Honoring Choices: Progress in valuing your wishes

February 23, 2017

Suffering a serious, unexpected injury or illness is not something any of us wants to think about. How will they know what kind of treatment we would want? What would it mean for our loved ones? Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest is a project co-sponsored by WSHA and the Washington State Medical Association with a vision that everyone in the state should receive care that honors their personal values and goals near the end of life.

Our goals in 2017 include creating a state-wide registry for POLST and advance care planning document, engaging communities in this work (including senior centers, churches and industry), and planning for clinician skill building and communications work.

In the first six months, the results have been dramatic. The national expert in this area, Gundersen, calls the results “simply amazing!” Here are some highlights:

  • Honoring Choices PNW’s launch was met with enthusiasm across the state and region.
  • 32 sites — associated with large and small, urban and rural medical groups and hospitals — launched the effort.
  • 95 facilitators are actively having advance care planning conversations with patients.
  • 394 advance planning conversations have taken place.
  • 60 percent of these conversations have the health care agent present, representing a national best practice.
  • The program received a 4.85 out of 5 average satisfaction score.

Examples of the feedback we are receiving are:

  • “Great facilitated service. Everyone should have this planned or recorded in their medical record.”
  • “This session was invaluable for me. She took some very complex topics and helped me really understand them.”
  • “She made it very comfortable to talk about decisions that may be difficult.”

We’d like to give a special thank you to all of our supporters for providing the initial seed money to make this work possible!
Carol Wagner
WSHA Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives


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Washington State Hospital Association
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Seattle, WA 98104

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