Designed to improve the quality of care people receive at the end-of-life, the Physician Orders for Life SustainingTreatment (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 serious 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 or frail 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 Health Care 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.