Embedding Nursing Interventions into the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Health Interventions (ICHI)

Nicola Fortune, Nicholas R Hardiker, Gillian Strudwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The International Classification of Health Interventions, currently being developed, seeks to span all sectors of the health system. Our objective was to test the draft classification’s coverage of interventions commonly delivered by nurses, and propose changes to improve the utility and reliability of the classification for aggregating and analyzing data on nursing interventions.

Materials and methods: A 2-phase content mapping method was used: (1) three coders independently applied the classification to a dataset comprising 100 high-frequency nursing interventions; (2) the coders reached consensus for each intervention and identified reasons for initial discrepancies.

Results: A consensus code was found for 80 of the 100 source terms; for 34% of these, the code was semantically equivalent to the source term, and for 64% it was broader. Issues that contributed to discrepancies in Phase 1 coding results included concepts in source terms not captured by the classification, ambiguities in source terms, and uncertainty of semantic matching between “action” concepts in source terms and classification codes.

Discussion: While the classification generally provides good coverage of nursing interventions, there remain a number of content gaps and granularity issues. Further development of definitions and coding guidance is needed to ensure consistency of application.

Conclusion: This study has produced a set of proposals concerning changes needed to improve the classification. The novel method described here will inform future health terminology and classification content coverage studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)722-728
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA
Issue number4
Early online date11 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


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