Advance care planning (ACP) is a process of discussion about goals of care and recording of preferences for care of people who may lose capacity or communication ability in the future.
The Public Health approach to palliative care advocates open discussions about ACP in the wider community. With ACP, the emphasis is on thinking about values and decisions and then talking to those around you about them.
ACP may include creating formal documents known as advance care directives or developing clinical care plans for future medical events. Nurses may become involved in ACP with their patients and families or individually for themselves and their own family. Each State and Territory has different legislation regarding ACP and Advance Care Directives (ACD), and nurses will need to know what applies in their area of practice.
Individual organisations (hospitals, area health authorities, community health services) may also have policies or procedures in place that relate to ACP.