Health Information Technology Systems
The process of systems development is a continuous process with a life cycle. The first important step is having an understanding of the major business needs. Secondly, probable solutions to the needs must be developed. It is also necessary to come up with an effective plan, having the plan implemented, and evaluated; and finally, the plan needs maintenance, and reviewing from time to time before its destruction. The life cycle ends if the system requires a total replacement due to technological advances or when the business experiences new needs, or upon the development and launching of a new project. In case of these, the system is destroyed, replaced, and a new life cycle begins (McGonigle and Mastrian 201-202).
There are various risks involved in the purchasing and implementing of the HIT system. An organization therefore, needs to follow particular steps to avoid the risks. According to McGonigle and Mastrian, a waterfall model is necessary in guiding the steps involved in purchasing and implementing of a new HIT system (205). This model mainly includes feasibility, analysis, design, implementation, testing, and maintenance. In New York’s Bezalel Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, before the purchase of a HIT system, the management, in collaboration with the concerned staff ensure that the previous system is analysed, including its effectiveness and failures. This way, it becomes easy to identify the needs of the organization, as well as the capacity, and type of the specific system to be purchased. This is because a new system is capable of either solving problems or creating new problems in an organization. Therefore, the main step is to identify, and analyse the workflow of the previous system, and its strengths and weaknesses, which need improvement. This ensures the purchase of the right technology that will serve the needs of the organization (McGonigle and Mastrian 206).
Implementing of the new technology in this company involves the selection of programming codes, which best suit the new technology. This includes the right language of programming for the new technology, and other programming codes, based on the requirements of the new acquisition. Testing involves the programming units of the system, its integration level, data capacity, and testing of the whole system. Of great importance is the volume of data the system can accommodate. Beta testing by a team of employees ensures that the system works according to commands in its task execution. Finally, the staff is briefly trained on maintenance of the system. This is through user support of the system including software changes in the system, where needed (McGonigle and Mastrian 207).
Nurses are important contributors to decisions made in purchasing and implementing of a new HIT system. Since nurses are major users of the system, they have a better understanding of the processes involved in system usage. Therefore, these can be instrumental in helping identify the strengths and weaknesses of a past system, as they have used it. In the implementation process, nurses must be included in testing, and maintenance training of the new system. Since they are users of the system, they must be knowledgeable about how the system operates. Failure to include nurses may lead to misguided decisions in the purchasing and implementation processes (McGonigle and Mastrian 215).
The main challenge in selecting and implementing the new technology by this
organization was the lack of sufficient information on how the risks involved would be reduced, in order to maximize the benefits of the new technology. This was a major concern considering the high cost of the equipment, which would mean total loss for the company in case of a wrong choices in the purchasing and implementation processes. However, with expert advice and staff brainstorming sessions, adequate information was gathered. Since this organization understands the role of nurses in the organization’s technology, all nurses were involved as they gave key information, and influenced decision-making in all the processes of purchasing and implementing of the new technology.
During the purchasing of a new HIT system, failure to involve nurses may result in the purchase of a system that does not address all the needs of the organization. Since nurses work with these systems, they are in a better position to understand the areas of effectiveness and inefficiencies of the previous system, which need to be addressed by the new system. Additionally, failure to involve nurses in the implementation process will lead to misuse of the system, as the nurses will lack sufficient knowledge on the usage of the new system. Likewise, they will miss the training of the maintenance of the system, which might lead to poor handling of the system due to lack of knowledge. From this, it is clear that nurses play an important role in purchasing decisions of new HIT systems as well as the implementation process. Any organization should therefore, ensure the participation of nurses in these processes, for effective functioning of the systems.
McGonigle, Dee and Mastrian, Kathleen. Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge
(2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2012.
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