3-Step Health Care Planning Guide
A step-by-step process to "Explore - Plan - Connect!"
"What’s right for you?"
Make care choices.
"What's in your plan?"
Talk to your family.
Write down your choices.
"How are you feeling today?"
Talk to doctors. Get care that
honors your choices.
Good health care planning is a process where you:
- Take a moment to think about what you want, explore information and make some choices for care;
- Talk with your family and write down your care choices, and;
- Talk with your doctors and care providers to put your plan into action to get quality care today and everyday.
Our simple step-by-step planning process offers comprehensive information, tools and discussion guides to help you make your own health care plan or to help a loved one make a plan. Review and download the articles or documents below that are right for you. You can revisit the 3-Step Planning Guide anytime to consider new information and revise and update your plan as your health needs and choices change over time.
When you are ready to write down your choices, go to the Who's Your Agent? Program & Tool Kits page and download the Getting Started Tool Kit.
Doctors & Care Providers: You can use the 3-Step Guide to start effective goals of care planning discussions with your patients and clients.
Step 1: Explore Information
Step 2: Plan with the 5 MA Planning Documents
What's in your plan?
Talk to your family. Write down your care choices in your own personal plan.
Talk with your family and others about your care choices, and start to make your plan. Here are the 5 Massachusetts planning documents. A good place to start is by appointing a Health Care Agent ("Agent") in a Health Care Proxy, and giving your Agent instructions for your care in a Personal Directive. Click on each planning document to read more and then download a document.
- Health Care Proxy
- Appoint a trusted person to be your Health Care Agent to make health care decisions on your behalf.
- Personal Directive
- Give your family, Agent, and care providers information and instructions about the care you want.
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Appoint a trusted person to manage your money, property & financial matters on your behalf.
- Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST)
- You make choices about attempting or not attempting life-sustaining treatments in this medical order.
- Comfort Care / Do Not Resuscitate (CC/DNR)
- You communicate to emergency medical service (EMS) and other care providers your choice not to attempt resuscitation if your heart beat and breathing stops, but to offer you comfort care measures.
Step 3: Connect to Quality Care
How are you feeling today?
Talk with your doctors & care providers. Put your plan into action to honor your choices today & everyday.
"Here's how I am feeling today..." is good way to start a discussion to better understand your health condition and treatment options, and to create some goals with your care providers for the care you want today, and at every phase of health. It’s easy to start a planning discussion whether you are a consumer or a care provider. Just use the handy discussion guides below.