Articles, Blog

Advance Care Planning | UCHealth

November 19, 2019

(peaceful music) – At UCHealth all of
our providers and staff are focused on ensuring patients receive the very best care and experience. One important way we can
help care for each other and ourselves is through
advance care planning. I’ve personally seen how important these conversations and documents are. (uplifting music) – Advance care planning
is important to everyone. It’s a process whereby adults can identify their values and preferences
for their future medical care in the event that they
can’t speak for themselves. – One of the most important
advance directives to complete is completing a medical
durable power of attorney. That’s putting down in
writing who you want your health care advocate to be. – [Cathy] In the State of Colorado no one is automatically
assigned that role. Nobody’s going to make decisions for you. Not your spouse, not
your significant other. Not your child or parent,
and not your doctor. – I consider the first step
towards advance care planning having discussions with
family and friends. Sometimes multiple discussions
on an ongoing basis. – Conversations are
the best place to start to open the door to
these difficult issues. They have to be documented. One, so our families know, and two, so that the medical providers that will be caring for us
know what we want as well. – We have shifted our focus
on advance care planning in our practice to something we talk about at every physical from age 18 on so that patients understand this is not just something that you do
when you are old or sick. – For your family it is a gift. Instead of hearing the
“I wish I would have had these conversations” and “I wish I would know what to do,” that now changes to “I feel more confident that we’re doing what my
loved one would want.” – A well-informed patient
is a healthier patient. Advance care planning is
simply a component of that. Being able to understand
the patient’s viewpoint in as many ways as
possible allows us to do a better job of meeting their expectations and providing and delivering
the care that they want. Most recently we’ve opened up the ability for patients to document
their power of attorney or their advance care planning wishes so that we can see that. And now patients can
directly in their portal indicate “I have advance care wishes. Here’s what they are.” Sign it, and that’s part
of the official record. And it dramatically simplifies
the patient’s process for getting their wishes known. – We really encourage you
to come in and talk with us about advance care planning. We want to make sure you’re prepared. We don’t want to wait for times of crisis. We want to make sure
that your voice is heard and that you have control. – Advance care planning
helps people at any age or stage of health take charge
of their future medical care. Having conversations with loved ones and writing down those
wishes are essential. To help our patients and
employees have these conversations UCHealth is building new
tools in My Health Connection, and we’re training teams
to support patients and families who are ready
to discuss their wishes. I challenge you to make this a priority. Together we can promote
advance care planning throughout Colorado. (uplifting music)

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