The MEERQAT Philosophy
The MEERQAT Story
The MEERQAT concept was originally developed in the context of a Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) initiative called the Best Practice Clinical Learning Environment (BPCLE) project. This project set out to address the quality of clinical placements for students in medical, nursing and allied health courses.
DHHS was concerned the growth in student numbers in these courses might impact on the quality of clinical education. So, they commissioned the development of a best practice framework.
MEERQAT principals Donna, Phil, Vitas and Annie were the consultants engaged for the BPCLE project. Working with a small team of colleagues, they developed the BPCLE Framework and a collection of resources to assist health services to use the framework.
The team soon realised they needed a tool – some kind of checklist – that health services could use independently to self-assess against the framework.
Their idea was for health services to use program logic maps as a graphical checklist of the inputs, processes and outputs/outcomes needed to achieve the framework objectives. As health service staff work their way through the maps rating how well each item is achieved, the rating would be displayed graphically on the map, to allow items rated well to be easily distinguished from items rated poorly.
They called this process Map-Enabled Experiential Review (MEER).
For the MEER idea to work, they needed to convert static program logic maps into interactive tools. A prototype MEER tool was developed in Microsoft Excel and piloted in 11 health services across Victoria. The response was very positive and created a demand for a tool to self-assess other business processes.
After the successful pilot of the MEER tool, an online version – BPCLEtool – was developed, which has been used since 2013 by Victorian health services.
In 2014, the team began working to develop an online application based on the MEER concept that can be used for any business program or process, with the official launch of MEER Quality Assessment Tools – MEERQAT – in September 2015.
Dept of Fire and Emergency Services (WA)
The Strategic Volunteer and Youth Programs section within the department is developing logic models for a number of its programs using the Basemap Builder, with a view to using the resulting bespoke basemaps to evaluate implementation and outcomes of these programs.
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (Footscray, VIC)
This not-for-profit organisation will be using MEERQAT as part of their quarterly reflection workshops for their program areas. Staff will be using bespoke basemaps to assess their progress with monitoring and evaluation plans and to identify where gaps in data collection are occurring.
Epworth HealthCare is funding a 12-month research project at its Richmond hospital to evaluate MEERQAT in two clinical units. The study will utilise basemaps from the MEERQAT Basemap Library corresponding to five NSQHS/Clinical Care Standards.
The cardiac catheterisation unit at Cabrini Health in Melbourne is trialling MEERQAT’s team-based approach to quality improvement in an initiative called “Quality Bites”. This approach is designed to work in a busy frontline area of a hospital, where finding dedicated time to focus on quality issues can be challenging. The unit is working though the Library Basemaps focussed on the NSQHS standards, ahead of accreditation in mid-2018.
North Queensland Dry Tropics
This not-for-profit natural resource management organisation is using MEERQAT to track the rollout of its Waterways, Wetlands and Coasts programme.
Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria
The department’s Health and Human Services Workforce Branch is using MEERQAT’s Change Management basemap to assist them with review of a recent branch-wide change process.
The department is also using the bespoke MEERQAT application BPCLEtool to implement the Best Practice Clinical Learning Environments (BPCLE) Framework in all public health and registered community health services in Victoria. Private and not-for profit health services in Victoria and interstate are also using this tool.
Rural Community Intern Training (RCIT) Program
The RCIT Program is using a bespoke basemap based on the program logic model developed as part of the RCIT Program Evaluation Framework, to evaluate the implementation and outcomes of the program at five sites across regional Victoria.
Darcy Associates Consulting Services
This consulting business is using bespoke basemaps in the context of strategic planning activities and change management processes for selected clients.
Dr Donna Cohen, BSc (Hons) PhD MPPM
Donna is a researcher, analyst and expert facilitator with a passion for strategic planning, process implementation, evaluation and quality improvement.
Dr Vitas Anderson, BEng (Hons) PhD
With his background in engineering, medical physics and statistical analysis, Vitas has been a significant contributor to the development of corporate policies and international standards.
Phil Cohen, BA (Hons) MA
Phil’s extensive experience includes client relationship management, health administration, quality improvement, market and social research, medical indemnity insurance and risk management.
Annie Curtin, CCRN BA
Annie has a unique skill set that combines clinical, educational, research and administrative expertise which she has applied to a range of quality improvement projects.