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The Vancouver Clinic Recognizes National Healthcare Decisions Day with Clinic-Wide Events

Lynda Tang, DO

Hundreds of Providers and Staff Take Pledge, Prepare to Educate Patients about Crisis Healthcare Decision-Making

In anticipation of National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 16, 2016, The Vancouver Clinic (TVC) prepared hundreds of providers and staff to educate patients on the importance of advance care planning this week. Advanced care planning is a process of individuals communicating their wishes about the medical care that they would or would not want to family and healthcare providers. It also involves individuals determining who will make healthcare decisions on their behalf in the event of a tragedy or sudden major illness during which they could not speak for themselves.

National Healthcare Decisions Day is a growing, nationwide campaign to raise awareness among medical providers and the public about the importance of advanced care planning. Through healthcare directives, such as a living will and designating a power of attorney for healthcare, individuals can ensure that those they trust the most are empowered to make crisis healthcare decisions for them that align with their values and wishes.

“Accidents and acute illnesses can happen to anyone at any time, but many families have not adequately planned ahead for such circumstances,” said TVC palliative care specialist Dr. Lynda Tang. “As Clark County’s top healthcare provider, The Vancouver Clinic has a unique opportunity to educate and prepare our patients for the future.”

According to Dr. Tang, the process of engaging patients on advanced care planning starts with making sure TVC’s medical providers and staff are knowledgeable on this critical issue, as well as leading by example. For this reason, Healthcare Decisions Day events aimed at educating employees on the importance of advanced care planning were hosted by TVC at five locations in Vancouver and Battle Ground, with events scheduled for the end of April in Washougal. More than 700 providers and staff participated in the events and signed a pledge to discuss related healthcare decision-making with their own families and friends.

“Healthcare professionals are on the frontlines of patient care and experience firsthand the challenges faced by many families unprepared for decision-making during medical emergencies. We have a tremendous opportunity to engage patients and their loved ones in facilitating related discussions before it’s too late,” said Dr. Tang. “Our events were a positive step forward in educating our providers and staff for their own benefit and for the benefit of our patients.”

To learn more about National Healthcare Decisions Day, visit https://www.nhdd.org/#welcome.