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Advance Care Planning & Goals of Care Designations

Advance Care Planning and Goals of Care Designation assists patients, families and healthcare providers in discussing and defining goals of care for individuals receiving health services that are both clinically appropriate and respectful of each person’s values and beliefs.

The three major Goals of Care categories are Resuscitation, Medical Care and Comfort Care.  Goals of Care are based upon the expected benefit from the interventions, the location of care and the patient’s acceptance of those interventions.

The process to obtain Goals of Care Designation includes engaging in conversation regarding the patient’s medical condition and prognosis, their values and hopes, life supporting or sustaining measures and the degree of benefit versus the burden. These conversations may require consultation with members of the interdisciplinary team, including Social Work, Spiritual Care and Palliative Care.

The second step in the process includes establishing Goals of Care according to the intent to cure a condition or restore function; control a condition or maintain function; or lastly, to alleviate symptoms and provide comfort.

In the final step, the Goal of Care Designation is then written as an order. The goals are reviewed and can be modified on a regular basis and as health circumstances change.

For more information about Advance Care Planning and Goals of Care Designation, please check out our ACP materials in the column on the right, including our brand new Advance Care Planning workbook.

For information about the roll-out across Covenant Health, please contact Carleen Brenneis, Director, Palliative Institute, at 780.735.9637 or email

To learn more about Advance Care Planning, check out the new planning materials available in the side box of this webpage.