Transitioning to ICD-11 in Korea: Enhancing Accuracy in Clinical Coding

Healthcare’s transition to digitisation underscores the importance of precise clinical coding. With the advent of the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), healthcare professionals worldwide face the challenge of adapting to this new coding system. For Korean health information managers, this transition means moving from the Korean modification of ICD-10 (KCD-7) to ICD-11. But what does this change mean for the accuracy of clinical coding in Korea?

A recent study conducted by Hyunkyung Lee and Sukil Kim, published in the Health Information Management Journal, sheds light on this important question.

Exploring the Accuracy of ICD-11 Coding in Korea

The aim of the study was to explore effective methods to increase the accuracy of coding for diagnostic terms during the transition from KCD-7 to ICD-11. The study involved 27 skilled Korean health information managers who performed both KCD-7 and ICD-11 coding simultaneously.

The Results: A Comparison of Coding Accuracy

The study’s results revealed that the average accuracy rate of line coding was 71.6% in ICD-11 and 80.2% in KCD-7. These figures align with results from similar studies. The mean percentage agreements for ICD-11 and KCD-7 for line coding were 64.2% and 72.1% respectively, while for case coding it was 15.3% and 26.6%.

Factors Impacting ICD-11 Coding Accuracy

The study noted that several factors, including cluster coding, changes of terms in ICD-11, and removal of codes used in ICD-10, contributed to lower agreement in ICD-11. About 46.6% of participants reported that the granularity of ICD-11 was similar to ICD-10, while 36.9% reported that ICD-11 had finer granularity. When it came to difficulty, 15.3% of participants found line coding difficult, and 10.9% found case coding difficult.

Conclusions: Improving ICD-11 Coding Accuracy

The findings of this study suggest that there is room for improvement in terms of ICD-11 coding accuracy. The authors recommend the provision of more detailed reference guidelines and efficient training for coding professionals by the World Health Organization. Such measures could significantly aid in making ICD-11 an excellent tool for gathering relevant information about diseases in Korea, and likely elsewhere.

The transition to ICD-11 is not just a change of system, but also an opportunity to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of clinical coding. The experience of Korean health information managers is instructive for all involved in healthcare data and administration, underscoring the importance of continuous learning, training, and improvement in our pursuit of better healthcare data quality.

^1. Lee H, Kim S. Impact of the ICD-11 on the accuracy of clinical coding in Korea. Health Inf Manag. 2023;52(2):98-106. doi:10.1177/18333583221095147

Related Articles


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.