Objectives for ENCODE-FM

This is a standardized tool that we believe is essential to entering useful and usable information into computer systems in a facile and "user-friendly" fashion. Once valid information is entered, it becomes accessible for analysis and for interpretation.

Individual User

  • Coded information can enhance patient care directly, as it can be associated with various decision aids.
  • It allows a physician to assess their own practice profile and to determine their CME requirements.

Systemic Users

  • Coded aggregated information on diagnoses and reasons for encounter enables an understanding of the nature of medical care provided by the primary care physicians.
  • It is the first step in assessing outcomes. Clearly there is a need to also assess the investigations and therapies provided as well, but that can only be understood on the backdrop of the initial presentation.
  • The measurement of primary care will be critically important for those participating in Primary Care Reform projects, Health Service Organizations (HSO's) and ultimately all physicians in all provinces and states.
  • As ENCODE-FM is already in use in all of Ontario's Community Health Centres (CHC's) and since Ontario is considering primary care reform now, our first target is that Province.
  • Our immediate goal is to see ENCODE-FM accepted as the standard terminology for "diagnostic codes" for Provincial service encounter databases. We foresee that it should be the Ministries of Health that would declare ENCODE-FM to be the vocabulary standard, and support appropriate guidelines for implementation in dealing with the software vendors.
  • The long term goal is to see ENCODE-FM incorporated into the electronic medical records systems of all practicing health care professionals in Ontario in such a way that the whole process of care can be described and understood. We intend to continue to market the vocabulary with the intention of it becoming not only a provincial but also a national and international standard.