Family of International Classifications (FIC)

WHO – FIC IFHIMA Collaboration

The World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centres for the Family of International Classifications (FIC) are an international network of expert centres in health classifications, coding and terminology development. The principal role of the WHO-FIC network is to promote the implementation and use of the Family of International Classifications, with focus on two WHO reference classifications, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), in health information systems.

The WHO-FIC Education Committee and IFHIMA have established the Education and Implementation Committee to develop an international training and certification program to improve coding practice. The overall goals of this program are to improve the quality of mortality and morbidity data and the competence of ICD coders and thus their status. Through the work of the Education and Implementation Committee, health data at the national and international levels will be improved and the value of coded data and the professional coder will be more broadly recognized. To learn more about the WHO-FIC IFHIMA Education and Implementation Committee click here.

Please click on the link below for the newly released ICD-10-web based training tool.  This is an excellent new resource for ICD training, developed by the WHO.  There is also a CD Rom version available.  Each member country of IFHIMA will be receiving a free copy of the CD Rom, together with other useful information and tools developed by the Education and Implementation Committee of the WHO-FIC network.  Please note also all the new information posted below for links to Information Sheets, and other materials.

The ICD-10 training tool is online in its final version.  Files for download, and materials for translation are made available upon request. The production of the CD version is imminent. Click here.

Important Information from WHO-FIC IFHIMA Joint Collaboration!

The WHO-FIC IFHIMA Education and Implementation Committee continues to move forward with training and certification for ICD-10 coders.  For the most recent developments

Click here for a letter explaining the reasons for the development of the International Training and Certification Program

Click here for a letter that explains the need for quality coded data.  This is also a request for help to promote the International Training and Certification Program for ICD-10 Morbidity and Mortality Coders.  Two tools are provided to assist with the promotion

Click here for a brochure to use in promoting the training and certification program.  The brochure describes the purpose, goals, and objectives of the program.

Click here for a letter of interest form to be used for individuals who are interested in becoming an ICD-10 coder or trainer.

WHO-FIC – Clinical Documentation

WHO-FIC Uses of Coded Clinical Data

WHO-FIC-IFHIMA Standards for Health Records

Core Curriculum – Underlying cause of death coders including Learning objectives

Core Curriculum for Morbidity Coders

Core Curriculum for Mortality Coders – Training Module Form

List of ICD-10 Underlying Cause of Death Certified Trainers

Roster of Approved Training Materials

The relationship between Health Record Documentation and Clinical Coding

Preparation Activities of ICD-10-CM in the US

WHO-FIC Education Committee

WHO-FIC/IFHIMA Education and Implementation Committee Reaches Milestone in Seoul

The Education and Implementation Committee between IFHRO and the Education Committee of the World Health Organization Family of International Classifications Network reached a milestone in late May, during the 15th Congress meeting of IFHRO in Seoul, Korea.

The committee has been working for the past three years to standardize coder training and to award certificates to those individuals who have completed ICD training that meets standard core knowledge clusters.  The committee first developed core curricula, which are recommended as the basis for educational programs in morbidity and mortality coding using ICD-10.  The committee then subsequently developed assessments for coding training materials, based on the core curricula, and also developed a process to evaluate coding educators/trainers.  The first process developed was an assessment of currently practicing mortality coders, which involved completing a self-assessment and successfully completing a coding examination. A score of 80% or better was required on the 50 case exam.

12 coders were recognized in Seoul as having successfully completed the coding examination.  10 were from Korea and 2 from Canada.  They were presented certificates at the closing session of the conference.  The 10 from Korea were present, and the two from Canada were recognized on the screen in a picture that had been forwarded.  Of the 10 Koreans, 4 were also awarded Trainer Certificates, indicating they had successfully completed a second, more challenging exam.  They were recognized then as possessing the necessary skills and abilities to serve as trainers in ICD-10 coding.

The project has been in a pilot phase up to this point and now will be fine tuned by the committee going forward.  The committee will also work on the process for the evaluation of the skills of new coders who are participating in a training course in coding.  The new coders will then sit for the exam at the appropriate time.  Work is also commencing on the process for morbidity coders.  Web based training materials for ICD-10 coding are also in the process of development.  There is much work left to do!!

Good health outcomes depend on the availability and use of good health information.  The work of the committee supports attainment of the vision of the WHO—Health for All.  Through improvements in the availability, quality and comparability of coded health information, better decisions relating to the provision of healthcare and allocation of health resources will be facilitated.

The project is co chaired by Margaret Skurka of the US representing IFHIMA and Sue Walker of Australia, representing the Education Committee of the WHO-FIC Network.
Marjorie Greenberg of the US, the Head of the WHO Collaborating Center for the US serves in an ex-officio capacity to the group.

Checklist for Implementation of WHO-FIC

Clinical Documentation Information Sheet

CRVS Information Sheet

ICD Information Sheet

ICF Information Sheet

International Training and Certificate Program Regional Directors

International Training and Certificate Program 11-18-10

ITCP Regional Approach

Mortality Data Information Sheet

Uses of Coded Clinical Data Information Sheet

WHO-FIC-IFHIMA Information Sheet

July 2007 News Update

International ICD-10 Training and Certification Program
Progress Report

The following is an update on the progress of the WHO-FIC Education Committee – IFHRO Joint Collaboration (JC) goal of improving the quality of mortality and morbidity data and recognizing the competence of ICD coders.

Mortality: Underlying Cause of Death Coders

For underlying cause of death coders who are already working, an international coding exam has been developed and piloted in Canada and South Korea. The exam is being piloted in several more countries through 2007 before it will be ready for implementation in all countries of the world.

In the meantime, coders who wish to sit the examination must first complete and submit a self assessment. Names will be entered into a database for future reference and follow-up once the pilot process has been finalized. It is anticipated either arrangements will need to be made with a supervisor or a hosting organization such as a country’s medical/health record association to manage the examination process. Nominal fees to cover the costs of administering the exam will be required.

For individuals interested in becoming underlying cause of death coders, the JC program itself does not include training but instead recognizes training materials and approves trainers. Australia, United States, Canada and Korea have training materials which have been approved for international use and trainers who have also been granted certification as approved coder trainers. Contact the following approved trainers for additional information on training opportunities:

Australia: Sue Walker: (s.walker@qut.edu.au)
US and Canada: Tyringa Ambrose: (tla1@cdc.gov)
Korea: Joon H. Hong: (jhhong42@hotmail.com)

For those not yet in a coding position, in order to be eligible to sit for the exam, it is recommended that individuals undergo training by an approved trainer using recognized training materials. It is also highly recommended that coders have at least 1-2 years of experience working before they sit the exam.

Mortality: Underlying Cause of Death Educators/Trainers

An examination pilot tested in South Korea will soon be available to underlying cause of death educators/trainers. It is being piloted in several more countries through 2007 before it will be ready for implementation in all countries of the world.

In the mean time, educators/trainers who wish to sit the examination must first complete and submit an application. Names will be entered into a database for future reference and follow-up once the process has been finalized. It is anticipated either arrangements will need to be made with a supervisor or a hosting organization such as a country’s medical/health record association to manage the examination process. Nominal fees to cover the costs of administering the exam will be required. The educator/trainer examination can take place at the same time as coders in a particular country sit their examination.

Mortality: Multiple Cause Coders and Educators/Trainers

Development of an exam for multiple cause coding is slated to occur once the international ICD rules have been standardized. This is not anticipated for a number of years.

Morbidity: Coders and Educators/Trainers

The JC and WHO FIC Education Committee have begun discussions on the development of a process for assessing morbidity (hospital) coders and trainers. At the moment it is not possible to proceed along the path to develop this process because of the need to wait for the outcome of the work of the WHO Family of International Classifications Network (WHO-FIC) Morbidity Reference Group (MbRG). The MbRG is evaluating what is needed to introduce more comprehensive rules and guidelines for the coding of morbidity data, more specific than the few rules that are currently in the ICD-10 volume 2. More information on a process for assessment will be available in the last quarter of 2007.

Mortality and Morbidity Training Materials

Curricula for coder training programs which describe the core competencies the JC expects coders to develop and the information expected to be covered in a training course for mortality and morbidity coders is available. Those who teach ICD-10 coding are encouraged to submit their materials for assessment against these curricula so anyone who learns to code receives the same basic instruction. The materials do not need to be in English but if they are in another language, assistance with identifying someone who will be able to make the assessment on the JC’s behalf using our templates for the assessment, may be requested.

Feedback will be sent noting if there are important details missing or if the materials meet the international standard for high quality teaching. If the materials meet the standard, the training course will be recommended to people who are interested in learning to code.

For more information on the core curricula and the call for submission of materials, see the links below:

Core curriculum for mortality coders

Core curriculum for morbidity coders

Executive Summary – Evaluation of Certification and Training Program