Advocacy

The RWJBarnabas Health Pharmacy Enterprise is an integrated part of the health care team. Pharmacists are responsible for ensuring safe, effective, and appropriate medication use for all patients.
  • Acute Care Service Line

In 2020, the Acute Care Service Line workload statistics include:

  • The team prevented more than 74,782 adverse reactions
  • The team intervened and prevented in excess of 214,508 medication errors from occurring
  • There were more than 31.4 million doses dispensed
  • The number of medication orders verified was more than 6.7 million
  • The median turn around time to process a STAT order was 6 minutes
  • There was a 8 minute median turn around time to process a routine order
  • The pharmacists performed more than 3.46 million clinical activities
  • The pharmacists performed in excess of 397,000 laboratory assessments
  • The pharmacy technicians performed more than 933,000 activities
  • Performed greater than 58,200 Antibiotic Stewardship activities
  • More than 120,000 patients were seen directly by a pharmacist
  • More than 9,100 ambulatory activities performed by a pharmacist

Members of our team were named to a state or national organization and editorial board leadership positions

ASHP

  • AJHP Reviewer
  • Council on Pharmacy Management
  • Clinical Leadership Section Advisory Group
  • Value, Quality and Compliance Section Advisory Group
  • CV Reviewer
  • PGY1 Program Reviewer (two)
  • PGY2 Program Reviewer (one)
  • Poster Reviewer
  • Standardize 4 Safety Initiative Expert Panel
  • Senior Editor Clinical Pharmacology
  • Multi-hospital Pharmacy Executives Committee
  • Pediatric Section Advisory Group
  • New Jersey Delegate to ASHP

NJSHP

  • Educational Affairs
  • Annual Meeting Planning Committee
  • Council on Public Policy

ACCP

  • Board Member
  • Faculty Member
  • Educational Affairs

American College of Cardiology

  • Associate Appointment
  • Heart Failure Society of America
  • Fellowship status

Society of Critical Care Medicine

  • Accreditation and Learning Strategies Committee
  • Board Appointment

Trans-Atlantic Renal Council

  • Board of Trustees

Rho Chi Society

  • President Elect

American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Laboratory Instructors Special Interest Group

  • Chair-elect

Pediatric Pharmacy Association

  • Chair, Legislative Affairs Sub-Committee

The Acute Care Service Line consists of 472 pharmacists, 340 pharmacy technicians and more than 12 support staff. Our acute care pharmacy team is deployed both centrally and de-centrally. The inpatient decentralized model operates to verify orders on the patient care units, and attending rounds and counseling patients. The decentralized model is supported by computerized prescriber order entry (CPOE), automated dispensing cabinets (ADC) on the units, and bed-side barcode medication administration. Technicians support the decentralized pharmacists by restocking the ADCs and delivering non-stocked medications to the units from the central pharmacy. In the central pharmacy, the technicians assist pharmacists by answering phones, filling labels, compounding and picking medications, and performing deliveries. Centralized clinical pharmacists answer phones, verify orders, and oversee technician activities and sterile product compounding.

The RWJBarnabas Health Pharmacy Enterprise encourages all teammates of all roles to pursue advanced certifications within their respective area of practice. These certifications are not required but are obtained by our teammates due to the self motivation to continuously improve their skill sets they offer our patients and fellow practitioners.

Certifications in 2020

  • Sixteen teammates achieved Board Certification in 2020
  • There are currently 113 teammates who currently are board certified in one of the following and 24 teammates hold more than one of the following:
    • BCPS, BCPP, BCPPS, BCCCP, BCIDP, BCGP, BCOP, BCSCP, BC-ADM, BCPS-AQ Card, CACP
  • The RWJBarnabas Health Pharmacy is proud of our teammates who have pursued these certifications and offer this expertise to our patients, families and fellow practitioners. In fact, 22% of all pharmacists in our Enterprise are Board Certified Pharmacy Practitioners
  • Qualitas Home Infusion Division

The Qualitas Pharmacy Division consists of 32 pharmacists, 50 pharmacy technicians, 38 support staff and 40 nurses.

The Qualitas Home Infusion Division delivers medications, nutritional support, infusion pumps and supplies as well as comprehensive education and infusion therapy management to patients in need of home infusion therapy.

  • Our nurse colleagues performed 24,446 home visits to our patients
  • The division made and administered in excess of 72,299 intravenous medications
  • Home infusion division achieved a 0.01% infection rate per 1,000 patient days
  • The Acute Care Service Line referred 1,286 patients to our service
  • The Home Infusion division provided 1406 days of free care for patients from our system
  • RWJBarnabas Consolidated Pharmacy Services Division

The RWJBarnabas Consolidated Pharmacy Services Division delivers medications, nutritional support, infusion pumps, and supplies as well as comprehensive education and infusion therapy management to patients in need of home
therapy.

  • Our pharmacy team prepared and delivered more than 225,307 intravenous medications for the acute care service line
  • There were in excess of 16,990 Total Parenteral Nutrition intravenous preparations made and delivered to our Acute Care Service Line
  • Our service repackaged for the Acute Care Service Line over 428,654 tablets of medications into unit dosage forms because they were not commercial available
  • Our service repackaged for the Acute Care Service Line more than 76,396 doses of liquid medications into unit dosage forms because they were not commercially available
  • By utilizing this division in lieu of outsourcing and centralizing purchasing, the Health System saved $3,984,125
  • Qualitas Home Mail Order Division

The Qualitas Mail Order Division delivers and provides superior service and support for RWJBarnabas Health employees and dependents, ensuring appropriate therapy

  • Our mail order division filled more than 71,995 prescriptions for employees and their families
  • The mail order division coordinated more than 2503 deliveries averaging 7 driver deliveries a day
  • The division filled over 13,668 340B prescriptions, averaging 44 prescriptions a day
  • By utilizing this division in lieu of outsourcing to a chain pharmacy, the health system saved $5,605,575
  • Qualitas Specialty Pharmacy Division

The Qualitas Specialty Pharmacy Division offers a comprehensive therapy management service that focuses on providing high cost, high touch medication therapy for patients with complex disease states. Our pharmacy offers complete specialty care with a range of medications, therapies and services to manage conditions easier. Medications in specialty pharmacy vary from oral to cutting edge injectable and biological products. Our goal is to achieve superior clinical and economic outcomes while maintaining the utmost compassion and care for our patients.

  • Our dedicated team filled more than 86,404 for our patients
  • The team made in excess of 26,800 deliveries to our patient’s homes
  • The division averages approximately 338 prescriptions on a daily basis
  • Our health system referred 386 transplant patients to our service
  • This division filled 13,688 specialty 340B scripts
  • By utilizing this division, the health system saved $18,658,187 in 340B dollars
  • The disease states managed under our care are:
    • Heart Transplant
    • Hepatitis C
    • Kidney Transplant
    • Lung Transplant
    • Oncology
    • HIV
  • Pharmacy Reimbursement Division

The Pharmacy Reimbursement Division (PRD) consists of a team of individuals with expertise in medication billing and reimbursement. The team is led by the Corporate Director of Pharmacy Systems Integration and support by a Senior Pharmacy Reimbursement Specialist and a Pharmacy Billing, Denials and Appeals Specialist.

  • Recovered over $1.4 million in 2020 and $42 million since program inception for the Acute Care Service Line, through dedicated review and incorporation of existing clinical, reporting and surveillance applications
  • Reviewed and ensured medication billing on over 1,800 billing, coding, charge capture and reconciliation activities
    • Additions/deletions/changes to billing set-up for formulary items
    • Quarterly and annual medication HCPCS updates for both Heritage RWJ and Barnabas Health acute care facilities
    • NDC requirements submitted for Medicaid/Managed Medicaid claims
    • Payor, billing and reimbursement audits after go-lives
  • Recovered over $403,000 of inpatient hemophilia reimbursement
  • Ongoing monitoring and monthly waste billing analysis to determine actual billing versus waste opportunity for RWJBarnabas Health affiliates
  • Identified and reprocessed 73 transactions that did not qualify for the Medicare OPPS 340B reduction resulting in over $40,000 in recoveries
  • Implemented and created an application that identifies over or under billed charges consisting of HCPCS (J-code) drugs. The purpose of the project is to avoid billing discrepancies both current and potential future.
  • Retail Pharmacy Network Division

The retail pharmacists are responsible for dispending and controlling medicine, which includes both prescription and non-prescription. They also advise customers on general healthcare. Retail pharmacists must work to meet legal and ethical guidelines set by many different regulatory agencies, including the State Pharmacy Board.

In 2020, the retail pharmacies dispensed 164,590 prescriptions, averaging 640 prescriptions per day, with a staff of 13 full time pharmacists. A total of 13,128 prescriptions were filled for 340B for a system benefit of $1,809,567.

Our retail pharmacy network implemented and started the Dispensary of Hope program. The Dispensary of Hope is a non-profit drug distributor, whose mission is to transform lives by creating pathways for donated medicine to reach
individuals in need and without access. Our system has the only retail pharmacies authorized to provide this program in the state of NJ.

The retail pharmacy network continues to build upon and improve its current services which include home delivery, text messaging pickup availability, and refill reminders. Pharmacies provide clinical services to support care transitions, adult immunizations, medication adherence, and medication therapy management (MTM). The retail pharmacy staff is also involved in community outreach programs, brown bag events, and blood pressure screenings. At Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, the retail pharmacy initiated and built programs with the departments of bariatric surgery, emergency, maternal fetal medicine, geriatrics and colorectal surgery.

In 2020, the retail pharmacy generated more than 21 million dollars in revenue with net benefit in excess of 1.66 million dollars.

In 2020, the retail pharmacies:

  • Organized and provided 79 community outreach events at 14 different locations with 847 attendees
  • Naloxone was made available without a prescription in all retail pharmacies
  • Collaborated with Monmouth Medical Center to deliver multicultural community outreach education programs
  • Maintain service as a specialized lymphedema product care center at the ACC retail pharmacy
  • Evaluated the impact of an interprofessional tobacco cessation program on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease readmission rates
  • Developed numerous disease state focus patient education materials
  • 340B Drug Pricing Program Division

The 340B Program continues to meet its original goal of helping eligible patients and hospitals make the most of scarce resources while saving taxpayers money. The RWJBarnabas Health hospitals are committed to caring for the vulnerable and use 340B savings to stretch otherwise limited resources. For patients, this means affordable medications, expanded access to community-based primary and specialty care, and help managing chronic conditions. This program supports all these benefits while reducing federal, state, and local health care spending.

In addition to lower costs and affordable medications, our programs support better care and better health outcomes allowing us to provide more services and offset losses from providing care without compensation.

  • The 340B team remained focused on elevating responsibilities related to auditing the hospital pharmacies and contracted pharmacies along with supplying compliance tools, 340B training and other support services through 2020.
  • The 340B audit team performed 183 audits in 2020 at our Disproportionate Share Hospitals and is poised to extend this oversight to new entities.
  • In collaboration with the Department of Pharmacy at each 340B hospital, the 340B team was able to audit 335 prescription claims during 2020 despite the restrictions placed on auditing capabilities from COVID-19.
  • RWJBH concluded 2020 with an average WAC impact of 4.5%.

As federal dollars shift and resources become scare, it is critical that health centers participate in programs like this that will continue to increase patient access and expand services. The 340B program will enable health centers to increase access to affordable medication, which will ultimately improve outcomes, and assist in overcoming the impact of the decline in federal and state funding.

  • Pharmacy Informatics Division

Our Informatics Division made over 2,500 safety enhancements to our Enterprise Clinical Information Systems which serves as a foundation for all care providers when treating our patients. Many of the projects involved information technology changes toward the goals of standardizing builds, processes and workflows for the Pharmacy Enterprise.

In 2020, individuals from the division continued to participate in monthly alert committee call and ECIS Pharmacy Workgroup meeting led by our Chief Health Information Officer. The committee and workgroup offer an opportunity to optimize existing pharmacy build or provide recommendations for new medication-related builds to improve patient safety and workflow efficiencies.

Cerner and AllScripts (SCM) Optimization (implementations and/or enhancements)

  • Adult Oncology Regimens in Cerner
    • CRV24 cervical
    • NSC46 lung maintenance
    • OVA6 ovarian
    • UTE8 endo
    • BRS34 breast cancer
    • NSC80 durvalumab
    • OVA48
    • SCL5
    • THYM6
  • Pulmonary Embolism -Alteplase Order Set
  • COVID-19
    • Medication/Orderable Build/Order Set
      • Remdesivir, Monoclonal Antibodies (bamlanivimab, casirivimab/imdevimab)
    • Vaccine Assessment Form Build, Reports/Dashboards, Employee Clinics, Public Vaccine Clinics
      • SARS-COV2 Vaccines – 2 dose regimens

Epic Willow Implementation

  • Workflow Walkthrough (WFWT) Sessions
  • Participated in over a dozen third-party vendor contract executions and/or amendments for Willow Inpatient/Willow Ambulatory
  • Willow Team, Corporate Pharmacy and Pharmacy Enterprise Clinical Specialists reviewed, scanned, built and validated medications for the Epic project
    • Order Sets
      • with Medications Validated: 233 out of 512
      • with Medications Built: 295 out of 512
    • Medications Scanned
      • There will be 3 scans per facility performed prior to go-live. The following sites have the first scan completed, SBMC, CSH, BHBHC, RWJ NB, CINJ, and NBI.
    • Medication Validation
      • First Round (Completed)
        • Adults – 661 Records
        • Ped/Neo – 280 Records
    • Medication Charges Built
      • RWJBH Master Med List – 4258 ERX records
      • Somerset Med List – 2564 ERX records
    • Medication Charges Validated
      • RWJBH Master Med List – 3473 Simple ERX records
      • Somerset Med List – 2065 Simple ERX records

The team was able to increase its support footprint and efficiency solutions for the health system through the following initiatives:

  • Ongoing support and validation testing for Cerner and AllScripts code upgrades
  • Healthcare Analytics – continual development, maintenance or revisions to Cerner, AllScripts and financial billing systems reports for acute care service lines
  • Creation of job aids to guide teammates in the most efficient way to utilize enhancements that have been made to the clinical information system
  • Inaugural year of a Corporate Pharmacy Informatics rotation offering for APPE Pharmacy Students
  • Ambulatory Care Division

The Ambulatory Care Division consists of 8 pharmacists who act as health care extenders, offering services such as patient counseling, medication reconciliation, and chronic disease state management which can optimize medication use while reducing costs, side effects, and readmissions.

  • More than 7,800 ambulatory care interventions were performed by the division
  • The most common types of intervention categories include:
    • Transitions of Care
    • Patient Counseling
    • Laboratory Assessment
    • Modifying and Clarifying Therapies—including brand to generic change, cost, inappropriate dose, and efficacy
    • Value-Based Measures
    • Adherence counseling and diabetes management/self-monitoring
    • Medication classes most commonly assessed included cholesterol lowering medications, anticoagulants, anti-diabetic agents, and anti-hypertensives
    • The division is represented on the Patient and Family Advisory Councils to support aligning our treatments with patient needs