Information for EMS 

Why do I need to find and follow POLST orders? Patients have the right to express their preferences regarding life-sustaining treatments. The Scope of Practice for Emergency Medical Providers states, “An Oregon-certified First Responder or EMT, acting through standing orders, must respect the patient’s wishes including life-sustaining treatments. Physician supervised First Responders and EMTs must request and honor life-sustaining treatment orders executed by a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant if available.”

When do POLST orders apply? POLST orders apply any time EMS is called or the patient is transferred to the ED. However, a patient with decision-making capacity can request other treatment at any time. Patients with Comfort Measures Only do not want to go to the hospital, unless comfort cannot be achieved without transport.

How will EMS & Emergency Departments access the POLST Registry? Call the POLST Registry Hotline 24/7/365 at the OHSU Emergency Communications Center (ECC) for immediate POLST form requests.

What is the Registry Hotline number?  Contact the Registry business office to request the restricted (not public) hotline number.

What patient information should I have available when calling the Registry Hotline?  

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Registry ID
  • Last 4 digits of SSN
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Street address
  • City/County

What is the POLST Registry ID? It is a unique identifier assigned to each patient. The ID may be found on a magnet or sticker in the home or with patients’ personal effects.

What POLST information will the POLST Registry Hotline staff provide? Staff can verbally relay Section A and B orders, additional order text, Registry ID, and the date the POLST form was signed. The POLST form can also be faxed to the emergency department that is, or will be, treating the patient.

What if I have questions about the POLST orders?  Registry staff cannot interpret POLST orders.  If there is a question about how to proceed with the POLST information provided, contact your On-Line Medical Control (OLMC).  Hospital staff should follow their standard protocols.

Additional Resources