Proposal introduced for Medicare to pay doctor's for end-of-life discussion

The Center's for Medicare and Medicaid have submitted a proposal to congress to begin reimbursing doctors for end-of-life conversations had with patients. This change could take effect as soon as January 2016. NPR recently interviewed a social worker from Oregon who described the importance of POLST when it comes to end-of-life conversations. Read the article here: 

Oregon POLST Task Force Creates Administrator Alerts for Nursing Facilities

The purpose of these Administrator Alerts is to ensure that POLST is being used appropriately in Nursing Facilities, Community Based Care Facilities, and Adult Foster Homes. POLST forms are always voluntary, POLST forms should never be mandatory, patients should never be handed a blank POLST form to complete without a health care professional present. Read the full alerts below:

ePOLST Implementation Report

OHSU recently launched an electronic POLST program in collaboration with Vynca, a tech start-up from Silicon Valley. This system allows health care professionals to complete POLST forms with patients electronically in OHSU EPIC, loads the POLST form to the patient header and submits the form directly to the Oregon POLST Registry (unless the patient opts out). Oregon POLST Task Force Consultant and National POLST Paradigm Executive Director, Amy Vandenbroucke created a business report outlining the process of implementing ePOLST at OHSU as well as the value of the technology. Read the report here.

New electronic POLST system at OHSU receives national media coverage

In collaboration with Vynca, a Silicon Valley start-up, OHSU launched a new electronic system for completing POLST forms with patients. Since the press release last week, ePOLST at OHSU has received national media attention. Below are some of the articles published, highlighting this groundbreaking new technology!

Miami Herald                                  Portland Business Journal                                    Life Matters Media

Washington Times               Bend Bulletin                The Kansas City Star                      Time-POST 

New electronic POLST system at OHSU

ePOLST: End of life goals are being documented electronically in a new innovation at OHSU, in collaboration with a Silicon Valley startup, Vynca. Read an article about it in the Oregonian here.

Oregon POLST program featured in blog post on AARP Oregon

Dr. Tolle submitted a post about the Oregon POLST program, outlining which patients are appropriate for POLST and which are not. The blog post summarizes how POLST is more than just a pink form- it includes multiple conversations with loved ones and health care professionals about your end of life wishes. 

Webinar: "POLST: What's New and How Can We Do Better?"

On March 18, 2015 the Patient-Centered Primary Care Homes (PCPCHs) facilitated a webinar about POLST where presenters Susan Tolle, MD and Lyle J. Fagnan, MD discussed POLST, recent data about the efficacy of POLST, and how primary care practices can work toward the routine implementation of POLST. Listen to the webinar here

Oregon POLST founder interviewed in New York TImes

Dr. Susan Tolle was interviewed by Paula Span from the New York Times on the benefits and limitations of Advance Directives and when it is time to turn Advance Directives into action with POLST orders.. Read the article here

Institute of Medicine Releases Report on End-of-Life Issues

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a new report titles "Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life". The report highlights POLST and includes it in one of the committee's recommendations (recommendation #4, below). You can read the full IOM report here.

Recommendation 4 (Policies & Payments): encourage states to develop and implement a Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) paradigm program in accordance with nationally standardized core requirements. 


2014 Version of the POLST Form released!

October 1, 2014: Every 2-3 years the Oregon POLST Task Force revises the POLST Form based on feedback from stakeholders. The newest version (the eleventh!) has been released and is available to order on our website. All previous versions of the POLST Form will remain valid, but we encourage health care professionals to replace older versions with the new one. More information can be found on the Press Release created by the Oregon POLST Task Force.

New Patient and Family Educational Video

The Oregon POLST Program has released a new video intended for patients and families. The 5 minute video, titled "Understanding POLST" explains what POLST is and who should have one. You can watch the video below: 

Oregon Public Broadcasting has a conversation about POLST on Think Out Loud

Director of the Center for Ethics in Health Care at OHSU and member of the Oregon POLST Task Force, Dr. Susan Tolle was interviewed by Oregon Public Broadcasting's Think Out Loud on June 11, 2014. Dr. Tolle discussed the landmark study published in JAGS with Erik Fromme and colleagues about POLST in Oregon. The study showed patient's end-of-life wishes are being honored, demonstrated by the location of death and how it related to what selections were made on their POLST form. Listen to the interview here.

The Oregonian discusses recent groundbreaking research about POLST

The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS) has published a groundbreaking study written by researchers at Oregon Health Science University. The article examines the relationship between what POLST orders are selected and where people ultimately die. These results indicate the value that POLST has for patients with serious illness or frailty who want to document their treatment wishes. Read the article here.

Landmark Study on POLST Published

June 9, 2014: Researchers from Oregon published a groundbreaking article on POLST in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS). The article examines the relationship between what POLST orders are selected and where people ultimately die, reflected in the bar graph below. The study proved that the wishes of those with POLST orders were honored. Read the article here.