My Health Record best place for advance care directives

couple sitting on a couch looking at paperwork

With National Advance Care Planning Week occurring 1-5 April, medical leaders are reminding Australians to make sure their future health care preferences are uploaded to My Health Record, where they can be easily accessed when needed. 

“National Advance Care Planning Week reminds us all of the importance of making your loved ones aware of your wishes in regards to health treatment, for a time in future where you may no longer be able to express your preferences. When you are sick, the burdens and stresses of decision-making may fall on those you love,” said says Adelaide GP, Dr Chris Moy, Chair of the Ethics and Medico-legal Committee of the Australian Medical Association and ambassador for National Advance Care Planning Week. 

“Having conversations beforehand, documenting your wishes, and knowing where this information is stored and available can help ease this burden. My Health Record is equipped to store your advance care plan, allowing it to be accessed by your health care team at a place and a time in the future when it is needed. All Australians now have the opportunity to use this tool to ensure that they obtain health treatment in line with their preferences.”

Storing advance care planning documents in My Health Record is particularly vital in emergency care cases where hospitals, paramedics and other relevant registered healthcare providers need access to a patient’s records, in order to provide the care the patient wants. 

Consumer, Melissa Williams, said, “My husband is an athlete who competes across the country but while he is fit, he is also completely blind so it is difficult for him to track his healthcare documents. Storing our advanced care plans in our My Health Records gives us peace of mind that our future health care wishes will be respected.”

‘When a sudden medical event occurs, access to a person’s documented health care preferences is imperative. We’ve heard desperate stories of loved ones frantically trying to access ACDs from solicitor’s offices, personal laptops and even locked safes. If you’ve gone to the trouble of documenting your preferences, make sure you take that critical extra step of uploading your ACD to My Health Record,” explained Linda Nolte, Program Director of Advance Care Planning Australia, the organisation that runs National Advance Care Planning Week.

Find more information about uploading your advance care plan to My Health Record.

Find more information about National Advance Care Planning Week.