Opportunities and challenges for quality and safety applications in ICD-11: An international survey of users of coded health data

Danielle A. Southern, Marc Hall, Deborah E. White, Patrick S Romano, Vijaya Sundararajan, Saskia E. Droesler, Harold A. Pincus, William A. Ghali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) plans to release the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). The overall goal of the WHO is to produce a new disease classification that has an enhanced ability to capture health concepts in a manner that is compatible with contemporary information systems. Accordingly, our objective was to identify opportunities and challenges in improving the utility of ICD-11 for quality and safety applications. Design: A survey study of international stakeholders with expertise in either the production or use of coded health data. Setting: International producers or users of ICD-coded health care data. Study Participants: We used a snowball sampling approach to identify individuals with relevant expertise in 12 countries, mostly from North America, Europe, and Australasia. An 8-item online survey included questions on demographic characteristics, familiarity with ICD, experience using ICD-coded data on healthcare quality and safety, opinions regarding the use of ICD classification systems for quality and safety measurement, and current limitations and potential future improvements that would permit better coding of quality and safety concepts in ICD-11. Results: Two-hundred fifty-eight unique individuals accessed the online survey; 246 provided complete responses. The respondents identified specific desires for the ICD revision: More code content for adverse events/complications; a desire for code clustering mechanisms; the need for diagnosis timing information; and the addition of better code definitions to reference materials. Conclusion: These findings reinforce the vision and existing work plan of the WHO's ICD revision process, because each of these desires is being addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbermzv096
Pages (from-to)129-135
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal for Quality in Health Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • International Classification of Diseases
  • patient safety
  • quality indicators
  • World Health Organization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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