ICD-11: International Classification of Diseases for Mortality and Morbidity Statistics

ICD-11: International Classification of Diseases for Mortality and Morbidity Statistics
2022 © World Health Organization
World Health Organization
Coding & Classification, Public Health


ICD serves a broad range of uses globally and provides critical knowledge on the extent, causes, and consequences of human disease and death worldwide via data that is reported and coded with the ICD. Clinical terms coded with ICD are the main basis for health recording and statistics on disease in primary, secondary, and tertiary care, as well as on cause of death certificates. These data and statistics support payment systems, service planning, administration of quality and safety, and health services research. Diagnostic guidance linked to categories of ICD also standardizes data collection and enables large-scale research.

For more than a century, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) has been the basis for comparable statistics on causes of mortality and morbidity between places and over time. Originating in the 19th century, the latest version of the ICD, ICD-11, was adopted by the 72nd World Health Assembly in 2019 and came into effect on 1st January 2022.

ICD Purpose and Uses

As a classification and terminology ICD-11:

  • allows the systematic recording, analysis, interpretation, and comparison of mortality and morbidity data collected in different countries or regions and at different times.
  • ensures semantic interoperability and reusability of recorded data for the different use cases beyond mere health statistics, including decision support, resource allocation, reimbursement, guidelines, and more.

ICD-11 Highlights

  • • Legally mandated health data standard (WHO Constitution and Nomenclature Regulations).
  • • In effect from January 2022.
  • • Conceptual framework independent of language and culture.
  • • Integration of terminology and classification.
  • • Up-to-date scientific knowledge.
  • • Comparable statistics and semantic interoperability - for 150 years.
  • • ICD-11 enables, for the first time, the counting of traditional medicine services and encounters.
  • • The 11th revision is more extensive and has greater implications for what can be done with the ICD, and how, than any revision since the 6th, in 1948.

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