Getting Started with an Advance Care Plan

Advance Care Plans, and Advance Medical Directives

How MyDirectives® and MyDirectives MOBILE™ Work

Security, Accessibility and Legality

The completed uADD is not focused on trying to be a legal document like a "living will" or an "advance directive."  Since you can make your answers as detailed or general as you want, update them over time, and add video messages, audio files and other attachments to clearly express your preferences and goals, we believe it is better.  MyDirectives leads you through a process that helps you create a higher quality document that doctors and nurses will actually be able to find and use.  And remember, in most places, even advance directives are not "legally binding," they are just "legally recognized."  Doctors can always refuse to comply with your wishes if they have an objection of conscience or consider your wishes medically inappropriate.

Yes. Medical facilities can search and print your records if you're being admitted to a facility and you ask them to, or if you can't communicate, the admitting staff person, nurse, or doctor can go to the MyDirectives database and look for your uADD.  For hospitals that use paper medical records, your printed forms usually will be attached to your medical file. MyDirectives is working with hospitals with electronic medical records to ensure that they will eventually be able to attach your uADD to your digital medical file.

You can print your uADD anytime. Just click "Print My uADD™" on the My Home page. But printing is not always necessary or even the best choice. We encourage you to access your uADD online when you want to look at it or make changes.  That way, the most up-to-date version also will be in our system. Hospitals and doctors can also access your uADD by searching for it online.

  • Sending a secure link to view your uADD is safer and ensures that your healthcare providers will see the latest version. Your digital records are safe, secure, and ready to be downloaded anytime you need them, anywhere in the world.
  • If you choose to print, treat your uADD as you would other important paperwork.

Your information is stored securely online in a partially encrypted database - it has a code that makes it difficult for anyone to read. To ensure your privacy, all communication between you and MyDirectives is protected that same way. Only you and those you authorize will be able to see your advance care plan.

NO. MyDirectives won't share your data in any form in which you or your answers could be personally identified without your permission. The whole point of having an advance care plan is to share your medical treatment goals, preferences and priorities with family, caregivers and healthcare providers when there's a medical emergency. When you sign your Universal Advance Digital Directive (uADD)™ using MyDirectives, you authorize only approved healthcare providers to search and retrieve your records. Insurance companies won't have access to your answers unless you give them access.

YES, you can use MyDirectives for free to create, store, update, share and retrieve your advance care plan anywhere at any time!  We want you to live with confidence you will have a voice in your own care if you ever have an emergency and you can’t communicate with your doctors.  We get paid by health insurance plans, healthcare providers, government agencies, and healthcare information technology vendors that believe finding and using high-quality advance care plans will help doctors treat you better.

No, there are no hidden costs to you. ADVault gets paid by private health insurance plans, healthcare providers, health information exchanges, accountable care organizations, health ministries, other government agencies, and healthcare information technology vendors that want to empower consumers and patients by making sure that they have high-quality advance care plans, and that those care plans are available at the right time and place, whenever they are needed. Again, our service is free to you as the enrollee.

Most people believe that advance medical directives and similar paper forms described in laws and regulations of various countries and states are "legally binding" as long as they are signed and witnessed (or notarized) correctly, so doctors have to follow them.  Similarly, they want to make sure that their Universal Advance Digital Directive (uADD)™ created using MyDirectives is "legally binding."  At least in the United States, however, the American Bar Association has pointed out that advance directives are not legally binding, they are legally recognized - and you need to understand the difference.  Advance directives give healthcare providers legal protection if they choose to follow your instructions, but doctors in most jurisdictions are allowed to refuse to comply with your wishes if they have an objection of conscience or believe your treatment choices are medically inappropriate.  In fact, the only reliable strategy is to discuss your medical treatment goals, preferences and priorities with your family, caregivers and doctors before a crisis occurs so that everyone understands what you want if you ever suffer a health crisis and can't communicate.  That is why MyDirectives places such importance on making those conversations easier and more effective for our users to have and to document.  Whether you use a legalistic, paper-based form or MyDirectives' interactive process to record your wishes, the resulting document is just another tool that doctors can use when deciding what medical treatments to perform.  Of course, the doctors first have to find them.  MyDirectives is unique in that we help you create a higher quality document - a document that is less likely to include confusing, conflicting answers - and we help you share your uADD and discuss your wishes with anyone you want.  Then, we do our best to make sure that your uADD can actually be found by healthcare providers if you can’t share it with them yourself.

MyDirectives uses an advance care plan document called the Universal Advance Digital Directive™, or "uADD." The uADD™ contains elements that a person would normally see in traditional, paper-based advance directives like living wills, medical powers of attorney, and do-not-attempt-resuscitation forms, but it also includes MyDirectives users' preferences relating to things like organ donation and autopsy.

In addition to your medical treatment goals, preferences and priorities and the designation of healthcare agents, the uADD includes a section called My Thoughts that's designed to help improve the patient, caregiver and healthcare provider experience in an emergency, critical, advanced illness, or end-of-life medical situation.

MyDirectives is offered free to individuals by Dallas, Texas-based ADVault, Inc., a privately held U.S. corporation dedicated to ensuring that people can live with confidence they can have a voice in their healthcare, especially if they suffer a medical emergency and can’t communicate.  ADVault is a for-profit company with a "not-just-for-profit" philosophy.

Choosing a Healthcare Agent