Helping families during serious illness

June 01, 2016

What would happen if you became very sick and could not tell your doctor what kind of care you wanted? Sadly, this happens all too often. While 82 percent of Americans believe it’s important to put future medical care wishes in writing, only 23 percent have advance care planning documents in place.

Peace of mind during difficult times

When it comes to your care through the end of life, filling out an advance directive allows you to appoint someone as your health care agent in the event you become unable to speak for yourself. It also improves the health care experience for patients, their families and the health care providers.

Care teams will know patient wishes

At Providence in southwest Washington, our goal is to increase the number of people in our communities who have advance directives by seamlessly integrating advance care planning assistance throughout the region. Working with our community partner, Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest, we are have started pilot efforts to make sure advance care planning is a standard part of patient care in several Providence clinics this year.

Advance care planning emerged as an area of great need during Providence’s community health needs assessment, based on findings that there are very few local resources for end-of-life communication. Investing in advance care planning is an important way we are supporting our local communities and improving overall health, in partnership with the Providence St. Peter Foundation.