Despite ICD-10 trepidation, next revision currently in development

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At the recent American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) conference, Dr. T. Bedirhan Ustun announced that work has begun in developing the next revision to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) codebase is currently in development, according to Healthcare IT News.

Ustun, a researcher and scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO) told attendees at the conference that his team aims to reduce the delays in adoption experienced by healthcare providers migrating to the present 10th revision of the ICD codebase by commencing development sooner.

“This is a huge change and most countries, most managers and most professions are not ready for this change,” said Ustun, as quoted by the news source. ” I will have ICD-11 ready for you by 2015.”

The scale of the migration project has meant continued delays and substantial loss of time in implementing the ICD-10 code. According to the news source, it will have taken healthcare providers in the U.S. almost 23 years to adopt and fully implement the revised code by the time the October 2013 deadline for the transition is reached.

According to a paper published by the WHO, the current development of ICD-11 will progress in three stages. Firstly, Ustun and his team will review existing clinical, scientific and public health information relating to issues of classification. Secondly, the code will be implemented on a small scale during a testing phase. Thirdly, a series of established standards will be drafted to ensure clear communication between developers, healthcare providers and healthcare IT vendors.

ICD code functions as the building blocks of health information management systems. Revisions are performed every 10 years to accurately reflect advances made in the field of medical and clinical science, in order to provide healthcare providers with the tools they need to tackle changing health problems in the general population effectively.