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Applying to the Joint Commission for Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement Surgery can do a lot for your TJR program. In our recent webinar featuring CHI St. Alexius and The Bone & Joint Center, 45% of the participants were interested in the marketing benefits of Advanced Certification. Meeting the requirements of certification also offers an excellent framework for improving the quality of patient care.

Here are eight ways your organization can improve by preparing for Advanced Certification:

1. You would be offering the most advanced and evidence-based clinical practices.

The Joint Commission’s surveyor must recognize that your total joint program meets the most up-to-date standards of practice. Since the organization can be cited for deviating from clinical practice guidelines without a research-backed reason, you will be challenged to update your knowledge and your practices.

2. It promotes a culture of excellence among practitioners.

There are at least 160 standards of practice that must be met for Advanced Certification. To achieve this level of distinction, every practitioner involved in patient care must be passionate about offering a high standard of performance across the continuum of care. Patient care is the priority, and everyone on your care team can agree on that!

3. It’s an opportunity for team collaboration.

Working towards Advanced Certification helps to create a structure for integrated clinical care. The Joint Commission expects an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to patient care that demonstrates how your organization will conduct team meetings, collect data on your program, and use that data to improve performance. Your joint replacement team will be more than physicians, nurses, and PT—the anesthesia, pharmacy, dietary, respiratory, and pastoral care departments should also be involved for cohesive pre- and post-surgical care.

4. Patients become more knowledgeable and invested in their care.

Advanced Certification requires that you demonstrate how you will address patient education and empower them to share in the decisions about their care. Patients who are well informed participate more actively in their care and have better outcomes overall.

CHI St. Alexius and The Bone and Joint Center revamped their pre-operative class and created a comprehensive book for patients with everything they needed to know in anticipation of their survey for national accreditation. They also added the Wellbe Connected Care system, which helped them meet many of the Joint Commission’s standards for patient education and engagement.

5. Practitioner education is emphasized.

One of the most common citations in Joint Commission audits are the DSDF.1 standard – Practitioners are qualified and competent. Practitioners are not limited to physicians—though they tend to be the most behind on their CME requirements—but also nursing staff, PT, and more. Whether it’s holding educational in-service or ensuring that they attend relevant conferences and seminars, you can be sure your care teams are going to be up-to-date on the latest research on patient procedures and recovery practices.

6. It’s a chance to conduct a gap analysis.

When your organization decides to apply for Advanced Certification with the Joint Commission, you’ll be pushed to look at your practices more closely. When measuring yourself against objective standards of excellence, you’ll be able to see where you’re in compliance and where you need more work.

7. You will collect and analyze actionable data.

The Joint Commission needs to see four months of data demonstrating performance measures before the survey. By collecting data and analyzing that information, you’ll have a roadmap for taking action to improve your program to achieve excellence—and continue achieving it.

8. Patient satisfaction and outcomes will improve

The aim of standardizing your practice is to limit variation among practitioners and offer high reliability for patients seeking total joint replacement surgeries. With better preoperative education, standardized treatment, changing the culture around discharge, and utilizing the Wellbe Connected Care system for patient education and PROMs collection, CHI St. Alexius saw vast improvements in patient outcomes and satisfaction scores. In less than two years, their LOS went from 3.1 days to 1.5. Currently, LOS is at 0.8 day and they have a 99% discharge to home rate for knee and hip replacement procedures. By achieving the Advanced Certification standards of the Joint Commission, they have improved the quality of patient care and experience at their clinic.


While the marketability of Advanced Certification makes the process seem like a seal of approval, the reality is that the standards provide a framework for tangibly improving the quality of your program. To learn more about how CHI St. Alexius got in shape for for this prestigious achievement, watch our free webinar, sponsored by Wellbe.