AMDA Formally Endorses a National POLST Form
Columbia, MD, and Washington, DC – AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine and National POLST are excited to announce that AMDA is the first national organization to formally endorse and support the adoption of a national POLST form. The AMDA board passed the resolution originally introduced by its Pennsylvania, California, and Ohio state chapters.
The form was created because a single form—as opposed to just form reciprocity—will make it easier, among other things:
- For providers to recognize a POLST form and how to correctly interpret and follow POLST form orders, thereby enabling them to honor patient treatment preferences
- To conduct research and quality assurance activities, creating shared data for generalizable knowledge and ability to improve POLST
- To more broadly educate patients and providers about POLST so the process and form are understood and appropriately implemented consistently everywhere
While not solely for emergencies, the POLST form is valuable in communicating to EMS providers whether the patient wants CPR or not and whether they want to be transported to the hospital or remain in place and made comfortable. Therefore, the POLST form itself must be immediately recognizable to all EMS providers and healthcare professionals—and be able to be honored by all—in order to reach its full value to patients.
“POLST exists to provide seriously ill or frail patients a tool to communicate their treatment preferences as they transition across care settings or travel throughout the United States,” says Amy Vandenbroucke, JD, executive director of National POLST. “We appreciate AMDA’s support of National POLST and our vision of improving patient care and control over their medical treatment through a greater consistency of process using a single form.”
“Our Board of Directors is pleased to support the adoption of a national POLST form that includes standardized data elements and hope others in our setting will join us,” says Christopher E. Laxton, CAE, executive director of AMDA. “We look forward to educating practitioners, as well as patients and their families, on using the form, as well as working with other organizations to support legislation and regulatory action that will allow POLST orders to be followed across state lines.”
AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine is the only medical specialty society representing the community of over 50,000 medical directors, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other practitioners working in the various post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) settings. Dedicated to defining and improving quality, we advance our mission through timely professional development, evidence-based clinical guidance, and tireless advocacy on behalf of members, patients, families, and staff. Visit www.paltc.org for more information.
POLST is an approach to advance care planning for patients who are considered to be at risk for a life-threatening clinical event because they have a serious life-limiting medical condition, which may include advanced frailty. The POLST process emphasizes eliciting, documenting and honoring patient preferences about the treatments they want to receive during a medical emergency or as they decline in health. These treatment wishes are documented on a portable medical order called a POLST form. For more information, visit www.polst.org.
About National POLST
POLST is a national movement implemented at the state level. The vision of National POLST is for states to adopt national standards, resulting in greater consistency of process, improved patient care and greater patient control and direction over medical treatment. National POLST educates on the ideals of a POLST Program and works as a collective impact, where all participants share a vision for the change and work to build consensus on strategies to support that vision. All programs are invited to participate in national leadership; 45 states currently participate. For more information, visit https://polst.org/leadership.