POLST is a medical order giving people with serious illness or frailty more control to direct the kinds of treatment they receive.
Designed to improve the quality of care people receive at the end of life, the Physician Orders for Life Sustaining-Treatment (POLST) paradigm is based on effective communication of patient wishes, documentation of medical orders on a brightly colored form and promise by a health care professional to honor these wishes.
POLST is a medical order. For those with advanced illness or frailty, a POLST form is completed with your health care professional to direct the kinds of treatment you want in a medical crisis. As a seriously ill patient, POLST orders help give you more control over the treatments you do or do not want to receive in a medical crisis. The form works even if you later lose the ability to speak for yourself.
The POLST order is signed by your physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant after a discussion with you and/or your representative. Since it is a medical order that will be followed in an emergency, it is important that it reflect your wishes now, in your current state of health.