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Advance Care Planning Day April 16


On April 16, the RQHR Advance Care Planning (ACP) team would like you to think about your right to be involved in your health care choices.

Advance care planning is sometimes called a living will, advance directive or health directive. It’s the legal set of directions outlining an individual’s wishes for their medical treatment should they become too ill or injured to communicate or make decisions.

The instructions and information in the plan would only be used to give direction for an individual’s treatment if they are not capable of speaking for themselves. It’s their voice. It’s the process of Thinking, Talking and Acting about one’s health care choices – and the Region has a strong program to help patients and their families have these discussions.
The program was implemented in March 2012, after seven years of evidenced-based research, focus groups and program development, to ensure the Region uses a consistent approach when helping patients make health care decisions. The program encourages individuals to appoint, in writing, a medical health care decision maker – also known as a Proxy – to be their medical decision maker should the individual lose capacity to speak for themselves.

The Region offers tools like My Voice, a public workbook to guide people wishing to make their own advanced care plan, available on the Intranet. The team also offers free information sessions monthly or by requesting The My Voice workbook by contacting the Advance Care Planning program. Over the last five years, the ACP office has helped educate 2,600 urban and rural direct-care staff, equipping them with the tools to have meaningful discussions with their patients and families. Having discussions and encouraging patients to implement a plan has been shown to increase the quality of life for patients, and improve the experience of family members.

The ACP team has been working with a champion group, made up of physicians, executive leaders, patient safety consultants and legal counsel to continuously improve their process, education, policy and procedure. Raising awareness and equipping staff and patients with the tools they need to engage in advance care planning gives the

patient a voice. Everyone has the right to be involved in their health care decisions.
For more information on Advance Care Planning and information sessions, visit our Advance Care Planning web page.