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Emergency Department ICD-10-AM Principal Diagnosis Short List

In 2013 the Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority (IHACPA) initiated a review to assess long term options for classification of emergency care services for activity based funding in Australia. The review aimed to drive efficiency and effectiveness of emergency care services through pricing and funding, while considering the collection of data that supports clinical care and other uses such as quality improvement, epidemiological monitoring and health services research.

The review recommended the development of a new emergency care classification that focused on a diagnosis based classification to ultimately replace the Urgency Related Groups (URGs) and Urgency Disposition Groups (UDGs) – both of which use a triage category to indicate the level of complexity for a presentation. The review also revealed strong support for a consistent approach to the national reporting of a principal diagnosis for Emergency Department presentations.

In response to the review, the Emergency Department ICD-10-AM Principal Diagnosis Short List (ED Short List) was developed in 2015 and adheres to classification principles approved by Emergency Care Advisory Working Group. The ED Short List went through a public consultation process which was reviewed and further refined by IHACPA with the assistance of two Health Information Managers.

The ED Short List replaces previous reporting inconsistencies whereby states and territories would report principal diagnosis using various code sets, including the:

  • Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine – Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT)
  • International Classification of Diseases – Ninth Revision – Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM)
  • International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems – Tenth Revision – Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM), various editions.

IHACPA also developed a mapping file between the ED Short List and full ICD‑10‑AM code set. The ED Short List mapping file contains licensed material from ICD-10-AM and is therefore not available on the IHACPA website. The mapping file can be provided to stakeholders upon request, whereby verification of licensing agreements for ICD‑10‑AM will be required. 

A range of material to support the implementation and use of the ED Short List is available below.

The Emergency Department ICD-10-AM Eleventh Edition Principal Diagnosis Short List was endorsed by the national data governance committee in December 2018 for inclusion in the 2019–20 Non-Admitted Patient Emergency Department Care National Minimum Data Set (NAPEDC NMDS). The Eleventh Edition ED Short List should be used for 2020–21, 2021–22 and 2022–23 data submissions.

In March 2020 and February 2021, the Eleventh Edition ED Short List was updated to classify coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and adverse effects to the COVID-19 vaccinations. In April 2022, the Eleventh Edition ED Short List was updated to include additional codes for mental and behavioural disorders due to psychoactive substance use, poisoning, sunburn and COVID-19. 

Any enquiries related to the ED Short List should be directed to

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