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ACATS Codes

Data is the bedrock of ACATS. High-quality data informs high-quality decisions from the surgeon’s office to zone leadership. We have developed a variety of resources to help you understand the data, from input to interpretation. You will find information and resources on Ready to Treat, ACATS code update process and how we maintain quality and transparency in our data.

ACATS Code Book

The ACATS code book is the foundation for data generation and analysis.

Disclaimer: The ACATs codes have been developed to help surgeons, booking office staff and operational leadership understand the prioritization of wait times for surgical patients based on disease progression, pain and functional impairment. Data collected using ACATS codes are used to measure, manage and report surgical wait times. These codes are not intended to be relied on as a standard of care or to inform the standard of care.

ACATS Code Book App

ACATS has now developed a code app. This application has been designed to help you and your office select the correct ACATS code and increase the accessibility, accuracy and timeliness of searching for the correct code.

The ACATS code app is compatible with mobile android, iPhone (apple), internet explorer 10 or greater, Firefox and chrome.

ACATS Code Review Process

Evaluation Services (from 2012-13) recommended that the ACATS Team “establish an ongoing annual review of the ACATS diagnosis codes, diagnosis descriptions and suggested wait times to ensure that each service has complete and accurate code lists”. The Code Review is to ensure that the code sets are accurate, up-to-date and evolve over time. Surgeons are encouraged to submit ‘ACATS Change/Add/Delete Request’ forms for the yearly review which supports:

  • Evidence-based and current surgical best practices, for treating the right patient at the right time
  • Provincial consensus between surgical services
  • Patient-centered care

This review guides the ACATS Team through all steps/timelines and associated milestones that support the completion of all tasks required in a timely manner.

At a high level, the steps include:

  1. Collection and aggregation of code change requests
  2. ACATS team review of change requests
  3. Zone and provincial clinical code review and approval (clinical sign-off)
  4. Content Management System update, with data extract released to all OR Information Systems (ORIS)
  5. Distribution of code revision communication, code books and documentation
  6. Go-Live – April 1, (year)

You can view or download a copy of the code review process. If you have any questions or feedback, contact us.

Ready to Treat

Ready to Treat is the start date for measuring wait times. It is the date the patient is medically, socially and functionally ready. Understanding this data element is important to ensuring a high-quality data system to measure, monitor and manage wait times in Alberta. We have developed a few resources to help you understand Ready to Treat and use it effectively.