The Importance of Knowing Exactly Why We Die
The folks who think about how we categorize causes of death are already thinking about the coming age of ICD-11. Lucky them.
Morbid aspects aside, this undertaking involves an intellectually challenging and fascinating pursuit: the formulation of the International Classification of Diseases mortality codes, Volume 11.
ICD-10 diagnostic designations for death, about 8,000 of them developed in 1992, have been in place since 1999. Now, explains Robert Anderson, chief of mortality statistics for the National Center for Health Statistics, "it's time for an update."
For sure, there will be more causes of death to code. After all, humans die in a growing assortment of ways, some of them bizarre.
Before this causes a fatal hypertensive episode in people who are barely able to fathom ICD-10 clinical codes, realize Anderson is not talking about codes soon to be implemented for clinical diagnoses. This ICD-11 edition will deal first with mortality, or the acceptable words doctors attending dying patients can write on certificates of death. (Yes, an ICD-11 clinical version is planned, but not in the near future.)
It's critically important. Until we know exactly why and how people die, how can we quantify these deaths and prioritize prevention?
Anderson notes that the last 20 years have seen the growth of new pharmaceutical products that can kill. Oxycodone overdoses, for example. Currently, deaths from oxycodone are labeled deaths from opiods. "Now, the only way to differentiate is to go back to the original text of the death certificate," Anderson says.
- Antibiotic Overuse a 'Huge Threat' to Patient Safety, Says CDC
- CFO Exchange: Smartphones Poised to Disrupt Healthcare, Says Topol
- Consumerism Drives Healthcare Branding, Rebranding Efforts
- 3 Traits Personality Assessments Can't Reveal
- PA Ranks See 'Phenomenal Growth,' Lack of Diversity
- CHS Hacked, 4.5M Patient Records Compromised
- CFO Exchange: Healthcare Leaders Share 5 Innovative Ideas
- Business Roundup: M&A Activity Down Slightly in First Half of 2014
- Large Employers Trimming Healthcare Spending
- Carondelet to Pay $35M to Settle Fraud Allegations