Jersey City, NJ, May 3, 2017 – April 16th was National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), an initiative of The Conversation Project. This year, NHDD was a week-long event from April 16th to April 22nd when those in the healthcare industry strive to encourage, educate and empower both the public and providers about the important role of advance care planning.
Talking about end-of-life planning is often difficult or avoided for families and friends, causing them the stress and burden of making hard decisions. Although 90% of people agree that discussing end-of-life planning with those closest to them is important, only 27% actually have.
The goal of NHDD and The Conversation Project is to start the discussion at the kitchen table — not in the intensive care unit — before it’s too late. By having an open conversation in which loved ones feel comfortable expressing their end-of-life requests, those closest to them can understand and respect their wishes and even bring them closer together.
In 2011, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into legislation the Practitioner Orders of Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form. This document, when signed by a patient’s attending physician or advanced practice nurse, includes instructions for personnel to follow for various life-prolonging interventions and becomes a part of the patient’s medical records.
Alaris Health at Essex Transitional Nurse Care Practitioner Maria Christina Errazo said of POLST, “Providing dignity and decency is fundamental to our patients’ care. As clinicians, we have a moral and ethical responsibility to talk to them and help them make informed choices about their healthcare based on their values, beliefs and goals. It is then our duty to ensure that those wishes are honored in any healthcare situation.”
For more information about the POLST form, visit www.state.nj.us. Click here to view the POLST form on our website, or click here to directly download a copy of the NJ POLST form. And to download the Conversation Starter Kit and learn about how to talk to your doctor about advance care planning, choose a health care proxy and more, visit www.nhdd.org or www.theconversationproject.org/starter-kits.
About Alaris Health
Alaris statewide network of independently owned and operated Member Health Centers offers a wide variety of services across a continuum of care, ranging from short-term post-hospital rehabilitation and long-term care specialized care.
Each Member Health Center is licensed to use the Alaris Health name and receive non-health related services. All health care related services are provided solely by each independently owned and operated Member Health Center.
For more information, please visit www.alarishealth.com or call (855)7-ALARIS for more information.