Validating the use of ICD-9 code mapping to generate injury severity scores

Ross J. Fleischman, N. Clay Mann, Mengtao Dai, James F. Holmes, N. Ewen Wang, Jason Haukoos, Renee Y. Hsia, Thomas Rea, Craig D. Newgard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The Injury Severity Score (ISS) is a measure of injury severity widely used for research and quality assurance in trauma. Calculation of ISS requires chart abstraction, so it is often unavailable for patients cared for in nontrauma centers. Whether ISS can be accurately calculated from International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes remains unclear. Our objective was to compare ISS derived from ICD-9 codes with those coded by trauma registrars. This was a retrospective study of patients entered into 9 U.S. trauma registries from January 2006 through December 2008. Two computer programs, ICDPIC and ICDMAP, were used to derive ISS from the ICD-9 codes in the registries. We compared derived ISS with ISS hand-coded by trained coders. There were 24,804 cases with a mortality rate of 3.9%. The median ISS derived by both ICDPIC (ISS-ICDPIC) and ICDMAP (ISS-ICDMAP) was 8 (interquartile range [IQR] = 4'13). The median ISS in the registry (ISS-registry) was 9 (IQR = 4'14). The median difference between either of the derived scores and ISS-registry was zero. However, the mean ISS derived by ICD-9 code mapping was lower than the hand-coded ISS in the registries (1.7 lower for ICDPIC, 95% CI [1.7, 1.8], Bland'Altman limits of agreement = - 10.5 to 13.9; 1.8 lower for ICDMAP, 95% CI [1.7, 1.9], limits of agreement = - 9.6 to 13.3). ICD-9-derived ISS slightly underestimated ISS compared with hand-coded scores. The 2 methods showed moderate to substantial agreement. Although hand-coded scores should be used when possible, ICD-9-derived scores may be useful in quality assurance and research when hand-coded scores are unavailable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-14
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Trauma Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


  • ICD-9
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Injury severity
  • Methodologyresearch concepts
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency
  • Critical Care
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


Dive into the research topics of 'Validating the use of ICD-9 code mapping to generate injury severity scores'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this