International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10)
A central tool to know a more realistic epidemiological profile of deaths and diseases in a country.
One of the main problems in the process of generating mortality and morbidity data--one that is common to all countries--is the training of coders for the application of a classification such as the International Statistics of Diseases and Problems Related to Health, known as ICD-10.
The constant rotation of health personnel at this stage of the production of information, and the high cost of face-to-face training, imposed the need to design remote proposals, taking advantage of the extensive development of communications technology, expressed in this particular case in the well-known e-learning.
Two countries, Argentina and Mexico, coordinated to share their experiences in teaching courses on ICD-10, with distance learning in mind, and encouraged by the other countries in the first RELACSIS meetings, designed the first online course, with tutors.
The Argentine Center for the Classification of Diseases (CACE) and the Mexican Center for the Classification of Diseases (CEMECE), today WHO Collaborating Centers, in a partnership with PAHO's Virtual Campus of Public Health, have designed and contributed to implement this practice.
The course contains eight modules with practical activities applying the ICD-10, as well as initial and final evaluations that are spaced over three months, in which students can work independently of the place, time and day, following a calendar with clearly defined dates and goals.
In three months of intense work, students, tutors and coordinators had a wide virtual exchange that allowed to start a cycle of five courses in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela. There is already a group of more than 350 coders and around 50 tutors in a position to take on the challenges of updating and permanently training coders without geographical, physical and physical limitations.
This activity, which today is certified by PAHO's Director through the Virtual Campus for Public Health, has been carried out at no financial cost but with a high added value. Students and teachers put at the service of an activity that enhances the production of health statistics in the countries. A task that appears to be invisible at times for users and especially politicians, and not well appreciated, which interprets an almost illegible writing listed most of the time as the only cause of death or illness, or as a sequence of causes that led to these events.
The ICD-10 code that is finally assigned by the coder ultimately allows nothing more and nothing less than to give society the full right to know the epidemiological profile of deaths and diseases that affect the population.
RELACSIS has the support of
the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)