POLST – Physician Orders for
For Health Care Providers
Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment – is a physician order that outlines a plan of care reflecting the patient’s wishes concerning care at life’s end. The POLST form is voluntary and is intended to:
- Help you and your patient discuss and develop plans to reflect his or her wishes
- Assist physicians, nurses, health care facilities, and emergency personnel in honoring a person's wishes for life-sustaining treatment
- POLST Trainings
- It Starts with a Conversation (Train-the-Trainer)
- Beginning the Conversation (One Day Workshop)
- Beginning the Conversation for Pediatrics (One Day Workshop for Pediatric Care Teams)
- POLST Resources for Health Care Providers
It Starts with a Conversation (Train-the-Trainer)
Learn about POLST in this two-day train-the-trainer course using the California POLST curriculum. The training provides opportunities to develop skills for facilitating meaningful conversations with patients and families about POLST and goals of care and ideas for implementing POLST in communities and training other health care providers.
The course is designed for:
- Leaders in organizations and communities initiating a POLST program.
- Individuals who will be teaching healthcare staff and/or the community about POLST, including nurses, social workers, chaplains and other interested staff from skilled nursing and acute care hospitals, emergency medical services, home health and hospice.
- October 7 & 8 in Long Beach -- Register now!
Beginning the Conversation (One Day Workshop)
This one-day workshop introduces the California POLST document and how it fits into the continuum of advance care planning. Come learn the latest information about POLST and enhance your skills and comfort in facilitating meaningful conversations with patients and families about POLST and goals of care.
The workshop is designed for healthcare providers who want to learn more about POLST and help patients complete the form – including physicians, nurses, case managers, social workers, chaplains and other staff from skilled nursing and acute care facilities, emergency medical services, home health and hospice.
This one-day workshop introduces health care professionals caring for the pediatric population to the California POLST form. Participants will improve their skills in working with children with life-limiting illness and their families, and will learn how to better communicate and document patient wishes on the POLST form.
The workshop is designed for physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, case managers and other staff working with seriously ill children and their families.
POLST Resources for Health Care Providers
Brochures & FAQs
- POLST Brochure for Health Care Providers [PDF]
- POLST FAQs for Providers [PDF]
- Clinical FAQs for Providers - short version [PDF]
- Clinical FAQs for Proviers - comprehensive version [PDF]
- Quick Reference Guide on POLST in Nursing Homes [PDF]
- POLST FAQs for Assisted Living Communities [PDF]
- CPR/DNR Brochure [PDF]
- Tube Feeding Brochure [PDF]
- POLST Legislation [PDF]
The POLST Quality and Research Toolkit (PQRsT) is designed to facilitate the study and improvement of POLST programs through data collection and analysis. The PQRst consists of 30 instruments that have been created to study POLST for research or quality improvement projects, along with related research materials. Please click here to link to the National POLST site to read and download this resource.
Model Policies & Procedures
- POLST Policy Cover Memo [PDF]
POLST Policy Cover Memo [DOC]
- Skilled Nursing Facilities [PDF]
Skilled Nursing Facilities [DOC]
(revised April 2011)
- 2011 POLST Form Changes [PPT]
California Department of Public Health All Facilities Letters:
- MDS 3.0 Section S (3/28/11) [PDF]
- MDS 3.0 Section S (11/16/10) [PDF]
- MDS 3.0 Section S (10/1/10) [PDF]
- POLST (12/3/09) [PDF]
- POLST (10/8/09) [PDF]
National Program & Research
Related videos, click on the video thumbnail below to watch. Video will open in a new window so please allow pop-ups from this site.
- POLST at Work in California
This 12-minute video provides a detailed look at the POLST form and how it works in a community as a patient is transferred between health care settings. The video is designed for health care providers, but can also be helpful for consumers wishing to learn more about POLST. The video is adapted from Oregon’s POLST at Work video.
- POLST: Honoring Patients’ Wishes for Treatment
CA POLST is helping honor patients wishes for treatment.
- POLST: Having the POLST Conversation
A demonstration of the doctor/patient POLST conversation.
- Honoring the Wishes of the Spanish
Speaking Patient and Family
English version | Spanish version [Real Media File]
This 19-minute video from Oregon’s POLST program is designed for the Spanish-speaking community and addresses the important role of bilingual family members and the use of an interpreter, as well as how culture and spirituality can play an important role during end-of-life care. Designed for health care providers, patients and family members.