ICD-10-CM Classification Applied in Diagnostics

Subject: Diagnostics
Pages: 3
Words: 941
Reading time:
4 min


Modern medicine relies heavily on the latest innovations in programming and engineering, contributing greatly to its overall efficiency. ICD-10-CM, with its application in diagnosis and medical coding, has become an irreplaceable tool within this niche. Physicians, coders, health information managers, nurses, and other healthcare workers, utilize ICD-10-CM to help them save and retrieve diagnostic data. National mortality and morbidity data are also compiled through the usage of the program, further increasing its relevancy.

Ways of Use

ICD-10-CM, like its predecessor ICD-9-CM, is based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Classification of Illnesses, which utilizes unique alphanumeric numbers to designate recognized diseases and other health issues. ICD-10-CM codes are useful since they are more detailed than ICD-10 codes and can reveal more about the severity of a patient’s disease. The switch from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM was also required because the latter’s coding capacity was running out since most of the code categories were entirely full. Furthermore, ICD-9-CM codes lacked the clarity and information that ICD-10-CM codes supplied.


ICD-9 codes in the United States have been divided into ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS codes as part of the transition to ICD-10. ICD-10-CM codes were developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in collaboration with the National Center for Health Statistics for outpatient medical coding and reporting in the United States (Wu et al., 2019). ICD-10-PCS is an entirely different medical coding system than ICD-10-CM, with an extra 87,000 codes intended only for use in inpatient hospital settings in the United States (Wu et al., 2019). The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) collaborated with 3M Health Information Management to create the procedure classification system (ICD-10-PCS) (HIM). In the United States, ICD-10-PCS is exclusively used in inpatient hospital settings and is intended to replace volume 3 of ICD-9 for facility reporting of inpatient operations. ICD-10-PCS was created to fit the changing environment of medical processes and technology, which is in a continual state of flux.

ICM-10-CM and Healthcare

ICM-10-CM directly impacts the efficiency of healthcare providers through its optimization of clinical documentation, physician’s orders facilitation, and medical coding. The ICD-10 codes are accessible, and coders may choose the right diagnostic codes if clinicians follow rigorous documentation standards. Injury coding, poisoning, side effects, and medication underdosing are new code components that assist improve healthcare quality and tracking clinical quality indicators. In pay-for-performance programs, correct coding gives accurate patient conditions, allowing for better and more effective disease treatment.

Referring physicians draft the order and give the appropriate conclusion for a specialist evaluation. This procedure improves physician intake processes, educates referring doctors, and assures efficiency (Panozzo et al., 2018). The new codes demand that clinical data be comprehensive and of higher quality; failure to comply with such a basic criterion may result in misunderstanding and revenue loss. ICD-10 codes are not only more numerous but also more complicated when compared to ICD-9 codes.

10 Steps to Accurate Coding

Step 1 requires determining why the patient came in; what symptom, diagnosis, or condition is to be coded. The second step is to double-check the available alphabetic index before proceeding to work in a tabular list, followed by the third step of identifying and locating the key entry item. Step 4 involves reading and interpreting any remarks relevant to the main item. Step 5 instructs to review entries and identify the modifiers. Users are expected to repeat it several times for clarity before moving to the next. Step 6 includes interpreting abbreviations and checking the contextual meaning for symbols and brackets. Then, within the seventh step, the users pick a tentative code and identify it within the TL. Step 8 focuses on them testing the resulting code for specificity, which gets continues in step 9, double-checking the color coding and social variable adjustments. Finally, in the tenth step of the correct application, a user is expected to check the available results for representativity.

Differences between V, W, X, Y, and Z codes

Codes from V to Y within this category identify Morbidity Caused by External Factors and are positioned in a category of factors describing the consequences of various external causes. Other settings will additionally describe where the injury happened and what activity the patient was performing; homecare will simply have to report how the patient was harmed. Z-codes represent factors related to the health status of a patient and their contacts with health services.

Specific Symbol Usage

The hyphen (-) at the end of an Alphabetic Index code indicates that the code requires further characters (it is not complete). The programmer would seek up the more precise full Alphabetic Index code in the Tabular Listing to locate the most specific code with more characters. ICD-10-CM uses common punctuation like brackets, parentheses, colons, and commas, as well as phrases like Not Elsewhere Classified (NEC), Not Otherwise Specified (NOS), “code first,” “use extra code,” and “code also” that coding experts are acquainted with. Finally, coders must use a placeholder when reporting ICD-10-CM codes to place the seventh character correctly. Codes are invalid without this placeholder to guarantee that characters display in the right locations. A patient, for example, may have been poisoned by an antiallergic medication by mistake.


The ICD-10 applications in medicine are diverse and keep evolving with the field. Overall, the sorting system appears to be cohesive and thus easily applicable to various situations. Furthermore, it has an actively functioning mechanism of cross-referencing with its predecessor, which allows the program’s benefit of precise diagnosis to the perceiver. Certain caveats apply within the usage process of ICD-10, but it is fair to claim it to be the most efficient medical coding system so far.


Panozzo, C., Woodworth, T., Welch, E., Huang, T., Her, Q., & Haynes, K. et al. (2018). Early impact of the ICD-10-CM transition on selected health outcomes in 13 electronic health care databases in the United States. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, 27(8), 839-847.

Wu, P., Gifford, A., Meng, X., Li, X., Campbell, H., Varley, T., Zhao, J, Carrol, R., Bastarache, L., Denny, J, Theodoratou, E. & Wei, W. Q. (2019). Mapping ICD-10 and ICD-10-CM codes to the codes: Workflow development and initial evaluation. JMIR medical informatics, 7(4), e14325.