What is POLST?

The National POLST Paradigm is an approach to end-of-life planning based on conversations between patients, loved ones, and medical providers. The POLST Paradigm is designed to ensure that seriously ill patients can choose the treatments they want and that their wishes are honored by medical providers.

The NHHPCO Board of Directors recently voted to support the use of Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST), an approach to end-of-life planning based on conversations between patients, loved ones, and health care professionals. A comprehensive POLST strategy articulates the wishes of patients with serious illness or frailty, and strengthens communication between patients and clinicians and among different health provider organizations. The POLST document goes beyond the portable DNR to include common treatments that often require quick decisions to administer such as antibiotics, blood transfusions and fluids. The POLST initiative is being led by the N.H. Healthcare Decisions Coalition.

More information and useful links, including a sample of the form can be found on the Foundation for Healthy Communities' dedicated page, which also provides a link to the National POLST website.

Other resources include: