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Increasing Numbers of Florida Patients Developing Advance Directives

According to information from a recent audit of electronic health records of deceased patients from Shands Hospital at the University of Florida, approximately 47 percent of patients had filed advance directives with the hospital in 2014. This is a significant increase from 2013, when only 6 to 8 percent of all deceased patients had filed these documents.

The increase reflects the effectiveness of encouragement from the UF Health system to have patients put together advance directives and get them on file with the medical center.

A growing trend in health care

A joint commission makes it mandatory for hospitals to ask patients about whether they have an advance directive in place, but there has never been a set standard for how many patients need to have these documents on file. However, the hospital has set the goal of having 94 percent of all patients covered with advance directives. The hope is to match the number set by the Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, Wisconsin, which made international headlines for the way it ensures patients are covered with these documents.

Part of encouraging more patients to put together these arrangements is educating them about the benefits. Anyone who wishes to have control over who makes medical decisions on their behalf and what types of life-saving measures will or will not be implemented may benefit greatly from creating advance directives.

If you would like to learn more about establishing an advance directive to provide you with greater peace of mind, work with a skilled Florida estate planning lawyer at the Charles Law Offices. 

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