The Importance of Advance Care Planning

Apr 8, 2020 | Sonoma Valley Hospital News

Have you stated your wishes about the care you want to receive in advance of experiencing a health crisis? Have you identified someone to express your wishes in the event you cannot?

The current COVID-19 health crisis reminds us of the need for Advanced Care Planning to ensure our wishes for emergency care will be honored if we are unable to personally communicate them.

In recent years, Sonoma Valley Hospital and our local public health partners have held a number of workshops and seminars to educate our community about the importance of Advance Care Planning (ACP), including information on preparing an Advance Care Directive (ACD) and a Physician Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST). 

During this time of growing anxiety about COVID-19, we thought it timely to bring the topic of Advanced Care Planning back into the public conversation.

If you are interested in Advance Care Planning, we recommend you explore the following resources which can explain the options and show you how to prepare the documents you will need.

We also want to remind you that if you already have a plan, you should provide a copy to your personal physician and bring a copy should you come to the hospital for emergency care so we can understand your wishes.


UCSF Health*:

Coalition for Compassionate Care of California**:

 My Care, My Plan: Speak Up Sonoma County:

*Bilingual resouces available in English and Spanish.

**Multilingual resources available in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese

Surge Preparation

Our Emergency Preparedness Team meets daily to review our progress in planning the necessary safety protocols and required equipment logistics. This includes reactivating delicensed beds as part of our overall plan to expand isolation and critical care units within the hospital for COVID-19 patients. These patients will be placed in designated safe and secure areas within the hospital, and kept separate from non-COVID-19 patients. We are increasing our current capacity of 24 beds to 48 beds, with additional planning for more beds if needed.

Entrance Restrictions

We have restricted entrance into the hospital to two locations.  For emergency care, 24/7, continue using the Emergency Department entrance. All others seeking non-emergency care should enter through the Main Lobby entrance.  The Main Lobby entrance is only open Monday through Friday from 6:00 am until 5:00 pm. If your reason for coming to the hospital is not urgent or essential, and can be delayed until after the Coronavirus crisis, we ask that you please consider delaying your visit. 

Stay Informed

This is a rapidly evolving situation worldwide. We encourage you to stay informed about the changing guidelines regarding travel advisories, as well as simple ways to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases. More information and resources are currently available and are being updated regularly at Sonoma Valley Hospital’s web site: 

We’re Here, We’re Ready

We encourage you to take care of yourself and your family members by following government guidelines, including maintaining social distancing and practicing good hand hygiene. Information on recommended practices is available on our website. As we navigate through this situation together, we will provide regular updates at our web site and through our email and social media communications.