California Healthline Daily Edition

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Sutter Launches Worker Program for Finalizing End-of-Life Care Wishes

This week, Sutter Health hospitals promoted a new campaign designed to encourage the health system’s employees to discuss end-of-life care plans with their families, the Sacramento Bee reports. The program targets employees and medical professionals, rather than patients.


California residents can use an advance health care directive to designate an agent empowered to make health care decisions on their behalf if they are incapacitated. The directive also allows residents to stipulate whether they want to be resuscitated.

Meanwhile, the California Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment form allows residents to designate such an agent, as well as select a range of specific care preferences. The form has the force of a physician's order.

Sutter Program

Palliative care teams at seven Sutter Health hospitals in the Sacramento region are promoting their "Having the Talk" program to employees. The program seeks to educate workers on the importance of talking to their families about end-of-life care preferences and finalizing the appropriate documents.

Catherine McGregor -- Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital palliative care nurse coordinator -- said hospital workers "see the value of having this hard discussion that can help take the burden of these decisions off their family members," adding, "And it gives them insight into what patients' families go through when they don't have prior discussion" of end-of-life care preferences (Creamer, Sacramento Bee, 4/20).

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