Nurse Involvement in the Implementation Process

Nurse Involvement in the Implementation Process

In the media introduction to this module, it was suggested that you as a nurse have an important role in the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC). With a focus on patient care and outcomes, nurses may not always see themselves as contributors to the development of new systems. However, as you may have observed in your own experience, exclusion of nurse contributions when implementing systems can have dire consequences.

In this Discussion, you will consider the role you might play in systems development and the ramifications of not being an active participant in systems development.

To Prepare:

  • Review the steps of the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) as presented in the Resources.
  • Reflect on your own healthcare organization and consider any steps your healthcare organization goes through when purchasing and implementing a new health information technology system.
  • Consider what a nurse might contribute to decisions made at each stage of the SDLC when planning for new health information technology.


  • Post a description of what you believe to be the consequences of a healthcare organization not involving nurses in each stage of the SDLC when purchasing and implementing a new health information technology system. Provide specific examples of potential issues at each stage of the SDLC and explain how the inclusion of nurses may help address these issues. Then, explain whether you had any input in the selection and planning of new health information technology systems in your nursing practice or healthcare organization and explain potential impacts of being included or not in the decision-making process. Be specific and provide examples.



Nurse Involvement in the Implementation Process

Nurse leaders should be involved in the planning and implementation stages of new health information technology systems. Health information technologies improve delivery of care, are efficient and guarantee population health (Qin et al. 2017). Nurses are better placed to identify and resolve systemic issues and also provide possible solutions. Therefore, including nurses in the planning and implementation stages improves effective execution of IT systems, assists in the development of technology solutions, increases nurses’ buy-in of the system and ensures implementation of health IT solutions (Weckman & Janzen, 2014). In a System Development Life Cycle (SDLC), the planning stage involves evaluation of the problem and deciding on effective solutions (Kramer, 2018). When implementing a barcode medication administration system, nurse involvement in the implementation stage ensures all patient needs are met. During system analysis, end user requirements are determined and a feasibility study conducted to make sure expectations are met. The design phase stipulates the elements of the system and the type of data required. After understanding all the system requirements, system implementation is conducted. When modifying medication application systems in healthcare settings, nurses are better placed to provide feedback on system performance (Weckman & Janzen, 2014). System testing and integration involves introducing the system to different settings and analyzing outputs. During project evaluation, forming focus groups with nurses is useful in understanding system concerns. Lastly, the system maintenance phase calls for periodic system maintenance to improve efficiency and accuracy. Overall nurses’ involvement in the SDLC improves project outcomes.


When my organization was implementing an electronic health records system, all nurses were included in the selection and planning stages. This in turn improved acceptance and attitudes towards the EHR and ultimately reduced resistance to change.




Kramer, M. (2018). Best Practices in Systems Development Lifecycle: An Analysis Based on the Waterfall Model. Review of Business & Finance Studies, 9(1), 77-84. Retrieved from SSRN:

Qin, Y. et al. (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(165). Doi: 10.1186/s12911-017-0569-3

Weckman, H. & Janzen, S. (2014). The Critical Nature of Early Nursing Involvement for Introducing New Technologies. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 14(2). Doi: 10.3912/OJIN.Vol14No02Man02


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