The Institute of Medicine Committee on Approaching Death: Addressing Key End-of-Life Issues met on July 23, 2013, to delve further into the POLST Paradigm model. Susan Hickman, PhD, from the Indiana University School of Nursing and RESPECT Center at IUPUI, was invited to provide a critical evaluation of the evidence base for POLST. The committee posed several specific questions regarding the impact of POLST on clinical care and outcomes. Specifically, the committee was interested in a review of evidence around the effect of POLST on the number of days in the Intensive Care Unit in the last week of life, the use of CPR, and whether there are state differences in the use of different medical interventions at the end of life based on POLST programs. Additional questions focused on the effect of POLST on patient and family outcomes. Dr. Hickman reviewed the available evidence as well as the limits of existing research. She also proposed directions for future research and policy change.
To view the slides from Dr. Hickman’s presentation, click here.