Speakers: Theodore White, PhD

Theodore White, PhD

Division Director and Marion Merrell Dow Endowed Professor
University of Missouri Kansas City

Theodore White, Ph.D., Fellow of AAAS, and AAM/ASM received his PhD from the University of Michigan, and did postdoctoral work at the Netherlands Cancer Institute and the University of California at San Francisco. He joined the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute and the University of Washington in Seattle, where he was promoted from Assistant to Associate to Full Professor. He joined the University of Missouri Kansas City in 2011 as Department Chair and served as Dean of the School of Biology (or Biology Chemistry) for 13 years. He is now Division Director of Biological and Biomedical Systems in the School of Science and Engineering at UMKC. In the 1980s, Dr. White worked on many parasitic protozoan including Trypanosomes, Giardia and Entamoeba. Since 1989 he has worked in human fungal pathogens, including Candida, Aspergillus, Cryptococcus and Dermatophytes. His particular area of interest is the mechanisms of drug resistance in these pathogens.

A Perspective on How Fungal Icd Codes Reflect Clinical Realities

ICD codes provide a uniform method for detailing illness and disease in patients and have become a standard tool in electronic health records (EHR).  When investigating any group of diseases by ICD, it is important to understand how the ICD codes have evolved and how they are being applied to patients with these diseases.  The ICD codes for fungal infections have been analyzed for their representation of fungal infections in the clinic.  There are significant differences when comparing the previous ICD version 9 fungal codes (56) to the current ICD version 10 fungal codes (113), twice the number of codes.  Several other issues have been identified in these fungal ICD codes including a) a fungal infection coded as a parasite, b) fungi coded with outdated nomenclature, c) important clinical conditions are missing, and d) inexperience with similar fungal names causing confusion.  It is important to be aware of the subtleties and pitfalls of two different versions of the ICD nomenclature so that accurate patient records are maintained, and so that interpretation of these codes can be analyzed appropriately. It is hoped that future versions of ICD codes can continue to improve fungal coding.