Improving Advance Directive Completion Rates: Utilizing Technology with a Virtual Platform
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Advance care planning and advance directives guide patients in remaining autonomous when considering and planning for future healthcare. Improving the regularity of advance care planning as a preventative measure and increasing the number of individuals who have completed advance directives contributes to robust palliative care resources for patients. The purpose of this quasi-experimental, pretest- posttest design project was to determine if the evidence based advance directive intervention increased legal documentation and completion rates among adults in the community. A webpage was built to guide patients through education and decision making. Participants included adults over the age of 18 without a terminal illness diagnosis and with or without current advance directives. Follow up surveys were collected at 3 months’ post intervention. The intervention was accessed by participants from home or other convenient location. The intervention implemented and included materials from the PREPARE for your Care program. Advance directive paperwork was downloadable at the conclusion of the educational intervention. There was a significant difference in advance directive completion status prior to intervention and post intervention. Increasing the prevalence and number of individuals who have advance care planning conversations and documentation can improve care provided to patients and client satisfaction. Nurse practitioners account for more than 600 million medical office visits per year in the United States. They are in a crucial position to educate, advocate, and support the completion of advance directives. Low completion rates of advance directives directly result in a higher level of Medicare spending, higher likelihood of in hospital deaths, lower utilization of hospice care, and decreased quality of life.
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