Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock Awarded Advanced Certification in Spine Surgery From The Joint Commission

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Advanced Certification in Spine Surgery (ACSS) by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. 

The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care.

“We are proud to be the first facility in the state to receive advanced spine certification from The Joint Commission,” said Blake Phillips, MD, board-certified neurological surgeon. “This recognition clearly sets Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock apart as a leader in Arkansas. It is also a testament to our long-standing commitment to providing quality, compassionate spine services for the patients who entrust us with their care.”

Offered in collaboration with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the certification helps organizations provide consistent communication and collaboration among all health care providers involved in the care of the patient – from the pre-surgical consultation with the spine surgeon to the intraoperative, hospitalization or ambulatory surgery center admission, rehabilitation activities, and then the follow-up visit with the surgeon.  

To be eligible for ACSS, organizations must implement evidence-based care and clinical practice guidelines and participate in the American Spine Registry, a national quality improvement registry for spine care. These requirements include at least 200 spine surgery procedures, data collection on standardized performance measures for a minimum of four months prior to certification review, standardized order sets for spine surgery patients, utilization of clinical practice guidelines to provide evidence-based care and active participation with the American Spine Registry (ASR).

Additionally, organizations need to collect performance measurement data on surgical site infection rates, new neurological deficits, unplanned return visits to the operating room, and pre-operative and post-operative patient reported outcomes.

Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock underwent a rigorous onsite review on Dec. 12 and 13, 2023. During the visit, a Joint Commission reviewer evaluated compliance with related certification standards including: clinical information management, program management, supporting self-management and delivering or facilitating clinical care. 

Additionally, performance measurements were reviewed including surgical site infection rates, new neurological deficit, unplanned return visit to the operating room and patient reported outcomes.

“Advanced Certification in Spine Surgery recognizes healthcare organizations committed to striving for excellence and fostering continuous improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” says Ken Grubbs, DNP, MBA, RN, executive vice president of Accreditation and Certification Operations and chief nursing officer, The Joint Commission. “We commend Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock for using The Joint Commission certification process to reduce variation in clinical processes and to strengthen its clinical program to drive safer, higher quality and more compassionate care for individuals served.”

For more information about ACSS, please visit The Joint Commission website. To learn more about services available at Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock, visit or call 1-888-BAPTIST.


About Baptist Health

For more than a century, Baptist Health has delivered all our best in health care through Christian compassion and innovative services. Baptist Health, Arkansas’ most comprehensive health care organization, is here For You. For Life. – with more than 250 points of access that include 12 hospitals; urgent care centers; a senior living community; over 100 primary and specialty care clinics; a college with studies in nursing and allied health; and a graduate residency program. It is also the largest private not-for-profit health care organization based in Arkansas, providing care through the support of approximately 11,000 employees, groundbreaking treatments, renowned physicians and community outreach programs. For more information about Baptist Health, visit, call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST or download the myBaptistHealth app