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Pediatric Clinical Classification System for use in Canadian inpatient settings


Background — A classification system that categorizes International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) diagnosis codes into clinically meaningful categories is important for pediatric clinical and health services research using administrative data. While a Pediatric Clinical Classification System (PECCS) is available for the United States ICD-10 system (i.e, ICD-10-CM), differences in the ICD-10 system between countries limits PECCS use in Canada.

Objective — To translate PECCS from ICD-10-CM to ICD-10-CA for use in Canada (PECCS-CA), and examine the utility of PECCS-CA in administrative data of pediatric hospital encounters in Ontario, Canada.

Methods — PECCS was translated by mapping each ICD-10-CA code to its corresponding ICD-10-CM code, based on code description and alphanumeric code, using automated functions in Microsoft Excel. All unmatched ICD-10-CA codes were manually matched to an ICD-10-CM code. The ICD-10-CA codes were mapped to a PECCS category based on the placement of the corresponding ICD-10-CM code. Finally, in this cross-sectional study, the utility of PECCS-CA was examined in pediatric hospital encounters in children <18 years of age with an inpatient or same day surgery encounter, between April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2019 in Ontario.

Results — In total, 16,992 ICD-10-CA diagnosis codes were mapped to 781 mutually exclusive condition categories that included pediatric specific conditions and treatments in PECCS-CA. From the 781 categories, 777 (99.5%) were derived from the original PECCS, 3 (0.4%) from merging the original PECCS categories, and 1 (0.1%) was newly developed. The PECCS-CA was applied to health administrative data of 911,732 hospital encounters in children. The most prevalent condition in children was low birth weight (n = 54,100 encounters).

Conclusion — The PECCS-CA is an open-source classification system which maps ICD-10-CA codes into 781 clinically important pediatric categories. The PECCS-CA can be used for pediatric health services and outcomes research in Canada.



Gill PJ, Thavam T, Anwar MR, Zhu J, To T, Mahant S; Canadian Paediatric Inpatient Research Network (PIRN). PLoS One. 2022; 17(8):e0273580. Epub 2022 Aug 25.

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