April 2, 2018
About The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care
The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) began an orthopedic certification program for ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) with potential eligibility for certification effective January 1, 2018. The certification gives accredited ASCs the opportunity to earn a specialty certification as a Center of Excellence in a complex ambulatory orthopedic procedure—such as total joint replacement. In order for an ASC to be eligible for an advanced certification, the facility must be currently performing total joint and spine procedures and must have performed at least 10 procedures prior to on-site survey by the AAAHC. According to the AAAHC (2018), the program was developed in response to customers seeking a higher level of recognition for their specialty care.
Accreditation is a designation that is granted to a facility as a whole, while the certification is specialty-focused and shows that a designated facility has met or exceeded a level of excellence in providing surgical care for an advanced orthopedic specialty.
The AAAHC Centers of Excellence Specialty Certification Program for Total Joint Replacement has set standards that are designed to demonstrate integration of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, ongoing performance improvement strategies, and an organizational infrastructure that supports continued excellence. The certification program places a major emphasis on the continuum of care throughout the perioperative period, from pre-surgery assessment to intraoperative and discharge from the facility. The AAAHC Centers of Excellence Specialty Certification Program for Total Joint Replacement is an advanced specialty-focused certification that pays special attention to patient outcomes, promotion of team cohesiveness and consistency in care, creating a systematic approach to service line delivery, driving the organization to a higher level of excellence and fostering community engagement.