Using the POLST Model encourages communication between health care professionals and patients and caregivers, allowing people to make more informed decisions about medical treatment based on goals and values.
THE POLST MODEL
The POLST (Practitioner Orders for Life
Model has two equally
FIRST - A conversation between an individual patient and/or someone close to that person who might help make medical decisions for them along with a clinician on the individual’s medical care team.
SECOND – A form telling first responders and emergency healthcare providers what to do if that individual experiences a critical medical emergency.
encourages communication between health
care professionals and
patients and caregivers
, allowing people
to make more informed decisions
based on goals and values.
The POLST form documents these decisions in a clear manner resulting in a patient’s wishes being honored across all settings of care.
A POLST form is voluntary
and is never required.
If a person does not have a POLST form,
they will receive all medically indicated treatment in an attempt to maintain life.
The goal of the POLST Model is to maximize
patients’ control of their medical care by
helping them establish a care plan that aligns with their own treatment wishes with what is
medically realistic, and to document these wishes in a uniform, secure and retrievable
medical order set that can be used to direct medical care in a variety of settings out in their
community. The Illinois Department of Public Health Uniform POLST form is one means of
establishing that care plan
THE POLST MODEL APPROPRIATELY
The POLST decision-making process and resulting medical orders are intended for people
of any age who are at risk for a life-threatening clinical event because they have a serious
life-limiting medical condition, which may include advanced frailty.
For guidance on FEQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS about the POLST Model click here.
“Doing It Better” provides a clear overview of the POLST Model. It is an educational tool for health care professionals and the public that describes POLST, clarifies which individuals POLST should be offered a conversation about the form, emphasizes best practices for POLST and corrects some common misconceptions.
The POLST form is
available in English and Spanish. To ensure emergency personnel can understand and follow the orders, it is
recommended that the POLST form be presented in English.
The Spanish version of the form is helpful for educational