In honor of “National Health Care Decisions Day” (April 16th), we are participating in the NH Health Care Decisions Coalition Annual Advanced Directives Survey. The goal is to determine the average percentage of patients in our state who have evidence of completed Advanced Directives in their medical records. NH hospitals have had 100% participation in recent years and continue to report that one third of their medical records contain evidence of these completed documents although up to 45 % of patients state that they have completed Advanced Directives.
We know that people receiving hospice care are more likely to have their advanced care wishes documented. In recent years, our hospice survey has found that close to 90% of those surveyed have evidence of completed advanced directives as well as an average of 36 percent of patients having a Portable Do Not Resuscitate order and 6 – 10 percent had Provider Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST).
Survey participants have told us that completing our survey is quick and easy and demonstrates a quality initiative in their own program. To complete this survey, pick one day between now and Thursday, April 4th to review your active hospice patient’s medical records and record evidence of completed advanced directives on the simple summary form (attached).
Please submit your data to me, firstname.lastname@example.org at your earliest convenience and know that you are helping strengthen efforts to promote honoring patient wishes at end of life. You will receive a summary of the results in our April newsletter.
Janice McDermott, Director of Hospice & Palliative Care