Clinical coding practice using ICD-10-AM/ACHI is governed by the application of the Australian Coding Standards (ACS), New Zealand Coding Conventions (NZCC) and National Minimum Dataset (NMDS) reporting requirements.
Adherence to these standards and reporting requirements promotes clinical coding consistency, which in turn results in the recording of quality NMDS data that are comparable at a national and international level.
Local rulings – that is, clinical coding rules developed at a local (DHB) level which contravenes the ACS, NZCC and NMDS reporting requirements – are not permitted.
Clinical coding units who do not adhere to the Australian Coding Standards, New Zealand Coding Conventions and NMDS reporting requirements risk producing erroneous information and changing the epidemiological profile of our patient population.
Applying ‘local coding rules’ which are not in accordance with the classification standards and NMDS reporting requirements is not complying with the Operational Policy Framework (OPF) and potentially corrupting the quality of NMDS data for analysis, research and planning and funding. Therefore, no clinical coding units should have ‘local coding rules’.
(The Operational Policy Framework is a set of business rules as well as policy and guideline principles that outline the operating functions of DHBs as agreed with the Minister of Health).
Should there be a requirement for information to be captured at a local hospital level it is recommended that other methods be used to collect this information; it must not be reported to the NMDS.