Advance Care Plans are not written by lawyers or doctors. They are written by ordinary people like you. So you do not need to use legal or medical jargon. However, doctors and other medical staff play an important role in putting your Advance Care Plan into practice. But how do they actually do this? Read on as we take you through it.
How an Advance Care Plan works
In the Advance Care Plan, you set out the medical treatment you want to be administered, and which you refuse to have administered to you , according to different circumstances. For example if you are sick but expected to return to normal, you might wish to have medical treatment. But if you are very sick and not expected to return to normal functioning you might refuse to have certain medical treatment, eg life saving treatment administered. This collection of decisions forms your intent. Touchstone Life Care uses a comprehensively tested questionnaire, developed by social research experts to address all of these requirements and make your intent crystal clear.
Discuss your plan with your GP
The GP’s role in the Advance Care Plan process is crucial; not only to provide patients with the medical information they require to make good decisions but also to assist them to talk about their preferences with their family.
A GP can help you make a plan that has been formulated with up-to-date medical information, and discussed ahead of time. This minimises family conflict and assists the treating medical team to act in accordance with the patient’s wishes during a sudden deterioration or crisis.
Your GP or doctor will ensure your Advance Care Plan meets any legal needs in your State or country.
After the Advance Care Plan is created
If you include your doctor’s details in the Share section of your Advance Care Plan, the Advance Care Plan will be shared with them. They will have it handy and be able to discuss it and refer to it more easily when planning or deciding on your medical care. You or your doctor can upload your Advance Care Plan to My Health Record. This makes your experience as a client smoother, better and more tailored to your wishes.
When the Advance Care Plan is activated
If a situation arises and your Advance Care Plan is activated, your GP will talk with your other Substitute Decision Makers and hospital staff and be part of the process of your care. Involving them in the process means that hospital care will better align to your Advance Care Plan.
In summary discuss your wishes
It’s important to discuss your wishes and share your Advance Care Plan with your GP. Touchstone Life Care makes this process easy with its automated system of notifications, but it’s also good to make an appointment to talk with your GP or doctor about your Advance Care plan annually or whenever you decide to update or change it.