Tips to Find the Correct ICD-10 Code

June 23, 2017

Firstly, let us talk about the definition of ICD-10 itself. ICD-10 which stands for International Classification of Diseases Tenth Edition is the standard diagnostic tool for epidemiology, health management and clinical purposes. It has been translated into 43 languages and used by physicians, nurses, health information managers, researchers, and others to classify diseases.

This tool classifies the diseases, injuries and many others into codes. From its definition and function, we definitely know that it is a great tool that has ever made. You may need to search for the code sometimes. However, if you do not have any tips, you may go wrong. So, here are several tips to find the correct ICD-10 code and the way to use the ICD-10 code lookup tool.

  1. Prepare the Stuff Well

First thing to do is to prepare what you will access. You will need the Alphabetical Index of diagnostic terms and the Tabular List of ICD-10 codes plus their descriptors. It is organized alphanumerically from A00.0 to Z99.89. The tabular list is divided into two chapters based on body part or condition. You can download them anyway.

  1. Look Up the Patient Condition in the Alphabetic Index
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The medical terms that you are looking for may not be one of the main terms in that index. It is usually listed under of those main terms. So, you have to be careful. The term will come from the general one to the specific ones.

  1. Check the Tabular List

You may find the code in the alphabetical index, but check it again in the tabular list. There might be several special instructions that are important.

  1. Check the Guidelines at the Beginning of the Chapter

You also need to check the guidelines at the beginning of any chapter of the tabular list. For example, in the section M00-M99 entitled Diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue, you will find a note said: use an external cause code following the code for the musculoskeletal condition, if applicable, to identify the cause of the musculoskeletal condition.

In addition, here are some tips for using the ICD-10 code lookup tool.

  1. Search of ICD-10 Medical Diagnosis Codes
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There are a number of code lookup tools, choose the easiest one that allows for a fast search and there are no further clicks involved or pages to load.

  1. Search by Code Number of Keywords

Most ICD-10 code lookup tool is very flexible. You can search for single or multiple keywords or using ICD-10 code numbers. However, the multiple keywords searches may only be updated after you finished typing a whole keyword. So, you have to note it to get the correct data.

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