The Need for Standardized Nomenclature in Electronic Documentation of Female Genital Cutting in Health Records

Jae Creger, Kalthum Abdikeir, Kyra Kaczmarczik, Nicole Chaisson, Crista E. Johnson-Agbakwu, Beatrice “Bean” E. Robinson, Jennifer Jo Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To evaluate the quality of Electronic Health Record (EHR) documentation practices of Female Genital Cutting (FGC) by medical providers. A retrospective chart review study of 99 patient encounter notes within the University of Minnesota health system (inclusive of 40 hospitals and clinics) was conducted. Extracted data included but was not limited to patient demographics, reason for patient visit, ICD code used in note, and provider description of FGC anatomy. Data was entered into REDCAP and categorized according to descriptive statistics. Out of 99 encounters, 45% used the unspecified code for FGC. The most common reason for patient visits was sexual pain, though many notes contained several reasons for the visit regarding reproductive, urological, or sexual concerns. 56% of visits discussed deinfibulation. 11 different terms for FGC were used, with “female circumcision” being the most common. 14 different terms for deinfibulation were found within 64 notes. 42% of encounters included a description of introitus size in the anatomical description, and only 38% of these provided a metric measurement. This study found significant variation in the quality of FGC documentation practices. Medical providers often used the unspecified FGC code, subjective and/or seemingly inaccurate descriptions of FGC/anatomy, and several different terms for both FGC and deinfibulation. Clearly, more education is needed in clinical training programs to (1) identify FGC type, (2) use the corresponding ICD code, and (3) use specific, objective descriptions (including presence/absence of structures and infibulation status).

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2024.


  • Female genital cutting
  • ICD coding
  • Medical documentation
  • Sexual pain

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


Dive into the research topics of 'The Need for Standardized Nomenclature in Electronic Documentation of Female Genital Cutting in Health Records'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this