Amid the growing COVID-19 pandemic, leaders with MyDirectives are urging Americans to create an advance care plan and share it with their loved ones. With a strain on the U.S. healthcare system and doctors left to make decisions for people with little to no background on the patient, MyDirectives leaders hope people use this time at home with their loved ones to outline their healthcare wishes.
“Advance care planning and having a record of a patient’s health priorities is critically important in terms of helping families navigate through this health crisis and allowing healthcare professionals more flexibility in delivering care during an uncertain time,” said Dr. Brian Yeaman, MyDirectives’ medical director for clinical informatics and workflows. Dr. Yeaman also shared, in a recent segment with CommonWell TV, “At the end of the day, we want better, safer care for our patients, and that’s at the heart of everything that we’re doing.”
“Yes, everyone should wash their hands, keep them off their face, and stay home unless absolutely critical they leave. This global health crisis is a reminder for all of us how we should prepare for a crisis and it absolutely should include creating an advance care plan that can be found by healthcare providers and loved ones in a crisis,” said Jeff Zucker, CEO of MyDirectives. “Most of us will have more time at home with our loved ones. There is no better time to talk about your healthcare wishes than now.”
“MyDirectives provides users with unparalleled freedom to personalize their advance care planning to ensure their health priorities are available to their families and medical professionals,” said Kerry Weems, Former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “As our lives change, so do our health priorities which is why MyDirectives’ mobile app allows users to update their plan quickly and easily while they’re on the go.”
Information about this 21st-century emergency medical care plan can be found at MyDirectives.com. Everyone over the age of 18 can complete their plan in minutes or take as long as they need to feel confident.
With consumer users in over 40 countries, MyDirectives®, a service of Dallas, Texas-based ADVault, Inc., is the world’s leading all-digital advance care planning platform. MyDirectives lets people create, store, update and share the free MyDirectives digital advance care plan or upload any third-party digital or paper-based advance directive (such as documents from Caring Conversations®, Five Wishes®, the VA form 10-0137 (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) advance care plan or portable medical order document. Additional information can be found at MyDirectives.com or this TEDx Talk.
Jeff Zucker, CEO and co-founder of MyDirectives joined host Kate Delaney on the America Tonight Podcast to discuss the importance of advance care planning, especially in the midst of our current COVID-19 global health crisis.
“The goal is for people to live with confidence, so if you’re ever in a health crisis someone is going to know someone about you and . That is who speaks for you if you can’t speak for yourself, and more simply what are your goals for care.” – Jeff Zucker, CEO and co-founder of MyDirectives on The Hard Question with Blanquita Cullum
Three years ago, at the height of the debate over health care reform, there was an uproar over a voluntary provision that encouraged doctors to discuss with Medicare patients the kinds of treatments they would want as they neared the end of life. That thoughtful provision was left out of the final bill after right-wing commentators and Republican politicians denounced it falsely as a step toward euthanasia and “death panels.”
Fortunately, advance planning for end-of-life decisions has been going on for years and is continuing to spread despite the demagogy on the issue in 2009. There is good evidence that, done properly, it can greatly increase the likelihood that patients will get the care they really want. And, as a secondary benefit, their choices may help reduce the cost of health care as well.
… No matter what the death-panel fearmongers say, end-of-life conversations and medical orders detailing what care to provide increase the confidence of patients that they will get the care they really want. In some cases, that could well mean the request to be spared costly tests, procedures and heroic measures that provide no real medical benefit.
But while we’re happy to see the New York Times tackling advance care planning, we think advance planning isn’t just for the end of life. It’s also for medical crises – for the 20-year-old on her way back to college after a break who is in a car accident or for the 35-year-old who collapses suddenly while out jogging.
Healthcare emergencies can arise at any time in your life, and some, while not life threatening, may prevent you from expressing your wishes. Less than a third of Americans currently have an advance directive. As a result, millions of Americans arrive at these most vulnerable moments of their lives unable to face them in the manner of their choosing.
Have you completed your advance medical directive? If not, what’s keeping you from laying out your plan? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.