CMIT Environmental Scan

A precise and comprehensive list of articles and abstracts relevant to measures used in CMS programs.

Environmental Scan Last Updated: 2021-05-12

What is an Environmental Scan?

The Measures Management System (MMS) is responsible for conducting a monthly environmental scan of major medical journals with reference to published articles and clinical practice guidelines that address quality measures used in CMS programs, proposed for use, or under development. The environmental scan is a listing of the top 30 most relevant abstracts and top 30 most relevant full-text articles found in PubMed (2007 to present) for each measure.

Returning Results Beyond Keywords

The Environmental Scan uses traditional biomedical keywords to conduct the search, but abstracts and articles are also identified using a graph matching algorithm, where the graph is a knowledge representation of measure concepts: measure focus, target population, and evidence. These concepts are constructed from building blocks extracted from the measure summary, abstracts and articles using Natural Language Processing (NLP). Examples of building blocks include persons (including demographics), health status, use of services, care setting, and the quality construct (the structure and processes of care associated with better outcomes).

How It Can Be Used

The environmental scan is intended to be used as an aid to measure developers, particularly in the maintenance phase of the measure life cycle. Experienced developers may find the environmental scan useful as a benchmark against which to compare manually conducted scan, and the measure concepts extracted from the abstract and article text may serve as a useful “markup” to increase the efficiency of abstract and article review. Less experienced developers may find the emulated “expertise” informative to understanding the industry expectations around precise and comprehensive environmental scans. Other stakeholders interested in measures used in CMS programs will find the environmental scan a convenient, current, and accessible indexing of the published literature that provides evidentiary support for the opportunity for improvement.

How to Access the Environmental Scan for Each Measure

Use CMIT to search for and identify a measure of interest, then click the measure title to open the measure details page. The environmental scan output appears on the environmental scan tab of the measure details page.