IMO adds new terminology content in response to coronavirus outbreak

Our new content update adds robust terminology for diagnoses related to the international public health emergency surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, allowing providers to easily and accurately document the disease in affected patients.

Over the past few weeks, the IMO Terminology Solutions team has been immersed in the essential tasks of curating, validating, and now releasing updated content to address the recent coronavirus outbreak (2019-nCoV). Emerging infections and new diseases often require new language for health systems to properly identify and respond to the threat, and IMO was (and remains) uniquely positioned to ensure that the necessary terminology is quickly identified and disseminated throughout the US.

In order for clinicians to accurately record a patient’s diagnosis or condition, the proper terms must be accessible in their health information systems, such as electronic health records (EHRs). In a fast-moving, first-of-its-kind situation such as this, time is also of the essence.

The first case of 2019-nCoV was reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 31, 2019. Since then, the deadly coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has spread to over 6,000 people worldwide and claimed more than 130 lives. Here in the US, five cases have been confirmed in four states.

To help clinicians with the important task of documentation, new and updated novel coronavirus terminology has been included in the January IMO Core (formerly Problem IT) content release. Each of the 15 new diagnosis descriptions are mapped to the most appropriate ICD-10-CM and SNOMED CT® codes to ensure accurate billing, reporting, and where appropriate, triggering of clinical decision support rules. IMO’s terminology also allows for accurate case identification, tracking, and management of novel coronavirus patients.

“It is critical in a potential epidemic/pandemic situation that clinical information be captured with the most specificity possible. IMO has quickly made available detailed descriptions relating to coronavirus that will allow clinicians to accurately document exposure, infection, and complications in affected patients,” said Steven Rube, MD, FAMIA, IMO’s Vice President of Customer Experience. “This differentiates IMO from the standard and administrative terminologies that often only provide more generic or abstract terms when a condition is newly described.”

Customers who utilize IMO’s cloud-based terminology APIs will have immediate access upon release. IMO recommends that those leveraging legacy delivery models should follow their existing file load process to update and utilize the content as soon as possible.

The IMO team will continue to monitor the situation, as we do with all content processes, and provide updates as required. If you have any questions, please contact or our integrated service desk at

Ideas are meant for sharing.

Sign up today and have Ideas delivered straight to your inbox.

Latest Ideas​

Explore our blog for answers to frequently asked questions about CPT® codes, including their use, maintenance, and categories.
Struggling with data standardization in health tech? Discover how IMO Precision Normalize can seamlessly integrate with your tech stack.
A recent HIMSS Market Insights survey underscores significant gaps leaders face in managing data quality in healthcare.

IMO is now IMO Health

New name. New logo. Same unwavering commitment to data quality in healthcare.