ICHI differs from the interventions classifications that some countries have developed for use in hospitals and casemix financing systems. Two major advantages are:
- ICHI includes interventions across the entire health system, and includes mental health, primary care, allied health, functioning support, rehabilitation, traditional medicine and public health. National classifications generally only cover diagnostic, medical, surgical interventions.
- Despite the broad scope, ICHI contains only some 8,000 stem codes. Detail can be added as needed using a range of extension codes.
ICHI is designed to be used as a classification where a country requires one, as a structure for international comparisons, and to provide interventions in areas not covered by national classifications. As well, many national classifications now face difficulties, possibly from excessive size or inadequate space for new interventions. There is significant potential for ICHI to replace, possibly with adaptation, national classifications.
NCCH experts have played central roles in building ICHI as a flexible classification, with extension codes able to be applied to the limited number of stem codes to meet specific requirements for detail. They are well placed to work with countries to identify national priorities and identify the ICHI pathways to meet them.
The coding guidelines developed to date for ICHI are designed for general use. Countries will often have specific coding rules to reflect national requirements such as a casemix based financing system. NCCH has long experience in developing coding standards and adapting them over time to respond to issues that arise as the classification is used, and in ensuring that the priorities of different stakeholders are taken into account and reconciled.
ICHI is designed for use with the ICD and the ICF. Many national interventions classifications include diagnostic information, duplicating ICD content. NCCH has expertise in all three classifications and is well placed to build applications using the various classification efficiently and avoiding duplication.
NCCH can present the broad strategic arguments for use of ICHI and to identify a clear forward for implementation. At the same time, NCCH experts can advise on the fine detail of implementation. NCCH thus offers capacity to develop the ICHI use case and then implement the chosen path.