NURS 6051: The Role of the Nurse Informaticist in Systems Development and Implementation

The Role of the Nurse Informaticist in Systems Development and Implementation

Assume you are a nurse manager on a unit where a new nursing documentation system is to be implemented. You want to ensure that the system will be usable and acceptable for the nurses impacted. You realize a nurse leader must be on the implementation team.

The Role of the Nurse Informaticist in Systems Development and Implementation

Nursing continues growing in multiple dimensions in response to evolving patient care needs. Technology use has increased progressively, allowing nursing professionals and organizational leaders to develop and implement different systems for advancing care (Alexander et al., 2020)). Among many essential features, health information systems should be usable and efficient. End users should be conversant with their designs and how to use them safely to improve health outcomes. Consequently, a graduate-level nurse involved in system implementation should understand the system development life cycle (SDLC) and what each stage entails. The purpose of this paper is to describe how a graduate-level nurse can participate as a member of the implementation team of a new documentation system.

Planning and Requirements Definition

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The planning and requirements definition phase is primarily the feasibility stage. Here, the implementation team plans the project and defines the problem at hand and its scope. According to McGonigle and Mastrian (2022), developers should focus more on technology and systems feasibility, which addresses the technological capabilities, such as the expertise and infrastructure required by an efficient documentation system. As a result, a graduate-level nurse can influence this phase by collaborating with team members to determine the objectives of the documentation system and its feasibility. Other focus areas during planning include a detailed evaluation of the legal ramifications of the system and operational feasibility to determine the effectiveness of the system in meeting user needs.


The analysis phase is more detailed than the planning and requirements definition since it is the foundation of excellent design. During this phase, the implementation team collects clear-cut requirements to develop a solution fine-tuned to user needs. McGonigle and Mastrian (2022) stressed the importance of analysis in system development since it is the stage where the team examines workflows and business practices and considers options if some processes need to be changed. Therefore, a graduate-level nurse can influence the analysis by identifying potential risks, seeking clarification of any uncertainties, and pointing out possible weak points. Jointly, the team should also develop a process diagram to follow in the next phases.

Design of the New System

The design phase is critical to the success of the new system. In this phase, the implementation team focuses on high-level and low-level design, the system’s interface, and data design (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2022). Since a system needs a robust infrastructure to work effectively, the implementation team should establish the necessary programs and how they will work at the high-level phase. In the low-level phase, the team examines how the system’s specific programs will work. The graduate-level nurse can impact the system’s design by suggesting the features necessary to promote usability. For instance, design considerations, such as workflow support, visual display, and interoperability, should be prioritized to enhance usability (Howe et al., 2018; Alami et al., 2022). The graduate-level nurse can impact the design phase by recommending the design features necessary for a user-friendly documentation system. Systems with high usability support clinicians in achieving their goals and are tailored to meet the needs of specific work environments (Vainiomäki et al., 2020). They are also associated with high patient outcomes.


The implementation phase follows the analysis and design. In this phase, the system development and implementation team brings the designs to life (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2022). The implication is that it is the phase where the system starts running to execute the intended functions. Regarding documentation, the system should support data access, storage, sharing, retrieval, and other functions. The graduate-level nurse can impact implementation by helping to pilot the system to evaluate its performance against the expected output. The nurse can further recommend interventions and improvements necessary to achieve the desired performance.

Post-Implementation Support

Technology systems require close monitoring and continuous improvement for sustained performance. System maintenance is the critical post-implementation task and includes user support through software changes as times necessitate (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2022; Wang et al., 2019). It is guided by the principle that systems should be upgraded and protected from risks for optimal performance. In this phase, the graduate-level nurse can be part of the post-implementation support team or recommend interventions necessary for system maintenance. For instance, progressive performance testing, user interviews to assess experience, and regular system updates can be adopted as post-implementation support routines. The nurse should be aware of their importance and how to execute them.


SDLC demonstrates a procedural approach to system implementation. It illustrates a detailed procedure where each step serves as the foundation of the next one. A graduate-level nurse should understand the importance of collaboration during system development and implementation and play an active role as a team member. As discussed, each phase has specific tasks whose completion ensures the success of the next phase. Much emphasis should be on the analysis and design. Post-implementation support should also be explicit to ensure the system can sustain high performance for a long time.


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Alexander, G. L., Georgiou, A., Doughty, K., Hornblow, A., Livingstone, A., Dougherty, M., … & Fisk, M. J. (2020). Advancing health information technology roadmaps in long term care. International Journal of Medical Informatics136, 104088.

Howe, J. L., Adams, K. T., Hettinger, A. Z., & Ratwani, R. M. (2018). Electronic health record usability issues and potential contribution to patient harm. JAMA319(12), 1276–1278.

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2022). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (5th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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