While teaching the inpatient and outpatient boot camps, I often receive questions regarding ICD-10. One of them that sticks out in my mind is, “What about E codes? Are they still going to look the same?” So I decided to do some research.
How will we refer to the “external cause” or E codes (as we commonly refer to them) to report the “how” and “where” when we switch to ICD-10?
In ICD-10, external cause codes are renamed “External causes of morbidity,” and you can find them in chapter 20 of the tabular list. Instead of starting with an “E,” these external cause codes now start at V01 and run through Y99. Therefore, we may want to refer to them as V, W, X, Y, Z codes now. LOL (laugh out loud).
They are external causes for injuries, poisonings, and adverse effects so I guess we could refer to them as “E” codes still, however that may cause confusion as the “E” now represents chapter 4: Endocrine, nutritional and Metabolic disorders (E00-E90).
So, we will have to come up with another way to reference the series of codes that we now know as E-codes and may have to refer to them simply as external cause codes. Do you have an interesting and creative suggestion as to what we might nickname them in the future?