After initial evaluation and a name change to “Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment” (POLST) the form was released for use in Oregon in 1995. Using a “train-the-trainer” model, members of the task force initially educated health care professionals about use of the form. Ongoing education, research and a statewide experience-based continuous quality improvement process helped the task force improve the content of the POLST form and the process of implementation.
As Oregon’s program evolved, selected regulations rather than legislation were used to help with implementation. Other developing programs like West Virginia and New York sought legislation to facilitate POLST paradigm adoption. Each new program found that their approach needed to be thoughtfully tailored to state laws and regulations.
To learn more, visit the Oregon POLST Program web site.