The goal of this consensus project is to conduct diligence on what is currently being done in our POLST Programs, to invite vendors to share their solutions, and to work with experts in a number of fields—technology, security/privacy, electronic medical records (EMRs), health information exchanges (HIEs), registries, legal, patient communications— to identify best practices and provide guidance to help POLST Programs effectively harness the promise of technology.
This entire project aims to accomplish several things:
- Develop a thorough and helpful best practices guide for POLST Programs to use to encourage effective and appropriate technology to support National POLST process and standards.
- Identify technology-related priorities that National POLST should be advocating for on a national level, potentially giving us a concrete strategy for national policy or legislation.
- Help align product development that supports POLST and our fundamental values, better helping ensure a robust POLST process, elimination of invalid POLST forms, and immediate access to POLST forms everywhere.
- Evaluate current systems versus creating a new system to support the recommendations of integrating POLST with technology. Make recommendations to ensure the integrity of POLST with the integration of technology, helping the transition from paper to electronic without creating unnecessary barriers or risk.
This is not a single event but a project with multiple components:
These are to provide background and current status information about POLST and technology. Webinars are being planned for 2020 — if you have suggestions or are interested in presenting, contact us.
2018 Consensus Conference
Attendees at the 2018 Technology Consensus Conference were divided into the four working groups: POLST & EHRs; POLST & HIEs; POLST & Mobile Technology, and POLST & Registries. Over multiple sessions, these groups discussed pre-arranged topics and questions related to legal & security compliance, consumer needs, professional user needs, and technology design. Discussion leaders, notetakers and Amy Vandenbroucke (Executive Director) stayed for two additional sessions to discuss areas of agreement and recommendations.
The conference was intentionally limited to about 55 attendees, since this was a working conference to discuss and synthesize information to write a paper, in contrast to being a conference that offers presentations to an audience. Attendees were selected for their experience and expertise in the identified areas of technology and expertise needed; all POLST Programs were offered an opportunity to participate.
2019 Consensus Conference (October)
Attendees agreed that a second conference was critical to completing our goals and the white paper. The groups from the 2018 conference are meeting virtually throughout 2019 and planning a second consensus conference in October 2019. We greatly appreciate the support of the Healthdoers Network, which has provided an online platform for participants to continue to work and connect on this project.
White Paper (2020)
Post-2019 conference, we will be working on final white paper and presenting it via webinar. Everyone will have access to the white paper.
Why are we doing this?
Technology supports the future of POLST. The POLST form is a portable medical order designed to support patients throughout the healthcare continuum as they transition between health care settings (i.e., acute care, sub-acute care, home care, etc)—or those outside those health care settings—by communicating patient treatment wishes. In the event of a medical emergency, when time is of the essence for medical decision-making, the POLST form serves as an immediately available and recognizable order set in a standardized format. This aids emergency personnel and other health care professionals in implementing patient treatment wishes as communicated to—and documented by—the patient’s health care professional. Yet, with our paper-based system, we are placing an obligation to manage this medical order on a vulnerable population.
We’ve seen in Oregon that electronic completion can eliminate human errors and save administrative time. In California, we’ve heard about how POLST form orders can be integrated within an EMR in such a useful and deep extent that reminders pop up when health care professionals write orders conflicting with a POLST form in a hospital. Many POLST Programs are interested in building registries and connecting with existing resources (i.e., their health information exchanges, or HIEs) and asking for best practices and guidance. We don’t have that…yet. This project is a step towards that goal.
National POLST is grateful to our sponsors for their support:
|The John A. Hartford Foundation|
|The Coalition to Transform Advanced Care|
|California Health Care Foundation|
If interested in sponsoring this project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please contact email@example.com with any questions.