Hi Tech Tomorrow, Lo Tech Today: What Percentage of Your Patients Have Advance Directives?

In the next few weeks we'll hear all kinds of buzz about the plethora of high tech health IT firms presenting at this week's fantastic Health 2.0 Spring Fling.

In the midst of this swirling idea cloud, let's remember there's significant low-hanging fruit we can encourage consumers to pick and co-direct treatment along their personal care continuum.

Here's a low tech approach we should encourage -the creation, safe storage, and appropriate distribution of an advance directive.

If you really want to empower patients and engage them as consumers, try this aggressive goal; by April 16th, 100% of patients over 18 should have an advance directive on file.

Why April 16th? Why not?

A partnership between the American College of Healthcare Executives and state/community organizations have designated it National Healthcare Decisions Day, and it's coming right up.

A website gives recipes for activities: http://www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org/.

And speaking of consumer directed healthcare, how many of you, dear readers, have advance directives?

Does your designated healthcare advocate have a copy? Your local ED? Each of your treating physicians including your PCP?

End of life and long-term care decisions always seem to be needed when we least expect them. In other words, now is the best time to clarify your thoughts and codify them in a legal document outlining your wishes.

Practice what we preach - there's both personal and professional work to do here...

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