Congratulations to Barb Bungard, Epic Application manager, for being named the March of Dimes’ Ohio Nurse of the Year winner in the category of Nursing Informatics. The annual state-wide awards recognize nursing excellence and achievements in research, education, quality, patient care, innovation and leadership.
A 41-year veteran of Akron Children’s, Barb worked as a nurse manager and education coordinator in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) before joining the information services team. Currently, she is one of the Epic application managers responsible for OpTime/Anesthesia, ASAP (emergency department), HIM, Care Everywhere, Clinical Decision Support and regulatory related items.
“Nursing informatics is a specialty that is growing within Akron Children’s,” she said. “Through this process we demonstrate the value nurses bring to the table when utilizing technology to improve patient care across the continuum.”
One of the achievements Barb is most proud of is being on the team that led to the hospital achieving HIMSS Stage 7 acute care certification last year.
“In preparation for our site visit by HIMSS Analytics we needed to complete a gap analysis of current workflows and HIMSS Stage 7 criteria,” she said. “We identified 3 key areas needing attention for us to qualify – bar code scanning for lab specimen collection, code documentation for medications in the electronic medical record (EMR) and concurrent scanning for clinically relevant documentation. Success was achieved through collaboration, bringing the correct teams together, robust testing and validation, and focused training.”
Akron Children’s is the only place Barb has worked since graduating from college, and she is thankful to work in a place that practices what it preaches.
“I’ve been fortunate to have management support the work I do and allow me to explore and find new opportunities,” she said. “I love sharing and networking with others the great things we have accomplished here at Akron Children’s. I have staff and peers who allow me to be successful and accomplish what I set out to do through their efforts.”
Barb is an active member of the Ohio Nursing Informatics Organization, serves on the Northern Ohio HIMSS (NOHIMSS) board of directors as secretary and website chairman, and is president of the Ohio Chapter of the American Nursing Informatics Association. She is also a preceptor for the Kent State University Health Informatics Graduate Program and serves on the university’s informatics advisory council.
Barb says no matter how old you are or where you are in your career, it’s never too late to start over.
“When I transitioned from a nurse manager role in the PICU to the information services (IS) department I was no longer the expert but now the novice,” she said. “Building partnerships with the infrastructure, interface and analytic teams was essential for me to become a leader in informatics. Over the past 11 years I have gained my peers’ respect. Individuals within the organization now come to me for advice and assistance in completing projects/initiatives. Respect is earned by your ability to be knowledgeable in your area of expertise. This doesn’t mean you need to know everything, but you do need to know who does and work collaboratively with those individuals.”