As the hours count down
It’s hard to believe
That we’ve finally made it
To ICD-10 Eve

Our journey to get here
Hasn’t been without strife
As the US has clung
To ICD-9 for dear life

Letting go can be hard
And change can be tough
But in the modern medical world
ICD-9 just isn’t enough

Unlike a fine wine
That gets better with time
ICD-9 has aged poorly—
It’s way past its prime

Sure, we’ll always remember
The good times we had together—
The diagnoses we coded
Before we knew any better

But now, we have the power
To diagnose with detail
And finding ICD-9 codes to match
Is a mission destined to fail

Its outdated terminology
Simply isn’t up to par
With a medical community
That has advanced so far

Its lack of coding options
Does not afford
The degree of specificity
That we all must record

Since its birth in the ’70s
ICD-9 hasn’t changed
To accommodate patient diagnoses
Of a much broader range

Its five-character code structure
Can’t even shed light
On whether the patient’s condition
Is on the left side, or the right

And forget about encounter type
Or external cause
Not accounting for these details
Is one of ICD-9’s many flaws

But the seven-character code structure
In ICD-10
Allows providers to capture
Who, What, Where, Why, and When?

And with a coding library
So varied and vast
ICD-10 takes us into the future
And out of the past

Back in the disco era
13,000 codes did suffice
But continuing to use ICD-9
Would come at a hefty price

Like it or not
The age of data is here
To stay relevant, we need to track it
In a way that’s consistent and clear

And by doing so in a format
That is easy to share
We can collaborate across the globe
To improve patient care

On that crucial front
ICD-9 falls quite short
Which is why this transition
Is of such great import

Saying goodbye
Is a hard thing to do
But the time has come
To bid ICD-9 adieu

So long, ICD-9
You’ve had a great run
But it’s time to step down
Your work here is done

By those you leave behind
You surely will be missed
And undoubtedly some
Will continue to resist

But no matter how hard they fight
They will not succeed
In stopping this change
That we so desperately need

So, out with the old
And in with the new
Hello, ICD-10
Nice to finally meet you