Making Better Healthcare Decisions
Understanding advance directives and making plans for health care issues before there is a crisis, is a difficult task. Johns Hopkins experts are educating patients and families about the importance of advance healthcare decision-making as part of National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 14, 2012.
According to Tom Smith, M.D., director of palliative medicine for Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Hopkins’ Kimmel Cancer Center, having a thoughtful conversation about living wills, power of attorney, and medical care interventions, makes for far fewer struggles for families and physicians when a patient no longer can make his or her wishes known. “Traditionally, patients, families and even health care professionals have avoided what is assumed to be an uncomfortable topic. But by providing information and tools for having these discussions, we can better equip everyone involved in a patient’s care,” he said.