The Johns Hopkins ambulatory-care coding scheme

D. M. Steinwachs, A. I. Mushlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A classification and coding system for ambulatory care problems has been developed at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and three affiliated institutions. The provider's statement of the patient's problem, as recorded on an encounter form, is kept in a computer file. Codes from the classification scheme, based on those used in four existing schemes, are automatically assigned to diagnoses, symptoms, well care services, and treatment procedures categorized by physiological system and subsystem. About 85% of recorded problems are machine codable; the remainder are alphabetized for efficient manual coding. The coding system is integrated with an overall information system that allows linkage of coded problem data to diverse data on patient and provider characteristics. Examples are given of the uses and limitations of the linked data for care evaluation, management, and clinical research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-49
Number of pages14
JournalHealth services research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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