Tuesday Tip: Have You Heard Of The POLST?

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California Assisted Living and Residential Care providers are hearing more and more about the POLST, and many of you have questions.  POLST stands for Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment.  Put simply, it is a form completed by a resident’s physician that complements the resident’s advanced directives and clarifies his or her wishes regarding life sustaining medical care, including CPR, antibiotics, artificial nutrition, and other issues.  The POLST has been used in other states, such as Oregon, for some time and it is now being expanded throughout California due to the passage of Assembly Bill 3000 in August of this year.

What should you do now?

You are not responsible to provide residents with a POLST, and the form is in fact a voluntary document.  AB 3000 requires that healthcare providers honor a POLST; it does not require them to use one.  What you should do now is continue to educate yourself and your staff regarding the POLST, as you will likely begin seeing them in your communities soon.

Both Community Education, LLC and CALA have addressed this new requirement during recent educational sessions, and providers are now gearing up to see the POLST in their communities.  The California Coalition for Compassionate Care has lots of great information on their website, including a list of frequently asked questions.

This tip was provided by Advanced Healthcare Studies — your source for operational and training products and services.


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