National Healthcare Decisions Day: A Day for Planning

A message from Minnesota Oncology Medical Director Dr. Mark Sborov and Dr. Nicole Hartung, Medical Director of Quality

April 16th marks the eighth anniversary of National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), a day for national, state, community and business organizations to help the public focus on the importance of advance care planning, and to encourage discussion among patients, their loved ones and their healthcare teams.

Advance care planning involves exploring and documenting treatment preferences so a person’s healthcare wishes can be honored in the future. The main goal of National Healthcare Decision Day is to bring awareness to the issue and ensure that all adults have the information and the opportunity to communicate and document their future healthcare preferences. Thousands of organizations and millions of people nationwide observe the day, which is gaining widespread recognition. As a major provider of comprehensive cancer services to the community, Minnesota Oncology is pleased to participate in this worthwhile endeavor.

Why is this important for every adult to do? Because it is a critical step toward ensuring a person will receive the care he or she desires in the future, at a time when one may be unable to speak for themselves. It also helps to relieve the family from having to make difficult decisions during times of crisis, which can be a heavy burden if they do not have a good sense of what the person would have wanted.

At Minnesota Oncology, we recognize the important role advance care planning can play in helping our patients receive the care they want throughout the course of their treatment. We encourage all of our patients to begin the process early in their treatment path, and we assist them in exploring their care values and goals, defining their choices and documenting their decisions. We have resources and providers who can help you with the process. Please ask for more information at your next appointment.