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ISMS Survey Results are Encouraging – but more POLST Education is needed

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The POLST Illinois Committee wishes to thank you for your continued support of the Illinois Practitioner Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form and ongoing educational efforts around it.  Without the support of individuals and institutions around Illinois, our state POLST form would not have had the impact that it has.

The first Illinois Department of Public Health POLST form was developed and made available in 2013, and has undergone two form revisions over the past two years.  A critical part of the POLST Illinois program is ongoing evaluation of the form itself, what provider groups are doing to engage their members in helping patients complete the POLST form, the process care providers use when helping patients fill out the form as well as any perceived or real barriers with the form and the process.

To this end, POLST Illinois collaborated with the Illinois State Medical Society to evaluate the POLST process in Illinois.  The survey was sent to providers across the state with over 800 individual participants.

The survey results are encouraging, but we know that ongoing education, provider feedback and evaluation are needed to keep the program strong and to help our patients make their end-of-life care wishes known to their family and health care providers. To address these issues, the POLST Illinois Committee plans to initiate new educational programs in 2017 and continues to seek provider input.

Attached is the survey summary which provides insights on the progress of the POLST program in Illinois to date.  Also, we welcome feedback about your experiences and concerns with the POLST form and its implementation by going to our website at POLSTIL.org. or sending a message to info@polstil.org.

Thank for your support of POLST.  We could not do this work without your interest in and commitment to the successful implementation of the POLST paradigm in Illinois.

Sincerely,

POLST Illinois Committee

July, 2017

Author: Rachael Telleen

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