COVID-19 and Advanced Care Planning

COVID-19 and National Healthcare Decisions Day

Most events planned for National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) on April 16 have been cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic. However, the mission of NHDD - to educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning - remains as timely as ever. The Catholic Health Association and the Supportive Care Coalition are working together to share practical tools and resources to help support this effort.

COVID-19 Focused Resources

Communicating with the Public about COVID-19 and Advance Care Planning (ACP) — Working with local and national partners the Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness is providing public messaging guidance to support appropriate advance care planning at this time and create a consistent set of language for organizations to draw from.

CHA Coronavirus Resources
SCC COVID-19 resources

The following resources are targeted to clinicians:
  • COVID-Ready Communication Skills — A playbook of VitalTalk Tips
  • CAPC-COVID-19 Response Resources — CAPC has organized a COVID-19 Toolkit including crisis communication and symptom management protocols for all clinicians, guidance on using Medicare COVID-19 emergency waivers, and tools to help palliative care teams address high levels of volume and stress during a crisis.
  • Respecting Choices COVID-19 Resources — Respecting Choices® is addressing the challenges clinicians are facing during the spread of COVID-19 by offering open-source tools and resources to providers caring for those at the highest risk for severe complications related to COVID-19.

NEW from CHA and Supportive Care Coalition: Advance Care Planning Information Cards

These resources can be used to support advance care planning with patients and associates or in community education efforts.

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Advance Directives: Points for Having The Talk - This one-sided fact card provides the basic facts about advance care planning and advance directives.
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Advance Care Planning Myths - This fact card dispels common myths about advance care planning. 

Advance Care Planning Resources for Patients and the Public

  • Advance Directives: Expressing Your Health Care Wishes – This CHA brochure can be used understand and prepare an advance directive.
  • Five Wishes – An easy-to-use legal advance directive document that can be used to document health care wishes and a health care proxy.
  • The Conversation Project's Starter Kits can help individuals gather their thoughts and then have the conversation with loved ones. It is available in several languages and can be co-branded.
  • Supporting Your Community Virtually – In this recent blog, The Conversation Project's founder, Ellen Goodman, encourages us to stay connected during this time of "social distancing." Keeping communities connected, talking about what matters most, and supporting each other can honor the spirit of NHDD.

"Five Wishes" Webinar

This recorded presentation on advance care planning is for individuals, health care providers, hospitals and health care systems. In it, Brian Kane, Ph.D., CHA senior director of ethics, offers a description of advance care planning and CHA’s Nate Hibner, Ph.D., director of ethics, shares Catholic teachings on advance care planning. Paul Malley, president at Aging with Dignity, describes the Five Wishes advance care planning document with perspectives from Jim Towey, founder of Aging with Dignity, and Gregg VandeKieft, MD, medical director of Southwest Washington Region Palliative Care, on the practical uses of the Five Wishes document.
View the webinar

Is Your Organization “Conversation Ready”?

The need to support and honor advance care planning is an important part of the care that health care organizations provide. The following resources can help your organization become “conversation ready.”

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