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Journal of Public Health Management & Practice:
doi: 10.1097/01.PHH.0000346012.97393.89
Article

Review and Analysis of Quality Improvement Techniques in Police Departments: Application for Public Health

Riley, William PhD; Brewer, Russell DrPH, CHES

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Abstract

This qualitative study reviews and analyzes quality improvement (QI) techniques in police departments as a background for assessing ways to introduce QI into public health departments. Police departments and public health departments have many elements in common. These findings provide some understanding of how public health departments can incorporate QI methods as well as learn about the potential barriers to implementing QI projects that are inherent in government agencies. The study consists of extensive interviews of informants from academic settings and police departments across the nation. The findings describe (1) the extent of QI diffusion into police departments, (2) barriers and enablers of QI diffusion in police departments, (3) a typology of QI diffusion, and (4) the metrics and incentives to promote QI in the absence of profit motives. Seven specific recommendations are made to promote the application and adoption of QI in public health: (1) implement QI as a comprehensive management approach, (2) top official involvement, (3) a broad focus on mission and vision, (4) lessons for overcoming barriers, (5) how to find resources, (6) how to integrate proven methods, and (7) how to build on existing capabilities.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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