Serious Illness Management Toolkit: Not Just for the Faint of Heart: Advance Care Planning for Healthy Patients

Ultimately the role of practitioners of health is to improve the quality of life of patients by providing them evidence-based and quality care. An important piece of being successful at this is to understand what is important to them and their goals-treating the individual and not just the disease. Practitioners need to align the patient's understanding of their health with reality, and match their goals and expectations with appropriate treatment options. Planning for the unexpected is an important part of what practitioners do, and advance care planning is the means to individualize this for our patients-whatever their health may be. Difficult discussions about treatment preference should not be just for those patients with serious and terminal illnesses, but also for healthy patients to stimulate end-of-life conversations over time, improve quality of end-of-life care, and reduce life-sustaining treatments that go against patient preferences. This activity addresses advance care planning for healthy patients. This activity is a collaboration between AAPA and PAs in Hospice and Palliative Medicine (PAHPM).

Educational Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to:  

  • Define advance care planning and its lingo
  • Discuss why advance care planning is necessary
  • Describe what might happen when you start the discussion of advance care planning with healthy patients
  • Create a plan to incorporate discussion of advance care planning with all patients