MedicAlert Foundation Supports National Healthcare Decisions Day and Promotes Advance Directive Service to Protect Consumers' Treatment Wishes

National Healthcare Decisions Day Reminds Americans of the Importance of Advance Care Planning to Ensure Wishes are known during a Medical Emergency

(TURLOCK, Calif., April 16, 2014) – MedicAlert Foundation is supporting National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) and the importance of all Americans having an Advance Directive to ensure their healthcare choices are known during an emergency. National Healthcare Decisions Day is a national effort to educate Americans about the importance of advance care planning in order to protect their healthcare wishes. MedicAlert offers an Advanced Directive Management Service that is designed to securely store advance directives and help ensure that consumers' treatment wishes are known and honored, should they experience an emergency and find themselves unable to communicate. This service also provides for notification of the consumer’s designated contacts and health care proxy decision-makers.

“Too often families are left in a position where they have to make healthcare decisions for loved ones without knowing what their true wishes are,” said Andrew Wigglesworth, CEO of MedicAlert Foundation, adding, “MedicAlert understands the stress this causes, which is why we’ve taken necessary steps to help consumers' make sure their health care choices are known and relieve the burden that family members may experience during these emergency situations.”

This year marks the 7th annual National Healthcare Decisions Day. Hospitals, hospices, workplaces, and many other community organizations are coming together to promote this day and its important message to consumers - document your health care decisions.

MedicAlert’s Advance Directive Management Service helps to relieve the stress and anxiety that families and friends experience when their loved ones are unable to communicate their treatment wishes. MedicAlert provides a safe and secure way to store Advance Directive documents and DNR orders and the mechanism to make them available when and where they are needed. Included with MedicAlert’s Advance Directive Management Service is the charity's signature offering, its Live 24/7 Emergency Response. For many families spread out in different locations across the country, this service solves a number of potential problems, including knowing where the documents are in an emergency, getting the advance directive promptly delivered to the health care provider, and getting notified that a loved one is having a medical emergency.
“While the first step is having an advance directive that documents your wishes, the second step is enrolling in MedicAlert’s Advance Directive Management Service to make sure your wishes are reliably communicated to the health care team in an emergency,” said Wigglesworth, adding, “Documenting your wishes and using MedicAlert will alleviate family burdens and provides peace of mind in knowing your desires will be honored and respected.”

About MedicAlert Foundation

Established in 1956, the nonprofit charity MedicAlert Foundation pioneered the use of medical ID products and delivers the most dependable, responsive, and trusted Emergency Identification and Medical Information Network. MedicAlert provides the functionality of an e-health information exchange through an innovative combination of a unique patient identifier linked to a personal health record and a live 24/7 emergency response service. MedicAlert Foundation International medical ID products alert emergency personnel to a member’s primary health conditions, medications or other critical information. In addition to its 24-hour emergency response service, MedicAlert Foundation International also provides family and caregiver notification so that members can be reunited with their loved ones. Visit www.medicalert.org for more information.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014