The WHO-FIC Education and Implementation Committee (WHO-FIC EIC) met in Hamburg, Germany on April 11-12, 2018.    Committee members were present from many countries worldwide including The Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Australia, Sweden, Italy, Japan, Canada, and the United States.

IFHIMA was well represented in the room.  Carol Lewis and Joon Hong took on the WHO project several years ago of updating the question bank in the WHO-FIC Implementation Database.   Issues include how detailed a future questionnaire should be— a small number of basic questions or more detailed additional questions, and how to collect consistent data from the responding countries.   In addition, data is collected from not only countries, but also territories and other areas.    A robust discussion was held regarding the improvement of the questions and also how to best handle the issue of territories.  Further work in revision of the Database questions will be done and a report will be given again in Seoul at the annual WHO-FIC meeting in October 2018

IFHIMA Board members who were able to, stayed and joined this meeting since it started the day after the 2018 IFHIMA Board meeting.  IFHIMA Board present at this meeting included Marci MacDonald, Hussein Ali Y Ashibi, and Vera Dimitropoulos.

Yukiko Yokobori is the co-chair of the EIC, and also a member of IFHIMA.  She provided an update on the very detailed and complex EIC Strategic Work Plan.

There was no one present at the meeting from the WHO, but there was a call-in from Nenad Kostanjsek, Technical Officer, Classification, Terminology and Standards, Department of Health Statistics and Informatics from the WHO. He provided an update on the ICD-11 revision and the implications for ICD-11 implementation and education work. This work has nine (9) goals including:

1.Having ICD-11 as the latest ICD revision for internationally comparable statistics

  1. Finalizing ICD-11 and preparing for the transition from ICD-10- to ICD-11 and promoting the development and use of the WHO-FIC training tools
  2. Inputting Primary Care into ICD-11
  3. Promoting the development of ICHI (International Classification of Health Interventions) beta and tools. ICHI is being developed to provide a common tool for reporting and analyzing health interventions for statistical purposes
  4. Promoting ICD and ICF (International Classification of Functioning) education in general.
  5. Promoting the development and use of WHO-FIC training tools
  6. Developing and promoting International Training Strategy and Exploring Assessment Strategies
  7. Supporting users of the classifications with information resources and
  8. Facilitating data collection related with the WHO-FIC implementation through use of electronic tools

Joon Hong and Carol Lewis also reported on the International exam for Mortality Coders.   This work had started in 2006 and the first exams were given in the Republic of Korea in 2007. Joon and Carol recently conducted a survey of National Directors of IFHIMA regarding conducting a “recertification of international mortality coders.”  They received 16 responses without any strong conclusions evident in the summary.  This item was introduced for discussion in Hamburg and there was support in the room for recertification to be done by interested countries.  The Republic of Korea will proceed with this process.   There was an expression of interest from Saudi Arabia to have a coder certification test ready that coders in that region could take while attending an upcoming fall 2018 conference in Abu Dhabi or maybe also in conjunction with the IFHIMA Congress in 2019 in Dubai. Margaret Skurka will work with Joon Hong and Hussein Ali Y Albishi on this process going forward.

At the end of the WHO-FIC EIC meeting, there was discussion of when ICD-11 might be implemented in countries around the world.   Participants in the room felt this could take place no sooner than 2022 or 2023.  Others felt it might not be until 2025 or later.  All countries will need time for the roll out including education of coders, physicians, and others, updating of computer systems, and updating of all documents where codes will appear.   Thus, it could take countries 5 to 10 years after final ICD-11release.

The next meeting of the WHO-FIC EIC will take place in Seoul, Korea in conjunction with the next WHO-FIC Annual meeting.  The meetings will be held the week of October 22-26, 2018.  Details will be available on the WHO-FIC web site soon.



Margaret A. Skurka, MS, RHIA, CCS

IFHIMA voting member at the WHO-FIC EIC