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Celebrating National Healthcare Decisions Day

April 14, 2023

Ahead of National Healthcare Decisions Day, HAP and Pennsylvania’s hospitals are highlighting the importance of advance care planning and encouraging everyone to consider their end-of-life wishes.

Celebrated on April 16, the initiative aims to “encourage patients to express their wishes regarding health care and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be,” the Institute for Healthcare Improvement notes.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • About the initiative:  National Healthcare Decisions Day was founded in 2008, with a focus on providing resources for providers and patients to support advance care planning and decision-making.
  • By the numbers:  A 2022 survey found that just 35.4 percent of U.S. adults have discussed their wishes and values for end-of-life care.
  • Older adults:  About 46 percent of older adults reported they had completed at least one advance care planning legal document, according to the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging.
  • Having the talk:  The Conversation Project offers free resources to help facilitate conversations about your future health care wishes and values.
  • Why it matters:  "Medical emergencies can happen to anyone at any time, leaving them without the ability to voice their wishes,” Vinti Shah, DO, chief, division of palliative medicine at Reading, Phoenixville, and Pottstown Hospitals, said in a statement.

In recognition of National Healthcare Decisions Day, HAP encourages everyone to join this important movement to communicate their end-of-life wishes and values with their loved ones. Additional information about National Healthcare Decisions Day is available online.