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April 7, 2021

News Alert - Oregon POLST® Program
Dr. Susan Tolle's JAGS Editorial
In a newly published editorial in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Aligning POLST Orders with Wishes: Time to Put Evidence into Practice, Dr. Susan Tolle demonstrates how Oregon utilizes quality data to guide the implementation of interventions. Susan outlines the vital role of the Oregon POLST Registry in tracking quality improvement, following targeted changes made in policies and health system practices. Continuous quality improvement is needed to achieve our founding goal of assuring that the wishes of those with advanced illness are carefully elicited, accurately recorded, available in a time of crisis, and thereby honored more consistently.

This JAGS publication can be found at:
Don’t Count POLST Forms
A four-minute YouTube video describes interventions associated with the rise and fall in the rate of orders for “yes” to CPR, shown in the figure above.

Furthermore, it provides a summary of the major lessons learned:
  • Education is no match for incentives.
  • Do NOT count POLST forms as an ACP quality measure.
  • Do NOT routinely complete POLST forms on patients being admitted for short term rehab.
  • Do NOT include POLST as a drop-down in the template for an Annual Medicare Wellness exam.
Oregon POLST Registry 2020 Annual Report Newly Released
The years of hard work are paying off. As reported in the newly released 2020 Oregon POLST Registry (OPR) Annual Report, there is continued widespread use of POLST with improvements in the quality of the Oregon POLST Program. Abby Dotson, PhD - Director of OPR has just posted the 2020 Oregon POLST Registry Annual Report on the Oregon POLST website:

Highlights include:
  • Over 440K POLST forms have been loaded into the Oregon POLST Registry during the Registry’s 11 years of operation.
  • Over 16K calls to the Emergency Communication Center looking for POLST forms in a crisis with last year’s call volume setting a record.
  • Despite all of the logistical challenges of the pandemic, Abby and her team built and launched a new POLST Registry operating platform that offers quality reporting, greater options for access and improved efficiency.

Congratulations to Abby and the entire Oregon POLST Registry team for their vital role in helping to assure that the wishes of Oregonians with advanced illness or frailty are honored!
The Oregon POLST Program wishes you and those you serve to remain
well & safe during these challenging times.

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Anthony Antoville, BFA, CMC
Executive Director, Oregon POLST Program
OHSU - Center for Ethics in Health Care
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd, UHN-86
Portland, OR 97239
Copyright © 2021 OHSU Center for Ethics & Oregon POLST Coalition. All rights reserved.

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