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Strengthening quality of care through standardized reporting based on the World Health Organization's reference classifications.


Quality issue
Responding to person's health and related needs requires the availability of health information that reflects relevant aspects of a health condition and how this health condition impacts on a person's daily life.

Initial assessment
Health information is routinely collected at different time points by diverse professionals, in different settings for various purposes with varying methods. Consequently, health information is not always comparable, posing a challenge to the regular monitoring of quality.

Choice of solution
The World Health Organization's (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD), International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), and International Classification of Health Interventions (ICHI; under development) are complementary and serve as meaningful reference classifications for comparing data on persons’ health and related interventions across health systems.

We developed a systematic approach of translating routinely collected information into a standardized report based on the three WHO reference classifications and the Rehab-Cycle®. Subsequently, we have demonstrated its application using five random case records of individuals attending a rehabilitation program.

All identified concepts were able to be linked to WHO's reference classifications. The ICF served as a tool to standardize information on rehabilitation goals and their achievement. The ICHI served as the basis for reporting the interventions that were documented in the case records, including the intervention targets that were derived from the ICF codes.

Lessons learned
Our experience shows that, it is possible to translate routinely collected information into standardized reports by linking existing narrative records with WHO's reference classifications.

More information

Journal Article
Dorjbal D
Cieza A
Gmünder HP
Scheel-Sailer A
Stucki G
Üstün BT
Prodinger B
Year of Publication
International Journal for Quality in Health Care
Publication Language

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