Respecting choices and giving patients the ability to decide what’s best for them

Since implementation of the Patient Self-Determination Act, health care institutions across the nation have been working to educate and document Advance Directive efforts. Although patients regularly indicate they’re asked about their wishes, fewer than 1 in 5 high-risk patients have Advance Directives on file.

 

In 2018, Carle adopted the Respecting Choices® Model of Advanced Care Planning (ACP). This formalized process focuses on more than obtaining a written document. Instead, Advance Care Planning is viewed as a process - best started as a series of conversations during non-stressful times.

Since implementation of the Patient Self-Determination Act, health care institutions across the nation have been working to educate and document Advance Directive efforts. Although patients regularly indicate they’re asked about their wishes, fewer than 1 in 5 high-risk patients have advance directives on file.

 

In 2018, Carle adopted the Respecting Choices® Model of Advanced Care Planning (ACP). This formalized process focuses on more than obtaining a written document. Instead, advance care planning is viewed as a process - best started as a series of conversations during non-stressful times.

 

Lead by Carle employees with special training, facilitators guide patients and their loved ones throughout the entire process of Advance Care Planning. To date, Carle has more than 70 facilitators embedded throughout primary care locations. Patients can meet with facilitators at no cost and schedule visits through the patient’s primary care provider.

 

“Patients are thankful to have a conversation about Advance Care Planning that is easily understood,” said Debbie Stearns, BSN, RN-BC Level IV.

 

To date, primary care providers have extended an invitation to over 2,300 patients, with half accepting the opportunity. Patient satisfaction surveys indicate patients feel better prepared to make future health care decisions; have greater understanding of what it means to be a healthcare agent; and appreciate assistance to meet their individual needs.

 

“After an Advance Care Planning conversation with a patient and his family, the daughter stopped me in the hallway and with tears in her eyes thanked me for asking her father reflective and probing questions. She stated that his answers did not surprise her, but she now has greater peace that she can make tough decisions if necessary since she clearly heard him state his wishes. Peace of mind may be the greatest gift that a patient can give their family and that is often accomplished through an Advance Care Planning discussion,” said Jeanny Douglas, BSN, RN.

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