ICD refers to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems produced by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is the international standard for collection of health statistics.

The ICD is part of a ‘family’ of WHO classifications – more information about the other classifications and the WHO – Family of International Classifications Network (WHO-FIC) can be found here.

The ICD is used to classify diseases and other health problems recorded on many types of health and vital records including death certificates. In addition to enabling the storage and retrieval of diagnostic information for clinical, epidemiological and quality purposes, these records also provide the basis for the compilation of national mortality and morbidity statistics by WHO Member States.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) is the WHO Collaborating Centre for the Family of International Classifications. Information about the role of the Australian WHO Collaborating Centre for the Family of International Classifications can found here.

Proposals from other collaborating centres for changes to ICD-10, often based on changes to national modifications, need to be analysed, and an Australian view formed as to their inclusion into ICD-10-AM. These suggested changes from other countries are presented through the Update and Revision Committee (URC) process, culminating in the annual meeting.

The consortium is well placed to inform the refinement of the AR-DRG Classification System from international best practice. Key personnel have many years experience and contacts in the international fields of classification and casemix development, and consortium members are active members of Patient Classification Systems International (PCSI), the premier organisation for the exchange of ideas about classification systems internationally. Our approach to this project and our strong contacts with international experts will ensure ongoing maintenance and further development of these crucial selling points. This will be of direct financial benefit to the Commonwealth and introduce a wider range of ideas into the classification’s development.

There have been continuing conversations within the WHO-FIC about possible updates of ICD-10 with ICD-11 material. The current WHO position (stated at the 2012 WHO-FIC network meeting) is that updating of ICD-10 should cease after the October 2014 WHO-FIC network meeting. But there is likely to be pressure from at least the United States for updating to be continued, as that country is most unlikely to move away from ICD-10-CM in the medium term (ICD-10-CM is currently due for implementation in the US in late 2014).