NEWS FLASH: Ninety-three percent of emergency medicine physicians feel less frustrated in situations where advance directives are easily accessible, according to a recent survey. Ninety-three percent – that’s pretty close to all of them.
Do we care whether ER docs are frustrated? Yes! Because we want our clients (and our families and ourselves) to have the best possible care and treatment in the ER.
We want our emergency room physicians to be calm, collected, and – well – not frustrated. Especially since everyone is already in distress and on edge. As a former hospital administrator, I can tell you that calmer physicians have better interactions with clients and help families be calmer, handle the situation better, and be more mentally present to answer questions and follow instructions.
If you already enroll clients in an advance directive registry, whether a state-sponsored or a private registry, you are already doing the most that you can to improve their ER experience. You are ensuring that their directives are available right away, 24/7/365, that clients don’t have to be frustrated trying to call your office after hours to locate them, and that family members don’t have to abandon loved ones in the ER to drive home to get these documents (yes, this does happen). If you are not presently registering clients, see my post from last April listing a variety of ways to help clients make their directives more accessible.
|Here’s a Tip for Marketing Outreach to ER Physicians: (especially if you enroll your clients in a registry)
Offer an estate planning seminar at a local hospital, or community-wide for all emergency medicine physicians in your area.
Title: something like “How I Make Your Life Easier– Inside & Outside the ER”
First part: talk about the advance directives you prepare for your clients, anything special you add beyond the state advance directive and how you make them accessible via a registry. Talk about the Geneia survey discussed here, that advance directives help them give better quality care, make patients more comfortable with them, and make them less frustrated and relieved.
Second: talk about their estate planning needs, given their high incomes, and how you can help them manage their assets and their legacy. You may also want to discuss disability planning.
These ER physicians also had great things to say about how you help clients by creating advance directives for them. These are great marketing points for you to use with your clients. According to this study, conducted by Geneia, a healthcare technology company:
- Having an advance directive helped ensure better quality patient care, according to eighty-eight percent of physicians surveyed.
- Families were more comfortable with how doctors cared for their loved ones when the patient had an advance directive, according to eighty-five percent.
- In fact, fifty-five percent even used the word “relief” to describe their feelings upon learning that a patient already had an advance directive.
Happy New Year! Next month: Medicare’s new policy to reimburse physicians for having advance care planning conversations with their patients.
Randi J. Siegel, MBA, is the President of DocuBank (docubank.com), which ensures that the emergency information and healthcare directives of its 200,000+ enrollees are available 24/7/365 through the largest advance directives registry in the U.S., as well as access to an online safe for storage of digital assets and other vital documents. Working with estate planning professionals since 1997, Randi frequently speaks at national estate planning conferences and has appeared on radio and television as an authority on registries. A member of the Philadelphia Estate Planning Council, the International Society of Advance Care Planning and the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care, Randi is active in health education and public engagement related to advance care planning/advance directives. She serves as Pennsylvania liaison to the National Healthcare Decisions Day initiative and as a board member of the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly. Randi is an ongoing contributor to the Academy blog.
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