WHO Promotes ICD-PM to Improve Infant Death Reporting
Every year, worldwide, millions of babies die within the first 28 days of life, and just as many are stillborn, reports the World Health Organization (WHO) in an Aug. 16 news release. Unfortunately, most stillborn babies and half of all newborn deaths are not recorded in a birth or death certificate. This lack of data prevents countries from taking effective and timely actions to prevent other babies from dying, WHO warns.
What Is ICD-PM?
ICD-PM is intended to assist healthcare providers and those charged with death certification to correctly document underlying causes of death. This will improve the information available to coders, program managers, statistical offices and academics/researchers.
There are three distinct features of ICD-PM:
- It captures the time of a perinatal death in relation to the antepartum (before the onset of labor), intrapartum (during labor, but before delivery) or neonatal period (up to day 7 of postnatal life).
- It applies a multilayered approach to the classification of cause of death. In using ICD-PM, mutually exclusive clinical conditions that lead to the identification of a single cause of perinatal death may be determined and linked with an ICD code.
- It links the contributing maternal condition, if any, with perinatal death.
Three New Guides for Using ICD-PM
WHO recently launched three publications to help countries improve their data on stillbirths and maternal and neonatal deaths using ICD-PM.
The first publication, the “WHO Application of the International Classification of Disease-10 to deaths during the perinatal period (ICD-PM),” is a standardized system for classifying stillbirths and neonatal deaths.
This guide is intended to be used with the three volumes of ICD-10. The suggested code should be verified, and possible additional information should be coded using the full ICD-10 volumes 1 and 3; rules for selection of underlying cause of death and certification of death apply in the way they are described in ICD-10 volume 2.
The second publication, “Making Every Baby Count: Audit and Review of Stillbirths and Neonatal Deaths,” is a guide to reviewing and investigating individual deaths for the purpose of recommending and implementing solutions to prevent similar ones in the future. It also incorporates ICD-PM classification to help providers complete at least a basic death review.
The third publication, “Time to respond: a report on the global implementation of maternal death surveillance and response,” explains how to strengthen the maternal mortality review process in hospitals and clinics. The document also provides guidance for establishing a safe environment for health workers to improve quality of care within clinics and an approach to recording deaths occurring outside the health system, such as when mothers deliver at home.
WHO is also participating in a global multi-partner effort to improve the quality of health information, including data on maternal and child health, through the Health Data Collaborative. More than 30 global health organizations are contributing to the development of a user-friendly package of guidance and tools designed to strengthen countries’ health information systems.
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