ICPC-2 PLUS: the BEACH coding system

ICPC-2 PLUS overview

ICPC-2 PLUS (also known as the BEACH coding system) is a clinical terminology classified to the International Classification of Primary Care, Version 2 (ICPC-2). ICPC-2 PLUS is a user-friendly coding system, allowing health professionals to record symptoms, diagnoses (problem labels), past health problems and processes (such as procedures, counselling and referrals) at the point of care. ICPC-2 PLUS can be used in age-sex disease registers, morbidity registers and full electronic health records in primary care. It currently contains approximately 8,000 terms that are commonly used in Australian general practice.

ICPC-2 PLUS is primarily used in Australia. It is installed in various software packages and used in electronic health record (EHR) systems by approximately 3,200 GPs in more than 500 practices throughout Australia. It is also used in research projects, including the BEACH (Bettering the Evaluation And Care of Health) program, the national study of general practice activity. The terminology is therefore often referred to as the BEACH coding system.

The terminology is maintained and regularly updated by the Family Medicine Research Centre (FMRC), at the University of Sydney. Users of ICPC-2 PLUS are actively involved in the ongoing development of the terminology.

Obtaining ICPC-2 PLUS

If you are developing a software program, either for clinical or research purposes, and would like to consider using the ICPC-2 PLUS terminology, see the Developers section of the website.

If you are purchasing an EHR system that incorporates ICPC-2 PLUS and would like to use it for coding your health information, see the End Users section of the website.