Planning for the End of Life

Sponsored: Vynca makes that process easier.

People don’t like to think about what happens at the end of their lives, but these are important conversations to have, and even more important to document.

“Most people are afraid to talk about it,” says Dr. Arian Nachat, a palliative care physician at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center. “People are scared to think about end-of-life plans. They think it’s about limiting their options, but it’s about patient decision-making and putting that autonomy into writing.”

That conversation may be a hard one to have, but it is important — documenting a patient’s wishes can mean everything to an individual’s quality at the end-of-life. That’s why Vynca created a comprehensive advance care planning solution to digitally document and access Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms and advance directives.

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“Advance care planning is a life-long process, focused on reflecting on what people want at the end of their lives,” says Dr. Ryan Van Wert, CEO and co-founder of Vynca. “The problem is that it can be a complex and difficult talk for all involved. That’s why it’s important to make sure that a patient’s wishes are documented. If anything breaks down, that affects a patient’s care.”

Vynca’s advance care planning solutions drive the conversations and electronic documentation. Once these documents are completed, they are electronically available to all clinicians in all care settings.

Creation of the Oregon POLST Registry (OPR) was a collaborative effort among several entities: the Oregon POLST Coalition, the OHSU Center for Ethics in Health Care and the OHSU Department of Emergency Medicine. Four months after creation and funding through the Legislature the Registry began operating in December 2009.

According to the OPR Annual Report for 2018, the Registry has steadily gained momentum with almost 20,000 more forms submitted than in the first full year the Registry was in operation. In 2018, 58,708 POLST forms were submitted to the Registry, allowing doctors and medical professionals from across the state immediate access to these critical documents.

When people come to the hospital and cannot articulate their wishes, having those desires documented can mean less trauma for the patient and for family members. OPR gives doctors and emergency care providers the information they need to fulfill the patients expectations.

“There have been incidents — patients presented to the emergency department with no POLST and were resuscitated when they didn’t want to be,” says Dr. Nachat. “In that situation, it’s harder for the family members to withdraw active care, because it feels like an active act in bringing about someone’s death. It’s emotionally challenging; if a patient’s wishes are documented, no one goes through that experience.”

Learn more about Vynca: Visit vyncahealth.com.

 


Brand stories are paid content articles that allow Oregon Business advertisers to share news about their organizations and engage with readers on business and public policy issues.  The stories are produced in house by the Oregon Business marketing department. For more information, contact associate publisher Courtney Kutzman.

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