GENEVA, June 18 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday released the latest 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), which provides a common language that allows health professionals to share health information across the globe.
For the first time the ICD is completely electronic and has a much more user-friendly format, thanks to unprecedented involvement of health care workers who have joined collaborative meetings and submitted proposals. The ICD team in WHO headquarters has received over 10,000 proposals for revisions.
The ICD-11 has new chapters, including one on traditional medicine. Although millions of people use traditional medicine worldwide, it had never been classified in this system before.
Another new chapter on sexual health brings together conditions that were previously categorized in other ways or described differently, including gender incongruence, which was listed under mental health conditions, and gaming disorder which has been added to the section on addictive disorders.
"A key principle in this revision was to simplify the coding structure and electronic tooling -- this will allow health care professionals to more easily and completely record conditions," says Dr. Robert Jakob, team leader of the Classifications Terminologies and Standards, WHO.
The ICD-11 has been over a decade in the making and provided significant improvements on previous versions. "The ICD is a product that WHO is truly proud of," says WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. "It enables us to understand so much about what makes people get sick and die, and to take action to prevent suffering and save lives."
It also reflects progress in medicine and advances in scientific understanding. For example, the codes relating to antimicrobial resistance are more closely in line with the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System.
The latest version is also able to better capture data regarding safety in healthcare, which means that unnecessary events that may harm health, such as unsafe workflows in hospitals, can be identified and reduced.
The ICD-11 will be presented at the World Health Assembly in May 2019 for adoption by member states, and will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. It will also allow countries to plan how to use the new version, prepare translations, and train health professionals all over the country.