Camilla Baek

Interoperability with ICD-11

October 15, 2019

Electronic health record (EHR) systems are designed to store data accurately and capture the state of a patient over time. This information is formatted by classification systems and reference terminologies that provide a uniform way of collecting and maintaining patient data.   

Introducing ICD-11 

This is the 11th revision of the ICD code system designed by the World Health Organization (WHO) for documenting diagnoses, diseases, signs, and symptoms as well as social circumstances.  

The outstanding differences with this new system compared to its predecessor, ICD-10 are that, for the first time, it is completely electronic. It also features a more sophisticated code structure and has 55,000 codes for classifying diseases, disorders, and causes of death. It also bolsters much more mental health terminology.  

ICD-11 is known to be more internationally accessible. It has guidance for its uses in 43 different languages. More healthcare providers around the world will be able to use this application, and thus the global healthcare system will be bolstered.  

It also fosters a more user-friendly format, which can be partially attributed to unprecedented involvement and collaboration with healthcare providers during its development. The new ICD also includes new chapters. For example, one on traditional medicine, which is used around the world but has yet to be included in the system.   

This version of ICD was presented to the World Health Assembly in May 2019 for adoption by member states. It came into full effect on January 1, 2022.  

ICD-11 has been designed to be used in multiple languages. A central translation platform ensures that its features and outputs are available in all translated languages, however, without proper mapping, this new code system will be quite difficult to integrate!  

This is just one more reason that semantic interoperability is integral to the inclusion of this new code system in healthcare sectors around the world. As more code systems such as ICD-11 are created, the need for interoperability platforms becomes integral. These code systems are developed in order to provide a standardized way to summarize and report data. But, because each code system is different, and with so many being used, there must be a way to integrate systems and provide real-time interoperability between code systems and thus between electronic health record systems.  

This is where Rhapsody Semantic excels. Semantic works to create maps between local codes and these standard code systems to provide clean, standardized data collection and transmission. This in turn allows health providers, health information exchanges, and health data analytics companies to leverage, transfer, and evaluate properly standardized data.  

Semantic provides the bridge between terminologies and classification systems to provide the common medical language necessary for interoperability and the effective sharing of clinical data. 

When ICD-11 comes into effect, we here at Rhapsody will be on the forefront of incorporating this code system as we continue to grow the foundation of our software.  

For further reading, check out these clinical terminology resources: 


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