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Member Spotlight: Sheri Herner

Posted By Administration, Thursday, December 1, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The American Society of Professionals in Patient Safety (ASPPS) is a membership program for professionals

and others interested in patient safety. This is part of a series of member profiles. 

by Joanna Carmona 


Sheri Herner is a member of ASPPS


Sheri Herner, PharmD, MHSA, BCPS, CPPS, FCCP, clinical pharmacy specialties supervisor,

clinical pharmacy specialist in medication safety, Kaiser Permanente Colorado


Why did you join the ASPPS?


“I joined ASPPS to be part of a larger, multidisciplinary community of people who are passionate about improving patient safety. I wanted to build relationships with people who have the same interests. In addition to being part of a larger safety community, I wanted to join an organization that would help me stay informed about the most important patient safety topics, and I aspired to contribute to the advancement of patient safety initiatives.”


"We must teach the science of safety to our colleagues

and trainees and then foster their interest in the field."
—Sheri Herner

What are some of the unique challenges in the field of medication safety?


“The medication use process involves many steps including prescribing, verification, dispensing, administration, education, monitoring, and reconciliation. Because it is so complicated and touched by so many people, there are many chances for an error to occur.


I am concerned that most community pharmacies do not have easy access to important health information included in electronic medical records. Pharmacists need to know information about illnesses such as concomitant diseases. For example, if a pharmacist is dispensing a prescription for a medication that is eliminated by the kidneys, the pharmacist should have access to the patient’s most recent kidney function tests to check that the dose is appropriate. In addition, they need access to lab results and procedure results to determine if a drug therapy is appropriate for a patient.


To help with this, we need an interoperability policy—the ability of different information technology systems to communicate and exchange data— that considers the sharing of pertinent health information to pharmacists who are responsible for evaluating appropriateness of drug therapy for individuals.”


In your opinion, what’s the future of the patient safety field?


“The patient safety field will prosper through partnering with colleagues who are actively practicing in clinical roles. We must teach the science of safety to our colleagues and trainees and then foster their interest in the field. If we help clinicians make a difference in their work environment, they will be strong advocates in the future and in other venues, even without having the title of safety professional. Those partnerships are critical to moving patient safety initiatives forward.”


What is something most people don’t know about you?


“One of my favorite activities is to work with clay. I like the challenge of envisioning what I intend to create with a lump of clay and then making it happen. I continually analyze my pieces to learn from my mistakes, and I try to have the same learning attitude in my professional life.”


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Joanna Carmona is communications coordinator at the National Patient Safety Foundation. Contact her at


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