Why Have a Healthcare Proxy

TakeCHARGE: 5 Steps to Safer Health Care

Since before the pandemic, many of us throughout the country have recognized that most members of the public could be better prepared to enter the healthcare system as patients. 

Medical staff are overworked and help is in short supply.  With medical errors being a leading cause of death in the United States, it is the responsibility of all people to plan ahead. 

From April through August, each year, we spend a full month encouraging everyone to do one of 5 Steps to Safer Health Care.  You can get involved by sharing through social media: articles, ideas, stories, videos, photos or surveys showing what you are doing through your business, faith community, civic organization or family to help promote each of the 5 Steps.  Each week on “TakeCHARGE Tuesday”, we will be sharing information that you can use or pass on to others.

      The 5 Steps to Safer Health Care!

  1. Understand and Complete Your Advance Directives  (April)
  2. Keep a Record of Your Medical History and Current Medications (May)
  3. Prepare for Doctor Visits/Make a List of Questions (June)
  4. Prevent Infections/Ask Caregivers to Wash Their Hands (July)
  5. Use an Advocate/Be an Advocate for Others (August)

April: Understand and Complete Your Advance Directives 

What is a Healthcare Proxy and Why Does it Matter?

Darlene left for college and was on her own for the first time. Driving to a fast food restaurant with her friends after a night of studying, there was a car accident.  Darlene and three of her friends were rushed to a local hospital where Darlene called her mother.  Her mother was working late and came home to the message that Darlene was in the hospital.  When her mother called the hospital, she was not given any information about Darlene due to “Patient privacy”.  She found out later that Darlene was rushed into surgery.  Her mother had no rights to help make decisions for Darlene were she unable to make decisions for herself.  Darlene is an adult, even though many people might think of her as still a child.

Could this be you or someone you care about?  Learn more about The TakeCHARGE Campaign: 5 Steps to Safer Healthcare, as we look at Step #1 throughout the month of April.