Cracking the Code: Management of Clinical Coding Across Wales

15 Sep 2020 - 12:00am

Our report found that Clinical Coding is still not getting the profile it needs within NHS Wales.

Clinical coding is the process of translating medical information which describes a patient’s symptoms, diagnosis and treatment into internationally and nationally recognised code which can then be used for statistical and clinical purposes.

During the current pandemic, clinical coding has played a key role in informing decisions on which patients need to shield and is key to understanding ongoing demand on healthcare services.

What we did

In 2013-14 and again in 2018-19, we examined clinical coding arrangements in the seven Welsh health boards and Velindre NHS Trust, and published the reports for each NHS body.

The report draws on our local audit work to highlight the current challenges and opportunities for clinical coding. There is the potential to use the changes made to ways of working during the pandemic to secure new and more sustainable ways of delivering coding work.

The importance of good quality information has come to the forefront during the coronavirus pandemic, now is the ideal opportunity to ensure that clinical coding has the attention that it needs as services start to be reinstated.

Adrian Crompton, Auditor General

We'd like your feedback