Fallon Medical Complex was recently granted access to the newly created “End-of-Life Registry” by the MT Department of Justice.
By David Espeland,
Fallon Medical Complex
Fallon Medical Complex was recently granted access to the newly created “End-of-Life Registry” by the MT Department of Justice. The registry was authorized by the 2015 Montana Legislature to store advance directives online and to give authorized health care facilities access to them.
Advance directives are important documents that outline a person’s wishes during the end stages of life when that person is not able to verbalize their thoughts and feelings. And it is a way for physicians to know what treatment options are appropriate according to that individual’s desires. For example, advance directives typically stipulate whether a person would like to be placed on life support, and if so, for how long.
Up until now, people have communicated their advance directives through paper forms. While this may not be an issue when a person is admitted to a nursing home, it can create difficulties for patients, families, and healthcare providers when they are forced to scramble during an emergency to determine how a patient may want to be treated.
With the introduction of the End-of-Life Registry, people can now store their advance directive documents on a secure Internet site maintained by the MT Department of Justice. Individuals have the ability to choose who can access their advance directives, including family members. And the best part is that it is free of charge.
The most significant benefit of the registry is how quickly and easily registered health care facilities can obtain those vital documents. It releases individuals from having to make unnecessary copies and have them readily accessible to a hospital. From the facility standpoint, it reduces misplaced paperwork and allows staff to spend less time finding the right document. All of this translates into less time understanding a patient’s desires for medical care, and more time meeting them.
Persons interested in participating in this program can start the process by visiting www.endoflife.mt.gov and filling out two on-line forms: “My Choices-Advance Directive” and a Consumer Registration Agreement. As an individual’s needs change, advance directives can always be modified by completing a new form.
Those who need assistance with this process are welcome to contact Danni Kraft, FMC’s Social Services Director, at 778-5107 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the registry, please contact the email@example.com or call 1-866-675-3314.