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CBHI: Collaborating Centre on WHO Family of International Classifications (ICD-10, ICF & ICHI), India

The WHO Family of International Classifications (FIC)

The WHO constitution mandates the production of international classifications on health so that there is a consensual, meaningful and useful

framework, which the governments, providers and consumers can use as a common language. The WHO Family of International Classifications

provides a framework to code a wide range of information about health (e.g. diagnosis, functioning and disability, reason for contact with

health services) and uses a standardized common language permitting communication about health and health care across the world in various

disciplines and sciences. These internationally endorsed classifications facilitate the storage, retrieval, analysis, and interpretation of data in a

uniform format allowing comparability of data of a population over different periods and also between different populations. The basis for the

WHO-FIC and the principles governing the admission of classifications are set out in the paper on the “WHO-FIC”. This paper also provides a

protocol to those wishing to submit a classification for inclusion in the WHO-FIC.



International Classification of Diseases (ICD)


International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)


International Classification of Health Interventions (ICHI) – Under Development


Classifications capture snapshot views of population health using such parameters as death, disease, functionality, disability, health and health

interventions, which inform management and decision makers in the health system. Over time they also provide insight on trends, which

informs the planning and decision making processes by health authorities. The varied applications in health information systems and the general

availability of information and telecommunication technologies (ICT) have highlighted the need for increased interoperability.

The base line information that is aggregated for public health purposes is increasingly derived from health records, which contain both patient

care related information, and also information that is crucial for management, health financing and general health system administration. The

accuracy and consistency of the health records is crucial to ensure the quality of care and sound management of health systems resources. This

calls for accurate and consistent use of clinical terminologies and recognition of the particular importance of semantic interoperability. Possible

synergies between classifications and clinical terminologies have been identified crucial for future work, particularly in the perspective of a

growing automation of information processing. WHO and its network of collaborating centers are taking steps in that direction.

International Classification of Diseases (ICD)

The ICD is the international standard diagnostic classification for all general epidemiological, many of population groups and monitoring of

the incidence and prevalence of diseases and other health problems in relation to variables such as the characteristics and circumstances of

the individuals. In 1967, the World Health Assembly adopted the WHO Nomenclature Regulations that stipulate use of ICD in its most current

revision for mortality and morbidity statistics by all Member States. The currently in use the Tenth Version of ICD (ICD-10) was endorsed by the

Forty-third World Health Assembly in May 1990 and came into use in WHO Member States from 1994. It is being used to classify diseases and

other health problems recorded on many types of health and vital records including death certificates and health records. In addition to enabling

the storage and retrieval of diagnostic information for clinical, epidemiological and quality purposes, these records also provide the basis for the

compilation of national mortality and morbidity statistics by WHO Member States.

International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)

The ICF is a classification providing a unified and standard language and framework for description of health and health-related domains. These

domains are classified from body, individual and societal perspectives by means of two lists: a list of body functions and structure, and a list of

domains of activity and participation. Acknowledging that every human being can experience a decrement in health and thereby experience

some degree of disability, it measures health and disability at both individual and population levels. Since an individual’s functioning and disability

occurs in a context, the ICF also includes a list of environmental factors. Thus it ‘mainstreams’ the experience of disability and recognizes it as

a universal human experience. By shifting the focus from cause to impact it places all health conditions on an equal footing allowing their

comparability using a common metric – the ruler of health and disability. Furthermore ICF takes into account the social aspects of disability and

does not see disability only as a ‘medical’ or ‘biological’ dysfunction. By including Contextual Factors, in which environmental factors are listed

ICF allows to record the impact of the environment on the person’s functioning. The ICF was officially endorsed by all 191 WHO Member States

in the Fifty-fourth World Health Assembly on 22 May 2001(resolution WHA 54.21).

All the Health /Medical Care Institutions in India to efficiently Use ICD-10 & ICF.

For more details on WHO-FIC, kindly Visit Website

© Central Bureau of Health Intelligence, Dte. General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India.

The Central Bureau of Health Intelligence welcomes requests for permission to reproduce or translate this publication, in part or in full with due

acknowledgment. This publication is also available on website:

. Any relevant enquiry may be addressed to the office of Director,

Central Bureau of Health Intelligence, Directorate General of Health Services, 404-A – wing, Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi 110108 (India)