Oregon Health & Science University has published an article, "More Oregonians sharing end-of-life wishes with POLST," about a recent paper in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, "Changes Over Time in the Oregon Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment Registry: A Study of Two Decedent Cohorts." 

Oregon first started using Physician Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment, or POLST, forms in the 1990s, but a central, statewide POLST database wasn’t established until 2009. POLST-like programs have been adopted or are in development in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. These forms allow patient preferences to be translated into actionable life-sustaining treatment orders that are portable across settings of care.

The study found that 45% of Oregonians who died between 2015-2016 had filled out a POLST form, compared with about 31% between 2010-11, and the length of time between when people filled out the form and died increased from an average of 5 weeks to 21 weeks.

Photo: Betty Lou Hutchens talks with Dr. Susan Tolle, her physician.

To go to the OHSU article, click here.
To read the paper, click here.
To go to Oregon POLST, click here.
To go to the National POLST Paradigm, click here.