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  • Lynn K. Girvin, Esq.

Helpful Healthcare Documents During This Crisis

As grim as it might seem, the coronavirus pandemic should remind everyone to have important healthcare documents in order and accessible to those close to you. Here is some helpful information relating to basic healthcare documents that, once prepared and properly executed, will give you peace of mind through this crisis:

Necessary documents include a healthcare directive (or “living will”) appointing a healthcare proxy (or “agent”), HIPAA release, and Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order. A healthcare directive is a statement of your healthcare wishes and appoints a health care proxy to make healthcare decisions should you be unable to speak for yourself. A HIPAA release authorizes that named individual to communicate with your client’s medical providers and access your medical records so that the best decision can be made regarding your healthcare. And finally, a DNR is a document providing whether you want heroic end of life measures.

It is a good idea to place those executed documents in an obvious location so that you can grab them at a moment’s notice. It’s also wise to include information regarding any prescriptions that you may use and along with any recent over-the-counter medications. This could speed the hospital admission process.

Lastly, it’s wise to provide a scanned copy of your healthcare documents to the person named as your agent. Keep a scanned copy for your own records too. If you don’t have a scanner but have an iPhone, click on the icon that looks like a pad of paper called “Notes” then create a new document (bottom right) then click on the camera icon and up will come an option to “scan.” This will create a PDF instead of a photo, which is much better than just a photo when transmitting documents. You also can get a free app for your phone to convert phone photos into PDFs to save.

If you have any questions or would like to prepare these documents for yourself or help a loved one get started, please call. We are working remotely to get clients what they need through this time of crisis. Call (714) 619-4145!


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