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ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS classification system

The ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS classification system is used for classifying admitted patient care and comprises the following:

  • International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision, Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM) – used to classify diseases, injuries and related health problems
  • Australian Classification of Health Interventions (ACHI) – used to classify surgeries, therapies and health interventions
  • Australian Coding Standards (ACS) – guidelines for nationally consistent application of ICD-10-AM and ACHI.

ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS is used in public and private hospitals in Australia to classify episodes of admitted patient care:

The ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS classification system is currently updated every three years along with the Australian Refined Diagnosis Related Groups (AR-DRG) classification to ensure they are fit for purpose and remain clinically current. 

ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS is used for all admitted episodes of care including acute, newborn, mental health, subacute and non-acute care.

ICD-10-AM is also used for:

Classification of diseases

The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) is the foundation of health statistics. The tenth revision of ICD (ICD-10) is an alphanumeric classification and contains codes for diseases, signs and symptoms, abnormal findings, social factors and external causes of mortality or morbidity. In Australia, ICD-10 is used to classify causes of death.

Developed by the World Health Organization, ICD sets the international standard for reporting diseases and health conditions. It is used globally by clinicians, clinical coders, policymakers, researchers and many others. 

It is also used to monitor the health of a population, to plan how health services are delivered and detect changing disease patterns.

Use of the classifications

Coded data using ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS underpins the AR-DRG classification system. 

The process of classifying or 'coding' involves the translation of information (diagnoses and interventions) from the patient health record into alphanumeric codes within ICD-10-AM and ACHI.

At the conclusion of a patient's episode of care, a clinical coder reviews the patient's healthcare record (the primary source of data for coding) and abstracts information recorded by clinicians to assign codes for the principal diagnosis, additional diagnoses and interventions performed in accordance with the ACS guidelines.

As coded data is used for multiple purposes, it is essential that coding is accurate and consistent with guidance provided in the ACS to produce meaningful statistics.

Users of the classification system include clinical coders, clinicians, researchers, epidemiologists, public health officials, state and territory health agencies, health funds, public and private hospitals, health economists and statisticians.