Advance Care Planning at BIDMC

At BIMDC we want to provide care that's right for you at every stage of your life, from birth to death and at many points in between. To help us do this, BIDMC is working on becoming "Conversation Ready." We are one of ten national Pioneers working with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to improve how we — and health systems across the country — provide care when people are very sick or near the end of their lives. But we can't do this alone. We need to work together with patients and family members, like you, to get this right.

What do we strive to do? 

  • Reach out to our patients about what matters most to them regarding end-of-life care
  • Record those wishes and preferences in the medical record
  • Retrieve that information from the medical record if/when it's needed, and thereby...
  • Respect our patients' wishes and preferences

Why is BIDMC committed to becoming "Conversation Ready"?

Consider these facts...

Nationally, 94% of people think that it's important to talk about their own and their loved ones' wishes for end-of-life care, but less than 30% have actually had these conversations.

In Massachusetts, only 10% of residents say they have spoken to their primary care physician or physician specialist about end-of-life care.

Only 27% of Americans have discussed with their loved ones what they want in terms of their end-of-life care.

Among those who'd lost someone without ever talking about end-of-life wishes, over 50% say that some aspect of the experience could have been improved if they'd had a conversation.

Among those who did have a conversation with their loved one, 63% say that they felt better knowing they were honoring their wishes; and 39% say their loved one was able to die just the way they wanted.

The Conversation Project, National Survey, 2013.
Massachusetts Commission on End of Life Care, End-of-Life Care Survey, 2005.

Related Links

  • Massachusetts Health Care Proxy Information
  • Patients' Rights and Responsibilities
  • Know Your Options During Serious Illness (PDF)