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. 

Learn more about the different parts of a POLST Form.