In its first 365 days, the Oregon POLST Registry has received more than 40,000 POLST forms from Oregonians with advanced illness or frailty. These individuals have chosen to participate in an innovative back up system to assure their treatment wishes can be found. The registry, which is based at Oregon Health & Science University, was established during the 2009 Legislature as part of the Healthy Oregon Act. The program was officially launched statewide on December 3, 2009.
POLST, which stands for Physicians Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, was developed and launched in Oregon over 2 decades ago to improve the care of seriously ill patients by honoring their preferences to have or to limit specific treatments. The centerpiece of the program is a pink-colored form designed to be displayed prominently in a patient’s home or care facility. The form provides medical orders to emergency medical personnel allowing them to be able to honor the patient’s health care wishes.
The complete OHSU press release is available online.