News & Events
Latest News Coverage
The Current with Matt Galloway, CBC
May 25, 2020
Rosemary Barton (Guest host)
CBC, The Current
Dr. Heyland was featured on CBC’s radio program, The Current, alongside guest host, Rosemary Barton. The segment focused around COVID-19, specifically how the pandemic is spurring more people to discuss their end-of-life plans with their loved ones. Dr.Heyland highlighted the difference between planning for end-of-life and planning for serious illness, explaining how COVID-19 is an example of a serious illness. The message around why it’s so important for people to have a plan in these times is one we hope many are hearing loud and clear. The time to have the conversation with your loved ones and make a plan, is now!
We encourage you to listen to the segment, which begins at the 56-minute mark. The link to listen directly online is available here: https://bit.ly/3ej6IMc
Kingstonist, April 23, 2020
April 23, 2020
By Daren Heyland
With COVID-19 media coverage continuing to represent front page news across many publications, Dr. Heyland felt it was important to share his opinion around why it’s so important that people receive the medical care that is right for them, during a serious illness. His opinion piece in the Kingstonist highlights that in order for someone to get the medical care that is right for them, they need to learn and understand how medical decisions are made when people are seriously ill, and what they have to say and how best to work with the doctors so they get the medical care that is right for them. It is important to note that any advance care planning that people may have done, has likely been focused on ‘end of life’ care, which will not be helpful in the current situation of COVID-19. Planning for end of life care, when you know for certain you are dying, is not the same as planning for serious illness. COVID-19 is an example of a serious illness where there is a probability of death, but as well as a probability of survival. Dr. Heyland strongly encourages people to prepare for serious illness and to go through the serious illness planning program available through the Plan Well Guide as it can help to ensure a sense of peace of mind, knowing that you have your serious illness plan in place.
To read the full article visit the link here: https://bit.ly/2VyfW0o
The Lethbridge Herald, April 22, 2020
April 22, 2020
By Daren Heyland
The Lethbridge Herald
In response to all the media coverage regarding COVID-19, Dr. Heyland submitted an article highlighting some of the ways people can prepare for the pandemic, specifically preparing for serious illness. The key factor to prepare for serious illness is based around the notion of learning and understanding how medical decisions are made when seriously ill, along with what to say and how best to work with doctors, to ensure the medical care that is right for you or a loved one is obtained. For most people, any advance medical care planning that may have been done, has likely been focused on ‘end of life’ care, which will not be helpful in the current situation. Planning for end of life care, when you know for certain you are dying, is not the same as planning for serious illness. COVID-19 is an example of a serious illness where there is a probability of death but as well as a probability of survival.
To read the full article visit the link here: https://bit.ly/2wYoqEC
The Kingston Whig Standard, April 21, 2020
April 21, 2020
By Alan Hale
Health Reporter, The Kingston Whig Standard *
Earlier in April, Daren Heyland, Critical Care Physician and Creator of Plan Well Guide was interviewed by Alan Hale from the Kingston Whig Standard to discuss the ways people can start to plan for and prepare for serious illness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Heyland highlights how planning for serious illness is different than planning for terminal or end-of-life care, where people may give instructions for when they are dying. With COVID pneumonia, there is a possibility of survival – which is why it’s critical to plan for situations where there is that uncertainty. Dr. Heyland further explained how to use Plan Well Guide to prepare to meet doctors and make decisions when seriously ill to be sure you get the medical care that is right for you.
To read the full article visit the link here: https://bit.ly/2znTS05
* The following article also appeared in Eriemedia.ca, The Belleville Intelligencer, The Sarnia Observer and Queen’s Gazette.
The Globe and Mail, March 30, 2020
March 30, 2020
By Wency Leung
Health Reporter, The Globe and Mail
On March 27th Daren Heyland, Critical Care Physician and Creator of Plan Well Guide was interviewed by Wency Yeung, a health reporter from the Globe and Mail to discuss the recent COVID-19 pandemic. The focus of the article was around the importance Canadians need to be placing on planning ahead for this serious illness as the Coronvirus continues to sweep the nation. Dr. Heyland explained how important it is for people to learn and understand how medical decisions are made when they are seriously ill and what they have to say and how best to work with the doctors, so they are getting the medical care that is right for them. Dr. Heyland spoke about a major issue surrounding the current health crisis, which is how any Advance Care Planning (ACP) that people may have previously done, has likely been focused on ‘end of life’ care which is not going to be helpful in the current context of COVID-19. Planning for end of life care, when you know for certain you are dying, is not the same as planning for serious illness, Advance Serious Illness Preparations and Planning (ASIPP). Dr. Heyland urged people to start planning for serious illness where there’s a possibility of death, but also survival, due to how the Coronavirus works – it’s a serious illness but not always a fatal illness.
A reference to ASIPP was made in the article, highlighting how people can visit Plan Well Guide, for additional resources and guidance, by simply going online to planwellguide.com to learn more.
To read the full article visit the link here: https://tgam.ca/2Vrozc0
Canadian Geriatrics Journal, June 1, 2020
Canadian Medical Protective Association, June 1, 2020
Bio Med Central (BMC) Family Practice, May 25, 2020
Carrie Bernard, Amy Tan, Marissa Slaven, Dawn Elston, Daren K. Heyland & Michelle Howard
A qualitative research study was conducted by various physicians to understand how to better implement advance medical care planning in primary care. The focus behind this research was to explore patient-reported barriers to advance care planning in family practice. It is widely known how primary care doctors play a key role in initiating the process and with Plan Well Guide we hope to help further reduce these barriers.
To read the full article visit the e-publication, here: https://bit.ly/2XAz5hV
Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, May 21, 2020
May 21, 2020
The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association has published an opinion piece by Dr. Heyland in their semi-annual newsletter, AVISO. The focus is around how the dialogue in the news stories which are centered around COVID-19 need to include more around the alternatives to critical care services. There are alternatives to ICU care and this needs to be highlighted, along what is now being done to build capacity for those alternatives. For many, when fully informed of the risks, benefits and possible outcomes of critical care services, they may not want them. However, if the system is only designed to respond in one way, or if capacity is only built in this unidimensional way; if the public messaging is that this is what you do when you get sick with COVID-19, excessive demand may be created on the critical care services, more than there really would be if alternative options had been adequately built up.
People need to be encouraged to do their ASIPP ASAP before they get sick with COVID-19. It is important that people know that when they go through this planning process, they are not making a medical decision. They are preparing to make a medical decision. Bottom line: the plan needs to be not only about saving lives but about providing high quality palliative care to those who choose an alternative course of action. But people need to know that this alternative exists and then get the help they need to plan for it in advance.
To read the full article you must have a membership with the CHPCA, to learn more about how to obtain a copy of this newsletter and becoming a member, visit: https://bit.ly/2Wx1yWN
Canadian Medical Association Journal Open (CMAJ Open), April 28, 2020
April 28, 2020
Dr. Daren Heyland and Dr. Alice Bailey
Canadian Medical Association Journal Open (CMAJ Open)
The findings of this publication are the results of a randomized trial beginning in September 2017 thru October 2018. The information stemmed from work done with family doctors at Family Medical and Bigelow Fowler in Lethbridge, Alberta. The focus behind the trial was to evaluate the efficacy of the novel decision support intervention, Plan Well Guide against usual care, to determine if it increased the quality and quantity of advance medical care planning. The research showed that Plan Well Guide improved the quality of decision-making and reduced time that the family doctors spent with their patients finalizing their ‘Goals of Care Designation’ form. Optimal results were achieved as patients were able to get the support they required while the decision-making encountered required less from doctors.
To read the full article visit the e-publication, here: https://bit.ly/2W4nzLf
For a visual summary of the results of the RCT, check out the Plan Well Guide infographic, here!
JAMDA, April 22, 2020
April 22, 2020
The article titled, A Multicenter Study to Identify Clinician Barriers to Participating in Goals of Care (GoC) Discussions in Long-term Care (LTC) highlights the barriers to engaging residents of LTC facilities along with their families in GoC discussions. Understanding clinician barriers to GoC discussions could identify opportunities for LTC-specific interventions to improve the quantity and quality of GoC discussions in the context of serious illness. These findings are extremely relevant given the current climate, in light of the horrible rise in cases of COVID-19 that have been sweeping throughout various LTC facilities across the country. It is more important than ever before that we overcome these barriers.
To read the full article visit the e-publication, here: https://bit.ly/3cL1kkh
E-Clinial Medicine, January 18, 2020
January 18, 2020
Published by The Lancet
The article highlights the importance behind advance care planning (ACP) and how we all need to do it more, however, we also need to be doing it differently. The information is in response to research by Knight and colleagues who provided a national snapshot regarding the accessibility of ACP at the point of medical decision-making for the UK. The data uncovered in the UK was found to be consistent with public polling data from Canada. An interesting finding around how, only 60% of clinical encounters with patients aged 90 or more who are admitted to an acute medical service, did the attending physician state that having an advance care plan was appropriate – this is critical, it may give clues as to what needs to be done differently moving forward as it relates to ACP. This 60%, should be much higher. The way to advance and move forward involves more robust, reliable, and useful tools that help patients establish their authentic values and transparently connects those values to possible treatment options made in the context of uncertainty. Both the quantity and quality of ACP need to be increased; patients deserve better.
To read the full article visit the e-publication, here: https://bit.ly/3b5TXn3
Upcoming conferences, events, and talks highlight Plan Well Guide
June 5, 2020
International Federation on Ageing (IFA)
The IFA will be hosting a virtual town hall on Friday, June 5, 2020 at 07:00 (GMT-4). The series is titled, COVID-19 and Older People: A Threat to Person-centered Care. Dr. Daren Heyland will be featured as a part of their internal series to discuss the impact COVID-19 is having on older individuals and how Plan Well Guide is a solution to making sure older individuals get the medical care that is right for them.
To register for the Town Hall, visit: https://bit.ly/2M2IfP1
Should you be unable to participate in this meeting, a recording will be available at: https://ifa.ngo/ifa-virtual-town-hall-resources/
Previous conferences, events, and talks highlight Plan Well Guide
May 25, 2020
Daren Heyland joined several panelists for a webinar to discuss the importance of serious illness planning. The webinar was hosted by the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) and the focus was around improving communication and decision-making in the context of serious illness – a need highlighted by COVID-19.
April 23, 2020
Daren Heyland presented a webinar around, Improving Communication and Decision-Making (and compassion satisfaction) in the context of Serious Illness, like COVID-19. The webinar was organized by The Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation, MDs4Wellness, and the Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice. The learning objectives of the webinar focused around:
– Listing the deficiencies in current communication and decision-making practices in the context of serious illness;
– Describing the features of the novel decision-support tool, Plan Well Guide;
– Discussing as a group an evaluation of the Plan Well Guide worksheet in Acute Care setting.
The recording is available here, simply click on the link to access the full webinar which includes various slides along with audio of the full presentation.
March 26, 2020
Online Discussion with Allan Friesen-Silverberg Group
Certified Employee Benefit Specialist based in Alberta, Canada
To listen to the full discussion which highlights how Plan Well Guide can assist in planning for your future, visit the link here!
March 6, 2020
Family Medicine Summit
Plan Well Guide presented research on the following topic: A Novel Decision Aid to Help Plan for Serious Illness: Results of a multi-site randomized trial.