The World Health Organization (WHO) has for mandate the production of international classifications on health that constitute the International Family of Classifications. These classifications constitute a group of integrated classification products to be used alone or jointly, with the purpose of improving health through the provision of information for decision-making at all levels.
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The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems - 10th Revision (ICD-10) is one of the international standards most frequently used for morbidity and mortality statistics in the World.
The purpose of the ICD is to allow the systematic registration, analysis, interpretation and comparison of mortality and morbidity data collected in different countries or areas, at different times. The classification converts diagnostic terms and other health problems from words to alphanumeric codes so they can be stored and later retrieved for analysis.
The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) is a reference classification that, along with the ICD, constitute one of the most important reference in the FIC.
The ICF constitutes an innovating classification by widening the application of the FIC to information on functioning and disability at the individual and population levels, in order to generate evidence for the planning of services, evaluation of public health interventions, programs, and policies in the countries.
In order to promote the development, implementation, dissemination, and adequate use of the FIC in National Health Information Systems, WHO relies on support from Collaborating Centers that, along with Regional Offices, are part of the WHO-FIC Network.
The use of international classifications in health information systems requires an adequate knowledge of its contents and of the process to integrate the data in the system.
The adequate application of the international classifications in required in various stages of the process, including the collection, processing, capture, validation, presentation, analysis, and dissemination of the information.