York County Medicine Spring 2021 - 11

YO R K C O M E D S O C . O R G

facing the potential loss of their loved one. It is comforting to patients
who know that their wishes have been expressed and will be followed
if they are not able to make their own health care decisions.
Dr. Andre F. Lijoi, associate program director of a WellSpan
Family Medicine Residency program in York, shared that having an
advance care planning discussion with family members is a gift we all
can give to our loved ones, as it eases the discussion if not the decision
making. These decisions are complex and it is unfair to leave them to
unprepared family members. Bringing together the knowledge of the
science of medicine with the knowledge of our patients positions us to
greatly help our patients and families in times like this. Patients who
have undergone the process know the value of it.

A WellSpan patient recently shared: " I
received a few Five Wishes® packets last year.
I wanted to let you know we completed the
packets with our mom and dad. When my
dad passed away and the doctor was asking us
end-of-life questions, it gave us great comfort
to understand and be able to honor dad's
wishes. I believe it also gave our dad comfort
knowing we had his plan. I want to thank you
for the wonderful service you provide to our
community. "

So as physicians, how do you facilitate these discussions? We realize
that too many in our community avoid these important conversations
because they do not know where to start. They delay because they
do not understand what questions to ask or what life support really
means. The documents may seem confusing and elusive. Research

clearly shows that 90 percent of people who are seriously ill want to
have an end-of-life conversation with their physician, but only 17
percent have because they are waiting for the physician to start the
discussion. The physician's dilemma: " How do I bring hope while
considering the worst outcome? " Work for the best but prepare for
the worst.
WellSpan's Horizon Planning initiative offers tips and forms that
help individuals plan, organize and record those decisions. The tips
include a Conversation Starter Kit®, which helps people organize and
talk about their wishes with loved ones. Advance Directive forms
are in the " Five Wishes® " booklet that includes a living will form, a
durable power of attorney for health care form, and a place to explain
wishes for after-death plans. It does not require an attorney or notary
in Pennsylvania to finalize these forms, only the signature of two
witnesses.
WellSpan Health also can provide a POLST (Pennsylvania Orders
for Life Sustaining Treatment) form that can be completed by a
physician and used for treatments during emergency transport during
the last year of life. All these documents should be submitted to a
primary care provider and the person's hospital to become part of the
individual's health record.
Within the WellSpan system, we are training members of our
health care teams to have these important discussions with their
patients, and to assist them in ensuring their wishes are a part of their
electronic health record.
For more information, please call our Horizon Planning
staff at 717-812-6065. If you would like to receive a Horizon
Planning packet including the Five Wishes booklet, please
visit our website at www.wellspan.org/horizonplanning for
an order form.
S P R I N G 2021 | York County Medicine

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http://www.YORKCOMEDSOC.ORG http://www.wellspan.org/horizonplanning

York County Medicine Spring 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of York County Medicine Spring 2021

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