Challenges and remediation for Patient Safety Indicators in the transition to ICD-10-CM

Andrew D. Boyd, Young Min Yang, Jianrong Li, Colleen Kenost, Mike D. Burton, Bryan Becker, Yves A. Lussier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Reporting of hospital adverse events relies on Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs) using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Edition, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes. The US transition to ICD-10-CM in 2015 could result in erroneous comparisons of PSIs. Using the General Equivalent Mappings (GEMs), we compared the accuracy of ICD-9-CM coded PSIs against recommended ICD-10-CM codes from the Centers for Medicaid/Medicare Services (CMS). We further predict their impact in a cohort of 38 644 patients (1 446 581 visits and 399 hospitals). We compared the predicted results to the published PSI related ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes. We provide the first report of substantial hospital safety reporting errors with five direct comparisons from the 23 types of PSIs (transfusion and anesthesia related PSIs). One PSI was excluded from the comparison between code sets due to reorganization, while 15 additional PSIs were inaccurate to a lesser degree due to the complexity of the coding translation. The ICD-10-CM translations proposed by CMS pose impending risks for (1) comparing safety incidents, (2) inflating the number of PSIs, and (3) increasing the variability of calculations attributable to the abundance of coding system translations. Ethical organizations addressing 'data-, process-, and system-focused' improvements could be penalized using the new ICD-10-CM Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality PSIs because of apparent increases in PSIs bearing the same PSI identifier and label, yet calculated differently. Here we investigate which PSIs would reliably transition between ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM, and those at risk of under-reporting and over-reporting adverse events while the frequency of these adverse events remain unchanged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-28
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • Adverse events
  • Clinical informatics
  • Hospitals
  • ICD-10-cm
  • Network topology
  • Patient safety indicators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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