Medical Coding Resources at the National Library of Medicine® (NLM®)

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) responds to more than 100,000 questions each year. Regularly asked questions become Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). NLM Reference and Consumer Health FAQs are at We review and update our FAQs frequently. The FAQ resources include national and international government agencies and non-profit organizations. One of our FAQs is about medical codes.

Medical codes are used in medical records at doctors’ and dentists’ offices, insurance companies, hospital records, and other health care services. The FAQ: Medical Codes, is at .

The Medical Codes FAQ lists eight major coding systems used by US and international health care providers. The coding systems include the

• ICD: International Classification of Diseases. There is also a link to information about the ICD-10.
• CPT: Current Procedural Terminology
• DSM-IV-TR: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision

This FAQ explains what each coding system is, who uses it, and provides a link to the code. NLM has a major medical coding source used by researchers worldwide: the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS).

Send your comments about these resource or research assistance questions to [email protected] or use our contact form at .

Cynthia Burke, MLS, AHIP
Reference Librarian
National Library of Medicine
The National Library of Medicine is part of the National Institutes of Health,
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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