Streamlining Patient's Wishes: Analyzing Improvements for the Implementation of Advance Directives

William Wallington


The purpose of this study was to complete a review of literature and determine methods providers can use to increase the implementation rates of advance directives (ADs). A growing elderly population coupled with an increase in chronic disease is making the implementation of advance directives more important than ever, yet the percentage of completed advance directives continues to be poor. Utilizing a review of evidence-based research, barriers to implementation were identified. This includes communication, timing and setting, appropriate end-of-life care and utilization of Provider Order for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) to provide a detailed format therefore lessening miscommunication. A pamphlet was designed to provide this information in a quick and easy-to-read format for providers and other healthcare staff. The pamphlet was well received by the participants and most agreed that this is an important topic to address with all patients. As a result of this project, the process of educating patients on ADs will be improved and the process of communication between all members of the healthcare team can be more efficient