“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
We’ll admit it – we’ve been watching a lot of television lately. But can you really blame us? Television shows can be a useful tool to start a conversation.
Take the most recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy as an example. In the premiere, as we discussed in a post last week, we saw how the docs dealt with carrying out their friend and colleague’s advance medical directive and living will. But in the second episode, the writers took us back in time to when he created it.
Take a look:
Notice the clipboard? We did.
The decisions Mark Sloan makes are too important to wait until the last minute – too important for a clipboard. Sloan might be a fictional character, but his story is sadly far from fiction.
All too often patients or their families are handed a clipboard and asked questions they’ve never talked about. Let alone thought about.
We’ve all put the conversation off at some point. It’s something we don’t want to think about, but we need to.
Avoid the clipboard. Start the conversation with your family now. Here are some tips on how to start the conversation. And after you do, let us know how it went. Did you learn something you’d like to pass on to others? Share your story on Facebook or Twitter.
Crossposted from MyDirectives.com
“The philosopher Kant once called music ‘the quickening art’.” So says famous neurologist and author Oliver Sacks, M.D. in a short excerpt from “Alive Inside,” an extraordinary upcoming documentary.
In the film, we find Henry, a patient in a nursing home, sitting alone and uncommunicative. A caregiver then slips an iPod’s headphones on Henry and we see what Kant meant as Henry is transformed right before our eyes.
The scene is a joyous reminder of why music is important to us throughout our lives. From the time we first learn to sing “Twinkle, twinkle little star,” music can, as Sacks puts it, help restore us to ourselves; to remind us who we are. Sacks says even someone experiencing the effects of a serious neurologic disorder, like Henry, can “reacquire his identity…through the power of music.”
Alive Inside is the work of Music and Memory, a non-profit organization that raises public awareness about the power of music “regardless of physical, cognitive or social condition,” and supports the initiation of music programs for individuals in their homes, in hospitals, assisted living centers and hospices.
Because music works on such a deep level, it’s important for each of us to inform our loved ones and caregivers about the kinds of music we would want to hear (or absolutely not want to hear!) in the event that we, like Henry, were unable to express ourselves. That’s why the MyDirectives.com universal Advance Digital Directive (uADD™) contains a section that encourages users to spell out their musical preferences in as much detail as they like.
Take a few minutes to watch the Alive Inside trailer and then, if you, like us, are moved by it, consider making a donation to Music and Memory. Help bring the powerful magic of music into someone’s life today.
That IBM 5150 PC you see up there was introduced in August, 1981.
It’s fair to say that it’s the machine that launched the computer revolution that has transformed just about every aspect of the lives we’re living 30 years later.
Yet, a recent GovernmentIT blog post claims electronic healthcare records functionality hasn’t changed since 1982.
If you stop to think about your own experience with the healthcare system, you’ll realize just how true that claim is.
Can you access your health records online? Does your family physician have a private, secure place for you to go to check up on your medications, lab test results or office visit notes? Can your allergist or gynecologist instantly access information from your cardiologist?
For most of us, the answer to those questions is a resounding, and frightening, “no”!
But there are reasons to believe that the situation is finally about to change.
In February, 2009, President Obama signed a law setting aside $19.2 billion for the development of healthcare information technology. A substantial portion of that money was allocated as incentives for hospitals and healthcare professionals to establish “health information exchanges” and to demonstrate “meaningful use” of electronic health records.
While the details of what “meaningful use” means are still being hammered out, one thing is clear. The 30 year long healthcare information electronic logjam has been broken.
Fortunately, some parts of the healthcare information system of the future are already in place.
Like advance medical directives, for example. MyDirectives.com is a free, secure, system where any adult can create and update documents regarding his/her wishes for end-of-life care. That universal Advance Digital Directive (uADD™) is then safely stored and available to any healthcare facility or provider that the user authorizes. That means that no matter where in the world an emergency might happen, information about your directives is instantly accessible, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Someday, all your healthcare information will be available to anyone you authorize. It’s good to know that there already is a way to be sure that your uADD™ will be there if you need it. And that’s by visiting MyDirectives.com today.