POLST – Practitioner Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment – is a healthcare planning tool that empowers individuals to work closely with their medical team to detail their personal goals and medical preferences when facing a serious illness. Gov. Chris Christie signed New Jersey's POLST law in December 2011, and it's now being introduced statewide to help patients and families with end-of-life care planning.
The new POLST form is designed to be completed jointly by an individual and a physician or advance practice nurse, expressing the individual's goals of care and medical preferences. Unlike other documents like an Advance Directive, a completed POLST form is an actual medical order that becomes a part of the individual's medical record. It also is valid in all healthcare settings.
This process makes patients and their medical professionals partners in ensuring the patient's wishes are expressed and respected. That is the promise of POLST.
For additional information, visit the POLST national Web site http://www.ohsu.edu/polst
Resources for Patients and Family Members
Resources for Healthcare Providers