Data coding in the Israeli healthcare system - do choices provide the answers to our system's needs?.

Julian Zelingher, Nachman Ash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The IsraeLi healthcare system has undergone major processes for the adoption of health information technologies (HIT), and enjoys high Levels of utilization in hospital and ambulatory care. Coding is an essential infrastructure component of HIT, and ts purpose is to represent data in a simplified and common format, enhancing its manipulation by digital systems. Proper coding of data enables efficient identification, storage, retrieval and communication of data. UtiLization of uniform coding systems by different organizations enables data interoperability between them, facilitating communication and integrating data elements originating in different information systems from various organizations. Current needs in Israel for heaLth data coding include recording and reporting of diagnoses for hospitalized patients, outpatients and visitors of the Emergency Department, coding of procedures and operations, coding of pathology findings, reporting of discharge diagnoses and causes of death, billing codes, organizational data warehouses and national registries. New national projects for cLinicaL data integration, obligatory reporting of quality indicators and new Ministry of Health (MOH) requirements for HIT necessitate a high Level of interoperability that can be achieved only through the adoption of uniform coding. Additional pressures were introduced by the USA decision to stop the maintenance of the ICD-9-CM codes that are also used by Israeli healthcare, and the adoption of ICD-10-C and ICD-10-PCS as the main coding system for billing purpose. The USA has also mandated utilization of SNOMED-CT as the coding terminology for the ELectronic Health Record problem list, and for reporting quality indicators to the CMS. Hence, the Israeli MOH has recently decided that discharge diagnoses will be reported using ICD-10-CM codes, and SNOMED-CT will be used to code the cLinical information in the EHR. We reviewed the characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of these two coding systems. In summary, the adoption of ICD-10-CM is in line with the USA decision to abandon ICD-9-CM, and the Israeli heaLthcare system could benefit from USA heaLthcare efforts in this direction. The Large content of SNOMED-CT and its sophisticated hierarchical data structure will enable advanced cLinicaL decision support and quality improvement applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-271, 309
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'Data coding in the Israeli healthcare system - do choices provide the answers to our system's needs?.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this