Home

POLST in Washington: What’s new and snapshot review

POLST is a set of medical orders that communicate patient wishes for end-of-life care to health care personnel, especially those working in the community/outpatient settings.

This story was published in the Spring-Summer 2022 issue of The Washington Nurse magazine.

33 illustration large

What’s new?

In April 2021, POLST was renamed to Provider Orders for Life-sustaining Treatment.

POLST is a set of medical orders that communicate patient wishes for end-of-life care to health care personnel, especially those working in the community/outpatient settings. These orders will be transcribed into the medical record in the hospital/inpatient settings.

Snapshot review

  • WHO - POLST is intended for use by individuals of any age who are seriously ill or in poor health.
  • WHAT - Medical orders (planned in advance with the provider) that address a life-threatening or emergency health event. Medical care preferences are captured on a bright green form.
  • HOW - The individual speaks to the health care provider to make decisions about life-sustaining treatments. The health care provider uses the POLST form to document the individual’s wishes as a medical order, which describes care provisions during an emergency.
  • WHERE - The POLST form stays with the individual. At home, the form is placed in a visible location. In the hospital or nursing home/assisted living setting, the form is kept with the individual.
  • CHANGES - POLST is a voluntary document. Individuals may change treatment preferences on the POLST form in collaboration with the provider as needed.

References