Andrew’s Impact


The Assurance and Improvement in Medication Safety Program is a standardized safety program for community pharmacies in Ontario. As of early 2019, staff began the mandated work of reporting medication errors and near misses for the collection and analysis of aggregate data.  This all came as a result of my initial advocacy work and the innovation of the Ontario College of Pharmacists who included a patient on a task force for the first time in their history.

HealthPRO Implements CAS numbers

The Chemical Abstracts Services (CAS) registry number provides a unique, unmistakable identifier for chemical substances. HealthPRO (a procurement company) has added this number to its online contracting portal accessed by over 1,300 hospitals across Canada. This number should be located on every drug substance so that when pharmacists are ordering these chemicals and checking compounded formulas, the number acts as another barrier to error. Work is ongoing with manufacturers to ensure that this number is a standard part of every label. Matching the CAS numbers is an effective checking mechanism to prevent medication incidents. This all came to light with the recommendations from ISMP Canada when they did a thorough analysis of Andrew’s case.

ISMP Canada

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada (ISMPC) hired me as Patient and Family Advisor, an inaugural role. Patient voice and perspective is gaining momentum in terms of respect and authority and I am proud to be a piece of the puzzle.

Cross Canada Impact

Together with the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba and many other specialists, I contributed to the creation and development of a toolkit for community pharmacists in that province. A safety culture is critical to preventing medication errors and this document supports pharmacists’ shift to reporting errors and near misses, and accountability.

Andrew’s Story is Highlighted Internationally

In July of 2019, I was the keynote speaker at the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s conference in Sydney. I spent a week speaking to a variety of audiences: consumers, insurance providers, pharmacists, media and government officials. At the conference, the Federal Minister of Health declared that medication safety would be made a national priority for the country. 

At the 6th Annual World Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, mentioned Andrew in his opening speech when he spoke to international delegates about the importance of eradicating preventable harm from medical error. Andrew’s legacy has reached international levels.

Canadian Pharmacists Journal Article

Journal Article, "Expansion of patient safety regulatory requirements in community pharmacy in Canada: The Melissa Sheldrick effect?"

My advocacy work was highlighted in the Canadian Pharmacists Journal in 2019. The article posited that the advocacy work that I was doing was responsible for the sudden uptake of provincially standardized patient safety programs. “The movement toward Canadian-wide community pharmacy error reporting and the integration of CQI/A practices to enhance patient safety is now well under way. That is an outcome of which we can all be proud and for which we can credit Melissa Sheldrick.”

If you would like to have me speak to an audience, please send me a message through my contact page.