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How are ICD-10 codes used by doctors?

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Quick Answer

The International Classification of Diseases codes - ICD-10, as of 2015 - are used by doctors to classify and document disease and other health conditions for medical record keeping and statistical analysis purposes. ICD-10 was put into use in World Health Organization member states in 1994, according to WHO.

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Full Answer

There are 14 regions consisting of 194 WHO member states. The use of a common classification and reporting system provides the ability to view the overall health situation from global, regional and population-group perspectives, states WHO. The ICD-10 is used by researchers, health insurers, health information technology workers, health care providers and patient advocacy organizations. The use of a common classification system allows for the collection and correlation of diagnostic information and the calculation of mortality and morbidity statistics.

WHO utilizes an ongoing revision process for the ICD to reflect advances adequately in health sciences and medical practices. The revision process is collaborative and open to all interested parties. Experts in each respective field review the input received and arrive at a consensus, reports WHO. The diversity of experience and knowledge in the cooperative approach to revising the system yields greater consistency and utility in the resulting classifications. As of February 2015, the review process of ICD-10 is underway. ICD-11 is scheduled for release in 2017.

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