POLST Logo and Name


The original logo





The National POLST Paradigm Task Force (the earliest name for the National POLST organization) created its first logo in 2007 and 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.


National POLST

To help distinguish National POLST as a national entity and moving its organizational home to Washington DC, the logo was modified in 2016 to include “National.”


A word of its own, no longer an acronym

In 2018, The phrase “physician orders for life-sustaining treatment” was removed from the logo and the National POLST Paradigm stopped using “POLST” as an acronym but as a word of its own. Using just “POLST” and defining it as a “portable medical order”:

  • Promotes the role of the whole health care team in the POLST process. The prior acronym’s emphasis on “physician” conflicted with national policies promoting a team approach for the POLST process and support for physician assistants and advance practice registered nurses to write and sign POLST orders, a practice National POLST supports and many states allow;
  • Removes the biased “life-sustaining” phrase: POLST is a neutral form and process that documents what patients want for themselves and patient’s bring their own values to the process in making their treatment decisions reflected on the POLST form;
  • Emphasizes the concept of POLST; and
  • Keeps the national organization neutral in not promoting one name among the many variations on “POLST” acronyms.


Modern redesign

Launched in 2020, the new, fully redesigned logo emphasizes similar elements to that of the original:

  • The dynamic nature of POLST as a process of conversations between the patient and health care professional(s) about the patient’s treatment wishes in light of their medical condition’s progression.
  • The dynamic nature of the POLST form as a document representing patient treatment wishes that should be reviewed with the patient periodically (and revised as appropriate).
  • The circle of caring; the caring environment. Arrows pointing inward emphasizes POLST’s focus on the patient and the input supporting the patient’s informed treatment decisions.
  • A trio of elements (now arrows) representing the patient, family (or caregiver or loved ones of the patient) and health care professional(s), all of whom should be included in the POLST process.

Arizona POLST’s logo reflects its alignment and participation with National POLST.

The new font conveys a softer, more open, modern, and approachable feel. The final change was simplifying our name to “National POLST,” omitting the obscure word “Paradigm.”

In addition, National POLST provides customized logos to qualified, participating programs, including logo guidelines and ready to use formats. The logo program provides participating programs a way to showcase their involvement with National POLST and support a national identity.