Communicating advance directives from long-term care facilities to emergency departments

J Emerg Med. 2001 Jul;21(1):83-9. doi: 10.1016/s0736-4679(01)00344-4.


Many residents of long-term care (LTC) facilities are transferred to Emergency Departments without advance directives (AD). The goal of this study was to describe an ideal model for the transfer of AD from LTC facilities to Emergency Departments. Health care providers were asked to describe their ideal model for the completion and transfer of the ADs of LTC residents. A grounded theory methodology was used to identify significant themes. The model we present as a result of this analysis acknowledges the importance of simplifying and standardizing ADs, but focuses more attention on the process of completing and transferring the AD. A key feature of this model is an emphasis on the education of LTC residents and their relatives about ADs and advance-care planning. This education should involve a variety of resources used in creative ways; it should begin as soon as LTC placement is being considered, and the emphasis should be on providing information and discussing options rather than pressuring residents to make a decision.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Advance Directives*
  • Aged
  • Communication
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Forms and Records Control / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Interinstitutional Relations
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Organizational
  • Nursing Homes / organization & administration*
  • Patient Transfer / organization & administration*
  • United States