Getting Started with POLST

Getting Started Guide

A Guide to Talking About POLST with your Provider

The POLST form is a medical order telling other providers what treatments to give you. It is important you understand your options and work with your provider to make decisions that are right for you.

The most important part of POLST is the discussion between you and your health care provider. This talk should cover these subjects:

  • Your diagnosis. What disease(s) or medical conditions do you have?
  • Your prognosis. What is the likely course of the disease or medical condition? What is likely to happen over time to you, considering your current diagnosis?
  • Treatment options. Given your diagnosis and prognosis, what are your treatment options? How would they help? What are the side effects?
  • Goals of care. What is important to you? What makes life worth living for you?

If you don’t understand what your provider is saying: ask questions. Once you are finished talking, your provider will take the decisions you’ve made about your treatment wishes and turn those into medical orders by filling out a POLST form.

The POLST form can be updated whenever there is a change in your medical condition or if you change your mind.

Types of Medical Care

Watch this video to learn more about the types of care that you may discuss with your provider.

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Next Step

Learn about the POLST form.