South Dakota and the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations, along with other national, state and community organizations, are leading a massive effort to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making—an effort that has culminated in the formal designation of April 16 as National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). As a participating organization, SDAHO is providing information and tools for the public to talk about their wishes with family, friends, and healthcare providers, and execute written advance directives (healthcare power of attorney and living will) in accordance with South Dakota state laws.
On March 27, 2019 Governor Kristi Noem signed into law Senate bill 118 to establish certain provisions regarding advance care planning and allow the execution of a medical order based on a standardized form which is transportable across all healthcare settings and in all facilities. Medical providers in South Dakota and their patients who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness will be able to translate their treatment goals and preferences into actionable medical orders, known as MOST. The purpose of the MOST order form is to ensure all individuals who are facing a terminal condition have the opportunity to discuss their condition with their medical provider and have the opportunity to express their values and preferences for life-sustaining treatment documented in a medical order. South Dakota MOST does not replace an advance healthcare directive (durable power of attorney for healthcare or living will). Both documents work together in a patient-centered approach to honor the values, wishes and goals of each patient.
As a result of National Healthcare Decisions Day, many more people in our community can be expected to have thoughtful conversations about their healthcare decisions and complete reliable advance directives to make their wishes known. Fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient, and healthcare providers and facilities will be better equipped to address advance healthcare planning issues before a crisis and be better able to honor patient wishes when the time comes to do so.
Click Here to hear how MOST works and the importance of National Healthcare Decisions Day.