Improving the Quality of Clinical Coding through Mapping of National Classification of Diseases (NCoD) and International Classification of Disease (ICD-10).
Introduction: Medical coding is the transformation of healthcare diagnosis, procedures, medical services, and equipment into universal medical alphanumeric codes. Utilization of international disease classification provides higher-quality information for measuring healthcare service quality, safety, and efficacy. The Ethiopian National classification of disease (NCoD) was developed as part of Health Management information System (HMIS) reform with consideration of accommodating code in International Classification of disease (ICD-10). There is limited resource about the utilization status and related determinants of NCoD by health care professionals at tertiary level hospitals. This study is designed to assess the utilization status of NCoD and improve the quality of clinical coding through mapping of NCoD and ICD-10.
Methods: Quasi-experimental study considering “Mapping” as an intervention was employed in this study. Retrospective medical record reviews were carried out to assess the utilization of NCoD and its challenges at Tikur Anebsa Specialized Hospital (TASH) for a period of one year (2018/2019). Qualitative approach used to get expert insight on NCoD implementation challenges and design of mapping exercises as an intervention. Seven thousand five hundred forty-seven (20%) of the medical records from the total of 37,734 medical records were selected randomly for review. A data abstraction checklist was developed to collect relevant information on individual patient charts, patient electronic records specific on a confirmed diagnosis. The reference mapping approach was employed for the mapping output between ICD-10 and NCoD. Both ICD-10 and NCoD were mapped side by side using percentage comparison and absolute difference.
Result: Data for document review was taken from the electronic medical record database. Out of the total, 3021 (40%) of records were miss-classified based on the national classification of disease. From the miss-coded record, 1749 (58%) of them used ICD code to classify the diagnosis. Reasons provided for poor utilization of NCoD among physicians include, perception of having a limited list of diagnosis in the NCoD, not being familiarized, inadequate capacity building about NCoD use, and absence of enforcing mechanism on the use of standard diagnostic coding among professionals. Utilization of disease classification coding provides higher-quality information for measuring healthcare service quality, safety, and efficacy. This will in turn provide better data for quality measurement and medical error reduction (patient safety), outcomes measurement, operational planning, and healthcare delivery systems design and reporting.
Conclusion: Extended NCoD categories were mapped from ICD-10. Standard ways of coding disease diagnosis and coding of new cases into the existing category was established. This study recommends that due emphasis should be given in monitoring and evaluation of medical coding knowledge and adherence of health professionals, and it should be supported with appropriate technologies to improve the accessibility and quality of health information. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2021; 35(SI-1):59-65]
Keywords: Mapping, NCoD, ICD, Clinical Coding, Diagnosis, Health Information System