MedicAlert starts repository for DNR, others

The MedicAlert Foundation, the nation’s leading emergency medical information service, has launched its national repository for end-of-life medical preference documents, including directives concerning life support, resuscitation, organ donation, living will, and power of attorney.

"This new service responds to the unmet need for fast and confidential access by medical personnel to an individual’s directives for end-of-life care," says Tanya J. Glazebrook, president and CEO of MedicAlert Foundation. "It is a natural extension of the foundation’s services because we already store and transmit emergency medical information for millions of members around the world, and are universally recognized within the health care community."

The repository’s comprehensive services include support from the MedicAlert 24-hour call center that is staffed by professionals, referral service for advance directives forms and assistance, verification of completed forms for all required signatures and contact information, physician and health care agent notification upon enrollment and during medical events, family notification service, and safe storage and transmission of advance direc-tives regardless of the health care setting.

Timeliness of communication will improve

Glazebrook says the new service will dramatically improve the timeliness of advance directive communication, as well as ensure that the documents are secure and available when and where they are needed. "Regardless of age or health status, it makes good sense for people to plan ahead for future medical care needs."

"Unfortunately today, a person’s end-of-life preferences are often not available when they are needed," says Cherie Morrison-Davis, MedicAlert Foundation’s director of advance care planning. "Sometimes, it’s a problem of not knowing where the written directives are kept, and frequently a person’s physician and designated decision maker don’t even know they’ve been named in these instructions. All of this can lead to confusion on the part of caregivers at the time of need. This new service resolves these problems and takes care of the paperwork, so others can take care of the patient."