ICD-11 Is Coming, Prepare Now

Original story posted on: April 5, 2021

IFHIMA makes the case for ICD-11 adoption with latest whitepaper.

As healthcare transformation progresses due to the digitization of data and advancements in medical science and technology, it is increasingly important that nations around the world begin planning for adoption of ICD-11. 

The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) has a long and valued history of creating and assisting in the tracking mortality and morbidity data on a national and global scale. ICD-11 has been updated for the 21st century and reflects critical advances in science and medicine through updated scientific content and enhanced clinical detail. It is fully electronic, though it can be used on-line, off-line, or even in printed format. ICD-11 was formally adopted by the World Health Assembly in May 2019 with international mortality reporting utilizing ICD-11 commencing in January 2022. IFHIMA acknowledges and commends the World Health Organization (WHO) for their development of a wealth of information, training and reference materials available in support of the transition to ICD-11.

The IFHIMA Board of Directors believes that quality health information underpins all facets of healthcare policy, delivery system design, patient engagement, and the advancement of health and healthcare. This whitepaper demonstrates our vision “a healthy world enabled by quality health information.”

With this whitepaper, the IFHIMA hopes to guide and inspire healthcare professionals as they begin their journey toward the adoption and implementation of ICD-11. The march toward ICD-11 has already begun and is discussed within the whitepaper and case studies from IFHIMA members.  

The whitepaper and global case studies delve into some of the specific challenges, and accomplishments to date, that countries and health information professionals may anticipate as they embark on their national or organizational journey to adopt ICD-11. Topics include benefits of ICD-11, planning, work force development and education, transition from ICD-10 to ICD-11, field testing and implementation.

Specific actions IFHIMA recommends for HIM professionals include the following:

  • Actively participate in the task forces, committees, and workgroups
  • Breakdown data silos through collaborative leadership with diverse stakeholders
  • Ensure quality and usefulness of data
  • Adopt lifelong professional learning
  • Promote the need for education, training, and workforce development
  • Develop a solid understanding of the ICD-11


The whitepaper and case studies were written with collaboration among a group of IFHIMA members from countries including Australia, Barbados, Canada, Egypt, Japan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Republic of Korea, Nigeria, Spain and the USA.

The new whitepaper, IFHIMA Fosters Planning for ICD-11 Adoption with Global Case Studies is available at http://www.ifhima.org/

It is our hope that this whitepaper and its related case studies informs and inspires readers as they begin their journey to the adoption and implementation of ICD-11.

Programming Note: Listen to Lorraine Fernandes, IFHIMA president, report this story live during today’s Talk Ten Tuesdays at 10 a.m. Eastern.

Lorraine Fernandes, RHIA

Lorraine Fernandes is an international and domestic thought leader, accomplished author and respected public speaker on topics related to technology’s role in healthcare transformation. Lorraine is the 2019-2022 President of the International Federation of Health Information Management Associations (IFHIMA) and co-author of two IFHIMA whitepapers addressing governance and privacy. Lorraine is a recipient of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) 2013 Pioneer Award and 1998 Discovery Award, and California Health Information Association (CHIA) 2002 Distinguished Member Award.

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