SDLC Stages in Nursing

SDLC Stages in Nursing

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.

By Day 3 of Week 9

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.



SDLC Stages in Nursing

The systems development life cycle (SDLC) is an information system that organizations incorporate into their plan to improve performance and efficiency of service production. The   SDLC can be implemented in nursing organizations to help nurses and physicians to provide quality care (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015).  The SDLC life cycle is made up of six faces or designs: feasibility, analysis, design, implement, test, and maintain.

  1. Feasibility

Feasibility helps the organization to understand whether the project should be supported and executed. It often measures the technologic systems, economic, legal, and operational and schedule feasibility (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015). Feasibility helps to analyze all aspects and makes clear the assessment of the project. Nurses should be part of the feasibility process to reduce the ineffectiveness of the technology system being implemented (Virginia Nurses Today, 2010). Excluding nurses, as team members may lead to the implementation of a substandard system that may not help improve healthcare delivery in the institution.

SDLC Stages in Nursing


The analysis process involves the assessment of the new technology system with the help of nurses as the major stakeholders. Nurses must be required because they are involved in patient care and safety (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015). The technology gives them an overview of what is needed to help care for patients (Swab & Ciotti, 2010). Therefore, health information technology improves patient care. The challenges that may occur may be due to the lack of support from nurses and physicians in implementation and using the system. Thus, having nurses as project members ensure the best technology is implemented to improve patient outcomes.

3. Design

The design phase determines the programs that will be involved and how they will interact with each other. The ability and effectiveness of the program are determined. It helps to determine the best data to be used (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015). During this phase, nurses are required to contribute and be involved in decision making. Nurses are the end-users of the technological system, and involving them ensure critical data is not omitted. Not involving nurses may lead to frustrations in the early stages of planning and implementing the system (Swab & Ciotti, 2010). Nurses and physicians must be part of the program to ensure the understanding and acceptance of the program.

4. Implementation

The phase ensures the design is accepted, and the program chosen is believed to achieve its purpose of improving care (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015). The implementation of the system must involve nurses and should include training and maintenance to ensure smooth running of the process. Thus, nurses must be comfortable and satisfied with the new system being implemented. A positive attitude would ensure the implementation system is a success (Kelley, Brandon, Docherty, 2011).


5. Test

The testing phase is critical involves individual programming module, integration, volume, the system, and beta testing (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015). Nurses need to be included because they would be critical as the end-users of the system. The system being implemented may however not pass the test if nurses do not put their input to ensure its success.

6. Maintain

The process involves installing the technological system without considering the cost of maintenance. The phase also ensures there is user support because excluding physicians and nurses may delay the implementation of the system (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015). Therefore, the maintenance phase ensures the system is well incorporated and running smoothly in improving patient outcomes.

SDLC Stages in Nursing

In my organization, nurses are still in the process of learning how the system works. This phase ensures we find issues and challenges that need to be identified and mitigated before implementing the technological system. However, nurses who are not technological savvy may find it difficult to welcome the change or the implementation of the new system (Virginia Nurse Today, 2010). Thus, having younger nurses working with older nurses may bridge the gap and ensure the system is successfully implemented and incorporate into patient care. Therefore, having nurses and physicians as key stakeholders ensure the system is implemented and run smoothly to help transform the healthcare system.



Kelley, T. F., Brandon, D. H., & Docherty, S. L. (2011). Electronic nursing documentation as a

strategy to improve the quality of patient care. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 43(2), 154-162. Doi:10.1111/j.1547-5069.2011. 01397.x

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2015). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge

(3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Page, D. (2011). Turning nurses into health IT superusers. H&HN: Hospitals & Health

Networks, 85(4), 27-28. Retrieved from

Swab, J., & Ciotti, V. (2010). What to consider when purchasing an EHR system.

Healthcare Financial Management, 64(5), 38-41. Retrieved from


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