Quality

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) advances quality initiatives in all areas of the health care system in an effort to improve care delivery. Provisions in the law foster the development of evidence-based performance measures through public reporting, seek to increase transparency and improve patient education through the use of health information technology, encourage care coordination to reduce preventable complications, hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions, and more.

AAOS quality programs, such as clinical practice guidelines, appropriate use criteria, performance measures, and patient safety initiatives are created to empower orthopaedic surgeons to be leaders in quality musculoskeletal health care teams as a means to deliver value to our patients through evidence-based cost efficient practices.

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Position Statements

Important Resources

  • Clinical Practice Guidelines - Clinical practice guidelines provide evidence-based recommendations for current orthopaedic diagnostic, treatment, and postoperative procedures. Multidisciplinary clinician work groups and AAOS staff work together to synthesize published research with the aim of providing a transparent and robust summary of the research findings for a particular orthopaedic disease topic. 
  • Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) - Appropriate use criteria (AUC) provide treatment recommendations on a patient-specific level using evidence from AAOS clinical practice guidelines, along with clinician expertise and experience. A multidisciplinary clinician writing panel creates realistic patient profiles who may present with a particular orthopaedic disease in a clinical setting. A separate multidisciplinary clinician voting panel uses a modified Delphi method to rate the appropriateness of various procedures for those patient profiles.
  • Performance Measures - Orthopaedic surgeons are the most qualified professionals to develop and evaluate quality of care measures for patients with musculoskeletal conditions. It is crucial that orthopaedic surgeons retain a leadership position in defining quality of orthopaedic care. Through the Performance Measures Committee, AAOS is leading the development of orthopaedic quality measures.  
  • Patient Safety - The Patient Safety Committee serves the Academy and the public by monitoring patient safety issues and programs as they relate to orthopaedic surgery, care, and practice. The Patient Safety Committee interacts with governmental and private organizations such as the Joint Commission (TJC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop programs and materials that increase safe practices in orthopaedics.

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