Oregon POLST Program

June 27, 2018

Oregon POLST Program News
Focusing on Quality Improvement
Policy Recommendation for Quality Measures
Adapted from Charlie Sabatino's "POLST: The Seven Deadly Sins," the Oregon POLST Coalition approved the policy recommendation for Quality Measures. This policy was based on a quality improvement initiative to reduce the use of POLST in those who are "too healthy" to have a POLST form.

Recommendation for Future Form Revision: Remove Section C
On June 21, the Oregon POLST Coalition approved the removal of Section C (Artificially Administered Nutrition) from future versions of the Oregon POLST™ form.  Currently, there is no timeline for the next form revision. 

Visit the Oregon POLST Policies and Standards webpage to stay up-to-date on approved recommendations.
Recommendations for POLST™ Form Elements
Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) is more than a piece of paper or a set of data fields in an electronic registry. Instead, it is part of a larger cultural phenomenon; education, sensitive communication, accurate and timely recording and retrieval, and a system based on trust, which aims to ultimately honor a person's wishes for care as they near the end of life.

Over the past 25 years, the Oregon POLST Coalition has made many changes to Oregon’s POLST form to improve its effectiveness. These changes are based on clinical experience and rigorous quality improvement research.  The Oregon POLST Leadership Team has developed a summary of the major changes in the 12 POLST form revisions between 1993 and 2018.  This document provides the opportunity to share such form changes to help POLST leaders in other states with the development of POLST-like programs.  The summary is available on the Oregon POLST Policies and Standards webpage.
ePOLST Update  
Congratulations to Samaritan Health Services who have been using ePOLST for a over a year, and recently upgraded their electronic POLST system to interface with the Oregon POLST Registry. This functionality allows access to all active POLST forms in the Registry database.
End-of-Life Research
Joan Teno, MD, MS, along with colleagues at OHSU and Brown University, recently published findings in JAMA on health care transitions near the end of life.  This article is not about POLST but of interest to all of us who are committed to honoring patient wishes and reducing transitions near the end of life. Click here to view the article online.
2017 Oregon POLST Registry Annual Report
A message from Dana Zive, Director, Oregon POLST Registry

The last year was one of continued growth for the Registry in nearly all aspects - form volume, emergent, and business office POLST requests, business office calls, new Registrants, new partnerships, and new technologies.  The Registry team continues to be grateful for the support of the Oregon Health Authority, the OHSU Department of Emergency Medicine, the OHSU Emergency Communication Center, the Oregon POLST Program, and the thousands of health care professionals who help to expand access to patient wishes for end of life treatment by submitting POLST forms to the Registry.

The Oregon POLST Registry continues to be unique, and remains the only legislatively-mandated and funded statewide Registry of its kind.  Its ongoing utilization for patient treatment, health care provider decision making, quality assurance and improvement, and research continue to demonstrate its impact on end of life treatment and policy in Oregon, and across the nation.

I am honored to work with the dedicated group of people who operate and support the Oregon POLST Registry, and am pleased to present our 2017 Annual Report.

Dana Zive, MPH
Director, Oregon POLST Registry

Valerie M. Jimenez
Executive Director, Oregon POLST Program
Oregon Health & Science University
3181 SW Sam Jackson Pk Rd, UHN-86
Portland, OR 97239

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