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FACP. Colegio de médicos de Tarragona Nº 4305520 / fgcapriles@gmail.com




Sunday, June 12, 2016

POLST: Guiding Providers in End of Life Care

EM Resident Magazine
EMResident - 05/2372016 - By Elaina Diorio and Lindsay Weaver
"What is POLST?
The POLST is a set of medical orders that communicate a patient’s wishes for his/her care and helps to guide physicians in their medical management. This form helps to avoid treatments that are against a person’s goals of care. Most states have or are working on a version of the POLST, which is called by many names, including MOLST, MOST, or POST forms.
The POLST is preferred over advance care directives and offers many improvements, such as:
  • Eliminates complicated legal wording found in advance care directives.
  • Recognizes that the status of a medically complex patient is rarely simply “brain dead.”
  • Is classified as physician orders, so they can be legally followed by EMTs and are applicable in all health care settings, including the patient’s home...
The direction of providing care in the emergency department is changing from action first to determination of patients’ wishes at the onset of care. One of the first questions we as emergency physicians should ask when a critically ill patient presents to the ED is, “Do they have a POLST?”
Completing a POLST form with a patient is also within the realm of care for emergency providers. It is often helpful to start the conversation with, “What is important to you?” or “What do you understand about your disease?” Emergency providers must not overlook comfort care as an option and should also inform the family that comfort care with aggressive symptom management is a treatment option."
Click image (polst.org)