April 16 was National Healthcare Decisions Day

April 16 was National Healthcare Decisions Day, which this year passed with little fanfare given the healthcare community’s focus on COVID-19. But the day’s focus on advance care planning – that is, making sure you can receive the medical care you want even if you are not in a position to articulate it yourself – has never been more important.

Throughout this month and beyond, providers are encouraging patients and families to focus on the process that they want their loved ones and caregivers to follow if they become seriously ill. One of the easiest ways to start this process is to designate someone as a healthcare agent and make sure that agent knows the person’s wishes by filling out a simple healthcare proxy.

Lots of information exists to start people down the advance care planning path. Visit PatientCareLink and then click on “Healthcare Planning Throughout Your Life” under the For Patients & Families tab, or “Serious Illness Care” under Improving Patient Care.