In health care, diagnostic codes constitute a manner of transforming written information regarding illnesses into a codified system. Diseases, disorders, injuries and other conditions are mapped out according to various characteristics, such as symptomatology, pathology and interactions with certain medications. Another unrelated definition of diagnostic codes applies to automobile repair.
Regarding disease, a number of attempts at codification have occurred both internationally and parochially. For example, the Read Codes are widely used in general practice within the United Kingdom. Alternatively, the ICD-10 enjoys widespread international use, and comprises the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, which is overseen by the World Health Organization. Other systems or databases apply only to specific types of illnesses, such as the Mendelian Inheritance of Man, which targets genetic diseases.
Within an automotive context, diagnostic codes, also called repair codes, are found in many makes and models. When the vehicle experiences an internal mechanical problem, the driver experiences a prompt from the vehicle's computer, usually illustrating a specific coded number. Frequently, the driver is then directed to visit either the vehicle's dealer or a properly equipped specialist to discover what exact problem the code identifies. In other cases, the consumer may be able to purchase a code reader for personal use, which he can then insert into a diagnostic link connected to the vehicle's computer.