News and Media
Welcome to Quality Buzz. Quality Buzz is dedicated to bringing you all the latest news and information to help you improve the quality of your health care. We update this section weekly and hope that it will become an important resource for you.
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April 02, 2010 — National Healthcare Decisions Day
Alert! Friday, April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day.
The focus for this day is to encourage people to make their end of life wishes known by simply filling out a health care proxy and having a conversation with family and their doctor.
We all know that these types of ‘days’ appear all over the calendar and generally miss the collective conscience. But today I want to get your attention and ask that you take one minute to understand that your participation in this particular day can have a profound effect on the lives of many people.
Simply by visiting this website - http://www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org/ - you can download posters and proxy forms that may be customized with your logo. By making these materials available in your office and among your clients, customers and community, you will help educate others about the difference having a health care proxy in place can make for the care of a loved one.
Most often, at the end of life, the patient is not able to use their voice and so they are not able to participate in their own care. This means the patient’s wishes are being determined by any number of family members, doctors, healthcare workers and colleagues. The time, stress, money and energy expended by so many at the end of a person’s life can take a lasting toll on the family and the entire healthcare system. This is particularly troubling because end of life is the moment when the focus should be on the life of the patient.
The human and systems costs will be dramatically diminished when each of us states our wishes through a health care proxy and makes clear to our family, friend and doctors what we want.
Health care proxies have only recently made their way into the consumer conversation. The idea that each of us may, and must, make clear our desires for end of life, is really just beginning to take hold. One initiative that has been tested in Worcester has met with great success. Next week, when they launch their website, we will share more information about Massachusetts Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST).
As the people of the Commonwealth strive to understand what healthcare reform means for them, the Partnership for Healthcare Excellence will continue to look for simple and concrete ways for consumers to be more engaged in the process.
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