By: Kathleen Gaines
End-of-life decisions may be amongst the hardest decisions any family member might have to make for a hospitalized loved one. But with the proper advanced health care directives, it can make those decisions easier and less confusing. Unfortunately, most patients do not have advanced directives, especially those in the younger generations. The reality is that unless someone has a terminal illness or works in healthcare, they may not even know what an advanced directive is.
MIDEO Card is changing the conversation.
A revolutionary new app, MIDEO Card which stands for My Informed Decision on VidEO, is a video advance directive as well as a video medical order for life-sustaining treatment. The video is in the patient’s own words and has been formulated to translate all wishes into medical provider understanding.
What is an Advanced Directive?
Generally, advanced directives are done via a paper form that can be filled out in the hospital or online and printed. These forms discuss life-sustaining medical treatment and prolonging life.
According to the American Cancer Society, “life-sustaining medical treatment is any medical intervention, medication, or anything mechanical or artificial that sustains, restores that would prolong the dying process for a terminally ill patient.” These may include :
- Breathing machines
- CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) including use of an AED (automated external defibrillator)
- Medications such as antibiotics
- Nutrition and hydration (food and liquids) given through feeding tubes or IVs
Once an advanced directive has been filled out it then needs to be given to your healthcare provider and placed into your health file. This can be problematic, especially in the case of an emergency. If an advanced directive is completed at home and never given to the primary healthcare team, it is possible that no one will know a patient’s true end-of-life wishes. Furthermore, if the patient is taken to a hospital out of state or not associated with their primary healthcare provider, then there will not be accessible to the advanced directive.
This is problematic.
MIDEO eliminates this by creating a digital footprint for the advanced directive and allows all providers access to it regardless of the healthcare system or state. It’s all done with a QR code and smart device.
According to a 2017 study, of 795,909 people in the 150 studies analyzed, 36.7 percent had completed an advance directive, including 29.3 percent with living wills. The proportions of terminal individuals to healthy individuals were similar. Based on this large study as well as others, it is evident that end-of-life discussions are essential to properly care for patients.
“Improving end-of-life care has been a national conversation for some time now, presumably because it will affect all of us at some point and is a very personal matter,” said senior study author Dr. Katherine Courtright of the Fostering Improvement in End-of-Life Decision Science Program at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
MIDEO is designed to allow patients to directly speak their wishes with a representative and is stored on a digital identification card.
MIDEO takes the planning and consultation out of the hands of the hospital and hospital healthcare providers. MIDEO has a team of healthcare specialists that work with patients to find the options that are not only personalized but also the best for them and their loved ones.
As hospitals continue to feel the strain of the ongoing pandemic and nursing shortage, there are fewer and fewer resources dedicated to informing patients about advance directives and end-of-life decisions. MIDEO is helping to remove the strain.
Currently, there are three options available for MIDEO Card. Each provides a personalized virtual meeting with a specialist to discuss all aspects of advance directives and end-of-life wishes.
Essential Package (designed for healthy individuals):
- Includes a standardized guided process with a Qualified Healthcare Professional to create your safety statement
- 2 Copies of the Identification Cards.
Vital Package (designed for individuals with multiple medical problems or ages 60 & above):
- Includes a guided process and detailed healthcare evaluation with a Board Certified Physician to create your safety statement
- 2 Copies of the Identification Cards.
VIP Healthcare Concierge Advocate (designed for Individuals (e.g.: those with cancer) Who Require Navigation Through the Complex Medical System Who Have Specific Goals to Be Achieved):
- Includes the Vital Package, but also includes a designated Concierge Physician Advocate who will be available to assist and provide guidance 24 hours a day.
While there is a fee associated with the use of MIDEO Card, most major health insurance plans including Managed Medicare and Medicare with supplemental insurance plans have covered the cost of MIDEO in full or for a small co-pay.
As of January 1, 2016, Medicare-approved billing codes allow individuals to receive Advance Care Planning Education & Counseling. Commonly, this is considered the end of Life planning or counseling.
How It Works?
According to the website, the MIDEO video is accessed by any type of smart device including a smartphone and/or tablet. The camera feature scans the QR code technology on the MIDEO ID card of the patient. The video is then quickly retrieved within seconds in a safe and secure manner.
MIDEO suggests informing all healthcare providers of the QR code and having it stored in your patient file so that it can be accessed immediately if needed.
The video aspect is essential to the success of MIDEO and the future of advanced directives and end-of-life planning. Because many states allow individuals to complete advanced directives online without assistance, it is possible that individuals do not fully understand the choices presented to them or that they can make their own that are listed.
“As I like to say, the form is only as good as the conversation and the shared understanding that goes along with it,” said Dr. Rebecca Sudore of the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine who wasn’t involved in the study.
“Some people do fill out these forms with families or lawyers, and then the forms sit in the dusty recesses of a back drawer and they are not available or shared with family and friends, especially before they are needed,” she told Reuters Health by email.
As Americans live longer, especially with chronic medical conditions, and healthcare continues to make advancements against the fight of once terminal diagnoses, it is essential that individuals make their end-of-life wishes known to not only their families but also to their healthcare providers. MIDEO Card takes away the guesswork. It leaves a lasting gift to families and loved ones having to make difficult decisions.
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