AAOS Registry Program Blog

AAOS and The Joint Commission Collaborate on THKR Quality Improvement

Oct 10, 2018 1:05:10 PM

AJRR and The Joint Commission Logos

On September 26, 2018, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) 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.


The Joint Commission's THKR Certification

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.

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 by annual procedural volume, with more than 1.4 million procedures contained within its database, the AJRR is a leading source of quality improvement information.


Leadership Perspectives from AAOS and The Joint Commission

"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," he added.


MountainView Regional Medical Center (MVRM): AJRR Subscriber Since 2014 Leveraged Registry Data to Help Earn Core Certification

This article was originally published in the August 2018 issue of AAOS Now, the AAOS' monthly news magazine. The article concludes a three-part series illustrating practical aspects of AJRR participation through shared success stories from subscribing institutions. All three installments can be found at www.aaosnow.org.


READ MORE about MVRM's registry and core certification experience here. 



For information about the AJRR RegistryInsights™ platform, speak with a Registry Engagement Associate at (847) 292-0530 or Request A Demo today!


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Topics: Quality Initiatives

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This blog was created by the American Joint Replacement Registry (AJRR), part of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Registry Program. The blog is part of our commitment to improve orthopaedic care through the collection, analysis, and reporting of actionable hip and knee arthroplasty data. Our purpose is to communicate with others in the orthopaedic field who share the same commitment. Watch for weekly news alerts, quick tips, actionable checklists, best practices, and research findings posted to this blog. It will be information you can use each week!

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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 www.jointcommission.org

About the AAOS

With more than 38,000 members, the 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.

More information about the AAOS

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AJRR RegistryInsights™

As a health care provider of orthopaedic services, you can access information about joining AJRR and RegistryInsights by visiting www.aaos.org/ajrr or speaking with a Registry Engagement Associate at (847) 292-0530.  New Call-to-action

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AJRR Staff Writers

AJRR Blog posts are researched and created by AJRR staff writers: Karen Metropulos, Erik Michalesko, and Lori Boukas. If you would like to contact the writing staff, email us at AJRRinfo@aaos.org


This blog shares health care information from a variety of independent expert sources. Some sources offer opinions that may be of interest to other professionals facing similar challenges. Our approach helps ensure diverse, well-rounded presentation of important, often complex health care content. Shared content does not necessarily represent AJRR or AAOS findings and practices.