When it comes to decisions about your health care, it’s important that your voice is heard.

In some situations, injuries can prevent patients from being able to communicate their wishes. By having Advanced Directives, you can offer guidance to your loved ones regarding the choices you have already made in advance when important health care decisions need to be made.

We offer FREE ASSISTANCE for those wishing to complete an Advanced Directive using our Honoring Choices Program here at The Richland Hospital.

Free Assistance for Advanced PlanningTo make sure your wishes are known, Richland Hospital offers free assistance for anyone interested in completing an Advance Directive called Honoring Choices. Together with our specially trained person, you will create a document that will outline the care you want to receive if you cannot communicate for yourself.

After you make your decisions and document them, you will discuss your priorities, beliefs and wishes with the individual you have chosen to speak for you if you cannot. This important talk will relieve your loved ones of the burden of making those difficult decisions if the time comes. It will give them the assurance that they are following your wishes.

What’s included in the Advanced Planning process

  • Guidance in making informed decisions about your healthcare choices and ensure that those choices are honored.
  • Access to expert staff for your advance care planning discussions.
  • Ensuring your choices are clearly defined, documented and available in your medical record.
  • Translating your choices into medical orders as needed.

Why is Advanced Planning so Important

  • Completing this document will help you to know what your health care options are so that you can make choices that are right for you.
  • An unexpected illness or injury could leave you unable to participate in important decisions about your treatment.
  • Choices left to others can be difficult and stressful anytime. Without the conversation and document to refer to, some will worry that they did not make the right choice.
  • By discussing and outlining your choices, your voice is heard and will affect the care you receive.

Updating an Advanced DirectiveYou will also be offered the opportunity for additional information about Advance Directives. Advance planning is always a work in progress because circumstances, values, beliefs and priorities may change. If at any time, your Advance Directive no longer reflects your wishes, you may complete a new one. If you change your Advance Directive be sure you notify not only your appointed agent but also everyone who has copies of your old form.

Organ DonationAlso, upon admission you will be asked about your wishes regarding organ donation. Information regarding this is also available from your nurse. The Hospital staff will assume you want Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) attempted in the event your heart or breathing stops. If this is against your wishes, please consult with your physician.

Ethics ServicesOccasionally, differences may arise between caregivers, hospital staff, or physicians with respect to patient care or following a patient’s wishes if no directives have been documented in advance. In an effort to provide an objective opinion, a case consultation may be requested from the Ethics Committee. Members of the team gather relevant information, research similar cases, and help to identify all morally acceptable options. In addition, the team ensures that all concerned parties have been heard, and then works on building consensus among them. Case consultations may be requested through the Clinical Coordinator on duty.