Education Outcomes

Leveraging ICD-10 codes can improve patient education

SONIFI Health By SONIFI Health
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August 29, 2019

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What are ICD-10 Codes?

ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision) is the system used by physicians and healthcare providers to classify and code all diagnoses, symptoms and procedures recorded with acute and ambulatory care in the United States. The system was designed and updated by Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). Patients are able to receive more accurate education based on the codes and both private insurance companies and CMS reimburse on the codes provided from the patient’s care.1

ICD is important to maintain a common language for reporting and monitoring diseases, it also allows for a standardization between hospitals, regions and countries over time.

There are 68,000 diagnosis codes2 and over 70,000 procedure codes3 in the ICD-10. The goal for the update from the past coding system to the new one was to have better and more accurate data collection.

How Can Hospitals Utilize ICD-10 Codes for Education?

SONIFI Health collaborates with education content and hospitals to build a base of education tied to an indicator in the patient’s EMR, such as Care Plans or Orders. SONIFI Health continues to build on current indicators and looks toward creating a future with the ability to tie education to patient ICD-10 codes. The patient would benefit by having targeted and priority education available when they are ready to receive it.

For example, a patient coming into the hospital with chest pain will receive a corresponding ICD-10 code depending on the origin of the chest pain. Once the code is initiated the patient is assigned the appropriate education through the interactive television or tablet according to the code and video that are tied together. If this same patient then has a cardiac procedure another code is initiated, and the corresponding video is assigned to the patient. This system of placing videos with the patient’s corresponding codes helps ensure the patient is receiving education according to priority.

A patient that has a chronic disease process upon entering the hospital may not need education on disease management, but instead, this patient will need the education on the disease process, new medications and lifestyles changes required for the new diagnosis. More specific and targeted education is the benefit the patient receives from the ICD-10 codes. The benefits received by the hospitals and healthcare providers are that accurate codes receive accurate reimbursements. The benefits for the community and the public are more accurate data collections on disease process and trends to assist with care and prevention, such as preparing the most accurate flu vaccination for an upcoming season.

The future of ICD codes will be expanding to encompass more procedures and better-defined diagnoses. As a result, patients can have improved and more timely education. In the meantime, SONIFI Health will continue to provide the seamless bridge for patients to receive their education on a priority basis for the benefit of patients and hospitals.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM). Retrieved from
  2. Ferguson, J. (2019, Feb 20). ICD-10 PCS: Harnessing the Power of Procedure Codes. Retrieved from HealthCatalyst:
  3. ICD.Codes. (2015, Oct 29). The switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10: When and why. Retrieved from

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