National Healthcare Decisions Day

Posted 4/8/2021 in Regional Medical Center

Friday, April 16

Who do you want to make care decisions for you if/when you cannot? What matters to you? Start your conversation today. There’s never a perfect time to have this hard conversation. It’s always too soon, until it’s too late.

April 16th is recognized as National Healthcare Decisions Day. This day encourages people to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be. Advance care planning is more than just a document you complete. It’s a process of planning and having the conversation with the right people.

“National Healthcare Decisions Day is not only about end-of-life care planning but also to clarify the type of medical treatment you wish to receive if you are ever in the position where you cannot voice your preferences yourself,” shares Rose Mary Hunt, RMC Privacy Officer. “Unfortunately, with the COVID-19 pandemic, families may have experienced how hard it is to make these medical decisions when emergencies arise. With a plan in place, you can focus on the things that matter.”

With a plan, fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making difficult healthcare decisions. An Advance Directive plan allows healthcare providers and facilities to honor patient wishes when the time comes to do so.

Here are some things to consider with your advance care planning:

  • Create your own list of the things that are most important to you and how you want to live at the end of your life.
  • Where do you want to receive your medical care? (at home if possible, in a hospital, etc.)
  • Is quality of life more important than quantity of life?
  • What do you feel are the three most important things that you want your friends, family, and healthcare team to understand about your wishes and preferences?
  • Who do you want (or not want) to be involved in your care?
  • Who would you like to make decisions on your behalf if you’re not able to?
  • Talk to the people that are important in your life.
  • Share this information with your family/friends and put it in writing. 

Complete an Advance Directive and be sure your family and healthcare provider and local hospital have a copy in case you need emergent care. Forms are available in various places including attorneys offices, hospitals, and clinics as well as at regmedctr.org/advance-directives.