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Glossary

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Efficiency Measure
An efficiency measure is the cost of care (inputs to the health system in the form of expenditures and other resources) associated with a specified level of health outcome.

Electronic Clinical Quality Measure (eCQM)
An electronic clinical quality measure is a CQM expressed and formatted to use data from electronic health records (EHRs) and/or health IT systems to measure healthcare quality, ideally data captured in structured form during the process of patient care. For the measured entity to report an eCQM from an EHR, the measure developer uses Health Quality Measure Format (HQMF) to format the eCQM content using CQL to express the logic and QDM to express the data elements needed to evaluate a provider or organization’s performance.

Electronic Health Record (EHR)
The electronic health record is also known as the electronic patient record, electronic medical record, or computerized patient record. As defined by the International Social Security Association, an EHR is a “longitudinal electronic record of patient health information generated by one or more encounters in any care delivery setting. Included in this information are patient demographics, progress notes, problems, medications, vital signs, past medical history, immunizations, laboratory data, diagnoses and treatment, medications, allergies, immunizations as well as radiology images and laboratory results.”

Empirical Evidence
Empirical evidence is the data or information resulting from studies and analyses of the data elements and/or scores for a measure as specified, whether unpublished or published.

Encounter
An encounter, as defined by the ASTM International is: “(1) an instance of direct provider/practitioner to patient interaction, regardless of the setting, between a patient and a practitioner vested with primary responsibility for diagnosing, evaluating or treating the patient’s condition, or both, or providing social worker services; and (2) a contact between a patient and a practitioner who has primary responsibility for assessing and treating the patient at a given contact, exercising independent judgment.” Encounter serves as a focal point linking clinical, administrative, and financial information. Encounters occur in many settings—ambulatory care, inpatient care, emergency care, home healthcare, field and virtual (telemedicine).

Environmental Scan
An environmental scan is the process of systematically reviewing and interpreting data to identify issues and opportunities that will influence prioritization of current or future plans.

Equity
Equity is ‘‘the consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to underserved communities that have been denied such treatment, such as Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.’’ (Executive Order 13985, 2021)

Expert Consensus
Expert consensus is the recommendations formulated by one of several formal consensus development methods such as consensus development conference, Delphi method, and nominal group technique.