Part of advance care planning, which helps individuals live the best life possible. POLST is for the seriously ill or frail.
A conversation between an individual, their chosen family, and their healthcare team about their medical condition, potential treatment options, and choices for care.
A medical order form that shares a patient's wishes for care and stays with them if they are moved between care settings.
ADVANCE CARE PLANNING IS FOR EVERYONE.
POLST IS FOR SERIOUS ILLNESS.
Advance care planning is learning about different types of healthcare decisions that would need to be made if you became very ill or injured, and then letting others know—both family and health care providers—about your choices for care.
These choices are often put into an advance directive, a legal document that guides medical care in the case of disease or severe injury when a patient can't speak for themselves.
POLST is part of this planning - for people with advanced, chronic, or end-stage illness. It guides discussions between patients, their chosen family, and their healthcare team to define preferred treatment wishes.
With the POLST, your choices are turned into physician orders to make sure that you only get the treatments that you want.
The POLST form is needed in addition to an advance directive, it does not replace that document. An advance directive is still needed to name a legal healthcare decision maker, and is recommended for all adults, regardless of their health status or age.
This short video, How Hope Grows, helps you to think about how your wishes may change as your medical condition progresses.
Copyright ©2020 Care+ Ventures LLC. Video may not be duplicated or used in any format without the expressed written consent of Care+ Ventures, LLC.
This short video from National POLST helps explain why POLST is important in addition to an advance directive.
Voluntary legal document
For all adults, regardless of health status
Appoints a legal decision-maker
Signed by an individual and witnessed and/or notarized
Provides for theoretical situations in which a person may not have capacity for decision-making
Records values and preferences to guide a general plan of care
Voluntary medical order
For those with advanced illness, frailty, or a limited prognosis
Patient or surrogate participates in the shared decision-making of the POLST form
Signed by a physician to become a medical order
Provides for likely, foreseeable events
Records specific medical interventions for situations likely to arise, given a patient's health status and prognosis
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