Reviewing the system development life cycle is a model that uses stages to bring a new process or project from inception to completion. (Building informatics-savy health departments: The systems development life cycle, n.d.). The waterfall method is one of the oldest methods and is sequential process, meaning that the output from one phase opens the next phase.
In the first phase, it must be determined if the project will be feasible and supported. This phase includes the budget with a cost-benefit analysis, returns on investment should be mentioned along with a time frame for completion. This phase would also include the stakeholders involved.
The second phase is the analysis phase where the development team creates a detailed study of the business needs for the organization. A project manager should make sure the identified needs and resources for strategic operation.
The third phase is the design phase that be used to carefully analyze business processes and find ways to streamline existing processes to improve efficiency. During this phase, the low-level team members will look at how the workflow is done currently and how the new system may work. This phase will clarify the requirements and help the team to decide to use internal developers or an external vendor.
The implementation phase is the fourth phase and is where the programming language is determined based on application requirements (Mcgonigle, 2017, p. 179). Most of this phase is directed by the information technology team. “The goal of this phase is to create an application that can be tested by potential users” ("Building informatics-savvy health departments: The systems development life cycle," n.d).
The test phase is the fifth phase that allows users to identify defects or “bugs” before the rollout is completed. In this phase there may be several mini phases that include beta-testing. “During the beta testing users put the new system through its paces to make sure that it does what they need it to do to perform their jobs”(Mcgonigle, 2017, p.179).
The implementation phase includes super users and deployment support to help make the transition easier for staff. This phase includes training and the operational impact and ends with a “go-live” date. The last phase includes maintenance and operations. This is usually led by the IT staff and helps ensure the system performs as anticipated.
In my healthcare organization, we have a project improvement team . This team takes requests from any staff and analyzes the benefits of a new process or procedure. In the last 5 years we have switched from McKesson to EPIC as an electronic health record. We have partnered with several local hospitals and the “go-live” date is July. Staff from our facility will be “super users” and assist staff for one month.
A nurse could contribute to each phase by being involved in the planning and implementation phase. The more involved a nurse is the more the nurses will embrace new models of care. “There is evidence that nurse involvement in all stages of health IT development and implementation can improve the effective execution and use of health IT systems” (Rein,2011).
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