Policymakers Agree: The Path to Quality Health Care Involves Better Advance Care Planning

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Improving the quality of health care for people of all ages is a challenge facing the entire country.

A new report from a leading public policy think tank, the Third Way, focuses on the importance of advance care planning in improving health care outcomes for everyone. A Better End of Life report explains that “without an AD [advance directive,] an individual is more likely to receive unwanted, aggressive care, and physicians and family members are less likely to follow that person’s goals and preferences for medical treatment,” ultimately explaining that greater planning ensures that people receive the medical treatments they want.

Third Way cites MyDirectives as an example of innovative efforts that have increased awareness for advance directives while making them more accessible.

“Digital ADs like MyDirectives have made it easier for people to create, store, update, and instantly share high quality care plans,” notes the report, highlighting the increasing importance of electronic health records platforms in a digital age.

The report challenges the health care industry to make advance care planning more accessible for people of all ages citing the statistics that more than 60% of people 18 and older have not yet completed an advance directive. Among Third Way’s recommendations are to incentivize the use of digital planning with MyDirectives:

“Ideally, all electronic health record platforms would be required to have the ability to proactively query a registry, an HIE, or a service like MyDirectives in order to locate a person’s care plan and AD—and to be able to embed a link to the person’s AD in the electronic medical record. In fact, MyDirectives is the first advance directive platform to receive meaningful use certification from HHS.

We couldn’t agree more.

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