Specifications Manual for Joint Commission National Quality Measures (v2020A)
Posted: August 1, 2019
Discharges 01-01-20 (1Q20) through 6-30-20 (2Q20)
Home » Ambulation Date

Release Notes:
Data Element
Version 2020A

Name:Ambulation Date
Collected For: THKR-IP-2, THKR-OP-2
Definition:The date the patient first ambulated following the surgical procedure.
Question:On what date did the patient first ambulate following the surgical procedure?
Length:10 – MM-DD-YYYY (includes dashes) or UTD
Allowable Values:

MM = Month (01-12)
DD = Day (01-31)
YYYY = Year (20xx)
UTD = Unable to Determine
Notes for Abstraction:
  • Select “UTD” if unable to determine the ambulation date.
  • Review the record to determine the earliest date the patient ambulated following the surgical procedure. There is no minimum distance requirement.
  • Ambulation with assistive devices (e.g., walker, cane) and/or physical assist (e.g., therapist, nurse) is acceptable.
  • Ambulation in the PACU is acceptable.
  • Documentation that the patient actually ambulated must be present. Do not assume the patient ambulated based solely on documentation that physical/occupational therapy saw the patient.
  • See the list of terms listed in the Inclusion/Exclusion Guidelines to determine if documentation supports ambulation.
  • Ambulation can be documented by any member of the healthcare team including but not limited to physician, advanced practice nurse, physician assistant, nurse, nurse assistant, clinical technician, physical therapist, occupational therapist, kinesiotherapist.
  • When the date documented is obviously invalid (not a valid format/range), e.g., a date after the Discharge Date or Outpatient Departure Date, or in an invalid format (12-39-20xx), and if no other documentation is found that provides the correct information, the abstractor should select “UTD.”
    • Patient discharged on 02-12-20xx and documentation indicates the Ambulation Date was 03-12-20xx. Other documentation in the medical record supports the date of discharge as being accurate. Since the Ambulation Date is outside of the parmeter for care (after the Discharge Date), the abstractor should select “UTD.”
  • If the Ambulation Date is incorrect (in error) but it is a valid date and the correct date can be found and supported with other documentation in the medical record, use the correct date for Ambulation Date. If supporting documentation of the correct date cannot be found, the medical record must be abstracted as documented (at “face value.”)
    • The patient underwent surgery on 12-10-2009. Nursing documentation indicates that the patient first ambulated on 12-10-2007 and the physical therapy documentation supports that the correct date was 12-10-2009; use the correct date (12-10-2009) as the Ambulation Date.
Suggested Data Sources:
  • Nursing notes
  • Progress notes
  • Flowsheets
  • PACU records
  • Rehabilitation records
  • Therapy notes (e.g., physical therapy, occupational therapy, kinesiotherapy)

Additional Notes:
Guidelines for Abstraction:
Inclusion Exclusion
  • Ambulate
  • Step
  • Walk

  • Bedside commode usage
  • Dangle
  • Out of bed order
  • Sit in bed
  • Sit out of bed
  • Sit to Stand
  • Stand
  • Transfer from bed to chair
  • Up to chair

Ambulation Date
CPT® only copyright 2019 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.
Specifications Manual for Joint Commission National Quality Measures (v2020A)
Discharges 01-01-20 (1Q20) through 6-30-20 (2Q20)


CPT® only copyright 2019 American Medical Association. All rights reserved. CPT® is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association.

You, your employees and agents are authorized to use CPT® only as contained in The Joint Commission performance measures solely for your own personal use in directly participating in healthcare programs administered by The Joint Commission. You acknowledge that the American Medical Association (“AMA”) holds all copyright, trademark and other rights in CPT®.

Any use not authorized herein is prohibited, including by way of illustration and not by way of limitation, making copies of CPT® for resale and/or license, transferring copies of CPT® to any party not bound by this Agreement, creating any modified or derivative work of CPT®, or making any commercial use of CPT®. License to use CPT® for any use not authorized herein must be obtained through the American Medical Association, Intellectual Property Services, AMA Plaza, 330 North Wabash Avenue, Suite 39300, Chicago, Illinois 60611-5885. Applications are available at the American Medical Association Web site, www.ama- assn.org/go/cpt.

U.S. Government Rights This product includes CPT® which is commercial technical data, which was developed exclusively at private expense by the American Medical Association, 330 North Wabash Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. The American Medical Association does not agree to license CPT® to the Federal Government based on the license in FAR 52.227-14 (Data Rights - General) and DFARS 252.227-7015 (Technical Data - Commercial Items) or any other license provision. The American Medical Association reserves all rights to approve any license with any Federal agency.

Disclaimer of Warranties and Liabilities. CPT® is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. Fee schedules, relative value units, conversion factors and/or related components are not assigned by the AMA, are not part of CPT®, and the (AMA is not recommending their use. The AMA does not directly or indirectly practice medicine or dispense medical services. The responsibility for the content of this product is with The Joint Commission, and no endorsement by the AMA is intended or implied. The AMA disclaims responsibility for any consequences or liability attributable to or related to any use, non-use, or interpretation of information contained or not contained in this product.

This Agreement will terminate upon notice if you violate its terms. The AMA is a third party beneficiary to this Agreement.

Should the foregoing terms and conditions be acceptable to you, please indicate your agreement and acceptance by clicking below on the button labeled “accept”.