What are read codes?

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MedStudentt
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Can someone explain what these are, like I interpret them as risk factors? Is this basically what they are?
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xylas
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(Original post by MedStudentt)
Can someone explain what these are, like I interpret them as risk factors? Is this basically what they are?
My understanding is they are an efficient and standardised way of 'coding' things instead of using normal language.

For example in medicine, some practices use read codes for patient diagnoses, For example (made-up): F202 for 'fracture of right 5th distal phalanx' as opposed to writing in the notes 'broken toe'
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macpatgh-Sheldon
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Hi,

These are literally millions of codes (which are combinations of letters and digits) that specify in a unique way (in that no two read codes can refer to the same item) all symptoms, signs, diagnoses, illnesses, medical procedures, drug therapies, special investigations, etc. used in medicine.

They were introduced in the early days of computerization of medical records (using e.g. Vision by inps.co.uk OR Emis in general practice) - as a trainer of GPs in the use of Vision, I suppose I know many of these by heart e.g. G573 refers to AF (atrial fibrillation) [in general, codes beginning G refer to cardiac conditions (G66..11 is CVA [cerebro-vascular accident]), G30 is M.I., and so on],

There is a certain degree of logic and structure in these codes in that the letters sometimes are peculiar to systems, and different types of a particular disease (for example) will have codes that are similar e.g.

Acute pharyngitis (so the technical term) – code H02.. 00
Sore throat – code H02. 11
Viral sore throat - code H02. 12

AND H (respiratory system) so asthma code: H33

I hope this helps.
M
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