RWJ University Hospital at Hamilton

Department of Pharmacy Services provides pharmaceutical care to the inpatients and outpatients of RWJ University Hospital Hamilton, a 265 bed community hospital which is committed to Excellence Through Service and Quality. We exist to promote, preserve and restore the health of our community. The vision at Hamilton is to passionately pursue the health and well-being of our patients, employees and the community through our culture of exceptional service and commitment to quality.

The department supports all services within the hospital which includes inpatient, surgical, emergency and radiology services. We also care for our oncology patients in a robust outpatient hematology/oncology center located on campus. The pharmacy department also provides a pharmacist-run outpatient anticoagulation clinic staffed by an anticoagulation-certified pharmacist.

Pharmacy is highly integrated into the hospital patient safety system with the utilization of a common health information system shared among inpatient departments promoting intradepartmental information exchange, a hospital wide automated medication distribution through a highly controlled network of automated dispensing cabinets in the inpatient, emergency, radiology and surgical suite areas. Our clinical information system supports the medication safety process from the creation of the medication order by utilizing computer prescriber order entry (CPOE) with clinical alerts and algorithms, review and verification of medication orders by a pharmacist, through the use of Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA) at the patient’s beside. The clinical information system also supports safe medication use at RWJ Hamilton by providing in real time current patient medication regimens, current patient labs, allergies, significant patient demographics along with screening for drug-drug interactions, dose range checking and compatibility checks.

Through a staff of 43 highly trained pharmacists and technicians, the department provides a hybrid decentralized/centralized staff model. With decentralized pharmacists and a recent addition of a Rutgers faculty pharmacist, the department has increased direct patient contact time to help achieve hospital goals of improving clinical outcomes and measures along with increasing our patient satisfaction scores. These pharmacists are decentralized in the ICU, telemetry and medical/surgical units in order to provide medication therapy review and management utilizing a pharmacy surveillance system that monitors for over 120 medication relat-ed issues in real time. This, in collaboration with all members of the healthcare team, patients and their care givers, provide quality, evidenced-based, cost effective care to help achieve our mission and vision.

Pharmacy is very active in hospital teams and committees. The Antimicrobial Stewardship Taskforce is a successful example of pharmacy’s impact on overall outcomes. The team improved utilization and outcome indicators, reducing dollars spent on antimicrobials in 2016. In addition to the outpatient anticoagulation service, Medical Staff-approved protocols are used by pharmacists to manage inpatient anticoagulation therapy and vancomycin initial dosing. Our pharmacists are members of and respond to all Rapid Response Team and Code Team alerts. Pharmacy also is active in patient education providing medication-related sessions in orthopedic, antibiotic use education and various community education events and fairs. With our Medication Assistance Navigator, the team assists our patients in obtaining financial support for medications in our cancer center. This support is achieved by obtaining medication replacement from the manufacturer or by obtaining co-insurance assistance. This effort has saved patients over $970,000 in 2016.

In keeping with our commitment to our own profession, our staff precepts over 20 pharmacy and pharmacy technician students per year from the Rutgers College of Pharmacy and six other out of state schools. Our staff prides itself with helping develop highly quailified practitioners and giving back to our own profession and to our community.

RWJ University Hospital at Hamilton Pharmacy Leadership


Alex Kardos, MBA, RPh

Director of Pharmacy, Respiratory and Sleep Disorder Services

Suzanne Caravella, PharmD, RPh

Senior Pharmacist Operations

Christine Maziarz CPhT

Senior Technician IV Room

Barry MacNeil, RPh

Pharmacy Informatics Supervisor