The mission of the U.S. Living Will Registry is to promote the use of advance directives through educational programs, and to make people’s health care choices available to their caregivers and families whenever and wherever they are needed, while maintaining the confidentiality of their information and documents.
Founded by Dr. Joseph Barmakian in 1996, the U.S. Living Will Registry is a privately held organization that electronically stores advance directives, organ donor information and emergency contact information, and makes them available to health care providers across the country 24 hours a day through an automated system. Our policies and procedures were developed in consultation with attorneys who represent hospitals. All health care providers have access to the documents and information, and privacy and confidentiality are always maintained.
The Registry is a great way for hospitals and health care providers to manage advance directives in their facilities. Health care providers are required by law to ask their patients if they have an advance directive, and to place the document into the medical record. Storing these documents and retrieving them has proved to be very difficult for providers. How does the provider know that the advance directive on file is the most recent? Which of the multiple charts on a particular patient contains the most current advance directive? Who has the time to search through the medical records to find the old advance directive each time the patient is re-admitted? What does a provider do with the advance directive when they convert their charts to electronic form, or microfiche? The U.S. Living Will Registry is the solution to all of these problems. By using the Registry to store their advance directives, health care providers do not need to maintain their own storage and retrieval system. They have 24-hour access to the Registry by telephone or Internet and can receive a requested document in seconds. And because the Registry contacts each registrant annually to make sure their advance directive has not changed, providers are assured that the documents they receive from the Registry are up to date. Because only health care providers have access to the documents, privacy and confidentiality are always maintained. The Registry also allows health care providers to manage ALL of their advance directives through the Living Vault® service. This unique service allows providers to register advance directives without a Registration Agreement. Documents stored in a Provider’s Living Vault® can only be accessed by that provider or by other providers in the same network or system. So it is like an extension of the medical records department; and is an effective and low cost way to share documents among all facilities in a hospital network or health system. Visit the Providers page for more details.
Our proprietary, custom software, computers, servers and database are stored in a state-of-the-art data center. The center offers the security, climate control and redundant power and Internet back up systems necessary to reliably ensure that documents stored in our database are safe, secure and accessible when needed.
The Registry also provides an easy and cost-effective way for states to establish advance directive and organ donor registries. The Registry’s sophisticated system allows for all health care providers, or certain types of health care providers, to access all documents registered in a particular state. Some states are considering establishing registries, while other states are in various stages of implementation of a state-wide registry system. Contact us by e-mail to see how the Registry can provide your state with a very cost-effective way to institute an advance directive and/or organ donor registry quickly and easily.
For more information about the services provided by the U.S. Living Will Registry, please contact us by e-mail or call 1-800-LIV-WILL (1-800-548-9455).