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Jersey City Medical Center

Since 1882, Jersey City Medical Center (JCMC) has provided Hudson County with state-of-the-art medical treatment across a broad range of disciplines. The Medical Center operates based on the pillars of Patient Safety, Patient Satisfaction, Clinical Quality and Economic Health. The Pharmacy Department supports the mission of “Enhancing Life” to the people and communities we serve. The institution uses electronic clinical information system (ECIS) to ensure a safe medication process. The system allows for computerized prescriber order entry (CPOE), standardized order sets, and bedside barcode medication administration (BCMA). Medication distribution is optimized by the use of automated dispensing cabinets (ADC) throughout the institution. Additionally, the pharmacy department services clinics specializing in HIV, oncology, behavioral health, women’s health, pediatric, dental, vision, wound care, maternal fetal health and group homes, as well as a hospital licensed satellite emergency department located in Bayonne.

The department is staffed by a total of 49 full time equivalents providing a wide range of operational and clinical services both on the inpatient and ambulatory care sides. Over 95% of the pharmacy technicians are certified technicians with their roles expanding in recent years to areas such as ADC optimization and supervisory roles. In 2023, we elevated technician role to Sterile Products Supervisor, providing USP 797 and USP 800 oversight alongside designated pharmacist. Clinical generalist pharmacists work in the main pharmacy fielding drug information requests, reviewing laboratory data, allergies and vetting appropriateness of all medications ordered through the CPOE system while overseeing the medication distribution activities of pharmacy technicians. Since October 2021, the department has maintained a vancomycin dosing and monitoring consult pilot service. With a pre-approved protocol, pharmacists have independently managed patients on vancomycin IV therapy, using AUC or trough-based dosing.

Currently, 13 pharmacists hold 16 Board Certifications in a variety of specialty areas. Clinical specialists are decentralized in the ICU, Emergency Department, Psychiatry, and Medical-Surgical units. Additionally, 2 Rutgers faculty members are dedicated to Hospitalist service and ambulatory care HIV clinic. Our dedicated infectious diseases/antimicrobial stewardship pharmacist continues to maintain and expand our robust antimicrobial stewardship program. For 2 years in a row, JCMC received the Gold Award in 2023 given by the NJ Department of Health Antimicrobial Stewardship Recognition Program. Clinical specialists are a great source of satisfaction to our patients and interdisciplinary teams. Their daily activities are focused on patient monitoring, vancomycin service, patient education, rounding with prescribers, medication safety, providing drug information to both patients and the interdisciplinary team. Our specialists serve as preceptors for our ASHP-Accredited PGY1 Pharmacy Residency Program and host external residents from within the system as well. Specialists precept students on rotation from Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy (EMSOP), Rutgers University, including hosting the Knight Scholar Program. Finally, a number of specialists also lead their discipline at the system-level, co-chairing collaboratives to provide recommendations and advance change in their areas of expertise.

The momentous milestone achieved in April 2023, several years in the making, was the implementation of EMR system EPIC® in our hospital and outpatient areas including oncology. EPIC® has transformed numerous aspects of pharmacy operation, increasing accuracy, transparency, accountability, and documentation. Pharmacist’s interaction with a patient’s full medical record and communication with the interdisciplinary team are more integrated than ever before. Looking ahead, we are eagerly anticipating the upcoming integration of our AUC dosing software with the ECIS, which will allow us to take our vancomycin dosing service to the next level.

Jersey City Medical Center Pharmacy Leadership