Environmental Scan Support Tool

Topics
What is the Environmental Scan Support Tool?
The Environmental Scan Support Tool is designed to support the environmental scan process by helping to find relevant literature faster and to find literature that may have been missed as part of a traditional keyword search. A conventional keyword search for relevant literature will identify hundreds or thousands of documents, requiring reviewers to assess each one to find documents that are the most relevant, reliable and useful for measure development.
The Environmental Scan Support Tool scans an entire body of published literature - potentially millions of documents - to find a match not only for the basic measure concepts, but also for articles which match the specific relationship between them, producing a smaller set of more relevant articles for review. As part of the Measure Properties page, the Environmental Scan Support Tool shows a list of the top 30 most relevant abstracts and top 30 most relevant full-text articles found in PubMed (2007 to present) for each measure.
How Does It Work?
Searching Beyond Keywords
The Environmental Scan Support Tool maps the measure specifications using natural language processing to identify key terms based on the way the system has been taught to recognize them as belonging to specific categories: including (Patient) Population, Health Status, Change Concept, Utilization, and Outcome.
Mapping the Relationships to Measure Specifications to Determine Outcomes
The Environmental Scan Support Tool maps the specifications in relation to one another. This mapping allows the tool to automatically summarize content to indicate if the published research provides evidence that an intervention (Change Concept) leads to an outcome.
Mapping and relationship identification is important for reducing false positives. While conventional keyword searches may return results that match keywords, this method does not examine the connections between text.
The Result: A Refined Set of Relevant Results
As a result, the conventional keyword search will identify thousands of articles, requiring reviewers to determine the ones that are most relevant, reliable and useful for measure development. However, the Environmental Scan Support tool will scan an entire body of published literature, finding matches for the basic measure concept and articles which match the specific relationship between the measure categories, producing a smaller set of more relevant articles which are more easily reviewed.
The pace of publication for new biomedical research makes it difficult, if not impossible, for researchers, policy makers and clinicians to keep up with new discoveries. The Environmental Scan Support Tool vastly reduces the time and effort required to identify the most relevant citations for a specific research question, thus reducing the time between literature review and changes in clinical practice.
Download the User Guide
Download the CMIT User Guide (PDF) if you would like more detailed information about CMIT.