The first national organization to officially endorse the adoption of a national Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form has emerged.
AMDA — The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine announced Thursday that its board passed the resolution to adopt the national form that documents nursing home residents’ end-of-life wishes.
The organization said a national POLST form will help providers correctly interpret and follow its orders and honor patient treatment preferences. It would also make it easier to conduct research and quality assurance activities, collect and share data, and educate both patients and providers about POLST.
AMDA added that the form must also be recognizable and honored by all EMS providers and healthcare professionals.
“While not solely for emergencies, the POLST form is valuable in communicating to EMS providers whether the patient wants CPR or not and whether they want to be transported to the hospital or remain in place and made comfortable,” the organization said in a statement.
Some researchers have expressed concern that the phrase “life-sustaining treatment” could imply the form is only meant to guide life-prolonging treatment. Researchers have suggested changing the name of the POLST form to “Medicare Orders for End-of-Life Intervention” to be more inclusive and accurate.