Medical classification, or medical coding, is the process of transforming descriptions of medical diagnoses and procedures into universal medical code numbers. The diagnoses and procedures are usually taken from a variety of sources within the medical record, such as the transcription of the doctor's notes, laboratory results, radiologic results, and other sources. Diagnosis codes are used to track diseases, whether they are chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus and heart disease, to contagious diseases such as norovirus, the flu, and athlete's foot. These diagnosis and procedure codes are used by government health programs, private health insurance companies, workers' compensation carriers and others.
Medical classification systems are used for a variety of applications in medicine and medical informatics
statistical analysis of diseases and therapeutic actions
reimbursement; e.g., based on DRGs
knowledge-based and decision support systems
direct surveillance of epidemic or pandemic outbreaks
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