HFAP, America’s original healthcare accreditation program founded in 1945, recently announced its Joint Replacement Certification program with options for outpatient and inpatient settings seeking to achieve recognition and promote excellence in specialty orthopedic care to staff, patients and payers.

Recent advancements in joint replacement procedures have enabled many patients to undergo surgery in outpatient settings. A recent report from the Advisory Board found more than 200 ASCs offered joint replacement surgeries in 2017, up from just 25 centers in 2014, underscoring the importance of a certification program that examines safety and quality at both inpatient and outpatient settings.

“The HFAP Joint Replacement Certification program not only provides external validation that an organization is performing these procedures safely and effectively, but drives the adoption of on-going practices that improve outcomes and further reduce risk,” said Meg Gravesmill, CEO of HFAP. “Through the certification process, organizations are asked to take a big-picture look at their program: how it is defined, who it serves, how well it achieves its goals. Then the HFAP standards focus down to processes and risk management strategies to ensure excellence in patient outcomes. Working toward and maintaining certification is a team building endeavor that provides staff with an opportunity to build skills and receive recognition for their achievement.”

The certification program offers options to accommodate varying complexity in patient populations and services provided in hospitals and ASCs. Each option includes standards that align multidisciplinary care with specific organizational roles

Hospitals and ASCs seeking Joint Replacement Certification through HFAP must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold current accreditation with deemed status or Medicare certification by the state
  • Meet licensure requirements within the state
  • Maintain compliance with all applicable HFAP certification standards
  • Define the population served by joint replacement program within its protocols
  • Provide a minimum of 12 consecutive months of applicable performance measures (or one month of data prior to submitting an application for initial certification)

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, joint replacement will become the most common elective surgical procedure in the next few decades. In 2010, an estimated 7 million Americans had a total hip or knee replacement, and by 2030, that number is expected to reach 11 million Americans.[i] The report outlines several factors leading to the increase in procedures, including an aging Baby Boomer population, high rates of diagnosis and treatment of arthritis, and increasing demand for improved mobility and quality of life. Further, many individuals are undergoing the procedures at a younger age, looking to maintain an active lifestyle in retirement.[ii]

“As more patients seek joint replacement surgeries and the number of procedures performed rises, it is vital for provider organizations to articulate their commitment to patient safety through certification,” said Bart Szczech, MD, MHS, director of joint replacement surgery at the Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake, NY and a member of the HFAP Joint Arthroplasty Technical Panel. “The HFAP certification program empowers organizations to strengthen community partnerships and patient confidence with ongoing quality improvement and strong patient outcomes.”

For more information on the HFAP Joint Replacement Certification program, please visit www.hfap.org.