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What are Diagnosis, Procedures, Pharmaceutical and Topgraphical Codes?

Diagnosis Codes

In medicine, Diagnostic codes are used to group and identify diseases, disorders, symptoms, and medical signs, and are used to measure morbidity and mortality.

Commonly used diagnosis coding systems

  • ICD-9-CM (volumes 1 and 2 only. Volume 3 contains Procedure codes)

  • ICD-10


  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (psychiatric disorders only)

  • Mendelian Inheritance in Man (genetic diseases only)

  • SNOMED (D axis)

Procedure Codes

Procedure codes are numbers or alphanumeric codes used to identify specific health interventions taken by medical professionals.

Examples of procedure codes


  • International Classification of Procedures in Medicine (ICPM) and International Classification of Health Interventions (ICHI)

North American

  • Health Care Procedure Coding System (including Current Procedural Terminology) (used in United States)

  • ICD-10 Procedure Coding System (ICD-10-PCS) (used in United States)

  • ICD-9-CM Volume 3 (subset of ICD-9-CM) (used in United States)

  • Canadian Classification of Health Interventions (CCI) (used in Canada. Replaced CCP.)

  • Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC) (used in United States)

  • SNOMED (P axis)(english only, translations available but not useful)


  • OPS-301 (adaptation of ICPM used in Germany)

  • OPCS-4 (used in England)

  • Classification des Actes Médicaux (CCAM) (used in France)


Australian Classification of Health Interventions (ACHI)

Pharmaceutical Codes

Pharmaceutical codes are used in medical classification to uniquely identify medication. Examples of coding systems include:

  1. Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System (AT, or ATC/DDD) - administered by World Health Organization

  2. National Drug Codes (NDC) - administered by Food and Drug Administration

  3. SNOMED - C axis

Topographical Codes

In medicine, "Topographical codes" (or "topography code") are codes that indicate a specific location in the body.


Only the first of these is a system dedicated only to topography. The others are more generalized systems that contain topographic axes.

  • Nomina Anatomica (updated to Terminologia Anatomica)

  • ICD-O


  • MeSH (the 'A' axis)


All text of this article available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).

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