Medical classification, or medical coding, is the process of transforming descriptions of medical diagnoses and procedures into universal medical code numbers. The diagnoses and procedures are usually taken from a variety of sources within the health care record, such as the transcription of the physician's notes, laboratory results, radiologic results, and other sources.
Diagnosis codes are used to track diseases and other health conditions, whether they are chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus and heart disease, to contagious diseases such asnorovirus, the flu, and athlete's foot. These diagnosis and procedure codes are used by government health programs, private health insurance companies, workers' compensation carriers and others.
Medical classification systems are used for a variety of applications in medicine, public health and medical informatics, including: