Terminology owner/maintenance organisation

Name, contact details, website

The World Health Organization

20, avenue Appia 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland


Formal name of the code system

International Classification of Diseases, 11th Revision Mortality and Morbidity Statistics (MMS)

International Classification of Diseases, 11th Revision Foundation

Short name or abbreviation of the code system name



Technical identifier/s for the code system 


Foundation Canonical

URL: http://id.who.int/icd/entity

Mortality and Morbidity Statistics (MMS) Canonical

URL: http://id.who.int/icd/release/11/mms (Updated 20210524)


Scope/domain statement for the code system

(Official or from HTA)

"The International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) is a tool for recording, reporting and grouping conditions and factors that influence health. It contains categories for diseases, health related conditions, and external causes of illness or death. The purpose of the ICD is to allow the systematic recording, analysis, interpretation and comparison of mortality and morbidity data collected in different countries or areas and at different times. The ICD is used to translate diagnoses of diseases and other health problems into an alphanumeric code, which allows storage, retrieval, and analysis of the data. The ICD has become the international standard diagnostic classification for all general epidemiological and many health management purposes. These include analysis of general health situations of population groups, monitoring of incidence and prevalence of diseases, and other health problems in relation to other variables, such as the characteristics and circumstances of the affected individuals. ICD is also suitable for studies of financial aspects of a health system, such as billing or resource allocation."

"The ICD is used in various settings with different levels of resolution ranging from a set of 100 codes to more than 10,000 codes. It therefore includes an information framework that contains a fully specified set of health concepts and their characteristics and relationships. The ICD–11 ensures consistency with traditional use cases of earlier ICD versions, because it has been built with the past revisions in mind. Past data analyses based on older versions of ICD can be linked to analyses of data based on ICD–11."

The complete reference guide, from which the above text originates, can be found here: https://icd.who.int/icd11refguide/en/index.html

A fact sheet summarizing key points regarding ICD-11 can be found here: https://icd.who.int/en/docs/icd11factsheet_en.pdf

Link to information about the code system - including how to obtain the content

"The ICD-11 is used for coding of diagnoses, in electronic health records or electronic death certificates, or in other places. Special tools facilitate finding specific ICD-11 codes for any of the several dimensions that define an ICD-11 entity or category. Additional detail can be added using multiple codes for one condition. Retaining the unique identifier of the coded ICD-11 entity allows the same information to be reused across different translations. WHO has developed the ICD web services (https://icd.who.int/icdapi); designed to support interoperable machine-to-machine interaction."

"In the browser version of the ICD, most information is interlinked and visible in the relevant context. The WHO provides this version for browsing ICD-11 in multiple languages (linked from https://icd.who.int). This tool allows the user to retrieve concepts by searching terms, anatomy or any other element of the content model. With this browser, users can also contribute to the updating and continuous improvement of ICD with comments and solutions. Such input is reviewed for consideration for inclusion on an annual basis.

ICD–11 can also be accessed using web services with user specific software. The IT guide to the ICD provides more details on compatibility requirements: https://icd.who.int/icdapi. Both the web services and the online browser allow access to all Tabular lists of the ICD, for mortality and morbidity statistics, primary care, or for a specialty linearization for certain specialized domains."

For more information regarding ICD Use in health information systems, see the reference guide section , from which the above text originates, here.

Obtaining the content

"The ICD Foundation Component

Foundation Component is a collection of ALL ICD entities like diseases, disorders... It represents the whole ICD universe. The ICD entities in the Foundation Component:

  1. are not necessarily mutually exclusive;
  2. allow multiple parenting (i.e. an entity may be in more than one branch, for example tuberculosis meningitis is both an infection and a brain disease)

The ICD11 Linearizations (Tabular lists)

A linearization is a subset of the foundation component, that is:

  1. fit for a particular purpose: reporting mortality, morbidity, primary care or other uses;
  2. composed of entities that are Mutually Exclusive of each other;
  3. each entity is given a single parent.

Linearization is similar to the classical print versions of ICD Tabular List (e.g. volume I of ICD-10 or other previous editions). The main linearization of ICD-11 is Mortality and Morbidity Statistics (MMS). Various linearizations could be built at different granularity, use case or other purposes such as for Primary Care, Clinical Care or Research. The linkage from the foundation component to a particular linearization will ensure consistent use of the ICD."

ICD-11 for Mortality and Morbidity (ICD-11 MMS) can be downloaded in either print or electronic (spreadsheet) format from the  browser in the Info tab located here: https://icd.who.int/browse11/l-m/en

Arrangement or agreements with HL7 for use of content

Version management - timing and identification of versions"Official releases of the ICD-11 MMS classification are produced annually for international use in mortality and morbidity (blue browser). A standardised process has been established to ensure that the proposed updates are collected, routed, reviewed, and duly considered before being implemented. The updating is carried out at different levels with different frequencies. Updates that impact on the 4 and 5 digit structures will be published every 5 years. Updates at a more detailed level can be published more frequently. Additions to the index can be done on an ongoing basis. Mortality and morbidity rules that have serious impact on statistics will be updated in long term cycles of 10 years."

IP Information and Licensing Information

The WHO grants a license for "commercial and non-commercial use" of ICD-11


Detailed information can be found here: https://icd.who.int/en/docs/icd11-license.pdf (updated  )

Contact licensing@who.int to obtain further information.

HL7 users of this information - which HL7 products use this link (if known)

Clinical Decision Support (CPG FHIR IG)

Process to request content change

"Any individual can submit a proposal for an update to the ICD. Such updates can refer to one or more entities of the ICD. They may address the position of entities in a tabular list, in the Foundation Component, and any element of the content model. The maintenance platform of ICD-11 (orange browser) is used for proposals and comments. Any input to ICD-11 and its components requires proper mention of sources, scientific evidence, and permission by the owner of the copyright, where applicable."

WHO's maintenance platform to contribute to ICD-11 is located here https://icd.who.int/dev11/l-m/en

Users must register for a participant account. The platform is open for comments and accepted changes will be reflected immediately.

"After creating an account, you will be able to:

  • Make comments - on the classification structure, content and its implementation
  • Make proposals to change ICD categories
  • Propose definitions of diseases
  • Participate in field testing
  • Contribute to language translations"

Other useful Information

Information current as at (date)

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1 Comment

  1. The URL was updated from "http://id.who.int/icd11/mms" to "http://id.who.int/icd/release/11/mms" based on feedback from the WHO, delivered via email from Can Celik <celikc@who.int> on 20210310

    "We’ve looked at the page with my colleagues. We believe it would better to put the title as “International Classification of Diseases 11th Revision” (i.e. without the MMS part) and then we could mention separate technical identifications for the ICD-11 Foundation and MMS

    URI for the foundation is : http://id.who.int/icd/entity

    and the URI for MMS is : http://id.who.int/icd/release/11/mms (please note the correction from your version)

    Meanwhile, we are working on a new version of the Reference Guide for ICD-11 and we could later provide some updates to the text based on that new version.

    Best Regards,