What is advance care planning?
Advance care planning is the process of detailing your future medical care preferences. It provides guidance to your family, close friends and healthcare providers if you can no longer speak for yourself or make your own decisions.
You, your nominated and authorised representatives, or your healthcare providers (with your instruction) can add an advance care planning document to your record. Only your healthcare provider can upload a goals of care document with your instruction.
If you change your advance care planning document, you will need to add a new version to your record.
What are the benefits of advance care planning?
There are many situations where an advance care planning document may be used. For instance, if you were taken to hospital while unconscious - your doctor could look at your advance care planning document to understand your wishes and treatment. Your documents could also be useful if you were living in a residential aged care facility and became ill or unable to communicate. Your treating nurses could then look at these documents when providing care.
See the critical role advance care planning can play in your future
What is a goals of care document?
A goals of care document can be created by your healthcare provider to explain the goals of your medical treatment and your preferences for end-of-life treatment. If you agree, your healthcare provider can upload this document to your record.
Adding an advance care planning document
You can add to your My Health Record:
- a scanned PDF copy of your advance care planning document, and
- your advance care document custodian’s details.
Your advance care planning document can be added to your record and updated at any time
Talk to your family, doctor or carers or tell them you have an advance care planning document and that it is available in your record.
Give your doctor a copy of your advance care planning document. Also, give a copy to someone to hold on your behalf. You can decide who to include in your advance care planning discussion. People often include their family, carers, their healthcare providers and other people they have nominated to make decisions on their behalf if the need arises.
Make sure your wishes are known
Step 1. Write down your wishes
- Write your wishes into an advance care planning document. Your wishes could be about life-prolonging treatments or services that you do or don’t want
- Discuss your wishes/preferences with your family and loved ones
- List the names and contact details of a substitute decision maker who can speak on your behalf
- When completed, save your advance care planning document to your computer as a PDF document. If you only have it in paper form, scan it in and save it as a PDF document.
There are different legal requirements for each state and territory. Refer to the Advance Care Planning Australia website for your requirements.
PDF upload tips
- When naming your document, include your full name, the words, ‘advance care plan’ and the date. For example: John Smith Advance Care Plan 20 March 2020.pdf
- To ensure your doctors can view the PDF it is recommended that it does not exceed 21MB
- PDFs lower than 21MB will be easier to view on your mobile phone if you choose to do so
- If necessary, try scanning the document in black and white rather than colour to reduce the file size.
Step 2. Upload your advance care planning document
- Sign in to your record through via myGov. If you don’t have a myGov account, you can create one at www.my.gov.au
- Select your record
- From the ‘Documents’ tab, select the ‘Advance Care Planning’ link
- Select the ‘Add an Advance Care Planning Document’ link
- Scroll down to the ‘Select a PDF file to upload’ section and select ‘Browse’ to find the file you saved in Step 1
- Enter the date that the document was last updated
- Enter the name and contact number of the person who wrote the plan
- Select ‘Next’. The document will upload
- Once the document is uploaded, you can check that you uploaded the correct document, if it’s the right way up, and all the pages are included
- Click the ‘Next’ button and the document will be uploaded
- You can now review your uploaded document. Check that it is the right way up and all pages are included
- Are you happy with the document upload?
- If you’re happy, select ‘Save’ and then ‘OK’
- If you wish to make changes, click ‘Cancel’. Then make the necessary change in the document and start the process again.
Review and revise your advance care planning documents and goals of care documents as your wishes, preferences and/or advance care document custodian changes.
Step 3. Upload your advance care document custodian’s details
Up to two custodians for your advance care planning document can be stored in your record once you have uploaded your plan.
- Select the ‘Add a custodian’ button found on the advance care planning overview page
- Enter one or more custodian names
- Select the ‘Save’ button
- You can use your My Health Record to view and update your advance care planning documents or custodians at any time.
Step 4. View your advance care planning and goals of care documents
If your healthcare provider has uploaded a goals of care document to your record, you can view it online.
- Sign in to your record (if you are already logged in, go to the next step)
- Select the 'Documents' tab
- Select ‘Advance care planning’
- Scroll down to ‘Goals of care documents available on this record’ section where you can select the document you want to view.