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A sandbox allows development and testing of a software application in an isolated and controlled environment. For testing of applications such as clinical decision support, a sandbox will need to contain a sufficient amount of realistic data to mimic application functioning in the clinical system. 


The scope delineates what is included and excluded in a project. It may define specific products (also known as deliverables) or specific processes that will occur as part of a project. Scope definitions can also include descriptions of assumptions, constraints on the project, and acceptance criteria. 


Scoring is the method(s) applied to data to generate results/score. Most quality measures produce rates. However, other scoring methods include categorical value, count, continuous variable, frequency distribution, non-weighted score/composite/scale, ratio, and weighted score/composite/scales.

Semantic validation

Semantic validation is a method of testing the validity of an eCQM whereby the formal criteria in an eCQM are compared to a manual computation of the measure from the same test database.


Sensitivity, as a statistical term, refers to the proportion of correctly identified actual positives. For example, the percentage of people with diabetes correctly identified as having diabetes. See Specificity.

SMART objectives

SMART objectives are a structured approach to achieving project goals by focusing on objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound (SMART).

SMART-on-FHIR apps

SMART-on-FHIR apps are APIs that use the Substitutable Medical Applications and Reusable Technologies platform in concert with FHIR to provide a standards- based method for authentication, authorization, and retrieval of clinical data as well as interoperable data exchange with EHRs.


A specification is the measure instructions that address: data elements, data sources, point of data collection, timing and frequency of data collection and reporting, specific instruments to be used (if appropriate), and implementation strategies.


Specificity, as a statistical term, refers to the proportion of correctly identified negatives (for example, the percentage of healthy people who are correctly identified as not having the condition). Perfect specificity would mean that the measure recognizes all actual negatives. For example, all healthy people recognized as healthy. See Sensitivity.


A stakeholder is an individual, group or organization that is affected by the outcome of a project and, thus, has an interest in the project's success.

Standard for Trial Use

A Standard for Trial Use (STU) is used to provide timely compliance with regulatory or other governmental mandate and/or timely response to industry or market demand. An STU, following a suitable period for evaluation and comment, is incorporated into fully balloted and accredited version of the standard. Formerly called Draft Standard for Trial Use (DSTU).

Standard operating procedure

A standard operating procedure is a set of fixed step-by-step instructions or steps that are applicable to routine operations or situations with the intent to improve efficiency, uniformity, and quality of operations.


Stratification divides a population or resource services into distinct, independent groups of similar data, enabling analysis of the specific subgroups. This type of adjustment can show where disparities exist or where there is a need to expose differences in results.

Structure measure

A structure measure, also known as a structural measure, is a measure that assesses features of a healthcare organization or clinician relevant to its capacity to provide healthcare.

Subject Matter Expert

A subject matter expert (SME) is an individual with specialized expertise in a specific area or field.

Systematic review

A systematic review is a scientific investigation that focuses on a specific question and uses explicit, pre-specified scientific methods to identify, select, assess, and summarize the evidence from similar but separate studies. It may include a quantitative synthesis (meta-analysis), depending on the available data.