The Systems Development Life Cycle and the Nurse Informaticist
The health of our population is dependent on the quality of our health care system. Consequently, the term “health care reform” is a hot topic in politics, the news, and even general conversation. Much of the current debate about health care reform centers on managing the cost, quality, and accessibility of care. These issues can be improved within individual health care organizations through workflow redesign, the implementation of informatics, and the use of the systems development life cycle (SDLC). This week, you explore the SDLC and how it is handled within health care organizations. You also examine the role of the nurse informaticist and how this position is intertwined with the SDLC in health care. Learning Objectives Students will: Assess the effectiveness of the systems development life cycle (SDLC) in an organization Assess the role of the nurse informaticist Explain the relationship between nurse informaticists and the SDLC The systems development life cycle (SDLC) is a model for planning and implementing change within an organization. It is important for many individuals to be represented in the process, especially the end users of the system or the employees who must live with the change. As informatics become more and more widespread throughout the health care field, collaboration between information technology (IT) professionals and health care practitioners is becoming increasingly important. The nurse informaticist is able to combine the perspective of the information technology side with the clinical nursing perspective. While the titles and specific responsibilities of nurse informaticists vary across organizations and practice settings, the fundamental purpose of the role remains the same. Nurse informaticists synthesize their knowledge of how technology can improve health care with an understanding of clinical practice and workflow. This is why nurse informaticists can be instrumental in facilitating the SDLC for informatics in health care. For this Discussion, you examine the relationship between the nurse informaticist and the use of the SDLC. To prepare: Review the information in this week’s Learning Resources on the SDLC and the role of the nurse informaticist. Reflect on Chapter 1 of the Dennis, Wixom, and Roth course text and consider how the information about the systems analyst role translates into nursing and health care. Consider a recent change in your organization related to the implementation of a new technology or system. How was this change handled? What was the general SDLC process? Who was involved, and what were the outcomes? Identify whether your organization (or one with which you are familiar) has a formal title or position for the nurse informaticist. This position may be called by a different name, such as nurse informatics specialist or informatics analyst, so be sure to review the position description. If your organization has a position for the nurse informaticist, what are the responsibilities of that position? If your organization does not have such a position, conduct research in the Walden Library and at credible online sources on the role of the nurse informaticist. Reflect on the role of the nurse informaticist in the overall health care field. How is this position connected to the SDLC? Assess the benefits of having this specialized position within health care organizations and involving the nurse informaticist in the SDLC. By Day 3 Post a description of how the systems development life cycle is utilized in your organization, or in one with which you are familiar, and assess its effectiveness. Assess the role of the nurse informaticist in your organization. If the nurse informaticist is not a current position within your organization, provide a description of the generally accepted role of the nurse informaticist based on this week’s Learning Resources and your own research. Explain why it is important for the nurse informaticist to be involved in the SDLC process and the overall organizational benefits of having such involvement.