ICD Coding advice from the WHO for the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

The purpose of this post is to share the World Health Organization [WHO] official diagnosis coding guidance update for health care encounters and deaths related to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) previously named 2019-nCoV.

Screenshot image from ICD-10

ICD-10 Chapter XXII: Codes for special purposes has a special sub-category called U07 Emergency use of U07. WHO’s recent creation of an emergency ICD-10 code U07.1, is assigned to the disease diagnosis of 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease. See my screenshot image from ICD-10 to the left.


The title of U07 will be changed back to ‘codes for emergency use’.

It is to be noted that the name ‘2019-nCoV’ is temporary and is likely to change (to be independent of date and virus family, and for consistency with international virus taxonomy).

For ICD-11, the code for the illness would be RA01.0

A new and final ICD-10-CM code title for the COVID-19 diagnosis code is now [March 17–18, 2020] been established, and will be implemented effective October 1, 2020, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC), USA and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), USA.


  1. Emergency use ICD codes for COVID-19 disease outbreak, Classifications, WHO, <http://www9.who.int/classifications/icd/covid19/en/>
  2. Organizations Developing New Codes for COVID-19, and a Primer on the Virus, Under the Dome, Journal of AHIMA, <https://journal.ahima.org/new-icd-10-cm-code-for-covid-19-becomes-effective-october-1/>

ICD-11 2018 version: Part 2 – The ICD-11 Menu Hierarchy

The ICD-11 Homepage at https://icd.who.int/ (opens in a new tab of this same open window) of the World Health Organisation (WHO) website is a specific point in time when you “Discover” the ICD-11 interface to then “Explore” to both the whole time you are looking for something about ICD-11 and the time you discovered something about ICD-11.

From this Homepage, the reader discovers a top-level menu that brings you to various “places” within the ICD-11 Homepage. Below is a chart (you can view a larger image of this chart by clicking on this chart which will open in a new tab of this same open window) from my discovery of these various “places” and what I found from my exploration.  This chart shows the ICD-11 Menu Hierarchy as I had discovered and explored. In future posts, I shall write more on each individual menu item.

WHO-FIC Network Annual Meeting 2013 – Beijing, People’s Republic of China

A Health Information Management (HIM) / Medical Records (MR) practitioner reader of this website-blog will surely be familiar and knowledgeable of The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) that covers death and disease, two main parameters of health and the health system.

Perhaps many  HIM / MR practitioners may still not know that the ICD is one other reference classification which belongs to the World Health Organization Family of International Classifications (WHO-FIC)  Likewise, ICF (the International Classification of Functioning and Disability) and ICHI (International Classification of Health Interventions) are also reference classifications which belong to the WHO-FIC.

I think it is appropriate for any HIM / MR practitioner to be aware of developments of WHO classifications such as the ICD.  In this post, I like to share in this post of what is already available at the WHO website about the 2013 Annual Meeting of the International Network of WHO-FIC Collaborating Centres (WHO-FIC 2013) which will be held at the Empark Grand Hotel, in Beijing, China, from 12 to 18 October 2013. This year’s theme is: “Universal Health Coverage: Information and Innovation”. The reader can view detailed information about the meeting venue, accommodation and registration available on the meeting website at this link (this link will open in a new tab of your current browser window).

Since participation to this meeting is by invitation only, I like to suggest – since HIM / MR practitioner readers will already be familiar with ICD-10 but need to be aware of the ICD-11 revision, to focus and follow the progress and developments in ICD-10 and ICD-11 to be presented when the WHO-FIC Council meets in Beijing soon to review progress in relation to the strategic work plan of the WHO-FIC network and plan for the future. Please click on these links below (each of these links will open in a new tab of your current browser window) to know and learn the progress and developments in ICD-10 and ICD-11 :

progress and developments in ICD-10

progress and developments in ICD-11


  1. WHO-FIC Network Annual Meeting 2013 – Beijing, People’s Republic of China, Classifications, The World Health Organisation (WHO), viewed 3 October 2013, <http://apps.who.int/classifications/network/meeting2013/en/>
  2. WHO-FIC Network Annual Meeting 2013, 2013 WHO-FIC Network, The World Health Organisation (WHO), viewed 3 October 2013, <http://www.whofic2013.org/register/toFrontPage.do>

ICD 11 – The Content Model, Part 2

ICD 11 book coverIn this second part of the ICD 11 Content Model posts, I will aim to provide an insight into the basic structure of the model.

As you can read from the post ICD 11 – The Content Model, Part 1 (this link will open in a new tab of your current window), the revision process of the The 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD ) is a broad participatory Webbased development process by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

This collaborative development of new content and proposed changes for ICD 11 is the responsibility of a Revision Steering Group (RSG) within the WHO ICD Revision Organisation Structure, which serves as the planning and steering authority in the update and the run-up to the revision process of ICD 11.

Today the Beta Draft of ICD 11 is available as the culmination of an information infrastructure and workflow processes started initially by Topic Advisory Groups (TAGs) for various specialty areas. The Webbased development of ICD 11 which is still open for comments and suggestions by interested parties in a social process on the Web, is integrated with knowledge of (i) diseases and health conditions, the eotiology and the anatomical and physiological aspects of the disease, (ii) input of all chapters and codes from existing clinical modifications of the ICD, and (iii) mappings to other terminologies and ontologies from other WHO-FIC (Family of International Classifications) members into computer systems, thus creating draft classifications for field testing as it is available in the Beta Draft of ICD 11.

I can prefigure the complex problems of developing ICD 11, which surely was undertaken and managed by using systematic approaches to deal with its development in a prescribed way and by using analytical techniques to identify and dissect the orderly arrangement of the mass of data already in a confused state into logical patterns thus promoting understanding and pointing the way to an appropriate decision within a clearly defined framework and a concrete context, the ICD 11 Content Model.

Thus, the Health Informatics and Modeling Topic Advisory Group (HIM-TAG) – also a part of the WHO ICD Revision Organisation Structure,  was entrusted to develop the ICD-11 Its task was to ensure that the Content Model remains the critical component of ICD 11 that specifies the structure and details of the information that should be maintained for each ICD category in the revision process.

The WHO (2013) describes the Content Model as a structured framework that captures the knowledge that underpins the definition of an ICD entity in the following ways:

  • includes the full scope of health care diseases and related health conditions (such as traditional medicine entries) so as to be as congruent with the overall structure 
  • ICD 11 entities are represented in a standard way from the currently set of different 13 defined dimensions or  main “parameters”, each parameter expressed using standard terminologies known as “value sets” by observing basic taxonomic and ontological principles including:
    1. key definitions: disease, disorder, syndrome, sign, symptom, trauma, external cause,
    2. separation of disability and joint use with the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF),
    3. attributes  – etiology, pathophysiology, intervention response, genetic base, and

    4. linkages to other classifications and ontologies, including that of for Primary Care, Clinical Care and Research
  • the Content Model enables content experts to view and curate i.e to pull together and sift through and select for presentation its contents using software tools that allows automatic error checking and enforces constraint enforcement thus maintaining the correctness or validity of the stored data (integrity ). 

Each category ICD 11 entity in the Content Model will be described by 13 different, defined dimensions or main “parameters” as can be seen below.


More in the next post on the ICD 11 Content Model.


  1. World Health Organisation, 2012, Content Model, viewed 18 March 2013, < http://www.who.int/classifications/icd/revision/contentmodel/en/index.html >