I wrote about the origins of the International Classification of Disease (ICD) in a previous post. The original classification described causes of deaths and was first presented and approved at the congress of the International Statistical Institute (ISI).
I checked out the schedule for the last conference of the ISI in Brazil in 2015 and was impressed by the breadth of topics (and intrigued by one topic – neurostatistics). It is particularly interesting to note that ICD which has led to the creation of diagnoses and influenced the lives of clinicians and patients alike was born in a statistical congress in 1893.
The mission statement of the International Statistical Institute is stated thus:
‘Founded in 1885, the International Statistical Institute (ISI) is among the oldest scientific societies. Its mission is to promote the understanding, development and good practice of statistics worldwide‘.
The society for advancing the study of a branch of mathematics has generated one of the most significant changes to clinical practice in the last few hundred years. I still don’t properly understand the details of how this was actualised but the longevity of ICD is testimony to the utility of a statistical (as well as clinical) underpinning.
I found it interesting that the statistical underpinnings are also referenced in the discussion of SNOMED-CT® by Schulz and colleagues
‘Health statistics over time should be affected as minimally as possible by changes in the underlying coding vocabulary. ICD has evolved for more than 120 years, which explains most of its structure, especially the single-hierarchy principle‘
Appendix A – Other Posts in the Series on Health Information Exchanges
Appendix B – Definition of Health Information Exchange
This is the definition of the Health Information Exchange that I use (Hersh et al, 2015)
‘Health information exchange (HIE), the electronic sharing of clinical information across the boundaries of health care organizations‘
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