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Note Advanced Care Plan on ID cards.

Make clarifying h.c. proxy and end-of-life wishes a routine responsibility. Document on ID cards—drivers license, insurance, Medicare, etc.

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Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine the end-of-life experience?

This idea is designed for everyone, to address the dramatic discrepancy between people's end-of-life wishes and the care actually received. There will be better alignment by making conversations about all seasons of life, including death, part of common core and public health education and part of primary care medical visits. Document health care proxy and end-of-life wishes on ID's, beginning at at age 16-18 when one is eligible for drivers permit, making own health care decisions, voting, etc.

A universal symbol designating level of care desired in the event of an acute life threatening situation can be developed, and color coded, including for linkage to POLST forms.

In addition to the links noted below on the OpenIDEO site, for more information see also:

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Ask people of varying at ages and stages of life: Have you thought about your end-of-life wishes? Are these documented? Have you had conversations with others about this? Do you have a health care proxy? A POLST? Do you have documentation of this on ID's that are always with you? Ask for feedback on prototype sticker that has space for a universal symbol and a QR code (or similar method) designating one's desired level of care and contacts, in the event of a life threatening situation.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

I need collaboration with others who have complementary skills to mine, which can lead to implementation of the ideas. I'm an empathic observer/researcher/divergent thinker/idea person. With reference to IDEO 10 Faces of Innovation, I'm an "anthropologist" and "cross pollinator", with qualities of "storyteller" and "caregiver".

Tell us about your work experience:

Studied/worked in health care, user centered design, positive aging; have experience as family and h.c. proxy in complex health situations; have participated in end of life planning conversations. Interested in design that empowers a sense of wellness & adaptive functioning across life ages/stages.

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Doug Wilson

Hi Sue,
This seems like an excellent idea. The limitations I see are that wishes for care and proxy may change over time more quickly than cards/licenses get renewed. The POLST paradigm typically recommends POLST be used only in situations where people have serious illness and it "wouldn't be surprising" if they died within a year. However, this objection could be overcome if the ID referenced a place online where a person's advance care plan (and POLST if appropriate) were saved.