Advance Care Planning - patient information

Welcome to the Spectrum Health Advance Care Planning tool education page. The information here is intended to help you use this planning tool to think about your goals and values, and how that information can align your health care with what matters most to you.

If your health changes, this tool will help your loved ones and health care professionals understand and honor your wishes when decisions need to be made for your care.

If you need any assistance, please contact our team at Spectrum Health Advance Care Planning, 616.774.7615 or AdvanceCarePlanning@spectrumhealth.org.

Patient Portal

Log into Your Advance Care Planning Account

Videos, documents, and frequently asked questions

Educational videos
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How to start or resume an ACP experience.

How to create your My Shared Circle account.

How to remove an ACP document.

How can I gain access to the Spectrum Health ACP tool?
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Will the information in the ACP only be honored at Spectrum Health?
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No, the information captured in the ACP tool is not specific to Spectrum Health and can be shared with, and used by, any of your health care providers.

How can I access information in the Spectrum Health ACP tool?
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Individuals can log in at any time to view and share the information created in the Spectrum Health ACP tool.

How can I share the information in the Spectrum Health ACP tool with my family/loved ones?
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You can log in at any time to create your ‘My Shared Circle.’ This will allow those in your Circle to view your Advance Care Planning information.

I have an existing paper ACP document. Can this be uploaded into the digital tool?
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There are several advantages to completing your ACP in the digital tool, however, if you have an existing ACP document you do not wish to recreate in the digital tool, please email the document(s) to the Spectrum Health Advance Care Planning department at AdvanceCarePlanning@spectrumhealth.org. The document will be reviewed to ensure it meets the State of Michigan requirements before uploading it into the digital tool.

Who do I contact if I need support?
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Spectrum Health Advance Care Planning
665 Seward Ave. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Phone: 616.774.7615
AdvanceCarePlanning@spectrumhealth.org
Is there a guide I can use when completing the Advance Care Planning online tool?
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What is advance care planning?
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Advance care planning is a process in which individuals reflect on their goals and values and make plans about their current and future health care. Advance care planning not only provides valuable information for your loved ones, but also gives direction to health care professionals when an individual is not able to make and/or communicate their care preferences.

Why should I complete advance care planning?
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Sharing your health care preferences with your loved ones takes the burden off them. It provides direction about what decisions you would want them to make. Life is unexpected, and this process not only informs your family and health care team about your wishes, but also makes it much more likely that your preferences will be followed.

Who should be included in my advance care planning conversation?
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It’s beneficial for your loved ones who are involved in your care to participate in a conversation about advance care planning. This allows them to hear your wishes, firsthand. If they cannot be physically present, they may be able to join by video or phone.

I’ve completed forms like this the past, how do I know if I should complete these again?
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You should re-evaluate and complete new advance care planning documents if your patient advocate needs to be updated or if your health care preferences have changed. The more specific you can be about your preferences the more helpful this will be to your patient advocate, should they be in the position of deciding for you.

Do I need an attorney or witnesses to complete my advance care planning documents?
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You are welcome to consult with an attorney; however, your advance care planning documents can be completed without an attorney. Completing your durable power of attorney for health care will require two witnesses.

Can I change my choices once I’ve completed my advance care planning?
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Yes! You can make changes at any time by logging into your account. If you do so, be sure to also update your patient advocate(s) that your preferences have changed.

Will my advance care planning documents be valid when I travel to other states?
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Each state has different guidelines. You should check the guidelines in the state you plan to travel to.

What is a DNR form?
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DNR means ‘do not resuscitate’. Some people do not want their heart to be re-started (resuscitated) if it stops. In that case, they need to have a physician fill out a DNR form. This is a signed doctor’s order. It tells others to not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if the person’s heart stops. If you do not want your heart re-started (resuscitated) if it stops, contact your doctor to request the completion of an out of hospital DNR form. Unlike other advance care planning documents, you cannot complete this document on your own.

What is a patient advocate?
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A patient advocate is a person who can, if enacted, speak for you if you are unable. Their responsibilities may include:

    • Honoring your preferences about care
    • Reviewing and releasing medical records
    • Arranging for medical care and treatment
    • Making decisions about your living situation
How should I decide who to pick as my patient advocate?
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Picking an appropriate patient advocate is important. This individual should:

    • Be willing to take on this role and responsibility
    • Have knowledge of what your preferences are
    • Honor your preferences when making decisions for you, even if they disagree
    • Be someone who can make medical decisions under stressful situations
Will my patient advocate be able to make decisions for me that involve money?
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No, not unless you complete a separate power of attorney that gives your patient advocate the authority to make decisions about your finances and property.