Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

National Healthcare Decisions Day – April 16, 2023

National Healthcare Decisions Day is observed every year on April 16. Are you aware that there are times you might need to make some decisions about your healthcare but be incapacitated to make them? This day is set aside to help you take care of these potential situations ahead of time. It is a day for patients or healthcare receivers to make known to health professionals the kind of adequate care they wish to receive, and have those wishes respected and met.

History of National Healthcare Decisions Day

Healthcare encompasses the maintenance or improvement of health through the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, recovery, or cure of illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in people. It is delivered by health professionals and allied health fields.

Across the country, healthcare facilities participate as flagship venues for public engagement. Other participating facilities and organizations that have their own physical spaces engage in these activities as well. The ones that lack physical spaces work in partnership with others or at non-healthcare venues (supermarkets, pharmacies, libraries, e.t.c.) to support the initiative.

National Health Decisions Day is a series of independent events held across the country, supported by a national media and public education campaign. It was founded in 2008 by Nathan Kottkamp, a Virginia-based healthcare lawyer, to provide clear, concise, and consistent information on healthcare decision-making to both the public and providers/facilities, through the widespread availability and dissemination of simple, free, and uniform tools to guide the process.

In all respects, the day is inclusive and brings a variety of players in the larger healthcare, legal, and religious community together to work on a common project, for the benefit of patients, families, and providers. These entities work together to ensure the availability of the information, opportunity, and access needed to document healthcare decisions.

Nathan Kottkamp continues to be involved in National Health Decisions Day and provides leadership by ensuring the maintenance of high-quality resources and support for the community.

National Healthcare Decisions Day timeline

1980s
Global Leadership in Health Promotion

The WHO plays a leading role in fostering the development of the health promotion movement.

2010
The N.H.H.D. Foundation

The Conversation Project — the foundation for the National Healthcare Decisions Day — is created.

2011
The Financial Cost of Healthcare

The healthcare industry consumes an average of 9.3% of the G.D.P. per capita across the 34 members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (O.E.C.D.).

2016
The Official Management of the N.H.H.D.

The Conversation Project assumes responsibility for the management, finances, and structure of the N.H.D.D.

National Healthcare Decisions Day FAQs

What is an advance directive?

An advance directive is a legal document that explains how you want medical decisions about you to be made if you are unable to make the decisions yourself.

What are basic healthcare services?

Basic health services refer to a range of services, including the following: usual physician services, laboratory, x-ray, hospitalization, emergency and preventive services, and out-of-area coverage.

What are the four major categories of healthcare occupations?

The healthcare system offers four broad types of services: health promotion, disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment, and rehabilitation.

How to Observe National Healthcare Decisions Day

  1. Learn about the best practices

    Make use of resources and materials to help you think through your healthcare wishes. You could check out the “Conversation starter Guide” and “Guide to Being a Health Care Proxy.”

  2. Make adequate plans for your healthcare decisions

    Healthcare decisions should not just be about end-of-life issues. It should include mental health issues, blood transfusions, amputations, and when the affected person is incapable of making sound decisions.

  3. Encourage others to do likewise

    Educate and encourage other people on the importance of making health decisions in time. You could be saving a life by doing so.

5 Facts About Healthcare That Will Interest You

  1. Technology plays a vital role

    Through health information technology (HIT), involving both computer hardware and software, healthcare information, data, and knowledge is effectively stored for communication and decision making

  2. Four levels

    Healthcare includes primary care (the work of health professionals who act as the first point of consultation for all patients), secondary care (necessary treatment for a short period), tertiary care (specialized consultative care usually for inpatients), and quaternary care (extension of tertiary care).

  3. It has multiple means of funding

    Healthcare systems generally have five primary methods of funding system: general taxation, social health insurance, out-of-pocket pay systems, voluntary or private health insurance, and donations to health charities.

  4. Science plays a huge role

    The quantity and quality of many healthcare interventions are improved through scientific research results.

  5. It is broad

    Healthcare extends beyond the delivery of services to patients, encompassing many related sectors, and is set within a bigger picture of financing and governance structures.

Why National Healthcare Decisions Day is Important

  1. It helps us stay proactive

    By making important health decisions ahead of time, this day helps us to stay on top of health situations. Its value cannot be overemphasized.

  2. It saves us from bad decisions

    When we apply the advice received from professionals on this day, we will be able to avoid costly errors that result in poor decisions. This will in turn lead to healthier choices.

  3. It helps us get the best of treatments

    With decisions about possible future health challenges being already made, patients will get the most suitable treatment in case of an eventual occurrence. This will obviously improve their chances of healing and quick recovery.

National Healthcare Decisions Day dates

YearDateDay
2023April 16Sunday
2024April 16Tuesday
2025April 16Wednesday
2026April 16Thursday
2027April 16Friday

Want to sponsor this holiday?

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.