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The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) is the global standard for reporting and categorizing diseases, health-related conditions and external causes of disease and injury in order to compile useful health information related to deaths, illness and injury (mortality and morbidity).

The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently developing the 11th revision of the ICD. It is anticipated that the final ICD-11 will be approved for release by the World Health Assembly in 2018.

What are the major benefits of ICD-11?

  • ICD-10 was developed more than 20 years ago. ICD-11 reflects current medical terminology and information needs.
  • The new revision is more comprehensive for use in broader clinical settings (e.g., it has a subset of conditions for use in primary care).
  • ICD-11 functions in digital and electronic health record (EHR) environments.
  • It enables greater international comparability, with no country-specific versions.
  • It has linkages to other data standards, such as the International Classification of Functioning and Disability (ICF), International Classification of Health Interventions (ICHI) and SNOMED-CT.

When will ICD-11 be adopted in Canada?

The earliest possible implementation date is 2023. CIHI will establish a process to understand the implementation impacts to guide the decision on adopting ICD-11. Although the decision to adopt will rest with the federal, provincial and territorial health ministries and agencies, CIHI would be responsible for leading the implementation in Canada.

What is CIHI doing to prepare?

  • Classifications and Terminologies staff, along with Statistics Canada and other countries, are actively contributing to the WHO’s activities by providing input into ICD-11 content and the new coding rules to support its use.
  • A recent analysis showed that more than 90% of ICD-10-CA is included in ICD-11. Over the next 2 years, Classifications and Terminologies will collaborate with the University of Calgary to better understand the differences between ICD-10-CA and ICD-11. This information will help determine the implementation needs of coders and the impacts on data trending.
  • CIHI will conduct studies over the next 5 years to assess the cost of implementing this new standard, as well as the impact it will have on CIHI’s products and systems and on Canada’s health care systems.


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