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Posted on September 8, 2019 at 4:00 AM

The National POLST Paradigm has announced the release the first national POLST form, two related patient guides, and in-depth guide for professionals (“form guide”).

The National POLST form was created because having a single form will make it easier, among other things, to:
• Know and honor patient treatment wishes throughout the United States
• Conduct research and quality assurance activities, creating shared data for generalizable knowledge
• Educate about POLST to patients and providers so the process and form are understood and appropriately implemented everywhere

This form represents a major step towards national consensus on the form—and is the product of almost two years of interviews, consensus building, feedback, compromise and iterative versions of the form and patient guides. As more states adopt the National POLST form, the acceptance and understanding of POLST can become standard. National POLST will be using this form to educate about POLST going forward.

The patient guides were created to increase patient engagement with the POLST process and form. The form guide (for professionals) shares what was learned during this project, the rationale for the final form elements, rationale for not including certain elements, research opportunities, project participant list and
a project timeline.

Almost all states and DC have their own version of a POLST form and are free to continue using and updating their form; this form must be adopted through the appropriate process before it can be used within a state (which varies from state to state). The National POLST Paradigm encourages all programs to considering adopting the form while recognizing some programs have legislative or regulatory barriers to doing so at this time.

The POLST Paradigm is a voluntary approach to end-of-life planning that emphasizes eliciting, documenting and honoring the treatment preferences of seriously ill or frail individuals using a portable medical order called a POLST form. If a seriously ill or frail patient wants to use a POLST form, their health care professional will complete it after talking with the patient about their diagnosis, prognosis, treatment options, and goals of care. For more information, visit About the National POLST Paradigm
The National POLST Paradigm educates on the ideals of a POLST Program and works like a collective impact, where all participants share a vision for the change and work to build consensus on strategies to support that vision. The national office serves as the backbone of the initiative, coordinating guidance, research, education, policy and quality assurance for all POLST Programs to follow. All POLST Programs are invited to participate in national leadership; 43 states currently participate. 

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