Published 9/26/2018

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Joint Commission collaborate to help further standardize care and quality improvement in hip and knee replacement surgeries

[REVISED November 1, 2018: The AJRR will become the sole pathway for meeting The Joint Commission’ THKR certification registry requirement effective July 1, 2019.

ROSEMONT, Ill. (September 26, 2018)—The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) has announced collaboration with The Joint Commission to incorporate AAOS clinical expertise into standards development and performance measurement requirements for Total Hip and Knee Replacement (THKR) Certification. The Joint Commission established the voluntary advanced certification in 2016 for accredited hospitals, critical access hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) seeking to elevate the quality, consistency and safety of their services and patient care.
Through the new collaboration, the AAOS and The Joint Commission will jointly oversee scientific issues, performance measurement, quality improvement activities, education, data sharing and research related to the certification—with continued commitment to constantly assessing and evaluating quality for the safety and benefit of orthopaedic patients. This includes, as of January 1, 2019, implementation of a new THKR certification requirement for hospitals and ASCs to participate in a national registry, like the American Joint Replacement Registry (AJRR), to further help standardize care and quality improvement in hip and knee replacements. [REVISED November 1, 2018] Effective July 1, 2019, the AJRR will become the sole pathway for meeting The Joint Commission’s THKR certification registry requirement.
Awarded for a two-year period, the THKR certification addresses the growing number of patients undergoing total hip or total knee replacement surgeries, and increases focus on clinical evidence-based patient care as it relates to pain management, quality of life issues, functional limitation in mobility and return to normal daily activities. It provides hospitals and ASCs performing orthopaedic procedures with a framework and pathway for improving patient outcomes by:
  • establishing a consistent approach to care, reducing variation and the risk of error;
  • supporting collaboration of teams across the continuum of care; and,
  • demonstrating commitment to a higher standard of clinical service.
To receive certification, organizations must successfully undergo a rigorous onsite review by Joint Commission experts to evaluate compliance with advanced disease-specific care standards and total hip and total knee replacement requirements, including orthopaedic consultation, and pre-operative, intraoperative and post-surgical orthopaedic surgeon follow-up care.
The AAOS is the world’s largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AJRR is the Academy’s hip and knee replacement registry, and the cornerstone of its larger Registry Program. As the world’s largest national registry of hip and knee joint replacement data based on annual procedure counts, with more than 1.4 million procedures contained within its database, the AJRR is a leading source of quality improvement information.
“The Academy continues to make great strides in serving our profession, and reaffirming its strategic commitment to provide the highest quality in musculoskeletal care,” says AAOS President David A. Halsey, MD. “Last fall, we pledged to create a national family of clinical data registries for a broad range of orthopaedic conditions and procedures. We started with the reintegration of the AJRR into the AAOS as we continue to grow the family of registries. This collaboration with The Joint Commission, and the THKR program, is a practical way for us to even better equip orthopaedic surgeons to continue to advance the quality of musculoskeletal care.”
“Organizations that achieve The Joint Commission’s already rigorous Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement Certification will gain an even stronger foundation for ensuring highly reliable high-quality care and outcomes for their patients through the Academy’s collaboration with our program,” says David Baker, MD, executive vice president, Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation, The Joint Commission.
“The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is the world’s preeminent provider of musculoskeletal education, and the close working relationship we will maintain with the AJRR offers powerful opportunities to strengthen our quality measurement and quality improvement activities. Formalizing The Joint Commission’s work with AAOS ensures that our combined expertise will positively affect orthopaedic care for years to come.”
About the AAOS
With more than 38,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) is the world’s largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AAOS provides educational programs for orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals, champions and advances the highest quality musculoskeletal care for patients, and is the authoritative source of information on bone and joint conditions, treatments and related issues.
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About The Joint Commission
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at
Maureen Lyons
phone: 630-792-5171