The Oregon POLST Registry began under the leadership of Susan Tolle, MD and Terri Schmidt, MD, MS in January 2008 in response to a need expressed by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to access POLST orders when they arrive on the scene of a medical emergency, and cannot immediately locate an original POLST form. The development of the test and pilot systems were funded by a grant from the Greenwall Foundation along with additional private philanthropy. The Registry's success is built upon a foundation of interdisciplinary collaboration. The Oregon Registry (OPR) is managed and operated by the OHSU Department of Emergency Medicine through a contract with the Oregon Health Authority. OPR partners with the Oregon POLST Task Force, the OHSU Center for Ethics in Health Care, and the OHSU Department of Emergency Medicine to help ensure EMS and other health care providers have access to a patient's POLST orders when they are most needed.
The volume of calls to the Oregon POLST Registry Hotline, housed at the OHSU Emergency Communications Center (ECC), has consistently increased since the Registry began in 2009. In 2011 the ECC received 609 emergent POLST form requests. These calls connect Emergency Medical Services to POLST form orders and connect patients to the level of care they desire. The success of the Registry continues to grow and POLST forms are now being received from all counties in Oregon.