International Classification of Diseases (ICD) Revision

ICD-11 Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the ICD important?

The ICD is important because it provides a common language for reporting and monitoring diseases. This allows the world to compare and share data in a consistent and standard way – between hospitals, regions and countries and over periods of time. It facilitates the collection and storage of data for analysis and evidence-based decision-making.

Who uses it?

Users include physicians, nurses, other providers, researchers, health information managers and coders, health information technology workers, policy-makers, insurers and patient organizations.

ICD has been translated into 43 languages and it is being used by all member States. Most countries (117) use the system to report mortality data, a primary indicator of health status.

All Member States are expected to use the most current version of the ICD for reporting death and disease statistics (according to the WHO Nomenclature Regulations adopted by the World Health Assembly in 1967).

Why is the ICD being revised?

The ICD is being revised to better reflect progress in health sciences and medical practice. In line with advances in information technology, ICD-11 will be used with electronic health applications and information systems.

What are features of this revision?

  • ICD revision process allows for collaborative web-based editing, open to all interested parties. To assure quality it will be peer reviewed for accuracy and relevance.
  • ICD-11 will be available in multiple languages.
  • Definitions, signs and symptoms, and other content related to diseases will be defined in a structured way so they can be recorded more accurately.
  • ICD-11 will be compatible with electronic health applications and information systems.
  • ICD-11 will be free to download online for personal use (and in print form for a fee).

How do I participate in the ICD revision?

Experts and stakeholders are invited to participate in the ICD revision by making comments or proposals on ICD units, through the ICD-11 online platform, become appointed reviewers, participate in field testing or contribute to language translations.

The structured input that will be provided by the participants, will be peer reviewed by experts in the field. WHO welcomes the active participation of researchers, health information managers, health care providers, and others interested in the classification.

How do I get started?

To get started, register for a participant account on the ICD-11 web platfrom. The platform is open for comments and accepted changes will be reflected immediately.

After creating an account, you will be able to:

  • Make comments - on the classification structure, content and its implementation
  • Make proposals to change ICD categories
  • Propose definitions of diseases
  • Participate in field testing
  • Contribute to language translations

Directions on how to participate in the revision process are available on the online platform.

Why is my input important?

Because diverse health perspectives and knowledge from every part of the world will build a better classification based on the user’s needs. The input from multiple parties will increase consistency, comparability and utility of the classification.

This shared process will lead to a global consensus on how diseases and health-related problems are defined and recorded. This is a chance to be part of international collaboration that will lead to more consistent and systematic collection of health information.

Who will review my input?

The content will be reviewed by experts from both the Revision Steering Groups and Topic Advisory Groups, who both advise WHO in all steps of the process.