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Glossary

All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W

Sandbox

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. 

Scope

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

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 electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) whereby the eCQM developer compares the formal criteria in an eCQM to a manual computation of the eCQM from the same test database.

Sensitivity

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.

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound (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 application programming interfaces using the Substitutable Medical Applications and Reusable Technologies platform in concert with Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources® (FHIR®) to provide a standards-based method for authentication, authorization, and retrieval of clinical data as well as interoperable data exchange with electronic health records.

Specification

A specification is a measure's instructions addressing data elements, data sources, point of data collection, timing and frequency of data collection and reporting, specific instruments used (if appropriate), and implementation strategies.

Specificity

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 the measure recognizes all actual negatives. For example, recognizes all healthy people as healthy. See Sensitivity.

Standard for trial use (STU)

Users of Health Level Seven International® (HL7®) standards use a standard for trial use (STU) to provide timely compliance with regulatory or other governmental mandate and/or timely response to industry or market demand. HL7 incorporates an STU, following a suitable period for evaluation and comment, into fully balloted and accredited version of the standard. Formerly called draft standard for trial use.

Standard operating procedure

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

Stratification

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 assessing features of a health care organization or clinician relevant to its capacity to provide health care.

Subject matter expert (SME)

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

Systematic review

A systematic review is a scientific investigation focusing on a specific question and using 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.