The original logo
The original POLST logo was created in 2007 by the National POLST Paradigm Task Force (the earliest name for the National POLST organization), which started using it in 2008. Components of this design included the themes of:
- Coming together: The three shapes in this logo represent people interlocked in a circular shape. The three figures represent the patient, the family, and the medical professional. The way the figures are constructed makes it feel as though arms are around each other in a caring environment.
- Communication: The circular shape indicates that this is a circle of communication. Not closed off from the outside entirely, but certainly focused inward on the patient and the decision they are making. It represents honoring patients in a secure and caring way.
- Movement: This logo has a dynamic feel to it. Because of the round shape, it is never static. Also, the three figures have movement that indicates working together, interacting and moving forward.
A word of its own, no longer an acronym
This logo was modified in 2016 to help distinguish National POLST’s status as a national entity.
It was also further modified to remove the phrase “physician orders for life-sustaining treatment” as it was decided that “POLST” should no longer stand for those words, but instead become a word of its own:
- The many variations on “POLST” acronyms distract from the concept of POLST.
- The emphasis on “physician” was outdated, since in many states physician assistants and advance practice nurses can write and sign POLST orders, a practice National POLST supports.
- Similarly, the phrase “life-sustaining” is potentially biased, thus inappropriate. POLST is intended to be a neutral process that documents what patients want for themselves.
Launched in 2020, the new, fully redesigned logo emphasizes similar elements to that of the original:
- The dynamic nature of POLST as a process that should be repeated as appropriate, and as a document that represents patient treatment wishes which also should be reviewed and revised periodically as appropriate.
- The circle of caring; the caring environment. The pointing inward of the arrows implies the focus on the patient and the input supporting the patient’s decision.
- A trio of elements (now arrows) that represent the patient, family (or caregiver or loved ones of the patient) and health care professional(s).
We also chose a new font to convey a softer, more open, modern, and approachable feel. Finally we simplified our name to “National POLST,” omitting the word “Paradigm,” which felt obscure to some. We certainly still promote the POLST Paradigm, or the ideal POLST process, but we just don’t have it as part of our name anymore.