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What Is Joint Commission Certification?

Joint Commission, formerly known as Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), is a nonprofit organization and an authoritative body that accredits over 22 thousand US health care programs and organizations. Accreditation is a formal recognition by an authoritative body such as Joint Commission of the ability and competence of a health care provider to work under specified standards, including technical competence and principles of a quality management system. Most US state governments acknowledge the certification provided by Joint Commission and consider it as a prerequisite for healthcare providers to receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

What Is Orthopedic Certification?

Joint Commission orthopedic certification bestows a standard structure for programs to enhance patient outcomes and decrease risk to patients via evidence-based clinically proven care. The certification manifests the commitment of an organization to strive for continuous performance improvement. Orthopedic certification methods are assessed under the Disease-Specific Care Certification manual and include 3 elements such as clinical practice guidelines, standards, and performance evaluation to provide highly specialized care. Orthopedic certification can be provided to organizations that fall within the following categories:

  • Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs)
  • Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs)
  • Hospitals

Benefits of Orthopedic Certifications

Some of the benefits that Joint Commission Orthopedic Certification can provide an organization include:

  • A framework to enhance treatment outcomes
  • Commitment to a higher level of clinical service
  • Consistency in approach to care and decrease in error risk
  • Ability to organize teams across the spectrum of care
  • Competitive advantage in marketplace
  • Decreased variation in delivery of care
  • Improved staff development and recruitment
  • A pathway to overall excellence

How Does Orthopedic Certification Help in Improving a Particular Program?

The orthopedic certification program helps to identify and assess areas requiring performance improvement and optimize efficiency in relation to patient care by focusing on areas such as:

  • Rate of falls
  • Rate of surgical site infection
  • Length of hospital stay
  • Early ambulation
  • Pain management
  • Enhancing patient education before discharge

General Eligibility Criteria for Core and Advanced Certification

  • An organization should already have Joint Commission Accreditation
  • A program should have served at least 10 patients
  • Should deliver standardized clinical care based on clinical practice guidelines and evidence-based treatment
  • Collection of data and performance evaluation data

On meeting the above criteria, an organization can seek Orthopedic Care Certification for specific needs, such as:

  • Core Knee Replacement Certification that is confined to surgery rendered in ambulatory surgery centers or hospitals.
  • Core Hip Replacement Certification that caters to only ambulatory surgery centers or hospitals.
  • Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement (THKR) that is designed for outpatient/ambulatory surgery center, inpatient/hospital-based center, post follow-up care organizations, and physician’s offices.
  • Core Orthopedic Rehabilitation Certification that is suitable for rehabilitation programs in home care settings, acute care hospitals, and long term care facilities.
  • Core Spinal Surgery Certification that is required for organizations that perform all 3 of these spinal procedures: spinal fusion, laminectomy, and discectomy.

Overview of Advanced and Core Certifications

To apply for this certification, the program should carry out both total knee and total hip replacement surgeries. The Advanced Certification program renders more depth and detail than Core Certification and assists health care organizations to build up consistent collaboration and communication amongst all health care providers involved in the patient care – from presurgical orthopedic consultation with their doctor to the hospitalization, intraoperative or ASC admission, rehabilitation tasks, and then the follow-up visit with the orthopedic doctor.

In addition to the criteria of eligibility mentioned in “The Joint Commission Certification Process” (CERT) chapter, programs requesting Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement Certification should also:

  • Apply for the site that provides total knee and total hip replacement procedures.
  • Provide both total knee and total hip replacement procedures.
  • During review, make arrangements for the reviewer to see either a total knee or total hip replacement procedure.
  • Schedule at least one joint replacement surgery for the on-site review.

Orthopedic joint replacement programs are certified using the standards of Disease Specific Care programs. Even though the standards are not particular to a joint replacement, they do provide a general structure for a well-run disease-management program. Some of the key requirements for this certification include:

  • Must meet core disease-specific care standards
  • Ambulatory surgery center (ASC) or hospital only
  • Team within the ASC or hospital working toward high efficiency and reliability
  • Standardized clinical practice guidelines and order sets
  • Movement toward standardized order sets for all doctors
  • Discussion with staff pertaining to hand-offs
  • Review of content of preoperative patient education
  • Review of ASC/hospital discharge procedure
  • Visit and communication with perioperative team
  • Notes pertaining to completion of preoperative optimization

Spinal surgery programs (spinal fusion, laminectomy, and discectomy) are certified using the standards for Disease-Specific Care programs. Although the standards are not particular to spinal surgery, they do provide a general structure for a well-run disease-management program. Some of the key requirements for this certification include:

  • Consistent and constructive utilization of suitable and evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for the spinal fusion, laminectomy, and discectomy patient populations
  • Collection and study of at least 4 performance methods particular to spinal surgery patient population
  • Abide with consensus-based national standards

Organizations seeking Orthopedic Rehabilitation Certification should meet core standards under the Disease-Specific Care Certification Manual. For a program to be eligible for this certification, it must:

  • Be situated in the United States, managed by the U.S. government, or managed under a charter of the U.S. Congress
  • Have served at least 10 patients during the submission of the application
  • Utilize performance assessment to enhance its performance gradually
  • Utilize a standardized technique of providing clinical care on the basis of clinical practice guidelines and/or evidence-based approach

The Carrell Clinic’s hospital, North Central Surgery Center, has been awarded the Advanced Accreditation for Hip and Knee Replacement​ by the Joint Commission. This is the highest accreditation that a hospital can attain for hip and knee replacement surgery. We are a Center of Excellence in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine with state-of-the-art technology and expert physicians who offer comprehensive care to patients requiring joint replacement and other orthopedic procedures. Our team consists of highly experienced doctors offering individualized treatment plans and wellness programs to address various orthopedic concerns. We strive to provide the highest quality services to each of our patients by combining clinical knowledge from our highly skilled practitioners and experienced staff members.

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