Frantic Then, Regret Now
“My mother fell ill at age 69. We rushed her to the ER where she was admitted with an acute stroke. After several days she was discharged. Two days later she began to bleed internally and was rushed back to the ER, admitted to ICU, where she slipped into a coma. With no change over the next week, she was sent back to the nursing home. The doctor there said she would not likely come out of it because she did not have the physical reserve to get better. I was asked to decide how she would have wanted to be treated in this situation. I was frantic and gave them permission to remove her from life support. Mom did not have any advance directives, and we had never talked about this so I had no idea what she would have wanted. The decision I made haunts me to this day.”
According to a physician in palliative care, this is by far the most common response she hears when initiating “the talk” with patients and their families. She elaborates on how there used to be more time and opportunity to discuss priorities and expectations, but in the era of COVID-19–where patients can decline within a matter of hours–it’s more important than ever to discuss end-of-life issues before someone is sick. Decisions made in a crisis may be harmful to the patient and possibly later regretted by the family.
Helping Decision-Makers and Clinicians
Clinicians desperately need actionable information about the patients they treat. In the case of doing battle with this current virus, knowing how devastating it can be and how drastic can be the rate of decline, it is key to know the degree of physiological risk of the patient and use this information to frame and guide decision-making with the family. As frailty increases, so too does the degree of risk for adverse outcomes. This information, shared with decision-makers, will frame meaningful conversations, align their expectations with a realistic outcome, and inform their advance care directive decisions and documents. This approach can help to ameliorate crisis decision-making and long-standing regret.
Patient Pattern and ADVault Taking Next Steps
In January 2021, we will go live in our joint venture to improve the quality of advance care planning for high-risk individuals. Patient Pattern, Inc., the health industry leader in frailty risk stratification solutions, and ADVault, Inc., creator of the world’s leading digital advance care planning platform, MyDirectivesⓇ, and MyDirectives MOBILETM, have created an integrated solution for their enterprise clients to improve healthcare outcomes.
Knowing the patient’s unique level of risk is vital to making better, risk-informed decisions. ADVault’s steadfast commitment to the voice of the individual aligns perfectly with our mission, and its global reach allows us to scale our sphere of influence. Working together, we will drive better, not fragmented, advance care planning and showcase person-centered, high-value care.
Our mission at Patient Pattern is to make frailty a global standard across the continuum of care, allowing patients and families to avoid harm and optimize function and quality of life. In partnership with ADVault, Inc. and its global MYDirectives.com platform, we will lead the industry in effectively communicating peoples’ decisions to all their care providers, better aligning approaches, reducing conflict and litigation, and improving family and patient satisfaction.
For more information on these companies and this exciting partnership, please click the highlighted links above.