Making decisions about critical and end-of-life healthcare can seem daunting. Our guide to Getting Started With Advance Directives is here to help.
We don’t live forever. But planning ahead helps us stay in control of how we live, while we are here.
Your healthcare should be guided by your wishes. The Arizona Healthcare Directives Registry is designed to help.
We believe that every Arizonan should receive the healthcare they want, even when they can no longer speak for themselves. That’s why we developed the Arizona Healthcare Directives Registry (AzHDR). The Arizona HIE worked with several organizations and partners around the state to develop the secure online registry for housing advance directives. All too often, Arizonans don’t have their healthcare wishes for end-of-life care documented—or if they do, the forms can’t be found when they are needed. We’re striving to encourage every Arizonan to discuss, document and register their end-of-life and critical care preferences.
Making decisions about end-of-life and critical healthcare can seem daunting. It’s uncomfortable, because it asks us to contemplate the most difficult moments of our lives—and imagine a time when we can no longer make decisions for ourselves. We’d like to remove the stigma of talking about death and encourage everyone to make it a “kitchen table conversation.” The moments we need our advance directives are rarely planned. Discussing, sharing, documenting and registering our wishes ensures that we stay in control of our care—and relieves loved ones and healthcare professionals from making decisions for us.
To develop the registry and website, Arizona’s HIE collaborated with many end-of-life (EOL) industry leaders from across the state. More than 40 passionate EOL partners donated their valuable time, energy, expertise and resources to help make the AzHDR a game-changer in how Arizonans complete and share their advance directives. Working together as a community, we can ensure that no matter where or when someone faces the moment they cannot communicate, their advance directives are registered, accessible and honored.
Contexture is a nonprofit healthcare information and technology organization that provides strategic, technical and administrative support to communities committed to advancing health through information sharing. Contexture operates Arizona’s health information exchange (HIE), Arizona’s primary resource for information technology and data exchange, integrating information with the delivery of care to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities.
And now, Contexture is the home for the Arizona Healthcare Directives Registry. In 2019, state legislation (Arizona Senate Bill 1352; statutes 36-3291 and 36-3295) granted the transition of the state’s registry from the Secretary of State’s office to the Arizona HIE to improve healthcare provider access to advance directives.
Outlines, in writing, your wishes regarding medical treatment in the event you are notable to communicate directly with your healthcare providers.
Lets you choose another person, called an agent,” to make healthcare decisions if you can no longer make those decisions for yourself.
Allows and directs your chosen “agent” to make decisions for you regarding behavioral health placement and treatment if you no longer have capacity to do so yourself.
A document signed by you and a licensed healthcare professional that informs emergency personnel not to use means to resuscitate you.
Advance directives aren’t just about planning for death. They are about planning for your future—how you want to be cared for if you become too ill to make decisions for yourself, whether due to old age, chronic illness or an accident. You’ve controlled your life thus far. Advance directives help you stay in control of the rest.
Getting your advance directives into the Arizona Healthcare Directives Registry is easy.
Here’s how to get started:
It starts with a conversation. Make time to talk about advance care planning with loved ones, your healthcare team and other trusted advisors. Talking through your wishes will help you better define them.
Record your preferences by completing Arizona’s advance directive forms. Forms are available through a variety of sources, including the Arizona Attorney General’s office.
Make your wishes known by adding your documents to the registry. With your forms safely stored, you can have peace of mind that your care preferences will be accessible when they are needed most.