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The Importance of Advance Directives

In healthcare, the significance of advance directives cannot be overstated. That’s why Contexture has worked with several organizations and partners around Arizona over the last four years to develop the Arizona Healthcare Directives Registry (AzHDR) — a platform that provides healthcare providers with seamless access to patient healthcare wishes and outlines healthcare preferences across the continuum of care. This secure online registry for housing advance healthcare directives in Arizona includes the following documents:

  • Living Will
  • Health Care Power of Attorney
  • Mental Health Care Power of Attorney
  • Prehospital Medical Care Directive (aka Do Not Resuscitate)

Why are advance directives important?

We believe that every Arizonan should receive the healthcare they want, even when they can no longer speak for themselves. By having a digital record of these documents managed by Contexture, individuals are more empowered than ever to express their preferences regarding medical treatment in situations where they are unable to communicate or make decisions. Advance directives also reduce the burden on families and healthcare providers when faced with difficult decisions, promoting a smoother and more respectful healthcare process while also contributing to a more compassionate, patient-centered healthcare system.

How are advance directives maintained and protected in Arizona?

The Arizona legislature passed Senate Bill 1352 in 2019, officially transitioning the management of the advance directives registry from its former location with the Secretary of State’s office to Contexture, the state-designated, nonprofit health information exchange (HIE) organization for Arizona. The bill also granted healthcare providers the necessary permissions to have real-time access to individual advance directives.

Since AzHDR transferred to Contexture, our organization has worked with over 40 passionate partners who donated their valuable time, expertise and resources to help make AzHDR a game-changer in how Arizonans complete and share their advance directives. Arizona has seen a significant increase in the number of individuals uploading their advance healthcare directives and an increase in professionals using AzHDR to access these documents; the proof is in the numbers.

Advance directives by the numbers

More than 92 legal and financial institutions plus 299 healthcare providers are now regularly accessing AzHDR. Ten rural Arizona hospitals are receiving guidance on how to enhance advance care planning workflows and increase AzHDR utilization. Assisted living centers are now required to provide an individual’s advance healthcare directives to emergency responders, thanks to the Arizona legislature passing Senate Bill 1157 this year. All of this helped to increase the total number of advance directives registered in AzHDR to over 100,000 accounts, which is roughly a 34% increase since Contexture became responsible for AzHDR.

How can Arizonans better understand AzHDR and health directives?

Learn more about the innovative platform that plays a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of healthcare directives in Arizona and beyond by visiting and or connecting with us directly at Together, let’s embrace a future where healthcare directives are easily accessible, simple to understand and available to all.

More about Contexture

Contexture is a locally operated nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that functions as a public-private partnership, in close collaboration with healthcare providers, hospitals, community partners, Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) and other government agencies. Contexture was established in 2021 as the largest health information organization in the Western region, and its mission is to advance individual and community health and wellness through the delivery of actionable information and analysis.

More about the Arizona Healthcare Directives Registry (AzHDR)

AzHDR is designed to help honor your end-of-life healthcare wishes by providing secure and seamless access to advance directives, documents that outline your healthcare preferences, across the continuum of care. AzHDR provides a safe place to store and make accessible Arizonans’ advance directive documents so end-of-life care will be guided by their wishes. Registering advance directives with AzHDR is free to Arizona residents and offers easy access to participating healthcare providers – ensuring wishes registered are wishes honored. Working together as a community, we can ensure that no matter where or when someone faces the moment they can’t communicate, their advance directives are registered, accessible and honored.


Trevor Peters

Marketing Specialist | Contexture