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

How to start or resume an ACP experience

How to create your My Shared Circle account


How to remove an ACP document

What is Advance Care Planning?
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.

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

Each state has different guidelines. You should check the guidelines in the state you plan to travel to. 

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. 

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

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

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.

Go to to request access to the tool. 

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 healthcare providers. 

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

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. 

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 The document will be reviewed to ensure it meets the State of Michigan requirements before uploading it into the digital tool.

Spectrum Health Advance Care Planning Department 
665 Seward Ave. NW 
Grand Rapids, MI 49504 
Ph 616.774.7615