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Advanced Orthopaedic Certification

Achieve a higher level of recognition for your specialty practice

The AAAHC certification Standards for orthopaedics support excellence by demonstrating the use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, ongoing performance improvement strategies, and an organizational infrastructure that emphasizes high-quality health care. The program has a special focus on the continuum of care from pre-assessment to intraoperative and discharge, with Standards that describe characteristics AAAHC believes to be indicative of an organization providing orthopaedic surgical care at a notable level of excellence. AAAHC Standards are written in general terms followed by “elements of compliance,” representing the minimum requirements to demonstrate compliance. These elements can be used to perform a pre-survey self-assessment and gap analysis. When performing the onsite survey, surveyors will look for evidence that each element is present. Organizations are expected to maintain compliance with all AAAHC Standards throughout the three-year certification cycle.

Advanced Orthopaedic Certification program overview


Prepare for Advanced Orthopaedic Certification

Advanced Orthopaedic Certification is available to AAAHC-accredited organizations that perform total joint replacements and/or spine procedures. The AAAHC certification program demonstrates compliance with higher level quality expectations designed by experts in the field of orthopaedics. It is important for facilities seeking advanced certification in orthopaedic procedures to create a robust plan and follow specific steps to ensure compliance with the requirements and avoid jeopardizing a successful outcome.

Organizations must collect and submit performance measures to a nationally-recognized specialty registry (click here to view examples of registries)

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Following are the types of advanced certifications.

  • Total Joint Orthopaedic Certification which covers total joint replacement procedures (total knee, total hip, and total shoulder)
  • Spine Certification which covers complex spine procedures (lumbar fusion, lumbar laminectomy/discectomy, cervical fusion, cervical laminectomy)
  • Organizations that meet the eligibility criteria for both Total Joint and Spine Certification and would like to include both services under their Certification should apply for a combined Certification program

For more information about which certification type is right for your organization, contact orthopaedic@aaahc.org

Understand fees and  scheduling

The survey fee is based on information obtained from the organization’s Application for Certification and supporting documentation.

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For additional details regarding scheduling and cancellation policies, review the current version of the handbook applicable to your program.

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Qualify for certification

Advanced Orthopaedic Certification applies only to a currently accredited AAAHC organization.

An organization is eligible to participate in the AAAHC certification process if it meets all of the following criteria.

  • The organization is accredited by AAAHC and in good standing*
  • The specialty service completed a minimum of 20 procedures for each specialty type within 12 months*
  • The median number of procedures for each specialty type performed by surgeons participating in the specialty services is at least 50*

*Eligibility will be reviewed and verified with the Advanced Orthopaedics Certification team.

Contact orthopaedic@aaahc.org

Following are the types of advanced certifications.

  • Total Joint Orthopaedic Certification which covers total joint replacement procedures (total knee, total hip, and total shoulder)
  • Spine Certification which covers complex spine procedures (lumbar fusion, lumbar laminectomy/discectomy, cervical fusion, cervical laminectomy)
  • Organizations that meet the eligibility criteria for both Total Joint and Spine Certification and would like to include both services under their Certification should apply for a combined Certification program

For more information about which certification type is right for your organization, contact orthopaedic@aaahc.org

Earn your certification term

AAAHC awards certification for three years when it concludes that the organization is in substantial compliance with the Standards and when it has no reservations about the organization’s continuing commitment to provide high-quality patient care and services consistent with the Standards. Organizations may receive a three-year term with intracycle activities required for continued assessment of ongoing compliance with the Standards.

Post your public notice of survey

AAAHC reminds all organizations that the policy requires that a Notice of Certification Survey be posted prominently throughout the organization for (30) calendar days prior to the scheduled survey date(s), with the exception of random and discretionary surveys.

Click here to access the notice and additional instructions.

Understand a denial or revocation of certification

AAAHC denies certification to an organization when it concludes that the organization is not in substantial compliance with AAAHC Standards and/or policies and procedures.

AAAHC reserves the right to revoke or deny the certification of any organization at any time without prior notice. Your AAAHC account manager will help you navigate the requirements to remain in good standing.

Contact us for questions


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Achieving Accreditation

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Achieving Accreditation is an interactive, immersive event designed to help you learn and prepare for your AAAHC survey while developing a deeper understanding of AAAHC Standards. We are facing the future together…1095 Strong!

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Kershner Quality Improvement Award

Check out exemplary studies

Kershner QI Awards recognize excellence in quality improvement methodology and outcomes for AAAHC-accredited organizations in both the surgical/procedural and primary care space.

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