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 2021, the Acute Care Service Line workload statistics include:

  • The team prevented more than 89,000 adverse reactions
  • The team intervened and prevented in excess of 207,900 medication errors from occurring
  • There were more than 33.8 million doses dispensed
  • The number of medication orders verified was more than 7.2 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 2.72 million clinical activities
  • The pharmacists performed in excess of 388,065 laboratory assessments
  • The pharmacy technicians performed more than 532,300 activities
  • Performed greater than 61,300 Antibiotic Stewardship activities
  • More than 118,700 patients were seen directly by a pharmacist
  • More than 6,800 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
  • CV Reviewer
  • Adult Medicine PRN Poster Reviewer
  • Adult Medicine PRN Walk Rounds Committee Member
  • Fellow

American Society of Consultant Pharmacists

  • Fellow

American College of Cardiology

  • Associate Appointment
  • State Liaison for the NJ Chapter

American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP)

  • Abstract Reviewer
  • Poster Competition Judge
  • Lab Sig Programming Committee
  • Laboratory Instructors Special Interest Group
    • Chair-elect
    • Chair
    • Resolutions Committee Chair
    • Programming Committee Chair
    • Mentoring Program Mentor

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
  • Chair
  • Resolutions Committee Chair
  • Programming Committee Chair

American Pharmacists Association

  • Abstract Reviewer
  • Poster Competition Judge
  • Immunizing Pharmacists Special Interest Group
    • Webinar Task Force Co-chair

Heart Failure Certification Council

  • Member

National Academies of Practice

  • Fellow

New Jersey Pharmacists Association

  • New Jersey Delegate to APhA
  • Membership Committee Member

New Jersey Reentry Corporation (NJRC)

  • NJRC Program Ambassador

Pediatric Pharmacy Association

  • Chair, Legislative Affairs Sub-Committee

Rho Chi Society

  • President-Elect
  • Awards Committee Chair
  • Awards Task Force Chair
  • Centennial Planning Task Force Member
  • Town Hall Task Force Member

Society of Critical Care Medicine

  • Accreditation and Learning Strategies Committee
  • Board Appointment

Trans-Atlantic Renal Council

  • Board of Trustees

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.

Certifications in 2021

  • Seventeen teammates achieved Board Certification in 2021
  • There are currently 158 teammates who currently are board certified in one of the following and 30 teammates hold more than one of the following:
    • AQCD, BCACP, BC-ADM, BCCCP, BCCP, BCGP, BCIDP, BCOP, BCPP, BCPPS, BCPS, BCSCP, BCTXP, CACP, CHSE, CPHT, CSP
  • 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, 36% of all pharmacists in our Enterprise are Board Certified Pharmacy Practitioners

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

  • Qualitas Home Infusion Division

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 25,894 home visits to our patients
  • The division made and administered in excess of 106,848 intravenous medications
  • Home infusion division achieved a 0.02 % infection rate per 1,000 patient days
  • The Acute Care Service Line referred 6,082 patients to our service
  • The Home Infusion division provided 1,804 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 264,180 intravenous medications for the acute care service line
  • There were in excess of 18,263 Total Parenteral Nutrition intravenous preparations made and delivered to our Acute Care Service Line
  • Our service repackaged for the Acute Care Service Line over 628,533 tablets of medications into unit dosage forms because they were not commercial available
  • Our service repackaged for the Acute Care Service Line more than 102,939 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 $9,652,766
  • 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 73,980 prescriptions for employees and their families
  • The mail order division coordinated more than 3,160 deliveries averaging 9 driver deliveries a day
  • The division filled over 1,044 340B prescriptions, averaging 3 prescriptions a day
  • By utilizing this division in lieu of outsourcing to a chain pharmacy, the health system saved $2,784,007
  • 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 89,032 for our patients
  • The team made in excess of 29,141 deliveries to our patient’s homes
  • The division averages approximately 341 prescriptions on a daily basis
  • Our health system referred 507 transplant patients to our service
  • This division filled 17,741 specialty 340B scripts
  • By utilizing this division, the health system saved $28,617,046 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.

  • Recovered over $4.3 million in 2021 and $46.5 million since program inception for the Acute Care Service Line, all through dedicated review and incorporation of existing clinical, reporting and surveillance applications
  • Reviewed and ensured medication billing on over 5,200 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 almost $400,000 of inpatient hemophilia reimbursement
  • Ongoing monitoring and monthly waste billing analysis to determine actual billing versus waste opportunity for RWJBarnabas Health affiliates
  • Created a standardized process which involved PRD, local pharmacy at the hospital, Billing and Managed Care, for payor invoice submissions. Since implementation in 2021, it has resulted in over $243K in recoveries.
  • COVID19 Monoclonal Antibody Daily Charge Reporting & Inventory Monitoring for RWJBarnabas Health system
  • Pre & post Epic implementation SMEs for pharmacy billing & will continue for past and future Epic Waves; medication validation & build (coding information), work queue (WQ) build
  • Worked with AllScripts and Cerner report writers, various reporting platforms and interface teams to develop a semi-automated process to capture non-PBM adjudicated claims for remuneration
  • Retail Pharmacy Network Division

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

In 2021, the retail pharmacies dispensed 173,165 prescriptions, averaging 653 prescriptions per day, with a staff of 13 full time pharmacists. A total of 12,684 prescriptions were filled for 340B for a system benefit of $1,392,225.

The Dispensary of Hope program, which improves medication access to under-served populations by providing donated medications at no charge, was maintained at five retail locations. 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 2021, the retail pharmacy generated more than 24.5 million dollars in revenue with net benefit in excess of 1.4 million dollars.

In 2021, the retail pharmacies:

  • Organized and provided 103 community outreach events at 15 different locations with 806 attendees
  • Went live on Epic Willow Ambulatory at two retail pharmacy locations
  • Maintain the Dispensary of Hope program at five retail pharmacy locations.
  • Opened a new retail pharmacy location in Bayonne
  • Expanded immunizations at the Greenville location
  • 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 340B covered entities are committed to caring for the vulnerable and use 340B savings to stretch otherwise limited resources to enhance services and increase access. 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.

  • 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.
  • Transitioned the health system to a new 340B third party application to enhance program compliance, automation, and patient benefit.
  • Performed audits of thousands of patient dispensations to ensure program eligibility.
  • Helped the health system leverage Apexus contracts and purchasing strategies to continue the reduction of wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) spending. The health system finished 2021 with a WAC impact around -3%.

As federal dollars shift and resources become scarce, 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 3,400 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 2021, 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)

  • Over 300 Cerner PowerPlans
  • 77 SCM Pharmacy Order Sets
  • 150 SCM Quick Charges - created to allow manual medication charging
  • 14 Nuisance Alerts – identified, reviewed and consensus to remove clinical decision nuisance alerts from heritage EHRs
  • COVID-19
    • Medication/Orderable Build/Order Set
      • Monoclonal Antibodies (bamlanivimab/etesevimab, casirivimab/imdevimab, sotrovimab)
    • Vaccine Assessment Form Build, Employee Clinics, Public Vaccine Clinics, Mega Sites
      • SARS-COV2 Vaccines – primary series, immunocompromised, booster

Epic Willow Implementation

RWJUH Somerset went live with Epic in early October 2021. Pharmacists across the system helped with the backload the day before go-live.

  • Cooperman Barnabas Health Retail Pharmacy Go-Live in October, 2021
  • Continuing Pyxis Conversion Testing Rahway, Hamilton and New Brunswick
  • Completed second inventory scan for CINJ, HAM, RAH, and NBR
  • Investigational Study Build
    • 104 studies completed out of roughly 130
    • 552 new medication record created
  • Completed approximately 550 Order Sets

2022 will focus on Wave 3 site builds along with patient safety optimizations.

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

  • AllScripts, Cerner and Epic ECIS Pharmacy teams
  • Healthcare Analytics – continual development, maintenance or revisions to Cerner, AllScripts, Epic 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
  • Ongoing support and validation testing for Cerner, AllScripts and Epic code upgrades
  • Ambulatory Care Division

The Ambulatory Care Division consists of 9 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 6,800 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