Physicians may be pressured to meet a quota for POLST
forms and to conform to government-prescribed standards for an "acceptable" conversation.
I know from personal experience that the POLST
form can be presented uninvited by a doctor with every option approved and simply requiring a signature.
If you're at-risk of dying in the next year or two, also complete a POLST
The difference between POLST
programs and traditional patient-generated advance directives is that the POLST
is intended to complement existing advance directives and not replace them (Hickman et al.
21 and each year thereafter) each person could be offered the opportunity to execute a POLST
and/or a living will.
This was a patient with advanced directives and a POLST
form that clearly specified the focus of her care should be on comfort.
It is called the POLST
form, that stands for Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment.
is primarily for those whose health is frail and have a fairly high risk of dying sometime over the next year.
There are so many questions that come up: What is an Advance Directive, a POLST
, do I want to be buried or cremated, what type of comfort care can be given me, what are my hospice options?
In simple terms, the POLST
form elucidates the patient's wishes and doctor's orders, from providing full treatment to giving comfort measures only.
She encouraged physicians to review the POLST
form at the center's Web site, www.
Developed in Oregon two decades ago, POLST
is a standardized medical order form (in California it is printed on bright pink paper) that indicates the specific types of treatment a seriously ill patient does or does not want.