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AtlantiCare to participate in National Healthcare Decisions Day

AtlantiCare to participate in National Healthcare Decisions Day

For Immediate release: April 15, 2014

AtlantiCare is joining healthcare organizations across the country in promoting the importance of advance healthcare decision-making as one way to enhance quality of care on April 16, National Healthcare Decisions Day.

"Putting your wishes in writing ahead of time takes a huge burden off the shoulders of your family," said Deborah Bayer, DO, medical director, AtlantiCare Hospice. "If you become seriously ill, your family will be stressed and grieving. The last thing they will need is the moral obligation of deciding which tests and procedures you would have wanted performed."

AtlantiCare regularly provides information about and tools for constructing advance directives to hospital, outpatient, primary, and specialty care patients.

Advance directives describe a variety of legal documents which provide guidance to healthcare professionals and to other caregivers about a person's wishes for medical care. Three common advance directive documents include:

  • Living will – A document that explains medical treatments you would or would not want a healthcare team to perform if you are dying, are permanently unconscious, or are otherwise unable to speak for yourself. Patients might specify wishes about aggressiveness of treatment; measures taken to ensure comfort or quality of life; or wishes about life-prolonging treatments.
  • A durable power of attorney for health care is a document that names your health care proxy to make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to do so.
  • Practitioner Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) - assists individuals facing serious illness in working closely with their medical team and with loved ones to define end-of-life plans, including personal goals and medical preferences. The AtlantiCare Access Center also offers information and forms for the community. To reach the AtlantiCare Access Center, call 888-569-1000 or visit www.atlanticare.org.

Tips for an advance directive:

  • Every adult should have a living will and a durable power of attorney for healthcare, regardless of age.
  • Those facing a serious illness should speak with their physician about a POLST form.
  • Keep the original documents in a secure but accessible place.
  • Give copies to the people you designate as your representative and alterative representatives, family, close friends, clergy, and anyone else who might become involved in your healthcare.
  • If you or your loved one enters a nursing home or hospital, bring copies of your documents to be placed in your medical records.

For more information, call the AtlantiCare Access Center, visit www.atlanticare.org, or find AtlantiCare on Facebook at www.facebook.com.

For more information about National Healthcare Decisions Day, please visit www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org.

For more information about POLST, visit the New Jersey Hospital Association website.

Media Contacts:

Jennifer Tornetta, (O) 609-569-7010, (C) 609-335-3446, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Betsy Woerner, (O) 609-748-7539, (C) 609-385-6361, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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AtlantiCare is an integrated system of services designed to help people achieve optimal health. It includes AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, AtlantiCare Health Engagement, the AtlantiCare Foundation, and AtlantiCare Health Services. Its more than 5,221 employees and more than 700 physicians serve the community in nearly 70 locations. A 2009 Malcolm Baldrige Award winner, AtlantiCare was also included in Modern Healthcare's Best Places to Work in Healthcare in 2010. ARMC became the 105th hospital in the nation to attain status as a Magnet™ designated hospital in March of 2004 and was redesignated a Magnet™ hospital in 2008 and 2013.

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