AAAHC Publishes Updated Certification Handbook for Advanced Orthopaedics


AAAHC Publishes Updated Certification Handbook for Advanced Orthopaedics

The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) of Skokie, Illinois, released updated standards for its three-year Advanced Orthopaedic Certification program, according to a release. The Certification Handbook for Advanced Orthopaedics, v42, provides a roadmap for the program, launched in 2018 and created by an expert panel of professionals in orthopedic and complex spine procedures.

The updated handbook introduces new terminology and standards architecture, as well as a revised references/notes section to include applicability and provide clarity to the standards. Further enhancements include a crosswalk that offers a high-level overview of changes to the requirements to help users identify changes from the previous version.

“The Advanced Orthopaedic Certification program helps ambulatory surgery centers validate and continue to improve the care they deliver and patient outcomes,” said Tess Poland, RN, senior vice president and chief clinical officer of AAAHC, in the release. “Through a combination of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and ongoing performance improvement strategies, the new standards will help ASCs retain their specialty certification or achieve this distinction for the first time.”

The standards are organized to reflect the options available to accredited facilities, which can choose from two types of advanced certification, total joint or complex spine, or pursue a combined certification that addresses both services, according to the release.

“Just as standards for AAAHC ambulatory and Medicare deemed status accreditation equip leaders with the best of what they need to operationalize quality practices, the Advanced Orthopaedic Certification standards guide ambulatory surgery centers on their journey of excellence, ensuring survey readiness throughout the 1,095 days of the specialty certification term,” Poland said in the release.

The six chapters comprising the AAAHC Advanced Orthopaedic Certification standards underscore effective leadership and integrated care.

“Since its inception, the Advanced Orthopaedic Certification program has helped specialty practices in total joint and complex spine surgeries set themselves apart by sharpening their focus on improving patient outcomes,” said Noel Adachi, president and chief executive officer of AAAHC, in the release. “With updated standards, organizations that achieve specialty certification will continue to position themselves as exemplary practices for both patients and third-party insurers.”

The new Certification Handbook for Advanced Orthopaedics, v42, will take effect July 1, 2023. Organizations should refer to their survey confirmation letter for standards survey guidance. All organizations are expected to comply with the updated standards after July 1, 2023. AAAHC will present a complimentary educational webinar, "Expert Insights on Advanced Orthopaedics Certification: v42 Standards," to help organizations enhance their Advanced Orthopaedics Certification quality improvement efforts, according to the release.

For additional information on the new standards, visit AAAHC’s Standards and Policies page. To contact the Orthopaedic Certification Team, email or call 847.853.6060.