April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day, on which the healthcare community stresses the importance of 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.
Throughout April, providers will be encouraging patients and families to focus on the process that you want your loved ones and caregivers to follow if you become seriously ill. One of the easiest ways to start this process is to designate someone as your healthcare agent and make sure your agent knows your wishes by filling out a simple healthcare proxy.
Lots of information exists to start you 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.