Overview of ENCODE-FM


Electronic Nomenclature and Classification Of Disorders and Encounters for Family Medicine

ENCODE-FM is a systematic and hierarchical controlled clinical terminology for family medicine, intended for use in electronic medical records incorporated into the software of any vendor. It was derived from our knowledge of ICPC, ICD-10, and our aggregate 60-year clinical family medicine experience. Development occurred over a period of approximately ten years and was initially presented internationally at the Symposium on Computer Applications in Medical Care (SCAMC) 1991 under its original name SIN-FM. The product was subsequently enhanced in order to be the standard terminology for the national database of the College of Family Physicians of Canada "Clinical Practice Management Network".

ENCODE-FM has been designed expressly for use at point of service in primary care. It addresses the issues of ease of data entry and accuracy of aggregate data retrieval in its design, the mapping to other classifications, and choice of words and terms. Published research (use links)(J. Amer. Medical Informatics Assoc. 3(3): 224-233, 1996; J. Amer. Medical Informatics Assoc., Symposium Supplement 1995, Vol 20: 135-139. 1996.) has shown that none of the large nomenclatures (each over 100,000 terms) intended to cover the whole health care system, describe all clinical content or even all diseases. Alternatively, ENCODE-FM was designed to do one part of that task well - namely to be a CLINICAL terminology of ONLY symptoms, complaints, diagnoses, disorders and reasons for encounter for use in primary care electronic records. It is intended to facilitate data entry by the caregiver, and to allow data aggregation by the 3 internationally recognized classifications of disease used most commonly in primary care ICPC, ICD-10, and ICD09CM.

It was also designed to be an evolving terminology, so that as the terminology and usage of medical terms changes, ENCODE can be readily updated with the changes. ENCODE-FM currently contains 9378 terms.

The complete ENCODE-FM nomenclature is available in .pdf format  for downloading by
"RIGHT clicking" the link and "SAVING AS" ..