Patient Safety Champion: Medication safety pharmacy practice assistant Holly Carver dispenses sound advice

Medication safety pharmacy practice assistant Holly Carver (left)  has been named a Patient Safety Champion (Chelsea Tucker/NSHA).
Medication safety pharmacy practice assistant Holly Carver (left) has been named a Patient Safety Champion (Chelsea Tucker/NSHA).

If there is a problem related to medication safety in Halifax, Eastern Shore and West Hants, Holly Carver is there to find a solution.

Should the wrong medication be loaded in automated dispensing cabinets or administered to patients, the medication safety pharmacy practice assistant reviews the process and investigates the health care team’s involvement to understand how to address the issue.

“It’s my job to follow up to see if something broke down in the process; to see if there’s something that we can do to prevent this from happening again,” she said. Her investigation focuses on preventing harm to patients and determines if it was a one-off incident or something more common. This review ensures that the same errors don’t continue to happen.

“Holly is a go-to person to bring any patient safety concerns to,” said Lisa Nodwell, clinical pharmacy manager at the Halifax Infirmary. “Her commitment to safe and best practices, and her diligence in achieving a resolution and prevention of patient safety related events makes her a true champion.”

Carver has been a key support for pharmacy practice assistants completing medication reconciliation in Halifax, Eastern Shore and West Hants, helping to ensure that patients’ medication lists are as up-to-date as possible. She also helps provide this training to new pharmacy staff, nurses and medical residents.

Her dedication to her work has also made Carver a go-to when undertaking new projects.

Currently, she is working with the orthopedic team at the Halifax Infirmary to pilot a new project where pharmacy practice assistants work on the unit verifying medication history and managing medication inventory.

“I like being there for the staff and knowing that they feel they can come to me,” she shared. “Whether I can help them myself or take it to someone else, I like to know they can trust me.”

In her role, she is described by Nodwell as “courageous in her quest to promote a just culture and a strong advocate for patients through her medication safety work.”
“There’s not a person that Holly isn’t comfortable to approach and I think that’s what makes her so successful in her work.”

Thank you, Holly, for all that you do.