walker & Clendon, 2016). An exclusion of nurses during this stage may cause project failure resulting from unforeseen costs and low relevance to patient care needs.

The participation of the nurse during the analysis phase is crucial in determining the degree of fit of the system into the current workflow and organizational practices. HIT adoption may introduce additional operational needs such as authentication requirements, interoperability demands, and the need for system rebooting, which may introduce clinical workflow disruption or breakdown of organizational practices (Serrano et al., 2020). The nurse’s input is required to determine whether the system fits effectively into the clinical workflow. Potential adjustments in the workflow design can, therefore, be considered to enhance system success.

Similarly, the participation of the nurses during the design phase is important in ensuring the selected system is appropriate and efficient. The nurse is involved in determining whether the system integrates all the critical data entry and documentation needs of patient care, assessing the navigability of the user interface, siting of equipment location and the time efficiency of the system (Qin et al., 2017). Subsequently, possible solutions can be devised early. Failure to involve nurses during this stage may, therefore, predispose the system to major design flaws that may discourage the uptake of the HIT.

During the implementation phase, nurses play an important role in the success of the system trials. As the system begins to take shape and its technical aspects are gradually introduced, the nurses’ ongoing feedback is required to determine the system’s true effectiveness and potential. The nurse participates in this stage through their own active HIT utilization and engagement and provides assistance and support for intra-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary team members in system use (Walker & Clendon, 2016). Usage of the system for nursing tasks enables feedback to be obtained through the reactions of the nurse, observation of use, and nursing quality indicators.

The nurse’s involvement during the post-implementation support phase is required for maintaining the functionality and increasing the system’s applicability. Nurses propose system quality improvements based on their experiences while using the system, such as identifying bugs and missing features and data sets (Weckman & Janzen, 2009). These recommendations are required for subsequent software or hardware improvements to increase the system’s effectiveness.

As the health provider with the greatest degree of patient engagement, the nurse’s participation in acquiring a HIT system is critical to the success of such an effort. Their participation ensures that the adopted system meets the patient care needs of the clinical staff without introducing undesirable outcomes such as disturbances in the current workflow. Therefore, failure to involve nurses in such a project limits the potential for success right from the beginning.


Qin, Y., Zhou, R., Wu, Q., Huang, X., Chen, X., Wang, W., … & Bai, C. (2017). The effect of nursing participation in the design of a critical care information system: a case study in a Chinese hospital. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 17(1), 165.

Serrano, A., Garcia-Guzman, J., Xydopoulos, G., & Tarhini, A. (2020). Analysis of barriers to the deployment of health information systems: A stakeholder perspective. Information Systems Frontiers22(2), 455-474.

Singletary, V., & Baker, E. L. (2019). Building Informatics-Savvy Health Departments: The

Systems Development Life Cycle. Journal of Public Health Management and practice, 25(6), 610-611.

Walker, L., & Clendon, J. (2016). The case for end-user involvement in design of health technologies. Journal of telemedicine and telecare22(8), 443-446.

Weckman, H., & Janzen, S. (2009). The critical nature of early nursing involvement for introducing new technologies. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing14(2).


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Role of Nurses in The HIT Systems Development Life Cycle

Learning Resources

Required Readings

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2017). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Chapter 9, “Systems Development Life Cycle: Nursing Informatics and Organizational Decision Making” (pp. 175–187)

Chapter 12, “Electronic Security” (pp. 229–242)

Chapter 13, “Workflow and Beyond Meaningful Use” (pp. 245–261)

Role of Nurses in The HIT Systems Development Life Cycle

Role of Nurses in The HIT Systems Development Life Cycle

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (n.d.a). Health IT evaluation toolkit and evaluation measures quick reference guide. Retrieved September 27, 2018, from

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (n.d.b). Workflow assessment for health IT toolkit. Retrieved September 27, 2018, from

Required Media

Louis, I. (2011, August 17). Systems development life cycle (SDLC) [Video file]. Retrieved from

Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). Interoperability, Standards, and Security [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Accessible player

Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). Managing Health Information Technology [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Accessible player

Portfolio Assignment: 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.

To Prepare:

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)

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
  • Analysis
  • Design of the new system
  • Implementation
  • Post-implementation support

Grading Rubric


An accurate and fully developed role description is provided for the Assignment and fully supports the guidance of a graduate-level nurse’s participation in the steps of the SDLC.

The responses accurately and thoroughly define in detail a graduate-level nurse’s participation in the steps of the SDLC.

The responses accurately and thoroughly explain in detail the impacts of a graduate-level nurse’s participation in the steps of the SDLC.

Includes: 3 or more peer-reviewed sources and 2 or more course resources.

Paragraphs and sentences follow writing standards for flow, continuity, and clarity.

Uses correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation with no errors.

Uses the correct APA format with no errors.

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