Many healthcare providers and patients are uncertain about how to go about advance planning for end-of-life care situations. Here are a number of resources for starting these conversations and documenting advance directives, as well as learning more about end-of-life issues.
The Conversation Project is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care.
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization website offers links that allow patients to download their state's advance directive form.
La Cross, Wis.-based Gundersen Health System's Respecting Choices advance care planning program is an evidence-based model aimed at providing high-quality informed care for patients and the population while reducing healthcare costs.
The Institute of Medicine's 2014 report Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life is an expert consensus publication that finds improving the quality and availability of medical and social services for patients and their families might not only enhance quality of life through its end, but may also contribute to a more sustainable healthcare system.
The National POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) Paradigm is an approach to end-of-life planning based on conversations between patients, loved ones and healthcare professionals designed to ensure that seriously ill or frail patients can choose the treatments they want or do not want, and that their wishes are documented and honored.
Following the publication of the Institute of Medicine report Approaching Death: Improving Care at the End-of-Life, the Rochester (N.Y.) Individual Practice Association and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Rochester Region End of Life/Palliative Care Professional Advisory Committee was formed.
Compassion & Choices is a not-for-profit organization that offers free consultation, planning resources, referrals and guidance for doctors and state agencies looking to expand patients' options at the end of life.
The Kaiser Family Foundation offers a fact sheet on Medicare's role in end-of-life care.