Ask the Expert: Bryan Barshick

In celebration of National Nurses Week, this week’s Ask the Expert is with Bryan Barshick, who works at Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center.


What is your job title and what does your role entail?

I am the ambulatory informatics program coordinator for the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center. As the informatics coordinator, I directly work with nursing, medical and operation leadership teams. My primary responsibilities revolve around assisting in the integration of clinical care and computer and information sciences. I support quality improvement initiatives and help maintain adherence with regulatory requirements in the ambulatory environment.

How long have you been at Johns Hopkins, and what are some of the different positions you have held? How did you get into the role you are currently in?

I have been at The Johns Hopkins Hospital for 20 years this October. I started my career in nursing at Johns Hopkins in 1994 coming from the University of Pittsburgh. My first role was as a clinical inpatient nurse on Nelson 7, which at that time was a blended unit of postoperative surgical patients who had undergone solid organ transplantation, extensive gastrointestinal or vascular surgery. I advanced my career by moving to the outpatient transplant service as a transplant coordinator, where I worked with patients recovering and living with renal and/or hepatic transplants. I also worked with living liver donors. In 2002, I completed my degree at the University of Maryland in nursing informatics.  I took the position as the transplant manager/decision support manager working with the Comprehensive Transplant Center leadership team and implemented and managed the transplant information system. In 2008, I was promoted to the role of assistant director of nursing for the Department of Surgery. In this role, I worked with surgical leadership and continued in my role as a leader with the Comprehensive Transplant Center. In 2011, I left the Department of Surgery and moved into my current role. The Department of Ambulatory Services was just beginning to embark on the Epic project and was interested in having an informatics lead to assist.

Why did you want to become a nurse?

Nursing is the most challenging and rewarding profession there is. I was raised with the focus to, above all else, “Do good.” My parents were both in professions that involved caring for people, and I grew up watching as my parents touched the lives of others, helping when they may have been at their worst or simply in need of support when things looked bleak. I also very much enjoy the challenging side of nursing. It is a profession full of wins and unfortunately losses, but in each situation, I have learned something.

What brought you to Johns Hopkins?

Like most new graduates, I was ready to work and begin my new career. I loved the challenge of big, academic medical institutions. Hopkins was one of the few hospitals hiring at that time, and I was lucky to find a great starting role and even luckier to be offered the position. Baltimore as a city was an easy transition from Pittsburgh and did not have a football team that would rival the world’s best Pittsburgh Steelers. Apparently, that has sort of changed…

What made you want to get a degree in informatics along with your nursing degree? How has that changed your role?

As a child of the 70s and 80s, like many, I was fascinated by the rise of computers. I always felt talented with information technology and was lucky to be involved in some early projects with health information management with the Division of Transplantation. This led to researching the University of Maryland program, which at that time was one of only a few universities offering a degree in nursing informatics. The degree and my career pursuits thereafter have opened up a whole new chapter in my nursing career.

What is the best and worst part of being a nurse?

The best part of nursing is the sense of reward and accomplishment you have at the end of the day. Whether it is helping a patient with a basic activity of daily living, helping someone move from sickness to health or accomplishing a major milestone of assisting in the implementation of a major electronic medical record; you can’t beat the feeling of accomplishment.

Nursing can be extremely stressful. Balancing many tasks and keeping numerous plates spinning can be taxing both mentally and physically.

Do you have any advice for young or future nurses?

Nursing is a fantastic profession to get into. It has so many levels and can branch into so many directions. Don’t rush. Set goals and make them realistic. Get to know the basics before you move on to the advanced. The cliche of you must know how to walk before you can run can be seen tattooed on the back of every GREAT nurse I have had the privilege of working with.


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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }


Deena Conti May 7, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Bryan is a valuable resource to the JHH community, especially Nursing. He has innovative yet practical ideas. He is a pleasure to work with!!


Tammie Hull May 7, 2014 at 11:43 am

Johns Hopkins Community Physicians appreciates Bryan's time and effort toward improving Epic and related workflows.


Meghan Swarthout May 7, 2014 at 9:33 am

Bryan is a tremendous colleague. As a pharmacist, I work closely with Bryan to ensure medication workflows in electronic systems work safely and efficiently. Bryan is a great collaborator and leader. I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to work with him. He is an invaluable member of the Hopkins family!


Susan Cirigliano May 7, 2014 at 9:08 am

Bryan adds the perfect balance to our Ambulatory team! Thank you Bryan for all you do.


Julie Kubiak May 7, 2014 at 9:02 am

Bryan is key in optimizing workflows that involve informatics. We are lucky to have him on the team!


Monica Wilt May 7, 2014 at 8:50 am

Bryan is an incredible representative for the nursing profession. He is always ready to mentor other nurses and help perpetuate excellent nursing. I always appreciate his great sense of humor and can count on him to be the voice of reason. He is an incredible asset to Hopkins and the Epic project...even though he proudly waves his terrible towel!


Stephen Sisson May 7, 2014 at 7:58 am

Great having you guide the Ambulatory informatics program!

Steve Sisson


Renay Tyler May 7, 2014 at 7:48 am

Bryan is an invaluable member of our Ambulatory team. He makes a difference every day by facilitating projects, streamling workflows and most of all......being such a fun colleague. Everyone loves him!


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