Medical Goals of Care Plan

The Medical Goals of Care Plan is a key component of the Healthy Dying Initiative. It has been implemented Statewide.

The aim of the Medical Goals of Care Plan is to ensure that patients who are unlikely to benefit from medical treatment aimed at cure, receive care appropriate to their condition and are not subjected to burdensome or futile treatments. In particular this concerns cardiopulmonary resuscitation and Medical Emergency Team (MET) calls, which may otherwise occur if the patient's condition deteriorates. A set of Principles - Medical Goals of Care (GOC) Plan underlines this aim.

The Medical Goals of Care Plan is an assessment tool which should be completed for all patients being admitted to the hospital. Day admissions for low risk procedures on otherwise healthy people may be exempted at the discretion of the admitting Consultant. Where possible the goal of care should be informed by discussion with the patient, or their Person Responsible, or by an Advance Care Directive. However the final decision about care is always a clinical one.

The Consultant or Specialist responsible for the patient's care, or their designated delegate, (Registrar or RMO) is responsible for completing and signing the Medical Goals of Care Plan form, authorising any changes, contacting the patient's GP, and endorsing the form for out-of-hospital use.

View a flowchart of decision-making involved in implementing the Medical Goals of Care Plan.

Decision-making is based on determining the appropriate phase of care according to a realistic assessment of the probable outcomes of medical treatment at this stage of their illness. The phases are:  curative, palliative and terminal. Patients may move from one phase to another. For some patients cure is never an option even at presentation, while other patients only present in the terminal phase.

A step by step Guidance Notes - Completion of Medical Goals of Care Plan provides key clinical questions which may be asked when assessing a patients' presentation and outlook.

View example of the Medical Goals of Care Plan form

For GPs: Primary Health Tasmania - Medical Goals of Care (GOC) Plan Templates