Never heard of medical coding classification systems before? They’re easier to understand than you may think. Here’s a quick guide to get you up to speed with them, and give you a good grounding in how they work. It’s good information to have under your belt if you want to go into medical coding training with us.

What Is Medical Coding?

In short, medical coding is the process of translating various medical conditions and procedures into universal medical code numbers. These numbers go into a patient’s health care record, making it easier to note down what’s happened with that patient’s care. For example, they could be in physicians’ notes, or on lab results.

There are a few different ways the codes can be used within the health care system. These include:

  • Statistical analysis of various illnesses and diseases
  • Reimbursement, to track medical claims in insurance systems
  • Direct surveillance of outbreaks of certain diseases

medical coding training

Major Medical Coding Classification Systems Types

There are several medical coding systems, which can change depending on your location. In the US, there are two major coding systems in use.


The International Classification of Disease, or ICD, is the most widely used coding system in the world. It was originally designed to track mortality and morbidity rates. It has been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is currently in its 10th iteration. The US has been slow to update to version 10 however, so morbidity rates with the rest of the world can’t be compared as of yet.


The Systemized Nomenclature of Medicine (SNOMED) is the most widely recognized coding system in medicine. It’s designed to help experts see comparisons and similarities in medical issues across the globe. It’s most often referred to as a reference terminology, and currently has more than 311,000 active concepts. It can be used by anyone with an Affiliate license and is often used for humanitarian or charity projects.


Both SNOMED and the ICD have their advantages and disadvantages. SNOMED is designed as an input code, rather than a retrieval one. That means that it’s easy to collect data in it, but it’s not as helpful for research. ICD is better for tracking trends in medicine, as it doesn’t ‘lump’ certain conditions together the way SNOMED does. That means that conditions don’t get lost in the system, and better links can be made.

Other Medical Coding Classification Systems

There are other coding systems within the medical field, that help clinicians make diagnoses and treat patients. These can include:

  • Diagnostic systems: There are certain systems for classifying certain types of illnesses. The most well-known one would be the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
  • Genetic codes: The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man tracks genetic codes across the globe.
  • Drugs: There are several codes that classify the drugs that are currently available, including the RxNorm system.

There are much more that you may come across if you begin a career in medicine, but these will depend on which field you enter.

How You Can Train For A Career In Medical Coding

Do you want to get started in a career in medicine? Then train for medical procedure code. It will stand you in good stead wherever you want to go in your career.

The best place to get started is in medical billing. You’ll have to handle medical codes from every department, so you’ll soon have a full working knowledge of the system that can help you progress.

At ITI Technical College, we can help you get started on the road to success. Contact us today for more information. We’ll give you a solid grounding in medical code, and you’ll graduate with the skills to work wherever you want. We care about the success of our students.

If you want to start learning, get in touch today. We’ll put you on the road to a better career.

For more information about graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website: