According to a 2017 report published by the Kaiser Family Foundation and The Economist, a little over half of people in the United States had end-of-life conversations with loved ones, with less than 20% having these discussions with their providers. Only 27% had formally documented their wishes in advance directives or Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms.
“I don’t believe that people don’t value addressing their wishes for how they want to be cared for, I think they have little idea what it’s like once they enter the health care system particularly when they are unable to make decisions for themselves. COVID-19 has forced us to look at this reality.”
Read a brief, engaging excerpt from a truly relevant interview on the topic produced by NPR.
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Advanced Care Planning
Planning for the future is an important part of person-centered care, as it helps ensure that an individual’s wishes regarding treatment and care options are fulfilled.
- Be aware of a person’s advance directives and ensure they follow the person if a transfer is necessary.
- Ensuring individuals’ advance directives, Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST), and other documents are all up to date with current documented wishes, and physician orders are consistent with these wishes.