What is the Environmental Scan Support Tool?

Environmental Scan Support Tool (ESST) makes information gathering for measures more efficient and effective. ESST is a convenient, current and accessible index of the most relevant abstracts and articles in PubMed, PubMed Central and CINAHL for quality measures found in the CMS Measures Inventory. Download the ESST Quick Start Guide to learn more.


ESST is an index of the top 30 most relevant abstracts and articles in PubMed, PubMed Central and CINAHL (2007 to present) specific to many of the quality measure found in the CMS Measures Inventory. ESST uses artificial intelligence to find and identify the most relevant abstracts and articles that represent measure concepts: measure focus, target population and evidence. ESST output is updated monthly.

ESST identifies relevant biomedical literature for:

  • Benchmarking to compare the results of a manually completed environmental scan
  • Understanding the industry expectations around precise and comprehensive scans
  • Gathering evidentiary support to identify the opportunity for improvement

The tool can be used in conceptualization, maintenance, respecification, and other times in the measure development process where an environmental scan is needed. Download the ESST Use Case for Measure Maintenance and the ESST Use Case for Respecification to learn more.

Getting Started

To access the environmental scan for a measure, search CMIT for a measure, then click the measure title to open.



In the measure summary page, click on the Environmental Scan tab. Please note that not all measures have available ESST data.