ICD – an acronym for International Classification Diseases assists in analyzing statistics and trends of the healthcare industry, which can further be shared with other health professionals globally.

While ICD-10 was considered a technological rage in the healthcare industry that streamlined documentation, the implementation of ICD-11 from January 1st, 2022 has further impacted the medical coding industry. The primary role of a medical coder is to translate diagnoses into alphanumeric codes. The ICD-11 coding system provides a medium to conduct this same translation.

The 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases has been certified for usage in 194 countries according to the timeline set by the WHO.

Let’s deep dive into understanding the structure and benefits of this new coding system.

Analysis of the structure

The 11th edition of ICD digitalizes the procedure by integrating electronic health applications and information systems. The redesigned system has 13 dimensions. This version focuses more on the mortality and morbidity statistics and is hence named as ICD-11 MMS.

The IT-friendly system supports data collection on morbidity, which results in reduced expenditure. The comprehensive system can also be linked with other ICD classifications such as ICPC, ICF, SNOMED CT, and so on.

ICD-11 is an improved system that includes features that enable the inclusion of multi-topics such as degree of primary care, morbidity research, public health, etc. Moreover, the user-friendly formatting is an added advantage to medical coders.

The WHO implementation guide suggests that the granular level of documentation allows a duality in the coding of traditional medicine diagnoses and mainstream medicine. Plus, based on the WHO Disability assessment schedule, generating a functional score is permissible.

The stand apart feature of the ICD-11 coding system is the ability of extensions and clustering. This increases the intricacy of the code and supports linkage to describe a particular concept. The description of the codes can be segregated on various attributes such as severity, agility, and so on.

Advantages and requirement

The biggest drawback of the preceding coding system was the outdated content. The 11th revision was a necessity as the classification and accuracy pertinent to the bills and reports were not optimal. The last modification that was witnessed in the system was in 2019. Given that the majority of the changes that occurred in the healthcare industry were post-pandemic, the version became inefficient. ICD-11 integrates coding facilities such as clustering and extensions that have generated high-priority methods of documenting.

While medical coding has an added advantage in saving time and improving efficiency, ICD-11 has standout features that further prove to be useful. The benefits of integrating ICD-11 in a healthcare organization are stated below.

Easy to use

The ICD-11 version enables the integration of health records which analyses data in an uncomplicated manner. It complies with the ease of the user by providing nitty-gritty such as online coding tools, user manual, implementation guide, and so on. A detailed description is available on the WHO ICD-11 page that can be accessed by the user to clear any form of doubt.

Upgraded digital features

Automating code generation from the documents is an upgraded digital feature that has made this coding system stand apart. This feature eliminates the requirement of consistently altering the clinical data and allows the translation of codes. Hence, it results in time efficiency without any discrepancies in the records

The content follows the trends

Rendering a higher range of codes, the ICD-11 system delivers four characters with two subcategories. Along with diseases, it also allows access to information and data of disorders, symptoms, anatomy, etc. Hence, the content of the system delivers the current health knowledge making the system for credible for the health professionals.

Renders higher coding quality

Coding need not be a complex procedure. Keeping this in mind, the system has a much-uncomplicated syntax and enables coding for intricate details. The feature of clustering and extensions further makes the code more scrutinized and sophisticated. A detailed description of health conditions is permissible by combining more than two codes.

Improved dimensions

The accessibility to the number of chapters determines how updated the system is. While ICD-10 has 22 chapters, ICD-11 has 28 chapters ranging to disorders, mental health, symptoms, traditional medication, etc. Plus, it also has advanced statistical features that help compute and analyze morbidity, mortality, primary health care, patient safety, and more.

Parting words

Even though there is no mandatory date of implementation, the pros weigh out the cons. Integrating ICD-11 doesn’t only provide the latest technology but also proves to be profitable.

New and advanced features such as codes for antimicrobial resistance, classifications of viral diseases, and registries of rare diseases make it a reliable system for all health professionals, not to forget the automation of procedures through the digital medium.