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An advance care planning document details your future medical care preferences. It provides guidance to your family, close friends and healthcare providers if you can no longer speak for yourself or make your own decisions. You can ensure this information is available to your treating doctors if it’s ever needed by adding it to your My Health Record.

There are many situations when advance care planning information may be used. For example, if you were taken to hospital while unconscious, your doctor could look at your advance care planning information to understand your wishes and treatment. These documents could also be useful if you were living in a residential aged care facility and became ill or unable to communicate. Your treating nurses could then look at these documents when providing care.

An advance care document custodian is someone who holds a copy of your advance care planning document. A healthcare provider may contact your custodian to talk about your wishes.

What is a goals of care document?

A goals of care document can be created by your healthcare provider to explain the goals of your medical treatment and your preferences for end-of-life treatment. If you agree, your healthcare provider can upload this document to your My Health Record. 

Refer to the uploading a goals of care document section for more information.

Upload an advance care plan

If you want to upload an advance care plan to your record, you will need to follow these five steps: 

Step 1: Write down your wishes

  1. Write your wishes into an advance care plan. Your wishes could be about life-prolonging treatments or services that you do or don’t want
  2. Discuss your wishes/preferences with your family and loved ones
  3. List the names and contact details of a substitute decision maker who can speak on your behalf
  4. When completed, save your advance care plan to your computer as a PDF document. If you only have it in paper form, scan it in and save it as a PDF document. 

There are different legal requirements for each state and territory. Refer to the Advance Care Planning Australia website for your requirements.

PDF upload tips:

  • When naming your document, include your full name, the words, ‘advance care plan’ and the date. For example: John Smith Advance Care Plan 20 March 2020.pdf
  • To ensure your doctors can view the PDF it is recommended that it does not exceed 21MB
  • PDFs lower than 21MB will be easier to view on your mobile phone if you choose to do so
  • If necessary, try scanning the document in black and white rather than colour to reduce the file size.

Step 2: Upload your advance care plan

  1. Log in to your My Health Record through via myGov. If you don’t have a myGov account, you can register at www.my.gov.au
  2. Select your record
  3. From the ‘Documents’ tab, select the ‘Advance Care Planning’ link
  4. Select the ‘Add an Advance Care Planning Document’ link
  5. Scroll down to the ‘Select a PDF file to upload’ section and select ‘Browse’ to find the file you saved in Step 1
  6. Enter the date that the document was last updated
  7. Enter the name and contact number of the person who wrote the plan
  8. Select ‘Next’. The document will upload
  9. Once the document is uploaded, you can check that you uploaded the correct document, if it’s the right way up, and all the pages are included
  10. Click the ‘Next’ button and the document will be uploaded
  11. You can now review your uploaded document. Check that it is the right way up and all pages are included
  12. Are you happy with the document upload? 
  • If you’re happy, select ‘Save’ and then ‘OK’
  • If you wish to make changes, click ‘Cancel’. Then make the necessary change in the document and start the process again.

Review and revise your advance care plan and goals of care documents as your wishes, preferences and/or advance care document custodian changes.

Step 3: Upload your advance care document custodian’s details

Up to two custodians for your advance care planning information can be stored in your My Health Record once you have uploaded your plan.

  1. Select the ‘Add a custodian’ button found on the advance care planning overview page
  2. Enter one or more custodian names
  3. Select the ‘Save’ button
  4. You can use your My Health Record to view and update your advance care plans or custodians at any time.

Step 4: View your advance care plan and goals of care documents

If your healthcare provider has uploaded a goals of care document to your My Health Record, you can view it online.

  1. Log into your My Health Record (if you are already logged in, go to the next step)
  2. Select the 'Documents' tab
  3. Select ‘Advance care planning’
  4. Scroll down to ‘Goals of care documents available on this record’ section where you can select the document you want to view.

Step 5: Removing an advance care plan or goals of care document from your My Health Record 

You can remove an advance care plan or goals of care document at any time. The steps below explain how you can remove an advance care plan or goals of care document: 

  1. Log into your My Health Record (if you are already logged in, go to the next step)
  2. Select the 'Documents' tab
  3. Select ‘Advance care planning’
  4. Scroll down to ‘Advance care planning documents available on this record’, select your advance care plan document and select remove
  5. At the next screen you will have the option to either hide or remove your document
  6. Select remove document and then save
  7. Follow the same steps to remove your goals of care document.