POLST: It Starts With a Conversation

Having a conversation with a patient about end-of-life issues is an important and necessary part of good medical care. POLST provides a framework for guiding the conversation, making it easier to have the discussion, and therefore making it more likely that a patient will express his or her wishes. In this way, POLST is more than just a form; it's a tool to help ensure that patients are making informed decisions and that these wishes are honored across health care settings.

POLST involves a meaningful dialog between patients and physicians, and may also include other members of the patient's care team. Depending on the setting, other trained health care professionals such as nurses, social workers, or chaplains & may also be a part of the POLST conversation to address physical, psychosocial, and spiritual issues that often arise.