- Purchase/rental options available:
Health care systems can go beyond advance care planning to create mechanisms for eliciting and documenting the goals of care and life-sustaining treatment decisions of patients with serious life-limiting illnesses. These systems can help ensure that patients receive care that is consistent with their values and preferences. We describe a case in which even though a patient with a serious illness had completed an advance directive and had discussed preferences with family, clinicians failed to identify the patient's authentic preferences for life-sustaining treatment. We offer a stepwise framework for communication with seriously ill patients and describe a systems approach to transforming the process of eliciting, documenting, and honoring patients' life-sustaining treatment preferences in the U. S. Veterans Health Administration.