AAOS Registry Program Blog

Effective July 1, 2019: AJRR Chosen as Sole Pathway to Meet Advanced THKR Certification Registry Requirement

Nov 15, 2018 3:45:40 PM

AJRR helps meet The Joint Commission's Advanced Total Hip and Knee Replacement Certification

Since The Joint Commission and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) announced their Advanced Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement (THKR) collaboration in September, The Joint Commission has announced it will implement a new requirement for hospitals, critical access hospitals, and ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs). The new requirement appears in the program-specific eligibility criteria, as well as Performance Measurement (DSPM) Standard DSPM.4, Element of Performance (EP) 2b in the Comprehensive Certification Manual for Disease-Specific Care. This blog addresses an update to The Joint Commission requirements.

Upon publication of the new requirement, hospitals and ASCs began asking which registries would be sufficient to fulfill it. Based on questions from organizations about registries that meet the new THKR certification requirements, The Joint Commission researched registry options and convened discussions with the AAOS and other stakeholders.

Based on information collected, The Joint Commission has revised the program-specific requirement and DSPM.4, EP 2b to require that THKR-certified organizations participate in the American Joint Replacement Registry (AJRR). This requirement revision is designed to improve the safety and quality of services for patients electing to undergo total joint arthroplasty by selecting a robust and well established national registry to provide benchmarked performance data that can drive care processes improvements.


THKR Certification Revision: AJRR Becomes Sole Pathway for Registry Requirement

Effective July 1, 2019, the AJRR will become the sole pathway for meeting The Joint Commission’s Advanced THKR Certification registry requirement. This requirement applies to all new customers applying for THKR certification after that date. Organizations that are certified in the advanced THKR program prior to July 1, 2019 and have entered into contracts with a registry other than AJRR will have until the end of their contract or January 1, 2020, whichever comes first, to transition to AJRR. For more information on the recent Joint Commission Advanced THKR Certification Program changes, please contact Debbie Holzer, MSN, RN, CRRN, NE-BC, clinical project director, Department of Standards and Survey Methods, The Joint Commission.


Start Submitting Data to AJRR

Six Stages to Successful Submission

Advanced THKR certified sites will use the data collected from AJRR to analyze and improve orthopaedic processes. The AJRR, operated by AAOS, is the largest national registry of hip and knee joint replacement data based on annual procedure counts, with more than 1.4 million orthopaedic procedures in its database. AJRR participants receive near real-time feedback reports and summary statistics and the scale allows for meaningful national benchmarking and peer-to-peer comparisons, including custom reports. The AJRR also has processes in place to audit data quality and to ensure completeness of data submission. The Joint Commission believes that having all organizations join AJRR and work closely with AAOS to use the data from the Registry in improvement initiatives will provide opportunities to strengthen quality improvement activities for all THKR certified organizations.

AJRR participants must regularly submit complete procedural records to realize the full benefits of Registry participation. AJRR collects three types of data: procedural data, post-operative data, and patient-reported outcomes (PRO) data. The submission process involves extracting procedures from your organization's electronic health record (EHR) system, then submitting data through AJRR's secure file transfer site. AJRR converts and compiles data into its own aggregate format, and produces numerous options of comparative reports individualized by facility site, surgeon, procedure, implant, manufacturer, or other value-added criteria.

Current AJRR participant sites can learn more about the Onboarding Process that enables sites to begin submitting their data. Institutions that are not currently contracted with AJRR can learn more about participation here.


How You Can Achieve Advanced THKR Certification

To receive Advanced THKR 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.

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.

Learn more about The Joint Commission's Advanced THKR Certification Program. Read more about the revised requirement in The Joint Commission Online Newsletter article.



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Topics: Quality Initiatives

A Message for Our Readers

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!

The more interactive you are, the greater the value shared. Visit us at www.aaos.org/ajrr, speak with a Registry Engagement Associate at 847-292-0530, or follow us on Twitter.

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This Week's Blog

  • Friday, November 16, 2018 - Effective July 1, 2019: AJRR Chosen as Sole Pathway to Meet Advanced THKR Certification Registry Requirement

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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. Learn more about AAOS at www.aaos.org.

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 22,000 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


AAOS 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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AAOS Registry Program Staff Writers

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