What is National Healthcare Decisions Day?

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April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day, a day that exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advanced care planning. Earlier we spoke with Dr. Tara Ostrom, an Internal Medicine Physician at Optum Care Primary Care for more.

What is this day all about?

Ostrom said that it is a day to raise public awareness about health care decisions for the end of a life. It is to help your loved ones to decide what to do, to make your wishes known in the case of an accident or other life threatening event. “It is really important that providers, patients, planners all just think about this. Sometimes people think this is a conversation you should have when maybe you have a cancer diagnosis. That is not really the first time this type of conversation should happen. You never know when you might be in a car accident or have something unexpected, it is important to be proactively thinking about what is important to you and what you would want done,” Ostrom said.

What is advance care planning? 

It is more than a living will, there are many more aspects to it. “Advance care planning specifically what healthcare you want in situations when you are not able to communicate,” said Ostrom.

The basics are that you discuss this with your family and/or doctor, and inform them of the decisions that you would make. Then, you document what you would want. Then pick an advocate. This is someone that you trust to carry out your wishes that you put in the document. You do not need a lawyer or notary to complete these documents in Arizona.

For many people, they assume their family would know what they want, but Ostrom says it is very important to have it written down. For more resources visit www.optumcare.com/nhdd.

 

 

Dr. Tara Ostrom, an Internal Medicine Physician at Optum Care Primary Care

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