Healthy World, Healthy Nation, Healthy You

Why Hospital Based Quality and Safety Programs are Essential to Your Health

Denise M. Murphy, RN, MPH, CIC
Vice President, Quality and Patient Safety
Main Line Health System
Bryn Mawr, PA


denise-murphyDenise Murphy is Vice-President for Quality and Patient Safety for Main Line Health System in Suburban Philadelphia.

From 2003-2008, she was Chief Safety and Quality Officer at Barnes-Jewish Hospital at Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis.  Previously, she spent 7 years as Director of Epidemiology and Patient Safety for BJC HealthCare.  Denise went to nursing school in Philadelphia, received her BSN in Portland, Maine and Master of Public Health degree from St. Louis University. She graduated from the first National Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship in 2003.

Denise entered the field of Infection Control in 1981, sitting for the first certification exam (CIC) exam in 1983.  She practiced as an Infection Preventionist in hospitals ranging from 100 – 1200 beds, in rural and urban settings.  Her presentations and publications are numerous on the business case for infection prevention, interventions to eliminate healthcare associated infections, establishment of patient safety and performance improvement programs, and creating a reliable culture of safety.

Denise is a member of the Association for Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), The American Nurses Association, Society of Healthcare Epidemiology (SHEA), Society for Healthcare Risk Managers (ASHRM) and the American College of Healthcare Executives.  Denise was President of APIC’s National Board of Directors, chaired strategic planning and the educational conference committees for both APIC and SHEA.  She also served on the National Quality Forum’s Patient Safety Advisory Committee and CDC’s Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee.  Denise was the 2010 winner of the Carole DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award for Infection Prevention.


Improving quality and safety within hospitals is a major goal of every organization in order to meet the requirements of both health care reform and the increasing requirements of those who pay for services to have quality and safe services delivered. You as a consumer need to be aware of all the work that is going on inside these organizations to improve care so that you can play an active role in assuring that the care you are receiving is what you are paying for and expect to receive.

3 Key Points:

  1. How we determine “quality” and “safety” in patient care: How we define it, measure it, work to improve it?
  2. How we work to establish a culture of reliability, which underlies all quality and patient safety efforts?
  3. What do patients and their families need to know and How can THEY HELP to HELP ensure THEY have a safe, high quality experience?


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