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Electronic Health Information Technology Implementation Essay


Electronic health information technology (HIT) is usually integrated into healthcare organizations for the purpose of improving their quality of care. HIT helps to reduce the cost of care and increase its efficiency at the same time. The implementation of such technologies can be highly complex and involves multiple risks. In many cases, HITs are expensive, difficult to integrate, and their introduction to the working process takes a long time. In this paper, the systems development life cycle will be discussed from the perspective of organizational and personal experiences, as well as nurses’ contributions.

Systems Development Life Cycle in an Organization

According to the Waterfall Model, the systems development life cycle (SDLC) is comprised of six steps. These phases are feasibility, analysis, design, implementation, testing, and maintenance (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2018). In this model, the output of each step serves as the initial input for the next one. In my organization, a lengthy period of planning, a feasibility check, and analysis took place prior to the initiation of some practical stages of the project such as the implementation, testing, and maintenance. This was necessary because the implemented technology had to carry out many important and complex functions.

Nurses’ Contribution

As the major segment of users of the implanted technology, nurses of all professional levels need to be included in every stage of project planning (Daly, 2015). Right from the start, nurses are to be a part of system selection because they are practical users who know exactly which functions the system in question needs to perform. The same goes for the stages of system development, design, and testing.

Nurses are to serve as the holders of practical knowledge and vision as to the expected result (Chaiken, 2008). Also, while testing is in progress, nurses are to undergo specialized training and learn how to use the selected system. During the implementation, optimization, and maintenance phases, nursing practitioners can help collect data and share their first experiences as to the system’s efficiency, flaws, benefits, and required adjustments.

Personal Experience

In my organization, I participated in the stages of system selection and beta testing. I believe that my peers and I were seen by our management as experts whose opinions are valuable in terms of quality and efficiency improvement. As a result, we were the primary resource for the leaders’ decision-making. At the stage of beta testing, we were asked to start using the implemented system and keep records of all the aspects that prevented efficiency, disrupted our workflow, or were generally inconvenient. I was pleased to notice that my recommendations and complaints were considered and matched quite quickly. I believe I had input in system selection and planning.

Potential Ramifications of Nurses’ Exclusion

The failure to include nurses in HIT implementation can result in many negative outcomes. For example, selecting the HIT without consulting its potential users may lead to the wrong choice that can jeopardize the success of the entire project. Feasibility considerations also need to be run by nurses in order for the management and leadership to have a clear picture of the processes that the new HIT will affect (Chaiken, 2008).

Failure to include nurses at this stage may result in inefficient technology implementation. At the design stage, the potential issues include design flaws due to overlooking some of the vital functions of the technology. By including nurses in the design planning, its efficiency can be increased and the costs of the testing phase-cut (Yen, McAlearney, Sieck, Hefner, & Huerta, 2017). Implementation and testing stages require dynamic data collection and analysis. The inclusion of nurses can enable more effective project monitoring. The main maintenance issue is the system’s malfunction, which can be prevented by regular performance reports conducted by nurses.

References

Chaiken, B. P. (2008). Strategies for success: Clinical HIT implementation. Patient Safety and Quality Healthcare, 5(4), 28–31.

Daly, P. (2015). Clinical nurses lead the charge with HER. Nursing, 45(10), 25-26.

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2018). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Yen, P., McAlearney, A., Sieck, C., Hefner, J., & Huerta, T. (2017). Health information technology (HIT) adaptation: Refocusing on the journey to successful HIT implementation. JMIR Medical Informatics, 5(3), 28-32.

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IvyPanda. "Electronic Health Information Technology Implementation." October 20, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/electronic-health-information-technology-implementation/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Electronic Health Information Technology Implementation." October 20, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/electronic-health-information-technology-implementation/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Electronic Health Information Technology Implementation'. 20 October.

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