PECARN Tools
revised
2/9/17

Performance Measures

A link to Hospital-based Performance Measures Toolbox

ICD-Based Diagnosis
Grouping System (DGS) for child ED visits

Check Mark Download the Grouping System (DGS) - SAS VERSION
(zip file for SAS)

Check Mark Download the Grouping System (DGS) - EXCEL VERSION
(zip file for Excel)

Emergency department visits continue to increase each year in the United States, with nearly a quarter of these visits incurred by children. Yet there has been no good way to group pediatric emergency care diagnoses in a clinically meaningful way for reporting, research, recognizing patterns of disease, and minimizing unimportant variation in diagnosis coding.

The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9) is a readily available, familiar, and widely utilized system, however, the ICD-9 system is cumbersome in that it includes over 8,000 diagnoses and its diagnosis categories are not clinically sensible for pediatric diseases. For example, “diseases of the respiratory system” includes such disparate diagnoses as pharyngitis and asthma while “diseases of the nervous system and sense organs” contain both seizures and otitis media.

As a result of these needs, we created an ICD-based Diagnosis Grouping System (DGS) for child ED visits that is:

  1. clinically sensible with regard to how diagnoses are grouped;
  2. comprehensive in accounting for nearly all diagnoses occurring in pediatric emergency medicine; and
  3. parsimonious in that the number of groups developed is acceptable for descriptive and analytic purposes.

The grouping system is available for SAS users and/or Excel users as two separate "zip" files located above.

For questions contact:

Evaline Alessandrini, MD
Content Advisor

Sally Jo Zuspan
Technical Assistance


This project was made possible by Grant H34MC02547 from the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).