to main content Advanced Certification in Spine Surgery | The Joint Commission

Aligning Performance with Preference

Degenerative spine disease is one of the most prevalent and costly disease states worldwide with common surgeries including spinal fusion and decompression or discectomy surgery. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 1.2 million spinal surgeries are preformed nationally each year. Joint Commission Advanced Certification in Spine Surgery (ACSS) helps elevate your services with the evidence-based proof of clinical quality sought by patients and payers alike.

A Level of Care That Sets You Apart

This new Advanced Certification program helps health care organizations develop consistent communication and collaboration among all health care providers involved in the care of the patient — from the pre-surgical consultation with their spine surgeon to the intraoperative, hospitalization or ASC admission, rehabilitation activities and then the follow-up visit with the surgeon.


Continuum of patient care graphic

What Advanced Certification Means to You

This certification goes beyond core certification.

  • Prescriptive Approach: Advanced certification standards offer a relevant, prescriptive approach
  • Meaningful Metrics: Our standards and performance measures are specific to spine surgery while allowing flexibility in which clinical practice guidelines you follow
  • Expanded Scope: Advanced certification encompasses the entire continuum of care
  • Professional Collaboration: The only certification offered in collaboration with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

What it Takes to be Certified

Key characteristics of the program:
  • Program has served a minimum of 200 patients
  • Use of standardized clinical care delivery based on evidence-based care and clinical practice guidelines
  • Data collection and performance measurement data
  • Participate in the American Spine Registry which is a collaborative effort of the American Association of the Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)

Performance Measurement

Joint Commission-certified programs and organizations seeking initial certification are required to adopt a set of standardized performance measures. Organizations collect monthly data for each measure in the set. The data is then submitted quarterly to The Joint Commission.

The performance measures are as follows:

  • Surgical Site Infection Rates
  • New Neurological Deficits
  • Unplanned Return Visit to the OR
  • Pre-operative and post-operative Patient Reported Outcomes (PRO’s)

AAOS Collaboration

Disease Specific Care AAOS spine surgery The premier certification for Advanced Spine Surgery elevates your organization for improved patient care. The Joint Commission offers this certification in collaboration with the AAOS and the American Spine Registry, which is a collaborative effort of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.